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Entry Requirements

Course Entrance Requirements

At Bishopshalt, we know that each student has their own particular strengths, interests and career aspirations. In order to ensure that every student has a personalised programme of study that supports them to meet their aspirations, we have created the following pathways as guidance on the kinds of subject combinations students should consider in order to maximise their success in the Sixth Form and beyond.

GCSE Grades

Recommended course pathways

Pathway 1

Achieved mostly grades 7 to 9 at GCSE

Any combination of subjects, (students could consider studying 4 subjects) including at least two facilitating subjects*

Pathway 2

Achieved a mixture of grades 6 and 7 at GCSE

Any combination of subjects, however students are encouraged to consider at least two facilitating subjects* and the EPQ 

Pathway 3

Achieved mostly grade 5 at GCSE

A combination of vocational (BTEC) and A Level qualifications. Students may also consider the EPQ 

Pathway 4

Achieved mostly grade 4 at GCSE (Minimum 5 grades 4-7, including grade 4 in English and Maths at GCSE) plus 1 vocational Level 2 course.

3 vocational (BTEC qualifications) or 2 vocational qualifications and an A Level

Please be aware that each individual subject has subject specific entry requirements.

* Facilitating subjects are highly sought after by universities and leave open a wide range of options for university study.  The facilitating subjects are Biology, Chemistry, English Literature, Geography, History, Maths, Further Maths, Modern Languages and Physics.

To join the Sixth Form, students need a minimum six grade 4s including Maths and English, both at grade 4.  It is then expected that students should have a GCSE grade 6 in the subject they wish to study i.e. grade 6 English Literature to study English Literature A level.  There are a number of subjects which have a higher entrance requirement and you are advised to check these before making your application, for example grade 7 GCSE Maths to study A level Maths.  We reserve the right to review course entrance criteria during enrolment in the light of recent changes to GCSE grading.

Students taking a vocational Level 3 course (i.e. BTEC) in Business or Health and Social Care will be expected to have five or more GCSE grade 4 plus a Level 2 (BTEC) qualification at merit or distinction level.  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 and recommendation.  Further information about qualifications is provided in the second part of this prospectus, in the ‘Information on Courses’.  Students who have not achieved a grade 4 – 9 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 with five lessons each day (some of which are study periods).  In addition, the Extended Project Qualification is available and all students participate in the Tutor Time Programme which is based around the 5 strands on Better Bishopshalter.  Students also have the opportunity to choose from a variety of courses as part of their enrichment programme.  Courses run for a 12 week block and are designed to give students useful and employable life skills.

Student subject choices will be divided into option blocks, with students selecting three or four subjects.  Initially, when applying, we ask students to select three subjects plus two reserves in case there is a clash when the option blocks are finalised.