Bolton School Sixth Form Boys


Why should I study Russian at Bolton School? 

There are few schools in Great Britain which offer Russian beyond GCSE. Fewer still are able to match the breadth and depth of both knowledge and resources that the Russian department here at Bolton School offers. The language is exceptionally well taught. Should you choose Russian here, you will benefit from a selection of teachers who have more than forty years’ experience of Sixth Form teaching between them. You will get access to a wealth of material that will give you the best possible chance to fulfil your potential. You will be offered the opportunity of going to Moscow and studying there, whilst at the same time broadening your appreciation of Russian life and culture. The department also provides you with the chance to experience a Russian residential summer course here in the U.K., furnishing you with an insight into a Russian world that few see. All the ingredients for success can be found here and, with the right work ethos, there is no doubt that you can achieve much in the subject. It is not surprising, therefore, that the departmental examination results are so impressive. 100% of candidates in the last three years alone have attained A*-B at A-Level, with many boys opting to continue their study of Russian in one form or another at university, including the likes of Oxford and Cambridge. Russian, quite simply, has a kudos value that makes admissions tutors and potential employers sit up and take note; it opens many doors and is a talent that embellishes any C.V. Should you choose to take Russian beyond GCSE, then expect to embark on an unforgettable journey.       

What will I study?

The Pearson Edexcel course that we follow will appeal to keen linguists, who enjoy being stretched by a wide and varied diet of cultural and linguistic materials. As you would expect at this level, the course is broad, offering you the chance to look at everything from politics and social issues through to the media and the arts. You can expect your understanding of Russia, its history, its culture and its literature to expand immeasurably and your linguistic skills to develop considerably over the duration of the course.    

How will I be assessed? 

There is no formal AS qualification in Russian, which is in keeping with the School’s wider policy, although you can expect to sit examinations at the end of Year 12 that will bear much similarity to the AS public examinations. 

Those seeking to obtain an A-Level qualification in Russian will sit three terminally assessed papers at the end of Year 13. As is customary with language examinations, the speaking component will be sat in May and the written components will be sat in June.

Paper 1                 Listening, Reading and Translation                                                 2 hours

                                (40% of the qualification)

Paper 2                 Written Response to works and translation                                    2 hours 40 minutes

(30% of the qualification)

Paper 3                 Speaking                                                                                               21 – 23 minutes*

                                (30% of the qualification)                                  *This includes 5 minutes’ preparation time.

Desirable Requirements

Although the study of Russian at this level demands a high degree of intellectual rigour and linguistic competence, crucially, it requires a committed and focused approach; without this, no student, whatever his ability, can expect to fulfil his potential. Students considering Russian in the Sixth Form should have anticipated

achieving a grade 7 or higher at GCSE. Those who have managed a grade 6 at GCSE are more than welcome to consider taking Russian at this level, but should be fully aware of the demanding nature of the course. 

Where will it lead? 

The links between Russia, the former Soviet Republics and the West continue to grow rapidly. Employment opportunities now exist in all spheres ranging from journalism and publishing to business and industry, with tourism becoming increasingly more prominent as an employer. Those opportunities exist here in the UK as well as around the globe, aided in no small part by the decision to host the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, which put the nation at the centre of global attention. Students who have been able to offer Russian at Advanced Level have found that they have received more favourable offers from universities keen to snap them up, not just for the linguistic talents they possess, but also for the logical and deductive skills they have developed. Ultimately, however, where Russian takes you depends very much on you.