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Art & design Design & Technology Music Photography Drama
History Geography French Spanish Latin

Computing

Exam Board: OCR
Contact: Mr C Loizou, Head of Computer Science

aims of the course

Through the course, pupils will:

  • understand and apply the fundamental principles and concepts of Computer Science, including abstraction, decomposition, logic, algorithms, and data representation
  • analyse problems in computational terms through practical experience of solving such problems, including designing, writing and debugging programs
  • think creatively, innovatively, analytically, logically and critically
  • understand the components that make up digital systems, and how they communicate with one another and with other systems
  • understand the impacts of digital technology to the individual and to wider society
  • apply mathematical skills relevant to Computer Science.

As part of the school’s Form Time Tutorial Curriculum, all students in Key Stage 4 have the opportunity to take part in a Programme of Computing Tutorials through the Inspiring Digital Enterprise Award (iDEA) which is an international award winning programme that will help students develop digital, enterprise and employability skills. Through the series of online challenges, students are able to unlock new opportunities and, ultimately, gain industry-recognised Awards that help them stand out from the crowd.

assessment

At Key Stage 4, the Computing department delivers the OCR specification for Computing GCSE. This consists of 2 units:

Unit 1
Computer Systems

Written examination paper
50% weighting

Introduces students to the central processing unit (CPU), computer memory and storage, data representation, wired and wireless networks, network topologies, system security and system software. It also looks at ethical, legal, cultural and environmental concerns associated with computer science.

Unit 2
Computational Thinking, Algorithms and Programming

Written examination paper
50% weighting

Students apply knowledge and understanding gained in component 01. They develop skills and understanding in computational thinking: algorithms, programming techniques, producing robust programs, computational logic and translators.

religious studies

Exam Board: AQA
Contact: Mrs L Humphries & Mr O Burgess, Joint Head of Life Skills

aims of the course

We live in an increasingly diverse UK that plays a prominent role in an interconnected world. GCSE Religious Studies is an opportunity to better understand the world around us and those that we live and work alongside. AQA GCSE.

Religious Studies offers a range of faith-specific options and a variety of relevant and contemporary themes. Students will learn how religion, philosophy and ethics form the basis of our culture, and develop valuable skills that will help prepare them for further study.

course content

During the course, students will be challenged with questions about belief, values, meaning, purpose and truth, enabling them to develop their own attitudes towards religious and non-religious issues. In many ways GCSE

Religious Studies will be a continuation of Life Skills lessons in Key Stage 3. Students will use and develop a variety of skills, including debating, critical thinking, group work and essay writing. Religious Studies has the benefit of being multidisciplinary, meaning that it’s content and skills link closely with many other subjects. Choosing GCSE RS will also mean that students can contribute to the further enhancement of school’s position as a UNICEF Right Respecting School.

GCSE RS is a good subject to consider if you are thinking of any career which requires working with other people especially when it involves differences of opinion or ethical considerations. For example, law, medicine, social work, public services and education.

assessment

The GCSE is made up of two components and these are externally assessed.

These two components are:

Component 1
The study of religions: beliefs, teachings and practices
(Buddhism & Christianity)

Written exam
1 hour 45 mins
96 marks, plus 6 marks for spelling, punctuation and grammar (SPaG)
50% weighting

Component 2
Thematic Studies

Written exam
1 hour 45 mins
96 marks, plus 3 marks for spelling, punctuation and grammar (SPaG)
50% weighting

Four religious, philosophical and ethical studies themes from the following:

  • A: Relationships and families
  • B: Religion and life
  • C: The existence of God and revelation
  • D: Religion, peace and conflict
  • E: Religion, crime and punishment
  • F: Religion, human rights and social justice

Physical Education

Exam Board: Edexcel
Contact: Mr S N Downes. Director of Sport

aims of the course

Pupils have the opportunity to take GCSE Physical Education and make full use of the extensive facilities and departmental expertise offered at the school. Physical Education is practically based and the syllabus is designed to promote physical activity. The aims and objectives of this qualification are to enable students to:

  • develop theoretical knowledge and understanding of the factors that underpin physical activity and sport and use this knowledge and understanding to improve performance
  • understand how the physiological and psychological state affects performance in physical activity and sport
  • perform effectively in different physical activities by developing skills and techniques and selecting and using tactics, strategies and/or compositional ideas
  • develop their ability to analyse and evaluate to improve performance in physical activity and sport
  • understand the contribution that physical activity and sport make to health, fitness and well-being
  • understand the key socio-cultural influences that can affect people’s involvement in physical activity and sport.

course content

The syllabus content for the written paper is divided into four sections:

Component 1
Fitness & Body Systems

  • Topic 1: Applied anatomy and physiology
  • Topic 2: Movements analysis
  • Topic 3: Physical training
  • Topic 4: The use of data

This component assesses students’ knowledge and understanding of the factors underpinning physical activity and sport performance. Students will develop their theoretical knowledge and understanding of applied anatomy and physiology, movement analysis and physical training so that they can use this knowledge to analyse and evaluate performance and devise informed strategies for improving/optimising their own practical performance.

