Applications for September 2017

We are still happy to receive applications for Sixth Form commencing September 2017.

Learning Activities for Prospective Year 12 Students

In order to stimulate and support your learning in your chosen sixth form courses, we strongly encourage you to access the suggested reading and other activity ideas below over the holiday period:

BTEC Applied Science

  • Internet:


    • Ben Goldacre, Bad Pharma: How Drug Companies Mislead Doctors And Harm Patients, Faber & Faber, 2013
    • Ben Goldacre, Bad Science: Quacks, Hacks, And Pharma Flacks, McClelland & Stuart, 2010
    • Bill Bryson, A Short History Of Nearly Everything, Doubleday Canada, 2012
    • John Berger, Ways of Seeing, Penguin UK, 2008

    Other Materials:

    • Use GCSE revision guides and BBC Bitesize to review topics – especially those on cells, the periodic table, bonding and energy transfers.
    • Buy a copy of New Scientist and have a read!



  • John Berger, Ways of Seeing, Penguin UK, 2008
  • Keri Smith, Wreck This Journal: To Create Is To Destroy, Penguin Group USA, 2012
  • Keri Smith, This Is Not A Book, Penguin Books, 2011
  • David N Perkins, The Intelligent Eye Learning to think by looking at Art, J. Paul Getty Trust, 1994
  • Drusilla Cole, Patterns, Laurence King, 2012
  • Mike Perry, Over and Over: A Catalogue Of Hand-Drawn Patterns, Princeton Architectural Press, 2008
  • Collette Wolff, The Art of Manipulating Fabric, Krause Publications Craft, 1996

Places to Visit:

  • Locally
    • Derby Quad
    • Nottingham Contemporary Gallery
  • Further afield
    • Custard Factory: Birmingham’s Creative Quarter
    • Digbeth, Birmingham

Other Materials:

  • Netflix has a whole host of Art documentaries that can make for a welcoming change from the norm. Everything from Street Art to Post Impressionism, Recycled art to Surrealism.
  • On your tablet or Phone – Great digital storyboarding for inspiration – Pinterest/Instagram.

BTEC Business



  •  Freakonomics” by Steven Levitt
  • “The Undercover Economist” by Tim Harford

Other Materials:

  • Research entrepreneurs – select a couple and discover their route to success.
    • Alan Sugar
    • Anita Roddick
    • Peter Jones
    • Richard Branson

BTEC Engineering


  • Guardian newspaper Technology section (free online)
  • Keep up to date with Technological news and developments.
  • Access the Institute of Engineering Journal (free online)
  • Read any articles on mechanical and electrical engineering that interest you.


  • Find and watch YouTube videos on the following subjects
    • AutoCAD basics
    • Use of centre lathe and milling machine
    • Soldering electrical circuits

BTEC Level 3 Health & Social Care


  • Ben Goldacre, Bad Pharma: How Drug Companies Mislead Doctors And Harm Patients, Faber & Faber, 2013
  • Ben Goldacre, Bad Science: Quacks, Hacks, And Pharma Flacks, McClelland & Stuart, 2010
  • New Scientist Magazine
  • Woman’s Health Magazine
  • Men’s Health Magazine


BTEC Information Technology  Extended Certificate


Other exam board resources:

Unit 2: Database Management Systems:

Unit 3: Social Media in business

Unit 6: Website development


Principles of website development

YouTube channels:

A Level Biology


  • Biology Science Review  (quarterly)
  • National Geographic
  • New Scientist
  • Nature


  • A short History of Nearly Everything-Bill Bryson
  • On the Origin of Species-Charles Darwin
  • Genome – Matt Ridley
  • The Red Queen: Sex and the Evolution of Human Nature – Matt Ridley
  • The Selfish Gene – Richard Dawkins
  • Any other popular science book. Go to Derby library and see what you find on the shelves that you find interesting.

Places of Interest-London

  • Science Museum
  • Natural History Museum
  • Alexander Fleming Laboratory
  • British Dental Association Museum
  • British Optical Association Museum
  • British Red Cross Museum
  • Chelsea Psychic Garden
  • Freud Museum
  • Great Ormond Street Hospital
  • Museum of the order of St John
  • Old Operating Theatre and Herb Garret
  • Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
  • Royal College of Physicians
  • Royal College of Surgeons
  • Royal London Hospital
  • Royal Pharmaceutical Society
  • Saint Bartholomew’s Hospital
  • Wellcome Trust and Wellcome Library
  • The Worshipful Society of Apothacaries


Any David Attenborough production, e.g.: Life on Earth, The Living Planet, Life in the Freezer, Life, Life Story, The Blue Planet.


The Eden Project – Cornwall



  • BBC news app – ‘Science & Environment’ and ‘Health’ section

A Level Chemistry


  • Bill Bryson, A Short History Of Nearly Everything, Doubleday Canada, 2012
  • Hugh Aldersey-Williams, The Curious Lives of the Elements, Penguin, 2012
  • Royston M. Roberts, Serendipity – Accidental Discoveries in Science, Wiley, 1989
  • Sam Kean, Disappearing Spoon, Random House, 2011
  • David Bodanis, The Secret House,  Berkley Books, 2003
  • Paul Davies, Four Laws that Drive the Universe, Oxford University Press, 2007
  • Linus Pauling, General Chemistry, Editorial Benei Noaj, 2011


A Level Computing



Additional reading would be the BBC News technology pages ( and BBC Click ( as well as any computing/technology related talks on (

A Level English


  • Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale, Contemporary Classics, 1996
  • Othello, William Shakespeare, Penguin, 2011
  • Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner, Bloomsbury, 2011
  • Bill Bryson, Mother Tongue, Penguin Books, 2008
  • Read any poetry you feel you might be inspired by!

