Courses

Rossall School has a diverse range of courses to suit all abilities.

From the age of 7 to 11, the pupils follow the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (PYP). In years 7-9, pupils follow the National Curriculum Key Stage 3, before embarking on their GCSEs in Year 10. In Year 11, students sit GCSE and IGCSE examinations. In the Sixth Form, students can choose between the International Baccalaureate Diploma or A levels.

We offer a range of specially-designed programmes for international students of different ages and abilities who are not yet ready to cope linguistically with the demands of a full British curriculum. In all cases, students benefit from the specialist support of the English as an Additional Language Department whose teachers are highly qualified and experienced in working with non-native speakers, and along with bespoke academic courses, students enjoy full immersion in the life of our thriving day and boarding community alongside their British peers.

As students’ English skills develop, we prepare and enter them for a range of English Language examinations from KET through to FCE, CAE and IELTS.

  • GCSE

    Students begin studying for their GCSEs in Year 10 and sit their examinations at the end of Year 11. The GCSE programme is a two-year course, with students studying a variety of subjects.

    Compulsory Subjects

    Students must take compulsory subjects at GCSE. These are: Mathematics, Science, English Language, English Literature and a Modern Foreign Language (French, Spanish or German).

    Science

    For Science, all pupils will study Biology, Chemistry and Physics but there are three different courses that will be followed. The pupils in Set 1 will study individual/Triple Sciences and will gain three separate grades, one for each IGCSE Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Pupils in Set 2 will still study all three sciences but not in as much detail as those in Set 1. These pupils will follow IGCSE Coordinated Science and is the equivalent to two IGCSEs and the pupils will receive a double grade eg AA or BB etc. Pupils in Set 3 will again still study all three sciences but not in as much depth as the pupils in Set 2. These pupils will follow IGCSE Combined Science and this is a single IGCSE. Topics common to all three courses are taught in Year 10 and then the decision about which course is most suitable for each pupil is made later in Year 10 or even at the beginning of Year 11.

    Modern Foreign Languages

    For the Modern Foreign Language option, pupils will be asked to choose from French, German and Spanish. All pupils have to study one Modern Foreign Language but pupils can choose to study more than one if they wish.

    Options

    Pupils then have the free choice of three other subjects from those in this booklet. As said above one if these choices can be a second Modern Foreign Language.

    Choosing the right subjects and getting the right qualifications will give students a better chance of getting the career of their choice. It is important for students to think about their subject options carefully to ensure they have the qualifications they require for the future.

    In Years 10 and 11, students study a range of subjects. Some subjects are compulsory, Mathematics, English, Science and one Modern Foreign Language (French, German or Spanish) whilst others are chosen by the student.

    All GCSE courses are subject to sufficient demand.

    GCSE Information Booklet

  • International Students

    Rossall combines the very best of a traditional British day and boarding school with a vibrant international community of students from around the world, which makes it a very special and exciting place to be.  We have a long tradition of welcoming international students and a dedicated team of staff who are experienced in every aspect of educating overseas students. This begins with a comprehensive pre-arrival service including the issuing of CAS letters for visa applications and continues through Sixth Form as we provide full support and guidance with university and career choices.

    International students at Rossall are fully integrated into every aspect of school life alongside their British peers from the very first day of their arrival. This includes sport, art, music, drama, CCF, extracurricular activities, social events, day and residential trips, and pastoral care.

    We welcome applications from international students who wish to join us for a term or longer, and we offer a very flexible range of programmes to suit a wide variety of interests and abilities.

    To apply, please complete our application form. International students will usually be required to complete an entry test in English and may be asked to attend an interview which can be arranged via Skype if preferred. Our admissions team in the registry will be able to answer any questions you may have, and guide you through the process.

    Our International Admissions Policy outlines our admissions guidelines for international pupils.

  • International Courses

    ACADEMIC PROGRAMMES

    Direct entry into senior school

    International students with an excellent level of English may be accepted for direct entry onto our full British curriculum programmes in senior school, including GCSE, A Level and IB. Lessons in English as an Additional Language will be available for those who need ongoing support, and students will also have the opportunity to take English Language exams such as Cambridge First Certificate, CAE or IELTS. We offer a wide range of subject choices at GCSE, A Level and IB. Click here for more details.

