Sixth Form Prospectus 2024-26


PAGE 2 | KING EDWARD VI ASTON | SIXTH FORM PROSPECTUS 2024–2026 A MESSAGE TO OUR SIXTH FORM APPLICANTS It is a great pleasure to introduce to you our Sixth Form at King Edward VI Aston School. For over 130 years we’ve been preparing students for the wider world and from this experience we’ve learned a great deal about the success criteria for young people at university and beyond. We firmly believe that Aston students achieve very well at our Sixth Form because of our three pillars of achievement: Firstly, we know that highly qualified teachers with a passion for their subject can inspire all our learners to achieve well academically. These results will open doors to the very best university courses available. Secondly, we have seen that a broad and engaging enrichment programme can add value to our students’ lives, enabling them to demonstrate outstanding extracurricular involvement. Thirdly, our core values of honesty, integrity, diligence and kindness are the cornerstones of enabling our learners to become well-rounded, compassionate and articulate young men. Our Sixth Form is a clear embodiment of these principles. The vast majority of our Y11 learners stay on to complete their education with us in Year 12. This allows for a small, yet very able and committed group of students to join us in Year 12 and benefit from the fantastic academic and pastoral care of our staff. Every year, it is a real joy to see students coming together from different educational backgrounds with a sense of common purpose and desire. Without exception, this group of learners who are all academically able define the ethos of our Sixth Form; a place of hard work, determination to succeed and readiness to help others in their learning journey. With consistently high academic outcomes, our boys eventually join the alumni of ‘old boys’ who are not only successful in their careers, but very committed to maintaining connection with a school which laid the cornerstone of their achievements. I am confident that you will want to be part of next chapter of our history. With warmest wishes. MATT BRADY | HEADTEACHER

ENQUIRY@KEASTON.BHAM.SCH.UK | KEASTON.BHAM.SCH.UK | PAGE 3 A MESSAGE FROM OUR SCHOOL CAPTAIN Welcome to King Edward VI Aston Sixth Form. My name is Kieran Gallagher, and I am the school captain here. I joined the school back in 2017 as a Year 7 and have never looked back. The number of opportunities available here is unparalleled, and that is what truly makes Aston one of the best schools in Birmingham. Our four key values are evident in every aspect of school life - honesty, integrity, diligence, and kindness are displayed by every student at every given moment. The extracurricular opportunities here are what have made my schooling experience. I am currently writing this whilst on rugby tour in France and Spain, and I look forward to performing in the upcoming Christmas concert. If you take one piece of advice from me, it should be this: Make the most of every opportunity presented to you at King Edward VI Aston - that is how you live life to the fullest.

PAGE 4 | KING EDWARD VI ASTON | SIXTH FORM PROSPECTUS 2024–2026 K ING EDWARD VI ASTON LIFE IN THE SIXTH FORM WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU JOIN US We pride ourselves on offering students who join Sixth Form the best educational and extracurricular opportunities. Students receive outstanding teaching across a broad range of A-Level subjects with opportunities to extend their learning through a variety of clubs. These include a debate club and a Medicine and Dentistry society to help students prepare for careers in these fields beyond Sixth Form. Outside the classroom, King Edward VI Aston has an extensive House System which is an integral part of a student’s day to day life in Sixth Form. When they join the Sixth Form team, each student will be assigned to one of the five Houses; Brandon, Floyd, Hawley, Manton or Temperley. They will be part of this House until they leave at the end of Year 13 and will have the opportunity to compete in a variety of competitions including House Cross Country, House Chess and House Rugby, with the winning houses being awarded the Tuck and the Hawkesford trophies at the end of the year. In addition to the House Competitions, extra-curricular opportunities are plentiful. Students can visit a variety of universities, including Oxford University, and trips to CERN as part of the Physics programme occur regularly. At King Edward VI Aston, we are committed to developing students both academically and personally. Throughout their time at Sixth Form there will be opportunities to develop leadership and teamwork skills. Sixth Formers are regularly encouraged to mentor students from lower down the school, both academically and in a supportive manner. They can also apply to join the prefect team in Year 13, led by the School Captain. All these positions are appointed after an application and rigorous interview process. Volunteering is actively encouraged, and alternate Thursdays allow students the chance to support in their local communities. Students who attend Sixth Form at King Edward VI Aston go on to some of the most prestigious universities in the country, with many starting degrees in subjects such as medicine, dentistry and economics. Almost 50% of our students apply on UCAS as early entry students due to their aspirations to attend Oxbridge or to study medicine or dentistry. We support them through the process with Oxbridge preparation sessions and by bringing in former students who have taken this pathway to talk them through the process. For those applying later in the window, form tutors play an active role in supporting them with high quality references and advice to ensure they are fully prepared for their applications. WHAT OFSTED SAY: In our last Ofsted inspection in May 2022, the Sixth Form was rated as ‘Outstanding’ and commended for the quality of provision that students receive. – The Sixth-Form curriculum planning is strong. – Sixth Formers are extremely well prepared for life beyond school. – In the words of students there is ‘a stupendous enrichment programme’. Opportunities for work experience are closely linked to their future destinations

