Chesterton Sixth Form College

You can visit our Submit feedback page to submit your question/comment.  Our responses are highlighted in purple.

“We are in support of a sixth form at Chesterton Community College for local kids who perhaps don’t have Long Road or Hills Road as an option or a suitable environment for their higher educational needs.”

“I think it’s a great idea to have 6th form provisions in this side of Cambridge.”

“I would like to add my support to the proposal for Chesterton Sixth Form. The sixth form would fill a much-needed demand as there is currently no A-level provision in north of Cambridge to offer students the choice to study closer to home. There is also a continued influx of students travelling many miles into Cambridge to study at Hills Road and Long Road and spaces are limited and at a premium. Chesterton Community College is a key part of the local community and, looking at the proposal for the new Sixth Form, I believe that this would provide an invaluable addition for learning, development and pastoral care.”

“I am wholeheartedly encouraged by the prospect of A-level provision for children in this area of Cambridge. At long last, one of my children might manage to avoid a 4 mile (treacherous) bike ride to the south of Cambridge, where there are currently three sixth form centres. A sixth form centre is desperately needed in this part of town. Thank you and fingers crossed this goes ahead.”

“A much needed 6th form college in the north of the city, providing a healthy, diverse and engaging environment to nurture young lives. Coupled with an impressive enrichment programme, the college has the potential to be a prime offering to all of Cambridge and the surrounding villages. Should the college get the necessary approvals, it will most definitely be a consideration for my son, in the years to come.”

“This is exactly what we have been waiting for; much needed A-level provision in the north of the city affording our students the choice to further their education and personal development locally at an already thriving, inclusive centre of excellence for learning.”

“This would be a fantastic opportunity for North Cambridge and will only build on what is already a fantastic community college. Students in this area have had limited post 16 options for too long; this 6th form is much needed.”

“I like the idea of continuous education in 1 school and another option for kids who want to stay at the same school as an option for sixth form”

“I would welcome this development of the school. Increasing the provision to the increasingly busy North City area is an obvious step and the resources and expertise appear to be in place for this. As a parent I worry about the impact of children travelling for two hours a day for education. Giving the children of north Cambridge somewhere aspirational they can be familiar with when considering post GCSE options makes sense. Having it on the doorstep lowers some barriers to them envisioning their future there. Entry to Hills Rd is only going to become more competitive and s It would be interesting to understand how a full range of subjects could be taught with such a small cohort.”

We aim to offer as diverse a range of subject combinations as possible (and at least 15 per year). We have the expertise and staff across the trust in a very large number of subjects. Cross-trust capacity and expertise means we have the potential to offer:
Ancient Greek; Ancient History; Biology; Chemistry; Classical Civilisation; Computer Science; Criminology; Design Technology; Product Design; Economics; English Language/Literature; English Literature; Film Studies; Fine Art; French; Further Maths; Geography; German; History; Latin; Law; Maths; Music; Philosophy; Photography; Physical Education; Physics; Government & Politics; Psychology; Religious Studies; Sociology; Spanish; Theatre Studies.

“We are supportive of Chesterton expanding its age range by opening a sixth form on site.”

“We think it’s a good idea to increase the number of options for post GCSE education. We’re wondering however if an intake of 100 will be that significant as a proportion of those across the county that want to pursue further education? Are there plans or intentions to extend beyond this? Are there specific subject areas you would focus on initially?”

The intake of 100 students annually is an estimate and is predicated on the amount of space we currently have available on site as per Local Authority calculations. Subject combinations and timetabling flexibility may mean this number could increase slightly if needed without having an impact elsewhere. The admissions policy (available on the consultation website) prioritises students in our trust schools, and is aspirational in its entry requirements. With regards subjects, we aim to offer as diverse a range of subject combinations as possible (and at least 15 per year). We have the expertise and staff across the trust in a very large number of subjects. Cross-trust capacity and expertise means we have the potential to offer: Ancient Greek; Ancient History; Biology; Chemistry; Classical Civilisation; Computer Science; Criminology; Design Technology; Product Design; Economics; English Language/Literature; English Literature; Film Studies; Fine Art; French; Further Maths; Geography; German; History; Latin; Law; Maths; Music; Philosophy; Photography; Physical Education; Physics; Government & Politics; Psychology; Religious Studies; Sociology; Spanish; Theatre Studies.

“I think extending the years to 12&13 within Chesterton would be a welcome initiative. Currently the provision of sixth form education is limited in Cambridge – primarily dominated by two huge sixth form colleges. There is no sixth form option in North Cambridge either. The only other option is at IVC which only offers the Baccalaureate which would not appeal to a wide number of students. Having this option also gives students the opportunity to study in a smaller, more familiar setting (with better pastoral care) appealing to those students. Parkside and Netherhall also offer A level /Baccalaureate so it makes sense that Chesterton, already recognised as an excellent school, should be able to offer the same to students in the local catchment and beyond.”

Thank you for your positive feedback. We would like to highlight that Parkside no longer offer A-Levels, just the IB, so Netherhall are now the only school sixth form with an A-Level offer in the city.

“Overall I think the proposal is an excellent one. There is no sixth form in north Cambridge and, whilst the commuting times by bike across the city for an able bodied young person is not a problem, with the expansion of the city it will be necessary to provide additional, high quality, sixth form capacity in Cambridge. Chesterton Community College is a good school with a good reputation and it seems a logical move, if there is classroom capacity to add sixth form to the school. I have a child at Chesterton already and a second child in a feeder school in the area and I would welcome the ability for my children to go to a local sixth form as long as the quality of provision is as high as it is at the other sixth form providers in Cambridge.”

