Sixth Form Education

Stafford Grammar School offers a wide and rich A-level curriculum, as the best preparation for university, degree or higher apprenticeships and competitive careers.

Joining our Sixth Form is about you and your future and we believe in bringing excellent teaching and learning together with first-class pastoral care to support you and prepare you for the next exciting steps in your life.

Sixth Form Pupil at Stafford Grammar

In our Sixth Form, every student is known as an individual. We build the timetable around you and your choices. The majority of our students begin the first year with three A-levels, although some students choose to take four A levels.

Sixth Form students at Stafford Grammar in a classroom

Those students studying three A levels also take the Extended Project Qualification where they are able to focus on an area of interest to them, under the guidance of an experienced member of staff. Alternatively pupils can opt to choose another course from our sixth form plus program.

Your weekly timetable will also include independent study periods, and we encourage and enable our students to grow as independent learners within a supportive environment. Inspirational teachers, small classes, a caring environment and enthusiastic, ambitious students lead to outstanding academic achievement. 


Art  Student drawing at Stafford Grammar

Examination Board: AQA

What is covered?

Students will develop practical and theoretical knowledge and understanding of: relevant materials, processes, technologies and resources, how ideas, feelings and meanings can be conveyed and interpreted in images and artefacts, how images and artefacts relate to the time and place in which they were made and to their social and cultural contexts, continuity and change in different genres, styles and traditions, a working vocabulary and specialist terminology.

Why study Art and Design at SGS?

Many businesses benefit from having a creative mind as part of their team. We teach you to be innovative, experimental, enquiring, and flexible. If you enjoy being creative and practical, then this course will give you very useful skills and a great deal of personal satisfaction.

What skills can I gain from studying Art and Design?

A highly developed sense of creativity and design capability together with the skills needed to produce work both outstanding and intriguing. You will be given the skills necessary to be able to choose the most appropriate media when tackling a piece of work which could include: oils, pastels, gouache, watercolour, mixed media and also photography combined with digital manipulation.

What career paths would this subject be suitable for?

Career options include, advertising, architecture, stage design, interior design, fashion design including management and journalism, photography, product design, the film and television industry, the full range of fine art industries, conservation, art teaching and lecturing.

What trips occur during the course?

Students regularly visit the National Gallery, National portrait Gallery, Victoria and Albert museum. Trips to Barcelona and Madrid are also being planned.

Biology studnet looking through a microscope

Examination Board: EDUQAS

Providing the opportunity to study the stunning diversity of living organisms, their structures, systems and interdependence, this course is a tantalising journey through the living world; it reveals some of the marvel and the majesty of its complexity to a new generation of biologists.

What topics are covered?

We study the comparative physiology of a wide range of organisms from single celled Amoeba through flatworms and annelids to insects, fish, mammals and flowering plants.

An understanding of the variety of systems used for gaseous exchange, nutrition and transport within these groups enables us to have a better appreciation of the evolution of terrestrial organisms from their aquatic ancestors. An investigation into the biodiversity of an ecosystem and the need to classify organisms, bio, microbiology, genetics, genetic engineering, homeostasis and Man’s impact on the environment are all discussed. Students keep abreast of new developments and consider benefits, hazards and ethical implications of scientific advances.

Why study Biology at SGS?

Biology at SGS has a long history of success. On average over 60 % of all lower sixth candidates have attained A or B grades at AS, with 78% of those that continued to A level achieving A*-B.

What will I gain from studying Biology?

Biology is a subject that suits both science and arts students alike, drawing on chemistry, physics and mathematics to explain the structure and behaviour of living organisms. In doing so it develops and enhances analytical and evaluative skills, whilst remaining interesting and relevant to the real world. As an academic subject Biology is highly regarded by Universities and whilst it is particularly relevant to the study of Medicine, Dentistry, Physiotherapy, all branches of Nursing, Environmental Science, Conservation, Sports and Natural Sciences , its skills are transferrable to virtually any discipline.

Is it difficult?

Even the best of students can find the transition from GCSE to A level harder than anticipated. The AS level aims to bridge the gap, with material examined at an intermediate level between A level and GCSE, but there is still a significant workload to complete. Constantly busy and challenged by frequent homework, it will be absolutely essential to spend time reading around the subject to underpin your learning. Achieving good grades requires commitment and discipline, but if you talk to the Sixth Form who study Biology then you will find that, despite the rigours, it is one of their favourite subjects!

Examination Board: AQA

Business lessons are always different. You learn something new each time, valuable things about businesses and the outside world. It is very enjoyable

What topics are covered?

  • Marketing Strategies
  • Operations Strategies
  • Human Resource Strategies
  • Financial Strategies and Accounts
  • Corporate Aims and Objectives
  • Managing Change
  • The Business Environment

Why study Business at SGS?

  • Consistently impressive examination results.
  • On average, over 70% of students achieve A*, A or B grades.
  • Enthusiastic, caring and knowledgeable teaching staff.
  • Teaching staff with extensive examining experience.
  • A very popular department.
  • Lessons are interesting and enjoyable.
  • Whatever you do in your professional life, it will involve some ‘business’.
  • Business Studies is a real, relevant and valuable subject.
  • You may wish to start your own business one day.
  • You want to study a completely different subject.
  • You want to broaden your learning and keep your future options open.
  • It combines very well with many other subjects.
  • It can be studied in isolation or alongside almost all other subjects at most universities.
  • Choosing Business Studies may open up a whole new world of education and career possibilities that you did not even know existed.