ENQUIRY@KEASTON.BHAM.SCH.UK | KEASTON.BHAM.SCH.UK | PAGE 5 OPEN EVENING – 13TH NOVEMBER Year 11 students from this school and others are invited to attend with their families to gather information on all aspects of Sixth Form provision. The school admits 40-50 new students to the Sixth Form each September. We welcome applications from ambitious students from the Birmingham area and beyond. Financial assistance may be available for students currently studying at schools in the North-West area of Birmingham. If you are ambitious and aspire to high levels of Sixth Form achievement, apply to join one of the city’s most successful, stimulating and prestigious Sixth Form community. THE CLOSING DATE FOR APPLICATIONS IS 18TH DECEMBER For admission information please visit ENTRY REQUIREMENTS – To achieve entry into the Sixth Form in September 2024, prospective entrants (both existing pupils and external candidates) must achieve a minimum of seven GCSE passes at grades 9-5, including at least grades 6 in English and Mathematics. – To study a subject at A-Level a student must have achieved at least a grade 7 at GCSE in that subject. – To study Further Mathematics, a student must have achieved at least a grade 9 in Mathematics at GCSE level. – To study Science, Mathematics and Computer Science, a student must have achieved 8, 7, 7 in GCSEs involving these subjects (for example to study Mathematics, Biology and Chemistry a student must have achieved an 8 in at least one of these subjects and 7’s in the others). – Further Mathematics is the fourth option for students on top of the entry requirements for studying 4 A-Level subjects (achieve 5 grade 8’s or above with grade 8 in at least 3 of the A-Level choices). – Pupils studying Physics must also study Mathematics. Offers of places in the Sixth Form will be conditional on achievement of these results and capacity on chosen courses. In the event of over-subscription priority will be given to: “looked after or previously looked after children” and then those who live nearest to the school (according to the straight-line distance between home and school). No offers will be made to students before A-Level results are released in August 2024. Prospective students will then be able to apply through the school website and will be invited in for interviews on results day or the day after. BYOD POLICY In September 2022, we launched a bring your own device (BYOD) policy for all students in Year 12. Students are now required to have a stylus enabled device for all of their lessons. Our aim is to foster a culture of independent learning and an ownership of learning, and we believe that the use of a device assists students in this endeavour. Owning this device and mastering its use at Sixth Form ensures that students are equipped for life after Year 13. CHOOSING SUBJECTS A-Level courses follow a two-year linear format with the final assessment taking place at the end of the course (2025 Summer Term). Students will be assessed internally throughout both year groups, including mock examinations during the 2024 Summer Term. The Sixth Form does not offer AS Level qualifications, which were introduced alongside the new two-year linear A-Level courses, in any subjects in the summer 2024 examination session. From September 2023 all students will follow one of four pathways with the expectation that they will sit A-Level examinations in all of their chosen subjects in the summer of 2025. The four pathways are as follows: – Three A-Level subjects – Three A-Level subjects plus the Extended Project Qualification – Four A-Level subjects – Four A-Level subjects plus the Extended Project Qualification In addition to the above, all students in Year 12 will have: – A weekly 50 minute lesson of Personal, Social, Health & Economic Education – A weekly afternoon of games/enrichment The Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) is started in the spring of Year 12 and completed during the autumn term of Year 13. Students considering university courses where an interview forms part of the application process are strongly encouraged to study for the EPQ. Students wishing to study four A-Level subjects must have at least five GCSE passes at grade 8 or above with a grade 8 in at least three of their A-Level subject choices. No student will be able to study four A-Level subjects if they have less than a grade 7 or the required equivalent in the subject at GCSE. The decision to study four A-Level subjects must not be because the student cannot make a decision. Students studying four A-Levels will be encouraged to do so in order to broaden their academic curriculum. For example, a student taking Biology, Chemistry and Mathematics would be encouraged to take a social science, a humanity, an arts or a language course as their fourth A-Level subject. Further Mathematics will be treated as a separate subject and can be studied alongside Mathematics and two other A-Level subjects. To study Further Mathematics students will be required to have GCSE grade 8 or 9 in Mathematics.

PAGE 6 | KING EDWARD VI ASTON | SIXTH FORM PROSPECTUS 2024–2026 A-LEVEL COLLABORATION The four schools of the King Edward VI Academy Trust based in the Aston/ Handsworth area have a unique opportunity to develop closer working partnerships. They support each other in delivering an effective, high quality education through teachers sharing good practice, through students having a wider range of opportunities to work together on projects and to take part in enriching experiences. Also, to work together to ensure as broad a curriculum offer as possible is maintained in a climate of constrained budgets, difficult teacher recruitment and student choice. To that end we are embarking on an exciting era of working together to ensure our students can access quality education in a selection of subjects taught across the schools as a whole. As a parent or student your priority is the quality of the provision you will receive as well as having the option to study the subjects you want. By working together we will be able to offer the widest choice of subjects, combining to make viable sized groups and maintain student choice. Students studying the traditionally smaller take up subjects can benefit from better class discussions/debates and problem solving. The possible subjects where we will be working together are Art, Design and Technology, French, German, Music and PE. Timetables across the four schools are aligned to enable lessons to be timetabled during periods 3 and 4 in the school day. This will enable transport to be taken to and from the host school during recess and lunch time, having no impact upon the other lessons that day. Access to learning resources at the host school will be available and attendance closely monitored. As a student you remain registered with Aston as a base and will be fully involved in the school as normal including extra curricular activities. If you are interested in one of these courses then apply as normal. Gather information about the A-Level course; is the course what you want or need? If you wish to study one or two collaboration subjects select your choices; if take up across the four schools leads us to decide to run the course at limited centres we will work it out for you and then let you know. Please do not let the fact that you may have to attend lessons in a different venue for a subject affect your decisions. All the schools have outstanding teaching and make excellent progress. You will remain with us as a base school, fully involved in our school life. CAREERS We take your son’s ability and confidence to make the right decision for themselves about their next step beyond Sixth Form very seriously. Students at our school benefit from an astounding array of supra-curricular opportunities to develop their interest in subject areas and degrees; typically around 250 events and opportunities are available during the year for them to engage in. These also give them an opportunity to meet with businesses, professionals and undergraduates, enabling them to grow their own network. Your son will also follow a carefully established programme of support to help him put together excellent university and/or apprenticeship applications, with additional support provided through the school having UCAS and Oxbridge specialists.

