Choosing your future
Why Stoke College Sixth Form?
The Sixth Form at Stoke College reflects the same unique ethos of strong pastoral care and personalised learning in small groups which characterises our Prep and Senior Schools. We give each Sixth Former their own dedicated personal study space and they benefit from a truly focussed learning environment, set in 25 acres of peaceful parkland.
At Stoke College we view the Sixth Form as a gateway to the start of adult life. We will prepare our Sixth Formers for the transition to this adult world by helping them achieve the best grades and develop the interpersonal skills they need to thrive.
We treat Sixth Formers as young adults, supporting them to become self-motivated, independent learners. They wear business dress and are given greater autonomy within the bounds of a caring, supportive community.
For students who join us from overseas, we provide personalised English as a Foreign Language sessions. The small A level class sizes are particularly helpful for understanding and learning, giving each young person the confidence to do well.
Sixth Form represents a very significant time in the development of a young adult; we aim to make the years both challenging and fulfilling for each of our students. We want our students to continue to develop as confident, courteous and contributing members of society. We encourage them to be responsible and considerate, self-disciplined and socially aware. Above all we want to instil a real sense of self-worth.
Find out more about the Curriculum
A-LevelsIn 2018 we offer:
- Further Mathematics
- Computer Science
- Economics (including Business)
- English Literature
BTECAt BTEC QCF (Nationals) vocational awards we will offer in 2018:
- Art and Design
Extended Project Qualification (EPQ)Each student will be encouraged and supported to offer a piece of independent research on a topic of their choice during the Lower Sixth. This will be submitted for an Extended Project Qualification which attracts up to 60 UCAS points. As well as being a great advantage in gaining a place at a highly competitive university, it also prepares students to study in a more independent style, reflecting the expectations of undergraduate study. By choosing their own topic, students can explore an area of interest to them personally and the experience often sharpens the focus when it comes to choosing their undergraduate course.
English as an Additional LanguageFor overseas students for whom English is a second language tuition and preparation for the IELTS examinations is offered.
What to expect
- Small class sizes
- Teaching methods adapted to the individual
- The expertise of highly qualified staff
- The Stoke College system of strong pastoral care
- A Personal tutor
- A Sixth Form facility, designed with the input of our existing students, with personal study space.
- The opportunity to become actively involved in whole school events.
- Careers advice targeted at university entry and the workplace, together with support in the application process for life beyond the Sixth Form.
- A Sixth Form with a separate identity to the main school, with a strong shared ethos of developing the individual to ensure they reach their potential.
Personalised support from highly qualified staff
Your own desk where you can work uninterrupted in a quiet environment
Meet the Staff
Art and Design (BTEC)
Mr Martin Reeves HND, BA (Hons) QTSMr Reeves joined Stoke College in 2017 from St Benedict’s College, Colchester where he had been Head of Art, Design and Technology for the previous four years. As well as teaching Art, Mr Reeves is an experienced teacher of Design and Technology and Catering and Hospitality. He has also taught Graphic Design to GCSE level and Product Design to A level. Prior to becoming a teacher he worked as a designer and as a model maker for film and television. He leads the Art and Technology department at Stoke. In his free time he enjoys many pastimes including cycling, vehicle maintenance and playing the drums. His wide range of experiences allow him to get the very best from students studying for Art and Design.
Miss Katherine Stansfield BSc (Hons), BA (Hons), PGCEMiss Stansfield, formerly at teacher of Science and Psychology at Tendring Technology College for four years, joined Stoke in 2017. She is an experienced A level teacher of Biology and Psychology, as well as of Physics and Chemistry up to GCSE. In teaching both Biology and Psychology at A level she finds the areas where they intertwine the most interesting. She is an experienced form tutor and has guided sixth form students to destinations as diverse as studying medicine at Cambridge University and taking a degree level apprenticeship at Renault in France. Miss Stansfield has a keen interest in many subjects and thinks that education has the power to change your life and your mind. As part of the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) team she encourages students to pursue topics beyond the syllabus, to become experts at independent study and to really get to grips with interesting and challenging topics. She is passionate about debating and enjoys seeing the self confidence and reasoning of pupils develop through debate. When not working, Miss Stansfield is likely to be found camping with her family and playing her ukulele.
