Sixth Form Courses Guide 2016-2018 - Nov 15

Sixth Form Courses Guide
2016 - 2018
You will join the Sixth Form in September and
will be in the Upper School with all the
a endant privileges and responsibili es. Your
A Level years are poten ally the most exci ng
and rewarding of your school career. We know
that you will want to make the most of your
opportuni es, so that you secure the greatest
possible benefit from your me in the Sixth
Form. Some very important decisions about
Higher Educa on and careers lie ahead and
the op ons open to you will be determined, in
large part, by your approach to Sixth Form life.
Foreword by the Headmaster
You will be offered all kinds of challenges and
opportuni es and you are advised to approach
these very posi vely from the outset, with an
understanding that talent in any field is
something that is grown through pu ng in
hours of deep prac ce. Academic study is, of
course, the main reason why you will be at
School and you should consult with Tutors and
Heads of Departments to establish your
intellectual strengths and needs and to devise
strategies for improvement.
A Levels con nue to represent the ‘gold
standard’ and hold the key to a university
educa on. While community life at Stowe
makes you think about others, the subjects on
offer are designed to make you think deeply
and to think for yourself. The op ons open are
broad and flexible, they are not a straitjacket
into which you either fit or fail. The Extended
Project Qualifica on in par cular provides a
perfect opportunity for you to iden fy and
explore in depth a topic of your choice,
demonstra ng your ability to work
independently which will stand you in good
stead for university.
The successful transi on from GCSE requires a
growing maturity and an ability to organise
yourself in a way that reveals a greater
capacity for independent study. With the
move away from the old modular AS exams,
successful pupils will be ones who have been
able to stay mo vated and focused
throughout. We expect hard work. In turn we
commit ourselves to helping you to pursue
your strengths and interests. You will
experience the pleasure of discovery and
explora on, of forging ideas and increasing
awareness and of deepening your
understanding of the world around you.
Personal responsibility and self-mo va on are
essen al precondi ons of success.
98% of Stoics go on to Higher Educa on each
year, so you can see that Stowe’s A Level
provision is very good indeed.
This booklet summarises the objec ves and
contents of the Sixth Form courses offered at
Stowe. Please think carefully when you make
your subject choices.
Headmaster, Dr Anthony Wallersteiner
Introduc on ................................................................................................................................................. 3
Sixth Form Curriculum ................................................................................................................................. 4
Choices ........................................................................................................................................................ 5
Tutorial Provision ........................................................................................................................................ 6
Oxbridge Applica ons ................................................................................................................................. 7
University and College Entrance, UCAS ....................................................................................................... 8
Careers Educa on and Guidance................................................................................................................. 9
Sixth Form Careers Programme................................................................................................................. 10
Subject Profiles
Art .............................................................................................................................................................. 11
Biology ....................................................................................................................................................... 12
Business ..................................................................................................................................................... 13
Chemistry .................................................................................................................................................. 14
Classics....................................................................................................................................................... 15
Computer Science...................................................................................................................................... 16
Design ........................................................................................................................................................ 17
Drama and Theatre Studies ....................................................................................................................... 18
Economics.................................................................................................................................................. 19
English Literature....................................................................................................................................... 20
Extended Project Qualifica on (EPQ) ........................................................................................................ 21
French ........................................................................................................................................................ 22
Geography ................................................................................................................................................. 23
German ...................................................................................................................................................... 24
History ....................................................................................................................................................... 25
History of Art ............................................................................................................................................. 26
Mathema cs.............................................................................................................................................. 27
Media Studies ............................................................................................................................................ 28
Music ......................................................................................................................................................... 29
Physics ....................................................................................................................................................... 31
Poli cs ....................................................................................................................................................... 32
Religious Studies ........................................................................................................................................ 33
Spanish ...................................................................................................................................................... 34
Sports Science............................................................................................................................................ 35
Higher Educa on Des na ons of Stoics .................................................................................................... 36
Music Technology ...................................................................................................................................... 30
Last Year’s Examina on Results ................................................................................................................ 37
It is an exci ng me for those pupils
embarking on Sixth Form study from next
September. Last year saw the first set of
the A Level reforms introduced by the
government, as part of their plans to return
to linear examina ons and to be er equip
pupils for higher educa on. From September
2016, in addi on to English, Biology,
Chemistry, Physics, History, Economics,
Business, Computer Science and Art and
Design (which started on the new
specifica ons last year), Geography, French,
German, Spanish, La n, Religious Studies,
Design and Technology, Drama and Theatre
Studies, Music and Sports Sciences will also
now be working to new specifica ons. These
will all now be examined at the end of two
years. The remaining non-reformed subjects
will con nue to use the current modular
system of half the A Level qualifica on being
taken as AS units at the end of the Lower
Sixth. As not all the new specifica ons have
been released and approved yet, informa on
on the new specifica ons in this booklet is by
necessity somewhat provisional.
Universi es will con nue to make offers on
the basis of three A Level grades and
therefore many pupils may choose to drop
from four subjects in the Lower Sixth to three
by the Upper Sixth. Universi es will also
con nue to look for evidence of academic
ambi on and extension, so we do
recommend that all Sixth Form pupils
complete an Extended Project Qualifica on
(EPQ) in addi on to their A Level subjects. The
EPQ carries the same UCAS weigh ng as an
AS qualifica on (50% of a full A Level) and
provides enormous flexibility and possibility
for pupils to pursue an area of par cular
interest. Universi es and employers welcome
it because it indicates genuine academic
interest and commitment and an ability to
reflect and work independently. The EPQ
course at Stowe will run from January to
January across the two years of the Sixth
What will this mean for those star ng their
A Levels at Stowe in September 2016?
If you have any ques ons about the changes
or what to consider when making your
choices, please feel free to contact us for
further advice.
With the new linear specifica ons for many
subjects there is now no longer the possibility
of taking an AS qualifica on at the end of the
Lower Sixth year. This means that choices at
the start of the A Level course have to be
made carefully, with pupils selec ng a set of
four subjects that they are both passionate
about and in which they are predicted to
perform well up to full A Level standard.
There will be either AS exams (for legacy
specifica ons) or robust internal progress
exams (for the new specifica ons) at the end
of the Lower Sixth. Please remember that a
pass grade will be required in the Lower Sixth
AS exam, or internal exam, in order to carry
on with that subject into the second year.
Director of Studies, Dr J A Potter
Finally, we are pleased to be able to offer a
new A Level in Media Studies, which we are
sure will prove popular with many Stoics.
Sixth Form Curriculum - Provisional for 2016-2018
The subjects available to those qualifying for the Sixth Form are set out in the four columns below. We
expect members of the Sixth Form to take one subject from each of the four columns. It is an cipated
that most Stoics will con nue with three of these four subjects in the Upper Sixth to full GCE A Level,
although those wishing to pursue A Levels in all four subjects are encouraged to do so.
A Level Columns
(Resistant Materials)
Computer Science
(Resistant Materials)
Further Mathema cs
English Literature
English Literature
History of Art
Music Technology
Mathema cs
La n
and Ethics
History of Art
Poli cs
and Ethics
Poli cs
Sports Science
Media Studies
Poli cs
Sports Science
Please note:
• Further Mathema cs may not be taken without Mathema cs.
• Business, Economics, History of Art, Media Studies and Poli cs courses are rarely studied before the
Sixth Form. Some other subjects can also accept candidates who lack the GCSE experience.
Prospec ve candidates should nego ate with the Head of Department in ques on. Business and
Economics should not be studied together as two out of a pupil’s three A levels.
• Classical Greek may be offered by arrangement.
• The Extended Project Qualifica on will run from January of the Lower Sixth un l December of the
Upper Sixth and be delivered in four lessons per week within each column or if necessary outside the
• The School reserves the right to withdraw a subject from the curriculum if there is insufficient
Director of Studies, Dr J A Potter
Sixth Form Curriculum
Mathema cs
Stoics start with four subjects in the Lower Sixth
Form, con nuing with three or some mes four
in the Upper Sixth. In addi on, pupils have the
opportunity of studying for the Extended
Project Qualifica on (EPQ). There is a
requirement of six GCSE passes at grade B or
above (or points equivalent) for automa c
progression to the Sixth Form.
Please note that a Stoic cannot con nue with a
subject to the Upper Sixth without a pass
grade in this subject in the Lower Sixth end of
year examina ons.
Which subject?
Any subject requires commitment and
self-discipline for success. Readiness to become
deeply involved is based not only on enjoyment
of a subject but also on a belief in the subject’s
importance to future studies. There are five
things to consider:
1. Will I enjoy the subject?
5. Is the subject important to my future?
Previous experience of a subject studied at
GCSE is o en a key deciding factor. Current
Stoics should bear in mind that they might not
be taught A Level by the same person who
taught them for GCSE.
Current Stoics should consult their Cambridge
Occupa onal Analysts (COA) Report and
Interview record which noted any subject or
group of subjects required to pursue a future
career interest. Those who are joining Stowe
in September 2016 and would like advice
on choices please contact the Senior Tutor,
Mrs Sally Akam.
2. Would I enjoy a subject that I have not
done before?
It is possible to study some subjects at A Level
that have not been taken at GCSE. These
subjects include History of Art, Media Studies,
Poli cs, Economics and Business. Some pupils
have also successfully taken Drama, Sports
Science, Religious Studies and History without
having followed the GCSE course. In most
subjects, however, a GCSE background is
greatly preferred. If in doubt, it is important to
speak with the Head of Department, or to any
teacher of the subject, to find out what is
involved in a subject at A Level and whether
you are suitably qualified.
3. Am I good enough to take the subject?
combined courses but care must be taken
when choosing subject combina ons for
certain degree courses and for the more
selec ng and compe ve universi es. Russell
Group universi es prefer at least two A Level
subjects out of three to be ‘facilita ng’
subjects (further informa on available on
request). Most Science, Psychology or
Engineering courses require a minimum of
two science subjects at A Level and many also
expect Mathema cs. Biology and Chemistry
are required by candidates for Medical School
or Veterinary Science, with many courses also
preferring Maths. Any pupil op ng to study a
single science, without the support of Maths
or another science, should proceed with
cau on. Pupils are advised to seek advice
from the Careers Department before
embarking on a mixed combina on of
subjects or if hoping to pursue a par cular
career or degree course.
In most subjects personal commitment is the
key. Normally, it is not recommended to take
an A Level course without having gained at least
a grade B in that par cular subject at GCSE. In
some subjects, e.g. Maths, Sciences and
Modern Languages, Heads of Department
strongly recommend a grade A at GCSE.
4. Which subject combina ons work well?
Studying four subjects provides opportuni es
to maintain diversity by combining both Arts
and Sciences. Universi es offer a wide range of
Senior Tutor, Mrs S L Akam
When do I choose?
The actual process of selec on of A Level
courses is spread over at least ten months.
The star ng point for Stowe Fi h Formers is
the discussion of the tests of Ap tude and
Interest (COA) which are taken in the GCSE
year. These, in addi on to School reports and
trial examina on results, should form the
basis for further discussion of future choices
and career interests.
In mid-March aspirant Sixth Formers are
asked to make reasonably firm A Level
choices. We do realise that unexpected
results at GCSE may prompt some changes in
course op ons and it is essen al that these
changes are sent to the School by the
published deadline prior to the start of the
new term. Pupils new to the Sixth Form are
invited to an A Level Fair in March when they
have the opportunity to discuss their
provisional choices with Heads of
Departments. We ask all new pupils to
confirm their choices shortly a er this
mee ng in order to ensure an efficient start
to the new School year.
Tutorial Provision
The Tutor’s Role
Monitoring Academic Performance
It is a Tutor’s responsibility and role to
oversee their Tutees’ academic and pastoral
development as a whole so that they fulfil
their poten al in all areas. As part of this
process, a Tutor provides a vital
communica on link between Housemaster/
Housemistress, teaching staff, parents and
pupils. Tutees o en require support in
achieving a healthy balance of academic and
extra-curricular ac vi es including managing
impending academic deadlines, a ending
department clinics and society mee ngs, and
co-ordina ng spor ng commitments, music
and drama rehearsals.
