Sixth Form Curriculum

Building a future

If GCSE years provide the building blocks of core skills then the Sixth Form is the foundation on which each individual builds their future – the first real opportunity to stretch their wings, make decisions and take responsibility for their learning and development. This is where students make the transition from a structured and  prescriptive programme designed to keep their options open, to the freedom to follow their chosen courses, forge their own path and pursue their aspirations.

Study options

Most girls choose to study four subjects in the Lower Sixth and take three A Levels in the Upper Sixth, whilst others take advantage of our flexible approach, creating a personalised programme to ensure the development of our truly individual learning portfolio.

BOLD programme

The BOLD Programme is how we prepare our Sixth Form for the evolving and ever-changing demands of the world. It will empower our girls with the skills necessary for them to thrive in their professional and personal lives. It will ensure that Bold Girls leave Burgess Hill Girls equipped with not only exceptional academic qualifications, but with the social, interpersonal and leadership skills required to excel in every capacity in their future. Read more about the BOLD Programme.

Careers guidance

Careers advice and support with university applications will form a significant part of the extra guidance we provide. Mock interviews with members of the local Rotary club, a formal networking dinner, business breakfast meetings, useful contacts for relevant work experience and specialist taster courses are all available.

Consistently high levels of success

We are very proud of the consistently high levels of success gained by the girls, not just in their excellent A Level results, but in all aspects of their endeavours. The vast majority of the girls go on to university, foundation art courses or music colleges, whilst a few choose other routes to exciting careers. Our excellent careers advice and academic support ensures that our students secure places at the leading universities, colleges and organisations in their field.



The A level Fine Art course requires students to express their creative ideas using imagination and feelings to respond to given themes or topics. The A level Fine Art course is a mixture of new and familiar media and techniques. The emphasis is on individual development, with every student working on their own personal outcomes. Although the course is Fine Art-based, there are opportunities to work outside this parameter using photography, print and fibre art.

The course provides engaging and innovative creative learning experiences, where art and design practice is meaningfully integrated with theoretical knowledge and understanding. Students have opportunities to develop a broad foundation of critical, practical and theoretical skills, which offer a holistic understanding of a range of practices and contexts in the visual arts, crafts and design fields. This culminates in greater specialism and achievement in the second A level year.

The course encourages learners to:

  • Develop intellectual, creative and intuitive capabilities
  • Investigate, analytical, experimental, practical, technical and expressive skills
  • Cultivate aesthetic understanding and critical judgement
  • Practise independence of mind in developing, refining and communicating ideas, intentions and personal outcomes
  • Experience working with different media
  • Explore the interrelationship between art, craft and design and maintain an awareness of context in which they operate
  • Build their knowledge and experience of real world contexts and creative industries

Each artist has her own personal working space in the Sixth Form studio. The studio and media suite is equipped with touch screen PCs, graphic tablets, digital cameras, a kiln, drawing, painting and 3D facilities, printmaking and fibre art facilities, animation and Adobe creative software packages. The department also has its own dedicated gallery space.

The department also provides wider opportunities:

  • Life drawing
  • Printmaking workshops with Brighton University
  • Visits from professional artists, architects and designers
  • An external exhibition in a Brighton Gallery
  • Portfolio development, interview practice and support with creating digital portfolios
  • Help with career advice, picking courses and with writing personal statements
  • Highly individualised reference writing based on teachers’ in-depth knowledge of each student’s work


The Personal Investigation consists of two integrated constituent parts:

  • A major in-depth critical, practical and theoretical investigative project/portfolio and outcomes based on themes and subject matters that have personal significance.
  • An extended written element of 1000 words, which may contain images and texts and must clearly relate to practical and theoretical work using an appropriate working vocabulary and specialist terminology.

The Externally Set Assignment consists of two parts:

Preparatory study period

  • Responses are developed during the preparatory study period. They take the form of critical, practical and theoretical preparatory work and supporting studies which inform the resolution of ideas.
  • 15 hour period of sustained focus work under supervised conditions.
  • The resolution of ideas completed during the designated 15 hours shows how planning relates to the outcome.

WJEC EDUQAS A level Fine Art
(Course code: A651QS)


  • 120 marks
  • 60% of A level

15 hours

  • 80 marks
  • 40% of A level


Fashion and Textiles A level is a highly creative and exciting subject. Imaginative practical work is at the heart of the course but it has a wider scope beyond the technical ‘design and make’ elements. This powerful hybrid A level has a blend of different strands – maths, science, business and ethics – designed to reflect industry practice.

The course includes:

  • The history and impact of designers, styles and movements
  • Socio-economic influences that drive the industry
  • Commercial and moral issues
  • Branding and marketing
  • Ethical production practices

Students will develop intellectual curiosity about the design and manufacture of textile products. They are required to explore, design, create and evaluate innovative solutions in response to realistic design contexts. Students undertake a substantial design-and-make task and produce a final prototype within a context of their choice. In doing so, they will gain a real understanding of what it means to be a designer, alongside developing the knowledge and skills sought by higher education and employers.

During the course students will investigate historical, social, cultural, environmental and economic influences on fashion design and technology. Within this, there are three main areas of study: technical principles, design and making principles and specialist knowledge.

The small group size ensures plenty of individual attention and guidance to help develop personal interests and projects.

The many transferrable skills in the Fashion and Textiles A level prepare students for a wide variety of higher education courses. The study of fibres and their chemical and physical properties relies on scientific understanding, while in-depth knowledge and appreciation of design movements and costumes is highly valued by museums and textiles conservation establishments.

Britain’s thriving fashion industry is estimated to support 797,000 employees, is worth an estimated £3.2bn a year and is one of the UK’s most sought-after exports. Creative industries as a whole are reported to be growing at a rate of nearly 9 per cent each year, nearly double that of the UK economy as a whole. A level Fashion and Textiles supports the growth of this industry by developing young people with a solid understanding of the commercial, creative and technical sides of the trade. In short, Fashion and Textiles is a hugely exciting A level subject that opens up a variety of different career pathways.


Assessment is through two written examinations which count for 30% and 20% of the final qualification. The papers test:

  • Technical
  • Designing and making principles
  • Specialist knowledge

The non-exam assessment (NEA) counts for 50% of the A level. The practical work is a single substantial design and make task. This involves the design and manufacture of the prototype and a written or electronic portfolio with photographic evidence of the final outcome. The assessment criteria tests:

  • Exploration
  • Designing
  • Making
  • Analysis and Evaluation

AQA A level Design and Technology: Fashion and Textiles
(Course code: 7562)

2 hours 30 minutes

  • Technical principles
  • 120 marks
  • 30% of A level

1 hour 30 minutes

  • Design and Making Principles
  • 80 marks
  • 20% of A level


  • 100 marks
  • 50% of A level
  • Evidence required: written or digital design portfolio and photographic evidence of final prototype.
  • Assessed by teachers
  • Moderated by AQA

To get to know what makes art and textiles special at Burgess Hill Girls watch this video.


