Units, Examinations and Grades
Most two year A level courses consist of four units, although some subjects such as the sciences and Mathematics consist of six.
A Level results will be graded A*-E for pass grades with U (unclassified) for fail.
The school offers the opportunity of students completing the AQA Baccalaureate programme of study consisting of the following four areas:
• A Levels: At the end of year 12, students following the AQA Baccalaureate will continue to study at least three subjects to A2 level.
• Broader study: This is to develop the knowledge, understanding and skills across areas not covered by the students A Levels.
AQA Baccalaureate students will follow a General Studies course.
• Enrichment: Students have to demonstrate 100 hours commitment in two out of the three following core areas: (1) work related learning; (2) community participation and (3) personal development;
• Extended Project (EPQ): This can be a standalone qualification as well as part of the Baccalaureate. Students will start this in the Summer of Year 12 after completing their AS examinations. A student can chose a topic either related to his/her A-Level studies or completely independent. There will be 120 guided hours available, 30 will be delivered by a teacher (e.g. research skills) and 90 consisting of seminars, tutorials and independent study. (see below for more detail)
The AQA Baccalaureate is a demanding academic course and is not appropriate for every student in the Sixth form. Students will be asked to apply to study this programme of learning. It is primarily aimed at the more able student and when discussions take place about the suitability of an applicant to study the Baccalaureate factors such as AS results, academic assessments and learning behaviours will be taken into consideration.
Extended Project Qualification (EPQ)
The EPQ is an opportunity for students to produce an extended piece of work of their own choice, with guidance from staff, which is assessed at school and then moderated by the exam board. This could be in the subject area the student wishes to study at university but that is not part of their school curriculum (e.g. Medicine), or simply an area of personal interest unrelated to their other studies. An EPQ is a unique and exciting opportunity for students to manage their own learning and is highly regarded by universities. Some universities are now offering a lower offer when including the EPQ in the application. It is worth the same UCAS points as an AS level, but is at A2 level and includes A* award.
Key Skills such as time management, communication, the ability to give presentations and numeracy have become more prominent over the past few years. As an institution we are aware of their importance and develop them within both the curricular and extra-curricular activities provided by the School. Tutors are aware of their importance and refer to them where appropriate when completing references for careers or higher education applications.
Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE)
All students will follow a programme of PSHE. Students will study topics such as self harm, sexually transmitted diseases, drugs, drink, and cancers that are more prevalent among younger people. The programme is flexible and will vary from year to year in order to react to, and reflect, current issues.
These periods are also extensively used to monitor students’ progress, develop action plans and to research careers and higher education.
Games are offered to all Sixth Formers, possibly alongside some enrichment activities such as voluntary work in the community, debating teams, beginners Italian, cooking and others. This is compulsory in Year 12, but voluntary in Year 13.