Regent Independent College Lower Sixth students will typically embark on the first year of their two year A-Level linear programme in the Lower Sixth. From September 2015 A-Levels have been under reform, making them linear as opposed to modular, and in doing so decoupling the AS from the A Level and making it a stand-alone qualification. These changes are being implemented over the course of three years, with some subjects yet to make the change to the linear methodology. This means that many students over the next few years will be taking a mix of both modular and linear A-Levels.
There are many reasons to look upon this reform favourably. The main advantage is that the linear methodology provides students with a broader education, as teaching time is not interrupted and wasted by preparation for unnecessary exams at the end of Lower Sixth.
Whilst AS exams are being decoupled from the A-Level, they are not being removed completely; this means that it is now the student’s own choice as to whether they sit an AS exam at the end of the Lower Sixth year or take up an A-Level subject over the two year period.
The College gives extensive advice at interview on the variety of subject choices that we have available. Students meet with subject tutors and can attend taster sessions for subjects which interest them. We will then review subject choices again following the GCSE results to ensure suitability and, where necessary, re-review during the first few weeks of term.
In line with most schools in the independent sector, the majority of our students follow the ‘4/3 model’, that is, students will study four subjects during Lower Sixth and pursue three into the Upper Sixth. In addition, the EPQ (Extended Project Qualification) will be offered as a voluntary add-on to students who may choose to take that option to enhance their learning experience or for those students who only wish to pursue two A-Levels.
The tradition at Regent Independent College has always been to design programmes of study around the individual needs of each student and this has not changed nor will it do so as the result of the re-introduction of the linear specification format.