Welcome to Bournside Sixth Form

A warm welcome to Bournside Sixth Form. We are delighted that you are considering studying for your A Levels and BTEC qualifications with us. We understand how challenging and rewarding your time in our Sixth Form will be; with 38 A Level and BTEC courses on offer plus extra-curricular options including Core Maths and the Extended Project Qualification, studying with us means you can pick the best combination of subjects to suit your interests and aspirations.

We invest a significant amount of time in ensuring that each student is well-suited to their subjects, and to enable this, we offer three clear pathways, including A Levels, BTECs or a mixture of the two, designed to help you select subjects with a clear route to your future goals.

We pride ourselves on the outstanding support we offer our students and whether you have fixed your sights on going to university, starting employment, or are still considering your options, we will support and challenge you to excel, both personally and academically.

It is an exciting time to choose Bournside Sixth Form. We have recently invested in our dedicated Sixth Form spaces and on these webpages, you will find detailed information on our course offer, submitting your application, snapshots of our latest news, and more.

I look forward to meeting you and seeing you thrive at Cheltenham Bournside Sixth Form.

Mr Kevin Warren
Head of Sixth Form 

Read the latest news from Term 1 & 2 in our newsletter:

Sixth Form

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Art 3D Design

If you enjoy creating objects in three dimensions then this course is for you. The course provides an excellent foundation for further study or careers in fashion, architecture, 3D design and sculpture amongst others. You will explore how to construct forms in a range of materials, learn how to take work from initial sketches and concept designs though to final 3D outcomes.

Students are able to engage with a series of creative coursework projects exploring themes such as the figures, structures and natural forms. Visual awareness and creativity are developed via making and presenting ideas in a range of media such as glass, resin, clay, wire and textiles.


Art Graphics

If you are interested in clever marketing visuals, funky lettering, logos, symbols, the way messages are communicated, or graphic art in general, this course is for you.

Students are able to enjoy a series of creative coursework projects exploring themes such as image and typography, layout design, experimental imagery and more abstract approaches. Sources from illustration, advertising and editorial design will provide further inspiration.

A starting point for students wishing to develop a career in the creative industries, A level Graphic Communication enables progression towards art foundation and a degree in video, fashion, textile design, graphics, 3D design, product design, interior design, fine art, art digital media, animation, design for interactive media, illustration, teaching, automotive design and many others.


Art Photography

If you enjoy capturing moments and details from the world around you, or designing complex digital experiments, then this course is for you. You will learn photographic skills and key concepts but outcomes and portfolio development may go into physical or digital manipulation (graphic style work) or even video.

The A Level Photography course is taught within the Art Department: a suite of rooms with access to specialist photographic studio equipment, dedicated studio space, and digital manipulation software. Students will examine themes such as portraiture and identity, textures, structures, video, gif and special effects, as well as more conceptual projects.


Fine Art

If you enjoy drawing, painting, sculpture or simply developing ideas with a range of media, then this course is for you.

Students are able to enjoy a series of creative coursework projects exploring themes such as the figure, structures and natural forms. Visual awareness and creativity are developed via areas of study including drawing, painting, sculpture, mixed media and digital media.



We build on students’ enthusiasm for Biology and enable a deeper understanding of vital concepts to explain the world around us.

The course will continue from GCSE, involving greater detail in topics such as cells, plant and animal transport systems, and biological molecules, as well as analysing processes such as respiration and photosynthesis, providing a greater appreciation of the intricacies of science. You will also cover challenging new areas such as biotechnology and gene technology that are advancing rapidly and have far-reaching consequences for our lives and our health.

Our goal is to ensure our students are prepared for their future, by developing their independent study skills, time management, and develop their love of learning. This well-respected course provides transferrable skills to a wide range of careers, offering students many future opportunities.




Can you see yourself as the next Mark Zuckerberg or Fraser Doherty or do you aspire to own your own small business?

There has never been a more exciting time to start a business venture; with new emerging economies in Asia, and the negative impact Covid-19 has had on the UK economy, there are endless opportunities for the budding entrepreneur.

Whatever your vision, this course covers all the key topics of starting and running a business. You will learn how businesses operate and explore these areas in depth: marketing, accounting and finance, human resource planning, and operations management.

Students will be offered opportunities to take part in a wider variety of external competitions and visits during the 2-year course ranging from Young Enterprise, IFS Student Investor Challenge (Investing £100,000 of virtual money on the stock market), and opportunities to visit businesses in person.


Vocational Business

This qualification is designed for both vocational and academic learners who wish to develop a business career. The course has been designed specifically to cater to learners wishing to either study business at university and/or to equip students with the skills required for full-time apprenticeships and future employment in the business industry.

Students will develop an understanding of how businesses are constructed and how areas of the business must coordinate together as part of a team, for example; Human Resources, Marketing, Finance & Accounts, Economics, Law, Business Management, Event Management, and Sales.