It is widely recognised that the varied disciplines of Drama – analysis, evaluation, performance, devising, spontaneity, collaborative work and presentation – as well as the opportunities for nurturing artistic expression, provide a strong platform of employable skills for many careers and vocational areas. The emphasis on versatility that the A level course fosters, makes students attractive to employers and universities alike. Former students currently enjoy highly successful careers in law, medicine, teaching, acting, production, film and television.

An A level in Drama and Theatre does not limit career choices to an arts-based area. Indeed, A level Drama and Theatre provides the ideal training for any position requiring quick thinking, resilience, creativity, team work and organisation.

The course will suit students with an interest in theatre, including those interested in theatre technology. A level Drama and Theatre builds on the skills and techniques encountered at GCSE. However, whilst having studied the subject at GCSE would be an advantage, it is by no means essential. The course emphasises learning through practical exploration; in the written paper, students have to write about their practical work.

Drama and Theatre complements many other subjects available at A level, in particular, History, Classical Civilisation, Psychology, English Literature, Art, Music and languages.

Drama and Theatre A level is accepted by universities for a wide range of different courses. The AQA course is highly regarded by outside agencies and universities as being both of great academic and practical performance value alike.

Theatre visits and workshops are a requirement of the syllabus and students join several visits a term to venues both locally (Chichester and Brighton) and in London, as well as research trips to the National Theatre Archive. We also welcome theatre companies to the school to work with students, such as the award winning ‘Paper Birds’ and the world renowned ‘Frantic Assembly’.



• Study of two set plays (currently Our Country’s Good and Hedda Gabler) and Analysis and Evaluation of the work of Live Theatre


• Process of creating devised drama and performance of devised drama
• Devised piece influenced by the work of one prescribed practitioner (e.g. Frantic Assembly, Artaud or Kneehigh)
• Notebook and devised performance


• Practical exploration and interpretation of three extracts each taken from a different play. Methodology of a prescribed practitioner must be applied to the final assessed piece
• Final performance and reflective report

AQA A level Drama & Theatre
(Course code 7262)

3 hours
• 80 marks
• 40% of A level

• 60 marks
• 30% of A level
• Marked by teachers
• Moderated by AQA

• 60 marks
• 30% of A level
• Marked by teachers
• Moderated by AQA


Students are encouraged to develop their enjoyment of literature, think critically, analyse the ways in which writers shape meaning, and evaluate different interpretations of texts. Successful students will write elegantly, articulating their understanding with sensitivity, sophistication, precision and accuracy.





Students explore how playwrights use dramatic forms to shape the meanings in two plays. Plays include:

  • Hamlet or Othello by Shakespeare
  • The Importance of Being Earnest by Wilde
  • A Streetcar Named Desire by Williams



Students compare genre features of two prose fiction texts. Comparisons include:

  • Frankenstein by Shelley and The Handmaid’s Tale by Atwood
  • Dracula by Stoker and The Little Stranger by Waters
  • Wuthering Heights by Brontë and A Thousand Splendid Suns by Hosseini



Students learn to compare poetry from a contemporary collection with an unseen poem, as well as studying a selection from the work of a single named poet. Poets include:

  • Chaucer
  • Keats
  • Larkin



Students choose two texts and prepare a comparative essay exploring thematic links between them.


Every year, students are inspired to read English Literature at university. This could lead to a number of careers, but most directly to law, journalism, media, film, writing, creative arts, marketing, speech therapies and publishing.

The Sixth Form literary society, creative writing and ESU debate groups offer extension opportunities, alongside theatre trips and author visits. English Literature is a traditional subject, highly regarded by most universities and prized by many courses.


Geography helps us to explore and understand space and place, recognising the great differences in cultures, political systems, economies, landscapes and environments across the world, and exploring the links between them. Geography also provides an ideal framework for connecting and bringing together other fields of knowledge. There really has never been a better or more important time to study Geography.


Geography  AQA (Course code: 7037)

The course involves studying the exciting physical geography topics of water and carbon, coasts and hazards. Human topics include global systems and global governance, changing places and population and the environment. Lessons involve a variety of approaches to learning including research activities, role-plays, debates and problem solving.

Studying geography at A level can lead to a variety of jobs in education, commerce, industry, transport, tourism and public sectors. As you will have developed, a range of transferable skills employers from the business, law and finance sectors will also value you.

The geography department is a very active and welcoming department. Sixth form Geography students have developed and run two co-curricular clubs, Geography Society and Eco Group. Further club development is always encouraged as it builds fantastic transferable skills. Fieldwork, whether it is in the school grounds, local area, UK, or Iceland is a fundamental part of the department. Membership of the Royal Geographical Society ensures we are up to date with geographical developments. A significant number of students who study A level Geography at Burgess Hill Girls each year choose to continue their study at university.


History AQA Specification A (Course Code: 7042)

Studying History at A level provides students not only with an in-depth knowledge of the past but also with the ability to scrutinise information and to identify bias in written and spoken material. Today, with events that seemingly parallel some of the most challenging moments in our past, the skills and understanding developed in a History A level course are essential.

The ‘breadth’ study focuses on the turbulent history of Russia from the middle of the nineteenth century through to the collapse of the Tsarist regime in 1917 to the brinkmanship of the Cold War in the mid-1960s. The ‘depth’ study focuses on post-war Britain and on key political, economic, social and cultural changes between 1951-2007. Both topics are assessed by written examination. The third component of the course is the NEA, an essay that is independently-researched and written; in recent years students have completed their NEAs on the unification of Italy in the nineteenth century and on the significance of slavery as a cause of tension between northern and southern states in the USA, 1783-1865.

History is one of the most flexible A level subjects on offer, complementing many others, especially English, Politics, Classical Civilisation and modern foreign languages. As well as providing the essential training for anyone seeking to become a historian, it is widely recognised as one of the most intellectually rigorous A levels, teaching a variety of skills that are easily transferable to many other subjects and future careers. Students at Burgess Hill Girls are incredibly well-supported, and many apply successfully for admission to Oxbridge and to Russell Group universities to further their historical studies.



Economics is more relevant now than ever before. In the last decade, the global economy has been blighted by an historic financial crisis, and national economies have been tested to their limits in response. Austerity in Britain and sovereign debt crises abroad have heightened the tension and, since the 2016 referendum, Britain is also negotiating the most complex arrangement in its history – its removal from the EU, a highly integrated economic and political organisation. In Europe and America, central tenets of free market economics are challenged by populist policy-makers concerned with rising rates of inequality or dwindling living standards. Meanwhile, at the international stage, globalisation has experienced a crisis of confidence, with America electing a President partly committed to dismantling an economic system created by the United States. There is simply no better way to understand the full implications of this situation, as well as the causes for it and the potential solutions to it, than by studying Economics at A level.

