Curriculum

The Royal Sixth Form offers a broad range of A Level subjects. 

Sixth Form Option Blocks for 2021-22

Pupils usually select 3 subjects and study for the EPQ, though they may choose to start on 4 subjects if the options work across blocks.  

Subject blocks for 2021-22 are shown below. Students may only select one subject from each block. 
 

Block A 

Block B 

Block C 

Block D 

Block E 

Business 

Economics 

Biology 

Government & Politics 

English Literature 

French 

History 

Geography 

Physics

Media 

Mathematics 

Fine Art

Design Technology 

Psychology 

Mathematics 

 

 

Further Maths

Photography 

Spanish

       

Chemistry

  • Biology

    The practical aspects of the course are at the heart of the study of Biology and there are numerous opportunities to use practical experiences to link theory with reality.
     

    The course aims to:
     

    • Enable you to develop greater understanding of biological facts with an appreciation of their significance in new and changing situations
    • Develop greater expertise in practical work
    • Continue to enjoy an interest in the study of living organisms
    • Recognise the responsible use of biology in society
    • Develop an awareness of the role of biology in the changing world. 


    The Future  

    The study of Biology at a higher level can lead to a wide range of careers including medicine and related studies, food science, agriculture, marine biology, pathology and forensic science and of course biotechnology and genetic engineering. Biology combines successfully with a wide range of other subjects leading to less obvious career paths e.g. anthropology, scientific publishing and medical illustration. 

  • Business

    Business will appeal to you if you are entrepreneurial and would like to run your own company in later life.  Alternatively, it will equip you with the skills to work within any organisation, teaching you the fundamental concepts of modern business practice. 
     

    The course aims to:

     

    • Develop your critical understanding of organisations, the markets they serve and the process of adding value. This should involve consideration of the internal workings and management of organisations and, in particular, the process of decision-making in a dynamic external environment.
    • Ensure you are aware that business behaviour can be studied from the perspectives of a range of stakeholders including customers, managers, creditors, owners/shareholders and employees.  

     

    The Future 
     

    Students who study Business have access to a wide range of possible careers and higher education opportunities.  The course combines well with a range of social science and humanities subjects and IT courses. 

  • Chemistry

    This subject is for those who have an interest in the theory and applications of chemical processes and who may wish to consider a career in medicine, veterinary science, pharmaceuticals or chemical engineering. 
     

    The course aims to:
     

    • Develop and use practical techniques to investigate chemistry
    • Observe and use trends in the behaviour of substances
    • Solve chemical problems using mathematical techniques
    • Study chemical problems using appropriate concepts
    • Study the applications and environmental and social aspects of chemistry 

     

    The Future
     

    Chemistry is an extremely useful and prestigious subject adding significant value to your curriculum vitae.  The reasoning skills you will acquire during this course will make you attractive to universities and future employers. It is a subject where success is a combination of natural ability, flair, consistent effort and conceptual imagination. Above all you will need a willingness to question. A Level Chemistry is a prerequisite for careers in medicine, veterinary science, advanced studies in biology and chemistry, geology, food and material sciences. It will also be useful to you if you intend to pursue a career in nursing, catering or art and design. The course can also be combined with other subjects like business studies, management and law. 

  • Computer Science

    Why study Computer Science? The overall aim of the Computer Science course is to encourage candidates to develop an understanding of the principles of problem solving using computers in order to apply this understanding to develop computer-based solutions to problems. Candidates develop an understanding of systems analysis and design, development methods, testing, implementation and documentation. 
     

    The aim of Computer Science is to encourage candidates to develop:
     

    • The capacity to think creatively, innovatively, analytically, logically and critically
    • An understanding of the organisation of computer systems, including software, hardware, data, communications and people
    • The ability to apply skills, knowledge and understanding of computing, including programming, in a range of contexts to solve problems
    • Skills in project and time management
    • The capacity to see relationships between different aspects of the subject, and perceive their field of study in a broader perspective
    • An understanding of the consequences of using computers, including social, legal, ethical and other issues
    • An awareness of emerging technologies and an appreciation of their potential impact on society. 

