KS4 Subject Information

ART & DESIGN

Qualification: GCSE Fine Art
Exam Board: AQA
Grades available: 9 – 1
Link: www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/art-and-design/gcse/art-and-design-8201-8206

The Importance of Art & Design

GCSE Art & Design is a challenging course which will help you to develop strong observational, research and analytical skills while becoming a creative and independent thinker and learner. Art & Design is a way of seeing things and making sense of the world around you. It can help you with further study and prepare you for the world of work.

Studying Art & Design will help you to build your confidence and offer you the opportunity to work to your own strengths, while experimenting with a wide range of materials to develop individual ideas.

The transferable skills you will gain while studying Art & Design make it a great complement to other subjects. You’ll develop problem solving, creative thinking, investigation, research, communication and teamwork skills, and gain the ability to develop, refine and present ideas. Employers and universities regard all of these highly.

During the course you will develop an appreciation of Art, Craft and Design and its role in the creative and cultural industries that enrich our lives and you will learn about the many career opportunities through further education or employment available with a qualification in Art & Design.

Pre – requisites for the Course

  • Art & Design is an ideal subject choice if you enjoy being creative and want to improve your analytical, communication and research abilities.

  • You enjoy drawing and are willing to experiment with a range of materials and new media across different areas of this subject.

  • You aim to achieve a good KS3 assessment result of a Grade 3.

  • You are committed to meeting homework and coursework deadlines.

  • You wish to develop your skills further to a high level.

    Details of the GCSE Course

    The GCSE course builds on the skills that you have learnt and practised during Key Stage 3 and some of the ways of working may be familiar to you.
    As an examination course student, there will be opportunities for you to work in depth with new media, materials and techniques, including Painting, Printing, Drawing, Mixed Media, Textiles, Photography, Photoshop and Three-Dimensional work.

    Through your participation in visits and workshops both in and out of school you will be able to work alongside practising artists and designers.
    Art & Design lessons are timetabled for 3 hours each week and you will have one main teacher throughout the course.

 

Assessment

60% of marks will be awarded for your Coursework and 40% for the work completed for your final Examination.
All of your work is marked and assessed as you progress through the course.

In April/May of Year 11, a selection of your best work from your coursework and exam portfolio will form your exhibition of work. Once mounted, it will then be remarked by an external visiting assessor from the AQA Examination Board.

The assessor will be looking for evidence of your ability to:

  • Develop ideas that are informed by your research into the work of other artists.

  • Refine your work as it progresses, experimenting with various materials and techniques.

  • Record observations and ideas successfully through drawing and other forms.

  • Present a personal, informed and meaningful response.

    Coursework Portfolio

    This is a folder of work which you will create from the start of year 10 through to the end of the course.
    Throughout the course you will have the opportunity to develop a series of 3 projects.
    Current Project themes include:

    • Animals
    • Indian Art
    • Architecture

    These units ALL involve different forms of drawing and painting (with a variety of materials) and research into the work of other artists and designers. You will be expected to complete some written annotations to accompany your visual work.
    With the guidance of the specialist staff in the department, you will be able to choose the materials and techniques you wish to use and be guided to which direction to follow. This will allow you to work independently and develop your own individual style of work.

    Throughout the course you will be set regular and varied homework’s. This work will be linked to your classwork studies and will be vital to the development of each unit.
    Students who achieve high grades at GCSE make the most of all the time made available for them. Lunchtime and after school coursework sessions will be available 4 – 5 days each week. You will be expected to attend lunchtime and after school coursework clubs once a week. These sessions may be used to extend your studies further or 1:1 tuition, individual target setting and review meetings.

    Monitoring of Your Progress

    As you progress through each unit of study your teachers will provide you with continual assessment by working alongside you when assessing your work;

    • Marking your individual studies – through every stage of your work.

    • Setting targets to help you attain higher levels of achievement.
    You will also assess your own work alongside the work of other young artists to help you realise your intentions.

    Enrichment Opportunities

    Throughout the course we encourage you to involve yourself in visits to both local and National Art Galleries.
    There will be the opportunity to work with a practising Artist where you will view the artist’s sketchbooks and paintings first-hand and work alongside the artist to produce work which will become a valuable part of your coursework projects.

Further Study

At interviews, you can use your portfolio of work to provide evidence of your individuality, experiences and the high skills level you attain.

Further courses include:

  • Any specialist Art based A Level course at another college (e.g. Fine Art, Textiles, 3D Design, Graphic Design, Computer Design, Photography)
Career Opportunities

The Art GCSE course provides an excellent foundation for Higher Education.

Current fast-growing jobs in Art and Design are Animator, Architect, Film and Video Editor, Graphic Designer, Video Game and Web Designer.

Did you know the creative industries generate £84.1 billion to the United Kingdom (UK) economy each year and employ over 2.8 million people? Unlike many industries, the creative industries have continued to grow, despite the recent financial crisis. (Source: thecreativeindustries.co.uk)

Mrs S Anders
Curriculum Leader of Art and Design

 

BUSINESS STUDIES

Qualification: GCSE Business Studies
Exam board: Pearson/Edexcel
Grades available: 9 – 1
Link: https://qualifications.pearson.com/en/qualifications/edexcel-gcses/business-2017.html

The Importance of Business

Through studying Business, a host of opportunities are opened up to you. Business Studies allows you to investigate and understand what makes the business world work. If you opt to take this subject, you will gain a GCSE qualification and an introduction to the world of work and modern economic life. Business Studies is particularly useful to those who wish to pursue a business profession e.g. accountancy, a management career or self-employment. It is also very useful across a range of careers, as it helps you to develop key skills such as team- working, problem solving and the ability to present logical arguments which are highly prized by all employers.

Details of the Course

The specification is structured into two themes, taking students from how entrepreneurs start businesses (Theme 1) through to growing and global businesses (Theme 2). There are two equally weighted exam papers, focusing on each specification theme.

Theme 1 concentrates on the key business concepts, issues and skills involved in starting and running a small business. It provides a framework for students to explore core concepts through the lens of an entrepreneur setting up a business.

Theme 2 examines how a business develops beyond the start-up phase. It focuses on the key business concepts, issues and decisions used to grow a business, with an emphasis on aspects of marketing, operations, finance and human resources. It also considers the impact of the wider world on the decisions a business makes as it grows.

Assessment

Exam paper 1 – Exam paper 2 –

Content:

Theme 1 Theme 2

50% of final grade. 50% of final grade.

Theme 1
Topic 1.1 Enterprise and entrepreneurship Topic 1.2 Spotting a business opportunity Topic 1.3 Putting a business idea into practice

Topic 1.4 Making the business effective Topic 1.5 Understanding external influences on business

Mrs L Matthews

Curriculum Leader of ICT, Computing and Business Studies

Theme 2
Topic 2.1 Growing the business
Topic 2.2 Making marketing decisions Topic 2.3 Making product decisions

Topic 2.4 Making financial decisions
Topic 2.5 Making human resource decisions

 

COMPUTER SCIENCE

Qualification: GCSE Computer Science Exam board: AQA

Grades available: 9 – 1
Link: https://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/computer-science-and-it/gcse/computer-science-8525

Course Outline

This course has been created to get students working with real-world programming and provides a good understanding of the fundamental principles of computing.
This provides an academically challenging course for students of all ability levels. We will focus on python programming language for non-exam assessment; however, we will look at others including HTML, Java and Block languages such as Scratch.