Component 2
Health & Performance

  • Topic 1: Health, fitness and wellbeing
  • Topic 2: Sports psychology
  • Topic 3: Socio-cultural influences
  • Topic 4: The use of data

This component assesses students’ knowledge and understanding of the factors underpinning participation and performance in physical activity and sport. Students will develop their theoretical knowledge and understanding of the contribution that physical activity and sport make to health, fitness and well-being and how these can impact on their own performance. Sports psychology will be introduced, with a focus on skill development, through relevant practice, guidance and feedback, as well as knowledge that learners can then apply to their own learning in practical situations in order to improve their performance. Key socio-cultural influences that can affect people’s involvement in physical activity and sport will also be considered.

Components 3 & 4
Health & Performance

Candidates will be assessed in three sporting roles, one must be in an individual sport and one in a team sport, the third sport is a free choice but must be from within the setsports provided by the exam board. Any student taking this course is expected to either play for the school or for a team outside of school. If their chosen sports are one of those sports that are played by the school, they will be expected to attend training and make themselves available to play for the school. Candidates will also be required to plan a Personal Exercise Programme in one of their chosen sports.

assessment

60% of the marks for GCSE Physical Education are allocated to written, examination components, 30% is via planning, performing and evaluating a Personal Exercise Programme. A summary of the assessment is given below:

Component 1
Fitness & Body Systems

Written examination
1 hour 45 mins
90 marks
36% weighting

  • Applied anatomy and physiology
  • Movements analysis
  • Physical training
  • The use of data

Component 2
Health & Performance

Written examination
1 hour 15 mins
70 marks
24% weighting

  • Health, fitness and well being
  • Sports psychology
  • Socio-cultural influences
  • The use of data

Component 3
Practical Performance

105 marks
30% weighting

One team, one individual and one free choice from a set list

  • Skills during individual and team performances
  • General performance skills

Component 4
Personal Exercise Programme (PEP)

Written examination
20 marks
10% weighting

  • Aim and planning analysis
  • Carrying out and monitoring the PEP
  • Evaluation of the PEP

further information

Physical Education A Level is taught in the Sixth Form and the GCSE would certainly be a good grounding for any pupil wishing to continue their study at a higher level. GCSE is not essential for those wishing to study A Level but will enable them to become familiar with the revised format of both courses that was implemented in September 2016.

The GCSE course will suit pupils who have a real interest in sport, sports leadership, officiating in sport and related topics. It should not be considered an easy option and should not be taken without careful consideration. This is a new syllabus which has a real focus on anatomy and physiology so students who have in interest in biology would suit also. The leisure industry continues to grow and many career opportunities are gearing up to those equipped to face the challenge.

Citizenship

Exam Board: OCR
Contact:
Dr A Bidmead, Head of Politics & Citizenship

aims of the course

Knowledge is power!

Never has politics been more interesting. Never have young people been more engaged and never has it been so crucial that young people are aware of the political and legal processes which govern us all. This knowledge, together with an awareness of how to change and influence those institutions and processes for the better is the aim of this course. GCSE Citizenship is about informing young people of how the world in which they live operates and, crucially, encourages them to become active citizens within it.

course content

Whether students are motivated by a particular cause such as racial justice or climate change, or whether they simply want to become more informed about the political and legal processes by which we are governed; this is the course for students who have a keen awareness of and interest in the modern world of politics, law and justice. Students will study politics, law and the role of the media. They will examine their rights, their responsibilities and how these intersect. Students will develop key skills of verbal reasoning with many opportunities to debate all manner of modern issues, as well as learning how to put their ideas into practice via an extended research project entitled ‘Citizenship Action’ based around a subject of the students choosing.

Reasoning skills will also be developed in writing both in terms of source analysis and analytical, evidenced based arguments. This GCSE is being run by the Politics department which brings a wealth of experience in terms of staff specialism & extra curricular activities to ensure success and engagement across the two year course. It is for those students who not only want to become more aware of the modern world, but who desire to become more active within it and to make a difference!

assessment

The GCSE is made up of two papers which will both be externally assessed at the end of two years. Both papers are 1 hr 45 minutes in length and contain 80 marks. Both papers make up 50% of the total mark each.

Question types include multiple choice questions, source based questions, short answers, and extended long-form answers.

