Sixth Form news

Year 12s at BMW – presenting ideas to staff after working with apprentices on the problem of charging electric cars


Year 12s present their ideas on how to save water and sewage misuse to staff at Severn Trent Water – after taking part in a sustainability project


Year 12 students graduate from the Scholars Programme/Brilliant Club at the University of Nottingham

All students passed the course but particular congratulations to Isra Zaman and Muhammad Niyaz who were awarded 1st class honours.


Gurdeep Garcha, Barrister with Citadel Chambers talks to Sixth Form about his education and career!

Gurdeep hails from Smethwick from a family where his parents didn’t attend university and couldn’t speak English when they arrived in the UK and Gurdeep didn’t believe he could ever become a barrister, in his own words ‘he wasn’t white, he wasn’t middle class, he didn’t speak posh – but with a Brummie accent and he didn’t attend a grammar or private school’  BUT when his teachers told him he was bright but must work hard and he could achieve anything he wanted he did just that.  

Gurdeep did not mind telling the sixth form that he earned over 6 figures but that his work was very hard and at times stressful as he prosecutes and defends very serious criminal cases in the Crown Court.  He went on to say that it was exciting and never the same, that he loves every minute of it and can’t wait to get to court each morning.


Keeley- Marie Sheward has just been offered a fantastic work experience placement at a great law firm WG Gowling – they received 250 applications for 12 places and she got one – pretty fantastic!


Well done - Usamah Din, Imraz Ahmed, Keeley-Marie Sheward, Yasmin Nur, Ayesha Asad and Ahmed Yusuf  for being accepted onto the Realising Opportunities Programme – they will be working with many Russell Group universities and receiving support and guidance about their next steps


Sixth Formers were treated to a really inspirational talk form Trusha Kachhela, one of the partners at PwC.

Trusha hails from a very similar background to many of our  children and talked not only about her work but about how so often working class and cultural mind sets, which can lead to a lack of confidence and belief in one’s self, limit our aspirations and ultimately our achievements.  She told us how she didn’t feel good enough to apply for a directors role and then finally to become a partner as she thought people like her just didn’t do that and all the partners, at that time, were white men.  If it hadn’t been for this is a really important message, just today some of the year 13s who had written nice questions to ask her begged me not to call on them to stand and ask them.


Nabil and Rami have been accepted onto the UoB Routes to the Professions Programme for Engineering

‘Congratulations to Nabil Hasan and Rami Hassan for being accepted onto the University of Birmingham Routes to the Professions Programme for engineering’


Previous Students' return

‘Ex-students, now studying at universities across the Midlands, joined year 1s1 to share their experiences of university and their time in our 6th form.

It was wonderful having them with us again and we send them our thanks and love as they continue on their journey.’


A double whammy!

Muhammad Niyaz, Tahira Hussein, Rahmah Mohamed and Halima Bibi are successful candidates for the Aston University Medical School Pathways Programme.  Congratulations! (top)


Kanwal Saleem, Mohammed Din, Sana Zaheer, Rami Hassan, Nasifah Begum and Isra Zaman have been accepted onto the Aston Pathways Programme.  Well done! (bottom)


Sixth Form meet Kimberley Scharf - Professor of Economics at the University of Birmingham

Professor Kimberley Scharf Economics Professor at UoB talks to sixth form students about aiming high, not being afraid to fail but to keep trying until goals are achieved…


Year 12's awarded places on Teach First Programme

Delighted year 12s are awarded places on the Teach First  Futures Programme which involves a week at an oxbridge college.


Online mentoring with Brightside trust and Barclays

Year 13 students accepting certificates from the Brightside Trust after successfully engaging with Barclays employees during an on-line mentoring programme. 

All students were commended for their motivation to learn as much as they could from Barclays staff.  


Year 12 students raise money for WildHearts, raffle prize winners collect their prizes.

Students raised almost £200 during November, almost 1 loan!

All funds will do via the WildHearts charity to women in developing countries  The charity loans around £200 to each woman to set up a small business.  They repay their loans and so more women are given similar loans.

Our students - who took part in the project - kept diaries which will be submitted to Deloitte who will then select some for a week’s work experience.


Wissam has an interview with MIT!

Year 13 student Wissam Zendjebil has an interview with MIT.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is a private research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA. It is often ranked as one of the world's most prestigious universities. Founded in 1861 in response to the increasing industrialization of the United States, MIT adopted a European polytechnic university model and stressed laboratory instruction in applied science and engineering. Researchers worked on computers, radar, and inertial guidance during World War II and the Cold War. Post-war defense research contributed to the rapid expansion of the faculty and campus under James Killian. The current 168-acre campus opened in 1916 and extends over 1 mile along the northern bank of the Charles River basin.