Mr Stephen Burridge BSc (Hons), PGCE, MA (education leadership)Stephen is a graduate of Essex University in Biological and Medicinal Chemistry and also holds an MA in Education (Leadership and Management). He is a member of the Royal Society of Chemistry and has taught in both maintained and independent schools. With over 15 years of A level teaching experience he brings both a passion for his subject and a wealth of experience to the sixth form. He has a long history of strong A level results. Early in his career he was also a residential assistant housemaster at Box Hill School and understands well the additional experience of boarding at Stoke College.
Physics and Electronics
Mr Joe Swain, BSc. (Hons), PGCEMr Swain joined Stoke College in September 2016 as Head of Science. He previously taught in large state-sector schools and where he developed a wide range of skills to promote excellent teaching in Science. In particular he is an experienced A-Level teacher having taught students with a range of abilities for many years. His International Baccalaureate teaching experience as well as being a Sixth Form tutor are also an excellent asset. Mr Swain has impressive academic credentials as after a strong A-Level performance he went on to achieve a first-class honours degree at the University of Hertfordshire before completing his PGCE in Secondary Science Teaching. Mr Swain likes to share his skills and pass extra-curricular knowledge onto students as well as teaching Science. He has been known to put his guitar-playing skills to good use to join in with the Year 7 choir as well as run a fishing club. He also cycles regularly as well playing a range of other sports including golf.
Computer Science and History
Mr David Moss BA (Hons), Cert Web Apps (Open), Cert IT & Comp (Open), MCSEDavid Moss is head of the Computer Science and Business Studies departments and has taught at Stoke College for more than 15 years. Prior to this, he worked as a freelance programmer and technical journalist, writing programs for a number of companies including Microsoft and CitySCAN, as well as being a regular columnist for publications such as PC Pro, Windows Magazine and Computer Buyer. A History graduate, Mr Moss is also qualified as a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer and successfully undertook Microsoft’s IT Trainer programme. He has a degree from the Open University, gained in later life, his earlier years being spent in the armed forces and then working as a technical instructor for the Control Data Corporation’s training arm. He has a passion for teaching and has worked hard to ensure that Computer Science and ICT are available for all at the College. To this end he recently became a Raspberry Pi Certified Educator and runs an enthusiastic Robotics Club. He enjoys teaching his subjects at A level and engaging the students at a higher level in these important subjects.
Mr Richard Stuart MA (Cantab), PGCE (London)See profile under Mathematics.
Mr Frank Thompson, MA (Cantab), MPhil (Cantab), PGCE (London), NPQHAs well as being Head of Stoke College, Mr Thompson is also a qualified teacher in Economics and Business Studies. Before moving to headship, Mr Thompson spent six years at Mount St Mary’s College, an 11-18 independent co-educational school in Derbyshire, where amongst his duties he taught Economics and Business A level for six years. Before this he taught sixth formers in the maintained sector, at All Saints Catholic College in Dukinfield, Cheshire. One of the highlights of his time at the college was receiving the highest possible rating for teaching Business Studies A level during an Ofsted inspection. A graduate of Cambridge University, Mr Thompson holds an MA in Philosophy and Land Economy and an MPhil in the Economics and Politics of Development. He spent his early career teaching Economics and Business Studies in London and Manchester Sixth Form colleges. During his teaching career he has successfully helped students gain places at Oxford and Cambridge to study for degrees in Economics and PPE. He very much enjoys teaching the Economics B course at A level with its applied approach to the study of the subject. The course draws on current events in economics, politics and business to bring theory to life and to make sense the modern world. At a time of particular change globally, the power of Economics to help explain our complex world often inspires great passion in students for the subject. In his free time, he loves spending time with his family, keeping fit and enjoys cooking. He is also a great enthusiast for physics, hill walking and railways.