What skills will I gain from studying Business?

  • You will develop analytical, evaluative, problem solving and decision-making skills.
  • An ability to apply your theoretical understanding to real business scenarios and problems.

What career paths would Business be suitable for?

  • Management
  • Marketing/Advertising Executive
  • Running your own business
  • Banker
  • Buyer
  • Management Consultant
  • Human Resource Manager
  • Retail Management
  • Sales Executive
  • Law
  • Accountancy
  • Teacher/Lecturer

What trips are available?

  • Toyota Car Factory
  • Morgan Car Factory
  • We regularly attend various conferences
  • We have had various guest speakers at school

Do I need to have studied Business at GCSE?

No. The course is perfectly accessible to students with no formal business knowledge and understanding.

Can I study Business and Economics at A level?

Yes, Economics and Business are treated as separate A-level subjects by most universities.

Chemistry student carrying out an experient

Examination Board: OCR

What topics are covered:

First Year - Development of Practical Skills in Chemistry, Foundations in Chemistry, Periodic Table and Energy, Core organic chemistry,

Second Year - Physical chemistry and transition elements, Organic chemistry and analysis, Practical endorsement.

Why do Chemistry at SGS?

Chemistry is involved in most processes, from the functioning of the human body, the manufacture of everyday materials and the creation of elements within stars. A knowledge of Chemistry helps us to understand the world around us.

At SGS we teach Chemistry with an emphasis on practical skills. We also have small class sizes and an excellent track record of success.

What skills will I gain studying Chemistry?

Chemistry develops analytical and problem-solving skills, encouraging students to answer questions in a concise and logical fashion. Practical skills are learned whilst carrying out experiments, and evaluative skills are developed by considering the quality of results and how to improve experimental methods.

Career paths

Chemistry can be used for scientific careers such as Medicine, Veterinary Science, Pharmacy, Dentistry, Engineering, Forensics and Biological Studies.
Chemistry can also be used to embark on a career in other subjects such as Accounting, Law and Business and Management.


Students spend a day at Keele University, analysing the aspirin that they have synthesised using chromatography and spectroscopy.

Frequently asked questions

Q. Can I study Chemistry having taken Double Award Science?
A. Yes. Both Double Award and Triple Award Science are good preparation for A- level.

Q. Which subjects does Chemistry combine well with?
A. Any. Chemistry is a particularly useful for students who study Biology. However, students frequently study subjects such as Geography, Foreign Languages, English or Business Studies in combination with Chemistry.

Q. Isn’t A-level Chemistry really difficult?
A. A-level Chemistry is a demanding subject, however students who are prepared to work hard find it very rewarding.

Pupil working at a computer

Examination Board: OCR

Why take Computer Science?

Computer Science is both a practical and academic subject where students can apply the principles learned in the classroom to real-world systems. It is an intensely creative subject that combines invention and excitement.

The aim of the course is to develop:

  • An understanding and ability to apply the fundamental principles and concepts of computer science, including: abstraction, decomposition, logic, algorithms and data representation
  • The ability to analyse problems in computational terms through practical experience of solving such problems, including writing programs to do so.
  • The capacity to think creatively, innovatively, analytically, logically and critically.
  • The capacity to see relationships between different aspects of computer science.
  • Mathematical and logical skills.

The ability to articulate the individual (moral), social (ethical), legal and cultural opportunities and risks of digital technology.

What skills will I gain from studying Computer Science?

It will provide insight into, and experience of how computer science works, stimulating curiosity and encouraging you to engage with computer science in your everyday lives and to make informed choices about further study or career choices.

The key features of Computer Science include:

  • An emphasis on problem solving using computers.
  • An emphasis on computer programming and algorithms.
  • An emphasis on the mathematical skills used to express computational laws and processes, e.g. Boolean algebra/logic and algorithm comparison
  • Less emphasis on ICT.

Being among the most technologically educated population will put you in a great position for many careers or further fields of study.

What careers or further study would this subject be suitable for?

Computer Science is suitable for students intending to pursue any career in which an understanding of technology is needed. It will provide students with a range of transferable skills which will facilitate personal growth and has links in areas such as maths, science and design and technology.
Computer Science is a very creative subject and skills such as problem solving and analytical thinking will all be refined and explored as students progress through the course.

What trips occur during the course?

Bletchley Park – the ‘birthplace’ of Computing

Do I need to have done GCSE ICT or Computer Science?

No. The course is designed to be accessible to any student whether or not they have studied Computer Science at GCSE.

What subjects does Computing go well with?

Computing has traditional links to mathematics, physics, chemistry and design technology but the skills gained will be useful no matter what path you follow.

Pupil building a bench as part of DT coursework

Examination Board: EdExcel

What topics are covered?

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, Features of manufacturing industries, Designing for maintenance and the cleaner environment, Current legislation, Information handling, Modelling and forward planning, Further processes and techniques.