Paper 1
Politics & Active Citizenship

  • The British Constitution
  • National, Local & devolved government
  • Elections and Voting
  • Politics beyond the UK
  • extended research project of a student’s own choosing

Paper 2
Life in Modern Britain, Rights & Responsibilities

  • The Legal system
  • The law
  • The economy
  • Identities & diversity
  • Media

Economics

Exam Board: OCR
Contact:
Mrs R Breach, Head of Economics

aims of the course

We live in uncertain times and students will soon find themselves entering a fragile, dynamic yet unpredictable labour market. Those with a firm understanding of basic economics are likely to be highly employable in a wide range of professional roles. Many of our students leave The Math to take on a degree in Economics or one of many related areas in business, management or finance.

Economics is about people and their economic choices. This course enables students to appreciate we are all part of the economy and that economics relates to every aspect of our lives – from the decisions of individuals or families to the structures created by governments and producers. It will develop students understanding of how economic issues affect choices about resources and markets and vice versa.

OCR’s GCSE (9–1) in Economics equips students with the skills and confidence to explore how consumers, producers and governments interact in markets nationally and internationally. It provides a well-rounded introduction to this subject and an excellent foundation for advanced study in Economics.

By learning how to explain and evaluate economic problems and possible solutions, students will acquire a way of thinking as economists and develop a logical approach to thinking and reasoning.

assessment

The GCSE is made up of two units and these units are externally assessed.

Unit 1
Introduction to Economics

Written paper
1 hour 30 mins
80 marks
50% weighting

  • Introduction to economics
  • The role of markets and money

Unit 2
National and International Economics

Written paper
1 hour 30 mins
80 marks
50% weighting

  • Economic objectives and the role of government
  • International trade and the global economy

Art & Design

Exam Board: OCR
Contact:
Mrs E Morton & Mr E Stewart, Joint Head of Art & Design

aims of the course

Almost everything around you has been created by Artists and Designers. In every job and career, there is an increasing need to be creative, imaginative and resourceful. The GCSE course in Art and Design: Fine Art provides the opportunity for you to do this as well as the opportunity to:

  • Develop your artistic skills, techniques and abilities further
  • Explore and develop the use of your creative imagination
  • Develop your visual intelligence and the ability to interpret the visual world meaningfully
  • Learn how to form and develop original ideas of your own
  • Acquire the skill with which to express your ideas and feelings effectively
  • Enrich your aesthetic experience by visiting galleries and museums
  • Explore a wide variety of traditional and contemporary art materials and techniques.

course content

The course starts during Term 6 in Year 9 when you will begin your coursework units; these will be developed further into Year 10 and 11. You will need to produce a variety of coursework projects in which you will explore and experiment with both traditional and contemporary media as well as through professional working practices.

These include: painting, drawing, sculpture, printmaking,photography, mixed media and digitally generated art. Dueto the nature of GCSE Art and Design: Fine Art you will need to have good drawing and practical skills developed over Key Stage 3.

The course is carefully designed to enable you to:

  • Work within a structured professional environment as well as developing your own original ideas on a given or chosen theme
  • Carry out visual research by drawing, looking at the work of others, note taking, using cameras to record your direct experience of the world around you and developing ideas from your imagination
  • Experiment with and use a range of media and materials, methods and processes in both two and three dimensions
  • Explore the context in which your own work is produced, making connections with art, craft and design in a variety of cultures
  • Interpret and make critical judgements about your own work as well as the work of other artists and be able to communicate your understanding using relevant art vocabulary
  • Develop an independent unit of work based on your chosen theme/starting point.

assessment

Coursework

60% weighting

You need to submit one unit of coursework (themed project) which should be your strongest unit of work. The units you develop are internally set, marked and externally moderated. They must include sketchbooks, supporting and development work as well as the final outcomes.

Controlled Test

40% weighting

Themes are given by the examination board and candidates are currently allowed from January in Year 11 to prepare by recording ideas, making drawings, completing critical studies, planning and trialling the final piece. A final ten hour exam is then undertaken over two days for you to make and complete a final practical piece based on your plans; this usually occurs around the Easter session.

career opportunities

This course opens up a wide variety of FE and HE opportunities as well as careers in fields including: Fine Art, Media, Advertising and Design Management, Graphic Design, Illustration, Art Therapy, Fashion and Textile Design, Professional and Commercial Photography, Teaching and Lecturing, Museum Curator, Broadcast Media including Film and TV, Restoration, Animation, Architecture, Interior Design, Digital Design, Theatre and Set Design and more.

design & technology (product design)

Exam Board: AQA
Contact:
Mr D Robson, Head of Design & Technology

aims of the course

This course offers a broad based experience which is excellent preparation for the GCE A level course in Product Design. This route gives the possibility of further study to degree level in a wide range of fields ranging from architecture, product design, graphic design, automotive design, stage design, engineering and product engineering.

course content

The Product Design GCSE has been designed to encourage pupils to design and make products with creativity and originality, using a range of materials and techniques. Packaging, labelling and instructions are encouraged as part of the complete design proposal and advertising, points of sale, etc can be used to supplement the making experience and help create products which can be evaluated for their commercial viability. Product Design encourages pupils to become active, inquisitive and independent learners.

