Skip to main content


At The Island VI Form, we provide a broad and balanced curriculum because we understand that students need to be engaged in their learning and able to follow courses in which they are interested, if they are to achieve their potential.

Students are treated with respect and freedom to manage their own time and study. Students are expected to attend timetabled lessons, study periods, mentoring sessions and a range of extra-curricular activities.

We are committed to the following:

  • Providing a challenging and innovative learning culture, engendering a love of learning.

  • A culture of commitment and hard work that will enable the achievement of potential.

  • Securing mutual respect and a positive attitude to learning.

  • Creating an inclusive, supportive community where students value each other

Pathway One: A Levels

The A Level pathway is a natural choice for you if you have enjoyed and been successful on your GCSE courses. A Levels offer you the chance to focus your attention on a smaller number of subjects, building your knowledge and understanding in the areas in which you have proven strengths and strong interest. A Level courses are offered in the following subject areas:


The course builds on knowledge gained from GCSE and investigates how living organisms work and the connections between them. This course has increased emphasis on understanding and application, in addition to recall, and this is evident from the comprehensive list of practical’s included. Biology will develop both your knowledge and practical skills ready for your next step either into a variety of degrees or careers.

Business Studies

Business A level is designed to give a broad and balanced introduction to business as a basis for further training and study. Allowing students to develop general skills, knowledge and understanding that underpins all occupations and professions.

This programme will enable you to investigate areas within business, the economy and industry and provide skills for future employment and academic business courses. You are encouraged to foster imaginative and creative thinking as well as developing an understanding of the world of business and recognise its value to the local, national and international community.


This course has increased emphasis on understanding and application rather than recall, and this is evident from the comprehensive list of practicals included. This course will build on knowledge gained from GCSE and has a natural progression. It will develop you into an able chemist, setting up the opportunity of taking the next step to undergraduate studies with confidence.

Classical Civilisation

This is an increasingly popular A level which offers students the opportunity to explore aspects of Ancient Greek and Roman culture in depth. The new specification is an academically rigorous course that centres on the study of ancient literature, history, politics and archaeology.

Computer Science

This course is aimed at students who are keen on practical computer work, programming and especially solving computing related problems.

The A Level computer science qualification helps students understand the core academic principles of computer science. Classroom learning is transferred into creating real-world systems through the creation of an independent programming project. The A level will develop the student’s technical understanding and their ability to analyse and solve problems using computational thinking.

Drama and Theatre Studies

This course is a mix of practical drama and dramatic theory. You will be introduced to texts from a wide range of genres, styles and historical contexts. Workshops will also introduce a range of theatre practitioners to develop theatrical knowledge and skills. The course will consist of practical workshops and theory-based lessons linked to these to ensure an in-depth understanding. You will be given the opportunity to work in different styles of theatre so that by the end of the course you will have an extensive skill base and an understanding of the theory behind it.

You will be encouraged to be creative and experimental and to get as much experience of drama outside the classroom as possible.

English Language

When you stop and think about it, using the English language is one of the most complex things you will ever master, and yet you probably got to grips with it before you even set foot inside a school. Language is integral to practically every aspect of human life. You might explore the dramatic historical events that led to the modern English you use today, or relive the process of child language acquisition. You could engage with the politically-charged problems of racism and sexism, or tune in to and map out the rich variety of regional dialects around you. Or, you could plot the ever-changing path of current and future language use as English finds its place in the 21st century.

Whatever route you take, studying English Language at an advanced level will reward you with a deeper awareness of yourself and your place in the world.

Studying English Language will also provide you with a technical understanding of linguistics; the way words, sounds, meanings and structure are interwoven to make the texts you see and hear each day. You will develop your analytical and discursive essay writing, enhance your ability to write originally and to appreciate the craft of the writer, and learn how to engage.

English Literature

At the heart of A level English literature is the experience of reading. You will have been reading – and reading people’s stories – throughout most of your life, and this course is an opportunity to take that a step further: to develop as a reader, and to explore ways of reading more deeply and widely.

