GCSE Options 2021 A guide for Year 9 pupils and their parents on GCSE subject choices - Alderley Edge School for Girls
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Message from the Headmistress Dear Year 9, During the first three years in the Senior School at AESG, you have followed a broad and balanced curriculum, designed to further your education. Most of the subjects are specified by the Government at this stage, to ensure a balanced education, and there is little scope for individual choice. Then, in the course of Year 9, you are given the chance to select some of the subjects you wish to study in Key Stage 4, the next two years up to the GCSE examinations. GCSE options are the first important academic decision that you will make as you progress through your time at AESG and beyond to your future careers. It is an exciting time and an opportunity to reflect on and celebrate academic strengths and achievements. Mrs Smillie This booklet sets out all of the important information to guide Headmistress and support you through this process, and to help you and your parents make well-informed decisions that will enable you to flourish. At AESG, we have an enviable record of success at GCSE level, and behind these excellent outcomes are, of course, superb value-added results which demonstrates the incredibly hard work of students and staff. During the GCSE options process it is vital that you receive excellent support, advice and guidance. For some students, the decisions are easy and quick to make; for others, the choices pose questions and challenges that are not so easily resolved. Wherever you are on this scale, there is always someone at AESG to talk to. You can talk to your teachers, form tutor, Head of Year and, of course, your parents at home. It is important that you are at the centre of this options process, making informed decisions for the right reasons. During the GCSE years, it is important to balance academic rigour with a fully rounded experience that enables you to make the most of our extensive extra-curricular programme. By doing this, you will be able to continue to develop important life skills that will be invaluable outside of the classroom. GCSEs are designed to test the whole range of ability, and hard work will bring success; the next two years should be very exciting as well as tough and challenging at times. We are all here to help you. You are embarking on the next stage in the great, lifelong adventure of learning. I wish you all every success as you embark upon this next stage of your time at AESG. Enjoy it and good luck! Mrs Smillie
How to make your choice of GCSE subjects This booklet has been prepared Some points to remember are: to help you in your choice of GCSE subjects. For the first • choose subjects which you time in your school career you like and want to do are being asked to make a major decision, namely which • choose subjects which you optional subjects you will are capable of doing and with continue to study. The decision which you feel at ease is an important one and you must discuss it with your • do not choose a subject just parents and teachers. It is because your friend is doing it important that you read this booklet carefully and if you are • do not choose a subject just unsure of anything you must because you like the teacher ask for help. • choose subjects which give you a wide choice for the future. Timeline for making your choice of GCSE subjects 1. PSHE lessons in the Autumn 5. On Thursday 12 January, It is very important that you Term will focus on GCSE you are invited to attend the seek help and advice from your Option Choices. Year 9 Parents’ Evening with teachers. If you have a particular your parents. You will have career in mind you must check 2. The School’s GCSE Option the opportunity to discuss with the Careers Advisor or Choices Booklet will be your choice of GCSE subjects your subject teachers that you available electronically at the with your subject teachers. have chosen the correct subjects. end of the Autumn Term. 6. Friday 22 January is the Remember it may not be 3. On Friday 4 December, there latest date for handing in possible to change subjects will be a GCSE Options Fair your GCSE Option Choices once you have made your in the Millennium Hall at Form to your Form Tutor. choice. lunchtime. This will provide pupils with the opportunity to speak to subject teachers about what is involved in each GCSE subject. 4. You will have an individual appointment with the School’s Career Adviser, during school time.
Curriculum for Years 10 and 11 Examined Subjects Core Subjects Non-Examined Subjects These subjects are divided into You must study all of these It is important for your general two groups: subjects at GCSE level: education that you follow courses in non-examination • Core Subjects • English Language subjects. You will have such • Optional Subjects • English Literature lessons in PE and PSHE. • Mathematics • Science – either Double or Triple Award. You will choose six subjects, ranked in order of preference from the 17 optional subjects on offer. If you wish to study Triple Science, this should be one of your six choices. You will study four optional subjects. Most students will be able to study four of their top ﬁve subjects. Occassionally, if you have an unusual combination of subjects or choose several subjects which only a few pupils study, we may place you in your sixth choice. Mrs Millar will see you to discuss your options if we are using your ﬁfth and sixth choices. Your subject choices will be conﬁrmed in writing by the end of the Spring Term. It may not be possible to offer all of the subjects listed if there is not suﬃcient demand.
Information on GCSE reform and the grading system “New” GCSE Grading System (reformed) U 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 U G F E D C B A A* “Old” GCSE Grading System (non-reformed) The process of reforming all GCSEs will be graded from 9 GCSE qualifications began (the highest) to 1 (the lowest). in September 2015. The The chart above shows how government’s stated intention the current grading of GCSEs in reforming GCSEs is to make compares with the new grading the courses more rigorous, by system. The proportion of introducing a new grading pupils who achieve a grade 4 system and by moving away and above will be the same as from Controlled Assessments the proportion who currently towards longer final achieve a grade C or above. examinations at the end of the A grade 4 will count as a two year course. ‘standard’ pass; a ‘good pass’ will be a grade 5. In addition, the proportion of pupils achieving grade 7 and above will be the same as the proportion who currently achieve a grade A or A*, making the new grade 9 equivalent to an A** grade.
