|Lower High Street, DY8 1TD Stourbridge|
Welcome to King Edward's
I am delighted that you are considering applying to King Edward’s for your A level course as the next crucial step in your education. I am sure that, as you find out more about the college, you will appreciate just how much we have to offer you.
Sixth form colleges began in this country about thirty five years ago. They provide students with a fresh start after GCSE. This means moving into a new and bigger social environment where you will mix exclusively with people of your own age. Because a sixth form college is both specialised and larger, the range and combinations of subjects that can be studied and the activities on offer are very much wider than at school. As a student at King Edward’s, you would have more choices, but also more responsibility for making decisions. In other words, the experience is rather like that of a junior university, coupled with the security of still living at home.
King Edward VI College was one of the first sixth form colleges created and hence has more than thirty years’ experience. We are lucky to have a site close to Stourbridge town centre and its bus and railway stations. We have a large sports hall for a wide range of sporting activities; many classrooms contain the latest digital technology; and we are about to embark upon a new building programme to improve a wide range of facilities.
Talking to past and present students is a very good way of finding out about life at King Edward’s and will help explain why we are so popular and why we are acknowledged to be one of the outstanding educational institutions in the country.
One of the reasons is our excellent examination results. These are outstanding for a college of this type and our 98.4% A level pass rate and 96.8% AS level pass rate in 2006 placed us second nationally in the DfES performance tables. (In the last ten years we have not been out of the top six places in these tables). Measured by the DfES success rate (achievement x retention), King Edward’s is the best achieving college for full-time 16-18 year old students studying level 3 courses in the country. Not only are our overall pass rates high, but so is the proportion of students gaining the top two A and B grades – 53.1% at A level and 56.1% at AS level. These results enable our students to move on to the next stage of their careers well qualified and confident.
However, King Edward’s has much more to offer than high quality examination results; for example the wide range of enrichment activities such as sports, music and drama where you will find teachers’ commitment, the standards achieved and student enjoyment just as high as on our A level courses. You may be surprised to see my emphasis on the ‘enjoyment factor’ but the good teaching, the company of like-minded, committed students and the range of activities available outside the classroom all contribute to a happy, lively atmosphere even though we cannot eliminate the hard work that must go into every A level or AS level pass!
With all that we have to offer, you might think that it is very difficult to gain admission, but the facts are otherwise. We make over eight hundred offers of places each year, with most places going to students from our partner schools throughout the Metropolitan Borough of Dudley. However, around a fifth of our places go to students from outside this area who are attracted by the high standards on offer. Also, remember that, although we are oversubscribed each year, we still have enough places to be able to take the majority of applicants.
About the College
King Edward VI College is situated in the centre of Stourbridge, on the edge of the main shopping centre and within a few minutes walk of the main bus and rail stations. All departments are situated on a single, compact campus; students do not have to travel between sites.
Development on site has been progressive over the years; traditional buildings and classrooms combining well with modern specialist accommodation. These facilities, coupled with extensive playing fields in nearby Oldswinford, provide students with some of the best resources of any educational establishment in the area. Furthermore, the college has embarked on a major building programme, which has already provided new teaching areas for students.
King Edward’s was granted its charter as a grammar school in 1552 and, therefore, has celebrated over 450 years of education on the site. It became a sixth form college in 1976. Since then, it has grown rapidly and now has a total of approximately 1400 students and over 100 teaching staff. It is exclusively an AS and A level college, and all students entering embark on a course of study that will lead to the A level examination in 3 or 4, sometimes 5 subjects. There is also the opportunity for some second year students to study for Advanced Extension Awards in several subjects. The college’s record at A level is impressive and in 1996 it came first in the government’s A level ‘league table’ for sixth form and further education colleges in England. King Edward’s is consistently one of the top performing colleges nationally.
Committed to quality, we aim to "get things right" from the first moment contact is made with the college. Offering a wide range of subjects and a flexible timetable, programmes of study are tailor-made to meet the needs of the individual student, following initial consultations. From then on, progress is carefully monitored so that each student gets the most out of his or her time at the college. In fact there is no ‘typical’ King Edward VI student; the college thrives on meeting the diverse needs of students from the local community to ensure academic success and all-round development of the individual. Self-discipline is expected and independence encouraged, and there is a lively, adult atmosphere. Student services and careers staff ensure that students are treated as individuals and given the support that they need. Daily sessions begin at 8.45 am and classes generally finish around 4.00 pm. Individual timetables vary a great deal, but most students have one free afternoon a week when they can undertake private study.
Students choose King Edward VI College for a variety of reasons, not least for the variety of other activities offered by the college including sport, music, drama, dance and much more, often performed to national standards. The opportunities provided to the students in their two years at King Edward’s are many and wide-ranging. Make the most of them and we’ll help you along the way.
The college’s historic campus is being continually improved and has an impressive range of modern specialist areas, these include the sports hall; the suite of art and design studios; a multi media, interactive language laboratory; and specialist laboratory facilities, not only in the traditional science subjects, but also in technology, electronics and geology. Recent developments have included the relocation of the student support centre, an extensive modernisation of the careers library, the enlargement of the main library and an extension to an existing block to provide modern well equipped classrooms and another IT suite. All areas of the college used by students have disabled access.
Library and learning resources
The library aims to provide the resources and environment needed to enhance your learning experience in college. The complex spans three floors and provides differentiated areas to meet every individual’s study needs.
Access to ICT has been integrated with the printed and audio-visual resources to encourage students to search for information in all formats. Of the 80 PCs available in the library, 20 are drop-in and all have internet access. The library also subscribes to on-line databases such as:
the New Scientist Archive
e-Law Student and
InfoTrac (full text - newspapers and journal articles)
Authentik - articles in French, German and Spanish
Our aim is to make it as easy as possible for students to use our library. Details of all library resources are held on a searchable database, accessible from every PC, making it simple to locate information; be it a map, journal article, CD, book, DVD or study pack.
Other facilities provided include:
The college places a high value on IT skills and has a policy of continually expanding and updating its provision. The policy is to switch to the latest software as soon as support materials become readily available. All students have an entitlement to develop IT skills which is carried out through key skills and other courses.
The college has a network of PCs running under Windows XP. Individual machines will be running the latest version of Windows for which there is support and resource material available. The same applies to applications software, which include Microsoft Office 2003 along with department-specific software.
The student social area in college is where you can relax, listen to music (not always of your choice!) and buy a variety of food options, including vegetarian, from the cafeteria that is open for most of the day; helpful staff will supply breakfast, snacks and lunch to eat in or takeaway.
The college is within walking distance of all the town centre facilities of Stourbridge including the town library which is available to you for additional private study. The bus station is easily accessible with a shuttle service to Stourbridge Junction serving all stations to Birmingham and to Worcester and surrounding areas.
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