Aim: To improve the quality of teaching and learning in the Sixth Form in order to raise standards at AS and A2. To improve cross-curricular collaboration within school and across schools, and to improve the skills of teachers to have a demonstrable impact upon student progress.

Background: In 2012 the A2 results had been disappointing and after the Ofsted report in February 2013, action points were identified to raise attainment at Key Stage 5.


Year 1:

  • A Quality Assurance questionnaire was completed by all the students at Carre’s and St George’s Academy to identify the areas of best practice in each subject.
  • To help staff to use Alps data to enable students to make better progress, an Alps training session was held for all staff in the Sleaford Joint Sixth Form.
  • The focus of inset training days was teaching in the Sixth Form with workshops that exemplified good practice and sharing of sample lessons/activities. A consistent model was defined with emphasis on independent learning, student engagement, challenge and active learning, marking and feedback and organisation of Sixth Form student files. Allocated teaching time across the SJSF was increased for Year 12 from 8 hours per 2-week cycle to 9 hours .
  • Independent study periods for Year 12 were supervised by staff.
  • Staff appraisal cycle. All teachers in KS5 had objectives relating to student progress.

Year 2:

  • A quality assurance process was implemented across both schools, focused on exam data, lesson observations, student voice feedback, work scrutiny, learning walks, intervention and parental engagement. The key was to engage all departments and ensure that this process focused on continual improvement, rather than being a once a year ‘tick box’ exercise.
  • Newly designed student diaries/planners and termly one-to-one progress reviews with tutors were introduced.

Year 3: A work experience week was introduced for all Year 12 students followed by Careers’ Fair Event. Students were encouraged to attend Sutton Trust Summer Schools and Oxford UNIQ to raise aspirations.

Evidence: AS & A2 results, Alps data, lesson observations, Student QA feedback.


Feb 2013Feb 2016
A2 results A*-B43%58% (target 55%)
Level 3 value added
Below Average   Above Average
AS results A-B
Outstanding lesson observations
Requires Improvement lesson observations   
Alps Teaching and Learning grade

Reflections: The main factor which resulted in such significant improvement was a clear vision which is shared by all staff. The big challenge has been to move away from teacher-led lessons to ones in which the students really take control of their learning. Perhaps our biggest challenge is to find the most effective way to share good practice both within our own school and across the two schools.

Contact: Diane Hickmore, Director of Sixth Form,