16-19 Study Programmes at NPA
The majority of students will opt for four courses in year 12. Broadly speaking these are divided in to A-level ‘facilitating subjects’, other ‘academic’ subjects and finally vocational subjects. What you decide to take is largely up to you and your wider academic/career aims. However a number of key points need to be considered when making your decision for year 12 and later as you move into year 13.
1. Facilitating subjects are those subjects deemed to be the ‘gold’ standard of A-levels and for certain top universities there Is an expectation that at least two of your A-levels will fall within this category. These subjects are: Chemistry, Biology, Physics, Maths, English, Languages, History and Geography
2. Academic subjects are A-level courses other than those listed above.
3. Vocational subjects offered at NPA are most commonly BTEC courses. It is worth noting that a number of the vocational courses are worth, in terms of UCAS points, the equivalent of more than one A-level and as such the teaching time allocated to these will reflect this. For this reason if you opt for one of these courses you will not be able to take three other courses.
4. It is important to think carefully about your future plans, be they university, an apprenticeship or work and the courses you choose should enable you to progress to the next level. It is possible to take a combination of A-level and vocational subjects so long as they fit within the overall number of subjects.
■ After Christmas an internal exam will be held. The results of this will help to determine which of your initial four A-level choices will be taken as an A/S exam and therefore dropped at the end of year 12. This will be your choice although we will offer clear guidance about what we see as your strengths.
■ In addition to your A/S subject, you will take internal exams in all your subjects at the end of year 12. You will be expected to pass these in order to continue through to year 13. If you fail any, there will be a retake opportunity which will take place in the summer break.
Alongside your core academic studies, it is important that you continue to develop the experiences and skills that will set you apart from your peers as you compete for university, apprenticeships or the world of work. At Nene Park Academy we operate a Pledges Programme, the key elements of which are outlined below. However, at the heart of this is the importance of leadership:
- In Year 12 all students give an hour of their time to support students lower down the school in their studies. The subject you choose to support will be in line with your main academic pursuit.
- In Year 13 you have the opportunity to stand for the position of Head Boy or Head Girl, or to join the Senior Student Team.
Beyond Sixth Form there is huge competition for university places, jobs and apprenticeships and we encourage all our students to go beyond their studies. Your Academic Mentor and the Sixth Form Team will guide you towards:
- Additional reading to support your studies and wider education
- Developing your debating and problem solving skills, deepening your social, moral, spiritual and cultural knowledge and
- Making good choices for the future, ensuring you get the grades to get you there and have the knowledge and experiences to make you stand out above other candidates
- Selecting the right Enrichment Pathway - Sports, Professional, Academic or Employment and Apprenticeships
Nene Park Academy offers a range of enrichment opportunities. All students participate in the core activities
until they have made their choices and joined one of the four Enrichment Pathways.
For those hoping to pursue a career in sports
- Level 3 Sports Coaching course: train as an exercise instructor capable of planning, delivering and evaluating physical activity programme
- Sports work experience
- Futsal fixtures (Futsal students only)
For those hoping to go to university to study towards a qualification in education, medicine etc.
- Education Programme: taught and accredited by the University of Bedfordshire, an opportunity for a taster of the study of education and work experience in a school setting
- Medicine Programme: an overview of roles within medicine and fundamental knowledge and skills as well as work experience in a professional setting. Accredited by a local university.
For high achieving students aspiring to the very top universities
- Further Maths A-Level: if you’ve opted for Further Maths, this is when you’ll study it
- Extended Project Qualification: experience university-style research studying anything you are interested in and gain an additional qualification (e.g. Latin GCSE/learn a new language)
Employment and Apprenticeship Pathway:
For those who would prefer to go straight into employment or an apprenticeship:
- Work Experience: organise your own work experience
- Employability Programme: how to get a job, enjoy a job and have a life
These run throughout the year, and are compulsory for students who are not yet on one of the above pathways:
- Using your degree programme - seminars from graduates with an exciting range of careers who started out from very different beginnings (runs in September and October)
- Employability Programme: how to get a job, enjoy a job and have a life (runs twice, starting after the October and February half terms)
- Online Learning: complete a MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) through futurelearn.com or coursera.com, experiencing study at university level and deepening your knowledge and understanding.