Schools are full of teacher speak, acronyms and complicated language. Most parents and students just want to know what A levels are, how students study for them and how we help support them.
What is an A Level?
An A Level is a General Certificate of Education (GCE) qualification that is the next step up from GCSE (grades A*-C). Most A levels are studied over 2 years and all the exam marks get added together to get the final grade. Students are awarded an AS grade at the end of Year 12 which they keep if they do not study a subject for two years. An AS grade is equivalent to half an A level.
Do students get set a target?
Yes, we set every student a target based on their GCSE performance. It is not a perfect system but should be considered a starting point for discussion about where they should be. We then track and monitor the students progress and feedback to you throughout the year.
How many lessons are there for each subject?
For each subject, students will get at least 8 lessons a fortnight together (unless a very small class size) with another 4 hours a fortnight in supervised study. They will also need to study for at least another 4 hours a fortnight outside of school for each subject. This is variable but most students need to work at least a few hours outside of school most days of the week.
What happens at the end of Year 12?
Most students will stop studying one subject and continue with three subjects which they will complete to a full A level at the end of Year 13. A student who stops a subject at the end of Year 12 will be awarded an AS level.
What do I need to get into University?
Three A levels is the standard requirement for all universities. Some prefer Three A levels and one AS level, some give out specific grades, some require points. More details, videos and more can be found on the university application system website at www.ucas.com
Do students have free periods?
Yes, when not in a lesson or a supervised study period the time is their own and they are allowed off site so long as they sign out. We encourage students to use this time for helping the local community, getting involved in other activities or for more private study time.
What should I wear?
Dress code is smart casual. Not casual, casual. So no jogging bottoms or lots of exposed flesh. Wear something that would be acceptable in a public place of learning. We have younger children on site through to adults. ;No one should be offended by what you are wearing. The Post 16 committee is currently considering an optional smart casual uniform for Post 16.