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1. What if I want to make changes to my options after the  deadline?

If you have submitted an application before the deadline and wish to make changes after the deadline then you will need to put your request in writing. Your request should be submitted directly to the Sixth Form office by letter or by emailing . Please note that Sixth Form courses and staffing for Y12 entry in 2019 is based on choices made before the deadline. We always try to accommodate students' requests but we cannot guarantee them.

2. Can I apply after the February 10th deadline?

Yes! Any student, whether from McAuley or another school, who wishes to apply to McAuley after the deadline may do so by hard copy only. Please contact the Sixth Form Office or email for an application pack, or download the documents from this Prospectus. We always try to accommodate students' requests but we cannot guarantee them.

3. How and when do I formally enrol as a Y12 student?

You formally enrol as a Y12 student at your enrolment meeting that will take place on, or the day after, GCSE results day in August. You will receive a lot of information, advice and guidance between October of Y11 and enrolment. The Applications Timeline found in this prospectus gives more information regarding the timing of 1:1 advice available.

4. I don’t know what to do in the future. Can you advise me on what subjects to take?

If you are not sure about a career path then it is always good to consider subjects that you: enjoy, are best at, and which suit your style of learning. You would have a better chance of success in these subjects. It would be helpful to seek advice from as many people as possible while you are in Y11, eg the school’s independent careers adviser, sixth form staff and students themselves, and read the booklet ‘Informed Choices’ available via and in the Important Documents section of this prospectus.

5. What if there is a clash that prevents me from taking my preferred combination of subjects?

There are always a small number of students who cannot take their ideal combination of subjects because subjects ‘clash’ when the timetable is constructed. We will contact you if this is the case to discuss alternatives. We cannot guarantee that your request can be accommodated but we will look into it!

6. How and when do I decide to do 3 or 4 A levels in Y12?

We ask that you make at least four choices in rank order when you apply in Y11 so the school can plan for potential class sizes; ensuring that we have the appropriate staff capacity and curriculum model. The decision on how many A level subjects you actually go on to study in Y12 is made between GCSE results day and the end of September of Year 12.  You will be carefully advised on this during your enrolment meeting when your GCSE grades are known. Many students take four subjects initially and ‘drop’ a subject when they feel able to make an informed choice. Changes to your choice of subjects will be considered on a case by case basis but generally, we advise that you should not pick up a new subject after September 30th of Year 12 unless there are extenuating circumstances.

7. How will I know if I have been accepted?

You will receive a conditional offer around March 2019 offering you a place on your preferred courses. A conditional offer means that we would accept you onto courses provided that you meet the following entry requirements:

  • a minimum of 5 GCSE passes at L4 - 9 including a minimum of grade 4 in both Maths and English.  Additional subject specific entry requirements also apply in many subjects. See the subject pages in this prospectus for more information
  • having satisfactory records of behaviour and attendance in Y11
  • supporting the Catholic ethos of the school alongside all Sixth Form agreements

Final acceptance will take place when you formally enrol at your enrolment meeting on, or the day after, GCSE results day (see FAQ 3 above)

8.What options do I have if I do not meet the  minimum Entry Criteria to do A levels?

The minimum entry requirements are there to ensure that you have the academic foundation needed to equip you for success and make the jump from GCSE to A level. If you do not secure the grades required for your preferred choices then still talk to us at your enrolment meeting! We will consider your application on a case by case basis and consider all options including bespoke pathways and 3 year programs. We have a 1 year Level 2 ‘Transition Program’ which is intended for students who need higher qualifications or skills development in order to access Level 3 courses or employment at a later date.  All Y11 McAuley pupils (even if you don’t intend to apply to McAuley Sixth Form) and applicants from other schools will get a 1:1 meeting to help ensure that your choices are well informed and there is a lot of information and advice available via the school’s independent careers service - appointments can be made throughout Year 11. If you are applying for A levels but your Student Assessment Reports suggest that your grades may fall below the minimum entry requirements then you may consider our Level 2 Transition Program.  

9. What if I do not meet the subject specific entry criteria in a subject that I have opted to take.

Subject specific entry requirements are there to ensure that you have the academic foundation needed to equip you for success in individual subjects and give you the best chance to make the jump from GCSE to A level. If you do not secure the subject specific entry requirements for a subject then please still speak with us at your enrolment meeting! We will consider all requests on a case by case basis and/or offer you alternatives if it is not appropriate for you to enrol onto a preferred subject. 

10. What if I want to change subjects in September after I’ve enrolled?

All Year 12 students may request to make changes to their choices after they have enrolled. This is done via the ‘Y12 Course Change’ process which must be completed before the end of September. Please note that Course Change requests cannot be guaranteed and will only be made if course numbers allow and if entry requirements have been met. Students will be advised about the Course Change process early in September.

