Birkdale Sixth Form

Typically 100% pass rate at A Level. Most students go on to leading universities.

Academic Excellence

Outstanding academic results at both GCSE and A Level. Typically over half of all A Level grades are A* or A and at GCSE around two-thirds are A* or A grades.

A Space for Art

Creativity and a love of Fine Art permeate Birkdale and equip students with skills for life.

Music at the heart of Birkdale

Birkdale has an enviable reputation for outstanding music making and instrumental performance.

Birkdale Prep School

The highest academic standards in a happy, family atmosphere. Small class sizes allow each boy to be challenged, cared for and nurtured.

Birkdale Sport

Birkdale offers a wide variety of team and individual sports. We encourage our pupils to “be the best they can be.”

UCAS Reference Information Page


General Principles: 3 or 4 subjects

Birkdale remains committed to offering flexibility and choice to our students. We expect the vast majority of our pupils to choose to study 4 subjects at the beginning of the Lower Sixth. Further Mathematics may be studied as an additional A level. Timetable blocking will be arranged to facilitate this. [i.e. the blocking will remain unchanged in principle although the arrangement and number of groups will depend on demand from students].
In November of their Lower Sixth year, all students will be tested to ascertain their academic progress within their chosen subjects. At this stage students will be interviewed to determine which subject, if any, they wish to drop on the basis of these results alongside teacher judgement. About 10% of our pupils choose to continue with four subjects.
Students whose GCSE profile indicates that tackling four subjects would be detrimental to their progress in the Sixth Form will be encouraged to study 3 subjects.


In June of their Lower Sixth year, students will sit internally devised, end of year mock AS/A level examinations in all their subjects. Testing will be rigorous and will be based on specimen exam board material to ensure that the results achieved offer an accurate indication of likely performance at A level. Pupils will sit external AS examinations in those subjects which remain modular [i.e. Classical Civilisation, Design Technology (Graphics, Resistant Materials, Systems & Control), Government & Politics, Mathematics, Music Technology].

In some circumstances, pupils may sit a stand-alone AS qualification at the discretion of individual Heads of Department.


Predicted Grades

Predictions of performance at A2 will be based on L6 mock exam results (or AS results) together with teacher judgements on likely attainment, given the intellectual potential and work ethic of the individual student.

Upper Sixth Year

In their Upper Sixth year, students will continue with 3 (or 4 subjects) to A level. As students transfer to the Upper Sixth, timetable blocks will remain unchanged except where it is possible to combine Lower Sixth groups in a subject into a smaller number of groups. This usually only happens when two groups have been provided in the same block and these are reduced to one.
The Extended Project Qualification is offered to all students during the Easter Term of the Lower Sixth, with approximately 60% of the year group choosing to start one. It is completed by March of the Upper Sixth.


From January of the Lower Sixth to Easter of the Upper Sixth students also have the opportunity to engage in a comprehensive enrichment programme where they can gain a range of skills from a number of non-examined extension courses such as Creative Marketing, Sports Leaders Award, Environmental Stewardship, Art History, Computing in the Modern World, Mandarin and Life Skills.


Qualifications Achieved by End of Upper Sixth

Most students will have achieved the following qualifications by the end of their Upper Sixth:

3 A level qualifications in subjects of their choice [some will achieve 4]

1 AS level qualification in a subject of their choice [if relevant]


  • Extended Project Qualification [optional]

  • Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award [optional]


The following subjects are usually offered:

Art, Biology, Business, Chemistry, Classical Civilisation, Computing, Design & Technology- Graphics, Resistant Materials and Design Engineering, Drama & Theatre Studies, Economics, English Language, English Literature, French, Geography, German, Government & Politics, Greek (Classical), History, Latin, Mathematics & Further Mathematics, Music, Music Technology, Physics, Physical Education, Psychology, Religious Studies and Spanish.


Prep School Video

Senior School Video

Sixth Form Video

Head's Blog

Twitter Follow Us

Children's Hospital Charity