Twice a term pupils receive Academic
Progress Grades (APGs) from each of their
subject teachers which are sent by email to
parents, together with a Tutor’s APG report.
Regular assessment grades allow progress to
be closely monitored and allow poten al
problems to be noted as they arise, paving
the way for discussions between Tutor/
Teachers and Tutor/Tutee. Individual ac on
plans are agreed which provide strategies and
support for further progress. Plans may
include the need to a end academic clinics;
assistance with coursework planning and
management; Tutor support cards, report
cards or simply providing addi onal or
temporary help to Stoics to balance their
academic and extra curricular commitments.
More detailed feedback of a Stoic’s progress
is provided in end of term reports.
It is the Tutor’s role to guide Tutees through
the UCAS process (or other HE applica on
systems in the UK or abroad) by encouraging
research and prepara on for degree courses,
advising Tutees on personal statements,
proof reading their applica ons and providing
academic references. In addi on, the Sixth
Form are invited to a end a range of careers
seminars and presenta ons held throughout
their two years by an exci ng range of
academics, university admissions officers, and
representa ves of specific career fields such
as film and anima on, finance, engineering,
law, journalism, business management,
medicine and veterinary science, marke ng,
public rela ons etc.
Senior Tutor, Mrs S L Akam
As at all levels of the School, we would like
parents to feel involved in their son’s or
daughter’s educa on, and in their
prepara on for university and beyond. Please
feel welcome to discuss any ma er related to
your son’s or daughter’s progress directly
with the Tutor. Clearly, Parents’ Mee ngs are
an ideal me for this, but do not feel ed to
these occasions only.
Study Skills Programme
• Reading Skills: Skimming, Scanning,
Reading to Understand
• A tudes to Learning
• Self Review and Target Se ng
• Organisa on Skills and File Management
• Time and Stress Management
• Revision Techniques
• Exam Techniques
• Note Taking and Essay Wri ng
• Research Skills
• Independent Learning
Tutorial Provision
In the Sixth Form, Tutor Groups are organised
on the basis of subject choice, career
aspira ons, and a degree of personal choice.
The emphasis is on one-to-one support and
the provision of a personalised curriculum for
each Tutee, through individual metabled
tutorials on one or more occasions each
week. Stoics are assisted in se ng academic
targets that will stretch and challenge them,
and are provided with strategies that will help
them to work more independently, efficiently
and effec vely, and so equip them for Higher
Educa on and beyond.
Oxbridge Applications
Every year Oxford and Cambridge each offer
around 3,000 undergraduate places and will in
turn each receive applica ons from around
17,000 poten al students. In virtually every
instance every single applicant will be able to
boast a stellar exam profile: they will be
dedicated, mo vated and hard workers who will
have spent an inordinate amount of me cra ing
and perfec ng their applica ons. This presents
any would-be Oxbridge student with a
par cularly tricky challenge: when all your fellow
applicants are outstanding how can you make
yourself stand out?
Every single successful applica on brings
something special to the table. Yet, while the vast
majority of applicants will have great exam
results, glowing school references and predicted
final A Level grades of As and A*s, the successful
candidate must exhibit something else,
something special that says not only is Oxford or
Cambridge right for them but also that they are
right for Oxford or Cambridge.
Oxbridge Applications
Quali es of a Successful Applica on
Knowledge Base: Every candidate must be able
to present a convincing academic case and an
excep onal exam result profile is usually central
to this. However Oxford and Cambridge differ
slightly in the rela ve emphasis placed on exam
results. In previous years at Cambridge the focus
has been almost exclusively on individual AS
marks (not just overall grades) while at Oxford,
GCSE results have tended to carry greater weight.
As a general rule candidates called forward for
interview at Cambridge will have had somewhere
above 90% in each AS module, or internal
progress exam, while those called forward for
interview at Oxford will have 8 or more GCSEs at
A*. Equally, all A Level predic ons should be a
minimum of AAA+.
Analy cal Ability: Oxbridge candidates are
expected to be able to process informa on
quickly, to deconstruct and evaluate arguments
and to build effec ve responses. This demands a
voracious appe te for knowledge and
understanding, and is achieved through exposure
to the broadest possible spectrum of the
intended degree subject. Only sustained and
dedicated engagement with a subject can deliver
this subject apprecia on and admissions tutors
are adept at iden fying it. The first opportunity
to demonstrate this is in the Personal Statement
(PS). The PS forms the first impression you will
make on the admissions board so it needs to
impress. However while a bad PS will almost
certainly end your applica on there and then, a
stunning one will by no means guarantee you a
Oxbridge University Advisor, J M Murnane
place. To this end the second, and arguably
even more important, opportunity to impress
is in the tests. It is o en argued that because
they are tests of ability rather than knowledge
one cannot train for them. To an extent this is
true, however, it is equally true that in any
test one tends to do be er if one knows what
is coming. It follows that prepara on, revision
and prac ce are cri cal.
Star Quality: Successful candidates will be
able to present themselves to best advantage.
They will make abundantly evident both the
strength of their knowledge base and the
acuity of their analysis. Without doubt the
stronger the knowledge base and the more
astute the analy cal ability the easier it
becomes to show flair. In this way learned
skills can complement ability crea ng a
stronger final product.
Oxbridge at Stowe: From an early stage each
candidate has to accept responsibility for their
applica on and drive the process themselves.
The Oxbridge Team exists to assist rather than
replace candidates in their applica on: we will
not do the job for them and we cannot
generate momentum or drive where it is
absent. This is the only way to construct a
successful applica on as admissions tutors
have an obliga on to weed out students who
will not be able to survive when le to their
own devices. We will support to the fullest of
our ability and effort students who are
prepared to demonstrate commitment, drive
and purpose in the whole applica on process
including dra ing PS and UCAS submissions,
revising or reading for admissions tests and
preparing for interviews.
Procedure: The Stowe Oxbridge selec on
process will start a er the Michaelmas Half
term when Lower Sixth pupils will be invited
to apply to join the Headmaster’s Essay
Society. From this list of applicants Stowe staff
will select an Oxbridge squad on the basis of
GCSE results, consistently strong academic
performance, declared Oxbridge ambi on,
evidence of flair and academic commitment
and enthusiasm. Prospec ve candidates will
be scru nised again a er first-year results and
summer reading; only then will the applicant
list be finalised. Tutors will assist them in their
applica ons, teachers will encourage extra
study and interview prac ce will be provided,
but the students themselves must seize
control and provide the impetus and ini a ve
driving the applica on. Every successful
applicant must showcase integrity as well as
ability: as with all best things, this must come
from within.
University and College Entrance, UCAS
Stoics apply to university through the
Universi es’ and Colleges’ Admissions Service
(UCAS) in the Michaelmas term of their Upper
Sixth year and can apply for courses at up to
five universi es or colleges (four for Medicine
and Veterinary Science). The applica on is
completed on the internet, using the online
‘APPLY’ system. If Stoics are taking a Gap
Year, they can either apply as a ‘Deferred
Entry’ candidate or apply the following
Autumn as a ‘Post A Level’ applicant.
From November to March applicants may be
called for interview; all will then receive, from
each of the ins tu ons to which they have
applied, either an offer of a place condi onal
on their A Level results or a rejec on. If
applicants do not succeed in obtaining any
offers, they have the op on of making a
further applica on to an ins tu on where
vacancies s ll exist. The aim is for applicants
to be holding one firm offer and one
insurance offer as they approach the A Level
examina ons.
When the A Level results come through in the
middle of August, universi es and colleges
confirm the places of those who have met
their A Level condi ons. Those who have
failed to meet the terms of their offers, or
who have greatly exceeded their offer, have
the op on of choosing again from the places
s ll available (CLEARING and ADJUSTMENT).
Final decisions are made by 30 September.
Stowe also provides assistance to those
wishing to apply to non-UCAS institutions
and courses, such as Art and Drama colleges.
Our Careers Advisors can give further
informa on.
Universi es Abroad
Every year some Stoics apply to universi es
abroad, and the School is able to offer advice
and support their applica ons. Those who
wish to apply to universi es in the United
States of America are addi onally supported
by our resident Harvard Fellow, while SAT
training can be provided by Greene’s Tutorial
College, Oxford.
University Advisors, D J Critchley, Mrs A J Dawson, J M Murnane
University and College Entrance, UCAS
During the Lower Sixth year Stoics are
strongly encouraged to formulate and
develop their ideas for Higher Educa on.
During the Summer term and Summer holiday
these ideas should harden into preferences
for par cular courses and ins tu ons, Stoics
should start their online applica ons, and
should complete the first version of their
Personal Statement. Stowe offers all kinds of
assistance during this research period. Tutors
will regularly discuss Higher Educa on
op ons with Tutees and there is also
experienced assistance available in the
Careers Centre, which is well stocked with a
plethora of informa on, prospectuses and
specialist career and courses guides. In
addi on, a great deal of advisory informa on
has been posted on the VLE. The Lower Sixth
take the CenƟgrade programme, a computer
generated, personalised Higher Educa on
package based on a ques onnaire. This
document is an excellent founda on for
further discussion and research. External
speakers address important issues such as
university choice and how to make best use
of the Lower Sixth year. University Open Days
are adver sed and visits are encouraged.
Visi ng speakers come to the School from a
broad variety of academic fields and careers
to offer further insights into specialist areas
such as adver sing, architecture, film and
media, and accountancy, to name but a few.
Stoics receive specialist assistance with their
university applica ons and considerable
advice and support is provided on what
makes a good personal statement.
Careers Education and Guidance
Stowe’s Careers Educa on and Guidance
Programme aims to provide increasing contact
with the world outside throughout a Stoic’s
me at School, to help them reach the
important decisions which affect their future
in a well-informed and balanced way. Every
encouragement is given to discuss the
various op ons with Housemasters or
Housemistresses, Tutors and the Careers staff.
Careers Explora on
The present programme of inves ga on and
research takes pupils through Fast Tomato and
CenƟgrade, careers and Higher Educa on
profiling programmes. These programmes help
to provide clear guidelines to assist the choice
of an appropriate Higher Educa on pathway.
CenƟgrade provides a report that encourages
personal explora on into appropriate
university courses. Fast Tomato, conducted
online, can also be used to inves gate career
choices and university courses.
Careers Education and Guidance
Careers Events
During the two years spent in the Sixth Form a
number of events are on offer which have been
designed to help with career planning. They
include visits to the Careers Centre and a
series of seminars on diverse career fields.
Careers Experience Courses
Those at Stowe prior to the Sixth Form are
expected to undertake one week of career
related work experience in the summer
holiday between the Fi h and Sixth Form
years. This is invaluable in bringing realism to
thinking about the world of work and is
increasingly looked upon by employers and
university admissions as evidence of maturity
and mo va on. We encourage the Sixth Form
to build a por olio of work experience and the
Careers Centre can help with contacts using a
large database of Old Stoic alumni.
Throughout the Sixth Form there will be
opportuni es during the holidays for Stoics to
a end taster courses specifically aimed at
informing them about par cular degree
courses and careers. These are generally run
by professional bodies and commercial
concerns. Stoics are encouraged to make
effec ve use of them.
Head of Careers, Mrs A J Dawson
The Careers Centre
This is a room specially set aside for careers
use. It is well stocked with relevant
informa ve material about future jobs and
Higher Educa on opportuni es, making full
use of access to the internet. The Head of
Careers is within the Centre and she is
available for consulta on when required.
Early and regular visits to the Centre are vital.
In addi on there are various computer
programmes that can be used to determine
Higher Educa on courses that match the
individual’s interests and abili es and to look
more widely at future careers.
UCAS is the Universi es and Colleges
Admissions Service for degree courses at
universi es and colleges. The Tutor’s role is to
help guide Stoics in terms of their aspira ons
and poten al. They will discuss op ons in
depth and guide Stoics through the relevant
applica on procedure. We also use Unifrog,
an online resource, to assist Sixth Formers
with their higher educa on choices. There will
be a briefing on how to apply to university
through UCAS Apply (internet applica on).
