We offer a wide variety of subjects to choose from including the opportunity to take up new subjects. The relationship between staff and students is one of mutual co-operation. Excellent teaching, guidance and encouragement enables each student to get the very best out of her studies.
We believe strongly that each student is an individual and should choose the most suitable subjects and combination: there is no compulsion and we aim to accommodate each of your subject choices within the timetable. We advise you to study four AS subjects in Year 12, with the addition of Critical Thinking, carrying on three to A2 in Year 13, but other patterns are possible.
Further information about specifications and the nature of the AS and A2 course at OHS is available from Heads of Department.
From September 2008 there were several changes both to the content of AS and A2 specifications and their structure, with many subjects moving from six to four assessment units (two at AS level and two at A2 level).
Another change to A levels is the addition of an enhanced grade – the A* – which will be awarded for the first time in 2010 at A2 level to students who achieve highly in A2 level units.
One tutor period per week in Year 12 and 13. You will follow an exciting, stimulating and thought-provoking programme which will develop your knowledge of current affairs, get you involved in charity work and will provide opportunities for you to organise activities with other year groups.
This is a core subject and is studied by all students for at least the first term of Year 12, with the opportunity to take the AS level examination at the end of Year 12.
Critical Thinking is all about arguments. This does not mean that you will be shouting at one another and slamming the door as you leave the classroom! Real arguing is justifying your beliefs by giving reasons. Critical Thinking will help you to understand other people’s reasons, and their conclusions; it will help you to detect flaws in other people’s arguments; and it will help you to develop powerful arguments of your own. These skills are vital for several A Level subjects, and they will really help you when you get to university. In fact, universities value Critical Thinking skills so highly that many now use tests containing Critical Thinking questions as part of their admissions procedures.
General Studies lessons provide an opportunity for you to enrich your academic studies in a way which does not lead to an examination. A wide variety of options is offered including many sports, cooking, debating, ethics and Byzantine History. Sports Leadership Award courses and Young Enterprise are also available as part of General Studies and can lead to a nationally recognised qualification. Further details are to be found in the Sixth Form Handbook
The broad range of subjects on offer makes our Sixth Form a stimulating and lively environment for learning.
YEARS 12 and 13 – subjects offered to AS/A Level
Critical Thinking (*)
Design and Technology
Drama and Theatre Studies
Government & Politics
Note: the majority of subjects are timetabled for 7 periods each week but this may be reduced if there are only a small number of students wishing to study a particular subject.
(*) Critical Thinking is a core, compulsory part of the Y12 curriculum for at least the autumn term. The majority of students continue with the subject and take the AS at the end of Y12.
(**) Italian: this provides an opportunity to begin a new modern language and to study it to either AS or A2 level. The course is very intensive and it will not be possible to take the AS level examination until the end of Y13.
(***) Mandarin was introduced into Y12 this year – after moving up through the school over the course of the last 5 years.
- We recommend that students choose 4 subjects to study at AS level and then to continue with 3 of these to A level (although it is possible to do more than this).
- Mathematics: courses generally consist of pure and applied units where the applied component is either mechanics or statistics.
- Further Mathematics: students intending to take further mathematics must also take mathematics. The total number of periods timetabled is 12 per week.
- Art: Textiles: good drawing skills are needed for success at AS level at the end of Y12.
- Y12 students will be asked to confirm their choice of A2 subjects, for study in Y13, in the Spring Term of Y12.
- In addition to the above subjects students follow a General Studies programme (2 periods per week), a Critical Thinking course (2 periods per week for at least the first term in Y12) and a Tutor/PSHCE period (1 period per week).