Non–Examination subjects in the curriculum Physical Education – PE about alcohol to succeeding in Relationships and sex education their ﬁrst job, PSHE education (RSE) All pupils throughout Key helps pupils to manage many of The Relationships and Sex Stage 4 will continue to have the most critical opportunities, Education programme aims to timetabled lessons of PE and challenges and responsibilities to support our pupils’ through will participate in a variety of they will face growing up. their physical, emotional and activities including Hockey, moral development from Netball, Athletics, Tennis, Pupils’ are in a safe environment childhood to adolescence and Rounders, Badminton, where opinions can be expressed, into adulthood. We explore the Volleyball and Fitness. shared, challenged and developed. importance of healthy Although there is no formal relationships and how to Pupils are made aware of the assessment involved in these areas manage conﬂict successfully. many beneﬁts of regular of study, pupils are encouraged This may lead to challenging exercise to their health and as to develop key skills of problem offending behaviour, prejudice, a purposeful way in which to solving, communication and bullying, racism and use their leisure time. Pupils working with others. These discrimination assertively and will continue to be encouraged support mental wellbeing and take the initiative in giving and to attend extra-curricular academic achievement. receiving support. activities and may represent AESG in matches. Health and Wellbeing Our program will offer a holistic The PSHE programme aims to PSHE learning journey PSHE advance and support each pupils’ spanning the pupils high school personal and social development career, with a progressive, spiral PSHE education gives pupils’ the and to raise awareness of a varietycurriculum that addresses real knowledge, skills, and attributes of health issues. needs in a rapidly changing they need to keep themselves world. The underlying aims of healthy and safe and to prepare We promote the importance of the programme are to encourage them for life and work in modern good mental health and wellbeing pupils to develop mutual respect Britain now and in the future. and on the importance of and support, think about issues The Department for Education personal safety, how to manage concerning themselves, social (DfE) says: grief and bereavement and social problems in society and the anxiety. We also consider environment and to develop ‘All elements of PSHE are Internet safety and the dangers of informed opinions. It also important and the government excessive screen time and social encourages pupils’ to be aware of continues to recommend PSHE media. Pupils’ complete a and care for others, to talk about be taught in schools’. comprehensive study skills unit feelings and be sensitive to the (PSHE association 2020) which explores the power of mind feelings of others. and memory in preparation for In Years 10 and 11 the pupils internal and external follow a PSHE course. During examinations. this course they follow a programme of study relating to Living the Wider World three key areas; Heath and The Living World programme Wellbeing, Living in the Wider incorporates our Careers World and Relationships and programme with specialist Sex Education (SRE). Since sessions delivered by our Head September 2020 Relationships of Careers. Pupils undertake and Sex Education has become activities which aim to increase statutory for all schools. their self-development, manage their careers and explore PSHE helps pupils’ to develop opportunities available to them. the knowledge, skills and We focus on writing CV’s, attributes they need to thrive as applying for jobs, interviews and individuals, family members and applying for College and members of society. From University. making responsible decisions
Homework and School Examinations The homework allocation for Homework Allocation Year 10 and Year 11 each subject is shown here. You must remember that in Art and Design Up to 2 hours some GCSE subjects there is Business 2 x 40 minutes an element of Controlled Design and Technology 2 x 40 minutes Assessment. In some subjects Drama 2 x 40 minutes } pupils will have to hand in English Language 3 x 40 minutes their homework the next day, English Literature in others they may be given Food Technology 2 x 40 minutes an extended period of time French 2 x 40 minutes to complete the work. It is Geography 2 x 40 minutes obviously very important that German 2 x 40 minutes pupils organise their time History 2 x 40 minutes carefully and meet any given Information Technology 2 x 40 minutes deadlines. Latin 2 x 40 minutes Mathematics 2 x 40 minutes Pupils will have school Music 2 x 40 minutes examinations in all subjects in Religious Studies 2 x 40 minutes November and May in Year 10. PE 2 x 40 minutes These are internal examinations Sciences to assess progress and, although Physics double 1 x 45 minutes important, do not count towards triple 2 x 40 minutes the ﬁnal GCSE grade. Chemistry double 1 x 45 minutes triple 2 x 40 minutes Mock examinations will be held Biology double 1 x 45 minutes in November of Year 11 and if triple 2 x 40 minutes you achieve a satisfactory mark in these examinations you will Spanish 2 x 40 minutes be entered for the appropriate tier in the GCSE examinations Allocations are minutes per subject per week. in May and June.
Additional Information GCSE Controlled Entry Tiers at Support available for Assessments GCSE/IGCSE level GCSE pupils The importance of the work For some GCSE subjects, All departments provide carried out during Year 10 Mathematics, Science and lunchtime clinics for pupils who and Year 11 cannot be over- MFL, two levels of entry are need extra help with revision, emphasised, particularly possible: Foundation Level and homework, exam questions or because Controlled Assessments Higher Level. The vast majority some other aspect of their GCSE form part of many GCSE of entries at AESG are made at course. In addition, some pupils courses. A Controlled Higher Level, but occasionally receive support from Mrs Ripper Assessment may take the form the Foundation Level is our Learning Enhancement of a project, a piece of research recommended for a particular Co-ordinator. or some fieldwork. pupil in a particular subject. Pupils who have been identified Controlled Assessment tasks The final level of entry is as Gifted or Talented in a are time limited and are decided upon in consultation particular GCSE subject are carried out in lessons during between the subject teacher, encouraged to attend lunchtime the school day. the pupil and her parents. masterclasses, complete extension tasks and attend In general, performance in a Grouping for GCSE relevant events publicised by Controlled Assessment task is subjects Mrs Billington, who, alongside assessed by teachers in school Mrs Millar and Mrs Dawson, and then moderated by the You will be taught in ability co-ordinates our Gifted, Examination Board. sets for: Talented and Interested programme, ‘Symposium’, For subjects in which English and ‘Lunch and Learn’ events. Controlled Assessment is an integral part of the GCSE Mathematics course, failure to complete this work could mean that a pupil Double Award Science would not be awarded a GCSE grade for the subject. For all other subjects your groupings will depend upon your choice of subjects. Accuracy of information in this booklet All of the information in this booklet is correct at the time of printing. However, examination specifications can change. Pupils will be notified of any major changes to the content or structure of any GCSE course they choose.