Students are encouraged to work and operate like young professionals within a business setting and working environment. Learning is developed via class discussions, business guests, visits, and business meetings. You will also have the opportunity to visit local, national, and even international, business settings.



Chemistry provides students with transferable skills that are vital within scientific fields but also incredibly valuable in many other areas.

Students will not only be able to apply their knowledge to the world around them, they will develop rigorous research skills, the ability to risk assess and problem solve and communicate ideas in a fluid and concise manner.

The AQA specification allows Year 12 students to create a strong foundation of fundamental concepts across all three areas: physical, inorganic and organic chemistry. These concepts will be revisited in Year 13 and built upon, allowing students to work towards applying their knowledge in a real-world context.

This model means that whether students have studied Combined Science (2 GCSEs) or Triple Science (3 GCSEs), this course ensures that all students can make great progress. Alongside the theoretical knowledge, students will complete a series of practical activities that will allow them to gain a valuable practical endorsement at the end of the course.


Computer Science

Computer Science is an ideal course for students who want to learn the underlying principles of how computers work.

The course examines the fundamental concepts including abstraction, decomposition, logic, algorithms, and data representation. Students analyse problems in computational terms and through practical experience of programming, developing the capacity to think creatively, innovatively, analytically, logically, and critically.

At A Level, students write a program of their choice to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of the subject. Many students choose to make simple 2D games such as Space Invaders or Pac-Man, which gives them a good grounding for higher education. This is a challenging course, requiring patience, perseverance, and a very keen interest in computers.



A very popular course, our Criminology Level 3 Applied Diploma is a great springboard to many higher education courses and employment routes.

As part of this course, you will consider all of aspects of crime across four units.

Unit 1: Changing Awareness of Crime - This will enable students to demonstrate understanding of different types of crime, influences on perceptions of crime and why some crimes are unreported.

Unit 2: Criminological Theories - Students gain an understanding of why people commit crime, considering what different types of crime take place in our society and who decides what behaviours are against the law?

Unit 3: Crime Scene to Courtroom - Provide students with an understanding of the criminal justice system from the
moment a crime has been identified to the verdict.

Unit 4: Crime and Punishment - Students will apply their understanding of the awareness of criminality, criminological theories and the process of bringing an accused to court in order to evaluate the effectiveness of social control to
deliver criminal justice policy. 

We have strong links with the University of Gloucestershire and students will visit their Criminology facilities to engage with crime scene scenarios and to hear from guest speakers who study/work in relevant fields.


Design and Technology: Product Design

The exciting Product Design A level course offers opportunities to develop design and manufacturing skills creatively and innovatively. Students will gain specialist knowledge in design, materials, manufacture, and marketing with an emphasis on industrial practice and the application of computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacture.

Students will be able to recognise design needs and develop an understanding of how current global issues, including integrating technology, impact today’s world.

Students will be required to set design contexts and use iterative processes of design and manufacture to develop high-quality prototypes. Due to the length of this process, students will need to be good coursework project managers.


Design and Technology: Fashion and Textiles

Fashion and Textiles provides students with an opportunity to develop design and manufacturing skills in a creative and innovative way. Students will be required to manufacture high-quality products and prototypes to meet a specific need or consumer group. The product may suit the client's need in the home or as a fashion item.

It is an exciting course, which will allow students to become aware of the place of design in society and the influences that designers have in the world in which we live. There will be opportunities to take part in extra-curricular activities, e.g. designing and making garments, and trips out of school to the Clothes Show Live and London Fashion College's Graduate Show.


Design and Technology: Food Science and Nutrition

The Level 3 Food Science and Nutrition Diploma allows students to gain a wealth of knowledge about the food and nutrition industry. Students will have the opportunity to learn about the relationship between the human body and food as well as practical skills for cooking and preparing food.

Delivered over two years, the diploma is made up of three units:

Unit 1: Meeting the Nutritional Needs of Specific Groups (50%) – this involves a controlled assessment (25%) with practical elements and an externally marked written examination (25%). Learner will demonstrate an understanding of the science of nutrition and nutritional needs in a wide range of contexts. Students will experience on–going practical sessions, to gain a wide range of high level skills to produce quality food items to meet the needs of individuals.

Unit 2: Ensuring Food is Safe to Eat (25%) – this is based on controlled assessment externally marked and involves experimentation and written research. This unit allows learners to develop their understanding of the science of food safety and hygiene; essential knowledge for anyone involved in food production in the home or wishing to work in the food industry. Again practical sessions will support the gaining of theoretical knowledge and ensure learning is a tactile experience.

Unit 3: Experimenting to Solve Food Production OR Current Issues in Food Science and Nutrition (25%) - this involves controlled assessment were students study one of the two optional units. This allows learners the opportunity to study subjects of particular interest or relevance to them, building on previous learning and experiences.


