Progression into the Upper or Lower Sixth

As early as possible in the Lower Sixth, students should start thinking about their preferred programme of study in the Upper Sixth. Several options are worthy of consideration:

  • continue with all AS subjects to A level
  • drop one AS and take the remaining subjects up to A level
  • drop one AS and add a new AS, subject to availability
  • continue with BTEC course, plus any of the above combinations

For example:

Next year
Change to programme
4 AS levels4 A levelsNone
4 AS levels3 A levelsDrop one subject
3 or 4 AS levels2 or 3 A levels plus one new AS (subject to availability)Additional AS
BTEC plus 2 AS levelsBTEC plus A levelDrop one AS


Points to consider:

  • A levels are more difficult than AS levels!
  • Universities regard 3 A levels or BTEC plus an A level as a ‘normal’ offer. You are not required to have 4 full A levels to get on good university courses
  • Three good grades are better than 4 average grades
  • An additional AS in your Upper Sixth year is not recommended in most cases


What happens when?

1. Application Form

Application forms are issued to all Lower Sixth students by tutors in March and should be returned by the deadline. Students who miss the deadline will not be considered for the Upper Sixth.

2. Consultation

Students (and their parents) should use the following opportunities to weigh up possible options:

  • Parents' Evenings, early in the Spring Term
  • Results of January modules published in early March
  • Student Review Meetings for selected students, in early March
  • Interim Reports issued in late March
  • Individual interviews with form tutors in late March

3. The Offer

  • In April/May the College will confirm chosen courses, subject to students meeting the minimum entrance requirements
  • In late August AS results are published. Students meeting the minimum entrance requirements  will be able to take their chosen courses
  • At the beginning of the Autumn Term in the Upper Sixth, students will be invited to individual interviews to confirm their choice of subjects


Minimum Entrance Requirements

  • Grade D or above at AS

Students with an unsatisfactory record of performance in their AS year may be required to obtain a minimum grade at AS in order to move on to an A2 course. Progression will be at the discretion of the Head of Department.

  • Good attendance and punctuality, and effort grades at level 3 or above

Students with a poor attendance record and/or effort record will not be allowed to continue into the Upper Sixth, no matter how good their AS results are.


Intermediate Students progressing to the Lower Sixth

Many students who have successfully completed Intermediate courses return to College to study at Advanced Level. Students wishing to do this, will need to re-apply to the College during the Autumn Term of their Intermediate year.

The entrance requirements for progression to an AS or BTEC National course are:

  • Merit in BTEC
  • An excellent attendance record
  • Effort grades of 3 or above in Interim Reports;
  • A satisfactory reference/report from tutor/BTEC teacher

AS subjects often have specific entrance requirements. Please see the entrance requirements relating to specific Courses.


Help in re-applying

The College Careers Department organises talks for all Intermediate students to help guide them through the application process. Students should arrange a Careers Interview if they require more specific help or if they intend to see employment after their Intermediate year.

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