ENQUIRY@KEASTON.BHAM.SCH.UK | KEASTON.BHAM.SCH.UK | PAGE 7 EPQ At Sixth Form, students have the opportunity to complete an EPQ. This is the AQA Extended Project Qualification. It is a self-taught and researched, individual project, and students are allocated a member of teaching staff who acts as their EPQ Supervisor and monitors their progress. EPQ students will choose an area of interest that is not directly covered by their A-Level subjects, and then research and produce a 5,000 word report OR complete research to produce an Artefact/Product and an accompanying 2-3,000 word report. They are expected to complete 90 hours of self-guided work. Students complete their research and work on a project logbook between in the spring and summer terms of year 12, and then produce their draft report over the summer holidays between year 12 and year 13. In the autumn term they work on polishing their final draft, as well as giving a presentation about their EPQ journey and finishing their project logbook. In the spring term their project is submitted for marking and moderation. The EPQ qualification is worth UCAS points equivalent to half an A-Level. Around 30,000 students a year complete an EPQ, and it is an excellent opportunity for students to develop their research skills, improve their skills of organisation and time management, and to enhance their UCAS application. Many top universities are keen to see students undertaking an EPQ, as it shows passion for their chosen subject, as well as being very good preparation for study at a university level. The EPQ suits students who are: – Well-motivated. – Achieving their minimum target grades in their A-Level-subjects in year 12. – Looking for a challenge. –Interested in enhancing their university application. – Interested in studying a topic of personal interest outside of their A-Level studies. – Keen to develop their research and essay writing skills. EPQ allows students to extend their abilities beyond the A-Level syllabus and prepare for university or their future career. It is worth half an A-Level (28 UCAS points) so can be used to earn extra UCAS points. We are seeing more and more universities including EPQ in their offers, and sometimes the successful completion of an EPQ can lead to a reduced/lower offer from universities for acceptance onto courses. Students apply to undertake an EPQ in December of year 12. This is done via letter to the lead teacher of EPQ, Mrs Cresswell. Acceptance onto the EPQ is based upon the strength of this letter as well as on the progress card issued at Christmas. EPQ by its very nature is very enriching. It will develop your skills of self-motivation, independent working, and communication. You will have a weekly Moodle module to access and read on a variety topics from using data as evidence to critical evaluation of sources. You will also have fortnightly one-onone meetings with your EPQ supervisor. Students are surveyed upon completion of the EPQ and last years’ students were asked ‘What did you enjoy most about undertaking an EPQ?’ They responded: “The challenge of independent learning, developing your interests, and putting them into use”. “The skills and knowledge that I gained from the experience”. “Researching a topic that I love”. “Being able to study about something out of the normal school syllabus which is related to my prospective university degree”. “ I enjoyed the presentation aspect of the course; it was a nice experience to present what I had learned to others, and to look back at all of the key skills that I gained through partaking in the project”. “The benefits to my UCAS application”. “Developing my skills of long term management, organisation, and independent learning”. “Learning to teach myself, and fuelling my curiosity on a subject that I am passionate about”. “Being able to explore in detail a topic that I want to pursue in the next 5 years”.

PAGE 8 | KING EDWARD VI ASTON | SIXTH FORM PROSPECTUS 2024–2026 OXBRIDGE There is no doubt that successful candidates win through a highly competitive and challenging process through effective preparation and being willing to extend and deepen their subject knowledge and awareness well beyond the A-Level curriculum. Independent schools that have a strong track record of getting their students into the top universities put a lot of effort into doing so with a variety of additional preparation to support their students and, if we are to compete with them, we have to attempt to match them. With a view to this we have identified a range of resources on the Sixth Form enrichment area of the Moodle under a dedicated Oxbridge section. This provides subject specific wider reading lists suggested by the universities, sample interview questions and suggested programmes from the excellent In Our Time archive from Radio 4 to begin to address broader philosophical and current questions which are relevant to each subject area. I strongly recommend that prospective applicants undertake some of the wider reading and listening, especially after the mock examinations and over the six week summer break in order to give students the time to absorb some of the ideas and material that will range beyond familiar territory. While this presents an academic challenge that will take Sixth Form students out of their comfort zone, it should also provide an insight into the possibilities and rewards offered in studying their chosen subject area to a much higher level. Beginning in June in Year 12 and continuing when we return in September, we organise further sessions during and also in addition to Enrichment lessons where applicants can get together in groups and with relevant specialist members of staff, Oxbridge graduates who attended Aston and other experts in their field in order to further facilitate their preparation for university based written tests and interviews. Once the UCAS process begins in earnest after the mock examination in June, there is a specific Oxbridge focus and several Oxbridge graduates who were at Aston, as well as recent applicants from Year 13, are invited to share their experience of the process with our potential Year 12 applicants. The school has evolved a notably effective UCAS programme over several years and the Oxbridge applicants who need to submit their applications by October 15th receive excellent support from their form tutors, members of Senior Leadership Team as well as Mr. Amann in making a strong application, including a convincing and well written UCAS personal statement. Following several weeks of independent wider reading and preparation for written tests in a range of subjects, the focus intensifies in September, where regular sessions around related subjects take place. This supports wider reading and deeper reflection and discussion ranging beyond A-Level. Finally we focus on interview preparation and practice interviews are arranged for those who have successfully negotiated the preliminary written tests with a range of well qualified individuals who have Oxbridge backgrounds and who the boys will not be familiar with. These take place in November shortly before the interviews themselves in December, either in or outside school depending on the circumstances. Once interviews have taken place we ask for detailed feedback from the boys on the questions they were asked and on their experience of the preparation process as a whole in order to allow us to continue to fine tune and improve the process as we go forward. While it is of course gratifying to get students places at Oxbridge, it is not the be all and end all. The broader academic value of the preparation process, which has helped large numbers of Aston old boys to go on to a range of top universities and achieve notable success in academia and other fields should be seen as worthwhile in and of itself.

