Choosing your Options

One of the benefits of the Sixth Form is the opportunity to experience a free choice of subjects. The chance to put together a programme of courses that suits your personal interests, strengths and future career needs is exciting. This brings with it the responsibility of ensuring that you make the right choice.

Linear A Levels

Changes to A Levels have been introduced by the Government over the last three years so that the course will be linear with all assessments at the end of two years of study.

The first of the new A Levels was introduced for teaching in September 2015. The general expectation is that students will choose three A Levels in Year 12 and continue with those subjects for two years. Assessment on the A Level course is designed to test your understanding of the whole two year course, not just Year 13. Where appropriate academically, we will consider allowing students to sit four subjects, although this is not expected.

Applied A Level Courses

These are vocational courses linked to a broad occupational area. They are more careers focused than traditional A Levels and are an alternative route to Higher Education. The qualification is assessed using assignments or coursework and some exams.

Applied A Level courses can be studied as Single or Double Awards. The Double Award is equivalent to two A Levels and the Single Award is equivalent to one A Level.

BTEC Courses

BTECs are work-related qualifications, suitable for a wide range of students, which are designed to accommodate the needs of employers as well as allowing progression to university. They provide a more practical, real-world approach to learning alongside a theoretical background, and can be taken as well as, or instead of, A Levels.

They provide a specialist work-related qualification that covers the key knowledge and practical skills required in the vocational sector and also offer different emphasis through the choice of specialist units. It can be the equivalent to one or two A Levels depending on the qualification taken. Students should be aware that some of these are two year courses only.

Extended Project Qualification

The Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) enables students to carry out independent research into a topic of their choice. By taking responsibility for the choice and design of an individual project (or an individual role in a group project) they:

  • Become more critical, reflective and independent learners
  • Develop and apply decision making and problem solving skills
  • Increase their planning, research, analysis, synthesis, evaluation and presentation skills
  • Learn to apply new technologies confidently
  • Demonstrate creativity, initiative and enterprise

Students will be asked to indicate an interest in Year 12 with a view to completing the qualification by the November of Year 13.

Choosing the Right Course

When choosing your subjects, you will need to consider a number of points such as:

  • How interested you are in the subject
  • How well you have performed in the subject up to now, if it is not a new subject
  • What your prospects are of success at a higher level
  • If you have a particular university course or career in mind, what are the entry requirements?

Seek advice and information.

You have plenty of opportunity over the next few weeks/months to gain information and opinions:

  • Ask your subject teachers about their subject and for their opinion of your suitability
  • Look into new subjects which have not been offered before
  • Ask current Sixth Formers for their opinions
  • Seek careers advice
  • Talk to the Sixth Form Leadership Team
  • Read the Options Booklet.

Subjects Offered

Course Level Additional Entry Requirements
Accounting A Level Grade 5 in GCSE Mathematics or 4 in Maths & Grade 5 in two Sciences, Grade 4 in English
Art, Craft and Design A Level Grade 5 in GCSE Art
Biology A Level Grade 6 in Combined Science or Biology plus Grade 6 in another Science, Grade 5 in Maths
Business A Level Grade 4 in English and Mathematics, Grade 5 in Business
Chemistry A Level Grade 6 in Combined Science or Chemistry plus Grade 6 in one other Science, Grade 6 in Maths preferred

Design & Technology

Product Design

A Level A good GCSE pass is desirable
Economics A Level Grade 5 in Mathematics, English and Science
English Language A Level Grade 6 in English Language and Literature
English Literature A Level Grade 6 in English Language and Literature
French A Level Grade 6 in GCSE French
Geography A Level Grade 5 in Geography, Grade 5 Mathematics, English and Science
German A Level Grade 6 in GCSE German
Health & Social Care – Certificate BTEC Level 3 Grade 4 at GCSE in five subjects to include English and Maths and/or BTEC Level 2 in Health & Social Care
Health & Social Care – Diploma BTEC Level 3 Grade 4 at GCSE in five subjects to include English and Maths and/or BTEC Level 2 in Health & Social Care
History A Level Grade 4 in History, Grade 5 in English
ICT – Cambridge Technicals OCR Level 3 Level 2 Pass in an ICT course
Mathematics A Level Grade 7 in GCSE Mathematics
Mathematics – Further Mathematics A Level Grade 8 in GCSE Mathematics
Music A Level Grade 5 in GCSE Music and Grade 5 Instrument
Performing Arts BTEC Level 3 GCSE Drama or BTEC Performing Arts preferred but not essential
Physics A Level 6 in Combined Science or Physics plus one 6 in another science plus Grade 6 in GCSE Mathematics
Physical Education A Level Grade 6 PE at GCSE
Physical Education – BTEC National Certificate in Sport BTEC Level 3 Grade 4 in English and Mathematics
Psychology A Level Grade 5 English, a Grade 6 in two Science GCSEs, 5 Mathematics
Religious Studies A Level Grade 6 in English or Grade 6 Religious Studies
Science – Medical Science Diploma A Grade 5 in in two Sciences at GCSE, Grade 5 in English and Mathematics
Sociology A Level Grade 4 in English
Core Mathematical Studies Level 3 Grade 5 in Mathematics
Young Enterprise Company Programme
Courses available across the District Various