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Many questions run through students' minds as they approach the decision making that the Sixth Form brings, but hopefully the below will answer some of the questions you may have. If you have any additional questions, then please don’t hesitate to contact us on:


How many subjects will I study?

Most students will study 3 A Level subjects alongside the Enrichment Programme.

How many students are there in the Sixth Form? 

Each year we welcome over 240 students into Year 12 from 30 different schools. 52% of our Sixth Form students come from different schools.

Will I be treated like an adult?

Yes. The relationship between staff and students is particularly strong at Northgate Sixth Form and students receive excellent support and guidance.

What are class sizes like?

Class sizes are usually smaller than at GCSE, to allow teachers to give more of their time to each student. Class sizes may be around 20, but can be lower for some subjects and will vary from year to year. The small class sizes allow for extra support from your subject teachers.

How does the Tutor class work in Sixth Form?

In Year 12 initially you must attend registration each morning at 8.45am. You will have a personal tutor, with whom you will discuss your progress, enrichment activities, plans for after Sixth Form and any other issues with which you may need support. There is a tutorial programme that you will work through with your tutor. There will occasionally be whole tutor group sessions and regular assemblies too. When you move into year 13 you will be allowed 2 mornings of study leave per week, where you don’t have to attend registration if you do not have a timetabled lesson during period 1.

What are NCT sessions?

Students will have NCT (non-contact time) as part of their Sixth Form timetable. This is independent study time and should not be regarded as ‘free’ lessons but should be used to ensure work is completed to deadline, that work is being improved or revision or wider reading is being undertaken. It can also be used to undertake enrichment activities.

What is our Enrichment?

Our Sixth Form students can access an incredibly diverse programme of carefully selected enrichment activities. There are approximately 40 different enrichment activities available, and the programme is expanding all the time. Being a member of the Sixth Form is not just about academic study. Our Enrichment Programme offers opportunities to develop further as an individual. It is also a great way to meet people and have a lot of fun. Engagement in our Enrichment Programme will be monitored by your Sixth Form Tutor, ensuring that all students actively seek and participate in the fantastic opportunities available.

What different privileges do Sixth Formers get?

As you may be aware, a uniform is not required in the Sixth Form, and own clothes can be worn (so long as it is not extreme!). In addition to this, you have exclusive use of the Sixth Form block and Café 6. There is a common room where you can socialise with friends over a coffee and dedicated study areas. Students may leave the school site during the school day, using their ID badge to register in and out of school. Students also have free access to the Northgate Gym at points during the week.

Do Sixth Formers have a Prom?

At the end of Year 13 we have a Prom. Our students love to attend this event to celebrate the end of their journey in Sixth Form. We also offer commemorative items of a Yearbook, Year photo and a leaver Hoodie.

What Careers Advice & Guidance is available?

We are acutely aware that our students may need support in taking their next steps into the world of work or Higher Education. Students can arrange an appointment with our Careers Leader, Mrs Calder, who will support students in making applications to a wide range of sectors at different levels.

Can Sixth Form students use mobile phones at school?

Sixth Form students are allowed to use their phones within Sixth Form areas – they must not be visible on the rest of the school site, in order to comply with the whole school policy.

Can students park on-site?

We have free parking on site for Sixth Form students.

Can students smoke in Sixth Form?

Northgate High School is a non-smoking site. Sixth Form students must not smoke or vape on site or anywhere near the school vicinity. If students are seen smoking on or near the school site, parents will be contacted and students could lose their place in the Sixth Form.

Can students undertake employment outside of school?

Like many students, you may wish to get a part-time job, and this is not only useful in providing some welcome cash, but can also be useful work experience. However, research has shown that students underachieve if they take on too many hours. Being a student is a full-time occupation, and we recommend that you do no more than eight hours of paid employment each week. Remember, you’ll also need time to take part in other activities which will broaden your range of experience and skills, such as voluntary work, sport, music, clubs and societies. And don’t forget the importance of relaxing with family and friends!

How will I get important messages?

It is vital that students take some responsibility for keeping up to date with important announcements/news. This is particularly important in the Sixth Form, where students are beginning to take some responsibility for their own futures. Students will be provided with a personal e-mail account when they join in September and this must be checked on a daily basis. You must attend all assemblies and morning registration. We use the Go4Schools platform to set homework, both students and parents can access this.

What are the school term and holiday dates for this academic year?

What are the scheduled bus times to & from the Sixth Form?

Details can be found at Suffolk On Board. Students must arrive to register by 8.45 am and the day finishes at 3.10 pm. The Sixth Form block is open from 8 am – 6 pm each day for students that wish to use the study facilities.


How much time should I spend studying outside my lessons?

How much time should I spend studying outside my lessons? You should expect to spend at least as much time on your studies as you would if you were in full-time employment. In practice this means that you should plan to spend approximately the same amount of time doing private study as you do in lessons. For example, for an A level subject where you would normally have 5 hours teaching in a week and should spend 5 hours doing private study related to the work you are doing in lessons. This will comprise a variety of activities: formal homework, checking class notes, background reading, preparation, coursework, research and consolidating your knowledge.

What are the timings of the school day?



Start Time

End Time

Registration 08:45 AM 09:00 AM
Period 1 09:00 AM 10:15 AM
Break 10:15 AM 10:35 AM
Period 2 10:35 AM 11:50 AM
Period 3 11:55 AM 01:10 PM
Lunch 01:10 PM 01:55 PM
Period 4 01:55 PM 03:10 PM


Where do the students that attend Northgate Sixth Form come from?

Everywhere. Many have stayed after attending Northgate High School, whilst more come from over thirty schools across Suffolk. In total, over 52% of the students come from other schools. And there are even new movers to the area. All in all, a fantastic mix of people for you to meet.

Is it possible to take a subject at A Level that I have not taken at GCSE?

Yes and no. For some it is not necessary, for others it is more important. Please view our subjects and see the subject entry requirements for more details.

Is it possible to take any combination of subjects?

No. But we’ll listen to suggestions. We work tirelessly to offer a wide range of subject combinations. The timetable blocking system shows what combinations are available. However, if there’s a popular, unavailable combination, we’ll try and fit it in. Please make this clear in your application.

What happens if I don’t get the grades that I need?

We have to be fair to everyone and stick to the requirements published. If you don’t get the grades needed, we recommend you make an appointment as soon as you have your results to meet one of our team, where we can advise on an alternative programme.

What Financial Support is available?

The Sixth Form bursary scheme is available to those with a household income below £30,000 or who are experiencing hardship. The help ranges from the provision of IT, books, equipment, travel (including the cost of university visits) and school lunches. Further details are on the website and applications are invited at the point of enrolment into the Sixth Form.

For those in particular financial need, in relation to events such as school trips or university visits, there is a fund for economically disadvantaged students; further information is available upon request.



Contact Us

Northgate Sixth Form,
Sidegate Lane, Ipswich, IP4 3DL

Tel: 01473 210 123