Curriculum Overview

Many girls choose to join the RMS Sixth Form each year. They are attracted by the wide range of subject options, excellent results and outstanding success in gaining places at prestigious universities.

We offer a wide range of 32 subjects for study in the Sixth Form to ensure that students have the broadest choice possible. An Applied A Level in Business, and a BTEC in Health and Social Care are also available, alongside the traditional academic and creative disciplines. A flexible approach to timetabling enables each girl to have a free, but guided, choice of subjects.

Great care is taken to prepare students for the requirements of Sixth Form study, and to ensure that they understand the demands of the subjects that they have chosen. We monitor each student’s progress closely throughout her time in the Sixth Form so that she develops a mature appreciation of her strengths, as well as of the areas of study that need greater attention. Our aim is for every girl to demonstrate commitment and success.

The wider curriculum allows students to develop important personal qualities and each year students make exceptional contributions to Community Service. The Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme, the Community Sports Leaders’ Award, Model United Nations and Young Enterprise promote initiative, co-operation and leadership.

You can view a copy of our Sixth Form Preview Handbook 2017 here

Applied General Business


Applied Business focuses on four key themes: people, markets, finance and operational delivery. Each unit studied addresses aspects of these themes to ensure coherent learning. This qualification helps prepare students to take up employment in business and entrepreneurship, either directly after achieving the qualification or via higher education at university or college. This qualification also offers the students an opportunity to develop transferable skills, such as teamwork, research and communication, as part of their applied learning.

What does this qualification cover?

At AS level in Year 12 Students will study 3 Units as follows:

Unit 1 Financial Planning and analysis
Students will explore different ways in which enterprises can be owned and financed. They will need to understand the issues that enterprises face and use this information to make decisions. This unit is assessed via an external examination. There is an opportunity to take the examination in January of Year 12 and then repeat it in June if needed.

Unit 2 Business Dynamics

Students investigate the factors contributing to the success of businesses, focussing on the roles of managers, supervisors and employees. They consider how businesses organise themselves and how they analyse and evaluate the effectiveness of these organisational structures. This Unit is assessed via a piece of coursework.

Unit 3 Entrepreneurial opportunities

Students develop an understanding of entrepreneurial opportunities and investigate how individuals can exploit these through personal experience. They consider opportunities for personal enterprise for a given context and propose marketing and operations activities to take advantage of entrepreneurial opportunities. This unit is assessed via controlled assessment.

Grades This subject is graded at Pass, Merit, Distinction and Distinction*. It carries specified UCAS tariff points which equate to A Levels and other qualifications. 

Applied Health and Social Care

An applied A Level which enables pupils to put into practice the theory they learn in class into a health and social care setting. It is a useful qualification for girls wishing to go into nursing, midwifery, child care, primary school teaching or social work.

In year 12, pupils will study;

Promoting quality care – Written Examination

• Attitudes and prejudices 

• Rights and responsibilities of people who use services and providers

• Facilitation of access to services 

• Values of care

• How organisations promote quality care. 


Communication in care settings – Course Work

• Types of communication

• Factors that support and inhibit communication

• Communication skills

• Theories relating to communication

 • Interaction with a person who uses services(s)/practitioner(s).


Promoting good health – Course Work

• Principles of health and well-being

• Preventative measures and job roles

• Planning a health promotion campaign

• Carry out a health promotion campaign


In Year 13 pupils will study

Care practice and provision – Course Work

• Planning and provision of services

• Effects of national policy and legislation on care practice and provision

• How quality assurance is promoted by services

• Conducting a survey relating to quality assurance

• How services and practitioners meet individual needs

• Ways in which practitioners within services work in partnerships


 Child Development – Course Work

•Development and monitoring of children

• Factors that influence development and norms of development

• The role of play in development

• How to plan and make a learning aid/activity for a child (0-8)


Social trends – Written Examination with Pre-release Data

•Social trends and patterns of family life

• Reasons for change in the structure of the family and roles of individuals

• Using data to explore and draw conclusions about the trends and patterns of family life.