    Fast-Track Programmes for international students

    We offer a range of specially-designed programmes for international students of different ages and abilities who are not yet ready to cope linguistically with the demands of a full British curriculum. In all cases, students benefit from the specialist support of the English as An Additional Language Department whose teachers are highly qualified and experienced in working with non-native speakers, and along with bespoke academic courses, students enjoy full immersion in the life of our thriving day and boarding community alongside their British peers. This enables them to develop their English language skills outside the classroom and facilitates a smooth transition when students progress onto the next stage of their academic studies. As students’ English skills develop, we prepare and enter them for a range of English Language examinations from KET through to FCE, CAE and IELTS.

    The following table provides a summary of the programmes available. Please contact us for further details on any of the programmes listed, including onward progression routes.

    Age Course British Curriculum Key Stage Start Dates Progression Routes
    5-11 PYP with English support: Year 1-6
    In Rossall Junior School, the PYP (Junior International Baccalaureate) is followed with additional English Language Support as required.
    1-2 Sept
    Jan
    April
    Years 2-7
    12-15 Fast-track English Plus: Year 7-10
    This English and academic preparation course prepares students for entry onto the full British curriculum.* As well as intensive English, students study a range of other subjects typically including: English, Maths, Science, Geography, Business Studies, Art, Physical Education, Spanish, Computing and Music.*In year 10 the course lays a solid foundation level in English language and academic skills across a range of subjects in preparation for the Fast-track IGCSE.
    3-4 Sept
    Jan
    April
    Year 8-10 or Fast-track IGCSE
    15-17 Fast-track IGCSE: Year 11
    This intensive one-year IGCSE course leads to examinations in 5-7 subjects at the end of the academic year. Subjects include English, Maths and Science, plus 1 or 2 options from Geography, Business Studies, Art and DT. Depending on prior learning, students may also be able to take IGCSE examinations in a second foreign language or their native language.
    4 Sept
    Jan
    April
    Sixth Form
    – IB or A Level
    15-17 Fast-track Foundation: Year 11 
    This intensive English and academic preparation course is for students with lower levels of English who need to focus on intensive language tuition in preparation for higher level exam courses. Subjects include intensive English, Maths, Art, Physical Education, Science and Computing. Students may be entered for IGCSE examinations in those subjects where they show ability. Students who have made excellent progress will be offered a place in Rossall’s Sixth Form.
    4 Sept
    Jan
    Sixth Form – IB or A level or Fast-track IGCSE
    16-17 Fast-track Advance: Year 11-13
    This course is intended as a 7 or 8 term A Level or IB programme. Students join a Fast-track English and academic preparation course for 1 or 2 terms and then progress directly onto A Level or IB. This course provides a solid foundation for entry into Sixth Form, enabling students to develop their English language, study skills and academic subject knowledge. For full details of A Level and IB courses click here.
    Students have the option to join us for the first 1 or 2 terms only.
    4 Jan
    April
    Sixth Form
    – IB or A Level and University
    11-17 Fast-track short-term programme (Fast-track Taster courses)
    We can often accommodate students wishing to come for a Rossall immersion experience for a shorter period of time. In most cases, students will join an existing programme, but sometimes it is also possible to arrange tailor-made courses for groups on request. Please contact us to discuss your needs.
    Varies depending on entry level Flexible  Varies depending on entry level

    For further information, please contact us: admissions@rossall.org.uk

  • A Levels

    In Sixth Form, students have the option of choosing to study either the International Baccalaureate Diploma or A levels.

    The A level route is most suited to students who wish to concentrate on three or four subjects, as these subjects are studied in far greater detail than at GCSE level.

    A level subjects:

    Art and Design Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) Music
    Biology French Photography
    Business Studies Further Mathematics Physical Education
    Chemistry Geography Physics
    Chinese* German Philosophy
    Computing Graphic Communication Product Design and Architecture
    Design and Technology History Psychology
    Drama and Theatre Studies Italian* Russian*
    Economics Japanese* Spanish
    English Literature Mathematics

    *Only for native speakers

  • International Baccalaureate Diploma (IB Diploma)

    The IB Diploma course has been established for almost fifty 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 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 (programmes have grown 46.4% in the last five years) which was recently rated “10 out of 10” by the Financial Times. The IB Diploma is truly a worldwide qualification preparing students for life in an increasingly globalised world. 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 Royal Society has recently stated that today’s Mathematics and Science students will have to show key competence in English, a foreign language and project work and develop interpersonal and intercultural skills.

    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 & B, Mandarin B)
    3. A Humanities subject (Business Management, Economics, Geography, History, 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 4.5 hours per week; SL subjects are taught for three 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 examinations during the course and results are published early in July.

    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 on 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 and have lowered their points requirements, as research, as well as experience, have shown that IB Diploma students are well prepared for success at university.