Sixth Form Route

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Sixth Formers at Ardingly can study either the International Baccalaureate or A Levels.

IB Core

All pupils, including those doing A Levels, can study the International Baccalaureate Core. This is a programme recognised by UCAS and highly regarded by universities.

The IB Core requires an extended research essay on a subject of their choice, while the Theory of Knowledge course teaches pupils the intellectual skills and flexibility required by leading universities.

The formal curriculum, plus the wide range of academic enrichment available to our Sixth Form students, helps develop the academic skills and habits to equip them to thrive at university and beyond.

These include research and writing skills, as well as the ability to think independently, synthesise ideas, question received views and construct robust and analytically-reasoned arguments.

International Baccalaureate

The International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme is a highly regarded, internationally-recognised programme. Launched in 1968, it is now undertaken by over 900,000 students in 140 countries annually.

The Diploma Programme’s challenging and interesting curriculum leads to final examinations and a qualification welcomed by leading universities worldwide.

This clearly makes it an ideal programme of study for Sixth Formers planning to move on to university.  Students at university frequently report that the IB Diploma Programme prepared them to undertake their degree with ease.

Clear results

A recent report published by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) compared the outcomes of IB Diploma with those of A Level students in a number of key areas. The advantages of the IB Diploma are clear.

IB Diploma students:

  • are more than twice as likely to enroll at one of the UK’s top 20 universities
  • are nearly twice as likely to succeed in application for courses in Medicine and Dentistry
  • are significantly less likely to drop out of courses
  • are 30% more likely to gain a first-class honours degree.
  • are twice as likely to continue with further study after the first degree
  • have significantly higher starting salaries after university.

The International Baccalaureate encourages pupils to ask challenging questions, reflect critically, develop research skills and, most significantly, to learn how to learn. Combined with the broad, balanced curriculum, the IB prepares pupils for the demands and rigours of further study and employment in the  21st century.

Students studying the International Baccalaureate study six subjects alongside the IB Core. All students study English, Mathematics, a science subject and a second language, alongside humanities and arts subjects.

A Levels

The A Level model offers both flexibility and depth to pupils who want the chance to study what they want in more detail.

For pupils with a clearly-defined interest and academic focus,  A Levels may provide the most appropriate programme of study and route to university.

At Ardingly, pupils are able to select from a wide range of A Level subjects. Most pupils will study AS Levels in the Lower Sixth, and three  A Levels in the Upper Sixth. However, some bright pupils will study five A Levels in the Lower Sixth and four in their second year.