A Level Economics aims to provide students with an understanding of some of the central approaches to the fundamental problem of Economics: How should scarce resources be allocated?
Economics often helps us understand what we read about in the news, and a big part of being successful on the course is being interested in, and prepared to discuss, current affairs.
Since Economics is a subject about the world around us, time will be spent examining source materials to recognise the use of economic theory, and evaluating the arguments presented in source materials. This is also an important skill for examinations.
No previous knowledge of Economics is required. It is recommended that students have attained at least a grade 6 at English Language GCSE. The course does not involve any Mathematics beyond GCSE level, but interpreting graphs is a key skill, and students should be able perform basic Mathematical calculations.
The 2 year A level course is assessed through examination at the end of the period of study.
There are trips to the Crown Court, Parliament and the Old Bailey during the course of the A Level.
Economics provides an excellent background knowledge for any student wanting to move onto a career related to public policy or finance.
All three sciences are offered at A Level.
A Level Science subjects build on GCSE knowledge and also introduce more advanced topics. Experimental skills are developed further, with students carrying out more extended practical work and investigations.
The A Level Science courses provide opportunities for students to develop key skills:
Final assessment, in all A Level Science subjects, will consist of three written papers.
Practical skills are developed throughout the course and are assessed within the written examinations and by Practical Endorsement. Candidates complete a minimum of 12 practical activities to demonstrate practical competence.
This course provides an opportunity to gain a sound understanding of Biology through the study of biological principles whilst exploring the modern applications of Biology. It provides an appropriate foundation for further study of Biology or related subjects in Higher Education. It has also proved to be a stimulating A Level for those wishing to study non-related disciplines at university, such as Law or English. It can lead to direct entry into employment, especially into the sciences and related sectors.
The course includes:
The course enable students to gain knowledge and an understanding of Chemistry and gives students the opportunity to develop skills in laboratory procedures and techniques. The study of A Level Chemistry can prepare students to follow a degree course in Chemistry, Environmental Science, Veterinary Medicine, Biochemistry, Biological Sciences, Biomedical Sciences, Medicine and Pharmacy.
The course includes:
The course will provide a satisfying experience for the student who chooses to take Physics as part of a broad post-16 curriculum. At the end of the course they should know more of what Physics is about and its place in the world. The course will enable the student to go on to study Physics or an associated course at university; at the same time it will provide an interesting and stimulating experience for the student who does not pursue the subject further.
The course includes:
Sixth Form Science trips include:
Students are also encouraged to take part in national competitions and teams are entered for the Biology Challenge and the Chemistry and Physics Olympiads.
In addition, Sixth Form Science students often assist with the organisation and running of the very popular STEM Club.
Sion Science students have gone on to study related courses and pursue careers in wide variety of areas, including:
The World Languages Faculty at Our Lady of Sion School offers French and Spanish at A Level and our teachers are subject specialists with a combined total of more than 40 years’ experience in teaching languages.
Students may choose to study up to two languages at A Level and internal assessment is in the form of topic related assignments, exam type papers and mock examinations. The external assessment is provided by the AQA examination board.
We are now able to offer a full range of exchanges and trips again. Current plans include an exchange with our sister school in Grenoble, a gastronomic tour of Barcelona and a day-trip to Europe’s largest aquarium at Boulogne-sur-Mer.
For those students who choose to study Geography at A Level, we follow the AQA specification with a final two exams to sit at the end of Year 13: one in Human Geography and one in Physical Geography. During the two year course, students will learn about topic such as water and carbon cycles, urban environments, changing places, hazards and coasts.
The Sixth Form offers two residential fieldtrips to complement the exam specification for AQA Geography. These include using the Field Studies Council Centre at Juniper Hall in Dorking and also the Barcelona Field Studies Centre. It is a popular options subject, and students make the transition from GCSE to A-Level with confidence. The independent coursework component at A-Level builds on experienced gained on the fieldtrips and from local investigations.
In recent years students have gone on to study Geography at Russel Group Universities, along with other degrees with a Geographical element. Geography allows students to pursue careers in variety of fields and offers a variety of skills which are highly transferable and desirable in a fast changing world economy.
The qualification aims to:
Students with Advanced GCE Business Studies (AQA) have access to a wide range of possible careers and higher education opportunities. Undergraduate business courses combine well with a range of social science and humanities subjects such as Accounting, Economics, Politics, Law and Psychology.
Some courses now offer a sandwich placement year which does offer payment in return and future job opportunities. This is an area worth investigating further if interested.
The A Level Law course is highly varied in content and gives students an excellent foundational knowledge of law in England and Wales. Students will learn about legal institutions, the relationship between the individual and the state, Law making by Government and the Courts, and legal principles generally.
The new A Level provides opportunities for students to learn legal principles and case law in the areas of Criminal law, Tort law and Contract law.
No previous knowledge of the Law is required. It is recommended that students have attained at least a grade 6 at English Language GCSE.
The 2 year A level course is assessed through examination at the end of the period of study: There are 3 papers each 2 hours in length.
The areas of Tort law and Criminal law are expanded upon and there is the addition of study into the Nature of law and Contract law.
There are visits throughout the course; to a Crown Court, Parliament and the Old Bailey.
