Sixth Form Expectations
The demands of Sixth Form study are very great. You should see the Sixth Form at NSB as an opportunity to succeed, not as a guarantee that you will succeed. If you found GCSE courses relatively straightforward, please do not assume that you will automatically achieve at A Level merely because Northampton School for Boys has a reputation for examination success. You will have to adapt to a different level of working and you will only get out what you put in.
The new “reformed” A Levels will all be up and running from September 2017. None of you will be sitting AS examinations at the end of Year 12. Instead, you will be sitting all of your examinations at the end of your two years of study This means that you have to be on top of your work all the time as you cannot afford to leave everything until the final few months—there is just too much to learn. Year 12 into Year 13: In order to carry your studies through to Year 13 you MUST pass the End of Year Examination in your subjects.
What are the differences between GCSEs and A Levels?
The differences are two-fold. Firstly, the actual QUANTITY of knowledge which you will be expected to acquire is vast in comparison with GCSEs. This is true right from Day 1 in Year 12. Secondly, you are expected to be able to demonstrate higher order intellectual skills with the knowledge you have acquired. So A Levels differ from GCSEs in QUALITY as well.
How much homework will I be expected to do?
We expect you to do as much self-study for each subject as the time you spend in classes for each subject. This, of course, does not include extra time spent on revision.
Will we be taught in the same way as we were at GCSE?
No. There is much more emphasis on the student working on their own, in their own time. You are much more responsible for your own progress. We know that this is difficult for many students to come to terms with and so we have provided special sessions where you will be taught the skills you will need for successful study at A Level. These are delivered through our Pre-University course which runs from September to Christmas in Year 12.
How much free time will I have?
None – except of course, lunchtime and break-time! If you are not in a class, you are on non-contact time. You may well choose to take your non-contact time at home, however this privilege will be rescinded should you need additional support to ensure expected progress. You are expected to study during your non-contact time.
Do we still get reports and have parents’ evenings in the Sixth Form?
Yes – Every student in the school, including the Sixth Form gets an end of Term Report that shows how they are progressing in each subject. There is also a Parents’ Evening where your progress can be discussed. There are two additional Parents’ Evenings, the first of which explains to your parents what to expect in the Sixth Form and what the arrangements are for the Year 12 Residential Education Trips. The second evening will introduce your parents to the University Application procedure