There will also be a presenta on for parents
to inform them about the Higher Educa on
op ons available, and the current applica on
schedule. Tutors and Housemasters/
Housemistresses prepare the academic and
personal references. It is always possible to
arrange mock interviews in prepara on for
the real thing, and this occurs, as a ma er of
course, for Oxbridge applicants. When A Level
results are known, Tutors and Careers staff
will be available to help with unexpected
Sixth Form Careers Programme
Lower Sixth Form
Upper Sixth Form
Sixth Form induc on with team building
Parents’ Mee ng with Tutors at the start of
the first Exeat weekend to discuss Higher
Educa on plans and academic progress.
A Level choices adjusted if necessary.
Career related work experience follow-up.
Introduc on to US universi es applica on
Career related seminars.
Sponsorship/bursary for Higher Educa on
discussed where relevant.
UCAS applica ons and applica on for Student
Opportuni es for HAT (History), LNAT (Law)
and UKCAT (Medicine) ap tude tests.
Gap Year planning and applica ons.
CenƟgrade programme op onal for Lower
Sixth pupils.
Introduc on to Unifrog.
Oxbridge, Medicine, Den stry and Veterinary
Medicine UCAS deadline (15 October).
BMAT (Medicine) and Oxford Ap tude Tests.
Interviews at universi es and provisional
offers of places.
Prac ce interviews available for those called
by universi es.
Introduc on to UCAS Apply.
Final UCAS deadline (15 January).
Registra on on UCAS Apply.
Tutorial advice on post A Level results
Advice on wri ng the UCAS Personal
A Level results advice document provided.
A Level examina ons.
Cambridge STEP examina ons.
Assistance available from Stowe for post
A Level results problems.
Members of Staff with par cular
responsibility for Careers:
Mandy Dawson - Head of Careers
David Critchley - UCAS
Jon Murnane - Oxbridge Admissions
Michael Righton - Gap Year
Stowe Harvard Fellow - American University
Sally Akam - Senior Tutor
Sixth Form Careers Programme
Tutors discuss Higher Educa on op ons with
pupils. Prepara on for UCAS applica ons.
Regular use of university research programs
and UCAS websites, plus intranet and internet
facili es.
A qualifica on in Art at A Level will allow you
to study a wide range of specialist degree
courses from Fine Art and Architecture to
Computer Graphics, Fashion and Tex les,
Theatre Design and Industrial Design. There is
also a large number of courses available that
relate to the media industry and Art/History
of Art are o en combined, very successfully,
with other courses.
The context of the course is broad and
flexible, giving pupils the opportunity to
explore a wide range of media and
techniques. Drawing is fundamental to the
A Level course and we do expect pupils to
have achieved a high grade at GCSE. If they
have not completed an Art GCSE course, or
equivalent, we would expect to see a folder
of work at interview.
The term ‘contextual awareness’ is o en
used in A Level teaching and this refers to
developing a knowledge and cri cal
understanding of the work of ar sts and
designers, both historical and contemporary.
Pupils are expected to visit art galleries, such
as the Na onal Gallery or Tate Modern,
during the holidays to supplement organised
trips in School me. We also take Art and
History of Art trips to major cultural art
centres, such as New York, each year.
All pupils are expected to keep personal
sketchbooks and notebooks for the
explora on and development of their ideas
and the Art School is always open during
academic and ac vity me. The Art School
has links with the Design Department and
with the Theatre and Drama Department,
both for Set Design and Theatre Studies
A Level.
In terms of entry to further educa on, an
OCR A Level is accepted by most university
courses, as well as by all Art Founda on
courses, which will normally provide the best
route to developing your chosen path within
Art and Design. Career guidance within this
field is a major considera on for the
Department and, each year, we invite
speakers from Founda on Courses to assist
pupils in their applica ons. Each term, the Art
School levies a charge to cover the use of
specialist materials, canvases etc.
Head of Department, Mrs A J Jorgensen
The new linear OCR Art A level is now
underway and, as before, pupils will follow a
lively and experimental skills based course in
the Michaelmas term. As the year progresses
pupils will have more me for the personal
development of ideas but they will also
con nue to learn new techniques and
processes throughout the year. There will also
be a weekly me slot dedicated to contextual
themes, and we will follow a programme
which explores ‘key concepts’ within the
history of art, with the main focus on the
developments and movements of the
twen eth century. This will form a frame of
reference for the Related Study which is an
essay wri en as part of the assessed
coursework unit in the Upper Sixth year.
Without an AS exam a er Christmas, we will
have more me to extend individual projects
and create more ambi ous work than was
possible before. We will have me to spend
longer on larger or more detailed drawings,
pain ngs, prints or sculpture and use more
involved techniques to produce outcome
pieces. Although all pupils’ work will be
marked internally and regular feedback will
be given, there will be no formal assessment
by OCR in the Lower Sixth year.
In the Upper Sixth pupils will begin their
‘Personal Inves ga on’ which is the assessed
coursework unit. This will make up 60% of the
total A Level, the other 40% will be awarded
for the exam or ‘externally set task’ unit. This
will follow the same structure as the old
A Level, with an ‘early release’ examina on
paper at the beginning of the Lent term. The
Controlled Assessment of fi een hours
dura on will take place a er the Easter
Advances in biological research have influenced
both the content of and opportuni es provided
by modern A Level Biology courses. Biology is no
longer a subject founded purely on the ability to
recall vast quan es of factual material. These
advances have made Biology an interes ng and
valuable subject to study to A Level. The prac cal
approach to the subject is both s mula ng and
rewarding and reflects the modern trends in
biological sciences.
The facili es and technical support in the Science
Department are excellent and the grounds of
Stowe provide a handy resource for the study of
biological ecosystems. Extensive use is made of
modern equipment, much of it linked to
computer technology. You will study in a caring
atmosphere in which individual skills are
The specifica on is assessed over three, 2 hour
papers, which include a mixture of short, long
and structured ques ons including prac cal
techniques along with one essay ques on from a
choice of two tles. A Level grades will be based
only on marks from wri en examina ons.
Prac cal Assessment
At A Level pupils will be internally assessed based
on direct observa on of their competency on a
wide range of prac cal skills. The Prac cal
Endorsement involves carrying out 12 required
prac cals to ensure pupils have experienced the
use of a variety of apparatus and techniques.
Wri en papers will assess pupils’ understanding
and knowledge of these, and the skills
exemplified within each prac cal. These
ques ons will count for at least 15% of the
overall marks for the A Level qualifica on.
Year One
A variety of areas touched upon at Biology GCE
are developed further. The course content is split
into modules covering core content:
• Biological Molecules
Through the Biomedical Society, biologists will
be able to meet and work with leading biologists
from across the broad spectrum of the subject.
• Cells
A Level pupils in Biology will a end a four day
field course, usually at a coastal university or
Field Studies Council field sta on. A third of the
cost of this course is borne by the School but
parents are expected to contribute the
remaining two-thirds (£200 currently).
• Gene c Informa on, Varia on and
Rela onships Between Organisms
The Department has undertaken biological
expedi ons to South Africa, Honduras and
Mozambique and the des na on of our
forthcoming expedi on is Indonesia in June
Choosing Biology
It would normally be expected for pupils to have
gained a good grade at Biology GCSE before
embarking upon the A Level course. It is possible
to combine a number of subjects with Biology
though experience shows that the best results
are achieved when Biology is studied alongside
another Science or Mathema cs. The column
system Stowe offers allows a wide variety of
subject combina ons which include Biology.
AQA Biology A Level (7402)
The A Level Biology specifica on is divided into 8
areas of core content which is subdivided into
key teaching topics. Biology A Level is a linear
course spanning over the two years of study.
Head of Department, Mrs L M Carter
• Organisms Exchange Substances with their
Year Two
• Energy Transfers In and Between Organisms
• Organisms Respond to Changes in their
Internal and External Environments
• Gene cs, Popula ons, Evolu on and
• The Control of Gene Expression
It is recognised that the choice of a suitable
career is of vital importance to all pupils. The
Department, through its Tutors, offers specialist
advice should you wish to pursue a career with a
biological content. In recent years, many pupils
have gained entry to medical schools and several
have studied Biological Sciences at Oxford.
In addi on to the well established careers in
Medicine, Veterinary Science, Den stry,
Physiology, Ecology, Pharmacology, Immunology,
and Biochemistry, new career opportuni es have
arisen in the fields of Environmental Science,
Molecular Biology, Microbiology, Gene c
Engineering, and Biotechnology. Universi es
offering degree courses in these subjects
frequently state that a study of A Level Biology is
advantageous and, in some cases, essen al.
Biology is not only the window into the
fascina ng world of living things, it is also the
door to a lifelong interest in subjects which are
vital to solve the problems spawned by the 20th
Business aims to give pupils a broad
understanding of how businesses func on
effec vely. The standard func onal divisions
within a firm, such as finance, marke ng,
produc on and personnel, are studied in
their own right. It is also seen how these
func ons inter-relate with each other and
how the business as a whole is affected by
the external environment. Thus Business
examines how managers can set up
structures and mobilise the labour talent
and financial resources they have at their
disposal, to achieve the organisa onal goal
of producing desirable products and
Studying Business at A Level does not
guarantee that one will become a future
Richard Branson, but a wide variety of
subjects will be covered which can be
applied to virtually any work experience
that you have in future life.
Exam Board: Edexcel
Theme 1: Marke ng and People
Pupils will develop an understanding of:
• Mee ng Customer Needs
Theme 4: Global Business
Pupils will develop an understanding of:
• Globalisa on
• Global Markets and Business Expansion
• Global Marke ng
• Mul na onals
Paper 1: Marke ng, People and Global
Paper 2: Business Ac vi es, Decisions and
Paper 3: Inves ga ng Business in a
Compe ve Environment
Combina ons
Business is normally studied in combina on
with other arts and social science subjects,
such as English, Poli cs, Geography, History
of Art, Religious Studies, or a language. It
would also be a sensible subject choice for
pupils who consider themselves scien sts,
as most scien sts do end up in business as
managers. Business can be taken alongside
Economics, as long as a Business orientated
degree is the final goal.
• The Market
• Marke ng Mix and Strategy
• Managing People
• Entrepreneurs and Leaders
Theme 2: Managing Business Ac vi es
Pupils will develop an understanding of:
• Raising Finance
• Financial Planning
• Managing Finance
• Resource Management
• External Influences
Theme 3: Business Decisions and Strategy
Pupils will develop an understanding of:
• Business Objec ves and Strategy
• Business Growth
• Decision-making Techniques
• Influences on Business Decisions
• Assessing Compe
• Managing Change
• Expansion
Head of Department, R B Corthine
Skills Needed and Requirements
A good Business pupil is able to apply
theories of management to a par cular
situa on. The more subtle one’s grasp of
the situa on and the more one has a feel
for poten al opportuni es and threats, the
be er. The finance and accoun ng parts of
the course have a fair amount of numeracy
within them, so it is expected that pupils
who start the course will have at least a
B grade in GCSE Mathema cs.
Chemistry is about the ‘stuff’ around us - how
atoms and molecules interact and react in our
brains, in car engines, in the kitchen and in
the skies - and as such it occupies a central
posi on between the physical sciences on the
one hand and the biological sciences on the
An A Level Chemistry qualifica on is a rac ve
to many university admissions Tutors as it
tells them you can analyse and present data,
absorb factual material, handle numerical
problems, understand and explain
complicated concepts, and that you have
prac cal skills gained from laboratory work that you are in fact a good all-rounder!
Although the varied nature of the subject can
make Chemistry a challenging A Level for
some, pupils’ effort and ability is rewarded, as
university prospects for those applying to
Chemistry or Chemistry-related degree
courses are excellent, even in the current,
austere climate. Stowe Chemists regularly,
indeed usually, win places at top Russell
Group Universi es, most o en Oxford,
Bristol, Durham, Imperial, UCL, and
The Chemistry Department
The Chemistry Department at Stowe is lively,
friendly and very successful, and is at the
forefront in the use of modern technology in
its teaching. Staff have been involved with the
development of Chemistry teaching so ware
for GCSE and A Level. The Department also
makes excellent use of StoweNet - the
School’s VLE. The great strength in teaching
lies in the effec ve combina on of modern
and tradi onal teaching methods.
