We offer A Level courses in the following subjects, as well as the Extended Project Qualification and Core Maths. Please click on the links for further information about these courses, including any subject specific entry criteria. To enrol onto A Level courses, students will need to have achieved a minimum of grade 4 in GCSE English and GCSE Maths, along with at least 4 other A*-B grades.

A Level Biology

AQA

Course Overview

Biology is the study of living things and how they interact with the environment. A Level Biology appeals to students who enjoy science and are naturally inquisitive about the human body, the natural world and the diversity of organisms that populate our planet. The A Level Biology course involves the study of human, animal and plant biology over two years.

What will I learn?

In year 12

  • Unit 1: Biological molecules
  • Unit 2: Cells
  • Unit 3: Organisms exchange substances with their environment
  • Unit 4: Genetic information, variation and relationships between organisms

In year 13

  • Unit 5: Energy transfers in and between organisms
  • Unit 6: Organisms respond to changes in their internal and external environments
  • Unit 7: Genetics, populations, evolution and ecosystems
  • Unit 8: The control of gene expression

How will I be assessed?

Assessment of A Level Biology:

  • Paper 1: 2 hours assessing content of units 1,2,3 & 4. (35% of A Level).
  • Paper 2: 2 hours assessing content of units 5,6,7 & 8. (35% of A Level).
  • Paper 3: 2 hours assessing content of all units including an essay. (30% of A Level).

All three papers are sat in the June of the second year of study (Year 13).

Practical elements completed throughout the two year course (full A Level) are assessed internally. The examinations will also assess practical skills with exam questions based on 12 set practicals.  

Extra-curricular activities

There are plenty of opportunities for university workshops, field work and conservation studies ‘ex situ’ (in zoos) and ‘in situ’ local area.

Entry requirements

GCSE grades 6,6 from double award Science (eg AQA Trilogy, AQA Synergy, OCR Gateway Science etc) or grade 6’s in the individual sciences (Biology, Chemistry and Physics). Students will also be expected to have a minimum of a grade 5 in both GCSE Mathematics and GCSE English.

Progression opportunities

Biology studied at A Level provides a solid background for most science based degree courses. It is required to at least AS Level by some universities for courses in medicine, dentistry, natural sciences and biological sciences. A Level Biologists also have a wide variety of options when choosing which subject to study at university and is a great starting point for those students interested in studying;

  • Genetics
  • Environmental Science
  • Ecology
  • Bio-medical Science
  • Nursing
  • Physiotherapy
  • Veterinary Science
  • Marine Biology
  • Zoology

Biological science graduates are also highly sort after by many other employment fields such as:

  • Finance & Banking
  • Accounting & Consulting
  • Education and Teaching

For further information click the link below:

AQA

A Level Chemistry

AQA

Course Overview

Studying A Level Chemistry will enable you to develop:

  • an enthusiasm for Chemistry and an understanding of how everyday ideas can be explained by chemical concepts
  • practical skills alongside understanding of concepts and principles
  • an appropriate and relevant foundation of knowledge and skills for the study of Chemistry in Higher Education and also relevant skills and knowledge to be applied in careers where Chemistry is essential.

What will I learn?

In year 12
Unit 1: Physical chemistry

  • 1.1 Atomic structure
  • 1.2 Amount of substance
  • 1.3 Bonding
  • 1.4 Energetics
  • 1.5 Kinetics
  • 1.6 Chemical equilibria, Le Chatelier’s principle and Kc
  • 1.7 Oxidation, reduction and redox equations

Unit 2: Inorganic chemistry

  • 2.1 Periodicity
  • 2.2 Group 2, the alkaline earth metals
  • 2.3 Group 7(17), the halogens

Unit 3: Organic chemistry

  • 3.1 Introduction to organic chemistry
  • 3.2 Alkanes
  • 3.3 Halogenoalkanes
  • 3.4 Alkenes
  • 3.5 Alcohols
  • 3.6 Organic analysis

In year 13
Unit 4: Physical chemistry

  • 1.8 Thermodynamics
  • 1.9 Rate equations
  • 1.10 Equilibrium constant Kp for homogeneous systems
  • 1.11 Electrode potentials and electrochemical cells
  • 1.12 Acids and bases

Unit 5: Inorganic chemistry

  • 2.4 Properties of Period 3 elements and their oxides
  • 2.5 Transition metals
  • 2.6 Reactions of ions in aqueous solution

Unit 6: Organic chemistry

  • 3.7 Optical isomerism
  • 3.8 Aldehydes and ketones
  • 3.9 Carboxylic acids and derivatives
  • 3.10 Aromatic chemistry
  • 3.11 Amines
  • 3.12 Polymers
  • 3.13 Amino acids, proteins and DNA
  • 3.14 Organic synthesis
  • 3.15 Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy
  • 3.16 Chromatography

How will I be assessed?

Assessment of A Level Chemistry:

  • Paper 1: 2 hours assessing content of units 1,2,4 & 5.
    (35% of A Level)
  • Paper 2: 2 hours assessing content of units 1,3, 4 & 6.
    (35% of A Level)
  • Paper 3: 2 hours assessing content of all units
    (30% of A Level)

All three are sat in the June of the second year of study (Year 13).

Practical elements completed throughout the two year course (full A Level) are assessed internally. The examinations will also assess practical skills with exam questions based on 12 set practicals.  

Extra-curricular Trips and Visits

There are plenty of opportunities for university and industrial visits in the year for students to see chemistry in context.

Entry requirements

GCSE grades 6,6 from double award Science (eg AQA Trilogy, AQA Synergy, OCR Gateway Science etc) or grade 6’s in the individual sciences (Biology, Chemistry and Physics). Students will also be expected to have a minimum of a grade 5 in both GCSE Mathematics and GCSE English.

Progression opportunities

A Level Chemistry, especially in combination with either Physics or Biology, can support applications for a wide range of scientific degrees from pure Chemistry through to Biochemistry and Biomedical sciences through to Joint Honours degrees where chemistry can be combined with just about everything from Business and Management to Sports Studies.

Chemistry is a great starting point for those students interested in studying:

  • Medicine
  • Pharmacy
  • Petrochemicals
  • Biochemistry
  • Forensic science
  • Polymers
  • Textiles
  • Recycling
  • Waste management.

For further information:

AQA

Core Maths

AQA

Course Overview

The new Core Maths qualification will help students retain, deepen and extend their mathematics and be better prepared for higher education and employment. Core Maths will help them to understand and apply clear, mathematical reasoning to real-life problems, analyse and interpret data in various contexts and confidently deal with everyday financial maths.

It helps to develop students’ mathematical skills and thinking and supports courses such as A-level Psychology, Sciences and Geography as well as technical and vocational qualifications.

What will I learn?

Students will be expected to develop and demonstrate confidence and competence in the understanding and application of mathematical modelling in the solution of problems related to decision making and the planning of projects.

Level 3 (AS Level) Core Maths

  • The normal distribution
  • Probabilities and estimation
  • Correlation and regression

How will I be assessed?

  • There are two examinations at the end of year 13 usually at the end of May.
  • Internal assessments will be taken regularly after each topic and each half term.

Extra curricular activities

This year we have some outstanding Mathematicians joining the course. Visits to local universities to be part of maths challenges competing against local providers. Rich mathematical days exploring the use of mathematics in the real world.

