• Art & Design

    Examination Board: Edexcel

    Subject Entry Criteria
    Students must have achieved at least Grade 6 in GCSE Art and are expected to have extensive experience in drawing, painting and working with a variety of media.

    Why study A-Level Art and Design?
    Studying A-Level Art and Design will help you to develop creative, imaginative, intellectual, and analytical skills. Students will have the opportunity to investigate, experiment, extend and refine practical skills as well as develop aesthetic understanding and critical judgement. The course encourages you to think independently and intuitively, explore your own ideas, problem-solve, refine your skills and produce personal outcomes.

    The majority of our students achieve A* – B grades. Students will be fully prepared for an Art foundation, university course in Art and Design and of other subjects. We have a proven track record of our artist alumni attending the most prestigious Art-based courses in higher education. Students will learn how to collate a portfolio of work and will also be encouraged to create blogs or visual diaries of your work. A-Level Art can lead to careers in advertising, animation, architecture or landscape design, film director or producer, multi-media programmer, art critic or historian, art therapy, fashion design, fine art, furniture or product design, graphic design, illustration, interior and special design, jewellery design, make-up, marketing, museum/gallery curation, photography, printmaking and textile design, production, set design and web design. Non-Art university courses also recognise a variety of transferable skills that are developed through A-Level Art and it is an excellent way to add diversity to a students’ skill set.

    Course Outline
    Unit 1 (combined coursework contributes 60% of A-Level grade)

    Personal Project and dissertation

    • This unit is undertaken throughout both years of the course. Students begin by learning new materials and techniques and focus on developing and refining their practical skills. They learn to take creative risks and experiment with their ideas. During the first year students will produce a project of work based on a given title and develop a personal response.
    • In the second year of the course students produce a personal project. The starting point for the project is selected by the student and requires more independent thinking and investigations. For this unit students will also need to produce a 1000-3000 word personal study/dissertation, along with supporting artwork which must link to the students’ area of investigation. The aim of this project is to develop the students’ writing and art historical skills, which should influence their main outcome(s).

    Unit 2 (40% of A-Level grade)

    Externally Set Assignment
    For this unit students will be set an Externally Set Assignment (ESA) in February of Year 13 which will contain a suggested starting point from Edexcel. Students can choose how to develop from this starting point and explore their ideas around it. This will culminate in an examination of 15 hours, which is now referred to as a Period of Sustained Focus. Students will have from 1st February until the commencement of the final set Period of Sustained Focus to develop their preparatory studies. The Period of Sustained Focus will be undertaken in examination conditions, over multiple sessions in May of Year 13.

  • Biology

    Examination Board: AQA

    Subject Entry Criteria
    Students must have achieved at least Grade 7 in GCSE Biology or Grades 77 in GCSE Double Science and Grade 6 in GCSE Mathematics.

    Why study A-Level Biology?
    A-Level Biology will appeal to students who like solving problems within the context of planning and conducting investigations; will enjoy devoting private study time to the background reading of biological reviews and other scientific articles; are keen to develop the skills necessary to work safely with apparatus, biological material and living organisms; have an appreciation of life and living organisms and an interest in technological applications and their ethical, social, economic and environmental implications. A-Level Biology is an excellent preparation for entry to degrees leading to careers in medicine, osteopathy, homeopathy, nursing, social work, physiotherapy, pharmacy, agriculture, horticulture, food industry, forensic science, environmental science, botany, freshwater and marine biology, applied biology, ecology, sports science, genetics, optics, microbiology and biochemistry.

    Course Outline
    Biology is a natural science and is concerned with the study of life and living organisms, including their structure, function, growth, origin, evolution, distribution, and taxonomy. Whilst all the theory is covered there is a strong practical element where students develop their skills both to work independently and collaboratively.

    Paper 1 and 2 (each paper contributes 35% of A-Level grade)
    In both of these papers students will be assessed on any content from Topics 1 – 4.

    • Topic 1: Biological molecules examines basic understanding of monomers & polymers, carbohydrates, proteins, lipids, nucleic acids, ATP, water and inorganic ions.
    • Topic 2: Cells examines eukaryotes, prokaryotes and methods of studying cells, as well as transport across the cell membrane along, cell recognition and the immune system.
    • Topic 3: Organisms exchange substances with their environment examines gas exchange, digestion and absorption, and mass transport in both animals and plants.
    • Topic 4: Genetic information, variation and relationships between organisms examines DNA, genes and chromosomes, DNA and protein synthesis, genetic diversity, species and taxonomy and biodiversity within a community.

    Paper 3 (30% of A-Level grade)
    In this paper students will be assessed on any content from Topics 1 – 8. 

    • Topic 5: Energy transfers in and between organisms examines photosynthesis, respiration, energy and ecosystems and nutrient cycles.
    • Topic 6: Organisms respond to changes in their internal and external environments examines internal and external stimuli, and how they are detected, nervous coordination, skeletal muscles and homeostasis.
    • Topic 7: Genetics, populations, evolution and ecosystems examines inheritance, mathematical models of populations, evolution leading to speciation and populations in ecosystems.
    • Topic 8: The control of gene expression examines alteration of the sequence of bases in DNA, control of gene expression, using genome projects and gene technologies.

  • Chemistry

    Examination Board: Edexcel

    Subject Entry Criteria
    Students must have achieved at least Grade 7 in GCSE Chemistry or Grades 77 in GCSE Double Science and Grade 7 in GCSE Mathematics.

    Why study A-Level Chemistry?
    Chemistry is essential for some careers/degrees and desirable for many others e.g. medicine, pharmacy, dentistry, biochemistry, chemical engineering, nanotechnology, alternative fuels, polymers, science teaching, nursing, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, forensics, materials design, scientific patent law, homeopathy, business, computational modelling, environmental management.