“I think it would be a great idea as the only real options to study A levels is at long road and hills road and it would be nice to have a more local option. Some children (my son included) struggle with transition and may be put off doing A levels etc because of the daunting prospect of moving to a new environment and meeting new people. Having the chance to do these courses in a place that is familiar and comfortable to them would help ease their anxiety and help them to thrive and develop to their full potential”

“I am strongly in favour of this proposal. Having grown up myself in cambridge and attending Long Road sixth form college, I believe that further provision is needed. Cambridge sixth forms are no longer only accepting local children, they have been opened up. This in itself is not a bad thing but puts pressure on academic achievement over all else. Both Long road and hills Road are competitive and large. Your proposal looks sound and may well be the best option for my son. He is very keen on sports which has excellent provision at Chesterton, I hope/expect this will be continued into sixth form.”

“I welcome the idea and think it would be of great value, both to the schools and community. Children from the local area need more choice and would benefit. As a local parent of a school leaver I have found the area to be severally lacking in sixth form provision. The inclusion opportunities, are very much needed especially after all the segregation our young people have had to weather during the COVID outbreak. A wonderfully positive idea to help our young people look to a brighter future.”

“Excellent idea. You have full support from this parent.”

“I agree that people located in North Cambridge should have access to a local Sixth Form College. I can’t see a downside.”

“I support this proposal with much anticipation. I know that my son does not do well in big settings. He does much better in familiar surroundings with familiar faces where he can get better pastoral care.”

“I have a few questions: – do you envisage the six form being an extension of the secondary school? for example; would the children continue to use uniform and attend school during the same school hours? or is this going to be a separate school with different rules, etc? – If it is separate, how do you envisage the separation between six form and secondary school would be? have you got enough space in the school to provide the six form as a separate entity? or would you need to use an extended timetable to provide secondary and six form? – If the six form cohort is planned to be half of the current year 11 cohort, how is it planned to select the places for the six form? – would students from Chesterton Secondary have priority in the selection? if so, how are children from other schools can get a place?”

The sixth form is envisaged as a separate entity on the same site, with students having no uniform, keeping different times (where possible) and having freedom to leave site for lunch etc. Rules will be different and suited to young adults as is the case for many post-16 centres, but with a focus on the contents of our current ethos. Due to our new buildings and facilities no longer being needed by the Local Authority for year 7 place planning, and our numbers continuing to be capped (we cannot recruit above 210 – our current numbers), we have the required space available. The Chesterton Sixth Form suggested admissions policy can be found under ‘admissions statement’ under the drop down menu on the consultation website.

“I am very interested in the proposed Chesterton Sixth Form school. I am aware that there is currently no place providing A-levels North of the city and that currently 6th form students have to travel some way to study. I am interested by the collaboration with Castle School and the opportunities it would bring. I would love to know more about the A-levels on offer; specifically what subjects are on offer. I wonder how diverse a range of subjects can be offered to a limited number of students. The relatively small capacity of 100 students makes sense to me.”

With regards subjects, we aim to offer as diverse a range of subject combinations as possible (and at least 15 per year). We have the expertise and staff across the trust in a very large number of subjects. Cross-trust capacity and expertise means we have the potential to offer:
Ancient Greek; Ancient History; Biology; Chemistry; Classical Civilisation; Computer Science; Criminology; Design Technology; Product Design; Economics; English Language/Literature; English Literature; Film Studies; Fine Art; French; Further Maths; Geography; German; History; Latin; Law; Maths; Music; Philosophy; Photography; Physical Education; Physics; Government & Politics; Psychology; Religious Studies; Sociology; Spanish; Theatre Studies. We are not seeking to develop a vocational offer.

“I very much support the proposal to move 16+ provision, for children at Castle School, to the Chesterton Campus.I have previous experience of educational settings where children from main stream and SEN setting learn on the same campus. I believe that this arrangement has mutual benefits for children and staff alike. I whole heartedly support the proposal”

“I think it’s really important to provide a sixth form college in North Cambridge – both for ease of access, but also for the great benefit of Chesterton College Students being able to complete their studies through to year 13, without the disruption of relocating.”

“This is an excellent opportunity for young people in Cambridgeshire. This will enable young people to have access to a broader range of opportunities post GCSE and to help plug those gaps in our local labour market through appropriate training and bespoke support for success.”

“The prospect of Chesterton College facilitating a sixth form college is vital. North Cambridge is a nurturing area in need of being recognised equally as a contender for educational investment like South Cambridge has been for decades. North Cambridge is a community often marginalized, disaffected and disadvantaged, mainly due to the lack of educational provision not being available for the youth. The proposal of Chesterton Sixth Form College would be fundamental in demystifying such outdated social, cultural, economic and educational conditions. The shared learning space in Chesterton Sixth form College for the progression of the young people in Castle school is just one reason for the urgency of this opportunity and how it\’s existence will flourish for the local community as a whole and the variegated families it serves. In recognising and supplying this educational demand the North Cambridge will reap its benefits for the young people, their families, the community as a whole. And for Castle school families, it will become a precious opportunity.”

“A wonderful idea and long overdue. I sincerely hope this happens and gives our children a continued high quality education right through to 18.”

“What a brilliant idea and proposal. As a parent of a 20yr old who attended Castle special school and of a year 7 at Chesterton this would suit both types of children and also enable further integration of young people with Moderate to Severe learning disability into their community. The enrichment that will take place for neurotypical and neurodiverse will be amazing and again develop skills and abilities as well community. A very exciting proposal and one I hope succeeds.”

“Are there any implications for the Sports Centre as a consequence of the proposals for the sixth form ?”

To confirm, the envisaged sixth form provision will have no impact on the running of the Chesterton Sports Centre.

“Are there any implications for the Sports Centre as a consequence of the proposals for the sixth form ?”

