Sevenoaks School Certificate (SSC)

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Graded A* – F

Sevenoaks School, Sevenoaks, Kent TN13 1HU

  • SSCs are taught in Sevenoaks School in Years 10 and 11 to provide a focused and meaningful grounding for students as they prepare for the sixth form.
  • The focus is on independent learning and equipping students with the relevant knowledge and understanding for progression into the sixth form.
  • The SSC courses are designed to develop critical thinking and to provide a challenge to students, whilst developing transferable knowledge, skills, and attitudes.
  • Through interdisciplinary, students are asked to apply practical, critical, and imaginative skills within and between subjects.

Whilst SSCs are stand-alone assessed programmes they also act as precursors to sixth form qualifications, in particular, the International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma programme.

Education context

SSC programmes graded A* – F have been available since 2010. They are subject to regular review and revision.

The Academic Deputy Head and the Director of Curriculum of Sevenoaks School meet annually to finalise the award of the SSCs, following moderators’ reports. The specification for each subject is designed by the relevant Head of Department at Sevenoaks School along standard lines, and informed by a shared and agreed set of values. Further information available at:

Specification design and development is overseen by the Director of Curriculum and the course is reviewed annually.

Students’ SSC work is internally marked and moderated, then externally moderated by an independent moderator, who is typically a senior teacher from another school or organisation in the relevant discipline.

Final results and grade boundaries are considered by the Sevenoaks School Certificate exam board. The role of the Board is:  

  • to oversee the assessment of students taking the course, in line with School policy and procedures
  • to apply special consideration, where necessary
  • to confirm grades, grade boundaries and to determine grade awards
  • ensure robust development of the SSC specifications
Awarding providers
  • Sevenoaks School

SSCs graded A* – F are single awards. SSCs are available in eight subject areas.

All students at Sevenoaks School (approximately 152 annually) take SSC English literature at the end of Year 11, and many choose to take SSCs in other subjects.

Most SSC subjects are unitised and contain a maximum of four units in a single award.

Subject areas

Subject criteria are published for the eight subject areas below:

  • Art
  • Art history
  • Drama
  • English literature
  • Music
  • Music history
  • Technology robotics
  • Technology visual communications



The full range of SSC grades A* – F is intended to mirror the equivalent range of GCSE qualifications, although they are very different in structure and ambition.


All SSCs are graded A*, A, B, C, D, E and F. Attainment insufficient to lead to the award of a certificate is reported as unclassified U, with final oversight by the Sevenoaks School Certificate exam board.

  • SSCs only use single tier question papers covering grades A* – F.
  • All SSCs are assessed using a mixture of internal and external assessment.
  • Controlled assessment will be between 15% – 70% of the total assessment, depending on the subject.
  • SSCs require, across controlled and external assessments, a variety of question types and tasks, including extended writing and coursework.
  • The assessment arrangements ensure that each candidate completes external assessments in June each year.

Procedures are in place to handle enquiries about results (EARs) and appeals against EAR outcomes.

  • These procedures are aligned with those of JCQ, wherever practicable.
  • Procedures are in place to provide access arrangements for students taking SSCs. These procedures are based on current JCQ access arrangements.
  • Special consideration procedures are in place and these are based on current JCQ guidance.
  • Certificates are awarded to all students who successfully complete all the components of the SSC courses.
Contribution of assessment components to overall grade

Unitised specifications allow a weighting of at least 15% to each assessment unit.

Resit arrangements

No resits of units are permitted. Unit results can be carried forward from one examination series to another, in exceptional circumstances.

Programme size

The actual amount of time allocated to an SSC varies between subjects. Courses are aligned in size to GCSE courses in similar subjects and the notional GLH are between 200 – 300 depending on the course.

Key issues for UK HE admissions

All Sevenoaks School students take between 1 – 3 SSCs. The SSC English literature is compulsory for all  Sevenoaks School students.

Grades in the range of A*– B are regarded as appropriate benchmarks for progression into the sixth form at Sevenoaks School. SSCs are designed to equip students with generic academic skills such as:

  • Creativity
  • Critical thinking
  • Enquiry
  • Independent learning
  • International awareness
  • Problem solving
  • Team work
Timing of assessments and results

Results are available in the latter part of August.

Qualification dates notes

Examinations in all SSC subjects are current

Certification information

Grade descriptions by subject and total entries by subject are published by Sevenoaks School at

Progression information

Sufficient attainment at SSC and GCSE/ IGCSE is generally required for progression to the IB diploma course.