A-levels are completed over two years, with final, externally administered exams taken at the end of the second year. Our A-level teaching is rigorous: we allocate nine lessons (6hrs 45 mins) to each main subject per week.

The A-level course is a two year programme with final ‘public’ exams only taken at the end of the course in May and June. Results are published by the external examination boards in mid-August. All Earlscliffe students will ordinarily choose four subjects at A-level. One of these four subjects would usually be a student’s own language. Almost all of the subjects on offer at Earlscliffe are seen as ‘traditional’ subjects and therefore readily accepted by the UK’s best universities. Students choose one subject from each of our option blocks A, B, C & E and may take an extra subject from D:

Block A: Art or Geography or History or Mathematics or Photography

Block B: Art or Business or Chemistry or Economics

Block C: Biology or Government and Politics or History of Art or Physics or Psychology

Block D: English Literature or Further Mathematics (taught for a minimum of 4 lessons per week)

Block E: Arabic or Chinese or French or German or Japanese or Polish or Portuguese or Russian or Spanish or Turkish or another language on request

Block F: IELTS tuition

Homework is completed in the evenings and at weekends. While many students do less homework on Saturdays, almost all use Sundays to do some serious, extended study in their own time.

Each A-level subject has an extended reading section, with books and texts recommended as additional reference material. Students have access to daily newspapers and weekly journals like ‘The Economist’, ‘The New Scientist’ and ‘The Spectator’ – titles they should be reading in their free time to improve their understanding of the wider issues relating to their academic subjects.


The Pre-sessional A-level Programme

The Earlscliffe pre-sessional courses give students the opportunity to fully prepare for the next phase of their academic journey. Earlscliffe offers a GCSE pre-sessional course and an A-level pre-sessional course.

These pre-sessional courses provide students with the opportunity to improve language skills before commencing the more demanding curriculum. During the majority of the school day, students will be immersed in mainstream classes with an academic focus on the improvement of:

  • Listening and speaking skills
  • Reading and writing skills
  • Developing good study skills

However, students will also attend dedicated EAL classes.


How is the course organised?

The study timetable runs from Monday until Friday from 08:30 until 16:30 with a morning break, lunchtime and an afternoon break. In addition, homework and self-study will be assigned by the teacher.


How is the course tested?

All students take weekly TRaCTM tests and will be assessed at the end of the pre-sessional timeframe. They will then take their GCSE or A-level exams at the end of the full course.


Pre-sessional timeframe

Dependent upon the language skills presented by the student upon enrolling with Earlscliffe, the pre-sessional course will be managed across the following timeframes:

  • One term
  • Two terms
  • Extended term(s) that includes the periods otherwise allocated for school holidays

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