Many thanks for your interest in LIPA Sixth Form College
This section answers some of the most frequently asked questions that prospective students have – if you are a parent/carer/guardian, you may have other questions, to which the answers may be found in the Parents section of this website. If your question isn’t here, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org
NEW - Is there parking for students?
There is unfortunately no parking onite for students. There are numerous pay and display car parks in walking distance, some much more cost-effective than others, so please speak to tutors for guidance, or visit www.ncp.co.uk
. You may also wish to look at www.merseytravel.gov.uk
for information on bus and rail options. (please note that we are not responsible for the content and accuracy of these websites). We do have secure bike parking available onsite.
NEW - Is there a library we can use which has computers?
LIPA Sixth Form College has its own Learning Resource Centre (LRC) where computers are available for you to use to work independently in your spare time. Tutors will provide you with reading lists and will make these resources available to you. Some printed books will be available for you to access in the LRC, and e-books will be available for you to access in the LRC and at home.
NEW - Will we get access to the main LIPA building?
LIPA Sixth Form College is a completely separate building from The Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts (LIPA), which is essential for safeguarding reasons. Staff and students will gain access to the LIPA Sixth Form College building using a swipe card system at the entrance on Duke Street, opposite the Anglican Cathedral, while visitors and parents will report to our Reception.
We will certainly arrange to visit The Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts building to watch performances and other planned activities, but such visits will be supervised, and it will not be possible for you to access that site on a casual basis.
NEW - Are there any options for extra-curricular activities?
Many new students are interested in extra-curricular opportunities, whether this means continuing their musical interests informally alongside their (non-Music) courses, going on trips to venues, School Council, or other activities. We plan to provide as wide a range of extra-curricular options as possible (time and money allowing!), and will be asking our new students for their ideas once they have officially joined us in September.
NEW - When do we start (2017 entry)?
For those students joining us in September 2017, college will start the week commencing Monday 4 September. The first weekof term will cover induction and orientation in our brand new building, with regular timetables starting shortly afterwards.
NEW - How many days will I attend college each week?
You will not attend college for five days per week - it is likely instead to be three days per week. We cannot confirm which days of the week your lessons will be until after enrolment. We would expect you to be doing work experience activities on days when you are not in attendance at college to support your studies and improve your confidence as a young person aiming to enter this competitive industry.
Term dates for 2017/18 can be found here.
NEW - Do we have to do work experience?
Yes - work experience is a very important element of your BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma studies. We would expect you to be doing work experience activities on days when you are not in attendance at college to support your studies and improve your confidence as a young person aiming to enter this competitive industry. We will support you to find meaningful work experience, which will help you to stand out to employers and universities when you move on to work or Higher Education in 2019.
NEW - What if I don't meet the entry criteria of 5 GCSEs at grade C or above?
If you are concerned that you have not met the entry criteria, please do still come and see us or call us on Thursday 24 August and Friday 25 August. You have already done so much to impress us at audition and interview, so we would certainly want to see you to discuss your results and plans. If you have worries, please feel free to come to see us on 24 or 25 August regardless of the enrolment day/time slot you were sent in the post.
NEW - What is enrolment and when will it take place?
Enrolment is when you officially commit to being a LIPA Sixth Form College student. It will involve a check by LIPA Sixth Form College staff of your exam results slip or certificates, as well as completion of important enrolment paperwork. Enrolment for students starting with us in September 2017 will take place on Thursday 24 August and Friday 25 August. Early in August, you will receive a letter advising of an allocated day and time slot to enrol (morning or afternoon). If possible, try to stick to the day/time suggested.
If you are not able to attend enrolment on these days, for example because of a family holiday, don’t worry, but please do let us know in advance. We would instead request that you or a family member send a photograph of your results in an email and/or that we communicate by telephone. We may be able to offer a different day for enrolment if you advise us in advance. Students who live some distance away from Liverpool will be advised on what, when and how they need to enrol.
NEW - Will lockers be provided?
Yes - these will be in the corridors, and priority will be given to students who need a lot of different clothing and equipment on a regular basis.
NEW - Does everyone have to do Maths and English?
Everyone who attends LIPA Sixth Form College who does not already have GCSE Maths and GCSE English at grade C will need to do these courses alongside their main programme of study. All students, regardless of GCSE attainment, will also be expected to make further progress in their communication and mathematical skills at LIPA Sixth Form College. Opportunities to do this will be embedded in your acting, dance, music or production sessions and assignment tasks, as well as work experience and other activities.
NEW - Will we be expected to wear uniform?
Although there is no 'uniform', all students will be asked to buy a branded LIPA Sixth Form College hoodie and T-shirt from our clothing provider. Some students may be entitled to support with the cost of this equipment. We are currently awaiting information from the Department of Education on this matter and will put this information on the website as soon as we have this. We will also put details of the supplier on the website in due course. In general, there are no restrictions on make-up, hair colour or style of clothing, but we do ask students to dress sensibly for their course of study - please avoid wearing T-shirts with offensive slogans and keep jewellery to a minimum (or, ideally, none at all - piercings are generally acceptable, but for certain classes (such as movement, dance, etc), and for performances, you may be asked to remove them).
NEW - Will the college provide funding for travel passes / help with other costs?
We hope (and expect) to be able provide a modest amount of financial support to students to help with travel and other costs, and are currently awaiting information from the Education Funding Agency on how much will be available. We will let all students know as soon as this is confirmed, and provide information on how to apply for financial support. Please note that although all students will be eligible for apply for discretionary bursaries, these will be means-tested against your household income, so all applications for funding will need to provide evidence of this. The amount of funding available per student cannot be confirmed until we have received and processed all applications for financial support. In the meantime, therefore, we advise you not to buy travel passes or any other non-expensive course-related items until we can confirm details of the funding available and how you can apply for it.