GCSE English Language AQA Specification A Why study GCSE English The preparation and assessment of Paper 2: Writers’ Viewpoints Language? Spoken Language is also a and Perspectives GCSE English Language is a compulsory requirement of the This paper examines a response to compulsory subject for all pupils course of study. You will develop one non-fiction text and one literary and the skills which you will gain are speaking and listening skills and be non-fiction text in Section A and transferable across the curriculum. encouraged to use spoken Standard writing to present a viewpoint in You will learn how to read texts English effectively through a range Section B. Non Examination actively and critically, employing of activities. Assessment: Spoken Language You close reading skills to retrieve will also receive a separate grade for information. In the course of your How will you be assessed? Spoken Language. For this unit, you studies, you will be encouraged to This is a linear course and as such, will be assessed on your ability to make inferences and give informed is designed to be taken over two present, respond to questions and comments on language in use. You years with all assessments taken at feedback and on your use of will also produce your own writing, the end of the course. There will be Standard English. The tasks will be experimenting with different two terminal written examinations, set and assessed by the teacher audiences and purposes. In short, each comprising 50% of the final throughout the course and will be studying English Language will mark. Each exam is 1 hour 45 separately endorsed at the end. This develop crucial reading, writing, minutes long and worth 80 marks. does not contribute to your final speaking and listening skills which Both papers will assess Reading in GCSE English Language grade. are fundamental to any further Section A and Writing in Section B. studies. Paper 1: Explorations in Creative What will you study? Reading and Writing You will read and be assessed on This paper examines a response to high-quality, challenging texts from one literature fiction text in Section A the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries. and descriptive or narrative writing The texts will be taken from a range in Section B. of genres and types and will act as stimulus material to help develop your own writing by providing effective style models. The texts will include literature and extended literary non-fiction, and other writing such as essays, reviews and journalism (both printed and online). The literary fiction texts will be used to help pupils consider how established writers use narrative and descriptive techniques to capture the interest of readers. You will also explore how writers have particular viewpoints and perspectives on issues or themes that are important to the way we think and live our lives. You will be taught how to produce your own creative text to demonstrate your narrative and descriptive skills in response to a written prompt, scenario or visual image. You will learn how to write for a specified audience, purpose and form.
GCSE English Literature AQA Specification A Why study GCSE English How will you be assessed? Literature? Assessment takes the form of two GCSE English Literature is an external examinations. Paper 1 is excellent course for developing entitled Shakespeare and the analytical skills and improving your 19th-century novel. This is a ability to present an argument in an written paper of 1 hour 45 minutes academic style. By studying GCSE in length and constitutes 40% of the English Literature, you will become final GCSE mark. In Section A you more aware of the cultural, social will answer one question on a and political context in which Shakespeare text and in Section B literature was created. Not only will you will answer one question on a this course widen your reading, it 19th century novel. In both sections, will also help increase your you will be required to write in detail confidence to offer and deliver your about an extract from the texts and own opinions. GCSE English then to write about the texts as a Literature is a compulsory subject whole. for all pupils at AESG. Paper 2 is entitled Modern texts What will you study? and poetry and comprises 3 This course allows you to sections: modern texts, poetry and experience a range of Literature with unseen poetry. This is a written a wide variety of appeal drawn from paper of 2 hours 15 minutes in contemporary and modern texts, length and constitutes 60% of the texts from across the globe and final GCSE mark. In Section A: texts which have had a significant Modern Texts, you will answer one influence on our literary and cultural essay question from a choice of two heritage. To that end, you will study on your studied modern prose or one Shakespeare text and one drama text. In Section B: Poetry, you nineteenth century novel alongside will answer one comparative more modern prose and drama question on one named poem texts. The focus is on you engaging printed on the paper and one other with your reading through exploring poem from your chosen anthology key themes, ideas and issues, cluster. Section C requires you to characterisation and settings in respond to an unseen poem and to order to build confidence in your compare this poem with a second skills of critical evaluation. Poetry unseen poem. will also be studied in preparation for an examination module; you will study a cluster of thematically linked poems from the anthology. Throughout the course, you will also learn the skills necessary to enable you to respond to a previously unseen poem. You will learn to read in depth, critically and evaluatively, so that you are able to discuss and explain your understanding and ideas and make connections across your reading. In addition, you will develop your writing skills to produce work which is accurate, effective and analytical. You will be encouraged to acquire and use a wide vocabulary, including the grammatical terminology and other literary and linguistic terms.
