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COLYTON GRAMMAR SCHOOL
Expectation & Excellence
established 1546

PLEASE NOTE: Details on these curriculum pages are correct for students currently in Year 11 or above (2016/17 academic year). Curriculum changes affecting Years 7 to 10 will be uploaded to the website as soon as possible.

KEY STAGE 5 CURRICULUM

DOCUMENTS: Sixth Form Prospectus (Y11 intake 2016) | Independent Learning Matters | Sixth Form Coursework Booklet | Beyond the Curriculum | All prospectuses for current Sixth Form Students can be downloaded here
N.B. Please note that these documents are updated and published annually on the school website. However, individual web pages are updated as soon as amendments occur - for example due to DfE curriculum changes. Therefore, wherever differences occur, information on the web pages should be taken as being the most up-to-date version.

INTRODUCTION

Since 2007, Colyton Grammar School’s three-year Sixth Form has provided a distinctive programme that has allowed students to develop interests and take opportunities that would be impossible on a conventional two-year programme. It provides a depth of study that is an ideal preparation for the demanding university courses so many students wish to apply for. It also gives them the opportunity to achieve a portfolio of qualifications that reflects the breadth of their abilities, interests and personal qualities.

Over the three years students look to develop the independence and critical thinking skills to make truly informed decisions about their future beyond school. The skills and qualifications they acquire will provide them with a great advantage in an increasingly competitive job market.

Above all, we hope that these three years will nourish a love of learning that lasts well beyond their time in education and gives them the ability to develop their interests, maintain a curiosity in the world and its cultures, as well as have the adaptability to cope with change.

To see how each A-level subject provides more than just the specification content specified by the exam board, please take time to read Beyond The Curriculum.

To read about what you can do at Colyton Grammar School as a Sixth Former outside of A-level subjects, please see Independent Learning Matters.

THE CURRICULUM

The three-year programme at Colyton Grammar School is designed to allow them to complete the four distinct elements of the AQA English Baccalaureate Diploma (AQA Bacc) qualification. In addition, it ensures they are fully prepared for the rigour of taking four ‘academic’ A-level subjects through to completion and being well-prepared for achieving the top grades required by the most competitive universities and employers.

In addition, they will take AS-level General Studies and Critical Thinking, as well as completing the Extended Project Qualification.

THE AQA BACCALAUREATE

PLEASE NOTE:
Information about the AQA Baccalaureate applies to current Year 12 & 13 students only (2016-17 academic year)

Unlike the International Baccalaureate, the AQA Bacc is a qualification that retains A-levels as a main component and allows students to select any combination of subjects. Hence the A-level programme continues to reflect both a student’s strengths and preferences.

Alongside this, they will follow extension studies, General Studies and Critical Thinking, to ensure breadth and development as well-informed, independent-thinking students. The Diploma includes the achievement of one of these qualifications at AS-level.

The Baccalaureate also includes the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) which allows students to develop and demonstrate a range of valuable skills through pursuing an interest they have and investigating a topic in more depth. It is similar to coursework, taking the form of either a 5,000 word dissertation or a number of other forms: a musical or dramatic composition, for instance, or a report or artefact, backed up with paperwork. An increasing number of universities are including the EPQ in their offers to applicants.

Finally, they will also be required to provide evidence of their involvement in a variety of ‘enrichment activities’ that lie outside of the academic curriculum.

Enrichment plays a key role in the composition of the AQA Bacc.

  • Involvement in enrichment activities enables you to develop skills and qualities that universities and employers are seeking
  • You have to complete at least 100 hours during your time in the sixth form. At least two of the following core areas must be included, with a minimum of 30 hours on any one area from: Work-Related Learning; Community Participation; Personal Development Activities.

Numerous enrichment activities exist within school (see table below) but involvement in activities outside of school also gain accreditation.

Work-related Learning Community Participation Personal Development
  • Work Experience
  • Paid Employment
  • Young Enterprise
  • Politics Association Video Making
  • Bar Mock Trial Team
  • Arkwright Engineering Project
  • Young Reporters
  • Events Management
  • Brass Band
  • Chamber Choir
  • Guitar Club
  • String Ensemble
  • Senior Choir
  • Jazz Band
  • Green Society
  • School Clubs
  • European Youth Parliament
  • Visiting Residential Homes
  • Woodland Trust
  • Primary School Links
  • Mentoring
  • Hospital Voluntary Work
  • Community Sports Leadership Award
  • Sports Outreach
  • Senior Prefect Team
  • Charity Work
  • Duke of Edinburgh Awards
  • Sports Leadership
  • Music Leadership
  • Student Leadership
  • Participation in school clubs
  • Tennis
  • Hockey
  • Netball
  • Badminton
  • Film Club
  • Instrumental Tuition
  • Football
  • Cricket
  • MFL Conversation
  • UK Maths Challenge
  • New Views drama writing workshops
  • Life Drawing Classes
  • Driving Awareness
  • Ancient & Modern Language Learning
  • Foyles and Tower Poetry Prizes
  • Biology Olympiad
  • Physics Olympiad
  • The Nuffield Research project
  • Cambridge Chemistry Challenge
  • Ten Tors … and more!