Drama and Theatre Studies

Drama and Theatre Studies allows students the opportunity to combine a sophisticated practical and academic response to theatre in all its forms.

Students will study set texts and the work of several theatrical practitioners as well as participating in group projects producing original performance work and performing scripted plays.



In studying economics, you will gain an understanding of current economic issues such as ‘Why do students pay tuition fees for higher education?’, ‘Can the government solve the pensions crisis?’ and more contemporary issues such as the 2008 financial crash, Brexit, and the Eurozone crisis.

You will be introduced to a range of concepts and theories that are used to explain how the real world operates.


English Language and Literature

This is a great all-round course for creative writers and readers interested in exploring a wide range of literary and non-literary styles.

You will study a diverse range of material: from famous speeches to film scripts and travelogues, to Shakespeare and traditional prose.


English Literature

Our A Level English Literature course is for lovers of books, plays and poetry.

Travel with us on a literary journey, from romantic poets like Byron to modern-day classics; from Renaissance ideas in Shakespeare to contemporary philosophy and social issues in a modern novel. You could be delving into true crime, or scaring yourself silly with a modern ghost story.


Film Studies

The Film Studies A Level course is very much aimed at developing and deepening your understanding of the way that films tell us stories, engage and entertain us, even how they sometimes show us the truth about our societies.

You will be taught how to analyse film, how to understand how films relate to the contexts and genres in which they were made and, ultimately, how to make your own film.



Studying French at advanced level undoubtedly increases your employment opportunities. We aim to develop an appreciation of France and its culture.

Students will research information, take part in debates and explore their feelings about contemporary issues, all whilst building on their knowledge of French gained at GCSE.



In Geography, students investigate relationships between human populations and physical environments.

You will gain knowledge and understanding of modern issues at a variety of scales whilst being be able to consider their own, and decision makers’ role, value, and attitude towards these issues. We aim to develop an appreciation of the dynamic nature of contemporary geography.



Studying German at an advanced level undoubtedly increases your employment opportunities. We aim to develop an appreciation of Germany and its culture. Students will research information, take part in debates and explore their feelings about contemporary issues, all whilst building on their knowledge of German gained at GCSE.

There will be opportunities to experience the language outside of the classroom through a variety of initiatives and study topics are based on lifestyle and social topics of interest. An A level in German will undoubtebly give you a competitive edge in the labour market.


Government and Politics

We aim to encourage an interest in and an understanding of British politics. Students will gain knowledge of important concepts and institutions related to the constitution, parliament, political parties, and electoral systems.

Students study and discuss current political developments, such as the 2017 election and Brexit, visit the Houses of Parliament and Supreme Court, and get a chance to promote and debate political policy in the local council chambers.


Health and Social Care BTEC

Our popular Health and Social Care qualification can be studied alongside a variety of subjects and lead to a degree, higher level apprenticeship, or employment. For example, when combined with A Levels in Biology and Psychology, it could lead to a
degree in nursing; combined with English and History, it could lead to a BA in Primary Education; when combined with Sociology
and Psychology, it could lead to a degree in social work

With a 40% coursework element, units include: Human lifespan development; Working in health and social care; Meeting
individual care and support needs; plus one optional unit decided by the school.



Art (Fine Art)

If you enjoy drawing, painting, sculpture or simply developing ideas with a range of media, then this course is for you.

Students are able to enjoy a series of creative coursework projects exploring themes such as the figure, structures and natural forms. Visual awareness and creativity are developed via areas of study including drawing, painting, sculpture, mixed media and digital media.

Bridging work



Students undertake a breadth study of how Britain was transformed between 1918 and 1997, conduct a study in depth on the USA in the 1920s and 1930s, investigate Tudor Rebellions, and produce coursework on American civil rights, which can be on a topic of choice from the end of the Civil War through to the assassination of Martin Luther King and emergence of Black Power.


Information Technology BTEC

This Information Technology qualification can be studied alongside other Level 3 qualifications and is ideal for preparing students for any career associated with IT or business.

We offer the course as an Extended Certificate (equivalent to 1 A Level) which is designed for post-16 learners wishing to go on to further or higher level study, or directly to employment in this area. The qualification attracts UCAS points and is widely recognised by universities and employers.




Studying Mandarin at an advanced level undoubtedly increases your employment opportunities. Throughout the Mandarin A level, students will develop an appreciation of China and its culture, researching information, debating, and exploring views on contemporary issues, all whilst building on their knowledge of Mandarin gained at GCSE.

All four skill areas are tested in three final exams based on current trends in Chinese society, social issues, artistic culture, and the study of film and literature. Students will also complete an individual research project.



