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Lipa Sixth Form College

Where Performance Matters

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FAQs for parents

Frequently Asked Questions for parents

Many thanks for your interest in LIPA Sixth Form College.

This section answers some of the most frequently asked questions that parents/carers/guardians may have - if you are considering applying to study at LIPA Sixth Form College, you may have other questions, to which the answers may be found in the Apply section of this website. If your question isn’t here, please get in touch at enquiries@lipasixthformcollege.org

How will my child benefit from studying with you?  

The key benefits for our students are listed on in About Us on this website. In addition, we feel that our offer is unique because of our size, specialist focus, structure and organisation, student support and safeguarding approaches, and our special relationships with both LIPA (the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts) and with professional contacts within the industry. We are the only Sixth Form College in Liverpool to focus solely on BTEC Level 3 qualifications in the creative and performing arts and one of a handful of similar institutions in the UK.

Is a career in the creative and performing arts a realistic ambition?  

Going on to work in the creative and performing arts industry is about far more than simply performing, and, during their time with us, our students will find out about a wide range of career options – both on-stage and behind the scenes. Taking our cue from LIPA, we (and our related industry professionals) will support our students to find out about the wide range of possible careers open to them. We are the natural first step towards entering further study or employment focused on developing a career within the creative and performing arts.

How are you different from the Sixth Form at my child’s current school? 

Our key point of difference from ‘traditional’ school Sixth Forms is the opportunity we offer for students to mix with similarly-motivated and creative and performing arts-focused peers. We feel this creates a learning environment unlikely to be experienced anywhere else.

However, like ‘traditional’ school Sixth Forms, our ethos is to support our students as they grow and develop into young adults (as well as performers and creatives) and to provide our students with a safe, secure learning environment, where creative risks are encouraged by tutors and industry professionals experienced in their field.

Won’t it be hard for my child to start at a new college?  

Not at all. If anything, your child will benefit from being in a small, specialist post-16 learning environment with like-minded people who live, breathe and sleep the creative and performing arts. Working in small groups within a safe, supportive environment, and with the support and guidance of tutors, Learning Coaches and access to a Learning Support Coordinator if needed, your child is likely to settle in well, particularly as our practical, vocational approach to learning throws everyone in together, doing what they enjoy from day one!

In addition, a range of safeguarding, anti-bullying and student support policies are in place to ensure your child flourishes on a personal level in addition to developing his/ her performance or technical abilities.

What does the average day look like?  

Specific information relating to term dates, the length of the studying day and timetables will be distributed to students during the enrolment and induction sessions at the end of August/beginning of September 2016. In general, however, our average day will be in line with the traditional school day, influenced by the need for students to safely access public transport at the start and finish of the day. The study day may be extended slightly in the run-up to performances (which will take place in evenings and at weekends), but otherwise all teaching and practical activity (including workshops and rehearsals) will take place during the core day.

As you would expect, we ask that our students ensure that their attendance levels remain high from the outset and ask that you, as a parent/carer/guardian support them to do this, by encouraging regular attendance, independent study, the completion of homework, etc. and by not arranging holidays during term-time.

Can my child still apply for university with a BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma?  

The BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma is nationally recognised as equivalent to three A-Levels, with up to 420 UCAS points available on completion. It is accepted by many universities as an alternative entry route and, in some cases (depending on the Higher Education course chosen), a specialist Level 3 vocational qualification may even be preferred by a university. You will need to look at each university’s prospectus individually to see the requirements for entry onto its degree courses, or speak to their Admissions team.

Does studying with you fast-track my child into LIPA for Higher Education (HE)?  

No. Studying here does not guarantee your child progression onto a degree course at LIPA and s/he will need to apply through UCAS, in line with applicants from other schools, Sixth Forms and FE colleges. However, studying here will undoubtedly increase the range of future opportunities available to your child when s/he leaves us, and s/he may consider continuing his/her creative and performing arts studies at HE level. In addition, we will be arranging for our students to attend relevant LIPA shows and to take part in activities to give them an invaluable insight into studying at Higher Education level at LIPA.

How will I be kept informed about my child’s progress?  

In addition to regular student/Learning Coach meetings, we will provide written reports on your child’s progress throughout both Year 12 and 13. We will also hold Parents’ Evenings, for you to discuss your child’s progress with teaching staff. An Information Evening for parents/ carers/guardians will be held shortly after the beginning of term in September 2016, at which you will be able to find out more about how we can work with you to support your child’s learning.

Who do I contact if I have a query about my child’s progress? 

 Each student will have a named Learning Coach, who should be your first contact for any issue. If unable to assist you, s/he will then be able to direct your enquiry to the most relevant colleague, or to the Director of Sixth Form if need be.

I don’t live in Liverpool/near LIPA. Can my child 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 for my child if needed?  

If you live further afield, you may be concerned about the impact of daily travelling on your child and his/her learning, and may prefer that s/he lives in Liverpool during the week, and returns home at weekends. Liverpool has a wide range of accommodation opportunities available for students, and we can send you an accommodation leaflet outlining options to successful applicants.

We are currently in discussion with the company behind Cathedral Chambers, a series of five-bedroomed houses set in extensive, landscaped grounds minutes away from LIPA, and where many of LIPA’s undergraduate students currently live during term-time, to designate a number of properties especially for LIPA Sixth Form College students. Please contact Rachael Christie, Marketing & Admissions Manager on 0151 330 3232 or enquiries@lipasixthformcollege.org or more information on this. However, please note that accommodation arrangements are your sole responsibility as parent/carer/guardian.