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Admission and Application

Archbishop McGrath Catholic High School is a Voluntary Aided faith school and acts in accordance with Bridgend County Borough School’s Admission Policy 2021-22, the Welsh Government’s School Admission Code 005/2013 (dated July 2013) and the rights conferred on our Governing Body to determine the entry criteria for Sixth Form admissions.

This recognises that our school Sixth Form may select pupils based on ability and aptitude. Selection interviews will not be used, *although meetings will be held to provide advice on options and individual expert advice and guidance will be given. 

The arrangements for admission to the Sixth Form are applied equally to both young people who are currently attending our school and seeking entry to the Sixth Form and those who are applying our Sixth Form from other educational establishments.

Our intention in setting admission requirements is twofold:

  • At a time when competition for University places is at its highest, it is to ensure that as many as possible of our students with a good chance of succeeding at A Level and Level 3 courses, and wishing to progress to undergraduate studies or Higher/Degree apprenticeships, are able to do so.

  • It is to ensure that students for whom AS/A Levels are likely to be inappropriate do not start on programmes that would almost certainly lead to failure and a wasted year, especially when other suitable avenues for higher education or apprenticeship would be more appropriate to them fulfilling their potential. 

Student specific careers advice, guidance and support from Careers Wales and the Heads of KS4 and 5 will assist and advise on other more suitable routes to education, training or employment for students to achieve their aspirations and full potential.

PLEASE READ THE ENTRY REQUIREMENTS AND PATHWAYS BELOW CAREFULLY.

CLICK ON THE MENU LINKS 'IN THIS SECTION' AND COMPLETE BOTH APPLICATION AND OPTIONS FORMS IF YOU ARE APPLYING FROM OUTSIDE ARCHBISHOP MCGRATH CATHOLIC HIGH SCHOOL.

Entry Requirements

PLEASE ENSURE YOU VISIT OUR ONLINE PROSPECTUS BEFORE MAKING YOUR APPLICATION AND OPTION CHOICES. This will guide you through each subject choice and what they offer as well as informative links on each subject page to where a qualification in the subject may take you University or career-wise!

GCSE English and GCSE Mathematics at C grade or above, or Level 2 equivalent, are recommended to enter Sixth Form - the reason for this is that almost all undergraduate degrees and higher apprenticeships (and further employment) require this also. A GCSE (or equivalent) resit option for English Language or Maths is available for those students with 'unexpected' in these qualifications at GCSE in Y12 alongside Pathway B (see below).

Some departments allow students to study at AS Level without having taken the subject at GCSE. However, other GCSEs would then be a requirement e.g. Religious Studies usually requires GCSE English Language or Literature at a minimum of B grade.

Other departments require specific GCSEs e.g. Science subjects do not accept Applied Science as entry, study of Mathematics and Further Maths requires Maths GCSE Higher award.

*Special considerations may be made on individual application.

Entry Pathways

Entry for 2022 into the Sixth Form is via two routes:

Pathway A – students wishing to follow a mainly traditional structure, for example four AS Levels/three AS levels and the Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate, will be expected to have at least five GCSE (or equivalent) grades at C or above. Please see individual subject criteria as some subjects require a minimum of a B grade.

Pathway B – students wishing to follow two AS Levels plus the Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate will be expected to have five GCSE (or equivalent) grades at C or above. 

  • Pass at Level 2 BTEC or other vocational course is recognised as equivalent to C grade at GCSE.

  • C grade at Level 2 National/Foundation Skills Challenge Certificate will not be accepted as one of the stipulated passes for Pathway A

  • C grade at Level 2 National/Foundation Skills Challenge Certificate will be accepted as one of the stipulated passes alongside a C grade in Maths and English for Pathway B.

  • A short course is half a GCSE.

Students must follow four/three courses in Year 12 from a combination of:

• 4 AS Levels

• 3 AS Levels and the Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate

• 2 AS Levels and the Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate

To continue study from Year 12 to Year 13, students must have achieved at least an E grade at AS Level in each of their subjects.

A minimum of three A2 Levels OR 2 A2 Levels & Welsh Baccalaureate Qualification/Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate must be studied in Year 13.