BRIDLINGTON’S two secondary schools are working together to improve the education of sixth form students in the town.
Headlands and Bridlington School have joined forces to launch the Shores Consortium – a scheme which will see the two school’s sharing resources to “improve the offer” to Bridlington’s A-Level students by having a bigger range of courses, smaller class sizes and specialist teachers.
The heads of sixth form in both schools have been working together for the past two to three years, but this year are fully launching the partnership.
Helen Nind, head of sixth form and assistant head teacher at Headlands, said: “We hope that the partnership will broaden the horizons of all sixth form students in Bridlington and offer them more courses, and the progression that they need to get where they want to be in life.”
Kathy Robson, head of sixth form and assistant head teacher at Bridlington School, said: “We are excited to fully launch the Shores and improve the offer for sixth form students in the town. At both schools we know our students and can help guide them.”
The partnership will see students at both schools choose from an enhanced list of courses which are delivered at both the Bridlington and Headlands sites – with a timetable to allow students to travel between both.
Specialist subjects can be offered at one site – so that a student from one school does not miss out on doing a course they would like to do because their school does not offer it.
Mrs Nind continued: “There are a lot more courses available than one school could possibly offer. It avoids duplication, what is the point of five students doing a subject here and five doing it at Bridlington School site when they could both be learning together?
“The idea is to keep our students in Bridlington by giving them more choice here.”
Mrs Robson agreed, saying that Bridlington had recently launched a triple B-TEC qualification in sport, the equivalent of three A-Levels, which would be open to students across both sites.
Next year around 80 of Bridlington School’s Year 11 class of more than 140 will stay on at the sixth form, with between 50% and 60% of Headlands students.
Both heads of sixth form say that they hope the improved courses will mean those already encouraging numbers would rise further.
School funding is a big issue affecting schools in the East Riding, and both schools say that the Shores Consortium offers a common sense approach which involve duplication, and allow money to be spent on providing specialist teachers and equipment for 16-18 year olds in the town.
Last year, 99% of students at both schools passed their A-Levels with half getting top grades.
While not all students will have to travel between sites for their courses, the increased integration can only be a good thing, according to Mrs Nind and Mrs Robson.
Mrs Robson said: “Having to meet new teachers, new students, and go round a different school will take some students out of their comfort zone a little bit and will help when they go to university, or into the world of work.”
A new website has been set up for students to find more information and apply at www.theshores.org.uk and a new prospectus featuring the courses is also available.
An open evening was held at Bridlington School last week and another, for Year 10 and 11 students of both schools, will be held at Headlands on February 27. Two taster days, where students from both schools will taste life at the other, have also been set up for July.