At Ormiston Rivers Academy Sixth Form we offer a broad range of subjects including both A ‘Level and Vocational options.  This is to ensure that students who choose to join us can study subjects that link to their aptitudes, interests and intended career progression routes.

Choosing a handful of subjects to take at A-level isn’t a decision students should take lightly. The A-levels students pick now can impact what they do later, namely the courses or apprenticeships they apply to, and which universities will consider them. Making smart, informed choices now will leave students in the best position in two years’ time. Therefore, we recommend that students research the entry requirements for university courses, degree apprenticeships or jobs that they intend to pursue, before making their final choices. If you have not yet decided on a specific career route for the future, we would encourage you to take at least one facilitating subject. Facilitating subjects are subjects that are most asked for by universities and are widely accepted for entry to most courses.  These include Sciences, English Literature, Mathematics, Modern foreign languages, Geography, and History.

To study at Sixth Form students, need to have secured a 4 or above in both English and Mathematics at GCSE, as well as meeting the individual entry requirements for their chosen subjects. However, we do sometimes accept applicants who have achieved a grade 4 in either English or Mathematics and a 3 in the other subject to study on our Level 3 pathways. These students are required to study the appropriate Level 3 courses and resit their examination in either GCSE Mathematics or English (the one in which they obtained a 3).

What qualifications are offered at Level 3?


A-Level courses follow the linear format. This means students’ final A-Level exams at the end of Year 13 determine the entire overall result.  Assessment for A-Levels can be examination and/or controlled assessment based. Internal assessments will be completed throughout their studies to show student progress and ensure appropriate support is provided for students.

LEVEL 3 Vocational qualifications

BTECs, Cambridge Technicals and Diplomas are Level 3 courses, which are around 50% coursework 50% examination. They are recognised by universities to be of a similar standard to A-Levels and are offered in a variety of subjects. Work is assessed during the course throughout both Year 12 and Year 13, which means students can keep improving and don’t need to rely solely on exam results. These qualifications qualify for points on the ‘UCAS Tariff’ for entry into higher education, in the same way as A-Levels


These are subjects offered alongside students’ main subjects that allow students to develop their core skills and knowledge in an area of their interest whilst developing academically and earning UCAS points. Currently we offer a choice between Core mathematics, Extended Project Qualification, Further Mathematics AS and Sports Leadership.

Pathways available

There are 4 pathways for students to choose from at our Sixth Form:

Pathway 1 – 3 A ‘Level Subjects plus a super curricular option

To study this pathway students, need five or more GCSE grades at 5-9. They should be aiming for a minimum of 5 in English AND Mathematics. You will need to check individual subjects for grade entry criteria.

Pathway 2 – 4 A ‘Level subjects

A small minority of students choose to study 4 A Level subjects. However, students only need 3 to get into university and any more would increase the workload and may have a negative impact on overall grades.  Therefore, this option is only available to students with mostly 7-9 grades and only once thoroughly discussed with the Sixth Form team.

Pathway 3 – A mixture of A ‘Level and Vocational subjects – 3 subjects in total plus a super curricular option

To study this pathway students will need to meet the entry requirements for the A ‘Level course/s they want to study (which will include a 5 or 6 in the subject and for most subjects a 6 in English and/or Mathematics).  Please see the specific entry requirements for each course.  You will need to have at least a grade 4 in both Mathematics and English.

Pathway 4 – 3 Vocational subjects plus a super curricular option

Students should have five or more GCSE grades at 4-9 including a grade 4 in English AND Mathematics.  Please see individual entry requirements for each course as these also need to be met.

Please see our prospectus for the courses being offered for next academic year and their specific entry requirements.

Sixth Form Prospectus