Year 10 & 11 Subject Information

Please view all the Options subject information for students in Year 10 and 11 below.

GCSE Art and Design: Fine Art

Title of Course
Art and Design: Fine Art

Level
GCSE

Exam Board
Edexcel

Staff Contact
Ms C Britton | Coordinator of Learning – Art

What is the subject about?

Fine Art is all about exploring ideas, experimenting creatively and developing a range of skills using different materials to the best of your ability.

Students will always be asked to create a personal response.  They are asked to be innovative and to take risks.  The most successful students are the ones who really practise to develop their practical skills and develop their ideas in the most interesting and creative way.  Students will be making their own work in response to a theme.

The GCSE Fine Art course is exciting and will help develop problem solving skills. Students will think and work like an artist.

What will the students learn?

  • Students will learn to develop a range of practical skills using paint, print and drawing.  Students will record using photography and create work that is both 2 dimensional (painting and drawing) and 3 dimensional (sculpture).
  • Students will write about their own work, ideas and influences.
  • To help students extend their ideas they will look at the work of other artists to explore and investigate the techniques and processes they have used and also develop an understanding of the motivation of the artist.
  • Students will have the opportunity to develop PHOTOSHOP and ILLUSTRATOR skills in a creative way.
  • Students will use a sketchbook to record, research and develop ideas and practical skills

How will the students learn?

  • Students will be making a personal response to a theme, set every year.
  • Students will create a range of pieces in different ways and using different materials.
  • Students will develop practical skills by working from observation.  They will experiment with a range of different techniques sometimes inspired by the way other artists work in order that students can show how they have been influenced.
  • Students will consider composition, scale, colour and technique in their planning.
  • Students will have the opportunity to work with good quality materials: acrylic paints /watercolours/clay/card and are expected to be as creative and experimental.
  • Students will reflect on what they have done, review their work and make improvements.
  • All art and design work develops as students develop their skills and understanding.
  • Students will make in-depth analysis of other artists’ work.
  • To be successful students need to be resourceful, imaginative, experimental and creative.

Independent Learning

Students will be encouraged at all times to make a PERSONAL RESPONSE.  They will therefore need to think creatively and they decide their work should be made in a particular way.  Students will need to learn specific skills to make their work successful.  Students need to be resourceful and make independent research.

Controlled Assessments, Coursework and Examination Information

  • 60% – UNIT 1, Coursework (This will be a ‘Portfolio of work’ with a range of responses supported by work in sketchbooks).
  • 40% – UNIT 2, Timed test (10 hours unaided work + 8 weeks preparation time).
  • There are 4 assessment areas to address and to do well students have to work consistently across all 4 areas.

Career and other important information

This course will help to develop life-long skills. Students will build self-confidence and be able to express ideas. Students will become resourceful, independent and develop a creative approach to solving problems.

They could develop their knowledge further by studying Fine Art or other Art based courses at A-Level or BTEC before pursuing a degree.  Careers in Design, Fashion, Photography or as a painter, printmaker or sculptor are popular routes forward from these courses.

GCSE Art and Design: Graphic Communication

Title of Course
Art & Design: Graphic Communication

Level
GCSE

Exam Board
Edexcel

Staff Contact
Ms C Britton | Coordinator of Learning – Art

What is the subject about?

Graphic design is all about Communication.  As a Graphic Designer you will aim to communicate through IMAGES and TEXT.  You see Graphic Design all around you, on TV, online,  on packaging, in books and magazines, on posters and almost every time a product or an idea or message needs to be clear.  Graphic Design can be used for selling (advertising) or to illustrate (stories).  You need to think creatively as you will have the opportunity to develop a range of ART and DESIGN skills.

What will the students learn?

  • Students will learn to develop their Art and Design skills through drawing, painting and printing.  They will also learn other recording skills such as photography and will learn how to develop their work to make it as accessible as possible.
  • Students will be using their creativity to design “letter-forms” and mix them with the images they create.  This is an aspect of TYPOGRAPHY (text to communicate). They will experiment with different layouts and colour-ways.
  • Students need to look at what other designers have done and analyse their work.  This will help extend their design ideas.
  • Students will have the opportunity to develop PHOTOSHOP and ILLUSTRATOR skills to create professional looking final pieces.
  • Students will learn how to develop their design ideas and make their work as effective as they can

How will the students learn?

  • Students will be responding to a design brief, a ‘client’ will commission them to develop a range of ideas. For example, they may be asked to develop designs for a CD cover, illustrate a poem or design a magazine front cover. 
  • Students will need to develop their ideas having looked at the work of other Graphic Designers.  Students would then experiment with different ways that they could communicate their ideas using different skills, like drawing, painting, printing, photography and typography. 
  • To be successful students need to be resourceful, experimental and creative.

Independent Learning

It will always be the students’ aim to produce a PERSONAL RESPONSE. That means students need to be able to work independently on their ideas, experiments and research. 

Students will sometimes be asked to work as part of a team having specific tasks/roles to make their team designs effective and meet the brief.

Controlled Assessments, Coursework and Examination Information

  • 60% – UNIT 1, Coursework (This will be a ‘Portfolio of work’ with a range of design projects + sketchbooks/design journals).
  • 40% – UNIT 2, Timed test (10 hours unaided work + 8 weeks preparation time).
  • There are 4 assessment areas to address and to do well students have to work consistently across all 4 areas.

Career and other important information

The course will help to develop lifelong skills.  Students will learn how to solve problems creatively.  They will become resourceful and be able to communicate your ideas effectively. 

They could develop their knowledge of Graphic Design by studying at A Level or BTEC level and then a degree in Graphic Design before becoming a Graphic Designer and perhaps working in a design studio of an advertising agency, or in publishing, film animation, illustration and packaging design.

GCSE Art and Design: Photography

Title of Course
Art & Design: Photography

Level
GCSE

Exam Board
Edexcel

Staff Contact
Ms C Britton | Coordinator of Learning – Art

What is the subject about?

This Photography course will introduce students to new processes and techniques but above all it will ask them to take and make photographs for a purpose.  Students will be able to make photographs that illustrate (that have a narrative or story).  Students will be able to make photographs that show EFFECTS.  Students will be able to make photographs that document EVENTS.  Students will be able to make photographs that are EXPRESSIVE.  Students will be able to make photographs that are MORE than just a record of what students can see in front of them.  Students need to think creatively as they will have the opportunity to develop a range of photographic skills.

What will the students learn?

  • Students will learn to develop their photographic skills by understanding the technology of the camera.  They will experiment with colour and black and white photography.
  • Students will be using their creativity to plan and develop ideas and express their feelings through photography. 
  • Students need to look at what other photographers have done and analyse their work.  This will help them extend their own practical work. 
  • Students will have the opportunity to develop their PHOTOSHOP skills to manipulate and enhance images.
  • Students will learn how to develop their photographic responses through editing, considering lighting, composition and balance as well considering the idea, mood or feeling they want to convey.
  • Students will use a sketchbook/photography journal to record and develop their work and research.

How will the students learn?

  • Students will be responding to a range of photographic briefs. 
  • Students will be responding to a theme, idea, emotion, style or technique.
  • Students will need to develop their ideas, through drawing and painting as well as photographically – to be successful they need to be resourceful, experimental and creative.
  • To have their own camera would be an advantage.

