The Sixth Form Curriculum
Different institutions offer different types of qualifications for 16 to 19 year olds. At QPCS we offer a variety of advanced courses as well as the CTEC Level 2 course in Business. The information available from Connexions will give you information about where you can study other types of courses.
Advanced Level Courses: A Levels and BTEC Level 3 Vocational Qualifications:
To study these courses you need to have achieved at least 5 GCSEs at grades A*-C including English or Mathematics.
The majority of A level courses require a minimum B GCSE grade in the subject and/or related subjects.
Changes to A level courses from 2015
A level courses are changing, phase 1 subjects beginning the new courses in 2015 are: Art, Craft and Design, Business Studies, English Literature, English Language and Literature, History, Sociology, Biology, Chemistry and Physics, Psychology, Economics and Computer Science. Changes to the other A levels will follow.
The new A levels are ‘linear’; your final grade is based entirely on the exams you take at the end of the two years in Year 13 which will draw on your learning from over the whole course.
The final grade for the courses that are not changing is based on the combined marks for AS taken at the end of Year 12 and A2 taken at the end of Year 13.
AS qualifications will still exist alongside the new A levels so there is still the opportunity to gain a qualification at the end of Year 12.
It is likely that we will make successful completion of the AS qualification a requirement for continuing to Year 13 for the new A levels so that they are still in line with the existing A levels; we will keep this under review as more information becomes available.
We will continue to expect students to take 4 subjects in Year 12 and at least 3 in Year 13.
BTEC vocational qualifications encourage a more practical approach to learning, they involve learning about applying knowledge and skills to vocational contexts. BTEC courses are assessed by coursework portfolios.
You may study a mix of A Level and BTEC Courses. Consider if you are better at exams or coursework when you are choosing your courses.
Level 2 Diploma
For those who achieve at least 4 GCSE passes at grade D these courses enable you to achieve the equivalent of 4 GCSE A*-C passes and give you the opportunity to progress to Advanced Courses the following year.
You will have to gain a least grade C in either Mathematics or English to progress to any advanced courses at QPCS. For students who have not achieved grade C there are re-take courses for each of these most important subjects to ensure that all students leave school with both.
We work in partnership with Capital City Academy to make additional subjects available to our students. Teachers from across the schools ensure students are supported with travel arrangements and we keep in close touch with each other about our students’ progress.
Our sixth form curriculum was graded “Outstanding” by Ofsted in November 2008; we have since introduced four additional A levels and a BTEC Advanced Diploma following consultation with students.
Planning for the Future
Preparing for University
We work with various organisations to raise aspirations and broaden horizons by introducing sixth form students to a range of places and people, in particular developing links with universities. As a QPCS student you will have opportunities to experience different aspects of university life through:
Informal mentoring sessions with student ambassadors
Shadowing schemes at Oxford, Cambridge and at a number of the London Universities
Summer schools at a variety of universities, including the most prestigious
Visits to universities in various parts of the country
Master Classes given by lecturers and professors at local universities
The use of up to date, state of the art university facilities. For example, you will have access to:
- The Art and Design Studios at Brunel University
- Media Studies resources at the University of Westminster
- Science laboratories at University College London
- The STEM Programme at Imperial College.
Applying to University
We provide excellent support with the application process:
Undergraduates and Admissions Tutors visit the school to provide information about the university application process, to give additional advice on your UCAS form, conduct mock interviews, and help you choose the best university option for you
Your teachers and tutors support you carefully through the application process, ensuring that your personal statement and references promote success
We draw on specialist external support for students applying to Oxbridge and for medicine.
Preparing for Employment
We will also help you prepare for the future by encouraging you to develop a range employability skills as well as the ability to present yourself effectively at interview and in your cv We will support you in exploring the full range of options whether you are preparing for a gap year, for an apprenticeship or for full time employment.
*Some 2014 students are taking gap years and are applying for 2015
“The preparation [for university application] at QPCS has been first class and I have been well set for my Cambridge interview and the opportunities ahead”
Hugh - Year 13
“After the Project Trust presentation during the Future’s Week my outlook on what I wanted to do next year changed. I’m now preparing to spend a year teaching English in Thailand. Volunteering abroad will be an incredible experience that I may not have considered otherwise.”
Mariah - Year 13