Mathematics Edexcel GCSE Why study GCSE Mathematics? What will be studied? How will you be assessed? Mathematics is all around us in GCSE courses build on the work There are two Tiers of entry in GCSE everyday life. In fact, the world as studied in Years 7 to 9, developing Mathematics: we know it would not exist without and extending topics already met mathematics! The apps on your and introducing new concepts and Foundation Tier (aimed at grades phone, the prices you pay, the cars techniques. These fit into four broad 1- 5) and Higher Tier (aimed at on the streets and the gas and areas: grades 5-9). electricity bills for your homes all rely on mathematics. However, studying Number: At Foundation Tier, around half Mathematics has far wider benefits. Including indices, surds, proportion, the marks are targeted at grades 4 It helps develop logical thinking, ratio, fractions, decimals and and 5; at Higher Tier around half the pattern recognition, reasoned percentages. A large focus on this marks are targeted at grades 7-9. argument and clear communication, part of the course is an appreciation A grade 5 has the same value at for example. Harder topics help of ratio and proportional change. both Tiers; it doesn’t matter how develop abstract ideas and you earn it! speculative questioning. Algebra: Including linear equations, quadratic Your examination is taken in the Many of the techniques you learn equations and simplification of summer of Year 11. There are three will be useful in other subjects algebraic expressions. Questions examination papers; one non- including Physics, Design, may use algebra to model real life calculator paper and two calculator Geography, Business, Economics, situations. papers. Each paper is worth 80 Computing, Psychology and marks, and your final grade is based Biology. Shape, Space and Measure: on the total score from all three Including area, volume, similar papers. Some of the questions will Mathematics is a compulsory shapes, Pythagoras’ theorem, be set in the context of ‘real-life’ subject and there is the opportunity trigonometry, circle theorems and situations; it is important that you for able and interested students to vectors. This is a key topic in any learn how to identify important study extra courses in Further design-related activity. information, plan your route through Mathematics and/or a solution and communicate your Statistics. Handling Data: steps clearly. Representation and interpretation of What happens next? data and the study of probability. GCSE Statistics Many Sixth Forms, Universities or Information is all around us – it is This is an optional course which is careers require you to have reached important to know how to analyse studied after school, one hour per a minimum standard in Mathematics. and interpret it correctly. week, over two years. For this If you achieve a high grade and enjoy reason, there is a high degree of the subject, you may choose to take The new style GCSE places an independence and responsibility A Levels in either Mathematics or increased emphasis on problem- expected from pupils choosing to both Mathematics and Further solving questions. study this course. Mathematics. The course delves more deeply than GCSE into information collection, processing, interpretation and use in making inferences. As such, the ability to communicate clearly in writing is an essential feature of this course. GCSE Statistics is not only an excellent preparation for those considering studying A Level Mathematics but also useful for further study in such subjects such as Geography, Psychology, Biology and Economics. The course leads to an Edexcel GCSE Higher Level qualification, taken through two terminal examination papers of 90 minutes each.
GCSE Combined Science – Trilogy (Double Award) AQA Why study GCSE Combined What will you study? In your Physics lessons you will Science – Trilogy (Double Award)? In your Biology lessons, you will learn about forces, energy resources Studying Science will help you to learn about organ systems in the (including the use of fossil fuels and learn about how and why things human body, including the nervous global warming as critical problems work in the way they do. From the system and the digestive system. for this century), waves (including complex functioning of the human The specification also includes modern technologies such as body to the development of the topics on the environment, imaging and communication most sophisticated means of inheritance and photosynthesis. systems), electricity, magnets, the modern communication; Science There are opportunities to learn particle model of matter and finally is all around us. It is not just about about relatively new techniques radioactivity and nuclear physics. learning facts; Science is also about and technologies, such as genetic developing the skills of critical engineering and the therapeutic How will you be assessed? thinking, data analysis, problem use of stem cells. The course is divided into Biology, solving and application. Chemistry and Physics topics In your Chemistry lessons you will that will be assessed via six It is, therefore, not surprising that learn why chemical reactions occur. examinations taken at the end of Science is a core subject of the The specification includes topics on Year 11. Each examination is 1 hour National Curriculum and that a combustion, extraction of metals 15 minutes long. Questions testing GCSE Science qualification is a and neutralisation. Factors such as experimental and investigative skills minimum requirement for entry to how to alter the rate of a reaction are also included in each many university courses. The and how to analyse substances are examination. Double Award Science course also covered. You will also find out combines the study of Biology, how chemists strive to minimise the Biology Paper 1 16.67% Chemistry and Physics and leads to use of limited resources and energy Biology Paper 2 16.67% the award of two GCSE grades. You consumption in the manufacture of Chemistry Paper 1 16.67% are taught by three different subject useful products and how chemists Chemistry Paper 2 16.67% specialist teachers and have 12 develop ways of disposing products Physics Paper 1 16.67% Science lessons per fortnight. at the end of their useful life in ways Physics Paper 2 16.67% that ensure that materials are used If you take the Double Award course sustainably. There are no Controlled and later wish to continue a Science Assessments. subject to A Level, you will be able to do so, provided you achieve the Remember required grades. You must choose either Double Award or Triple Award Science.
GCSE Biology, Chemistry, Physics (Triple Award) AQA Why study GCSE Biology, How will you be assessed? Is this for you? Chemistry, Physics (Triple Award)? Each Science GCSE covers a range Triple Award Science is a course Following the GCSE Triple Science of topics that are examined in two that is designed for pupils who have course gives pupils the opportunity written papers at the end of Year 11. a genuine interest in Science and to spend more time on their study Questions testing experimental and are keen to learn more about of Science (18 periods per fortnight, investigative skills are also included Biology, Chemistry and Physics. compared with 12 periods per in each examination. Each In order to succeed you will need fortnight for Double Award Science) examination is 1 hour 45 minutes to have already demonstrated an and leads to the award of three long. This means that you will have a aptitude for Science. You are separate GCSE grades in Biology, total of 6 Science examinations at expected to have strong analytical Chemistry and Physics. The the end of Year 11. and evaluation skills as well as the transition from Science GCSEs to ability to apply your knowledge to Science A Levels may be easier for Biology GCSE unfamiliar problems. pupils who have followed the Triple Biology Paper1 50% Science course, as several topics Biology Paper 2 50% It is also important to remember that for each Science are covered in taking the Triple Award Science more detail and additional topics are Chemistry GCSE option gives you one fewer option introduced. Chemistry Paper 1 50% choice. If you wish to follow a Chemistry Paper 2 50% broader curriculum and keep your What will you study? future options open, the Double Biology – the specification covers all Physics GCSE Award Science course may be more of the Double Award Biology GCSE Physics Paper 1 50% suitable for you. topics, plus some further topics Physics paper 2 50% including the structure of DNA, Remember cloning methods in plants and There are no Controlled You must choose either Double animals, evolution and a study of Assessments. Award or Triple Award Science. ecosystems. Chemistry – the specification covers all the topics studied in the Chemistry sections of the Double Award Science GCSE plus further topics including the properties of transition metals, chemical cells and fuel cells, synthetic and naturally occurring polymers and additional quantitative chemistry. Physics – the specification covers all the Double Award Science GCSE topics plus further topics including moments, pressure, lenses, static electricity and space physics.