ENQUIRY@KEASTON.BHAM.SCH.UK | KEASTON.BHAM.SCH.UK | PAGE 9 EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES We are very fortunate to have excellent facilities on the main site and at Trinity Road. The Colin Parker Building contains a state-of-the-art fitness centre which Sixth Formers are free to use during independent study sessions, while Trinity Road offers first class facilities for rugby, cricket, football, netball, tennis, basketball and hockey. This investment and development is one designed to benefit Aston students, our partner schools and the local community. There are school teams in Athletics, Basketball, Cricket, Cross Country, Football, Hockey, Rugby and Tennis. In addition, there are opportunities for individual students in Badminton, Swimming, Fitness Training, Indoor Rowing and Table Tennis. The school has a strong tradition in the arts, especially music and drama. Facilities for music are outstanding. There is a music suite with two teaching rooms, eight practice rooms, a recording studio and recital hall. Every other year, Aston presents a musical show together with King Edward VI Handsworth School. Most recently, the school enjoyed an outstanding collaboration event showcasing the musical and dramatic talents of our students. There is also a strong tradition in fine art and work from students is regularly exhibited through the school and in local galleries. We have excellent photography resources, including a specialist dark room, to support students to take photography for either enrichment or as part of an examined course, and offer in-house certificates in photographic skills. On Wednesday afternoons, Sixth Formers are timetabled for Enrichment sessions. These are an opportunity for students to either utilise the sporting facilities or to work towards enhancing their non-academic profile through work experience or volunteering. Students can organise work placements themselves to show a desire to move into a specific field, for example, they may shadow a GP for a term in preparation for a medicine degree. Alternatively, they can also take part in other on-site activities such as supporting in lessons lower down the school, taking part in debate club or supporting on alternate Thursdays.



PAGE 12 | KING EDWARD VI ASTON | SIXTH FORM PROSPECTUS 2024–2026 COURSE DI RECTORY ART EXAM BOARD AQA ENTRY REQUIREMENTS Grade 7 or above in GCSE Art HEAD OF DEPARTMENT Miss Moore A-Level Art lays the foundations for a career in the creative industries, including animation, fashion design, computer game design, photography and illustration. However, the ability to ‘think outside of the box’ and the observational skills learned through the subject are valuable in a multitude of future careers. WHERE CAN THIS SUBJECT TAKE YOU? COURSE STRUCTURE AND ASSESSMENTS: PAPER CONTENT ASSESSMENT Component 1 Personal investigation Students submit a practical portfolio of work based upon a starting point of their choosing. They will also complete a related written study of 1000 - 3000 words. 60% of A-Level Component 2 Externally set assignment Students will select a starting point from a range of topics provided by Othe exam board Students will produce preparatory studies based around this topic then produce an outcome within 15 hours of controlled time. 40% of A-Level COURSE OVERVIEW AND AIMS: A-Level Art prepares you to produce two major pieces of assessed work. The first is a Personal Investigation, which allows you to devise and put together a personal body of creative coursework, including extensive practical work, a 3,000-word illustrated essay and a fully developed and resolved final piece. You do this without time limits, during the course. The second practical component is the externally set assignment. In your final year, the exam board publishes its assignment which suggests a theme and possible starting points for you to work on. For the next few months you work extensively on your chosen theme, and you then sit a timed assessment, where you have a total of 15 hours under exam conditions to create and complete a personal, creative final piece. This course is taught as part of the Collaboration and so will be taught alongside local King Edward VI schools. THIS A-LEVEL WOULD SUIT CANDIDATES WHO: Have a passion for art, a natural curiosity and are enjoy a combination of practical, technical and creative tasks. Students should want to develop and diversify their artistic skills and must be able to effectively manage their time as much of the work takes place outside of lessons. Strong independent working skills are necessary to realise full creative potential.

ENQUIRY@KEASTON.BHAM.SCH.UK | KEASTON.BHAM.SCH.UK | PAGE 13 ENRICHMENT OPPORTUNITIES Students have the opportunity to use the darkroom as part of the course and they will have the opportunity to visit the IKON gallery for the post-16 forum.