Product Design requires the application of knowledge and understanding when developing ideas, planning, producing products and evaluating them. The distinction between Designing and Making is a convenient one to make, but in practice the two often merge. For example, research can involve not only investigating printed matter and people’s opinions, but also practical investigations such as proportions, adhesives, colour, structures and materials

When designing, pupils are expected to be creative and innovative. Designs for products must meet the needs of clients and consumers. Pupils learn about the design principles of form, function and fitness for purpose as well as an understanding of the impact and responsibility that designers have on and to society. Pupils are also expected to consider the conflicting demands of moral, cultural, economic and social values and the needs of sustainable design and environmental issues. They devise and apply test procedures to check the quality of their work at critical/ key points during development and to indicate ways of modifying and improving it when necessary. They are expected to communicate their design proposals in an appropriate manner being flexible and adaptable when designing; testing and evaluating the final design proposal.

When making, pupils are taught to select and use tools/ equipment and processes to produce quality products. They are expected to consider the solution to technical problems in the design and manufacture process. Pupils manufacture products applying quality control procedures and using their knowledge of Computer-Aided Design (CAD) and Computer Aided Manufacture (CAM). Pupils use testing, modification and evaluation to ensure that the quality of their products is suitable for intended users.

assessment

Paper 1

Written paper
2 hours
100 marks
50% weighting

Candidates answer all questions in three sections with the content being based on the pupil’s knowledge and understanding of the processes, techniques and materials which aid the manufacture of commercial products. Pre-release material is issued by the examinations board to help pupils prepare for the examination.

Non-Exam Assessment (NEA)

Design & making activity
Controlled assessment
30-35 hours
100 marks
50% weighting

The design and make activity is selected from the theme set by the examination board and consists of the development of a made outcome and a concise design folder. The design folder should consist of approximately 20 pages of A3 paper or the ICT equivalent. As part of the evidence submitted, pupils should include photographs/videos of the finished products as well as photographs/videos at various stages of the development process.

Music

Exam Board: EDUQAS (part of WJEC)
Contact:
Mrs G Morris, Head of Music

course requirements

You will need to be AT LEAST Grade 3 standard in performance by the start of year 11. You will need to be prepared to have regular lessons outside of Curriculum time on your chosen instrument.

Pupils wishing to opt for GCSE Music will need to perform to music department staff and be prepared to perform at other events throughout the school year.

assessment

Component 1
Performing

Non-exam assessment (NEA)
Internally assessed, externally moderated
72 marks
30% weighting

  • A minimum of two pieces, lasting a total of 4-6 minutes
  • One piece must be an ensemble (group piece) lasting at least one minute 
  • Grade 3 music is the standard level 
  • You can use any instrument or voice

Component 2
Composing

Non-exam assessment (NEA)
Internally assessed, externally moderated
72 marks
30% weighting

  • Two Compositions: One in response to a brief set by WJEC Eduqas – 4 to choose from each year, each linked to an Area of Study
  • One free composition – ANY style you want to write in based on your own brief.
  • Total duration of both compositions – 3-6 minutes.

Component 3
Appraising

Externally assessed examination
96 marks
40% weighting

  • Listening & Appraising examination: 8 questions, 2 on each area of study, including 1 longer 10 mark essay style question. 2 of the 8 questions will be based on the Set Works. 
  • AoS 1 Musical Forms and Devices (including a set work) 
  • AoS 2 Music for Ensemble 
  • AoS 3 Film Music 
  • AoS 4 Popular Music (including a set work)

photography

Exam Board: OCR
Contact:
Mrs E Morton & Mr E Stewart, Joint Head of Art & Design

aims of the course

The Photography course focuses on candidates gaining a foundation of skills in photography through the development of imaginative practical work in a variety of contemporary, digital and traditional forms. Everything around you has been designed and recorded by Artists and Photographers therefore this course can open up hundreds of HE and FE courses and careers in industry often generate significant earnings. On the course you will be encouraged to:

  • Develop your artistic and practical skills, techniques and abilities further
  • Develop your visual intelligence and the ability to use a wide range of professional equipment
  • Learn how to form and develop original ideas of your own
  • Acquire the skill with which to express your ideas and feelings effectively and creatively
  • Enrich your aesthetic experience through trips and hands on experience with professionals
  • Explore a wide variety of contemporary and traditional photography techniques

course content

The course is mainly practical in which photographic work produced should reflect its Art endorsement. During Term 6 in Year 9 you will begin your coursework which will be developed further in Year 10 and 11. A variety of photographic approaches will be covered in this course, a majority of which will involve the use of professional digital equipment alongside traditional dark room techniques and film techniques. The course is carefully structured to enable you to:

