AS and A2 Level Entry Policy

20 April 2016

Dear Students and Parents

The option scheme for next year’s Lower Sixth Form (September 2016) is given below. This scheme allows all students who have submitted option choices to choose the four subjects they indicated that they wish to study. Lessons for the subjects in each column occur simultaneously – no more than one subject in each column can be selected.

As has been made clear on a number of occasions, we do permit students to change subject choices right up to the start of the first term in the Lower Sixth year, but the option scheme cannot now be altered and so all changes must fit this.

Option 1

Option 2

Option 3

Option 4

Option 5

Chemistry

English Language

German

Physics

Biology

Geography

Mandarin

Music

Physics

Chemistry

History

Mathematics

Physical Education

Biology

Business

English Literature

French

Art

Business

Design & technology

Mathematics

Religious Studies

Changes to A Levels

You will be aware that the process of introducing reformed,linear, GCE A and AS Level examinations began in September 2015. For students beginning their courses in September 2016 the only subjects which will remain as modular courses (in which the AS Level is an integral part of the A Level qualification) will be design & technology and mathematics. Based on our experience this year, evidence of how other schools are approaching the new system and information that universities will be placing the emphasis on predicted A Level grades, personal statements and the school’s reference rather than on AS Level grades, we have decided to change our examination entry policy from that which has been in place since the year 2001. The new policy is outlined below.

New AS Level entry policy.

Students will continue to select four subjects to study in the Lower Sixth Form with the intention of sitting the A Level examinations in three of these at the end of the Upper Sixth year. We will expect the great majority of students to take the AS Level examination only in the one subject which they do not intend to continue to study in the Upper Sixth. The planned reintroduction of a Lower Sixth Examination week in the summer will mean that students will sit an internally set examination in all subjects with the exception of any for which the AS Level has been taken.

We understand that a small number of students may be unable to decide in February, when exam entries must be made, which of their subjects they wish to drop. We will treat all such cases on an individual basis and will, if necessary, permit entry to more than one AS Level.

NB. Students studying design and technology and/or mathematics will be entered for the AS Level papers at the end of the Lower Sixth whether or not they intend to take the subject through to A Level.

We are aware that much of this might seem confusing but, in common with all schools which prepare students for GCE examinations, we are working through a time of uncertainty. In the decisions we have taken and the changes we have made we have at all times been seeking to adapt to the new situation in a way which is appropriate for the school and in the best interests of our students.

If you wish to discuss anything contained in this letter please contact Mr Haddon at the school.