A Level Geography


Access the following website and download your own copy of the specification.  You can then print out the unit content sections and add them to your files (see below).  Make sure you print out the new specification for exams from 2018


You will need a folder for the course. You may want to have one folder divided up into physical and human topics, or you may want to have two folders, one for each tutor.  You will need to use dividers to keep your notes and assessments organised.

Wider Reading:

As part of the course you will be required to supplement sessions with your own research and extra reading. It is important to build this into your week so that it becomes a natural process rather than a chore.  One way to do this is to begin to keep a file of articles and information which you have gathered.  In preparation for this you are encouraged to begin this process over the summer and start to find good sources of information which will help you throughout the course.  Make sure you are familiar with the specification content so that you are collecting relevant articles.

Examiners are impressed with students who can provide relevant and current case studies and ideas in their exam. Your task is to collect information on these topics and collate them ready for September.  You don’t have to just read newspapers.  Sources of information come from the radio (podcasts especially on Radio 4), TV news and other programmes.  The BBC is often a good place to start as it includes written stories but also video clips and interviews.  Start using a file to organise your findings or save digital files and bookmark favourite websites which you can share with others at the start of term.

You should read the following overview documents. They will provide you with an introduction to two areas of key content, concepts and geographical theories within the new A Levels that you will study.

  1. Water and carbon cycling:
  2. Changing Places:


A Level History

Places to Visit:

  • Leicester or Bosworth to find out more about Richard III and Henry VII which will be studied in Year 12.
  • If you are going away on holiday you can research the history of where you are going.
  • Countries such as Spain, France and Germany frequent the History curriculum.
  • Even if you stay at home, the Midlands has some fantastic places to visit such as:
    • Hardwick Hall
    • Kenilworth Castle
    • Kedleston Hall
    • Calke Abbey
    • Tutbury Castle
    • Bolsover Castle
    • Cromford
    • Crich Tramway Museum
    • Derby Museum
  • Places that you visit are always more interesting if you do some research before you go. These may not be directly connected to your studies but maintain your interest and focus on History.


  • Read about Weimar, Nazi Germany and the early Tudors as this would be advantageous.
  • Read magazines such as BBC History or History Today that discuss current debates and themes in History. (These magazines also highlight where there are displays, open days, re-enactments or shows with a historical theme that are occurring over the summer!). History Today allows you to access some articles online for free.
  • Phillippa Gregory and Hillary Mantel have written popular books on the Tudor period and these have also been adapted for television
  • Ian Kershaw, Hitler Myth, Oxford University Press, 2001


  • Watch an excellent documentary series such as Nazis: A Warning from History or the Dark Charisma of Adolf Hitler.
  • Thomas Penn, ‘The Winter King’ is a useful documentary about Henry VII and David Starkey also has a number of programs on the period that are available on YouTube.

A Level Mathematics


  • MyMaths – Bringing Maths Alive –
    • Username: Landau Password: Addition
    • Focus particular emphasis on algebra – by far the most important element as you approach post-16.
    • MyMaths also has an A level section for students who want to look ahead at subject material for Core 1.

A Level Physics


A Level Product Design


  • Download the App ‘TED Talks’ and search Product Design and watch some lectures.
  • Download Google ‘SketchUp’ from the internet (works for Mac and PC) and learn the software.
  • Use iTunes to download the ‘SketchUp’ show podcast or look on YouTube for the ‘SketchUp’ show to find tutorials.
  • Open a Flickr, Tumblr account and take photographs of interesting things, products, people.


  • Look for books on Product Design and read them: (Please see attached reading list, including webpages)

Other Materials

  • Buy a sketchbook and practise drawing.
  • The Facebook group ‘Sketch-a-day’ should provide some inspiration for this task.
  • Sketch-a-Day also has a web page:

A Level Psychology


Book and Magazines

  • The man who mistook his wife for a hat – Oliver Sachs
  • The essential difference – Simon Baron-Cohen
  • Scientific American Mind – published every 2 months – have a read of an article or three

A Level Religious Studies – Philosophy & Ethics


  • Jostein Gaarder, Sophie’s World, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2007


A Level Spanish



OCR Cambridge Technical Introductory Diploma in Performing Arts


  • Essential Guide to Making Theatre – Richard Fredman & Ian Reade
  • Essential Guide to Business in the Performing Arts – Vivien Freakley & Rachel Sutton
  • Essential Guide to Dance – Linda Ashley
  • Practical Theatre: A post 16 approach – Sally Mackay
  • The Performance Studies Reader – Henry Bial
  • Actions: The Actor’s Thesaurus – Marina Caldarone & Maggie Lloyd-Williams
  • An Actor Prepares – Constantin Stanislavski
  • The Dance Workshop – Robert CohanDerby has a vibrant arts scene with many different performing arts venus, in addition to being well places to visit productions further afield. Upcoming highlights include:16-17 June – The Complete Deaths – SpymonkeyDerby Quad28 & 30 June – The Merchant of Venice – Globe on screen7-12 July – Romeo & Juliet – Kenneth Branagh Theatre26-28 July – Much Ado About Nothing – Oddsox ProductionsThere is a plethora of useful and inspirational work on the Internet to aid Performing Arts. Particular practitioners useful to research are:
  • Websites/Videos/Downloads
  • Markeaton Park
  • 29 June – The Importance of Being Ernest – Vaudeville Theatre Live Encore
  • 23 June – The Audience – National Theatre Live Encores
  • 21-24 July – DEparture Lounge – Derby Theatre Festival
  • Derby Theatre
  • Places to Visit

OCR Cambridge Technical Introductory Diploma in Sport


  • Read Olympic reviews and listen to commentary closely

Places to Visit:

  • Any live sporting event!


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