Details of the Course

1. Fundamentals of algorithms
2. Programming
3. Fundamentals of data representation
4. Computer systems
5. Fundamentals of computer networks
6. Cyber security
7. Relational databases and structured query language
8. Ethical, legal and environmental impacts of digital technology on wider society, including

 

Assessment

Assessment What is Assessed? How it is Assessed?page7image4185466176 page7image4185466464 page7image4185466752

Paper 1
Computational thinking and problem solving

Computational thinking, code tracing, problem- solving, programming concepts including the design of effective algorithms and the designing, writing, testing and refining of code.

  • Written exam set in practically

    based scenarios:

    2 hours

  • 90 marks 50% of GCSE

Paper 2
Computing concepts

Theoretical knowledge based on points 3 to 8 from the list above.

  • Written exam: 1 hour 45 minutes

  • 90 marks 50% of GCSE

Homework

Homework will be given out at least once a week and may be in the form of revision, research or completion of a coursework task. It will be expected that every boy will also attend one Computing Club in the ICT suites per week. While in these sessions the boys will be able to complete any aspect of their computing work with the assistance of a member of staff. These sessions will be monitored and reported upon in school reports as homework.

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How Parents Can Help:

Check that when the deadlines are met for all the coursework. Ensure students are completing their homework and classwork to the best of their ability. Ensure students have access to a laptop or desktop computer with internet access. You could buy the revision guide and workbook recommended by AQA (GCSE Computer Science AQA Revision Guide – for the Grade 9-1 Course).

Further Study

If you wish to carry on studying Computer Science at post 16 or a career in ICT, Programming or Computer Science.

Career Opportunities

This course will allow you to develop your skills in preparation for careers such as
Game Designer, Solution Architect, Programmer, Web Security etc. The opportunities are wide and varied.

Mrs L Matthews

Curriculum Leader of ICT, Computing and Business Studies

 

DESIGN & TECHNOLOGY – SYSTEMS

Qualification: GCSE Design and Technology – Systems
Exam board: Pearson/Edexcel
Grades available: 9 – 1
Links: https://qualifications.pearson.com/en/qualifications/edexcel-gcses/design-and- technology-2017.html

Other DT areas also available are: Food, Nutrition and Preparation, Engineering and 3D design, see at the end of this section.

The Importance of Design & Technology

Design and technology is an important area of study for all, not just only those who enter specialised courses in further and higher education. Design and technology is a challenge to all young people. It requires initiative, an enquiring mind, determination, the careful management of time and resources, and a sense of responsibility for making decisions and taking action.

As you progress through the course, you will develop the ability to solve problems during both the design and making stages of a project. You will become more knowledgeable about the manufactured environment in which we live and, knowing the issues involved in the manufacture of affordable objects, become informed and discerning consumers.

Pre-requisites for the Course

An enthusiasm for designing, open to learning new skills, computer literate and basic maths.

Details of the Course

Year 10 students build on the knowledge and skills from year 9 and undertake a range of minor projects in order to further your experience of the design process and to improve your knowledge of materials, joining methods, manufacturing processes and electronics systems.

Throughout year 11, you will undertake a major project (NEA). Students will be given the opportunity to develop their own design brief from a given context that will be provided by the exam board in June.
On the single final written examination paper, Section A will test core knowledge and understanding of design, materials and components, ergonomics, environmental issues, manufacturing processes, scales of production and health and safety. Section B will be specific to the Systems specialism and focus on designing and making an electronic product and the impact of products on society.

This course allows you to specialise in the designing and making of electronic products. You will learn about designing and making quality products using appropriate electronic components and systems. There will be some emphasis throughout the course will be on circuit design and manufacture.

Equipment Required

• A Revision guide, specific to each GCSE course (approximately £4 each)
• A calculator and basic designing/drawing equipment (pen, pencil, colours, etc)

Assessment

Each of the courses on offer will allow you the opportunity to design and make projects in answer to an identified problem. Initially such problems will be set by the teacher but ultimately you will identify an opportunity based around a set theme that will form the basis of a major coursework project (NEA) starting in June at the end of year 10 and finishing in year 11 around Easter.

This coursework project accounts for 50% of your overall grade and must be submitted two weeks before the Easter holidays. The other 50% of the course is assessed by a single examination that is sat in the summer term.

For all the Design & Technology courses the Major Project (50%) is assessed under the following headings.

Designing Skills (Design Folder 35%):
• Analysis of problem and research
• Specification
• Generation of ideas
• Development
• Planning for making
• Evaluation and testing
• Use of communication, graphical and ICT skills • Social issues and industrial practices

Making Skills (Practical work 15%):
• Correction of working errors including modifications
• Use of appropriate equipment and processes (including the use of CAM) • Production and effectiveness of outcome
• Level of accuracy and finish
• Use of Quality Assurance (QA) and Quality Control (QC)

Students taking Systems should be aware that basic mathematical calculations form an essential part of the course but no more difficult than year 9 standard.

Monitoring your Progress

The department monitors your progress by:

  • Tracking individual pieces of work as they are submitted using ‘Progress charts’ and

    comparing each piece of work handed in with your target GCSE grade to make sure

    you achieve your target grade.

  • Marking sections of your coursework every couple of weeks to provide feedback and

    guidance on how to improve your final grade.

    Further Study

    A GCSE pass in Design & Technology Systems will allow students to progress onto design and engineering related A level courses and vocational courses in engineering. The content of the course supports the application of Physics and Computer Science.

Career Opportunities

The nature of the advanced courses offered provides an excellent foundation for Higher Education and a range of exciting career opportunities such as Mechanical, Civil and Aeronautical Engineering, Manufacturing Engineering, Product Design, Industrial Design, Sports Equipment Design, Graphic Design, Stage and Set Design, Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Computer Game Design and CAD Technician.

Mrs J Jarvis
Curriculum Leader of Design & Technology

 

DESIGN & TECHNOLOGY – FOOD, PREPARATION AND NUTRITION

Qualification: GCSE Food, Preparation and Nutrition
Exam board: Eduqas
Grades available: 9 – 1
Link: https://www.eduqas.co.uk/qualifications/food-preparation-and-nutrition-gcse/

Details of the Course

This qualification is designed for learners with an interest in food and nutrition. It will provide learners with experience of using different cooking techniques and methods, while developing an understanding of the functions of foods are their nutritional benefits. It will enable students to develop an understanding of the science behind food and how food impacts on a person’s wellbeing. As part of the course students will have to participate in a three-hour practical assessment where they will have to produce a starter, main and sweet course. In addition to the practical assessment students will have to complete a science investigation and a written examination.

This qualification aims to provide an understanding of:

  • the relationship and health

  • Factors that affect our food choices such as economic, ethical, moral, cultural and

    environmental issues.

  • The function and nutritional qualities of foods

  • The sensory qualities of foods and how food science principles can be applied

  • How to prepare, process, store and cook food safely

  • Different culinary traditions and cooking techniques used.

    The objectives of this qualification are to help learners to:
    • prepare and cook using a variety of skills
    • understand food and its functions in the body and in recipes
    • understand balanced diets and modification of recipes for health • plan and produce dishes for a purpose.

    Throughout the delivery of this qualification, the following core areas and transferable skills should be evident:

    • Understanding food commodities • Principles of nutrition
    • Diet and health
    • Food science

    • Food sources and origins
    • Cooking and food preparation.

    Pre-requisites for the Course

    The specification builds on the subject content that has been taught in Key Stage 3 Food Technology. A genuine interest in all areas of Food including practical work, new developments and Food Science is essential. Students must be well organised and committed to participating in weekly practical tasks.

    Equipment Required

    Chef Whites (approx. cost £16)
    Ingredients for practical sessions throughout the course, store cupboard essentials will be provided by school.