If you enjoyed GCSE Mathematics and you like problem-solving, this is the course for you.

Many topics build on previous work at GCSE such as sequences, quadratics and trigonometry, whilst differentiation and integration provide interesting and stimulating new material to study.


Further Mathematics

This double A Level course is for students who truly love mathematics and want the challenge of studying a broader and deeper range of topics.

In addition to work in pure mathematics, applications of the subject to mechanics, statistics and decision mathematics are studied to provide a wide-ranging and inspiring course.


Media Studies

The fundamental questions around the role of the media are addressed through this A Level course. The ever-changing complexity of the media landscape is studied through a theoretical framework based around the core concepts of media language, representation, media industries and audiences.

A contextual element is applied to the above, often developing comparative skills relative to different texts. The texts studied consist of advertising and marketing; film industry; music video; newspapers; radio; video games; television; magazines; online/social media.



While some students will choose this course because they intend to study music at university or college, it is equally appealing to those who enjoy music or are looking for a subsidiary subject.

The skills it develops complement other subjects very well. This course is divided into 3 areas – performing, composing, and listening and appraising.


Music Technology

If you have an interest in music and how it’s produced, then this course is ideal for you. It is designed to increase your knowledge and understanding of music production software, commercial music and recording techniques.

You will develop and apply theory and practical skills though learning how to mix, master and produce your own music in Logic Pro, how to record live instruments and creatively using digital audio. You will also develop an understanding of studio roles. You do not need to be a performer to complete this course, but an enjoyment of music and creativity are a must.


Physical Education

The A Level course equips learners with both a depth and breadth of knowledge, understanding, and skills relating to scientific, socio-cultural and practical aspects of physical education.



Physics is ‘the study of matter, energy and the interaction between them’. Physics is really the study of everything in our universe; it is about asking fundamental questions and using observations and experiments to attempt to answer them.

Our A Level course covers the study of the laws, theories and models of physics, and explores their practical application in a variety of real-life situations.



Psychology is a science. It is the scientific study of the mind and behaviour.

Students studying psychology gain a broad overview of various topics central to psychology; develop an understanding of explanations of behaviour from different schools of psychological thought, and learn to analyse the strengths and limitations of the various psychological approaches.


Religious Studies (Christianity, Philosophy & Ethics)

This course presents students with an opportunity to grapple with some of the most profound questions that have puzzled philosophers since the time of Socrates, Plato and Aristotle.

Does God exist? Why is there a universe, rather than nothing? Is there any point to pain and suffering? And how sure can we be when we try to answer these questions?



Sociology is the study of human beings in society. The subject examines the interaction of humans with each other and with the society around them. It is a critical subject as it seeks to avoid ‘obvious’ or ‘common sense’ explanations of human activity, searching instead for explanations at a deeper level.

Students will discuss the world around them to become familiar with a range of sociological theories each advocating a different approach to studying society – functionalist, Marxist, feminist and postmodernist.



Studying Spanish at advanced level undoubtedly increases your employment opportunities. We aim to develop an appreciation of Spain and its culture, and make the A Level compelling by basing the study topics around lifestyle and social topics that you’ll be interested in.

Students will research information, take part in debates, and explore their feelings about contemporary issues, all whilst building on their knowledge of Spanish gained at GCSE.


Sport BTEC

The Sport BTEC National Extended Certificate provides a broad basis of study for the sport sector. 

The Extended Certificate is equivalent to one A Level and consists of three mandatory units, plus one other; Anatomy and Physiology; Fitness Training and Programming for Health Sport and Well-being, and Professional Development in the Sports Industry.


Extra-curricular: Core Maths

Core Mathematics is a course for those that want to keep refreshing their mathematical knowledge, gain new analytical and statistical skills, and support the mathematical content of their other courses.

Mathematics is effectively a language. It is used and applied in almost every career whether it be STEM related or not. This
course focuses on applying your Mathematics skills gained at GCSE to real-life contexts. More specifically, Core Mathematics
looks at financial calculations, statistical methods and graphical techniques.

If you’re looking for a challenging, engaging and heavily applicable course – look no further than Core Mathematics.


Extra-curricular: Extended Project Qualification (EPQ)

The Extended Project Qualification is an additional qualification you can take alongside your A levels. It helps to develop research skills, time management, essay writing and a whole host of other skills that would be very useful at university and in your future career. Many universities make lower A level offers to students undertaking an EPQ.

It lets you study your own interests. Whether it’s focusing on subjects such as Type 2 Diabetes and abortion, which will be relevant for those applying to study medicine at university, or a subject like Disney princesses, because you like Disney and have an interest in feminism, an EPQ gives you the freedom to study what you want and will look great on your university and your CV.


Opening Times

Weekdays: 5.00pm to 10:30pm
Weekends: 8.30am to 4.00pm
Bank holidays: Closed