“My son is at Castle school and is currently in Year 10. This sounds like a fantastic vision and addition to Chesterton College. We really hope it goes ahead within the timescale planned. There are such limited opportunities and provision for special needs students in Cambridge. This would be a very positive step in the right direction.”

“It would be amazing to develop a new sixth form in Cambridge. It would enable more choice for students and more inclusion opportunities for all in the local area. it would be great for a different school to develop their own sixth form provision in a new area of Cambridge.”

“This is an amazingly inclusive offer that will enable the pupils of Chesterton and Castle Schools to learn together and from each other. There are not enough inclusive 6th forms and this could be a national example of great practice.”

“What a fantastic opportunity for all the children within the community. My son attends Castle school at the moment and the prospect of any joint ventures is a really exciting prospect. Well done to all involved.”

“I think this is a brilliant idea, special school places are hugely oversubscribed so freeing up much needed space would benefit so many children, It would also give Castle 6th formers the chance to experience different teaching environments which would help them with their transitions after 6th form.”

“I believe this proposal is a brilliant idea and the collaboration between Castle and Chesterton will be so valuable to the students. This is a great step to create a inclusive environment for those with Additional needs as well as provide them with the education every child deserves. This will also help spread awareness of individual challenges that students face even though many of them have exceptional skills that need nurturing by those who can understand their abilities. This means both Schools can discuss ways to help and support each other in the students further education.”

“I think this is a great opportunity for all in both schools but I would like there to be accessible equipment and space available at the Chesterton college so those with profound physical / learning disabilities get a chance at work experience and post 16 opportunities so they are not left behind from their friends dd or peers or feel excluded .”

“If a bus ran directly from WVC to CCC this may be enticing for those students whom want an academic experience but without the complexities of travelling to South Cambridge.”

We will explore opportunities to organise transport for those in trust schools to facilitate their progression to sixth form in north Cambridge.

“Why don’t you introduce this in the coming academic year?”

It is not possible for us to complete the lengthy significant change process in time for September admissions, particularly as current year 11s have already made their sixth form applications. We very much hope that we will be successful in our consultation, and that we will be able to offer A-Levels to our current year 10s.

“As a parent of a current Chesterton student with two more children set to attend (and a former student myself) I am quite concerned on the impact that this proposal will have on the 11-16 cohort. It seems to me that the school site has already been stretched to capacity and that they will inevitably have less space and more compromises with very little benefit to them. It is nice for the Y11 to have the experience of being the oldest in the college and the sixth form colleges provide an excellent further education in a more grown up setting within a very reasonable distance.”

To clarify, it has been confirmed by the Local Authority that the space available on our site afforded by the publicly funded new build completed in 2019 is no longer needed for year 6 into 7 place planning (indeed we have been asked to continue to cap our year 7 intake at 210). As a result, we are suggesting utilising the significant additional space on site to house small and bespoke A-Level provision, to ensure the space and buildings still serve our community in a tangible way.

“Having worked at Chesterton for 31 years I am struck by the lack of Post 16 choice for students who live in the north of the city. 20 years ago when my daughters attended Chesterton they had the choice to study A levels at Impington and CRC as well as the sixth form providers. Since then the city has rapidly expanded but the choice has diminished, now Long Road and Hills Road and Netherhall are the only providers. These sixth form are all geographically close and students living in the area have safe ways to get to college. This is not the case for students living in north of the city who take a daily risk if they are cycling to college. I feel strongly that as one of the leading 11-16 providers in the country Chesterton should be allowed to have a sixth form where students will receive a truly outstanding offer.”

“As a local parent I value choice. Some young people who wish to do A levels may not feel suited to the sheer scale of the large colleges in the South of the city, and might prefer to have a smaller and more personalised environment in which to study. It is also true that there are no A level providers in North Cambridge, as both IVC and Parkside offer the IB at sixth form level, so there is definitely a need for more local provision. I know Chesterton Community College to be an excellent school with dynamic and committed teachers and I believe they would be in position to offer outstanding teaching to young people in North Cambridge.”

“A sixth form with only 100 pupils may not be able to offer the range of subjects that children should have. Also the current site is stretched without more pupils.”

The Department for Education stipulate that sixth forms with a capacity of 200 students, as we would have, is a viable model for post-16 provision. With regards subjects, we aim to offer as diverse a range of subject combinations as possible (and at least 15 per year). We have the expertise and staff across the trust in a very large number of subjects. Cross-trust capacity and expertise means we have the potential to offer: Ancient Greek; Ancient History; Biology; Chemistry; Classical Civilisation; Computer Science; Criminology; Design Technology; Product Design; Economics; English Language/Literature; English Literature; Film Studies; Fine Art; French; Further Maths; Geography; German; History; Latin; Law; Maths; Music; Philosophy; Photography; Physical Education; Physics; Government & Politics; Psychology; Religious Studies; Sociology; Spanish; Theatre Studies.

“I do not support the proposal. I do not believe there is the need for Chesterton to expand in this way / putting more pressure on Gilbert Road. If additional capacity is necessary in the city it should be at an existing 6th form.”

We are absolutely considering local residents in our planning. It is our intention to stagger the start and end of the school day to capitalise on the fact that sixth form students arrive more independently than younger students, thus avoiding any additional congestion at key times of day. We will not provide sixth form car parking and expect most students to arrive on foot, bicycle or via public transport.

“It sounds like a very good idea for students to have the option to study for A levels in a small college environment and in their local area. Many students may be daunted about joining a huge sixth form. Travel across the city could also be problematic, particularly for disabled students with a range of impairments (eg physical, sensory, unseen disabilities, autism, mental health difficulties). A smaller, more local offer would seem a far more accessible option for many. In addition, the idea to work collaboratively with Castle School sounds very beneficial and to share much needed space.”