Entry requirements

GCSE Maths at grade 5 or above (Higher tier preferable).

Education progression opportunities

  • Examples – Birmingham City University
  • BSC (HONS) Psychology BBC
  • BA (HONS) Business studies BBC
    Recognised by local apprentiship providers

Career progression opportunities

Employers pay a premium for the problem solving and number crunching skills Core maths.

  • Careers include;
  • Engineering
  • Medicine
  • Accountancy
  • Finance
  • Law
  • Education
  • Business Management
  • Software Development…to name just a few.

WJEC Criminology Level 3

What is criminology?

Were you fascinated by the characters from movie series like True Detective, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, or Sherlock Holmes who played the detective or investigator role? Do you want to be just like them only in the real life? Then criminology is for you. Criminology is the study of crime, crime prevention and how the world reacts and controls crime. It is a branch of Sociology which can lead to many different careers within the Criminal Justice System and beyond.

Criminology crosses paths with several other subjects – both inside and outside of the Social Sciences department including Law, Psychology, Sociology, Health and Social Care, Politics and Government and History to name a few.

What does the course lead to?

As a criminology graduate with critical thinking, analytical and communications skills, you’re attractive to employers both inside and outside the criminal justice sector. Jobs directly relating to the course are things like:

What will I learn?

Topic Title Assessment Type
Year 12 Changing Awareness of Crime

You will gain an understanding of different types of crime, influences on perceptions of crime and why some crimes are unreported and create a media campaign to raise social awareness of particular unreported crimes.  

Internal assessment
Criminological Theories

Why do people commit crime? Why are some crimes more reported than others? What are the main criminological theories and how do they affect social policies set by the government?

External Exam (90 minutes)
Year 13 Crime Scene to Courtroom

You will look at the criminal justice system process from the moment a crime has been identified through to the verdict. What are the roles of personnel involved when a crime is detected? What investigative techniques are available to investigators to help to identify the culprit? Do techniques differ depending on the type of crime being investigated? What happens to a suspect once charged by the police and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS)? What safeguards are in place to ensure a suspect has a fair trial?

Internal  assessment
Crime and Punishment

You will apply your understanding of the awareness of criminality, criminological theories and the process of bringing an accused to court (the previous 3 units) in order to evaluate the effectiveness of social control to deliver criminal justice policy

External Exam (90 minutes)

 

What Grades do I need?

If you have studied sociology at GCSE, you must have a minimum of a grade 6. If not, you must have achieved a grade 4 in English.

A Level English Language and Literature

AQA

Course overview

English Language and Literature integrates the study of language and literature. You will consider how linguistic and literary methods are related and explore these links in texts. You will study literature and produce your own pieces of creative writing based upon these studies.

What will I learn?

  • Remembered Places
  • Imagined Worlds
  • Poetic Voices
  • Writing about Society
  • Critical commentary
  • Dramatic Encounters
  • Making Connections

How will I be assessed?

Paper 1: Telling Stories

  • One compulsory question on the AQA Anthology: Paris
  • One question from a choice of two on prose set text
  • One question from a choice of two on poetry set text

Paper 2: Exploring Conflict

  • One piece of re-creative writing using set text
  • Critical commentary
  • One question from a choice of two on drama set text

Non-exam assessment:

A personal investigation that explores a specific technique or theme in both literary and non-literary discourse

Extra curricular activities

There are a number of opportunities for students to attend university workshops and visits to local theatres during the course.

Entry requirements

Students will be expected to have a minimum of a grade 6 in GCSE English Language.

Progression Opportunities

An A Level in English Language and Literature can lead to a huge number of careers and universities are pleased to welcome students with this qualification.

Further information:

AQA

A Level English Literature

AQA

Course overview

English Literatures historicist approach to the study of literature rests upon reading texts within a shared context. Working from the belief that no text exists in isolation but is the product of the time in which it was produced, English Literature A encourages students to explore the relationships that exist between texts and the contexts within which they are written, received and understood. Studying texts within a shared context enables students to investigate and connect them, drawing out patterns of similarity and difference using a variety of reading strategies and perspectives.

What will I learn?

Core content:

  • Love through the ages
  • Texts in shared contexts
  • Independent critical study: Texts across time

Options:

  • Option A: WW1 and its aftermath
  • Option B: Modern times: literature from 1945 to the present day

How will I be assessed?

Study of three texts: one poetry and one prose text, of which one must be written pre-1900, and one Shakespeare play. Examination will include two unseen poems.

  • written exam: 3 hours
  • open book in Section C only
  • 75 marks
  • 40% of A-level

Section A: Shakespeare: one passage-based question with linked essay (25 marks)

Section B: Unseen poetry: compulsory essay question on two unseen poems (25 marks)

Section C: Comparing texts: one essay question linking two texts (25 marks)

And
Choice of two options:

Option 2A: WW1 and its aftermath

Option 2B: Modern times: literature from 1945 to the present day

Study of three texts: one prose, one poetry, and one drama, of which one must be written post-2000. Examination will include an unseen extract.

  • written exam: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • open book
  • 75 marks
  • 40% of A-level

Section A: Set texts. One essay question on set text (25 marks)

Section B: Contextual linking

  • one compulsory question on an unseen extract (25 marks)
  • one essay question linking two texts (25 marks)

And
Comparative critical study of two texts, at least one of which must have been written pre-1900. One extended essay (2500 words) and a bibliography.

  • 50 marks
  • 20% of A-level
  • assessed by teachers and moderated by AQA

Extra curricular activities

There are a number of opportunities for students to attend university workshops and visits to local theatres during the course.

Entry requirements

Students will be expected to have a minimum of a grade 6 in GCSE English Language and/or English Literature.

Progression opportunities

An A Level in English Literature can lead to a huge number of careers and universities are pleased to welcome students with this qualification.

Further information:

AQA

The Extended Project Qualification

AQA

Course Overview

The Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) is a single piece of work of a student’s choosing that requires evidence of planning, preparation, research and independent learning. It is the equivalent of an AS Level and is graded A*-E.

An Extended Project might be:

  • A report with findings from an investigation or study
  • A dissertation/essay presenting an argument
  • An artefact/item of design
  • A performance

The EPQ offers opportunities for students to have significant input into the choice and design of an extended piece of work so that you can create your own project. The EPQ enables students to develop a wide range of academic skills which are vital for university study. These include:

  • Decision-making and problem-solving skills, initiative and enterprise;
  • Planning, research, analytical, evaluation and presentation skills;

The EPQ enables students to use their learning experiences to support their personal aspirations for higher education and career development. The skills that students develop through the Extended Project are excellent preparation for university-level study. Students can refer to the Extended Project in their UCAS personal statements and at interview to demonstrate some of the qualities that universities are looking for and some universities such as Sheffield and Southampton give preferential offers for those who study the EPQ.

