Making the right A-level choice is of huge importance, and we are here to offer advice and support. We host an A-level Choices evening in the January of Year 11, and the information on these pages is designed to help inform you as to the course, assessment structure and possible onward path for each subject.

Entry requirements

The reformed A-levels are rigorous, challenging qualifications, so to access Sixth Form courses at Epsom successfully, a student must have achieved at least seven GCSEs at grade 6 or better.

To study a particular subject at A-level a grade 7 is required in that subject at GCSE.  For the more technical subjects (mathematics, science and Modern Languages) a grade 8 is required.

Focused academic support

Once you join the Sixth Form, you are welcomed into a diverse and vibrant community of students, teachers and friends. There are 350 young people across the two year groups, which means that each one receives tailored individual attention.

Every student has a personal academic tutor who monitors performance, agrees targets and ensures best working practices are being followed: there are frequent one-to-one conversations between student and tutor but, importantly, the student owns the process.

Standards are high, with the overwhelming majority of students securing places at leading Russell Group universities.

Curriculum structure

The curriculum structure is based on students studying three principal subjects to A-level or Pre-U.

These are supplemented with a core curriculum in which students will choose an option that provides breadth and develops key skills essential for the student’s future.

Find out more about the Core Curriculum

Pre-U courses

Pre-U courses – currently offered in English Literature and Mandarin – are graded differently to A-levels. They are awarded distinction, merit or pass grades.

Universities regard these qualifications highly, judging them to be academically rigorous and excellent preparation for degree-level study.

For detailed information about the entire range of courses offered in the Sixth Form, click the subject headings below.

The new A-level Art specification allows students to experience a really wide range of skills and techniques, allowing individual expertise to develop to a far greater depth. Students must also exercise personal judgement as they select, curate and present a convincing and sophisticated body of work.

Course outline and specification.

We follow OCR GCE Fine Art (code H601), because it is the broadest and most inclusive specialism under the Art and Design umbrella, offering the greatest opportunities for our students.

Students can refine the traditional skills of drawing, painting and printmaking, but they can also work in photography, film, mixed media, installation and three dimensions.

Students are required to find personal direction and develop individual specialist skills. The resulting work will inevitably be original and highly personal.

The course is made up of two units: The Personal Investigation (coursework unit) and the Externally Set Task (the practical exam).

Personal Investigation

This is made up of two integrated elements: a portfolio of practical work and a written study which explores the context in which the students’ chosen practical area of study exists. The related study is marked in its own right.

The Personal Investigation runs throughout the Lower Sixth and through the Michaelmas term of the Upper Sixth; it accounts for 60% of the A-level mark.

Through this part of the A-level, students are constantly refining their skills in order to produce an original and resolved portfolio of work. Personal strengths are identified and then allowed to refine and mature to an impressive and sophisticated level.

Externally Set Task

At the start of the Lent term students embark on the Externally Set Task. The exam paper is released at the start of February and is resolved in a 15-hour practical exam.

Students respond to a question paper that provides them with a range of written and visual starting points, briefs and stimuli. From this, students select one to develop their work around. They will continue to build on their individual specialist skills. The Externally Set Task accounts for the final 40% of the A-level mark.

The facilities are impressive at Epsom, with a dedicated and fully-equipped studio, and Apple Macs with Adobe Photoshop allowing students to become expert at digital manipulation and techniques.

100% of our A-level students achieved A* in 2017.

The course exposes students to art and image making using new media techniques. Students will be taught a wide range of digital imagery skills using digital cameras and Mac computers. This is primarily a photographic course and integration with other art techniques is encouraged. Typically this will include:

  • Digital Photography: students learn how to master dSLR cameras and image-making using lens and light-based media
  • Digital Art: students learn how graphic designers, web designers and digital artists create art on the computer
  • Photography Studio: students learn how to use the professionally-equipped photography studio to create their art
  • Multimedia and lens-based imagery: in previous years students have created short films
  • Traditional darkroom and modern digital photographic techniques are taught

Course outline.

We follow the WJEC Art & Design, Photography syllabus. It is comprised of two components, a Personal Investigation and an Externally Set Assignment.

Personal Investigation

The Personal Investigation, worth 60% of the overall mark, comprises two parts:

  • A major in-depth practical investigative portfolio. This is a personal portfolio of artwork where students are free to decide which themes and ideas they wish to investigate
  • An extended written element of 1,000 words minimum, which relates to the student’s practical work.

Externally Set Assignment

The Externally Set Assignment involves creating a portfolio of work in response to a topic set by the exam board. This portfolio and final images will count for 40% of the final grade.

Students will be taught various creative techniques, and how to manipulate images digitally. This involves using digital photography, the photography studio, and post-production techniques such as Photoshop and Aperture.

Biology has been a core part of Epsom since its foundation in 1855, thanks to the College’s strong links with the Royal Medical Foundation.

Biology at Epsom enjoys excellent state of the art resources such as genetic engineering machinery including a PCR machine, along with a wealth of natural history specimens due to the presence of our very own museum.

Teaching is conducted by a team of highly-qualified subject experts from a range of biological interests including cancer and entomology.

A-level Biology is a demanding course that aims to develop the intellectual and practical abilities needed to understand the Biological and Medical Sciences as they exist today. It suits students who are able to rapidly assimilate and apply large volumes of factual information and who are both self-disciplined and organised with a genuine interest in the subject.

Subject requirements.

Students coming in to study Biology at A-level will be well served with a Grade 9 or 8 at IGCSE/GCSE. A strong grounding in Chemistry is desirable due to the biochemistry and molecular biology throughout the course.

Mathematical skills make up 10% of the assessment and students need to have a sound grasp of arithmetic including being able to solve algebraic equations, draw and interpret graphs and select and use statistical tests.

Course overview.

The A-level course follows the Edexcel B syllabus and looks at four core topics in each year. Practical work
is at the heart of the course and this involves both lab work and fieldwork to encompass the ecological nature of the A-level course.

The Lower Sixth year focuses on core topics 1-5, and the Upper Sixth on Core Topics 6-10:

  1. Biological molecules
  2. Cells, Viruses and Reproduction of Living Things
  3. Classification and Biodiversity
  4. Exchange and Transport
  5. Energy for Biological Processes.
  6. Microbiology and Pathogens
  7. Modern Genetics
  8. Origins of Genetic Variation
  9. Control Systems
  10. Ecosystems.

Exams are at the end of the Upper Sixth and there are three papers:

  • Paper 1 (1hr 45m) covers content studied topics 1-7
  • Paper 2 (1hr 45m) tests the content from topics 1-4, 8-10
  • Paper 3 (2hrs 30m) tests content on any of the topics from the two-year course.

Students are also expected to carry out 16 core practical experiments that are identified in the content.

Throughout the Sixth Form, the Biology department provides plenty of opportunities for delving beyond the A-level syllabus through the Biology Extension sessions, Biology Olympiad, Medical Society, field trips, visiting speakers and also visits to laboratories and sites of biological interest.

Business is a dynamic and contemporary subject taught by an experienced and passionate team. You will study organisations of all sizes, from start-ups to multinationals, and focus on the key areas of:

  • marketing
  • finance
  • human resources
  • operations

Subject requirements.

A sound level of numeracy is an advantage, but not a prerequisite of the course. The course also requires a good level of reading comprehension.

The main requirement is an interest in business affairs and a desire to find out how businesses operate. Business combines well with many different subject combinations.