Through microeconomics, students are given the opportunity to examine whether consumer behaviour is indeed rational, questioning the central assumption of centuries of economic thinking, and reflect on new considerations from psychology and sociology on the need to consider the non-rational sources of human behaviour. Business activity is analysed closely, giving students the chance to consider contemporary events from an informed position, for

example, by asking whether the proposed merger between Sainsbury’s and Asda will benefit consumers, or how the continuing dominance of online behemoths undermines fair competition online.

Economics A level is highly regarded by universities and employers because a good economist can analyse and interpret data, write discursive and evaluative essays and draw on wider knowledge of current issues and debates to inform their critical thinking. Our students quickly begin to think like economists, assessing different sides of an argument and using a wide variety of economic models and methods of enquiry to analyse economic issues. By the end of the A level, students are able to fully appreciate and understand the economic issues which dominate the news, and will be able to consider and discuss economic affairs and theories with confidence. They will also become confident with using statistical information as evidence in building written answers, which will support them in the study of related subjects at university. The Economics department makes use of a wide variety of the most up to date teaching resources to support students. Girls become resilient and confident learners, readily engaging with current affairs and economic sources online to add to their understanding, while teachers support them with bespoke learning materials and carefully tailored feedback.

Economists don’t have all the answers but they have the most interesting questions and at the heart of many of these are the more philosophical challenges, such as the extent to which human happiness can be achieved through material wealth. Economics is everywhere and influences everything we do and everything that happens to us. With A level Economics, students can better understand the operation of national and international economics, and more confidently comprehend how the world around them works.

EDEXCEL A level in Economics, specification A
(Course code: 9ECO)

2 hours
• 35% of A level

2 hours
• 35% of A level

2 hours
• 30% of A level


The joy of Politics A level is that it is not a static subject; some ideas and concepts will remain largely the same, but the way in which they are applied to the real world is ever-changing. The course helps students understand and critique UK and world events and provides them with a strong contextual understanding of the world in which they live, preparing them to be truly informed global citizens.

Politics involves studying how we order our society, how we distribute power amongst ourselves, and how we administer order and allow for social change. Politics is not remote from everyday life; it is relevant to almost every aspect of the world around us. It is an excellent choice for anyone who wants to understand how the world works, and how they can change it.

Politics students learn about the processes and institutions at the heart of government and how democratic systems operate. We study electoral systems, political parties, pressure groups and the influence of the media. We look in detail at the relationship between Parliament, the Prime Minister, and the legal system, and study where power effectively lies in the UK. This knowledge provides a springboard for considering key issues such as whether we should change how we run elections in the UK and how well human rights are protected in our constitution.

We also examine the ideologies that define modern political thinking. Through liberalism we study the development of the concept of liberty and how political systems might uphold it. Through conservatism we investigate the relevance of tradition and pragmatism in politics. Through socialism we consider the capacity of the state to deliver a more equal standard of living for all. Through feminism, we consider the process of female empowerment and how it has been championed and upheld. With each ideology, we study key factions and figures and thus begin to explore the fascinating history of Western political philosophy.

We also study global politics. We investigate where power really lies in global systems and learn about the key institutions of global governance and why states act as they do in the global arena. This provides the knowledge base to consider numerous fascinating areas, including the nature of global order, the effectiveness of the United Nations and NATO, globalisation, global protection of human rights and the effectiveness (or otherwise) of global efforts to combat climate change, to name but a few.

Politics involves many contentious issues, and being able to develop and defend a point of view, while demonstrating understanding of opposing perspectives will be a key skill we develop. Students will learn about, analyse and evaluate different arguments in each of the themes we study as well as presenting their own views and conclusions.



How Democracy operates in Britain.
Core potential ideas: Liberalism, Conservatism and Socialism


How Britain’s Institutions of Government function
Political Ideas: Feminism and the Feminist Movement


How politics operates globally.
Political Ideas: Realism and Liberalism in the global context.

EDEXCEL A level Politics
(Course code: 9PL0)

2 hour exam
• 33% of A level

2 hour exam
• 33% of A level

2 hour exam
• 33% of A level


One of the reasons students enjoy A level Business so much is the variety of topics covered and the fact that so much of the content is relevant to our everyday lives. Did you know that Coca Cola owns Innocent Smoothies? Do you know why containerisation is one of the main drivers of globalisation? Do you know the difference between profit and Return on Capital Employed and why it is an important distinction?

Business is a rigorous A level, with 20% of the final marks in the exam awarded for quantitative skills. Students are asked to show an understanding of how individuals and organisations are affected by and respond to business issues. They are required to analyse issues in the specific context of a business or industry and to evaluate quantitative and qualitative information to make informed judgements and propose evidence- based solutions to real business issues.

Topics covered include marketing, managing people and leadership, finance and resource management, economic and other external influences, corporate objectives and strategy, quantitative decision- making techniques, and Global business.

EDEXCEL A level Business
(Course code: 9BSO)

PAPER 1: Marketing, People and Global businesses.
• 2 hour exam

PAPER 2: Business activities, decisions and strategy.
• 2 hour exam

PAPER 3: Investigating business in a competitive environment. This exam is based on a pre-released context document.
• 2 hour exam




An A level in Classical Civilisation opens up the wonders of the Classical world without requiring students to understand an ancient language. It is wide ranging in its scope and provides give students a broad skill base necessary for future success. Comparing ancient and modern societies is fascinating and through this students gain a deeper insight into culture. As one of the most well-documented and diverse ancient cultures, the Roman Empire, at the time of its greatest influence, included places as diverse and colourful as Britain in the north, Egypt in the south, modern day Iraq, Turkey and Syria in the East and the Iberian Peninsula and Morocco in the West. Recognised even today as a pinnacle of intellectual thought and discovery, ancient Athens gave birth to democracy and sparked a cultural revolution of art and drama. Through Classical Civilisation, our girls can access the lives, minds and philosophical thought of men and women who lived over two and half thousand years ago.

At A level, there are three principle areas of study: the World of the Hero; Greek Theatre and ‘Love and Relationships’. We explore what heroism means in the ancient world, experience epic battles and read some of the most influential and engaging literature ever written or composed. Studying the Odyssey and the Aeneid, we compare what heroism means to different societies and cultures. Greek Tragedy gives us the enthralling opportunity to ponder life’s most important questions through the medium of Greek drama and struggle with murder, mania, religious extremism and what it means to be human. The scandalous (and very rude) Greek comedy will offer some light relief. Finally, we study ‘Love and Relationships’. As well as gaining some essential tips on affairs of the heart from the scurrilous poet, Ovid, students also study the delights of the woman poet, Sappho, whose poems are as evocative now as they were nearly three thousand years ago. The courses explore both literary and material culture.

