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Sixth Form

When girls enter the Sixth Form they will be able to follow either a course leading to A levels or a course leading to the International Baccalaureate Diploma (IB). To find out more about the IB Diploma click here.

Whichever route girls choose to take they will all have Games lessons, PSHE lessons and will be expected to take part in the CAS (Creativity, Action and Service) programme.

A Levels

Girls normally study four AS subjects in the Lower Sixth and three subjects in the Upper Sixth.

A Level Reforms 

The Government is changing the assessments of A Levels to ensure that the A Level examinations are taken at the end of the two-year course.

This differs from current practice where students take two of the assessment modules in the Lower Sixth (which forms the AS examination) and the remaining two in the Upper Sixth. The four modules combined form the A Level.

The changes will be introduced in stages between 2015 and 2017. During the period of transition, for some A Level subjects, assessment will take place at the end of the two years; this is called terminal assessment. In other subjects assessment will take place both in the Lower Sixth and Upper Sixth; this is called modular assessment.

This presents challenges for all schools. For some subjects the girls will need to take external exams in June 2016 which count towards their A Levels, and for others they will not.

We have decided that the most effective way forward is for all A Level girls in the next academic year (2015/16) to sit two of the assessment modules in all their subjects, regardless of the changes to the specification, in the Lower Sixth. This potentially enables them to obtain an AS in all their subjects and will also provide them with a guide to their performance in these subjects to determine which to continue with at A Level.

The marks in those subjects still on the old modular system will go towards the girls’ final A Level grade. For the subjects which are on the new system, these marks for the modules will not count towards the final A Level grade. If they choose not to continue with this subject at A Level they will be awarded an AS Level in that subject. 

This solution is being adopted by the majority of schools because it is the most effective way of bridging the two very different assessment systems. We are happy to discuss this with you further. Please contact our Admissions Department; Admissions@bedfordgirlsschool.co.uk.

International Baccalaureate

For the IB course students take six subjects from a range of disciplines, typically three at Higher Level (HL) and three at Standard Level (SL) and in addition, complete a research essay, a course in the Theory of Knowledge (ToK) and a programme of creativity, action and service (CAS).

Students select one subject from each of Groups 1 to 6.

Group 1: English

Group 2: French, German, Spanish, Latin

Group 3: Economics, Geography, history, Philosophy

Group 4: Biology, Chemistry, Physics

Group 5: Mathematics

Group 6: Biology, French, Geography, Music, Visual Arts

In addition the programme has three core requirements:

The extended essay is a requirement for students to engage in independent research through an in-depth study of a question relating to one of the subjects they are studying.

Theory of knowledge is a course designed to encourage each student to reflect on the nature of knowledge by critically examining different ways of knowing (perception, emotion, language and reason) and different kinds of knowledge (scientific, artistic, mathematical and historical).

Creativity, action, service (CAS) requires that students actively learn from the experience of doing real tasks beyond the classroom.

Students take written examinations at the end of the programme, as well as internal assessment tasks in school throughout the two years. The marks awarded for each course range from 1 (lowest) to 7 (highest).

Students can also be awarded up to three additional points for their combined results on theory of knowledge and the extended essay. The diploma is awarded to students who gain at least 24 points, subject to certain minimum levels of performance across the whole programme and to satisfactory participation in the creativity, action, and service requirement. The highest total that a Diploma Programme student can be awarded is 45 points.