A Level & BTEC


Together with most HMC schools, King’s Rochester expects the majority of Sixth Form pupils to study three subjects at A Level or BTEC.

With the changes being made to A Levels by the Government, all A Level subjects are now linear. A linear subject means that all of the examinations needed to obtain an A Level in that subject will be taken at the end of two years.

At King’s we also offer BTEC national qualifications in sport. The Extended Certificate is the equivalent to 1 A Level, and the National Level 3 Sports Diploma is equivalent to 2 A Levels.

In addition to A Levels and BTECs, some pupils also take the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ). This enables them to extend their academic interests and to develop some of the skills useful for university. This qualification, worth half an A Level, is highly regarded by universities. Final selection of those who will take the EPQ is not made until after GCSE results but it is useful for pupils to indicate now if it is something in which they would be interested.

The strength of the Sixth Form curriculum at King’s has always been its flexibility. Pupils are free to choose three of the subjects available for study in the Lower Sixth and all pupils take part in a games programme in which they can choose from a variety of sports. The School’s Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education (PSHEE) programme provides further depth and breadth to the curriculum.

Pupils are encouraged to use their Private Study periods in the Sixth Form Centre constructively and are supervised by members of staff. Facilities in the Sixth Form Centre include a work room with networked computers, site-wide high-speed wifi, a lounge and a facility to make hot drinks and snacks at break and lunch time.

In Lower Sixth, our pupils cultivate broader interests and skills through a programme of electives, including subjects such as public speaking and beginner’s Mandarin (more details in the Electives section below). In the Upper Sixth, there is a strategic focus on UCAS applications, apprenticeships and career planning.

Our Friday Afternoon Activities for the Lower Sixth allow pupils to take part in one of the Combined Cadet Force (CCF) sections, join our Theatre Production Company or Volunteering group to help build key life skills, including leadership qualities and teamwork.  More information on this can be found under Co-Curricular.

Aptitude Tests and Challenge Grades

Each Michaelmas term pupils in the Lower Sixth sit aptitude tests. These national tests are formulated by the Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring (CEM) at Durham University which analyses the results and, from statistical data spanning at least ten years, is able to predict, with reasonable certainty, the results pupils are likely to get at A level. We use these predictors, our professional judgement and what we know of each pupil, to devise Challenge Grades which are aspirational but attainable with hard work.

Entry Requirements to the Sixth Form

Pupils should attain a minimum of a grade 6 in the subjects they wish to study at A level. For some subjects such as Mathematics, Languages and the Sciences however, a grade 7 or above is expected. The minimum entry requirement for the Sixth Form is five GCSE passes.

Pupils already studying at King’s are expected to continue their education in the Sixth Form if they achieve the matriculation criteria above. If this is not to be the case, the usual written notice of one term will be required.

Miss N. Steel – Deputy Head (Academic)