Key Stage 5

KS5 Curriculum Overview

Richard Rose Sixth Form specialises in both A Level and BTEC Nationals Qualifications. Students can choose to study these separately or as part of a combined programme.

At RRSF our students are at the heart of everything we do. We have a unique approach to supporting our students as they work towards fulfilling their potential in Years 12 and 13. This approach is possible because of our size. Every student who joins our Sixth Form is recognised as an individual and because of our approach, we can build personal timetables and programme of study which enable our students to get to where they want to be.

There are many opportunities for students to become involved in activities outside the classroom include the National Citizen’s Service (NCS), sport, the School Council, working with local primary school children, and supporting extra-curricular activities for younger students.

Sixth Form classes are generally smaller in number than main school classes (ranging from 5 to 25 students).  Students study three A Level or equivalent qualifications over the two years. Those students taking the vocational route study the BTEC Nationals.

Throughout Years 12 and 13 students meet regularly with their tutor to receive mentoring and support, including guidance with career choices, UCAS applications, personal, social and health issues, as well as support with enrichment activities.

Key Stage 5 Subjects: 

A level:
Mathematics, Further Maths, Biology, Physics, Chemistry, English Literature & Language, Art, Art Textiles, Photography, Geography, History, Music, Psychology and Law.


Applied Science, Business Studies, Dance, Health & Social Care, ICT and Sport

Sixth Form Study Programme Principles

Our 16 to 19 study programme is designed to provide students with a structured and challenging individualised learning programme that supports their development and progression in line with their future career plans.

Our study programme: 

  • includes a choice of academic and applied qualifications that stretch students and link clearly to training, employment and higher education. 
  • requires students who do not have GCSE A*-C/9 – 4  in maths or English to work towards the achievement of these qualifications through timetabled resit lessons. 
  • allow for non-qualification activity to develop students’ personal skills and/or prepare them for employment, training or higher/further education. 

KS5 English

In Year 12, pupils study a selection of poetry by Carol Ann Duffy in order to prepare for an examination which will test them on the subject of ‘Poetic Voices’. Similarly, they read and analyse ‘The Lovely Bones’ before undertaking a task entitled ‘Imagined Worlds’. They also study a range of texts related to the French capital city, Paris, which enables them to complete an examination question about ‘Remembered Places’.

In Year 13, pupils complete a re-creative writing piece on ‘The Great Gatsby’ or ‘The Kite Runner’ as well as an analysis question on ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’. The non-examination assessment requires them to undertake a personal investigation that explores a specific technique or theme in both literary and non-literary discourse.

KS5 Mathematics

Students who follow the AS course study a pure maths unit and an applied maths unit. The pure maths covers a range of topics including; Proof, Algebra and functions, Coordinate geometry in the (x, y) plane, Sequences and series, Trigonometry, Exponentials and logarithms, Differentiation, Integration and vectors. While the applied unit is a mix of statistics covering topics such as; Statistical sampling, Data presentation and interpretation, Probability, Statistical distributions, Statistical hypothesis testing and mechanics covering topics such as; Quantities and units in mechanics, Kinematics and Forces and Newton’s laws.

Students who follow the A level course learn all of the above with an extra topic in pure maths of Numerical methods and an extra topic in mechanics of moments.

The As course consists of 2 exams, pure maths and applied maths while the A level students will take 3 exams, 2 pure maths exams and one applied.

KS5 Science

Within KS5, pupils in Chemistry, Biology and Physics complete the AQA curriculum. All courses are taught by subject specialists and are delivered in 4/5 lessons per week, depending on class size. In years 12 and 13 there are 12 required practicals to cover in lessons, each of which assesses different skills. At the end of the 2 years, pupils will complete a linear exam and be awarded with a pass or fail for their required practical content.

BTEC Applied Science

In Applied science, pupils will complete two units per year throughout year 12 and 13. The content will be based on all three-science specialisms. The units will contain aspects of internal assessment, as well as an external exam. 

KS5 Humanities

Geography Curriculum KS5

Geography at KS5 focuses on looking at the world through a different perspective looking at both human and physical topics. Pupils are expected to explore and evaluate contemporary geographical questions on a wide range of topics.

In Year 12, pupils are expected to learn about natural hazards, glacial regions, globalisation and rebranding places.