PAGE 14 | KING EDWARD VI ASTON | SIXTH FORM PROSPECTUS 2024–2026 COURSE DI RECTORY BIOLOGY EXAM BOARD AQA ENTRY REQUIREMENTS Grade 7 or above in GCSE Biology or Grade 7 - 7 in Dual Award Science HEAD OF DEPARTMENT Mrs Dhillon – Biological sciences – Dentistry – Biochemistry – Pharmacy – Biotechnology – Marine biologist – Microbiologist – Pharmacologist – Research scientist – Secondary school teacher – Natural sciences – Genetics – Neuroscience – Sports science WHERE CAN THIS SUBJECT TAKE YOU? Biology is a demanding course that prepares students for a career in many fields. Students are equipped with a variety of skills that are highly desirable within the scientific sector and other demanding professions. Biology continues to be a pre-requisite for many university courses, especially medicine, pharmacology, veterinary science. It may help to keep options open for university degree course such as: COURSE OVERVIEW AND AIMS: A greater depth of treatment is given to topics covered at GCSE and many new areas are also encountered. To develop essential knowledge and understanding of different areas of the subject and how they relate to each other. To develop and demonstrate a deep appreciation of the skills, knowledge and understanding of scientific methods and develop competence and confidence in a variety of practical, mathematical and problem-solving skills. To nurture their interest in and enthusiasm for the subject, including developing an interest in further study and careers associated with the subject. To understand how society makes decisions about scientific issues and how the sciences contribute to the success of the economy and society. There are many practical activities that will give candidates the skills and confidence needed to investigate the way living things behave and work. It will also ensure that if you choose to study a Biology based subject at university, you’ll have the practical skills needed to carry out successful experiments in your degree. A-level Biology is a linear course that lasts two years, with exams at the end of the second year. There is no coursework on this course. However, your performance during practical’s will be assessed. THIS A-LEVEL WOULD SUIT CANDIDATES WHO: Someone who would like to extend and develop their understanding of life and life processes, as well as training in scientific method and analysis. Individuals who would like to go on to have a career in a science-based field, such as medicine, dentistry, physiotherapy, optometry, veterinary science and also in the rapidly expanding fields of biotechnology and genetic engineering. Have a hard-working and dedicated work ethic. Candidates will need to be numerate and have good practical skills. Students who take this subject must be prepared to accommodate the change in intellectual pace and also become more self-reliant in their studies. PAPER CONTENT ASSESSMENT Paper 1 Any content from topics 1 - 4, including relevant practical skills 2 hours 91 marks 35% of A-Level Paper 2 Any content from topics 5 - 8, including relevant practical skills 2 hours 91 marks 35% of A-Level Paper 3 Any content from topics 1 - 8, including relevant practical skills 2 hours 78 marks 30% of A-Level COURSE STRUCTURE AND ASSESSMENTS:

ENQUIRY@KEASTON.BHAM.SCH.UK | KEASTON.BHAM.SCH.UK | PAGE 15 ENRICHMENT OPPORTUNITIES Students participate in Masterclasses delivered by Birmingham university. They have opportunities to attend lectures delivered by the Royal Society of Biology and other institutions.

PAGE 16 | KING EDWARD VI ASTON | SIXTH FORM PROSPECTUS 2024–2026 COURSE DI RECTORY CHEMISTRY EXAM BOARD AQA ENTRY REQUIREMENTS Grade 7 in GCSE Chemistry or Grade 7 - 7 in Dual Award Science or equivalent HEAD OF DEPARTMENT Mr Guibertoni WHERE CAN THIS SUBJECT TAKE YOU? Studying chemistry at the A-Level provides a solid foundation for a myriad of exciting academic and career paths. This rigorous course equips students with a deep understanding of the fundamental principles of matter and its interactions, fostering critical thinking, problem-solving skills, and a keen appreciation for the natural world. For those aspiring to pursue higher education, A-level chemistry serves as an excellent stepping stone for degrees in chemistry, chemical engineering, pharmacy, and other related fields. Moreover, this knowledge opens doors to careers in research and development, environmental science, pharmaceuticals, and even forensic science. In a world increasingly dependent on scientific advancements, a strong background in chemistry can empower individuals to make meaningful contributions and address global challenges, from climate change to innovative materials and medicine. Studying chemistry at A-Level not only broadens your horizons but also enables you to play a pivotal role in shaping the future of science and technology. COURSE OVERVIEW AND AIMS: The Chemistry course at King Edward VI Aston School is aimed at helping to inspire and nurture a passion for chemistry while laying the foundations for further study. The course places a heavy emphasis on setting chemistry into a real-world context and looks to explore how the chemical sciences have shaped the modern world and where it can help address the big issues society faces. The course has a strong focus on the application of mathematical skills solve problems and an in depth practical element designed to turn our students into able and adept practical chemists. THIS A-LEVEL WOULD SUIT CANDIDATES WHO: Studying A-level chemistry can be highly rewarding, but it is also a challenging subject that requires dedication, hard work and a love of the subject in order to excel. The qualities of a suitable candidate for A-Level chemistry are: 1 Strong Interest and solid foundation: A genuine interest in science, particularly in the study of matter, its properties, and how substances interact, is a key prerequisite. A good grasp of fundamental GCSE chemistry concepts is important. 2 Mathematical Proficiency, Analytical and Problem-Solving Skills: A-level chemistry involves mathematical concepts, especially in areas like stoichiometry. It often requires critical thinking and problem-solving so students should be adept at analysing complex situations and finding solutions. 3 Curiosity and Inquisitiveness: Students with a curious and inquisitive mindset tend to perform well as they are more likely to explore complex and abstract topics beyond the basics. 4 Resilience and collaborative skills: It’s important to keep a positive attitude and persevere through tough topics. Students who can work effectively in groups and share ideas are better suited for chemistry studies. In essence, while A-level chemistry can be demanding, it can be an excellent choice for students who have a passion for science, strong analytical skills, and a desire to contribute to the world of chemistry and related fields. PAPER CONTENT ASSESSMENT Paper 1 Inorganic and physical chemistry Inorganic chemistry and relevant physical chemistry. This also includes relevant practical work 2 hour written paper 100 Marks 35% of the A-Level Paper 2 Organic and relevant physical chemistry Organic chemistry and relevant physical chemistry. This also includes relevant practical work 2 hour written paper 100 Marks 35% of the A-Level Paper 3 Entire Course This can assess the entire course but has a particular focus on mathematical questions and practical work in chemistry. 2 hour written paper 90 Marks 30% of the A-Level