Studying Law at A level is useful for anyone hoping to go to University to study subjects such as Politics, History, Government, Media, Law, Business and Social Sciences. The skills and knowledge acquired studying Law are useful in careers in the Civil Service, Business, Journalism, Politics, Law, the Police and in Management.
All Sixth Form students are offered an enrichment afternoon where they are encouraged to participate in sport and fitness. The afternoon is about enjoying sports with friends. It is used as a positive break from the academic studies of their A-level courses. Most activities take place on-site but some sessions may be off-site.
A Level PE is offered as an option in the Sixth Form.
Students will study units in physiology, psychology and socio-cultural issues in sport (70%). Students will also provide an oral response to apply their theoretical knowledge into a practical observation (15%). Students will be assessed in one competitive sport which contributes towards 15% of the total course.
Sixth Form students are not only offered an afternoon of enrichment, they are also encouraged to take up leadership roles within the school. They will help and support the coach at sports clubs and help run house competitions.
As part of the enrichment, a variety of off-site activities may take place throughout the year. Examples are fitness classes, golf and ice skating.
Psychology is a popular choice of subject for A Level. Many of the students who take A Level Psychology go on to study the subject at university.
Psychology is the study of behaviour. It is a subject that forms a link between the biological sciences and the social sciences. Studying this course does not mean that students will be able to read people’s minds or be a qualified psychiatrist after one year. Psychology has recently been classified as a Science by the QCA, and it combines well with both Arts and Science courses at A Level.
It is not necessary to have studied the subject at GCSE. However, as this is a subject that needs competent written answers and includes Research Methods, then a Grade 6 in English and Maths is necessary.
Areas of study include:
In the past the Psychology Department has gone to Disney World Paris to study behaviour in Amusement Parks and listen to experts in a student conference.
Other trips include the Freud Centre in London and observing animal behaviour in a zoo.
There are many different courses and careers available to you with a Psychology A Level.
Courses at University include BSc (Honours) and BA (Honours) and specialisms such as Developmental Psychology; Forensic Psychology; Criminology and Psychology; Philosophy and Psychological Studies; Social Sciences; Psychology with Counselling; and Pure Psychology.
Careers with a Psychology Degree can include those in Law, Criminology, Education, Management, Business & Industry, Marketing, Human Factors such as Ergonomics and Engineering Psychology, Family Studies, Anthropology, Sociology, Infant Health, Statistics, Neuroscience, Cognitive Science, Pharmacology, Biology, General Medicine and Psychiatry.
A Level Philosophy introduces students to a range of important themes in Philosophy, both historical and contemporary. The course follows the progression of thought from thinkers such as Plato and Aristotle from ancient Greece up to the current time on questions such as ‘What is it that makes something morally good?’, ‘How does human knowledge come about?’ and ‘What can we say about the nature of reality?’
Philosophy is best for students who already like to think about these kinds of questions. It is not a subject that you can learn by passively sitting and listening, rather it is very important to bring your own ideas to things, and to be prepared to discuss them with those who disagree.
No previous knowledge of Philosophy is required. It is recommended that students have attained at least a grade 7 at English Language GCSE.
The 2 year A level course is assessed through examination at the end of the period of study: There are 2 papers each 3 hours in lengths.
In terms of University it is an academically demanding A Level, and will provide excellent preparation for any course that deals with big issues. It teaches critical thinking, and the skill of deconstructing and criticising an argument, as well as constructing your own in favour of conclusions that are often quite abstract.
In Year 12 students undertake ‘The Built Environment’ project. Within this projects students are introduced to a wide range of artists that respond to the built environment. Students use architecture as their source of inspiration and many workshops are undertaken outdoors. This project allows for students to develop their skills further and be introduced to a more rigorous way of working. Varied workshops allow them to use their sketchbooks in a more adventurous way.
Our smaller class sizes allow for excellent teacher support and personalised lessons, trips and tutorials.
From Easter in Year 12 students start their ‘Personal Investigation’ which makes up for 60% of their A-Level grade.
The annual summer exhibition is a wonderful event held in the School’s Chapel to celebrate the work produced by A-Level Art students. Teachers, parents, students, and friends are invited to the event.
Mathematics remains a popular subject in our Sixth Form. At A-level, students have the chance to delve deeper into their study of the subject and explore key concepts from a range of both Pure and Applied Mathematics, including Calculus, Trigonometry, Hypothesis Testing and Newton’s Laws of Motion, to name but a few. Whilst these are challenging topics to learn, they underpin a vast range of topic areas such as Medicine, Engineering, Psychology and more. Regardless of what you go on to study, you will find connections to this course of Mathematics.
Key Stage 5 A Level- Topics and Assessment
Students follow the Edexcel A level course, and are assessed through a terminal exam at the end of year 13, which consists of 3 papers:
A number supplement this by also studying Further Mathematics (assessed separately).
A-level Mathematics students have the opportunity to enter the annual Senior Mathematics Challenge administered by the UK Mathematics Trust. Weekly practice sessions are run in the build-up to these competitions so that students can build up their confidence prior to the challenge itself. Many students perform extremely well, earning Gold, Silver and Bronze certificates of achievement. Students can enter this in both Year 12 and 13.
Many of our students have gone on to read Mathematics at degree level in recent years, at universities including Bristol, Bath, Cambridge, Durham, Edinburgh, University College London, Oxford, St. Andrews, Sheffield and Sussex.