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Enrichment and Extra-Curricular Opportunities

In line with our whole school mission statement, our sixth form enrichment programme aims to develop the whole person both academically, spiritually and morally; our aim is for our students to achieve excellent academic success and the ability to be kind yet influential citizens.

Therefore, our enrichment programme seeks to enrich and develop our students’ faith, wider skills and responsibility to the community.

Enrichment is provided in Archbishop Ilsley Catholic School at both a pastoral and subject level also at a wider level.

Subject Enrichment

  • All students study three principal subjects and an enrichment option – EPQ or Core Maths and CoRE 
  • Subject enrichment opportunities such as fieldwork trips, visiting speakers and more
  • Level three qualification.
  • It is NOT instead of your A Levels but an enrichment subject in addition to your three main subjects.
  • Worth an additional 28 UCAS points, Graded A* to E  (A* – 28, A – 24, B – 20, C – 16, D – 12, E – 8) (see next slide).
  • Outcomes in the form of a dissertation, with final oral presentation.
  • Aids the development of many key skills such as independent learning, research and critical thinking which are valued by both employers and universities.
  • An opportunity to show academic commitment to your chosen subject and also to explore a topic you enjoy for its own sake.
  • In our sixth form, you will choose either Core Maths or the EPQ in addition to your programme of study.

For a topic of your choice, you will create a project by a process of: 

  • Managing objectives.
  • Using resources.
  • Developing and evaluating the outcome.

The topic can either complement your current studies or be based on future interests.


Sample project titles include:

  • Should abortion be banned?
  • Can separatist movements ever be successful?
  • Would the Britpop music scene ever have happened without the Beatles?
  • Are Cyber attacks reshaping modern warfare?
  • Will robots take over production in the manufacturing industry?
  • Is string theory the closest we’ll come to the ‘theory of everything?’

You will have to produce:

  • A written report (including evidence of research carried out, analysis and evaluation). 
  • Project proposal form and activity log.
  • Evidence of an oral presentation.
  • All work completed and submitted by Easter of Year 12 – so that you can then focus on your A Level work in Year 13.

As part of a Catholic school we are committed to the Catholic faith, recognising and valuing every student as special and unique made in the image and likeness of God.  Students will be able to question and deepen their knowledge and understanding of God as they encounter scripture and the teachings of the Catholic Church. You began this journey with us in KS3 and KS4 and we are delighted that this will continue in KS5. 

CoRE is a non-examined subject which encourages students to continue on their faith journey by exploring a range of topics from a religious and non-religious perspective. All students attend CoRE. The course has been designed to encourage self-reflection, discussion, practical learning and a deeper understanding of how faith can be lived in the modern world.

Archbishop Ilsley is a Catholic school and is boastfully proud to be so! Whilst you are not ‘asked’ to engage in this course, it is also important to make clear that it is not designed to force faith or ‘received wisdom’ upon you, or to be burdensome. 

Over the next two years, the aim is purely to encourage you to look at the world and its many issues through the lens of Catholic history.  Hopefully, you can appreciate the serious level of academia and social action that goes into the Church’s engagement with the world around. In CoRE lessons, you will always have the opportunity to ask questions and, at times, spark debate etc.

Whilst it is true that this course comes with no external certificate/qualification, it is worth knowing that this course will impact references for university. 

CoRE will have assessment points and this is a requirement of the Diocese.  

Having a professional reference that verifies your willingness and ability to engage in disciplines beyond your chosen subjects is something that very much impresses employers and academics.

It should also be said that gaining in knowledge, understanding and insight in any field of learning is always of inherent moral worth, regardless of physical reward or not!

What will you be studying in CoRE?

What is Philosophy?

  • What is philosophy?
  • How do we argue?
  • What is truth?
  • Empiricism Vs rationalism.
  • What is Descartes rationalism?
  • What is Locke’s empiricism?

What is Ethics?

  • What is ethics?
  • What is Natural Law?
  • What is Act Utilitarianism?
  • What is Rule Utilitarianism?
  • What is Virtue Ethics?
  • How can ethical theories be applied to race?
  • How can ethical theories be applied to gender?
  • How can ethical theories be applied to poverty?


What are the issues in Medical Ethics?

  • What is sanctity of life?
  • Hippocratic oath overwritten by law as too restrictive and thus accountability? 
  • Organ donation. 
  • Science behind IVF.
  • Fertility treatment. 
  • Sibling saviours. 
  • Genetic engineering.
  • Cloning. 
  • Vivisection.
  • Veganism. 
  • Humanist – Peter Singer.

This builds on the maths GCSE, it takes all of the ideas you have learned about and applies them to very real world situations. If you have an interest in how the world works, but don’t want to take A-level maths, then this course is for you. 


  • Component 1: Written assessment 1hr 40 mins Paper code 7MC0/01 (60 marks).
  • Component 2: Written assessment 1hr 40 mins Paper code 7MC0/02 (80 marks).


Component 1 is a comprehension type assessment. You will be given a source booklet with multiple different pieces of information, taken from real world data, and asked to analyse it using techniques that you have learned during the course. The sources are available in advance to help with the analysis of the data.

Component 2 is split into two sections. Section A follows on from paper 1 and keeps the context from those sources, without reusing them. Section B will give three tasks, each with a different theme.

Both papers may assess any of the course material. Calculators can be used in both papers.

Skills Required:

  • Analytical thinking.
  • Independent learning.
  • Desire to find out how the world works.
  • Conscientious attitude to learning.
  • Good understanding of Grade 5 topics from GCSE Mathematics.