  • A planned educational visit to Prague in October 2016 to visit an orphanage, drug rehabilitation project, a school and a hospital.
  • A visit to a Day Centre for people with Alzheimer’s Disease.
  • An opportunity to join Imperial College students in Central London on the soup run for homeless people.
  • A proposed visit to a care home and The Florence Nightingale Museum.

Guest Speakers from Health and Social Care professions.




We have opted only to run a two year full A Level with AQA as we believe it will provide the opportunity for pupils to develop into mature and competent artists by the time they complete their Externally Set Assignment at the end of Year 13.  The course will build upon skills that pupils acquired at GCSE and challenge them to think more imaginatively about how they represent their views and observations using their own visual language.

There is a key written component at this level in which pupils are expected to write a 3000 word essay that complements their practical output. 

Component 1: Personal Investigation accounts for 60% of the final mark

Component 2: Externally Set Assignment accounts for 40% of the final mark (February to May - resulting in a 15 hour practical examination)

We expect pupils to commit to the subject and devote extra time and effort to the production of their artwork outside of lessons.  In return we offer open studio access at lunchtime and after school, small group sizes (max. 10), excellent facilities and an appropriate London gallery visit once a year.  Recently our Leavers have gone on directly to complete degrees in Fine Art, Fine Art Media, Art History, Photography, Fashion Marketing and Foundation Diplomas at institutions such as Newcastle, Falmouth, Westminster and Nottingham.

You can view some of our students' work in the gallery below:



Biology involves the study of a wide range of exciting topics, ranging from molecular biology to the study of ecosystems and from microorganisms to mammoths. Biology is never far from the headlines, recent reports that we have considered in class have included: ‘The human genome has been sequenced and we know the complete arrangement of the three thousand million bases that make up human DNA.’ ‘In Kenya 350 people die every day from AIDS and in South East Asia the skies are dark with smoke as the last Bornean rainforests are burned to grow oil palms.’

Biologists are concerned with all these issues. They work in the fields of cell biology, medicine, food production and ecology... and the work they do is vital to us all.

Biology is a popular A Level subject at RMS, attracting students planning to study a biologically related degree course. We have a very good record of sending students to top-rank universities. The most popular biology courses include: Medicine, Natural Science, Biomedical Sciences, Veterinary Science, Environmental Science and Physiotherapy.

The Biology A-Level course helps students develop a number of skills:

  • How to collect data and evaluate it
  • How to investigate facts and use deduction
  • How to put over your point of view effectively
  • How to take responsibility for your own learning.

AQA Specification: 7401 and 7402. All examinations take place in June.

All three papers will assess the practical skills studied during the course. Practical Skills will be assessed throughout the course.

AS Modules

  • Unit 1: Biological molecules
  • Unit 2: Cells
  • Unit 3: Organisms exchange substances with their environment
  • Unit 4: Genetic information, variation and relationships between organisms

AS Biology will be assessed by two 1 hour 30 minute written exams at the end of Year 12, assessing not only content but also the practical skills studied during the course. Practical Skills will be assessed throughout the course.

A2 Modules

  • Unit 5: Energy transfers in and between organisms
  • Unit 6: Organisms respond to changes in their internal and external environments
  • Unit 7: Genetics, populations, evolution and ecosystems
  • Unit 8: The control of gene expression

A2 Biology will include all of the content from both the AS and A2 units above and will be assessed by three 2 hour written exams at the end of Year 13, the third of which is synoptic in nature and can assess any skills or content. All three papers will assess the practical skills studied during the course. Practical Skills will be assessed throughout the course.

Business Studies

Students will study the four main functions of a business which are marketing, operations, finance and human resources.   The new syllabus has been fully updated and includes the most recent business tools and strategies which will benefit the students whatever their selected career path.

The following are the section titles that will be studied:

  •   Managers Leadership and decision making
  •   Decision making to improve marketing performance
  •   Decision making to improve operational performance
  •   Decision making to improve financial performance
  •   Decision making to improve human resource performance


All units are externally assessed using a variety of multiple choice, short answers, essays, data response and case study style questions.   There will be three examinations which take place at the end of the second year of study which form the A Level qualification.  They are each 2 hours long and each constitutes 33% of the overall marks.  It is possible for girls to take this subject as an AS qualification.   The AS examination will take place at the end of one year of study and will be made up of 2 examination papers of  90 minutes duration and each of these is worth 50% of the total marks.