Classical Civilisation is recognised as a very academic subject, which will provide students with a wide array of key skills. It also offers a huge variety of subject areas including philosophy, science, rhetoric, sophistry, architecture, history and some of the best and most influential literature ever written. The Classics Department has a history of excellent results, and offers a vibrant selection of extra-curricular activities.

An A level in Classical Civilisation is a good complement for humanities or creative subjects. It is also a good choice for scientists who want to demonstrate skills in other areas too. Students will develop excellent communication skills, analytical and evaluative skills, the ability to synthesise a large amount of material and the ability to argue coherently and, crucially, to think outside the box.


Assessment is by examination only. There is no coursework.

There are three papers:

PAPER 1: The World of the Hero (40%)

PAPER 2: Culture and the Arts (30%)

PAPER 3: Beliefs and Ideas (30%)

Over the course, students will be assessed through essays, presentations, source analysis, practice questions and other suitable tasks.

OCR A level Classical Civilisation
(Course code H408)

2 hours 20 minutes
• 100 marks
• 40% of A level

1 hour 45 minutes
• 75 marks
• 30% of A level

1 hour 45
• 75 marks
• 30% of A level




Religious Studies A level is perfect for any student fascinated by big ideas, by the way people’s beliefs influence the way they live, or by sacred texts and their interpretation. Ideas, texts, beliefs and actions are at the heart of Religious Studies. It offers a wide and challenging syllabus that engages both the intellect and the emotions. It allows students to study different religions, and ensures that they have a thorough understanding of diverse philosophical and ethical viewpoints.

The course allows students to investigate ultimate questions such as “why does evil exist?” and “what is the purpose of life?”, and study topics that explain the diversity of life and religion in the modern world. Students will improve their philosophical thinking skills and their capacity to understand and evaluate contemporary ethical and religious issues such as medical ethics and religious fundamentalism. All will develop communication skills and learn to clearly express their views, building their self-confidence.

The course allows students to find answers for themselves, ensuring that they develop critical thinking skills, learn how to debate, assess the reliability of evidence and most importantly develop arguments using well-reasoned explanations. It fascinates and informs in equal measure, and offers exceptional preparation for later life.

The course covers philosophy of religion, ethics and dialogues between Christianity and Philosophy. Students intellectually engage with topics such as proofs for the existence of God, various ethical theories and discussions of modern ethical dilemmas such as embryology, genetic engineering and weapons of mass destruction. In the ‘dialogues with religion’ paper, there are discussions of religious attitudes to gender and sexuality and the impact of the diversity of faiths in Britain.

Through Religious Studies, students will gain the critical and evaluative skills sought by both higher education providers and employers – particularly in areas such as law, education, social work, finance, politics, medicine, administration and the media. Leading universities have made it clear that RS A level provides the necessary skills for preparation for university. Both Oxford and Cambridge University include Religious Studies in the top level list of ‘generally suitable arts A levels.’ For these reasons, it is one of the fastest growing subjects at A level.

Religious Studies provides students with the opportunity to open their mind to new ideas, helping them to see the world in a new and exciting way.


PAPER 1: Philosophy of Religion and Ethics

Section A: Philosophy of religion
• Arguments for the existence of God
• Evil and suffering
• Religious experience
• Religious language
• Miracles
• Self and life after death

Section B: Ethics and religion
• Ethical theories
• Issues of human life and death
• Issues of animal life and death
• Introduction to meta ethics
• Free will and moral responsibility
• Conscience
• Bentham and Kant

PAPER 2: Study of Religion and Dialogues

Section A: Study of religion (Christianity):
• Sources of wisdom and authority
• God/gods/ultimate reality
• Self, death and the afterlife
• Good conduct and key moral principles
• Expression of religious identity
• Religion, gender and sexuality
• Religion and science
• Religion and secularisation
• Religion and religious pluralism

Section B: The dialogue between philosophy of religion and religion:
How religion is influenced by, and has an influence on philosophy of religion in relation to the issues studied.

Section C: The dialogue between ethical studies and religion:
How religion is influenced by, and has an influence on ethical studies in relation to the issues studied.

AQA A level Religious Studies
(Course code: 9PL0)

3 hours
• 50% of A level
• 100 marks

3 hours
• 50% of A level
• 100 marks



Mathematics is a fascinating, challenging and stimulating subject with the capacity to push intellectual boundaries. It can be used to make sense of an increasingly complex world and provides the problem-solving tools essential to virtually all fields of endeavour.

Mathematics underpins most of science, technology and engineering and is also important in areas as diverse as business, law, nutrition, sport science and psychology. It supports a wide range of other A level subjects; Economics, Psychology, the sciences, Computer Science and Geography all benefit from students having fluent and confident numerical, algebraic, graphical and statistical skills. The skills developed through the study of Mathematics at A level are in high demand from employers. In addition to developing the ability to solve problems and think logically, the study of Mathematics provides opportunities to develop team-working skills, resilience, effective communication of complex ideas and the ability to use your own initiative; the breadth of application is immense.

A level Mathematics extends techniques covered at GCSE and introduces new methods and concepts, providing a mix of pure and applied Mathematics. Pure elements include familiar topics such as Algebra, Functions and Coordinate Geometry, as well as new topics such as Sequences and Series, a wider view of Trigonometry, Calculus, Numerical methods and Vectors. Applied topics cover key areas of mechanics and statistics.

Mechanics aims to model the physical world by developing concepts to apply to the understanding of motion and forces acting on objects. Techniques can be used to explain how

forces are combined to cause movement and the impact of forces such as weight and friction.

Statistics explores the complex field of probability and explores how an understanding of chance can predict future events and inform important decision making. Combined with this is the understanding of data, including the larger sets of data used by modern technology. Statistical techniques, such as sampling and hypothesis testing, are used to analyse and present data in a rigorous and meaningful way.

Further Mathematics is a second qualification that can be taken in addition to A level Mathematics. This aims to provide an opportunity for enthusiastic mathematicians to broaden and deepen their subject knowledge. It is most suitable for students who are thinking of studying for a Mathematics, Engineering, Physics or similar degree. It is also suitable for those students who simply love Mathematics and want to devote more time to studying wider aspects of the subject.

At Burgess Hill Girls, A level courses in Mathematics and Further Mathematics are a popular choice. Our experienced teachers recognise the need to support the individual needs of every girl, regardless of their reasons for choosing to study these subjects. Support for girls aiming to study Mathematics at Oxbridge and other universities is offered, as well as competitions, trips and other events that aim to develop the mathematical curiosity and enthusiasm of our students.



PAPER 1: Pure Mathematics and Mechanics

PAPER 2: Pure Mathematics and Statistics

PAPER 3: Pure Mathematics and Comprehension


PAPER 1: Pure (Core) Mathematics

PAPER 2: Minor Option (Numerical Methods)

PAPER 3: Minor Option (Statistics)

PAPER 4: Minor Option (Mechanics)

OCR (MEI) Mathematics
(Course code H640)

• 36.4% of A level

• 36.4% of A level

• 27.3% of A level

OCR (MEI) Further Mathematics
(Course code H645)

• 50% of A level

• 16.6% of A level

• 16.6% of A level

• 16.6% of A level


Computer technology is part of just about everything that touches our lives, from the cars we drive, to the films we watch, to the ways businesses and governments work. We are all users of computer technology.