    Course Outline
    A-Level Chemistry suits individuals who are focussed, able to think laterally, have good mathematical skills and an ability and desire to question results and analyse data. Chemists need to be methodical in their approach as practical work often needs to be repeated numerous times until the desired results are obtained. Therefore, a student who has the drive to continue at a problem until the desired result is achieved will do well. Students use their knowledge and understanding of fundamental chemistry concepts to explain different aspects of contemporary chemistry such as pharmaceuticals.

    Paper 1: Advanced Inorganic and Physical Chemistry (30% of A-Level grade)

    • In this unit students will examine the following topics: Atomic Structure and the Periodic Table; Bonding and Structure; Redox I; Inorganic Chemistry and the Periodic Table; Formulae, Equations and Amounts of Substances; Organic Chemistry I; Modern Analytical Techniques I; Energetics I; Kinetics I; Equilibrium I; Equilibrium II; Acid-Base Equilibria; Energetics II; Redox II; Transition Metals.

    Paper 2: Advanced Organic and Physical Chemistry (30% of A-Level grade)

    • In this unit students will examine the following topics Atomic Structure and the Periodic Table; Bonding and Structure; Redox I; *Inorganic Chemistry and the Periodic Table; Formulae, Equations and Amounts of Substances; *Organic Chemistry I; Modern Analytical Techniques I; Energetics I;  Kinetics I; Equilibrium I; Kinetics II; Organic Chemistry II, Organic Chemistry III, Modern Analytical Techniques II.

    Paper 3: General and Practical Principles in Chemistry (40% of A-Level grade)

    • Questions in this paper may draw on any of the topics covered in units 1 and 2, and will include synoptic questions that may draw on two or more different topic areas.

    This paper will also include questions that assess conceptual and theoretical understanding of experimental methods that will draw on students’ experience of the core practical’s covered in the A-Level course.

  • Computer Science

    Examination Board: OCR

    Subject Entry Criteria
    Students must have achieved at least Grade 7 in GCSE Mathematics and have programming knowledge at least equivalent to that required for a Grade 7 in GCSE in Computer Science.

    Why study A-Level Computer Science?
    Computer Science is a subject which is central to the way we live today. This is a very technical subject with heavy mathematical aspects in the form of data representation and logical computer programming. Many of the aspects in this course will help students understand how we have reached the digital renaissance which we are currently living through.

    Course Outline
    This course will give students an in depth knowledge into a plethora of different aspects of computing. Unit 1 is specifically targeted at Program and Algorithm design giving pupils the necessary skills to develop their own program in the non-exam assessment. Unit two focuses on the theoretical aspects of computing, how and why they work, why we use networks and mathematical aspects of computing. The non-exam assessment is the chance for pupils to create their own application and manage their own project. Students put the skills developed in Unit 1 into practice to design, plan, create and evaluate their own unique project.

    Paper 1: (40% of A-Level grade)

    • This unit examines students on their ability to programme via an on-screen examination using Python 3. To prepare for this examination, students will be given a pre-release paper and will be required to modify, expand and develop this program in the examination setting. Students will also be examined on their theoretical knowledge of the fundamentals of programming, data structures, algorithms and the theory of computation, to demonstrate their understanding of code.

    Paper 2: (40% of A-Level grade)

    • For this unit students examine how computers handle complex tasks and perform the functions that users take for granted. This unit has strong mathematical aspects, which highlight how computers can be used to perform complex tasks and serve as general purpose devices for many aspects of modern life. This topics covered in this unit include: *fundamentals of data representation and computer systems; *computer organisation and architecture; *the consequence of computer uses, *fundamentals of communication and networking; databases, systematic approaches to problem solving and Big Data.

     

    Paper 3: (20% of A-Level grade)

    • This unit is a non-examination assessment (coursework) which allows students to develop their practical skills in the context of solving a realistic problem or carrying out an investigation. The project is intended to be as much a learning experience as a method of assessment; students have the opportunity to work independently on a problem of interest over an extended period, during which they can extend their programming skills and deepen their understanding of computer science. Students will select a project that interests them, solving a real need, undertake and document the system development life cycle and apply their programming skills to develop a unique and advanced program which solves the problem they identified.

  • Drama and Theatre

    Examination Board: OCR

    Subject Entry Criteria
    Students must have achieved at least Grade 6 in GCSE English Literature and a Grade 7 in GCSE Drama.

    Why study A-Level Drama and Theatre Studies?
    Drama and theatre studies will help create independent students, critical thinkers and effective decision-makers – all personal attributes that can make students stand out as they progress through their education and into employment.

    A-Level Drama and Theatre challenges students and develops a number of transferable skills:

    • Research, independence, working with others, communication, problem solving, planning and organising, drive and determination.

    Course Outline
    This course would suit those who are keen to pursue their interests and develop their skills in a range of practical drama elements including acting and directing. The requirements of the specification, with 70% of the course focused on written elements this qualification also enables students to gain an entry qualification for courses in higher education, whether in the area of drama and theatre or in a host of other subjects.

    Practitioners in Practice- 40%

    • Students will create their own devised performance influenced by the work of others. This must include:
      • The study of two centre chosen practitioners.
      • The study/exploration of an extract from a relevant supporting text (chosen by the centre).
    • In addition to the performance, students will be marked on an accompanying research report and portfolio with evidence of the process and decisions made whilst creating and developing their performance.

    Exploring and Performing Texts- 20% 

    • Students will produce a performance based on a text chosen by the centre, which will assess their chosen theatrical skill (performance)
    • Students will be required to produce an accompanying concept document which outlines their intentions for the performance.

    Analysing Characters- 20%

    • Students will be assessed on their knowledge and understanding and their ability to analyse and evaluate
    • In section A students will explore practical themes using extracts from two different texts Caucasian Chalk Circle – Bertolt Brecht and “The House of Bernarda Alba” – Federico Garcia Lorca on the theme= Family Dynamics
    • In section B students will analyse and evaluate a live theatre production they have seen.

