Welcome to Ifield Sixth Form at the LINK Centre within North Kent College
Ifield School has a long and productive association with North Kent College and the Sixth Form has been located within the college grounds since 2006. In September 2016 the Sixth Form moved into premises with North Kent College’s Gateway learners. This collaboration has resulted in students having access to three classrooms, a sensory circuit room, health care suites, and a well-resourced food technology room, life-skills flat and workshop.
At the end of Key Stage 4 students move on to a variety of different programmes, and for most this means that they choose to continue their learning pathway with Ifield Sixth Form. The Sixth Form pathway begins with an Individual Study Programme. The outcomes described in each student’s Education Health and Care Plan Form the basis of an Individual Study Programme so that learning is directly related to their aspirations and interests, and prepares them for adulthood.
Learning pathways at Sixth Form have a clear focus on each student’s intended destination which may include employment (supported or independent), further education, and supported or independent living. Some students attend Ifield Sixth Form for a single year before moving on to another further education facility, whilst other students stay on for two or three years. Such flexibility allows the Individual Study Programme to accommodate the specific requirements of each student.
Every Individual Study Programme includes the development of English, Maths and ICT functional skills at a level appropriate to the student. Students also engage in work related learning and personal and social development skills. The study programme is designed to increase independence at a pace that provides sufficient challenge for each student.
Each student is assigned to a learning group along with other students who are following a similar learning pathway. Break and lunch times as well as individually chosen options provide opportunities for students to socialise beyond their learning group and within the wider college community.
Functional English and mathematics are incorporated into all learning including vocational lessons such as food technology.
Students at the Sixth Form have access to the Forest School where there is a strong emphasis on problem solving, working as part of a team and developing independence.
|Individual Study Programme Percentages|
|Independent Living Skills||13%|
|Creative Arts / Sports & Dance Leaders options||13%|
|Where the student is participating in work experience they will be given opportunities during the rest of the week to catch up with English, mathematics and any accreditation they are pursuing.|
Speech and Language Support
Ifield Sixth Form students and their families have access to a dedicated member of the school’s Speech and Language Team and a Learning Mentor. Where students are identified as requiring additional support with communication and interaction, the Speech and Language therapist, in collaboration with teaching staff, can devise a programme for an individual or a small group of students to address each student’s needs. The programme can be delivered by the therapist or, with guidance from the therapist, by Sixth Form’s class-based Learning Mentor who has received specific training in this field. Speech and Language professionals also support students who require social stories or symbols to help with communication.
The Sixth Form Sensory Centre is used by many students to extend their learning experience and initiatives designed to broaden students’ understanding of themselves and the world in ways that are effective and enjoyable.
Each student is assigned a personal tutor and can access a range of services to remove barriers to learning and support progress. A student’s personal tutor will liaise with the student and their family during any given academic year and will facilitate Education, Health and Care Plan reviews. The team of tutors at Sixth Form is led by a Head of Sixth Form and overseen by the Head of School. Pastoral support is also provided by the Assistant Directors and the school nurse regularly visits Ifield Sixth Form to support with health care questions and specific health issues.
Careers Information Education Advice and Guidance
Students at Ifield Sixth Form have a variety of opportunities to gain information, advice and guidance relating to their future destinations.
In class students routinely learn about work and life as part of their lessons. Functional English, mathematics and ICT not only develop skills that will help them negotiate work, home and leisure activities and enrich their life experiences but also incorporate learning about options that they might consider in their future lives.
The Head of Sixth Form, as part of a collaboration between special schools in Kent, provides Careers Information Education Advice and Guidance to students who attend a partner special school; in return a teacher from that school provides the same service for Ifield students.
Ifield Sixth Form also works with CxK, an organisation that provides us with access to a professional careers advisor who delivers a group session followed by one-to one guidance for students who will be leaving Ifield at the end of the academic year. This links with and builds upon the provision offered to Key Stage 4 students at Ifield School.
Students are offered the opportunity to attend a variety Careers Fairs and Work Related Learning events across the academic year.
Ifield Sixth Form works with outside agencies, local businesses and the Ifield School community to provide appropriate placements for each student. All agencies involved in work experience share a joint philosophy enabling students to achieve their full potential through expectations that are realistic and challenging. Industries in the local area welcome students and the school enjoys a good reputation in the community.
Work experience placements usually take place one day each week over a designated period, for example a term. Each placement is chosen to match the specific interests, aptitudes and skills of individual students and is risk assessed by the Sixth Form Work Experience Co-ordinator. All students are accompanied by a Teaching Assistant when taking part in work experience placements. Employers value Ifield’s commitment to supporting work experience; the positive relationships that have been nurtured with local businesses enable students to have a selection of opportunities and experiences to choose from.
Every student keeps a diary about their work placement which includes photographs, information about key skills, what they learnt, use of equipment and self and employer’s evaluation. This is an important aspect of a student’s work experience and is used as a reminder of their achievements and to support applications for future apprenticeships, employment or supported internships.
Clubs and Extra-Curricular Activities
On Mondays and Thursdays from 3:30 until 5:00 pm Ifield Staff facilitate a Cookery Club and an Art Club respectively. These were requested by students and are well attended. Some students also attend a local Youth Club where they mix with other young people from the area and make friendships in a safe and supportive environment.
All students are offered at least one overnight stay as part of the Ifield Life Programme. This experience gives them an opportunity to practise life skills learnt at home and in college and enjoy social activities in the Ifield Life building situated within the school grounds.
Ifield Post-19 Pilot Provision
Since September 2014 Ifield School has been involved in an exciting collaboration with North Kent College by piloting a post-19 provision. This was to reflect the introduction of Education, Health and Care Plans and the entitlement of young people with special educational needs access to education until they reach the age of 25.
Post-19 offers supported internships, supported life skills and a continuation of learning to prepare for adulthood where the school can offer evidence that this is an appropriate pathway for the students who wish to attend.
Ifield School is engaged in discussions with colleagues from the college, the Local Authority and the Department for Education to explore options that will enable the establishment of a permanent Post-19 provision.
Students at Ifield Sixth Form have outstanding outcomes in terms of their next steps and over the past 3 years 100% of students have moved into further education, training or employment.
Key Stage 5 Destinations
2014 to 2016 Year 14 Leavers
|2013 - 2014||2014 - 2015||2015 - 2016|
|Number of students in cohort||11||15||13|
Ifield Post 19
North Kent College