You will encounter a wealth of texts, by different writers, in different times – from the drama of Shakespeare right through to emerging 21st century poets, dramatists and novelists. Every text brings with it a weight of social, historical, and cultural issues that influence and shape it and its readers, and you will be able to assess these critically and enjoy one of the great benefits of studying literature: the opportunity to examine and discuss your thoughts with others.

You will also develop as a writer, especially in your analytical and essay writing: pinpointing precisely the literary methods in texts that generate the effects we experience as readers, and learning how to express your own ideas and interpretation of them meaningfully and in a purposeful and academic way. There are also opportunities to write creatively, experimenting yourself with the methods literary writers use.

Film Studies

Many consider film to be the main cultural innovation of the 20th century. Students who study it characteristically bring with them a high degree of enthusiasm and excitement for what is a powerful and culturally significant medium, inspiring a range of responses from the emotional to the reflective. Film studies offers students the opportunity to investigate how film works from both a representation mode and as an aesthetic medium.


There has never been a better or more important time to study geography. Climate change, the issues and challenges of international migration, environmental degradation and the challenge of living in a more hazardous world, show that geography is one of the most relevant courses you could choose to study.

Whatever your passion for the world, whether it be fascination with landscapes or concerns about societal inequality, geography will provide you with knowledge and transferable skills that will reward you personally and academically.


This is a science-based practical course giving students the opportunity to gain a greater understanding of the importance of Geology in real-world applications. This includes laboratory-based practical activities, leading to a practical endorsement and a residential fieldtrip to develop practical and analytical skills in the field.

Students will develop skills to include observation, data collection, analysis and interpretation; the ability to handle information in a range of different mediums (numerical, oral, graphical); problem-solving skills and lateral thinking; as well as good written and verbal communication skills.

Government and Politics

Studying politics helps you acquire a range of skills such as written and verbal communication, presenting and defending an argument and working with information in order to reach a judgement about differing points of view. You will also keep very up-to-date with current affairs, making politics a dynamic subject which is always relevant to what is going on in our country and the wider world.


Graphic communication conveys information and ideas through visual means within a set of constraints. The increase in the use of information technology has led to changes in working practices and new ways of both communicating and presenting information. You will develop knowledge and understanding of design briefs, clients and audience; understand formal elements, techniques and their application to selected media; demonstrate understanding through the application of a combination of knowledge and skills working within the constraints of a design brief.


A popular and successful option for those with a genuine interest in history. History is a widely respected academic A level that equips you with essential analytical and evaluative skills and the ability to carry out independent research and study. The study of history at A level is looked upon favourably by both universities and employers. You will be offered the chance to present your opinions through a variety of mediums whether written or verbal.

As more people choose joint or combined honour degrees at university, history becomes a viable option for anyone to study beyond traditional school life. The literacy skills required are transferable in virtually every other subject and the possibility of periods to study is endless.


Law helps people achieve their goals. It provides rules for setting up business, for getting married, and for owning a house. It provides protection for those who have a job, or make investments or who want to drive on the road. It supplies a framework for today’s challenges such as internet copyright theft, environmental damage or the possibilities of genetic engineering. In short, law is what makes our society work. A level law offers students an opportunity to develop an understanding of law today using scenario-based problem-solving and discussions of current issues with a legal dimension. No previous knowledge of law is required.

Mathematics and Further Mathematics

The study of mathematics and further mathematics allows us to provide courses that will: enable you to acquire knowledge and skills with confidence; provide satisfaction and enjoyment; give you experience of mathematical activity and develop resourcefulness in solving problems. It will also enable you to apply mathematics and recognise its significance to other disciplines; develop your understanding of mathematical reasoning; and provide students with a foundation for further study of mathematics.

Media Studies

The media plays a central role in contemporary culture, society and politics. It shapes our perceptions of the world through representations, ideas and the points of view they offer. The economic importance of media industries is unquestionable with millions of people employed worldwide. The globalised nature of the contemporary media, ongoing technological developments and more opportunities to interact with the media supports the belief that its importance in contemporary life will only increase.

