Advanced (A) Level qualifications
The General Certificate of Education Advanced Level (short form: GCE Advanced Level), or more commonly, the A Level, is a school leaving qualification offered by educational bodies in the United Kingdom. Courses focus on academic subjects.
Students choose the courses which best suit their interests and abilities and which offer them appropriate opportunities for progression. Initial course choices are made via the online application form and all applicants will have a counselling meeting to discuss their applications.
In addition to their A level studies all students will follow a programme of Enrichment which takes place on a Wednesday afternoon and includes opportunities for a range of extra curricular activities and sports. Students also follow a programme of activities designed to develop competencies in organisation, team working and communication skills.
Changes to A level courses
The specifications for all A level courses are undergoing a process of review by the Government to ensure that they prepare students adequately for university and employment. The majority of A level courses are now linear, examined at the end of the 2 year course and with no more than 20% coursework component. The AS exam will still be available as a standalone qualification, but the marks from this will not contribute to the overall A2 qualification taken at the end of Year 13.
Changes are being brought in gradually and A levels in "phase one" of the A level changes which have already changed from modular to linear for the 2014/15 academic year are:
Art and Design, Biology, Business, Chemistry, Computer Science, Economics, English literature, English language and literature, History, Physics, Psychology and Sociology.
A levels in "phase two" of the A level changes which changed in September of the 2015/16 academic year are:
Drama and Theatre, Geography, Music, Modern Foreign Languages (French, Spanish), Physical Education and Religious Studies.
In these subject areas achievement at AS will not contribute to the mark awarded for the full A2 qualification taken at the end of year 13.
A levels in "phase 3" of the A level changes which will be changing in the 2016/17 academic year are:
Further Maths, Geology, Law, Maths and Media Studies.