But how do our smartphones and laptops work? How is it possible to share messages, photos, music and videos from one side of the planet to the other within a few seconds? How can technology be programmed to play games, understand speech, drive cars and control power stations? Studying Computer Science can answer these questions and many more by ‘lifting the lid’ on technology to explore a hidden world of electronics and code. And, in a field often dominated by the latest gadgets and applications, Computer Science also explores the underlying principles and techniques which have underpinned a constantly changing technological landscape for many years.

As well as explaining how technology works, Computer Science also develops other capabilities in understanding and solving problems. Designing, developing and testing applications and hardware devices can be a challenging, creative and highly rewarding experience. Learning how to think algorithmically, together with the computational thinking skills of decomposition and abstraction help build a powerful problem-solving toolkit that can be put to use in a wide range of areas.

At A level, key components of modern computer systems are explored in depth, looking at both the hardware and software that combine to make a complete system. The storage and management of data, an increasingly significant feature of computing applications, is also studied and programming skills are developed, alongside the study of important techniques such as pattern recognition, searching and sorting. Other areas of study include communications and the internet, and the issue of cyber security is covered in detail.

Creating software is a significant part of the course and, in the final year, students showcase their programming skills by analysing, designing, coding, testing and evaluating a substantial programming task.

Studying computing and computer technology is also good preparation for a future where technology will continue to dominate nearly every profession. There can be little doubt that knowledge and skills in this field will continue to be highly sought-after by future employers.


PAPER 1: Computer Systems

PAPER 2: Algorithms and Programming

PAPER 3: Programming Project

OCR A level Computer Science
(Course code H446)

PAPER 1: WRITTEN EXAM                                                                                                                               2 hour 30 minutes
• 40% of A level

PAPER 2: WRITTEN EXAM                                                                                                                               1 hour 45 minutes
• 40% of A level

• 20% of A level


Studying Design and Technology combines practical skill, creative design thinking and technical knowledge to help shape the world around us. Students explore the ethical and environmental issues that underpin sustainable design decisions, and sharpen strategic thinking through dynamic project management. Design and Technology at Burgess Hill Girls allows students to carve out their own specialist areas of interest, with individually focused learning and plenty of opportunities to realise their vision in the workshop.


Design and Technology, AQA (Product Design) (Course Code 7552)

  1. Technical Principles
  2. Designing and Making Principles

Technical theory is extensive and fascinating, covering materials, their properties, manufacturing and finishing, sustainability, health and safety, project management and intellectual property. Design theory includes the history of design and the work of individual designers, critical analysis and evaluation, cultural influences and manufacturing decisions. Responsible design, including Dame Ellen McArthur’s circular economy and modular design, gives an ethical and environmental focus to our work.

Design and Technology supports designers and engineers of the future. We take inspiration from the sustainable and inventive designs of Trevor Baylis, the inclusive pictograms of Margaret Calvert, the design rules of Deiter Rams, the immense organic forms of Zahir Hadid’s architecture and the iterative approach of Sir James Dyson. Our students have gone on to study for careers in 3D design and computer-aided design. Students might become commercially successful graphic designers or architects, or perhaps help to develop practical solutions for future sustainable energy production, water purification or conservation.

Extension opportunities are regular and inclusive. All students have extra opportunities to use the workshop. Outside of school, work experience is encouraged and links are offered through our school support network. Some students choose to complete a CREST challenge, with one student recently gaining a prestigious Gold Award for a hand-powered smoothie-making machine.



The study of French can provide a student access to a whole world, a whole culture, and an entire population. More than 220 million people speak French on the five continents. French is the second most widely learned foreign language after English, and the sixth most widely spoken language in the world. With A level French, students can interact directly with the French-speaking world, be it for reasons of travel, culture, or business.

French is the international language of cooking, fashion, theatre, the visual arts, dance and architecture. A knowledge of French offers access to great works of literature in the original French, as well as films and songs. The ability to speak French makes it so much more enjoyable to visit Paris and all the regions of France and offers insights into French culture, society, politics and way of life. French is also of immense value when travelling to many places that also speak French, including parts of Africa, Switzerland and Canada.

A knowledge of French opens the doors of French companies in France and other French-speaking parts of the world (Canada, Switzerland, Belgium, and the continent of Africa). As the world’s fifth biggest economy and third-ranking destination for foreign investment, France is a key economic player in an increasingly globalised world, and a capacity to speak and read the language with fluency is a hugely attractive asset.

Students studying French A level will build a huge variety of essential skills, such as communication, interpersonal and intercultural interaction, and public speaking. Students will also have the chance to learn about French culture, cinema, literature, fashion, history and politics.

For any student interested in studying French at university or business school it goes well with most subjects: English, Classics, Geography, History, Economics and others. With an A level, students studying any subject at degree level have the opportunity to keep their language skills current, or improve them, using university language schools.

At Burgess Hill Girls, French A level makes use of interactive and contemporary material, and students will have one-to-one weekly session with the Assistante, to help perfect their pronunciation and fluency. The language lab is an excellent tool to improve listening skills giving girls the opportunity to listen to authentic items of news, watch extracts from French television or study videos.


The A level is assessed using three exams:

PAPER 1: Listening, Reading and Translation

PAPER 2: Writing in French on two set texts or a text and a film

PAPER 3: Speaking test including an individual research project


2 hours 30 MINUTES
• 100 marks
• 50% of A level

2 hours
• 80 marks
• 20% of A level

20-23 minutes (including 5 minutes preparation time)
• 60 marks
• 30% of A level
• Assessed by teacher, marked by AQA


Germany is one of the world’s biggest industrial countries and economic powerhouses. Germany is also currently the United Kingdom’s biggest trading partner in Europe. More people speak German as their native language than any other language in Europe. It’s no wonder, since Germany’s 83 million inhabitants make it the most populous European nation. But not only the residents of Germany speak German. It is also an official language of Austria, Switzerland, Luxembourg, and Liechtenstein. It is the native language of a significant portion of the population in northern Italy, eastern Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark, eastern France, parts of Poland, the Czech Republic, Russia, and Romania, as well as in other parts of Europe. Despite Germany having the largest number of native speakers in Europe, few people outside the country actually speak the language, which means that the ability to communicate in German is of considerable economic and commercial value. It also allows access to a wealth of intellectual, philosophical, scientific and musical creativity.

