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Qualifications and Curriculum

All students have different sets of skills and want to take different directions in life, and at Sixth Form level these differences become important. We want to ensure that we give students the opportunity to use their skills and personalities to achieve their goals in the best way they can. For this reason, we offer two different types of qualifications: A Level subjects and Applied subjects. Please be aware that it is entirely possible for students to mix qualifications if they wish.

Curriculum principles

Our Key Stage 3 and 4 principles continue into the Sixth Form enabling high aspiration and clear lines of progression. The curriculum is built around facilitating subjects as the majority of Sixth Form students apply to University courses (students can study three, with some scope for four A levels). This offer sits alongside curriculum enhancement opportunities such as Extended Project Qualifications, Sports Leadership or Arts Award Gold. We aim to give students a sense of control over their Sixth Form programme enabling a broad education offering a wide choice and essential skills for a rapidly-changing world. During our student’s time in the Sixth Form, they will gain employability skills which are taught through form time sessions as well as a wide range of volunteering opportunities and a work experience programme.

Beyond the classroom, we aim to open the door to a wide range of experiences. All subjects provide additional learning contexts including annual school productions, art projects, various music concerts and high-performing sports teams in the majority of disciplines.

A Level qualifications

This is the traditional academic route, and these subjects are almost entirely exam based, taught in a formal classroom setting, and require a traditional academic approach to succeed. A levels typically lead to university, especially on traditional academic courses, and in some cases employment or higher level apprenticeships.

A level subjects: Art, Biology, Chemistry, Drama, Economics, English Language, English Literature, Further Maths, Geography, German, Government and Politics, History, Maths, Music, Philosophy, Photography, Physics, Psychology, Spanish.

Level 3 qualifications

This route is a different approach to A level standard qualifications. These are Level 3 (A level equivalent) qualifications but are a combination of coursework, project work and some exams (roughly 40% exam 60% coursework). These are a better option for students who are well motivated and who have proved to be at a sound academic level, but find it difficult to perform in exam conditions and learn better through project work. Students will still need to take the equivalent of three A level subjects, which may be to take a combination of Applied subjects and A levels.

Level 3 Applied subjects are ‘A level’ equivalents at the following grades; Dist* = A*, Dist = A, Merit = C, Pass = E. They are accepted as such by the vast majority of university courses and are especially suitable for more vocational degrees such as Business Studies courses.

Applied Subjects: IT, Business, PE, Criminology.

Entry into different careers and university courses can depend on specific courses being taken. For more information speak to the Sixth Form team.

How do we meet the 16-19 Programme of Study?

All ESFA funded education for 16 to 19-year-olds should be delivered as a study programme which combines qualifications and other activities, and which is tailored to each student’s prior attainment and career goals. Every study programme must have a core aim. For the majority of students, this will be either the study of substantial technical, applied or academic qualification(s) or preparation for employment

All students at Guiseley School Sixth Form study Level 3 qualifications. The majority of students will study three qualifications whilst a few will study four qualifications. The level 3 qualifications are composed mostly of academic A levels and there are two applied courses on offer. The cores aim of all students is to achieve qualifications that will enable them to progress to university, apprenticeship or employment

All study programmes should include work experience and non-qualification activities which complement the other elements of the programme and support the student to progress to further or higher education or to employment. The non-qualification activity should develop students’ character, skills, attitudes and confidence.

Students in our Sixth Form are required to take part in a number of activities which provide them with the opportunity to develop a range of skills in addition to those developed through their academic or applied studies. These are as follows:

  1. Form time is used effectively to discuss a range of important issues and develop key skills
  2. All students take part in an personal development programme that enables them to explore their own safety, careers, life skills and wider issues around the world.
  3. High-quality IAG is provided for all students through regular input from the Director and Deputy Director of KS5, from tutors.
  4. Year 12 and 13 students can take part in a community work placement around school to help lower school students or staff.
  5. Specialist support is provided for students to progress to Higher Education and apprenticeships
  6. All year 12 students are required to take part in a week of work experience in July.
  7. The school actively encourages students in Year 12 to take part in the NCS programme.

Planned hours for academic year 2023-24

 Qualification hoursNon-qualification hours
Level 3 qualification (1)19539
Level 3 qualification (2)19539
Level 3 qualification (3)19539
Personal Development039
EPQ (Years 12 and 13)390
Arts Award Gold390
Work Experience (Year 12 only)037