Students wishing to study A levels with us need to demonstrate their ability to cope with the demands of A level study either by achieving a minimum level at GCSE or by performance in entrance tests. All students entering the Sixth Form need to achieve a minimum of six GCSEs at A*-B with at least As in the subjects they wish to study (or the equivalent in entrance tests) and reach a minimum level in English Language. In practice, we find that most successful A level candidates have at least an A grade in the subject at GCSE.
The majority of students study three subjects in the Sixth Form, for six periods each week; some students study four subjects, for example if they are studying Mathematics and Further Mathematics (plus two other subjects). Quality is more important than quantity in making a decision about which subjects to study. Progression from Year 12 into Year 13 is not automatic and is dependent on achieving at least a C grade in Year 12 exams.
Any combination of subjects is possible (subject to the practicalities of timetabling and minimum numbers), though some combinations will be better than others, particularly if students have clear plans for certain university courses or careers. Students receive detailed advice throughout Year 11 on the implication of their choices.
Students choose from Mathematics, Further Mathematics, English Literature, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Drama & Theatre Studies, Music, History, Geography, Economics, Business Studies, Psychology, RS (Philosophy & Ethics), Art & Design, Design Technology, French and Spanish. English language support is provided to students whose first language is not English. Class sizes vary depending on the popularity of the subject from one to 18; many sets have around 10 students.
In addition, all students are expected to play a full role in the wider life of the school, including further academic and personal development. For example, students participate in physical and other activities, house competitions and events, tutorials and a series of lectures by invited guests on a wide range of topics.