Sixth Form

Overview of the Sixth Form Curriculum

In the Sixth Form, you take either three or four subjects for A-Level or Pre-U. In all but a handful of subjects, either all or the vast majority of public examinations papers will be taken at the end of the Upper Sixth year. This approach means that you will be given the time and space to develop intellectually at your own pace before having to sit high-stakes public examinations. It also allows your teachers to adopt a more coherent and holistic approach to their teaching of each subject. Unlike some schools, which are having to adjust their teaching programmes radically in order to meet the demands of the changing public examination system, IPS’s Sixth Form curriculum has been a predominantly linear one for several years.  We are very well placed to deliver the new, post-reform GCE Advanced Level syllabi. The Extended Project Qualification, taken by all our pupils, carries the same weight as an AS-Level, so long as it is taken at Level 3.

You will find an overview of the courses in the IPS Sixth Form Handbook (available on request). Use this to determine those in which you might be interested and then visit the staff at the relevant display at the Sixth Form Open Evening for more detailed information. This takes place in the Autumn Term of the year prior to entry, and staff will be there to tell you about the course and to advise you whether your strengths and abilities make you well suited to undertake it.

We do not prescribe the combination of subjects you should take but we do have the experience to recommend an appropriate course based on your strengths, interests and aspirations. That said, one of the great features of the IPS Senior Curriculum leading up to PVI is that, if you have worked hard at IGCSE studies, you will have the academic background to take almost any of the subjects on offer. You may be interested in subjects that are new to you, such as Classical Civilisation, Economics, History of Art, Politics, Psychology or Philosophy, or you may prefer to pursue your favourite subject in much greater depth. Whatever combination you choose (before Easter prior to entry), we shall construct the timetable to accommodate it. It can be helpful to select at least one subject that contrasts with the others to demonstrate your breadth of study, unless your university aspirations are firm and the entry requirements for that course dictate the choice of certain subjects. At the end of the Sixth Form Information Booklet is a general list of prerequisite subjects for certain university courses; you should look at the individual university’s website or handbook to check what is required, as these change regularly.

We currently offer the subjects displayed below in the Sixth Form, via either GCE A-Level specifications or Pre-U Principal Subjects (Art and Design, Music, Philosophy). Details of Examination Boards may be obtained by contacting



Business and Management


Classical Civilisation


Drama and Theatre Studies




Further Mathematics



Government and Politics


History of Art

Latin and Greek

Mandarin Chinese







Choosing your subjects

It is normal for some Sixth Form entrants to be unsure about their subject choices. Even if you are certain, it is an important decision so it is sensible to think as clearly as you can about why you are making your selection.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • What really excites you about the subject?
  • How much reading is involved?
  • How long is the preparation for a science practical or art assignment? If you are considering Drama or Music, how much rehearsal time is needed?
  • How often will you be preparing essays?

Do not worry if you are not sure what you want to do afterwards. You will go to university to study something that interests you. You may not use the knowledge you gain from your degree in your career but your skills will be transferable. It is important, though, that you ascertain the requirements of any university to which you aspire before making a final selection of A-Level or Pre-U subjects.

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