“There is real need for provision like this north of the river. Please consider the local residents when looking at the way students enter and leave the site. Gilbert Rd becomes incredibly busy with bikes, parents dropping off, minibuses to Castle and primary pupils on foot or bike to Milton Rd. Speeding is a big issue. Can we look at reducing the speed limit at key points of the day when hundreds of pupils are moving around local roads.”

We are absolutely considering local residents in our planning. It is our intention to stagger the start and end of the school day to capitalise on the fact that sixth form students arrive more independently than younger students, thus avoiding any additional congestion at key times of day. We will not provide sixth form car parking and expect most students to arrive on foot, bicycle or via public transport. We would be very keen to engage in any consultation or petition regarding the speed limit on Gilbert Road: this is not something that we as a school have any control over, rather it sits with the Highways Agency.

“In what sense are you helping disadvantaged students if you are only offering an A Level programme with minimum entrance grades? To support disadvantaged students you will need to offer a Level 2 retake programme and Applied courses. because these students may not be able to achieve the grades required due to barriers in their education. Long Road College already successfully offers a comprehensive range of L2 and L3 courses and support for a wide range of students, including students with disadvantage due to illness, mental health needs or SpLD. Therefore, I do not feel this provision is needed within Cambridge or the surrounding area.”

We would disagree with the suggestion that disadvantaged students are only helped by offering retake programmes. Our experience in supporting disadvantaged students to consistently achieve better level 2 outcomes than their non-disadvantaged peers nationally shows that disadvantaged students can and do achieve the level 2 qualifications necessary to move onto A-Level study. Our unapologetically high expectations for our students extend to all: disadvantaged or not; and this plays out in the exceptional results students achieve with us. The issue identified by the Social Mobility Commission is that disadvantaged students locally who are ‘A-Level ready’ do not choose to study academic courses at post-16 in the numbers that their equally qualified non-disadvantaged peers do. We agree that robust level 2 retake and applied courses are an option required by some students (disadvantaged and non-disadvantaged), and feel that this need is already well served in the north of the city by CRC, hence our focus on A-Level provision.

We have no doubt that the large city sixth form colleges remain the best choice for many students, but not all. We are keen to add the choice of a small A-Level provision in the north of the city, to suit those young people who wish to stay local, particularly those who are well qualified to study A-Levels, but are not currently choosing to do so.

“I support your proposal. It would be good to have more options for the 6th form education of our daughters who presently attend your school – and I don’t think that having a 6th form college would adversely affect the neighbourhood in any way.”

“I think this would create an opportunity for children to go to sixth form locally. It would feel like a safe and familiar environment to many children. I’d love for it to be an important bridge between school and university so the students get more flexibility and freedom than they would at school, but within a supportive setting.”

“I think it’s an excellent exciting opportunity. My son suffers from anxiety and the opportunity to attend a smaller more local sixth form is likely to have a significant impact on his ability to achieve his potential.”

“Can you say more about the proposed selection criteria for the limited number of 6th form places from the point of view of a child who currently attends Chesterton but who doesn’t fall into the “disadvantaged” category?”

Our proposed admissions arrangements can be found here: csfconsultation.tela.org.uk/admission-statement/

“I think it is a great idea!”

“I support this proposal because it aims to build on the excellent facilities and reputation already established at Chesterton. By extending and developing existing facilities, the proposal offers good value for money. It’s broad catchment intentions are also commendable. I wish you well.”

“A sixth form will be a fantastic opportunity for both staff and students, utilising the existing expertise of staff to provide a high quality post 16 provision. Will be great to have a direct link into further education and employment/ apprenticeships.”

“As a Teacher of Maths at Chesterton, I would welcome the proposal for a Chesterton sixth form. I believe it is the right thing to do to offer a sixth form in the north of the city, where students options are limited and travel to other sixth forms can be lengthy. In addition, students and teachers have strong relationships and they make excellent progress throughout KS3 and KS4. I believe students would welcome the option to remain at a school they trust and have succeeded in to continue onto A levels. Furthermore, teachers at Chesterton are specialists in their subject and would be keen to teach Alevel, thus helping with teacher retention and professional development at the school.”

“I think this is a fantastic idea for both the developing the school and pupils in the local area. The current travel times for pupils wanting to study A levels rather than the IB are very lengthy and hence not accessible to many pupils. It would also encourage recruitment to the school as well as the development of the current GCSE syllabus into A level studies.”

“I fully support a 6th Form at Chesterton. I think it will be a GREAT opportunity for students in our area and will meet a need that the community has.”

“I think the idea of changing the age range of Chesterton to include a 6th form is an excellent idea. We’d find it extremely helpful as North Cambridge could do with this and Chesterton would be the perfect solution in my view.”

“I would just like to add my name in support of the school being granted a widening of the age range of students, in turn to allow A levels to be studied and taken there. The benefits are numerous, especially in consideration to the great facilities and staff that are already present and offering high standards and delivering great achievements. CCC has everything in place to make A level study a positive experience, and the students would advantage also from continuing their further education in a familiar surrounding with friends and staff who know them well.”

“I think that this is much needed in North Cambridge and that this is an extremely good idea. The space seems to already be available and as other 6th form facilities seem to be very busy this will be much easier for the families in the Chesterton area. I fully support this idea.”

“I think a sixth form at Chesterton community college is a brilliant idea. We have 2 daughters (1 at Milton Rd & 1 at Chesterton community college) & we strongly support a 6th form at Chesterton Community College. We need high quality A level provision in the north of the city & I am very sure Chesterton community college will provide this.”

