Pathway Options

We offer three curriculum pathways.

These vary in terms of entry criteria, types of qualifications and length of time needed for completion. It is important to note that whichever pathway you take, if you have not yet gained a Grade 4 in GCSE Mathematics and English Language, it is a Government requirement that you must continue to study these subjects and make progress.

You will be expected to attend one hour of ‘Community and Spiritual Investigations’ (CSI) per week as part of the Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Curriculum, which is also based around a volunteering programme. You will also be expected to attend form times, fortnightly assemblies and 1-2-1 progress tutorials to give you the support to succeed. Non-contact time (study periods) are planned into your timetable to allow you to arrange your private study and
independent research around taught classes.

There are also opportunities for developing other interests and skills, through shorter additional qualification courses, e.g., Level 2 Sports Leadership, Level 3 Extended Project Qualification.

PATHWAY 1: Three or Four A-level Courses or BTEC Level 3 Courses

Pathway 1 involves taking three A-levels (academic) or a combination of A-levels and BTEC Level 3 courses (blended). This pathway is for students who have gained at least six or more 9-4 (A*-C) GCSE grades and have mainly achieved Grade 6 (equivalent B) and above. Students who have not gained Mathematics or English Language at Grade 4 will need to resit the course and qualification.

In addition to the Pathway criteria there are also entry requirements for each subject, which are shown under ‘Entry Requirements’ on each course description. Students need to be able to satisfy both the pathway criteria and specific course entry criteria to take this option choice.

Pathway 1+ is for students who have achieved mainly 9-7 (A*-A) grades. This gives them the option of potentially studying four A-level courses if they so wish. At the end of the first year students who want to reduce their courses to three A-levels may take an AS-level in the course they are leaving as a ‘stand-alone’ qualification.

PATHWAY 2: Two year Level 3 (A-level equivalent) BTEC courses

This Pathway is for students who have gained at least five 9-4 (A*-C) GCSEs at Grade 4 (C equivalent) or passes on Level 2 BTEC courses. These Level 3 BTEC courses are at a similar level to A-levels and provide students with a valuable route to university or a wider choice of employment opportunities. They are vocationally based so more directly relate to the ‘world of work’ than A-levels. Assessment is based on coursework assignments as well as terminal examinations.

Students choose a course programme that is the equivalent of three Level 3 qualifications. Examples of course programmes are:

  • Business Extended Diploma
  • Business Diploma + Travel and Tourism Subsidiary Diploma
  • Sports Diploma + Business Subsidiary Diploma
  • Health and Social Care + Travel and Tourism Subsidiary Diploma

If a student has a significant ability in a particular area (e.g. a Modern Foreign Language) students may also combine one A-level with Level 3 BTEC courses. All students must also continue to study GCSE Mathematics and English Language if they have not yet gained at least a Grade 4 in these subjects.

PATHWAY 3: One Year BTEC Level 2 Courses

The BTEC courses on this pathway are equivalent to three GCSEs and provide for many students a valuable gateway to Level 3 BTEC/A-level courses or a wider choice of employment opportunities. They are vocationally based so directly relate to the ‘world of work’. Assessment is based on coursework assignments and end of year examinations.

Students choose from a range of BTEC Level 2 courses on offer and must also continue to study GCSE Mathematics and English Language if they have not yet gained at least a Grade 4 in these subjects. This gives each student the possibility of achieving the equivalent to five GCSE grades at 9-4 (A*-C).

At the end of the year, those students who have gained a Merit on their Level 2 BTEC Courses, or at least five or six GCSEs at Grade 4 and above (A*-C) can then follow Pathway 1 or 2. They must, however, meet the entry criteria for the appropriate pathway and chosen subjects. The total time needed to complete Pathway 3 followed by Pathway 1 or 2 is three years. Alternatively, at the end
of the year students can enrol onto Level 2 or Level 3 courses at alternative institutions or apply for an apprenticeship or employment with training.