St Brendan’s is the only specialist Sixth Form College in the Bristol, Bath, South Gloucestershire and North Somerset area. Sixth Form Colleges are the highest performing institutions in the 16-19 education sector.
Choosing Your Courses
We are the only provider in the region able to offer A-levels and BTECs in over 60 different subjects at Level 3. Even more importantly, you can select any combination of subjects – each student has their own bespoke timetable.
With so much on offer, we want to help you make the best choice for you.
Come to one of our Open Events for information, advice and guidance from all our subject specialists and to see our state-of-the-art campus and facilities.
Most students take one of the following standard study programmes:
- Three A-levels (or equivalent) + Workshop + Tutorial + RPE* + ForSkills Programme***
- Three A-levels + L2 Maths (or Biology) + Workshop + Tutorial + RPE* + ForSkills Programme***
- Three A-levels + Enhanced Programme**** + Tutorial + RPE* + ForSkills Programme***
Students achieving high (A*- A) grades at GCSE may also be eligable to take:
- Four A-levels (or equivalent) + Tutorial + RPE* + ForSkills Programme***
- Three A-levels (or equivalent) + EPQ** + Tutorial + RPE* + ForSkills Programme****
* Religion, Philosophy and Ethics (RPE)
The Religion, Philosophy and Ethics programme is a compulsory course which deals with interesting philosophical, religious and moral issues. The course is taught in one 45 minute lesson per week. There is no homework or exam. There are some written assessments at the end of each module which are based on the lesson content, and experienced tutors guide the students in the evaluation process. Faith or religious affiliation is not expected or required, but students are encouraged to have a positive attitude to discussing a wide range of issues which will impact on their lives now and in the future. The College is Catholic in its religious tradition, but this does not mean we impose a set of ideas and values on the students. On the contrary, the aims of the lessons are to introduce students to a variety of ideas and encourage them to analyse and discuss rigorously. As a Catholic College we encourage the widest debate possible because we are enthusiastic for all students to have the opportunity to share their ideas with others from different religious and non-religious backgrounds. We liken this programme to a ‘spiritual journey’. Over the two years tutors and students embark on a journey of discovery about themselves and explore the values and beliefs that underpin the journey of other individuals. Students begin to realise that this programme sharpens their skills of analysis, understanding, and reflection and supports them as they mature into young adults. For those students who do have a faith and a religious commitment, this programme will challenge and nurture their experience of faith in an increasingly secular world. The course is assessed on a variety of criteria and students are awarded certificates for Distinction, Merit and Pass. These awards will be referred to in any College reference, including university.
** Extended Project Qualification (EPQ)
The Extended Project Qualification is part of the government's new initiative to stretch and challenge young people in an area of work that they are already studying or in which they have a particular interest.
The EPQ will develop study outside of your main programme and will include attending a lesson each week and time for independent study during your second year.
Why should you take the Extended Project Qualification?
This qualification allows you to develop your learning in one or more of your A-level subjects. It emphasizes your ability to participate in independent research and your ability to plan and carry out a project. You will also be demonstrating these skills to universities and potential employers who find selection of candidates difficult.
You will also achieve a qualification which is the equivalent of an AS Level qualification.
*** ForSkills Programme
At St Brendan’s Sixth Form College we recognise the importance of continued improvement in literacy and numeracy. We use ForSkills - a suite of initial and diagnostic assessments and learning materials for English and Maths.
Students will have 45 minutes each week on their timetable to continue to improve these essential skills. Personalised literacy and numeracy workshops or academic improvement programmes will be provided alongside their chosen subjects. Here, students have access to individualised learning materials which match learning gaps identified by the in-depth diagnostic assessment. The sessions are set at an appropriate level, and supported by experienced Learning Development and teaching staff. Attendance is monitored and progress is communicated to teaching staff, ensuring full access to the sessions to maximise learning.
**** Enhanced Programme could mean a variety of things e.g. Career Academy, Total Pro Soccer, CAD, ESOL
We have an exciting programme for Level 2 which equips students to either progress to Level 3 courses, or into the work environment, through the mix of academic courses (BTECs or equivalent, and retakes of key GCSEs) and work skills.