upper Secondary Curriculum
Key Stage 4 – Years 10-11 (Forms 4-5)
During years 10 and 11 students will choose a wide range of subjects leading to their IGCSE (International General Certificate of Secondary Education). During this period a degree of specialisation develops, yet many prefer to keep their options open and combine a variety of subjects in the Arts and Sciences.
Key Stage 5 – Years 12-13 (AS and Advanced Levels)
A-levels are level 3 qualifications, which are studied in two halves, AS (Advanced Subsidiary) and A2. The AS is a qualification in its own right but the A2 is not. To obtain a full A-level, both AS and A2 have to be successfully completed.
A-levels take place over two years. In the first year students will be asked to choose three or four subjects at AS level from those listed in the British Academy ‘s booklet. In the second year they will follow two or three of those subjects at A2 level. Students may also take additional courses such as GCSEs or enhancement courses. Example: Law students wishing to specialise at University in European Law may wish to take Spanish GCSE.
AS / A2 level courses are offered in about 12 subject areas. At the end of the course, the relevant examination boards grade entrants from A to E. All five grades from A to E are recognised as passes, with grade A being the highest level of pass.
For entrance to a university degree course a minimum of two A level passes at E or above is usually required. In practice, however, three A levels are often needed. Two AS levels are generally accepted as the equivalent of one A level. For many courses the pass grades need to be high. For example, entry to courses in Medicine and Veterinary Science often requires passes at grade A in three subjects as well as very good passes at GCSE level. For many careers a minimum of two good Advanced level passes is required.
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