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St John’s Catholic Comprehensive School

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KS5 Curriculum

The aim of the Key Stage 5 curriculum at St John's Catholic Comprehensive School is to prepare students so that they are ready to access ambitious destinations beyond our Sixth Form. Our curriculum is designed to build on Key Stage 3 and 4 learning and elevate understanding so that our students are ready for post-18 higher education, training or employment. 

St John's Catholic Comprehensive School Sixth Form students are encouraged to choose 3 Advanced Level or Applied General qualifications. These three subjects will form the majority of the student's timetable during a typical working week. In addition to these chosen subjects, students will be allocated a 45-minute lesson each week of PSHE and RE and a 90-minute lesson for enrichment.

In Year 12, students will be allocated compulsory study sessions around their timetabled lessons so that they have both time and space to familiarise themselves with the requirements of independent learning in Sixth Form.

In Year 13, students have access to the study centre voluntarily, subject to them keeping up to date and being on track with the course deadlines and their target grades.

To fully support all of our students and as a testament to the comprehensive nature of our Sixth Form, we are very proud to offer a Level 2 Foundation Pathway for students who still need to meet the required academic standards to begin Level 3 qualifications. Our Level 2 Foundation Pathway is a one-year course in which students complete 5 Level 2 GCSE qualifications, including GCSE Mathematics, GCSE English Language, Level 2 BTEC Public Services, Level 2 Employability Skills and Level 2 Finance. During this one-year course, students are advised accordingly about Level 3 options at St John's Sixth Form and are suitability challenged for them to meet the required standards to begin Level 3 qualifications in the following academic year.

Advanced-Level Qualifications

  • A-Levels are academic qualifications that are primarily exam-based. They are typically taken by students aged 16-18. 
  • A-Levels offer a broader range of subjects and provide a deeper understanding of each subject studied. 
  • They are generally seen as a more traditional and conventional route to higher education. 
  • A-Levels are accepted by universities and colleges in the UK and internationally. 
  • Students usually study three A-Level subjects for two years, although some may choose to study four subjects. 











Applied General/Vocational Qualifications

BTECs are vocational qualifications that focus on practical, work-related skills and knowledge. At St John’s, Level 3 BTEC’s are available in various subject areas, including Business, Dance, Drama, Music, Sport, Uniform Protective Services, Food Science & Nutrition, Criminology, Engineering, Health and Social Care, Creative Media and Information Technology 

  • BTECs are accepted by universities and colleges in the UK and internationally. 
  • BTECs are assessed through coursework, assignments, and practical assessments. For some subjects, specific units are examinations based. Please check the course specifications for more details on the modules studied. 
  • BTECs can include work placements or industry-related projects to provide practical experience.
  •  BTECs are offered at different levels, such as BTEC Level 3 equivalent to A-Levels and BTEC Level 2 equivalent to GCSEs.
  • Some BTEC qualifications provide a direct pathway to employment or apprenticeships, while others can be used to progress into higher education. 


Level 2 Foundation Pathway

The Foundation pathway at St John's Sixth Form is a one year course and has been designed to support students who wish to access Sixth Form but have not yet attained the GCSE grades to study at Level 3. 

Our foundation pathway, unlike Year 11, allows students to focus on 5 GCSE’s which affords them the greatest chance of achieving the required qualifications in order to progress onto level 3 study the following academic year. 

Students on the Foundation Pathway will study the following subjects; 

If students pass both English Language and Mathematics in their November resit, a member of the Key Stage 5 team will support students accessing Level 3 courses that they are eligible to access as soon as possible. 

Sixth Form Core Subjects (For all Year 12 & Year 13 Students

Other Optional Qualifications