Frequently Asked Questions

We understand that there may be questions that you have when you are thinking of joining a sixth form, therefore we have put together a list of questions below and we hope that we have answered them for you.  If you have any questions that haven't been answered please contact our team on 01204 333266 or email sixthform@rbhs.co.uk

How do I apply to Rivington and Blackrod Sixth Form?

If you wish to apply, please do so via the online form. Applications from students currently in year 11 in a school in Bolton are via the online system www.ucasprogress.com. Application forms for students not currently in year 11 are available by emailing sixthform@rbhs.co.uk

Applications can be received at any time.

If you wish to enrol at a later date, please email sixthformadmissions@rbhs.co.uk

What will happen after I submit my application?

On receipt of your application, you and your parents will be invited to an appointment to discuss your admission, your admission requirements and course choices. You will receive a message via the UCAS Progress system, or a letter, to confirm your subject choices and G.C.S.E. grade requirements.

Will I have an interview and what will it be like?

The interview is the first step in ensuring a successful experience in the Sixth Form. It is an opportunity to find out what your longer term plans are, your broader aspirations, your likes and dislikes, strengths and weaknesses, and your likely GCSE grades. We then check that your A level and BTEC choices match these. It is also a chance for you to ask us questions about the Sixth Form.

How will I know if I have chosen the right course?

Everyone who is coming to Sixth Form to start a course in September will be invited to an event prior to starting, which will give you a chance to meet students and teachers on your course. Your admissions interview will also give you a chance to find out more about the course and you will be able to ask your interviewer lots of questions about it.

If you are still unsure, you can make an appointment with a member of our Sixth Form team to talk through your options to help you make the right course choice.

If you start your course but don’t feel it’s right for you, and not what you expected, talk to your tutor. Do this quickly, as you may not be able to change courses after the first few weeks of term. You can also ask for a careers interview, to help you make the right decision.

Can students mix A-Level and BTEC courses?

Yes, students are completely free to mix BTEC and A level subjects.

Are BTEC qualifications recognised by all universities?

Yes , Universities are very happy to accept students with BTEC qualifications.

When will my course start?

Please check the term dates web page. We will write to you beforehand to confirm the arrangements including where to go and what to bring with you.

What is Enrolment?

Enrolment is an important and compulsory part of becoming a registered student with Rivington and Blackrod Sixth Form. When you enrol onto your programme of study your qualifications will be checked and you will be issued with your Sixth Form ID card. Enrolment takes place in the summer holidays either just before the start of your course – most students enrol on the day they get their GCSE results, or very soon afterwards.

You will need:

  • Proof of your qualifications
  • A relevant form of ID

What is induction?

During your first few weeks you will be welcomed to the Sixth Form and introduced to your fellow students and the staff. This is called induction and may include some or all of the following activities:

  • Introductory sessions with your Tutor - you will be given your course timetable and meet your fellow students
  • A welcome talk from the Head of Sixth Form
  • Finding your way around the Sixth Form and getting to know other staff and students
  • ICT induction – introducing you to our ICT facilities and systems
  • Learning Resources Centre induction – introducing you to all the Learning Resources you will need for your course
  • Student Services induction – you will meet your personal tutor and find out about all the help on offer. They will also make sure you know about any financial support you may be eligible for.

There is a big leap between GCSE study in Year 11, and A level or BTEC study in Year 12.  Rivington and Blackrod Sixth Form has an excellent system of support in place to
help you make this leap. Year 12 begins with two days of induction that includes a session on study skills with your form tutor and a research session at Liverpool Hope University. Each subject will run an induction period. For the first two weeks you will have a study skills book to work through in both form and free periods. At first you will be expected to spend all or most of your free periods in E1 or a POD.

What do I need to bring with me on my first day?

We will write to you to tell you what you need to bring, but it will include the following as a minimum:

  • Pen and Paper
  • Any other stationary, equipment or clothing specified in your letter

Getting to College

There are a number of buses that you can get to go to Rivington and Blackrod Sixth Form.  They are:

  • 125 Bolton via Chorley Old Road
  • 516/517 Westhoughton
  • 505 Brazley and Markland Hill
  • 574/575 Bolton via Chorley New Road Minibus | Deane Road (mornings only)

Parking

Unfortunately, due to the lack of car parking spaces there are no spaces available for Sixth Form Students. You can park on the main road or side road if necessary, but for the latter be aware that the farmer needs to get large trucks and tractors past so ensure you are not causing an obstruction.

Do I need to pay tuition fees?

