For students aged 16 to 19, there are certain requirements for their individual study programme which the school must comply with. As such, for a typical student at St Mary’s their study programme will combine the following elements:

  • substantial qualifications that stretch students and prepare them for education at the next level or for employment (at St Mary’s this will be A Level courses and/or Level 3 vocational qualifications)
  • English and maths where students have not yet achieved a GCSE grade 4
  • work experience opportunities to give students the chances to develop their career choices and to apply their skills in real working conditions
  • other non-qualification activity to develop students’ character, broader skills, attitudes and confidence, and to support progression (at St Mary’s, this will include RE, PE, Personal Development, Super-Curriculum and various leadership and charitable opportunities)

Every study programme must have a core aim so that it can be recorded in the Individualised Learner Record (ILR) or school census. This is the principal activity or core purpose of a student’s programme and it will usually be the component that has the largest number of planned hours. The core aim for most students at St Mary’s will be either A Levels or BTEC qualifications.

Each study programme will consist of a number of planned hours that are realistic and deliverable. Study programmes are designed to be full-time with a minimum of 540 planned hours per academic year but likely to be on average 600 hours.