Our Curriculum

Our GCSE Options

dear parents & carers

Qualifications gained at the end of Key Stage 4 are an essential springboard for students’ development and play a part in shaping future educational and career opportunities. However, the English education system is in an unprecedented era of change. Students will be studying for harder “more rigorous” GCSEs that will be training them to be part of a “high skilled, highly-educated society”. In response to this, our curriculum will allow students to combine a core of English Baccalaureate subjects with others from a broader range to ensure that they keep their future options open. This will enable them to start training and apprenticeships leading to successful professional careers as well as University should they so wish.

It would be in the best interests of your child if you would take the time to read the information below, use the data sheet, as well as attend the GCSE Information Evening. We will also be inviting you to the 1:1 interview your child will have with a senior leader. If you have any further questions, which remain unanswered, then I and other members of the Senior Leadership Team will be more than happy to answer them.

Ms R Naylor, Vice Principal – Curriculum

Please read carefully the descriptions of all the courses that are on offer  To help make the right choice students will:

Study the ‘Choices’ Scheme of Learning during Edge Time

Have an assembly outlining the GCSE process

Be given the opportunity to read this page and discuss its contents with parent/carer and Edge Tutor

Spend lesson time learning about the different courses on offer

Have a formal 1:1 interview with Ms Naylor, Mr Welch, Ms Moore or Mr Cordwell which students will prepare for in advance. Parent/carer may attend the interview if possible

Have the opportunity to attend the GCSE Information Evening with parents/carers.

Students should also:

Conduct their own research about careers

Consider what their own skills are and what they want to do in the future

Seek advice from the Connexions Service if they are unsure

Talk to their subject teachers about which courses are right for them

Speak to parents/carers

The English Baccalaureate

This qualification will automatically be awarded to any pupil who achieves a GCSE grade 5 or above in Maths, English, a Modern Foreign Language, two Sciences (including Computer Science) and either Geography or History. The idea of this is to identify pupils who have a broad spread of academic qualifications. If you are considering going to University and in particular the Russell Group Universities, then this qualification is highly recommended and the appropriate GCSE choices must be made.

The Key Stage 4 Curriculum

The ‘Core’ curriculum, meaning compulsory subjects that are taken by all pupils, is as follows:
English Language and English Literature, Mathematics, Science, Physical Education, Learning for Life.

In addition, the ‘options’ curriculum offers pupils a range of learning choices giving access to:
Computing, Business and Media, Creative Subjects, Humanities, Modern Foreign Languages, PE, Technology.

Equality & Opportunity

At this stage in school life, it is important for all pupils to choose subjects carefully and to keep career options open. It is recognised that any gender can work and succeed in any area. In the past, it has been very common for different genders to go for what might have been considered traditional gender specific subjects at GCSE time.

At Little Lever, we encourage pupils to move away from this and make open, informed choices in which personal ambition is a key element. We are committed to providing a challenging and rewarding curriculum for all pupils. Each year we take care to review our options curriculum and to introduce new opportunities that we believe will meet the needs of our pupils. Whilst we are unable to guarantee that we can meet the first choice of every pupil, we will try our upmost to meet his or her choices as far as we are able. There are limitations to numbers for some courses so some pupils will find that alternatives may be necessary.
Every course on offer is open to all genders.

There are no barriers on the grounds of gender, race or disability, and where possible, we endeavour to provide all pupils with the opportunity to study the subjects of their choice at an appropriate level to their abilities. This however, does not mean that we will allow pupils to take subjects in which their chances of success are slim. In these cases, pupils will be guided in alternative directions. We will discuss GCSE choices carefully with each individual pupil during a 1:1 interview that will take place in January or February each academic year.

Choices

To support pupils in their long-term goals and to ensure they have the appropriate qualifications for the future we will help pupils make the right choices. We will support pupils in picking appropriate subjects where we feel with hard work and effort they can be successful. Most pupils in Year 8 will choose at least one subjectfrom the list below and make a reserve choice. They then select four others from all the available choices in order of preference. You will only study two of these.

Students’ first choice will be one of the following:
Computer Science, French, Geography, History, Separate Sciences, Spanish

Option choices include:
Art,  Hospitality and Catering, Business Studies, History, Geography, Computer Science, Music, Creative Media, Music Technology, Design Technology, PE (GCSE/Cambridge Nationals in Sport Studies), Digital Information Technology, Photography, Drama, RE, Fashion and Textiles, Separate Science, French, Spanish.

Making Your Choice

In making the choices, students should consider:

The guidance provided in their 1:1 interview

The work completed in their Edge lessons

Which subjects are their best

Which subjects they enjoy

Which subjects their teachers recommend

If they have checked with everyone who can help and advise them.

HOW NOT TO CHOOSE!
× Don’t choose a subject just because they like the teacher. It may be that they do not have the same teacher next year!
× Don’t choose a subject because their best friend chooses it. It may be right for them but not for you!
× Don’t choose a subject because it looks easy – all subjects involve three years of continuous hard work and commitment.

REMEMBER

No system of GCSEs can please everybody

Pay careful attention to all GCSE choices, as they could end up with any combination of the subjects picked

Although every effort will be made so students can follow their first choices, it may not always be possible.