If you are aged 16-18 then the majority of our courses are free for you to study, although you may have to buy course equipment such as a uniform or books.

Do I need to buy any kit or equipment for my course?

Some courses require you to have essential kit or equipment such as uniform, overalls, safety equipment, books or tools. Your tutor will tell you all about this at your interview and/or we will confirm it in your induction letter.

What if I cannot afford to pay for the course essentials?

Students can apply for financial support, known as the post 16 Bursary. If you qualify, based on household income, you will receive a free bus pass, help with any financial costs related to your courses, and a cash payment at the end of each term.

Can I get any support with childcare costs?

Not via our sixth form – you will need to get support from the Department of Work And Pensions. Please follow this link https://www.gov.uk/childcare-calculator

Do I get a student discount when I shop in Bolton?

Some places will offer student discounts, your ID badge is used as evidence that you are a student.

If I have a problem that is worrying me, who can I talk to?

If the problem is one of organisation of your work, for example, letting things pile up, missing deadlines or not making efficient use of your study periods, then your tutor will be able to offer practical help. Your tutor may refer you to Mrs Hartley, or Mr Canning.

If the problem is of a subject specific nature, lack of understanding of a particular topic or a feeling that you are being overloaded with conflicting work deadlines, then talk to your subject teachers and then if necessary to either your form tutor, or Mr Canning.

Do you have a Support Service at Sixth Form?

We have a support service at sixth form. For appointments please contact Mr Canning. Details are advertised in The Sixth Form area.

What will the Sixth Form do to support my general health and well-being?

There may be times over the next two years when you feel under pressure and stressed. In such situations you are encouraged to talk to your tutor, or failing that the Head of Sixth Form or your Year head.

If you would prefer not to discuss your problems in a school environment then you should consider making an appointment with your GP, or using one of the helplines advertised in the Sixth Form area.

If I have a problem with my academic work, who can I talk to?

If the problem is subject specific nature, lack of understanding of a particular topic or a feeling that you are being overloaded with conflicting work deadlines, then talk to your subject teachers and then if necessary to either your form tutor, Mr Canning.

If I am unhappy on my course what can I do?

If you are considering changing courses, then you should discuss your plans with your tutor and then with Mr Canning. You need to complete a subject change form.

Once we are satisfied that you have thought through all the issues surrounding a change of subject, and discussed them with your parents, you will be allowed to make a subject change. All such changes need to be authorised by the Head of Sixth Form and are subject to a supportive parental agreement and sufficient space being available in the relevant sets. However, course changes will not normally be possible after the 30th September in any one year.

What facilities are available to help me study independently?

The ability to work independently is essential to success in Sixth Form. In fact, independent learning is what distinguishes Sixth Form study to study in school. You will find that the more efficiently you use this time, the better your eventual level of success will be and you will take less work home.

There are several areas set aside specifically for independent work, either as an individual or in a group. These are the E1 study resource area, the PODs and the POD IT room. Practical subjects such as IT, Music and Art also provide areas for students to continue with their own work or to practise outside lesson times. The main Library is also an area for silent private study.

Its facilities are for the use and benefit of all students and so we ask you to observe “the rules” in order that all can study in peace. This is a good opportunity to train yourself in good study habits! The common room can also be used as an area in which to study, although this area is not maintained as a quiet area and is not, therefore, suitable for all types of study.

When your timetable has all your lessons entered onto it there will be a number of non-taught periods. Some will require you to study in E1, in others (the majority) will be available for you to choose how you use them.

If either or both of these periods come at the end of the day and you have no further school commitments, you may go home early. If you have a free first thing in the morning you cannot come in late - you must always be here for registration at 8.45am.

The library is far too big to find anything in, so I won’t be able to cope.

No-one is born knowing about information retrieval, and we understand that it takes time to get used to such a large collection. Learning Resources staff are happy to help you learn how to find information quickly and efficiently, a skill which will stand you in good stead throughout your time at Sixth Form and beyond.

What happens if I lose my library book, or get lots of fines?

You need to notify Mrs Locke in the library at the earliest opportunity.

Is there a dress code for Sixth Form Students?

The dress code for Sixth Form students was introduced after extensive consultation with students, staff, parents and governors. The code is appreciated by students and the sixth form expects students to adhere to its agreed provisos. The underlying principle is that dress must be appropriate in an 11 – 18 school environment and a work place.

  • Hats must not be worn in lessons.
  • Students must not display any visible body piercing with the exception of ear piercing.
  • Slogans or logos which cause offence must not be worn.
  • Low cut tops should not be worn.
  • Very short skirts or revealing low slung trousers must not be worn.

