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Welcome to Ifield Sixth Form

The Ifield LINK Centre – Learning with Ifield and North Kent College

Ifield provision for students aged 16 to 19 was established in 2006 as “Ifield at NWKC” with a single year cohort.  Initially the small group of students and staff were accommodated in an older building within what was then North West Kent College.  The provision was immediately popular with students and their families and Ifield Post 16 grew steadily over the next three years until the three classes we have to this day were established.  Thames, Medway and Darenth were chosen as names that reflected the location of the facility that lies just south of the iconic River Thames, and in September 2009 Post 16 moved into the newly built accommodation of ‘C’ Block.  The relocation gave students better access to high quality ICT facilities and they were more fully integrated within the mainstream college.  Ifield’s three ground floor classrooms were situated alongside North West Kent College’s own supported learning provision and staff and students from the two provisions became used to sharing the facilities and occasionally held joint events. 

Since 2009 Ifield Post-16 changed its name to Ifield Sixth Form and North West Kent College has become North Kent College.  The next phase of college development proved even more spectacular when the decision was made to relocate supported learning provision, Gateway, from Dartford to the Gravesend Campus.  Another move was required and ‘H’ block, previously the home of the Hair and Beauty Faculty, was chosen to house Ifield Sixth Form and Gateway learners in one self-contained block.  Building began in earnest during the summer break of 2016 and in September 2016 the Sixth Form moved into their new accommodation which quickly became known as The LINK Centre (Learning with Ifield and North Kent).  This collaboration has resulted in students having access to three classrooms, a sensory circuit room, health care suites, and a well-resourced food technology room, life-skills flat and workshop.

At the end of key stage 4 students move on to a variety of different programmes, and for most this means that they choose to continue their learning pathway with Ifield Sixth Form.  The Sixth Form pathway begins with an Individual Study Programme.  The outcomes described in each student’s Education Health and Care Plan Form the basis of an Individual Study Programme so that learning is directly related to their aspirations and interests, and prepares them for adulthood. 

Learning pathways at Sixth Form have a clear focus on each student’s intended destination which may include employment (supported or independent), further education, and supported or independent living.  Some students attend Ifield Sixth Form for a single year before moving on to another further education facility, whilst other students stay on for two or three years.  Such flexibility allows the Individual Study Programme to accommodate the specific requirements of each student.

Every Individual Study Programme includes the development of English, Maths and ICT functional skills at a level appropriate to the student.  Students also engage in work related learning and personal and social development skills.  The study programme is designed to increase independence at a pace that provides sufficient challenge for each student.

Each student is assigned to a learning group along with other students who are following a similar learning pathway.  Break and lunch times as well as individually chosen options provide opportunities for students to socialise beyond their learning group and within the wider college community.

Functional English and mathematics are incorporated into all learning including vocational lessons such as food technology.

Forest School

Students at the Sixth Form have access to the Forest School where there is a strong emphasis on problem solving, working as part of a team and developing independence.

Speech and Language Support

Ifield Sixth Form students and their families have access to a dedicated member of the school’s Speech and Language Team and a Learning Mentor.  Where students are identified as requiring additional support with communication and interaction, the Speech and Language therapist, in collaboration with teaching staff, can devise a programme for an individual or a small group of students to address each student’s needs.  The programme can be delivered by the therapist or, with guidance from the therapist, by Sixth Form’s class-based Learning Mentor who has received specific training in this field.  Speech and Language professionals also support students who require social stories or symbols to help with communication.

Sensory Support

The Sixth Form Sensory Centre is used by many students to extend their learning experience and initiatives designed to broaden students’ understanding of themselves and the world in ways that are effective and enjoyable.

Pastoral Support

Each student is assigned a personal tutor and can access a range of services to remove barriers to learning and support progress.  A student’s personal tutor will liaise with the student and their family during any given academic year and will facilitate Education, Health and Care Plan reviews.  The team of tutors at Sixth Form is led by a Head of Sixth Form and overseen by the Head of School.  Pastoral support is also provided by the Assistant Directors and the school nurse regularly visits Ifield Sixth Form to support with health care questions and specific health issues.

Careers Information Education Advice and Guidance

Students at Ifield Sixth Form have a variety of opportunities to gain information, advice and guidance relating to their future destinations. 

In class students routinely learn about work and life as part of their lessons.  Functional English, mathematics and ICT not only develop skills that will help them negotiate work, home and leisure activities and enrich their life experiences but also incorporate learning about options that they might consider in their future lives.

The Head of Sixth Form, as part of a collaboration between special schools in Kent, provides Careers Information Education Advice and Guidance to students who attend a partner special school; in return a teacher from that school provides the same service for Ifield students.

Ifield Sixth Form also works with CxK, an organisation that provides us with access to a professional careers advisor who delivers a group session followed by one-to one guidance for students who will be leaving Ifield at the end of the academic year.  This links with and builds upon the provision offered to Key Stage 4 students at Ifield School.

Students are offered the opportunity to attend a variety Careers Fairs and Work Related Learning events across the academic year.

Work Experience

Ifield Sixth Form works with outside agencies, local businesses and the Ifield School community to provide appropriate placements for each student.  All agencies involved in work experience share a joint philosophy enabling students to achieve their full potential through expectations that are realistic and challenging. Industries in the local area welcome students and the school enjoys a good reputation in the community. 

Work experience placements usually take place one day each week over a designated period, for example a term.  Each placement is chosen to match the specific interests, aptitudes and skills of individual students and is risk assessed by the Sixth Form Work Experience Co-ordinator.  All students are accompanied by a Teaching Assistant when taking part in work experience placements.  Employers value Ifield’s commitment to supporting work experience; the positive relationships that have been nurtured with local businesses enable students to have a selection of opportunities and experiences to choose from.

Every student keeps a diary about their work placement which includes photographs, information about key skills, what they learnt, use of equipment and self and employer’s evaluation.  This is an important aspect of a student’s work experience and is used as a reminder of their achievements and to support applications for future apprenticeships, employment or supported internships.

Key Stage 5 Curriculum Proportions

Individual Study Programme Percentages





Independent Living Skills


Food Technology


Creative Enterprise






Creative Arts / Sports & Dance Leaders options


Where the student is participating in work experience they will be given opportunities during the rest of the week to catch up with English, mathematics and any accreditation they are pursuing.



  • Ofsted Outstanding
  • The Cedar Federation
  • Ifield Smile
  • KsENT
  • SEN Specialist Schools
  • International School Award
  • Kent County Council
  • Arts MArk
  • Healthy Schools
  • Sport England
  • iNet