NEW - What does the typical college day look like?
The first lesson of the day will start at 9am, with the college day finishing at 4.30pm. All lessons are 90 minutes long, with an hour's break at lunchtime. However, at different points in the term, students will be required to stay a little later to rehearse and practise for performances. You will always be given at least one week's notice of days when you will be required to stay later.
Can I apply for more than one discipline?
Yes, you can, but you should be clear about the focus of the work in each discipline. If you do apply for more than one discipline, you will need to attend the same number of interview days, since students will be grouped for interview according to discipline. You will also need to prepare specifically the tasks for each discipline for which you have applied, so there will be more preparation work for you to do. If we do offer you a place to study with us, it will be in the single discipline where we feel you will make the most of the opportunities on offer.
If I apply for just one discipline, will I still be able to develop my skills in other disciplines?
We aim to make the curriculum delivery flexible enough to take account of each student’s individual skill, potential and interests. In addition, there may be elements of inter-disciplinary overlap between the units of certain courses - for example, an Acting student might wish to look at singing techniques or movement, or a student of Music Technology may be interested in composition. In any case, inter-disciplinary skills will inform both curriculum and project and production work based upon the composition of each student year group.
What if I am interested mostly in Musical Theatre?
We do not currently offer a BTEC in Musical Theatre in the belief that 16 is too early to specialise in musical theatre performance at the exclusion of broader approaches to performance. We will however undoubtedly be looking at the integration of song, dance and acting through musical theatre material both within our teaching and in our project/production work. As such, good quality musical theatre will be an integrated part of our culture - after all, the best musical theatre performers need to be - first and foremost - good actors.
What if I want to apply for Music Performance as a singer?
Those applying for Music Performance primarily as a singer should be able to display interest in singing work in a range of contexts – rock/pop, jazz, cabaret, musical theatre and, if appropriate, classical. They should also have (and be able to demonstrate) additional interest and potential in general musicianship – that is, theory or creation (i.e. songwriting – lyrics or music) and other instrumental skills.
Will you accept students from 14+, like The BRIT School?
No. You need to be 16 when you join us (and no older than 18 on completing your course) and looking to study creative or performing arts’ subjects at Level 3. You will join us straight from Year 11 (aged 16) and will enter the first year of our two-year BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma courses, which is the equivalent of Year 12.
Is it possible to take a year out/defer my place?
Unfortunately not. As a Sixth Form College (and due to the nature of our funding agreement with the Secretary of State for Education), you need to be 16 to join us and not more than 18 by the time you complete your studies. Given the high volume of applications we expect to receive, your application to study here needs to be made in the year you wish to join us.
Can I join in Year 13 or transfer from elsewhere?
We understand that you (and your parents) may be disappointed that we did not open in September 2015 as originally planned, especially if you have gone on to study elsewhere. We are currently considering if and how we might be able to consider applications from students already enrolled in Years 12 or 13 at another Further Education provider. If this applies to you, please get in touch to discuss your options.
Why are A-Levels not available?
We have decided not to offer A-Levels alongside the BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma, due to the depth and intensity of the course curriculum and requirements, and the focus and commitment needed by students to succeed in their BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma studies.
I have a disability/SEN – can I still apply?
We welcome applications from everyone with a passion for the creative and performing arts. For more information or an informal discussion around additional support available to our students, please contact Amy Deane, Inclusion Manager, before submitting your application.
If you have a disability or SEN, you will be able to access the support of a dedicated Learning Support Coordinator, who will work closely with Learning Coaches to ensure you are able to access the learning and professional development experiences offered and be able to develop your skills, expertise and knowledge. The Learning Support Coordinator will be available to support you across a wide range of student needs – personal, academic, social, emotional, health and/or welfare related - and can be contacted any time after you have received your conditional offer of a place to join us in September 2016. Any support requested will be in complete confidence – please contact us at email@example.com in the first instance.
What can I do to maximise my chances of getting in?
The best thing you can do is to concentrate not only on your studies at school to increase your chances of meeting our minimum GCSE grade requirements, but also to get as much experience as possible. We understand that not everyone will have been able to participate in formal extra-curricular activity, so we recommend that you do, see and find out as much as possible about the discipline you wish to study, think about why it appeals to you, what your ambitions are, and why studying with us would help you to achieve them.
I don’t live in Liverpool/near LIPA. Can I still apply?
Yes. We encourage applications from students across Liverpool, Merseyside and the North West who can demonstrate the aptitude, motivation and dedication to benefit from our creative and performing arts-focused courses, subject to meeting the entry criteria set out in the Admissions Policy. However, please note that we will not be offering any residential accommodation for our students.
Can you help me to find accommodation if I need it?
If you don’t live locally - or within easy travelling distance – you may be considering finding accommodation in Liverpool during term-time. The city has a wide range of accommodation opportunities available for students, and you may find the accommodation office at each of Liverpool’s universities a good starting point. However, please note that LIPA Sixth Form College is unable to recommend any individual accommodation provider, and cannot accept any responsibility for any accommodation arrangements you or your parents/carers/guardians might make.
How much will it cost to study at LIPA Sixth Form College?
There will be no fees to study with us. However, you may be required to have appropriate course-related equipment, in which case a full list will be supplied as part of the enrolment pack for successful applicants. Costs for these will be kept as low as possible.
Does studying with you fast-track me into LIPA for HE?
No – to get onto one of LIPA’s Foundation Certificate or degree programmes, you will still need to apply through UCAS, alongside applicants from other schools, Sixth Forms and Further Education colleges. However, studying with us will undoubtedly increase the range of future opportunities available to you when you leave us.