The Department occupies the top floor of the
well-equipped Science Block which is currently
being extended and refurbished (comple on
due in Autumn 2017). There will be six
teaching laboratories, each with its own
adjacent lecture room equipped with a large
demonstra on bench and fume cupboard. The
Department is extremely well served with
technical help from a full me Technician and
two Laboratory Assistants.
The Course
The Department follows the linear OCR
Chemistry A Level course which comprises of
six modules:
Module 1: Development of Prac cal Skills
Choosing Chemistry
Whether Chemistry is taken as part of specific
Higher Educa on plans or as a more general
interest subject, you should expect to work
hard, have some mathema cal skills and
enjoy problem solving. A good grade at
Chemistry GCSE, as well as in Maths, would
normally be expected for entry to the course.
Pupils who have studied Dual Award Science,
as opposed to the full Chemistry GCSE, should
contact the Head of Department for details of
topics relevant to A Level that they may have
Module 2: Founda ons in Chemistry
Module 3: Periodic Table and Energy
Module 4: Core Organic Chemistry
Module 5: Physical Chemistry and Transi on
Module 6: Organic Chemistry and Analysis
The course has its own textbook which defines
the course content and this is supported
within the Department by a Chemistry library
from which pupils can borrow freely.
Examina ons
There are 3 examina ons, all of which are
taken at the end of the Upper Sixth year.
Paper 1: Content from modules 1, 2, 3 and 5.
2 hours and 15 minutes. Weigh ng = 37%
Paper 2: Content from modules 1, 2, 4 and 6.
2 hours and 15 minutes. Weigh ng = 37%
Paper 3: Synop c covering all modules
1 hour and 30 minutes. Weigh ng = 26%
Prac cal Assessment
Coursework no longer contributes to the
overall final grade. Instead it leads to a
separate ‘Prac cal Endorsement’. This
comprises of 12 exam board defined
experiments. Knowledge and understanding of
these experiments can also be tested in the
wri en examina ons.
Head of Department, J M Tearle
Chemistry remains an important pre-requisite
for direct entry into courses such as Medicine,
Veterinary Science, and Den stry, as well as
most courses in Biochemistry, Chemical
Engineering, and Food Science. Many
universi es now offer courses combining
Chemistry with a wide variety of non-science
op ons, such as Management, Business, Law
or Economics, as well as a year abroad or a
year in industry.
La n and Classical Greek
To the surprise of some non-classicists, La n
and Greek at A Level and degree level have not
only retained their popularity amazingly well,
but classical scholarship across the world has
never been more vigorous and exci ng. From
computer analysis to satellite photography,
classical scholars have been revolu onising our
study of the twin founda ons of our European
civilisa on. At its heart, of course, remains the
linguis c knowledge necessary to read Greek
and La n texts in the original, with all the
literary and intellectual skills that this develops.
A Level
The A Level examina ons are also adap ng to
the new ways of studying the languages.
Composi on into La n or Greek is now
op onal. Nevertheless the language will appeal
primarily to those who have already gained a
good grade at GCSE or Level 2 and enjoy a
rewarding challenge.
The Four Components
The A Level (La n: OCR, H443, Classical Greek:
OCR, H444) has four components. Two are
linguis c and two are literary. Teaching starts
in September 2016 and the first examina ons
will be in June 2018. These details are from the
dra specifica on.
01: Unseen Transla on
This component is a language paper worth 33%
of the total A Level. You will be tested with an
unseen transla on into English of narra ve
prose. There is also a passage of verse for
transla on. The La n verse will be taken from
the poet Ovid, and in Greek from Euripides.
02: Prose Composi on or Comprehension
This component is worth 17%. The first op on
is to translate a passage from English into La n
or Greek. The alterna ve is to answer
comprehension and grammar ques ons,
together with some transla on, from a prose
passage. In La n this will be taken from Pliny’s
LeƩers, and in Greek from oratory.
03: Prose Literature
This component is worth 25%. For the
examina ons in 2018-19 you will read two or
three selec ons, including some in transla on.
For La n these include a powerful speech by
Cicero, part of Tacitus’ fascina ng narra ve of
s rring ba les on the imperial fron er in his
Annals, or some of Seneca’s LeƩers.
Head of Department, M J Bevington
In Greek you can read Thucydides’ account of
the amazing events at Pylus in 425 BC, parts
of Plato’s Apology with Socrates, the famous
philosopher, or excerpts from Xenophon.
04: Verse Literature
This component is worth 25%. For 2018-19
you will read two or three selec ons, with
some in transla on. For La n there are two
books of Virgil’s wonderful epic, the Aeneid,
some poems with up-to-date feelings on love
by Proper us, Tibullus and Ovid, or
fascina ng mythological stories by Ovid.
In Greek you can read Homer’s amazing
account of Odysseus’s travels, or the famous
tragedy of An gone’s impossible choice
between loyalty to her dead brother or to the
state, along with a comedy by Aristophanes.
Subject Combina ons
La n makes an excellent combina on with
almost any other A Level. Tradi onally
English, French, History and Mathema cs
have been the most usual, but Art, Physics
and Chemistry have also been combined with
it in recent years at Stowe. Greek is usually
available by special arrangement in any of the
four columns, or even as an extra, and can
thus be taken with any other subject.
Extension Classes and the Classical Society
We offer extension classes in La n and Greek
on one a ernoon a week. There is also a
programme of visi ng speakers in the
Classical Society, with trips to plays and
exhibi ons.
University and Careers
Both Oxford and Cambridge offer some of the
largest and most varied classics degree
courses in the world. Many other universi es
in the UK and elsewhere provide a similarly
wide range of excellent classical courses. La n
and Greek, however, also form an obvious
basis from which to start a degree in, for
example, Law, Philosophy or Theology.
A degree in the classical languages is, of
course, s ll regarded very highly by
employers. Classicists tend to enter as broad
a spectrum of careers as any other arts
graduates, including Accountancy, Business,
Teaching, Law, the Services, Government
Departments, the Media, the Ordained
Ministry and even, for a few, professional
Sport or Music.
Computer Science
OCR A Level Computer Science
OCR A Level Computer Science is a s mula ng
and challenging A Level that tests a wide
range of competencies in its candidates and
demands Stoics to immerse themselves in a
range of different areas that all have one thing
in common, the computer.
Computer Systems (40%)
2 hours 30 minute wri en examina on
• Characteris cs of Contemporary
• So ware and Development
• Exchanging Data
• Data Types, Structures and Algorithms
Whilst not all candidates who opt to study the
course will have a burning desire to be a
Computer Scien st, the course offers an
insight into So ware Development,
Component Manufacturing, Algorithm
Analysis, Database Architecture, Networking
and Systems Analysis. The course would be a
perfect accompaniment to those pupils’
programmes that already contain Physics,
Mathema cs, and Design and Technology
because of the increased maths focus and
algorithmic, logical thinking that the subject
Algorithms and Programming (40%)
2 hours 30 minute wri en examina on
• Elements of Computa onal Thinking
• Problem Solving and Programming
• Algorithms to Solve Problems and
Standard Algorithms
Programming Project (20%)
Non-exam assessment
• Analysis of the Problem
• Design of the Solu on
• Developing the Solu on Evalua on
It is not compulsory for candidates to have
studied Compu ng at GCSE, however,
candidates that have, or have an interest in
Computer Science outside of the School
curriculum, will have a dis nct advantage.
Computer Science
The new linear A Level in Computer Science
explores all things computer, from looking at
its architecture, to the design and build of a
complete So ware Applica on for a defined
end user. Candidates’ knowledge of the areas
listed is assessed in two examina ons at the
end of the Upper Sixth and in an intensive
Programming Project completed in a suitable
High Level Programming Language throughout
the Upper Sixth.
• Legal, Moral and Ethical Issues
Head of Department, A C Gabriel
There are currently two courses offered in the
Design Department at Stowe. Both share the
theme of Product Design and Development:
Product Design
(Resistant Materials Technology)
Product Design
(Graphics with Materials Technology)
The subject of Design has existed in many
forms as a mainstream subject since the
curriculum began. When the term the ‘3Rs’
was coined in Parliament in 1840, Hansard
recorded that it stood for Reading,
Wrough ng and Arithme c. Wrough ng as in
‘I have wrought a wonderful design’.
“A well designed product radiates an almost
physical sense of purpose. It’s the baƩle of the
first 35 nanoseconds - between reflex and
intellectual determinism lies the baƩleground
- that’s the domain that we must capture as
Richard Seymour
Design and manufacture is a truly crea ve
and intellectually challenging ac vity. It is
en rely compa ble with high levels of
numeracy and literacy - the design process
itself draws on areas such as Maths, Science,
Technology, Communica on and Art;
developing divergent and crea ve abili es is a
basic func on of educa on. One of our main
aims is to inspire and empower our future
designers and engineers and excite passion in
our teaching so that they can develop
products they love with sensi vity to an
ever-changing world market and clientele.
We welcome pupils who have a background
via GCSE (or other recognised qualifica ons)
in any design-related discipline, and we are
also willing to consider pupils who have not
studied the subject before but show a passion
for design in any area (this is done via
por olio, interview and short examina on
paper). It should be noted that the courses
are quite demanding of your me. It should
also be noted that all pupils following an
A Level course in Design will need a laptop for
their studies.
This subject is very useful for a career in any
sphere of Product or Industrial Design and
Engineering, Graphics, Fashion, Theatre or
Television. It is also a good suppor ng A Level
for degree courses in any of the Pure or
Applied Sciences and Architecture.
Head of Department, M Smith
The Edexcel Product Design syllabus we offer
is structured as follows:
Unit 1: Por olio of Crea ve Skills
30% of the total A Level
Stoics are given the opportunity to develop
their crea ve, technical and prac cal skills
through a series of product inves ga on,
design and manufacturing ac vi es. Stoics will
produce one por olio with three dis nct
sec ons which demonstrate their crea vity
and flair when designing and making products.
Unit 2: Design and Technology in Prac ce
20% of the total A Level
Stoics will be able to develop a knowledge and
understanding of a wide range of materials
and processes used in the fields of design. It is
important for Stoics, as designers, to learn
about materials and processes so that they
can develop a greater understanding of how
products can be designed and manufactured.
Stoics will also learn about industrial and
commercial prac ces, and the importance of
quality checks and the health and safety issues
that have to be considered at all mes.
Unit 3: Designing for the Future
20% of the total A Level
Stoics will develop their knowledge and
understanding of a range of modern design
and manufacturing prac ces and
contemporary design issues. The modern
designer must have a good working
knowledge of the use of ICT and systems and
control technology in the design and
manufacture of products. They must also be
aware of the important contribu ons of
designers from the past which may provide
inspira on for future design.
Unit 4: Commercial Design
30% of the total A Level
Stoics are given the opportunity to apply the
skills they have acquired and developed
throughout this course of study; to design and
make a commercially viable product of their
choice that complies with the requirements of
either a resistant materials technology
product or a graphic product, depending on
the course they are studying.
Drama and Theatre Studies
The WJEC Drama and Theatre Studies course
is a fully accredited A Level and is accepted as
such by all universi es. This course will not
only teach you to read cri cally, to think for
yourself and to write essays to a high
standard, it will also develop your ability to
work with others and to perform in front of
an audience; skills that will be of enormous
value in many walks of life.
Drama and Theatre Studies is not an ‘easy
op on’ but a demanding and challenging
course that will develop a wide range of skills
and abili es and stretch the most gi ed pupil.
The course structure is as follows:
Component 1: Theatre Workshop (20%)
You will be assessed on either your ac ng or
design skills.
You will par cipate in the crea on,
development and performance of a piece of
theatre based on a reinterpretaƟon of an
extract from a text chosen from a list supplied
by WJEC and then chosen by the centre. The
piece must be developed using the
techniques and working methods of either an
influen al theatre prac oner or a
recognised theatre company.