Why study product design at SGS?

In studying product design at SGS, students will benefit from a range of highly experienced design staff that is able to offer them the experience of designing and making products to a high commercial quality. All aspects of modern and traditional technology are considered and it is envisaged that the students will be able to make discerning choices as to which techniques are fit for purpose. The broad range of knowledge that students gather will enable them to critically evaluate designs of the twentieth and twenty first centuries. This will give them the skills to design and make their own products which in every way are equal to or better than those which can be purchased commercially

What skills can I gain from studying product design?

In studying product design at Stafford Grammar School, students will develop a clear understanding of design in society and how in the creation process, aestheticism and sustainability must be considered at all times. Students are given the opportunity to develop their creative, technical and practical skills as well as considering social, moral, spiritual and cultural values inherent in design and technology activities. All aspects of designing and making are taught which include such topics as; plastics fabrication, wood and metal construction, computer graphic design, architectural modelling, interior design, commercial packaging and advertising.

What career paths would this subject be suitable for?

Product Design A level offers a vast range of career opportunities which can include; architecture, commercial product design, interior design and computer graphic design, as well as film, television and theatre set design.

What trips occur during the course?

Students regularly visit the Design Museum, Victoria and Albert museum and the Design Technology show at the NEC. Collaborative courses are run with local universities and architectural visits to Barcelona and Venice are planned.

Drama student performing on stage

Examination Board: AQA

Drama & Theatre Studies is one of the most varied, exciting and challenging A Level subjects. You’ll develop skills and confidence that will stand you in good stead whatever your career ambitions.

Developing an understanding to then produce an entirely original piece of your own is highly rewarding… and lots of fun.

The Course

Drama and Theatre Studies at A Level allows students to study the theoretical aspects of drama combined with a practical application of skills through performance. The qualification is designed to enable you to acquire a knowledge and understanding of the language of drama and theatre as well as to develop as an individual performer your analytical skills. You will practically explore plays, create original pieces of theatre, analyse your own work along with live productions in order to develop your understanding of the social, historical and cultural context of theatre.

Why choose Drama and Theatre Studies

The course is aimed at those who have a genuine interest in theatre and the process by which theatre is made: the progression a script goes through in its transfer from page to stage; the roles of the director, actor and designer, and the influence that various practitioners of theatre through history have had on modern theatre practice. This is a demanding subject that requires in depth research, attendance to live theatre and critical and evaluative skills.

Personal Development

The communication and inter-personal skills acquired through drama are becoming increasingly sought after by employers. The skills you will build working with others are transferable to any work or study context.

Economic students in a classroom

Examination Board: AQA

What topics are covered?

  • Markets and Market Failure.
  • The National and International Economy.
  • Business Economics and the Distribution of Income.

Why study Economics at SGS?

  • Enthusiastic, caring and knowledgeable teaching staff.
  • Experience a completely different subject.
  • A very popular department.
  • Develop an understanding of economic concepts and theories that affect everyday life.
  • Learn to think like an economist.
  • Economics is a real, relevant, valuable, respected and traditional subject.
  • It combines very well with many other subjects, including
  • Mathematics, Geography, History, Science and Business Studies.
  • Choosing Economics may open up a whole new world of education and career possibilities that you did not even know existed.

What skills will I gain from studying Economics?

  • An ability to analyse and evaluate decision making by governments, businesses, households and consumers.
  • An ability to apply your understanding of Economics to aspects of the recent performance of the UK, EU and world economy.
  • Develop a well-informed opinion on the big issues that matter.
  • An ability to solve complex problems.
  • An opportunity to join the prestigious Target 2.0 competition run by the Bank of England.

What career paths would Economics be suitable for?

  • Funds manager
  • Economist
  • Banker, Retail/Investment/Commercial
  • Stockbroker
  • Economic Advisor / Consultant
  • Management
  • Law
  • Financial Analyst
  • Accountancy
  • Environmental Planning
  • Economic Researcher
  • Teacher/Lecturer

What trips are available?

Every year we visit

  • The Bank of England
  • The London Metal Exchange
  • The Supreme Court.
  • We regularly attend various conferences.

Do I need to have studied Business Studies at GCSE?

No. The course is perfectly accessible to students with no formal economic or business knowledge and understanding. However, a grade 6 in GCSE English and a grade 6 in GCSE Mathematics would be an advantage.

English student in classroom

Examination Board: OCR

‘Literature is where I go to explore the highest and lowest places in human society and in the human spirit, where I hope to find not absolute truth but the truth of the tale, of the imagination and of the heart’.
English Literature is a popular and constantly growing A-level at SGS. It appeals to a diverse range of students, all with differing interests and aspirations. The balance of the course means that students are able to study modern texts along with classics from the English literary heritage.

What topics are covered?

Year 1

  • Shakespeare and Poetry pre-1900
    • Students study a Shakespeare play such as The Tempest, Richard III or Hamlet. In addition, they will study poetry from poets such as Coleridge or Rossetti.
  • Drama and prose post-1900
    • This unit will include the study of American drama including Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire and an introduction to modern gothic prose with Angela Carter’s The Bloody Chamber.