“There are no sixth form colleges in north Cambridge. Many children don’t want to be in a large setting such as long and hills and we need to give them the possibility of studying in a smaller environment . Providing another small sixth form may also save the LA money in the long run as parents of children with SEND. who require a smaller environment cost the LA significant money in private college placement. Chesterton is an outstanding school and if this sixth form caters to A’level Students who needs are better met in a smaller environment it can only be beneficially and cost effective”

“I would be supportive of the proposal to create a Sixth Form entry at Chesterton Community College”

“I am delighted to see this proposal. Cambridge has excellent provision for confident sixth-formers in the large sixth forms in the South of the City. That suits the well-supported teenagers of middle-class families. But for some less confident, less well-supported, disadvantaged children, the large sixth forms are distant and intimidating. A more local, smaller, supportive sixth form, in the North of the city would make a strong contribution to their lives. As I understand it, the county needs more sixth form capacity anyway, and this would also contribute to that shortfall.”

“Having worked at Chesterton for the last 4 years and witnessing firsthand the incredible academic and pastoral support our students receive, I have no doubt whatsoever that any future Sixth Form provision will be outstanding. Chesterton staff are dedicated, empathetic, and innovative; the range of expertise within the school will ensure a fantastic standard of teaching and learning for our future students.”

“Very excited about the prospect of extending the age range to include a sixth form at Chesterton. I see there are many potential benefits for students and staff and for future recruitment. Choice is always a good thing for students, and this proposed set up would definitely suit some students better than the current alternatives. Allowing Castle school lessons to take place on site seems a win-win situation.”

“Any opportunity to diversify sixth forms in Cambridge is a good opportunity – I am excited by the prospect of using my skills as a teacher to really get stuck into the complexities of Biology and why it is such an incredible subject to study!”

“As a parent of year 9 and 7 and CCC I am generally supportive of adding 6th form provision, I would like to see further details on range of A-levels and other qualifications to be offered.”

“As a parent of a year 9 student, I very much welcome the prospect of sixth form provision at Chesterton. I have been concerned for some time that the large scale of sixth form collages and the style of teaching provided will not suit my student. I am convinced that the more nurturing environment you are proposing will be far more suitable for him and many other students, allowing them to develop greater confidence as well as academic learning during their sixth form years. My other key concern with the existing provision is its distance from North Cambridge and the nature of the road and traffic conditions in between them. As a (pre-pandemic) cycle commuter myself I am very aware of the sheer number of other road users travelling at peak times and of the aggressive behaviour they frequently display. Local sixth form provision, which is within walking distance would not only be better for the students themselves, freeing up time for extra curricular activities, but would make a small contribution to reducing the volume of traffic crossing the centre of town every day”

“The brand of education at Chesterton is excellent, and one which would transfer well to sixth form study.”

“What great news the prospect of a Sixth Form College at Chesterton Community College which has been much anticipated and awaited. We have three children with quite a large age gap so have already experienced the pipeline through the local education provision from primary through to university with our eldest two who both went to Chesterton Community College and our youngest currently in year eight. Though our eldest both did very well academically and creatively at Hills Road Sixth Form College, we did witness the transition for them and their friends from secondary school through to sixth form and do feel in hindsight that the change posed quite a huge emotional and social jump and one which some young people took to very well, whereas others may have benefited from a smaller, more pastorally focussed provision. Unless one considers the private route there is no state provision in our locality for a more cosy and intimately managed A’level offer. We are very much in favour of the proposal of Chesterton Sixth Form provision, north of the river, with a greater emphasis on personal development, inclusion and pastoral care. We were so impressed reading more about Chesterton’s sixth form proposal on their newly developed website and seeing such emphasis well being. As parents, we have seen what huge pressures young people can be faced with and over the years have been so impressed with Chesterton’s pastoral care and positive interventions. We can not think of a school team that could be trusted more with the care of our children. This has been particularly evident in the past year, seeing how rigorously the school has responded to the pandemic and how despite huge emotional and academic upheaval for the school’s community it has been able to offer an outstanding quality of education and taken ambitious initiatives to support its pupils and vulnerable families. We have felt hugely proud to be a parent at Chesterton and witness kindness and empathy at the heart of the school’s stewardship, leadership and teaching. How extraordinary that during such extremely scary times for all of us, that the school has managed to make its students feel safe and cared for both within the school and online. We have been amazed that even during a global pandemic how our daughter has embraced and looked forward to going to school. We have also valued the school’s flexibility and support during the times when she could not go to school because of pending medical appointments and how excellent online classes were provided. In terms of academic provision and teaching capability, we have no doubt that Chesterton will be able to deliver outstanding teaching at A’level level, and actually with the more intimate support on offer that students may even exceed their predicted attainment potential. We saw several of our older children’s friends get a bit lost on their way at the larger sixth-form centres and feel that several of them would have benefited from more guidance and earlier intervention which a small provision would have been able to offer. Chesterton has always been true to its motto of supporting students to ‘reach their potential’ and in this we have total faith in the school. Its high expectations of itself and its students has made in an exceptional school and outstanding environment for students to learn. We are excited that the school has set to offer a wide variety of subject combinations which will take advantage of the extraordinary and diverse talents of the teaching staff. We like this better than the original proposals a few years ago for a mathematical and science college (if we remember correctly!) – It makes sense to us that the school takes advantage of all of its excellent departments and teachers and offers a broad selection of subjects. We do have a few questions about the sixth form provision: How will the teaching resources be shared between the GCSE and A’level provisions? How will the sixth form provision differentiate from the rest of the school? Will students have more freedoms and privileges than the younger students e.g be allowed to leave the site? If so, how will this be managed? Will, there be opportunities for the older sixth form students to interact with younger pupils and support the school’s pastoral and extra-curricula efforts? Will the house structure be extended to the sixth form college? Will there be a uniform? All the best of luck with the application and we are all hoping that the new sixth form college comes into fruition so our children and next generations can benefit.”