Course Information:

The course can be broken down into four areas and lasts for one year: 

Applications of Statistics – this takes all the statistics content from Higher GCSE maths including, box plots, cumulative frequency tables, graphs and histograms along with quartiles and interquartile range, and adds new statistical analysis skills including, moving averages, variance and standard deviation, knowledge of independent and dependent variables, product moment correlation coefficient, linear regression and Spearman’s rank correlation coefficient. All of which are used for everyday analysis of any data.

Probability – this takes all of the Higher GCSE content, including conditional probability, and teaches students how to use probability to work out risk vs reward.

Linear programming – this builds on a pupil’s understanding of graphs, equations of a straight line, solving equations, and inequalities. It then takes it and applies them to solving two variable programs allowing pupils to work out the best way to maximise profit from those two variables.

Sequences and Growth – this builds on a pupil’s understanding of percentages, percentage growth/decay and sequences. This leads into interest rates on loans, depreciation of purchases, golden ratio and can then be used in the context of growing their own workforce or business. 

  • Visits to inspirational maths events.
  • Maths affects everything we do in hidden ways, having a greater depth of understanding will make the whole world make a little more sense and more interesting.
  • Visits to inspirational maths events.
  • Maths affects everything we do in hidden ways, having a greater depth of understanding will make the whole world make a little more sense and more interesting.

Pastoral Enrichment

  • Individualised pastoral care and excellent teacher-student relationships. Our pastoral programme focuses on study skills and organisational skills. It is evidence-based (‘The A Level Mindset’ Steve Oakes, Martin Griffiths). The study skills strategies are used in lessons by subject teachers and reinforced in supervised study sessions and character education sessions. 
  • Tutor time sessions include a bespoke pastoral and character education programme with sessions planned on mental health, first aid, knife crime, relationship advice etc.
  • Assemblies with visiting speakers.
  • Supporting whole school events such as open evenings and parent consultation evenings. 
  • Residential opportunities at Soli House.
  • Participation in the Flame Congress and the Lourdes Service Pilgrimage. 
  • The Big Sleep Out is a new event where students raise money for homeless support shelters and show solidarity by getting sponsored by sleeping out for the night.
  • Sixth form Christmas Charity Race Night: a chance for us to raise money for a good cause and for students, staff and parents to come together for a fun evening.
  • Sixth form Halloween Movie Night!
  • Charity events to include Macmillan coffee mornings and Senior Citizens’ Christmas Party.
  • Leadership opportunities through our Senior Student Leader Pathway to include our SSL Retreat and training at Walsingham.
  • The Giving Back Programme as part of Catholic Social Teaching. Students run clubs and activities for lower school students – lunchtime clubs; students do duties in the canteen; students have established links with two local feeder schools and support younger pupils reading; supporting students in accelerated reader lessons and art and maths lessons.

A Duke of Edinburgh Award, particularly at gold level, is an enormously valuable achievement and is recognised and valued by employers, colleges and universities worldwide.

Highlighting the activities students have undertaken as part of your DofE programme on your UCAS or employment application form tells the institution that you have an ambitious and positive attitude as well as a range of interests.

Many top universities are now looking for much more than good grades and extracurricular activities; they are interested in young people who can evidence a genuine and committed interest in their desired area of study.

The Gold Award Consists of Five Parts:

  • Volunteering – Take action and make a difference to the causes you care about. Help others and change things for the better.
  • Physical Activity – Take part in whatever dance, sport or fitness activity you would like. Get fitter and have fun along the way!
  • Skills – Devote yourself to improving your skills in the things you love to do. Discover new passions and develop talents you didn’t know you had.
  • Expedition – Explore the great outdoors and spend three nights away from home. Create memories that will last a lifetime.
  • Residential – Spend five days and four nights away from home. Share experiences and create new connections.

Year 12 students have the opportunity of taking part in an amazing, once in a lifetime adventure with our Global Links Programme. In the summer term, students travel to one of the following countries: Nepal, Peru, India, Cambodia, Thailand, Tanzania or Vietnam to support disadvantaged rural communities as part of a Challenges Abroad Global Citizenship Programme. This is Catholic Social Teaching in action. 

Every Challenges Abroad Programme supports the goals and objectives of an international development charity, the FutureSense Foundation. Together, the organisations ensure that programmes are mutually beneficial for both participants and the local community. Participants on a Challenges Abroad Programme are therefore not only directly impacting the community through their project but are also supporting a sustainable community development initiative that will have a long lasting, positive impact on the community. 

On this programme, our Year 12 students will be challenged to step out of their comfort zone and think creatively as they participate in a cross-cultural exchange. Students will be based within the local community and have the opportunity to visit local schools where they will run workshops on conversational English, environment, wellbeing, STEM, and more. 

Supported by school staff, Year 12s will work as a team to share skills with local school children and inspire the community. They will need to think outside the box to enhance their problem solving and team work skills whilst communicating respectfully across different languages. They will have the opportunity to explore local culture and develop their understanding of the past history of the country. They will also have the opportunity to participate in local language classes and visit nearby tourist attractions. 

Cambodia 2023

  • Students in Year 12 visited Cambodia.
  • Students taught in two schools and visited historical sites in the country.

Why should you get involved?

  • Develop an understanding of the most acute problems the world is facing.
  • Learn how to fundraise.
  • Develop confidence and oracy skills.
  • Develop confidence travelling to a country on the other side of the world.
  • Experience teaching and working with people from a different culture.

Supports other Level 3 studies: Reformed A Levels in subjects including the sciences, Psychology, Geography, Business and Economics require students to have acquired competence in quantitative skills. Assessment of quantitative skills forms an explicit part of the overall assessment for these qualifications. Core Maths will enable students to feel more comfortable with the maths they will encounter in their other subjects.

Students are better prepared for University. Many courses have a lot of hidden maths, particularly statistics so having this course will help students with their higher education.

Links to the real world and as such links to the working world. Much of the analysis technique learned in the course can be applied to management level jobs in particular.

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