    Deconstructing Texts for Performance- 20%

    • This component requires students to study one set text in detail “The Crucible”- Arthur Miller

    The paper will contain questions about directorial decisions for the text and assesses students’ knowledge and understanding of how Drama and Theatre is created and developed for performance.

  • Economics

    Examination Board: Edexcel

    Subject Entry Criteria
    Students must have achieved at least Grade 6 in GCSE Mathematics and Grade 6 in GCSE English Language or GCSE English Literature.

    Why study A-Level Economics?
    Students can go on to study an economics degree with a focus on theory or a degree in applied economics such as environmental economics, labour economics, public sector economics or monetary economics. Alternatively, students may choose to study a business economics or mathematical economics degree. Post-university employment rates for economists are among the highest for graduates. Economics students are likely to find employment in finance, banking, insurance, accountancy, management and consultancy.

    Course Outline
    Economics A-Level will appeal to students who want to develop an understanding of the wider economic and social environment and they will develop the ability to adopt an enquiring, critical and thoughtful approach to their studies. Many of the skills, qualities and attitudes which are developed by studying economics will equip them for the challenges, opportunities and responsibilities of adult and working life.

    Paper 1: Markets and Business Behaviour (35% of A-Level grade)
    This paper will assess microeconomics and questions will be drawn from Themes 1 and 3.

    • Theme 1: Introduction to markets and market failure will examine the nature of economics, how markets work, the application of supply and demand analysis to real-world situations, the nature and cause of market failure and government interventions to remedy market failures.
    • Theme 3: Business Behaviour and the labour market will examine the reasons for business growth, demergers and why some firms do not grow at all; business objectives; revenues, costs and profits and how they are linked to different market structures; the role of competition in business; the application of supply and demand to the labour market.

    Paper 2: The National and Global Economy (35% of A-Level grade)
    This paper will assess macroeconomics and questions will be drawn from Themes 2 and 4.

    • Theme 2: The UK economy – performance and policies will examine measures of economic performance; aggregate demand and aggregate supply models; national income; economic growth and different approaches used by policymakers to address macroeconomic issues.
    • Theme 4: A global perspective will examine the significance of globalisation, international trade, the balance of payments and exchange rates; poverty and inequality; emerging and developing economies; the financial sector and the role of the state in macroeconomic policy.

    Paper 3: Microeconomics and Macroeconomics (30% of A-Level grade)
    This paper will assess content across all 4 themes. This paper will require students to apply their knowledge and understanding to make connections and transfer high order thinking skills across all of the themes covered in the A-Level course.

  • English Literature

    Examination Board: AQA

    Subject Entry Requirements
    Students must have achieved at least Grade 7 in GCSE English Literature and Grade 6 in GCSE English Language.

    Why study A-Level English Literature?
    A-Level English Literature enables students to develop their analytical and discursive skills. It requires strong oral, as well as strong writing skills. The study of English Literature also provides an excellent foundation for most career options, and is considered one of the traditional highly academic subjects by top Universities.

    Course Outline
    English Literature is the study of literature from across the centuries, prose, poetry and drama. Students are encouraged to develop an understanding of Literary Theory, the Canon, as well as historical and social context to the texts they are studying. There is also the opportunity, during the second year, for students to undertake an independent study focusing on selected texts of their choice.

    Paper 1: Love through the Ages (40% of A-Level grade)

    • For this unit students will study one poetry text and one prose text, of which one must be written pre-1900, and one Shakespeare play. This unit will be assessed by a 3-hour examination, which will include one passage based question on a Shakespeare play, a compulsory essay question on two unseen poems and one essay question linking the two texts studied on the course.

    Paper 2: Texts in Shared Contexts (40% of A-Level grade)

    • For this unit students will study three texts: one prose, one poetry and one drama, of which one must have been written post-2000. The texts can either be related to World War one and its aftermath or modern literature ranging from 1945 to the present day.  This unit will be assessed by a 2½ hour examination.

    Paper 3: Independent Critical Study: Texts across Time (20% of A-Level grade)

    For this unit students will write a 2,500-word comparative critical essay of two texts, one of which must have been written pre-1900. This unit will be examined by teachers and moderated by the exam board.

  • French

    Examination Board: AQA

    Subject Entry Criteria
    Students must have achieved at least Grade 7 in GCSE French.

    Why study A-Level French?
    Language learning provides students with a sound basis for further study of languages at degree level or equivalent. Modern language A-Levels are well-regarded by universities for entry to a wide range of degrees, including law, economics and business. French A-Level provides students with the knowledge and skills required for careers in linguistics and employment in companies trading with French-speaking countries.

    Course Outline
    French A-Level is a stimulating and informative subject, if you are interested in politics, people, culture, history, current affairs, sociology and geography. It can help develop an interest in language learning and promote an understanding of the language in a variety of contexts. It facilitates foreign travel by enabling students to communicate confidently and to display an awareness of contemporary society and culture. Students will also be able to acquire knowledge, skills and understanding for practical use, further study and employment.

    Paper 1:  Listening, Reading and Writing (40% of A-Level grade)

    • For this paper students will study current issues and trends in the French speaking society, artistic culture in the French-speaking world, aspects of political life in the French speaking world and grammar. The listening component of the exam will require students to listen and respond to spoken passages from a range of contexts and sources. Students will also be required to read and respond to a variety of texts written for different purposes, drawn from a range of authentic sources and adapted as necessary. Material will include complex factual and abstract content and questions will target main points, gist and detail. All questions are in French and are to be answered with non-verbal responses or in French.

    Paper 2:  Writing (30% of A-Level grade)

    • For this paper students will study either a text and a film or two texts from a set list. There will be no access to the texts, film or a dictionary in the exam. Students will be required to offer a critical appreciation of the concepts and issues covered in the work and a critical and analytical response to features such as the form and the technique of presentation, as appropriate to the work studied (e.g. the effect of narrative voice in a prose text or camera work in a film).