Examination Courses

Most courses are offered for examination at GCSE level. Most subjects will be graded from 9 to 1. The 9 grade is designed to identify the most able pupils. In maths, science, French and Spanish, there are two tiers of examination, higher and foundation. Technical Awards are equivalent to one GCSE and graded as pass, merit, distinction, distinction*. In some subjects your child will be placed in a set which best suits his or her ability.

Parents should note that the final examinations take place in the period mid – May to end of June of Year 11. However, some subjects will have official assessment pieces during Year 10 and 11.

Controlled Assessments / Coursework

Some GCSE / Technical Awards involve the completion of set assignments, which are formally assessed with the marks contributing towards the final grade. It is essential that the controlled assessments / coursework be completed as failure to do so could jeopardise final examination entry.

Examination Entry

Final examination entry for any subject depends upon a number of factors including:

Completion of controlled assessments where relevant

Good attendance (minimum 97%)

Completion of internal examinations

Evidence of achievement at Grade 1 or above

Connexions

Our Connexions Personal Advisor, Caroline Seddon, will be offering help to parents and pupils during this time and at GCSE Information Evening.

Impartial guidance and information from the school Careers Co-ordinator, Mr Welch, and from the Personal Advisor will be available for all pupils during Years 9, 10 and 11. Pupils will take part in a number of sessions providing them with information for the various stages of their school life during Edge Time, which will help guide pupils to consider a wide variety of possible careers, look at college choices and also consider the ‘Work with Training’ options and Apprenticeships available in the area. Careers advice is there to assist in future planning, deciding what to do next and considering all the opportunities. The government has raised the participation age which means that all pupils are required to continue into post-16 education or training. Currently, they will also need to repeat GCSE English and Maths if they do not secure at least a grade 4 at school.

The school purchases the following website to help students research careers and identify their skills, aptitudes and interests in this area.

startprofile.com

Also visit our own Careers page below for guidance on post-16 destinations.

Aspirations & Careers page

Core Subjects

GCSE English Language & Literature

Examination Board: AQA
All pupils will study GCSE English language and literature. The three-year course will include a range of fiction, non-fiction and literary texts. Pupils will uncover a range of skills across reading, writing and speaking and listening.

How will I be assessed?
GCSE English Language:
There are two final examinations worth 100% of the total marks, which test:

  • Your exploration of creative reading and writing
  • Your understanding of writers’ viewpoints and perspectives

GCSE English Literature:
There are two examinations for English literature which are worth 100% of the total marks. These examinations test your knowledge and understanding of:

  • Shakespeare and the 19th-century novel
  • Modern texts and poetry

How can I progress from this?
English provides the crucial foundation for a wide range of other subjects. Key stage 5 qualifications in related subjects include: AS and A level English language, AS and A level English literature, AS and A level English language and literature, AS and A level Creative writing.  These qualifications could lead to a wide variety of job opportunities including teaching, copywriting, journalism, business and advertising, public speaking and administration.

GCSE Mathematics

Examination Board: Edexcel

The course is designed to develop a wide range of mathematical skills and techniques, which can be used in everyday life, as well as fostering the ability to solve problems and reason logically. The course content includes:
• Number
• Algebra
• Ratio, Proportion and Rates of Change
• Geometry and Measures
• Statistics and Probability
There’s an emphasis on problem solving and mathematical reasoning, with the majority of marks now being allocated to these higher-order skills.

Assessment criteria:
The course is assessed 100% by examination across three papers as detailed below:

  • Paper 1 Non-Calculator, 80 marks, 1 hour and 30 minutes
  • Paper 2 Calculator, 80 marks, 1 hour and 30 minutes
  • Paper 3 Calculator, 80 marks, 1 hour and 30 minutes

Those pupils sitting the Foundation paper will be able to achieve grades 1-5 whilst those sitting the Higher tier will be able to achieve grades 3-9.

How can I progress from here?
Maths is one of the best subjects to develop your analytical, research and problem-solving skills. Not only will studying maths help give you the knowledge to tackle scientific, mechanical, coding and abstract problems, it will also help you develop logic to tackle everyday issues like planning projects, managing budgets and even debating effectively. People who achieve strong Maths qualifications can go into: accounting, medicine, engineering,
forensic pathology, finance, business, consultancy, teaching, IT, games development, scientific
research, programming, the civil service, design, construction and astrophysics to name a few.

GCSE Combined Science Trilogy

Examination Board: AQA

GCSE Combined Science is studied in years 9 – 11. Science is a dual award and you will gain two GCSE grades from this subject. Science topics include:
• Cell biology
• Inheritance, variation and evolution
• Ecology
• Energy
• Infection and response
• Electricity
• Forces
• Waves
• Organic chemistry
• Structure and bonding of matter
• Bioenergetics
• Magnetism and electromagnetism
• Homeostasis

How will I be assessed?
You will sit six examinations – 2 each from biology, chemistry and physics – each lasting 1 hour and 15 minutes. All exams carry equal weighting (16.7% of your final grades), and all will take place at the end of year 11. From these, you will be awarded two GCSE grades.

How can I progress from here?
Science is an important subject for career paths such as electrician, pharmacy, teaching (both primary and secondary!), veterinary nursing, environmental careers, sports science, psychology, hairdressing, robotics,
game theory, etc. the list is endless. With a minimum of two 6 grades in combined science you can go on to study an A level in a science discipline and then on to study a degree in an area of science, or a science related discipline (e.g. nursing, dentistry, medicine, engineering). In a recent survey of the top paying jobs based on specialisms, 6 out of the top 10 highest paying careers were in science or science related disciplines (STEM).