Project titles can be incredibly varied, below are listed a selection of previous titles:

  • To what extent does the Afghan legal system protect the rights of women in Afghanistan?
  • Are passwords an out-of-date technology for authentication?
  • To what extent can the genre of ‘dark fiction’ allow for an exploration of feminist concerns?
  • To what extent has Hip Hop dance evolved and changed from its origins?
  • Is the payday loan market ethical and how should it be regulated?
  • Is it technically and economically feasible to construct a transatlantic tunnel capable of supporting a high-speed maglev transportation system?
  • Is hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) a good idea for the UK?
  • How important was Bletchley Park to the Allied Victory of WW2?
  • Does the freedom of the press outweigh the people’s right to privacy?
  • Are alternative treatments a ‘real’ alternative to conventional drug treatments in the management of pain?
  • To what extent can current immunological research advance cancer treatments?
  • Could stem cell research lead to a viable cure for Alzheimer’s disease?
  • Can Britain in the 21st Century still be regarded as a patriarchal society?
  • Should hypnotherapy be funded by the NHS?
  • Is there a case for regarding biofuels as the fuels of the future?

How will I be assessed?

Assessment Objectives Weighting
AO1 Manage
Identify, design, plan, and carry out a project, applying a range of skills, strategies and methods to achieve objectives.
20%
AO2 Use Resources
Research, critically select, organise and use information, and select and use a range of resources. Analyse data apply relevantly and demonstrate understanding of any links, connections and complexities of the topic.
20%
AO3 Develop and Realise
Select and use a range of skills, including, where appropriate, new technologies and problem-solving, to take decisions critically and achieve planned outcomes.
40%
AO4 Review
Evaluate all aspects of the extended project, including outcomes in relation to stated objectives and own learning and performance.
Select and use a range of communication skills and media to present evidenced project outcomes and conclusions in an appropriate format.
20%

Entry requirements

Students need to think creatively, be self-motivated and self-directed in their work. They will have the opportunity to explore an interest which may be linked to a hobby or interest or perhaps one of their studies or chosen career interest, and will need to be able to manage and organise the project from start to finish.

For further information click the link below:

AQA

Further Mathematics

Edexcel

Course Overview

The AS Level Further Mathematics course consists of 3 units of study in Year 12.

Mathematics is both an art and a science, and pure mathematics lies at its heart. Pure mathematics explores the boundary of mathematics and pure reason. It has been described as “that part of mathematical activity that is done without explicit or immediate consideration of direct application,” although what is “pure” in one era often becomes applied later. Finance and cryptography are current examples.

What will I learn?

  • FP1 – Introduction to complex numbers, matrices and infinite series.
  • D1 – Linear programming and algorithms
  • D2 – More linear programming and Game theory.

How will I be assessed?

There are three examinations a year on the three units of study.
Internal assessments will be taken regularly after each topic and each half term.

Extra curricular activities

Visits to local universities to be part of maths challenges competing against local providers. Rich mathematical days exploring the use of mathematics in the real world.

Entry requirements

Students who wish to study AS Level Further Mathematics will need to have achieved a Grade 8 in GCSE Mathematics. Students will be interviewed for a place on this course.

Progression opportunities

Examples – University of Birmingham

BSc Mathematical Economics and Statistics AAA
BSc Mathematics AAA – Further Maths desirable
MSci Mathematics A*AA
BSc Mathematics with Study in Continental Europe A*AA – including MFL
  • Engineering
  • Medicine
  • Accountancy
  • Finance
  • Law
  • Education
  • Business Management
  • Software Development

…to name just a few.

An applicant with a qualification in Further Mathematics is always preferred to an applicant without.

A Level Geography

AQA

Course Overview

Geography is a much loved subject that covers relevant and up to date issues around the world. The AQA course offers a stimulating and varied approach exploring the important ideas and debates in today’s world.

This course is very much about using a variety of resources to identify, describe and explain the often multi-causal nature of geographical phenomena, with AQA providing this information and data in a number of ways.

Students will be challenged to discuss diagrams, graphs, data tables, photographs, ideas, and scenarios in order to establish and tackle a range of issues and topics.

What will I learn?

The AQA specification is highly relevant to the realities and challenges that young adults will face in later life.

The Specification in brief:

Unit 1 – Physical Geography – Exam. 2 hours 30 minutes

  • Section A: Water and carbon cycles
  • Section B: either Hot desert environments and their margins or Coastal
    systems and landscapes
  • Section C: either Hazards or Ecosystems under stress or Cold environments

Unit 2 – Human Geography – Exam. 2 hours 30 minutes

  • Section A: Global systems and global governance
  • Section B: Changing places
  • Section C: either Contemporary urban environments or Population and the environment or Resource security

Unit 3 – Geographical Investigation – Individual Investigation (3000-4000 word)

Students complete an individual investigation which must include data collected in the field. The individual investigation must be based on a question or issue defined and developed by the student relating to any part of the specification content.

How will I be assessed?

  • Units 1 & 2: by written examinations.
  • Unit 3: by teachers and moderated externally

Entry requirements

Students will be expected to have achieved a grade 6 or above in GCSE Geography and a minimum of a grade 5 in GCSE English..

Progression Opportunities

The course leads on to Higher Education at university in subjects such as:

  • Physical Geography
  • Human Geography
  • Environmental Science
  • Geology

Employment Opportunities

Geography graduates lend themselves to a wide range of jobs, with Geography graduates frequently appearing near to the top in terms of employment. Students could go into geography-related careers such as urban regeneration and conservation, or they may apply their skills to a range of other industries, including;

  • Law
  • Management consultancy
  • Marketing
  • Education

AS and A-Level Government and Politics

What is it and why bother?

The student fees scandal, the introduction of minimum and living wages for 18-year-olds, and the decision not to lower the voting age are just three pieces of legislation or policy decision that have directly affected you in recent months. Government and Politics offers an insight into who has the power to change our lives, why, and how.

At AS Level, you will develop a broad knowledge and understanding of the political system of the UK. This will be followed by further specialisation at A2, through a number of optional units. These units do not follow prescribed routes and offer flexibility to select the areas of study which are of greatest interest.

Also at AS, the specification concentrates on People, Politics and Participation, as well as Governing Modern Britain, retaining much of the content from the previous specification.

At A2, the specification retains the popular options from the previous specification, including US Politics and US Government and Ideologies. New options have also been introduced, including Political Issues: Ideologies in Action, providing further choice for you.

Famous students of politics:

  • Christopher Hitchens
  • Harry Enfield
  • Jerry Springer
  • Rupert Murdoch
  • Hillary Clinton
  • Barack Obama

Why do employers and universities like A-Level Politics?

Government and Politics enables you to develop a wide range of skills including the ability to comprehend, synthesise and interpret political information; analyse and evaluate political knowledge; identify connections, similarities and differences between the areas studied; select relevant material and construct and communicate arguments clearly and coherently using appropriate political vocabulary. More broadly, Government and Politics encourages a critical mind, a thirst for knowledge, and an ability to identify how and when to ask difficult questions.

Potential careers:

  • Journalist
  • political assistant/researcher
  • professional politician
  • teacher
  • diplomatic service officer
  • public relations
  • lawyer
  • barrister
  • careers in human rights or with charities

Subject content:

AQA Politics 7151/7152 – from 2017

  1. Government and politics of the UK
  2. Government and politics of the USA and comparative politics
  3. Political ideas

Example assessments (AQA):

A mixture of medium length ‘explain’ and essay style questions.