    Paper 3:  Speaking (30% of A-Level grade)

    • For this unit students will be required to carry out a presentation and answer a series of questions on an individual research project. Students will also be required to discuss one of four sub-themes e.g. current issues and trends in the French speaking society, artistic culture in the French-speaking world or aspects of political life in the French speaking world.

    Students learn a range of language skills: the ability to communicate confidently in French, to understand and respond to written French and to translate coherently from French into English and from English into French at A-Level. They also learn to structure essays using increasingly accurate, complex and varied language and to display critical thinking and analytical skills. Most lessons are conducted in French to maximise the development of students’ language skills.

  • Further Mathematics

    Examination Board: Edexcel

    Subject Entry Criteria
    Students should have achieved at least Grade 8 in GCSE Mathematics.

    Why study A-Level Further Mathematics?
    Students taking Further Mathematics overwhelmingly find it to be an enjoyable, rewarding, stimulating and empowering experience. For someone who enjoys mathematics, it provides a challenge and a chance to explore new and/or more sophisticated mathematical concepts. It enables students to distinguish themselves as able mathematicians in the university and employment market. Students who take Further Mathematics are really demonstrating a strong commitment to their studies, as well as learning mathematics that is very useful for any mathematics rich degree. Some prestigious university courses will only accept students with Further Mathematics qualifications. It is increasingly becoming an essential or preferred qualification for many mathematics rich courses including physics, engineering and economics at some universities.

    Course Outline
    A-Level Further Mathematics is made up of four units; each unit contributes 25% of the total marks and will be assessed in a 1 hour 30 minute paper at the end of the second year of study. Each paper is worth 75 marks and the final grade will be awarded on the basis of the total marks on all four papers; individual papers will not be graded.

    Papers 1 & 2: Core pure mathematics (50% of A-Level grade)

    • For these papers students will study proof, complex numbers, matrices, further algebra and functions, further calculus, further vectors, polar coordinates, hyperbolic functions and differential equations.

    Paper 3: Further Pure Mathematics 1 (25% of A-Level grade)

    • For this paper students will study further trigonometry, further calculus, further differential equations, co-ordinate systems, further vectors, further numerical methods and inequalities.

    Paper 4: Further Mechanics 1 (25% of A-Level grade)

    • For this paper students will study momentum and impulse, collisions, centres of mass, work and energy, elastic strings and springs.

     Calculators
     Calculators are allowed on all four papers. Calculators used must include the following features:

    • An iterative function
    • The ability to perform calculations with matrices up to at least order 3 x 3
    • The ability to compute summary statistics and access probabilities from standard statistical distributions

    A Casio FX-991ESPLUS-SB-UH has all the necessary features.

  • Geography

    Examination Board: AQA

    Subject Entry Criteria
    Students must have achieved at least Grade 6 in GCSE Geography and Grade 6 in GCSE English Literature or GCSE English Language and Grade 5 in GCSE Mathematics

    Why study A-Level Geography?
    Geography A-Level is well-regarded for entry to degree courses in specialist subjects such as Geography, Geology and Meteorology.  It is also seen as an excellent foundation for many other university courses due to the research and analysis skills which are developed throughout the course. The course also provides students with a number of skills relevant to many different sectors of employment such as advertising, finance, business, environmental management and law due to its focus on people and the skills that are taught. Independent learning, self-motivation and decision making are vital in A-Level Geography and these skills are highly regarded by future employers in a range of sectors. Geography promotes learning outside the classroom as much as possible and recent residential fieldtrips to Bournemouth have been a huge success. 

    Course Outline
    This course provides a strong foundation for understanding the three main themes of the subject: human geography, physical geography and fieldwork. Physical geography looks at the scientific aspects of our world and emphasises the way humans can help to manage them. Human geography on the other hand explores how people and groups move and live in the world around us and focuses on a range of current issues such as energy conversation. The fieldwork looks at testing a hypothesis and studying the theory through practical activities. 

    Geography A-Level is likely to appeal to students who are interested in the world around them and who want to develop their understanding of the global issues which threaten to destroy our planet.  A keen interest in the environment is essential, although a natural curiosity about people and the countries or cultures they come from is also necessary. The course will provide students with opportunities to visit places of geographical interest as well as a three-day residential fieldtrip that is vital for the completion of the A-Level.

    Paper 1: Physical Geography (40% of A-Level grade)

    • This unit comprises three sections; Water and Carbon Cycles, Hot Desert Environments and Hazards. This component accounts for 40% of the A-Level and requires students to sit an exam lasting two and a half hours.

    Paper 2: Human Geography (40% of A-Level grade)

    • This unit comprises three sections; Global Systems and Governance in section A, Changing Places in section B and Population and the Environment in section C. This component accounts for 40% of the A-Level and requires students to sit an exam lasting two and a half hours.

    Paper 3: Geographical Investigation (20% of A-Level grade)

    • This unit requires students to complete an individual investigation which must include data collected in the field. The individual investigation will be based on a question or issue defined and developed by the student relating to any part of the specification content. Each student will be required to produce a report of between 3000-4000 words.

  • Government & Politics

    Examination Board: Edexcel

    Subject Entry Criteria
    Students must have achieved at least Grade 6 in GCSE English Language or GCSE English Literature and Grade 6 in GCSE History if studied.

    Why study A-Level Government and Politics?
    This A-Level provides students with adaptable skills which enable them to understand and assess ideas and arguments and to construct and communicate clear answers to problems based on well-validated evidence. It is suitable for progression to degree courses such as politics and international politics/relations, history, law, geography, economics, social policy and business.  The study of politics can lead to a variety of careers within areas such as law, journalism and broadcasting, business, management, publishing, local government, public policy and policy research, interest groups, local government and the voluntary sector, as well as within politics itself.