Chemistry is a very wide ranging subject which encompasses skills in many areas. It has relevance in our everyday lives as everything that surrounds us is made up of atoms. Studying the subject will give you a deeper understanding of what makes up the world around us and will allow an appreciation of the complex work that Chemists do in order to make our lives more comfortable. Many students are surprised at the amount of Science that goes into making products that we take for granted.

Chemistry A level students go on to study a wide range of subjects at University including Natural Sciences, Medicine, Veterinary Science, Biomedical Sciences, Pharmacy, Geography, Engineering, Mathematics as well as pure Chemistry.

Chemistry is the required subject for many Science based university courses and is an essential A level requirement for Medicine, Veterinary Science and Dentistry.

Chemistry A level is a challenging course requiring a broad range of skills. Opting for A level Chemistry requires a willingness to work hard from the start of the course and to persevere with some difficult concepts. A considerable amount of independent study is required in order to meet the demands of the course. We are a friendly department and teachers are always on hand to help students with problems.

However, it is also good fun and involves learning how to make a range of products including soap, aspirin and flavourings.

AQA Specification7404 and 7405. All examinations take place in June.

Practical skills are assessed in all examinations and continuously throughout the course through a series of required practical tasks.



AS Chemistry will be assessed by two 1 hour 30 minute written exams at the end of Year 12.

A2 Chemistry will include all of the AS content and will be assessed by three 2 hour written exams at the end of Year 13.

Classical Civilisation

This is a wide ranging course, involving the study of Greek and Roman culture, history, literature and politics. All texts used are in TRANSLATION. In effect, candidates may sit two papers at the end of the Year 12, drawn from a range of topics: eg epic, or the Life of Women in Ancient Times. At the end of Year 13 a further two papers will be sat. These may be extensions of AS papers, or on quite different subjects, such as Greek Tragedy. Each paper is likely to consist of a passage or passages for comment drawn from the works we have studied in English translation. There will also be a range of essay questions on that topic. 

Computer Science

The specification provides opportunities for candidates to develop an understanding of spiritual, moral, ethical, social and cultural issues as they relate to the designer or user of ICT systems, for example in the AS, health and safety issues, acceptable use of ICT and legislation. In the A2 content, consideration is given to security strategies and auditing, censorship, privacy and effects upon communities and Codes of Conduct, viruses and software piracy.

This specification also supports sustainable development, health and safety considerations and European development, consistent with international agreements. The approach used in constructing the specification lends itself to the establishment of links with other areas of study, particularly those involving problem solving and the practical use of ICT. 

The AS syllabus includes:

  • Information systems
  • Presenting information

The A2 syllabus includes:

  • Use and impact of ICT
  • Relational databases

Design and Technology

Edexcel AS and A level Design and Technology - Product Design (2017)

Students will develop an understanding of how current global issues, including integrating technology, impacts on today’s world. The course will give students the freedom to take design risks and innovate, test and refine ideas with a client/end user.

AS - Component 1: Written examination: 2 hours- 50% of the qualification

Materials, Performance characteristics of materials, Processes and techniques, Digital technologies, Factors influencing the development of products, Effects of technological developments, Potential hazards and risk assessment

AS - Component 2: Non-examined assessment Independent Design and Make Project – 50% of the qualification

Students are given a contextual challenge, they develop a range of ideas and then realise one relating in part or whole to sustainability and the impact their prototype may have on the environment.

A2 - Component 1: written examination: 2 hours 30 minutes- 50% of the qualification

Materials, Processes and techniques, Digital technologies, Factors influencing the development of products, Effects of technological developments, Potential hazards and risk assessment, Features of manufacturing industries, Designing for maintenance and the cleaner environment, Current legislation.

A2 - Component 2: Non-examined assessment- 50% of the qualification

Students identify a problem for a market group/user/group and develop a range of potential solutions.  Sustainability needs to be considered together with the impact their prototype may have on the environment.