How will the teaching resources be shared between the GCSE and A’level provisions?
Our subject experts will build on the exceptional post-16 resources already available within the trust, and will use their pedagogical and subject-based knowledge to develop strong KS5 curricula which build clearly on the excellent schemes of learning Chesterton students encounter at KS3&4. We have a really impressive range of subject expertise across our staff body making them exceptionally well qualified to teach at A-Level. Many of our staff work in cross-trust A-Level teaching and management roles and are able to bring their expertise to KS5 teaching at Chesterton, whilst maintaining their contact with KS3&4. As with many 11-18 providers it will be normal practice for teachers to work across all three key stages.
How will the sixth form provision differentiate from the rest of the school? Will students have more freedoms and privileges than the younger students e.g be allowed to leave the site? If so, how will this be managed?
We are conscious about the need for independence, separate spaces and freedom for sixth form students: we will have a focus on ensuring all common room and work spaces have a very separate feel. We envisage students having different timings to keep to (e.g. a staggered start to the school day); a separate sixth form only entrance to the site; electronic passes which allow students on and off site during the college day to allow freedom to leave as they wish when not in lessons; ability to pursue enrichment activities at off-site providers; no uniform etc. We’d be really keen to speak to parents and students about this topic to gather further ideas.
Will, there be opportunities for the older sixth form students to interact with younger pupils and support the school’s pastoral and extra-curricular efforts?
Absolutely: we are keen to ensure sixth form students have the opportunity to work with younger students via mentoring projects, and involvement with extra-curricular clubs. More broadly, we are certain that having older students on site will provide a positive set of role models for younger students, and that sixth form study more generally will act as something for younger students to aspire to.
Will the house structure be extended to the sixth form college?
This is to be decided. It is likely that sixth form students will have the opportunity to work within the house system as part of mentoring and other projects, but with less formal links to a particular house to reflect a more independent stage of their study.
Will there be a uniform?
There will be no uniform for sixth form students.

“Having worked at Chesterton Community College since 2010, there has been much positive change in the school and we have seen our community grow and flourish over the years. Having a sixth form that further develops this and benefits other students in the local community would be so welcome. To be able to offer post-16 provision to our young people this side of the city would be a tremendous privilege.”

“A different sixth form in Cambridge will be great for the whole community. As a teacher I would find this opportunity very motivating: utilising my expertise in languages and English as Additional Language teaching methodology, and using it with another age range, would be very enriching for me. Students with EAL would have an exceptional opportunity to benefit from our very own innovative techniques in this field, and fully achieve their potential regardless of the language barriers.”

“Due to staff expertise and the expected smaller size of the cohort, a sixth form at Chesterton Community College would be a wonderful opportunity to offer a rigorous academic education at the same time as a supportive and personalised learning environment. It would also fill the gap created by the absence of a sixth form college in North Cambridge.”

“Fantastic to see a proposed 6th Form in the North of Cambridge, I hope that this would be open to students in outlying villages as is Long Road and Hills Road, have transport links been considered along with additional car parking (17yr olds driving). The planned integrations with the Castle School is such a fabulous plan, not only helping the Castle students but also other enabling other students to create a link.”

It is our intention to stagger the start and end of the school day to capitalise on the fact that sixth form students arrive more independently than younger students, thus avoiding any additional congestion at key times of day. We will not provide sixth form car parking and expect most students to arrive on foot, bicycle or via public transport.

“I think it would be brilliant for CCC to develop a sixth-form provision. There are many students who would benefit from the extra geographical choice offered, and it is also clear that the provision would be of extremely high quality. Given the wide variety of groups and demographics who would benefit from the creation of the sixth form, including the local community and staff would benefit from further KS5 CPD opportunities, I think it would be an excellent idea to move forward with this provision.”

“I am so very excited about the prospect of Chesterton start offering Sixth Form studies to our community. As a teacher, I know that small centres with a strong pastoral care can change the lives of many young people and this is precisely why I find this a superb idea. As a mother of a now adult child, I can say that the commuting to the current Sixth Form centres can be very problematic. Chesterton is an outstanding school with excellent facilities so I firmly believe that adding a Sixth Form Centre will make a huge difference to the population of the north area of Cambridge.”

“Very excited about the prospect of extending the age range to include a sixth form at Chesterton. I see there are many potential benefits for students and staff and for future recruitment. Choice is always a good thing for students, and this proposed set up would definitely suit some students better than the current alternatives. Allowing Castle school lessons to take place on site seems a win-win situation.”

“Any opportunity to diversify sixth forms in Cambridge is a good opportunity – I am excited by the prospect of using my skills as a teacher to really get stuck into the complexities of Biology and why it is such an incredible subject to study!”

“Having reviewed the proposal and the suggestions for opening a new Sixth Form at Chesterton CC, I was not able to find reference to the recent review of requirements for Sixth Form places in the Cambridge area that was undertaken by Cambridgeshire Local Authority. This was a significant review that engaged with local schools and Sixth Form providers in order to seek to confirm the requirements for Sixth Form places in coming years and how that provision might be met. Following that review, it was confirmed that there was a basic need requirement to develop further Sixth Form places in the area. The Local Authority identified preferred ways that this could and should happen when bearing in mind location and certain existing plans. I believe that those potential providers of the increased capacity for Sixth Form places have discussed and agreed this approach with the Local Authority. There are thus clear plans in place that have been agreed with the Local Authority that will meet all required future need and those plans are now proceeding to enable this.

Given the above, I think that I understand that this proposal to develop a new Sixth Form at Chesterton CC sits outside of these plans. Perhaps it would be helpful to clarify if that is seen as the case. If so, then developing the Sixth Form would, according to the review undertaken, be bound to create dislocation from other providers if Sixth Formers attended the new provision (or would simply not happen as planned if agreed current and future capacity was chosen by future students). It would be helpful to know if this is the expectation and if so where the dislocation is anticipated to take place. In terms of overall ‘need’, there is no basic need requirement for the proposed new Sixth Form from all previous analysis. It would thus be helpful to understand how this would be seen to work out in practice and where the impact on other providers is seen to be likely to happen.”