    Course Outline
    Politics exists because people disagree. They disagree about how they should live (moral questions), about who should get what (resource questions) and about who should make decisions (power questions). As an activity, politics is the process through which people with different ideas, values, opinions and interests attempt to find a way of living together within the same society. Politics therefore seeks to establish the general rules under which we live and it is those rules that make orderly existence possible. In Politics the emphasis is on debate, discussion and argument.

    Politics suits students who have an interest in the world around them and want to know more about how society works and how it could be changed; enjoy debate and discussion and are comfortable with the fact that there are no simple ‘rights’ or ‘wrongs’ in politics; like to think independently and want to develop their own views; enjoy weighing up and evaluating evidence. The course involves student-centred learning, using presentations, debates, case studies, discussions, video and audio-based exercises, note-taking and individual research. Students are expected to read a newspaper regularly and carry out internet research.

    Component 1: UK Politics (33.3% of A-Level grade)

    • Political participation: students will study democracy and participation, political parties, electoral systems, vetoing behaviour and the media.
    • Core political ideas: students will study conservativism, liberalism and socialism.
    • ASSESSMENT: 2-hour examination (two 30-mark essay questions, one 24-mark essay question).

    Component 2: UK Government (33.3% of A-Level grade)

    • UK government: students will study parliament, the constitution, the Prime Minister and executive, relationships between the branches.
    • Optional political ideas: students will study one of the following topics: anarchism, ecologism, feminism, multiculturalism or nationalism.
    • ASSESSMENT: 2-hour examination (two 30-mark essay questions, one 24-mark essay question).

    Component 3: Comparative Politics (33.3% of A-Level grade)

    • USA: students will study the US constitution and federalism, US congress, US presidency, US supreme court, civil rights and democracy and participation.
    • This unit will also have a “comparative” aspect where the political systems of the US is analysed in comparison to the UK.

    Assessment: 2-hour examination (two 12 mark questions, two 30-mark essay questions).

  • History

    Examination Board: Edexcel

    Subject Entry Requirements
    Students must have achieved at least Grade 6 in GCSE History and Grade 6 in GCSE English Language or GCSE English Literature.

    Why study A-Level History?
    History A-Level is well-regarded for entry to degree courses in history, politics, law, business, English literature, economics and many others. It develops a number of skills relevant to many types of employment, such as the ability to seek information and to analyse it in order to identify facts and motives and to present information clearly for others to understand e.g. careers in law, business, journalism, teaching, museums, galleries, heritage sites, record offices and archives, libraries, national and local government and the civil service. History A-Level is likely to appeal to those students who have an interest in the world around them, the society they live in and how it has developed; like learning about people, how they interact and what motivates them; like learning about different countries, societies and cultures; enjoy discussion, debate and argument; like to think for themselves and develop their own views; enjoy research and analysing material to check for bias and propaganda.

    Course Outline
    The course provides opportunities for student-centred learning, using a variety of methods including presentations, debates, case studies, discussions, video and audio based exercises, note-taking and individual research.

    Paper 1: Britain 1625-1701: Conflict, Revolution and Settlement (30% of A-Level grade)

    • To prepare for this paper students will study the key features of 17th century Britain; which include the English Civil War and the emergence of Oliver Cromwell. This time period is considered to be of significance due to the decisive shift in the balance of power between crown and parliament that occurred.

    Paper 2: Russia in Revolution 1894-1924 (20% of A-Level grade)

    • To prepare for this paper students will study in depth the causes, course and consolidation of the Russian Revolution of 1917. Students will gain an in-depth understanding of revolutionary activity in Russia in the years 1894 to 1917, the response of successive governments to opposition to their rule, and the reasons for the successful consolidation of the revolution of October 1917 under Lenin and the Bolsheviks.

    Paper 3: Germany 1871-1990 United, Divided and Reunited (30% of A-Level grade)

    • To prepare for this paper students will study the ways in which Germany evolved as a new state in Europe undergoing dramatic changes of fortune, set within broader long-term social and economic developments (after 1945, these focus on West Germany). A dynamic empire ended in a brutal war and defeat; out of the ashes of imperial Germany, first a democratic republic and then an extraordinary dictatorship came into being, followed once again by democracy and finally a new unity in 1990.

    Paper 4: Interpretations of an historical event (20% of A-Level grade)

    • The purpose of this coursework is to enable students to develop skills in the analysis and evaluation of interpretations of history in a chosen question, problem or issue as part of an independently researched assignment.

  • Ivrit

    Examination Board: AQA

    Subject Entry Criteria
    Students must have achieved at least Grade B in GCSE Modern Hebrew.

    Why study A-Level Ivrit?
    The course is stimulating, informative and a boon to anyone planning to spend time in Israel. It also provides students with a sound basis for further study, whether in British or Israeli Universities.

    Modern language A-Levels are well-regarded by universities for entry to a wide range of degrees, including law, economics and business. Modern Hebrew A-Level provides students with the knowledge and skills required for careers in linguistics and employment in the growing number of companies trading with Israel.

    Course Outline
    The course has been designed to enable students to develop their linguistics skills alongside their understanding of Israeli culture and society. A broad area of study has been selected and certain aspects have been prescribed for closer examination. Students study technological and social change, looking at diversity and the benefits it brings. Students will study highlights of Israeli artistic culture, including art and architecture, and learn about Israeli politics including political engagement amongst the young. Students also explore the influence of the past on present day Israel. Throughout their studies, they will learn the language in the context of Israel and learn about the issues and influences which have shaped the country. Students will study texts and film and have the opportunity to carry out independent research in an area of their choice. Assessment tasks will be varied and cover listening, reading and writing skills.