Enrichment Activities

Relevant trips and visits are undertaken in the exam years. There are a range of clubs on offer, both at lunch time and after school which are organised to support either examination classes or for recreation. As a department, we are delighted to invite university students and subject specialists to come and visit us and support the students' learning.

This is a particularly rewarding subject where the staff work tirelessly to enable students to learn and most importantly enjoy what they are learning.


Two units are required at AS Level:

Unit 1 – Introduction to Markets and Market Failure
This unit covers the basics. It provides a foundation for the exploration of topics in further study. It deals with the concept of scarce resources and how the price mechanism allocates them. Supply and Demand, therefore, are major components of this unit.

Unit 2 – The UK Economy – Performance and Policies
This unit introduces the concept of the economy as a whole and the integration with world trade. It covers the main indicators of economic performance and the policies that may be used to influence them.

These units are assessed by two written examinations, of equal weighting, for AS which is a stand-alone qualification.

Two further units are also required at A Level:

Unit 3 – Business Behaviour and the Labour Market
This unit develops the themes from Unit 1 and examines how pricing and competition between rival firms is affected by the number and size of participants in the market. It covers the behaviour of firms and the influence of Government policy

Unit 4 – A Global Perspective
This unit develops the knowledge gained for Unit 2 in a global context. It explores the nature of trade between countries and how Government policies may be used to solve economic problems. It also deals with trends and developments in world affairs in recent times.

The A level examinations consist of three written examinations, which cover the AS AND A level syllabus, the last of which is a synoptic paper. Papers 1 & 2 have a weighting of 35%, whilst Paper 3 has a weighting of 30%.

Girls are expected to take a keen interest in current affairs. They should be prepared to research using media including printed, broadcast and electronic in order to enhance their subject knowledge. This is very important because there is a need to apply their theoretical knowledge at both AS and A2 level to what is happening with respect to local, national and international economic issues.


English Language

English Language A Level is one of the first subjects to be adapted under the national reforms. First teaching of the new style A Level for English Language will begin this year (2015), for examinations taken in 2017.

For girls entering Year 12 in 2015 (and taking exam in 2017):

  • there is no option to sit the AS Level in this subject as AS levels will no longer contribute towards the ultimate grade at A Level
  • Paper 1 (examination) is Exploring Language - 2.5 hour examination, 40% of A Level
  • Paper 2 (examination) is Dimensions of Linguistic Variation - 2.5 hour examination, 40% of A Level
  • The remaining 20% is assessed through coursework and requires girls to complete an investigative research project.


English Literature

English Literature

This is also one of the first subjects to be adapted under the national reforms.

For girls entering Year 12 in September 2015 (examinations 2017)

  • there is no option to sit the AS Level in this subject as AS levels will no longer contribute towards the ultimate grade at A Level
  • Paper 1 (examination) is Drama and Poetry - 40% of A Level
  • Paper 2 (examination) is Comparative and Contextual Study - 40% of A Level
  • We retain a coursework module for English Literature, comprised of two pieces of work, totalling approximately 3000 words.


The A Level Geography course is designed to enable students to gain a greater understanding of certain topics, raising the level and detail of knowledge from GCSE standard. Alongside this, pupils will develop an awareness of some totally new topics. In all of the topics there is a focus on processes and how human and physical processes are interlinked and how this affects or is affected by the world in which we live.

Geography suits students taking any number of subjects due to its diverse nature; one lesson you may be learning about periglacial environments with one teacher and then with your other teacher you may be describing the prevalence of HIV on a global scale. 

Topics covered during the two year course include:

  • rivers
  • ice/deserts
  • health
  • population
  • development and globalisation
  • the challenge of weather and climate
  • tectonic hazards


Government and Politics

Politics exists because people disagree. They disagree about how they should live, about who should get what and about who should make decisions. Politics in this sense is about power, the distribution of resources and conflict resolution.  The main value of studying politics is that it will help you to argue a case clearly and force you to question your own beliefs. Those new to the subject tend to allow their opinions to dominate their reasoning and what the course aims to do is to replace unsupported opinion with the ability to argue your case with conviction using reasoned and well supported arguments.

