Both examination results and evidence from the inspection indicate that pupils achieve at a high level and make good progress.

ISI 2013


A Level studies begin in Lower Sixth (Year 12) and are continued into Upper Sixth (Year 13).

Most students will have previously studied GCSEs or IGCSEs, although some international students may have studied other equivalent courses.  A Level studies in the Sixth Form give our students the satisfying opportunity to study a small number of subjects at a much higher level.  Class sizes are kept even smaller than at GCSE, with an average of less than 9 students per class, enabling students to gain a significant amount of teacher support. Greater emphasis is placed on students showing increased responsibility for their independent studies to support their understanding of the course. However, we understand that this can be a challenging transition and our teachers frequently provide extra support outside the timetabled lessons.

A Levels are sometimes called General Certificates of Education (GCE) or Advanced level. You will start with AS Level, a qualification in its own right. If you enjoy the subject and want to learn more, you can continue studying at A2 Level. Students usually take 1 year to complete the AS and a further year to complete the full A Level.

A levels are highly valued by universities and employers and have been used as a benchmark to judge student ability for more than 60 years.  Students have a free choice of 3 or 4 subjects from the list below. It is usual to study 4 subjects in the Lower Sixth followed by 3 in the Upper Sixth.  

A Levels are assessed and marked in a variety of ways. The AS examination is taken at the end of the Lower Sixth and full A Levels are examined at the end of the Upper Sixth. You may also be assessed through coursework, which can include research, essays, projects, investigations, artwork, fieldwork, experiments or other practicals. Your teacher will plan when you complete your coursework but it can be completed at any point throughout your course.  The course specification will tell you how that subject is assessed.

The subjects we offer are:

  • Art: (Fine Art or Graphic Designs or Photography or Textiles)
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Classical Civilisation
  • Computing
  • Design Technology (Resistant Materials, Graphic Products or Textiles.)
  • Drama
  • Economics and Business Studies
  • English Literature
  • French
  • German
  • Geography
  • History
  • Latin
  • Mathematics, which may also be taken with Further Mathematics
  • Music
  • Physical Education
  • Physics
  • Psychology
  • Religious Studies
  • Spanish

Most international students also follow a course in English as an Additional Language (EAL) leading to the IELTS qualification. International students who need a good level of support in English are advised to follow three AS subjects to allow sufficient time for EAL.

The curriculum is also structured so that the possibility of starting a new AS subject is also available in the Upper Sixth from the list above. There are also additional courses on offer in the Upper Sixth such as the Extended Project Qualification and Politics AS.

The options systems in the Sixth Form is re-designed each year to accommodate all pupils' preferred choices as far as is possible. Pupils are asked to select their choice of subjects by February in each year and advice to help them make their choices is carefully planned. The option blocks are then constructed from these choices. Sixth Form students are given the opportunity to make changes to their final choice of AS subjects after the GCSE results are published.

To study A Levels in the Sixth Form, pupils are expected to achieve at least six GCSE passes at grade C, including passes in English Language and Mathematics, and three passes at grade B or higher. Most students will achieve rather higher grades than this requirement.

Both examination results and evidence from the inspection indicate that pupils achieve at a high level and make good progress.

ISI 2013
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