    Paper 1: Reading and Writing (42.5% of A-Level grade)
    This unit will assess the following topics, through a 2 hour 30 minute exam

    • Aspects of Modern Hebrew-speaking society past and present: past and current trends
    • Aspects of Modern Hebrew-speaking society past and present: past and current issues
    • Artistic culture in the Modern Hebrew-speaking world past and present
    • Aspects of political life in the Modern Hebrew-speaking world past and present
    • Grammar
    • Individual research project (one of four sub-themes)

    Paper 2: Writing (20% of A-Level grade)
    This unit will assess the following areas, through a 2 hour exam

    • One text and one film or two texts from the list set in the specification
    • Grammar

    Paper 3: Listening, Reading and Writing (37.5% of A-Level grade)
    This unit will assess the following topics, through a 2 hour 30 minute exam

    • Aspects of Modern Hebrew-speaking society past and present: past and current trends
    • Aspects of Modern Hebrew-speaking society past and present: past and current issues
    • Artistic culture in the Modern Hebrew-speaking world past and present
    • Aspects of political life in the Modern Hebrew-speaking world past and present
    • Grammar

  • Mathematics

    Examination Board: Edexcel 

    Subject Entry Criteria
    Students must have achieved at least Grade 7 in GCSE Mathematics.

    Why study A-Level Mathematics?
    Mathematics is an essential or highly desirable qualification for a wide number of careers and university courses (e.g. mathematics, economics, business, accountancy, engineering, medicine, sciences, social sciences, law) and is highly valued by employees because of the problem-solving nature of the discipline.

    Course Outline
    The course is designed to encourage students to develop their understanding of mathematics and mathematical processes in a way that promotes confidence and fosters enjoyment; develop abilities to reason logically and recognise incorrect reasoning, to generalise and to construct mathematical proofs; extend their range of mathematical skills and techniques and use them in more difficult, unstructured problems; develop an understanding of coherence and progression in mathematics and of how different areas of mathematics can be connected; recognise how a situation may be represented mathematically and understand the relationship between ‘real-world’ problems and standard and other mathematical models and how these can be refined and improved; use mathematics as an effective means of communication; read and comprehend mathematical arguments and articles concerning applications of mathematics; acquire the skills needed to use technology such as calculators and computers effectively, recognise when such use may be inappropriate and be aware of limitations; develop an awareness of the relevance of mathematics to other fields of study, to the world of work and to society in general; take increasing responsibility for their own learning and the evaluation of their own mathematical development.

    All students study pure mathematics, mechanics and statistics. Pure mathematics will be assessed by two 2-hour examinations both of which will assess all of the pure mathematics content. Mechanics and statistics will be assessed by one 2-hour examination.

    Content

    • Pure Mathematics: Proof, Algebra and functions, Coordinate geometry, Sequences and series, Trigonometry, Exponentials and logarithms, Differentiation, Integration, Vectors, Numerical methods.
    • Statistics and Mechanics: Statistical sampling, Data presentation and interpretation, Probability, Statistical distributions, Statistical hypothesis testing. Quantities and units in mechanics, Kinematics, Forces and Newton’s laws, Moments.

    Calculators
    Calculators are allowed on all four papers. Calculators used must include the following features:

    • An iterative function
    • The ability to compute summary statistics and access probabilities from standard statistical distributions

    A Casio FX-991ESPLUS-SB-UH has all the necessary features.

    Assessment
    Each examination has 100 marks; all examinations have to be taken in one sitting. Grades A* – E will be awarded on the basis of the total marks on all three papers; individual papers will not be graded.

  • Physical Education

    Examination Board: OCR

    Subject Entry Criteria
    Students must have achieved Grade 6 in GCSE PE and Grade 6 in Biology or Grades 66 in Double Science.  Students who are currently studying BTEC level 2 in sport will not be permitted to do A-Level PE due to the significant differences in subject content.

    Why study A-Level PE?
    The scientific study of exercise, health and sport is big business, from the riches of professional sport to the equally important personal fitness sector. The impact of sport on individual lives and the global economy cannot be overstated. A-Level PE covers an incredibly diverse and interesting range of topics. On this course, students will learn about how the body works: anatomy, physiology and biomechanics; how performance can be enhanced, analysed and monitored and about the multiple health benefits of physical activity. Students will also study psychology to analyse the role of the mind in performance; nutrition to understand how to fuel performance effectively; sports injury prevention and management; and sport business to understand the financial side of the sport industry. This course also develops students’ understanding of the role that sport has played in the past and what role will it will play in the future. Essentially A-Level PE develops the academic skills required of a scientist, as well as the academic skills required by an arts student.

    Course Outline
    This course would suit talented sportsmen or sportswomen who are keen to develop their practical performance in their chosen sport by developing an in-depth understanding of the theoretical concepts which underpin physical education. This course takes a multi-disciplinary approach, encouraging the development of different methods of enquiry, with the focal point being the performer and the performance. The course is based on the interaction between the theory and practice of physical education. Students are required to participate in one or more sports regularly outside of school, although the majority of lessons in A-Level PE are classroom-based.  In lessons students make reference to, and draw upon, their practical experiences in their chosen activities. Students will also be expected to attend additional sessions after school, where aspects of the practical coursework will be covered or assessed.

    Unit 1: Physiological factors affecting performance (30% of A-Level grade)

    • This unit will be examined through a 2 hour written paper, which will carry 90 marks. To prepare for this paper, students will study applied anatomy & physiology, exercise physiology and biomechanics.

    Unit 2: Psychological factors affecting performance (20% of A-Level grade)

    • This unit will be examined through a 1 hour written paper, which will carry 60 marks. To prepare for this paper, students will study skills acquisition and sports psychology.

    Unit 3: Socio-cultural issues in physical activity and sport (20% of A-Level grade)

    • This unit will be examined through a 1 hour written paper, which will carry 60 marks. To prepare for this paper, students will study sport & society and contemporary issues in physical activity & sport

    Unit 4: Performance in physical education (30% of A-Level grade)

    • This unit is a non-examination assessment, which will carry 90 marks. To prepare for this unit students will study performance or coaching and evaluation 7 analysis of performance for improvement (EAPI).