Paper 1

Government and politics of the UK
Written exam: 2 hours
77 marks
33⅓ % of A-level

Paper 2

The government and politics of the USA
Comparative politics
Written exam: 2 hours
77 marks
33⅓ % of A-level

Paper 3

Political ideas
Written exam: 2 hours
77 marks
33⅓ % of A-level

Entry requirements

A minimum of a grade 5 in GCSE English is required to study A Level Politics. Students’ other examination results must also demonstrate their academic aptitude and ability to write extended essays

A Level History

Course Overview

We cannot understand the present unless we understand the past; this makes history one of the most important of all the subjects taught at schools and colleges. Students will have developed some understanding of History at GCSE, but A Level History offers students the chance to take their understanding much further.

What will I learn?

The AQA course is split into three components:

  • Component 1 – “Britain: industrialisation and the people, c.1783 – 1885”.
  • Component 2 -“Revolution and dictatorship: Russia, 1917 – 1953”
  • Component 3 – of the course is the Historical Investigation, in which students will complete a 3,500 word piece of coursework on an aspect of twentieth century history

Assessment

At the end of Year 13, your A Level grade will be based on the following:

  • Component 1 – 2½ hr exam (40% of A Level)
  • Component 2 – 2½ hr exam (40% of A Level)
  • Component 3 – coursework (20% of A Level)

Extra-curricular activities

Practice and revision sessions are held after school on a regular basis.

Is there anything else I need to know?

An A Level in History is highly sort after by top universities. The skills that we will teach you will open up a vast range of jobs and prospects for you in the future. Here are some people who did History at university:

  • Gordon Brown (former Prime Minister)
  • George Osborne (former Chancellor of the Exchequer)
  • Al Murray (Comedian)
  • Sacha Baron Cohen (TV star)
  • Jonathon Ross (TV and radio personality)

These are just a few of the famous people who studied History and become successful.

Entry requirements

Students will be expected to have achieved a grade 6 or above in GCSE History and a minimum of a grade 5 in GCSE English.

Education progression opportunities

History is a popular undergraduate course offered by most universities.

Career progression opportunities

  • Advertising executive
  • Analyst
  • Archivist
  • Broadcaster
  • Campaign worker
  • Consultant
  • Editor
  • Foreign service officer
  • Information specialist
  • Intelligence agent
  • Journalist
  • Legal assistant
  • Lobbyist
  • Personnel manager
  • Public relations staffer
  • Researcher
  • Teacher

A Level Law

AQA

Course Overview

Law affects virtually all aspects of our lives and regulates much of our every day activity. Studying Law gives students an understanding of the role of Law in today’s society and raises their awareness of the rights and responsibilities of individuals.

By learning about legal rules and how and why they apply to real life, students also develop their analytical ability, decision making, critical thinking and problem-solving skills. All these skills are highly sought after by higher education and employers

What will I learn?

In year 12, students will spend the first two terms on criminal law, including:

  • Non-fatal offences against the person – assault, battery, ABH, GBH
  • Fatal offences – murder, manslaughter
  • Property offences – theft
  • Defences – self-defence, intoxication, duress and consent

In the third term of Year 12 and first term of Year13 students will focus on civil law through a study of negligence.

In the second tem of Year 13 they will continue to study civil law through contract law.

How will I be assessed?

Assessment will be through examination only. At the end of Year 13 there will be three exams:

  • Paper 1 – Criminal Law (2 hours)
  • Paper 2 – Civil Law – Negligence (2 hours)
  • Paper 3 – Civil Law, Contract (2 hours)

Extra curricular activities

A study visit to both the magistrates and crown courts is an opportunity to develop a better understanding of how the law is used and applied in practice.

Entry requirements

A minimum of a grade 5 in GCSE English is required to study A Level Law. Students’ other examination results must also demonstrate their academic aptitude and ability to write extended essays

Education progression opportunities

An A Level in Law can lead to a wide range of university courses. As well as Law itself it would be beneficial for Business, Government and Politics, Criminology, Social Sciences and can be combined with other disciplines e.g. Media or Psychology.

Career progression opportunities

A Level Law is an acceptable qualification for entry to higher education. Thereafter, it is possible to progress onto the vocational courses with a view to entering the legal profession. Employment opportunities are numerous, including:

  • Court officials
  • Civil service
  • Local government
  • Police force
  • Environmental
  • Banking
  • Business
  • Accountancy
  • Legal executive
  • Barrister
  • Solicitor

A Level Mathematics

Edexcel

Course Overview

A level mathematics builds from GCSE level mathematics and introduces calculus and its applications. It emphasises how mathematical ideas are interconnected and how mathematics can be applied to model situations using algebra and other representations to help make sense of data, to understand the physical world and to solve problems in a variety of contexts, including social sciences and business. It supports mathematical needs across a broad range of other subjects at this level and it prepares students for further study and employment in a wide range of disciplines involving the use of mathematics. It also supports the study of AS and A level further mathematics.

What will I learn?

The aim of the A Level course is for each pupil to understand mathematics and mathematical processes in a way that promotes confidence, fosters enjoyment and provides a strong foundation for progress to further study. You will do this by extending your range of mathematical skills and techniques, understanding coherence and progression in mathematics and how different areas of mathematics are connected as well as applying mathematics in other fields of study.

The main change to the A level course is an emphasis on representing situations mathematically and understanding the relationship between problems in context and mathematical models, which may be applied to solve them. An additional emphasis is using mathematical skills and techniques to solve challenging problems which require decisions to be made on the solution strategy, interpreting solutions and communicating those interpretations effectively in the context of the problem.

There will also be a new area in the course that uses technology such as calculators and computers effectively to be able to manipulate raw data and represent it in many appropriate ways.

Through all these avenues you will take increasing responsibility for your own learning and the evaluation of your own mathematical development.A Level MathematicsThe new A level in Mathematics consists of 3 units of study, all studied over year 12 and 13 and all examinations at the end of year 13.

A Level Mathematics

The new A level in Mathematics consists of 3 units of study, all studied over year 12 and 13 and all examinations at the end of year 13.

  • Pure 1
  • Pure 2
  • Applied Statistics & Mechanics

How will I be assessed?

In Year 13, all three A Level examinations will be assessed in the May/June of the summer term.
Internal assessments will be taken regularly after each topic and each half term.

Extra curricular activities

This year we have some outstanding Mathematicians joining the course. Those who are very hardworking and keen to study the subject further can do so through our Further Mathematics tutorials. Through the link with Bishop Challoner Catholic College (sponsor school of John Henry Newman Catholic College) a selection of units can be studied but two thirds of the course is predominantly self-study. The compulsory unit of Further Pure 1 will be run on a tutorial basis with a Supervisor (namely a Mathematician in the department).

Entry requirements

In additional to the general Sixth Form entry criteria, a minimum of a grade 7 at GCSE Mathematics is required.

Education progression opportunities

Examples – University of Birmingham

BSc Mathematical Economics and Statistics AAA
BSc Mathematics AAA
MSci Mathematics A*A
BSc Mathematics with Study in Continental Europe A*AA – including MFL

Career progression opportunities

Employers pay a premium for the problem solving and number crunching skills of A level mathematicians. Careers include:

  • Engineering
  • Medicine
  • Accountancy
  • Finance
  • Law
  • Education
  • Business Management
  • Software Development

…to name just a few.

An applicant with A Level Mathematics is always preferred to an applicant without.

