Academic success, personal development and fun are the three principles of sixth form life.
There has never been a better time to study for your A Levels at Combe Bank School.
Our last inspection report makes it clear that pupils do better at Combe Bank than they do at other schools. We have a separate purpose built Sixth Form Centre which includes two large study rooms with computers, teaching rooms with interactive white boards, a careers library again with ICT facilities, large spacious common rooms and a fully equipped kitchen with fridges, microwaves and a dishwasher.
Our examination record at both GCSE and A level is outstanding, representing very good value added for the pupils by the school with almost all of our students going on to their first choice university. Several students have recently been successful in their Oxbridge applications, the choice of subjects ranging from Modern Languages, Natural Sciences and Mathematics.
We offer small classes with individual learning programmes to suit all students and enable them to obtain their full potential. The choice of subjects on offer is wide and creative timetabling allows us to meet individual needs.
Our Careers department, with the support of the Sixth Form tutors, provides good quality advice and guidance on appropriate courses and the qualifications necessary for a successful application. We offer all students mock interviews and opportunities for work shadowing and specific career- based courses.
We are aware that the transition from GCSE courses to Sixth Form study is a demanding one and the support of the tutorial system eases that transition. Combe Bank is also well suited to new students joining in the Sixth Form because it has the advantages of being a small school. This means that people can be individually cared for by both staff and their peers and our experience is that new students soon feel at home.
We can offer a wide variety of courses in the Sixth form; courses which are tailored to the individual’s needs, requirements and abilities. Our students may sit up to 5 AS examinations and 4 A levels or any other variety of combinations including vocational A levels in Health and Social Care.
GCE A LEVEL
GCE Advanced levels (A Levels) are designed for post-16 students who are following a two-year full-time course of study. A Levels are based on six units. Three of these make up an Advanced Subsidiary (AS) course, representing the first half of an advanced level course of study and the other three are known as A2, representing the second half. A Level and AS courses may be assessed either in stages or at the end of the course.
There are examinations in the summer of both Year 12 and Year 13 and some subjects will also offer module examinations at other times of the year. In some subjects there is a proportion of internal assessment (coursework).
All A Levels include an element designed to test candidates' ability to make connections between different aspects of the subject (the synoptic element) which forms approximately 20% of the marks.
As competition for places at the top universities intensifies, the marks achieved in individual modules will become increasingly important. It is therefore wise for students to treat each module examination very seriously.
GCE ADVANCED SUBSIDIARY (AS)
Most students drop a subject after one year, thereby gaining an AS qualification.
The Advanced Subsidiary consists of three units of approximately equal size that are the first half of the A Level course. The qualification is designed to support progression and encourage breadth in post-16 programmes.
Combe Bank offers a full range of A Level courses, some 20 in total. The more unusual courses on offer include History of Art, Drama, Food and Nutrition, Information Technology, Psychology and Textiles.
This has been devised to broaden the horizons and raise awareness regarding the cultural, political, ethical, scientific and practical issues of the adult world.
Visits to the theatre, law courts, the Houses of Parliament and other places of historic interest are interspersed with speakers covering a wide range of topics including driving, Pilates and women's health. We also provide a recognised First Aid course, a course on car and home maintenance and survival cookery for students.
The programme is always under review and has some in-built flexibility to allow us to cater for the needs and interests of different year groups.
It is generally recognised that this is a valuable time spent away from academic studies, enriching students' skills for life.
We promote a "healthy lifestyle" philosophy in the Sixth Form Physical Education Course. Girls are encouraged to take part in a wide range of activities, including swimming, trampolining, tennis, volleyball, badminton and personal fitness activities, including boxercise. There are clubs for the more traditional team games, providing an opportunity for students to represent their school in our busy fixture programme and the fitness suite is available to the Sixth Form.