Sixth Form Life at DESC

Empowering students to make a difference

Student leadership is arguably the most beneficial extracurricular activity a student can perform whilst in school. Though there are no grades, the experience gained from a  leadership role will be valuable for a lifetime. A DESC student leader is thrown into a learning environment that encourages hands-on experience. Planning, decision making, communicating, and working as team mates are all essential skills that are developed and enhanced during their experiences. In doing so, students are in the unique position to make a difference.

Involvement, Empowerment & Opportunity

Student leadership at DESC continues to be  a major focus for development this year. The aims have been threefold:

  • To involve and empower students to identify issues at DESC and the wider world
  • To provide students with the opportunity to plan strategies and take action to address and resolve the issues they have identified
  • To be a forum for active and constructive student input

Sixth Form Leadership

We encourage our Sixth Form students to play an active role in our community by making varied positions of responsibility available only to Year 12 and Year 13 students, so they can help shape the future of our College, along with teaching staff and the Senior Leadership Team.

The development of leadership skills is a real strength of our Sixth Form. We expect all students to develop such skills during their time in the Sixth Form. Such roles are highly respected and very sought after; our Sixth Formers develop into vital role models for younger students and are expected to liaise with staff and visitors to the College on a daily basis.

The most prestigious roles are Head Boy and Girl, as well as their deputies.  They have a vital role in ensuring the student voice is heard by the Senior Leadership Team.  They are expected to be role models for all other students and have to be proficient in public speaking to a variety of audiences.

In addition to House Leadership opportunities and Head girl and Head boy roles, students also have the opportunity to become a Prefect. There are 5 key prefect opportunities that we offer our Sixth Form students.  These are ECA, Mentoring, Transition, Communications and Wellbeing. Students usually apply for one of these positions and if successful they will receive leadership training from an external provider to help them in their role.

A typical Sixth Form student will study either four subjects at AS level, or three subjects and an Extended Project Qualification in Year 12, although some students opt to replace two of these subjects with a single BTEC option, which is equivalent to two A levels. This equates to 24 taught lessons per week (6 lessons per subject). Muslim students and students holding Arabic passports will also be required to study Islamic Education and Arabic A respectively. Students will then have a number of non-contact or free periods, other than those just mentioned. Generally, students will have a proportion of those free periods in a supervised classroom where they are encouraged to use the time productively on private study.

Messages from our senior students


Ebony Smith, Head Girl

The Sixth Form at DESC is the most important aspect of every students life. It encompasses the incredible opportunities and experiences and acts as a bridging platform for the outside world. The students at DESC are living witnesses to the amazing transformation of the Sixth Form here at DESC and further pushes us to exceed our expectations in our schooling, with the dedication of our school that embraces our learning as much as we do.

Fuelling us with the very best education is only a fraction of the vast potential that DESC offers. Our point of difference from other schools is our ability to create and mould students into well-rounded and exceptional people that are not only academically driven, but also motivated through their sporting achievements, extra-curricular activities, and chances to find ambitions outside of the classroom. We are guided and inspired by our teachers and  by peers that challenge us to reach our potential.

With the constant improvements occurring at DESC, the leadership for Sixth Formers allows us to develop our ideas for the College and leave our imprint on DESC’s legacy as a member of this embracing community.

Our Sixth Form students are placed in the capable hands of teachers who mentor us with their knowledge, going further than the expected syllabus and encouraging us to find our passions in our education. Teachers at DESC enable us to focus on our A level subjects whilst enthusing us about the world that awaits us.

Being at the brink of adulthood, the only advantage that one can have to achieve one’s ambitions and goals is to be well equipped for one’s future. I can honestly say that DESC not only equips students with the values and attitudes that will help them succeed in their lives, but also provides invaluable opportunities that makes DESC one of a kind.

Mitchell Kennedy, Head Boy

The Sixth Form experience is one of the crucial academic transitions a student goes through and as much as facilities and staff help, it is a mental step up to a rigorous and balanced form of learning. Non-contact periods offered in Sixth Form give the opportunity to maintain workload if prioritised and planned correctly, especially with the various study rooms introduced this year that are suitable for a range of different learning styles.

The sporting aspect at DESC is unparalleledoffering elite programmes for athletes looking to make a career in high profile sports such as rugby, netball, football or swimming.

It is the best two years of school life and allows students to experience the independence, balance and fun that the latter stages of schooling require.  It is easy to fall behind if structure and planning is not realistic and frequent; the best experience will be the result of the student who can maintain the correct balance as courses progress.

The A level course is designed to be far more difficult in order for us to make the major step to university and the outside world.