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Entry Requirements

Course Entrance Requirements - A Level and BTEC Level 3 courses:

Courses in the Sixth Form require a high level of intellectual ability and commitment to work; it is paramount that students select courses that are appropriate to their ability.  A good guide to identify the most suitable pathway is to use the GCSE average point score (APS) system; this gives a fair reflection of a student’s current ability and has proved a reliable tool in deciding on the correct courses.

Grade at GCSE










Points this equates to










For each student we add together the points score for English Language and Mathematics plus the six best other GCSE subjects to reach a total score. We then recommend one of 5 pathways.

Pathway recommendations


Pathway 1 – 3 (or 4) A Levels and the possibility of an Extended Project

Biology, Chemistry, Computing, Mathematics, Further Mathematics & Physics


Pathway 2 – 3 (or 4) A Levels and the possibility of an Extended Project Accounting, Art & Design, Business Studies, Design and Technology: Product Design, & Textiles, Economics, English Literature, Food Technology, French, Geography, History, Law, Media Studies, Music, Philosophy and Ethics, Photography, Physical Education, Politics, Psychology, Sociology, Spanish & Theatre Studies.



44 - 48

Pathway 3 – At least one vocational Level 3 course plus 1 or 2 A levels

BTEC Sport, BTEC Music Technology, OCR Diploma in Musical Theatre

40 - 44

Pathway 4 – BTEC Level 3 Diploma plus 1 other course

BTEC Health and Social Care & BTEC Business Studies

36 - 40

Pathway 5 – BTEC Level 2 Business

Up to 36

New Mathematics and English GCSEs: Mathematics and English GCSEs have been reformed and have a new numerical grading system.  We use the following scale:

Grade 8/9   =        old A* at GCSE
Grade 7      =          old A at GCSE
Grade 6      =          old B at GCSE
Grade 5      =          old high C at GCSE
Grade 4      =          old C at GCSE
Grade 3      =          old D at GCSE

You need six C grades including Maths and English, both at Grade 4.  It is then expected that students should have a GCSE Grade B in the subject they wish to study (Grade 6 English Language to study English Literature and Grade 7 to study Maths).  There are a number of subjects which have a higher entrance requirement and you are advised to check these before making your application.

Students taking a BTEC Level 3 course in Business or Health and Social Care will be expected to have five or more GCSE grade C (or above) passes or a BTEC qualification at merit or distinction level and four further GCSEs at grade C or above is acceptable.  Those who study these courses will be expected to take an additional level 3 course to complete their programme.

We recommend that students consult with the teachers of the subjects they wish to study, to get their advice about course entry requirements.  Further information about qualifications is provided in the second part of this Handbook, in the ‘Information on Courses’.  Students who have not achieved a grade 4 – 9 (C+) GCSE English and/or Mathematics by age 16 will continue to study towards achieving them as a part of their 16 to 19 studies.

All students undertake a full-time course, which is scheduled into a ten day cycle of lessons, with five lessons each day. In addition, the Extended Project Qualification is available and all students study Citizenship and have regular tutorials.

Student subject choices will be divided into five option blocks, with students selecting three or four subjects.  Students have a full timetable with a few ‘study periods’.  Students will be expected to work independently in school in designated private study lessons. 

Course Entrance Requirements - BTEC Level 2 Business:

The BTEC Level 2 Business is a detailed study equivalent to three GCSEs at grades A to C and will take one year of full-time study.  Students wishing to study on this course should achieve a good range of GCSE passes at ‘D’ grades.