GCSE Art and Design (Fine Art) AQA Why study GCSE Art and Design? What will you study? Unit 2 – Externally Set Task Choosing Art and Design enables The Fine Art endorsement will allow This is the examination element you to explore your creativity and you to explore and produce work provided by AQA. You will receive an develop your skills in a diverse range using a range of the following examination paper with a choice of of media through an exciting techniques: drawing, painting, seven starting points. You will practical based course. printmaking, mixed media, collage, choose one question from the paper assemblage, sculpture and and produce work on it in a very Art and Design has increasing photography. Your teacher will similar way to the sustained project relevance to many aspects of our guide you in order to develop your for the portfolio. The examination daily lives. Virtually everything that technical skills, and support you will be carried out over a number of we own or look at has been in trying new processes and weeks beginning in January of Year designed. We now live in a visual techniques so that you can develop 11 and will conclude with a final world that has its roots in Art and the confidence required to realise piece of work undertaken during Design. Think about television and your ideas. 10 hours of supervised time. film, web pages, interior design, architecture, cars, fashion and much, Unit 1 – Portfolio How will you be assessed? much more. Art is everywhere; it’s This is the coursework element, in You will be assessed on your not just a painting on a wall. Modern which you will complete a sustained portfolio, which is worth 60% of businesses need people who have project in response to a given your total mark, and the externally the ability to think creatively and theme. You will demonstrate your set task, which is worth 40% of your adopt a disciplined approach to knowledge, skills and understanding total mark. difficult situations. Many of the of methods of recording, study skills that you learn in Art and experimenting with materials and Is this for you? Design can be used in a lot of your techniques and the work of other If you answer yes to some of the other subjects. In fact, Art is very artists documenting your journey following questions, then GCSE Art cross curricular as every subject from the initial starting point through and Design could be for you. expects you to think creatively, to to your final piece/s. You will also explore, experiment and be curious. be required to present a selection • Do you enjoy expressing yourself of further work that has resulted creatively? from mini projects, workshops and • Do you enjoy having more responses to gallery, museum or freedom to develop your own site visits. ideas? • Are you independent, motivated and determined? • Do you have a willingness to experiment and explore? • Do you enjoy working in a creative and progressive working environment? • Do you struggle with revision based courses? • Are you hoping to go into an Art and Design based career?
GCSE Business Edexcel Why study GCSE Business In Year 11, we move on to look at the How will you be assessed? Business is an accessible and growth of business, focusing on the There are two written examinations fascinating subject which has an four main functions in the context which are taken at the end of Year 11. impact on every area of our of larger businesses: marketing, everyday lives. In the GCSE course operations, finance and human Theme 1 on Investigating Small we apply knowledge to different real resources. You will look in more Businesses is a 90 minute, 90 mark world organisations ranging from depth at successful marketing – the paper with a variety of multiple small enterprises to large product life cycle, building a brand choice, short answer and extended businesses which operate across and how to build an effective answer questions. the globe. marketing mix. In operations, you will learn about the importance of Theme 2 which is about Building a You will already be familiar with research and development, how we Business has a similar structure and many of the concepts and ideas manufacture quality products, is also 90 minutes long and worth 90 we discuss and should find it manage stock, stay competitive marks. The papers have equal easier to add more depth to your and deliver good customer service weighting and there is no Controlled understanding and analysis. We that meets legal requirements. You Assessment as part of the course. also use a mixture of qualitative and will also revisit some of the financial quantitative data so, whether you concepts from Year 10 including Is this for you? prefer essay based or numerical cash flow, revenue, costs, break This GCSE is fun, lively and thought subjects, there is something which even and profit. In the topic on provoking – we look at product links to your personal strengths. people, you learn about motivation, development, talk about what is how organisations can be happening in the business world What will you study? structured, remuneration and the and review marketing campaigns. As shown in the course details vital role of communication. Finally, By the end of the course you will below, the design of the course you will look at the wider world of have a solid understanding of how starts with small businesses and business: ethics, environmental businesses operate. more simple concepts which issues, economic issues and gradually build into a thorough and international trade, and the impact detailed understanding of the world of government and the EU. of business by the end of Year 11. In Year 10 we focus on the start up of small businesses. The topics includes what inspires entrepreneurs to start a business and what skills they need to have to be successful; for example, understanding customers, researching the market and thinking creatively. You will also learn about the use of social media, the reliability of data in market research and how businesses use technology.
