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Sixth Form Curriculum

All of our A Level courses follow a two-year linear format with the final assessment taking place at the end of the course.

We offer flexible option groups to allow students to combine study of arts and sciences. In addition to subjects offered at GCSE, Economics, Further Mathematics, Psychology and Philosophy can be studied to A Level. 

Art, DT, Music, French and German are all taught collaboratively with King Edward VI Handsworth Grammar School, King Edward VI Handsworth Boys’ and King Edward VI Handsworth Wood Girls’ Academy.

All students follow one of four pathways with the expectation that they will sit all the subjects started in Year 12 in September as A Level examinations in Year 13 during Summer term.

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 fortnightly fifty-minute lesson of Personal, Social, Health and Education.
  • a weekly afternoon of games/enrichment.

The EPQ is started in the Spring term 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 with a grade 8 at GCSE 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, humanities, arts or language as their fourth A Level subject. Further mathematics will be treated as a separate subject and can be studied along with mathematics and two other A Level subjects. To study further mathematics students will be required to have GCSE grade 8 or 9 in Mathematics.


A Level Collaboration

The four schools of the King Edward VI Academy Trust based in the Aston and Handsworth area have a unique opportunity to develop closer working partnerships. They support each other in delivering an effective, high-quality education both through teachers sharing good practice and students having a wider range of opportunities to work together on projects and taking 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.

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, DT, Music, French, German and Mandarin. 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 lunchtime, 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.