Alive Curriculum KS5
As at Key Stages 3 and 4, our Key Stage 5 curriculum is designed to equip students with the key knowledge and skills that will lead to success within each subject specialism and in their later life but also to develop our range of Alive values, skills and attributes which allow each individual to develop their unique gifts to the fullest extent and to benefit from a learning experience which is greater than the sum of its parts: a human being “fully alive”.
As with all areas of school life, teaching and learning is under-pinned by our ALIVE values and in particular the value we place on diversity and choice. As a result of this commitment we aim to offer as wide a range of A Level courses as possible.
Our VIP, Extension and Pastoral programmes provide a broad coverage of personal, social, health and relationships education, in addition to the political awareness and thinking skills to be fully engaged global citizens, and preparing students for the wide range of progression opportunities post-18. Through these programmes and our one-to-one support of students they are encouraged to develop the ALIVE qualities which include the transferable skills required by HE and the world of work, to contribute to the school and wider community through volunteering, and to actively engage through seminars and practical experience with the world of work.
Full Time Programmes of Study
The government expects a full-time student in Year 12 or Year 13 to study for at least 580 ‘Planned Learning Hours’ and will only allocate the full student funding to the school on this basis. We will only very occasionally allow a student to begin the year as part-time, and this is normally for health reasons or because they are in their third year in the Sixth Form.
Any Year 12 on 3 or 4 subjects with the addition of registration, and Core and Extension Studies fulfils the full-time criteria.
All Year 13 must take an additional option that takes at least an extra hour per week in order to be full-time.
This could be:
- Extended Project or Mathematical Studies
- Work-experience or volunteering (or a combination of these), which can be in blocks of time or spread through the year – in-class support of younger students is the easiest option here and highly encouraged
- An alternative approved course provided through the school or online
- Timetabled library lessons to support your private study (only if your tutor agrees that you would be unable to cope with the above options)
Year 13 students opting for work-experience or volunteering will need to meet with the Enrichment Coordinator and agree the objectives of this placement, which must be appropriate to an A Level student, and then identify an option which meets these objectives. The Sixth Form will communicate these to the placement and check up on your progress, and you will also be asked to review the progress of your placement towards your objectives at the middle and end of the year.
Dropping a Subject
Any student wishing to change their agreed programme of study must do so through a proper process of consultation with their teachers, tutor and parents, with final approval by their Head of Year or Mr Shaw.
- Speak to their teacher FIRST to discuss how they feel, then speak to their tutor. If they agree that this should be considered then they will give the student a consultation form to collate the views of their tutor, teachers and parents/carers.
- When this is completed and if approved by the Head of Year or Mr Shaw, a new timetable will be issued – they can then stop attending those lessons.
- Students wishing to reduce from 4 to 3 A levels need to discuss this carefully with their Head of Year and should not presume it will be approved. This reduces the options from which students can choose their three final A Level subjects at the end of Y12 and students frequently misjudge how well they are doing in their various subjects so this should not be rushed.
- Students wishing to reduce to 2 subjects in Y13 will normally not be allowed to do so and a discussion with their Head of Year will definitely be required.
- Students wishing to change one subject for another must discuss what would be involved in catching up on any work missed. This is normally manageable within the first 3 weeks of a course but unlikely to be approved after this point.
- If a student leaves the Sixth Form before the end of the course they will need to pay for any exams for which you have been entered if this is beyond the point where fees can be refunded. As students are required to stay in full time education or training until age 18 we will seek to place students elsewhere and notify the Local Authority it we are unable to do so.
Click here for a Dropping of Subject Form.
The documents below enable you to see which subject combinations are possible within the Sixth Form curriculum. This subject matrix changes each year as we build our option blocks around student choices. In the matrix we try to accommodate almost all of the subject combinations for which students apply. You can choose only one subject from each block, although many subjects appear in more than one block. Most students do four subjects in Year 12 and three in Year 13, with the potential addition of our supplementary qualifications which are Mathematical Studies or the Extended Project qualification in Year 13.
Our Core, Extension and Pastoral programmes provide a broad coverage of personal, social, health and relationships education, in addition to the political awareness and thinking skills to be fully engaged global citizens, and preparing students for the wide range of progression opportunities post-18. Through these programmes and our one-to-one support of students they are encouraged to develop the ALIVE qualities which include the transferable skills required by HE and the world of work, to contribute to the school and wider community through volunteering, and to actively engage through seminars and practical experience with the world of work.
The Options Matrix for the forthcoming academic year (2024-25) will be here in Feb/March 2024.
Each year we produce promotional leaflets for each subject offered in the Sixth Form. The subject leaflets for the 2023 enrolment are available here.
AS Level Options
This document explains which subjects can be taken at AS Level within our Sixth Form: