College Context and Admissions

Context of the College

Rochdale Sixth Form College opened in September 2010. The College was set up to address the underachievement at A level in a borough with high levels of deprivation and where performance at GCSE is below the national average. The College was awarded a Grade 1; Outstanding, in the 2013 Ofsted inspection and retained this award after its 2022 inspection. The College was placed at the top of the Department for Education's Performance Tables for Progress in 2014, 2015 and 2016. The majority of students progress to the College from schools within the Rochdale Borough, with around 10% of students on roll from schools outside of Rochdale.

Programme of Study

We offer a wide variety of subjects, ranging from the traditional to those that aren’t
normally available in secondary schools. We have 31 courses on offer, and you have the flexibility to combine almost any of them. The majority of year 12 students study three A level subjects. Further options include studying a combination of a BTEC diploma, with a single A level/BTEC extended certificate or two A levels with a BTEC extended certificate. As well as your chosen subjects you will have at least one hour of enrichment, a group tutorial and a lecture each week. You will also participate in the RSFC Social Development Programme to give something back to your community and to develop essential life and employability skills. Throughout the year you will attend one-to-one sessions with your Student Performance and Development Leader (SPDL), as well as any other sessions as necessary. In year 13, you will continue to study the subjects from year 12 plus a group tutorial and a weekly lecture. There is also the opportunity for students, as part of our Aspire+ programme, to complete the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ). When applying to study with us, you will select four A levels or a BTEC diploma and two A levels to discuss at interview. You will be offered a place on three or four A level courses, or one BTEC and one A level course, dependent upon your predicted GCSE grades and your progression plans. We will make sure that you are placed on the best programme to ensure your success.

Assessment Strategy

To ensure that students are effectively prepared for the terminal examinations and to provide an accurate prediction of what a student is likely to achieve at the end of year 13 we have developed a College-wide assessment strategy. Throughout year 12 and 13 students complete a CAP every half term, based around examination criteria, using past exam questions and exam board exemplar materials. Students also completed a synoptic examination in June of year 12. Students are assessed on all material completed up to the point of assessment with all assessments based upon examination criteria. These assessments are used to inform predicted grades. Students will complete another synoptic assessment in January to support their preparation for the final examinations in summer.


From September 2020 the College operated a hybrid teaching model, 50% in class and 50% accessing lessons online from home, which alternated each week. In January 2021 students accessed lessons online until the end of the lockdown where all students returned to College. Since September 2021 students have been in College full time, accessing lessons online if isolating due to covid.