We offer a range of different types of course, from our “Access to A Level or Apprenticeships' course, which could be for you if you haven’t quite met the entry requirements, to A Levels, Cambridge Technicals and Diplomas.

A Level and Level 3 Courses

Our Course Catalogue gives an overview of all the courses we offer at Sixth Form. For more information about each, please visit the course pages.

Access to A Levels or Apprenticeships (A2A)

At Attleborough Academy we can offer a unique learning pathway that allows us to match the individual need, ability and interest of a student with a programme of study that most effectively prepares them for a bright future. The introduction of the A2A programme in September 2016 has enabled us to offer students a bespoke course which combines subjects taught in school, business and industry engagement, and valuable work experience. The entire year’s programme is constructed to support successful progression towards each student’s individual future goals.

This one year pathway of study aims to provide a bridge between Year 11 completion and the next stage, effectively preparing students for the world of work, for embarking on apprenticeships, or, by increasing their qualifications, improving their readiness to begin full A Level courses in the near future. The majority of students joining the A2A group at the academy will carry out one day a week work experience with a local business or industry.

Since this course began,  A2A students have gathered substantial and meaningful work related skills in a diverse range of placements, which have included construction companies, car mechanic firms, businesses, wellbeing, leisure, care homes and charity organisations, retail businesses and educational and medical institutions. Students participating in the A2A programme will also have timetabled taught lessons within the academy for GCSE retakes, (with particular focus on English and Maths) and/ or additional Level 2 qualifications. All students will study for the Extended Project Qualification which will be focused on their specific area of interest or future goals. They will also have supervised guided study periods and will receive substantial tutor and mentoring support.

If you are a student who previously felt that Sixth Form was not the place for you – either because you desire to follow a less traditional and more work related programme of learning, or because you did not yet achieve the required quantity of GCSE and equivalent passes to begin A Level study – this is the pathway for you. 

Entry Requirements

A Level Courses: Introduction

We aim to create an individual pathway in our Sixth Form to match your specific need and ability. We offer a range of different courses and pathway options in our Sixth Form; this allows flexibility to match courses with each student’s prior attainment.

Pathway 1

For a 3 A Level or BTEC (National Award/Diploma) course, students must achieve 7 GCSE passes at grades at equivalent to 4-9 (including English GCSE at a 4 grade equivalent). Students may retake Maths GCSE if they did not achieve a 4 or equivalent.

Pathway 2

For a 4 A Level or BTEC (National Award/Diploma) course, students must achieve 7 GCSE passes at grades at equivalent to 5-9 including English and Maths GCSE at grade 5 or equivalent.

Pathway 3

To take up our A2A pathway students need to show evidence – through interview and previous engagement – of commitment to developing their future career. Students target in the year’s study, work and career planning is to ready themselves, through gaining additional qualification and work experience to take full A Level courses or an Apprenticeship the following year. The entry requirements to A2A reflect the individual nature of this pathway and will be dependent on the student’s commitment.

Please note:

  • Whilst most A Level courses allow entry with a GCSE grade 4 equivalent, for some subjects a grade 5 will be required.
  • GCSE Short Courses (e.g. Religious Studies and Citizenship) will count as 0.5 of a GCSE.
  • For Pathway 1, all students are expected to study the Level 3 Extended Project to develop their independent learning skills.

For the purpose of A Level entry:

  • A BTEC First Award/ Certificate (Level 2) will count as one GCSE pass.
  • A BTEC First Diploma (Level 2) will count as two GCSE passes.
  • The DIDA course will count as one GCSE pass.
  • For Science A Level courses, OCR National and BTEC qualifications do not meet the entry requirements.
  • Students who have taken a majority of non-GCSE subjects (e.g. BTEC or International qualifications) will be treated on an individual basis for Sixth Form entry.

Course Catalogue 2023-2024

We’ve added NEW courses to our offering for next year. Find the latest information in our 2023-2024 Course Catalogue.

What’s the difference between A Level and other course types?

The main difference between different types of course is the style of assessment you prefer and what your future ambition is.

A Level Qualifications generally have a higher exam content, so more of the final grade is determined by your exam performance. A Levels are also more widely (an internationally) recognised, meaning that gaining an A Level may be more important if you wanted to progress to university. A Levels are graded from A* – U. Many universities take A Level Grades as an entry requirement (e.g. Require an A in English Literature) or have a requirement of a certain number of UCAS points. Each A Level grade you are awarded is converted into a a number of UCAS points and combined with all subjects to see if you have met the requirements. You can use an A Level to UCAS points converter is below.

Cambridge Technical and other “Level 3” courses are sometimes called “applied” or “vocational” courses. This means they typically have a combination of Exam and Non-Examined Assessment (i.e Coursework). They are equivalent to an A Level, however not every university accepts them in the entry requirements (although the vast majority do). Vocational courses are graded from Distinction* – U. These vocational courses are measured in length (Guided Learning Hours, to GLH) and the GLH converts into UCAS points. You can calculate how many UCAS points a grade in each vocational subject is worth using the calculator below:


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