Year 2

  • Shakespeare and Poetry and Drama pre-1900
    • Students will revise the Shakespeare play from Year 1 and then compare the AS poetry text with a new drama text, such as The Duchess of Malfi, She Stoops to Conquer, An Ideal Husband or A Doll’s House
  • Comparative and Contextual Study – The Gothic
    • Students undertake a specialist study of the gothic genre, through the study of set texts (Dracula, Frankenstein, The Bloody Chamber and wider reading of other gothic fiction).
  • Literature post 1900 and post 2000 (non-exam assessment)
    • This unit enables students to compare the play from AS study (A Streetcar Named Desire) with another modern text, such as On Chesil Beach or Rebecca. They are also required to analyse modern poetry.

Who should study English Literature?

People are at the centre of English Literature; if you want to develop an understanding of humanity within and beyond your own experience, then English Literature is for you. The course will appeal to those who have an interest in reading a wide variety of literature from the past and present; by both British and American authors; who enjoy expressing their opinions and developing independent ideas; who would be stimulated by a subject which draws upon their own experiences; and who want to keep their opinions open for further study.

What skills will I gain studying English Literature?

Students of English Literature learn to express their enthusiasm for novels, poems and plays in carefully crafted prose of their own. You will learn to express your informed personal opinions with maturity and sophistication. You will also learn to engage with and debate critical material.

What career paths would this subject be suitable for?

English Literature combines well with many subjects. The subject attracts students with career aspirations ranging from medicine and business to law and journalism.

The course is delivered by all of the subject specialists within our lively department.
We aim to bring the subject alive and to engage our students by fostering within them the same enthusiasm for literature.

Geography student on a school trip

Examination Board: AQA

What topics are covered?

Year 1

  • Water and carbon cycles
    • The cycling of water has obvious and significant implications for the health and prosperity of society. Carbon is everywhere: in the oceans, in rocks and soils, in all forms of life and in our atmosphere.
  • Hazards
    • The atmosphere and the lithosphere intermittently but regularly present hazards to human populations, often in a dramatic and sometimes catastrophic fashion.
  • Changing places
    • Place can be seen as a definite location. Place differs to the abstract notion of space because places have meaning to people. Space becomes place as we get to know it better.

Year 2

  • Coastal systems and landscapes
    • Coastal zones are dynamic environments with distinctive landscapes formed by the interaction of a range of wind, marine and terrestrial processes.
  • Global systems and global governance
    • The global economy and society have altered significantly in recent years as a result of the process of globalisation. There are few subjects either as controversial or as in need of better awareness than attempts to manage and govern human affairs on a global scale.
  • Contemporary urban environments
    • Population levels are rising and nowhere is this more evident than in urban areas. The future survival of cities depends on sustainable growth and their ability to tackle the major issues.

What trips occur during the course?

Geographical skills and associated fieldwork are an essential part of the course. In year 1 this is assessed in an examination worth 25% of the AS. In year 2 a 3000-word individual investigation which must include data collected in the field is completed which is worth 20% of the A level.

The department provides many opportunities which help to bring the subject alive. Sixth form students have visited the Jurassic Coast; London Olympic Park; Gnosall and Birmingham.

What career paths would Geography be suitable for?

Geographers are highly employable because they have the skills of research, analysis and synthesis, can take a balanced view and have been trained to apply their skills in real world situations. Common career opportunities for geographers are in planning, travel and tourism, the environment, housing management, law, water supply, earth sciences, sustainable development, oceanography and many, many more.

Two history students learning in a classroom

What topics are covered?

Unit 1: Tsarist and Communist Russia, 1855-1964.

  • This option allows students to study in breadth issues of change, continuity, cause and consequence in this period through the following key questions:
  • How was Russia governed and how did political authority change and develop?
  • Why did opposition develop and how effective was it?
  • How and with what results did the economy develop and change?
  • What was the extent of social and cultural change?
  • How important were ideas and ideology?
  • How important was the role of individuals and groups and how were they affected by developments?
  • In Year 12, students will study the problems faced by Tsarist Russia and the explosive revolution of 1917. In Year 13, students will explore the consolidation of the Communist regime under Lenin and Stalin as well as the changes brought about by Stalin’s successor, Khrushchev.

Unit 2: Wars and Welfare:  Britain in transition, 1905-1957

  • This option provides for the study of a transformative period of British history, during which democratically elected government faced a series of challenges, both internally and externally, and British society underwent fundamental change. It develops concepts such as reform and retrenchment, patriotism and pacifism, social status and cultural values. It also encourages students to reflect on the process of economic and social change and the impact of that change for both governments and the people.
  • In Year 12, students will look at issues such as the growth and decline of Liberalism, the impact of the First World War and the development of the media.  Year 13 students will explore the Great Depression, Winston Churchill, the impact of the Second World War and the establishment of the welfare state.
  • In Year 13, students also complete an historical investigation of no more than 3,500 words on Witchcraft.

Why study History at SGS?

Whilst we are sure that students will find the history course on offer here at SGS interesting and engaging, they will also be provided with a wide variety of transferable skills. Principally, students develop the ability to understand and analyse issues and events to a high level of competence. Other marketable skills include:

  • a talent for clear expression, both oral and written;
  • putting forward ideas and arguments inn a concise manner;
  • gathering, investigating and assessing material; basing conclusions on research and generating ideas;
  • organising material in a logical and coherent way.