GCSE Computer Science OCR Why study GCSE Computer What will you study? Is this for you? Science? Computer Science is an intellectually Computer Science is at the centre Take a look at the world around you. challenging yet very practical and of a STEM (Science Technology How close to a computer are you? rewarding subject. It is an intensely Engineering and Maths) education. When was the last time you used creative subject where you can Studying this subject will give you a one? Life without computers is apply the knowledge and skills real advantage in today’s technology almost unimaginable. The power learned in the classroom in exciting driven world. You will make the leap of computers is utilised in all areas and inventive ways. from using other people’s software of life, from medicine to space to being able to design and create exploration. Computer Science You will learn to: your own. Maybe you could invent goes way beyond just writing code. • think creatively, innovatively, the next Facebook or Snap Chat? analytically, logically and critically GCSE Computer Science will give Steve Jobs (Apple Co-Founder) • apply the principles of computer you the skills to become a once remarked... science, including abstraction, Technology Entrepreneur… but “Everybody in this country should decomposition, logic and data even more than this, it will give you learn how to program a computer… representation the skills you need for any career because it teaches you how to think”. • analyse problems in because Computer Science teaches computational terms and solve you how to think. By studying this highly valued them by designing, writing and subject you will develop the skills debugging programs and knowledge to give you that • apply mathematical skills relevant competitive advantage in any to computation. future career. You will develop computational thinking skills such How will you be assessed? as analysis, decomposition, logic You are assessed by two written and algorithmic thinking. papers: “Computational thinking will be a Unit 1: Computer Systems (50%) fundamental skill used by everyone by the middle of the 21st Century. Unit 2: Algorithms, Computational Just like reading, writing and Thinking and Programming (50%) arithmetic”. Wing (2011) You must also complete a range of programming tasks during your course of study using a high-level text-based programming language such as Python or Visual Basic. Your skills in this will be assessed in the unit 2 written paper.
GCSE Design Technology OCR Why study GCSE Design How will you be assessed? Technology? The examination will make up 50% Every product is designed. of your final mark. The examination Designers find solutions to brings together your core problems, make our lives better and knowledge of all material areas and enhance our lives aesthetically. The in-depth knowledge of textiles. A Design Technology GCSE course minimum of 15% of the paper will allows you to explore the design assess your mathematical and process to create products that science skills as applied within a meet real life needs. design and technology context. The controlled assessment project will What will you study? make up the final 50% of your mark. In Year 10 you will be taught all the key skills you need to succeed. We Is this for you? will build on the knowledge you have If you are interested in the world already and you will become familiar around you, curious about how with woods, metals, plastics, papers products develop and reach the and boards as well as our specialist market and are keen on problem area of textiles. You will use this solving then you will enjoy Design knowledge to develop product Technology. The course has a 15% design ideas and solutions and you design related mathematics content will make prototypes using our so you should be comfortable with Laser cutter, 3D printer and sewing basic mathematics. The course can machines. In Year 11 the exam support you in many future careers board will release a ‘context’ upon including fashion, engineering, which you will base your controlled architecture, industrial design and assessment project. You will business. develop your own design brief and work through the design process to create your final product. Your project will have a textiles focus but can also incorporate any of the other material areas as part of your final product. Your controlled assessment will be worth 50% of your final mark.
GCSE Drama Edexcel Why study GCSE Drama? How will you be assessed? Is this for you? In Drama lessons you are encouraged Component 1: This course is perfect for you if you to explore and engage actively in a Devised Performance have a genuine interest in theatre wide range of creative activities to • 40% of the GCSE – 60 Marks and performance. A willingness to enable you to develop as a successful • Internally assessed (by your work collaboratively and creatively and independent learner. You will be Drama Department) and Externally with your peers is essential! given the opportunity to demonstrate Moderated. competence in a range of practical, creative and performance skills. You There are two parts to the will learn how to work imaginatively assessment: and creatively in collaboration with 1) A portfolio examining the entire others; generating, developing and devising process communicating your ideas. You will 2) A performance of the devised develop a multitude of skills, including performance collaboration, communication and an understanding of how to evaluate Component 2: and make progress. The course Performance from Text has a balance between engaging • 20% of the GCSE – 48 Marks prescribed texts and stimulating • Externally assessed by a visiting devising work; this will provide you examiner. with variety, challenge and fun. Component 3: You may not wish to pursue a Theatre Makers in Practice career as a performer but many • 40% of the GCSE – 60 Marks career paths will benefit from the • Written examination 1 hour and study of Drama, for example, 30 minutes. marketing, advertising, the law and teaching; indeed, anything which Section A requires public speaking or good • 45 Marks communication skills. • One question (broken into six parts) on an unseen extract from What will you study? the chosen performance text Component 1: (40%) Devised studied. Performance – Create, rehearse and perform a Section B piece of drama • 15 Marks – Evaluation of the devising process • Two questions on a live theatre and performance performance you have seen • Pupils may take notes of up to 500 Component 2: (20%) Performance words into the examination for this from Text section. – Presentation of two key extracts from a performance text Component 3: (40%) Theatre Makers in Practice – Written examination – Practical exploration and study of one play – Live Theatre Evaluation
GCSE Food Preparation and Nutrition Eduqas Why study GCSE Food This new GCSE in Food Preparation How will you be assessed? Preparation and Nutrition? and Nutrition is an exciting and Written examination The food industry is one of the creative course which ensures world’s fastest growing industries. you will develop a thorough Paper 1: In fact over 20% of the top 100 understanding of nutrition, food Theoretical knowledge of food British Companies are in food provenance and the working preparation and nutrition and from manufacturing. characteristics of food materials. the five core topics (above) At its heart, this qualification 1 hour 45 minutes The food and drink industry is focuses on nurturing your practical 100 marks booming, with employment cooking skills to give you a strong 50% of GCSE reaching the heights of 650,000 understanding of nutrition. people and an annual turnover of NEA – Non-exam assessment £66 billion. The opportunities to Food preparation skills are 100 marks work within the food industry really integrated into five core topics: are endless. • Food, nutrition and health Task 1: • Food science Food investigation - understanding Some examples of careers in • Food safety the working characteristics, food are: • Food choice functional and chemical properties food scientist, dietician/nutritionist, • Food provenance of ingredients. A written or food sales and promotion, product electronic report (1500 – 2000 development, consumer What will you study? words) including photographic technologist (sensory analysis and During the course you will be given evidence of the practical product tasting), chef / baker / the opportunity to practise a wide investigations. caterer, food journalist / food critic, range of skills along with developing 30 marks environmental health officer, health a greater understanding of nutrition; & safety inspector, food service the science behind food as a Task 2: management, delicatessen / material, and wider environmental Food Preparation Assessment – restaurateur, food wholesaler, aspects associated with food. knowledge, skills and production & manufacturing, quality understanding in relation to the assurance / standardisation, This qualification is linear, and planning, preparation, cooking, purchaser (buys and sells food from consists of examination assessment presentation of food and application around the world), packaging and non-examination assessment at of nutrition related to the chosen technologist, teacher. the end of the course. task. Pupils will prepare, cook and present a final menu of three dishes The course is taught in a “hands on” within a single period of no more practical way; consequently the than 3 hours, planning in advance purchase of additional ingredients is how this will be achieved. 70 marks essential. Time will also need to be allocated to visiting the supermarket. Task 1 and Task 2 together will count for 50% of the GCSE. In Year 10 you will cook approximately once a week along Is this for you? with completing a series of modules You will enjoy Food Preparation and involving written work and food Nutrition if you are organised and experiments. enjoy experimenting with food. When choosing this course, it is In Year 11 you will concentrate on more important to enjoy a large completing two Non-Examination variety of foods than have a natural Assessments (NEAs) using a variety flair for cooking: we will teach you of research and investigation how to cook! You will also have an methods. You will respond to one inquiring mind and want to know all of three specified tasks set by the about the food you eat and what it is exam board. You will experiment needed for in the body. and trial ideas for the NEA and prepare for your examination in the Summer term. You will work independently on the task which is set by the examination board.
