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Sixth Form Curriculum

Into the Sixth Form | Curriculum

The aims of the Sixth Form curriculum are:

  • To provide an academic curriculum which is appropriate for each pupil in its range and demands
  • To encourage and develop academic skills of increasingly independent study, research and thought
  • To encourage and develop wider personal skills to allow a confident entry into higher education and to create adaptability and resilience befitting the realities of working life in the 21st century
  • To encourage pupils to consider and discuss issues relevant to them as they move towards adulthood and participation in the full range of rights and responsibilities as citizens

As parents and pupils know, the government has undertaken a full reform of A level subjects in recent years. From September 2017, almost all subjects will be taught as two-year linear courses with all examinations at the end of the Upper Sixth.

Many parents will recognise this examination system as the one they experienced when they were Sixth Formers. Indeed, the basic structure represents a return to the way A levels were organised up until the introduction of Curriculum 2000 at the beginning of this century.

There are a number of different possible approaches to A level reform, and each school has to determine a way forward which most suits its own pupil body. At Mill Hill we have reflected very carefully on how to accommodate the changes and offer our pupils their best opportunity for a successful and enriching Sixth Form experience under the new system.

In general terms, new A levels are more rigorous. In some subjects there is a broader and deeper level of content. Most of the examinations will be more stretching because they will be testing two years’ worth of material in a way that draws together different themes and topics from within the course.

Universities are telling us that they will be looking for three very good A level grades, plus evidence of breadth and engagement – which can be shown in a variety of ways both academic and non-academic. In addition to this, we are aiming to send our leavers out into the world with the adaptability and resilience to make a success of their studies and an impact in their early professional careers.

For these reasons, from September 2017, we will require pupils entering the Sixth Form to take three subjects from the outset (four if taking Further Mathematicss or EAL). This will allow them to focus in depth on their chosen options, with an expansion in lesson time and prep allocations for each subject.

We will also be creating an exciting enrichment programme for all Sixth Formers, to develop study skills, to provide opportunities for academic extension through a variety of internally and externally accredited courses and to give time for broader engagement and individual development through entrepreneurship, community service, teamwork and presentation projects, lectures and age-appropriate Personal, Social, Health and Religious Education.

In this Curriculum Guide you will find detailed information about each of the A level courses which the School intends to offer next September. It will be critical for us to support every pupil in making a sound choice of subjects. Pupils will receive individual advice drawing on their track record in their subjects to date, their interests and aspirations and the experience of the Morrisby careers aptitude test taken in October. In January, pupils will be given the opportunity to attend A level taster lessons in a number of subjects for which they express an interest, to help them make an informed choice. We will ask for subject requests by Wednesday 1 February, just after the 26 January parents’ evening, which will give a further opportunity to discuss potential options.

Lower Sixth Form Entry Requirements

The minimum academic requirement for entry to the Sixth Form is two GCSE passes at grade A (or grade 7 where relevant) and three at grade B (or grade 6 where relevant) plus minimum grade 5 in Mathematics and English Language or Literature. In addition to this general requirement, each subject has specific minimum entry requirements; these are listed towards the back of this guide.