King's offers a wide range of subject choices at Sixth Form, but also provides considerable flexibility in subject combinations.
The majority of our students will take three full A levels from the start of their studies. This is because we believe students are better having the academic focus on three from the very beginning, giving an appropriate depth of study to ensure academic success. It also means full commitment from the very start of the course. Approximately one fifth of the year group will take four A levels. These are the Further Mathematicians as well as students who are taking STEM subjects and/or those who may require four A levels for their university applications.
Students have free choice over their subjects, which may be linked if they have a definite career in mind such as medicine, or can be quite diverse to allow students to keep their options open.
The current list of A level subjects on offer includes:
Art & Design, Biology, Business Studies, Chemistry, Computing, Design Technology, Economics, English Language, English Literature, French, Geography, Geology, German, Government & Politics, History, ICT, Latin, Mathematics, Further Mathematics, Music, Physics, Psychology, Religious Studies, Spanish, Sport and Physical Education.
We also recognise that breadth is important and students studying three A levels will also follow an Extended Studies programme in Years 12 and 13. In Year 12, this will involve studying for an IGCSE in Global Perspectives and in Year 13 many students will either go on to do the EPQ, or take another qualification from a range e.g. Sports Leadership, Theatre Studies, Japanese. They also have a weekly Activities afternoon in which they play sport, follow an interest, volunteer or contribute to the community.
In Year 12, the timetable is constructed as follows:
12 periods per fortnight in each subject
4 periods of Recreational Activities
2 periods of Extended Studies
1 PSHE or tutorial period
12 Private Study periods
The PSHE programme covers many areas, but includes lessons with tutors on study skills and lectures from visiting speakers on such things as citizenship, social and health issues and, of course, sessions on university applications, writing a personal statement, student finance, etc.
Sixth Form students benefit from regular excursions and field trips to support and enhance their curriculum. Students tell us that many of these trips, whilst not compulsory, bring a new dimension to the material on the syllabus as well as being hugely enjoyable. Examples include:
Biology investigation of the seashore
Geology fieldtrip to Arran
History visit to London (Imperial War Museum and overnight on HMS Belfast)
English visit to Royal Shakespeare Company
French study week in Normandy
In addition to curriculum visits, students are offered opportunities to attend lectures at Manchester University, visit Oxbridge Colleges, and are provided with information on University Open days etc.
Homework is set in all subjects and students develop organisational skills to meet deadlines. At least 4 hours study per subject per week outside the classroom in Year 12 is expected (5 hours in Year 13) and students need to read beyond the subject specification in order to gain maximum benefit from their courses.
Private study periods may be used for this purpose in the Sixth Form Study Area or the Library. In the early stages of Year 12, some private study will be supervised to reinforce good working habits, but study at home is expected.
More detail on the subjects offered at A level is available at our Subject Options Evening in November. If you would like more information from us, please telephone the Admissions Office on 01625 260000.