       

    The Future 
     

    This course is suitable for anybody wishing to pursue a career in either the IT or Computing industry, seeking a University place or an apprenticeship. Computer Science is a highly desirable subject and can be applied to a variety of other industries including finance, teaching, accounting and sport. 

  • Design and Technology

    This creative and thought-provoking qualification gives students the practical skills, theoretical knowledge and confidence to gain a real understanding of what it means to be a designer. They will investigate historical, social, cultural, environmental and economic influences on design and technology, whilst enjoying opportunities to put their learning in to practice by producing prototypes of their choice. Students follow a long term practical project in which designing and making are a key focus. This element counts for 50% of the final grade in order to recognise the importance of practical work. 
     

    The course aims to:
     

    • Make use of knowledge and reflective practices in order to work with tasks that are challenging and engaging.
    • Develop and sustain creativity and innovative practice.
    • Recognise and overcome challenges and constraints when working towards the production of high-quality products.
    • Develop a critical understanding of the influences of the processes and products of design and technological activities.
    • Use digital technologies and information handling skills to enhance design and technological capability.
    • Recognise the values inherent in design and technological activities, and develop critical evaluation skills in technical, aesthetic, ethical, economic, environmental, sustainable, social, cultural and entrepreneurial contexts. 


    The Future  
     

    Design Technology is a useful subject for many future areas of study including Architecture, Aeronautical, Electrical or Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science. There is an expanding market for digital based design work that is being catered for by a variety of new courses on digital media. 

  • Drama and Theatre

    During the two year course students learn about key theatre practitioners, from Stanislavski to Brecht and try to put their ideas into practice. They also study a comprehensive range of plays from Shakespeare and the classics, to modern playwrights such as Miller, Kelly and many more. 
     

    The course aims to:
     

    • Promote an enjoyment of, and an interest in, drama and theatre both as a participant and as an informed member of an audience.
    • Extend the skills, knowledge and understanding needed to communicate through drama and theatre, encouraging lifelong learning and providing access to drama, theatre and related careers.
    • Provide a worthwhile, satisfying, and complete course of study that broadens experience, develops imagination, fosters creativity, and promotes personal and social development.
    • Encourage the appreciation of the significance of social, cultural and historical influences on theatre practice both past and present. 

       

    The Future  
     

    A Level Drama and Theatre can lead to a wide range of courses and careers but is essential if you wish to study drama at university, or if you wish to pursue a vocation in drama or the arts.  It is recognised as a qualification requiring selfdiscipline, motivation and confidence and would therefore open doors to the study of most subjects and to many areas of employment. Students have gone on from the Royal School Drama Department to study, chemistry, fashion, medicine, stage management, professional acting, costume design to name but a few.  

  • Economics

    Economists study the way in which human effort and material resources are allocated between many different possible uses. In our course we take a critical look at how this is achieved in the free market system. We also study the problems of poorer countries in the Economic Development option. Economics requires both numeracy and literacy and develops analytical skills.   
     

    The course aims to:
     

    • Stimulate your interest in how economies work - at personal, national and global levels.
    • Give you an understanding of economic ideas and their application to the real world.
    • Help you to develop the essential skills toolkit of an economist, enabling you to apply your knowledge to economic issues and problems and to interpret the economic evidence supporting economic arguments. 

       

    The Future  
     

    Skills developed on this course are in great demand and are recognised by employers, universities and colleges as being of great value.   

    Economics combines well with a range of social science and humanities subjects to lead to university courses in such areas as law, business, accounting, politics and economics. 

  • English Literature

    If you have enjoyed studying novels, plays and poetry at GCSE, then A Level English Literature could be for you.  Outside class there are opportunities to see plays, to attend lectures and to visit places of literary interest.   
     

    The course aims to:
     

    • Encourage students to develop their interest in and enjoyment of literature and literary studies as they:
    • Read widely and independently
    • Engage creatively and respond to the texts
    • Develop and apply their knowledge of literary analysis and evaluation in speech and writing
    • Explore the context of the texts and others’ interpretation of them • Deepen their understanding of the changing traditions of literature 

       

    The Future  
     

    English Literature is a well-regarded and useful facilitating A Level sitting well with a range of social science and humanities subjects.  It provides a good grounding for many university courses. 