Ms Elizabeth Bailey BA, MA, MSc, DTTLSElizabeth Bailey holds a degree in English and European Literature, an MSc in Management of Library and Information Services and a Diploma in Lifelong Learning. She worked for the British Council overseas before becoming an Associate Lecturer for the Open University Business School in Europe. She became a passionate teacher of Economics and Business and has since taught the subject in a number of schools as well as Long Road Sixth Form College, Cambridge. Her most recent role was as Head of Business and Economics at Freman College, Buntingford. She has run a number of Economics-based activities including Young Enterprise, Dragon’s Apprentice and the LIBF Student Investor Challenge. She brings the subject alive, connecting the academic learning with the application of economics to the world of business.
Mr Joe Swain, BSc. (Hons), PGCESee above under Physics.
English and History
Mrs Charis Hunn-Smith, BA (Hons), PGCE (Bristol)Mrs Hunn-Smith joined Stoke in September 2016 from top academic establishment, Tiffin Girls School, Kingston-upon-Thames. Rated Outstanding by Ofsted, this grammar school scores near the top of the league tables for A level and GCSE nationally each year. At Tiffin Girls School she was Head of English and has considerable experience of leading developments in teaching and learning. The Times Educational Supplement has published much of her work online. An excellent teacher in her own right, she is well versed in the methods of leading improvements in learning school-wide. She has been inspired by the unique ethos of Stoke College and is very much enjoys working with pupils and staff and leading us forward in our academic success. Mrs Hunn-Smith relocated from Surrey to Suffolk to take up the Assistant Head Teacher post at Stoke College in September 2016. She studied English Literature and History as an Honours undergraduate then spent a year backpacking round the world before completing her PGCE at Bristol University. Mrs Hunn-Smith has been teaching for over ten years and is passionate about making sure lessons are as engaging and fun as possible. She has presented at local and national teaching conferences, focusing on how to design an inspirational English curriculum that stretches students of all ages and abilities to think about the world around them and how it is reflected in Literature. She has prepared many students for successful applications to Oxbridge and other Russell Group universities, while supporting students across the whole ability range. Mrs Hunn-Smith applies the same positive energy outside school as within it: she loves to travel, the further off the beaten track the better, follows cricket and rugby across Europe and the rest of the world, and is well underway with training for a Half Ironman event in France this summer. Of course, as an English teacher, Mrs Hunn-Smith loves to read and ranks The Poisonwood Bible, The God of Small Things, War and Peace and the Harry Potter series among her favourite books.
Mrs Charis Hunn-Smith, BA (Hons), PGCE (Bristol)
Mr David Moss BA (Hons), Cert Web Apps (Open), Cert IT & Comp (Open), MCSESee above under English and Computer Science.
Mathematics and Further Mathematics
Mrs F Shane MA (London), BSc (Hons), PGCEMrs Shane has a degree in Mathematics and a PGCE in Teaching Secondary Mathematics. She went on to study an MA in Mathematics in Education, part time at London University, whilst she was in her second year of teaching. She obtained a Distinction in this and her research was used and referenced by others in the field. She was offered a scholarship to take up a doctorate, however, she was enjoying her maths teaching so much that she declined and thought she would save this for later in life! She has taught in six different schools and has been Head of Department at a boys' grammar school followed by being Head of Faculty at a large girls' school. Having fun with Mathematics is an important part of learning and she has always been involved with extra curricular activities such as Mathematical trips, inter-school competitions, Maths Challenges, guest speakers, Mathematical Workshops and activity days. Having always taught A level maths, she specialises in the Pure and Statistics components. She has a passion for teaching Mathematics and has always loved sharing this with students. She is always thrilled when students pursue their love of Mathematics into the 6th form.
Mathematics, Further Mathematics and Computer Science
Mr Richard Stuart MA (Cantab), PGCE (London)Mr Richard Stuart joined the outstanding team at Stoke College as the Head of Sixth Form in 2017, and has worked together with the sixth form students to forge an inclusive, supportive, challenging, inspirational and outward-looking community of learning that gives them the very best preparation for University and later life. Mr Stuart read Computer Science at the University of Cambridge before training as a teacher of Secondary Maths at the Institute of Education in London and has seven years’ experience teaching Maths, Further Maths and ICT to students of all abilities and ages from 11 to 18. He has had a number of roles supporting the development of teaching and learning both in Maths and across other subjects and he has a dynamic, patient and accessible teaching style that will support, engage and enthuse learners of all abilities. He has also worked as a private tutor and outside the world of education as a freelance web developer. Mr Stuart is particularly enjoys teaching Maths, Further Maths and Computer Science in the Sixth Form at Stoke College, as well as contributing to the wider life of the College through his extra-curricular interests, which include singing, playing the piano and the cello alongside enjoying the brilliant world of ‘super-curricular’ maths and computing.
