Dereham Sixth Form College aspires to provide an inclusive and stimulating environment where all members of the community are equally valued and are encouraged and empowered to fulfil their potential.
The college attracts students with high GCSE grades on entry. This includes students who achieve A* grades and move on to study at Oxford and Cambridge. Other students gain places at top universities for competitive courses such as medicine, veterinary science, law and dentistry. Whilst we celebrate academic success, our students recognise that success can be measured in many different ways.
Education is about ensuring that every student is given every opportunity to reach their full potential. We understand the importance of helping students to achieve their dreams and ambitions, and we support this by getting them into the best universities or further employment to fulfil these ambitions.
At DSFC the whole team have the students’ best interests at heart with excellent communication and consultation between staff and students on every level. This clearly demonstrates the respect the whole community has for each other. The students consistently report that the way they are treated fairly and as adults is one of the factors they rate most highly. It also provides excellent preparation for future life.
There is no dispute that pastoral care at DSFC is excellent, thanks to a team of full time sixth form tutors who have on average 15 years’ experience teaching and advising sixth form students. The tutorial system ensures that every single student is seen individually 2-3 times a term to discuss progress and possible career paths. This means that every student is given individual support and encouraged to work to the very best of their ability.
All of the extra subject support for students at DSFC is provided by the full time sixth form team who teach exclusively across A-levels, BTEC and other post-16 qualifications. This means they have considerable expertise in their respective fields.
The full time sixth form team at DSFC have always ensured that students are not disadvantaged when staff are absent in the short term or long term. This often means that staff are skilled in teaching across a variety of subject areas.
The team organise extra-curricular activities and events such as Apprenticeship Fairs, Careers Fairs, Study skills courses, Duke of Edinburgh Award, trips to other countries in holiday time, visits to universities, and subject support sessions after school in subjects like Maths, Biology and Chemistry. We run careers sessions and seminars throughout the year, and also deliver the Extended Project Qualification, which allows a high number of students to develop their ability to work independently. This is important preparation for Further Education or employment.
We have successfully established partnerships with many outside organisations which allow us to both support and provide effective work-related learning experiences. We will continue to grow this provision as this area becomes an increasingly important part of post-16 education.
In addition to the high level of pastoral care, the standard of teaching across DSFC and Northgate staff is excellent.
We were deeply saddened to hear that the Governors and senior staff of Dereham Neatherd High School wanted to withdraw from a partnership that has been successfully in place for nearly forty years. There is no question that DSFC has provided a wonderful post-16 education for many thousands of students over the years. We are extremely proud of all the students, past and present, and also the staff that have made Dereham Sixth Form College a special place to be.
Whilst we have been left in a challenging situation, we want to reassure parents and staff that our unrelenting focus is to maintain Dereham Sixth Form College at the heart of the community, and ensure it continues to get the best for all young people who attend.
Moving forward we will be working in partnership with Northgate High School, and Norfolk Children’s Services, to minimise disruption for all of our current and prospective students. We now need to ensure students sign up to Dereham Sixth Form College with confidence, and we will continue to support and advise current and prospective students as they commit their future to us.
Personal testimonies show the independence, confidence and eloquence that our current and former students have shown themselves capable of.