Studying an A level in German readily complements an interest in history and culture, in current affairs and politics, international relations and law, in travel or tourism, in literature, or in journalism and the media, not to mention the opportunities it allows for studying the primary sources of many of the most significant and influential scientific and philosophical works. It enables students to develop interpersonal and study skills and learn much more about aspects of the societies in which German is spoken. They gain a profound insight into the rich variety of literary and artistic culture and may choose to take advantage of the popular option to study and write about a prize winning film.

The learning experience is varied, involving use of the state of the art language laboratory facilities, a regular appointment with a highly experienced German native speaker, discussion of German news broadcasts, and immersion in the rich library of extension materials, DVDs, books and magazines that can take students far beyond the demands of the examination specification. As part of the course’s speaking test, an independent personal research project gives students the freedom to individually investigate, in considerable depth, an area of particular interest related to the German speaking world. Discussion of the findings forms the basis of much of the test and the project hones research and discursive skills.


The A level is assessed using three exams:

PAPER 1: Listening, Reading and Translation
PAPER 2: Writing in French on two set texts or a text and a film                                                                   PAPER 3: Speaking test including an individual research project


• 100 marks
• 50% of A level

2 hours
• 80 marks
• 20% of A level

21-23 minutes including 5 minutes preparation time
• 60 marks
• 30% of A level


Spanish is the second most spoken language by native speakers in the world, with more than 400 million Spanish speakers in 21 countries, and the British Council has recently ranked Spanish as the most important language British students should learn. With an ever-increasing presence in the global market, emerging economies in the Americas mean that the chance of work and business opportunities from the Spanish-speaking world continue to multiply.

In cultural terms, being able to communicate and understand Spanish opens up a whole world of artistic and literary excellence. Artists such as Salvador Dali, Pablo Picasso, Fernando Botero and Frida Kahlo have produced some of the most famous pieces of artwork in the modern era. Writers from Cervantes to Vargas Llosa and García Márquez have enriched global literature, and a total of 11 Spanish-speaking writers have won the Nobel prize for Literature: five from Spain and six from Latin America. For these reasons, and many others, learning Spanish at A level is an immensely valuable and attractive option.

At Burgess Hill Girls, Spanish is taught by native speakers and by bilingual staff whose knowledge of Spanish far exceeds the level normally required for teaching at A level. The combined experiences give students an exceptional preparation for the varieties of Spanish. The department is familiar not only with Castilian Spanish, but also Latin American varieties: our students know they won’t get red wine when they order ‘tinto’ in Colombia!

In the A level, the study of the language is augmented with a look at Spanish literature, society, and history. Appreciating the forces behind the Spanish Civil War, for instance, gives students wider insights into twentieth century history and political systems, which is key to understand the current trends in the Hispanic world. The A level also provides

excellent essay-writing skills that help students to excel at
university across the humanities and social sciences.

A level students benefit from the use of the modern language lab, which allows several students to talk and interact at the same time, with teachers recording all these interventions. Such technology reinforces the school approach to learning, which focuses on the individual needs of each student. A level students take part in regular speaking sessions with our Spanish language assistant, and engage with activities outside of class, such as ‘café español’, where students discuss the issues they are more passionate about, such as independence movements in Catalonia, or economic mismanagement in Madrid.

A level students also take part in a Spanish language immersion trip to Puerto de Santa María on the Bay of Cádiz. During the stay the girls attend Spanish lessons in the morning and take part in excursions and activities in the afternoon, which helps pupils improve both their language skills and their cultural knowledge of Spain.


• Modern and traditional values
• Cyberspace
• Equal rights

• Modern day idols
• Spanish regional identity
• Cultural heritage

• Immigration
• Racism
• Integration

• Today’s youth, tomorrow’s citizens
• Monarchies and dictatorships
• Popular movements

Literary text: Crónica de una muerte anunciada, by Gabriel García Márquez

Film: Volver, by Pedro Almodóvar


2 hours 30 minutes
• Four themes and grammar
• 100 marks
• 50% of A level

2 hours
• One text and one film, and grammar
• 80 marks
• 20% of A level

21-23 minutes
• Individual research project and one theme
• 60 marks
• 30% of A level


Latin A level is so much more than a language, although the language is in itself a true delight. A love of Latin GCSE is the best prerequisite for the course and those who enjoyed at GCSE, will revel in it at A level. The A level course content is a further compelling reason to select it. The set texts below give a flavour of the course content:

A level Latinists will study a subject that is universally recognised for its academic rigour. They will gain superior skills of synthesis, analysis and evaluation and will have a meticulous eye for detail. The grasp of grammar and skills of literary criticism supports other linguistic pathways. When faced with difficulties, a Latinist will resort to logic and will be adept at asking questions and considering hypotheses to solve a puzzle.

As part of a small, vibrant department with plenty of opportunities for leadership and new experiences, life is rarely dull. Some choose to learn Greek in addition, watch Greek Tragedy and attend symposiums. The very popular Classics trip is a further wonderful opportunity.

Cicero Philippic II
In his second Philippic, Cicero lives and breathes the invective with all its passion and seething fury. Written at a time of great political instability, in the aftermath of the assassination of the charismatic tyrant, Julius Caesar, at a time when rivalling, plotting factions lurked in every corner and no one could be quite sure who to trust, Cicero alone dared to stand and take on the enemy of the Republic, Mark Antony. The speech itself contributed to Cicero’s murder not long afterwards and those who admire self-sacrifice and the bravery of speaking one’s mind regardless of the danger have long praised Cicero’s courage. His speech is uncompromising and provocative and exposes in all its

scandalous detail the faults and vices of the enemy, Mark Antony. Roman politics was far from dull!

Virgil Aeneid XI
‘Unhappy one, you will see the bitter funeral of your child!’ (Virgil) This is the story of the devastating loss of the young hero, Pallas. It is surely in the grief of an aged father and in the tragic loss of so promising a youth that the cost of war and empire is truly felt. A serious but moving account with contemporary echoes.

Ovid Amores
Ovid’s scurrilous love poetry is essential reading for any sixth former. Students will gain a better understanding of relationships and Roman culture, but should prepare to be
shocked, amused and entertained.

Apuleius Metamorphoses V
We study the blighted romance of Cupid and his mortal lover, Psyche. An allegory for the relationship between the soul and desire, this is also an adventure story told in hauntingly beautiful Latin prose.

Language: Students will also gain a wider understanding of Roman Love Elegy, mythology, historiography and Roman history whilst preparing for the unseen translation. Our authors will be Ovid and Livy.







1 hour 45 minutes

1 hour 15 minutes

2 hours

2 hours


Music is a vital part of the way we communicate and interact with the world around us. A level Music develops both a deeper understanding of the nature and language of music, a broader awareness of its cultural and historical contexts and enhances a student’s listening, performing and compositional skills.

Studying Music helps to develop problem solving skills, independent research tasks, planning, analytical and critical thinking skills, as well as develop creativity. Other transferrable skills include self-discipline, composure under pressure, time management, communication, team and individual working ability – all gained from practice and performing. Students also learn technical skills through using computers, recording equipment and software to create and record music.