Four units, the first two AS units are taken at the end of Year 12, the second two A2 units are taken at the end of Year 13.
The AS course covers UK politics today, and topics include:

  • Democracy and participation 
  • Party politics and ideas 
  • Elections and the voting systems currently used in UK elections 
  • Pressure groups

The A2 course covers American Politics and Political Ideologies, and topics include:

  • Political Ideologies - Liberalism, Socialism, Conservatism, Anarchism 
  • American Politics – Constitution, Congress, Presidency, Supreme Court 


A Level History (Year 12 syllabus)

The A Level course in Year 12 involves a British period study, Britain 1783-1846 and a non-British period study on the Cold War in Europe 1945-1995.

British Period Study: 

This option considers the development of British government from William Pitt to Robert Peel and is examined through a combination of essays and source analysis.  (1.5 hour exam, 25% of A Level)
Key issues include:

  • Pitt and the radical challenge
  • Lord Liverpool and the Tories 1812-1830
  • Foreign Policy 1783-1830
  • Parliamentary reform and the Great Reform Act
  • Peel and the Conservative Party 1832-1846
  • Peel and Social Reform 1832-1846
  • Peel and pressure groups

Non-British Period Study:

This option examines the origins and development of the Cold War in Europe from 1945-1995 and is examined through the evaluation of historical interpretations and a short essay (1 hour exam, 15% of A Level)
Key issues include:

  • the origins of the Cold War
  • the development of the Cold War
  • the Cold War 1956-1984
  • the end of the Cold War 1984-1995

A Level History (Year 13 syllabus)

This will involve the study of a thematic paper on Russia 1855-1964 and a coursework essay of 3000-4000 words.

Thematic Paper:

This paper focuses upon a thematic study of Russia, looking at key events, individual, or issues within the theme.  There are two elements to this assessment of historical themes - firstly the thematic essay which requires students to consider developments over approximately 100 years; and secondly, the in-depth interpretations element, for which students use their detailed knowledge of specific events, individuals or issues to comprehend, analyse and evaluate the way the past has been interpreted by historians (2.5 hour exam, 40% of A Level).

Key issues include:

  • war as a locomotive of change in Russian history
  • the effectiveness/ineffectiveness of political opposition to the Tsarist and Communist governments
  • the extent and nature of repression/reform across this period
  • condition of the Russian peasantry and workers
  • the nature of Russian government
  • the extent of economic and social change and the reasons for this
  • the causes and consequences of revolution in Russia


Girls will start researching this after the Year 12 examinations and will work under staff guidance.  They will complete one essay of between 3000 and 4000 words on Gladstone or Disraeli, drawing upon a range of primary and secondary sources.

Sixth Form History Prizes

Congratulations to our Sixth Form History Prize Winners this year.  Helen (far left) was awarded the Dennis Machin Sixth Form History Prize, and Katie (far right) won the Dennis Machin Essay Prize.  They are pictured here with Mrs Doreen Wedderburn, the Prize Donor, and Mr Freddy Grogan, Head of History and Politics.


The A Level Latin course aims to build on what has been learned for GCSE and to broaden reading of Latin authors and background knowledge of Roman culture.  

The AS examination consists of a Latin language paper and a Latin Verse and Prose Literature paper including questions on authors studied in class.  The A2 paper also comprises two papers - Latin Verse (prescribed texts and unseen verse for comprehension and translation) and Latin Prose (prescribed texts and unseen prose for comprehension, translation and optional composition)

Mathematics and Further Mathematics

Mathematics and Further Mathematics at A Level have been reformed with first teaching of new Specifications from September 2017.

During Years 12 and 13 there are two courses available in Mathematics; the Edexcel GCE in Mathematics and the Edexcel GCE in Further Mathematics. Students opting for Further Mathematics will study the GCE Mathematics course first.

Reforms to Mathematics at GCE mean that the course consists of two thirds Pure Mathematics, one sixth Mechanics and one sixth Statistics. The Further Mathematics course will contain some options and these will be tailored to suit the students taking the course during their Year 13.

Modern Foreign Languages

Girls can continue their language studies to AS or A2 level in French, German, Mandarin and/or Spanish. This course is designed for students to become fluent in the language and better understand the culture of the target language.

Students in the Sixth Form can also opt for completing an extra GCSE in Italian.

