A Level Reforms
Changes to A Levels have been underway since September 2015 with more subjects being introduced from September 2016. With the introduction of new A Levels in the remaining subjects not expected until September 2017, pupils currently in the sixth form are offered both reformed and non-reformed A Levels.
Further information on the AS and A Level reform is available on the Government website: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/get-the-facts-gcse-and-a-level-reform/get-the-facts-as-and-a-level-reform
Pupils starting the Sixth Form 2015
New A Levels have already been introduced in: Art and Design, Biology, Business Studies, Chemistry, Computing, Economics, English Language, English Language and Literature, English Literature, History, Physics and Psychology.
Pupils starting the Sixth Form 2016
New A Levels are being introduced in: Latin, Drama (Theatre Studies), Geography, Modern languages, Music, Physical Education and Religious studies.
Pupils starting the Sixth Form 2017
New A Levels to be introduced in all other A Level subjects including: Design and Technology, Maths and Further Maths, and will likely include as-yet unconfirmed subjects such as Politics and Law.
Differences between Old and New A levels
Under the old system, AS Levels are studied in Year 12 and the AS Level exams taken in May-June contribute 50% of the marks to the overall A Level qualification taken in Year 13. Under the new system being introduced, A Level exams take place at the end of Year 13 but with no marks from AS Levels (if taken in Year 12) contributing to the overall final grade.
In addition, the new style A Levels include less coursework and fewer practical assessments making the final outcome after two years of study more reliant on exam revision and preparation.
The school’s policy on AS Levels
The school offers the AS Level examination in both reformed and non-reformed A Level subjects. Individual cases are considered carefully and decisions as to whether a pupil is entered for AS Level are made on the basis of the best outcome for the pupil.
In general terms our pupils are advised to only take the AS Level exam
- In subjects they do not intend to take through to A Level
- If they are advised not to continue the subject to A Level by their subject teacher
However, having discussed their options with their subject teachers, pupils who show a preference for taking AS Level exams at the end of Year 12 are able to do so.