The A level department was established in 1994. It is the only one of its kind at a secondary school in Saint Lucia.
History of the A’ Level Department VFCSS
In the 1980s, not many graduates of VFCSS went on to A’ Level Education. There was only one school offering A’ Level education. That was based in Castries.
In 1986 only 3 students from VFCSS went on to the St. Lucia A’ Level College.
There was no SALCC in the south, no Monroe College, no Post Secondary Programme.
Then Minister of Education, deceased Hon. Louis George of Micoud came up with the idea of offering A’ Level education in the south as well. VFCSS was chosen and he pushed for the funding to begin construction. The bottom floor of the building housing the A’ Level Dep’t was completed in October 1994 and in November of that same year, the first cohort of students were enrolled at A’ Level VFCSS.
Between 1994 and 2006 students could choose from among 11 subjects: Accounting, Biology, Business Studies, Chemistry, Economics, General Paper, Geography, History, Mathematics, Physics, Sociology. Students and teachers worked hard and in 1997 the overall pass rate at the Cambridge International A’ Level Examination was 70.5%. Literatures in English was introduced in 1996 and in 1998 the pass rate increased to 85%. In 1988 French was added to the subject choices and in 2000 the overall pass rate was 87%.
Pass rates between 2001 and 2003 was over 70%.
In 2008 Spanish was offered for the first time. In 2013 Travel and Tourism was included in the subject options. In 2009, the department recorded a 90.7% pass, and in 2015, 100% pass. For several years up to that time, in addition to the 14 subjects being offered at Cambridge, Pure Science students were also prepared to write the CAPE in Biology, Chemistry, Environmental
Science and Physics. In 2014 the pass rate in those CAPE subjects was 91%. 2016 pass rate, 95%.
In 2013 the GOSL made a decision to switch from the CIE to the CAPE. Six new subjects were also added to the VFCSS programme: Caribbean Studies, Communication Studies, Digital Media, Entrepreneurship, Environmental Science, Information Technology. Law was added in 2016 and Academic English in 2017. Integrated Mathematics was introduced in 2018. VFCSS A’ Level currently offers 23 subjects at CAPE Level. Students who study Caribbean Studies, Communication Studies and Integrated Mathematics in addition to three other related subjects could qualify for the CXC Associate Degree.
Average annual intake: 80 – 100 students
In addition to the academic subjects several other programmes intended to provide soft skills required by employers and contribute to students’ personal development were introduced:
Strategic Learning Workshop – 2006
Professional Development Workshop – 2006
Service for Change (volunteer programme)– 2008
ALAE (A’ Level Arts Expo) – 2016
The Link (student managed newsletter) – 2016
Leadership Workshop – 2018
Student Organisations: ALSO (A’ Level Student Organisation), CSI (Contagious Scientific Intelligence), ISCCF (Inter-Schools Christian and College Fellowship), Environmental Club