  • Work within a structured environment as well as developing your own original ideas and producing professional quality work
  • Carry out visual research, use cameras to record your ideas and explore the context in which your own work is produced
  • Experiment with and use a range of professional equipment including backdrops, lighting, digital cameras, Adobe Photoshop (premier digital manipulation package), digital film cameras, access to ICT facilities, access to traditional photographic equipment and darkroom facilities
  • Interpret and make critical judgements about work and be able to communicate your understanding using relevant vocabulary, there is an amount of writing involved in this course.

assessment

Coursework

60% weighting

You need to submit one unit of coursework (themed project) which should be your strongest unit of work. The units you develop are internally set, marked and externally moderated. They must include sketchbooks, supporting and development work as well as the final outcomes taking the form of design layout sheets. Basic Photographic areas such as portrait, Still Life and Landscapes are explored initially with further independent thematic responses being developed by candidates.

Exam

40% weighting

Themes are given by the examination board and candidates are currently allowed from January in Year 11 to prepare by researching the work of other Photographers and Film makers, recording ideas, planning and undertaking photo shoots in order to develop and produce final pieces. A final ten-hour exam is then undertaken over two days for you to make and complete a range of finalised photographic responses based on your final plans; this usually occurs around the Easter session.

career opportunities

This course opens up a wide range of FE and HE opportunities as well as careers in many fields including; Multimedia, Advertising and Design Management, Journalism and Photojournalism, Graphic design, Illustration, Fashion Photography, Professional and Commercial Photography, Teaching and Lecturing, Cinematographer, Editorial Photography, Broadcast Media including Film and TV, Film Editor or Director and many more.

drama

Exam Board: EDUQAS (part of WJEC)
Contact:
Mrs J Shad, Head of Drama

aims of the course

This GCSE in Drama aims to encourage students to be inspired, moved and changed by following a broad, coherent, satisfying and worthwhile course of study. It aims to prepare learners to make informed decisions about further learning opportunities and career choices. Following this course in GCSE Drama will enable students to:

  • actively engage in the process of dramatic study in order to develop as effective and independent learners and as critical and reflective thinkers with enquiring minds
  • work imaginatively and creatively in collaborative contexts, generating, developing and communicating ideas
  • reflect on and evaluate their own work and the work of others
  • develop and demonstrate competence in a range of practical, creative and performance skills
  • develop a basis for their future role as active citizens in employment and society in general as well as for the possible further study of drama
  • consider and explore the impact of social, historical and cultural influences on drama texts and activities

Drama GCSE is a thought provoking, challenging and creative subject which requires from pupils a willingness to participate in practical work, and a determination to acquire new skills and knowledge. In return, the subject offers each student valuable transferable skills such as communication and cooperation and the opportunity to explore fundamentally what it means to be human.

Studying the Eduqas GCSE Drama course involves pupils exploring practical drama, acquiring theoretical knowledge and applying precise analytical skills in evaluating performance.

Pupils will study different theatrical practitioners, genres and performance styles and develop their devising skills in response to a variety of stimuli. Aspects of staging and design will be explored in relation to the set text; theatre visits will inspire pupils’ practical work and enable them to experience and evaluate live performance. Pupils will perform both scripted and non-scripted work.

The EDUQAS Drama GCSE fosters pupils’ creativity, personal growth, self-confidence, communication, analytical and evaluative skills through the acquisition of knowledge, skills and understanding and the exercise of the imagination. Crucial transferable skills are developed which universities and employers value highly.

It promotes pupils’ involvement in and enjoyment of drama as performers, devisers, directors and designers. It provides opportunities for students to attend professional and community performances and to develop their critical faculties as informed and thoughtful audience members. Pupils will be given opportunities to participate in and interpret their own and others’ drama. They will investigate the forms, styles, and contexts of drama and will learn to work collaboratively to develop ideas, to express feelings, to experiment with technical elements and to reflect on their own and others’ performances.

By studying GCSE Drama, pupils will learn more about the role of theatre within the arts and its contribution to social and cultural commentary and will come to appreciate that dramatic exploration-whether intended for audiences or not, provides significant opportunities for expressing cultural and personal identity and developing empathy.

 

assessment

Candidates are assessed in their ability to:

  • AO1: Create and develop ideas to communicate meaning for theatrical performance (accounts for 20% of marks)
  • AO2: Apply practical skills to realise artistic intentions in live performance (accounts for 30% of marks)
  • AO3: Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of how drama and theatre is developed and performed (accounts for 30% of marks)
  • AO4: Analyse and evaluate their own work and the work of others (accounts for 20% of marks)

Component 1
Devising Theatre

Internally assessed
40% weighting (20% AO1, 10% AO2 & 10% AO4)

This work is internally assessed by the teacher using the assessment criteria. The centre will record all of the work on video or DVD and submit it for moderation to EDUQAS.