Throughout the crea ve and developmental
process you will produce:
• a realisa on of your final performance or
design skill
• a crea ve log book, giving detail and
explana on about your
Component 2: Text in Ac on (40%)
You will be assessed on either your ac ng or
design skills.
You will par cipate in the crea on,
development and performance of two pieces
of theatre based on a s mulus supplied by
Director of Drama, N D Bayley
These will be:
1. A devised piece using the techniques and
working methods of either an influen al
theatre prac oner or a recognised
theatre company (a different prac oner
or company to that chosen for
Component 1)
2. An extract from a text produced in a
contras ng performance style to the
devised scene.
You will present your performance live to a
visi ng examiner. Stoics choosing the design
opƟon must also give a 5-10 minute
presentaƟon of their final design skill to the
You will produce a detailed process and
evalua on report within one week of the
comple on of the prac cal work.
Component 3: Text in Performance (40%)
Wri en examina on: 2 hours 30 minutes
Sec ons A and B
Open book: Clean copies (no annota on) of
the two complete texts chosen must be taken
into the examina on.
You will answer Two ques ons, based on two
different texts, one wri en pre-1956 and one
wri en post-1956. The list of texts for first
exam in 2018 are:
The Trojan Women, Euripides
As You Like It, William Shakespeare
Hedda Gabler, Henrik Ibsen
Machinal, Sophie Treadwell
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Tennessee Williams
Saved, Edward Bond
Accidental Death of an Anarchist, Dario Fo
Racing Demon, David Hare
Love and InformaƟon, Caryl Churchill
Chimerica, Lucy Kirkwood
Sec on C
Closed book: The extract of text required for
answering the ques ons will be printed on
the examina on paper.
A series of ques ons based on a specified
extract from: The Curious Incident of the Dog
in the Night-Time, Mark Haddon, adapted by
Simon Stephens
Drama and Theatre Studies
If you are interested in any aspect of the
theatre, enjoy seeing or reading plays, would
like to become an actor or you are thinking of
a career as a designer, technician or
administrator in the Performing Arts, then
Drama and Theatre Studies is an A Level you
should consider. Drama and Theatre Studies
is a varied and challenging course which
combines the study of play texts, prac cal
drama, theatre history and theatre visits.
Details of the extract will be released during
the first week of June, one year before the
Social Science subjects are extremely popular
at Stowe. More students study the Social
Sciences at university than any other group of
subjects and employers recognise the useful
work skills they develop.
Economics (AQA)
Economics tries to identify how firms and
whole economies should operate if they are
to maximise output, profits and welfare.
Theoretical models are used to simplify the
real world in order to gain a better
understanding of key issues. For a thoughtful
pupil, Economics provides an invaluable tool
for analysing a wide variety of problems faced
by governments.
Lower Sixth
Individuals, Firms, Markets and Market
Developments in the UK will be seen in the
context of the globalisation of the world
economy and membership of the European
Union. Assessment of the effectiveness of
current Government policy and alternative
courses of action will be considered.
Combinations, Skills Needed and
A good economist is able to use abstract
theories and apply them to everyday problems
so that real-world policies can be sensibly
evaluated. Pupils with an arts background
have an advantage in terms of being able to
write fluently about policies and problems.
A grade B in GCSE English is strongly
recommended and competence in a social
science subject such as Geography or History
must also have been demonstrated.
Basic tools of economics are introduced,
together with insights about how firms
behave in various competitive situations. The
Government’s impact on the economy is
considered. Reasons why governments should
and should not intervene in the economy are
analysed. Many topical issues such as the
minimum wage, welfare state and pollution
are discussed.
Economics bridges the arts/science divide and
is excellent for those wishing to broaden their
subject choice. An ideal combination would be
with Mathematics, Politics and either History,
Chemistry or Physics. However, it would also
go well with English, Religious Studies, and
Geography. It is equally likely to be taken by
those who consider themselves to be
scientists or interested in the arts.
The National and International Economy
Macro-economic issues are considered such
as inflation, unemployment and trade.
Government policies which affect interest
rates, taxation and trade, etc. are analysed
and their drawbacks assessed. This module
gives pupils a working knowledge of recent
trends and developments in the economy. A
brief introduction to the workings of financial
markets will be given.
It is generally true that pupils coming from a
mathematical or science background tend to
have a strong ability in terms of understanding
the basic theory, and this is especially
important as the course will be becoming
slightly more mathematical than that taught in
previous years. Mathematical marks will count
for 20% of the A Level grade.
Upper Sixth
The National and International Economy II
Individuals, Firms, Markets and Market
Failure II
More detailed micro-economic models are
studied including perfect competition,
monopoly and oligopoly. Pupils will analyse
how decisions are made by firms in these
market structures and the limitations of the
models in the real world. This module also
studies the labour market and the factors
which influence relative wage rates and the
distribution of income and wealth.
Head of Department, R B Corthine
After university, economists go on to a wide
variety of careers from the Civil Service to the
City. Their abilities to apply ideas are highly
valued by employers.
English Literature
The Course
The Literary Society
The A Level English Literature course comprises
the close study of a wide range of literary texts.
Successful candidates usually enjoy reading
sophis cated literature in an alert and analy cal
manner. They are likely to have a high grade in
English Language at either IGCSE or GCSE and a
further high grade in English Literature.
All A Level English Literature pupils at Stowe
are members of the Literary Society. Two or
three mes a term, dis nguished guest
speakers offer a paper to the Society.
Members may be invited to dine with the
guest subsequent to the talk.
Candidates at Stowe are entered for the linear
AQA A Level (7717) GCE qualifica on in English
Literature. The coursework component is
undertaken at the beginning of the Upper Sixth
while the two examina ons are sat at the end
of the Upper Sixth year.
In addi on to the range of dis nguished
guests, the Literary Society also stages annual
events such as screenings of plays and literaryrelated films, celebra ons for Shakespeare’s
birthday, day trips to famous literary loca ons
and, at the end of the academic year, a
Leavers’ dinner spiced with music, song and
The course comprises three units:
A 150 minute wri en examina on on literary
genres, weighted at 40% of the final mark. The
genre chosen is comedy and includes the study
of three texts: one Shakespeare; a second
drama text and one further text, of which one
must be wri en pre-1900.
Paper 2
A 180 minute wri en examina on on crime
wri ng, weighted at 40% of the final mark.
Pupils study three texts: one post-2000 prose
text; one poetry and one further text, one of
which must be wri en pre-1900. The
examina on will include an unseen passage.
A por olio of two essays, each responding to a
different text (one poetry and one prose) and
informed by an aspect of an anthology of
literary cri cism. One essay can be ‘re-crea ve’
which requires a commentary wri en by the
pupil on their own crea ve wri ng, in response
to the text studied.
Stowe is well-placed for theatres in Stra ord,
Oxford, Northampton, London, Birmingham
and Milton Keynes. Theatre trips (and
occasional excursions to galleries or museums)
are included in Literary Society schedules.
Sixth Form Book Club
The Sixth Form Book Club aims to meet four to
six mes a year. Pupils are given the
opportunity to discuss literature in an informal
se ng, and to widen and deepen their textual
knowledge beyond the curriculum.
Academic Extension Classes and Oxbridge
For those Sixth Form pupils who wish to
extend their knowledge beyond the confines
of the classroom, there are weekly academic
extension classes, which explore a range of
genres and periods, from Beowulf to the
Modern novel. Pupils wishing to apply for
Oxbridge or to Russell Group Universi es are
also given specific tui on in preparing for and
making these applica ons.
In all, candidates study eight texts for this
qualifica on (a Shakespeare play, at least one
other play, two poetry texts, one post-2000
prose text, one further prose text and a further
two texts to complement the other texts).
Please note that teachers are encouraged to
choose texts which they are both passionate
about and in which they have a par cular
exper se. This means that different classes may
study different texts, depending on which
teachers they have.
Head of Department, W Goldsmith
Second in Department (A Level Co-ordinator), Mrs C E Bagshaw
English Literature
Paper 1
Extended Project Qualification (EPQ)
The EPQ (Extended Project Qualifica on) is a
stand-alone, AS Level equivalent qualifica on,
which is graded A* - E and worth up to 70
UCAS points. The EPQ will develop and extend
from one or more of the pupil’s study areas
and/or from an area of personal interest or
ac vity outside their main programme of
study. It will be based on a topic chosen by the
pupil and agreed as appropriate by the Head of
EPQ. Stowe uses the AQA specifica on.
Delivery of the EPQ will involve some teaching
of the necessary skills and supervision and
assessment of the pupil’s progress, but
primarily will require extended autonomous
work by the pupil.
A project which consists solely of wri en work
should be approximately 5000 words, for
example, a research report of an inves ga on,
explora on of a hypothesis, an extended essay
or academic report in appropriate form.
Projects where the majority of the evidence is
provided in other formats should include a
report that is at least 1000 words.
The pupil must provide a presenta on for a
non-specialist audience and use media
appropriate to the type of project. The
presenta on may involve the use of flipcharts,
posters, PowerPoint or short excerpts of video
material. The presenta on should include live
response to ques ons from the schoolappointed supervisor as well as peers.
Extended Project Qualification (EPQ)
The EPQ offers opportuni es for pupils to:
• shape the choice and design of an
extended project and take responsibility
either for an individual task or for a defined
task within a group project
• develop and improve their own learning
and performance as cri cal, reflec ve and
independent learners
• develop and apply decision-making and,
where appropriate, problem-solving skills
• extend their planning, research, cri cal
thinking, analysis, synthesis, evalua on and
presenta on skills
• where appropriate, develop confidence in
applying new technologies in their studies
• develop and apply skills crea vely,
demonstra ng ini a ve and enterprise
• use their learning experiences to support
their aspira ons for higher educa on and/
or career development
• transfer skills developed as part of their
extended project to other areas of study
Although the EPQ is not absolutely essen al for
a successful UCAS applica on, many
universi es have indicated that they will view
the EPQ favourably. The EPQ assesses a whole
learning process, and in this respect is very
different from coursework.
All project products (outcomes can be in the
form of a wri en disserta on or an artefact)
must include a wri en report of between 1000
and 5000 words. The exact length of each
wri en report will depend on the nature of the
project, the subject area or topic chosen and
the other evidence provided.
Head of Department, Ms E J Rayner
Each pupil is appointed a supervisor by the
Head of EPQ. The supervisor is there to guide
and advise the pupil where appropriate. It
must be noted that part of the mark is on the
pupil’s own ability to shape their ideas and
drive the project forward and whilst the
supervisor is there to assist, if the pupil
requires too much help to proceed, this will
result in a loss of marks.
Pupils will be invited to express interest a er a
preliminary talk by the Head of EPQ in
November 2016. Projects commence in
January 2017. By February 2017, Project
Proposal Forms will have been approved by
the Head of EPQ and pupils will have started
work on their projects.
Pupils will conduct research, hold mee ngs
with their EPQ supervisor and create a
detailed outline by June 2017, when there will
be an official Mid-Point Review Mee ng to
ensure that work is up-to-date and a full first
dra of the final piece can be completed over
the summer. Upon return to School in
September 2017, pupils will have several
weeks to work with their supervisor to polish
their project and prepare for the presenta on.
The presenta ons will happen in November
2017, with the final piece and all paperwork
due by the end of the Michaelmas term in
December 2017.
A Level French gives learners the opportunity
to develop and deepen their awareness and
understanding of the language as well as to
increase their knowledge of the French
Speaking World through the study of the
language in its cultural, literary and social
The level of language required at A Level is
different from GCSE in so far as it is more
sophis cated, thus allowing for greater depth
and subtlety to language. As at GCSE, the four
skills (listening, reading, speaking and wri ng)
are assessed.
Language work includes areas of study that
are contemporary, age-appropriate and
engaging. These should inspire pupils to take
part in French discussions. One of the most
important aspects of this course is the
opportunity to develop opinions and defend
points of view in the target language.