Course overview.

We follow the Edexcel Advanced-Level GCE in Business (9BS0).

The course is structured into four themes and consists of three externally examined papers. Students are introduced to business through building knowledge of core business concepts and applying these to business contexts, in order to broaden their understanding of how businesses work.

This knowledge and understanding is given additional breadth and depth, with applications to a wider range of contexts and more complex business information. This requires students to take a more strategic view of business opportunities and issues.

Theme One – Marketing and People

  • meeting customer needs
  • the market
  • marketing mix and strategy
  • managing people
  • entrepreneurs and leaders

Theme Two – Managing Business Activities

  • raising finance
  • financial planning
  • managing finance
  • resource management
  • external influences

Theme Three – Business Decisions and Strategy

Developing the ideas introduced in Theme Two, students will focus on:

  • business objectives and strategy
  • business growth
  • decision-making techniques
  • influences on business decisions
  • assessing competitiveness
  • managing change

Theme Four – Global Business

Developing the ideas presented in Theme One, students will focus on:

  • globalisation
  • global markets and business expansion
  • global marketing
  • global industries and companies (multinational corporations)

Those choosing to study Chemistry A-level are taught by highly experienced and enthusiastic chemistry specialists, in beautiful and well-equipped laboratories, in which practical work is seen as essential.

This course will try to give you the skills and understanding to make decisions about the way chemistry affects your everyday life by applying concepts into contemporary areas of chemistry.

In addition, an A-level in Chemistry allows you to develop a range of generic skills requested by both employers and universities.

For instance, a successful A-level chemist will be an effective problem solver and be able to communicate efficiently both orally and with the written word.

Handling data will be a key part of your work, allowing you to demonstrate information-retrieval skills as well as numeracy and use of ICT.

You will build up a range of practical skills that require creativity and accuracy as well as developing a firm understanding of health and safety issues.

Chemistry is a subject in which much learning stems from experimental work. You will need to work effectively as part of a group, developing team participation and leadership skills.

As you become more skilled you will take responsibility for selecting appropriate qualitative and quantitative methods, recording your observations and findings accurately and precisely as well as critically analysing and evaluating the methodology, results and impact of your own and others’ experimental and investigative activities.

Course overview.

The course followed is a traditional and academic one that tends to suit students with strong scientific and mathematical skills. The course helps students gain an excellent understanding in the topics covered and requires them to work with practical accuracy and both numerical and written precision.

Edexcel Advanced GCE in Chemistry (2015) is the specification followed by all candidates.

Students must sit three papers totalling six hours. These are all sat during the summer of the Upper Sixth year.

You will study:

  • Formulae, equations and amounts of substance
  • Energetics
  • Atomic structure
  • Redox
  • Bonding and structure
  • Inorganic chemistry and the periodic table
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Energetics
  • Kinetics
  • Equilibrium
  • Acid-Base equilibria
  • Transition metals
  • Questions on core practicals

There are 16 core practicals that are essential to the course. These cover 12 key techniques required for the practical competency measure. Knowledge of all core practicals can be tested within the exam papers; however, there is no coursework to be completed.

A challenging, fun and exciting advanced technical and practical subject, with a strong emphasis on programming/software development, both procedural and object-oriented paradigms.

The skills you will learn on this course are directly relevant to almost all modern vocations.

Computer Science A-level is highly regarded by employers and university admissions tutors alike.

As an academic subject in its own right, Computer Science is highly challenging and rewarding. But for those wishing to make their career in this field, there is no shortage of rewarding employment opportunities; with the current worldwide demand for computing specialists, the potential is very exciting indeed.

Subject requirements.

Due to the nature of the subject content – which includes substantial computational logic, and 10% advanced Mathematics-related content – we require students to have achieved a strong Maths and English GCSE.

If a GCSE in Computer Science has been completed, this will have to be to a minimum grade 7(A).

We also suggest that applicants undertake at least the Core Maths option at A-level.

Course overview.

The course followed at Epsom is AQA Computer Science (Code 7517). This course develops an understanding of the fundamentals of computer science, and provides the knowledge and skills required for participation in an evolving, computer-dependent society.

The emphasis is on studying the principles of problem-solving, computational thinking skills, programming (procedural to object-oriented) – data structures and other current computer science areas.

Students will cover the following topics:

  • Programming – imperative procedural-oriented; object-oriented programming (OOP), recursive techniques
  • Data structures – arrays, fields, records, files (text, binary), lists, dictionaries, hash tables, queues, graphs, trees, stacks, vectors
  • Algorithms – traversal, search, sort, optimisation
  • Systematic approach to problem-solving – analysis, design, implementation, testing, evaluation)
  • Theory of Computation – abstraction, automation, language hierarchy, algorithms complexity, Turing machines
  • Communication and networking – the Internet, TCP/IP, CRUD applications and REST, JSON, JavaScript
  • Data representation – number systems/bases, information coding systems, encryption
  • Computer systems – logic gates, Boolean algebra, program translator types, classification of programming languages, system software
  • Big Data – volume/velocity/variety, fact-based model, distributed processing and functional programming
  • Databases – data modelling, relational databases, SQL, clientserver databases
  • Fundamentals of Functional Programming – function type, firstclass object, function application, composition of functions, map, filter, reduce, lists

Assessment.

At the end of the two years of study, there are two exam papers, and one non-examined module.

Paper 1

This is a 2.5 hour paper. It is a practical, on-screen examination which consists of 75-80% programming. The paper is worth  40% of the final grade.

Paper 2

This is a traditional written examination worth 40% of the final A-level grade. It also lasts 2.5 hours.

Non-Exam Assessment (NEA)

The NEA is worth 20% of final A-level grade. It starts in the second-half of Lower Sixth, and concludes by the February half term of Upper Sixth.

This provides an opportunity to consolidate and build upon the theoretical and practical elements of the other parts of the course.

You will embark on a significant programming task of your own choosing which will demonstrate your programming and problem-solving skills.

You will be assessed primarily on your programming ability, but also on your documenting skills.

Most students finish the course saying that the practical project was the most fulfilling and inspiring part of the whole A-level.

The Design Technology Department offers students an exceptionally well-equipped facility as well as excellent technical support to ensure each student can achieve their full potential.

Design and Technology is a subject that develops students’ intellectual curiosity and capacity to think creatively as their knowledge and experience of real-world contexts expands.

Learning through problem-solving, working both individually and collaboratively to develop and refine ideas creates a fun, exciting classroom dynamic, which is reinforced with theory lessons, off-site visits and further practical application of knowledge.

A Design Technology A-level can lead to many varied careers, and a raft of stimulating degrees, particularly Engineering, Architecture or Design-related courses.

Course overview.

We follow the AQA Design and Technology: Product Design specification. It requires the following:

  • an enthusiasm for all aspects of Design in our society
  • a genuine curiosity into how things work and how they could be improved
  • an enquiring mind and an ability to become independent and critical thinkers who can adapt their technical knowledge and understanding to different design situations
  • the ability to use information and communications technology (ICT) to enhance your design work
  • a passion for problem-solving, developing potential solutions further and a desire to build the products you have designed.

In addition to the 50% emphasis on examinations, students also pursue individual design interests through the project, which focuses on their ability to design and make. Design and Technology is concerned with recognising and meeting needs through the application of scientific knowledge, investigative research, the use of physical resources and the creative process essential to see potential and alternative solutions.

