Sixth Form

Our students choose Rossall for the Sixth Form education because they want to have the best opportunity to secure their first choice destination, whether that is university in the UK or any number of other paths open to them.

It is no accident that the Rossall campus feels very much like an Oxford or Cambridge college. When the school was established over 170 years ago, the intention from the outset was to create an environment where pupils would embark on a seamless journey from school to the best universities in the country. 

That remains the ambition for many of our pupils and, though times may have changed, our pupils still proceed to some of the most sought-after colleges and universities around the world.

Learn about the Sixth Form admissions process here.

A university education is not the only path and whatever our students’ goals are, Rossall is the place where they can establish themselves and learn approaches that will enable them to thrive.

A Sixth Form education at Rossall is designed to stimulate and challenge in equal measure. We want our Sixth Formers to be intellectually curious, to articulate and defend their opinions, and to work both collaboratively and independently. 

We also want our sixth formers to establish great habits, which they will take forward for the rest of their lives:

  • Independent study skills
  • Engagement with healthy pursuits
  • Lifelong love of learning
  • Making social connections

Our Sixth Form pupils enjoy a wide array of extracurricular and extra-mural pursuits. The range is vast from wall-climbing and basketball, through to scuba diving and cookery skills, to the Bank of England Challenge and the Farrell Literary Society. 

In addition, invited guest lecturers provide diversity of opinion and provoke debate as part of our Speaker Series programme. Students are also encouraged to get out of their comfort zone to be bold and to try new things. 

This could be something as simple as starting a new sport or activity, or it could include spending 24 hours in the wild, participating in the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, or signing up for the World Challenge expedition to Cambodia and Vietnam.



At Sixth Form level, Rossall offers the very best of two worlds – the traditional A Level route and the International Baccalaureate Diploma.

The A level route is most suited to students who wish to specialise in three or four subjects – students are given free choice across a wide range of subjects, so the subject combination can play perfectly to the strengths and passions of the individual. 

Many A level students will also wish to further enhance and strengthen their academic learning by following an examined course in Theory of Knowledge or the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ).

The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme is ideal for students who wish to retain a broader subject range in the Sixth Form – and to show off that broad range of skills, knowledge and understanding to universities and future employers! 

As well as six subjects, with two or three at higher level and the remainder at standard level, students also pursue the Theory of Knowledge course, write an extended essay and build up a portfolio of service and community work. The IB is a challenging and stretching programme which is highly valued by universities.



At Sixth Form, subjects are studied in much greater depth than they are at GCSE and they require considerable more private study time. If you are to be successful you must be committed and this is more likely to happen if you enjoy the subject. 

Choosing your combination of Sixth Form subjects is an important task and for many a difficult one. Rossall is committed to providing a unique educational experience for its students. 

Our provision is quite distinctive and enables students to pursue courses, which will prepare them well for entry into Higher Education – including those seeking Oxbridge entry. 

Our pursuit of excellence, through the solid academic A level course and the many course combinations will benefit students during their time at school and as they secure their futures.


  • Art & Design
  • Biology
  • Business
  • Chemistry
  • Drama & Theatre
  • Economics
  • English Literature
  • Extended Project Qualification
  • Geography
  • Graphic Communication
  • History
  • Latin
  • Mathematics
  • Further Mathematics
  • Modern Foreign Languages
  • Music
  • Philosophy
  • Physical Education
  • Physics
  • Politics
  • Psychology


The International Baccalaureate Diploma is an educational qualification offered by over 200 schools in the UK and recognised worldwide as the educational ‘gold standard’. 

The focus is on creating fully-rounded learners who are enquiring, open-minded and independent.

The IBO is a foundation that has developed and offers international education. Rossall is an authorised school to offer the IB Diploma to its students.

‘The IB has the potential to powerfully shape the lives of students who participate in its programmes’

The IB Diploma course has been established for over forty years. It is a comprehensive and rigorous two-year Sixth Form curriculum, leading to examinations which are recognised by universities throughout the world.

The International Baccalaureate Organisation (IBO) is based in Geneva, is independent of any interference from national governments and therefore the Diploma has not suffered from any grade inflation. This is one of the reasons why more and more schools opt for the IB Diploma which was recently rated “10 out of 10” by the Financial Times. With currently 4,998 participating schools, from 146 countries, the IB Diploma is truly a worldwide qualification. Rossall has been accredited as an IB World School since 1998 and has considerable experience in the delivery of the programme. The curriculum model bridges the gap between the specialisation required by some national systems and the breadth preferred in others.

The Diploma programme involves the study of six subjects. All students must study a subject from each of six subject areas:

  1. Literature in the student’s own language
  2. A Modern Foreign Language (French B, German B, Spanish ab initio & B, Mandarin B)
  3. A Humanities subject (Business Management, Economics, Geography, History, Philosophy, Psychology)
  4. An Experimental Science (Biology, Chemistry, DT, Physics)
  5. Mathematics
  6. Visual Arts, Music – or a second subject from one of the above groups.

IB Course Descriptions

Students normally study three of their subjects at Higher Level (HL) and three subjects at Standard Level (SL). HL subjects are taught for four hours per week; SL subjects are taught for a minimum of two and a half hours per week. There are internally assessed components in every subject and public IB examinations take place at the end of the Upper Sixth year. Thus, no valuable teaching time is lost to exams during the course.

The Theory of Knowledge (TOK)

The teaching of TOK is at the core of the Diploma. TOK explores the relationships between the various disciplines and it encourages critical thinking, reflection and analysis of knowledge and understanding in an international context.

The Extended Essay (EE)

Each Diploma student undertakes independent research, resulting in a 4,000-word essay in a subject of their own choice. The EE is highly valued by universities as it is proof of a student’s ability to work independently.

Creativity, Action and Service (CAS)

The CAS programme enables students to develop into rounded members of society. They initiate, lead and participate in projects which benefit their personal development as well as the wider community.

The IB Diploma is, therefore, a very comprehensive qualification, which is highly respected around the world. One former Rossall IB student called it an “Inspirational Beginning”.

Some prestigious UK universities (for example Kings’ College London) are now actively recruiting IB students as research, as well as experience, have shown that IB Diploma students are well prepared for success at university.



  • English A – Literature and Language 
    SL Only
  • English A – Literature
  • German A – Literature
    HL Only
  • Chinese A – Literature
    SL Only
  • Language A – Self Study
    SL Only


  • English B
    HL only
  • French B
  • German B
  • Spanish B
  • Spanish ab Initio
    SL only


  • Business Management
  • Economics
  • Environmental Systems and Societies
    SL only
  • Geography
  • History
  • Psychology
  • Philosophy 


  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Design and Technology
  • Environmental Systems and Societies
    SL only
  • Physics


  • Mathematics


  • Music
  • Visual Arts


BTEC stands for the Business and Technology Education Council. BTECs are specialist work-related qualifications. They combine practical learning with subject and theory content.

BTECs are designed for young people interested in a particular sector or industry but who are open to exploring many different careers in that sector.

You could study a BTEC at Level 2 or 3, either alongside academic qualifications. You can also study a BTEC as a standalone course.


  • Business
  • Performing Arts
  • Sport


  • Product Design and Architecture 


  • English as an Additional Language

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