GCSE Geography AQA Why study GCSE Geography? Fieldwork Investigation How will you be assessed? Geography is a varied and wide Pupils need to undertake two days You will take three examination ranging subject which incorporates of Fieldwork. This will enable you to papers at the end of Year 11: aspects of both the physical and gain an understanding of the human environments. It develops environment by first hand Paper One: written, graphical and oral skills and investigation and by applying Living with the physical environment it also helps us to understand the knowledge and concepts learned in (worth 35% of GCSE) world in which we live. Geography is the classroom. The two Fieldwork an excellent ‘bridging’ subject inquiries will be carried out in Paper Two: between the Arts and Sciences and contrasting environments and will Challenges in the human allows pupils to keep their options include aspects of both physical environment (worth 35% of GCSE) open when considering A Level and human geography. There will studies in the future. be a compulsory overnight Paper Three: residential trip to Cranedale in North Geographical applications (worth What will you study? Yorkshire in Year 11 (usually towards 30% of GCSE) Is this for you? This exciting and relevant course the end of September but this is presents geography in a balanced subject to availability and approval: Yes if: framework of physical and human approximate cost is £235 per pupil). • You enjoy learning about people themes and investigates the link This specialist centre has an and their societies, economies, between them. You will travel the excellent academic reputation cultures and managing their world from the classroom, exploring and Health & Safety record – environments case studies in the United Kingdom see https://cranedale.com/ • You are keen to learn and develop (UK), newly emerging economies a wide range of skills. (NEEs) and lower income countries Geography Field Trip (LICs). Topics of study include We run a biennial residential trip to climate change, poverty, Iceland which will give you the And finally... If you are interested in a deprivation, global shifts in opportunity to develop your career that involves travel, you will economic power and the challenge knowledge and understanding of not be disappointed. Geographers of sustainable resource use. the topics covered in class and to really can work anywhere in the improve your fieldwork techniques. world! In lessons, we aim to provide you In four days we visit many features with a variety of activities to meet of the island in order to build up real “Geography is a living, breathing your needs. We pay particular life examples in preparation for your subject, constantly adapting attention to examination technique examinations. We also make sure itself to change. It is dynamic and alongside group and pair work there is time to enjoy the geothermal relevant. For me geography is a activities that develop your learning pools the island has to offer! great adventure with a purpose.” and confidence in the subject. Michael Palin Mentoring sessions will also provide you with an opportunity to ask for further help and advice. We encourage you to order ‘Wider World’ magazine to extend your wider reading within the subject. We also encourage the use of ICT and video clips to help improve your understanding of the patterns and processes we investigate.