ENQUIRY@KEASTON.BHAM.SCH.UK | KEASTON.BHAM.SCH.UK | PAGE 17 ENRICHMENT OPPORTUNITIES Students have the opportunity to take part in the Cambridge chemistry challenge (year 12) and the chemistry Olympiad (year 13). The department also enters teams of students into various Royal Society of Chemistry competitions, such as the Analytical chemistry competition.

PAGE 18 | KING EDWARD VI ASTON | SIXTH FORM PROSPECTUS 2024–2026 COURSE DI RECTORY COMPUTER SCIENCE EXAM BOARD OCR ENTRY REQUIREMENTS Grade 7 in Computer Science or above (If Computer Science is studied at the GCSE level) or Grade 7 in Maths or above (this option is available to only those students who did not study Computer science at gcse). HEAD OF DEPARTMENT Mr Russell PAPER CONTENT ASSESSMENT Component 1 Computer Systems The characteristics of contemporary processors, input, output and storage devices. Software and software development. Exchanging data. Data types, data structures and algorithms. Legal, moral, cultural and ethical issues. 140 marks 40% Component 2 Algorithms and programming Elements of computational thinking. Problem solving and programming. Algorithms to solve problems and standard algorithms. 140 marks 40% Component 3 Programming project The learner will choose a computing problem to work through according to the guidance in the specification. Non exam assessment, 70 marks 20% WHERE CAN THIS SUBJECT TAKE YOU? There are many careers that lead directly from a degree in Computer Science: Software Engineer, Network Manager, Penetration Tester, Web Developer, Games developer, Cyber Security analyst. There are also many jobs that benefit from knowledge of Computer Science: Engineer, Data Analyst, If you are interested in pursuing a degree in Computer Science you are recommended to study Mathematics at A-Level as many Universities have Maths as a requirement. COURSE OVERVIEW AND AIMS: – To develop an understanding and ability to apply the fundamental principles and concepts of computer science, including: abstraction, decomposition, logic, algorithms and data representation – The ability to analyse problems in computational terms through practical experience of solving such problems, including writing programs to do so. – The capacity to think creatively, innovatively, analytically, logically and critically – The capacity to see relationships between different aspects of computer science – Mathematical skills like use of binary numbers. THIS A-LEVEL WOULD SUIT CANDIDATES WHO – are interested in how computers are used in the solution of a variety of problems. – want to develop or improve their problem solving skills. – are interested in engaging with a logical discipline and also want to use creativity in the selection and design of algorithms and the writing, testing and debugging of programs. – Can work independently as there is a non exam component and programming requires additional practice beyond the work set on the course. COURSE STRUCTURE AND ASSESSMENTS:

ENQUIRY@KEASTON.BHAM.SCH.UK | KEASTON.BHAM.SCH.UK | PAGE 19 ENRICHMENT OPPORTUNITIES Students take part in many competitions including BEBRAS, the OUCC, the PTCC, and the BAO. Computer Science students have met together to build a computer and have supported younger students by running a Code Club and mentoring students.

