A Levels are an important qualification and play a major part in university admissions and job applications.
Sixth form students work towards their A level examinations in Year 12 (Lower Sixth) and Year 13 (Upper Sixth) at Portland Place. Students choose 4 subjects in Year 12 from 28 subject options and 3 in Year 13. Class sizes are small with maximum class size reaching 15 pupils.
The minimum entry requirement for the Sixth Form is a B/6, or higher, in the subjects you wish to study. This applies to all subjects except Mathematics, which requires an 8 grade.
As part of the national changes to A Level specifications the proportion of Controlled Assessment in many courses has been vastly reduced or removed. Please see the individual subject information for the exact requirements for each course.
In addition to homework, Sixth Form students are expected to allocate considerable time to Independent Study. This is additional time where students gain a deeper understanding of their course. This could involve completing past examination questions, making additional notes, extended reading and research, working from a revision guide or preparing for future lessons. Students have at least five periods in school which they can allocate to Independent Study. Utilising this time wisely often contributes to achieving the higher grades at A Level. To support students in their Independent Study, Sixth Form pupils have their own quiet study room which is equipped with access to computer facilities. Students will be timetabled compulsory Supervised Study sessions each week where they can get advice from teachers and work quietly with each other.
Enrichment and support
A number of external speakers are invited to the school to support with study skills, career choices and university applications. Our in-house UCAS advisor assists students with their University applications. Leadership opportunities are provided to Sixth Form students which could involve organising events, conducting parental tours or mentoring younger students. There are also a number of clubs for Sixth Form students to partake in. Sixth Formers partake in an Induction programme and are offered various local and overseas trip opportunities. Individuals interested in Sport can compete in fixtures and competitions with other schools and have access to a local university gym. A support programme also operates to help Sixth Form students who are finding it difficult to maximise their learning.
Extended project qualification (EPQ)
Sixth Form students also have the option to partake in the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ). The EPQ is equivalent to half an A Level and requires students to complete a 5000 word dissertation on a topic of personal interest. The EPQ is highly valued by many universities as it allows students to research areas beyond the standard curriculum.
Parents are encouraged to forge strong, regular links with their child’s Personal Tutors. It is also essential that pupils regularly check this website and the student message centre for general and specific notices. We also ask them to be mindful of deadlines, inform the School of any absence and to attend meetings with their tutor group.
The Lower and Upper Sixth report to the Head of Sixth Form and their Personal Tutor. Both parents and students are encouraged to liaise directly with their Personal Tutor. This helps us provide academic monitoring and pastoral care by email, telephone conference and face-to-face meetings.
The Upper Sixth see their Personal Tutor on a weekly basis to work on their UCAS application, together with any other aspects of their education and preparation for higher education.