Physical Education (Core PE)

At Key Stage Four, it is compulsory for all pupils to participate in Physical Education.

The PE department aims to provide an enjoyable, satisfying and balanced programme with opportunities for all pupils to develop spiritually, mentally, socially and culturally. It is our intention to cultivate pupils’ natural enthusiasm and although enjoyment is high on our list of aims, all areas of work must be taught and not ‘played at’. Lessons should be structured and progressive and the pupils should gain their enjoyment as a result of their high effort, hard work, team play and participation.

At Key Stage Four, pupils are offered football, netball, dance, bench ball, dodge ball, table tennis, HRF, badminton, cricket, rounders, softball and athletics.

Pupils will be encouraged to improve:

  • Their ability to plan, perform and evaluate games and individual activities.
  • Their knowledge, skills and understanding of a range of activities.
  • How to develop and maintain a healthy and active lifestyle to support physical and mental health.

Our long term goal must be that all pupils will understand the importance of Physical Education and a healthy active life style. They should leave school with a committed interest in some physical activity or at the very least have an appreciation of what is involved in skilful performance so that they may become knowledgeable spectators.

Option Subjects

  • GCSE Art & Design

    Exam board AQA

    To study art at GCSE you must have a genuine interest in the subject. You must be hardworking, dedicated, self-motivated and enthusiastic about the subject and have the self-discipline to work to the best of your ability.

    You must have shown an aptitude and an interest in the subject during Years 7 and 8. You will have the opportunity to develop a wide variety of skills and techniques during Year 9, 10 and 11. You will be taught in mixed ability groups. You will be required to work independently at home and attend an extra session at art club in school at least once a week. During the first term of your GCSE Art and Design course you will be taught a variety of drawing techniques, produce a variety of research on certain artists and develop your work into a final personal outcome. All pupils will be required to use a sketchbook for recording and developing ideas, research and independent work. An appreciation for art is a key part of the course and a dedication to working independently under the guidance of your teacher. You will be required to relate to the work of artists, designers and craftspeople from past and present to enhance your work and also art work from different cultures. We have a good variety of equipment to help support you in your learning but you will be required to provide a variety of materials over the duration of the course.

    How will I be assessed?
    The subject is coursework based with pupils working towards a portfolio of evidence which will include:

    • Coursework, made up of at least two assignments, carrying 60% of the final mark
    • Controlled Test (Exam) over a ten hour period, carrying 40% of the final marks in Year Y11

    How can I progress from this?
    You can progress onto further study at AS and A level as well as vocational pathways. Careers include: concept artist, illustrator, photographer, animator, teacher, graphic designer and many others.

  • GCSE Business Studies

    Examination Board: Edexcel

    You might have an interest in business and want to start your own business one day. You may have an enquiring mind and be interested in learning about the world around you, how businesses are set up, and what it is that makes someone a great entrepreneur. This course will help you to understand all this and more. You will learn how small businesses are developed and discover how businesses promote themselves and keep their customers happy. You will learn how businesses manage both their finances and the people who work for them. The course is broken down into two themes:

    • 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 emphasis on aspects of
      marketing, operations, finance and human resources. Theme 2 also considers the impact of the
      wider world on the decisions a business makes as it grows.

    How will I be assessed?

    • Theme 1: Investigating small business – written examination 50%
    • Theme 2: Building a business – written examination 50%

    Both examinations consist of a mixture of calculations, multiplechoice, short-answer and extended-writing questions.

    How can I progress from this?
    GCSE Business Studies will provide a solid foundation for further academic or vocational business-related subjects.
    GCSE Business Studies will also support you in a wide range of careers including marketing, human resources, sales, accounting, customer service, commercial lawyer and business management.

  • GCSE Computer Science

    Examination Board: Edexcel

    To study Computer Science at GCSE you must have shown an aptitude and interest in the subject during Years 7 and 8 and possess a good degree of mathematical ability. There’s more to Computer Science than simply programming. Computer Science is the study of how computer systems work, how they are constructed and programmed. It consists of a body of knowledge, a set of techniques / methods for solving problems, as well as practical programming skills. What this means is that a GCSE course in Computer Science has to cover a lot of theory, as well as plenty of practical problem solving and programming.

    The subject content of the specification is divided into six topics:
    Problem Solving (Algorithms),  Communication and the Internet, Programming, Computers, Data, The Bigger Picture

    How will I be assessed?
    This GCSE has three assessment components:

    • A 1 hour 40 minutes written exam paper, with a weighting of 50%, on the principles of computer science. This tests a candidate’s theoretical knowledge of Computer Science, covering a range of topics including: Encryption; The Internet; The Impact of Technology, and more
    • A 2 hour written exam paper, with a weighting of 50%, on the application of computational thinking. This tests a candidate’s ability to understand and write algorithms, as well as testing their ability to develop program code
    • A mandatory programming project. The project brief is set by Edexcel, each brief has a context/scenario and consists of several tasks. This is a 20 hour practical ‘making’ task that enables students to demonstrate their software programming and development skills. While this project carries no weighting towards the final grade, the skills developed during each task will reflect those used by software developers following a project lifecycle. Students will learn problem analysis; algorithm design; program implementation; testing and debugging; and evaluation.

