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School Overview for Universities and Employers

Central Foundation Boys’ School is an Inner London comprehensive situated in Islington near the Old Street Roundabout. Islington is the eighth most deprived area in the country and the fourth most deprived in London, and this deprivation could present many potential barriers to our students’ academic achievement. Almost three quarters of our students are eligible for the pupil premium, just under two thirds speak English as an additional language, and one in five are disabled or have special educational needs, all of which are well above the national average. Despite these potential barriers, we have an excellent record of sending students to the most-selective universities in the country: 29 went in 2016 – with many more applying now that they have received their exceptional results – up from our record-breaking 28 in 2015.

Our Year 13 Curriculum

All our Year 13s are enrolled on A-levels or BTECs. All A-level students are taking at least three A-levels, with a few exceptional students taking four. In Year 13 Mathematics, Further Mathematics, Law, Geography, Media Studies and Graphic Design, students have taken an external AS-level which will contribute to their overall A-level. In Sociology, students have taken a reformed AS-level which will not contribute to their overall A-level. In all other subjects, students are working towards linear A-levels, which we monitor with four Assessment Points [APs] in Year 12 and three in Year 13. We have encouraged most subjects to adopt the linear approach with no AS-levels to allow for continual learning, uninterrupted by external exams, across the two-year programmes. We also wanted students to prepare for the rigour of the new A-levels without sitting the new AS-levels, which are approximately 40% of the difficulty of the final A-level. Nonetheless, in Sociology we were happy to allow students to sit the reformed external AS-level as a progress check for a number of our students.

All our Year 13 BTEC students are enrolled in two subject areas, with students being able to pick one which will comprise of two-thirds of their course and one which will be one-third of their course. These subject areas are: Business, Hospitality, ICT, and Applied Science.

We work within a consortium of other schools (IC6) including ourselves, Highbury Grove, Highbury Fields and St. Aloysius. Any subjects not listed above that our students are doing will be undertaken there. The consortium model allows us to offer the vast subject provision of a large Sixth Form, but retain the small-scale care and attention of an 11 to 18 school.

UCAS Application Policy

As part of this process we work from Years 7 to 13 to give each student the opportunity to get the qualifications, experiences and skills necessary for a high-quality university application in Year 13. To do this, students are prepared for 7s, 8s, 9s, As and A*s at GCSE and As and A*s at A-level. The students are also led by staff to read widely, invited to Careers Fairs across the country, taken to universities including Oxford and Cambridge, and given access to academic tutoring and university support from the Key Project.

Using accurate predicted grades, a strong personal statement, and a positive reference, all students will have the opportunity to send off a UCAS application that honestly promotes their suitability for their chosen course.

Predicted Grades
All predicted grades will be set by the Senior Leadership Team in October of Year 13. These will be based on the Assessment Point 1 [AP1] estimated grade that the Head of Department in each subject issues in October of Year 13. These estimated grades will be based on:

  • Internal assessments AP4 in Year 12 and AP1 in Year 13 for Biology, Chemistry, Computing, Economics, English Literature, Art, History, and Physics.
  • Internal assessment AP1 in Year 13 and external modular AS-levels that contribute to the overall A-level in Mathematics, Further Mathematics, Media Studies, Law, Geography and Graphic Design.
  • Internal assessment at AP1 in Year 13 and external AS-levels in the linear system that do not contribute to the overall A-level in Sociology.

All other subjects are delivered at other schools in our consortium: Highbury Grove, Highbury Fields or St. Aloysius. In these subjects we will base our predicted grades on their estimated grades at AP4 in Year 12 and AP1 in Year 13.

Course choice
Students will be prepared throughout Year 11 and Year 12 for course choices that interest them and will work towards the entry requirements that they entail. We have four separate workshops in Year 12 that help them prepare for these choices: Smart Choices in December, Subject Specifics in January, Pre-Application in March, and Life Beyond Central in June. In Year 13 students will apply for five courses: two courses to aspire to beyond their predicted grades; two courses at their predicted grades; and one insurance choice below their predicted grades. As a result of this, our students are incredibly well-prepared for their degrees.

The school will produce a reference that will accurately sell each student’s suitability and potential for the courses they choose to apply for. The references will be written by the student’s tutor who will collate reports written by Heads of Department from AP4. It will then be signed off by the Assistant Headteacher – Head of Sixth Form (A-level). Each student is encouraged to speak with his or her tutor to ensure the tutor includes relevant skills and experience for the chosen course.

Final checks
The UCAS form will be checked by the Senior Leadership Team to ensure that it does justice to the student and that it is accurate. Ultimately, responsibility for the whole form aside from the predicted grade and the reference remains with the individual student. Students should ensure they have submitted their UCAS application by Monday 3rd October for Medicine and Oxbridge applicants, and Friday 21st October for all other applicants. This will allow the Senior Leadership Team to assess the applications and make necessary changes. No further applications will be sent off after 15th October for all Medicine and Oxbridge applicants, and 15th November for all remaining students.

For further information, please contact Mr Samuel (Assistant Headteacher; Head of Sixth Form [A-level]) by e-mailing


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