GCSE History AQA Why study GCSE History? Section B: Section B: History is amazing – it’s the story of Wider World Depth Study – Conflict British Depth Study including the people and their lives! It also helps and tension, 1918–1939 Historic Environment: Elizabethan us understand the world that we live This study covers the aftermath of England, 1568–1603 in today. This course enables you to World War I and the failed attempts You will study Elizabeth's character study the most interesting parts of to prevent World War II. You will and the difficulties of being a female British, European and World History. study the attempts to make a fair ruler at the time (e.g.the problems of Diversity is assured and it offers peace settlement after WWI, the marriage and succession), together something for everyone! Treaty of Versailles and its impact with living standards and fashions (e.g. German resentment). You will and the Elizabethan Theatre and its What will you study? also look at the formation and achievements, the reasons for the You'll study people’s lives in a successes and failures of the new increase in poverty during her reign range of historical periods both international peace-keeping and atttitudes and responses to it. inside and outside the classroom. organisation, the League of Nations You will also study religious Recent trip destinations have and the reasons for its final collapse. intolerance, Puritanism and Catholic ranged from the People's History Finally, you will look at the growing Plots to assassinate Elizabeth (e.g. Museum in Manchester to international tension following the execution of Mary Queen of Washington DC and New York City Hitler’s appointment as Chancellor, Scots). This topic also covers crises and the department is planning to how this escalated and the events such as the Spanish Armada and run more trips. immediately preceding WWII. the development and growth of empire (e.g. the voyages of Sir The course is divided into four Paper 2: Francis Drake and Sir Walter Raleigh), sections which are examined in two Shaping The Nation A castle/stately home or historical papers. The topics that you will be site specific to the Elizabethan period taught are as follows: Section A: must also be studied and referred to Britain: Power and the people: in your examination. Paper 1: c.1170 to the present day Understanding The Modern World The story of how British people How will you be assessed? fought to gain the rights that we You will sit two examinations at the Section A: enjoy today. You will look at end of the two year course. Both will America, 1920-1973: medieval constraints on kingship last 2 hours and will be worth 50% Opportunity and inequality (e.g. Magna Carta), the origins of of the GCSE. You will study how America became parliament (e.g. role of Simon de so rich in the 1920s and how Montfort) and popular revolt (e.g. Is this for you? American society changed, looking Peasants’ Revolt). You will also History is an extremely popular in detail at the changing role of examine popular uprisings in the subject which provides excellent women, the growth of the Early Modern era (e.g. Pilgrimage support for anyone thinking about entertainment industry (Hollywood) of Grace), ‘Divine Right’ vs. careers in management, business, and American attitudes towards Parliamentary authority (e.g. the media, law, journalism or racism, immigration and organised English Civil War) and the right politics, to name but a few! History crime (Al Capone). You will also to representation (e.g. American develops study skills and thinking study the impact of The Wall Street Revolution). You will look at the skills and is therefore outstanding Crash on American lives and the extension of the vote in the 19th and preparation for life in the Sixth Form. attempts by President Roosevelt to 20th centuries (e.g. Chartism) and help America recover. (The “New various forms of popular protest Deal”) You will also learn about the (e.g. the Anti-Slavery Movement). impact of WWII and how it changed Finally, you will study women’s American Society. Finally, you will rights (e.g. Suffragettes), workers’ study post-war America and the rights and minority rights and development of television, Rock and Britain’s development as a multi- Roll, Martin Luther King Jr and racial society. racism. You will also look in detail at the social policies of Presidents Kennedy and Johnson and the campaign for racial, gender and human rights. (e.g. Abortion: Roe vs. Wade).
BTEC First Qualification in Information & Creative Technology Pearson Why study GCSE Information and What will you study? Unit 3: A Digital Portfolio Creative Technology? You will study 2 core units and 2 Digital portfolios can be viewed by The BTEC First Qualification in optional units: anyone with a computer and an Information & Creative Technology is internet browser. You will learn how an exciting, ‘hands-on’ and practical Unit 1: The Online World to create a digital portfolio that qualification. This two-year course is How do websites work? How do includes a series of web pages with equivalent to one GCSE and offers emails reach your computer? links to content that you have an alternative qualification that How does the use of computer created. You will learn how to make focuses on key skills required for applications affect your daily life? use of multimedia assets such as employment or further study in the This unit provides an introduction to images, sound and video to make creative industries e.g. multimedia the modern online world. Starting your portfolio appealing and production. with your own experiences, you will engaging. extend your knowledge of online The objective of this qualification is services and investigate the Students then pick 2 units from to inspire and enthuse pupils to technology and software that following options: become technology savvy producers supports them. You will learn more • Creating Digital Animation of technology products and systems about a range of services including • Creating Digital Audio and not just consumers. Pupils email, online data storage, • Creating Digital Graphics will explore the fundamentals of collaborative software, search • Creating Digital Video technology and gain the practical engines and blogging. • Spreadsheet Development skills, knowledge and understanding • Database Development to design, make and review: • Website Development. • creative technology products, e.g. a digital animation, audio and How will you be assessed? graphics Unit 1 is externally assessed • products that combine through an on-screen test. Unit 3 information technology and and the optional units are internally creative technology, e.g. assessed through project work. website development Pupils will be graded Distinction*, Distinction, Merit, Pass or Ungraded. Is this for you? This course is for you if you enjoy using computers in a creative and practical way. The majority of the marks for this qualification are for coursework assignments rather than an examination. This course will particularly suit you if you are well-organised, able to work to deadlines and enjoy project based work. You will need to have good problem solving and evaluation skills.
GCSE Latin OCR Why study GCSE Latin? How will you be assessed? Is this for you? Latin is not just challenging but The final assessment is by If you like learning new words, great fun and the set texts are highly examination and there are 3 papers. reading and discussing literature, entertaining. Learning Latin All the examinations are taken you will thoroughly enjoy taking develops the ability to grasp at the end of Year 11. There is no Latin at this level. This subject is for grammar and to comprehend Controlled Assessment or you if you enjoy studying for exams language. It also helps to develop coursework. rather than completing Controlled the skills to respond to texts in a Assessment. If you want to make sophisticated way. Language: yourself stand out from the 1hour 30 minutes, 50% thousands of other applicants to the A Latin qualification helps a person top universities then Latin can help to stand out from the crowd as it is a Prose Literature: you do that as it is a subject that not very specialised subject. Latin 1hour, 25% everyone has the chance to study. If goes well with all manner of A Level you enjoy a challenge, are ready subjects, degrees or career choices Verse Literature: to work hard and most importantly such as Law, Philosophy, History, 1hour, 25% have a good sense of humour, then Archaeology, Languages, English Latin is for you. Literature and many more. Latin is growing in the 21st century as more and more educators realise its massive benefits to young people. What will you study? In the Latin Language component, you will discover how the language works, improving your skills and vocabulary in English as you develop your knowledge of Latin. You will be expected to learn 10-20 words per week from the vocabulary list provided. A small part of the language paper requires either translation into Latin or answering grammar questions. For Latin Literature you will study texts by real Roman authors which have some very unusual story lines. Prose texts are based on investigations into a murder by poison and stolen inheritance money. The verse text consists of selections from the first half of Virgil’s Aeneid, an epic poem following a flawed hero as he battles to fulfil his destiny.
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