Independent Learning

It will always be the students aim to produce a PERSONAL RESPONSE. That means students need to be able to work independently on their ideas, experiments and research. 

Students will therefore need to think creatively and decide if their work should be made in a particular way.  They will need to learn specific skills to make their work successful.  Students need to be resourceful and make independent research.

Controlled Assessments, Coursework and Examination Information

  • 60% – UNIT 1, Coursework (This will be a ‘Portfolio of work’ with a range of photographic projects + sketchbooks/photography journals).
  • 40% – UNIT 2, Timed test (10 hours unaided work + 8 weeks preparation time). 
  • There are 4 assessment areas to address and to do well students have to work consistently across all 4 areas.

Career and other important information

The course will help to develop life long skills.  Students will learn how to solve problems creatively. They will become resourceful and be able to communicate their ideas effectively. 

Students could develop their knowledge of photography by studying at A Level or BTEC level and then a degree in photography before becoming a photographer perhaps working in the fashion industry, in documentary journalism, as a sports photographer or as a portrait photographer.

GCSE Business Studies

Title of Course
Business Studies

Level
GCSE

Exam Board
AQA

Staff Contact
Mr A Hart | Coordinator of Learning – Business

What is the subject about?

Business studies is about understanding what makes successful businesses work, how they are organised and how different types of businesses operate. The subject highlights local, national and international companies.  The course provides an introduction to marketing, finance and operations management and explores some of the factors outside businesses control.

What will the students learn?

  • Students will learn about Operations management, Human Resources, Marketing, Finance within a range of business scenarios. During the course, students will learn about ownership and control options available to businesses and develop an understanding of the many factors outside of a business control (politics, competition, demand, legal matters), as well as effective strategies to respond to these externalities.
  • Critical thinking and professional business writing skills are developed in all business students throughout the course. In addition to improving formal writing skills, students are encouraged to improve their IT skills, along with team working and presenting ideas capability in line with the needs of the fast-paced world of commerce and the competitive international environment.

How will the students learn?

In class we take notes, discuss and hot seat core ideas. Students participate in pair-work and group work to develop their understanding; with questions relating to what has been covered, as well as frequent case-study work responding to exam style questions. Students will complete worksheets, group and individual challenges as well as develop presentation skills with maths and english skills integrated throughout the course.

Independent Learning

The course requires students to conduct a significant amount of independent research when they prepare for the end of year exams. Homework will also be required in order to fully understand the concepts of the course.

Controlled Assessments, Coursework and Examination Information

The AQA GCSE Business assessment consists of 2 x 1h45m exams.  Both exams are worth 50% of the GCSE and include Multiple Choice questions, Case study based questions and general subject questions.  There is no coursework with this course.

  • Paper 1: Business in the real world
    • Influences on business
    • Business operations
    • Human resources. 
  • Paper 2: Business in the real world
    • Influences on business
    • Marketing
    • Finance. 

Career and other important information

The subject provides good preparation for Post 16 business-related courses, specifically IB Business Management, the BTEC Diploma in Business Studies and the Certificate in Financial Studies (CeFS). Students will enhance their calculation and interpretation skills, practical for a range of non-business qualifications and further training.

GCSE Computer Science

Title of Course
Computer Science

Level
GCSE

Exam Board
AQA

Staff Contact
Mr M Hayre | Coordinator of Learning – ICT

What is the subject about?

This subject gives students an understanding of key computing concepts and the fundamentals of programming. It focuses on students creating applications, such as mobile and web apps and computer games.  Students build skills over the course that lead to their ability to create computer programs, but also appreciate the changing landscape of computer technology around them.  Students will also keep up to date with emerging technologies that will likely become commonplace in the years to come.

What will the students learn?

Students will learn:

  • Independent learning skills for working and living in an increasingly digital world.
  • Creativity, logical thinking and self-evaluation.
  • Designing of apps and software technologies they use – mobile phones, games consoles and the Internet.
  • Computing, which is of enormous importance to the economy and focuses on computer technologies that are relevant in the modern world.
  • Elements of Microsoft Technology Associate certifications to give industry recognised skills.
  • A thorough grounding in computing, creating opportunities for students to move on to A-levels, vocational courses, industry recognised IT qualifications and employment.
  • Progression in other areas such as technology, science, engineering and the creative industries.

How will the students learn?

  • Students will cover the core principles and fundamentals in the early stages of the course and build upon these over time to harness them to start creating and evaluating computer programs for desktop and mobile environments. 
  • Assessments will be every module in an exam or controlled assessment style, depending on the particular content of that module.

Independent Learning

The course fully promotes and encourages independent learning throughout.  Students are also heavily encouraged to foster their learning in their own time and complete personal projects relating to and extending the learning done in lessons.

Controlled Assessments, Coursework and Examination Information

  • Component 1 – Computational thinking and problem solving
    • Written exam set in practical based scenario  
    • 1 hour 30 minutes Exam (paper-based)
    • 50% of the GCSE Qualification
  • Component 2 – Written Assessment
    • 1 hour 30 minutes Exam (paper-based)
    • 50% of the GCSE Qualification
  • Component 3 – Practical Programming Problem
    • The development of a computer program along with the computer programming code itself which has been designed, written and tested by the student to solve a problem. Students will need to produce an original report outlining this development.

Career and other important information

Employers in the computer industry are desperate for more students to have this kind of qualification and having this on your CV will set you apart from everyone else.  The logical thinking and creative element will also lend itself to careers outside the computer industry, such as Business Management and working generally within Corporate Enterprise.

GCSE Dance

Title of Course
Dance

Level
GCSE

Exam Board
AQA

Staff Contact

Miss K Keveth | Teacher of Dance

What is the subject about?

Dance is a powerful and expressive subject which encourages students to develop their creative, physical, emotional, and intellectual capacity, whatever their previous experience in the subject. Students will be given the opportunity to perform in both formal and informal contexts which is key to developing self-confidence, discipline, focus, attitude, trust and ability to work with others.

What will the students learn?

The specification is divided into three core areas: performance, choreography and appreciation. Students will learn about the practical processes of making and performing dance as well as how to discuss and analyse it. There is a large aspect of theory on the course as the exam is worth 40% of the final grade.

How will the students learn?

Through a diverse range of activities students will explore

  • The professional work of 6 set practitioners in both practice and theory
  • How to develop their physical, expressive, technical and mental skills  
  • The process of rehearsing and performing both solo and group work
  • How to choreograph dance and communicate an idea with expression 

Students will participate in practical sessions to build core physical skills on a weekly basis, these will draw from a range of dance styles including contemporary, jazz, commercial, contact improvisation, and hip hop. However, the majority of the GCSE Is contemporary based. Workshops on set works are organised throughout the year and enable the students to learn directly from industry professionals. Trips to see live shows and participation in competitions form part of the enrichment aspect of studying dance and help to consolidate learning in the studio.

Independent Learning

Students complete a range of independent activities which include dance analysis, research, and rehearsal. It is also recommended that students attend additional dance training or classes on a regular basis to develop their physical and expressive skills even further.

Controlled Assessments, Coursework and Examination Information

The course assessment is divided into 2 components. 

