The RGS Sixth Form curriculum is a unique combination of elements which together will provide you with an excellent preparation for entry to university, and for life beyond it.
At Reigate Grammar School, Sixth Form students can choose from a uniquely flexible menu of courses, allowing them to select the most appropriate options. Unlike many schools, we do not start with a pre-determined list of options, but design our timetable afresh each year in order to accommodate the wishes of students. Although no guarantee can be given that every choice of subjects will be accessible, we are usually able to provide most students with their first preferences.
A Level Choices
A Level reform since 2015 means that when you start your A Level courses in September, you will study for two years before taking all of your A Level external examinations at the end of the Upper Sixth Form (with the exception of the few remaining ‘unreformed’ subjects). We build a timetable around each student and we can accommodate almost any combination of A Level subjects available.
Whilst our recommendation is that most students should finish on three A Level subjects by the end of the Upper Sixth From, students may wish to start on four or even five A Level subjects in the Lower Sixth Form and take some time to decide where the strengths and interests lie, moving to three subjects over the course of the Lower Sixth year.
Of course, it is also possible to start and complete four (and in some cases even five A Level subjects). This is usually relevant if you are studying Further Maths as one of your A Level subjects, if you wish to study Natural Sciences, Engineering, Medicine, Veterinary Medicine or Dentistry at university or if you have a particular interest and aptitude for four subjects. In all cases, we will endeavour to ensure you have the right information and guidance to make the right choice for you.
In the Sixth Form we run our own specific timetabled co-curricular programme. In the Lower Sixth Form this is called Henry Smith Studies, in the Upper Sixth this is called 7Plus.
Henry Smith Studies
Henry Smith Studies is a bespoke and flexible curriculum for all Lower Sixth students. The primary purpose of Henry Smith Studies is to encourage all students to broaden their academic horizons beyond the confines of A Level study. In an era of reformed A Levels, Henry Smith Studies gives all students tangible and credible evidence of independent study interest, intellectual ambition and undergraduate level study skills, boosting the quality of their university applications.
However, the main purpose of Henry Smith Studies is to encourage students to engage in intellectual debate, discourse and research in areas of academic life which pique their interest. It is a rare opportunity for all students to tackle an area of study simply because they are enthused by it and curious to explore it further, not because it is on an A Level curriculum.
Henry Smith Studies is tailored to students’ academic curiosities and ability. At its heart is the completion of an extended project on a topic of the student’s choice, supported by their Henry Smith Tutor during timetabled lessons. Over the course of the year, students will either complete:
- An extended academic essay or;
- Produce an artefact (for instance, a piece of music, a piece of literature, an example of engineering, an experiment or a piece of art) and a short accompanying commentary or;
- A suite of online open courses (MOOCs) from providers Future Learn and the Open University’s Open Learn.
The programme also includes the following modules:
- Seminars on advanced skills, equipping students for A level study;
- Lectures on a range of topics from external speakers;
- An induction into using the library for higher level research;
- UCAS preparation and support in making an application.
7Plus is an Upper Sixth Form programme that is designed to bridge the gap between school and university and professional life. The programme includes the following modules:
- UCAS preparation, guidance and finalising applications;
- An introduction to student and personal finance;
- A taster course of well-being modules, such as Mindfulness, yoga, managing stress, fostering positive relationships and alcohol and drug awareness;
- A carousel of practical skill modules, such as DIY, life-saving, sports coaching, student cooking, first aid, CV writing and interview skills. Where we can, these modules are run by external providers and are accredited.
Academic Clubs and Societies
There are a vast range of Sixth Form specific academic clubs and societies that offer extended academic enrichment and foster a love of learning for the sake of enjoyment in a subject or discipline.
Academic Clubs and Societies range from Senior MUN, TSI Friday (Thank Science it’s Friday), The Academy (a theology and philosophy discussion group), History and Politics Society, the Medical Discussion Group, A Novel Approach (a literary discussion group), the Economics Society and the Senior Geography Society.
All clubs and societies are open to all members of the Sixth Form (whether they are studying that subject at A Level or not) and are based on the principle of student led presentations followed by open debate and discussion. Societies and Clubs also host guest speakers, visit university lectures and attend functions and events.