  • Fine Art

    This exciting course is designed to introduce students to a variety of experiences that explore a range of fine art media, processes and techniques and allow them to develop as individual artists. Students explore the use of drawing for different purposes, using a variety of methods and move on to work in a wide range of approaches, meaning each project becomes unique. Work may use sketchbooks and journals to underpin development or can be presented on a series of display boards for the final assessment. Students work can go in a wide range of directions and become personal and individually driven. All work is geared towards meeting the four assessment objectives. These focus on drawing / recording from observation, developing ideas using written research, exploring and refining a use of materials and finishing projects by creating final pieces that realise intentions.  
     

    The Future  
     

    The Fine Art A-Level course typically leads to a one year Foundation Course at Art School followed by a BA degree in a specialist subject area but it is possible to go straight on to some specialist Art & Design based degree courses.  

  • Geography

    Do you want to understand the changing world in which we live and the challenges we face? Geography is an unusual subject - we get muddy and we go to town centres, including shops. Field trips are an essential part of the curriculum. Students studying Geography attend outside talks, lead lessons, read magazines and follow topical case studies. 
     

    The course aims to:
     

    • Help you to develop an understanding of the natural and built environment
    • Encourage an enquiring mind
    • Build confidence in your ability to lead discussions
    • Enable you to collect, decode and respond to data
    • Prompt you to think about your own attitudes and values in relation to geographical issues and questions 

     

    The Future  
     

    The skills developed on this course are highly transferable. Geography is viewed favourably by university admissions and is viewed as ‘facilitating’ subject. Students who study Geography at A Level go on to study a range of subjects at university such as Geography, Environmental Science, Business, Sport and PE, Politics Philosophy and Ethics, Physiotherapy, Accounting, Engineering and Art. 

  • Government and Politics

    Do you have an interest in the study of politics? Do you want to develop an insight into a range of political beliefs central to an understanding of the modern world? Would you like to understand more about how Government works and decisions are made which affect the nation? This course is designed to encourage students to engage with contemporary political debates. The course places emphasis on current politics and areas of constitutional concern, putting the UK in the context of the EU and the wider world. 
     

    The course aims to:
     

    • Help you consider the aims of democracy and how democracy works in the UK
    • Enable you to find out about the role of political parties and their leaders
    • Prompt you to investigate the electoral systems used in the UK
    • Help you consider the role and powers of Parliament
    • Encourage you to consider the ideologies of differing political thinking
    • Understand Global Governance and how it impacts the UK
    • Engage with dialogue on current affairs such as Brexit and Parliamentary reform 

     

    The Future  
     

    Politics will develop the analytical and evaluative skills valued on any degree course. Politics students study a wide range of courses at University, including Politics, Philosophy and Economics (PPE), Law, and International Relations

  • History

    Are you interested in people and their motivation? Do you wonder how we reached the situation in which we find ourselves and what the alternative might have been?  Do you enjoy seeing how things have changed?   
     

    The course aims to:
     

    • Allow you to explore the significance of events and individuals in history
    • Build on your ability to construct well-reasoned arguments about historical controversies
    • Provide opportunities for you to explore a historical issue of your own choosing and encourage you to develop a questioning attitude. 

     

    The Future  
     

    Higher Education courses or careers that complement this qualification include; history, law and archaeology but history students go on to work in a wide variety of careers including journalism, the Civil Service, human resources and politics. 

  • Mathematics

    Mathematics will appeal to you if you enjoy solving problems using logic and numerical skills. It is a subject that is well worth studying for its own sake but it is also a useful support for the sciences, business studies/economics and those humanities that require a statistical approach to data. 
     

    The course aims to:
     

    • Develop logical thinking
    • Fine tune algebraic skills
    • Broaden your knowledge by studying new branches of the subject
    • Gain insight into mathematical modelling which is used in ‘real life’ 

       

    The Future  
     

    A qualification in Mathematics can lead to a number of higher education courses or careers including medicine, teaching, IT, architecture, engineering, finance and encryption. 