The theory part of the course is delivered through two areas of study:

  • Technical principles
  • Designing and making principles

Assessment.

There are two examinations, which together make up 50% of the course.

Paper 1, worth 30% of the total mark, assesses the technical principles. It is 2.5 hours long, and comprised of a mixture of short answer and extended response questions.

Paper 2, worth 20%, assesses the designing and making principles. It involves product analysis, short answer questions, questions on commercial manufacture and again a mixture of short and extended response questions.

One substantial design and make project, referred to as the Non-exam assessment (NEA), makes up the final 50%. Students will submit a digital design portfolio of evidence.

Drama & Theatre Studies is an academic subject that consistently delivers 100% A*-B success. It combines both practical and theoretical elements and explores modern and traditional works.

The lifeblood of the course is participation in professional workshops, residencies and live theatre review, working with renowned international theatre practitioners and companies.

A-level Drama is a rewarding course which develops students’ appreciation and understanding of theatre’s social, cultural and artistic function in an active forum, where they can experiment as directors, actors and designers.

Subject requirements.

While GCSE Drama is not a pre-requisite of the course, it is desirable.

A strong GCSE in English is a pre-requisite of the course, as the ability to write analytically and with flair is vital to any candidate’s success.

The other requirement is a passion for theatre arts coupled with the maturity to work with shared responsibility in the practical exams each year, both of which demand excellent time management and academic discipline.

Course overview.

There are three papers: two practical and the other written, though we approach all work practically.

Students will gain an insight into the theories and practice of three theatre practitioners and companies, whose ideas and work have transformed modern drama.

For both practical exam units, students research and apply a modern theatrical practitioner’s influence on their work as directors, designers and performers.

We have developed close links with companies including Splendid, Frantic Assembly, LET, Kneehigh and Shared Experience, as well as technical practitioners, who deliver workshops.

Our practical work is often expressionistic and highly inventive and we are the only school in the UK who offer aerial silks, hoop and trapeze circus skills, working with trained aerial specialists and choreographers.

Component One

Students reinterpret a text, applying style techniques used by a chosen practitioner or theatre company. This coursework is assessed internally. The creative adaptation is an exciting aspect of this course, allowing students to manipulate a well-known play to create a new vision and style, through their acting and technical design skills.

In addition to the performance, students will be assessed through a creative writing log, which will chart their development and process throughout rehearsals, revealing their evaluation of the piece as it is created and their own individual skill, as it is honed. This element is similar to most written devised report coursework at GCSE Drama.

Students will research a range of different practitioners, workshopping their ideas against three potential texts. Decisions are made in late November of Lower Sixth, when final play, extract, practitioner or company and skill choices are determined.

In the Lent and Summer terms, students develop and hone their ideas, culminating in a final public exam performance in May of their Lower Sixth, which counts for 10%. They then complete their Creative Log by the end of September in Upper Sixth, counting for a further 10%.

Component Two

Students develop their acting or technical design skills through Devised theatre as well as Scripted performance, responding to a given stimulus.

They study and apply the style techniques and theories of a further two practitioners or theatre companies in their approach to each performance. These performances are externally assessed and the development of skills will be supplemented by live theatre visits, professional workshops and independent research.

Again, there is a written coursework element, as students have to prepare a three-part report charting their process and evaluating their final performance.

The entire exam is fully completed by the end of the first week in March of Upper Sixth and represents 40% of the overall grade.

Component Three

Students study three set plays in close detail, developing a knowledge of the historical, cultural and political influences, answering questions on aspects of character, staging, design and performance.

The pre-1956 set text play will be Treadwell’s Machinal, whilst the post-1956 play will be Fo’s Accidental Death of an Anarchist. The third set text studied for the written paper will be Stephens’ adaptation of Haddon’s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time.

The exam demands a confident level of written expression, structuring and analytical skill, coupled with the ability to think creatively as a director, performer and designer, showing direct influence from live theatre seen on the course overall.

This is assessed in an exam at the end of the Upper Sixth and represents 40% of the overall grade.

Economics is one of the most popular A-level choices at Epsom.

The global economic climate has proved volatile since the 2008 financial crises and economic news stories continue to dominate the headlines in the light of Brexit.

At the same time, new branches of the subject, such as behavioural economics, continue to evolve and books on economics have found a new place amongst the bestseller lists.

There has never been a better time to study the subject for those students who are looking to understand the successes and failures of our economic decisions and their wider impact on society.

Economics is an incredibly wide-ranging subject where an issue is never black and white and there is always another way of looking at things. Economics equips students with the knowledge and insight to understand the choices made by households, firms and governments.

Subject requirements.

It is a distinct advantage for economists to be literate and numerate. The ability to express oneself fluently provides a distinct advantage for examination purposes.

Another essential requirement is for candidates to have an interest in economic and business affairs. As a social science, economics is versatile. Economists generally develop a broad skill set; the subject complements a wide range of other subject choices and provides a strong grounding for many higher education courses and career paths.

The department has a very successful track record with students from all ability ranges and also has a successful Oxbridge application record.

Those students who are considering reading economics at university are strongly advised to consider studying A-level Mathematics, but this is not a prerequisite for studying A-level Economics.

Course overview.

We follow the Edexcel A-level Economics A (9EC0) specification. It is structured into four themes and consists of three externally examined papers.

Students build knowledge and understanding of core economic models and concepts in Themes One and Two, and then build on this and apply their knowledge to more complex concepts and models in Themes Three and Four.

Students will need to apply their knowledge and understanding to both familiar and unfamiliar contexts in the assessments and demonstrate an awareness of current economic events and policies.

Theme One – Introduction to markets and market failure

This theme focuses on microeconomic concepts. Students will develop an understanding of:

  • the nature of economics
  • how markets work
  • market failure
  • government intervention.

Theme Two – The UK economy; performance and policies

This theme focuses on macroeconomic concepts. Students will develop an understanding of:

  • measures of economic performance
  • aggregate demand
  • aggregate supply
  • national income
  • economic growth
  • macroeconomic objectives and policy.

Theme Three – Business behaviour and the labour market

This theme develops the microeconomic concepts introduced in Theme One and focuses on business economics. Students will develop an understanding of:

  • business growth
  • business objectives
  • revenues, costs and profits
  • market structures
  • labour market
  • government intervention.

Theme Four – A global perspective

This theme develops the macroeconomic concepts introduced in Theme Two and applies these concepts in a global context. Students will develop an understanding of:

  • international economics
  • poverty and inequality
  • emerging and developing economies
  • the financial sector
  • role of the state in the macroeconomy.

Students who enjoy literature, discussion and the surprise of a fresh perspective will thrive on this course. The ability to express complex ideas with lucidity is highly regarded, and students receive guidance on how to write essays that combine clarity, sensitivity and force.

English is a subject which can support applications to almost any university course, and is one of the Russell Group’s ‘facilitating subjects’.

Someone who has studied English can construct compelling arguments from complex information, evaluating and balancing conflicting perspectives, and possesses the independence of mind that is crucial for successful future study and for adult life.

Students read widely around the course in order to become more sophisticated, discerning and knowledgeable in their response to literature. Reflections on wider reading are kept within a student reading log which acts as a catalyst for further discussion and lines of enquiry.

By the time you sit your exams in the Upper Sixth you will be a confident reader of the whole range of English Literature, fully equipped to pursue a degree course in this field. If your higher education ambitions lie elsewhere, your two years studying English will have trained you to write concisely, think independently and marshal large quantities of information, constructing pithy arguments and drawing convincing conclusions.