Course Content
Four main themes are covered at A Level:
• Changes in French Society (the family,
educa on and the world of work)
• Poli cal and Ar s c Culture in the French
Speaking World (music, cinema and
fes vals and tradi ons)
• Immigra on and the French Mul cultural
Society (integra on, mul culturalism and
the rise of the extreme right)
• The Occupa on and the Resistance (life
under the Vichy regime, collabora on, the
importance of Jean Moulin and Charles de
Gaulle, the French Resistance)
Paper 1: Listening, Reading and Transla on
1 hour 50 minutes
40% of the total A Level
Listening and reading comprehension and
unseen transla on French to English.
Paper 2: Wri ng
2 hours 40 minutes
30% of the total A Level
Two essays and unseen transla on English to
Paper 3: Speaking
21-23 minute exam (with 5 minutes prepara on)
30% of the total A Level
Discussion of a s mulus card on one of the
main themes and a presenta on and discussion
of the pupil’s independent research project.
All pupils studying A Level French will have a
weekly one-to-one speaking lesson with one of
our French Assistants in addi on to group
What are the entry requirements for an A Level
in French?
To feel confident and cope with a language at
A Level, you must achieve a least a B at GCSE
and ideally an A.
Proposed Exam Board: Edexcel
SpecificaƟons are not yet accredited so this may
These areas of study form the basis for
conversa on, comprehension and transla on
In addi on pupils study one literary text and
one film. Two essays, one on the film and one
on the text, are wri en in Paper 2 as part of
the final assessment at the end of the course.
A Level linguists also complete an individual
research project that is discussed in their
speaking exam.
Head of Department, Mrs T L Jones
The great breadth of Geography as an
academic subject is one of its real strengths
and has made it an effec ve bridge between
the Sciences and Humani es. The study of
Geography in the Sixth Form has changed
considerably over the years. A more rigorous,
imagina ve and theore cal syllabus has
emerged through which one can gain a greater
and more relevant understanding of the
landscape and man’s occupa on of it. The
study of many contemporary issues and the
development of a sense of environmental
responsibility combine to make Geography one
of the most relevant and popular subjects for
young people today.
GCSE grades of A*, A or B are normally the
expected requirement for admission to the A
Level course. Studying Geography at A Level
will not only improve your understanding of
the world in which you live, it will also enable
you to develop important skills, including
literacy, numeracy and ICT skills, that will stand
you in good stead in any academic or working
Fieldwork is regarded as an integral part of the
A Level course and from 2016, coursework will
account for 20% of the final A Level grade. It is
expected that all Sixth Formers will a end a
residen al field course organised by Stowe’s
Geography Department to enable research for
this coursework to be undertaken. The local
area also provides ideal opportuni es to
prac se fieldwork techniques and gather first
hand data to test various Geographical
Pupils are encouraged to subscribe to a
Geographical Journal, wri en especially for A
Level pupils and designed to support studies
and broaden interest in the subject as a whole.
This is further encouraged through the School’s
Geographical Society. A large number of our
pupils con nue to study Geography at a higher
level in a wide range of courses and subject
combina ons. Geography graduates are valued
for their literacy and numeracy skills and follow
a wide variety of careers including examples
such as the Armed Services, Banking,
Commerce, Na onal and Local Government
and, in par cular, in the fields of Town and
Country Planning and Administra on.
Recently Geographers have been prominent in
the organisa on of environmental
conserva on measures and the provision and
control of recrea onal facili es in areas of
outstanding beauty.
Head of Department, Mrs S A Murnane
The Course
The A Level course will become linear from
September 2016 and therefore first
examina ons from 2018. The new
specifica ons are s ll in dra format and
therefore a decision on which exam board to
follow will not be made by the Department
un l late in 2015. As an example, the dra
specifica on for our current exam board is
shown below.
Physical Systems (01)
1 hour 45 minute wri en paper
24% of total A Level (72 marks)
• Landscape Systems
• Earth’s Life Support Systems
• Geographical Skills
Human Interac ons (02)
1 hour 45 minute wri en paper
24% of total A Level (72 marks)
• Changing Spaces: Making Places
• Global Connec ons
• Geographical Skills
Geographical Debates (03)*
2 hours 30 minute wri en paper
32% of total A Level (96 marks)
Op onality - study 2 of 5
• Climate Change
• Disease Dilemmas
• Exploring Oceans
• Future of Food
• Hazardous Earth
• Geographical Skills
Inves ga ve Geography (04/05)*
Non-examina on assessment
20% of total A Level (60 marks)
• Independent Inves ga on
*Indicates inclusion of synop c assessment.
Further details will be available once the
specificaƟons are confirmed.
A Level German gives learners the
opportunity to develop and deepen their
awareness and understanding of the language
as well as increase their knowledge of the
German Speaking World through the study of
the language in its cultural, literary and social
The level of language required at A Level is
different from GCSE in so far as it is more
sophis cated, thus allowing for greater depth
and subtlety of language. As at GCSE, the four
skills (listening, reading, speaking and wri ng)
are assessed.
Language work includes areas of study that
are contemporary, age-appropriate and
engaging. These should inspire pupils to take
part in German discussions. One of the most
important aspects of this course is the
opportunity to develop opinions and defend
points of view in the target language.
Course Content
Four main themes are covered at A Level:
• Changes in German Society (the
environment, educa on and the world of
• Poli cal and Ar s c Culture in the
German Speaking World (music, cinema
and fes vals and tradi ons)
• Immigra on and the German
Mul cultural Society (integra on,
mul culturalism and the rise of the
extreme right)
Paper 1: Listening, Reading and Transla on
1 hour 50 minutes
40% of the total A Level
Listening and reading comprehension and
unseen transla on German to English.
Paper 2: Wri ng
2 hours 40 minutes
30% of the total A Level
Two essays and unseen transla on English to
Paper 3: Speaking
21-23 minute exam (with 5 minutes prepara on)
30% of the total A Level
Discussion of a s mulus card on one of the
main themes and a presenta on and discussion
of the pupil’s independent research project.
All pupils studying A Level German will have a
weekly one-to-one speaking lesson with our
German Assistant in addi on to group lessons.
What are the entry requirements for an A Level
in German?
To feel confident and cope with a language at
A Level, you must achieve a least a B at GCSE
and ideally an A.
Proposed Exam Board: Edexcel
SpecificaƟons are not yet accredited so this may
These areas of study form the basis for
conversa on, comprehension and transla on.
In addi on pupils study one literary text and
one film. Two essays, one on the film and one
on the text, are wri en in Paper 2 as part of
the final assessment at the end of the course.
One cri cal and literary, are wri en in Paper 2
as part of the final assessment at the end of
the course.
A Level linguists also complete an individual
research project that is discussed in their
speaking exam.
Head of Department, Mrs A R G Tearle
• The German Reunifica on (life in the
GDR, the fall of the Berlin wall, life in a
reunited Germany)
History is primarily about curiosity and
argument. It involves studying the past and
reaching conclusions about it. You will be
concerned with all aspects of human ac vity:
poli cs, economics, society, religion, ideas
and culture. You will examine how things
have changed, why they have changed and
with what results. You will be asked to
research informa on, assess its merits and
communicate your own opinions. You will
both defend and cri cise the views of others.
You do not need to have studied History at
GCSE but, being an essay-based subject, you
will need to have a good grade in English.
Unit 2: Conqueror and Conquest 1060-1087
Unit 3: Angevin England 1154-1216
Unit 4: Personal study
Early Modern
Unit 1: England 1509-1603
Unit 2: Luther 1515-1555
Unit 3: England 1399-1509
Unit 4: Coursework Inves ga on
The subject provides a broad and respected
qualifica on. It teaches the crucial skills of
wri ng, argument and research. It is an ideal
springboard for a wide variety of degrees and
an excellent founda on for professions in
law, the civil service and journalism, as well as
providing the clarity of reflec on and analysis
useful for careers in any branch of finance.
Unit 1: Britain 1918-1997
Studying History at A Level
Each Paper 1 op on has two points of focus:
themes (breadth) and historical
interpreta ons (depth). The four themes
focus on developments and changes over a
broad mescale and two controversies
provide an opportunity for more detailed
Course Specifics
From 2015 all History courses are linear and
exams will be sat at the end of the Upper
Sixth year. The Department offers two clear
programmes at A Level. Pupils are given a
choice of whether to follow an early modern
or modern pathway with the Edexcel Exam
Board. The Department is also considering a
medieval course, which will be offered if
there is sufficient interest.
The Pi the Elder Society
Medieval (subject to demand)
Unit 1: Crusades 1095-1204
The Value of History as an Academic Subject
Your study will be based around the
researching and wri ng of essays. This will
involve wider reading, planning and execu ng
essays on topics studied and discussed in
class. The School Library has an excellent
History sec on and the Department has its
own stock of relevant tles.
Course Summaries
The Department will encourage you to widen
your historical interests by invi ng
dis nguished historians to address The Pi the
Elder Society, which all pupils will be invited to
join. The group will also meet regularly to
discuss and debate important cultural issues
around a par cular country or theme.
Head of Department, P J Griffin
Unit 2: USA 1955-1992
Unit 3: Bri sh Empire 1763-1914
Unit 4: Coursework Inves ga on
A Level Units
Unit 1: Breadth Studies with Interpreta ons
Unit 2: Depth Study
Each Unit 2 op on is focused on depth,
requiring more detailed knowledge and
understanding of the topic, and over a shorter
me period. The content is organised into
four key topics.
Unit 3: Themes in Breadth with Aspects in
This op on comprises two parts: the Aspects
in Breadth focus on long-term changes and
contextualise the Aspects in Depth, which
focus in detail on key episodes.
Unit 4: Coursework
The purpose of the coursework is to enable
pupils to develop skills in the analysis and
evalua on of interpreta ons of history in a
chosen ques on, problem or issue as part of
an independently researched assignment.
History of Art
Qualifica ons
Although no specific grades are required at
GCSE, it is an essay based subject and your
English Language skills should be good. We
expect a strong commitment to hard work
and you will need to learn to use your eyes
cri cally and intelligently so that you gain the
fullest enjoyment from this fascina ng
Course Aims
We aim to make you aware of the History of
Art as an exci ng academic discipline,
discovering the materials, styles and
techniques of ar sts and also se ng art and
architecture in an historical perspec ve. In
this context you will be taught social,
religious, poli cal and cultural history in
addi on to visual analysis of the works
Course Requirements
Weekly preps are set, mostly essays, together
with note-taking and class discussion and you
will be taken on regular visits to London,
Oxford and elsewhere to study works of art
first hand. In addi on, you are expected to
visit galleries and museums and to read and
research widely in your own me.
Visits Abroad
We arrange visits abroad. Paris, Florence,
Venice, Rome and New York are among the
ci es we have visited in the past.
Course Specifics
The examina on board (AQA) prescribes two
modules for the AS course, both taken in June
of the first year.
Head of Department, I O Young
AS Level
Module 1: Visual Analysis and Interpreta on
The study of the formal aspects of images and
how they contribute to a work’s meaning.
Module 2: Themes in the History of Art
The study of art and architecture - classical
world to the end of the 20th Century (500BC 2000AD).
It will be necessary to pass the AS examina on
modules first me to proceed to the full
A Level.
A Level
Module 3
A study of 17th Century European art and
Module 4
A study of art and architecture between 1900
and 1945.
Socie es
The History of Art Society meets during the
term with guest speakers. The purpose of the
Society is to expand pupils’ knowledge and
experience beyond the confines of the
examina on specifica ons and experience
something of the discipline as it is prac sed
beyond the School.
Course Value
This subject is considered a full academic
A Level by universi es and because of its
breadth and cross-curricular study it is
welcomed as a good Arts subject, which both
complements other Arts and/or may be
studied with non-Arts subjects. Past pupils
report that the vital essay, visual and cri cal
skills which you will acquire from this course
helped them tremendously in their university
careers. Equally importantly, they have also
enjoyed the subject and welcomed the
opportunity to travel and see works of art
first hand.