At A Level, girls may choose to study one or two languages, and will then have a dedicated slot with a language assistant once per week.  It is at this stage that girls work towards becoming fluent in the language and also contribute to the language learning across the school by acting as ambassadors for their language.  Younger girls are invited to contact the ambassadors for extra support via our ambassadors' board in the languages section of the main teaching corridor.


The AS Syllabus covers topics such as:

  • the media (TV advertising and communication technology),
  • ​popular culture (cinema, music and fashion trends), healthy living and life style (sport / exercise, health and well-being, holidays
  • Family / relationships (relationships within the family, friendships and marriage / partnerships)

Listening, reading, writing and speaking skills are examined.

Students in the Sixth Form are encouraged to spend part of their summer holidays attending a language course at a foreign university in order to develop their linguistic skills. A general grammar course is organised for all Year 12 girls early September.

The A2 syllabus covers the following topics:

  • The environment (pollution, energy and protecting the planet)
  • Multi-cultural society (immigration, integration and racism) 
  • Contemporary social issues  (wealth and poverty, law and order and the impact of scientific and technological progress)
  • A choice of cultural topics


This is not a modular course and students sit four papers at the end of Year 13 rather than following an AS and an A2 course.

Speaking, listening, reading, Chinese sayings, translation, writing and usage, and Chinese Culture are covered in the curriculum and topics explored include:

  • Family
  • Young People 
  • Education 
  • The media 
  • Work and leisure 
  • The environment



AS Units
Unit 1 Performing – 15% (of full A-level) External Assessment Students will perform a recital lasting 8 to 10 minutes to a visiting examiner
Unit 2 Composing – 15% Internal Assessment with external moderation Students will compose two pieces of music, lasting 4-8 minutes in total. One piece will demonstrate techniques and conventions associated with the Western Classical Tradition.
Unit 3 Appraising – 20% External Assessment One listening examination in two parts 
Part 1: (12%) 1 ½ hours appraising test based on extracts of music (set works) taken from the two areas of study selected for study by the centre 
Part 2: (8%) 1 hour aural perception (melodic dictation, keys, chords, cadences) based on unprepared musical extracts.

A2 Units
Students study three more units – Performing, Composing and Appraising, and will choose which unit is to be weighted 20% rather than 15%. For example, a student may perform a longer performance recital to gain 20% of the marks, leaving 15% for Composing and 15% for Appraising. The pathway a student takes will define the exact nature of the course she completes. Performing: Either: a recital to last between 10 and 12 minutes (15%) Or: a recital to last between 16 and 18 minutes (20%) Composing Either: two contrasting compositions lasting between 6 and 10 minutes (15%) 

Music Technology (AS Only)

Unit 1: Music Technology Portfolio 1
Students will produce an audio CD entitled “Music Technology Portfolio 1”, containing three tracks of work as specified in the three tasks below. They will also present a logbook.

Task 1A: Sequenced Realised Performance (40 marks) 
Task 1B: Multi-track Recording (40 marks) Students will record a piece of their own choice from Area of Study 2: Popular Music Styles since 1910, lasting between two and four minutes. Recordings must have between eight and twelve live tracks (no MIDI). 
Task 1C: Creative Sequenced Arrangement (40 marks) The creative sequenced arrangement will be based on one of two prescribed stimuli supplied by Edexcel.
Logbook (20 marks) Students will use this document to detail equipment used and to answer two questions on their creative sequenced arrangement.

Unit 2: Listening and Analysing
1 hour 45 minute listening examination, externally assessed, in the summer of the year of entry. The style of questions will range from multiple choice questions to short answer questions, to questions requiring a few sentences of continuous prose.  

Performing Arts

Our current Performing Arts (Applied) course has been very successful both in course numbers and students’ achievement. At present, Edexcel are redeveloping the Performing Arts A Level specification for approval by Ofqual. The actual specification has not been approved or made available to us. The following is a general outline of what the course may cover, based on previous years’ specifications. 