Each year the department runs a number of trips to the theatre and is always looking for opportunities to enrich the students’ cultural and literary experience.

In recent years, Epsom Sixth Form English students have attended a variety of lecture study days in London from eminent university professors, visited Italy on a cultural course, enjoyed a number of events from visiting writers and academics and contributed to the College Creative and Literary Society.

Every year students have gone on to top Russell Group universities to read English, and Pre-U students have enjoyed a high success rate in applying to Oxbridge.

The English Department’s enrichment program exposes students to a wealth of literature outside the A-level course along with consistent interview practice, to prepare them for further study and application to Oxbridge.

Course overview.

The Edexcel A-level in English Literature is a two-year course. At the end of the course students sit three exams and submit a coursework essay of 2,500-3,000 words.

By the end of the A-level course, students are working at an impressively sophisticated level, and achieve excellent results.

Over the course of two years, students will study eight set texts, learning about them in their literary and historical contexts, as well as completing an independent coursework essay on a question of their choice.

This 2,500-3,000-word essay gives you the opportunity to explore your own interests, choosing your own question under the expert guidance of your subject teacher.

Component 1: Drama

  • Section A: Shakespeare (one essay question, incorporating ideas from wider critical reading)
    Section B: Other drama (one essay question)

Component 2: Prose

  • One comparative essay question on two prose texts from a chosen theme (at least one of the texts must be pre-1900)

Component 3: Poetry

  • Section A: Post-2000 Specified Poetry (one comparative essay question on an unseen modern poem written post-2000 and one named poem from the studied contemporary text)
  • Section B: Specified Poetry Pre or Post-1900 (one essay question

 

Component 4: Non-examination assessment (coursework)

  • One extended comparative essay referring to two texts (advisory total word count 2,500-3,000)

The ability to speak another language and to communicate with other cultures is an ever-growing expectation in a world in which geographical distances are reduced by technology and media, and Epsom College prides itself on reflecting its international outlook in its teaching of Modern Languages.

Students will work with mostly native-speaker specialists, using cutting-edge technology and a wide range of authentic and constantly updated resources. You will also benefit from study visits to the countries.

With our sight firmly set on authenticity and concrete application of the languages taught, we are in the privileged position to offer international exams in addition to domestic ones.

The French Pearson Edexcel A-Level encourages students to develop individual and independent linguistic skills, in preparation for Extended Project Qualifications (EPQs), Oxbridge applications or pure and combined language degree courses.

The combination of society-based topics with the study of cultural works provides a strong reference framework for the future.

The DELF-DALF Diplomas provide further optional qualifications for the strongest students.

These diplomas of the European Reference Framework for Language are not only recognised worldwide by universities, employers, governments and international institutions, but also have a prestigious place on UCAS forms and with UK universities.

They are also available as standalone qualifications in the Core Curriculum.

Course overview.

Your A-level will cover four key themes.

Theme One: Les changements dans la société française

Theme One is set in the context of France only. This theme covers social issues and trends.

  • Les changements dans les structures familiales – Les changements dans les attitudes envers le mariage, les couples et la famille.
  • L’éducation – Le système éducatif et les questions estudiantines.
  • Le monde du travail – La vie active en France et les attitudes envers le travail; le droit à la grève; l’égalité des sexes.

Theme Two: La culture politique et artistique dans les pays francophones

Theme Two is set in the context of francophone countries and communities. This theme covers artistic culture (through music and festivals and traditions) and political and artistic culture (through media).

  • La musique – Les changements et les développements; l’impact de la musique sur la culture populaire.
  • Les médias – La liberté d’expression; la presse écrite et en ligne; l’impact sur la société et la politique.
  • Les festivals et les traditions – Les festivals, fêtes, coutumes et traditions.

Theme Three: L’immigration et la société multiculturelle française

Theme Three is set in the context of France only. This theme covers social issues and trends.

  • L’impact positif de l’immigration sur la société française – Les contributions des immigrés à l’économie et à la culture.
  • Répondre aux défis de l’immigration et l’intégration en France – Les activités des communautés; la marginalisation et l’aliénation du point de vue des immigrés.
  • L’extrême droite – La montée du Front National; les leaders du Front National; l’opinion publique.

Theme Four: L’Occupation et la Résistance

Theme Four is set in the context of France only. This theme covers political culture.

  • La France occupée – La collaboration; l’antisémitisme.
  • Le régime de Vichy – Maréchal Pétain et la Révolution nationale.
  • La Résistance – Jean Moulin, Charles de Gaulle et les femmes de la Résistance; la résistance des français.

Assessment.

The exam comprises three papers that assess the following skills:

Paper One: Listening, reading and translation

This is worth 40% of the A-level and lasts two hours. There are three sections:

  • Section A: Listening
  • Section B: Reading
  • Section C: Translation into English

Paper 2: Written response to works and translation

This is worth 30% of the A-level and lasts two hours and 40 minutes. It is comprised of two sections:

  • Section A: Translation into French.
  • Section B: One essay on a prescribed film and one essay on a literary text, or two essays on prescribed literary texts.

Paper 3: Speaking

This is worth 30% of the A-level. It is internally conducted and externally assessed. The assessment lasts 21-23 minutes, including 5 minutes formal preparation time.

  • Discussion of a Discussion card
  • Independent research project (presentation and discussion). This is based on a subject of personal interest, relating to the countries and communities where the language is spoken.

Geographers are charged with understanding the world through two lenses; from a geophysical perspective as well as a socio-economic one. We are concerned with understanding patterns and phenomena we observe in the world around us, be they physical or sociological.

Russell Group universities identify Geography as one of the eight facilitating subjects.

This means it is a subject most likely to be required or preferred for entry to degree courses. Choosing facilitating subjects will keep more options open to you at university.

Geography A-level also offers opportunities to learn outside the classroom through fieldtrips overseas and throughout the UK, plus to attend lectures at the Royal Geographical Society.

Course overview.

We follow the OCR syllabus which contains four separate units, three of which are assessed in exams at the end of Upper Sixth, and one which is assessed as coursework.

Physical Systems (24%)

This is a ‘physical geography’ unit in which students study Earth’s Life Support Systems, including the carbon cycle and the water cycle.

We also study a physical landscape and plan to conduct fieldwork in all areas of this unit.

At A-level, physical geography is developed in far greater detail than at GCSE and on this course, with less overlap between the physical and human areas of the subject.

This allows both physical specialists and those who prefer human geography to gain a better grasp of the concepts at hand. All aspects of physical geography are seen through the ‘systems’ lens, so the inter-relationships between all the factors which create the world we live in is at the heart of what we study.

Human Interactions (24%)

This is the ‘human geography’ component, although it is likely that this will look very different from anything you have studied in geography before. Students examine concepts more akin to those taught at university, meaning that your A-level will be extremely contemporary and exciting.

Our areas of study in this unit include:

  • Changing Spaces, Making Places (an exploration of how societies and individuals create, manipulate, and change the areas they live in)
  • Global Systems where we focus on migration patterns and how they affect countries and communities around the world.
  • Global Governance where we explore the issue of human rights, variations around the world and how these are addressed today.

Geographical Debates (32%)

This unit takes some of the most dynamic issues the planet faces and encourages us to engage with, reflect on and think critically about them.