  • Component 1- Performance and Choreography (60% of total grade) 
    • Performance 30% (40 marks) consists of a solo performance of two set phrases and a duet/trio performance
    • Choreography 30% (40 marks) consists of a solo or group choreography in the dancers chosen style
  • Component 2- Dance Appreciation (40% of total grade)
    • Written paper 40% (80 marks) requires knowledge and understanding of choreographic processes and performing skills, critical appreciation of own and professional work.

Career and other important information

Students will be able to continue their education in dance at A-level or consider a diploma at a dance school as an alternative option. GCSE provides students with a foundation of knowledge and dance skills preparing them for a career in the creative and performance industries. It also provides students with a broad range of interpersonal skills applicable to any industry, job or role.

GCSE Design & Technology

Title of Course
Design and Technology

Level
GCSE

Exam Board
OCR

Staff Contact
Mrs R Coules | Director of Learning – Design and Technology

What is the subject about?

Students studying Design and Technology will be involved in activities that develop innovation, creativity and flair.  The course has no material or technology bias; it anticipates that students will develop their skills through working with a wide range of appropriate materials, as well as the use of ICT, CAD/CAM and electronic systems. Students will be able to design, model, experiment, manufacture and become active risk takers within the boundaries of Design Technology challenging expectations and understanding the design process.

What will the students learn?

Successful Design and Technology involves learning from existing commercial products, the impact technology has had on product development, social and moral implications and consider the impact of past and present designers.  Students will be encouraged to develop their critical analytical skills to fully explore and evaluate the design process through the design and manufacture of commercially viable products. Students will understand the needs of different target groups and the constraints of materials and processes, all of this learning will be applied to their own designs; working to given and self generated briefs. Students will learn how to identify, comprehend, analyse, create, develop, evaluate and justify. These transferable skills will allow students to become real world participants.

How will the students learn?

In Year 10, students will complete a series of mini-projects that will build upon their theoretical and practical knowledge of manufactured products and production methods. This will be further consolidated when students embark on a coursework project that is designed to enable them to learn a systematic approach to design and manufacture.  This will allow students to develop their skills independently in preparation for the major coursework project, controlled ‘non examined assessment’, which begins in Year 11.  Theory sessions will be run consistently alongside to compliment the coursework, embedding a deeper understanding and to prepare them for examinations.

Independent Learning

Students will be required to showcase their independence in lessons through practical activities and complete a range of homework activities to support theoretical content to prepare for their controlled assessment and their external examination in Year 11.

Controlled Assessments, Coursework and Examination Information

The course consists of 2 Units, both examined in Year 11: 

  • Unit 1: 2 hour external examination
    • Unit 1 = 50% of the total GCSE
  • Unit 2: Controlled Assessment of Major coursework project, consisting of an “efolio” and final manufactured product:
    • Unit 2 = 50% of the total GCSE

Career and other important information

There are many careers available that require problem-solving and practical skills.  Students who wish to develop careers in these areas would also benefit from this option choice.

Industries linked to this course are: Product Design, Graphic Design, Marketing, Electronic Design, Consumer Tester and Buyer, Interior Design, CAD CAM Design Engineers, Publishing, Architecture, Teaching, Web Design Engineering, Concept modelling, Advertising, Finishes and Application, Styling, Colourist, and Consultant Design roles.

This course prepares students for the A Level Product Design course, offered at Post-16.

BTEC Design & Technology: Engineering

Title of Course
Design and Technology: Engineering

Level
BTEC

Exam Board
Pearson

Staff Contact
Mrs R Coules | Director of Learning – Design and Technology

What is the subject about?

Engineering is offered as a vocational subject at Key Stage 4. The course focuses on learning through manufacture with multiple-production techniques.  Students learn the main principles of Engineering including Health & Safety and Environmental Implications whilst designing and making accurate products incorporating CAD where needed and selecting materials and components for strength and fitness-for-purpose.  The majority of projects are linked to ‘real-world’ learning. Students are required to produce designs and working drawings to British Standards and incorporate CAD/CAM into their work, where appropriate. Students also complete product case studies, focussing on new technologies and materials. Students will gain an understanding of the vast sectors encompassed in the engineering sector and the progression of new and evolving concept technologies for the future generations.

What will the students learn?

Students will learn and develop knowledge in a number of different engineering areas.  This includes manual manufacturing processes, engineering materials, CAD/CAM, Computer Numerical Control (CNC) and welding.  Students will gain an appreciation for the accuracy required to produce precision components within Engineering.  They will also develop their ability to work independently, as well as be an integral member of a team.  Students will need to submerge themselves in real life contexts to be able to explain and synthesise new technological applications within engineering, such as hydrogen fuel and biomedical engineering advances.

How will the students learn?

Students will learn through practical tasks and application of knowledge.  Students will be required to demonstrate their understanding by carrying out practical tasks in the workshop.  Learning will be supported by visits to local Engineering establishments where possible and industry experts in lessons. Students will learn how to identify, comprehend, analyse and evaluate through the written submissions required for each unit completed.

Independent Learning

Students will need to be highly motivated to ensure that they keep up-to-date with coursework and meet unit deadlines throughout the duration of the course as the practical elements of the course are to enable deeper understandings and support the written requirements, though are not examined.  Enthusiastic students will take the time to further research principles learnt in class in order to enhance their learning. Students will be treated with expectations of industry to encourage responsibility for their actions and prepare them for a career in their field. 

Controlled Assessments, Coursework and Examination Information

The course spans the duration of KS4 and consists of 4 units, each weighing 25%. Three of the units are fully written with photographic evidence to support, the remaining unit is an online exam.  Coursework can be submitted through a range of media, for example, video, verbal presentations, reports and demonstrations to the class.  Staff constantly record students’ progress and complete witness statements to record students’ understanding of a topic.  Two of the units are externally assessed. All units include pass, merit and distinction tasks in order to ensure that students can reach their potential.

Career and other important information

During this course a wide range of disciplines are learnt, enabling students to apply for places on specialist Engineering courses at Colleges or Post 16 at the Leigh.  Many of our past students have successfully progressed to study Engineering at degree level and to work in the industry as apprentices.  This course leads into the Level 3 Engineering Extended Certificate in Engineering course offered at Post-16.

GCSE Design & Technology: Food Preparation and Nutrition

Title of Course
Design & Technology: Food Preparation and Nutrition

Level
GCSE

Exam Board
WJEC

Staff Contact
Mrs R Coules | Director of Learning – Design and Technology

What is the subject about?

Students will plan, cook and present food, discovering food origins and various methods of food preparation, they will need to source and purchase ingredients for practical elements evaluating their finished dishes and applying their knowledge of flavours and techniques to improve. The subject content sets out the knowledge, understanding and skills common to all specifications in Food Preparation and Nutrition to ensure progression from the IB MYP and to enable the possibility of development on to further study.

What will the students learn?

Students will learn how to demonstrate effective and safe cooking skills, preparing and cooking using a variety of food commodities, cooking techniques and equipment. They will develop knowledge and understanding of functional properties and chemical processes as well as the nutritional content of food and drinks. Students will understand the relationship between diet, nutrition and health, including the physiological and psychological effects of poor diet and health, understand the economic, environmental, ethical, and socio-cultural influences on food availability, production processes, and diet and health choices. Students will also demonstrate knowledge and understanding of functional and nutritional properties, sensory qualities and microbiological food safety considerations when preparing, processing, storing, cooking and serving food. They will understand and explore a range of ingredients and processes from different culinary traditions (traditional British and International), to inspire new ideas or modify existing recipes.