    How can I progress from this?
    GCSE Computer Science will provide a solid foundation for further academic computing related subjects. It will also support you in a wide range of careers including: software development; computer engineering; and games design.

  • BTEC Creative Media Production

    Examination board: Edexcel

    The creative media sector is a dynamic, growing and rewarding sector to work in, with new opportunities arising continually. Working in the creative media industry involves a wide range of practical processes, skills and techniques, from broadcast media to increasingly interactive products and platforms. Do you want to learn how
    to create products that have the power to enthral, intrigue and affect audiences?

    Course content
    Component 1: In this component you will develop your understanding of how media products are created for specific audiences and purposes. You will explore the relationship between genre, narrative and representation within media products and develop your understanding of how they are interpreted by audiences
    and how media production techniques are used to create different effects to communicate meaning to audiences.

    Component 2:  In this component, you will develop practical media production skills and techniques. We will specialise in the publishing sector. You will take part in workshops and classes whereby you will develop practical skills and techniques applying these to relevant pre-production, production and post-production processes when reworking an existing media product/s. You will learn how to use the software; Photoshop, Fireworks and InDesign to a high standard.

    Component 3: In this component you will respond to a client brief and create a product for the publishing sector. You will interpret the client’s needs and engage in the process of ideas generation, selecting and refining your ideas until you are satisfied that you have an idea that meets the requirements of the brief. You will undertake preproduction planning to give the client an idea of what you intend to do, you will then undertake photoshoots and manipulate images. Finally, creating the publishing product under exam style conditions.

    How will I be assessed?
    Component 1: Coursework
    Component 2: Coursework
    Component 3: Practical examination

    How can I progress from this?

    Level 3 vocational qualifications, such as BTEC Level 3 in Media Production. Related academic qualifications. Employment within the creative digital media industry, such as junior roles working in moving image production, audio production, publishing or website production.

  • GCSE Design Technology

    Examination Board: Eduqas
    To study Design Technology at GCSE you must be hardworking, dedicated, selfmotivated and enthusiastic about the subject and have the self-discipline to work to the best of your ability.

    Students are expected to:

    demonstrate their understanding that all design and technological activity takes place within contexts that influence the outcomes of design practice

    develop realistic design proposals as a result of the exploration of design opportunities and users’
    needs, wants and values

    use imagination, experimentation and combine ideas when designing

    develop the skills to critique and refine their own ideas whilst designing and making

    communicate their design ideas and decisions using different media and techniques, as appropriate for different audiences at key points in their designing

    develop decision making skills, including the planning and organisation of time and resources when managing their own project work

    develop a broad knowledge of materials, components and technologies and practical skills to develop high quality, imaginative and functional prototypes

    be ambitious and open to explore and take design risks in order to stretch the development of design proposals, avoiding clichéd or stereotypical responses

    consider the costs, commercial viability and marketing of products

    demonstrate safe working practices in design and technology

    use key design and technology terminology including those related to: designing, innovation and communication; materials and technologies; making, manufacture and production; critiquing, values and ethics.

    How will I be assessed?
    Written exam: 2 hours and 50% of GCSE
    Non-exam assessment: 30 – 35 hours approx and 50% of GCSE.

    How can I progress from this?
    Academic Vocational Career Opportunities, A level, Degree, GNVQ, BTEC/Foundation, Product designer, Engineer, Civil engineer, Software engineer, Carpenter.

  • BTEC Digital Information Technology (DIT)

    Examination board: Edexcel

    Many jobs available today will not exist in the future, many of the jobs of the future have not even been thought of
    yet. This is due to the ever changing world of technology and the way we interact with it. With a BTEC in Digital
    Information Technology, you will learn knowledge and skills that demonstrate to an employer that you can work in a business environment and prepare professional digital products to suit a range of business needs. Businesses need a new generation of employees and leaders to have practical knowledge and skills combined, the BTEC in Digital Information Technology can give you that.

    Course content

    Component 1 is split into three parts, which cover the reasons why computerised devices, ranging from smartphones, to microwaves, to car dashboards, are designed the way they are. You must show that you understand why they are suitable and what factors have been considered in their design. Then you will prepare your own application or interface. The design process will give you desirable, transferrable skills, providing you with an insight into how products are designed, from initial ideas, to the testing and evaluation stages.

    Component 2 is also split into three parts, but this component looks at presenting information in a clear manner in order to meet the needs of the user. You will also learn to understand how data helps organisations in decision-making. They will use data manipulation methods to create a dashboard to present and draw conclusions from
    information.

    Component 3 is an externally assessed exam that will explore how organisations use digital systems and the wider affects associated with their use.

    How will I be assessed?
    Component 1 – School Based Assessed Assignment 30%
    Component 2 – School Based Assessed Assignment 30%
    Component 3 – Practical examination 40%

    How can I progress from this?

    Level 3 vocational qualifications, such as BTEC Level 3 in Information Technology
    Related A Level Qualifications
    Employment/Apprenticeships within the Digital IT industry.

  • GCSE Drama

    Examinations board: AQA
    70% written / 30% performance
    **You must be able to work in groups with different people**

    The subject content for GCSE Drama is divided into three components:
    Component 1: Understanding drama
    Component 2: Devising drama (practical)
    Component 3: Texts in practice (practical)

    How will I be assessed?