We choose two topics exploring the interactions between people and the environment. Each topic engages us through an enquiry approach that enables us to articulate opinions and provide evidenced arguments across a range of situations.

The concepts of inequality, mitigation and adaptation, sustainability, risk, resilience and threshold underpin the Geographical debates component.

Within this unit, we have chosen to study the following options:

  • Disease Dilemmas in which we examine the geography of health and disease; the factors that affect these around the world and how we can plan to adapt to changing health conditions in the future.
  • Hazardous Earth in which we explore the nature of the geophysical hazards experienced around the world and how these work to enhance and challenge our existence.

There is the possibility of a trip to Iceland to further explore this interesting topic. This is a very exciting unit which will allow a lot of opportunity for debate and personal reflection, and which will allow all students to be fully stretched and challenged.

Independent Investigation (20%)

It is important to note that, whilst coursework is now a part of A-level geography, it is very different to anything you will have experienced at GCSE.

The key element of the new coursework component is that students have a great deal of flexibility over what they choose to investigate, and how to go about this.

We will teach all the skills required and will offer a rigorous support system to ensure all students succeed; however, the opportunity to plan and conduct your own personal investigation into the areas you are most interested in is an exciting one indeed.

A residential trip occurs in the summer term where students are taught how to plan and conduct this investigation, before completing it independently.

The ability to speak another language and to communicate with other cultures is an ever-growing expectation in a world in which geographical distances are reduced by technology and media, and Epsom College prides itself on reflecting its international outlook in its teaching of Modern Languages.

Students will work with mostly native-speaker specialists in class and speaking lessons, using cutting-edge technology and a wide range of authentic and constantly updated resources. You will also benefit from study visits to the countries.

With our sight firmly set on authenticity and concrete application of the languages taught, we are in the privileged position to offer international exams in addition to domestic ones.

The German Pearson Edexcel A-Level encourages students to develop individual and independent linguistic skills, in preparation for Extended Project Qualifications (EPQs), Oxbridge applications or pure and combined language degree courses.

The combination of society-based topics with the study of cultural works provides a strong reference framework for the future.

The German DAF Diploma provides a further optional qualification for the strongest students. This diploma is not only recognised worldwide by universities, employers, governments and international institutions, but also has a prestigious place on UCAS forms and with UK universities.

It is also available as a standalone qualification in the Core Curriculum.

Course overview.

Your German A-level will cover the following four key themes.

Theme One: Gesellschaftliche Entwicklung in Deutschland

Theme One is set in the context of Germany only. This theme covers social issues and trends.

  • Natur und Umwelt – Umweltbewusstsein; Recycling; erneuerbare Energie; nachhaltig leben.
  • Bildung – Bildungswesen und die Situation von Studenten; Sitzenbleiben, Berufsausbildung.
  • Die Welt der Arbeit – Das Arbeitsleben in Deutschland und die Arbeitsmoral; deutsche Geschäfte und Industrien

Theme Two: Politische und künstlerische Kultur im deutschen Sprachraum

Theme Two is set in the context of German-speaking countries and communities. This theme covers artistic culture (through music and festivals and traditions) and political and artistic culture (through media).

  • Musik – Wandel und Trends; Einfluss der Musik auf die populäre Kultur.
  • Die Medien – Fernsehen, Digital-, Print-und Onlinemedien; Einfluss auf Gesellschaft und Politik.
  • Die Rolle von Festen und Traditionen – Feste, Feiern, Sitten, Traditionen.

Theme Three: Immigration und die deutsche multikulturelle Gesellschaft

Theme Three is set in the context of Germany only. This theme covers social issues and trends.

  • Die positive Auswirkung von Immigration – Beitrag der Immigranten zur Wirtschaft und Kultur.
  • Die Herausforderungen von Immigration und Integration – Maßnahmen von Gemeinden und örtlichen Gemeinschaften; Ausgrenzung und Entfremdung aus der Sicht von Immigranten.
  • Die staatliche und soziale Reaktion zur Immigration – Rechtsextremismus; politische Annäherung an Gastarbeiter, Immigranten und Asylbewerber; die öffentliche Meinung.

Theme Four: Die Wiedervereinigung Deutschlands

Theme Four is set in the context of Germany only. This theme covers political culture.

  • Die Gesellschaft in der DDR vor der Wiedervereinigung – Arbeit; Wohnungswesen; kommunistische Prinzipien; das Verhältnis zum Westen.
  • Ereignisse vor der Wiedervereinigung – Der Zusammenbruch des Kommunismus; der Fall der Berliner Mauer.
  • Deutschland seit der Wiedervereinigung – Migrations von Ost nach West; Arbeitslosigkeit in der früheren DDR; Auswirkungen auf Schulen in Deutschland.

Assessment.

The exam comprises three papers that assess the following skills:

Paper One: Listening, reading and translation

This is worth 40% of the A-level and lasts two hours. There are three sections:

  • Section A: Listening
  • Section B: Reading
  • Section C: Translation into English

Paper 2: Written response to works and translation

This is worth 30% of the A-level and lasts two hours and 40 minutes. It is comprised of two sections:

  • Section A: Translation into German.
  • Section B: One essay on a prescribed film and one essay on a literary text, or two essays on prescribed literary texts.

Paper 3: Speaking

This is worth 30% of the A-level. It is internally conducted and externally assessed. The assessment lasts 21-23 minutes, including 5 minutes formal preparation time.

  • Discussion of a Discussion card
  • Independent research project (presentation and discussion). This is based on a subject of personal interest, relating to the countries and communities where the language is spoken.

We offer a well-known and highly regarded course from Edexcel to study A-level in Government and Politics. Students are examined in three parts, which they study over both of their years in the Epsom Sixth Form. The structure of the course looks like this:

  • Component 1: UK Politics and Core Politics Ideas
  • Component 2: UK Government and Non-core Politics Ideas
  • Component 3: US Government and Comparative Politics.

There is no coursework element in this A-level.

This is a highly stimulating topic of study, politics both sides of the Atlantic is in a moment of constant flux and at a fevered pitch, which means that students must be flexible in their analysis and be ready to challenge convention using the latest events to exemplify their thinking. Your teacher will encourage you to write in a coherent and balanced way and it is helpful if you have a good eye for detail and a confident understanding of current affairs is a real advantage.

Outside the classroom.

Politics thrives at Epsom; there is a bi-weekly society, which meets to discuss and debate, there are regular lectures from outside speakers, including eminent politicians (recent visitors to the College include Tom Brake MP and Chris Grayling MP) and we regularly run trips to the Houses of Parliament.

To match the electoral cycle in the US we take interested Sixth Formers to Washington, on a biennial basis. Our next trip will be in 2020 on the eve of the next Presidential election – a hugely significant moment in US and international politics.

Subject requirements.

Government and Politics candidates may have taken any combination of GCSE courses, but they will be interested in people and society, and they must be able to express themselves fluently on paper and in discussion.

It is vital that they have a desire to learn about current affairs; keeping up-to-date with the news is an important part of being a Politics student.

A GCSE in History would be an advantage, but without it would not be a barrier to success.

Progression beyond A-level.

Government and Politics is an obvious choice for candidates wishing to read History, Law, Politics, Economics and Philosophy at university.

It would also be complementary to Human Geography and Business courses, or any career in which students will be involved in management decisions in the real world.

Government and Politics is equal to History in terms of gravitas and is certainly not a lightweight option. A good grade will be in a candidate’s favour in entry into higher education.

