We offer both A-level and BTEC course options at Giggleswick. For our A-level programme, students take three A-level subjects alongside an Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) and our Super-curriculum (academic enrichment). We also offer a BTEC programme for students who prefer a more guided learning experience and ongoing assessment throughout the course.



Examination board: Cambridge Pre-U, Level 3
Course Requirement: GCSE Level 5 in Art
Specification Overview
Work produced over two years will involve:
One comprehensive unit of coursework (The Portfolio), worth 30% of the final mark, internally assessed by the Centre and externally moderated. This involves a broad range of skills including drawing, painting, printmaking, photography, computer manipulation, analytical thinking, experimentation and artist’s links. The Portfolio will end with a comprehensively focused and visually researched theme.
Evaluative Study
A 3000/3500 word study (The Evaluative Study) based on the themes and ideas developed within the practical coursework unit, worth 30% of the final mark. This is internally assessed by the Centre and externally moderated. Annotated notes produced as part of the coursework sketchbook will form the basis of the essay. This will reflect, analyse and investigate the more focused themes of the coursework.
The Project
An externally set assignment (The Project), worth 40% of the final mark. This will be assessed by the visiting examiner. Breadth of research and depth of investigations are important. These practical ideas, initially triggered by the ‘theme’ set by the examination board, will evolve in to a final set/or piece of work. There is no formal timed examination.
Am I suited to the course?
The course will suit anybody with a keen interest in creativity. If you enjoyed art at GCSE you will relish the Pre-U course. It is a very flexible course and can be adapted to suit a student’s individual strengths. Successful students are self-motivated and willing to explore and experiment with materials, ideas and processes.
Where will this course lead me?
The Cambridge Pre-U qualification is highly regarded by all universities, whether students are applying for Art College or any other academic degree. There is great breadth in the Pre-U grading system. At the top end (Distinction 1) students can achieve the equivalent to a double A* at A’ Level, enabling students to achieve high value UCAS points.
The Cambridge Pre-U Art and Design qualification forms the basis for an enormous range of career opportunities and university degree subjects, including: architecture, fashion, fine art, textiles, graphics, interior design, photography, film, product design, advertising, television, illustration, animation, furniture design, web design, gaming design, teaching, curating, jewellery, costume design, ceramics and many more.
How can I stretch myself through doing this subject?
Having the opportunity to develop your own ideas is a rare opportunity within the Sixth Form curriculum. The Cambridge Pre-U course gives students the freedom to devise their own themes and starting points. There are trips to London galleries and a trip abroad (New York, Paris, Amsterdam) during the two year course. There will also be workshop opportunities with professional artists. The art school is open in the evenings for students to continue pursuing their studies and the opportunity to draw from the life model. Creativity requires students to question and analyse how an idea can develop and improve through practical experimentation and analytical refinement. This will certainly challenge your ability to be self-critical. The course requires self-discipline, motivation and energy. Art students who achieve the top grades are highly independent learners, which is an invaluable skill for any university student and employment.


Examination board: AQA
Course Requirement: Level 5 in GCSE Biology or Additional Science
Specification Overview
Year 1
  • Biological molecules
  • Cells
  • Organisms exchange substances with their environment
  • Genetic information, variation and relationships between organisms
Year 2
All Year 1 units plus:
  • Energy transfers in and between organisms
  • Organisms respond to changes in their internal and external environments
  • Genetics, populations, evolution and ecosystems
  • The control of gene expression
Am I suited to the course?
The course will build on concepts and skills that you have developed in your GCSE studies. If you are keen to increase your knowledge, develop your scientific skills and apply your understanding then Biology is for you. Biology is fundamentally an experimental subject and the new specifications provide many opportunities to widen your practical skills. Challenging and rewarding, A Level Biology will also hone your Mathematics and essay writing, promote both independence and team work and will equip you with many transferable skills.
Where will this course lead me?
In recent years students have gone on to study Biology related degrees such as Veterinary Medicine, Medicine, Biological Sciences, Dentistry and Anthropology. Other students go on to study for different careers where the skills base and scientific approach developed in Biology are real assets. A Level Biology is highly regarded for entry to university and its study will help develop the independence and resilience essential for your future success.
How can I stretch myself through doing this subject?
You will certainly be stretched and challenged by the subject content and the practical and mathematical skills you will need to develop. If you are passionate about your Biology, then there will be opportunities to take your studies further, through field studies, work with PBA Ecology, direct contact and advice from a practising doctor and support for EPQs and MOOCs.

