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Outstanding Guidance, Care and Support

Our students benefit from exceptional levels of support, advice and pastoral care. Our dedicated, professional pastoral team provide a first class service where students are consistently guided and encouraged to achieve and develop the skills and knowledge to meet their aspirations.

At Thomas Whitham Sixth Form safeguarding is a priority, we support our students emotionally and mentally offering counselling if required.  We also take part in Operation Encompass.

Each student is allocated to a small tutor group and assigned
a personal tutor. The tutor guides students through their time at the Sixth Form providing them with one to one support as well as small group tutorial sessions. Tutors and class teacher’s work together, to monitor student progress, setting targets and monitoring achievements.

Oxbridge & Medical Applications.

  • The Sixth Form has a specialist Oxbridge and Medical tutor who will guide potential applicants through the application and selection process
  • Potential applicants are given the opportunity to attend an Oxford and Cambridge residential in the summer term of Year 12.
  • Support and guidance is provided for those wishing to attend the available summer schools with Oxford, Cambridge and the Sutton Trust.
  • We are working in partnership with the NHS to provide Medical students with expert advice and guidance.
  • A fully tailored programme of support in preparation for an Oxbridge application, pre-testing and interview as well as support in preparation for the UKCAT BMAT interviews is delivered in a specially assigned form group, allowing students to prepare and apply early.

Guide to Learning - a word from our Students

Why have we created this?

As Year 13 Student Ambassadors of Thomas Whitham Sixth Form, we know first-hand the struggles of moving up from GCSE to A-Level. Therefore we have created this guide which we feel will allow you, our new Year 12’s, to achieve your full potential and relieve the stress of A-Level life.

A-Levels are tough. They are a real test of determination,
but when you enjoy your subject you are ready to face that challenge head-on. At A-Level you must choose what you want to study and what you have a passion for, and believe us, it makes a real difference. You’ll find yourself wanting to push forward, enjoying what you learn because you want to be there.

What follows is designed to inform and advise – and don’t forget, you can always come and speak to us in person if you need any further help.

  • Take care of your lab/exercise/notebooks and always be as neat as possible because not only will your teachers oversee your note-taking and mark your work, but you will have to read them back and study from them for revision purposes!


  • Most subjects have ‘end of unit’ tests in addition to formal mocks (January and June of Year 12), so make sure you are up to date with all of your learning. These tests will measure progress and form part of your final revision so take them seriously.


  • There is a lot more content than that covered in GCSE, and you will also move faster through the work. Be sure to let your teacher know when you are stuck as they will happily slow down to ensure you understand the topic.


  • You will be tasked with homework assignments each week and you will be expected to hand them in on time and presentation must be formal and academic. Make sure you start them as soon as you get them. Believe us, this will save your life in the long run, and go to your teacher for help with your homework in plenty of time! Teachers do not consider ‘I didn’t know what to do’ a viable excuse on deadline day.
  • Teachers’ doors are always open, go and get support when you need it.
  • The work is far more independent than at GCSE and you are in charge of your learning. You will have to learn things that aren’t on the syllabus in order to have a full understanding of your course, so make use of the sixth form library and ILA during free periods and before and after sixth form.
  • There is rarely any stress in the classroom as the atmosphere all around sixth form is incredibly supportive. This is underpinned
    by our ethos and understanding that we all play a part in successful and enjoyable learning, so it’s not okay to just sit back and keep quiet in class. No-one learns that way, you have to contribute!


You will come to understand that progress is made over time, and that it is perfectly normal to see a variation in your grades. This can knock your confidence, but don’t let it! Your teachers will always support you and encourage you to see your development as part of the learning process and not as a failure. Be resilient and listen to your teachers’ advice so that you improve next time. Also, don’t measure yourself against others.

Always support your class mates and learn from them, but don’t compare – everyone has a different journey. Significantly, although your two years here will fly by, you won’t just learn about your subjects, you will learn loads about yourself.

TWSF Student Ambassadors


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