Modern Foreign Languages: French / Spanish

Studying a language at this level extends naturally from the skills developed at GCSE. Approximately equal stress is placed on each of the linguistic skills, together with the acquisition of knowledge about the contemporary culture and society of France or Spain and countries or communities where French or Spanish is spoken. You will be well prepared to use the language for practical communication and to continue your studies in higher education.


To study music at A level, you need to be able to read notation to a good standard, be able to play an instrument to at least grade 5 standard and be a competent composer.

During the course you will be required to develop your aural skills, analyse music of various genres spanning works by such composers as Mozart, Schumann, and Stravinsky, through to Kate Bush and the Beatles, and film soundtracks such as Batman and Psycho. You will also be required to record a solo recital and compose to a given brief.

Music Technology

Are you interested in sound? Would you like to learn how to operate a mixing desk? Would you like to be the one in the ‘hot seat’ when bands are recording in a studio? Have you got a musical imagination for taking a tune and rearranging it? If you can answer ‘yes’ to the above questions, then Music Technology is the subject for you.


Philosophy stems from a sense of wonder at the world and a willingness to face questions about things that puzzle you. Big questions, important questions: How do we know what exists? Why does anything exist at all? Does time and space go on forever? Does life have a purpose? Is there a God? Where does the idea of God come from? Can we trust our senses? Will science eventually explain everything? What is the difference between the mind and machine? How do we know what the right thing to do is? People have asked fundamental questions about reality for thousands of years. Recently, interest has been rising again particularly among young people, perhaps prompted by virtual reality or by thought provoking films like ‘The Matrix’ and ‘Inception’. Philosophy gives you the opportunity to think clearly, critically and logically and to develop sound arguments both in discussion and in writing.


In this course you will study a range of themes working from still life to the natural world and experimental imagery.

You will combine practical creation of your own images with critical studies of the work of photographers from past to present.

You will develop and improve your knowledge and ability to take and enhance imagery digitally and, in some cases, using conventional wet photography.

The majority of the course will be taught digitally using Adobe Photoshop, although all students will get the opportunity to work in the darkroom.


It is an exciting and wide ranging subject which has an impact in almost every aspect of society and will give you skills and knowledge useful in many industries and degree courses.


Psychology is the scientific study of the mind and human behavior and gaining a qualification in psychology can open the door to a number of career paths that require interaction or an understanding of human behaviour and development.


In sociology you must be able to examine your own views of the world and accept other peoples’ point of view. You will be expected to form your own opinions and be able to back them up in a rational way. As with many subjects, you will be expected to keep up to date with current events. Be prepared to read extensively and participate in discussions.

Pathway Two: Vocational

BTEC or Applied Diplomas are a natural choice for you if you have done well at GCSE but now wish to move on to a course related to your specific career plans. Vocational courses are usually assessed through assignment work and exams. Some Advanced Vocational courses can be combined with A Level courses.

Vocational courses are offered in the following subject areas:

Art and Design

The art and design A level is suitable for anyone with a real interest in the visual arts. We will help you to develop into an independent and resourceful student whilst supporting you to learn new skills and approaches, to prepare you for the next stage of your career or university.

Children’s Play, Learning and Development

The study of human development is a rich and varied subject. Children’s play, learning and development focuses on the areas of physical growth and development, cognitive ability, the acquisition of language and social and emotional advances from birth to eight years. Choosing this qualification enables learners to acquire the theoretical knowledge, practical experience and in depth understanding required for a future career working alongside children. The course is widely recognised by both higher education establishments and industry allowing an excellent pathway to either. The course is widely recognised by both higher education establishments and industry allowing an excellent pathway to either.


This course is for students interested in the study of crime and the impact that such studies have on society. From learning theories of criminality to analysing criminal situations and making recommendations for policy through to examining information to review verdicts in criminal cases.

