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 2023.
Campbell College is an HMC day and boarding school for boys aged from 11-18 years (Years 8 – 14). There are 1017 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 2023 cohort were admitted in 2016; 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 are compulsory at GCSE, 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 (2023) cohort were: Agriculture, Art and Design, Biology, Business Studies, Chemistry, Digital Technology (Multimedia), Digital Technology (Programming), Drama, 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 full GCSE option). 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. The vast majority of our Sixth Form have studied at the College as Key Stage 4 pupils. We have limited capacity for a small number of students from other local schools to join our Sixth Form, in addition to a number of international boarders. Sixth Form students select a curriculum appropriate to their ability and interest; most students take three AS/A levels or BTEC Level 3 360 GLH programmes in Year 13, with around 15% taking four subjects in Year 13 and continuing with three subjects in Year 14. Around 5% of pupils leave the College with four full A levels and occasionally a student may achieve five full A levels if he takes Further Mathematics. In some circumstances a student may take two courses only in Year 14. The following subjects were available at AS and A/A2 level for the 2023 cohort: Art and Design, Biology, Business Studies, Chemistry, Design and Technology, Digital Technology, Drama and Theatre Studies, English Literature, French, Geography, German, History, Mathematics, Further Mathematics, Media Studies (offered at a local girls’ Grammar School), Moving Image Arts, Music, Physics, Politics, Religious Studies, Spanish, Sports Science and the Active Leisure Industry. BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificates are offered in Business, IT and Sport as well as a BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma in Hospitality. 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 2023 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, Design and Technology, Drama and Theatre Studies, English Literature, History, Media Studies, Politics, Religious Studies). The following subjects are offered at A level only and not at AS level: Art and Design, Design and Technology, Media Studies, Politics. The following are offered as a stand-alone AS level in addition to A level: English Literature, History, Religious Studies.
Predicted A level grades for all subjects except Art and Design, Design and Technology, Media Studies and Politics are based upon achieved AS level grades but also take into account progress and internal assessment throughout Year 13 as well as progress during August/September 2022. Predicted A level grades for the aforementioned subjects are based upon internal progress and internal assessment throughout Year 13. Overall predicted grades for BTEC qualifications are based upon work submitted and attainment in modules to date.
In light of disruption caused by Covid-19, Centre Determined Grades were awarded in 2021 for this cohort at GCSE. These were primarily based upon several assessments in each subject during April/May, 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.
At AS level in 2022, the full specification was still taught, but students taking CCEA qualifications were able to omit certain modules from the terminal assessment. This included practical units in science subjects. Other measures were put in place for English/Welsh board AS level examinations including adaptations of coursework arrangements and the provision of advanced information.
Examination arrangements for 2023
Correct as of 6th October 2022:
The Northern Irish examination board (CCEA) has issued guidance on assessment arrangements for the Summer examination series 2023. Whilst this sees a return to the examination of the full specification, Advance Information for most subject areas will be provided by CCEA from Monday 27th February 2023. This is intended to communicate in advance the broad areas to be assessed in written examination papers. For further information, please visit: https://ccea.org.uk/summer-2023
Within the College, a strong emphasis is placed upon engagement with the whole curriculum and pupils are 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, some virtual classes were provided for students through Zoom with tasks and further support provided through the Colleges’ Virtual Learning Environment, Firefly. 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 and other lessons/work facilitated through the 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.