Hermitage Academy-25

Sixth Form curriculum overview

Hermitage Sixth Form is proud to provide a comprehensive study programme and a wealth of opportunities to develop the skills our students need to progress onto university and beyond in our purpose built Sixth Form Centre. We are a small but lively sixth form with a strong community feel. Our students are encouraged to take advantage of a wide range of additional opportunities that enhance their studies and experiences.

Decisions about your Post 16 future will certainly help define and shape your future, and we are 100% confident that we can offer an experience that is memorable, challenges you and sets you on a long term path of success.


Sixth form students at Hermitage undertake three A- level or equivalent vocational qualifications. They are given the opportunity to start in year 12 on four courses, as well as an EPQ option, to ensure a broad and balanced curriculum offer before specialisation on three level three courses. Students who do not have grade 4 or above at GCSE in mathematics and either English Language or Literature, will also continue their studies at GCSE level.

Careers programme

  • 1:1 aspirations and careers interviews
  • Visits to Universities
  • Visiting speakers from Universities, Apprenticeships and Employers
  • CV building workshops
  • UCAS workshops
  • Apprenticeship workshops
  • Interview preparation
  • Be Competitive Days
  • Cambridge University Access and Application Support Programme
  • Strong links with local universities who provide workshops and 1:1 mentoring support for our students
  • Enrolment in Durham Supported Progression, NU: Entry, Sutton Trust and other access schemes.

PSHE programme

Year 12

Independent study skills and A level mindset programme

Employment skills

Road Safety and young drivers education

Mental wellbeing and mindfulness

Sex and relationships education

Online safety and social media


Year 13

Critical thinking and fake news

British Values and Democracy

Addiction and prevention

Life beyond post 16: living alone; finance and budgeting; nutrition

Dealing with exam pressure, stress and anxiety

Life skills programme

Beginners Sign Language Course

Cookery Club

Criminology Society

Debating Society

Emergency First Aid Qualification

Mock Trial Society

Sports Leaders Course


At Hermitage Sixth Form we believe it is our duty to develop our students’ character as well as their intellect. We offer a range of extra-curricular and enrichment opportunities to develop students’ character, skills, attitudes and confidence – all designed to support individual’s progression and next steps.

Life Skills Programme

We timetable students one hour of life skills every Tuesday morning which gives them the opportunity to gain other qualifications such as: sign language, first aid and other leadership qualifications. This helps our students to gain more life experiences as well as helping to work towards a sense of well-being. Additionally, they can join societies such as debating, criminology or mock trial to further develop cultural awareness and knowledge of current affairs.

Work Experience Placement

We provide a week within the academic calendar for students to complete a tailored work experience placement to give them the opportunity to develop their career and future choices, and to apply their skills in real-life working conditions/situations.

Institute of Sport

The Hermitage Institute of Sport is exclusive to Hermitage students who study A-Level or BTEC Sport. Students will work in partnership with Durham University and receive sporting seminars in some of the following: sport psychology; sport science, sports coaching. They will have access to elite mentoring, guest speakers from professionals within sport and they will also receive some financial support to help them excel in their chosen area of sport.

Extended Project Qualification

Another important aspect of our enrichment programme is preparing students for the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) which is extremely valued by universities. The EPQ encourages students to pursue an independent academic interest, develop their research and presentation skills and produce a product that is authentic to the topic studied.

Student Leadership Programme

Student leadership is a strong element of the sixth form experience at Hermitage Academy.   In Year 12, a small but significant team of students are elected to develop leadership skills through representing the student body. They are an important part of the whole school council and student voice in the sixth form.


Across our curriculum, students benefit from a range of residential and day trips including, theatre and cinema visits, visit to the Law Courts in Newcastle and the opportunity to listen to inspirational and motivating speakers.

We are renowned for our educational trip to New York City each year which is the highlight of the year 12 calendar for many students.


A levels

At Hermitage Sixth Form we offer a broad range of A level courses which cater for a wide range of students. You can find more information on each of these courses in the curriculum section of our website, here.

Facilitating A levels

Subjects which are preferred or even required for study at a competitive university. If you want to apply to one of a competitive universities, or if you would like to give yourself the widest range of choices after sixth form, you should choose at least two facilitating A level subjects:
biology, chemistry, English literature, geography, history, languages, maths or physics.

Vocational courses

We also offer a range of vocational qualifications for students looking for a work-based pathway. Subjects offered include; sport, food and nutrition, health and social care and performing arts.

BTECs are rigorous, advanced qualifications that equip students with transferable knowledge and skills. These qualifications are for students who want to continue their education through applied learning. BTECs can be taken alongside A level qualifications.

GCSE English and maths

Students who have not achieved a GCSE Grade 4 in maths and English will need to re-take them, or similar courses, in sixth form, in addition to their other qualifications.

How to apply

Please begin by carefully considering the courses which may be right for you. If you are unsure about your likely GCSE results please get in touch to discuss your most suitable pathways.

You should select four courses that you are interested in on our application form and return it by email to or to main school by 4 January 2020. We will arrange an interview to discuss your subject choices and aspirations for the future during the week commencing 11 January 2020.