This statement provides a context against which Universities and other Higher Education providers can consider applicants. The curriculum offer and policies on entrance and examinations apply to students leaving Campbell College in June 2022. This statement also provides information on the College’s learning provision from March 2020 – June 2021 as a result of Covid-19 lockdown measures.
Campbell College is an HMC day and boarding school for boys aged from 11-18 years (Years 8 – 14). There are 1015 boys who attend the Senior School and there is also a Junior School on the same campus. The school has a mixed ability intake and the 140-strong boarding community is made up of both international and local students. Within the context of Northern Ireland, Campbell College holds the status of a Voluntary B Grammar School. The majority of the 2022 cohort were admitted in 2015; 70% of students admitted in Year 8 were by means of assessments provided by the Association for Quality Education AQE Ltd (CEA assessment) or Post Primary Transfer Consortium PPTC (GL Assessment); 30% of the intake was not based primarily on academic selection.
In Years 8 – 10, pupils are placed in classes of approximately 24 pupils and are grouped according to academic ability, taught by subject specialists. In Year 11, pupils begin a GCSE programme of study and usually select between 7 and 10 subjects at full GCSE, with an additional Short Course GCSE. English Language and Mathematics at GCSE are compulsory, and pupils are strongly encouraged to study at least one modern foreign language and a science subject. Optional GCSE subjects for the current Year 14 (2022) cohort were: Art and Design, Biology, Business Studies, Chemistry, Digital Technology (Multimedia), Digital Technology (Programming), Drama, Engineering, English Literature, French, Further Mathematics, German, Geography, History, Hospitality, Moving Image Arts, Music, Motor Vehicle and Road User Studies, Physical Education, Physics, Religious Studies, Single Award Science, Double Award Science, Spanish, Technology and Design. Pupils also take a Short Course GCSE in Religious Studies (unless this has been selected as a GCSE option) and a Level 1/2 Certificate in Preparation for Working Life. International students often take IGCSE English as a Second Language and many take other language GCSEs, for example, Chinese.
Pupils are admitted to Sixth Form (Years 13 and 14) on the basis of their GCSE results, unless previously educated outside of the UK. They select a curriculum appropriate to their ability and interest, usually studying three or four AS levels or BTEC Level 3 360 GLH programmes in Year 13, and three subjects in Year 14. A minority of pupils leave school with four full A levels and occasionally a student may take two courses only in Year 14. The following subjects were available at AS and A/A2 level for the 2022 cohort: Art and Design, Biology, Business Studies, Chemistry, Computer Science, Design and Technology, Digital Technology, Drama and Theatre Studies, English Literature, French, Geography, German, Government and Politics, History, Mathematics, Further Mathematics, Media Studies (offered at a local girls’ Grammar School), Moving Image Arts, Music, Physics, Religious Studies, Spanish, Sports Science and the Active Leisure Industry. A BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate in Business is available and BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diplomas are offered in Hospitality and Sport. Pupils also have the option of taking a BTEC Level 3 Diploma (720 GLH) in Sport combined with one other A level or BTEC subject.
In Sixth Form, international students and those who have not taken GCSE qualifications (usually due to studying abroad) work towards their IELTs qualification. They may also select to take an A level in their native language.
Campbell College works in partnership with several schools within the local Area Learning Community in order to provide access to subjects not offered within some schools, to share teaching of particular subjects, and provide access to combinations of subjects that cannot be facilitated within schools.
Most of the AS and A/A2 levels offered for the 2022 cohort follow the CCEA (Northern Ireland Examination Board) specification, and as such, pupils are entered for AS level at the end of Year 13.
Some of our subjects follow English/Welsh examination boards (Art and Design, Computer Science, Design and Technology, Drama and Theatre Studies, English Literature, Government and Politics, History, Media Studies, Religious Studies). The following subjects are offered at A level only and not at AS level: Art and Design; Design and Technology. The following are offered as a stand-alone AS level in addition to A level: English Literature, Government and Politics, History, Religious Studies.
Centre Assessed Grades were awarded in 2020 for all subjects at GCSE, and Centre Determined Grades were awarded in 2021 at AS level with the exception of Art and Design, and Design and Technology. Centre Determined Grades were primarily based upon several assessments in each subject during April/May 2021, with the aim of providing the most accurate reflection of levels of attainment through a ‘low stakes’ approach; internal assessments throughout the year may also have made a lesser contribution to a final grade in some subjects. The specification content was reduced in line with guidance from examination boards. Predicted grades for the 2022 cycle are largely based upon Centre Determined Grades (where these were awarded) but also take into account progress and internal assessment throughout Year 13 as well as progress during August/September 2021. Furthermore, individual circumstances have been considered where this is relevant to likely outcomes in June 2022. BTEC predicted grades are based upon work submitted within the course so far.
Within the College, a strong emphasis is placed upon engagement with the whole curriculum and pupils within the 2022 cohort have been offered an extensive range of sporting, arts and leadership opportunities throughout their time here. We provide a range of experiences through which our pupils can develop important transferable skills, and within the context of a House system we nurture their own individual qualities and talents and encourage them to make a full contribution to school life. Whilst there was inevitable disruption to the extra-curricular programme in 2020/2021, the vast majority of clubs and activities including sports, music, Combined Cadet Force and House competitions, continued to be offered in a slightly reduced capacity when the school has been open. Where possible, a number of activities were also offered on a virtual basis during lockdown.
Impact of Covid-19
Campbell College was closed to pupils from Monday 23rd March 2020 and opened again for the 2022 cohort on Wednesday 26th August 2020. During the Summer term 2020, the College provided the Year 12 students with ‘Introduction to Level 3’ courses in each subject to help them prepare for the demands of GCE and BTEC studies. These took the form of Zoom lessons and independent learning. A virtual learning week, which ran in line with the regular timetable, took place in October 2020 instead of school-based learning. During the second period of lockdown (Monday 4th January – Friday 19th March 2021) the College operated its usual timetable with the majority of lessons taking place via Zoom. Other lessons and work were facilitated through the College’s Virtual Learning Environment, Firefly. Whilst lockdowns inevitably impacted on pupil learning and there was some variation in the level of pupil engagement, the programmes of study continued throughout this time and a good level of support was offered, both pastorally and academically, with personal interventions for students who found remote learning more challenging.
Examination arrangements for 2022
Correct as of 11th October 2021:
The Northern Irish examination board (CCEA) has now issued a statement regarding the potential reduction in specification content to be examined. Although the full specification must still be taught, students may omit certain modules from the terminal assessment. This may include practical units in science subjects. Students may of course opt to be assessed across all modules. English and Welsh examination boards have not yet published definitive guidance on either modular reduction or content reduction.