  • Physics

    Examination Board: AQA

    Subject Entry Requirements
    Students must have achieved at least Grade 7 in GCSE Physics or Grades 77 in GCSE Double Science and Grade 7 in GCSE Mathematics. Students must also be studying A-Level Mathematics.

    Why study A-Level Physics?
    Physics is so fundamental that there is scarcely a single area of modern life which is not affected by its theories and applications. It is the science of matter and the universe around us and is the basis of all developments in high technology and engineering. A-Level Physics will appeal to students who have an interest in how the universe works, from the smallest particles to the motion of the planets; like solving practical and theoretical problems whether working alone or as part of a team; and enjoy fitting complex facts and ideas into simple working models.

    Course Outline
    A-Level Physics has a large practical element and covers 8 compulsory topics and 1 additional optional topic. All three papers are examined at the end of Year 13.

    Paper 1 (34% of A-Level grade)

    • 1: Measurements and their errors examines the use of SI units and their units, limitation of physical measurements and estimation of physical quantities.
    • 2: Particles & radiation examines particles, electromagnetic radiation & quantum phenomena.
    • 3: Waves examines progressive and stationary waves, refraction, diffraction and interference.
    • 4: Mechanics and materials examines force, energy and momentum, and materials.
    • 5: Electricity examines current electricity.
    • 6.1: Further mechanics examines periodic motion.

    Paper 2 (34% of A-Level grade)

    • 6.2: Further mechanics examines thermal physics.
    • 7: Fields and their consequences examines gravitational fields, electric fields, capacitance and magnetic fields.
    • 8: Nuclear physics examines radioactivity.

    Paper 3 (32% of A-Level grade)

    • Section A: Short and extended answer questions on practical experiments and data analysis.
    • Section B: Short and extended answer questions on one of the following optional topics. The choice of topic will be based on the academic expertise of the teacher.
    • Astrophysics examines fundamental physical principles which are applied to the study and interpretation of the universe.
    • Medical physics examines the application of physical principles and techniques in medicine.
    • Turning points in physics explores the discovery of the electron, wave-particle duality, and special relativity.
    • Engineering physics examines the application of physics in engineering and technology by extending understanding of rotational dynamics, thermodynamics and engines.
    • Electronics examines discrete semiconductor devices, analogue signal processing, operational amplification, digital signal processing and data communication systems.

  • Psychology

    Examination Board: AQA

    Subject Entry Criteria
    Students must have achieved at least Grade 6 in GCSE English Language or GCSE English Literature and Grade 6 in GCSE Biology or Grades 66 in GCSE Double Science and Grade 5 in GCSE Mathematics.

    Why study A-Level Psychology?
    Studying A-Level Psychology enables students to develop the analytical skills needed to excel in higher education. The study of psychology also provides an excellent foundation for most career options, particularly those involving dealing with people, such as teaching, the police force, law, medicine, journalism, advertising, public relations and social work.

    Course Outline
    Psychology is the study of mind and behaviour, bridging the social sciences and natural sciences. Students are encouraged to develop an understanding of psychological research; the ability to apply this knowledge to real life situations; critically analyse and evaluate the value of psychological research and its credibility as an explanation of human behaviour.

    Paper 1: Introductory Topics in Psychology (33.3% of A-Level grade)

    • Memory examines the structure of human memory, the reasons why people forget, factors affecting the accuracy of eyewitness testimony and improving the accuracy of memory.
    • Attachment examines explanations of attachment, cultural variations in attachment, disruption of attachment and the effect childhood attachment has on adult romantic relationships.
    • Social influence examines explanations of conformity and obedience to authority, as well as explanations of independent behaviour and the role of minority groups in social change.
    • Psychopathology examines definitions of abnormality as well as biological and psychological explanations of the cause and treatment of phobia’s, depression and OCD.

     Paper 2: Psychology in Context (33.3% of A-Level grade)

    • Approaches in psychology examines the origins of psychology and assumptions of the biological, psychodynamic, behavioural, cognitive and humanistic approaches.
    • Research methods examines the way that psychologists design and analyse the data collected from investigations. At A level this also includes inferential analysis of data.
    • Biopsychology examines the structure and functions of the nervous system and endocrine system, as well as localisation of functions in the brain and biological rhythms.

    Paper 3: Issues and Options in Psychology (33.3% of A-Level grade)

    • Issues and debates in psychology examines current issues and debates in psychological research such as cultural bias, reductionism vs holism and free vs determinism.
    • Relationships examines theories relating to the formation, maintenance and breakdown of relationships, as well as research into virtual relationships and para-social relationships.
    • Eating behaviours examines explanations of food preferences and the control of eating behaviour, as well as biological and psychological explanations of anorexia and obesity.
    • Addiction examines explanations for smoking and gambling addiction, risk factors in the development of addiction, as well as interventions used in the treatment of addiction.

  • Religious Studies

    Examination Board: OCR

    Subject Entry Criteria
    Students must have achieved at least Grade 6 in RS iGCSE and Grade 6 in GCSE English Language.

    Why study A-Level Religious Studies?
    Religious Studies A-Level is a well-respected qualification that, due to its general application and openness, leads to a variety of careers or university courses. Students interested in pursuing further studies or careers which incorporate English, history, philosophy, psychology, sociology, religious studies, economics, law and many more, would do well to consider this A-Level as an appropriate and rewarding option.

    Course Outline
    This brand new course is designed to develop a greater understanding and appreciation of religious beliefs and teachings, as well as the disciplines of ethics and philosophy of religion. Learners will develop their skills of critical analysis in order to construct balanced, informed arguments and responses to religious, philosophical and ethical ideas. Students are encouraged to reflect and develop their own attitudes, values and opinions in light of their learning.

    Three components are covered in the A-Level; Philosophy of Religion, Religion and Ethics and Development in Jewish Thought.

    The course will appeal to students who are interested in Judaism; to any student who is philosophically minded and interested in why the world is as it is and how religions in general, and Judaism in particular, respond to world issues; and to students who want to study generic philosophical and ethical theories at a higher level.