BTEC Level 3 Business


BTEC Level 3 Sport


Business Studies

Examination board: Edexcel
Course Requirement: Level 5 English and Mathematics
Specification Overview
Year 1
  • Meeting customer needs
  • The market
  • Marketing strategy
  • Managing people
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Raising finance
  • Financial planning
  • Operations management
  • External influences on business
Year 2
  • Objectives and strategy
  • Competitive nature of business
  • Managing change
  • Globalisation
  • Global marketing
  • Global industry
  • Industry investigation
Am I suited to the course?
You do not need to have studied Business at GCSE, but you should have an interest in how companies function and the business environment in general.
Where will this course lead me?
Business provides you with a host of transferable skills, from analysing data, to planning and understanding how to market yourself and your business. This course combines well with a language, with Maths, or with Humanities A levels, and can lead to a wide range of university courses.
How can I stretch myself through doing this subject?
You can take part in Young Enterprise, which involves starting a business and launching your own product. You are encouraged to read widely to help you develop an insight into global business affairs.


Examination board: AQA
Course Requirement: Level 7 in Chemistry or Additional Science, Level 7 in Mathematics
Specification Overview
The specification is divided into three main sections:
  • Physical Chemistry - Atomic Structure, Structure and Bonding, Energetics, Kinetics and Rate Equations, Amount of Substance, Equilibria, Acids and Bases, Redox Chemistry and Thermodynamics
  • Inorganic Chemistry - Periodicity, Group 2 Metals, Group 7 (the Halogens), Period 3 chemistry, Transition Metals and their Ions
  • Organic Chemistry - An introduction to Organic Chemistry, Alkanes, Halogenoalkanes, Alkenes, Alcohols, Organic analysis, Optical Isomerism, Aldehydes and Ketones, Aromatic Chemistry, Amines, Polymers, Amino Acids, Proteins, DNA, Organic Synthesis
Am I suited to the course?
You will need good mathematical skills and a secure grasp of the topics covered at GCSE. You will also have a desire to look more deeply into materials and their properties and will enjoy problem solving, numeracy, communication, creativity and data analysis, as well as undertaking practical experiments.
Where will this course lead me?
On a practical level, Chemistry is vital if you are considering studying Medicine or Veterinary Medicine, and is useful in most other scientific pursuits post A Level. A qualification in Chemistry opens doors to a widerange of careers both inside and outside the lab, from scientific research to finance or public relations.
How can I stretch myself through doing this subject?
We have links with several local universities: for example Lancaster University have brought their ‘Spectroscopy in a Suitcase’ so that students can see complex chemical analysis being performed at first hand. You will also visit, for example, the University of Manchester to attend talks by eminent Chemists and/or take part in practical activities such as synthesising paracetamol. Taking an EPQ in Chemistry offers a rewarding and challenging route for those wishing to investigate aspects of Chemistry further. You can participate in the Cambridge Chemistry Challenge - an ideal way to demonstrate higher level knowledge.

Classical Civilsation

Examination board: OCR
Course Requirement: No previous study required. Level 6 profile in essay-based subjects
Specification Overview
The world of the hero. This is a compulsory component consisting of an in-depth study of:
  • Homer's Iliad or Odyssey
  • Virgil's Aeneid
Culture and the arts. Learners must study one component in this component group, chosen from:
  • Greek theatre
  • Imperial image
  • Invention of the barbarian
  • Greek art
Beliefs and ideas. Learners must study one component in this component group, chosen from:
  • Greek religion
  • Love and relationships
  • Politics of the Late Republic
  • Democracy and the Athenians
Am I suited to the course?
When faced with something you don’t know, or don’t understand, what is your instinctive reaction? If you can’t help yourself from plugging into a search engine, and plunging into your own research because you have to find the answer, Classical Civilisation may be a subject for you. If you want to grow your understanding of other cultures, remote in time, and yet still close to us, with study of a complementary range of subjects such as Literature, Philosophy, History, Art and Archaeology, and of the values and ideas which shape our own society, literature, and art, why not consider the Classics?
Where will this course lead me?
The course engages in the study of different cultures and societies, and requires you to be able to research, collate, and analyse materials, and can provide you with a desirable mix of specific, practical, intellectual, theoretical and transferable skills. Previous students of Classical Civilisation have gone on to a wide variety of chosen study and career paths, with both universities and employers praising the adaptability and intellectual engagement of the students it attracts.
How can I stretch myself through doing this subject?
Classical Civilisation invites you to consider some of the fundamental questions of human society through the lens of another culture. Many of the important moral and political issues which we continue to consider in twenty-first century were first addressed in the ancient world, and through this study, Classical Civilisation hopes to offer greater insight into our existence, both ancient and modern.