AS and A Level Physical Education

OCR

Course Overview

This course provides students with the exciting opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of PE. Stimulating content is at the heart of these engaging qualifications, which will encourage students to immerse themselves in the world of sports and PE. Studying AS or A Level Physical Education will give you a fantastic insight into the amazing world of sports performance.

Not only will you have the chance to perform or coach a sport through the non-exam assessment component, you will also develop a wide-ranging knowledge into the how and why of physical activity and sport. The combination of physical performance and academic challenge provides an exciting opportunity for students. You can perform, and then through the academic study, gain the knowledge to improve yours and others’ performance or coaching though application of the theory.

The AS and A Level in Physical Education are studied though a range of different contexts and the impact it has on both ours and others’ everyday lives becomes clear. You will learn the reasons why we do things, why some people outperform others – mentally and physically. You will also delve into the ethical considerations behind the use of drugs and also the influence that modern technology is having on physical activity and sport.

This complete grounding in the subject provides a fantastic base for you to build when you move on to higher education, employment or further training. Students will have the opportunity to develop a wide-ranging set of key skills, including communication using appropriate language, dealing with pressure, split-second decision making, interpreting and analysing data, as well as analysing and evaluating performance so improvements can be made.

The specifications also encourage the development of strong literacy and numeracy skills. The acquisition of such a diverse range of skills is of great benefit to your students as they continue their education or transfer to the world of work.

Course details and assessment

AS and A level PE includes the compulsory study of: Applied Anatomy and Physiology, Exercise Physiology, Biomechanical Movement, Skill Acquisition, Sports Psychology, Sport and Society and the Role of Technology in Physical Activity and Sport. Alongside this are the skills of PE which are examined via the NEA component on performance.

AS level

Component 1: Physiological Factors Affecting Performance

This group of topics focuses on key systems of the human body involved in movement and physical activity. Candidates will develop their knowledge and understanding of the changes within these body systems prior to exercise, during exercise of differing intensities, and during recovery. Application of this theoretical knowledge will enable candidates to understand how changes in physiological states can influence performance in physical activities and sport. Candidates will be expected to be able to interpret data and graphs relating to changes in these body systems during exercise of differing intensities and during recovery.

Component 2: Psychological and Socio-cultural Themes in PE

This component focuses on the psychological factors affecting physical activities and sports, including: models and theories that affect learning and performance in physical activities; how different methods of training and feedback work and why their effectiveness differs from person to person; group dynamics and goal setting. Through the study of this component, candidates will gain a deeper understanding of the underlying psychological factors that influence our performance in physical activity and sport. They will learn how to apply the theories to practical examples, giving guidance and feedback in constructive ways that are suited to that individual’s personality; therefore assisting in developing practical performance in physical activities and sports. This component focuses on the sociological and contemporary factors that influence and affect physical activity and sport for both the audience and the performer and how sport affects society. It includes the emergence and evolution of modern sport and how social and cultural factors shaped the characteristics of sports and pastimes in pre-industrial and post-industrial Britain. The impact of the modern Olympic Games will be understood as well as the impact on society of hosting global sporting events.

Component 3: Performance within Physical Education

Learners will be required to undertake two parts within this component. Part 1: Performance/coaching of a sport or activity from the approved DfE list. Part 2: Analysis and Evaluation of Performance for Improvement (EAPI) of a sport or activity from the approved DfE list. This does not have to be the same sport or activity that was undertaken in part 1, although it can be. Learners will identify an area of weakness within performance to prioritise for improvement and will propose a short term (3-4 weeks) action plan to improve the area of performance identified. This component is assessed via NEA.

A level

Component 1: Physiological Factors Affecting Performance

This group of topics focuses on key systems of the human body involved in movement and physical activity. Candidates will develop their knowledge and understanding of the changes within these body systems prior to exercise, during exercise of differing intensities, and during recovery. Application of this theoretical knowledge will enable candidates to understand how changes in physiological states can influence performance in physical activities and sport. Candidates will be expected to be able to interpret data and graphs relating to changes in these body systems during exercise of differing intensities and during recovery.

Component 2: Psychological Factors Affecting Performance

This component focuses on the psychological factors affecting physical activities and sports, including: models and theories that affect learning and performance in physical activities; how different methods of training and feedback work and why their effectiveness differs from person to person; group dynamics and the effects of leadership and stress on performers. Through the study of this component, candidates will gain a deeper understanding of the underlying psychological factors that influence our performance in physical activity and sport. They will learn how to apply the theories to practical examples, giving guidance and feedback in constructive ways that are suited to that individual’s personality; therefore assisting in developing practical performance in physical activities and sports.

Component 3: Socio-cultural and Contemporary Issues

This component focuses on the sociological and contemporary factors that influence and affect physical activity and sport for both the audience and the performer and how sport affects society. It includes the emergence and evolution of modern sport and how social and cultural factors shaped the characteristics of sports and pastimes in preindustrial and post-industrial Britain. The impact of the modern Olympic Games will be understood as well as the impact on society of hosting global sporting events. The ever-evolving modern technology and its influence on sport performers and spectators will be understood and practical examples will be used by candidates to show the effect of modern technology.

Component 4: Performance within Physical Education

Learners will be required to undertake two parts within this component. Part 1: Performance/coaching of a sport or activity from the approved DfE list. Part 2: The Evaluation and Analysis of Performance for Improvement (EAPI) of a sport or activity from the approved DfE list. This does not have to be the same sport or activity that was undertaken in part 1, although it can be. Learners will identify and justify the major area of weakness within the performance to prioritise for improvement and will propose a long term (2-3 months) development plan to improve the area of performance identified. This component is assessed via NEA.

Assessment Overview

AS level

Marks Duration Weighting
Component 1 Physiological Factors Affecting Performance
Anatomy and Physiology
Exercise Physiology
Biomechanics
 70 1 hour
15 Minutes
35%
Section A
3x 20 mark questions
1 question per topic – the 20 marks will be broken down into part questions
 60
Section B
1x 10 mark extended response ‘synoptic’  question which links two or more topics
 10
 Component 2 Psychological and Socio-cultural Themes in PE
Skill Acquisition
Sports Psychology
Sport and Society
 70  35%
Section A
3x 20 mark questions
1 question per topic – the 20 marks will be broken down into part questions
 60
Section B
1x 10 mark extended response ‘synoptic’  question which links two or more topics
 10
 Component 3 Psychological and Socio-cultural Themes in PE  60 NEA 30%
1) Performance or coaching practical  30
2) EAPI  30

A level

Marks Duration Weighting
Component
1
Physiological Factors Affecting Performance
Anatomy and Physiology
Exercise Physiology
Biomechanics
 90 2 hours 30%
Section A
10 marks, short-answer questions on any topic
 10
Section B
3x 20 mark questions
1 question per topic – the 20 marks will be broken down into part questions
 60
Section C
1x 20 mark extended response ‘synoptic’ question which links two or more topics
20
 Component
2
Psychological Affecting Performance
Skill Acquisition
Sports Psychology
Sport and Society
 60  1 hour  20%
Section A
10 marks, short-answer questions on any topic
 10
Section B
2x 20 mark questions
1 question per topic – the 20 marks will be broken down into part questions
 40
Section C
1x 10 mark extended response ‘synoptic’ question which links two or more topics
10
 Component
3
Socio-cultural and Contemporary Issues  60 1 hour 20%
Section A
10 marks, short-answer questions on any topic
10
Section B
2x 20 mark questions
1 question per topic – the 20 marks will be broken down into part questions
 40
Section C
1x 10 mark extended response ‘synoptic’ question which links two or more topics
10
 Component
4
Performance within Physical Education  60 NEA 30%
1) Performance or coaching practical  30
2) EAPI  30

Progression Pathways

Some of these are clear PE to PE pathways and others take into account the potential complementary options to studying PE as well as the progressions from PE into other subjects. PE is a subject that opens doors to a number of careers and life options. Sport, nutrition and health and huge topics of discussion in the world today, and as the fight against obesity and sedentary lifestyle issues continues, the knowledge you gain from a course such as this will only grow in importance and relevance.