Assessment

Non- examination assessment 1 (15%) – The Food Investigation assessment (a scientific investigation which will assess knowledge, skills and understanding relating to scientific principles underlying the preparation and cooking of food. (2500 word science investigation)
Non- examination assessment 2 (35%) – The Food Preparation Assessment (a three hour practical preparing, cooking and presenting a menu to assess knowledge, skills and understanding relating to the planning, preparation, cooking and presentation of food) Written examination (50%) – Two sections of compulsory questions to assess the six areas of the content list.

Mrs J Jarvis
Curriculum Leader of Design & Technology

 

DESIGN & TECHNOLOGY – ENGINEERING STUDIES

Qualification: Level 1/2 Engineering
Exam board: Eduqas
Grades available: Pass / Merit / Distinction
Link: https://www.eduqas.co.uk/qualifications/engineering-level-1-2/

Details of the Course

What you will study:

• develop a broad understanding of the engineering sector
• research a new idea
• use tools and equipment
• perform a range of techniques and processes using selected materials • draw, develop and take part in an engineering project.

• different engineering sectors
• the skills and qualities needed to become an engineer
• systems of measurement, scale and proportion in engineering drawing (2-D and 3-D) • common tools used in engineering.

Develop skills:

• in using tools and equipment
• in selecting and preparing materials
• in communication
• that are essential for the modern workplace, such as appreciation of appropriate

behaviour and dress, personal manners and deportment, communicating with professional colleagues, independent working and a positive attitude to work.

Students taking Engineering should be aware that mathematical calculations form an essential part of the course.

Pre-requisites for the Course

The specification builds on the subject content that has been taught in Key Stage 3 Engineering. A genuine interest in all areas this course including: Technical drawing in 2D and 3D, classroom-based theory lessons, developing practical skills in the metal fabrication workshop, and one research homework every week, are essential. Consistent commitment and enthusiasm throughout this course is expected.

Assessment

(30%) Engineering in design – Internal assessment
(60%) Producing engineering products – Internal assessment (30%) Solving engineering problems- External assessment

Further Study

Successful completion of this qualification will enable learners to progress to Level 3 qualifications in related subjects. This qualification has been mapped to relevant engineering National Occupational Standards. Learners may, therefore, use evidence from this course towards the knowledge requirements of a relevant competence-based qualification. The knowledge and skills gained will provide an introduction to those required for careers in engineering.

Career Opportunities

• Aerospace engineer • Agricultural Engineer • Automotive Engineer • Design Engineer

• Electrical Engineer
• Electronics Engineer
• Building Services Engineer • Chemical Engineer
• Civil engineer
• Engineer
• Mechanical Engineer
• Production Engineer
• Structural Engineer
• Welder

Mrs J Jarvis
Curriculum Leader of Design & Technology

 

DESIGN & TECHNOLOGY – 3D DESIGN

Qualification: GCSE Art and Design 3D Design
Exam board: Eduqas
Grades available: 9 – 1
Link: https://www.eduqas.co.uk/qualifications/art-and-design-gcse/

Details of the Course

The course is broken into 4 assessment objectives:

AO1 Critical understanding AO2 Creative making
AO3 Reflective recording AO4 Personal presentation

During these assessments’ students will be expected to produce a range of designs, prototypes and models or products that are functional and aesthetically pleasing.
Students undertaking the three-dimensional design course are required to demonstrate the knowledge, skills and understanding set out in the areas of study.

Areas of study include:

• Architectural design • Interior design
• Product design
• Exhibition design

• Environmental/landscape design
• Sculpture
• Design for theatre, film and television

• Jewellery and body adornment • Ceramics.

Work is not limited to one area of study, but students can choose to focus on an area if they wish to do so.

Pre-requisites for the Course

This specification builds on subject content which is typically taught at Key Stage 3 and provides a suitable foundation for the study of Art and Design Technology at either AS or A level.

This specification is designed to encompass four principal areas for critical, practical and theoretical study of art, craft and design technology. These emphasise the qualities of analytical understanding, practical experimentation, researching and individual expression required at GCSE level.

It is aimed at students who enjoy the making and design process associated with Design Technology. The course is a 100% practical and is assessed via portfolio and a practical examination.

Assessment

The course is assessed across 4 components, there is no written exam associated with this course.

60% of the course is based on portfolio work that is produced across years 10 and 11- this is evidenced through sketchbooks, artists/designer research pages, models and prototypes produced.
40% of the course is based on an externally set assignment in which students produce a portfolio of work and are allocated 10 hours under exam conditions to make a final product/prototype based on the skills and techniques they have learnt of the two years.

Further Study

Successful completion of this qualification will enable learners to progress to Level 3 qualifications in related subjects. These include any art and design qualification, graphics and joinery.

Career Opportunities

The nature of the advanced courses offered provides an excellent foundation for Higher Education and a range of exciting career opportunities such as:
Product Design, Industrial Design, Sports Equipment Design, Graphic Design, Stage and Set Design, Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Computer Game Design and CAD Technician, Illustrator, Print designer.

Mrs J Jarvis
Curriculum Leader of Design & Technology

 

ENGLISH

Qualification: GCSE English Language & GCSE English Literature
Exam board: AQA
Grades available: 9 – 1
Links: https://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/english/gcse/english-language-8700

https://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/english/gcse/english-literature-8702

The Importance of English

English is vital for communicating with others in school and in the wider world and is fundamental to the effective teaching and learning in all other subjects. A good command of English skills will enable you to participate effectively in society and employment.
English Literature is rich and influential. It reflects the experiences of people across countries and timespan and contributes to our sense of cultural identity. By looking at the patterns, structures, origins and conventions of English, this course will help you understand how language works. This will help you choose what to say and write in different situations. Through English and English Literature, you will access the pleasure and world of knowledge that reading and writing offers.

Details of the Courses

During years 10 and 11, you will study for two GCSEs: English Language and English Literature. You will develop your skills in speaking, listening, reading and writing and you will learn how to express yourself creatively and imaginatively. You will study stories, poetry, non- fiction, drama and various media texts. You will learn how to become an enthusiastic and critical reader and to be able to appreciate and interpret the choices made by other writers and readers.

Assessment

All exams will be closed book and will be sat at the end of year 11

English Language:
Paper 1 – Explorations in Creative Reading and Writing 1 hr 45

Paper 2 – Writers’ Viewpoints and Perspectives 1 hr 45

English Literature:
Paper 1 – Shakespeare and the 19th-century novel (1 hour 45 minute exam – 40% of GCSE)

Paper 2 – Modern texts and poetry (2 hour 15 minute exam – 60% of GCSE)

Further Study

After GCSE, you could decide to complete various A Level at your chosen Sixth Form College: English Literature, English Language or English Language and Literature combined.

Career Opportunities

English is relevant to any career that requires you to write, read or interpret information. It is usually essential for students planning to take higher-education courses in Communication Studies, Drama, English Language and Literature, Journalism, Librarianship, Media Studies and Theatre Studies. It is also useful for students planning to embark on careers or courses in Business, Law, Modern Foreign Languages and Public Relations.

Key Stage 4 English Support

This option is available to students who need additional support to make the required amount of progress in either English or Mathematics. Performance criteria will be used to target students for which this is an appropriate option and will be discussed with parents during the Meetings on the Guided Pathway Evening.

Miss N Wilde
Curriculum Leader of English

 

FRENCH

Qualification: GCSE French
Exam board: AQA
Grades: 9 – 1
Link: https://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/languages/gcse/french-8658

The Importance of French

Would you like a job that takes you around the world? Maybe you’d like to spend a year abroad when you get to university. A language is really a skill for life – it will open up a world to you!

There are all kinds of reasons for learning a foreign language. Language graduates find it easier to get jobs and there’s a wide variety of careers to choose from. Languages teach you to be adaptable and better at communication. Once you’ve learned one foreign language, others become MUCH easier to learn too. Furthermore, people who speak foreign languages have brains which age more slowly!

