Academic structure of A Level courses

Length of A Level Courses

‘A’ levels are all linear, two-year courses and at Bales College the vast majority of students follow this two-year A Level course. Some students choose to join us in the final year of study to take A level courses over just one year or to undertake re-take examinations.

We set very high expectations and expect our students to work hard; teaching staff are highly qualified, very experienced, and class sizes are small. We offer a wide range of subjects, each being taught for around 5-6 hours per week.

Most of our courses are Edexcel but we use OCR and AQA for a small number of subjects. The course summaries/syllabus, and Programmes of Study for each subject can be found on the A Level Subject page here.

Subject choice in year 12 and Year 13

Students generally take four subjects in Year 12 and most continue three into Year 13. We makes every effort to accommodate different subject combinations, allowing students to follow courses tailored to their skills, interests and future plans.

In collaboration with you, the Sixth Form leadership team will set targets for your A level performance based on GCSE grades (or your first sitting of A levels). This is done to assist you with visualising the performance you want to achieve, as well as to guide you in the work required on a day-to-day basis. Progress is them monitored regularly against these goals with internal exams held four times per year.

There is no study leave in year 12 with teaching continuing until the end of term in early July. Revision classes are held during holiday periods in year 13, with teachers focusing specifically on past paper questions so that you are clear what is required to perform on exam day.

UCAS Applications and Transfer to University

Our University Admissions Tutor will work alongside each sixth-form student, on a one-to-one basis, to help each individual find their perfect university course and college and then work with them to ensure they present the best possible application to the university. Bales has nearly 50 years experience in helping students achieve the best possible university destination for them. Recent leavers have joined Russell Group universities to undertake a range of subjects.

Programmes of Study

Each subject has a detailed Scheme of Work per year group, and an accompanying shorter Programme of Study which summarises the Scheme of Work. Our rigorous Sixth Form curriculum will provide you with the opportunity to study a wide variety of A level subjects valued by high performing universities.