What career paths would this subject be suitable for?

The skills you have gained will prepare you well for numerous careers. A significant number of those who take A level history go on to study Law, where their analytical and critical reasoning skills are highly valued. Politics, publishing, journalism, media and writing in all its forms are similarly suitable, alongside business and commerce, public sector administration and the charity and voluntary sectors.

What trips occur during the course?

Sixth form students have visited Auschwitz on the Lessons from Auschwitz Project run by the Holocaust Educational Trust, as well as visiting the Beth Shalom Holocaust centre in Nottingham where they have had the opportunity to listen to a Holocaust survivor.

Two maths students learning

Examination Board: OCR

Mathematics is an academic subject held in high regard.  For some students, it is a chance to finally meet a challenge within their Mathematical education.  Many of our Sixth Form students opt for Mathematics making it very popular, with more than three quarters of our AS Mathematics students continuing to A Level.

Why study Mathematics at SGS?

As a department we have the staff with experience and knowledge to teach all branches of Mathematics: Pure, Further Pure, Mechanics, Statistics and Decision.  You will be part of a small class where individual attention is frequent.  You can be sure that you will be supported individually in a unique way appropriate to you.

We welcome students who wish to develop their logic and understanding of this subject, and encourage them to share their love of the subject with lower school students, with our Sixth Formers playing an important role in helping the department make the subject accessible to all students in the lower school through mentoring and tutoring.

Our department aims are to encourage students to:

  • understand mathematics and mathematical processes in a way that promotes confidence, fosters enjoyment and provides a strong foundation for progress to further study
  • extend their range of mathematical skills and techniques
  • apply mathematics in other fields of study and be aware of the relevance of mathematics to the world of work and to situations in society in general
  • use their mathematical knowledge to make logical and reasoned decisions in solving problems both within pure mathematics and in a variety of contexts, and communicate the mathematical rationale for these decisions clearly

How is the course structured and what will I learn?


The course provides a broad and widely applicable base of mathematical knowledge, including rigorous treatment of calculus and proof alongside statistics and mechanics, preparing learners for a wide range of destinations in Higher Education and employment.

Pure Mathematics develops topics such as algebra, trigonometry and geometry but new topics such as differentiation and integration are also covered.

Mechanics looks mainly at the motion of objects and how they respond to forces acting upon them.

Statistics looks at data handling, analysis, presentation and probability.

The full A level course is examined through 3 papers with equal weighting.  ‘Pure Mathematics’, ‘Pure Mathematics and Statistics’ and ‘Pure Mathematics and Mechanics’. These papers cover all topics taught during the 2 years of Sixth Form and will also include use of a pre-release data set for Statistics.

Is this course suitable for me?

Students should have confidently completed the Higher GCSE Tier examination, with a grade 7 as a minimum requirement for entry onto the Mathematics AS Level course at SGS.

What career paths can this lead to?

An A level in Mathematics is a valuable qualification that is always in demand in both the employment markets and universities. Career opportunities range from financial and economic planning through management services, to scientific, medical and industrial research, engineering and computing.

Examination Board: OCR

Further Mathematics is an opportunity for you to touch upon some of the Mathematics sometimes studied in the first year at University. You can access new areas of Mathematics which you may never have heard of, such as imaginary numbers and matrices, and obtain a qualification in a subject which most people hold in awe. 

How is the course structured and what will I learn? 


The course runs alongside the single Mathematics course and is designed to complement the topics and skills you learn in the single Mathematics course. You have to choose both Mathematics and Further Mathematics as A Level options. 

The course provides a broader and wider range of Mathematics than the single Mathematics course. As well as Pure Mathematics, you will study 2 further modules from a choice of Mechanics, Statistics, Discrete Mathematics and Additional Pure Mathematics. The modules taken are chosen in the best interests of the students taking part in the course that year and their potential future direction of work or study. 

Is this course suitable for me? 

Students should thoroughly enjoy Mathematics if taking the Further Mathematics course as 50% of their timetable will be in this subject. There is a heavy workload of practice as this proves to generate the best results. It allows a student to extend their mathematical knowledge beyond the normal boundaries. The work deals with new areas of Mathematics, rather than extending current topics further. 

Why should I study Further Mathematics? 

An AS Level in Further Mathematics is undoubtedly an asset when looking for Further Education courses in many areas, including Sciences, Economics, Technology and Computing. An A level in Further Mathematics is of great advantage if planning to study Mathematics beyond Sixth Form. Study of this course shows determination and perseverance, as well as traditionally being associated with students of the highest academic calibre. 

Examination board: EDEXCEL
Why learn French?  Why learn German?  Everyone speaks English!!

We have heard this so many times but we still cannot deny the fact that there is a desperate need for Modern Linguists at all levels of society.  As such an A level language is a very valuable commodity indeed. These days many university departments are short of linguists – you will definitely be wanted!

Many students who have studied a language in the Sixth Form choose to continue their language, either as a qualification in its own right, or as part of a degree course in another subject e.g. Business plus a language, or a Science subject with a language, allowing you the opportunity to study abroad for a year.