France is the most visited country in the world with around 60 million tourists per year; there are 33 French-speaking countries including Québec (Canada). French and English are the only languages spoken as a first language on all five continents and the only languages that are taught in every country.

Learning French will improve your own vocabulary in English as well as your understanding of how your own language works. Learning French contributes to your development as a citizen. You learn to appreciate different cultures and empathize with other people’s viewpoints. You will learn about the cinema and music of French speaking countries.

Details of the Course

The course is based on the new specification and is more engaging than ever before. You will be learning to use the language from day one, and you’ll get lots of opportunity to practice your speaking. The amount of writing that you need to do in languages has really decreased in the new specification.

There are three themes covered. These are “Identity and culture”; “Local international and global areas of interest” and “Study and employment”. GCSE French is taught by Mme Lewis and Mr Bannatyne

Assessment
  • Listening Exam – Foundation 35 minutes or Higher 45 minutes

  • Speaking Assessment – Foundation 7-9 minutes or Higher 10-12 minutes

  • Reading Exam – Foundation 45 minutes or Higher 1 hour

  • Writing Exam – Foundation 1 hour or Higher 1 hour 15 minutes

    Mr D Bannatyne
    Curriculum Leader for Modern Foreign Languages

GEOGRAPHY

Qualification: GCSE Geography
Exam board: AQA
Grade available: 9 – 1
Link: https://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/geography/gcse/geography-8035

The Importance of Geography

Geography is one of the most relevant and important subjects that can be studied at GCSE. Being a broad-based academic subject, this course allows students to keep their options open for the future. Employers and universities see geography as a robust academic subject rich in skills, knowledge and understanding. Geography helps students to make sense of the world around them.

You will learn about the most important issues of our time such as climate change, sustainability, migration, natural disasters and economic change. The GCSE course is very practical, with opportunities to learn new skills such as map skills, interpreting photographs, fieldwork skills, researching and presenting techniques. You will improve your literacy through report writing and written work and make practical use of your numeracy skills when you interpret data and construct graphs.

Details of the Course

The AQA course is based on a balanced framework of physical and human geography. It allows students to investigate the link between the two themes and examine the interactions and connections between the man-made and natural worlds. There is also a geographical investigation element which involves local fieldwork.

Assessment

The course is assessed through a series of three exams: Paper 1: 1 hour and 30 mins – 35%
Paper 2: 1 hour and 30 mins – 35%
Paper 3: 1 hour and 15 mins – 30%

Paper 1- Living with the physical environment:

This unit covers physical processes and systems in a variety of places and at a range of scales. It covers natural hazards such as tropical storms and earthquakes, ecosystems (tropical rainforests and deserts), rivers and coasts. Students will learn how the natural world and human world interact to give rise to a variety of landscapes and landforms.

Paper 2- Challenges in the human environment:

This unit is covers human processes, systems and outcomes and how these change over time and across different environments. The main topics covered are development, such as higher income countries (HICs), lower income countries (LICs) and newly emerging economies (NEEs), urbanisation, global economic change and resource management.

Paper 3- Geographical skills and applications:

This unit is designed to be synoptic in that students will be required to draw together knowledge, understanding and skills from units 1 and 2. It is an opportunity for students to show their breadth of understanding and an appreciation of the interrelationships between the human and physical worlds. This unit also includes two geographical enquiries, each of which must include the use of primary data, collected as part of a local fieldwork exercise.

 

Further Study

Geography is valued as a first-class qualification from employers and Universities. A number of our former students have gone onto study Geography at first class universities including Oxford.

Career Opportunities

By studying Geography, you acquire a range of skills that contributes to your employability. The range of transferable skills, abilities and attitudes to independent learning developed make geographers attractive to employers.
Career paths open to Geographers are wide, e.g. those relating specifically to Geography such as Town and Country Planning, Land and Water Management, Environmental consultancy, development policy, tourism and recreation. Others can use their skills in more general terms such as Information Technology, administration and management, the financial sector and marketing.

Mrs M Sykes
Curriculum Leader of Geography

 

HISTORY

Qualification: GCSE History
Exam board: AQA
Grades available: 9 – 1
Link: https://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/history/gcse/history-8145

The Importance of History

History is far more than the study of the past for its own sake; it has an essential contribution to make in preparing young people for their future employment and their role in society. By studying History you will develop the following skills:

  • Dealing with people. History studies real people, well known and unknown, good and bad, who faced real situations some of which were like those that we face today and some of which were very different. In History you study their words and actions and try to work out their motives and beliefs.

  • Conducting investigations. When we study History, we investigate the lives of people in the past by using surviving evidence. However, the limits of this evidence means that if we are to get anywhere near the truth we have to analyse and evaluate it and deal with the contradictions as well as asking awkward questions.

  • Communicating. This means putting together a clear explanation in an organised way using the evidence to support the points made.

    The study of History encourages people to be independent thinkers, open-minded, disciplined and good at problem solving. History prepares young people to understand how the modern world developed, by studying the growth of democracy and the impact of industrialisation and technology on people’s lives.

    The study of History is also a study of ideas across time. The course is taught in a broad way, which provides an essential political, social and economic education for students. You will have classroom debates, discussions and make regular comparisons with current affairs. It is essential that you are interested in the past and the way it shapes the present and future. Exam success in History places a high emphasis on reading and writing skills as well as a willingness to revise thoroughly (with guidance).

    Details of the Course

    This qualification is linear. Linear means that students will sit all their exams at the end of the course, there isn’t a coursework or controlled assessment unit available. GCSE History students must take assessments in both of the following papers in the same series:

    Paper 1: Understanding the modern world Paper 2: Shaping the nation

    Assessment

    The GCSE History content comprises the following elements:

    • One period study – America, 1920–1973: Opportunity and inequality
    • One thematic study – Conflict and tension, 1894–1918 (based on World War One)
    • One wider world depth study – Britain: Power and the people: c1170 to the present day
    • One British depth study including the historic environment – Elizabethan England, c1568– 1603

Career Opportunities

Careers open to Historians are numerous, e.g. those relating specifically to History such as teaching, research, politics and tourism. Many professions recognise and place high value on the transferable skills of historians, such as law, journalism, accountancy, advertising and marketing, as well as any number of apprenticeships and graduate training schemes in finance and industry, particularly those related to management.

Mr J Howard
Curriculum Leader of History

 

ICT

Qualification: Level 1 / 2 Vocational Award ICT (Technical Award) Exam board: WJEC
Grades available: Level 1- Pass/ Merit/ Distinction, Level 2- Pass/ Merit/ Distinction/ Distinction*

Link:GCSE Information and Communication Technology (wjec.co.uk)

Details of the course

The Vocational Award in ICT has been designed to support learners in schools who want to learn about this vocational sector and the potential it can offer them for their careers or further study. It is most suitable as a foundation for further study. This further study would provide learners with the opportunity to develop a range of specialist and general skills that would support their progression to employment.

 

Assessment

Unit 1: ICT in Society
On screen examination- 1 hour and 20 minutes
40% of qualification
Unit 1 allows learners to explore the wide range of uses of hardware, application and specialist software in society. Learners will investigate how information technology is used in a range of contexts, including business and organisations, education and home use of information technology.

Unit 2: ICT in Context

Controlled assessment- 40 hours
60% of qualification
Unit 2 introduces learners to a broad working knowledge of databases, spreadsheets, automated documents and images and enables learners to apply their knowledge and understanding to solve problems in vocational settings.

Homework

Homework will be given out at least once a week and may be in the form of research, revision and exam style questions. It will be expected that every student will also attend one ICT/Computing Club during lunch or after school session per week when required. While in these sessions, the students will be able to complete any aspect of their work with the assistance of a member of staff.