Component 2
Performing from a Text

Externally assessed
20% weighting (AO2)

This performance is externally assessed by a visiting examiner between January and May of Year 11. Candidates must not perform scenes from the text they study for Component 3.

Component 3
Interpreting Theatre

Written examination
Externally assessed
1 hour 30 mins
40% weighting (30% AO3 & 10% AO4)

Candidates are required to answer questions on one set text from the point of view of an actor, designer and director and to analyse and evaluate a live theatre production.

History

Contact: Mr C Nicholson, Head of History

History may be studied as an optional subject if Geography has been chosen as the compulsory humanity subject.

aims of the course

The course is specifically designed to enhance both enjoyment and interest in History as well as providing enhanced understanding of the world we live in. In addition to this it will furnish pupils with many skills that are transferable, not only to other subjects but also to many potential careers. In opting to study History, pupils will be developing skills of analysis and evaluation and learning how to present coherent, rational arguments.

These skills are highly relevant to a wide range of careers, just a few of which are law, business, journalism, accountancy and public administration. They are also extremely relevant to studying any AS or A2 Level subject (particularly Government and Politics, Economics, English, Classical Civilisation and even Sciences), but are obviously also excellent for A2 Level History.

course content

This specification was chosen specifically due to the interest it generates, based on its content. In addition, the different unit choices complement each other thematically, supporting the overall understanding of the content. The areas studied are:

The Cold War 1945-72

This course follows international relations from the end of the Second World War and the resulting split of the world into two armed camps, dominated by the USSR and the USA. We will study the nature of the Cold War, in particular events in Berlin, Cuba and Czechoslovakia. We will then review how and why the Cold War came to an end, with particular reference to the roles of Reagan and Gorbachev.

Russia 1894-1945

This course follows the collapse of the Tsarist regime and the subsequent Bolshevik takeover of power, with particular concentration on the role of individuals such as Lenin and Trotsky. We will then investigate the nature of Stalin’s dictatorship and life in the Soviet Union in the run up to and during, the Second World War.

Britain: migration, empires and the people: c790 to the present day

This thematic study will enable students to gain an understanding of how the identity of the people of Britain has been shaped by their interaction with the wider world. It will consider invasions and conquests. It will also study the country’s relationship with Europe and the wider world. It will consider the ebb and flow of peoples into and out of Britain and evaluate their motives and achievements. It considers the causes, impact and legacy of Empire upon the ruled and the ruling in the context of Britain’s acquisition and retreat from Empire.

Medieval England – the reign of Edward I, 1272–1307

This option allows students to study in depth Medieval England and the reign of Edward I. The in-depth study will focus on the major events of the reign of Edward considered from economic, religious, political, social and cultural standpoint, and arising contemporary and historical controversies.

assessment

Paper 1
Understanding the Modern World

Covers The Cold War 1945-72 and Russia 1894-1945
2 hours
50% weighting

Paper 2
Shaping the Nation

Covers Britain: migration, empires and the people and Medieval England – the reign of Edward I
2 hours
50% weighting

Geography

Exam Board: AQA
Contact:
Mrs E Cullis, Head of Geography

Geography may be studied as an optional subject if History has been chosen as the compulsory humanity subject.

aims of the course

Geography is an excellent option to choose if you enjoy both a practical and academic subject, or if you are looking to keep your options open in terms of a career (but want a subject developing your mind, skills and knowledge which are transferable to a wide range of areas). It involves practical fieldwork which is assessed in the examination (no coursework). The aims of the course are:

  • To build upon and expand many of the topics and issues which you have studied in Year 7, 8 and 9
  • To develop a knowledge and understanding about a further range of places, environments and themes. You will look at a range of very topical human and physical issues and challenges facing our world (featuring a knowledge of the UK and a range of other countries)
  • To acquire and apply skills and techniques through map work, fieldwork and the use of ICT and Geographical Information Systems (GIS)
  • To develop an awareness of the ethnic, cultural and political diversity of society and to develop intellectual, practical and social skills
  • To help you to make sense of your physical and human surroundings and how they inter-relate
  • To develop a mind which is enquiring, flexible, able to sift and weigh evidence and to come to a balanced conclusion.

assessment

100% examination (with compulsory fieldwork, assessed in Paper 3).

Paper 1
Living with the physical environment (Physical Geography)

1 hour 30 minutes
35% weighting

This unit looks at physical processes and systems and their dynamic nature at a range of scales and places.

  • Section A: The Challenge of Natural Hazards (including Tectonic Hazards, Tropical Storms, and Extreme Weather in the UK)
  • Section B: Physical landscapes of the UK (Including the range of diverse landscapes in upland and lowland areas, and a study of Coastal Landscapes in the UK, and River Landscapes in the UK)
  • Section C: The living world (including Ecosystems, Tropical Rainforests, and Cold Environments).