Pages from 231497-as-and-a-level-physical-education-Flowcahrt-680w

Entry Requirements

A grade 5 or above in GCSE Maths and English, with a minimum of grade 5s in Core/Additional or Triple Science are essential. If you have studied GCSE PE a minimum of a grade 5 would be an advantage. Enthusiasm for sport, health and active leisure is essential, and engagement in sport and physical activity outside of the school curriculum will demonstrate aptitude and commitment.

A Level Physics

AQA

Course Overview

Physics is crucial to understanding the world around us, the world inside us, and the world beyond us. It is the most basic and fundamental science.

Physics is the study of the fundamental laws that govern all natural phenomena. As such it is crucial to understanding the world around us, the world inside us, and the world beyond us. Its methods and insights are widely applicable, and its practitioners widely sought.

Physics has rarely been in such an exciting state as it is today. It concerns the challenge to discover the ultimate structure of matter and the universe. It also improves our everyday lives and the world we live in through the development of new technologies.

What will I learn?

Core content

  1. Measurements and their errors
  2. Particles and radiation
  3. Waves
  4. Mechanics and materials
  5. Electricity
  6. Further mechanics and thermal physics
  7. Fields and their consequences
  8. Nuclear physics

Options

  1. Astrophysics
  2. Medical physics
  3. Engineering physics
  4. Turning points in physics
  5. Electronics

How will I be assessed?

Assessment of A level Physics:

  • Paper 1 – 2 hours assessing content of units 1-6. (34% of A Level).
  • Paper 2 – 2 hours assessing content of units 1-8. (34% of A Level).
  • Paper 3 – 2 hours assessing Practical skills and data analysis and content for one of the option units (32% of A Level).

All three papers are sat in the June of the second year of study (Year 13).

Entry requirements

GCSE grades 6,6 from double award Science (eg AQA Trilogy, AQA Synergy, OCR Gateway Science etc) or grade 6’s in the individual sciences (Biology, Chemistry and Physics). Students will also be expected to have a minimum of a grade 5 in both GCSE Mathematics and GCSE English.

Progression opportunities

A level Physics, especially in combination with either Chemistry or Biology, can support applications for a wide range of scientific degrees from pure Physics through to engineering and space science through to Joint Honours degrees where Physics can be combined with just about everything from Business and Management to Sports Studies.

Physics is a great starting point for those students interested in studying:

  • Medicine
  • Geophysics
  • Petrochemicals
  • Engineering
  • Electronics
  • Mechanical engineering
  • Construction
  • Astrophysics
  • Astronomy

However, Physics Graduates are also highly sort after by many other employment fields such as:

  • Finance & Banking
  • Accounting & Consulting
  • Education and Teaching
  • Defence and Security

For further information:

AQA

A Level Product Design

Edexcel

Course Overview

The A Level course is a natural progression from GCSE and will help students to recognise design needs and develop an understanding of how global issues and the latest technologies have an impact on the world around them. You will be expected to practice and develop your own style and research strategies. You will design and make products that are fit for purpose, satisfy wants and needs, and enhance our day-to-day lives, and most importantly, give you the opportunity to demonstrate your design and technology capability.

What will I learn?

Through contextual challenges you will have the freedom to take design risks and innovate in a situation where it is safe to test and refine ideas. You will be taken through a cycle of iterative design to put the theory you learn along the way into practice on a real design, make and evaluate project. In AS, the contextual challenge will be set by us, but at A level you will be encouraged to independently identify a real world design problem to solve.

How will I be assessed?

Component 1: Principles of Design and Technology – written examination (50%)
Topics

  1. Materials
  2. Performance characteristics of materials
  3. Digital technologies
  4. Factors influencing the development of products
  5. Effects of technological developments
  6. Potential hazards
  7. Features of manufacturing industries
  8. Designing for maintenance and the cleaner environment
  9. Current legislation
  10. Information handling, modelling and forward planning
  11. Further processes and techniques

Component 2: Independent Design and Make Project – examined assessment (50%)

You will undertake a small-scale design, make and evaluate project in response to a realistic contextual challenge, taking into account the needs and wants of the user. The project consists of a portfolio and prototype.

Entry Requirements

Students will be at a significant advantage if they have studied a Design Technology subject at GCSE. A large proportion of the assessment is written, and therefore a Grade 5 in English is desirable. You will be required to research and develop design solutions independently. Strong self-motivation is very important and the key to success in Product Design.

Progression Opportunities

The course covers many creative design areas which will allow you to follow routes onto HND’s and degrees in:

  • Design
  • Graphics
  • Product design
  • Interior design
  • Automotive
  • Sports equipment
  • Engineering
  • Architecture
  • Town and country planning
  • Landscape
  • Teaching
  • Maritime/naval architecture

Example:

Architecture at the University of Cambridge
(Entry requirements A Level A*AA)

Product Design: Jewellery and Fashion Products
at Sheffield Hallam University
(Entry requirements A Level BCC)

All man-made things have to be designed and so the potential career opportunities in:

  • Graphics
  • Product Design
  • Exhibition
  • Automotive and Interior design
  • Architecture

AS & A Level Psychology

OCR

Below is an outline of the OCR AS Psychology Course. You will be provided with everything that you need for the course including text books, exercise book and assessment folder.  For every lesson you will need to bring a pen, your books and your brain!

What is psychology?

Psychology is the scientific study of human mind and behaviour: how we think, feel, act and interact individually and in groups. Psychology is concerned with all aspects of behaviour and with the thoughts, feelings and motivations underlying that behaviour. We are all interested in what makes people tick and how this understanding can help solve major problems in society.

Psychology is a science and psychologists study human behaviour by observing, measuring and testing, then arriving at conclusions that are rooted in sound scientific methodology.

The Psychology A Level will equip you with the skills and knowledge to decode human behaviour in everyday life.

What does the course lead to?

The Psychology A Level will open the door for further study at degree level, a range of vocational courses and employment in many different areas. The opportunities in the job market are varied and wide ranging. You could choose to specialise in educational psychology, forensic psychology, sports psychology or counselling. Further study can lead to work in teaching and the skills developed on the course can be transferred to gain employment in healthcare, law and the media.

What will I learn?

 AS Level Content You sit these exams during Summer of Year 12

Psychology is now classed as a Science and there is a requirement that the course has 10% maths content. The maths content will be of GCSE standard.