How parents can help

Ensure students are completing their homework and classwork to the best of their ability. Ensure students have access to a laptop or desktop computer with internet access. Ensure that your son attends ICT club when required and meets all deadlines.

Further Study

If you wish to carry on studying ICT at post 16 or a career in the ICT sector.

Career Opportunities

This would develop your skills into careers such as tech support, Desktop Support, Network Engineer, Web Developer etc. The opportunities are wide and varied.

Mrs L Matthews
Curriculum Leader of ICT, Computing, Media and Business Studies

 

MATHEMATICS

Qualification: GCSE Mathematics
Exam board: Pearson/Edexcel
Grades available: Higher Tier – 9 to 4 / Foundation Tier – 5 to 1
Link: https://qualifications.pearson.com/en/qualifications/edexcel-gcses/mathematics-2015.html

If a student does not achieve the minimum level of a particular tier, then an Unclassified (U) grade is awarded.

The Importance of Mathematics

Pre-requisites for the Course

Mathematics is a core subject and therefore compulsory.

Details of the Course

The level of mathematics and the degree of difficulty is different between the Higher course and the Foundation course.
At the beginning of year 10, you will have been placed into an ability set based on your mathematics ‘end of Year 9’ assessment result and this will also help inform the decision as to which level of mathematics is best for you to follow.

The new GCSE Maths specifications have brought radical changes to the way the subject is taught. The most significant developments are the introduction of functional maths, and a greater emphasis on problem solving and applying mathematics.

Enrichment Opportunities
  • The school subscribes to www.mymaths.co.uk, https://vle.mathswatch.co.uk/vle/ andhttps://www.mrcartermaths.com/. These are three of the best online KS3 and KS4 revision websites for Mathematics. You have access to these websites via a username and password.

  • Other key sites to visit are: Hegarty Maths and Corbett Maths – These will provide you with access to multiple learning resources and tuition videos to enrich independent study.

  • The Mathematics department will provide targeted revision lessons prior to external examinations and students are provided with additional examination practice materials to

    aid their revision in the lead up to examinations.

    Equipment (required for the course that you should provide for EVERY LESSON and EXAMINATION)

    • Black pen, pencil, eraser, ruler, protractor, compasses
    • Scientific Calculator (Casio FX-83GTX and Casio FX-991EX (Best))

Maths is a versatile subject, with different flavours that appeal to different people with different tastes. It equips school leavers with skills that employers and colleges value.

Maths is full of fascinating ideas and powerful applications, and the process of understanding a new mathematical concept or solving a problem using maths is enormously satisfying.

Whatever your priorities – whether you’re looking to help other people, to earn a lot, to explore a creative subject or to make a difference in society – maths has something to offer you.

The study of maths is rewarding in and of itself, and it gives you lots of options for the future.

It is intrinsically linked with STEM subjects Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

Monitoring of your progress

The department monitors your progress by
• Marking and homework.
• Departmental and topic assessments (including mock exams). • Comparison to your target.

Assessment

• Three examinations at the end of year 11.
• All papers are 1hr 30 minutes and are each worth a third of the GCSE.
• Paper 1 is worth 80 marks. It is a non-calculator paper.
• Papers 2 and 3 are worth 80 marks each and are both calculator papers.

Further Study
  • A level Mathematics. Students would normally be expected to gain a grade 7, 8 or 9 in GCSE Mathematics to embark on A level Mathematics courses at college. Study at Higher level GCSE is mandatory.

  • A level in Further Mathematics. Students are required to have a grade 8 or 9 in GCSE Mathematics to embark on A level Further Mathematics at colleges.

  • A level or vocational/further qualifications at Sixth form colleges.

  • Employment & training.

Modern Apprenticeships.

Key Stage 4 Mathematics Support

This option is available to students who areidentified as in need of additional support to make the required amount of progress in either English or mathematics. Performance criteria will be used to target students for which this is an appropriate option and will be discussed with parents during the Meetings on the Guided Pathway Evening. These students will be identified through data and will be the only students that can choose this option. This option is not available to the whole cohort.

Mr P Whitehead
Curriculum Leader of Mathematics

 

MEDIA STUDIES

Qualification: OCR Level 1 / 2 Cambridge National in Creative iMedia
Exam board: OCR
Grades available: Level 1- Pass/ Merit/ Distinction, Level 2- Pass/ Merit/ Distinction/ Distinction*
Link: https://www.ocr.org.uk/qualifications/cambridge-nationals/creative-imedialevel-1-2-834/

specification-at-a-glance/

Details of the course

On this course students will gain knowledge in a number of key areas in the media field, from pre-production skills to digital animation, and offers a hands-on approach to learning. The Cambridge National in Creative iMedia will also provide opportunities to develop useful transferable skills such as research, planning, and review, working with others and communicating creative concepts effectively.

Assessment

Students must complete 2 mandatory units and 1 optional unit.

Mandatory units

R093 Creative iMedia in the media industry- Exam 1 hour and 30 minutes In this unit you will learn about the media industry, digital media products, how they are planned, and the media codes which are used to convey meaning, create impact and engage audiences.

R094 Visual identity and digital graphics- Controlled assessment 10-12 hours
In this unit you will learn to how to develop visual identities for clients and use the concepts of graphic design to create original digital graphics to engage target audiences.

Optional unit

R097 Interactive digital Media-Controlled assessment 12-15 hours
In this unit you will learn how to plan, create and review interactive digital media products.

Homework

Homework will be given out at least once a week and may be in the form of research, revision and exam style questions. It will be expected that every student will also attend one Media club during lunch or after school session per week when required. While in these sessions, the students will be able to complete any aspect of their work with the assistance of a member of staff.

How parents can help

Ensure students are completing their homework and classwork to the best of their ability. Ensure students have access to a laptop or desktop computer with internet access. Ensure that your son attends Media club when required and meets all deadlines.

Further Study

If you wish to carry on studying ICT or Media at post 16, or a career in the ICT or Media sector.

Career Opportunities

This course will allow you to develop your skills in preparation for careers such as Web Developer, Sound Engineer, Marketing, Games Designer, Photographer, etc. The opportunities are wide and varied.

Mrs L Matthews
Curriculum Leader of ICT, Computing, Media and Business Studies

 

MUSIC

Qualification: GCSE Music
Exam board: AQA
Grades available: 9 – 1
Link: https://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/music/gcse/music-8271

The Importance of Music

Music is a unique in the fact that through study at GCSE level we develop key skills that prove vital throughout life. Being faced with a task, having to analyse, problem solve, practice and perform then evaluate is of great value to becoming successful in the future whatever pathway follows.

If you already play an instrument then continuing with your musical studies will see a natural return for the time and effort previously invested as the 30% of the course is practical. Composing music in a variety of styles and genres accounts for 30% also, with 40% listening and appraising music.

A good grade in Music demonstrates a positive character and is appealing to future employers and universities due to the strength, determination, organisation, dedication and resilience involved in achieving success along with the academic excellence achieved. GCSE Music is an exciting and involving course which will enable you to develop gifts and talents in a stimulating and creative environment.

Pre-requisites for the Course

  • You must be able to play a musical instrument and ideally be having instrumental lessons either within or outside school.

  • You don’t need to be able to read music but it puts you at an advantage.

You must like listening to music (any style/genre).

Assessment

Unit 1: Listening to and Appraising Music 40%
Listening exam taken at the end of the two years. All the content for this will be taught in

weekly lessons and students will learn a variety of listening skills. Unit 2: Composing Music 30%

Students will compose two short pieces of using state of the art iMac computers and professional industry standard compositional software.