A-level History is an intellectually stimulating subject that will teach you a wide variety of skills and encourage you to think.

The aim of the Department is to convey the subject through an enquiry-based approach and you will be encouraged to explore your own ideas, critique those of others and construct clear and rational arguments on the basis of your findings.

Subject requirements.

History A-level candidates should be interested in people and society, in finding out why things happen and their consequences.

They should enjoy thinking, reading, researching, working things out for themselves and drawing conclusions.

They should be able to write clear, precise English. Almost all History A-level students have already passed GCSE at grades A* or A.

History GCSE is not essential but students have ground to make up without it and should consult with the Head of Department beforehand.

Course overview.

The course that we explore is the OCR History A specification. Students are examined in three modules which they study over both of their years in the Sixth Form.

There is also a free-standing coursework module which is completed in the third and fourth terms of the A-level. The structure of the course looks like this:

  • Unit 1: England 1485-1558: The Early Tudors
  • Unit 2: The Cold War in Europe 1945-1991
  • Unit 3: Russia and its Rulers 1855-1964
  • Unit 4: Historical Skills (Non-examined)
  • Plus a 3,500-word coursework essay on a topic of your choosing.

Outside the classroom.

History thrives at the College. There is a weekly society which meets to study and debate ideas of interest to sharpen critical thinking skills.

It also offers the opportunity for students to further indulge their passion of the subject by offering presentations for discussion.

There are regular lectures from outside speakers, including eminent historians (recent visitors to the College include Norman Stone and Geoffrey Hosking), with frequent trips to sites which are of relevance to the course.

We take the Lower Sixth to Hampton Court in the Lent term and are planning a visit to St Petersburg and Moscow in 2019.

Progression beyond A-level.

Students have considerable success in entry to Oxford and Cambridge, but most use History to provide a broad general knowledge of politics and people which enables them to enter a variety of university courses.

A History degree itself is a highly marketable commodity and many carry on to study History with a view to careers in Law, Banking, Financial Services, Marketing or Journalism.

The aim of the course is to introduce students to both aspects of Latin in a more sophisticated and extensive fashion; there is little new grammar to learn, students’ language knowledge is instead applied in a more exciting range of tasks.

Appropriate historical and literary backgrounds are also studied, broadening students’ understanding of the Roman world.

Latin is looked upon very favourably by universities and employers and complements a wide range of other subjects, from Modern Languages, English, History and Philosophy to the Sciences, Maths and Music.

Subject requirements.

Students wishing to study Latin Language and Literature at A-level are usually expected to have gained an A or A* in Latin at GCSE.

Course overview.

We follow the OCR A-level (Specification code: H443). Candidates must sit the following four papers to gain the A-level in Latin:

Unseen Translation (33%)

Students sit a paper of 1 hour 45 minutes, testing their linguistic competence in Latin.

Across the two-year course they will prepare to translate a passage of both Ovid and Livy, and must be able to scan two lines of verse.

There is a defined vocabulary list but students will also be expected to have a knowledge of a wider range of vocabulary.

Comprehension (17%)

This module is assessed by a 1 hour 15 minute paper testing understanding of an unseen passage of Latin prose. Rather than a full translation, candidates will be given comprehension questions, short passages of translation, and accidence and syntax questions.

Prose Literature (25%)

Students study Cicero’s Pro Milone speech, delivered towards the end of the Roman Republic in defence of Milo who was accused of the murder of the political rival Clodius.

The wider context of the Republic and politics is explored as well as the oratory skill of Cicero.

In a two-hour examination, students will need to demonstrate knowledge of the English translation and wider context of the speech as well as critically analyse the style of the author, characterisation and meaning.

Verse Literature (25%)

Students study Book VIII of Virgil’s Aeneid, one of the most important texts to have survived from Ancient Rome.

They will explore the poetical skill of Virgil as well as the political context of the work and to what extent it should be viewed as propaganda for Emperor Augustus’ reign.

In a two-hour examination, students will need to demonstrate knowledge of the English translation and wider context of the poem as well as critically analyse the style of the author, characterisation and meaning.

Students studying Mathematics at Epsom generally achieve excellent results, though of course your grade will depend on how committed you are to your studies and how much work you are prepared to do outside of lessons.

Last year around 80% of students gained an A or A*, and over 90% achieved A*-B. The figures for Further Mathematics are similar.

Mathematics is a very useful basis for most careers and is a prerequisite for most degree courses in the Sciences, Economics, Computing and Engineering. It is also good grounding for logical development of the mind.

Subject requirements.

Mathematics is a very challenging A-level. It is essential to have obtained at least a high grade A or a high 7 at GCSE/IGCSE in order to be able to start on the course.

Course overview.

Pure Mathematics

Pure Mathematics makes up around two-thirds of the course. The A-level develops and expands GCSE skills in algebra, trigonometry, co-ordinate geometry and calculus techniques. This content is assessed across two equally weighted papers of two hours each. Any pure topic may appear on either paper and calculators are to be used on both papers.

Applied Mathematics

The new A-level specification dictates that students study both mechanics and statistics. This makes up the remaining third of the course and is assessed via a separate two-hour paper.

The Statistics content extends the statistical techniques studied at GCSE and introduces some new ideas about correlation between variables, several probability distributions including the Normal and Binomial distributions and hypothesis testing.

It also involves the study of a specified large data set with which students are expected to be familiar in the final examination.

The Mechanics content covers applications involving forces, kinematics of motion in a straight line and vectors.

Further Mathematics

Further Mathematics is an additional A-level qualification that can be taken alongside A-level Mathematics as a Core Curriculum option.

This is a very demanding option and it is strongly advised that you talk to your current mathematics teacher if you are considering the course.

You should have obtained a high A* or 9 grade at GCSE/IGCSE.

Students studying Mathematics and Further Mathematics are taught separately to those studying A-level Mathematics and will gain two full A-levels at the end of the two-year course.

Assessment.

Final examinations in A-level Further Mathematics consist of four 1½ hour papers.

There are two compulsory Further Pure papers and then two additional papers chosen from a range of Additional Further Pure, Further Mechanics, Further Statistics and Decision.

Students at Epsom will generally study Further Mechanics 1 and Further Statistics 1 for these options as they provide the best preparation for a range of University courses.

Unique among the Modern Languages offered at Epsom, students taking Mandarin Chinese will follow the CIE Pre-U course, as it is offered in many leading schools.

Pre-U is highly-regarded as an A-level equivalent by universities and, like A-level, all papers are sat at the end of the Upper Sixth year.

This examination does not cater specifically for the native-speaker market, as is the case with other Chinese A-levels on offer, and we are also attracted by the interest of its content.

We consider the principal advantages to be:

  • the use of criterion-referencing rather than norm-referencing; in other words, all candidates worthy of top grades will receive them, not just a top percentage
  • the use of English for the Culture paper
  • much of the preparation for this paper can be delivered in English
  • large parts of this paper can be delivered by other specialists, such as in the fields of Economics, History or Literature
  • the use of English to test comprehension
  • the availability of a dictionary.

We are also in the privileged position to offer international exams in addition to domestic ones.

As with all Modern Languages offered at Epsom, we encourage students to develop individual and independent linguistic skills, in preparation for Extended Project Qualifications (EPQs), Oxbridge applications or pure and combined language degree courses.

The combination of society-based topics with the study of cultural works provides a strong reference framework for the future.