PAGE 20 | KING EDWARD VI ASTON | SIXTH FORM PROSPECTUS 2024–2026 COURSE DI RECTORY DESIGN AND TECHNOLOGY – PRODUCT DESIGN PAPER CONTENT ASSESSMENT Paper 1 Technical Principles 2 hours 30 minutes 120 marks 30% of A-level Paper 2 Designing and Making principles 1 hour 30 minutes 80 marks 20% of A-level Non Examined Assessment (NEA) Substantial Design and Make project. Digital portfolio submission (including physical prototype) 100 marks 50% of A-level COURSE STRUCTURE AND ASSESSMENTS: EXAM BOARD AQA (7552) ENTRY REQUIREMENTS Grade 6 or above in GCSE DT HEAD OF DEPARTMENT Mr Hodgkinson WHERE CAN THIS SUBJECT TAKE YOU? Engineering and Design is a hugely diverse industry, students leaving this course may choose to: – Study at university – Begin an apprenticeship (up to a Level 7 degree apprenticeship) This would lead to a whole host of possible careers in a massive range of fields, a few examples are: – Product design, Research and development; Engineering (mechanical, aeronautical, civil, chemical, electrical); Construction (surveying, groundworks, temporary systems); Architecture, Sustainability engineering and design; Test, process and systems engineering; Education (teaching, lecturing, apprenticeship assessor, PhD research) COURSE OVERVIEW AND AIMS: The world around us has been shaped by designers and engineers. As a forward thinking and proactive Technology Department our mission is to inspire the next generation of designers and engineers and equip them with the diverse skillset they will need to make the world a better place both for themselves and future generations. – To equip pupils with the practical skills, theoretical knowledge and confidence to pursue a career in Design, Engineering or the Creative Sector. – To understand the historical, social, cultural, environmental and economic influences on Design. – Further developing practical skills in a range of materials, including industry standard CADCAM. – Understanding the importance of applying the iterative process to work, recognising that sometimes failures are the starting point for brilliant ideas. – To empower pupils to make their own Design choices and take risks with their ideas. To develop pupils’ confidence, trusting in their own ability and recognising the positive impact they can have on the world. Studying as part of a collaboration of three schools in North Birmingham will also give students a new educational experience, meeting new students and learning from each other. THIS A-LEVEL WOULD SUIT CANDIDATES WHO ENJOY – Getting hands on with a problem, understanding it and then applying themselves to solve it. Working in different situations, sometimes independently, sometimes as a team. – Learning about the developing world we live in, and recognising how good design can shape it. – Developing their versatile skillset; from analytical writing to sketching to prototyping. – Having an enquiring mind, challenging social norms for the better and learning about the history of design and the impact it has had on the way we live today. – Being a risk taker! Recognising that risk is a key facet of design and is something to be embraced.

ENQUIRY@KEASTON.BHAM.SCH.UK | KEASTON.BHAM.SCH.UK | PAGE 21 ENRICHMENT OPPORTUNITIES Our enrichment provision develops every year based on what our students tell us they want but some good examples include: – Industrial Cadets Gold award. – ICE CityZen award. – Weekly Engineering Society. – Field trips to large and small-scale manufacturing operations (e.g. the Mini plant in Oxford, MakeUK in Birmingham and The Design Museum in London)

PAGE 22 | KING EDWARD VI ASTON | SIXTH FORM PROSPECTUS 2024–2026 COURSE DI RECTORY ECONOMICS EXAM BOARD Edexcel ENTRY REQUIREMENTS Grade 7 or above in GCSE Mathematics HEAD OF DEPARTMENT Mr Jackson PAPER CONTENT ASSESSMENT Paper 1 Markets and business behaviour (micro economics) 2 hours. Written paper 100 marks Paper 2 National and global economy (macro economics) 2 hours. Written paper 100 marks Paper 3 Macroeconomics and microeconomics 2 hours. Written paper 100 marks WHERE CAN THIS SUBJECT TAKE YOU? A large number of A-level Economics students at King Edward VI Aston go on to study Economics and economics related courses such as accounting and finance, banking and finance and business management at degree level. Employers value economics as it helps students to develop their understanding of decision-making by individuals, firms and governments, their research and analytical skills, and their experience of viewing problems in a national and international context. COURSE OVERVIEW AND AIMS: Our approach to Economics is to apply economic theory to support analysis of current economic problems and issues, and encourage students to appreciate the interrelationships between microeconomics and macroeconomics. We encourage students to: – Develop an interest in and enthusiasm for the subject and to appreciate the contribution of economics to the understanding of the wider economic and social environment. – Use an enquiring, critical and thoughtful approach to the study of economics and develop an ability to think as an economist – Develop qualities and attitudes which will equip them for the challenges, opportunities and responsibilities of adult and working life. THIS A-LEVEL WOULD SUIT CANDIDATES WHO Are interested in exploring some of the increasingly prominent economic issues affecting 21st century political and current affairs. Economics is an intellectually challenging discipline that builds important skills and techniques in using and applying statistical data, as well as wider transferable skills, all of which will give you a significant advantage in the employment market. Economics is about the world around us; it’s current; it’s always changing and it’s interesting. If you are interested in how individuals, firms and governments behave and make decisions then this is a subject for you. COURSE STRUCTURE AND ASSESSMENTS:

ENQUIRY@KEASTON.BHAM.SCH.UK | KEASTON.BHAM.SCH.UK | PAGE 23 ENRICHMENT OPPORTUNITIES There is a wide range of enrichment opportunities available for economics students These include attending master classes and sample lectures at local universities including University of Birmingham and the University of Warwick. Students are also encouraged to apply for places on various widening participation activities run by Russell Group Universities over the course of the two years of A-Level study. Students are also encouraged to enter competitions such as essay writing, economic modelling and share trading competitions. When possible, speakers from the world of economics and business are invited into school to give talks to the students.In the past, we have had university lecturers and professors, as well as business people from the banking, insurance and finance sectors and journalists give talks to the students. There are also opportunities to visit places such as the Bank of England and the City of London financial district.