Unit 3: Performing Music 30%

Students will perform two pieces of music on their chosen instrument. One a solo and one as an ensemble with others, this can be a teacher, family member or someone from another school. They can complete this at any time during the course and they will be recorded on a regular basis to ensure familiarisation with the format and continuous development of knowledge, experience and skills.

Enrichment Opportunities

• The music department take regular trips to perform in National Festivals
• Trips to see professional ensembles such as the Halle and BBC Philharmonic
• There are afternoon workshops given in school by visiting professionals
• The students have the option of joining various school ensembles (Brass, Jazz,

Rock, Choir, Samba) and competing for school at a national level.
• Open sessions at Media City to experience the facilities on offer
• Management and promotion of organisations as businesses
• Boys taking ABRSM & Rock School exams will gain extra A-Level UCAS points.

Work-related Skills

  • Music requires effort and dedication. Top universities regularly choose candidates that have instrumental skills as they realise that they can commit to learning at a high level.

  • Individuals that have good attainment in music are highly desirable by employers.

  • Music requires skills that are invaluable in any place of work.

Music promotes higher level thinking and mathematical problem-solving skills

Further Study

• You can carry on and take A-Level music.
• You could take BTEC & A-Level music technology.
• Further Musical study complements other subjects in higher education.
• You can carry on playing your instrument at a high level and enjoying music for many years to come

Career Opportunities

• Professional Musician • Sound Engineer
• Producer
• DJ

• Teacher
• Film
• Radio
• Television
• Concert Promoter • Lighting Director • Law

• Architecture • Solicitor
• Accountancy

Mr G Taylor
Curriculum Leader of Music and Enterprise

 

PHOTOGRAPHY

Qualification: GCSE Photography
Exam Board: AQA
Grades available: 9 – 1
Link: https://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/art-and-design/gcse/art-and-design-8201-8206

The Importance of Photography

GCSE Photography is a challenging course which will help you to understand how a camera works, set up lighting equipment, use Photoshop and develop the skills used in the industry. By studying Photography, you will expand your visual vocabulary and learn to really look at the world around you. You will develop strong observational, research and analytical skills while becoming a creative and independent thinker and learner. It can help you with further study and prepare you for the world of work.

The transferable skills you will gain while studying Photography make it a great complement to other subjects. You will develop problem solving, decision making, digital understanding, creative thinking, investigation, research, communication and teamwork skills, and gain the ability to develop, refine and present ideas. Employers and universities regard all of these highly.

During the course you will develop an appreciation of Photography and digital media and their role in the creative and cultural industries that enrich our lives. Not only will further studies in this subject enhance your work in others subject areas, but you will learn about the career opportunities through further education or employment available with a qualification in Photography.

Pre – requisites for the Course
  • Photography is an ideal subject choice if you feel you are creative, have an interest in photography and enjoy drawing, collaging and using ICT as an image manipulation tool.

  • You enjoy exploring the work of other photographers and artists.

  • You are motivated to go out and take your own quality photographs in different locations.

  • You aim to achieve a good KS3 Art assessment result of a Grade 3.

  • You are committed to meeting homework and coursework deadlines.

You wish to develop your creative and digital skills further to a high level.

Details of the Course

GCSE Photography is an exciting course aimed at introducing you to the world of digital photography and a range of image manipulation skills. During the course you will learn about the work of other photographers, composition, lighting effects, Photoshop and image manipulation through drawing and collage. You will develop your ability to work independently and to communicate and express your ideas creatively.

Photography lessons are timetabled for 3 hours each week and you will have one main teacher throughout the course.

 

Assessment

60% of marks will be awarded for your coursework and 40% for the work completed for your final examination.

All your work is marked and assessed as you progress through the course.

In April/May of Year 11, a selection of your best work from your coursework and exam portfolio will form your exhibition of work. This will then be remarked by an external visiting assessor from the AQA Examination Board.

The assessor will be looking for evidence of your ability to:

  • Develop ideas that are informed by your research into the work of other photographers and artists.

  • Refine your work as it progresses, experimenting with various ideas and techniques.

  • Record observations and ideas successfully visually, through the use of a camera, drawing and other forms.

Present a personal, informed and meaning response.

Coursework Portfolio

This is a series of practical projects which are presented as PowerPoint presentations, which you create from the start of year 10 through to the end of the course.
Throughout the course you will have the opportunity to develop a series of 3 projects.

Current Project themes include:

• Camera Skills
• Portraiture
• Architecture

These units all involve image manipulation techniques and research into the work of other photographers and artists. You will be expected to complete some written annotations to accompany your visual work and evidence an element of drawing within your photographic work.

With the guidance of your teacher, you will be able to develop your own ideas while adapting and refining your work. This will allow you to work independently and develop your own individual style of work.

Throughout the course you will be set regular and varied homework’s. This work will be linked to your classwork studies and will be vital to the development of each unit.

Students who achieve high grades at GCSE make the most of all the time made available for them. Lunchtime and after school coursework sessions will be available 4 – 5 days each week. You will be expected to attend lunchtime and after school coursework clubs once a week. These sessions may be used to extend your studies further or 1:1 tuition, individual target setting and review meetings.

Monitoring Your Progress

As you progress through each unit of study your teachers will provide you with continual assessment by working alongside you when assessing your work:

  • Marking your individual studies – through every stage of your work.
  • Setting targets to help you attain higher levels of achievement.

You will also assess your own work alongside the work of other students to help you realise your intentions.

Enrichment Opportunities

Throughout the course we encourage you to involve yourself in visits to both local and National Art Galleries.

Through your participation in visits and workshops both in and out of school you will be given the opportunity to take high quality photographs and work alongside a practising photographer. The work produced during these experiences will become a valuable part of your coursework projects.

Further Study

At interviews, you can use your portfolio of work to provide evidence of your individuality, experiences and the high skills level you attain. Further courses include:

  • Any specialist Photography/Art based A Level course at another college (e.g. Photography, Film Studies, Media Studies)
  • Vocational courses at another college (e.g. Media Production, Video Games Development)
Career Opportunities

Photography is a subject connected to a variety of careers, such as professional photography, work in the fashion industry, digital publishing, advertising and marketing, television and film making, video game and web design, social media, journalism and teaching.

Did you know the creative industries generate £84.1 billion to the United Kingdom (UK) economy each year and employ over 2.8 million people? Unlike many industries, the creative industries have continued to grow, despite the recent financial crisis. (Source: thecreativeindustries.co.uk)

Mrs S Anders
Curriculum Leader of Art and Design

 

RELIGIOUS STUDIES (Full Course)

Qualification: GCSE Religious Studies – Religion and Ethics Full Course (Specification A) Exam board: AQA
Grades available: 9 – 1
Link: https://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/religious-studies/gcse/religious-studies-a-8062

Importance of Religious Studies

Religious Studies is a popular and important subject as part of a balanced curriculum. It allows you to learn about the world in which you live and understand how religious beliefs can influence the behaviour and attitudes of people in your communities. RS develops thinking skills and allows you to formulate your own opinions on a range of ethical and philosophical issues. It allows you to analyse text, detect bias, balance arguments and formulate opinions based on evidence.

Details of the Course

The course will follow AQA Spec A. This contains two equal exams, one in ‘Religion’ and one in thematic Studies or ‘Ethics’. The Religion portion is an in depth study of Christianity and Islam, gaining knowledge on the fundamental beliefs and practices of these two religions, as well as allowing critical analysis of the differences in opinions within each religion. For example, the study of Shia and Sunni Muslim interpretations of the pillars of Islam, even the differences between beliefs of a liberal Christian and an Evangelical.