Design and Technology

Examination board: PRE-U
Course requirement: GCSE Design not essential, Level 6 in a related GCSE is desirable
Specification Overview
Course Components & Assessment Objectives (AOs)
  • AO1: Record in visual and other forms, observations and insights into intentions, demonstrating an ability to research systematically, and to reflect on work and progress
  • AO2: Experiment with media, materials, techniques and processes, selecting and refining ideas as work progresses
  • AO3: Develop ideas through sustained and focused investigations, informed by contextual and other sources, demonstrating analytical and critical understanding
  • AO4: Realise and communicate intentions in a personal, informed and meaningful way, making appropriate connections and relationships
Am I suited to the course?
Design and Technology offers an extensive opportunity to develop capability in both 2D and 3D across a varied range of project work, through written analysis, sketching and drawing and the extensive use of ICT and digital media to enhance modelling and presentation. Candidates will explore a range of materials, practical workshop processes and media, to realise designed outcomes. Making activities take many forms, ranging from experimental models and prototypes, to a final marketable product.
Where will this course lead me?
Design and Technology at Giggleswick School aims to develop creative and independent designers. The course enables students to critically explore the man-made world through designing and creating innovative products. If you wish to pursue a career in design or a related field, we would expect you to be offered a place at your first choice university. The course allows you to specialise in the second year and focus on a field of your choice, from Engineering to Architecture, as well as the spectrum of art, design and manufacturing based courses. Many of our students also embark on applied science and marketing degrees.
How can I stretch myself through doing this subject?
We encourage you to be independent, ambitious and adventurous, all of which really help you to flourish at university and beyond. You will visit a local manufacturing and design business to further appreciate real world designing and making in an industrial context. L6 students also take part in the Department’s annual trip to London for the Royal College of Art postgraduate show, the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Design Museum. We regularly invite former pupils back to talk to sixth formers about their university study and careers.


Examination board: Edexcel
Course Requirement: Level 6 English and Mathematics
Specification Overview
Year 1
  • Introduction to markets and market failure
  • Government intervention in markets
  • Measuring economic performance
  • Macroeconomic objectives and policy
Year 2
  • Business economics
  • Market structure
  • Labour markets
  • International economics
  • Poverty and inequality
  • Financial sector
  • The role of the state
Am I suited to the course?
The course sits well alongside all A levels, but particularly History and Politics. You should be interested in how the world’s economy works, what influences income, wealth and well-being. If you like to argue your case and compare theory with reality then this is a good course for you.
Where will this course lead me?
Many students will go on to university to study Economics or Business courses and the A level provides an excellent platform for business, banking and accountancy. An Economics A level may exempt you from some professional banking examinations.
How can I stretch myself through doing this subject?
There is ample opportunity to do independent reading of books written by economists we mention on the course. A wide range of reading material is available in the school library. If you are interested in doing an EPQ, Economics provides excellent research material.

English Literature

Examination board: OCR
Course Requirement: Level 6 GCSE profile, Level 6 in English and English Literature
Specification Overview
Year 1
  • One Shakespeare play and the close study of a poet
  • Drama and Prose: The study of two 20th century texts
Year 2
All Year 1 units plus:
  • Shakespeare. Drama and Poetry
  • Two novels from a selected topic area, which include: American Literature 1880 – 1940, The Gothic, Women in Literature, Dystopia
  • Independent study – free choice which involves close reading of a section of text and a comparison of two texts
Am I suited to the course?
If you enjoy reading books which challenge you, you like exploring texts and language, you are interested in crafting well-structured analytical written responses, and you are keen to participate in lively debate, then English Literature could be the right course for you.
Where will this course lead me?
The skills mastered through A level English are highly transferable and can lead to a wide range of higher education courses and future careers. For example, you will be able to read, analyse and evaluate texts, structure and present an argument, justify your ideas, and debate new concepts.
How can I stretch myself through doing this subject?
You will be able to extend your understanding of the relationship between culture and society, through reading a range of literature from your own and other cultures. You will be expected to discuss the views of critics and other commentators, which will challenge your own views. You will visit theatres, join in back stage talks and participate in workshops as well as seeing productions as varied as Shakespeare at the Globe to West End musicals. You can join debating groups, the book group and participate in poetry readings.

Further Mathematics




Government & Politics












Music Technology


Philosophy & Ethics




Theatre Studies