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British Education

BISU Offers A Levels

This year the British International School Ukraine has launched the A level qualifications for Sixth Form students

This will enable those finishing their IGCSEs to continue their top level British Education here in Ukraine. We are the first and only institution in the country to offer this opportunity.

Mr Patrick Glennon and Ms Sarah Bedford will tell us more about the A level programme.

What are A levels? 

— A levels are Advanced qualifications; they follow on from IGCSE qualifications. Typically, students will study over two years an A level programme. They will select three or four subjects. Three is usually the required minimum for most universities. Universities both in the UK and internationally recognise Advanced Level qualifications as a part of entry.

How do A levels work? 

— A levels are a two-year linear programme, usually comprised of four units or modules. Students ordinarily will sit their examinations at the end of the two-year period. However, should they not wish to continue with the programme of study, they do have the option to sit the AS examination/s at the end of the first year (worth half an A level). They will be awarded grades from A* to E, with universities generally accepting grades C and above as higher achievements; of course, here at Nivki, that’s what we would be hoping for with our students, too.

What does it take to enroll for the A level programme?  

— In general, students need to get 5 Ato Cs including English and Maths at IGCSE. In addition, students really need a grade B or above in individual subjects that they wish to study to enable them to have the best opportunity to achieve the top grade at A level 

How are A levels assessed?  

— They are a two-year programme of study and students will sit the examinations at the end of two years. They will be awarded a grade between A* and E. Even with the challenging and advanced nature of A levels, our current cohort of Year 12 students are working towards 100% pass rate and 50% of the students are actually predicted to get an A* or A grade across all of their subjects This is outstanding and it is a very exciting time here at Nivki.

Which exam boards do A levels use? 

— Internationally, there are several exam boards which assess A level. Often, schools will use Edexcel or the Cambridge International Assessment. Here at BISU we use the Cambridge International Assessment for our A level programme.

What is the difference between A levels and the IB diploma?

The IB diploma takes a holistic view. Each student will study six subjects in addition to the core, which involves the extended essay, theory of knowledge, and creativity, activity and service. Some of the subjects are compulsory. With the A level programme, each student will typically study three subjects and, as there are no compulsory subjects, a student can stop studying subjects that they no longer require.

So how do I make a choice between A levels and the IB programme? 

— This is a difficult choice, and it depends on the individual student – on what they want to study and where they want to study it. Our dedicated Sixth Form team of teachers are British educated. They understand the issues, and they are always happy to help, support and guide our students.

How do I decide if A levels are right for me? 

— If you enjoy academic learning and want to select from a broad range of subjects, then A levels might be the right choice for you. If you’ve got a passion or a strength within a subject, they allow you to focus on your programme of study. A levels have a great reputation for being in-depth and rigorous, and they are very well recognised by universities and employers as a great qualification.

What subjects do A level students take? 

— There are no compulsory subjects at A level, so students are free to take the subjects that either interest them or are going to be beneficial to them in their future studies or careers. Typically, students take three A level subjects. It may be subjects they’ve had the opportunity to study previously, such as Maths or Physics, or it may be subjects that they’ve never had the chance to study but would like to, such as Psychology or Law.

What if I want to keep my options open? 

— Studying certain subjects at A level can allow you to keep your options open. These are known as facilitating subjects. For examples, English Literature, Maths, the Sciences, Geography and History. Studying these programmes at A level can give you greater access to programmes at university, so it’s certainly important to consider facilitating subjects when selecting your programme of study at A level.

What subjects do A level students take at BISU? 

— By employing a combination of face-to-face teaching and blended learning, we ensure that our students have access to a wide range of subjects. Our current Sixth Form students are taking subjects, such as English Literature, Maths, Further Maths, Physics, Computer Science, Business Studies and Russian. There are a great other variety of subjects available to them. Two of our students are looking to apply to Oxford and Cambridge, which are ranked among the finest universities in the world.

What else are A level students offered at Nivki? 

— At Nivki, we also offer an Enrichment programme. The Enrichment programme is designed to create rounded individuals and to support students in getting a CV that enables them to access the best universities in the world. The Enrichment programme at Nivki includes Race4Good, where we compete against other schools globally. It includes ASDAN, which has units such as peer mentoring where our students support younger students. It involves the IELTS programme, which enables our students to demonstrate their proficiency at English. And it includes the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme; we are the first school in Ukraine to offer this prestigious award.

Categories: British Education

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