We are aware of the review which concluded in September 2020. We expressed an interest in engaging with the review from the outset, given the space we have available on site as a result of our Local Authority requested cap on year 6 into 7 admissions. We were told that due to that space being needed imminently for year 7 admissions, we were not able to be part of the post-16 review process. After the review took place, the Local Authority explained to us that the projected primary cohort increase which led them to exclude us from the review had not materialised, and that as such they needed to ask us to impose the year 7 admissions cap indefinitely.

We have followed the review with great interest, and received the outcomes document on 9th September 2020. Our understanding from this is that by 2030, the additional places planned in South Cambridgeshire at Northstowe, Cambourne and Impington will broadly meet the number needed in that area, according to growth figures. Also by 2030, there will be need for an additional 899 places (compared to 2021) in Cambridge city itself with this number growing steadily year on year. It seems that this need will be met partly by modest expansion at Netherhall and Hills Road (150 places) with the rest of the need being met by an extremely large expansion of Long Road Sixth Form College (where 1000+ places can be provided if necessary). Our proposal is predicated on the general need described here, and also on a pressing need for an additional option for those in the north of Cambridge city who do not currently have a smaller, local A-Level provider open to them as their peers across the county do. Our proposal still allows for the planned expansion of both Netherhall and Hills Road alongside Chesterton establishing a small A-Level offer. Even allowing for our proposal, plus the two mentioned here, Local Authority population projections show that this would leave the city with further need for significant additional places, which presumably Long Road would seek to offer.

As outlined above, we were unable to propose our 200 place cost-free solution at the point of the review taking place. We have since reconfirmed our agreement to cap year 7 admissions, despite being significantly oversubscribed year on year, to support local secondary colleagues in other schools. It is our view that the Local Authority review serves South Cambridgeshire well in that the new providers there meet the local 16-17 year old population growth, and represent a strong additional choice for young people in those areas. We do think that the expansion of places at large sixth form colleges will be needed in some part to meet city based demand for places. We do not think that the provision of over 1000 places at a sixth form college already exceeding 2000 places represents a balanced approach to city post-16 planning. Our modest proposal of adding a 200 place sixth form in the north of the city brings the choice available to young people in our community in line with those living across the rest of the county, whilst also still allowing for significant expansion across the other city providers.

“Having a 6th form in the north of Cambridge will benefit students in the area who want to study A levels and not travel to the other side of Cambridge do so. I question the proposed admissions policy omitting pupils at North Cambridge Academy for priority as it is does not seem consistent with the stated aims of prioritising disadvantaged students and those living to the north of the city centre.”

Disadvantaged students who meet the minimum entry requirements are prioritised in our oversubscription criteria. Our admissions policy has been benchmarked against several others within the CAP: it is usual practice to prioritise students from within an organisation for places at trust sixth forms. Applications would be welcomed from all local secondary schools. We remain open to working with all local providers on this project, and would hope that our proposed outreach work could happen across the north of Cambridge.

“This looks very interesting and would certainly be an option that our son in year 10 at IVC would consider.”

“Having worked with the school for almost 15 years, initially as a trainee teacher and now as a senior member, I have been privileged in seeing the development of a caring, supportive and rewarding organisation which I feel is ready to move on to the next stage and expand its offer to reach post-16 learners. I know that prospective students would benefit from the increased variety of choice in the local area. I am also certain that the experienced staff at CCC would relish the opportunity to provide an excellent post-16 experience as a continuation of their brilliant work at the KS3/KS4 levels.”

“I whole-heartedly support the proposal as a mother, a teacher, and as a governor for a local primary school. I consider the key factor in the projected provision to be ‘choice’: something that is lacking in the north of the city. I have over 12 years’ first-hand experience of the enthusiasm and commitment of staff throughout Chesterton Community College, and have no doubt that the proposed range of subjects could be provided with the necessary expertise and passion in order to achieve the highest standards with which the college is synonymous. Whilst there is excellent provision by Post-16 providers south of the city, it is the geographical placement, bespoke curriculum offering, pastoral support, and disadvantaged focus – particularly timely in the wake of the recent pandemic – which makes this proposal not just viable, but essential.”

“I think that this is a brilliant idea. It will provide a much needed provision that will meet the needs of young people in the North of Cambridge. Our children would benefit from the outstanding pastoral care, as well as the tailored provision that a school sixth form will provide. Currently their only other choice would be to travel to a large sixth form college and I would be very concerned that they would not flourish in such an environment.”

“I think the north of cambridge would very much benefit from having a sixth form. I am highly in favour.”

“Squeezing more students onto the CCC site would be a real shame. Let the current student intake breathe and enjoy the space, rather than pack in more. The contrast between free range chickens and battery hens comes to mind. I also wonder why the the Parkside Sixth Form experiment was discontinued? Was it because — contrary to expectations – they found the sixth form required them to stretch human and building resources too thin?”

The space available on our site is calculated by the Local Authority. They have recently confirmed that the space afforded by the publicly funded new build completed in 2019 is no longer needed for year 6 into 7 place planning (indeed we have been asked to continue to cap our year 7 intake at 210). As a result, we are suggesting utilising the additional space on site to house the A-Level provision, to ensure the space and buildings still serve our community in a tangible way.

Parkside’s post-16 centre continues to offer the International Baccalaureate program, but have moved away from A-Level courses: our intention is to offer that choice in the north of the city.

“This is a fantastic enterprise. I wholeheartedly support. This has been a concern living in the area, with lack of 6th form provision. Well done Chesterton for this ambition!”