    Component 1: Knowledge and understanding of drama and theatre. Study of one set play (Blood Brothers). Analysis and evaluation of the work of live theatre makers. Written paper (80 marks) – 40% of GCSE

    Component 2: Process of creating devised drama. Performance of devised drama. Analysis and evaluation
    of own work.Devising log (60 marks). Devised performance (20 marks). 80 marks in total – 40% of GCSE

    Component 3: Performance of two extracts from one play. Free choice of play but it must contrast with the
    set play chosen for. Performance of Extract 1 (20 marks) and Extract 2 (20 marks). 40 marks in total – 20% of GCSE

    Written exam 1 hour and 45 minutes

    How can I progress from this?
    Further education: ‘A’ Level Drama, ‘A’ Level Theatre Studies, ‘A’ Level Theatre Production, BTEC Performing Arts.
    Jobs: Drama therapy, drama teaching, acting, work in theatres (technical makeup, costumes, props and set), work in drama schools and many more.
    Life skills: Confidence, teamwork, creativeness, communication, leadership, empathy, following instruction, problem solving and responding to feedback.

  • GCSE Fashion & Textiles

    Examination board: AQA

    To study Fashion and Textiles at GCSE you must have a genuine interest in the subject. You must be hardworking, dedicated, self-motivated and enthusiastic about the subject and have the self-discipline to work to the best of your ability. You must have shown an interest in the subject during Years 7 and 8. You will have the opportunity to develop a wide variety of skills and techniques during Year 9, 10 and 11. You will be taught in mixed ability groups.
    You will be required to work independently at home and attend an extra session at art club in school at least once a week. During your GCSE Fashion and Textiles course you will be taught a variety of drawing techniques, sewing, dyeing fabrics and fabric manipulation, produce a variety of research on certain artists and designers and develop your work into a final fashion or textiles personal outcome.
    All pupils will be required to use a sketchbook for recording and developing ideas, research and independent work. An appreciation for Fashion and Textiles is a key part of the course and a dedication to working independently under the guidance of your teacher. You will be required to relate to the work of artists, designers and
    craftspeople from past and present to enhance your work and also Fashion and Textiles work from different cultures. We have a good variety of equipment to help support you in your learning but you will be required to provide a variety of materials over the duration of the course. It would be recommended to have a sewing machine.

    How will I be assessed?
    The subject is coursework based with pupils working towards a portfolio of evidence which will include:

    Coursework, made up of at least two assignments, carrying 60% of the final mark

    Controlled Test (Exam) over a ten hour period, carrying 40% of the final marks in Year Y11.

    How can I progress from this?
    You can progress onto further study at AS and A level as well as vocational pathways. Careers include: textile designer, sportswear technologist, colourist, tailor, costume design, retail and many more.

  • GCSE French

    Examination board: AQA

    Learning another language is a life skill and GCSE French is designed to further develop skills you have learnt in KS3 enabling you to communicate in French. You will be able to convey your thoughts and opinions verbally and in writing and understand the viewpoints of others using your reading and listening skills.
    During the course, you will study topic areas such as leisure, free time, holidays, home and local area, environment, school and future plans and current and future jobs. As you become more proficient in French you will also see your English improve.

    How will I be assessed?
    In GCSE French all the skills are assessed separately with each being worth 25%. Final exams will be sat at the end of Year 11 and you will get the opportunity to refine your reading, writing, speaking and listening skills throughout the course on a variety of different topics on the curriculum. Learners will also be given access to online modules to learn vocabulary and improve reading and listening skills.

    How can I progress from this?
    Academic – you can continue studying to ‘A’ level and could then move on to university, where you could study the language, or even combine it with another subject such as Business or Law if you are looking for a really well paid job.
    Vocational – having a language qualification will be beneficial to anyone wanting to continue onto courses in industry, particularly the travel and tourism industries.
    Career prospects – we live in a world where global trade is common place and having a language qualification makes you highly employable as it is incredibly useful in the workplace since many businesses operate on a multinational level. It will also be useful if you need to travel abroad for work. Careers using languages are widely found within journalism, banking, industry, sales, construction, and engineering, not to mention language based professions such as translation, interpreting and teaching.

  • GCSE Geography

    Examination Board: AQA
    ‘Cherish the natural world, because you’re a part of it and you depend on it’ David Attenborough

    Geography GCSE is an exciting and topical subject where you will work towards developing knowledge and understanding of a range of places and their environments all over the world. You will learn about the fascinating ways in which our world has been shaped and explore how humans plan and manage the built world around us. You will develop geographical skills and understanding through independent research, group work and independent learning. ICT features regularly to develop your knowledge and you will take part in a field trip where you can put into practice practical geography skills such as map reading, taking measurements and collecting data to present your findings geographically.

    How will I be assessed?

    Paper 1: Living with the physical environment (35%) – This unit is concerned with the dynamic nature of physical processes and systems, and human interaction with them in a variety of places and at a range of scales.
    Paper 2: Challenges in the human environment (35%) – This unit is concerned with human processes, systems and outcomes and how these change both spatially and temporally.
    Paper 3: Geographical Applications (30%) – This unit is designed to be synoptic in that students will be required to draw together knowledge, understanding and skills from the full course of study. To assist with this paper, pupils will attend a fieldwork excursion. 50% of this unit is based on a seen booklet, a real advantage for exam preparation.