Throughout the course students will learn to differentiate between myth and reality when it comes to crime and to recognise that common representations may be misleading and inaccurate. They develop skills in reviewing criminal cases, evaluating the evidence in the cases to determine whether the verdict is safe and just, and understanding of the organisations which are part of our system of social control and their effectiveness in achieving their objectives.

Fashion and Textiles

This course aims to develop individuals who aspire to become part of an exciting and innovative industry. Skilled teachers with industry expertise and links to the fashion industry make this subject one of the best performing in the VI Form.

We have excellent links with universities and our students go on to study a wide variety of BA courses in the area of Fashion and Textiles. The skills learnt on this course offer an insight into a diverse and exciting industry in the UK.

Students will complete a variety of live design briefs linking with industry, as well as taking part in exciting workshops. Typical projects include fashion illustration, textile and surface pattern design, fashion design and garment construction.

The course is 100% coursework and aims to build a portfolio. Students will access work experience opportunities with local and national fashion companies, as well as research trips to London and Paris.

Forensic Investigation

The BTEC level 3 national foundation diploma in forensic investigation is designed for students who enjoy science and want to extend their knowledge further. You will develop your understanding through practical and theory work which works around a scenario or vocational context.

The Level 3 foundation diploma is studied over two years and is equivalent to 1.5 A levels. Assessment of the course is made up of 59% coursework (practical and written activities) and 41% external assessment (examination and a set supervised written and practical task).

Health and Social Care

The BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate in health and social care is equivalent to one A level. This is a two year course assessed through a mixture of coursework and exams, which is designed for students wishing to gain employment in the health and social care sectors or progress to study at a higher level.


Single Award – The course covers a wide range of theoretical and practical topics in sport, giving a more in-depth level of study compared to level 2 courses. Each unit covers 25% of the whole course, with a lesser percentage of the overall grade coming from the exam. Students still need a good work ethic and a background in sport and science in order to be successful. Students should play sport outside of college and should be looking at going forward into a career in sport or other physically active pathway (e.g armed forces, emergency services etc).

Double Award – The level 3 Diploma in Sport is taken alongside one other subject and covers a wider range of sporting topics than the single award. It will cover nine units within the two years and targets students who have their mind set on careers in sport. Students must play or be involved in a sport outside of college and should have a good work ethic to meet deadlines. A good qualification in both PE/BTEC level 2 sport and in GCSE science is required in order to be successful.

Travel and Tourism

The course is designed to support learners who are interested in learning about the travel and tourism industry. It works well in combination with sport, ICT, business, sociology and geography. The travel and tourism industry is one of the fastest-growing industries in the UK. The value of tourism to the UK economy is approximately £126 billion, and the sector employs around 3.1 million people

Extended Project Qualification

The Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) is and extra, optional course which has dual benefit: it helps you to understand how to study at a higher level, and allows you to become an expert in a topic you’ve always wanted to know more about.

All students are offered the opportunity to undertake the EPQ at the end of Year 12.

Taught elements of the EPQ improve skills such as time-management, source evaluation, managing search engines and referencing and you will have the opportunity to visit and research in a university library. Supported by Southampton University, dedicated supervisors will support you throughout your project and will give you the tools you need to carry out advanced academic research and present it to a very high standard.

Employability, Enrichment and Pastoral

We believe that if we are to help students become fully rounded individuals and responsible members of the community we must offer them a range of activities and challenges beyond the classroom. Enrichment is an opportunity to try something new. It can be just for fun or a way to gain another qualification to support your university entry or to boost your CV. All students are expected to participate in some form of enrichment. Some of the opportunities we offer include:

  • Duke of Edinburgh Award

  • Performing Arts opportunities e.g. performances at The Isle of Wight Festival, music concerts and drama productions

  • Young Enterprise

  • Pre-driver instruction and practical lessons

  • First aid qualification

  • Foreign travel

  • Debating society

  • Work experience

  • Community service

…and much more.