Of course our primary focus at Key Stage 5 is university preparation. Ark Academy will support every student in choosing the right university pathway and career with confidence. We know that the right university degree and career will probably every student a happier, more prosperous, and more enlightened person. We run a comprehensive tutor support programme with daily tutor sessions and a weekly PSHE & Careers / University preparation lesson.

At Ark Academy we offer our students a traditional, academic A-Level curriculum, alongside a tailored and purpose built Professional Pathway curriculum. This is a Level 3 BTEC (Business or Applied Science) built alongside a professional partner and a work readiness programme, that is only available in Ark schools.

The vast majority of Ark Academy Sixth Formers who follow the A-Level Route will study 4 AS Levels in Year 12 and 3 A-Levels in Year 13. Those following the Professional Pathway Route will study the BTEC Level 3 and one AS Level in Year 12 and the BTEC Level 3 in Year 13.

Each subject taken has 6 periods per week and professional pathways have 18 periods per week. The remaining periods are allocated to independent study. Having study periods and two exclusive, designated study rooms is a great privilege of being a sixth former at Ark. Our students welcome the opportunity to have two rooms for their exclusive use where they can study without interruption, using school lap tops, focussing on reading and homework which needs to be done well and on time.

While we are aware that some schools are moving away from AS, but are conscious that universities currently still prefer students to have them.

“We strongly encourage potential applicants to take AS-Level examinations in at least three subjects. These will provide us with a strong measure of applicants’ recent academic progress, will assist us and the students in judging whether an application to Cambridge is likely to be competitive, and will provide reassurance that grade predictions are not relied upon too heavily in a new system.”

Dr Mike Sewell, Director of Admissions for the Cambridge Colleges, Summer 2015

The Entry Criteria for Sixth Form is:


  • 5 Grade 6-9 in GCSE including at least a grade 4 in English and Maths
  • Please look closely at the entry criteria for the specific subject you wish to study. This can be found here . While you may make the entry criteria for admission to the Sixth Form you might be restricted in terms of subject choice.

PROFESSIONAL PATHWAY (Business or Applied Science)

  • 2 Grade 4 and 3 Grade 5 or in GCSE and including at least a grade 4 in English and Math.
  • Please note to complete the Professional Pathway Science you must have achieved at least a 5-4 in Trilogy science.

All courses are dependent on sufficient numbers of students; where there is insufficient demand, a course may be withdrawn.

For more detail please read the curriculum overviews below:

Download the Year 12 curriculum overview here

Download the Year 13 curriculum overview here

Subject curriculum overviews:




Drama and Theatre Studies


English Literature


Further Maths







Physical Education



3D Textiles

3D Product Design

Professional Pathways Business

Professional Pathways Applied Science


Religious Studies