Are there any rules at Sixth Form?

You will find Rivington and Blackrod Sixth Form has a friendly and ‘adult’ environment in which you are encouraged to develop a sense of independence and to take responsibility for your studies.  The prime reason for being a member of the Sixth Form is to achieve a good set of A level or BTEC results, in line with or above what might be expected based on the student’s GCSE results.  We expect:

  • Students should keep all work in an appropriate and well organised form, e.g. in a file, that is available for checking if required.
  • Students are expected to manage their study time. This means making appropriate use of study facilities such as E1, the PODS and the library.
  • Homework will be set weekly in most subjects, with longer deadlines in certain areas e.g. for coursework.
  • Each student will need to spend at least five hours per week per subject studying outside of lesson time.
  • Students have a target grade for each subject.  Any assignments that are graded by staff as being below target will need to be re-submitted. Students who appear to be heading for a grade that is below target will be put on an additional study support program. This may involve more regular mentoring appointments, closer scrutiny of work, some or all study periods becoming supervised sessions in E1, alerting parents to the situation and a meeting with parents

We don’t have lots of rules and regulations. We do however expect high standards of behaviour, including attendance and punctuality, and these are set out clearly in our student code of conduct. As we are preparing you for your future employment we try to make our code of conduct as close as possible to what will find in the workplace.

We are a Sixth Form with students of different nationalities and abilities, therefore it is important that we operate in an environment of tolerance and respect. We don’t accept any form of bullying, harassment or discrimination and have appropriate procedures in place.

Accommodation

There is no accommodation at Rivington and Blackrod Sixth Form.

Will I make friends at Sixth Form?

Before your course starts, once you have been offered a place, you will be invited to a one day 'Welcome Day' event where you will meet your tutors and fellow students to experience a short taste of what your course will be like.  Once your course starts you will have an induction program and your tutor will arrange classes and activities to help you get to know the other students in your tutor group.

What if I haven’t made any friends by this point?

There are lots of opportunities to make new friends through the Enrichment program, the student common room and through your new courses.

Are there any social activities?

Yes, lots. You are expected to aim for one hundred hours of enrichment during year 12. Early in year 12 there will be enrichment information sessions, at which you will be able to sign up to one or more of these opportunities:

  • Competitive sports fixtures against other sixth forms in the North West Colleges
  • League – two football teams and a netball team
  • Badminton, swimming, five a side, gym
  • Form Buddy/Subject support
  • Duke of Edinburgh (direct entry Gold - you don’t need to have done D of E before)
  • Young Enterprise
  • Drama productions
  • Reading Programme working with students in main school
  • Primary school classroom support
  • Work experience in Residential Care Homes
  • International residential trips
  • Charity and community work

What can I do to get involved with the Sixth Form?

We invite you to become part of the Student Leadership Team and give us feedback through focus groups and surveys.

Will I be able to progress at the end of my course?

We aim to provide guidance and support whether you choose a higher education or vocational path. The careers section of the E1 resource area is well stocked with university prospectuses and books giving advice on every relevant aspect of the subject, and there is IT provision to allow greater access to information on colleges and courses. careers interviews can be arranged at any time for any member of the Sixth Form.

What about my next steps after Sixth Form?

If you are planning to progress into work or apprenticeship at the end of your course, the student services website has lots of live vacancies to help you find the best opportunities. The careers team can also help you make a great application, with advice on interview skills and CVs.

How small are the class sizes?

Class sizes range but the norm is usually between 10-20 students.

Can students go off site for lunch?

The Sixth Form Bistro is open from 10am until 2pm, serving a wide range of hot and cold meals. The Bistro operates a system of finger print recognition cashless payments, which means that you will need to keep your account topped up. There is a paying machine outside E1, and payments can be made on line via SIMS Learning Gateway. There are also two vending machines in the common room, for hot and cold drinks. But if this is not enough and students are able to get there, there are several shops in Horwich.

Are there any opportunities to be a Student Leader?

Employers and universities are looking for leaders - people who can make decisions and influence others. The council and the student leader program are ways to show that this is you!

Their recent successes include:

  • Organisation of Upper Sixth Form Leavers Dinner
  • Vending machine in the common room
  • Catering facilities and a new kitchen in the common room
  • Additional independent study areas
  • Access to ICT in the Sixth Form
  • A student magazine
  • The organisation of a ‘Old Rivington’s’ Afternoon Tea.

Alumni

View ‘Old Rivington’s Website’

A-Z Guide