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Biology A Level at Ark Academy

Course description

The sixth form offers a wide range of AS and A level courses.

However, it is essential that every student is on the right pathway for them. We offer a wide range of subjects from psychology and physics to English and Economics*. Each AS/A level will have 6 periods per week of teaching. Alongside this there will be tutor time, careers guidance, extension activities and independent study time.

There are different routes through the sixth form but typically most students start with 4 AS/A levels but ‘cash in’ one AS at the end of Year 12. These then form a standalone qualification, an AS, and the student continues with 3 or 4 subjects into A2.

Our routes are:

  • Four ‘A’ Levels and EPQ (Extended Project Qualification)
  • Four ‘A’ levels and D of E (Duke of Edinburgh Award)
  • Three ‘A’ levels and either of the above
  • Three ‘A’ levels

Independent study and extending study beyond the confines of the syllabus are essential to 6th Form and in particular university success. Ark Academy provides both the space for independent learning and also support students in making the best use of their time.

Course content

Freedom and responsibility go hand in hand. In choosing to stay on in this sixth form, we assume you are committed, enthusiastic and mature enough to accept the challenges inherent in your new role. You will be role models for the rest of the academy, acting as leaders and mentors to younger students. 

What can you expect from us?

  • Excellent subject expertise delivered in an innovative and exciting way.
  • A strong support programme to help and guide you through Year 12, Year 13 and beyond.
  • A wide ranging enrichment and ‘off spec’ programme to broaden your experience.
  • Guidance and support as you choose university courses and consider your career choices
  • Academic mentoring and tracking to ensure steady and impressive progress
  • A dedication to ensuring you fulfil your true potential

What do we expect from you?

  • A mature and responsible approach to life in the Sixth Form
  • Adherence to our code of behaviour
  • A full and engaged approach to study
  • To listen to others and respect their point of view
  • To treat other students, staff and external visitors with respect and consideration
  • To treat our beautiful environment and facilities with respect
  • To develop into self motivated, thoughtful, independent learners
  • To act as role models for the rest of the school
  • To fulfil your true potential

Entry requirements

To achieve a place at Ark Academy Sixth Form you will need to meet the following criteria:

  • You will need 7 A*-C GCSE grades including English and mathematics
  • You will need 6 A*-B GCSE grades including English and mathematics to study 4 A levels
  • Most subjects require a minimum of B in the subject chosen or other relevant subjects if this a new course
  • Some subjects require higher entry criteria

All subjects offered have individual course, assessment and entry criteria information sheets which are available from the Academy


In today’s competitive climate, all universities and employers demand that students display experience of and a commitment to additional activities which support their academic aspirations.

We therefore pledge to provide you with opportunities specially tailored to your pathway. This will ensure that you have experiences beyond the confines of the syllabus which broaden your understanding, curiosity and passion for learning in your chosen field. Our provision will support you in demonstrating this in your applications and interviews.

These opportunities will include:

  • Specific workshops from external providers
  • Opportunities to meet undergrad/post-grad students/working professionals while you are studying
  • Study visits both in UK and abroad
  • Personalised programmes of study, suited to individual needs

We work with a wide range of outstanding institutions which provide extensive opportunities for students to broaden their studies including: Princes’ Teaching Institute, Kings, UCL, SOAS extension programmes, McKinsey and Co Leadership Academy, Business in the Community, Sutton Trust.

Financial information


ARK’S generous partners and supporters offer various bursaries to support post GCSE studies such as funding trips and residential visits to leading universities.

For our Year 13 going on to university, we have a number of bursaries ranging from £3,000 for the first year only, to £30,000 across the length of the course to help with the financial cost of university life. The bursaries are aimed at high achieving Year 13 students who have made a positive contribution to their school and community. The bursary students become members of an ARK alumni network, with opportunities to participate in different activities and events to gain valuable skills and experience.

Future opportunities

We expect all our Year 13 students to apply to Higher Education. Dedicated staff time from our highly qualified staff, including individual mentoring will ensure all students are guided through the application process – from selecting courses to preparing for interviews.

Ark Academy is part of three excellent schemes that really support university applications and career choices. Brilliant Club will support sixth formers who are applying to Oxbridge/Russell Group universities, Into University and The Access Project will also support raising A level attainment and widening access to university. All three together are a really powerful combination and demonstrate our total dedication to ensuring all our students are able to reach their higher education goals.

As part of the ARK network sixth formers will also have an unrivalled range of opportunities provided by the network University and Careers Success Team. These opportunities ensure you will have access to employability workshops, workplace visits, guest speakers, mentoring programmes and work experience opportunities through a range of corporate partners including:

  • KPMG
  • Goldman Sachs
  • JP Morgan
  • Bloomberg
  • Thompson Reuters

Additionally ARK sixth form students benefit from network partnerships with a range of excellent universities which supports the application process with advice and guidance about course and university choice.

Further information

ARK Sixth Form Enrichment Award

We are also fortunate that Year 12 can count these activities towards The ARK Sixth Form Enrichment Award.

Students receive credits for the activities they do outside their core programme of academic study.

This will reflect experiences across a range of activities:

  • Work-related learning
  • Community action
  • Personal development e.g extra- curricular activities like sport, music and drama

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Ark Academy directly.

Last updated date: 18 September 2015
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