How will the students learn?

Students will carry out a range of tasks in both theory and practical lessons. They will have to provide evidence in the form of practical demonstrations, presentations, leaflets, posters and written assignments.  Evidence can also be recorded on video and through teacher observations, during practical work. Students will develop their analytical, questioning and evaluating skills for written work. They will be encouraged to work both independently, and within groups, using a range of media to present their ideas to appeal to a range of learning styles.

Independent Learning

Via weekly practical lessons where they will be expected to produce dishes to develop competent practical skills and ensure a sound knowledge of dishes for all occasions e.g. wedding buffets, three course evening meals and dishes which meet specific clients needs e.g. coeliac, vegetarians. Via simulated work experience/role-plays/watching case study videos, visits to different outlets etc.

Controlled Assessments, Coursework and Examination Information

  • Assessment 1: The Food Investigation Assessment
    • 15% of total Qualification – Food investigation
  • Assessment 2: The Food Preparation Assessment
    • 35% of total qualification  
  • Written Exam: 1hr 45 minutes

Career and other important information

The Food Preparation and Nutrition course equips students with the knowledge, understanding, and skills required to cook and apply the principles of food science, nutrition and healthy eating. It encourages students to cook and enable them to make informed decisions about a wide range of further learning opportunities and career pathways as well as develop vital life skills that enable them to feed themselves and others affordably and nutritiously, now and later in life. Students are able to apply to local colleges or train within establishments for roles such as trainee chefs, hotel management, events management, restaurant and bar management and catering supervisors and many more food related careers.

GCSE English Language & Literature

Title of Course
English Language GCSE and English Literature GCSE

Level
GCSE

Exam Board
Edexcel

Staff Contact

 Mr F Heerlall | Director of Learning – English

What is the subject about?

The English Language GCSE and English Literature GCSE are skills-based qualifications, with assessment in 2 key areas: 

  1. Reading for Meaning
  2. Writing

The course aims that students will by the end of the course be:

  1. fluent, articulate speakers
  2. able to analyse and interpret meaning, in a wide range of texts 
  3. able to produce articulate, well-structured writing, using a range of language devices, a full range of punctuation and a wide sophisticated vocabulary

What will the students learn?

Over the course of 2 years, students will study a range of literary texts, including 19th century fiction, 20th and 21st century non-fiction, a Shakespeare play, a modern play or novel and a range of poetry.  They will also study ways in which they can write for impact when creating a range of texts for different audiences and purposes.

How will the students learn?

The students will learn these skills through a range of learning styles: 

  • Reading a range of different textual genres
  • Accessing literary ideas through the media
  • Exploring writers’ ideas through group work
  • Honing speaking & listening skills through a range of oral activities (debates, role play, formal talks).

Independent Learning

Students will be encouraged to read independently, as much as possible; reading, in the first instance, texts that appeal to their interests and gradually moving to more challenging, exploratory texts.

Controlled Assessments, Coursework and Examination Information

We follow the Edexcel English Language GCSE and English Literature GCSE Specifications. Both GCSEs are examination only courses.  There are NO Controlled Assessments.  All students will sit exams for two English GCSEs:

  • English Language GCSE 
  • English Literature GCSE

Career and other important information

  • Most Post-16 career paths require at least a 4 in an English GCSE.
  • A Level English Literature requires at least a 6 in English Literature GCSE.
GCSE Ethics

Title of Course
Ethics

Level
GCSE

Exam Board
AQA

Staff Contact

Mrs L Wilkinson | Coordinator of Learning – Humanities

What is the subject about?

Ethics is about our moral principles – in other words, what we believe is either right or wrong.  Almost all societies have their moral principles based in religious teachings and therefore an understanding of religious beliefs and practices are an essential part of this course.

What will the students learn?

Throughout the course students will learn about Christian, Jewish and other religious traditions as well as scientific and humanist views.  Students will gain knowledge, understanding and be able to evaluate a range of topics including the following:

  • The origins of the universe and life;
  • Environmental issues and animal rights;
  • The value of human life including abortion and euthanasia;
  • Personal and sexual relationships;
  • Marriage, Divorce, Cohabitation;
  • Gender Equality;
  • Conflict, Nuclear War and Terrorism;
  • Peace, Pacifism, Forgiveness and Reconciliation;
  • The causes of and impacts of crime;
  • Punishments including the Death Penalty

How will the students learn?

Students will learn through a range of activities including:

  • Debates
  • Film
  • ICT
  • Educational visits, for example, Auschwitz Concentration Camp in Poland
  • Visitors
  • Textbooks
  • Online resources

Independent Learning

Students will develop a range of skills, including: research; debating and presentation skills, note taking and essay writing.

Controlled Assessments, Coursework and Examination Information

There are two examination papers.  There are no Controlled Assessments.

For more information about GCSE Ethics, please visit the Humanities website: https://sites.google.com/leighacademy
.org.uk/humanities

Career and other important information

The knowledge, understanding and skills, which students will acquire, as a result of following this course, will be valuable because they are easily transferable to other subjects such as English, History, Sociology and Psychology, at both GCSE and Advanced levels.  Many professions such as the medical, legal and public services professions welcome applicants who have studied Ethics.

GCSE French

Title of Course
French

Level
GCSE

Exam Board
AQA

Staff Contact
Mr T Hurth | Director of Learning – Modern Foreign Languages

What is the subject about?

Knowledge of a foreign language is not just another GCSE grade – it is a concrete and demonstrable life-skill.  It can help you see things from a range of perspectives, develop your problem-solving skills, and make you more adaptable, resourceful and creative.  Learning a language combines the intellectual with the practical, as no other subject does.  You need to be able to think on your feet, but when you can find exactly the right foreign word or phrase, you get a real sense of achievement.

What will the students learn?

Students will learn to discuss a wide range of topics from the following themes:

  • Identity and culture
  • Local, national, international and global areas of interest
  • Current and future study and employment

Each theme contains a series of sub-themes that enable and encourage learners to develop real-life skills in a range of relevant contexts.

How will the students learn?

Teachers will employ a wide range of strategies to communicate the essential skills and knowledge with students. This will often include:

  • A range of presentation methods
  • Finding out about France and the French Culture
  • Pair work and group work
  • Learning new vocabulary
  • Learning and practising through games
  • Language Learning websites
  • Working with the Foreign Language Assistant
  • Taking part in a visit to France

Independent Learning

We expect students to complete Independent Learning, on a regular basis.  This will include:

  • Learning new vocabulary and spelling on a weekly basis
  • Answering set questions
  • Research Tasks
  • Revising for the Speaking and Writing components
  • Attending Weekly Revision Sessions

Controlled Assessments, Coursework and Examination Information

The French GCSE is divided into 4 components and follows the AQA syllabus:

  • Listening Paper (Foundation/Higher): end of Yr 11 (25%)
  • Reading Paper (Foundation/Higher): end of Yr 11 (25%)
  • Writing Paper (Foundation/Higher):  end of Yr 11 (25%)
  • Speaking Paper (Foundation/Higher): end of Yr 11 (25%)
  • Examination length depends upon the skill and the tier of entry, Foundation or Higher. Written examinations are between 35-75 minutes. The speaking examination is 15 minutes.