Modern Foreign Languages
Ms Katherine Smith BA (Dunelm), PGCEMs Smith joined us from Jersey College for Girls where she taught French and Italian up to A level. At Stoke she leads Modern Languages, teaching French and Spanish, offering both French and Italian A level. Ms Smith has taught languages for over 20 years to all age groups and has worked for the OCR examination board in Cambridge. She also helped devise an award winning vocational programme for a business-focused alternative to qualification to GCSE which has subsequently been taken by thousands of young people. She has worked with Memrise developing a learning tool for vocabulary and has been invited to sit on a number of review panels for languages; including CILT Languages Standards group, the LEPP review by the Council of Europe and the All Party Parliamentary group on languages. She is also developing links with businesses in the local area who regularly use languages and to give students the opportunities to see languages in action.
Miss Katherine Stansfield BSc (Hons), BA (Hons), PGCESee Biology above.
Miss Ashleigh Fryers BA (Liverpool), PGDEMiss Fryers joined us from Liverpool John Moores University where she completed her PGDE in Physical Education. Born in Belfast she moved to England to train as a PE teacher. Her aspiration is to not only develop students academically within Physical Education but guide them to develop into outstanding young people. Her view is that students need to be challenged to learn and to feel a sense of achievement though struggling to succeed. She loves all sports and has played hockey to a high level. She has taught badminton, football, netball and gymnastics. She has also taught Dance at GCSE. She has experienced a wide range of teaching environments prior to joining Stoke having had a school placement at Enterprise South Liverpool Academy as well as worked as a graduate resident in a boarding school.
Mr Simon Quick BSc., MSc., PGCE, NPQMLSimon Quick joined Stoke College from Craighouse School, Santiago, Chile where he was Director of Sport. Educated at Colchester Royal Grammar School he holds a degree in Geography, an MSc in Sports Science, a PGCE in Geography and PE and is currently studying for a PhD in Sport Coaching Psychology. He holds coaching qualifications in Rugby, Football, Tennis, Gymnastics, Swimming, Basketball and Lacrosse. He is an experienced teacher and tutor of sixth form students. He brings great strength to both the academic and practical aspects of sports education. .
English as a Foreign Language
Mrs Natasha De Souza BA (Hons), Cert. TESOL, Trinity Dip.Fluent in English and Italian, Mrs De Souza is an experienced and highly accomplished teacher of English as a Foreign Language (EFL). She has taught EFL both in Italy and in the UK, with experiences ranging from teaching younger children their first steps in English to adults studying for their Masters degrees. In addition to her teaching, Mrs De Souza works for the Cambridge University Press writing materials for both IELTS and the Cambridge Suite of examinations. Her experiences include being a Director of Studies and Examinations Officer for a large Cambridge language school, running her own language school overseas and being an oral examiner for the KET and PET qualifications. Her vast experience of the subject and understanding of the varying needs of different students will allow her to teach every Stoke student requiring EFL according to their personal needs and help them achieve the IELTS points they require for access to the sixth form and to the university of their choice.
Social and Cultural Life
Sixth form is different from school. This is reflected in the way sixth formers are expected to wear business dress rather than school uniform. It is reflected too in the greater freedoms and responsibilities. Students will have their own social space and periods during the day when they do not have scheduled lessons. These are study periods and wise students will ensure that they use these to complete as much of their homework and independent study as possible.
The degree of monitoring and support each needs will vary and it is a mark of sixth form life that when a student is ready to manage their own time they are allowed to do so with a far greater degree of freedom than they will have experienced hitherto.
As part of sixth form life there will be opportunities to take trips to local areas, such as Cambridge, to not only support academic learning but also have broader cultural experiences. There will be visiting speakers too who will help students broaden their perspective on the world as well as times when the objective is just to have fun and enjoy each other’s company.