The Formal Curriculum

A Springboard for High Flyers

The college will offer GCE A levels in Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Mathematics, Further Mathematics. We will expect students to take at least 2 A levels from this list. However, we recognize that some students will wish to take a third A level that is not a STEM subject, so we will be offering English Literature and Psychology A levels as well. All these subjects, except Psychology, are ‘facilitating subjects’. We expect our students to take at least two facilitating subjects at A level because this maximizes their chances of admission to a competitive university. The Russell Group Universities state, ‘Some advanced level subjects are more frequently required for entry to degree courses than others. We call these subjects ‘facilitating’ because choosing them at advanced level leaves open a wide range of options for university study. These facilitating subjects include: Maths and further maths; Physics; Biology; Chemistry; History; Geography; Modern and classical languages; English Literature.’

In addition students will be expected to take General Studies at A level and the Extended Project Qualification. This is to provide the evidence to universities and employers that our students have transferable skills beyond those evidenced by their main A level subjects. For this reason, we will expect students to choose a topic for their Extended Project that does not relate directly to their A level subject specification.

Cambridge University states, ‘We welcome the introduction of the Extended Project and would encourage applicants to undertake one, as it will help to develop independent study and research skills, which will ease the transition from school/college to higher education.’
Oxford University says, ‘Where applicants have undertaken the Extended Project (EP), this will not be a condition of any offer but the University recognises that the EP will provide an applicant with the opportunity to develop research and academic skills relevant for study at Oxford. Candidates are encouraged to draw upon relevant EP experience when writing their personal statement.’

Entry to the Cheshire Free School is expected to be highly competitive as the opportunities it will offer are not only challenging but will open the doors to a range of exciting university and employment opportunities. Students should expect to attain the equivalent of 8 grade Bs at GCSE. Individual A Level subjects may have specific and higher entry requirements.

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To meet our target for submission to the DfE, we need to ensure that Cheshire 16-19 Free School would be the school of first choice for parents and students.

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