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Our partnership with Woodhouse College

It has always been our ambition to ensure that our students have access to excellent sixth form provision. So we are delighted to announce the creation of a strategic partnership with Woodhouse College, in North Finchley, which will create exceptional opportunities for both partners, and a clear 11-18 pathway for Archer Academy students.

Woodhouse College has been rated outstanding by OFSTED, and is consistently one of the top 5 sixth form colleges in the country based on its A*- B pass rates, with 60% of students progressing to top universities. It offers a wide range of courses, and has a college-based environment which acts as an excellent bridge between sixth form and university.

The partnership will see us working closely together across a range of areas, such as leadership and governance, staff training, curriculum development and student mentoring. And, under the terms of the agreement, any Archer Academy students who meet the expected criteria for their courses will be given priority admission into Year 12 at Woodhouse College.

Woodhouse College is always oversubscribed – with 4700 applications for 650 places in 2016 – so this direct route is a real advantage for students for whom it is a suitable next step. We are very excited about the opportunities that this partnership will offer, and have already started working together on our first joint ventures.

We have also agreed a similar partnership with Barnet College for students who would prefer a more vocational route post-GCSE and will provide more details about this soon. In the meantime, we have answered some of the questions that you may have about our partnership with Woodhouse College below.

 

Why is Woodhouse College a good choice for a strategic partnership?

Woodhouse College is a popular and oversubscribed specialist sixth form college, with an ethos and ambitions very similar to our own. The college welcomes students aged 16-18 to study A levels and offers a wide range of subjects which can be studied in almost any combination.

It has excellent facilities and resources, within a college-based environment which acts as a bridge from sixth form to university, giving students the chance to grow in confidence and become independent learners. It also has a well-established programme of pre-university events through which it successfully prepares its students for the next stage of their academic life.

Woodhouse College also shares our commitment to helping students develop new interests and embrace new challenges outside the classroom, with an enrichment programme that will feel familiar to Archer Academy students. The year begins with an Enrichment Fair at which students can choose from over 50 different activities including Model United Nations, architecture theory and practice, creative writing, media training and an investment club.

What are the expected entry criteria for Woodhouse College?

In order to benefit from priority admissions into Year 12, Archer Academy Year 11 students will need to:

  • apply before the closing date
  • be recommended by the school
  • have predicted grades which meet the college’s minimum criteria for the courses chosen, and subsequently achieve those grades

The minimum criteria vary from course to course, and change year on year. But as an indication, for 2016 entry, students were expected to achieve a grade B in most of the subjects they wished to study at A Level, and at least a grade B in English and C in Maths. Some subjects, such as Maths and Science, required higher GCSE grades.

What about students for whom Woodhouse College isn’t suitable, or a preference?

We are aware that, for some students, Woodhouse College might not be the most suitable option. We are therefore in discussion with Barnet College to see if we can enter into a similar partnership with them. We are optimistic that this will be something that Barnet College are keen to pursue and will post updates on our progress on our website.

Of course, there is no obligation for our students to take advantage of the priority admissions at Woodhouse College and they will be free to pursue other sixth form options.

What other benefits will the partnership bring?

Our partnership is a long-term, strategic one which will bring real benefits to both Woodhouse College and the Archer Academy. For example, our staff and theirs will share insights about the gap between GCSE and A level, ensuring a robust, two-way understanding of any changes to the curricula and how to progress smoothly from one to the other.

We will also be working together to make the move from our school to Woodhouse College as easy as possible. We are already planning a comprehensive transition programme and will be offering regular opportunities for students to meet for enrichment activities such as DebateMate, Duke of Edinburgh and Model UN as well as other forums for shared participation.