History of Art
History of Art is studied only at AS and
A Level. Very few will have much previous
knowledge and none is expected. Provided
you are commi ed to hard work and the
pleasure gained from studying beau ful,
fascina ng and interes ng works of art, we
will be delighted to teach you, to take you on
trips and to share our enthusiasm and hard
Mathema cs is one of the most useful
A Levels, being either necessary or preferred
for many degree courses in a variety of
subject areas. The skills learnt will be useful
for those wishing to study Sciences
(laboratory and social), Medicine,
Architecture, and Economics, and is essen al
for those considering courses in Maths,
Sta s cs or Engineering. Learning
Mathema cs is not just about memorising
techniques and formulae, it teaches you
thinking skills that will last a life me.
However, the main reason to choose
Mathema cs in the Sixth Form is because
you have enjoyed the subject at GCSE.
Mathema cs A Level forms a bridge between
GCSE and degree level Mathema cs. The first
module of the A Level course, Core 1, has
been designed to be approachable by anyone
who has achieved a B grade or above at GCSE.
The next three Core modules expand the
algebra, trigonometry, graphs and other
topics from GCSE and take them to a higher
level. Pupils will also learn about completely
new subject areas such as Calculus and
Logarithms. The ideas of proof and logical
reasoning are key to Mathema cs and play a
greater part in the A Level course than they
did at GCSE. Modules in Applied Maths must
also be taken (one module for AS and another
for A Level); in the Lower Sixth this is Sta s cs
and in the Upper Sixth, Mechanics.
Head of Department, M B Møller
Further Maths
We offer Further Maths at both AS and
A Level. Pupils op ng for either course should
be strong mathema cians. The minimum
expecta on is (alongside a mo vated
enthusiasm for the subject) an A* at GCSE
and experience of some extension
Mathema cs such as Addi onal Maths.
A Level Further Maths must be chosen in a
separate column to Mathema cs, although
pupils will be expected to work through the
normal A Level syllabus in the first year. In the
Upper Sixth the pupils will then focus on the
six Further Maths modules. Anyone wan ng
to study Maths beyond the Sixth Form should
be seriously considering Further Maths.
AS Further Maths is taught separately; it is
studied in four extra lessons per week and
does not prevent choices in any of the other
columns. The three modules are spread over
two years with one module taken in Lower
Sixth and two more in the Upper Sixth. This
course covers a range of exci ng and
demanding topics such as complex numbers,
matrix algebra, vectors and proof by
induc on.
We follow the Edexcel specifica on for Maths
and Further Maths A Level.
Endorsement Maths
Pupils entering the Sixth Form who have not
achieved a grade C or above at GCSE are
required to retake their Maths GCSE at the
end of their first term in the Lower Sixth year.
Regular classes are provided so that the
syllabus content can be thoroughly revised.
These classes are usually very small and pupils
benefit greatly from the individual a en on.
Media Studies
The Course
Study of the Media
The A Level Media Studies course comprises
the close study of a wide range of media
texts, together with a component of prac cal
coursework at AS and A2 Level. Successful
candidates usually enjoy engaging in new
ideas and debates, and crea ng their own
media products, learning filming, print and, if
they choose, web-building techniques. A high
grade in English Language GCSE is desirable
but they are not required to have prior media
technical experience.
Media Studies is a rigorous, academic subject
that combines theore cal analysis, industry
relevance, prac cal produc on and cri cal
debate. Learners develop analy cal and
crea ve skills, develop their communica on,
teamwork and problem solving skills as well as
working independently, developing their skills
of self-reflec on.
The AS course comprises two units: Unit 1 is
externally assessed. In Sec on A pupils
prepare for four short ques ons on either
print or audio visual s mulus. In Sec on B
pupils answer a ques on using material from
their prepared cross media study. Unit 2 is an
coursework unit where pupils choose from a
menu of set briefs and produce two linked
prac cal media-produc on pieces plus a 1500
word evalua on of their work.
For A2 study, the external assessment again
involves responding to unseen s mulus for
Sec on A while Sec on B requires an essay
based response to a choice of two topics
which pupils have researched to create
independent case studies on Iden es and
the Media, and The Impact of New/Digital
Media. A2 internally assessed coursework is a
2000 word cri cal inves ga on and a linked
prac cal media produc on piece. Both AS and
A2 exams are 2 hours long.
Media Studies allows pupils to combine
learning about culture and society with
examining ma ers of na onal debate. Issues
surrounding how far the media reports on
society and how far it now drives society will
be considered via a range of contemporary
examples, such as exploring issues
surrounding the power of the media to
influence an electorate or sway public opinion
and even shape poli cal policy. Pupils will be
expected to engage in current media-related
Many leading universi es provide
undergraduate and/or postgraduate courses
in Media Studies (or closely related tles).
Among the Russell Group these include LSE,
Edinburgh, Newcastle, Kings, Leeds and
Liverpool. Other more voca onal universi es,
such as Oxford Brooks, offer a wide range of
different Media Studies courses, some standalone and others combined with a range of
other subjects.
Media Studies can be taken with any
combina on of subjects. It works well
alongside A Levels in English, Art, Business,
Economics, Poli cs, and Religious Studies.
Pupils also take it with subjects like A Level
History, Drama, Geography and sciences to
demonstrate a breadth of study and an
understanding of contemporary issues.
Media Studies
For 2016 entry, Media Studies is s ll a
modular course, so candidates at Stowe will
enter for the AS and A2 Level, following the
AQA (2570) GCE qualifica on in Media
Studies. The intermediate AS qualifica on in
Media Studies is completed in the first year of
the Sixth Form, with the final A2 examina ons
being taken at the end of the Upper Sixth year
to complete the full A Level qualifica on. The
A Level qualifica on comprises both prac cal
coursework with wri en suppor ng materials
and wri en examina ons. Each unit is equally
The subject is wholly relevant to the
contemporary world - the media has a
powerful overt and covert influence on our
lives, encoding key messages, themes, values
and ideologies. Moral and ethical debates are
key components of the Media Studies A Level.
A Level Music becomes linear from 2016. We
will be following Edexcel’s new specifica on.
Performing Music (30%)
This gives pupils the opportunity to publically
perform as soloists. Pupils can choose music
in any style, and can perform either as a
soloist or part of an ensemble. Any
instrument and/or voice combina ons are
acceptable as part of a performance las ng a
minimum of eight minutes. The performance
is recorded a er 1 March.
Composing (30%)
Pupils compose two pieces; at least one
composi on must be to a brief set by Edexcel.
Pupils may either compose a second piece to
a second brief, or produce a free composi on.
The first composi on must be at least four
minutes in length, whilst the second
composi on must be at least a minute long.
The total me for both composi ons must be
not less than six minutes.
Developing Musical Understanding (40%)
This unit assesses pupils’ knowledge of
musical elements and contexts. Pupils study
three pieces from six areas of study, including
Instrumental Music, Music for Film, Popular
Music and Jazz, Fusions and Vocal Music.
Pupils sit a two-hour paper.
Head of Academic Music, A T P Aitken
A Level Music gives pupils the opportuni es to
further develop their performance skills, as
well as refine their ability to analyse more
complex musical works.
Pupils get the opportunity to study a diverse
repertoire: from Bach to the Beatles and
Batman, via Mozart, Debussy and Cage.
Areas of study for set works:
Vocal Music
Instrumental Music
Music for Film
Popular Music and Jazz
New Direc ons
Pupils also develop their knowledge of
harmony and the history of Music, and are
introduced to many of the key works of the
musical canon through their listening work.
All A Level pupils are given regular
performance opportuni es with specialist
Music Technology
With the opening of the Chung Music School in
2014, the School has invested heavily in the
latest so ware and equipment available to
enjoy all aspects of Music Technology. It
includes a state of the art recording studio,
mul ple live performance spaces, the latest in
professional sequencing so ware (Cubase) and
studio so ware (Pro Tools). This subject is most
suited to Stoics who wish to follow a degree
course in Music Produc on or Pop and Jazz
Music. Candidates are also strongly
encouraged to take Grade 5 Theory over the
year if they have not yet taken it.
A Level
AS Level
Pupils will learn and use a variety of Music and
Music Technology skills in order to complete
this unit. MIDI sequencing and mul -track
recording, as well as arranging skills, are all key
components assessed through the prac cal
work. Pupils must complete three tasks:
• Task 1A: Sequenced Realised Performance
• Task 1B: Mul -track Recording
• Task 1C: Crea ve Sequenced Arrangement
Pupils will produce an audio CD containing
three tracks of work as specified in the three
tasks above. Pupils will also submit a logbook
which will detail equipment used and be used
to answer two assessed ques ons on their
crea ve sequenced arrangement. The work is
to be done under controlled coursework
condi ons.
Unit 2: Listening and Analysing
30% of the total AS marks
15% of the total A Level
Pupils are required to study the development
of popular music styles from 1910 through to
the present day. This is not intended to be a
comprehensive and in-depth study of every
popular, jazz or rock music style, but an
overview of the main styles and trends during
the development of popular music. Two special
focus styles will be selected each year for more
in depth study.
1 hour 45 minute listening examina on
Head of Academic Music, A T P Aitken
Unit 3 builds on skills acquired in Unit 1, and
extends these to include a composi on task.
Pupils must complete three tasks:
• Task 3A: Sequenced Integrated
• Task 3B: Mul -track Recording
• Task 3C: Composing Using Music
Pupils will produce an audio CD containing
three tracks of work as specified in the three
tasks above. They will also present a logbook
which will provide informa on on the
resources used in each task. The work is to be
done under controlled coursework condi ons.
Unit 4: Analysing and Producing
20% of the total A Level
The examina on will test pupils’ musical
understanding, their ability to manipulate and
correct recorded music and their ability to
write commentaries on technological
processes. They will also be tested on their
ability to produce a balanced stereo mix.
2 hour examina on
Music Technology
Unit 1: Music Technology Por olio 1
70% of the total AS marks
35% of the total A Level
Unit 3: Music Technology Por olio 2
30% of the total A Level
“Not only is the Universe stranger than we
think, it is stranger than we can think.”
Werner Heisenberg
2. Par cles and Radia on
3. Waves
Physics challenges our imagina ons with
concepts like me dila on and the quantum
world. It has led to amazing discoveries like
lasers and computers, technologies which
change our lives - from imaging techniques to
observe inside the body in 3D and real me to
developing sustainable energy solu ons.
7. Fields
What makes a good Physicist?
The key ingredient is a curious, ques oning
mind. Physicists deploy a mixture of
experimental and analy cal skills, and crea ve
flair, but there is no norm. Some have a
theore cal leaning; others excel as prac cal
or computa onal inves gators. Some are very
analy cal in their approach to the subject,
others more intui ve.
A Level is one of the most enjoyable mes to
study Physics. It is complicated enough to be
an intellectual challenge, but s ll possible to
visualise. At Stowe we have moved to the
AQA-A syllabus which is an up-to-date course
with great modern resources.
Prac cal Work
1. Measurements and Their Errors
Physics is crucial to understanding the world
around us, the world inside us, and the world
beyond us. It is the most basic and
fundamental science. It encompasses the
study of the Universe to the smallest
subatomic par cles.
Physicists are problem solvers. Their analy cal
skills make physicists versa le and adaptable,
so they work in a huge variety of places.
Physicists bring a broad perspec ve to any
problem. They develop the ability to consider
problems from a variety of situa ons and are
not bound by context. This incen ve thinking
makes physicists desirable in any field with
careers in journalism, law, finance, medicine,
engineering, compu ng, astronomy, biology
and many more.
First Year
A list of prac cal ac vi es which pupils must
carry out is supplied by the examina on board
and examina on ques ons will be based
around these prac cals. However many more
prac cals will be performed to reinforce the
concepts being taught. Physics is a prac cal
subject and this is an important element of
the course.
Head of Department, R J Carpenter
4. Mechanics and Energy
5. Electricity
Second Year
6. Further Mechanics and Thermal Physics
8. Nuclear Physics
Plus one op on from:
• Astronomy
• Medical Physics
• Engineering Physics
• Turning Points in Physics
• Electronics
The final examina ons consist of three papers:
Paper One (34%)
Content - topics 1-5
Wri en exam - 2 hours
Ques ons - mul ple choice, short and long
ques ons
Paper Two (34%)
Content - topics 6-8
Wri en exam - 2 hours
Ques ons - mul ple choice, short and long
ques ons
Paper Three (32%)
Content - prac cal skills, data analysis and the
op on topic
Wri en exam - 2 hours
Ques ons - longer ques ons
“Photons have mass? I didn’t even know they
were Catholic.”
