The College or The Faculty for sixth form - which is right for you?

Queen Ethelburga's College Queen Ethelburga's Faculty College Faculty

The College

The College provides a traditional academic route towards higher education, with demanding and challenging programmes which consist predominantly of GCSEs and A Levels. Students require a high level of academic focus and are expected to be self-motivated and pro-active in their approach to their studies.

Key Stage 4 – (Ages 14 – 16)

Students follow GCSE courses and are expected to complete GCSE Mathematics, English Language, and General Science, with a modern foreign language, a humanity and an ICT course. In Year 11, students will complete English Literature, Additional Science or Biology/Chemistry/Physics, two new optional subjects; and many students will opt to continue their mathematics study by taking GCSE Statistics, Further Mathematics and/or Additional Mathematics.

This rapid and challenging pace can help students when they make the considerable jump to the more demanding requirements of A Level at Key Stage 5.

At Key Stage 4, the College will suit students who wish to choose a prescriptive, rigorous and traditional academic curriculum which provides excellent preparation for A Level study. To join the College, students are required to have achieved an overall Midyis score of Band A or B (above average), with A or B achieved in both English and Mathematics; or the equivalent scores from a student's own educational system.

Key Stage 5 – (Ages 16 – 18)

Students follow A Level courses in at least 3 subjects, although they may add a BTEC course to broaden their curriculum. Students are expected to aim for high grades in all of their qualifications and be highly aspirational in their university choices. The curriculum includes a range of enrichment possibilities that enable students to widen their experience and understanding.

College entry requirements

For all non-native speakers the English requirements are a minimum of IELTS 6.0 or score of 173 or higher in the First Certificate in English or a score of 73 or higher on the Oxford Online English Test. All students will be asked to take a CAT4 Cognitive Abilities Test. Students will be accepted if they achieve CAT 4 results within the 60th percentile or  above in Mathematics, Spatial and Non Verbal reasoning.  

• Students from schools from within the UK must achieve  an A grade/level 7 or above in the nearest equivalent GCSE subject to gain access to an A level course.
  • Students wishing to study Fast Track Mathematics must achieve an A* or A grade/level 7 or above in Mathematics at GCSE.
• Students wishing to study two or more science subjects at A level (Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Psychology) must achieve at least 2 A*/A grades in science subjects at GCSE.

Go to College

The Faculty

The Faculty provides academic, creative and vocational options, designed to offer individual choice to students of all abilities. Qualifications include traditional GCSE and A Levels, or their equivalent in a choice of BTEC subjects. BTEC subjects are well established, coursework based qualifications, equivalent in value to GCSE or A Level and are valued highly by universities. The range of curriculum enables students to tailor the courses that they take to their particular strengths and interests. The Faculty also offers an academic mentoring system that gives students access to individual support, in study skills or subjects, as required.

Key Stage 4 – (Ages 14 – 16)

Students follow a 2 year core programme of GCSE subjects in English, English Literature, Mathematics, and General Science followed by Additional Science. They also take an ICT qualification, Personal Development and two or three optional subjects. This programme can, however, be tailored to each student, with the option to study core subjects at a faster or slower pace to suit the individual. This allows for some students to study Biology, Chemistry and Physics as individual sciences or BTEC Applied Science; other students may consider taking GCSE Further Mathematics, Statistics or an Additional Mathematics qualification. For some international students there is the option to build up to a GCSE in English as a First Language by taking the second language qualification as a preparatory course, whereas other students will take both First Language and English Literature at the first available sitting.

The optional subjects include Modern Foreign Languages, Geography, History, Home Economics, Sport, Business Studies, Performing Arts, Design Technology, Music or Art. Many of these subjects can be studied as either BTEC or GCSE. All subjects at Key Stage 4 have progression to courses at Key Stage 5 and onwards to university.

At Key Stage 4 the Faculty will suit students who wish to take advantage of the flexibility and variety in the curriculum, which has wide scope to allow students to work at the pace that is appropriate to them, as well as the individual support that is available when required.

Key Stage 5 – (Ages 16 – 18)

The breadth of the curriculum is again one of the strengths of the Faculty at Key Stage 5. Students can choose from a range of A level and BTEC qualifications and select these to create an individual programme that prepares them for higher education in a wide selection of subject areas. Some choose to combine both qualifications and this has proved particularly successful in enabling them to gain offers from prestigious universities across a wide range of courses.

Faculty entry requirements

The entry requirements for The Faculty of Queen Ethelburga’s are a score of 25 or above in the Mathematics, Non Verbal and Spatial percentile sections of our CAT4 entry test. Further requirements are:
• Students wishing to study A level subjects must achieve a B grade/level 6 or above (English and mathematics) or higher in the nearest equivalent subject at GCSE.
• Students wishing to study Fast Track Mathematics must achieve an A*/A or level 7 or above in Mathematics at GCSE.
• Students wishing to study two or more science subjects at A level (Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Psychology) must achieve at least 2 A*/A grades in science subjects at GCSE.
• Students wishing to study a Level 3 BTEC subject must achieve a C grade/level 4 or higher in the nearest equivalent subject at GCSE/BTEC Level 2.

The entry requirements for international students from other education systems are:
• IELTS 6.0, a B at GCSE/IGCSE English or a score of 73 or above on our Oxford Online English Test.

Students joining the Foundation Course in Academic English are required to achieve IELTS 5.0 or a score of 53+ in the Oxford Online English Test. The hallmark of this pathway is variety. Due to the wide range of courses that are both traditional and vocational and also the support sessions available we can provide a tailor made programme to meet each individual’s needs.

Go to Faculty

Explore Our School

Explore Our School

Interactive Map

As soon as you arrive with us you sense that, compared with other schools, here is somewhere special, friendly and pleasingly different. Our campus is exceptional.