    How can I progress from this?
    Geography is a broad, all-encompassing subject; it lends itself well to many college, university and career pathways. Learning Geography can develop skills for careers in the fields of Travel and Tourism, Leisure and Entertainment, Business, Development and Global Issues, Sustainability and Climate Change and many more.

  • GCSE History

    Examination Board: AQA

    Paper 1: Understanding the modern world. On this paper we study modern world history. The topics you will be examined on are:

    America, 1920–1973: Opportunity and Inequality. This topic focuses on both social and political history in the USA.

    Conflict and Tension in Asia, 1950–1975. This topic focuses on the Korean and Vietnam wars.

    Paper 2: Shaping the nation. This paper focuses on British history. The topics you will be examined on are:

    ‘Britain: Health and the People’. This is a study of how medicine and health has changed from the Middle Ages to the present day.

    Elizabethan England, c1568–1603 in depth. This section includes an investigation of a historic site.

    How will I be assessed?
    Paper 1—written paper 50% 2 hours taken in May/June of year 11
    Paper 2—written paper 50% 2 hours taken in May/June of year 11

    How can I progress from this?
    History can be studied further at A level and to degree courses at University.
    The study of history develops the skills of enquiry, argument and judgement, many of the key skills that employers are looking for. These are some of the jobs which require these skills: advertising executive, analyst, archivist, broadcaster, Foreign Service officer, journalist, lawyer, politics, MI5, MI6 and GCHQ.

  • Level 1 / 2 Hospitality & Catering

    Examination Board: Eduqas
    To study Hospitality and Catering at Level 1/2 you must be hardworking, dedicated, self-motivated and enthusiastic about the subject and have the selfdiscipline to work to the best of your ability

    This course concentrates on the hospitality and catering industry. You will develop the knowledge and understanding related to a range of hospitality and catering providers; how they operate and what they have to take into account to be successful. You will have the opportunity to learn about issues related to nutrition and food safety and how they affect successful hospitality and catering operations. In this qualification, you will also develop food preparation and cooking skills as well as transferable skills of problem solving, organisation and time management, planning and communication.
    You will learn about the hospitality and catering industry by:

    Carrying out lots of practical work to learn new skills with weekly practical lessons. Therefore, it is
    essential that you are prepared to bring ingredients at least once a week.

    Visiting speakers/ case studies.

    How will I be assessed?
    This course is assessed on two mandatory units.
    Unit 1: The Hospitality and Catering Industry will be externally assessed.
    Duration: 90 minutes (90 marks)

    Unit 2: Hospitality and Catering in Action is internally assessed:
    Learners apply their learning to safely prepare, cook and present nutritional dishes. They will draw on their learning of different types of provision and kitchen and front of house operations in Unit 1, as well as personal safety in their preparations. The content is relevant not only to employees within food production, but also those with a responsibility for food safety in the industry, nutritionists and managers and owners.

    How can I progress from this?
    Academic Vocational Career Opportunities, A level, Degree, GNVQ, BTEC/Foundation.

    Dietician, Chef, Waiter/Waitress, Molecular Gastronomist, Food Photographer, Journalist, Farmer

  • GCSE Music

    Examination Board: Eduqas

    Through both individual instrumental and class lessons, and by participating in extra-curricular musical activities, students will improve in the key areas that they have already studied in Key Stage 3: performing, composing and listening to different types of music from club dance remix, musicals, African drumming to the music of Purcell and Beethoven. Music learning develops students’ critical skills, their ability to listen, to appreciate a wide variety of music, and to make judgments about musical quality. It also increases self-discipline, creativity, aesthetic sensitivity and fulfilment. GCSE Music is about performing, composing and appraising music.

    The course breaks down into the following four main sections:

    Performing – Students must play one piece of their own and one piece with at least one other person. Students can perform on an instrument, keyboard or sing.
    Composing – Students receive lessons in melody making, adding a harmony part, making up a song and writing for different instruments. They will compose one composition of their own choice and one composition relating to an area of study selected by the EDUCAS exam board.
    Controlled Assessment – The controlled assessment is a composition sent by the examination board where the students can choose from one of four areas of study to compose from.
    Listening Paper – Students will learn a variety of different aural skills over the three years and these are tested in a Listening Paper exam. This exam involves students listening to a variety of different excerpts and answering set questions about each excerpt.

    How will I be assessed?

    The units are weighted different and are assessed either by an external examiner or the class teacher.

    Unit 1 – Coursework Composing – 15% – internally assessed / externally moderated
    Unit 2 – Controlled Assessment – 15% – internally assessed / externally moderated
    Unit 3 – Coursework Performance– 30% – internally assessed / externally moderated
    Unit 4 – Listening and Appraising – 40% – externally assessed

    How can I make progress from this?
    This particular course lends itself to pupils wishing to study A-Levels in Music, Music Technology or Performing Arts. It would also be a useful qualification for pupils looking to take BTECs or vocational courses at college.

  • BTEC First Music Technology

    Examination Board: Pearson

    The course is for those students who are interested in music and the music industry and wish to develop and practise skills using a variety of sound equipment and software. As the qualification also explores the types of employment available within the industry, the candidate will develop an awareness of business practice and employment skills and is therefore appropriate for those who would benefit from development in this area.