The second exam focuses on applying the beliefs of Christians and Muslims studied to real life moral situations. Again, understanding where the differences arise and critically analysing the differences.

The units we study are:

Religion and Life – In this topic, we explore environmental issues and how religion responds. We will also look at the rights of animals and testing. We also explore the for and against arguments for abortion and euthanasia including non-religious views.

War and Peace – This topic explores the religious attitudes towards war and the role that religion can play when supporting the victims of war. It also looks at the concept of pacifism as well as the threat of terrorism.

Relationships and Families – This unit focuses on the role of family in religion. It explores the changing attitudes towards women as well as investigating the religious views on homosexuality and divorce and how the attitudes have changed over time. We will also learn about the significance of marriage as well as the different religious attitudes on contraception.

Crime and Punishment – We will look at the systems of punishment in place here in the UK and assess their effectiveness. We also explore the attitudes towards crime in other countries with the aims and outcomes. We explore the causes of crime and how religion responds to criminality and sin. We will look at the for and against arguments for capital and corporal punishment and look at the importance of forgiveness in religion.

Assessment

There are two exams which take place at the end of year 11. Each exam is worth 50% of the final mark. Each exam lasts for 1 hour 45 minutes. There is just one entry level where students can gain everything from 9-1.

There is no coursework in Religious Studies and there are no controlled assessments.

Work-related Skills

  • RS is a serious option and one that is valued by colleges and employers as a subject that encourages tolerance, awareness of people and the world around you. It is an interesting way of gaining skills that contribute to getting a job – equal to anything else learned in school. Particular skills gained are:

  • Understanding the motivations of different people when dealing with a range of ethical issues.

  • Constructing logical arguments and providing evidence to back them up.

  • Gaining confidence and the ability to speak in front of their peers and to debate their

    opinions in a structured way.

An ability to empathise, appreciate and celebrate the diversity within our society and contribute positively to it.

Further Study

Many students follow GCSE with A level RS and then use that as a basis for university. It fits well with other humanities subjects and provides an interesting contrast to science based subjects. The study of religion enables students to engage with many of the greatest thinkers who have ever lived: theologians such as Aquinas; philosophers who have addressed religion such as Hume; or sociologists and psychologists like Marx and Freud. Furthermore, students engage with great debates, the most obvious of which being the debate about the existence of God and the problem of evil. In short, students are provided with the opportunity to hone their skills in ‘arguing a case on the basis of evidence’ – a skill which is absolutely central to progress in the commercial sector (as well as in other careers).

It is a valued subject by universities and colleges and, through the nature of the topics covered in the course, can be particularly relevant preparation for studying Theology or Religious Studies; however, the range of skills and concepts involved in this flexible subject make it an effective preparation for all humanities and many of the social sciences. Past A Level students have studied a wide range of courses at university including philosophy, law, business management, teaching and English. The skills and experiences gained through the course can lead to careers in teaching, social work, the police force, law, youth work and the medical profession.

Religious Studies GCSE will be a fascinating, fun and fulfilling experience for all students who choose to study with us.

Mrs P Brookes
Curriculum Leader of Religious Education

RELIGIOUS STUDIES (Short Course)

Qualification: GCSE Religious Studies – Religion and Ethics Short Course (Specification A) Exam board: AQA
Grades available: 9 – 1
Link: https://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/religious-studies/gcse/religious-studies-short-course-8061

Importance of Religious Studies

Religious Studies is a popular and important subject as part of a balanced curriculum. It allows you to learn about the world in which you live and understand how religious beliefs can influence the behaviour and attitudes of people in your communities. RS develops thinking skills and allows you to formulate your own opinions on a range of ethical and philosophical issues. It allows you to analyse text, detect bias, balance arguments and formulate opinions based on evidence.

Details of the Course

The course will follow AQA Spec A.

The Religion portion is an in depth study of Christianity and Islam, gaining knowledge on the beliefs of these two religions, as well as allowing critical analysis of the differences in opinions within each religion. For example, the study of Shia and Sunni Muslim interpretations of the pillars

The second exam focuses on applying the beliefs of Christians and Muslims studied to real life moral situations. Again, understanding where the differences arise and critically analysing the differences.

The units we study are:

War and Peace – This topic explores the religious attitudes towards war and the role that religion can play when supporting the victims of war. It also looks at the concept of pacifism as well as the threat of terrorism.

Relationships and Families – This unit focuses on the role of family in religion. It explores the changing attitudes towards women as well as investigating the religious views on homosexuality and divorce and how the attitudes have changed over time. We will also learn about the significance of marriage as well as the different religious attitudes on contraception.

Assessment

There is one exams which take place at the end of year 11. This exam is 1hour 45minutes. The first half is beliefs, the second half themes. There is just one entry level where students can gain everything from 9-1. There is no coursework in Religious Studies and there are no controlled assessments.

 

SCIENCE

Qualification: GCSE Combined Science or GCSE Separate Sciences
Exam board: AQA
Levels available: 9 – 1 Double Award for Combined Science or 9 – 1 Single Award for Separate Science
Links:

  • Double Award: https://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/science/gcse/combined- science-trilogy-8464

  • Biology: https://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/science/gcse/biology-8461

  • Chemistry: https://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/science/gcse/chemistry-8462

Physics: https://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/science/gcse/physics-8463

The Importance of Science

Students learn how knowledge and understanding in science are rooted in evidence. They discover how scientific ideas contribute to technological change – affecting industry, business and medicine and improving quality of life. They trace the development of science worldwide and recognize its cultural significance. They learn to question and discuss issues that may affect their own lives, the directions of societies and the future of the world.

Combined Science

Most students will complete this course and gain 2 Science GCSEs. Lessons will be taught by two teachers and students will have 4 Science lessons per week. A piece of homework will be set per week.

The course is split into three subjects; Biology, Chemistry and Physics.

Each student will sit six 1 hour 15 minute exams at the end of year 11. Two exams for each subject. The course is graded completely by examination and there is no longer any coursework. However, the course does have a strong emphasis on scientific skills and 15% of the exam paper will be based on scientific methods and investigations.

Separate Sciences

Select students can choose this course as an option and they will gain 3 GCSEs in Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Due to the high academic demands of this course students will be given this option based on the grade they achieved at KS3.

This course will allow students to achieve 3 completely separate GCSEs, therefore students will take this as one of their options. This allows students to have 6 lessons of Science per week plus an additional Maths lesson. They will have 2 lessons with a Chemistry teacher, 2 with a Physics teacher and 2 with a Biology teacher and will be set a piece of homework per week per subject.

Each student will sit two 1 hour 45 minutes for each subject at the end of year 11, so they will sit 6 exams in total. The course is graded completely by examination and there is no longer any coursework. However, the course does have a strong emphasis on scientific skills and 15% of the exam paper will be based on scientific methods and investigations.

Further Study
  • A levels in Biology, in Chemistry and in Physics can be taken at further education establishments along with many other level 3 courses where Science is a pre-requisite.

  • A range of vocational courses including BTEC Diplomas.

Career Opportunities

• Medicine, Dentistry, Nursing, Chiropody
• Podiatry, Pharmacy, Optometry
• Sports Science, Sports nutrition, Personal training • Dietician
• Surveyor, Ecologist, Town planning
• Law – medical, bioethics
• Science journalism
• Bioinformatics
• Researcher, Drug Development
• Teaching and lecturing
• Meteorology (weather scientist)
• Fireworks designer

Miss N Thomson
Curriculum Leader of Science

 

SPANISH

Qualification: GCSE Spanish
Exam board: AQA
Grades available: 9 – 1
Link; https://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/languages/gcse/spanish-8698

The Importance of Spanish

Would you like a job that takes you around the world? Maybe you’d like to spend a year abroad when you get to university. A language is really a skill for life – it will open up a world to you!