Paper 2
Challenges in the human environment (Human Geography)

1 hour 30 minutes
35% weighting

This unit looks at human processes, systems and outcomes and how these change in a range of places and scales. Their dynamic nature linked to the challenges of managing these places and future opportunities are covered.

  • Section A: Urban issues and challenges (including Population issues, Urban growth and challenges in cities including social, economic and environmental opportunities and challenges, and sustainable management of resources and transport in urban areas)
  • Section B: The changing Economic world (including global variations in economic development and quality of life, the development gap, changes in the UK economy linked to employment patterns and regional growth)
  • Section C: The challenge of resource management (including the global distribution of food, water, and energy, and their changing demand and provision).

Paper 3
Geographical applications (Fieldwork and Issue Evaluation)

  • Section A: Issue evaluation: There will be a resource released prior to the examination – this could include maps, diagrams, graphs, statistics, photos, and extracts from published sources. Questions will relate to a contemporary geographical issue leading to an extended piece of writing needing some decision or justification. The questions will also expect students to demonstrate geographical skills and applied knowledge and understanding when looking at the resource.
  • Section B: Fieldwork: Group fieldwork will take place in two contrasting environments (Physical and Human Geography). Examination questions will focus on the understanding of the enquiry process and will expect students to comment on fieldwork materials from an unfamiliar context, together with questions on aspects of their own fieldwork (e.g. methodology, data presentation techniques, analysis of data, conclusions, and evaluating fieldwork enquiries).

career opportunities

Geography contains elements from most other subjects in the curriculum, to which it adds relevant everyday experiences and activities. It is highly topical and an interest in ‘the news’ and current affairs is an advantage. The skills and relevance of the study of Geography is highly regarded amongst employers and universities (where at A level it can often count as a science-based subject). Geography can lead into future careers in banking, surveying, town planning, landscape design, environmental sciences, management or many other areas.

French

Exam Board: Edexcel
Contact:
Miss K Cook, Head of French

French may be studied as an optional subject if Spanish or Latin have been chosen as the compulsory language subject.

aims of the course

A Modern Language GCSE is a well-respected and highly regarded qualification. It is a requirement that all students study at least one of the following languages at GCSE: Spanish, French or Latin.

The new specification for French GCSE, with first teaching from term 6 in 2024, has been created to focus on key communication skills based on practical and high frequency vocabulary.

French as a foreign language is the second most frequently taught language in the world after English and French is the only language other than English spoken on five continents.

French GCSE is very popular and visits and trips, including a residential trip to Paris, are available to those taking GCSE and A level.

Pupils will be given opportunities to:

  • communicate in the target language
  • develop the four skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing;
  • work with authentic materials including television, websites;
  • meet native speakers in school and abroad;
  • develop knowledge and understanding of countries and communities where French is spoken;
  • achieve a suitable foundation for further language study and/or practical use of the target language (French).

course content

There are 6 engaging and relatable thematic contexts that will be studied, all building on KS3 knowledge, which are relevant to students’ current and future needs:

  • My personal world
  • Lifestyle and wellbeing
  • My neighbourhood
  • Media and technology
  • Studying and my future
  • Travel and tourism

With the specified vocabulary and grammar, a lot of which has already been covered in KS3 students can listen to, read, speak and write about the following subjects:

  • Family
  • Friends
  • Relationships
  • Future opportunities (e.g. work and travel)
  • Physical wellbeing
  • Mental wellbeing
  • Food and drink
  • Social media and gaming
  • Places in town
  • Shopping
  • Transport
  • The natural world
  • Environmental issues
  • Equality
  • Sports
  • School
  • Music
  • TV and film
  • Accomodation
  • Tourist attractions

assessment

Paper 1
Speaking

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Exam time: foundation 7-9 minutes, higher 10-12 minutes
50 marks
25% weighting

  • Task 1: Read aloud (you read a short text in French) and 2 short unprepared questions
  • Task 2: Role play in a transactional setting (hotel, shop, doctors)
  • Task 3: Picture description (Describe only one colour picture from a choice of two), 2 short unprepared questions and follow-on conversation (Student selects the thematic context in advance)

Paper 2
Listening and Understanding

Exam time: foundation 45 minutes, higher 1 hour (5 minutes reading time included)
50 marks
25% weighting

  • Section A: Listening – multiple-choice, multiple-response and short-answer open response questions. All questions set in English.
  • Section B: Dictation (transcribe what you hear in French, words and short phrases. In each section, the recording is played three times.

Paper 3
Reading and Understanding

Exam time: foundation 45 minutes, higher 1 hour
50 marks
25% weighting

  • Section A: Reading – multiple-choice, multiple-response and short-answer open response questions. All questions set in English.
  • Section B: Translation into English

Paper 3
Writing

Exam time: foundation 1 hour 15 minutes, higher 1 hour 20 minutes
50 marks
25% weighting

  • Picture task (Foundation tier only)
  • Two writing responses (both tiers, with a choice of two options for each question)
  • Translation into French (both tiers)

Spanish

Exam Board: Edexcel
Contact:
Mr G Powell, Head of Spanish

Spanish may be studied as an optional subject if French or Latin have been chosen as the compulsory language subject.

aims of the course

A Modern Language GCSE is a well-respected and highly regarded qualification. It is a requirement that all students study at least one of the following languages at GCSE: Spanish, French or Latin.

The new specification for Spanish GCSE, with first teaching from term 6 in 2024, has been created to focus on key communication skills based on practical and high frequency vocabulary.

With the growing economy of South America, Spanish is the most needed language in the world of work, whether it be in finance or commerce.

Spanish GCSE is very popular and visits and trips are offered to those taking GCSE and A level.

Pupils will be given opportunities to:

  • communicate in the target language
  • develop the four skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing;
  • work with authentic materials including television, websites;
  • meet native speakers in school and abroad;
  • develop knowledge and understanding of countries and communities where Spanish is spoken;
  • achieve a suitable foundation for further language study and/or practical use of the target language (Spanish).

course content

There are 6 engaging and relatable thematic contexts that will be studied, all building on KS3 knowledge, which are relevant to students’ current and future needs:

  • My personal world
  • Lifestyle and wellbeing
  • My neighbourhood
  • Media and technology
  • Studying and my future
  • Travel and tourism

With the specified vocabulary and grammar, a lot of which has already been covered in KS3 students can listen to, read, speak and write about the following subjects:

  • Family
  • Friends
  • Relationships
  • Future opportunities (e.g. work and travel)
  • Physical wellbeing
  • Mental wellbeing
  • Food and drink
  • Social media and gaming
  • Places in town
  • Shopping
  • Transport
  • The natural world
  • Environmental issues
  • Equality
  • Sports
  • School
  • Music
  • TV and film
  • Accomodation
  • Tourist attractions

assessment

Paper 1
Speaking
Non-examined assessment

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Exam time: foundation 7-9 minutes, higher 10-12 minutes
50 marks
25% weighting

  • Task 1: Read aloud (you read a short text in Spanish) and 2 short unprepared questions
  • Task 2: Role play in a transactional setting (hotel, shop, doctors)
  • Task 3: Picture description (Describe only one colour picture from a choice of two), 2 short unprepared questions and follow-on conversation (Student selects the thematic context in advance)

Paper 2
Listening and Understanding

Exam time: foundation 45 minutes, higher 1 hour (5 minutes reading time included)
50 marks
25% weighting

  • Section A: Listening – multiple-choice, multiple-response and short-answer open response questions. All questions set in English.
  • Section B: Dictation (transcribe what you hear in Spanish, words and short phrases. In each section, the recording is played three times.

Paper 3
Reading and Understanding

Exam time: foundation 45 minutes, higher 1 hour
50 marks
25% weighting

  • Section A: Reading – multiple-choice, multiple-response and short-answer open response questions. All questions set in English.
  • Section B: Translation into English

Paper 3
Writing

Exam time: foundation 1 hour 15 minutes, higher 1 hour 20 minutes
50 marks
25% weighting

  • Picture task (Foundation tier only)
  • Two writing responses (both tiers, with a choice of two options for each question)
  • Translation into Spanish (both tiers)

Latin

Exam Board: EDUQAS (part of WJEC)
Contact:
Miss S Harrison, Head of Classics

Latin may be studied as an optional subject if French or Spanish have been chosen as the compulsory language subject.

aims of the course

The components are designed to encourage candidates to:

  • Enjoy reading and studying Latin and Latin Literature
  • Develop a reading competence focused upon a selection of Latin literature
  • Develop a critical insight into the way language is used to develop trains of thought, express feelings or to influence people
  • Appreciate critically and make an informed and personal response to the language, literary forms, techniques and qualities of the texts
  • Appreciate the way Roman culture shaped the language and literature of the period.

The components are also designed to encourage candidates to develop:

  • An appropriate level of competence in the Latin language
  • A sensitive and analytical approach to language generally
  • An awareness of the influence of Latin on the languages of today
  • An awareness of Roman culture and how it influences our own.

course content

Students will further their knowledge of Latin language, grammar and vocabulary as well as studying original pieces of Latin text and appreciating it from a literary perspective.

In addition, students will study an aspect of Roman culture such as Life in a Roman Town or Entertainment in the Roman World. In Year 10 we continue to follow the Cambridge Latin Course, in Year 11 we study Culture and Literature.

assessment

Students sit three examinations in total at the end of Year 11, as follows:

  • Component 1 – Latin Language: Language paper worth 50% of final grade
  • Component 2 – Latin Literature and Sources: Literature paper worth 30% of final grade
  • Component 3b – Roman Civilisation: History and culture paper worth 20% of final grade

There is no coursework involved.