PAGE 24 | KING EDWARD VI ASTON | SIXTH FORM PROSPECTUS 2024–2026 COURSE DI RECTORY ENGINEERING LEVEL 3 TECHNICAL AWARD EXAM BOARD OCR ENTRY REQUIREMENTS Grade 7 or above in GCSE Mathematics HEAD OF DEPARTMENT Mr Hodgkinson WHERE CAN THIS SUBJECT TAKE YOU? As an A-Level equivalent this course is an entry route to university study, apprenticeships and immediate employment. 26 of the 27 Russell Group universities recognise the value of this qualification for future engineers. NOTE: students who wish to study non-engineering based courses post A-Level must check the entry requirements of their course – not all will accept the Level 3 Engineering qualification. Engineering itself is a diverse industry, there are endless fields to be explored, just a few examples include Mechanical engineering, Aeronautical engineering, Marine engineering, Test engineering, Systems and process engineering, Automotive engineering and Sustainability engineering. COURSE OVERVIEW AND AIMS: The world needs engineers. They are problem solvers, history makers and innovators. The Technology Department is driven to inspire the next generation of engineers and equip them with a diverse portfolio of skills that will ensure they can solve the challenges we face in society and ultimately improve the world for both themselves and future generations. This qualification combines content from Design and Technology, Mathematics and Physics A-Levels to create a vocational course for those looking to study engineering at higher education or enter employment in a STEM industry. As a department we aim: – To give students the underpinning knowledge in Mathematics and Science essential to engineering – To provide students the opportunity to develop more specialised, engineering focussed skills – To help students develop an understanding of what it means to be an engineer in today’s society – To ensure that all pupils to leave with a rounded understanding of engineering, ready to take the next step that is best suited to them THIS A-LEVEL WOULD SUIT CANDIDATES WHO ENJOY – Pursuing a future career in engineering – this is an essential requirement of the course – Problem solving, addressing real-world issues, challenging themselves and the norm to learn new skills and apply them – Working at an industry standard and going beyond the classroom and taught curriculum to deepen their knowledge – Working both collaboratively and independently. COURSE STRUCTURE AND ASSESSMENTS: The course is delivered over a two-year cycle. Students will sit examinations in Unit 1 and Unit 2, as well as submit internally assessed work for Unit 10, in the January of Year 13. Unit 3, Unit 4 and Unit 22 will be assessed in the summer series of Year 13. UNIT Mathematics for Engineering (Unit 1) Science for Engineering (Unit 2) Principles of mechanical engineering (unit 3) Principles of electrical and electronic engineering (Unit 4) Computer-aided Design (CAD) (Unit 10) Engineering and the environment (Unit 22) UNIT Exam (external) Exam (external) Exam (external) Exam (external) Internally assessed project Internally assessed project

ENQUIRY@KEASTON.BHAM.SCH.UK | KEASTON.BHAM.SCH.UK | PAGE 25 ENRICHMENT OPPORTUNITIES – Industrial Cadets Gold award. – ICE CityZen award. – Weekly Engineering Society. – Field trips to large and small-scale manufacturing operations (e.g. the Mini plant in Oxford, MakeUK in Birmingham and The Design Museum in London)

PAGE 26 | KING EDWARD VI ASTON | SIXTH FORM PROSPECTUS 2024–2026 COURSE DI RECTORY ENGLISH LITERATURE EXAM BOARD AQA ENTRY REQUIREMENTS Grade 7 or above in GCSE English HEAD OF DEPARTMENT Mr Laverty WHERE CAN THIS SUBJECT TAKE YOU? English Literature is a springboard to many later career options including journalism, law, writing, business administration, psychology, marketing, personnel, entertainment, editing, publishing and advertising. However, many students who are intending to study science subjects will benefit from the skills and knowledge gained through a study of literature, both in showing a flexible and enquiring mind and in developing a concise and fluent writing style necessary for research and reports. The skills you will learn over the two years are vital tools for life and are essential for any career involving interaction with people: empathy, understanding and compassion. Ultimately, we are confident that the course will help students to develop a life-long passion for reading and literature. COURSE OVERVIEW AND AIMS: English Literature will sharpen students’ analytical skills and cultivate their ability to express themselves logically and coherently – excellent preparation for any job or degree course. Students will be stimulated and engaged by examining different aspects of life in connection with the texts they are studying, from people and politics to religion and relationships. THIS A-LEVEL WOULD SUIT CANDIDATES WHO Enjoy discussion, debate and disagreement; themes which are central to the course. Lessons, therefore, are taught in a way which reflects this philosophy. Students will be encouraged to ask questions of themselves, their peers and their teachers to develop their academic approach – we are justifiably proud of the way in which English A-Level produces independent thinkers and individual learners. Weekly essays will build on the discussions students have had in lessons, enabling them to develop a line of argument, apply different critical lenses and reach informed and insightful conclusions. At A-Level, wider reading is absolutely essential. Students will be afforded the opportunity to read critical and theoretical texts as well as poetry collections and novels from an array of different writers. Exposure to a range of literature will prepare students for the unseen section in the examination, provide inspiration for their independent study component and ensure that they are able to discuss their wider reading at university and in UCAS applications. PAPER CONTENT ASSESSMENT Aspects of Tragedy Three texts: Othello, Richard II, The Great Gatsby Three essays, 2hours 30 minutes (40%) Elements of Crime writing Three texts: The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, When Will There Be Good News?, Poetry selection plus one unseen extract Three essays, 3 hours (40%) Coursework Two essays: one prose, one poetry selection using a critical approach - student choice of texts Two essays (20%) COURSE STRUCTURE AND ASSESSMENTS: