Key Stage 5 (Years 12 & 13)

Pupils entering their 12th year of education have taken their IGCSEs and now start their A-Levels. Pupils begin a minimum of three subjects at A-Level, although some will take four subjects if both they and we are confident that they will cope with the additional workload.

Currently, St. Lawrence College offers thirteen subjects to full A-Level. Due to the heavy workload of an A-Level subject, and the inevitable clash of lessons on the school timetable, it is not possible to offer a completely free choice to pupils. The possible combinations we offer have evolved into a system which would allow subject combinations that enable a pupil to apply for entry to any undergraduate degree course at any UK university.

Pupils starting their GCE AS-Levels and A-Levels must pick subjects from the following choices, and cannot choose more than one subject from each option block:

1)  Mathematics/EnglishLiterature
2)  Biology/Economics/FurtherMathematics
3)  Chemistry/Politics/French/Art&Design
4)  Physics/History/Geography
5)  Greek

Pupils receive extensive support and guidance when selecting subjects. This occurs before IGCSEs are taken and following results. During Key Stage 5 pupils are guided towards meeting the expectation that they learn to develop their skills for independent learning. Recognising that this will be a key skill and expectation at higher education, pupils are encouraged to use their non-lesson periods productively for independent study. Pupils have a form tutor who counsels each pupil on the progress of their studies and on their preparation for higher education. At the end of the 12th year of school, pupils sit for their AS-Level exams in every subject that they are taking. The results of these examinations will help pupils decide whether to continue all their subjects through to full A-Level in Year 13 or whether, in the case of those pupils taking four subjects, to drop a subject after AS-Level. The application process for universities, both British and worldwide, begins at the very start of Year 13 and pupils receive extensive guidance, advice and support from their form tutor, from the Assistant Head of Key Stage 5, from the Deputy Head (Academic) and from the Headmaster.

Mocks are held in both Years 12 and 13, usually just before or just after Easter holidays, depending on the dates of Easter. Real exams start in early May and may continue through until late June. Pupils who have not performed well at IGCSE in Year 11 may be counselled that they are not yet ready for the rigours of the A-Level system. They are advised to spend their 12th and final compulsory year of education working on a specially designed programme that gives them the opportunity to raise the standard of their grades at IGCSE. This is broached on a case-by case basis.

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