Year 12 (based on the current specification)

  • You improve your skills in an art form (dance, drama, music etc), or as a technician (costumer, make-up, lighting etc) and create a portfolio or show reel of your skills. 
  • You plan an actual Performing Arts event and see it through to fruition. 
  • You perform to an audience and visiting examiner, showing your skills or you work as a designer/technician on one of the performances.

Year 13 (based on the current specification)

  • You will learn about working in the performing arts industry and write a report. 
  • You will gain an advanced understanding of your chosen performance area.
  • You can choose from Dance, Drama, Music, Music Technology or Musical Theatre. 
  • Production students will gain an advanced knowledge of the skills and techniques of their chosen technical specialism, choosing from; costume design, lighting or set design. 
  • You will take part in a considerable live production either as a performer or technician.
  • You will perform to an audience and a visiting examiner. 


Photography at A Level is an exciting and stimulating subject, which encourages and develops the creative and artistic capabilities of you, the student, in the world of imaging. As well as learning about the key historical steps which have allowed photography to become what it is today, you will learn a variety of techniques, both traditional and digital, to enable you to express your own creative ideas in images effectively.

The Photography OCR course is structured into two coursework modules (total 60%) and one practical examination module (total 40%), with all written work finished before the final examination.

The contents of the Photography course will include: 

  • film technology with practical Darkroom applications and experimental techniques. 
  • digital imaging, film scanning and image manipulation using ‘Photoshop’ and other professional computer applications 
  • studio photography and lighting techniques 
  • location photography 
  • fashion, advertising and product photography using a range of specialist equipment 
  • design workshops teaching layout methods and dry mounting and laminating techniques for exhibition display and portfolio development (portfolios are used as part of the interview process by universities and colleges). 

A gallery of recent A Level Photography entries can be seen below:


Physical Education

A Level Physical Education is a two year study of human movement, performance and behaviour in relation to Sport and P.E. It takes a multi-disciplinary approach encouraging the development of a range of methods. The course aims to provide greater knowledge, insight and understanding of human performances. It combines sports psychology, psychology, and sociology.

The curriculum covers:

  • An Introduction to Physical Education Anatomy & Physiology  
  • Skill Acquisition  
  • Sport in Society
  • Sports Psychology
  • The improvement of effective performance and the critical evaluation or practical activities in Physical Education Practical skills (oral exam)

Pupils are assessed practically in one activity, and can opt for one of the following:

  1. Perform in chosen activity
  2. Coach in chosen activity

Assessment is ongoing throughout each year of the course, and standardisation of assessment will take place after Easter of Year 13 where students are chosen by OCR to perform.

Students will sit two examinations at the end of Year 13.



We’d be a bit lost without Physics. Gadgets like iPads and smart phones wouldn’t be here, nor would the electricity supply that charges them. A Physicist even invented the World Wide Web.  Physics also deals with the big questions: How do we search for aliens? Are there parallel universes? Will we ever travel back in time?

Physics A-level teaches about forces, energy, waves, radioactivity, electricity and magnetism and how these ideas work together in everything from the smallest atoms to the largest galaxies. Physics is more than a subject – it trains your brain to think.

AQA Specification7407 and 7408. All examinations take place in June.

All three papers will assess the practical skills studied during the course. Practical Skills will be assessed throughout the course.

AS Modules 

  • Unit 1: Particles and radiation
  • Unit 2: Waves
  • Unit 3: Mechanics and materials
  • Unit 4: Electricity

AS Physics will be assessed by two 1 hour 30 minute written exams at the end of Year 12.

A2 Modules

  • Unit 5:  Further mechanics and thermal Physics
  • Unit 6: Fields and their consequences
  • Unit 7: Nuclear Physics
  • Unit 8: Astrophysics

A2 Physics will include all of the AS modules above and will be assessed by three 2 hour written exams at the end of Year 13.


Psychology is the scientific study of the behaviour of humans and other animals and the aim of both the AS and A Level course is to give students a broad understanding of the major disciplines within the subject. It is a useful A Level for most fields of employment or further study, as it provides students with the opportunity to view human behaviour from different perspectives and to apply their knowledge and understanding to real life situations. The outcome is that students are equipped with many tools to enhance their interaction with people in all areas of life. 