 In Year 13 the topics covered are water insecurity, energy security, superpowers and global development concerns. Throughout the course students are given the opportunity to examine these topics in person on multiple fieldtrips across the two years.

History Curriculum KS5

In year 12 pupils study democracy and dictatorship in Germany 1919-1963. Here they are assessed in two exams, which focus on essay writing, source analysis and interpretations. Pupils are expected to use their own knowledge alongside historical sources to write factual essays on the key topics.

In year 13 pupils study the American Dream and The Tudors. Pupils are assessed in two exams and one piece of written coursework. During lessons pupils develop their ability to interpret sources to help explain the causes and impact of key historical events. 

KS5 IT & Business


In year 12 pupils undertake lessons designed to increase their knowledge of the main aspects of IT and how it is used in different sectors of industry.  This is designed to give them a broad knowledge of the impact of IT and what factors affect choice when implementing new systems.  Case studies will be used while improving exam questioning technique for a written exam in the summer of year 12.  There are a number of practical based units relating to databases, websites and social media. 

Business KS5

Over the two years of study, pupils develop their understanding of various business concepts. These include personal and business Finances, Exploring business, developing a marketing campaign and investing customer service.  These are assessed by a combination of a written exam, time controlled assessment and assignments.

KS5 Physical Education

Pupils in Year 12 study the new BTEC specification, completing a two-year, level 3 national foundation diploma in sport. Students are assessed over eight individual units, with two of these units being externally assessed and the remaining six units being coursework based. Students will cover topics such as anatomy and physiology, fitness training, sports coaching and practical sports performance.

Year 13 complete a level 3 subsidiary diploma in Sport, with all elements of this course being assignment based. These students are currently producing coursework for units on assessing risk, sports coaching as well as completing a work based placement. 

KS5 Psychology

In A level psychology, pupils study human behaviour, including why people do the things they do and what happens when things go wrong. Pupils have the opportunity to engage with issues and debates within contemporary society.

The course in linear with exams at the end of Year 13, however some pupils do undertake exams in Year 12. In total there are 3 exams, Component 1, 2 and 3. Each one is equally weighted, requires extended writing and looks at a different element of psychology. 

KS5 Law

The A Level Law course is run through AQA.  From September 2017 the course becomes linear with pupils taking three externally assessed exams at the end of year 13.  The course consists of the Core Content and Optional Content.  The Core Content has three compulsory components. Component 1 involves studying the Nature of Law and the English Legal System. In Component 2 pupils will study Criminal Law which will include non-fatal offences, murder, manslaughter, theft, robbery and attempts. Component 3 involves exploring Civil Law with topics such as tort of negligence, vicarious liability and occupiers’ lability.  The Optional Content will involve learning about Human Rights or Contract Law. 

KS5 Arts

Art Curriculum Key Stage 5

The A Level Art, Textiles and Photography courses are run through AQA. Pupils are given a broad design brief so they can explore a range of techniques in order to gain the skills and levels they require to achieve the required standard. The courses are now linear with an exam at the end of year 13. The course is made up of two components. Component 1 is coursework project work worth 60% of the overall mark, whilst Component 2 is an externally set assignment culminating in a 15 hour practical exam, with a 10 hour mock exam in year 12. There is a written element to the course which is compulsory and linked to pupils’ practical work.

Dance Curriculum Key Stage 5

The Level 3 BTEC course develops the student’s technical and expressive skills and prepares them for further study at degree level. Pupils study well known dance practitioners as well as learning repertoire and performing it. They will also develop their written portfolio as well as developing their own performance pieces under controlled conditions

Music Curriculum Key Stage 5

Year 13 pupils are currently completing their BTEC Level 3 subsidiary diploma in music. The course is practical, based on developing and refining performance and composition skills. Pupils are encouraged to develop as independent performers and to be able to reflect on their own practice. They gain experience in organising performances and in some of the technical aspects. 

KS5 Health & Social Care

Year 12 pupils are studying the Extended Certificate which is made up of two units in year 12 and two in year 13. There are a number of core subject areas including life stages and development of the human body, employment within the Health and Social Care sector, and the different support needs that are required for different service users. Learning is through a combination of group work, individual study, presentations involving theoretical and practical study.  There will be guest speakers to help deliver and complement aspects of the course.

The current cohort of year 13 are completing their OCR A Level in Health and Social Care. This includes 4 units of coursework and two external exams over years 12 and 13. 

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