Career and other important information

Today there is a global market for jobs.  It is not necessary to be completely fluent in a foreign language to be an asset to any potential employer, both in the UK and abroad.  Languages form part of the English Baccalaureate subjects, in recognition of the importance of Language Skills for the future of students and the UK economy.  As a result, many universities, including the Russell Group (the top Universities in the UK) have a language qualification as an entry requirement.  In other words, a language qualification will often be the determining factor for recruitment by employers and universities alike.  It is hoped that students will have the opportunity to visit France during the GCSE Course.

GCSE Geography

Title of Course
Geography

Level
GCSE

Exam Board
AQA

Staff Contact
Ms H BarberCoordinator of Learning – Geography

What is the subject about?

Studying Geography at GCSE gives you the opportunity to travel the world via the classroom, learning about both natural and social sciences along the way. You will understand how Geography impacts everyday life and discover the key opportunities and challenges facing the world. You will also develop academic and life skills from writing, teamwork and communication to analytical skills.

What will the students learn?

In this course students will study both Human and Physical Geography whilst developing and applying their Geographical Skills.

Human Geography covers the following units: 

  • ‘Urban Issues and Challenges’
  • ‘The Changing Economic World’
  • ‘The Challenge of Resource Management’

Physical Geography covers the following units: 

  • ‘The Challenge of Natural Hazards’
  • ‘The Living World’
  • ‘Physical Landscapes in the UK’

With this knowledge, students will be prepared for challenges in the future and aware of possible solutions to these challenges.

How will the students learn?

Students will experience a range of learning opportunities while studying Geography.  In lessons IT will be used, when possible, for students to individually and collaboratively research topics being investigated.  Students will also take part in two fieldwork study trips, which they will be asked questions about in Paper 3’s examination.

Independent Learning

As 100% of the students’ grade is based on examinations, it will be important that students are able to work independently.  Students will be set tasks regularly to complete in their own time.

Controlled Assessments, Coursework and Examination Information

Students will have three exams to complete at the end of Year 11:

  • Paper 1 – Living with the physical environment (35% of GCSE)
  • Paper 2 – Challenges in the human environment (35% of GCSE)
  • Paper 3 – Geographical Applications (30% of GCSE) 

There is no coursework in this subject.

Career and other important information

In recent years the environment has become increasingly important to economic growth and new industries related to it will continue to emerge in the future. There are a variety of careers that are related to the study of Geography, including working for councils, environmental agencies, city/town planning and GIS (Geographical Information Systems).

For more information about GCSE Geography, please visit the Humanities website:

https://sites.google.com/leighacademy
.org.uk/humanities/geography

BTEC Health & Social Care

Title of Course
Health & Social Care

Level
BTEC

Exam Board
Edexcel

Staff Contact

Mr C Bradley | Director of Learning – Humanities

What is the subject about?

The Health and Social Care BTEC Tech Award is a vocational course designed for students who may go on to work in the Health and Social Care sector, or have a deep interest in it. The three assessed components focus on the knowledge, skills and practices required, developed through functional and independent learning activities. The components studied are interrelated and they are best seen as part of an integrated whole rather than as three separate topics.  By the end of the two years, students will be ready to go onto further training on a pathway towards working in the Health and Social Care sector.

What will the students learn?

The three core units the students will study are:

Component 1: Human Lifespan Development. (Coursework).  In this unit students will: 

  • a) explore human growth and development across life stages
  • b) investigate factors that affect human growth and development and how they are interrelated

 Component 2: Health and Social Care Values. (Coursework).  In this unit students will:

  • a) explore the care values that underpin current practice in health and social care
  • b) investigate ways of empowering individuals who use health and social care services

Component 3: Health and Wellbeing (Examination)

  • Component 3 builds on Components 1 and 2, and asks students questions 

How will the students learn?

Students will be set assignments throughout the course to complete.  These may take the form of role-plays, written reports, projects and presentations.  Students will also have numerous opportunities to develop their personal, learning and thinking skills (PLTS) and functional skills (English, Maths and ICT) throughout the course.

Independent Learning

Many of the assignments in the Health and Social Care course require students to work independently.  Students will be expected to work well under pressure and to meet all assignment deadlines.

Controlled Assessments, Coursework and Examination Information

This course has an externally assessed examination for component 3. The makes up a total of 40% external assessment.  All other units are coursework based and internally assessed.

Career and other important information

There are a range of employment opportunities in health and social care services, such as a care assistant in a care home or community work with families or young people, or in associated services such as clerical and administration. 

Learners are required to have, first and foremost, a strong interest in and respect for, the children, young people or adults they may come to work with.

GCSE History

Title of Course
History

Level
GCSE

Exam Board
Edexcel

Staff Contact

Ms J WoodCoordinator of Learning – Humanities

What is the subject about?

An academically rigorous and yet enjoyable subject, history is studied to improve a students skills and abilities, and bring a sense of understanding of the world around them. How did we get ‘here’ in the present day and age?

Students will no doubt be fascinated by the changes, discoveries and great scientists of Medicine in Britain over the last 770 years. They will be drawn into the dramatic Tudor period that ushered in a Golden Age in Britain and all under one of the most significant female leaders this country has seen. The pioneering spirit and tragic events of the American West will shock and inspire. Finally, the ever fascinating rise of the Nazis will warn our students of the most dangerous time for democracy. 

What will the students learn?

GCSE History Students study

  • The Thematic study and historic environment
    • ‘Medicine in Britain, c1250–present
    • ‘The British sector of the Western Front, 1914–18: injuries, treatment and the trenches.’
  • The period study and British Depth Study
    • ‘Early Elizabethan England, 1558–88.
    • ‘The American West, c1835–c1895’.
  • The Modern Depth Study
    • Weimar and Nazi Germany 1918-1939

For more information, sign into your school account and visit our internal google site: 

https://sites.google.com/leighacademy.org.uk
/humanities/history/hi-ks4

How will the students learn?

Students will discuss and write about the key points and the main arguments in the various historical eras.  They will learn through textbooks, videos, ICT, images and “hands-on” experiences. 

Independent Learning

Students will be set written work, research and revision activities.

Controlled Assessments, Coursework and Examination Information

  • Paper 1 – The Thematic study and historic environment
    • ‘Medicine in Britain, c1250–present
    • ‘The British sector of the Western Front, 1914–18: injuries, treatment and the trenches.’
  • Paper 2 – The period study and British Depth Study
    • ‘Early Elizabethan England, 1558–88.
    • ‘The American West, c1835–c1895’.
  • Paper 3 – The Modern Depth Study
    • Weimar and Nazi Germany 1918-1939

Career and other important information

The key skills used in History are desirable to many employers.  Skills such as analysis, communication, independent research and evaluation are important in a range of careers.  In the past students who have studied History have gone on to careers in Law, Journalism, Policing, Museums, Teaching, Public Services, Parliament and the Media.