Content overview
Unit 1

Research methods

  • 1.5 hours
  • 75 marks
  • 50% AS Level
You will study the four main techniques for collecting and analysing data. These are:

  • self-report
  • experiment
  • observation
  • correlation

You will also need to be familiar with the following:

  • planning and conducting research
  • data recording, analysis and presentation
  • report writing
  • science in psychology

You will be expected to carry out your own small scale practical activities and will reflect on their experiences.

Unit 2

Psychological themes through core studies

  • 1.5 hours
  • 75 marks
  • 50% AS Level
You will need to be familiar with the five key themes and the classic and contemporary core study located within each.  You will need to know 10 studies in total. The themes are:

  1. Responses to people in authority
  2. Memory
  3. External influences on children’s behaviour
  4. Regions of the brain
  5. Understanding disorders

You will also need to be familiar with the following:

  • areas and perspectives in psychology
  • methodological issues relating to the core studies
  • debates in psychology

A Level Content You sit these exams during Summer of Year 13

Content overview
Unit 1

Research methods

  • 2 hours
  • 90 marks
  • 30% A Level
You will study the four main techniques for collecting and analysing data.These are:

  • self-report
  • experiment
  • observation
  • correlation

You will also need to be familiar with the following:

  • planning and conducting research
  • data recording, analysis and presentation
  • report writing
  • science in psychology

You will be expected to carry out your own small scale practical activities and will reflect on their experiences.

Unit 2

Psychological themes through core studies

  • 2 hours
  • 105 marks
  • 35% A Level
You will need to be familiar with the ten key themes and the classic and contemporary core study located within each.  You will need to know 20 studies in total.  You will need to know the five themes from AS plus:

  1. Responses to people in need
  2. Attention
  3. Moral development
  4. Brain plasticity
  5. Measuring differences
Unit 3
Applied psychology
  • 2 hours
  • 105 marks
  • 35% A Level

You will need to be familiar with one compulsory section, Issues in mental health, which provides an introduction to the topic of mental health.

You will also study:

  • Child psychology
  • Criminal psychology

You will also need to understand methodological issues and debates that run throughout the unit:

  • Nature/nurture
  • Free will/determinism
  • Reductionism/holism
  • Individual/situational explanations
  • Usefulness of research
  • Ethical considerations
  • Conducting socially sensitive research
  • Psychology as a science

Is Psychology suitable for you?

To study Psychology you are required to get grade 5s in GCSE English and Maths, along with a grade 5 in GCSE Science(s). If you have studied GCSE Psychology then a grade 5 is desirable but each student is considered on an individual basis.

If you need any further advice or would like to visit the psychology department contact: lbutler@jhncc.org

A Level Religious Studies

Philosophy & Ethics

Edquas

Course Overview

The AS course in philosophy and ethics begins with a study of a range of arguments some of which centre on one question – is it possible to prove that God exists? Both believers and non-believers are often surprised by the answer. This is followed by an investigation into the claim that miracles occur, sometimes in circumstances where people have survived in the face of impossible odds or where there are claims of miraculous medical cures. The existence of evil is also an area studied on the AS course, evaluating evidence which suggests both natural and supernatural explanations. Ethical questions relating to war, and sexuality are also part of the study of philosophy and ethics at AS. In ethics more specifically the focus is on how we can make a moral decision, and researching different methods and analysing their usefulness in everyday life.

The A2 course offers the opportunity to study at a more advanced level arguments which support or challenge beliefs in life after death, including an evaluation of recent scientific evidence. Claims of religious experience and the nature of these claims are also an important area for investigation. Arguments against religion which form the basis of atheism also form an important part of the A2 course. Ethical issues relating to justice, law and punishment complete the study of philosophy and ethics at A2.

What will I learn?

The study of philosophy and ethics offers the opportunity to reflect on some of life’s most fundamental questions, questions which help us understand the meaning of existence and what it means to be human. Some of these challenging questions include: Does life have any meaning or purpose? Is there a God? If there is a God and God created everything, did he create suffering and evil? Do miracles happen or does science always offer an explanation? Is it ever right to kill? Should we ever commit evil so that good may follow? Does morality come from religion? Should I act for the greater good or out of love? So many of these questions form part of religious and political discussion – the study of philosophy and ethics offers the opportunity to investigate these issues in detail.

How will I be assessed?

Short Course (Year 12)
3 external examinations
Full Course (Year 12 and 13)
3 external examinations
Component 1:
An Introduction to the Study of Religion
Written examination: 1 hour 30 minutes
33⅓% of qualification
Component 1:
A Study of Religion
Written examination: 2 hours
33⅓% of qualification
This component offers the choice of the study of one religion from a choice of six:

  • Option A: Christianity
  • Option B: Islam
  • Option C: Judaism
  • Option D: Buddhism
  • Option E: Hinduism
  • Option F: Sikhism

There will be four themes within each option:

  • religious figures and sacred texts
  • religious concepts
  • religious life
  • religious practices.

Learners will be expected to answer one question from Section A out of a choice of two and one question from Section B out of a choice of three in this component.
Questions can be taken from any area of the specification.

This component offers the choice of the study of one religion from a choice of six:

  • Option A: Christianity
  • Option B: Islam
  • Option C: Judaism
  • Option D: Buddhism
  • Option E: Hinduism
  • Option F: Sikhism

There will be four themes within each option:

  • religious figures and sacred texts
  • religious concepts and religious life
  • significant social and historical developments
    in religious thought
  • religious practices
  • religious identity.

Learners will be expected to answer one question from Section A out of a choice of two and one question from Section B out of a choice of three in this component.
Questions can be taken from any area of the specification.

Component 2:
An Introduction to Philosophy of Religion
Written examination: 1 hour 30 minutes
33⅓% of qualification
Component 2:
Philosophy of Religion
Written examination: 2 hours
33⅓% of qualification
There will be four themes within this component:

  • inductive arguments for the existence of inductive arguments for the existence of
    God
  • deductive arguments for the existence of God;
  • challenges to religious belief – the deductive arguments for the existence of God;
  • challenges to religious belief – the
    problem of evil and suffering; and religious experience.

Learners will be expected to answer one question from Section A out of a choice of two and one question from Section B out of a choice of three in this component. Questions can be taken from any area of the specification.

There will be four themes within this component:

  • arguments for the existence of
    God
  • challenges to religious belief
  • religious experience
  • religious language

Learners will be expected to answer one question from Section A out of a choice of two and one question from Section B out of a choice of three in this component.

Component 3:
An Introduction to Religion and Ethics
Written examination: 1 hour 30 minutes
33⅓% of qualification
Component 3:
Religion and Ethics
Written examination: 2 hours
33⅓% of qualification
There will be four themes within this component (including applied ethics in themes two to four):

  • ethical thoughts
  • Aquinas’ Natural Law
  • Fletcher’s Situation Ethics
  • Utilitarianism.

Learners will be expected to answer one question from Section A out of a choice of two and one question from Section B out of a choice of three in this component. Questions can be taken from any area of the specification.

There will be four themes within this component:

  • ethical thought
  • deontological ethics
  • teleological ethics
  • determinism
  • free will

Learners will be expected to answer one question from Section A out of a choice of two and one question from Section B out of a choice of three in this component. Questions can be taken from any area of the specification.

Extracurricular activities

There will be opportunities to attend philosophy and ethics lectures and seminars at universities in Birmingham and hopefully throughout the country. We hope also to invite lecturers to speak at our college.

Is there anything else I need to know?

