High Achievers logos.

How do I become a part of the High Achievers+ Programme?

• You need an average GCSE points score of 7 or above.
• You can be identified by your subject teachers as Gifted or Talented and you will be invited to participate in the High Achievers + Programme through the HA+ Super Curriculum

How is the High Achievers+ Programme delivered?

• Delivered by a Curriculum and a Pastoral Team
• Support and challenge are at the heart of our High Achievers + Programme
• Every student in the High Achievers+ Programme will be part of a High Achievers tutor group


Progression Pathways

Oxbridge (Oxford and Cambridge universities)

To apply for Oxbridge you will need to have outstanding GCSE grades (average of grade 7+) and be on track for A* and A grades at A level.


  • Information day in January to introduce you to the application process
  • Dedicated Co-ordinator for your chosen subject
  • Support sessions delivered by tutors from our super-curriculum.
  • Oxbridge supervision hours to develop your ability in discussions that stimulate critical thinking.
  • Visits to Oxford and Cambridge Universities
  • Visiting lecturers from Oxbridge Universities.
  • Advice and support on selecting a college.
  • One-to-one support with writing your personal statement.
  • Guest alumni support including application and admissions tests, interview and offer.
  • Practice interviews and admissions tests support
  • Post application support and guidance

Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths (STEM)

The STEM High Achievers+ Programme will help get you ready for a future degree or job in Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics. We will also support your UCAS and Degree Apprenticeship applications in the STEM area.

At Carmel you will:
• Attend subject specific High Achievers+ sessions.
• Take part in local and national competitions.
• Network with students across the STEM subjects.
• Take part in trips and speaker events
• Get support for university admissions tests such as MAT, TMUA, STEP, ENGAA, PAT, NSAA etc.

Find out more about Science and Engineering activities:

View the SciSoc video

Medicine, Dentistry, Veterinary Science (MDV)

This is a comprehensive enrichment course that runs alongside A level studies. It is designed for students who are aiming to apply for prestigious MDV courses.

You will enrol on the MDV Programme as soon as you arrive in September and will need to attend weekly 1-hour sessions.

MDV degrees are highly competitive so you should aim to achieve the highest grades possible at GCSE. Different universities have different requirements, so you need to do your research. Most Medical and Dental schools expect a minimum of grade 6 in the core subjects. Most applicants usually have 7s, 8s or 9s at GCSE. Most Veterinary schools require a minimum of five grade 7s to apply.

• You must study A level Chemistry.
• Your second choice can be A level Biology or Physics.
• Your third subject must be an academic A level. Popular choices are Maths, Psychology, Spanish* or French*, or a humanities subject.
*Having an A level language will help you stand out from other applicants.

Weekly sessions and workshops will cover the following:
• Understanding the job roles.
• Online and in-person talks from Doctors, Dentists and Veterinarians.
• Work experience support.
• MDV Ethics lectures, debates and presentations.
• Problem Based Learning (PBL) and developing critical thinking. PBL is a method some universities use, so it is a great opportunity to find out if this is something you like.
• Entrance exam revision sessions.
• Personal statement workshops.
• Interview practice workshop



Sutton 30 and Russell Group

These universities have:
• Outstanding teaching, research and student facilities.
• On average, more teaching staff available per student than other universities.
• Their graduates have a great reputation for gaining high-paying jobs.

We work closely with the University of Liverpool to promote progression onto this group of universities:
• Our students attend an Open Day at the University of Liverpool in June of Lower Sixth, which is specifically for Carmel College.
• The day includes a welcome talk from the university and bespoke talks from the different faculties to enable our HA+ students to explore progression routes to these universities.
• Our Oxbridge applicants will typically apply to this group of universities in addition to Oxbridge


Bespoke support is available  for students pursuing competitive progression in the Arts.

Students progress to specialist courses including Art & Design, Architecture and Performing Arts courses.
• Specific application, portfolio, audition and interview support.
• University of the Arts London progression partner. Bespoke workshops, portfolio guidance and paid university specific visits.
• Bespoke workshops with prestigious drama schools for audition techniques (these have included Mountview / ALRA / RADA / ArtsEd / LIPA / Royal Central School of Speech and drama / Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and Wales).
• Participation in the National Theatre Connections Festival and working with NT to perform a specially written play, performed in college and also at the Lowry Theatre.
• Participation in the National Theatre New Views project and Barbican Box projects.
• Exhibitions in local and national venues.
• Support with developing an industry focused CV.
• Enrichment sessions delivering a range of live briefs and competitions.

Degree Apprenticeships

In recent years, degree apprenticeships have grown in popularity. They allow you to combine work and study by:
• Offering you degree level qualifications (your employer pays all your tuition fees).
• Paying you a competitive wage. Degree apprenticeships are offered by many prestigious organisations. Some examples include Deloitte, KPMG, Jaguar Landrover, BAE Systems,  Sellafield, Merseyside Police, the BBC, the Civil Service and many more.

At Carmel, our Careers Team will help you look for suitable degree apprenticeship opportunities, and will support you with the application process. We offer talks from visiting speakers, and we keep in contact with our former students who are currently on degree apprenticeships, many of whom have mentored our current students through the application process.

HA+ Super Curriculum

Carmel’s bespoke HA+ Super Curriculum will be offered to all High Achievers. These are academic materials and opportunities that are designed to push and challenge your thinking outside of the A level specifications. This will enable you to be competitive in your progression applications, develop high level thinking skills and subject related knowledge which will support you to achieve A and A* grades in your A Levels. The HA+ Super Curriculum includes:

• How to achieve a subject specific A*: additional learning materials, seminars and alumni support.
• Critical / lateral thinking challenges and workshops.
• Visiting HE lecturers and seminar programmes.
• HE focused wider reading lists (subject specific).
• Soft skills interview preparation sessions.
• Public speaking support sessions.
• Industry masterclasses and mentoring.

Two students working in the classroom.

International Opportunities

If you are considering applying to university abroad, we can help you consider your options and support you with the application process, both in Europe and further afield.

Our Careers and Pastoral Teams can help you research your ideas, and apply for programmes such as the Fulbright Commission Scholarships and the Sutton Trust Summer Programme aimed at students looking to study at an American University. We can also help you explore Gap Year opportunities abroad.

Previously, students have applied for programmes such as Camp America and BUNAC, voluntary service overseas and conservation charities. We have many students on our sports programmes who are considering applying to the US on sports scholarships. Our sports staff have many years of experience in helping students with this process, and in signposting students to more specialist support.

Photo of male and female students in a classroom

Additional AS Levels

Some high achieving students will also be able to study for an AS level in Further Maths, French or Spanish in Lower Sixth (dependent on meeting the entry criteria and progression advice).

Extended Project Qualification (EPQ)

This sought-after qualification is offered to all High Achievers and will demonstrate your subject enthusiasm and can even lower your UCAS points offer.


male student at a PC in the Carmel college library