AS Level
The specification is divided into five core areas, which together with the study of Research Methods, are assessed through two exam papers, each carrying equal weight. Each core area will look at relevant theories and supporting research and then consider their application to real issues and situations.

Paper 1
Social Influence

Paper 2
Approaches (Learning, Cognitive, Biological) and Biopsychology
Research Methods, the scientific process and data handling 

A Level Syllabus
This course will allow students to develop their knowledge and understanding of some of the core areas to a deeper level over two years. For the first year, the content is very similar to that of the AS Level. During the second year there is a greater emphasis on the investigative method, and the development of the various overarching issues and debates within psychology such as nature/nurture, ethical issues and determinism. A number of specific areas will also be studied, from a selection such as Gender, Stress, Addiction, Aggression etc. Assessment takes the form of three two hour exams, each with equal weighting, with some short structured questions as well as some longer essay-style questions. 

Paper 1
Social influence

Paper 2
Approaches (Learning, Cognitive, Biological, Psychodynamic, Humanistic)
Research Methods - extending the knowledge of the investigative process to include the application of inferential statistics and designing a brief investigation.

Paper 3
Issues and Debates in Psychology
Psychology in context: three topics from a wide selection e.g. Gender, Stress, Addiction, Aggression, Relationships, Schizophrenia 

Religious Studies

Religious Studies is a popular A Level option, and the syllabus covers the Philosophy and Ethics of religion.  This includes:

  • Ancient Greek Philosophers
  • Arguments for and against the existence of God
  • Challenges to religious belief
  • Attributes of God
  • Life, death and the soul
  • Religious Language
  • Ethical theories, such as Natural Law, Virtue Ethics, Utilitarianism, Christian Ethics and Kantian Ethics
  • Applied Ethics on issues such as Euthanasia, War and Peace, Sexual Ethics, Environmental and Business Ethics
  • Studies of ethical language, free-will and determinism, and the nature of conscience

The subject provides our students with skills in essay writing, critical thinking and debating.



Everything that goes on around us can be studied and explained by Sociology - from fashion to crime, poverty to plastic surgery, and from table manners to mental health issues. By the end of the course you will be able to understand why people behave the way they do, how they make sense of the world and the sorts of influences affecting their behaviour. You will gain an insight into some of the major elements of society, such as education, the media and religion, and how they contribute to its functioning. Sociologists use research to explain social behaviour and to look at ways in which societies can overcome problems. They use theories from people such as Karl Marx and Emile Durkheim, but also draw on more contemporary perspectives from post-modernists, feminists, cultural theorists and political commentators. Studying Sociology gives you the opportunity to understand the world in which you live. 

Sociology is offered only as a two year A Level course.  In the first year, students will study:

  • Families and Households
  • Education
  • Research Methods

In the second year, students will cover:

  • Beliefs in Society
  • Crime and Deviance
  • Theory and Methods


From September 2015 we have opted to study a two year linear A Level Textile Art and Design course with AQA (7204). The 2 year A Level course comprises of two components:

  • a personal Investigation, worth 60%
  • an externally set task (set by exam board), worth 40%.

At the beginning of Year 12, students will follow a foundation style introductory course allowing them to develop skills, individual approaches and maturity in the subject. In the Trinity Term they will then select an area of study to pursue for their Personal Investigation. They may choose to focus on fashion, interiors, textile art, embroidery, print or constructed textiles or a combination of these.

In Year 13 students will be set an externally set task by the examination board which will culminate in a 15 hour examination.

Students continue their creative studies beyond school, by pursuing a range of Foundation and Degree courses in Art and Design/Textiles/ Fashion/ Fashion Marketing and Promotion/ Advertising/ Architecture.  Recent students have gained entry to Edinburgh, Loughborough, Birmingham, Ravensbourne, Central St Martins, Leeds and Nottingham Trent.

Past students keep in touch which provides useful networking and guidance for Year 12 and 13 students.

Come and see the work first hand by arranging a visit with the School.

Mrs R Bloomfield-Proud MA

Head of Textiles

E mail address:

My daughter is very happy at RMS and is finding her own identity, skills and strengths at the school. Parent

Contact RMS

The Royal Masonic School for Girls

Rickmansworth Park

01923 773168
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