“This is a fantastic enterprise. I wholeheartedly support. This has been a concern living in the area, with lack of 6th form provision. Well done Chesterton for this ambition!”

“As both a parent of a child at Chesterton (with two younger children who will come up through the school in due course) and a member of the local community I strongly support the addition of a sixth form to Chesterton Community College for the following reasons: * Geographically, current provision is largely to the south of the city. For some pupils this presents an additional hurdle (for example in our case we have a visually impaired daughter who benefits from having provision within easy walking distance). * The current provision consists primarily of large (& heavily subscribed) sixth form colleges. Providing more choice in the form of smaller sixth form environment will suit some students better. * More variety of sixth form provision gives better choices for pupils moving forward. * Being able to continue education in a familiar environment will encourage some pupils who might be reluctant or unable to re-locate to a larger facility to the south of the city to stay in education. * Having a sixth form will benefit the rest of the school by enriching the environment and providing stimulation to the younger pupils. * Having a sixth form will benefit the community as a whole by virtue of projects conducted by the older pupils.”

“As a parent of two future pupils of Chesterton my concern would be that this expansion of remit would compromise the currently outstanding 11-16 provision at Chesterton. There are already many excellent sixth form colleges in Cambridge, which in part are so good as they specialise in post 16 education. There is also the choice of 11-18 schools in the nearby area which have much larger school premises. As an over-subscribed secondary school on a cramped site I don’t see how a sixth form of the standard of others already in the area could be created without compromising the currently outstanding school we already have.”

It is our firm view that having a sixth form would enhance provision at 11-16 rather than take away from it: benefits such as a larger staff model; refined teacher expertise; leadership structures to allow focus on particular key stages; support for careers & HE aspiration; increased possibility for A-Level bridge work & challenge as staff will have working/current knowledge of the A-Level course and resources available to help stretch & challenge students 11-16. Our staffing model will include staff teaching across all key stages, rather than teachers moving to an A-Level only timetable. In 11-18 settings, having older students on site to act as role models, involved in mentoring and outreach opportunities, and the visible presence of older students gives the whole school a tangible insight into KS5 which helps to foster aspiration and ‘seeing a way’ to FE.
The space available on our site is calculated by the Local Authority. They have recently confirmed that the space afforded by the publicly funded new build completed in 2019 is no longer needed for year 6 into 7 place planning (indeed we have been asked to continue to cap our year 7 intake at 210 despite us being oversubscribed). As a result, we are suggesting utilising the additional space on site to house the A-Level provision, to ensure the space and buildings still serve our community in a tangible way.

“After completing GSCE students are old enough – and even looking forward to widen their freedom of movment. Keeping kids in their community is not a good argument – I suggest you focus on providing a good alternative to Hills/Long Road of IVC from an academic perspective. As the past year has taught us, the building has less importance, but there must be a place where the children are socialising – separatly to the Secondary kids. The fact that the students have to travel makes them stop in town or in the park – sit and study or just chat and argue about life in cafés or outdoors. Chesterton CC is enclosed by a fence and a gate – it suits younger children but it is lacking wider activities range which older kids look for. Think how the school can expand to other facilities around to support the students in real life experiences – an open sports field or less suburban settings. Also, another grades factory is not necessarily the right alternative to the existing stock of Sixth Forms – did you consider other forms of governance? Cambidge is capable of challenging educational norms – maybe a more “Open University” type of learning will interest a different crowd of students and suit the site better?”

We agree that many students are looking for a different experience at post-16. We also feel that for a minority of students a smaller, school-based provision would be more supportive. It is our intention to offer a small provision of A-Level based study to suit the needs of some, but certainly not all, students.

“I am a parent of a Yr9 at Chesterton Community College School – a school and community that we are all very proud and grateful to be a part of. I’m more than satisfied that the school, its leadership, staff, and students, would provide an excellent sixth form and believe it would add to the life of the school overall. Extending the facilities, knowledge, and educational practices to a wider diversity of students would, in my view, be positive for the school, for the students, and for the community.”

“I would like to add my support to the proposal for Chesterton Sixth Form.”

“I believe the provision of a 6th form at Chesterton would be a great success. It would provide an excellent opportunity for staff and students. Chesterton is in a good position to utilise existing expertise to offer a tailored and personalised experience for students. Chesterton has a strong track record in successfully enabling students to reach their potential and in supporting well being. I support this consultation.”

“I believe the provision of a 6th form at Chesterton would be a great success. It would provide an excellent opportunity for staff and students. Chesterton is in a good position to utilise existing expertise to offer a tailored and personalised experience for students. Chesterton has a strong track record in successfully enabling students to reach their potential and in supporting well being. I support this consultation.”

“This is a really exciting opportunity to create and develop a high quality 6th form experience for pupils, set in the north Cambridge area. Not only will the 6th form be able to utilise the facilities and expertise associated with Chesterton Community College, it will provide an opportunity for CCC pupils and other students in the local area to extend their education. With a particular focus on PP pupils, the 6th form will offer opportunities to pupils to remain in education after Year 11 in their local area and a familiar environment. The link to The Castle School will also provide further access for pupils at The Castle to develop their education further too. Its essential that students have a greater choice in the 6th form/courses they attend; the greater the choice students have the more able we are to meet their needs.”

“The sixth form sounds like an inspired idea. There is such mileage in extending the student body through the extension of learning space that has taken place at the College. I hope that arts will be a feature of the curriculum and that students at Chesterton/ elsewhere in Cambridge will themselves see the value in specialising in subjects like drama at advanced level. There might also be excellent opportunities to bring sixth formers together with students in the main school through enrichment activities.”

“I support the proposal to introduce a sixth form and post 16 provision on the Chesterton site. The aim of inclusive access to tailored education for 16-18 year olds will significantly add to the options for local students.”