“there’s no sense of hierarchy between students. they’re friendly and open and so diverse”
Over thirty years ago, a revolution in Sixth Form education was started by LaSWAP in the Parliament Hill area – and this has continued providing a unique, innovative and high quality offering to post-16 students wanting the best of all choices – especially into Higher Education.
The original idea remains as powerful and successful as ever: providing the best education with the widest choice and combination of 40 A-levels and 15 vocational courses, packaged into the best choice of Study Programme for a student’s needs.
LaSWAP comprises four closely-located specialist campuses based in La Sainte Union, William Ellis, Acland Burghley and Parliament Hill schools (the initials of each being used to create LaSWAP’s unique name). This means it can provide all of the personal touches of a small sixth form, as well as all of the benefits of scale of a large college.
Over 200 highly-experienced Sixth Form teachers offer a centre of excellence that gives great independence and flexibility yet provides a high level of personal support to help every student reach their best.
The Good Schools Guide confirms: “Teaching…is enthusiastic, knowledgeable and well prepared.” It continues: “…pupils are confident and mature and get on well.”
“The communication with home is excellent,” says one parent. “If my son has done something well they email me. Equally, if he’s not doing his homework, they’ll let me know.”
More than academic excellence
But LaSWAP is more than just academic excellence with its broad and innovative curriculum. There is also a wide enrichment programme of visiting speakers and volunteering opportunities that stimulate debate and interest in current affairs and the wider community.
Continuing success beyond LaSWAP
And as a stepping stone to Higher Education and employment, LaSWAP has proved itself to be leading the field – their rate of progress puts it in the top percentage of all schools. Comparisons to national statistics show that LaSWAP students applying to university are much more likely to secure a place. Entries to the leading Russell Group universities are also significantly higher than nationally.
Madeleine Landreth, a dedicated Higher Education Advisor, confirms: “Advice starts in Year 12 to ensure that our students make a reasoned, realistic, sensible, informed and aspirational set of choices for university”.
Former LaSWAP students say that, because they feel better prepared for university than their peers, they do better once they are there. Moreover, the contact and support continues whilst at university with feedback to the HE Advisor helping current LaSWAP students.
Student Alex Petrie-Baker says: “The Higher Education advice is brilliant – they help you make sure you make the best decisions based on ‘you’ as an individual”
As well as student services from the dedicated LaSWAP office, each school also has a 6th form student services team of a Director, 2 Heads of Sixth, an administrator and an attendance officer. This provides the personal support traditionally associated with a smaller sixth form, as well as the benefits of these teams working together as a larger team able to meet a much larger range of needs.
Find out more at the LaSWAP Open Evening
The Open Evening for students interested in discovering more about the many courses LaSWAP offers is in November at the Acland Burghley campus. As well as deciding what subjects they want to do, students can be reassured that LaSWAP will help them make sure they know where they want to get to next – and the best way to get there.
Georgina Atkinson, the Director of LaSWAP, advises:
“LaSWAP is unique and is the one place you can truly get the benefits of both a college and a sixth form. Open Evening in November is the starting point for a student to really understand their next steps – it really is an event for all year 11s to attend.
Places are limited and by ticket only, so I advise registering via the website section ‘Apply’ as soon as possible for your invitation.”