Overview

Pathways
There are three pathways available in Key Stage 5: academic, vocational or academic/vocational blend.

• Academic = A levels or Applied A levels. These are mainly exams and coursework.
• Vocational = BTEC qualifications. These are practical courses all assessed through assignments.
• Blend = Combination of academic and vocational qualifications.

Levels and Qualifications
The courses on offer at Post 16 will allow you to gain either Level 2 or Level 3 qualifications.
Depending on prior attainment at Key Stage 4, students will either select all Level 3 qualifications or a blend of Level 2 and Level 3.
• Level 3 courses: AS Levels, A levels, Applied A levels or BTEC National Award, Certificate or Diplomas.
• Level 2 courses: GCSE English and GCSE Maths. If you have not gained a C grade in GCSE English or Maths you must
continue to study to gain either of these qualifications throughout your time in Post 16.

Specification Changes September 2016 onwards
In many subjects the AS and A2 qualifications have already been ‘decoupled’ since 2015. This means
that they are standalone qualifications where attainment at AS does not have any impact on the
final A Level Grade at the end of Year 13. Content that was assessed at the end of Year 12 in the
AS will be assessed again at the end of Year 13 as part of the A Level. The A-Level subjects below,
however, are based on new reformed specifications as of September 2016:

• A Level Dance
• A Level Drama
• A Level French
• A Level Geography
• A Level German
• A Level Music
• A Level Physical Education
• A Level Religious Studies
• A Level Spanish

BTEC Qualifications September 2016 Onwards
Level 3 BTEC Qualifications have also been reformed from September 2016 with a greater
emphasis on external examination; furthermore if students do not pass the external examination,
regardless of the success of their internally examined work, then students will not receive a grade
for the qualification.

Legacy Specifications for 2016
The remaining subjects, not reformed in 2015 or 2016, will follow the legacy assessment model where
the AS and A2 are coupled. This is where attainment from assessments for the AS at the end of Year 12
will count towards the A2 qualification at the end of Year 13. Normally, the AS counts for 50% of a full A2.

Typical Year 12 Schedule

  • 4 courses – academic, vocational, blend
  • Course contact time – 5 hours per subject = 20 hours
  • Course non-contact time – 5 hours per subject =
  • 20 hours of learning outside of lessons (minimum)
  • Daily Post 16 mentor time – 15 mins
  • Weekly Guidance session – 1 hour
  • Private study – 4 hours
  • Enrichment

Typical Year 13 Schedule

  • 3 courses – academic, vocational, blend
  • Course contact time – 5 hours per subject = 15 hours
  • Course non-contact time – 5 hours per subject =
  • 15 hours of learning outside of lessons (minimum)
  • Daily Post 16 mentor time – 15 mins
  • Weekly Guidance session – 1 hour
  • Private study – 9 hours
  • Enrichment

Extended Project Qualification
EPQ is a qualification that showcases your ability to take learning to a higher level. It allows you
to explore a chosen subject venturing into aspects that really interest and inspire you. It can help
persuade universities that you have skills and knowledge to achieve at higher level of study and work
independently. Employers will value it because you can design it around your chosen career and
therefore show both commitment to a specific career path and demonstrate an accelerated level of
knowledge in a specific area.

It is a single piece of work, chosen by the student, which can take two forms:
• 5,000 dissertation (10 – 15 typed pages)
• 2,000 project plus an ‘artefact’.

EPQ is the equivalent to half an A Level; it takes one year to complete and graded in the same way as all
other AS Levels, however there is the opportunity to be awarded an A* grade. Undertaking EPQ is seen
as an addition to your compulsory curriculum of 4 subjects in Year 12 and 3 in Year 13. Students in either
Year 12 or 13 can opt to do EPQ however this must be agreed through your Learning Manager.

You will be allocated two teacher-led periods each week for EPQ and three hours will be registered and
supervised by the Post 16 Admin Officer.

Core Maths
Core Maths is the equivalent to half an A Level; it takes two years to complete is graded in the same way
as all other AS Levels. It is seen as a course to booster the mathematical skills that complement science
and social science based Level 3 courses, such as biology, psychology, geography and sociology.

The course is taught for three hours a week during Year 12 and 2 hours a week during Year 13 so that
the skills needed are embedded over the duration of your post 16 studies.
The course is most suitable for students who attain a C or low B at GCSE