Good luck, Wissam!


Bilal recieves an A2B!

Bilal Ghuffar is our first student to receive an A2B offer from UoB. 

He has applied to study Law and the main offer is 3 Aa – the A2B offer is ABB!!

But he will get 3As and will be rewarded  with £1,500 free money each year.

He took his oxbridge entry exam before half term but is already in a very good position with such a great offer from UoB.


HUGE congrats to Almas Ali, Naiima Cumar, Rakhe Khanom, Umar Adil and Ali Kassam (missing from photo) who have secured a paid – yes paid 3 week summer placement with Ernst Young Foundation.  They will earn around £450.00 each, nice bit of spending money for the hols PLUS a great experience.

Lots of our 6th forms applied and there were hundred of applicants across the Midlands.  Students had to apply and have a phone interview.


Year 11 Taster Day for Sixth Form - advance information. We are inviting all prospective students in Y11 that have applied and been interviewed to try out our subjects with our teachers here at the academy on the morning of Thursday 29th June. Get to know more about your future sixth form! Details will follow. Please keep this date free. Ramadan Mubarak to all those observing Ramadan.


High Achieving Students

Our high achieving year 12s who applied for the prestigious and highly competitive Social Mobility Foundation programme have been accepted.

53% of students supported by the SMF have gained places at Russell Group universities each year and they support high achieving students from low income backgrounds across the UK from lower sixth/S6, into competitive universities, and the top professions. It’s open to motivated, ambitious students from less privileged backgrounds.

Students receive  support through our four pillars:

Mentoring by a professional via email

Tailored skills sessions and career workshops

University application support and guidance

Internships with top employers

Offering support to young people interested in:

Accountancy | Architecture | Banking & Finance | Biology & Chemistry| Business | Engineering & Physics | Law | Media & Communications | Medicine| Politics | Technology| No Preference

Once students reach university, support from the SMF doesn’t stop. They will be kept up-to-date with undergraduate opportunities, such as summer internship and job vacancies at top firms and organisations and give them exclusive advice through our undergraduate skill sessions for their next step, such as how to write a CV that will get them noticed and how to make the best impression at an assessment centre day for competitive graduate jobs.

This is not just a great achievement for these students but for the staff at St Alban’s  - there were 7 students this year who met the required criteria of  5As at GCSE – more than last year!  (Nagwa decided not to apply as she was accepted onto the Aston Medical School Programme)  Everyone doing fantastic job!


Day in the Life of a Lawyer

Ali Kassam, Almas Ali, Bilal, Shabi Khan and Umar Adil have been selected to attend a Day in the Life of a Lawyer at  Gowling WLG next week.  This could lead to work experience and opportunities with large corporations like

Barclays, Deutshe Bank, Aston Martin, ITV and Wasps, so is a really great opportunity.  There is also the possibility of outstanding students on the day being supported to make an application to the  Legal Social Mobility Foundation.   

Haleema Abdul Galeel was also selected but she is going to Poland to visit Auschwitz that day – wow!


Sixth Formers accepted onto new Univeristy of Birmingham programme

Nadir Said and Shabi Khan have been accepted onto the UoB ‘Routes to the Professions – Financial Services Programme’

This is a new programme at Birmingham, they have offered law and medicine for many years and this new stream will be most useful to our business students.  This is a great achievement as it is a very competitive programme as you can imagine.

The boys will benefit from taster lectures, e-mentoring, help finding placements and work experience and lots of careers guidance from people at the heart of the industry.


January News

4 year 12s: Mona Mirzai, Belkis Bibi, Ayesha Asad and Nagwa  Saeed have been accepted onto the Aston Medical School Programme (yes Birmingham now has 2 medical schools) – Aston will be recruiting students who satisfy the widening participation criteria  which is HUGE for our students.  These students will have:

  • taster days  at the medical school
  • a clinical mentor
  • clinical work experience  
  • careers advice & guidance about the many healthcare pathways


Maher Ali, Almas Ali. Ali Kassam and Shabi Khan – were selected by Price Waterhouse Cooper for an 8 day work shadowing programme at their offices over the next two years.  They are learning so much about the corporate world.