We follow the AQA syllabus and on this course students will develop performance skills, compose music and learn about harmony. Students will build up aural and analytical skills by studying a selection of set works. They are encouraged to engage critically and creatively with a wide range of music and musical contexts, develop an understanding of the place of music in different cultures and contexts, and reflect on how music is used in the expression of personal and collective identities.



• Section A – Listening
• Section B – Analysis
• Section C – Essay


• Solo and/or ensemble performing as an
instrumentalist, or vocalist and/or music production (via technology)
• Students must perform a recital for a minimum of ten minutes


• Composition to a brief
• Free composition
• Programme Notes (150 words per composition)
• A minimum of 4½ minutes of music is required in total


2 hours 30 minutes
• 120 marks
• 40% of A level

• 50 marks
• 35% of A level

• 50 marks
• 25% of A level

To get to know what makes music special at Burgess Hill Girls watch this video.


As the study of mind and behaviour, Psychology encompasses everything that is human. Whether it is how faulty neurotransmitter activity might cause schizophrenia or how the individual develops their gender identity, psychologists have attempted to analyse and explain behaviour using a variety of research methods. It is the only subject to study and assess the credibility of a range of research methods and students learn to collect and analyse all types of quantitative and qualitative data. A full understanding of the British Psychological Society ethical guidelines is also covered.

Students develop their thinking skills and learn to ‘analyse like a scientist and argue like a lawyer’. They explore tried and tested theories of behaviour such as the processes of classical and operant conditioning and the ideas of Sigmund Freud right up to current scientific understanding of the brain function and neural plasticity using advanced imaging techniques.

The AQA course followed includes a full range of topics, mirroring first year undergraduate study, including the causes and treatments of mental illness, explanations of memory and forgetting including the fallibility of eyewitness testimony. Why we conform and what makes us capable of resisting social pressure are two particularly popular topics. Whilst this is an A level of academic rigour, its applicability to real life makes every aspect of the course relevant, accessible and useful.

For those who want to understand how humans work, develop their ability to think independently and become adept at analysing any type of data, Psychology is the right choice. Exciting, challenging and fundamentally important, this is a subject worth studying.


‘Introductory topics in Psychology’ covers four of the most intriguing areas of the subject, social influence, memory and psychopathology.

‘Psychology in context’ demonstrates how psychologists hold different views as to how to study behaviour in the ‘Approaches’ section, focuses on the most prominent paradigm in modern psychology – biopsychology – and also introduces students to the range of research methods techniques psychologists make use of.

‘Issues and options’ is partly synoptic and covers the issues psychologists have to consider when completing research. These include cultural bias and ethics. Students also study three elective units, Forensic Psychology, Gender Development and Schizophrenia.

AQA A level Psychology
(Course code: 7182)

2 hours
• Closed book
• 96 marks
• 33% of A level

2 hours
• Closed book
• 96 marks
• 33% of A level

2 hours
• Closed book
• 96 marks
• 33% of A level


“There is excellent participation in sport for all pupils, regardless of ability, with the school providing them with the support and resources to fulfil their potential.” – Independent Schools Inspectorate

A level Physical Education has been designed to allow students to play to their strengths and gain dynamic theoretical and practical skills for further education or work. Those that have enjoyed the GCSE course will most definitely enjoy building on their existing knowledge. The scientific areas of the course provide students with the opportunity to develop their knowledge and understanding of the changes that take place within the body’s systems during exercise, as well as interpreting data and graphs relating to factors that affect the body during different types of exercise and recovery. In addition, students will enhance their knowledge of training principles and the different methods used to improve performance. They will also study the basics of motion and forces, and their relevance to different physical activities. Using biomechanical definitions, equations, formulae and units of measurement, they will analyse data and performance.

‘Skill Acquisition and Sports Psychology’ focuses on the impact of psychological factors on participation, as well as developing an understanding of how psychology can be used to help optimise performance. Topic areas include personality types and traits, types of motivation, and the psychology of teamwork.

In ‘Sport and Society’, students learn about the development of sport as early as pre-industrialisation through rationalisation and to the emergence of modern sport and its globalisation in the 21st century. Students will study the social factors that have influenced the development of football, tennis and athletics. The module also looks at the interrelationship between Sport England, local and national partners who work hard to try and increase participation at grass roots level, as well as encouraging under-represented groups in sport, and understanding how individuals can benefit from engaging in a healthy, balanced lifestyle.
In the practical element of the course, students are asked to perform (or coach) in one physical activity. They have to participate in a ‘full-sided’ version of the game and undertake a written / verbal analysis of someone participating in that sport. This takes place over a two year period, allowing plenty of time for students to develop their practical and analytical skills, as well as time to gain video evidence of practices and competition to ensure they maximise their marks.

The course is a nice balance of theory and practice with practical examples being used where possible. Girls have experienced ice baths, completing their own taping methods, making their own sports fuel food and undertaken sports psychology experiments. It is rewarding and exciting and in a world where sport is a multibillion pound business, there are numerous opportunities to be involved in it.


PAPER 1: Factors affecting participation in physical activity and sport

PAPER 2: Factors affecting optimal performance in physical activity and sport

Practical performance in physical activity and sport Plus written analysis of strengths and weaknesses in sport.

(Course Code: 7582)

2 hours
• 35% of A level

2 hours
• 35% of A level

• Internal assessment by teachers
• Externally moderated by AQA
• 30% of A level



Biology represents every aspect of life; how do living things work, what makes them similar or unique and how can biological developments influence life now and in the future. At A level, Biology delves deeper and more extensively into the human body, the life of plants, biological processes and the interaction of living things and the environment. It traces the path of Biology through its evolutionary history while bringing students’ knowledge right up to date with the most recent advances in biotechnology and genetic engineering. The course challenges students, with an emphasis on application of ideas and an ability to link concepts.

There is a significant mathematical requirement alongside the need to retain a breadth and depth of facts and ideas while making links between topics throughout the course. The specification offers a broad biological education with a consolidation of knowledge as the course progresses. There is a core of practical work with a number of required investigative tasks forming the award of the Practical Endorsement.

As an A level student of Biology, students should expect to be involved in discovering many interesting new ideas and concepts through lessons and practical work but also to
pursue their own particular interests through independent review and study. There will also be opportunities to get involved in debates and discussions generated from the emotive topics that will be encountered on the course.

There are cross curricular links with many complementary subjects, including Mathematics, the other sciences, Psychology, Geography and PE. Biology is also able to develop many transferable skills such as logical reasoning, practical investigation and data analysis. Biology continues to be seen favourably by universities for entry to all types of higher education courses. Past students have gone on to study degree courses as diverse as medicine, veterinary sciences and physiotherapy to history, art and music. Careers in biological fields are ever-expanding with the continued progression of biotechnology and genetics, as well as an increase in environmental assessment and its implications for industry.