BTEC Digital Information Technology

Title of Course
Tech Award in Digital Information Technology (ICT)

Level
BTEC

Exam Board
Pearson

Staff Contact
Mr M Hayre Coordinator of Learning – ICT

What is the subject about?

The content of this course encourages learners  to acquire technical knowledge and technical skills through vocational contexts by studying the knowledge, understanding and skills related to data management, data interpretation, data presentation and data protection as part of their Key Stage 4 learning.

What will the students learn?

Students will learn:

  • the development of key skills that prove your aptitude in digital information technology, such as project planning, designing and creating user interfaces, creating dashboards to present and interpret data. 
  • process that underpins effective ways of working in digital information technology, such as project planning, the iterative design process, cyber security, virtual teams, legal and ethical codes of conduct. 
  • attitudes that are considered most important in digital information technology, including personal management and communication. 
  • knowledge that underpins effective use of skills, process and attitudes in the sector such as how different user interfaces meet user needs, how organisations collect and use data to make decisions, virtual workplaces, cyber security and legal and ethical issues.

How will the students learn?

In each module students will be taught the required skills and conceptual issues and then work independently to complete assignment based work.

Independent Learning

The course fully promotes and encourages independent learning throughout.

Controlled Assessments, Coursework and Examination Information

  • Assessment for the qualification is 60% coursework.
  • The remaining 40% comprises of an external assessment in the form of a practical examination. 
    • Component 1 – Exploring User Interface Design Principles and Project Planning Techniques (Coursework)
    • Component 2 – Collecting, Presenting and Interpreting Data (Coursework)
    • Component 3 – Effective Digital Working Practices (Examination)

Career and other important information

The qualification gives learners the opportunity to develop a broad knowledge and understanding of the digital sector and specialist skills and techniques in project planning, designing user interfaces and manipulating and interpreting data at Levels 1 and 2.

Employers will look upon this certification as a worthwhile and relevant qualification for the 21st century workplace. There are a number of demonstrable skills within this course and students who complete this course will take away many relevant skills applicable to the modern workplace.

GCSE Mathematics

Title of Course
Mathematics

Level
GCSE

Exam Board
AQA

Staff Contact

Mrs A Grozdanic Director of Learning – Mathematics

What is the subject about?

Mathematics is a universal language, studied in order to help students develop numerical and problem-solving skills, higher-order thinking skills and the ability to make connections with other aspects of life.  It helps students think logically and master the art and craft involved in manipulating the 4 main strands involved in the course namely: Number, Algebra, Geometry and Data-Handling.

Mathematics is crucial in the natural sciences and specialised areas like Physics and Chemistry. It is also important in the social sciences such as Business, Economics and Sociology and the Sports Sciences.  It is essential to have good skills in Mathematics to be successful in other areas like Arts, Dance, Music, Design & Technology and Humanities. Most universities/college courses require Mathematics.  It is the key to unlocking the potential to a variety of career options in the future, hence Mathematics will provide the tools needed by all students, to ensure they are prepared and equipped for the challenges of later life.

What will the students learn?

Students will build on the skills they have acquired in Year 7, 8 and 9 and learn how to speak the language of Numbers, formulate and articulate ideas, using Algebra, draw connections to other works of life through Geometry and improve their analytical skills via Data-Handling and Statistics. Students will also learn to appreciate the real-life applications of the different strands of Mathematics, by engaging in Functional Mathematics tasks regularly.

How will the students learn?

Students will have the opportunity to learn collaboratively in pairs and also work in small groups and also have access to other IT facilities, which will enhance their learning.  They will develop their numerical and analytical skills in Numbers, Algebra, Geometry and Data-Handling. 

The course is sub-divided into 6 modules, in each academic year of the Key Stage 4 course.  Students will be assessed periodically, in order to ensure deep learning and that they are on target.  There will be intensive use of Scientific Calculators and a more in-depth use of geometrical equipment, including a pair of compasses and protractors.

Independent Learning

Independent Learning will be encouraged via tasks designed for students to use and apply the skills they have learnt during lessons.  Students will be motivated to express themselves and articulate their ideas, in their small groups, and work collaboratively.

Controlled Assessments, Coursework and Examination Information

There is no coursework in the Mathematics course, only externally assessed examinations. Students will sit three examinations in Year 11. Paper 1 is a non-calculator paper and the other two papers are calculator papers. Each paper is worth 33.3% of their overall grade for GCSE Maths. 

Students will be entered for either the Foundation or Higher examination tier at the end of Year 11.

Career and other important information

Mathematics GCSE is a qualification that nearly all career pathways will require. Entry into Post-16 requires a grade 4 GCSE pass, and A-Level Mathematics requires a grade 7 or higher.

GCSE Media Studies

Title of Course
Media Studies

Level
GCSE

Exam Board
AQA

Staff Contact
Mr A Leadbeater Coordinator of Learning – Media

What is the subject about?

Media Studies encourages students to be inspired by the rapidly evolving world around them.  The modern nature of the course is inspired by the electronic and digital world that has come to dominate our lives in recent decades.  It explores how individuals and societies have been represented in film, TV, music and advertising.

What will the students learn?

Media studies encourages students to think critically and work creatively. Students will not only analyse the effect of media but also have the opportunity to be creative in the making of a coursework production based around either including music video, posters or website design.

How will the students learn?

Students will focus on four key concepts; Media language, Organisations, Audiences and Representation. These skills will help students prepare for two examination papers and the creation of a media production as part of their coursework.

Independent Learning

Independent learning is a key skill that is required to complete this course.  Students will have to organise themselves within a group and individually to undertake research, planning and production tasks.  In addition, they will need to prepare for examinations during class time and revision based at home – using extensive preparation materials and resources.

Controlled Assessments, Coursework and Examination Information

The course is divided into two elements – a coursework piece worth 30% and two examinations worth 70% of the overall mark. Students prepare the case study work for their examinations over a two year period – ready for two written papers in the summer of Year 11. The coursework element is researched/planned in Year 10 with completion of the production in Year 11.

Career and other important information

The cross curricular nature of Media Studies means that students will have access to a wide area of expertise. Media Studies is linked with ICT, Art, Technology and English which offers many career options in film, television, advertising, marketing, journalism, website design, radio and creative writing – not to mention a variety of online and digital careers.

GCSE Music

Title of Course
Music

Level
GCSE

Exam Board
Eduqas

Staff Contact
Mrs E Judges Coordinator of Learning – Music

What is the subject about?

This course is aimed at any student with a strong interest in music.  It introduces students to a range of different musical genres; including classical, musical theatre, jazz, film, bhangra, fusion, rock and popular music.  The course gives students the opportunity to experience composition (writing their own music), performing, analysing music and understanding the historical and social context of music. Students become actively involved in the Learning Area through different activities, including classroom performances and academy concerts to visits to concert halls and theatres.

What will the students learn?

  • How to understand the music we listen to (How was it created? Why does it sound a certain way? Why is it played in a certain way?)
  • How to compare and contrast different pieces
  • How music fits into a historical context (what type of music was created when and why?)
  • How to play an instrument, or sing well
  • How to compose different types of music

How will the students learn?

