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St Gabriel’s

St Gabriel’s

A level Courses & EPQ

We offer an extensive range of A level subjects. Our Sixth Formers have 27 courses to choose from and, where possible, we will support them in their individual choice of options, enabling students to study the subjects that they are truly passionate about to pursue their ambitions.

Additionally, we offer the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ), a highly regarded qualification by universities, to all our Sixth Form students. The EPQ provides evidence of a student’s ability to research independently to produce an extended project, which is fully referenced, on a topic of academic interest. This is excellent preparation for studying at university.

Students have left our Sixth Form to study at prestigious universities, including Oxford and Cambridge, to study a wide range of subjects including Astrophysics, Engineering, History, Law, Mathematics, Medicine, Ancient and Modern Foreign Languages, and Sports Science.  Girls have also gained places at RADA, Italia Conti and leading art colleges where they have been able to pursue their studies in Theatre Arts, Dance, Art and Photography, respectively.

Our aim is to ensure that all the young women who leave us are intrinsically motivated learners, self-confident, happy individuals who are ready to make a positive difference to the world in which we live.

A Level Courses

The following subjects are offered at A Level:

Art & Sport Humanities Science & Technology Mathematics English Languages
Art Business Biology Mathematics English Literature French
Dance Classical Civilisation Chemistry Further Mathematics  

Italian

Drama Geography Computer Science     Latin
Graphics Government & Politics Design Technology - Product Design     Mandarin
Music History Physics     Spanish
Photography & Lens Based Media Religious Studies Psychology      
PE          

Extended Project Qualification (EPQ)

The Extended Project Qualification is designed to develop key skills such as researching, project management, academic writing, and referencing. The overall aim is to produce either a 5000 word report on a topic of the candidate’s choice or what is referred to as an ‘artefact’, often a performance, artwork, or other physical creation. Students  record each stage of the process and their decisions in a ‘production log’, for which we use a piece of software called Project Q. Finally they will give a presentation explaining their topic, how they completed the project, and what they have learnt.

To support our students through this process we provide a program of ‘taught skills’ which will be held partly in PSHE lessons and partly outside of lesson time. These sessions will teach candidates how to conduct their research effectively, how to use accepted referencing systems, as well as many other skills which will be invaluable both for the extended project and for those who choose to pursue a university degree. It has been shown that completing an EPQ can improve a student’s chances of achieving A*-B at A level by 29%, and that it also makes them more likely to achieve a 1st or 2:1 at university.

Each candidate is assigned a staff supervisor whose job it is to guide them through their EPQ journey. However, the course is geared towards independent study, with AQA advising 90 hours of self-directed study time over the course of the year. Students must be disciplined in setting deadlines and meeting them, as they will be marked on their capacity to manage their own workload.

Titles of some Extended Projects Qualifications that have been undertaken by our Sixth Form students:

  • How does the superhero film genre reflect the complexity of the modern audience?

  • How has Westernisation influenced Japanese literature?

  • The Stonewall Uprising: How the LGBTQ+ community has progressed since this catalyst to the movement and what still needs to change.

  • The importance of espionage in closing the gap in the arms race 1940-1955.

  • Does society need psychopaths?

  • How did women disrupt the patriarchy in Ancient Greek and Roman mythology, religion and literature?

  • How do terrorist organisations and counter organisations use technology?

  • Should there be ethical boundaries within medical research?

  • Animal Eugenics: Why does it still take place and what are the implications?

  • How are new laws affecting the use of organ transplants?

EPQ Taught Skills Program 2021-2022

Date Session Topic

16 September

Understanding the EPQ 

20 September

University of Bath MOOC 

27 September

Research skills course week 1

4 October

Research skills course week 2

11 October

Research skills course week 3

Half Term 

Completed Independently

Project management skills, record keeping & initial resource selection

1 November

Data gathering & designing surveys

8 November

Research ethics

15 November

Data representation & analysis

22 November

Visiting speaker

2 December

DROP IN: Preparing for mid-project review / troubleshooting

10 January

Writing in academic style

13 January

Examples of excellent practice

17 January

Drafting & editing

27 January

DROP IN: Editing your project / troubleshooting

3 February

Formatting and use of ICT 

10 February

Troubleshooting / use of referencing

17 February

Writing your presentation

Half Term

Completed Independently

Presentation key points & skills

10 March

DROP IN: Q&A preparation (presentations w/c 14 March)

24 March

Summary & reflection

“Coming to the end of almost a decade at St Gabriel’s, I realise how lucky I have been to benefit from such great teaching by dedicated staff."

You can download a copy of the current Sixth Form Prospectus below or contact us and we will be delighted to send you a printed version.