After taking part in a fund raising programme called Micro-Tyco (a partnership between the charity Wildhearts and Deloitte) 5 6th formers: Ali Kassam, Almas Ali, Ubah Hashi, Mustafa Nassir and Anmole Khan were selected for a week’s work experience with this top global organisation – we attended a celebration event this week where we met the founder of the charity and Deloitte apprentices.  The project was to raise as much money as possible in one month from £1 – the money raise (almost £500 from our academy) is then used to give small loans to women in developing countries.  Amazing stories of how poor communities are working to improve their own lives because of something students in UK are doing!!  Please show the videos below – in that order and talk to your students about this wonderful project that our 6th form students are involved with.


10 6th formers are working with year 6s from Percy Shurmer – helping them prepare for their SATs tests – working on comprehension and numeracy.  AND over 60 6th formers will have mentored a year 7/8 this year.


Ashna Omar, Ali Kassam and Umar Adil have just been accepted onto a prestigious ‘Routes into the Professions Law Programme’ at the University of Birmingham.  This will be a year of taster lectures, mentoring from a law student and meting law professionals.  Many 6th formers attend Masterclasses at Aston, UoB and BCU throughout the year – they attend without staff and enjoy this great opportunity to find out more about specific degress and career areas.


Nasrin Zarin, Zayd Ahmad, Reem Taleb, Chloe Dobson, Ashna Omar, Tony Lu, Naseer Hassan, Rakhe Khanom and Haleema Abdul Galeel were  all  accepted onto a wonderful programme with Teach First – The Futures Programme which will provide free Russell Group university visits,  a week at Oxbridge in the summer, employability sessions and a corporate mentor – woo!!


A level success!

In 2016 our students achieved a 99% A level pass rate and a 100% BTEC pass rate - among the best in the city.  Our student progress also puts us in the top 10% of Sixth Forms nationally.

In 2016, 92% of our students progressed to university – with a third of students securing places at Russell Group universities, the top institutions in the country.

In 2016, our students were also awarded £39,000 in university scholarships and bursaries which are available exclusively to Ark students to provide financial assistance during their time at university.

This is the second year for A level results at Ark St Alban’s Academy after the sixth form opened in September 2013.  Results improved significantly in 2016 with 97% of students achieving three A levels or equivalent at A* - E.  Those achieving three A levels has also jumped to 95%, up from 70% in 2015. 

There were notable successes in English, History, Geography and RE A level, all of which achieved 100% grades A* - C pass rates – with 100% of Arabic A level students achieving grades A* - B.  This set of results place St Alban’s second highest in the Ark network.


First Birmingham Kaplan Scholar for three years

2015 saw the first Kaplan Scholar from Birmingham in three years is sixth form student Tayyaba from St Alban’s Academy in Highgate.  She is just one of eight young people from across the UK to be selected for Kaplan’s prestigious Accountancy Scholarship, from hundreds of applicants.

Each year, Kaplan awards school-leavers from across the UK Accountancy Scholarships, each worth £15,000, to study for an Accountancy Apprenticeship (ACCA, CIMA, ICAEW, CIPFA or CTA) followed by the chance to carry out further professional Accountancy qualifications.

After achieving A levels in Maths, Urdu and ICT, plus BTEC business level 3, Tayyaba is now working at a Birmingham based firm. 

Read more here





Engineering success for Masooma

Sixth form student Masooma is celebrating having just secured an engineering apprenticeship that will help her realise her dream of becoming a professional engineer.

"Ever since I’ve been a very young girl I’ve always been very interested in the things that surround us – what they are made from, and how they are made. Everything around us is engineered – the chair you’re sitting on, the laptop you’re writing on, this school building."

"The world around us is developing all the time - and engineering is involved in all of that. I want to be involved in the future – to find solutions to problems and be part of the development that happens around us every day."

Read more here


St Alban’s sixth formers excel at tackling world issues

Students from St Alban’s Academy have wowed schools from across the UK with their debating skills during a Model United Nations conference. 

300 students from across the UK took part in the educational simulation, in which students learn about diplomacy, international relations, and the United Nations, at Joseph Chamberlain Sixth Form in Birmingham. Of those 300, two students from St Alban’s Academy in Highgate achieved recognition - Samira Ali was awarded best resolution of the conference and Zakaria Mohammed won most effective speaker.

Read more here


St Alban’s student wins top innovation prize

A Year 13 student from St Alban’s Academy in Highgate was celebrating last night after winning the Millennium Point Young Innovator Prize - an initiative which has secured him a place on a sponsored undergraduate degree at Birmingham City University in the Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment (CEBE).

Malik Sheryar-Karamat was one of four finalists at the event and his prize is a sponsored place on a mechanical engineering degree at Birmingham City University which he started studying in September 2015.

Read more here