A Level Reform

How will Waldegrave manage the changes to A Levels?

A Levels are being reformed over the next three years. This means the subject content and assessment style will change.

The main features of the new A Levels are:

  1. Assessment will be mainly by exam, with other types of assessment used only where they are needed to test essential skills.

  2. AS and A Levels will be assessed at the end of the course. AS assessments will typically take place after 1 year’s study and A levels after 2. The courses will no longer be divided into modules and there will be no exams in January.

  3. AS and A Levels will be decoupled – this means that AS results will no longer count towards an A level, in the way they do now.

  4. AS Levels can be designed by exam boards to be taught alongside the first year of A levels.

  5. The content for the new A Levels has been reviewed and updated. Universities played a greater role in this for the new qualifications than they did previously.


A Level subjects that have been reformed for September 2015

  • Art and Design
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Economics
  • Fashion
  • History
  • Photography
  • Physics
  • Psychology
  • Sociology

A Level subjects that will be reformed for September 2016 

  • Drama
  • French
  • Geography
  • German
  • Music
  • PE
  • Spanish

A Level subjects that will be reformed for September 2017

  • Maths and Further Maths
  • Media
  • Philosphy and Ethics

2015 Entry

We decided that in September 2015 all students starting reformed A Levels would continue to take four subjects in Year 12 and they also continue to sit the AS exams at the end of Year 12.  

  • The results of the AS exams will be used to determine progression into Year 13 and be used for UCAS applications.
  • Students who then choose to drop a subject and continue with three A Levels will  be able to make an informed decision about their choice.
  • Students will need to attain a minimum of three Grade Ds to progress into Year 13.

We have made this decision for the following reasons:

  • To avoid confusion for students when they are studying a mixture of reformed and unreformed A Levels

  • Many students do not know which are their preferred 3 A Levels at the start of the Year 12

  • Students often change their minds throughout the year as to which subjects to drop, based on experience, research and final attainment.

  • We can advise students on Year 13 courses based on performance at AS

  • Students will have a full set of AS results to include on UCAS application forms that will support and inform teacher predictions in the first year of new A Levels.

2016 Entry

We expect to review the decisions above based on national guidance in January 2016 in good time to make a final decision for September 2016