There are many varied career paths for a language student within education, business, the civil service, law, journalism. (A former Stafford Grammar School linguist was offered the opportunity to work for the British intelligence and security agency GCHQ as a translator).

The attractions of being able to work abroad are also a strong incentive; a modern language definitely looks good on your CV!

What skills will I gain by studying a language at Stafford Grammar School?

Besides refining your GCSE language skills you will develop your debating and discussion skills and will be able to tackle topics relevant to the life of a young adult today.  Lesson activities will include sharing ideas, debates, listening to and reading texts followed by discussion, language manipulation, presentations etc.  Students are encouraged to watch foreign language films both for pleasure and as part of the course.
Students embarking on a post-16 language course will be encouraged to visit the relevant country during the course. The department also arranges visits to lectures and seminars offered by organisations such as the Gœthe Institut and French and German departments of local universities.

The speaking test terrifies me. Is it really difficult?

The Speaking test at both AS and A-Level currently takes only 15 minutes – hardly any longer than at GCSE – and is conducted by your own teacher. You will know well in advance what to expect and will be able to prepare yourself thoroughly. It is a scary experience, yes, but we try to make it as stress-free as possible!

Do I have to speak French/German all the time?

We do try to conduct the lessons using a significant amount of the target language, but you will be taught the language you need to ask for help and we will constantly check that you understand what is going on and explain if you don’t.

Music students playing instruments in the school orchestra

Examination Board: OCR

What topics are Covered?

Performing – Composition – Historical Study (to include Western classical music – 1700 to present day, Jazz and musical theatre).

Why study music at SGS?

The A-Level course enables our pupils to study varied musical genres in depth, whilst continuing to develop their performing and composing skills. Studying music at Stafford Grammar School also affords pupils the opportunity to be taught by one of our experienced instrumental staff and competing in our annual Music Festival. In addition to this, students perform with our highly respected ensembles that regularly perform in concerts in school, around the county of Staffordshire and even on foreign tours.

What skills will I gain from studying the subject?

As all three components (performing, composing and historical study) are assessed, it allows pupils to gain more experience in their favourite discipline at a much deeper level and explore areas of the subject that may have previously gone undiscovered at GCSE. From harmonising melodies and writing for large ensemble, to in-depth harmonic analysis and contextual study, a variety of skills are developed. There is also a strong emphasis on performance and pupils are expected to develop their performance practice improving their stage presence and awareness of period performance as much as their own technical capabilities.

What career paths would this subject be suitable for?

Music A-Level is particularly suitable for those who wish to go into Music performance, teaching or composing. It is also suitable to therapists, dramatists and primary school teachers. It should also be noted that Universities admire the skills that are developed through studying music. The discipline, dedication and ability to work as part of a team are skills which are beneficial in all careers.

What trips occur during the course?

Sixth Form students have attended concerts including trips to orchestral concerts, the Opera, and Musical Theatre. The department also have strong links with professional orchestras and theatres and often secure opportunities for students to “sit in” on rehearsals or performances with musicians in professional ensembles.

Outside Guests and Speakers?

Our annual music festival is adjudicated by well-known musicians and over the last few years we have had Alan Thomas (Principal Trumpet of City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra) and Chris Gumbley (Jazz Saxophonist, Professor of Saxophone at Birmingham Conservatoire, Composer for ABRSM Examination Syllabus) as well as Julian Lloyd-Webber. We also invite professional musicians in to play with our A-Level musicians for their recital (if appropriate) and give our pupils the invaluable opportunity to do a mock examination with an OCR examiner every year.

Frequently asked questions:

What grade do I need to be?

In order to access the upper marks in the Performance element you need to perform to approximately Grade 7 standard.

Do I need to have done GCSE music?

Whilst it will be an advantage, it is not a necessity. If you have considerable musical experience and have passed Grade 5 theory of music you should cope with the demands of A-Level Music.

Philosophy students learning

What is Philosophy?

Quite literally, the term “philosophy” means, “love of wisdom.” Philosophy, then, is about seeking to understand the fundamental truths about ourselves, the world in which we live, and our relationship to the world and to each other. Those who study philosophy are perpetually engaged in asking, answering, and arguing, in an attempt to find answers to life’s most basic questions.

Why study Philosophy?

Students who learn philosophy get a great many benefits from doing so. The tools taught by philosophy are of great use in further education, and in employment. Despite the seemingly
abstract nature of the questions philosophers ask, the tools philosophy teaches tend to be highly sought-after by employers. Philosophy students learn how to write clearly, and to read closely, with a critical eye; they are taught to spot bad reasoning, and how to avoid it in their writing and in their work.

What topics are covered in Year 12?

Section A – Epistemology: Epistemology is concerned with the theory of knowledge. It starts off with the question “What is knowledge?”, moving on to looking at how we acquire knowledge, the problem of relying on our perception of the world, comparing this to the use of reason and the limits of what actually might be knowable.

Section B – Moral philosophy: Moral philosophy, or ethics, looks at how we determine what is right and wrong. The course critically looks at three ethical frameworks; Utilitarianism, Kantian deontological ethics and Aristotelian virtue ethics. The course also covers Meta-ethics which deals with ethical language and what we actually mean when we use the terms “right” and “wrong”.