  • Mathematics (Further)

    If you are really excited by Maths and wish to study Mathematics or a related subject at university you should consider doing A Level Further Mathematics together with Mathematics. A Level Further Mathematics is harder than A Level Mathematics but is enjoyable for any determined mathematician. 
     

    The course aims to:
     

    • Further develop logical thinking
    • Fine tune algebraic skills
    • Broaden your knowledge by studying modules from all three application areas of the subject
    • Gain insight into mathematical modelling which is used in ‘real life’. 

     

    The Future  

    A qualification in Further Mathematics is particularly useful for entry into mathematics or engineering degrees but can lead to a number of other courses or careers including medicine, teaching, IT, architecture, finance and encryption. 

  • Media Studies

    This contemporary, accessible and creative course allows learners to study the media in an academic context and apply the knowledge and understanding gained to the process of creating their own media productions. This A Level is designed to widen the intellectual horizons of the learner through the analysis of both global and historical media. This specification will foster the development of critical and reflective thinking to encourage engagement in the critical debates surrounding contemporary media. The approach that we have taken in this specification will allow teachers and learners to engage confidently with critical and theoretical approaches from the perspectives of both analytical consumers and producers of media products. 

     

    The course will enable learners to:
     

    • demonstrate skills of enquiry, critical thinking, decision-making and analysis
    • demonstrate a critical approach to media issues
    • demonstrate appreciation and critical understanding of the media and their role both historically and currently in society, culture, politics and the economy
    • develop an understanding of the dynamic and changing relationships between media forms, products, media industries and audiences
    • demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the global nature of the media  

       

    The Future
     

    You may decide to pursue your study of the media further with a degree course. Study can now be combined in many Universities with other relevant subjects.  Media industries are continually growing and there are an increasing number of career opportunities in all sectors. 

  • Modern Foreign Languages

    French and Spanish 
     

    If you are interested in languages and communication and you enjoy learning about other cultures and ways of life, the Modern Foreign Languages course could be suitable for you.  Similarly, if you are interested in aspects of the modern world and society, the media, modern technology, artistic culture, political life, film studies or literature, then you are also likely to find the course appropriate and interesting. Whether you want to use languages for work, further study, training or leisure, this course will equip you with the necessary skills and knowledge. During the French A Level course you will be given the option to travel to France for a few days of work experience. You will take part in "Joutes Oratoires" against other schools from the central and south London area; this debating competition involves Sixth Form students who are studying French for A Level, IB or Pre-U. 

     

    The course aims to:
     

    • Help you to develop your general study skills
    • Teach you to communicate at a higher level in the language(s) that you have chosen
    • Teach you much more about a wide range of aspects of the society or societies in which the language is spoken. 

     

    The Future  
     

    Some students choose to do degree courses in Languages; others pursue a Higher Education course in another subject but study a language option alongside it.  Having a language at A Level will certainly improve your employability, in particular but not only with companies which have international branches. Whether you are interested in continuing your studies or working at home or abroad, a language course at A Level is an excellent step towards achieving your goals. 

  • Music

    Music at A Level is for anyone who has a keen interest in performing, creating and listening to different styles of music and who wishes to broaden and deepen their understanding of a whole range of recorded and live music. 
     

    The course aims to:

    • Extend the skills, knowledge and understanding needed to communicate through music and take part in music making.
    • Engage in and extend the appreciation of the diverse and dynamic heritage of music, promoting spiritual and cultural development.
    • Develop particular strengths and interests encouraging life-long learning and providing access to music-related and other careers.
    • Recognise the interdependence of musical skills, knowledge and understanding and the links between the activities of performing, composing and appraising. 

     

    The Future  
     

    A course in music will greatly enhance your motor and intellectual skills. You will need self-discipline, organisation, enthusiasm and the ability to perform under pressure in front of an audience and in examination situations. All of these qualities are essential to career development in any sphere. 