  • Students explore all aspects of music making, through a range of activities and tasks. 
  • Students will also attend concerts and musical theatres, to see how music works, in practice. 
  • Students use state-of-the art technology to complete their composition coursework, and learn valuable ICT and music producing skills.

Independent Learning

Students develop strong independent learning skills in a supportive, friendly environment.  Students decide on their own learning targets at the start of each module, and review these at the end of the module. 

Students have regular opportunities to showcase their musical talent and development, and choose the pieces they want to perform from a list, according to their ability. 

Controlled Assessments, Coursework and Examination Information

The course consists of three sections:

Component 1: Performing – 30%

  • Students develop their practical performance skills and deliver performances both in groups and as individuals. At the end of the course, each student will submit a minimum of two pieces, one of which must be an ensemble performance of at least one minute in duration.

Component 2: Composing – 30% 

  • Following guidelines and an assignment brief, students are required to create two compositions. Students can choose one brief from a choice of four; each one linked to a different area of study. Our students use manuscript paper, online notation programmes and digital audio workstations (DAW) to create their music. 

Component 3: Appraising – 40% 

  • This component is assessed via a listening examination at the end of Year 11. There are eight questions in total; two in each of the four areas of study: Musical Forms and Devices, Music For Ensemble, Film Music and Popular Music.

Career and other important information

Students develop skills preparing them for a variety of possible careers in the music industry:

  • Instrumental skills: orchestra musician, session musician, professional band musician, instrumental and classroom teacher.
  • Music technology skills: music producer, music editor, sound technician and sound engineer.
  • Composition techniques: film score composer, songwriter, orchestrator and arranger.
  • Music analysing skills: music critic, musicologist and music therapist.

It would be advantageous to the course if students already take instrumental lessons, are of an equivalent of a grade 3 standard on an instrument or are frequent musicians within the music department.

BTEC Performing Arts (Acting)

Title of Course
Performing Arts (Acting)

Level
BTEC Level 2 Award

Exam Board
Edexcel Pearson

Staff Contact
Mrs H Wilson Coordinator of Learning – Drama

What is the subject about?

Drama develops creativity, personal growth, self-confidence, communication and analytical skills through the acquisition of knowledge, skills and understanding and the exercise of the imagination.  It promotes student involvement in and enjoyment of drama as performers, devisers, directors and designers. 

Students 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. 

What will the students learn?

Through a diverse range of activities students will explore:

  • Different genres and performance styles
  • The ways in which meaning is communicated through drama
  • A range of staging and performance conventions
  • Drama terminology and how to use it appropriately
  • How plays are constructed and realised through the study of published plays 
  • How to create, interpret and communicate a role or character
  • Drama within its social, cultural and historical context
  • How to apply and work within the Performing arts industry 

Students will develop the ability to use improvisation skills in a range of drama contexts.  Apply performance and/or production skills.  Select, synthesize and use ideas and skills to create drama. Acquire reflective and evaluative skills in response to a range of dramatic texts. Work collaboratively and creatively to achieve shared dramatic intentions.

How will the students learn?

  • Workshops
  • Collaborative learning
  • Independent research
  • Rehearsals
  • Performing to an audience
  • Analysing texts and performance

Independent Learning

Students complete a range of independent activities, which include: research projects, keep a reflective diary, learn lines, arrange additional group rehearsals and write evaluations.

Controlled Assessments, Coursework and Examination Information

Component One (Internally assessed) – Students will explore THREE existing performance repertoire/plays to develop their understanding of what it is, who it is for, who made it and how it was made. To achieve this students will participate in research activities and discussions that explore a range of professional productions/repertoire in acting. They will then focus on the journey of one play from the initial idea through to the performance in practical detail. Logbooks, research and analysis will need to be submitted to successfully complete this element of the course. 

Component Two (Internally assessed) – Students will participate in a range of workshops to develop their skills and then focus on rehearsing a performance for a live audience, who will offer feedback. This will be completed in a specific style of acting. Logbooks and research will need to be completed as supporting evidence.  

Component Three (Externally assessed) – The examination board will release a stimulus in January and the students must work in groups of 3-7 to devise a unique piece of theatre. They will be expected to complete four milestone entry write ups documenting their progress in controlled assessments. Their final piece will be performed to a live audience, who will offer feedback.

Career and other important information

Students will be able to continue their education in this and related fields of Drama, Theatre Studies, Performing Arts, Media, Film, and English. Whilst the course focuses on developing their knowledge and skills for a career in the creative and performance industries, Drama is uniquely valuable in developing core life and enterprise skills, and personal confidence, plus communication skills, which increase student’s opportunities for success in any field such as law, sales, marketing and interpersonal skills.

Core PE

Title of Course
Physical Education

Level
N/A

Exam Board
N/A

Staff Contact
Mr A Pickett Coordinator of Learning – Physical Education

What is the subject about?

All students study Physical Education.  The programme is designed to develop a healthy and positive attitude to sport and recreation and allow students to make healthy lifestyle choices. The themes of learning they will cover each year include; Tactics & Strategies, Developing skills & Techniques, Problem Solving activities, Aesthetic Activities, Participating in Competitive Activities.

What will the students learn?

Students will take part in a variety of games, athletics, outdoor education and health and fitness activities consisting of team, racquet and individual sports.  Some of these include:

  • Football, Rugby, Netball, handball
  • Badminton, Table Tennis, Tennis
  • Trampolining, Athletics, Rounders
  • Fitness, circuit training, dance, yoga

How will the students learn?

Lessons will be predominantly of a practical nature.

Independent Learning

As well as the individual class sports students are encouraged to take part in the wide range of extra-curricular activities that the Physical Education Learning Area has to offer.

Controlled Assessments, Coursework and Examination Information

There is no formal assessment for this course.

Career and other important information

This course provides students with the key skills they need in order to be informed about all areas of healthy living.  It encourages both teamwork and independent thinking.  The course will provide a sound base for any student wishing to work in the Sport or Leisure industry.

GCSE PE

Title of Course
Physical Education

Level
GCSE

Exam Board
AQA

Staff Contact
Mr A Pickett Coordinator of Learning – Physical Education

What is the subject about?

Physical Education provides students with the knowledge to make informed decisions about healthy lifestyles and activity.  Students will learn how to work as a team, as well as developing individual thinking skills. They will be required to act as player/participant, in a wide variety of activities that are on offer.

What will the students learn?

Students will study and participate in a range of sporting activities, looking at the many different roles within sport. They will learn to link physical activity with dietary needs, enabling them to make informed decisions and choices about their personal lifestyle and future.

The theoretical side of the course is broken down into the following areas:

  • Applied anatomy and physiology
  • Movement analysis
  • Physical training
  • Sport psychology
  • Socio-cultural influences
  • Health, fitness and well-being

How will the students learn?

30% of the course is assessed through three practical sports (10% each). Therefore, a proportion of lessons will be taught in a practical setting. For example, students may spend one module of practical lessons developing their skills and techniques in table tennis.

10% of the course is assessed through a piece of coursework where students will analyse and evaluate their performance in a chosen sport. Students will be given time in a series of  theory lessons to complete this coursework.

60% of the course is assessed through two examinations worth 30% each. Therefore, a proportion of lessons will be taught in a classroom. During these theory lessons students will learn many aspects of physical education for example; how muscles and bones work together to create movement.

