6th Form


The completion of Year 12 marks the end of a boy's compulsory schooling. He may then consider the possibility of entering the Sixth Form. This will provide him with a unique and challenging set of opportunities for detailed academic and vocational study and for fulfilling involvement in a wide range of activities. The school welcomes into the Sixth Form all boys who are capable of benefiting from these opportunities and who are keen to embrace them.

A Sixth Former will:

▪ benefit from studying 3 or 4 subjects at BTEC/AS and A2 Level;

▪ make a positive contribution to the wider life of the school through participation in co-curricular activities and through providing leadership and good example to boys in the junior and middle school;

▪ benefit from preparation for higher level education and professional work.


Criteria for entry to A level study

Pupils who wish to progress to A level study must meet the GCSE points total indicated in the Pathways below, and have attained at least B grades in the A level subjects chosen. Some subjects necessitate an A grade at GCSE level – see p51 for subject specific requirements. GCSE scoring is as follows: A* = 4; A = 3; B = 2; C* = 1 ½; C = 1. Note that in some cases where a class has not been filled initially by pupils attaining a B grade, pupils who hold a C* grade may be considered after review of the UMS marks and consultation with the Head of Department.


Pathway 1: 26 points and above

Pupils have access to three or four subjects if essential criteria for each subject is met.

Pathway 2: 21-26 points

Pupils normally have access to three subjects. A fourth may be studied if evidence of a clear career pathway is produced. Essential criteria for each subject must be met.

Pathway 3: 11-21 points

Pupils have access to three subjects only. Essential criteria for each subject must be met.

Pathway 4: less than 11 points (BGS pupils only)

To enable better career pathway progression and achievement, some pupils could perhaps have access to three subjects after consultation with a senior member of staff. Admission will be dependent on the combination of subjects chosen, a realistic view of what is achievable based on the pupil’s skills and abilities, and a review of attendance and behaviour at Key Stage 4. Essential criteria for each subject must be met.

Our experience would suggest that part-time work can have a detrimental impact on students’ studies. Students must ensure that they manage their work commitments to allow sufficient time for their studies and for relaxation. We would suggest a maximum of twelve hours per week.

It will be a new experience for most students to have designated study periods each week. This time is not allocated for the completion of homework but to enable students to extend their knowledge of their A- level subjects, at the direction of their teachers.


Essential (grade) minimum

Desirable (grade)


B in GCSE Art



A in GCSE Biology

and B in GCSE Mathematics

GCSE Chemistry

Business Studies

Good levels of numeracy and literacy



A in GCSE Chemistry and a high standard in GCSE Maths

Simultaneous study of either A level Biology or Physics

Computer Science

B in GCSE Computer Science


Digital Technology

B in GCSE Digital Technology or B in Computer Science


Drama and Theatre Studies

Experience of public performance within the School’s drama clubs or external group


BTEC Engineering

(studied at SERC)

C in GCSE English Language

and Mathematics

GCSE or BTEC Level 2 Engineering or

GCSE Design and Technology

English Literature

B in English Language and

B in English Literature


Ethics & Philosophy

(Religious Studies)


Good grade in GCSE Religious Studies



B in GCSE Geography


Government and Politics


B in English Language

 and GCSE History



B in GCSE History and GCSE English Language



(studied at SERC)

C in GCSE English Language and Mathematics

GCSE Digital Technology or Computer Science


A in GCSE Mathematics

GCSE in Further Mathematics

Further Mathematics

A* in both GCSE Mathematics and Further Mathematics


Modern Foreign Languages

Strong language skills and understanding from the GCSE curriculum


Moving Image Arts

(studied at St Columbanus’)

Interest in film and good ICT literacy

B in GCSE MIA and/or B in GCSE Digital Technology or Computer Science

Physical Education


B in GCSE Physical Education


A in GCSE Physics and high standard in GCSE Maths and/or Additional Maths


Sport BTEC

(studied at SERC)

C in GCSE English Language and Mathematics


Technology and Design


A good pass grade at GCSE preferably A* or A grade

PDF icon 6th Form Contract

PDF icon GCSE choices booklet 2019

PDF icon AS choices booklet 2019