When the girls enter Sixth Form they will be able to follow either a course leading to the International Baccalaureate qualification or A Levels
Girls are given guidance and support in selecting which route is most suitable for them. In addition to the academic studies all girls take part in, there’s an enriching programme of additional activities which broadens their horizons and helps to further enhance their skillsets. These include PE lessons, PSHE and CAS (Creativity, Activity and Service).
Further to governmental changes to the A Level system, Bedford Girls’ School has decided upon the following approach. We believe this provides our students with a rich, fulfilling and enjoyable Sixth Form experience.
The girls can choose three or four A Levels from a block of choices – they can begin with four and if they wish, drop down to three. To give girls time to develop their learning, for them to make connections and to have more time to explore and experiment, they will have 10 hours of teaching time a fortnight for each A Level subject.
Entry requirements for university continue to be three good grades at A Level, or Higher IB, and we therefore want them to use their time to get these good grades, as well as have time to develop skills that will help them with life beyond university.
They will no longer sit external AS examinations as these will not contribute to their A Level grade. They only sit external terminal assessments at the end of the two year courses.
By adopting this approach our students can study their chosen subjects in greater depth and breath, without the constant pressure of external examinations. The students will benefit not only from more lesson time, but also from having space to participate in a wide range of additional academic extension opportunities, such as the Extended Project Qualification, and a wider range of co-curricular activities, which enrich their Sixth Form experience and provide valuable skills for life beyond school.
A Levels are offered in the following subjects, with students encouraged to select no more than four subjects.
Design and Technology
Drama and Theatre Studies
Government and Politics
Mathematics and Further Mathematics
The 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 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.