What topics are covered in Year 13? 

Students going on to study the A level qualification will have needed to have covered all the work in Year 12 for the AS course. This forms the bases for the first of two papers (both 3 hours). In the second year of their A level studies they will cover two further units of work which is assessed on their second paper:

Section A: Metaphysics of God: Metaphysics deals with abstract ideas and concepts. The question of God’s existence is one which philosophers have been wrestling with for thousands of years. The course critically looks at three traditional arguments for the existence of God: Ontological, Teleological and Cosmological. Students then go on to examine whether or not the proposition of God’s existence is incoherent especially with regards to the problem of evil in the world.

Section B: Metaphysics of mind: Philosophers have always been interested in human consciousness. It has raised questions about where consciousness come from and what makes humans unique. The course looks at how traditional dualism, physicalism and functionalism treat the mind-body problem.

What subjects at GCSE do I need for the course?

The course is perfectly accessible to all students. However, since it is a written examination, a grade 6 or higher in GCSE English would be advantageous.

What is Philosophy suitable for?

Philosophy has many applications and is sought after by many academic courses. Philosophy continues to be a popular course at degree level at university. Many students are attracted to doing PPE (Politics, Philosophy and Economics) especially if they are interested in pursuing a career in politics. People who do
philosophy find themselves in a variety of work; from business to entertainment. Philosophy is useful for those who are thinking about furthering their studies in either science and technology or the arts.

The un-examined life is not worth living.

Socrates (470 – 399 BCE)

Sport Studies student examining a skeleton

Examination Board:  AQA

What topics are covered?

 A Level PE is a science-based subject which contains: applied anatomy and exercise physiology, biomechanical principles, skill acquisition, sport psychology, sport and society and the role of technology in sport. There is a practical element to the course where students are assessed in one activity in a fully competitive context in the role of performer or coach. Students also analyse their own practical performance and formulate methods to improve this.

Why study A-Level Physical Education at Stafford Grammar School?

Thriving physical education department  –  the polyathlon provides an inter-house sporting competition involving all year groups in a variety of sports.  Sport is played to a high level against other independent schools in a wide range of sports. Students are usually of a County standard or above in their chosen sport.

  • The elite sports programme which caters for our County, Regional and National athletes.
  • To supplement our success in District, County, Regional and National competitions.
  • Excellent teaching staff  –  excellent knowledge and skill base.
  • Superb record in GCSE and A level examinations using existing sporting skills in the practical aspect of the course.

What skills will I gain doing A-Level Physical Education?

Developing coaching and management skills.
Understanding in-depth physiology to enable you to create a physical training programme to improve both aerobic and anaerobic performance.
Analysis of basic and elite performance to improve your own and others sporting technique.

What career paths would this be suitable for?

  • Professional sportsman/sportswoman
  • A career in the leisure industry (the biggest developing industry in the world)
  • Teacher/Lecturer
  • Personal Trainer
  • Fitness Instruction and Training
  • Fitness Management
  • Leisure Management
  • Physiotherapy
  • Sports Coaching and Instruction
  • Sports Development
  • Business Management
  • Physical Training Instructor

Physics experiments with students

Examination Board: OCR specification A

What topics are studied?


After an introductory module which sets up the mathematical and practical skills needed, we study:

Forces & Motion, Electricity, Light and Waves in the first year, Fields, Particles, Astrophysics and Medical Physics in the second year, completing the A level.

Practical work is continually assessed, and forms part of the A level qualification.  There is no practical examination.

Will I cope?

A lot of the work is based on familiar GCSE material, but goes beyond GCSE level to give you a more complete understanding.  Some new topics are covered such as Quantum Physics, giving a glimpse of the limits of what is possible to know about the Universe.  The second year stretches you further, ranging from the unimaginably small world of subatomic particles to the very edges of space and time.

There is plenty of practical work throughout the course.  Theoretical Physics must always be tested by experiment, and we teach you to design, carry out and evaluate experiments that reveal more about the way the world works.  We believe that this practical emphasis makes studying Physics here an interesting and enjoyable experience.  Our laboratories are modern and very well-equipped.

What about the maths?

A level Mathematics is not necessary to study A level Physics.  Certainly Physics is a mathematical subject and we need to do calculations.  However, the vast majority of the mathematics needed is GCSE level, so as long as you achieved a good grade at GCSE Mathematics, it won’t be a problem.  In the second year you need a bit extra, but we teach that as part of the course.  Both of our fully qualified Physics teachers have also taught Mathematics previously.

Why should I study Physics?

Physics is a fascinating subject and gives you a better understanding of the laws which govern our Universe.  It is Science’s last word in the quest to know ‘Why?’, and takes us to the edge of knowledge, and the border with Philosophy.  Many Arts and Humanities students take Physics to broaden their studies for this reason.  Students of the other Sciences and Mathematics find that Physics complements their subject areas as well.

Physics develops a logical and analytical way of thinking which is valued by many professions such as Economics, Law, Medicine, Management and Engineering.  You will develop a clear, precise and considered communication style which will find wide application

Examination Board: EDEXCEL

Why study Politics at SGS? 

