A college with its sights set high

We are forging ahead into the new academic year with a ‘Good’ with ‘Outstanding’ features Ofsted rating under our belt.

Based in the heart of Leeds and driven by a belief that every student has the ability to excel, Leeds Sixth Form College impressed the inspectors when they visited earlier this year.

Our passionate and expert staff, and the partnership work they do to ensure our educational programmes meet the needs of local employers, were singled out for praise.

Our A level programme, which helps students take the next step in their educational or career journey, is at the heart of what we do.

A tailored approach for each student, full of enrichment opportunities

But our offering is much broader than that, which is why we give every new student a guidance interview before advising them on which of four pathways to follow. This ensures that their courses will help them move on to the job, university degree, or higher apprenticeship they have in mind.

And for 16 to 18 year olds who need extra GCSEs, or higher grades in those they already have, we offer the Step-up Pathway. This one-year programme helps students gain five GCSEs in preparation for taking on A levels.

The college also aims to ensure that students have an exceptional experience during their time with us, which is why we are always working to secure enrichment opportunities.

In June this year, for example, 61 of our politics, law and history students enjoyed a two-day educational trip to London. Their stay included a tour of Hampton Court Palace, a visit to the Supreme Court, meeting a High Court judge and a trip to the Houses of Parliament.

Our Principal, Rachael Booth, said: “We are fully committed to helping every student, whatever their background or field of interest, reach their full potential and excel.

“To help us achieve that we have a dedicated, expert teaching staff and top-class facilities, to give each of our students the very best chance of success.

“We are also always looking at experiences that can enrich students’ studies and bolster their confidence and self-belief.

“Education transforms lives and opens up new opportunities. We are always excited to welcome new students, and to learn how we can best help them take their vital next step. So please get in touch – we look forward to hearing from you!”

State-of-the-art facilities

Our courses are taught in dedicated, well-equipped teaching rooms in the college’s Park Lane campus. Our students also have access to a permanently staffed Independent Learning Zone, where a suite of 60 chrome-books are provided.

Keen to address the country’s healthcare skills gap and promote STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subjects, the college recently opened a brand new science laboratory.

This specialist facility features a private consultation room and a pharmacy practice room which have been designed to support the college’s two new pioneering courses, Pharmacy T Level and Access to Medicine.

STEM is a key focus for us and we had some fantastic success stories in this area recently among our A level students. Poppy Middleton, for example, achieved A grades in chemistry, maths and physics along with a B in further maths this year. She is now going on to study aerospace engineering at the University of Leeds.

Sporting, as well as academic, excellence

Thanks to our partnerships with some of the region’s leading sporting organisations, through Leeds Sports Connect, we also offer outstanding opportunities for student-athletes.

Under this pioneering scheme, students can pursue a high-quality education with the college, studying three A levels, without sacrificing development in their chosen sport.

The courses are built around training schedules so participants can enjoy outstanding coaching, in top-class facilities, while pursuing their studies.

Our partners include Leeds Rhinos Foundation, Leeds United Foundation, The Hunslet Club, Ultimate Football Coaching Academy, and Let’s Do More. Click here to find out more about courses at Leeds Sixth Form College.

Student-athlete Kyden ‘over the moon’ at signing for Leeds Rhinos

One of our student-athletes has achieved a lifelong dream by signing for Leeds Rhinos.

Kyden Frater is the latest success story to emerge from Leeds Rhinos Foundation’s Development Academy programme, which is run in partnership with Leeds Sixth Form College and Leeds City College.

He has become the second player from the Development Academy team, following the signing of Mekhi Bridgeman-Reaney earlier this year, to sign a professional contract with the Rhinos.

Fulfilling a childhood dream

Kyden is one of seven members of the Academy squad to have just signed with the rugby league club. A lifelong Rhinos fan, he declared himself ‘over the moon’ – and credited the role of his community club, Milford, and the Development Academy in helping him reach this stage.

He said: “It’s probably one of the best feelings I’ve ever had. Wearing that jersey which I’ve always wanted to wear, for the club I’ve supported since I was a little boy, is something I’ve wanted to do since I started playing rugby.”

Although usually a full-back, Kyden, who helped the Development Academy team reach the College Cup final this year, has already scored a couple of tries on the wing for the Rhinos Under-18s.

The Development Academy’s professional set-up has improved my game

He said: “It’s a good feeling scoring for the Rhinos and hearing the crowd there cheering you on and getting behind you really drives you on.

I played for Milford from a young age up until last year, when I moved into the Rhinos Academy and also played for the Development Academy team, which was great.

“I got to my first ever final and, although we didn’t get the result we needed, to play in my first final at Headingley was a special experience. Everything about the Development Academy is so professional and it’s good because you’re playing in a different environment from your club team, with a different set of mates.

“Some of those lads have never played competitively before so it’s a really good grounding and you definitely learn a lot from the coaches, which helps improve your game.

Kyden, who is studying a level 2 Fitness Instructing (gym) course, is determined to now push on and reach the very top level of his sport.

He added: “Hopefully if I keep working hard then eventually I’ll reach the first team, because that’s the next goal I want to achieve with the club.”

The Development Academy is part of Leeds Sports Connect, which offers quality education and training through a link between Leeds City College and Leeds Sixth Form College and a number of local, professional sports clubs.

Deputy Principal of Leeds Sixth Form College, Ryan Grant, said: “The Development Academy team has had a fantastic year and to see another of their players sign up with the Rhinos is testament to that.

“Kyden has thoroughly earned this opportunity and we’re confident he will achieve great things as he pushes on to the next level.