The Mandarin HSK Diploma provides a further optional qualification for the strongest students.

This diploma is not only recognised worldwide by universities, employers, governments and international institutions, but also has a prestigious place on UCAS forms and with UK universities.

It is also available as a standalone qualification in the Core Curriculum.

Course overview.

The examination consists of four papers, which broadly reflect the newer-style Modern Languages A-levels.

Paper One – Speaking (20%)

  • Prepared topic and topic conversation
  • General conversation

Paper Two – Listening, Reading and Translation (30%)

  • Two reading passages – with questions in English
  • Chinese sayings – a list of 25 is provided in the syllabus; three are chosen for the examination
  • Translation into English

Paper Three – Writing and Usage (25%)

  • Identification of radicals and measure words
  • Letter-writing
  • An essay, requiring candidates to express opinions

Paper Four – Chinese Culture (25%)

  • Topics in Chinese Culture (such as the Foundation of the People’s Republic of China; or Economic trends)
  • Literature or Film (one set book or film).

Both parts are to be answered in English. The use of the Pocket Oxford Chinese Dictionary is allowed in all papers except the Oral.

The topic areas covered are similar to those offered in the other languages, but we see the inclusion of a culture paper as a particular advantage in terms of interest and value.

Music students are spoilt for choice, variety and opportunity at Epsom. We have four choirs, including the Chapel Choir, that rehearse each week and perform regularly. There is a wide range of instrumental ensembles, among them Orchestra and Big Band, who too enjoy a lively rehearsal and performance schedule.

There is a wide range of concerts each term, an annual musical theatre production (musical or opera), and an unrivalled team of instrumental and vocal teachers drawn from all musical fields.

Subject requirements.

The A-level course in Music is challenging and varied because a fully-rounded musical education requires a wide range of skills; probably more than any other subject. To start the course you would need to have a strong interest in all areas of the subject.

You will also need to be performing on any instrument/voice at approximately Grade 6 standard at least.

It is not necessary to have taken GCSE Music, although the skills developed on that course will be useful during the Sixth Form.

Progression beyond A-level.

As a subject in the Sixth Form, the breadth of the skills required mean that Music is liked by all universities.

It is not just a subject for those who wish to pursue a musical career in the future. It can be combined with most subjects satisfactorily and former students have included Music alongside sciences, social sciences, humanities, languages or a mixture of these.

Course overview.

Component One – Performing 30%

Preparation for performance and regular performing opportunities will be a feature of the whole course but the final assessment, taking place between March and May of Upper Sixth, will be a recorded public recital lasting at least eight minutes.

The performance can be as a soloist, as part of an ensemble, or both.

This recital can be recorded as many times as required. The recording of this recital is assessed by external examiners.

Component Two – Composing 30%

Two compositions must be submitted by mid-May of Upper Sixth:

  • A free composition (this is worth 20% of the A-level )
  • A composition to a brief assessing technique (this is worth 10% of the A-level). This involves completing technical exercises which are prepared for in the Lower Sixth and then applied to briefs issued during the Upper Sixth year. One of four options must be submitted: a chorale harmonisation in the style of JS Bach; a two-part Baroque counterpoint; an arrangement of a given melody; or a remix.

Both compositions are assessed by external examiners.

Component Three – Appraising

Preparation for the two-hour examination paper covers the study of set works from six compulsory areas of study:

  • Vocal Music
  • Instrumental Music
  • Music for Film
  • Popular Music and Jazz
  • Fusions
  • New Directions.

The study of set works must be extended into wider listening, and the examination will expect the set works to be related to wider listening, and will also require some analysis of unfamiliar music.

This is an exciting and varied course which applies anatomy and physiology, psychology, biomechanics and the impact of contemporary issues on physical activity.

Students benefit from varied and stimulating material related to factors which affect high-level performance in sport, and are taught by experienced teachers with specialist knowledge.

Additionally, and as would be expected at Epsom, the A-level is complemented by an outstanding range of extra-curricular activities.

Studying this A-level will give you a fantastic insight into the world of sports performance.

You have the chance to perform or coach a sport through the non-exam assessment component, and to develop a wide-ranging knowledge into the how and why of physical activity and sport.

Physical Education at A-level is a well-established A-level course that has been running for over 20 years. The course combines the academic rigour of a broad range of challenging theory topics, with the practical element, which helps students develop a wide range of interpersonal and technical skills.

You will learn the reasons why we do things, why some people outperform others, mentally and physically.

You will also delve into the ethical considerations behind the use of drugs and the influence that modern technology is having on physical activity and sport.

Course overview.

The stimulating theory side of the course involves students learning about a broad range of factors which affect the world of performance and participation in sport. The course develops knowledge of the following scientific topics. They learn the theory behind these topics and have to apply it to a range of physical activity settings.

  • Anatomy and physiology: Respiratory, cardiovascular, skeletal, energy, muscular systems, advanced methods of training and diet/nutrition.
  • Psychology: The impact of arousal, aggression, confidence, motivation and stress on performance; the acquisition of skills, leadership and team dynamics.
  • Biomechanics: Linear and angular motion, fluid dynamics and projectile motion.
  • Socio-cultural and contemporary: technology and its effect on sport, the commercialisation of sport (media and sponsorship), deviance in sport (effect of performance-enhancing drugs and violence); students assess how these factors have positively and negatively affected sport across the world.

Coursework

The coursework element is comprised of two main parts.

  • Students’ technical accuracy, ability and tactical understanding is assessed in one activity, as a performer or coach. Through the development of their personal performance, students learn to work independently and have to demonstrate significant determination.
  • The second aspect requires them to critically analyse a peer’s performance and plan a long-term strategy to improve it. This enables students to develop their organisational skills when planning improvements. They also have to demonstrate their ability to communicate and work effectively with others.

Assessment.

A-level Physical Education is a fully-linear course, studied over two years and assessed in the summer of the second year of study. We follow the OCR Board.

The course is sub-divided into four components:

  • Component One: Physiological Factors Affecting Performance Assessment (30%)
  • Component Two: Psychological Factors Affecting Performance Assessment (20%)
  • Component Three: Socio-Cultural and Contemporary Issues Assessment (20%)
  • Component Four: Coursework and Practical Aspect Assessment (30%)

If you have an inquisitive mind then Physics is for you. It is the study of how things work and the interpretation of the natural world around us.

In studying it, you will gain the ability to think more logically and apply your mathematical skills to solve problems. Analysing complex data and interpreting this will be a highly transferable skill, together with the recognition of the limits of your scientific data. You will also learn to simplify problems and interpret diagrams, both in two and three dimensions.

Whilst Physics at A-level builds on what you have met at GCSE, it does become more mathematical in nature.

In the new specification, 40% of the questions will require the use of Mathematics. If you have struggled to cope with Mathematics at GCSE level you would find this course very difficult. It is for this reason that the entry requirements below are in addition to the normal qualifying conditions for Sixth Form study.

Subject requirements.

You require at least a grade A at GCSE or IGCSE in Physics and in Maths.

If you hold a dual award in Science, you should only consider Physics if you have a double A or A*.

Progression beyond A-level.

A-level Physics is one of the most favoured A-level subjects listed by Cambridge, Oxford, LSE and other top universities.

It is particularly useful as a career requirement if you are doing any form of engineering, technical work, computer science, or thinking of any pure science at university. For these subjects it is a vital requirement.