Politics is a living, breathing subject and in light of the Scottish referendum, the Brexit campaign and divisions within the Labour and Conservative parties, there has never been a better time to study Politics at A level! Politics offers students the opportunity to understand the events happening around you by studying people, politics and participation and the governance of modern Britain and through debate, discussion and disagreement you will shape your own views and opinions of the modern political landscape and your place within it.

A level Politics offers transferable skills such as analytical and evaluative skills and the ability to select relevant material and construct and communicate arguments clearly and coherently. Such skills complement a wide range of A levels, particularly subjects such as Economics, History, Business and English.  In fact, Politics complements most subjects because of its immediate relevance and focus on current affairs. 

What topics are covered? 


Students will gain a broad understanding of the history and development of government and politics in the UK in order to understand in detail contemporary politics in the UK. Topics include: the nature and sources of the British constitution; the structure and role of Parliament; the Prime Minister and Cabinet; the origins, ideas and development of the Conservative, Labour, and Liberal Democrat parties; the role of pressure groups and the European Union.

In the second year of the A Level students look beyond Britain in their study of the politics of the USA. They examine US elections, the policies of the Democrat and Republican parties, US pressure groups, racial and ethnic politics, as well as exploring the Constitution of the USA, the Congress, the presidency and the Supreme Court. They also compare different political ideas, examining the core ideologies of Liberalism, Conservatism and Socialism and one other. 

What qualifications do I need to study Politics at A level? 

A good standard of English is important, but the main qualification is curiosity about how society works, and an interest in current affairs. To get the most out of the subject you will need to keep up to date with current events through newspapers, TV, radio and the internet. Students must learn to question the accuracy of all the information they are presented with, whether in class, Parliament or in any form of media. 

What career paths would this subject be suitable for? 

Well regarded by universities, Politics A- Level can lead directly to single subject degrees in Politics or International Relations, and to a wide variety of combined courses. The knowledge and skills you gain will prepare you for a wide range of careers, including journalism and the media, the law, the home and diplomatic civil service, local government, business management, political research and working in the charity and voluntary sectors. 


Students attend the A Level Politics Student Conference in London, where past speakers have included John Bercow, Sir Keir Starmer, Kenneth Clarke, Nigel Farage, Anna Soubry, Chukka Umunna and Jacob Rees Mogg, to name but a few. L6th students also visit the Houses of Parliament for a guided tour and to meet their local MP. In April 2019, we went on a five day visit to Washington DC, a visit designed to complement the US Politics unit studied in the U6th. 

Psychology students learning in a classroom

Examination Board: AQA

What topics are covered?


  • Social influence
  • Memory
  • Attachment
  • Psychopathology
  • Approaches in Psychology
  • Biopsychology
  • Research Methods
  • Issues & Debates in Psychology

Option 1:

  • Relationships
  • Gender
  • Cognition & Development

Option 2:

  • Schizophrenia
  • Eating behaviour
  • Stress

Option 3:

  • Aggression
  • Forensic Psychology
  • Addiction

Why do Psychology at SGS?

Think! Who are you? What makes you and others tick? Who are you going to be? Psychology is the subject that can teach you how to investigate these questions and open your mind to a whole spectrum of ideas. Psychology is the science of mind and behaviour. At SGS small class sizes mean plenty of discussion time, reflection and tailored feedback.

What skills will I gain doing Psychology?

Studying psychology is very useful in helping you understand people. Psychology can explain how you learn and how to improve your memory. This will make you a much more effective student. You will also get a thorough grounding in scientific analysis and evaluation and learn about different ‘levels of explanation’.  

What career paths would this be a suitable subject for?

Psychology is an invaluable subject for anyone wishing to go into teaching, management or business in general, and is the best preparation for anyone wishing to work with people. More specifically you need the subject for the applied areas of clinical psychology, any of the therapies (e.g. psychoanalysis, CCT, CBT, counselling etc), forensic psychology, law, human resources, educational psychology, evolutionary psychology etc.

Opportunities available:

  • Students will learn a variety of skills including;
  • Analytical thinking
  • Improved communication
  • Problem solving
  • Abstract reasoning
  • Leadership and teamwork skills
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Research skills
  • Numeracy
  • Organisation skills
  • Adaptability and open mindedness

In addition to the above, students will present weekly on something they have researched independently related to psychology outside of the classroom. There will be leadership opportunities to run workshops and mentor lower school students. The department will provide support with university applications and personal statements and there will be opportunities available to invite in guest speakers and participate in psychology-relevant talks. 


Psychology is a demanding subject that requires students to be able to draw on a wide range of abilities, so places in sixth form and particularly at undergraduate level at university are limited. You must be prepared to extend your interest in psychology to outside of the classroom and to read around the subject, considering its relevance to you and today.  Students must have either at least a Grade 6 in Mathematics at GCSE and preferably a Grade 6 in Science (Biology) or at least a Grade 6 in Psychology at GCSE with at least a Grade 5 in Mathematics. A willingness to evaluate theories and analyse data is essential, but most important is the desire to understand the behaviour and basic mechanics of the human mind and its evolution.