Biology holds interest for all of us due to its relevance and importance in the world around us. Study of the subject at A level will stretch students academically, expand their understanding and pose as many questions as it will answer.


Chemistry is everywhere in the world around us, from the food we eat, the water we drink, clothing, medicines and much more. It is sometimes referred to as the central science as it finds connections between other scientific subjects. A level Chemistry gives students an exciting insight into the contemporary world of chemistry. It covers the key concepts of chemistry with practical skills integrated throughout the course. It can give students a full and clear comprehension of these processes, and the means to consider employment or further study that builds on that understanding to consider and develop new ways to use chemistry. The combination of academic challenge and practical focus makes the subject hugely rewarding.

Chemistry is an excellent foundation for a large number of university degrees. It is essential for studying veterinary science, medicine, pharmacy and dentistry but also relevant for the biological sciences, physics, mathematics, pharmacology, analytical chemistry, engineering, teaching and other health care subjects. Chemistry can also complement a number of arts subjects.

Beyond those seeking to succeed in Chemistry specifically and the sciences generally, the skills learned in Chemistry A level are highly regarded by law and accountancy firms as

well as the financial services industry. Chemistry requires the application of practical skills such as planning, making risk assessments, manipulating apparatus, deriving conclusions from results and evaluating their accuracy, precision and reliability. Chemistry also involves using the mathematical skills of rearranging equations and using logarithms and exponentials. Through completing regular practicals and manipulating data, these skills are all developed throughout the two-year course.


Six teaching modules:

1. Development of practical skills in chemistry

2. Foundations in chemistry

3. Periodic table and energy

4. Core organic chemistry

5. Physical chemistry and transition elements

6. Organic chemistry and analysis

OCR A level chemistry
(Course code H432)

• 37% of A level

• 37% of A level

• 26% of A level

• Practical endrosement


Physics helps us to understand fully the very nature of the world around us, from the smallest scale deep inside the atom to the largest conceivable distance, stretching across the entire universe. It can allow us to comprehend how the universe came to be, how it operates, and how it might one day end. Physics is a very creative subject that calls for imagination and inventiveness. Einstein developed a reputation for asking awkward questions, and this attribute helped him to become a world-changing physicist.

The study of physics is about making predictions, testing them through observations and measurements and devising theories and laws to make more predictions. Physics students learn the skills of making observations and measurements, and how to use mathematical skills to make sense of experiments. Physicists also learn to communicate knowledge and understanding of the subject effectively, showing a grasp of the subject through effective written and spoken responses.

The A level course contains nine main topics: particles; radiation; materials; waves; mechanics; electricity; thermal physics; fields and nuclear physics.

Students start by learning about measurements and the potential for error. They also gain an awareness of the on-going development of new ideas in the subject through the application of in-depth knowledge.

Particle physics introduces students to the fundamental properties and nature of matter, radiation and quantum phenomena. Materials are studied in terms of their bulk properties and tensile strength whilst wave characteristics are studied through the work on refraction, diffraction, superposition and interference as well as progressive and stationary waves. The thermal properties of a material and the properties and nature of a gas are studied in detail. nuclear nhysics studies the nucleus of an atom and how energy can be obtained from it.

In astrophysics, we study how the principles of physics apply to astronomical objects. Fundamental physical principles are applied to the study and interpretation of the universe. Students gain deeper insight into the behaviour of objects at great distances from Earth and discover the ways in which information from these objects can be gathered. The underlying physical principles of the devices used are covered and some indication is given of the new information gained by the use of radio astronomy. The discovery of exoplanets is an example of the way in which new information is gained by astronomers.

Although there is no coursework, practical skills are assessed throughout the course by the subject teacher.


PAPER1: Sections 1 to 5 and 6.1 (Periodic motion)

60 marks of short and long answer questions and 25 multiple choice questions on content.

PAPER 2: Sections 6.2 (Thermal Physics), 7 and 8 Assumed knowledge from sections 1 to 6.1

60 marks of short and long answer questions and 25 multiple choice questions on content.

PAPER 3: Section A Compulsory section: Practical skills and data analysis Section B: Students enter for one of sections 9, 10, 11, 12 or 13

45 marks of short and long answer questions on practical experiments and data analysis.
35 marks of short and long answer questions on optional topic.

AQA A level Physics, Specification A
(Course code: 7408)

2 hours
• 85 marks
• 34% of A level

2 hours
• 85 marks
• 34% of A level

PAPER 3: WRITTEN EXAM                                                                                                                             2 hours
• 80 marks
• 32% of A level

Extended Project Qualification

The Extended Project Qualification is an independent research project of an A level standard completed by all Burgess Hill Girls Sixth Formers. The EPQ is an integral part of the Sixth Form BOLD Programme, (link to with all students taking the EPQ in Year 12 alongside their A levels. In the most recent year’s results, 95% of students received either an A or an A*, with over 60% achieving an A*.

As well as being enormously rewarding and of immense educational value, the EPQ is warmly welcomed by universities and can determine whether offers are made, or lead to more generous grade requirements. This is because the project shows a student’s willingness to take on an independent academic challenge and provides evidence of their commitment to a course of higher education.

For the student, completing the project extends and deepens their knowledge of a topic of interest and can help them confirm their intentions for higher education or training. There may be a topic a student is really interested in but they have had no opportunity to pursue further. Maybe they know what they want to study at university and the EPQ would be a great way to research into it and show their knowledge at interview – for example, architecture, law, or speech and language therapy. Beyond the value for applications, students develop transferable skills such as essay construction, analysis and evaluation of raw data that might not be a key element of their A level subjects, but will be of incredible value later in life.

The EPQ is all about the process of putting together a piece of academic work. Students can choose to write a 5,000 word essay, make an artefact supported by a shorter essay or put on a performance and write up an analysis of the work.

Regardless of their choice, the structure will have the same three parts:

First, a production log documented electronically on the ‘Project Q’ website. This is written over the course of six months and records a student’s progress as they develop their project. It will act as a record of their decision making, time management and reflection.

Second, the essay or artefact itself. Most titles take the form of a question and the students respond to that question, backing their arguments up with evidence from academic research. Selection and evaluation of the quality of their chosen research is one of the key skills they will develop.

Finally, a presentation is completed after the essay has been written. It is presented to an audience of the student’s choice but must include their supervisor. The aim is to give an overview of the project to a non-specialist audience explaining what was researched and what was concluded.

To support pupils to achieve the highest grades, Burgess Hill Girls gives EPQ students 30 hours of tuition in key skills such as selection of resources, time management, analysis of data, referencing, as well as one to one meetings with an allocated supervisor.

"Pupils knowledge, skills and understanding across the curriculum is outstanding, strongly supported by carefully structured and well-paced lessons." 
Independent Schools Inspectorate