Changes to your choice of subjects will be considered on a case by case basis but generally cannot be made after September 30th of Year 12 unless there are extenuating circumstances. 

11. Can I apply to other sixth forms as well as McAuley?

Yes! You may apply to McAuley Sixth Form as well as to other providers if you wish to keep your options open.  You are only committed to taking up a place at McAuley when you formally enrol in August. 

12. Can I make changes to my choices before the 10th February deadline after I have submitted my application?

Yes! Current Y11 McAuley pupils can amend any subject preferences via the online application form before the February 10th deadline. Applicants from other schools can make changes to their choices before the deadline by contacting the Sixth Form Office or by sending a confirmation email via

13. I’ve heard that financial support is available to help meet the cost of my Sixth Form education. Can you tell me more and how would I apply?

All information relating to the 16 – 19 Bursary Fund is available via the school website, Simply click on the link, ‘16 – 19 Bursary’ via the ‘Sixth Form’ tab. 

14. I’m on holiday during the week of GCSE results so won’t be available to attend my enrolment meeting in August. What should I do?

Firstly, whether you are a McAuley applicant or from another school, you will need to make arrangements for the collection of your results. This can be done in two ways:

  • Provide your examinations officer with a stamped addressed envelope so the results can be posted
  • Inform your examinations officer of a nominated person who you have agreed will collect your results on your behalf (that person will need to bring appropriate ID when collecting the results).

Secondly, your enrolment meeting will need to be rearranged. In most cases, your enrolment meeting will take place on the first Monday in September (normally an INSET day). However, we may do this over the phone ASAP after your return from holiday so it is essential that you pass on the following information to the sixth form team:

  • The dates that you are available to chat over the phone after your return from holiday
  • A telephone number to contact you on.

This can be done by submitting a letter via the Sixth Form Office in the summer term or via email

15. How do I go about ordering uniform?

The only uniform that you need to purchase through school is the red sixth form clip on tie with McAuley crest. You can purchase this at enrolment. 

We still have a small stock of black cardigans and black v-neck jumpers with embroidered school crests available for £10 each. These crested tops are no longer compulsory items of uniform as we have moved to plain black cardigans/sweaters that you can buy ‘off the peg’ at many high street retailers.

16. What is a ‘New Specification’ Subject?

As part of the Government’s Education Reforms, all A level subjects have now been updated with new content and assessments. Subjects that have not yet been updated are called ‘Legacy’ subjects.

The introduction of ‘New Specification’ subjects form only part of the Government’s reforms of A level education. There are other changes that apply to the ‘New Specifications’ that you should be aware of:

  • The AS (Advanced Subsidiary - the qualification gained from examinations taken after 1 year at the end of Y12) and A level (the full A level gained after completing examinations after 2 years at the end of Y13) qualifications are now ‘decoupled’. This means that a student’s result from an AS examination will not contribute to their full A level grade in a ‘New Specification’ subject.
  • However, if a student completes the AS examinations but does not take a ‘New Specification’ subject through to the end of the full A level (eg they drop a subject at the end of Y12 or during Y13) then the student would be awarded their AS grade.
  • Our policy is that all Year 12 students studying ‘New Specification’ subjects will NOT sit AS level examinations at the end of Y12. This means that all students enrolling onto an A level program in Year 12 are signing up to 2 year courses and continuation from Y12 to Y13 is conditional on ‘continuation criteria’ being met to ensure that you have the best chance possible of securing A level success at the end of Year 13.
  • To meet the ‘Continuation criteria’, students will ideally; achieve around their target grade or secure a minimum of grade Ds in their end of year examinations, have a good record of Behaviour for Learning, have a minimum attendance of 95% and have met all course requirements eg have met coursework/homework deadlines.
  • Any requests by students to sit AS examinations will be considered on a case by case basis if extenuating circumstances apply and provided it is feasible.
  • A level examinations in ‘New Specification’ subjects at the end of Y13 will cover content from Y12 as well as Y13 so students will have a LOT of content to revise! Your subject areas help by ensuring that any progress tests assess material covered since the start of Year 12 but the onus is on you to regularly revisit previous work.

17. What is a ‘Legacy’ subject?

As part of the Government’s Education Reforms, all A level subjects have been updated with new content and assessments. The old ‘Legacy’ subjects have been replaced with ‘New Specification’ subjects.  

18. I missed the October 18th information evening.  Can I come and look around?

Yes! The best way to get a feel for life in the Sixth Form is to come and visit us, have a tour, chat with the Head of Sixth Form and talk to students about life at McAuley. We are always keen to welcome you and answer any questions. Visits can be arranged by contacting us by emailing or telephone 01302 537396 ext 161.