“Making amazing opportunities like this achievable is the driving force behind the development academy, and Leeds Sports Connect – so it is really rewarding to see student-athletes like Kyden take their chance.

“We’re really proud of him!”

To learn more about the Leeds Rhinos Foundation’s Development Academy click here.

Colleges’ rugby stars in running for top award

Rugby players from Leeds Sixth Form College and Leeds City College could top off a ‘brilliant year’ by winning a major award.

Leeds Rhinos Foundation’s Development Academy team have enjoyed an outstanding season that has seen them reach the National Colleges Cup Final for the first time. They will head to Headingley Stadium for that high-profile clash with Warrington Wolves Development Academy on Wednesday 27 April.

And now the team are celebrating reaching another final – that of the 2022 Leeds Sports Awards, where they have been shortlisted in the Student Sport: Performance category.

They will find out how they have fared on Thursday 12 May when all of the finalists will gather at New Dock Hall for one of the highlights of Leeds’ sporting calendar. 

The fruits of partnership

Deputy Principal of Leeds Sixth Form College, Ryan Grant, said: “To have been shortlisted for this award is a fantastic achievement for the team and yet another sign of what a fantastic season they have had.

“It is also further proof of the massive benefits that our student-athletes, and the sports clubs and groups they work with, can enjoy through our Leeds Sports Connect partnership.

“The team will be rubbing shoulders with some of Leeds’ biggest sporting names at the awards night, including Leeds United and England player Kalvin Phillips – and deservedly so.

“We are delighted to see them flourishing and hope they can go on to score a double victory by winning the cup final and picking up an award.”

Leeds Rhinos Foundation were also thrilled to see the team reach another final. Head of Community, Gareth Cook, said: “It has been a brilliant year for the college programme, with the team reaching their first ever College Cup final.

“We also saw their star centre, Mekhi Bridgeman-Reaney, become the first development academy player to earn a professional contract after a string of impressive performances saw him sign for Leeds Rhinos Reserves.”

Special moment for head coach Harvey

The team will be led out for their cup final at Headingley by Leeds Rhinos Development Academy coach Harvey Whiteley, who is a former Leeds City College Sports student.

Harvey, hoping to round off a fine first season as coach with silverware, said the team were ‘chuffed’ to have been nominated for an award but were fully focused on the big game.

He said: “The lads are over the moon to just get there, I know I am. I’d like to focus on the final for now and then enjoy the sports awards after.”

As for him now coaching the student team, he added: “I’ve sort of gone full circle, having been a student and being tutored by some of the tutors that I’m working with now. It’s a great feeling and it makes it a bit more special.”

Presented by Sport Leeds and Leeds City Council, the Leeds Sports Awards are held each year to celebrate the sporting achievements of local athletes of all ages and levels, along with coaches, administrators and volunteers throughout the past 12 months.

Other finalists in this year’s awards include seven times Paralympic Champion Wheelchair Racer, Hannah Cockroft MBE, England international footballer, Kalvin Phillips, and cyclist, Tom Pidcock MBE.

College’s rugby team edge semi-final cup thriller

Leeds Sixth Form College’s rugby players are celebrating a dramatic semi-final victory which earned them a place in next month’s National Colleges Cup Final. 

The college’s team, which is part of the Leeds Rhinos Development Academy with Leeds Sports Connect, defeated New College Pontefract by scoring in Golden Point of the National College Cup Semi-Final on Wednesday 9 March.

The match was hard-fought and ended all level at 12-12 in normal time, with the Leeds side reduced to 12 men after a late sin-binning – setting up an all-or-nothing Golden Point period.

Leeds Rhinos Development Academy Head Coach, and former Leeds City College student, Harvey Whiteley, said: “The yellow card gave New College Pontefract a real shot in the arm and they managed to pull it back late on, scoring a converted try and a penalty.

“Pontefract then pushed hard for a winner in the last seconds but thankfully we managed to hold out and take the game into Golden Point.

“The hosts, still holding a man advantage, kicked off in Golden Point but the young Rhinos marched downfield with the ball. 

“After brilliant play in the build up from Joe Taylor, Prop Forward Harry Thompson stormed his way under the posts to score the winning try for us. With that, the whistle blew and this sparked jubilant scenes for the victorious Leeds team who have reached their first ever College Cup final.”

Half-time talk turns the match

Harvey credited a motivational talk that was given by the coaches at half-time, when Leeds were trailing 0-4, for sparking the fightback that ultimately led to victory.

Both of the Rhinos tries had come earlier in the second half, when there were scores from rising star Mekhi Bridgeman-Reaney and Tyler Dargan, followed by a penalty goal from Ethan Newboult that gave them a 12-4 lead.

Despite the setback of losing a man and being pegged back to 12-12 in the dying moments of the game, the side showed great resilience to come up with the winning score and clinch their place in the final. 

Posting on Twitter afterwards, Harvey was full of praise for his team’s ‘outstanding effort’. He added: “I am very much looking forward to my first final as a coach.”

The Leeds Rhinos Development Academy team can now look forward to a cup final against either Hopwood Hall or Warrington, who will contest the other Semi Final on Wednesday 16 March.

*Leeds Sports Connect is a partnership between leading local sports providers and two colleges, Leeds City College and Leeds Sixth Form College. The project is designed to give student athletes the best of both worlds by combining professional training with outstanding education.

The project‘s sports partners are: Leeds Rhinos Foundation, Leeds United Foundation, The Hunslet Club, Ultimate Football Coaching Academy, and Let’s Do More, which all have outstanding facilities and coaching regimes.

For more information, please visit https://leedssportsconnect.co.uk/