    This qualification has been developed to provide an engaging and stimulating introduction to the world of music. It includes two core units that form the fundamental knowledge and understanding of music principles, followed by a selection of five optional specialist units from which a further two are chosen.

    The core units recognise the importance of knowledge about music for anyone wanting to be successful in the industry. There is an increasing focus on the role of the individual, where there is a need for personal business and entrepreneurship skills, coupled with music skills and aptitudes. The core also provides opportunities for the development of music skills through the development of a music product.

    Unit 1: The Music Industry – which provides an overview of the industry, particularly focusing on the shape of the modern industry and covering the emergence of the role of the self-employed, performer and promoter.
    Unit 2: Managing a Music Product – which covers essential aspects for progression. This unit looks at the development a music product. As well as providing a vehicle for demonstrating skills and learning, it also introduces the role of planning and promotion in the management of a music product. Learners can base their work on a live concert, event, a CD or online product, providing opportunities for both music performers and technologists.

    How will I be assessed?
    To achieve the qualification you must complete 2 mandatory units and 2 optional units. You may wish to complete the additional units to gain extra credits and to facilitate progression; however these units will not contribute to the overall credit value of the qualification

  • GCSE Photography

    Examination board: AQA

    To study photography at GCSE you must have a genuine interest in the subject and have a digital camera or a recent model smart phone on which photographs can be taken in your own time as part of the course. You must be hardworking, dedicated, self-motivated and enthusiastic about the subject and promote the self-discipline to work to the best of your ability. You will be required to work independently at home and attend an extra session after school once a week. You will have the opportunity to develop a wide variety of skills and techniques during Year 9, 10 and 11. You will be taught photographic shooting skills with a focus on composition and photographic
    terminology. You will be required to edit and enhance your images based on research carried out on current professional photographers and genres. You will use computer packages such as Adobe Photoshop to edit photos you have taken. It is a requirement of the course that you write about the processes you have used to create your images through PowerPoint workbooks which are assessed as part of the course. Finally, you will present your final prints in a range of mediums such as photo albums, framed photographs or other presentations of your choice.

    How will I be assessed?
    The subject is coursework based with pupils working towards a portfolio of evidence which will
    include:

    Coursework, made up of at least two assignments, carrying 60% of the final mark

    Controlled Test (Exam) over a ten hour period, carrying 40% of the final marks in Year 11

    How can I progress from here?
    You can progress onto further study at AS or A level as well as vocational pathways. Careers can include: Portrait photographer, scientific photographer, media planner, stylist, film/video editor, journalist, fashion, architecture, nature and wildlife conservation, plus many others.

  • GCSE Physical Education

    Examination Board : OCR

    You will be encouraged to improve:

    Your ability to plan, perform and evaluate games and individual activities.

    Your knowledge, skills and understanding of a range of activities.

    Identify ways to develop and maintain a healthy and active lifestyle.

    The physical education classes will consist of pupils who have shown an aptitude and enthusiasm for PE during Key Stage 3. It is important that you have reached high level of performance in 2-3 sports by the end of year 8, performing at town and county level teams and competitions.
    You will have ONE practical and TWO theory lessons a week. You will:

    Have a responsible and independent attitude towards participation in sport.

    Have a keen interest in sport and participate in sport within and outside school.

    Want to know more about the benefit of sport and exercise

    Want to improve your own performance in a range of sports

    What will I learn?

    Develop your knowledge and practical skills in a range of physical activities and roles.

    Examine effects of exercise and how training can help improve performance.

    Identify ways to develop and maintain a healthy and active lifestyle through participation in physical activity.

    How will I be assessed?
    New weighting of 60% exam (Theory) and 40% Practical.

    How can I progress from this?
    As well as being the ideal preparation for the A Level Physical Education course, GCSE PE allows for progression
    to related vocational qualifications, such as BTEC (Level 3) and Nationals in Sport or Sport and Exercise Sciences.
    The course develops the transferable and key skills that employers are looking for and can lead to a wide variety
    of employment opportunities. This can include further training in such areas as recreational management, leisure
    activities, coaching, officiating, the fitness industry, the armed forces and the Civil Services.

  • GCSE Religious Education

    Examination Board: AQA

    Students who opt to take RE as a GCSE will study RE for three lessons a week in years 9 ,10 and 11. The content we cover prepares students for the AQA: `Religious Studies A` GCSE examination. In the course we reflect upon and explore questions about the meaning of life and religious responses to moral issues, introduce pupils to the challenging and varied nature of religion and help them to appreciate the contribution of religion to the formation of patterns of belief and behaviour and develop empathetic skills and promote mutual understanding and tolerance of other people’s viewpoints.
    Why is RE a useful GCSE ?
    It provides students with information about the diversity of culture and lifestyle within the United Kingdom, which in turn prepares them for working in any profession in which they will be expected to deal with members of the public, many of whom will have a different background to themselves. It also encourages students to think about moral issues such as war, abortion, capital punishment and euthanasia and learn how to express a balanced argument on each issue, which also considers the views of Christianity and Islam.