There are all kinds of reasons for learning a foreign language. Language graduates find it easier to get jobs and there’s a wide variety of careers to choose from. Languages teach you to be adaptable and better at communication. Once you’ve learned one foreign language, others become MUCH easier to learn too. Also, people who speak foreign languages have brains which age more slowly!

Spanish is spoken widely across the world, from Spain (obviously) to Mexico, Argentina, The USA, Chile, Cuba… the list is too long! In lessons there’s the opportunity to watch Spanish cinema and listen to Spanish language music. You probably already know some Spanish music.

Details of the Course

There are three themes covered. These are “Identity and culture”, “Local international and global areas of interest” and “Study and employment”. GSCE Spanish is taught by
Miss Ramonet and Mr Bannatyne.

The course is based on the new specification and is more engaging than ever before. You will be learning to use the language from day one, and you’ll get lots of opportunity to practice your speaking. The amount of writing that you need to do in languages has really decreased in the new specification.

Assessment
  • Listening Exam – Foundation 35 minutes or Higher 45 minutes

  • Speaking Assessment – Foundation 7-9 minutes or Higher 10-12 minutes

  • Reading Exam – Foundation 45 minutes or Higher 1 hour

  • Writing Exam – Foundation 1 hour or Higher 1 hour 15 minutes

    Mr D Bannatyne
    Curriculum Leader for Modern Foreign Languages

SPORT, ACTIVITY AND FITNESS

Qualification: BTEC Tech Award Sport, Activity and Fitness
Exam Board: Pearson/Edexcel
Grades available: Pass / Merit / Distinction
Link: https://qualifications.pearson.com/en/qualifications/btec-tech-awards/sport-activity-and- fitness.html

Details of the Course

The Sport Tech Award gives learners the opportunity to develop sector-specific knowledge and skills in both a classroom and a practical learning environment. The focus is on the knowledge and understanding of skills in health, fitness, activity and sport. Students will also develop knowledge of the body systems, common sports injuries and technological advances that impact on sport and activity. Learners will gain theoretical understanding of the training, nutrition and psychological factors that influence and impact on engagement in sport and activity. They will also learn the underpinning principles of coaching and leadership as well as the physical and psychological benefits for session participants.

Assessment

Students are assessed in three units of work:
• Two internal assessments – assignments set and assessed by teachers 2 x 30% • One external assessment – 1.5hr written exam / 70 marks / 40%

Units of work:

  • Unit 1 Understand the Body and the Supporting Technology for Sport and Activity

  • Unit 2 The Principles of Training, Nutrition and Psychology for Sport and Activity

    (Exam)

Unit 3 Applying the Principles of Sport and Activity – Sports Leadership/Coaching

Assessment methods include case studies, assignments along with projects, performance observation and time constrained assessments.

Throughout the course student will have 3 lessons per week. Two theory lessons and one practical lesson. Theory lessons will be a combination taught theory content with written work and independent, assignment-based work. The practical lessons will a combination of sports practice and leadership sessions and fitness testing/training. Correct kit will be required throughout.

How Am I Graded?

  • Each internally assessed unit consists of 3 assignments graded Level 1 Pass to Level 2 Distinction. All assessment criteria that must be met for final grade.

  • You will complete the criteria for each unit of work depending on your target grade.

  • You will receive regular feedback from your teacher alongside progress checks and a

    detailed report.

  • Grading – Level 1 Pass to Level 2 Distinction*

Who is the Sport Technical Award Suited to?

• It is best suited to students who have an interest in sport and physical activity.
• Students who have enjoyed the PE theory content delivered in lessons
• Students who play sport both in and outside of school.
• Students who enjoy being assessed in a variety of ways including written tasks,

independent research, video analysis, delivering eating and delivering presentations.
• Students who enjoy working on computers and have computer access at home would also be suited to this award.

Further Study
  • Level 3 Vocational course in sport, PE, fitness and physical activity

A level PE

Career Opportunities

• Teaching, coaching and training • Officiating / refereeing
• Facility management
• Fitness instruction

• Sports administration
• Sportsperson representation
• Equipment and sportswear manufacturers and suppliers • Performance analyst
• Sports injury therapist

Mr A Donnelly
Curriculum Leader Physical Education

 

SPORT

Qualification: BTEC Tech Award L1/2 in Sport
Exam Board: Pearson/Edexcel
Grades available: Pass / Merit / Distinction
Link: Specification – Pearson BTEC Level 1/Level 2 Tech Award in Sport 2022 Issue 1

About the sports sector

Year on year, the sport industry shows continued growth in employment and forecasts suggest this trend will continue. This comes from increased knowledge and understanding of the benefits of regular participation in sport and physical activity. Sport England provides well documented research of these benefits including improvements in physical and mental wellbeing, economic development, individual development and social and community development (2020). These contribute significantly to the quality of a person’s life and, as such, there is a need to ensure there are sufficient people working in the industry to meet this demand and encourage regular participation in sport and physical activity. There has never been a better time to study sport. Study of this sector at Key Stage 4 will complement GCSE study through providing an opportunity for practical application alongside conceptual study. There are also strong opportunities for post-16 progression in this vital sector.

Details of the Course

The Sport Tech Award gives learners the opportunity to develop sector-specific knowledge and skills in both a classroom and a practical learning environment. The focus is on the knowledge and understanding of skills in health, fitness, activity and sport. Students will also develop knowledge of the body systems, common sports injuries and technological advances that impact on sport and activity. Learners will gain theoretical understanding of the training, nutrition and psychological factors that influence and impact on engagement in sport and activity. They will also learn the underpinning principles of coaching and leadership as well as the physical and psychological benefits for session participants.

Assessment Components.

Learners are required to complete and achieve all three components in the qualification.

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For components 1 and 2 assessment methods include case studies, assignments along with projects, performance observation and time constrained assessments. Each component is worth 30% of the total course assessment.

Component 3 is an external assessment set and marked by Pearson, completed under supervised conditions. The assessment will be completed in 1.5 hours within the summer of Yr11 period timetabled by Pearson and is worth 60 marks or 40% of the total course assessment.

Throughout the course student will have 5 lessons per fortnight. Two theory lessons per week and one practical lesson (plus 2 curriculum PE lessons). Theory lessons will be a combination taught theory content with written work and independent, assignment-based work. The practical lessons will a combination of sports practice and leadership sessions and fitness testing/training. Correct kit will be required throughout.

How Am I Graded?
  • Each internally assessed unit consists of 3 assignments graded Level 1 Pass to Level 2 Distinction. All assessment criteria that must be met for final grade.

  • You will complete the criteria for each unit of work depending on your target grade.

  • You will receive regular feedback from your teacher alongside progress checks and a detailed report.

  • Grading – Level 1 Pass to Level 2 Distinction* (Equivalent to grades 1 to 9) Who is the Sport Technical Award Suited to?

    • It is best suited to students who have an interest in sport and physical activity.

    • Students who have enjoyed the PE theory content delivered in lessons

    • Students who play sport both in and outside of school.

    • Students who enjoy being assessed in a variety of ways including written tasks,

      independent research, video analysis and delivering presentations.

    • Students who enjoy working on computers and have computer access at home would also be suited to this award.

Further Study
  • Level 3 Vocational course in sport, PE, fitness and physical activity

  • A level PE

    Career Opportunities

  • Teaching, coaching and training

  • Officiating / refereeing

  • Facility management

  • Fitness instruction

  • Sports administration

  • Sportsperson representation

  • Equipment and sportswear manufacturers and suppliers

  • Performance analyst

  • Sports injury therapist

    Mr A Donnelly
    Curriculum Leader Physical Education

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