Reviews of DPA Sixth Form

Letter from Roy Blatchford to Students

  • The quality of teaching and learning in lessons is consistently good and students recognize this to be the case.
  • Students are right to applaud teachers’ excellent subject knowledge, the thorough preparation of core and support resources, and the willingness of teachers to spend additional time outside lessons offering advice where required.
  • Teachers are enjoying their sixth form teaching and are keen to stay abreast of latest developments in their subjects.
  • Wider reading and viewing references were given to students in lessons, humour and creative digression featured, and teachers offered specific and valuable advice on how students could improve answers in recent written tests.
  • Unfailingly, students and teachers have high respect for one another; the sixth form culture for academic study and for having fun with learning is already embedded.
  • And in rooms which ‘sing’ the subject – for example, psychology – students are immersed in an exciting learning environment. Groups of around 15 are conducive to rich discussion and intellectual inter-play, skilfully orchestrated by teachers.
  • The senior leadership of the sixth form is excellent, with properly high expectations of students and their colleagues.
  • Day-to-day organisation is good, and experienced academic mentors are a key part of the routines which have been established.
  • In turn, the DPA Student Leadership Team is an impressive and articulate group of ambassadors who recognise how important it is for them to help shape this newly established sixth form.
  • From the visits made to classrooms and listening to students’ comments, the quality of teaching and learning remains very good.
  • In one government and politics lesson, the quality of discussion would not have been out of place in a university seminar: students listening keenly to one another, referencing their prior learning, quoting sources and responding in depth.
  • The quality of much of the note-taking by students is outstanding, by any national or international measure.
  • Talking with students and looking at their folders/books was a highlight of this visit. All sixth-form teachers should have the pleasure, as I did, of listening to students as they present on this topic.
  • Higher attainers are readily able to explain the syllabus content (AO1, AO2, etc.) in the subjects they are studying and are quick to have to hand copies of the syllabus.