Life in the Sixth Form

What is life like in the Sixth Form?

Life in the Sixth Form at Belper School and Sixth Form Centre brings increased responsibility with greater freedom and the opportunity to take a lead in shaping the school and local community.  This leadership experience will have inestimable value for your future and help you to develop the personal skills needed for life beyond Belper School and to success in a 21st century career.

Your Tutor

As a student in the Sixth Form you will have a tutor who takes a personal interest in your welfare and progress, and is available to offer advice. The help of someone who knows you well could make all the difference in making the right decisions about your future.


The school has high expectations of you as a sixth form student. Your mature behaviour provides a model for younger students, and you will be offered opportunities to help them in different areas of school work, to organise fund-raising activities, and to help in the wider community. It is important to remember that employers and institutions of Higher Education attach considerable importance to extra-curricular activities and community work. This is why we make some contribution to community service compulsory for all Sixth Former's.

PSE and Guidance

All students are required to take part in the PSE and Guidance programme which takes place each week. This will deal with a range of personal, social and health issues relevant to 17/18 year olds and includes topics such as personal safety, driver safety, healthy eating etc. Towards the end of Year 12 the focus shifts towards university and careers guidance. This session is also an essential communication channel for all students.

“The students, including those in the sixth form, are a credit to the school. They are very polite and courteous, and they are keen to learn. Students behave well and with respect towards one another, teachers and other adults, in lessons and around the school.”….Ofsted 2014

Independent Study and Staff Abscence

The balance between taught lessons and independent study changes when students move into the Sixth Form. Over two years students receive over 320 Guided Learning Hours per subject against specification requirements of 300. In addition it is expected that students study individually or in study groups for approximately 5 hours per week in each subject outside of timetabled lesson time. We will be indicating 1 Private Study period per subject on all students timetables per week where the Study Room will be supervised by a member of staff. Sixth Form students have access to several study rooms with IT facilities and the library is open to them all day, as well as after school. They will obviously also need a place to study at home, if possible with a small notice board for timetables, reminders etc.

If a member of staff’s absence is planned in advance for example due to running a trip or event we ask teachers to inform the students in advance and set appropriate work for them to complete independently in their absence. 

If this is not planned, for example illness, in the first instance we will set work for students to complete independently. If it seems likely that the member of staff is going to be absent for a period of more than three consecutive days then a relief teacher will be put in place and students will be expected to attend as appropriate work will be being covered in the staff member’s absence. Details of a staff member’s absence will be communicated to students on the morning of the absence through the Sixth Form Information Board. Students need to ensure that they follow departmental procedures for collecting work to complete. 

If we have a situation resulting in long term absence then a suitably qualified and experienced replacement is put in place. Throughout the year Heads of Faculty monitor the situation closely for all their groups and if a situation should arise where additional sessions are required then arrangements will be put in place to support the students.


6th Form Council

Students nominate representatives from each tutor group. There are regular meetings where students get to have their say about various issues of Sixth Form life, before taking this back to their own tutor groups.



At Belper School and Sixth Form we have a strong and thriving drama and arts tradition. Making extensive use of the purpose built drama and arts studios, Sixth Form students take a very active and leading role in school productions and exhibitions.


Duke of Edinburgh

Some students work towards the Silver and Gold Award during their time in the Sixth Form. You do not have to have completed the Bronze or Silver to be able to get involved. Each student follows a programme to help them achieve the five disciplines: skill, service, physical recreation, residential project and expedition.

Outlook Expeditions

Every two years a the school takes a group of intrepid explorers to undertake the month long international challenge. To date they have undertaken schemes in northern India, Malawi and Peru. the latest trip re visits India but on this occasion the group will volunteer their time to worthwhile causes in Southern India and explore this magnificent region.

Malawi 2018

Malawi 2018

Sporting Teams

With a purpose built sports hall and outside multi purpose sports facility we offer a wide range of sporting activities at all levels. Many of our teams have had great success in competitive sports such as Basketball, Football, Netball and Athletics. Sixth Form students can also benefit from reduced membership costs for the Health and Fitness Club at Belper Leisure Centre.

Charity Events

Sixth Form students often adopt various charities and host fundraising events on their behalf.  Fancy dress days, sponsored sports and discos have been some of the ways in which both local and national charities have been supported.

Work Experience

All Year 12 students will be registered on the Derbyshire Work Experience Database.  We encourage all Year 12 students to undertake at least one placement in July during Enrichment Week.  Tutors and the Careers Team are able to assist in finding suitable placements.  Students can undertake placements in their holidays but these are not covered by the school.  

Voluntary Work in School/Community

This is not just about developing students own employment skills, but rather about giving back to the community. Students volunteer within a range of local organisations, including working within Belper School and Sixth Form Centre. A major success of recent years has been establishing a network of In Class Support where students are able to help younger students in lessons. A large proportion of students also take part in the NCS scheme.