Curriculum

We offer international students a range of education programmes designed to meet their ambitions for studying in the UK.

Many students join us with the intention of gaining qualifications to secure entry into UK universities and we have an excellent track record in helping our international students secure places at some of the most prestigious and highly competitive institutions.

Other students join us on shorter term programmes, ranging from a few weeks to one year, where the main focus is to develop their English language skills and experience studying in a British school.

Students from around the world join West Buckland each year to study A-levels. A-levels are the main qualification requirement for entry into UK universities. Students entering at Year 12 (usually 16 years of age) are generally expected to study four subjects at AS-level, before concentrating on three subjects at A-level in Year 13.

A-level students need a good command of English to successfully study A-levels and support is provided by the school for all international students as they develop their language abilities. In addition to A-level classes, international students study English in preparation for taking the IELTS qualification.

Popular choices of subjects amongst international students include mathematics, further mathematics, biology, chemistry, physics, art & design, and economics. These subjects also tend to be more accessible to students where English is not the first language. Advice on subjects is offered to every student applying to study A-levels at West Buckland.

GCSEs (General Certificate in Secondary Education) are an important first step on the pathway to university education in the UK. They provide a fundamental grounding in a number of core subjects and achieving good GCSE qualifications enables students to progress on to A-level courses.

In Years 10 and 11 students normally study eight subjects at GCSE/iGCSE level. All students are prepared for iGCSE English as a Second Language (Edexcel), and GCSE Mathematics. Overseas students usually then select six optional subjects from a group that includes Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Geography, History, Art & Design, Design Technology, Drama, Music, Business Studies and Computing.

Most overseas students also elect to take GCSE or igcse in their own language, for example igcse Chinese. The school facilitates such entries but does not formally teach the students.

Many students join in Year 9 or earlier and study subjects which they then select to study at GCSE level in Years 10 and 11. This can be advantageous as students gain a good grounding and knowledge in the subjects prior to GCSE level study.

Students joining us at Years 7 to 9 (11 to 13 year olds) will follow a broad and balanced academic programme which forms the basis for subsequent study at GCSE and A-level. In Years 7-9, all pupils study the following subjects:

  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Biology, chemistry and physics studied as separate sciences
  • Geography, history and religious studies
  • Art & design, design technology, drama, food & nutrition, IT and music
  • Physical education and games

French and Spanish are available to overseas students with prior experience of these languages.

Every year we welcome students who join on short term programmes wishing to experience studying in a British school.

Most stay for one or two terms and receive a comprehensive teaching and learning programme, develop their English language skills, enjoy a rich cultural experience and participate in the huge range of sports, music, drama, art, outdoor education and other opportunities that are available.

For more details on short stay study programmes, please contact Mrs Lorraine Millar: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.