  • Photography

    On this creative course, students are introduced to a variety of experiences that explore a range of photographic media, techniques and processes. They are made aware of both traditional and new technologies. Students will explore relevant images, artefacts and resources relating to different approaches to art, craft and design, from the past and from recent times. This is integral to the investigating and making processes demonstrating their understanding of different styles, genres and traditions. Students use workbooks/journals or display boards to present work that demonstrates the development of their practical and technical skills and they will produce projects with increasing individuality as the course continues. Students may use traditional methods and/or digital techniques to produce images. It is desirable that students purchase their own camera - the photography department can advise on this. 
     

    The Future  
     

    Careers include forensic photography, portrait/wedding photography, press photography, fine art photography and medical photography to name but a few. 

  • Physics

    Have you ever wondered why the sky is blue or what, fundamentally, are quarks? If so you may wish to study Physics which helps us to understand the physical world around us. Some of the course leads directly from the GCSE but you will also be introduced to completely novel ideas such as Quantum Theory and Particle Physics. No longer will you view the atom as a simple arrangement of protons, neutrons and electrons but as a whole array of even smaller particles! 
     

    The course aims to:
     

    • Develop essential knowledge and understanding of different areas of the subject and how they relate to each other.
    • Develop and demonstrate a deep appreciation of the skills, knowledge and understanding of scientific methods.
    • Develop competence and confidence in a variety of practical, mathematical and problem solving skills.
    • Develop interest and enthusiasm for the subject, including further study and careers associated with the subject.
    • Understand how society makes decisions about scientific issues. 

       

    The Future  
     

    This is a difficult but rewarding course; a good pass grade may lead to career opportunities in, for example, astrophysics, engineering and radiography.  You might even want to become an airline pilot!  Physics may also be studied as a joint honours degree with a language, Music or, of course, Mathematics. 

  • Physical Education

    Physical Education is a subject for all those interested in sport. It is not just about playing sport as you cover the scientific, social and psychological areas of sport as well as thinking about how you learn to play sport to develop your own understanding and performance levels. 
     

    The course aims to:
     

    • Encourage you to develop your analytical skills
    • Enable you to understand the scientific, social and psychological parts of sport
    • Help you to analyse sport, increase your performance levels and build on your existing playing experience
    • Provide opportunities for you to analyse sports performers 

     

    The Future  
     

    Teaching, coaching, sports development and leisure management are all areas you may wish to consider. The course is also useful for entry into physiotherapy and medicine. 

  • Psychology

    This qualification offers an engaging and effective introduction to Psychology. Students will learn the fundamentals of the subject and develop skills valued by Higher Education and employers, including critical analysis, independent thinking and research. 
     

    The course aims to:
     

    • Develop a sound understanding of methods and approaches in Psychology in the context of the topic areas.
    • Demonstrate the ability to utilise scientific methodology in the context of Psychology.
    • Use and apply psychological knowledge and understanding to a range of topic areas.
    • Develop candidates’ critical thinking skills in the context of Psychology. 

     

    The Future  
     

    Skills developed on this course are in great demand and are recognised by employers, universities and colleges as being of great value. Psychology works well with both humanities and science subjects at A Level and beyond. 

  • Textile Design

    This course allows students to develop their own approach to working with textiles following an introduction to a variety of experiences that explore a range of textile media, processes and techniques. They are made aware of both traditional and new media. Students explore the use of drawing for different purposes, using a variety of methods and media on a variety of scales and the potential for the use of colour. Students may use sketchbooks/workbooks/journals to underpin their work. Students explore relevant images, artefacts and resources relating to a range of art, craft and design, from the past and from recent times. As the course continues, students seek out their own source material to inspire their practical work and this is integral to the investigating and making processes. Students’ responses to these examples must be shown through practical and critical activities that demonstrate their understanding of different styles, genres and traditions. Students should be aware the importance of process as well as product and are encouraged to explore a variety of techniques before refining final design ideas. 
     

    The Future  
     

    The Textile Design A Level can lead to a one year Foundation Course at Art School followed by a BA degree in a specialist subject area such as Textiles, Fashion and Fashion Marketing; also Diplomas in Design.