    How will I be assessed?
    Unit 1 (50 % of total mark) – Christianity, Islam

    Unit 2 (50 % of total mark) – Relationships and Families; Religion and Life, Religion; Peace and Conflict; Religion, Crime and Punishment

    1 written paper ( 1 hour 45 minutes) 1 written paper ( 1 hour 45 minutes)

    How can I progress from this?
    Clear and logical thinking Public Service Industries e.g. Police
    Critical evaluation Education
    Organisation Law
    Planning Social Services
    Research Ministry
    Team working Nursing / Medicine
    Participation Local Government
    Reflection / Counselling

  • GCSE Separate Sciences

    Examination board: AQA

    The GCSE Separate science course is designed to bridge the gap between GCSE science and ‘A’ level science, and is therefore an ideal course for those who wish to study science at college. To do separate science you must be at a grade 4 at the end of Key Stage 3. The areas covered are:

    Exchange and transport (Biology)

    Regulating the human body (Biology)

    The Periodic table (Chemistry)

    Organic chemistry and rates of chemical reactions (Chemistry)

    Physics in medicine (Physics)

    Making things work (Physics)

    The pupils will also cover the Trilogy Science units as mentioned on the science page in the core subject section.

    How will I be assessed?
    You will be required to sit examinations at the end of the course. For Separate Science, there will be six papers – 2 each from Biology, Chemistry, and Physics – and each paper will last for 1 hour 45 minutes. All exams will be taken at the end of year 11. You will receive three separate grades from this course – one each for Biology, Chemistry and
    Physics.

    How can I progress from here?
    You can study an ‘A’ level in a science discipline but you must get at least a grade 6 in your GCSE science examinations in the area you want to study, for example if you want to study A level Chemistry, then your GCSE Chemistry grade must be a minimum of a grade 6. From here you can study a degree in an area of science. Science graduates are amongst some of the highest earners of all graduates in the UK.

  • GCSE Spanish

    Examination board: AQA

    Learning another language is a life skill and GCSE Spanish is designed to further develop skills you have learnt in KS3 enabling you to communicate in Spanish. You will be able to convey your thoughts and opinions verbally and in writing and understand the viewpoints of others using your reading and listening skills. During the course, you will study topic areas such as leisure, free time, holidays, home and local area, environment, school and future plans and current and future jobs. As you become more proficient in Spanish you will also see your English improve.

    How will I be assessed?
    GCSE Spanish will be studied over 3 years where all the skills are assessed separately with each being worth 25%. Final exams will be sat at the end of Year 11 and you will get the opportunity to refine your reading, writing, speaking and listening skills throughout the three year course on a variety of different topics on the curriculum. Learners will also be given access to online modules to learn vocabulary and improve reading and listening skills.

    How can I progress from this?
    Academic – you can continue studying at AS and A2 and could then move on to university, where you could study the language, or even combine it with another subject such as Business or Law if you are looking for a really well paid job.
    Vocational – having a language qualification will be beneficial to anyone wanting to continue onto courses in industry, particularly the travel and tourism industries.
    Career prospects – we live in a world where global trade is common place and having a language qualification makes you highly employable as it is incredibly useful in the workplace since many businesses operate on a
    multi-national level. It will also be useful if you need to travel abroad for work. Careers using languages are widely found within journalism, banking, industry, sales, construction, and engineering, not to mention language based professions such as translation, interpreting and teaching.

  • Cambridge National Award Sports Studies

    Examination Board: OCR

    The Cambridge Nationals in Sport Studies takes a more sector-based focus, whilst also encompassing some core sport/Physical Education themes. Students have the opportunity to apply theoretical knowledge about different types of sport and physical activity, skills development and sports leadership to their own practical performance. They will learn about contemporary issues in sport such as funding, participation, ethics and role models, and sport and the media. Students will develop an appreciation of the importance of sport locally and nationally, different ways of being involved in sport and how this shapes the sports industry. Students are assessed on their practical ability in teams, individually and as officials. The physical education classes will consist of pupils who have shown an aptitude and enthusiasm for PE during Key Stage 3. It is important that you have reached a high level of performance by the end of year 8.
    You will have ONE practical and TWO theory lessons a week. You will:

    Have a responsible and independent attitude towards participation in sport.

    Have a keen interest in sport and take part in sport outside of class time

    Want to know more about the benefit of sport and exercise

    Want to improve your own performance in a range of sports

    What will I learn?

    Develop your knowledge and practical skills in a range of physical activities and roles.

    Examine effects of exercise and how training can help improve performance.

    Identify ways to develop and maintain a healthy and active lifestyle through participation in
    physical activity.

    How will I be assessed?
    Weighting of 25% exam (Theory) and 75% non-examined centre assessed (written coursework).
    R051: Contemporary issues in sport Written paper 1 hour – 60 marks.
    R052: Developing sports skills Centre assessed task, OCR moderated.
    R053: Sports leadership Centre assessed task, OCR moderated.
    R056: Outdoor Adventurous Activities Centre assessed task, OCR moderated.

    How can I progress from this?
    As well as being the ideal preparation for the A Level Physical Education course. The Cambridge Nationals
    in Sports Studies allow for progression to related vocational qualifications, such as BTEC (Level 3) and Nationals in Sport or Sport and Exercise Sciences. The course develops the transferable and key skills that employers are looking for and can lead to a wide variety of employment opportunities. This can include further training in such areas as recreational management, leisure activities, coaching, officiating, the fitness industry, the armed forces and the Civil Services.