The standard recommendation is to choose three subjects, although four may be studied at the discretion of the Deputy Head – Teaching and Learning.
Pupils have free choice on which subjects to choose from those the school offers. These choices are then put into option blocks. Each one will take up about one quarter of the student’s week, with the rest typically being used to complete an Extended Project Qualification or other academic enrichment, and some supervised Private Study time. The A Level examinations are linear and so the examinations will all come at the end of the two year course.
The individual nature of the A Level programme at Plymouth College allows our students to be flexible in their selection. Classes are small enough to allow personal attention and individual support but large enough for students to engage in lively debate where they can express themselves, share ideas and work together.
We encourage a genuine spirit of enquiry in our students; the desire to look beyond the confines of the curriculum and have the ability to work with independence, tenacity and flair.
We equip our Sixth Formers with everything they need to ensure they do well in their A Level exams and for their journey to university and beyond. Find out more about our dedicated UCAS guidance and support below.
After finishing my A Levels, I am now studying Medicine at St George's, University of London. What I remember most from my time at Plymouth College is being empowered to direct my own learning which has been an invaluable skill in my medical degree.
George - Graduate
The other curriculum route is the Sport Baccalaureate. This is a wide-ranging course which includes studying sports and outdoor education, and is accredited mainly by BTEC, with a few other qualifications that the students will gain along the way, such as lifeguarding. The assessment for the Sport Baccalaureate is continual and consists of a number of assignments. There are no final exams.
A great strength of the Sixth Form at Plymouth College is the support and advice pupils receive as they apply to university. The PSHME programme in the Sixth Form revolves around preparing the students to submit the strongest application possible to the most relevant universities for the most suitable course.
Those applying to Oxbridge meet with the Oxbridge Coordinator on a regular basis to learn about the distinctive nature of this application process and to prepare themselves fully for the formal interview at an Oxbridge "Away Day" and through meeting with admission tutors, OPMs and experts in their field to develop a thorough and flawless application. Those applying for Medicine or Veterinary Science are prepared through the special Pre-Med course run on Friday afternoons throughout the Sixth Form with presentations, lectures, visits, research projects and work experience. Pupils interested in applying to the US also have a specialist programme tailored to their applications which unveils the complexities of the American system.
The majority of students apply to Russell Group, traditional and new universities in the UK. Tutors guide them through numerous drafts of their Personal Statements and then seek guidance from the wide range of teachers and coaches who have worked with the Sixth Former during their time at the College to write the reference. An incredible amount of time and effort goes into helping Sixth Formers get onto the best possible course. It is why the University Office is at the heart of the Sixth Form Centre. It is one of many reasons why the Sixth Form at Plymouth College is so strong.