Frequently asked questions
Q1: Which subjects are available at A level?
A1: We offer almost 30A-level options, listed below, and full details can be found in our Departmental Information webpage
Art and Design; Music; Product Design; Engineering; ICT; Computer Science; Early Modern History; Modern History; Government and Politics; Law; English literature; English Language; Biology; Chemistry; Physics; Mathematics; Further Mathematics; Geography; Sociology; Psychology; Religious Studies; Physical Education; Spanish; German; French; Latin; Business; Economics.
Q2: How many A levels can I study?
A2: Three good grades at A-level is the entry requirement for the majority of universities, apprenticeships and jobs, so for many students the best approach will be to focus on three subjects only (Pathway 1).
However, we recognise that students of high academic ability (who will have achieved at least 6 grades 7 in their GCSEs) might wish to broaden their studies further and demonstrate a high learning capacity by choosing 4 A levels. They will commit to these for the full two years (Pathways 2-4).
In Year 12, students who study three A levels are also expected to complement their core curriculum with one choice from the Enrichment Subjects, which is optional for students studying four A levels.
Q3: Are there restrictions on what subjects I can study at A level?
A3: Apart from the variety of A level subjects we offer, a further strength of our curriculum comes from giving students a free choice in the subject combination they want to study.
The only exceptions are Further Mathematics and Engineering, as both must be studied in partnership with Mathematics.
Once students decide on the subject combinations, we then build the teaching blocks around the students’ choices so that we can provide them with individual programmes of study
Q4: What are the Enrichment Subjects?
A4: they are seven activities which include the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ); AS Classical Civilisation; AS Criminology; Core Mathematics; Sports Leadership Award (SL2); Young Enterprise; Work Experience.
The last three qualifications in this list, do not lead to examinations but all are particularly attractive to universities and employers for the skills that they allow students to develop.
Q5: What pathways are available?
A5: Pathway 1, based on three A levels and an Enrichment subject; Pathway 2, based on Mathematics and Further Mathematics alongside one or two other subjects; Pathway 3, based on the three sciences and Mathematics and Pathway 4, based on four subjects that show an overlap in learning skills, like the Humanities and Social Sciences.
The enrichment subject is optional for pathways based on four A levels. Further information can be found in the Sixth Form Prospectus
Q6: What are the entry requirements to study A levels at Spalding Grammar School?
A6: We make offers to candidates conditional upon a minimum of six grade 4’s at GCSE, including a minimum of Grade 4 in Mathematics, English Language or English Literature.
Each A-level course and most Enrichment subjects have subject specific entry requirements, and we will work with applicants to find the most suitable course choices in light of their achievement at GCSE.
Q7: How do I choose my A levels?
A7: Universities, Apprenticeship and Job providers look for students who not only have good grades, but grades in the right subjects for the course they want to apply for. So, how do you know what the right subjects are?
Choosing your A level subjects can be difficult for many reasons. Essentially, everyone is different and will need different advice. However, if you follow the guidance below, you should be able to judge which subjects will be the best ones for you.
- Do not necessarily choose the subject(s) you simply achieve the highest grade in at GCSE level
- Pick the subjects that you have a genuine interest in (this interest will be more useful to you over the two-year A level course than having a high grade at GCSE in a subject you do not particularly enjoy).
- Be clear about what the A level course involves – use our Prospectus (link) to guide you and the subject information sheets available.
- Do you like the look of what you will be studying?
- Will your academic profile/abilities help you to achieve highly in the subject?
- If you have a degree or career aspiration in mind already, make sure you choose the subject(s) that are required by the degree course, whilst also carefully considering the other points above.
A Level subjects required for any degree course at any university can be researched online at www.ucas.com. Click on Course Search to find a degree course that interests you and then check the Entry Requirements for that course. Most courses only specify one or two essential subjects at A Level and you should then choose additional subjects that you enjoy. Also, the Russell Group, which represents the leading 24 UK universities, have produced a guide detailing the best subject combinations for a wide range of university courses. You will find a copy at https://www.informedchoices.ac.uk/
- On the other hand, if you are not sure what you want to study at university yet, it is important to choose subjects which will leave as many options open as possible. We call these subjects ‘facilitating’ because choosing them at advanced level leaves open a wide range of options for university study. If you do not know what you want to study at university then it is a really good rule of thumb that taking two facilitating subjects will keep a wide range of degree courses open to you.
Mathematics and Further Mathematics • English Literature • Physics • Biology • Chemistry • Geography • History • Languages (Classical and Modern)
- If you are still struggling to choose -please do ask your teachers, your tutor or me.
Q8: How do I apply for Sixth Form?