Key Stage 4
Ages 14 – 16
At his stage much of the foundation work has been put into place and pupils are stepping sure-footed into the pressurised environment of the examination subjects – International GCSEs. Students are able to choose which subjects they want to study at greater depth. Typically, students can only study A Levels in subjects that they have already studied at International GCSE level. So it is important to choose International GCSEs carefully, with one eye on what A Levels are required for University.
A distinct advantage of studying at Cambridge Home School is that students are not limited to having to study 9 or 10 International GCSEs, they can study fewer. They also need not study them all at the same time, as they are in most other schools. It may be advantageous to split the subjects and stagger examinations over 2 years instead of attempting them all in the same final year. Student electing to do this would study all subjects in CHS Level 3 (Year 10) but elect to sit the examinations for only half their subjects in CHS Level 4 (Year 11), sitting the remainder of examinations a year later (Year 12). While this means that students add an additional year to their education, it does mean that they maximise their chances of top grades. Some families think this is better than potentially diluting their child’s grades to save a year is a poor decision. Of course some children are more than capable of attaining 9 or 10 top grades in one year, so this is very much a decision for each family. At least students have the choice with Cambridge Home School.
Clearly, revising for examinations is stressful and time-consuming. In conventional schools, students are given study leave to go home, away from the distractions of noisy classrooms where they can’t concentrate or hear the teacher, perhaps. At home these students revise from their exercise books, scrappy notes, struggling to remember and piece together what they have been taught over the last two years. Access to their teachers is largely non-existent in most schools during study leave. Consequently, the quality of this revision material is often very poor and students are at a huge disadvantage. Hardly ideal as they near one of the most critical and influential points in their whole lives – their final examinations.
At Cambridge Home School students are usually far ahead of such students, because they have not had to contend with noisy classrooms, distractions and teachers that can’t be heard. Additionally, their teachers are far better educated than teachers at most schools (MA/PhD level) and so can impart knowledge of greater depth and instil deeper understanding and confidence. Cambridge Home School teachers have written units for the examination boards and have spent years marking papers, and so know them better than anybody.
Key Stage 5
Ages 17 – 19
These same advantages are of course afforded to students in the Sixth Form as they study for their A Levels.
Most students study 3 or 4 A level subjects to ensure they attain sufficient UCAS points (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) to enter their chosen University. Students generally apply to University via UCAS. The higher grades reward students with more UCAS points. The top Universities have higher entry requirements and so students require more UCAS points.
Typically, students can only study A Levels in subjects that they have already studied at International GCSE level and attained a high grade. This why it is important to choose International GCSEs carefully, with one eye on what A Levels are required for University.