Whilst not an absolute requirement for biological, medical and veterinary courses, it is worth considering Physics as so many processes involve Physics principles.

Beyond the classroom.

Throughout the Sixth Form, the Physics department provides plenty of opportunities for delving beyond the A-level syllabus.

We provide a host of Physics Extension sessions, Physics Olympiad, Astronomy and Engineering Societies, educational trips, visiting speakers and also visits to laboratories and sites of Physics interest.

Course overview.

We will be preparing you for the AQA A Physics specification. This examination is linear, so papers are only taken at the end of the course.

There is no coursework. Instead, you will complete 12 practicals during the courses. These are designed to refine your analytical and practical skills.

The Lower Sixth year focuses on:

  • Measurements and their errors
  • Particles and radiation
  • Waves
  • Mechanics and materials
  • Electricity

The Upper Sixth year focuses on:

  • Further mechanics and thermal physics
  • Fields and their consequences
  • Nuclear physics
  • One additional subject which is taught from Astrophysics, Medical physics, Engineering physics, Turning points in physics or Electronics.

The A-level examinations are at the end of the Upper Sixth and there are three papers, each of which is two-hours long.

Religious Studies is a very popular A-level that complements most other choices.

The department is fortunate enough to be staffed entirely by experienced subject specialists, all of whom hold degrees in Theology from institutions belonging variously to Oxbridge, the Russell Group and the 1994 Group.

The department focuses on instilling clarity of thought, coherence of argument, and academic rigour in students, in order to ensure examination success in Religious Studies and other disciplines that require these transferable skills.

Subject requirements.

Religious Studies is an interdisciplinary subject that skills students in abstract reasoning, critical thinking, linguistics, source criticism, and the appreciation of world cultures and religions.

Students should have a demonstrable interest in the subject area and the world around them, as reading about current affairs and contemporary religious issues is a requirement of the course.

GCSE Religious Studies offers students a stepping stone to A-level, but it is not a prerequisite to studying the subject.

Robust English language skills are a significant advantage, as all examination questions require extended written answers.

Progression beyond A-level.

All universities value an applicant’s ability to think clearly and express ideas coherently.

Religious Studies A-level supports students interested in applying to read both Journalism and Law.

The University of Oxford reports that 20% of successful applicants to read Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE) hold an A-level in Religious Studies.

The University of Cambridge reports that students who proceed to read Theology, Religion, and Philosophy of Religion subsequently embark on careers with institutions as diverse as the City, the Church, and the RAF.

This is echoed by the careers services of Russell Group universities, which report successfully supporting Theology graduates to secure jobs in accountancy, financial services, journalism, law, teaching, and theatre. All of which indicates the broad range of employment opportunities that a Theology degree provides access to.

Course overview.

Philosophy of Religion

  • Philosophical issues
  • The nature and influence of religious experience
  • The problem of evil and suffering
  • Language
  • Philosophers
  • Influences and developments

Religion and Ethics

  • Significant concepts of issues and debates
  • Utilitarianism, situation ethics, and natural moral law
  • War and peace and sexual ethics
  • Ethical language
  • Ethical theory
  • Medical ethics

New Testament Studies

  • The context of the New Testament
  • Texts and interpretation of the New Testament
  • Interpreting the text and the purpose and authorship of the fourth Gospel
  • Ways of interpreting scripture
  • Texts and interpretation
  • Scientific and historical challenges in faith and history

The ability to speak another language and to communicate with other cultures is an ever-growing expectation in a world in which geographical distances are reduced by technology and media, and Epsom College prides itself on reflecting its international outlook in its teaching of Modern Languages.

Students work with mostly native-speaker specialists, using cutting-edge technology and a wide range of authentic and constantly updated resources. You will also benefit from study visits to the countries.

With our sight firmly set on authenticity and concrete application of the languages taught, we are in the privileged position to offer international exams in addition to domestic ones.

The Spanish Pearson Edexcel A-Level encourages students to develop individual and independent linguistic skills, in preparation for Extended Project Qualifications (EPQs), Oxbridge applications or pure and combined language degree courses.

The combination of society-based topics with the study of cultural works provides a strong reference framework for the future.

The Spanish DELE Diploma provides a further optional qualification for the strongest students. This diploma is not only recognised worldwide by universities, employers, governments and international institutions, but also has a prestigious place on UCAS forms and with UK universities.

It is also available as a standalone qualification in the Core Curriculum.

Course overview.

Your Spanish A-level will cover the following four key themes.

Theme One: La evolución de la sociedad española

Theme 1 is set in the context of Spain only. This theme covers social issues and trends.

  • El cambio en la estructura familiar – La evolución de las actitudes hacia el matrimonio, las relaciones y las familias.
  • El mundo laboral – La vida laboral en España y las actitudes hacia el trabajo; las oportunidades de trabajo para los jóvenes; la igualdad de género.
  • El impacto turístico en España – El impacto económico; las oportunidades que ofrece el turismo; el impacto socioambiental.

Theme Two: La cultura política y artística en el mundo hispanohablante

Theme Two is set in the context of Spanish-speaking countries and communities. This theme covers artistic culture (through music and festivals and traditions) and political and artistic culture (through media).

  • La música – Los cambios y las tendencias; el impacto de la música en la cultura contemporánea.
  • Los medios de comunicación – La televisión y las telenovelas: los medios de comunicación escritos y en internet; el impacto en la sociedad y la política.
  • Los festivales y las tradiciones – Los festivales, las fiestas, las costumbres y las tradiciones.

Theme Three: La inmigración y la sociedad multicultural española

Theme Three is set in the context of Spain only. This theme covers social issues and trends.

  • El impacto positivo de la inmigración en la sociedad Española – Las aportaciones de los inmigrantes en la economía y la cultura.
  • Enfrentando los desafíos de la inmigración y la integración en España – Las medidas adoptadas por las comunidades locales; la marginación y el aislamiento desde el punto de vista de los inmigrantes.
  • La reacción social y pública hacia la inmigración en España – El enfoque político hacia la inmigración; la opinión pública.

Theme Four: La dictadura franquista y la transición a la democracia

Theme Four is set in the context of Spain only. This theme covers political culture.

  • La Guerra Civil y el ascenso de Franco (1936-1939) – La Guerra Civil y el ascenso de Franco, los republicanos contra los nacionalistas; las divisiones en la sociedad.
  • La dictadura franquista – La vida cotidiana bajo la dictadura franquista: la opresión política, la censura, las divisiones en la sociedad.
  • La transición de la dictadura a la democracia – El papel del Rey Juan Carlos en la transición; el Gobierno de Suárez; el golpe de Estado de 1981.

Assessment.

The exam comprises three papers that assess the following skills:

Paper One: Listening, reading and translation

This is worth 40% of the A-level and lasts two hours. There are three sections:

  • Section A: Listening
  • Section B: Reading
  • Section C: Translation into English

Paper 2: Written response to works and translation

This is worth 30% of the A-level and lasts two hours and 40 minutes. It is comprised of two sections:

  • Section A: Translation into Spanish.
  • Section B: One essay on a prescribed film and one essay on a literary text, or two essays on prescribed literary texts.

Paper 3: Speaking

This is worth 30% of the A-level. It is internally conducted and externally assessed. The assessment lasts 21-23 minutes, including 5 minutes formal preparation time.

  • Discussion of a Discussion card
  • Independent research project (presentation and discussion). This is based on a subject of personal interest, relating to the countries and communities where the language is spoken.