You should be prepared to participate fully in lessons and commit a significant amount of time to preparation work outside of class. You will write essays, consolidate work completed in class and read around topics under study.

Entry requirements

Prospective candidates will benefit from a grade 5 or above in GCSE Religious Studies and a minimum of 5 in English.

Education progression opportunities

RS Philosophy and Ethics is highly regarded by universities and employers as it reveals an ability to think independently discuss and evaluate. It is an excellent preparation for any humanities degree.

Career progression opportunities

RS Philosophy and Ethics prepares students for the following careers;

  • Legal and medical services
  • Journalism and publishing
  • Education and social work
  • Broadcast, film, video and media sector
  • Politics

A Level Sociology

What is Sociology?

Sociology is the study of society, human social behaviour and its origins, development, organisations, and institutions. A goal for many sociologists is to conduct research which may be applied directly to social policy and welfare to address a problem within society, for example poverty.

Studying Sociology will allow you to develop an understanding of how the world in which we live can influence our experiences of it. This course encourages you to question society and the world around you providing you with the opportunity to develop a range of transferable skills and a level of understanding of central aspects of sociological thought and methods. You will investigate various aspects of our social world in an attempt to look beyond commonsense perceptions and uncover the ‘true’ nature of our society and the reasons why it is the way it is.

What does the course lead to?

The A Level in Sociology qualification acts as a good foundation for further study in the social sciences or related subjects, such as history, law, business, politics, psychology or criminology.

Typically, people with a sociology A Level or degree gain employment in careers that involve working with people. These could include community worker, housing officer, journalist, personnel manager, prison officer, probation officer and social worker to name but a few.

What will I learn?

We complete the AQA A Level in Sociology studying the following topics:

Year 12

Examined in the summer of Year 12 – 2 x 1.30 exams

Year 13

Examined in the summer of Year 13 – 3 x 2 hour exams

Education

  • What is the role and function of the education system?
  • Why does the educational achievement change depending on the social class, gender and ethnicity of a person?
  • What are the relationships and processes within schools, with particular reference to teacher/pupil relationships, pupil identities and subcultures, the hidden curriculum, and the organisation of teaching and learning and how do they affect achievement?
  • How does the government affect education through educational policies?

Culture and Identity

  • What are the different conceptions of culture?
  • What is the socialisation process and the role of the agencies of socialisation?
  • Is your sense of self and your identity both socially caused and socially constructed?
  • What is the relationship of identity to age, disability, ethnicity, gender, nationality, sexuality and social class in contemporary society?
  • What is the relationship of identity to production, consumption and globalisation?
Crime and Deviance

  • What is crime, deviance, social order and social control?
  • Is the social distribution of crime and deviance by ethnicity, gender and social class equal?
  • What is the relation between globalisation and crime in contemporary society?
  • How do we control crime?
  • How do we prevent crime?
  • What is the role of the criminal justice system and other agencies?

Beliefs in Society

  • What is the relationship between social change and social stability, and religious beliefs, practices and organisations?
  • What are the different religious organisations and what is their relationship to religious and spiritual belief and practice?
  • What is the relationship between different social groups and religious/spiritual organisations and movements, beliefs and practices?
  • What is the significance of religion and religiosity in the contemporary world?

What Grades do I need?

If you have studied sociology at GCSE, you must have a minimum of a grade 6. If not, you must have achieved a grade 5 in English.

A-level Spanish
AQA

Why study A level Spanish?

A-level Spanish helps students develop confident, effective communication skills in Spanish and a thorough understanding of the culture of countries and communities where Spanish is spoken. It develops an interest in, and enthusiasm for, language learning and encourages students to consider their study of the language in a broader context.

This four-unit specification requires students to develop their ability to write and speak in Spanish with accurate grammar and syntax for a range of purposes and to understand written or spoken Spanish in a variety of contexts and genres.

This course is particularly suitable for students who have studied GCSE Spanish or the AQA Certificate in Spanish and wish to study Spanish at a higher level.

AS Topics A2 Topics

Media

  • Television
  • Advertising
  • Communication Technology

Popular Culture

  • Cinema
  • Music
  • Fashion/Trends

Healthy Living/Lifestyle

  • Sport/Exercise
  • Healthand Well-being
  • Holidays

Family/Relationships

  • Relationships within the family
  • Friendships
  • Marriage/Partnerships

Environment

  • Polution
  • Energy
  • Protecting the planet

The Multicultural Society

  • Immigration
  • Intergration
  • Racism

Contemporary Social Issues

  • Wealth and poverty
  • Law and order
  • Impact of scientific and technological progress

CULTURAL TOPICS

students will study 2 of these cultural topics

A target language-speaking region/community

  • Its geography and how its geography has influenced/influences/will influence the region
  • Its history and how its history has influenced/influences/will influence the region
  • Its industries and how these have changed in the last 20 years. What about the future?
  • Its population and how it has changed in the last 20 years. What about the future?
  • Its economy and how important this is/was
  • A personal perspective: Would I like to live/work in this region?

A period of 20th century history from a target language-speaking country/community

  • Main events of the period causes of these events
  • The importance/influence/effects of these events
  • The ideas and influences of at least two individuals who made a significant impact during theperiod
  • Specific actions of these individuals plus an appraisal of the importance of these actions
  • A personal perspective: Would I have liked to live in that period?

An author from a target language-speaking country/community

  • A detailed study of at least one novel or collection of short stories, plus personal appraisal
  • The themes/ideas/messages of the author
  • How these themes/ideas/messages are expressed
  • What/who influences/inspires the author? Why does he/she feel as he/she does?
  • A personal evaluation of the author’s work: Why do I enjoy reading the work of this author?

A dramatist or poet from a target language-speaking country/community

  • A detailed study of at least one play or collection of poems, plus personal appraisal
  • The themes/ideas/messages of the dramatist/poet
  • How these themes/ideas/messages are expressed
  • What/who influences/inspires the dramatist/poet? Why does he/she feel as he/she does?
  • A personal evaluation of the dramatist’s/poet’s work: Why do I enjoy the work of this dramatist/poet?

A director, architect, musician or painter from a target language-speaking country/community

  • A detailed study of at least one work of the artist, plus a personal appraisal
  • The influences on the artist – events and people
  • The ideas/techniques of the artist, plus personal appraisal
  • The importance of the artist both in his/her own lifetime and later
  • A personal evaluation: Why do I find this artist so interesting?

How will I be assessed?

This A-level requires students to complete all four units; 2 units at AS level and a further 2 units at A2 level

Unit 1
2 hours
Listening, Reading and Writing
70% of the total AS marks
35% of the total A-level marks
Unit 2
35 minutes (including 20 minutes preparation time)
Speaking
30% of the total AS marks
15% of the total A-level marks
Unit 3
2½ hours
Listening, Reading and Writing
35% of the total A-level marks
Unit 4
35 minutes (including 20 minutes preparation time)
Speaking
15% of the total A-level marks

Entry requirements

Students who wish to study A Level Spanish need to have achieved a minimum of a grade 7 at GCSE Spanish.

Progression opportunities

All top universities have language departments for specialist study. Many other courses, from business to engineering etc, offer an option which includes international study.

In an increasingly global marketplace professional people with language ability are well placed to work with multinational companies.

[/sa_accordion]