Dear Parents and Guardians,
It gives me great pleasure to write to you at this exciting time for education in Rutland with the opening of Harington School only a few weeks away. Your son, daughter or ward has been offered a place to be one of the first cohort of students to begin their 6th form career at Harington – a unique place in history!
As Headmaster of Oakham School, I am very proud that we have been able to take on the responsibility of providing the educational leadership of Harington and, to that effect, I am delighted that Mrs Dyl Powell is the first Head teacher of Harington. As you are aware, Mrs Powell has just retired from being the Head of Stamford High School but is currently fulfilling her final commitment to Stamford, by accompanying the girls on their sports tour to South Africa.
Therefore, in Mrs Powell’s absence, I am writing to brief you on the approach to the new A-levels at Harington:
- The national A level reforms, brought in by the Government for the academic year 2015/16 will be a mixture of the new (linear) A-levels (which are designed to be taught as a 2 year course) and the old (modular) AS and A2 examinations (which are effectively made up of two one year courses). For the A-levels offered at Harington the split is as follows:Old (modular) AS and A2 levels;
Philosophy and Ethics
Those students taking any of these subjects will take AS examinations in the summer of 2016 followed by their A2 examinations a year later (summer of 2017).
New (linear) A levels;
Students taking any of the new A-levels will not take any AS level examinations in those subjects but will have end of year examinations in the summer of 2016. They will take their A-level examinations in the summer of 2017.
Many students will therefore be studying a mixture of new A-levels and the old style AS and A2 courses. They will therefore take some AS levels in May/June 2016. A student taking only new A-levels will not take any AS examinations in 2016. All students will have end of year examinations in all subjects in 2016 followed by a parents’ evening. Students will be expected to accompany their parents to this event to discuss overall progress and the year ahead.
Most students at Harington will be expected to take three A-levels (whether old or new style) and for many this will be complimented by an additional Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) in which they carry out a piece of individual research into an area of real interest (most likely linked to one of their A-levels). The top universities will base their offers on three A-level grades and we want our students to maximise their chances of top grades by focusing on those three subjects (an EPQ will further enhance their opportunity of winning a place at a top university as it demonstrates real independent learning).
For some students (e,g, those following a section of science A-levels) it may well be appropriate for them to study four A-levels. This is an individual decision for the students concerned and will be based on ability, future ambitions and overall workload.
Inevitably, final decisions on which A levels to study in September can only be made after the publication of GCSE results on 20th August. The staff at Harington will, of course, be on hand to make sure that each student, as necessary, receives the right advice in order that they can make the best possible choices for the start of what will be a very exciting 6th form career.
I wish you all a very enjoyable summer and look forward to history being made at the beginning of September!
With best wishes,
Headmaster of Oakham School
Trustee of Harington School