The progress students make at St. Mary’s is outstanding. We recognise that students have different academic starting points when they join us. Some will have aspirations to study at Oxford or Cambridge and will have attained some of the best GCSE’s in the country, others will be more suited to studying technical Level 3 courses with a huge range in between.

We are an inclusive Sixth Form and as such we ensure that all students make excellent progress. The school attained an ALPS 3 grade in 2018, in simple terms, this means our students on average make progress in line with the top 25% of all schools nationally. With many students gaining the very best GCSE results, this represents an excellent achievement for the students and the school.

The attainment of our students is also outstanding, as shown in the information below. Last year 15 out of 107 students gained straight A grades at A-level and performance on Level 3 courses generally is excellent with an average grade of a B- last year, compared to a C+ nationally. Over 55% of the grades attained last year were A*–B grade. This compares very favourably with all local schools.


A-level, Applied General and Tech Level Qualifications St. Mary's 2018
% A* to B 55.6
% A* to C 78.8
% A* to E 98
Average point score 35.9
Average grade B-
A-levels St. Mary's 2018 England 2018
Points 33.21 33.3
Average grade C+ C+
Applied general St. Mary's 2018 England 2018
Points 25.00 28.45
Average grade Merit Merit +
“This school has been very influential in helping me develop as a person both in my studies and general life, making friends and memories that I will have forever.”
— Nicholas, Year 13 student


Academic excellence is at the heart of what we do.  We have a broad and balanced post-16 curriculum delivered by an experienced and highly-qualified teaching staff. A high level of challenge and support, along with inspiring teaching and learning, develops the knowledge, skills, values, confidence and motivation each student needs to succeed.

Preparing students for their next steps in life, whatever they may be, is the basis of our curriculum. We offer over 25 different level 3 subject qualifications which allow students to take up the widest possible range of university or career options.  Students’ spiritual, moral and social development is fostered by a general religious education programme and tutorial lessons which offer individual support, advice and guidance.

Most students choose 3 A-levels or level 3 vocational options, which is the requirement for most university courses.  The option to choose a fourth A-level exists for those students who wish to apply for particularly competitive university courses, those who wish to keep their academic options open, or those who simply love learning a particular subject.  The Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) is offered as an option to all students, because it helps to develop independent research and problem-solving skills that are highly prized by employers and universities. In all cases, students receive detailed individual advice on their course choices, and support with realising their next steps.

St. Mary’s Sixth Form Pathways to Success

Our Sixth Form pathways offer all students a route to their next steps at 18, in education, employment or training, whatever their GCSE starting point.

The diagram below represents the recommended Key Stage 5 pathway for students, which will depend on the average grade achieved at Key Stage 4 (GCSE).