Our Key Stage 5 curriculum provides specialisation, depth and skills to equip our students to be successful in the 21st century. Our curriculum aims to stimulate our students intellectually through engendering a spirit of scholarship and enquiry. It develops in our students the ability to assess the validity and appropriateness of sources in an information-rich, global society. Students take increasing responsibility for their own learning by reflecting on and responding to assessment and feedback and engaging in wider reading and research. Students typically take three ‘A’ levels or equivalent together with the Extended Project Qualification. The latter enhances opportunities for independent reading and research and builds on habits developed in prior key stages. The most able students will take four subjects. High expectations are set by demonstrating belief in everyone’s ability to achieve.
The attached handbook provides the course content, teaching & learning styles, assessment details and further educational/career outcomes for each subject currently on offer at County Upper School.
Our extra-curricular programme, myriad leadership opportunities and enrichment week provide students with experiences that will facilitate further study and develop students into well-rounded individuals. At the heart of our tutorial programme is the objective to nurture our students’ personal, social, moral and cultural development through debate, community outreach, fundraising and a programme of guest speakers. Extensive extra-curricular opportunities develop self-confidence and foster a sense of school community.
Excellent careers guidance prepares students for Higher Education, and a variety of pathways including apprenticeships. It not only prepares them for life beyond sixth form but also ensures they leave with confidence, but not arrogance, firm in the belief that they are arbiters of their own destinies.
Our entry requirements are based on our experience and the link between GCSE and ‘A’ level success. We believe it is vital that students are enrolled on courses in which they have the potential to achieve success. This requires more than academic ability. Students must be willing to commit time and personal effort to their study and work with independence and self-motivation.
Students who wish to study GCE Advanced level courses are required to have passed at least five GCSE or equivalent level two courses at grades 5-9 including a minimum of grade 5 in the subjects they wish to study. Most students attempting A level courses will have more than this minimum. In subjects not taught at GCSE a 5 in a related subject is required (for example, a 5/6 in English would enable a student to study Politics).
All students entering year 12 would normally be expected to have achieved GCSE Grades 9 – 4 in English and Mathematics. Students without these qualifications will be helped to attain them early in their year 12 programme.
For modern languages and mathematics, students must have followed the higher level GCSE course. (If in doubt, please check with the head of department).
The requirements for A level physics, biology and chemistry are slightly different. To study these subjects students must have a double grade 7 award in GCSE science or at least a strong 6 in the relevant science subject(s) from the triple award course. They must also have at least grade 6 in mathematics. In addition, students are advised to select at least two science subjects, or a single science subject plus mathematics, as part of their programme.
Students with at least grade 4s at GCSE will be eligible for the new Technical Awards which can be combined with a single GCE ‘A’ Level.