The sixth-form curriculum

We offer a flexible options system in which girls study either three or four A levels as two-year courses in the sixth form. In February of U5 girls are asked to select three or four subjects (or four or five if further mathematics is included) and one reserve from the list below:

The sixth-form curriculum
art history art (fine art or textiles) biology chemistry classical civilisation



English literature further mathematics*
geography politics Greek history Latin
mathematics modern languages music physics product design
psychology religious studies      

*A2 subject only

The curriculum here has been designed to allow as broad a choice as possible.

As a result of ongoing national reforms to A levels there have been changes to several specifications with effect from September 2017. The links above provide the most up-to-date information for those courses.

We anticipate that the majority of girls will study three full A levels (or four if further mathematics is included; girls studying mathematics and further mathematics must take at least two additional subjects). As a guideline and because of the workload involved, we expect that any girl considering four full A levels (or five including further mathematics) will achieve at least six A* grades or equivalent at (I)GCSE level.

Providing requests are submitted by 5th February 2018 we aim to make it possible for girls to study their chosen subjects. However, the availability of all subjects cannot be guaranteed, and it may be necessary to implement the reserve choice in some cases. Subject choices must be submitted on a form signed by parents. It may be possible to change subject choices after 5th February 2018, however this will be dependent on their availability within the timetable.

The sixth form curriculum also includes the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) and Stretch, the whole-school enrichment programme. This is an exciting feature of the curriculum at St Swithun’s which gives girls the opportunity to explore issues, hear from speakers and learn new skills and interests for their future lives.

Sixth form linguists are also able to take GCSE Italian in a year if they so choose.

Lower sixth girls must also complete two double-lesson sessions of sport/PE per week, and upper sixth girls, one double-lesson session.