National Curriculum & Options
GCSE English language provides the following range of experiences:
- Speaking and listening opportunities, including group work and drama-focused activities
- Reading, covering prose, poetry and drama texts, including a Shakespeare play and works from the English literary heritage
- Writing, in which students engage with a variety of forms and genres, including analysis, reviews and commentaries
This course encourages students to:
- Explore their literary interests and reading skills
- Understand and respond to a wide range of literary texts
- Appreciate the ways, in which authors achieve their effects
- Develop the skills necessary for literary study
In addition, students develop their awareness of social, historical and cultural contexts and influences in the study of literature, as well as their ability to construct and convey meaning in speech and writing, matching style to audience and purpose.
The GCSE Mathematics course encourages students to develop their skills and knowledge in mathematics and their enjoyment of the subject. Throughout the course students are encouraged to think for themselves, become independent learners and develop their own problem-solving abilities. A range of teaching strategies are employed, including teacher-led work, group work, practical activities, games and the use of computer software. All students have access to 3 GCSE Maths software packages both during and outside of lesson time. Students study number and algebra; shape, space and measures and handling data.
Use My Maths to help you with your maths. There are a range of games, lessons and tests to help you with your revision.
Get the login and password from your teacher.
GCSE Maths Revision
An excellent site from the BBC. Revise and practise topics online. Get help. Post messages. Find links to other maths websites.
GCSE Maths Past Papers
Contains past papers and model solutions for all tiers of entry. Past papers can be printed.
Go to GCSE revision, maths and then select a topic. Includes a list of useful formulae. Also covers other aspects of school life and helpful hints such as how to write a C.V.
Click box ‘enter learn.co.uk here’. Go to Key Stage 4 maths, foundation/higher. Unfortunately, there is no section aimed specifically at the intermediate tier. The ability to compose your own test on topics of your choice and complete them online is a notable benefit.
Not the best site for practising your maths, but contains some useful explanations of key concepts. Basically an online revision guide.
Maths Homework (Channel 4HYPERLINK "http://www.channel4.com/homework/maths")
‘Homework High’ enables you to get help with your homework online by posting a question to a teacher. The channel 4 site also contains some interesting games!
All students will take the AQA Science Core GCSE in Year 10.
Modern Foreign Languages
All students study a full GCSE course in either French, Spanish or German, building on language skills they have acquired at KS3 in speaking, listening, reading and writing. Topics covered across the 2 years are related to the areas of personal information, leisure, home and town and holidays, future plans, education and work. Students are assessed on their listening and reading skills in examination sessions and these amount to 40% of the GCSE. Students are assessed in speaking in two controlled assessment tasks during the course (30% of the GCSE) and they are required to produce at least 2 pieces of writing, as part of their controlled assessment (again, 30% of the GCSE).
The department organises exchanges with French, German and Spanish schools that are open to all students showing motivation, interest and commitment to their language study. In MFL we also work a lot with media, creating short films and producing radio shows on BRIT FM.
All students participate in PE as part of the National Curriculum. Activities available to students include athletics, badminton, basketball, fencing, football, gymnastics, hockey, netball, squash, table-tennis, trampolining, volleyball, weight training and fitness, sailing and kayaking. Every year there is a Year 10 Sports Day, during which tutor groups and individuals compete for titles, trophies and medals. As part of the National Curriculum the students will learn about the effects of exercise on the body, the benefits of a healthy lifestyle and develop their own exercise programmes.
We offer two History specifications at GCSE - AQA History A and History B. Students are randomly allocated to one or the other. History A has 3 elements. In Year 10 students study ‘The History of Medicine over Time’ which covers developments in medicine from prehistoric times to date. They will follow this with a local history study, which includes a visit to a local site, followed by a Controlled Assessment. In Year 11 they will do an in-depth study of Britain from 1815 to 1851. History B covers Depth studies, USA 1919-29, Race Relations in USA 1950-68, Vietnam 1964-75, International Relations, the Treaty of Versailles and League of Nations 1919-39 Cold War and 1945-70. There are also two controlled assessments, which cover British History in the 20th Century.
Students follow a two-year course in Sociology, the study of British society. The main aim of the course is to increase students' knowledge and understanding of the social world, in which they live. They study, among others, the following modules: 'What is Sociology?', in which they learn about the central concepts of the subject and how to conduct ethical research; 'The Family', which includes learning about the diverse forms of family life in Britain; Education, where they learn about why we need schools, barriers to achievement and how Government policies have sought to raise achievement; 'Power and Politics', which includes learning about decision making and power in Britain; 'Social Control and Deviance', where they learn about criminal and deviant behaviour and the justice system; Social Class and Inequality, which includes gaining an understanding of the social class system , poverty and life chances; and Mass Media, including what they are, their effect on society and media stereotyping.
Personal & Professional Development
All students follow a personal and professional development programme of study (PPD). This includes education in personal safety, sex and relationships, sexuality and gender identity, healthy lifestyle choices, drugs and alcohol, careers education, developing skills for employability, work-based learning, young people and the law, time and stress management, finance education, study skills, completing application forms, updating CVs and interview technique. Citizenship is delivered across the PPD programme and in Sociology. Students compile their progress files as part of this programme of study, where they document their achievements and future plans.
ICT at Key Stage 4 is delivered via the students' principal arts course by ICT staff. The content is based on the ICT Functional Skills (Level 2), which are core elements that will provide students with the skills and abilities they need to operate confidently, effectively and independently in life, their communities and the world of work.
Information & Creative Technology
Students may choose, as an option, to study for a BTEC L2 in I&CT. Students studying this course will learn how the online world functions, from communication to exchanging and storing information, to issues with operating online. You will also learn to create a digital portfolio and one or two of the following:
- digital animation;
- digital graphics;
- mobile app development;
- website development.
In essence, studying this course will free students from depending on other people, creating applications for them to use. They will have developed the skills and understanding, which underpin the creation of their own applications.
Production, Set Design & Technology
When considering their options, theatre, musical theatre and dance students might want to think about the production, set design and construction course. This will give them a practical introduction to the world behind the scenes of the performing arts, which is essential to any actor, singer or dancer’s understanding of putting on a show. The students design sets and create scale models of their design, as well as work on the making of full scale sets for real productions, being performed in the school. The course would equally suit visual art and design and BDC (media) students. It provides a mix of both artistic skills such as model making and set painting with hands-on practical tasks like set construction.
This option course is a BTEC level 2 certificate in Performing Arts (Production). Equivalent to 1 GCSE. The three units are D16 Crewing for Performance, D17 Design for Performance and D21 Set Construction. There is no final exam and grading is in the form of ongoing assessment of the work set during the 2 years.
We offer GCSE Textiles as an option subject. Students have the opportunity to design and make their own textile products. Assessment is 60% practical coursework, consisting of a series of projects and a final practical examination worth 40%. Students should have some previous experience of textile work and study when choosing this option.