Oak Wood School

Prospectus and How to Apply

Post 16 Applications

Our Post 16 Open Evening took place on Thursday 25 January 2018 in our new building. If you are an external applicant who missed the evening, but would like to have a tour of the school, please contact us to arrange an appointment.

Please follow the link to view Oak Wood Post 16 prospectus here

To apply for Oak Wood Post 16 Centre for 2018, please download the application form and follow the instructions carefully - the deadline for applications is Friday 9 February.

FAQs have been answered below. Should you have any further questions, please don't hesitate to call the school.


FAQ - Oak Wood Post 16 Open Evening

1. What is the deadline for applications?

The deadline for applications is Friday 9th February

2. When will the interviews take place?

Interviews will start on Monday 19th February

Applicants will be invited to attend their interview by letter.

3. Will you accept late applications?

We tailor our curriculum around our students after applications have been received, to take into account the preferences of each intake. The deadline stated above will be the deadline for taking these preferences into account. We will still accept applications after this deadline, but you may not be able to get onto your choices as the option blocks will be set.

4. When do they have to make their final subject choices?

Students will be able to change their choices up until 2 weeks into Autumn term 2018. They will only be able to do this within the option blocks that have been set, but there will be a wide range of subjects to choose from.

The best approach is to do lots of research now in order to make informed subject choices at this stage.

Internal applicants have the opportunity to attend a Taster Day on 2nd February to help them make their choices. They can sign up to attend lessons they are interested in to see if it is for them. The Russell Group’s Informed Choices guide is useful for guidance on which subjects students must have studied at A level to advance to certain degree courses at University.

5. What happens if they don’t do as well as expected in their GCSEs, are they able to resit any in Year 12?

Students who have not attained C grades in Maths and English at GCSE will be timetabled to resit these subjects. For other GCSE subjects, there is little point in resitting as usually Universities and employers look at the GCSE grades that have been taken by the end of Year 11 (Maths and English being the exceptions). You will be in the next stage of your education and should concentrate on your new courses. Look to make the most of your GCSEs in Year 11!

6. If they get fewer than 5 A*-C GCSE grades what are their options?

Students with fewer than 5 A*-C GCSE grades have been successful on our BTEC courses. Please see the prospectus for the options available. The Head of Post 16 will be available to discuss options on Results Day in August should you miss the requirements of your offer of a place on certain courses.

7. What is the difference between A levels and Level 3 courses?

A level courses and ‘Level 3’ courses (such as BTEC) are different in their approach. A level courses generally have more exams, whereas BTEC courses are assessed by coursework. This reflects that A levels are an academic option, whereas BTEC courses are vocational and practical. The common separation into ‘A level’ and ‘Level 3’ is slightly misleading, as they are both Level 3 qualifications under the National Qualification Framework. Both courses provide opportunities to progress onto a University degree, further college courses, apprenticeships or employment.

8. Do all students have to study 4 subjects in Year 12?

It is expected that most students will start with 4 ‘slots’ in Year 12. This may be 4 AS levels, or a combination of BTEC and AS levels. In some cases it may be recommended students start on only 3 ‘slots’, usually in the case of students who have narrowly met entry requirements. If this is the case students will also have one supervised study period each day.

9. What are the new 2 Year A level courses?

The new A-level curriculum started in September 2015. All units of the A-level course are now examined at the end of Year 13.  We have decided that students will still sit exams at the end of Year 12 to gain an AS level, but they will also need to sit exams covering the whole two years of teaching for the subjects they continue in Year 13 to achieve the full A-level. Any result they achieved at the end of the Year 12 will not count towards their final grade.

10. What happens if you only get 2 or 3 students wanting to take a course?

The application process has been set up to ensure students will receive an offer maximising their preferences.  On the application form you need to indicate your top 6 choices, in rank order.

Last year 15 out of the 18 courses offered in the prospectus ran in September.  One course was chosen by none of the applicants, the other two were chosen by 3 or fewer.  It has been possible for us to avoid disappointment due to the thorough assessment taking place throughout GCSE - we have a very good idea of what students will be able to achieve in August and can plan the curriculum accordingly.

However, courses need to be economically viable.  It is unlikely courses will run with 2 or 3 students, and in this instance students will be offered places on one of their other preferences.  The Head of Post 16 will inform students if any subjects are unlikely to run at interview.

11. Do universities ‘value’ some subjects more than others?

The Russell Group’s Informed Choices guide (link on our website) highlights what they call ‘facilitating subjects’. These are the subjects required more often than others for certain courses. If you have a specific degree course in mind, please check the advice from the Russell Group. Some of the top universities have also published in their prospectuses subjects they give less value to. However, these are a small amount of Universities and are often for specific subjects.

Subject choice should really be based on your interest. There is little point taking a ‘facilitating subject’ such as History if you are not interested in it (unlikely as that may be)! All our courses offer progression to University. Success on a BTEC course can lead to a place on a course at a top university.

12. Do the students have a dress code in Post 16?

Yes. Students are expected to meet a smart/casual dress code. This requires a collared top (including polo shirts) and no:

  • Hoodies
  • Shorts
  • Sportswear (unless they are wearing the Oak Wood tracksuit top)
  • Hats/caps

13. What extra-curricular activities are offered at Post 16?

These are some of our extra-curricular activities:

  • Volunteering (Lesson support, Paired reading)
  • School Council
  • Film Club
  • Art Club
  • Chess Club
  • Brilliant Club
  • Teach First Futures Programme
  • Football
  • Debating

14. Is there any funding available for Post 16 students, if so how do we go about claiming it?

Funding is currently available through the 16-19 Bursary. There are guaranteed bursaries for certain students, and a discretionary bursary which can be applied for at the start of the academic year. The policy for this can be read on our website as guidance for how this will be administered next year.

15. Are students expected to buy their own text books?

Some subjects do require students to buy their own text books, as the number of books varies across different subject areas. Students most in need are supported to purchase textbooks, as well as other equipment through the 16-19 Bursary. All students can apply to the 16-19 Bursary Panel during the year for funding for specific resources