Woody Allen
Poli cs iden fies how governments work and
how people interact with their poli cal
system. It does not train one to be a poli cian
nor does it require the pupil to have strong
party poli cal beliefs. The Poli cs
specifica on will turn linear for first teaching
in September 2017, which means pupils will
s ll have AS exams available in June for two
more years. There is therefore no change to
the course.
In the Lower Sixth the main area of study is
Britain. The role of the public is considered in
terms of how we can influence government
and the ins tu ons of state are studied.
Changes are con nually made to the UK’s
cons tu on and it is important to understand
how these affect poli cal systems, for
example, reform of the House of Lords,
Sco sh independence and the Human Rights
Act 1998. The increased role of the EU is
crucial in Bri sh poli cs and the debate of
whether the UK should integrate further, or
get out, is inves gated. AS Poli cs is studied
in two units; Unit 1 and Unit 2. Each is
examined in a separate 80 minute exam in
In the Upper Sixth the American system of
government is analysed. The US Cons tu on
is codified, and pupils study the separa on of
power it establishes between Congress, the
President and the Supreme Court. Federalism
is also fully covered by the course and the
interac on between the people and American
ins tu ons of state. Democrats and
Republicans are studied in detail alongside
pressure group influence and racial and
ethnic issues. A2 Poli cs is studied in two
units; Unit 3C and Unit 4C. Each is examined
in a separate 90 minute exam in June.
AS - Government and Poli cs of the UK
Unit 1: People and Poli cs
How the Bri sh public interact with the
poli cal system through elec ons, poli cal
par es and pressure groups. The concept of
democracy is also considered and an
evalua on of whether or not the UK is a truly
democra c na on.
Head of Department, C L Barker
Unit 2: Governing the UK
The ins tu ons of state are studied, including
Parliament, the PM and Cabinet, Civil Service
and Judiciary. The nature of the Bri sh
cons tu on is flexible and therefore always
evolving; does this cause problems for civil
liber es in a new age of terrorist ac vity?
A Level - American Government and Poli cs
Unit 3C: Representa ve Processes in the USA
Inves gates how elec ons operate in the US
and whether the cult of personality really
ma ers. Is there any real difference between
Republicans and Democrats? Furthermore,
pressure group influence and racial tensions
are considered.
Unit 4C: Governing the USA
The Cons tu on is studied and its influence
over all aspects of US Government analysed.
The roles of President and Congress are
evaluated in the light of the inten ons of the
Founding Fathers and the Cons tu on. The
role of the Supreme Court as guardian of the
Cons tu on is considered.
Combina ons, Skills Needed and
Poli cs is normally studied with other
Humani es and Social Sciences, such as
Economics, History and Geography. Poli cs
may also be chosen by those who are
primarily scien sts but who are looking for a
broadening, fourth AS. The skills required are
similar to the skills required of a good
geographer or historian but most important is
an ac ve interest in the current poli cal
climate. Pupils who do not take an interest in
the everyday news are at a disadvantage. At
least a B grade in History or an equivalent
GCSE will normally be expected. Poli cs is an
extremely popular university course, o en in
combina on with subjects such as Economics,
Management, and Philosophy. Poli cs is also
highly regarded for those pupils considering
studying Law at university. Poli cal scien sts
then progress to a wide variety of
management careers.
Examina on Board: Edexcel
Religious Studies
Religion and Philosophy has always been, and
con nues to be for us today, a powerful
driving force in society for good and ill. It
affects us all, whether or not we are believers.
A knowledge of religion is needed to inform
our own poli cal and social understanding, to
enlighten the subtle es of literature and to
aid our understanding of history. Beyond this,
the study of Religious Studies and Philosophy
is a fascina ng one, interes ng for its own
sake and useful in that it sharpens the mind
and provides an insight into the study of ideas
and their accompanying debates. It forces you
to examine your own ideas and raises
ques ons where before you thought there
were none. The focus on developing
analy cal skills means that Religious Studies
qualifica ons are held in high regard by
universi es and employers.
You do not need to have studied Religious
Studies at GCSE to take it at A Level. However,
you should not be daunted by essay wri ng
and must be willing to do background reading
and research, and be ready to par cipate in
class discussion. This course is open to pupils
of any religious persuasion or none.
Religious Studies
Our A Level Religious Studies pupils will
frequently go on to study subjects such as
Theology or Philosophy. We have had
successful Oxbridge candidates in recent
years, but other common choices are English,
History, Law, Languages, Drama, Geography,
History of Art, and even subjects such as
Engineering when Religious Studies has been
the ‘third’ A Level. Religious Studies graduates
frequently move into careers in the Media,
Publishing, Banking, Management, the Civil
Service - and even Teaching.
Head of Department, C S Bray
The course provides an in-depth study of
Philosophy of Religion, Ethics and one chosen
There will be three exam papers taken at the
end of the Upper Sixth year:
Paper 1: Philosophy of Religion (9RS0/01)
Philosophical issues and ques ons about the
nature and existence of God; the nature and
influence of religious experience; problems of
evil and suffering; philosophical language;
cri ques of religion (atheism), both
psychological and sociological; views about
life a er death across a range of religious
tradi ons; the debates between religion and
Paper 2: Religion and Ethics (9RS0/02)
Environmental ethics; equality; war and
peace; sexual ethics; medical ethics; a study
of ethical theories; Meta-ethics; the
rela onship between religion and morality.
Paper 3: A Study of Religion (9RS0/4A-F)
An in-depth study of a chosen religion - yet to
be decided.
Studying Spanish at A Level gives learners the
opportunity to develop their understanding of
not only the Spanish language, but also the
Hispanic World, through the study of Spanish
in cultural and literary contexts.
The language used at A Level is more
sophis cated than that which is used at GCSE
and all four skills (listening, reading, speaking
and wri ng) are assessed.
Language work is focused on areas of study
that are contemporary, age-appropriate and
engaging. These should inspire learners to
take part in lively discussions and debates.
One of the most important skills learners will
develop is the ability to express and defend
different points of view in Spanish.
Course Content
Four main themes are covered at A Level:
• Changes in Spanish Society (the family
unit, the working world and the tourist
• Poli cal and Ar s c Culture in the
Hispanic World (music, the media,
fes vals and tradi ons)
• Immigra on and Spanish Society (a brief
history of immigra on in Spain and the
benefits/challenges of mul culturalism)
• Franco’s Dictatorship and the Transi on
to Democracy (the Spanish Civil War, life
under Franco, the impact of history on
Spain today)
Paper 1: Listening, Reading and Transla on
1 hour 50 minutes
40% of the total A Level
Listening and reading comprehension and an
unseen transla on from Spanish to English.
Paper 2: Wri ng
2 hours 40 minutes
30% of the total A Level
Two essays and an unseen transla on from
English to Spanish.
Paper 3: Speaking
21-23 minute exam (with 5 minutes prepara on)
30% of the total A Level
Discussion of a s mulus card on one of the
main themes and a presenta on and
discussion of the pupil’s independent
research project.
All learners studying A Level Spanish will have
a weekly one-to-one speaking session with
one of our Spanish Assistants in addi on to
group lessons.
What are the entry requirements for an A Level
in Spanish?
In order to cope with studying Spanish at
A Level, all learners must have achieved a
least a B at GCSE. Ideally, A Level Hispanists
will have achieved an A or A*.
Proposed Exam Board: Edexcel
SpecificaƟons are not yet accredited so this
may change.
These areas of study form the basis for
conversa on, comprehension and transla on
In addi on, pupils study one literary text and
one film. Two essays, one on the film and one
on the text, are wri en in Paper 2 as part of
the final assessment at the end of the course.
Head of Department, Miss C Stirzaker
Sports Science
Sports Science is well established at Stowe,
with a very experienced department of
teaching staff.
Requirements for A Level Candidates
• A deep interest in sport in its broadest
• A high level of spor ng ability is an
advantage but certainly not a necessity
• Ideally B grades in GCSE Science and
Candidates will study the following areas:
Physiological Aspects
In this sec on of the course the pupils learn
about the body and how it is affected by
exercise and training. Topics include anatomy,
the muscular system and the mechanics of
movement, nutri on for sport, sports injuries,
a study of the cardiovascular and respiratory
systems, the components of fitness and how
to test them. The following are also covered
in depth: the physiology of muscles; causes of
fa gue and recovery; physiology of elite
athletes; the energy systems and
Psychological Aspects
This sec on leads to an understanding of how
psychological factors affect performance, how
skills are learnt and improved and how
informa on is processed, as well as the most
effec ve methods of prac ce. With further
study of the ways in which the mind can
affect the performance for elite sportspeople
considered, with topics including group
dynamics, leadership, stress management,
aggression and personali es.
Sports Science
Sociological Aspects
The pupils study the influence of sport on
society. The effects of racism, gender
inequali es, impairments and class issues
which performers face in modern sport are
inves gated. The effect of the following on
sport are considered: commercialism, media,
professionalism, drugs in sport, talent
iden fica on, technology and hooliganism.
The impact of World Games, such as the
Olympics, are studied in depth.
Head of Department, P R Arnold
Non-Exam Assessment
Pupils are assessed as a performer or coach
in the full sided version of one ac vity. The
candidates will also need to analyse,
understand and correct areas of weakness in
their play by applying the physiological,
psychological and cultural aspects learned in
the theory course.
Due to the broad nature of the subject, there
are several poten al career opportuni es
such as sports science, physiotherapy, sports
organisa on and management, teaching/
coaching, media, business, sports marke ng,
or as a performer.
Examina on Assessment
Paper 1
2 hour theory paper
35% of A Level
Factors affec ng par cipa on in physical
ac vity and sport.
Sec on A: Applied Anatomy and Physiology
Sec on B: Skill Acquisi on
Sec on C: Sport and Society
Paper 2
2 hour theory paper
35% of A Level
Factors affec ng op mal performance in
physical ac vity and sport.
Sec on A: Exercise Physiology and
Sec on B: Sport Psychology
Sec on C: Sport and Society and Technology
in Sport
Please note that the Exam Board and
specificaƟons are not yet confirmed and
therefore may change.
Upper Sixth Leavers 2015
UK Universi es (Year of entry 2015)
UK Universi es (Entry deferred un l 2016)
University Abroad
Other (Post A Level Applica on etc.)
Russell Group
King’s College London
London School of Economics
No ngham
1994 Group
Royal Holloway, London
University Alliance
De Mon ort
Manchester Met
No ngham Trent
Oxford Brookes
Univ of the West of England
Million+ Group
Leeds Metropolitan
Leeds College of Art
Liverpool Ins tute for Performing Arts
Royal Agricultural
St Andrews
St Mary
York St John
Stowe North American Applicants 2015 (2 Leavers 2015): Accep ng Ins tu ons
New York
North Eastern
Stowe UCAS Applicants 2015: Subject Groups Studied
Biological Sciences
Vet Science, Agriculture and related
Physical Sciences
Maths and Computer Science
Compu ng
Architecture, Building and Planning
Social Studies
Business and Administra ve Studies
Mass Comms
Classics, Linguis cs
European Languages
Non-European Languages and related
Historical and Philosophical Studies
Crea ve Arts and Design
Higher Education Destinations of Stoics
Stowe UCAS Applicants 2015 (110 Leavers 2015 + 33 Old Stoics): Accep ng Ins tu ons
A Level Examina on Results 2015⁺
Last Year’s Examination Results
Classics: La n
DT Product Design - Graphics
DT Product Design - RMT
Drama and Theatre Studies
English Literature
Extended Project (EPQ)
History of Art
Mathema cs
Further Mathema cs
Music Technology
Poli cs
Religious Studies
Sport and PE
Tex le Design
A Level
% pass rate of A Level exams taken
% pass rate at A Level grade A* - B
⁺Results correct as of 18 November 2015
Stowe School
MK18 5EH
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│ [email protected]