    Unit 1:  Philosophy of Religion (33.3% of A-Level grade)
    In this unit students will explore

    • Ancient philosophical influences.
    • The nature of the soul, mind and body.
    • Arguments about the existence or non-existence of G-d.
    • The nature and impact of religious experience.
    • The challenge for religious belief of the problem of evil.
    • Ideas about the nature of god.
    • Issues in religious language.

    Unit 2: Religion and Ethics (33.3% of A-Level grade)
    In this unit students will explore:

    • Normative ethical theories.
    • The application of ethical theory to two contemporary issues.
    • Ethical language and thought.
    • Debates surrounding the idea of conscience.

    Unit 3: Development in Jewish Thought (33.3% of A-Level grade)

    • Religious beliefs, values and teachings, their interconnections and how they vary historically and in the contemporary world.
    • Sources of religious wisdom and authority.
    • Practices which shape and express religious identity, and how these vary within a tradition.
    • Significant social and historical developments in theology and religious thought.
    • Key themes related to the relationship between religion and society.

  • Sociology

    Examination Board: AQA

    Subject Entry Criteria
    Students must have achieved at least Grade 6 in GCSE English Language or English Literature.

    Why study A-Level Sociology?
    A-Level Sociology appeals to those who have a genuine interest in how the world around them operates and who question the existence of equality in society. The study of sociology enables students to develop their analytical and evaluative skills, as well as the ability to undertake their own research and evaluate the validity of existing sociological research.

    Course Outline
    The A-Level Sociology course considers academic sociological theories as well as the research skills which sociologists use to carry out their investigations. The course looks domestically at the reasons behind inequality in areas such as education and family, as well as looking at more global issues such as crime and beliefs in society in the second year of study.

    Paper 1: Education with Theory and Methods (33.3% of A-Level grade)

    • Education examines the role and function of the education system, different educational achievement of social groups by social class, gender and ethnicity in contemporary society, relationships and processes within schools and the significance of educational policies.
    • Methods in Context provides students with the opportunity to apply their knowledge of sociological research methods to the study of education.
    • Theory and Methods explores the theoretical, practical and ethical considerations influencing choice of topic and method; consensus, conflict, structural and social action theories; concepts of modernity and post-modernity; science and the extent to which Sociology can be regarded as scientific; the relationship between theory and methods; debates about subjectivity, objectivity and value freedom; the relationship between Sociology and social policy.

    Paper 2: Topics in Sociology (33.3% of A-Level grade)

    • Families and Households examines the relationship of the family to social structures and social change; state policies; changing patterns of marriage, cohabitation, separation, divorce; gender roles within the family; the nature of childhood and UK demographic trends since 1900.
    • Beliefs in Society examines ideology, science and religion, including both Christian and non-Christian religious traditions; the relationship between social change and social stability, religious organisations, including cults, sects, denominations, churches and New Age movements; the relationship between different social groups and religious/spiritual organisations and the significance of religion and religiosity in the contemporary world.

    Paper 3: Crime and Deviance with Theory and Methods (33.3% of A-Level grade)

    • Crime and Deviance examines crime, deviance, social order and social control; the social distribution of crime and deviance by ethnicity, gender and social class; globalisation and crime in contemporary society; crime control, surveillance, prevention and punishment; victims, and the role of the criminal justice system.
    • Theory and Methods examines the topics covered in Unit 1 in further depth.

  • Spanish

    Examination Board: AQA

    Subject Entry Criteria
    Students must have achieved at least Grade 7 in GCSE Spanish.

    Why study A-Level Spanish?
    Language learning provides students with a sound basis for further study of languages at degree level or equivalent. Modern language A-Levels are well-regarded by universities for entry to a wide range of degrees, including law, economics and business. Spanish A-Level provides students with the knowledge and skills required for careers in linguistics and employment in companies trading with Spanish-speaking countries.

    Course Outline
    Spanish A-Level is a stimulating and informative subject, if you are interested in politics, people, culture, history, current affairs, sociology and geography. It can help develop an interest in language learning and promote an understanding of the language in a variety of contexts. It facilitates foreign travel by enabling students to communicate confidently and to display an awareness of contemporary society and culture. Students will also be able to acquire knowledge, skills and understanding for practical use, further study and employment.

    Paper 1:  Listening, Reading and Writing (40% of A-Level grade)

    • For this paper students will study current issues and trends in the Spanish speaking society, artistic culture in the Spanish-speaking world, aspects of political life in the Spanish speaking world and grammar. The listening component of the exam will require students to listen and respond to spoken passages from a range of contexts and sources. Students will also be required to read and respond to a variety of texts written for different purposes, drawn from a range of authentic sources and adapted as necessary. Material will include complex factual and abstract content and questions will target main points, gist and detail. All questions are in Spanish and are to be answered with non-verbal responses or in Spanish.

    Paper 2:  Writing (30% of A-Level grade)

    • For this paper students will study either a text and a film or two texts from a set list. There will be no access to the texts, film or a dictionary in the exam. Students will be required to offer a critical appreciation of the concepts and issues covered in the work and a critical and analytical response to features such as the form and the technique of presentation, as appropriate to the work studied (e.g. the effect of narrative voice in a prose text or camera work in a film).

    Paper 3:  Speaking (30% of A-Level grade)

    • For this unit students will be required to carry out a presentation and answer a series of questions on an individual research project. Students will also be required to discuss one of four sub-themes e.g. current issues and trends in the Spanish speaking society, artistic culture in the Spanish -speaking world or aspects of political life in the Spanish speaking world.

    Students learn a range of language skills: the ability to communicate confidently in Spanish, to understand and respond to written Spanish and to translate coherently from Spanish into English and from English into Spanish at A-Level. They also learn to structure essays using increasingly accurate, complex and varied language and to display critical thinking and analytical skills. Most lessons are conducted in Spanish to maximise the development of students’ language.