A-level reform

A-levels are currently going through a period of significant reform. The new Phase 1 and Phase 2 A Level subject specifications have seen the discontinuation of the former AS/A2 modular system. In these new subject courses, students are offered only the full A Level i.e. no AS courses are offered in Phase 1 or Phase 2 courses. Moreover, all of these subjects are now subject to linear examination i.e. at the end of Year 13. A final third tier of subjects (Design and Technology, Maths, Further Maths and Government and Politics) will see new reformed specifications introduced in September 2016.  

EXAMINATIONS

  • AS-level Critical Thinking is taught and examined in Year 11. No A-level award in Critical Thinking is offered.
  • AS-level General Studies is taught in Years 11. No A-level award in General Studies is being offered to students in present Year 11 (September 2015-16).
  • AS qualifications in these subjects will be withdrawn nationally after June 2018.

THE UCAS TARIFF

  • This is a points system for qualifications for entry to Higher Education
  • The object of the Tariff is to report applicants’ achievement for entry by giving numerical values to qualifications. In addition, it enables comparisons to be made between different types of qualifications
  • Many universities will continue to make offers based on grades, with increasing emphasis on the attainment of A* grades and the Extended Project

The Extended Project has a value up to 28 UCAS tariff points.

In National League tables, DfE point scores are presented and have a weighting of 270 points for an A grade, going down by 30 points each time for subsequent grades.

  UCAS tariff points for each grade (for H.E. entry 2018)
Grade A* A B C D E
Points 56 48 40 32 24 16

BACCALAUREATE GRADING

GCE A-levels, which are the core component of the Baccalaureate Diploma, are well understood and recognised. The extra advantage the Diploma brings will be perceived very positively by universities.

  • The Baccalaureate requires you to study at least three GCE Advanced level subjects and achieve Grade E or above in each. At Colyton Grammar School you will take 4 GCE A-level subjects over the 3-year programme
  • The grades achieved in three out of the four subjects contribute to the level of Baccalaureate awarded:
  3 A-levels Extended Project Enrichment Breadth (critical thinking / general studies) Award
Grade E E Bacc
C C Bacc with merit
A A Bacc with distinction
HOW IS SIXTH FORM STUDY DIFFERENT?

  • Students are expected to spend three hours a week working on each subject outside lesson time
  • Their chosen subjects provide a very flexible qualification for entry into Higher Education
  • They have the opportunity to specialise in specific subjects, or to follow new subjects
  • Year 11 students have the Sindalls Building as a dedicated study area. For  years 12/13 the Study Centre is the main work area, though many students also make full use of the library for self study
  • Students have more non-contact study time
  • They have to learn to use this time constructively
  • They are more responsible for their own learning
  • Sixth Form plays a key role in preparing students for study in Higher Education

CAREERS EDUCATION

  • This is available to all Sixth Formers
  • ICT software is available to aid students with Higher Education and careers decisions
  • Confidential careers counselling is available from the Head of Sixth Form and the Head of Careers Education and Guidance. An appointment with an independent, external careers advisor can be made available upon request
  • The school possesses an excellent Careers Library which is updated regularly

WORK EXPERIENCE

  • One week of Work Experience in Year 11 and 12, including the opportunity to go to France and Germany
  • An opportunity to sample a future career
  • An aid to Higher Education applications
  • Students are responsible for deciding where to go and completing the details

HIGHER EDUCATION GUIDANCE

  • Using Centigrade (computer software package) to get things right
  • Individual advice and guidance through the UCAS application process
  • Up-to-date information and guidance on online Higher Education resources as well as the latest careers software
  • You have the opportunity to visit Higher Education conferences and Open Days
  • A programme of sessions on interview practice is offered for those courses which require interviews for admission
  • University admissions advisors, including Oxbridge, give advice on a range of Higher Education topics such as application procedures, personal statements and independent study skills
  • Parents and students are invited to the Higher Education Information Evening in Year 12

POINTS TO CONSIDER WHEN CHOOSING A-LEVEL SUBJECTS

When making a decision about what A-levels to choose it is vital that a student thinks about what they enjoy studying and what they are good at. As employers and universities will be looking for evidence of their ability in terms of A-level grades, it is almost always best to choose those subjects that they stand the best chance of achieving highly in. These are likely to be the subjects that they find most stimulating.
So they should think carefully about:

  • Which subjects do I find interesting and enjoyable?
  • Is there evidence in my GCSE work that I am capable of taking a particular subject to A-level?
  • Do my teachers think that I am suitable to undertake a particular A-level?

To help you make a sensible choice, individual interviews are held with members of the Senior Leadership Team. Guidance is also available from Mr Gregson, Deputy Head – Curriculum, Mr Smith, Head of Sixth Form and Mr Banks, Head of Careers Education and Guidance.