Independent Learning

Practical physical education

Although students learn and develop skills, techniques and an understanding of competitive tactics in a range of practical sports during lesson time,  it is vital that students develop their practical sports further by being part of a sports team or club outside of school. We also recommend that students attend a range of our extra curricular clubs at school.

Theoretical physical education

The GCSE physical education course content changed recently and the theoretical element became substantially more scientific and requires a much deeper understanding. It is therefore vital that students complete the homework tasks set by teachers on our Google classroom platforms.

We also recommend that students regularly read the AQA GCSE Physical Education text book and complete the activities and tests on the AQA PE BBC Bitesize website.

Controlled Assessments, Coursework and Examination Information

Practical assessment:

  • 30% of overall qualification
  • 75 marks
  • Assessed in three activities (25 marks per activity)
  • One assessment must be in a team sport, one assessment in an individual sport and a third can be from either a team or an individual sport or activity. 
  • Students can only be assessed in the activities listed in the specification.

Performance Analysis-coursework; 

  • 10% of overall qualification
  • 25 marks: analysis 15 marks and evaluation 10 marks

Students can analyse and evaluate their own performance or the performance of another person. Analysis can only be carried out on the listed sports in the specification.

Examinations: 

  • 2 papers, both 1hr 15 minutes, 78 marks per paper 

The 2 examinations will consist of multiple-choice, short-answer and long answer questions on the following topics:

  • Exam 1  – Applied anatomy and physiology, Movement analysis, Physical training
  • Exam 2  – Sport psychology, Socio-cultural influences, Health, fitness and well-being

Career and other important information

Due to the recent changes in the AQA GCSE PE course, it is much more difficult to access the higher grades in the practical component of the course. Ideally, students should be competing in at least 2 sports inside or outside school through the duration of the GCSE PE course.

NCFE PE

Title of Course
Health & Fitness

Level
Level 2 V-Certificate

Exam Board
NCFE

Staff Contact
Mr A Pickett Coordinator of Learning – Physical Education

What is the subject about?

The NCFE Health and fitness qualification provides students with the knowledge to make informed decisions about healthy lifestyles and activity. 

What will the students learn?

The course is broken down into 2 units and throughout the course students will study the following topics:

Unit 1

  • Structure and function of body systems and how they apply to health and fitness
  • Health and fitness activities on the body
  • Health and fitness and the components of fitness
  • Principles of training

Unit 2

  • The impact of lifestyle on health and fitness
  • Test and develop components of fitness
  • Apply health and fitness analyses and set goals
  • Structure of a health and fitness programme

How will the students learn?

The course is assessed with 1 examination worth 40% of the overall qualification and a coursework project worth 60% of the overall qualification. Therefore, the course is mainly theory based and lessons will be predominantly in a classroom, however some topics such as fitness testing and types of training, will be taught via practical lessons as well as theory lessons.

Independent Learning

Students will be expected to complete the homework tasks set by teachers on our Google Classroom platforms. This will be essential for students in order to achieve their potential during examinations and to meet coursework deadlines. We also recommend that students regularly read the NCFE Level 2 Health and Fitness textbook and complete the activities and tests on the NCFE website.

Controlled Assessments, Coursework and Examination Information

Coursework project; 

  • 60% of overall qualification broken down into 5 tasks.

Students are given a health and fitness scenario prior to beginning their coursework. The project involves planning a health and fitness programme incorporating diet and nutritional needs, as well as an exercise plan.

Examination: 

  • 1 paper, 1hr 30 minutes, 80 marks. 

The examination will consist of multiple-choice, short-answer and long answer questions on the following topics:

  • Structure and function of body systems and how they apply to health and fitness
  • Health and fitness activities on the body
  • Health and fitness and the components of fitness
  • Principles of training

Important information

  • If required, students can sit the examination twice. The best result ONLY will be used to assess each student, Also if required, students can submit their coursework a second time, in order to increase their grade.

Career and other important information

This course provides students with the key skills they need to be informed about all areas of healthy living.  The NCFE health and fitness course provides an excellent basis for any student wishing to study sport at a higher level and then go onto a career in the Sport or Leisure industry. 

Careers within the industry include: Physical Education Teacher, Sports Coach, Personal Trainer, Fitness Instructor, physiotherapist, strength and conditioning coach, sports nutritionist, sports analyst and sports psychologist Further information can be found at www.careers-in-sport.co.uk.

GCSE Science Combined

Title of Course
Combined Science

Level
GCSE

Exam Board
AQA

Staff Contact
Mr C. Goddard Director of Learning for Science

What is the subject about?

GCSE Combined Science: Trilogy takes all of the fundamental scientific concepts from GCSE Biology, GCSE Chemistry and GCSE Physics and brings them together into one specification worth 2 GCSE qualifications. This is the ideal course for providing students with a robust, well-rounded science education – developing both subject-specific scientific knowledge across all three sciences and the broader skills required to ensure that students are equipped for understanding and scrutinising science-related information in the world around them.

What will the students learn?

Students will cover content from across seven different biology topics ranging from cell biology, through to evolution and ecology; ten different chemistry topics starting with atomic structure and the periodic table – building up to quantitative chemistry, organic chemistry and beyond; and seven different physics topics covering fundamental concepts such as energy, matter, and forces.

How will the students learn?

Lessons in science will be focused on three key aspects: the acquisition and understanding of scientific knowledge, the experience of hands-on practical work used to develop students’ ability to manipulate equipment and further understand scientific concepts and the analysis and evaluation of data in a scientific context. In addition, science lessons will involve routine retrieval practice to ensure that all key concepts are well-understood and embedded

Independent Learning

Students will be expected to complete additional, regular home-learning tasks outside of the timetabled learning in lessons. Compulsory tasks will be set via Google Classroom and further resources will be provided for voluntary additional study.

Controlled Assessments, Coursework and Examination Information

GCSE Combined Science is assessed solely by external examinations which are sat during May & June of Year 11. There are six external examinations, two for each science, which are 1 hour 15 minutes in duration, and each carries a maximum mark of 70. These can be accessed at either foundation tier or higher tier, a decision which is formalised during Year 11 and will involve discussions with both students and parents. It is not possible to mix-and-match tiers of entry between exams: all exams are either sat at higher tier or foundation tier. Students are required to have experience of a range or “Required Practical” activities and skills which will be embedded throughout their studies. The skills and knowledge from these “Required Practicals” are assessed within the six externally set examinations. Final grades are determined by combining the six raw marks from each external exam to form an overall Combined Science raw mark. Students will be awarded two grades from across a 17-point grading scale (1-1, 2-1, 2-2, 3-2 … 8-8, 9-8, 9-9).

Career and other important information

The Combined Science Trilogy pathway, completed at higher tier and achieving a suitable grade, provides a good foundation of knowledge for access onto Post-16 courses in Biology, Chemistry and Physics – with each Post-16 science course picking up where Combined Science leaves off. As such, GCSE Combined Science is not only a suitable course for enabling access to further and higher scientific study at sixth form, college and beyond, but it also enables students to develop a wider range of skills that extend to areas beyond the sciences, opening up a wide range of careers and further studies opportunities. 

In addition, students can choose to study Separate Science by choosing it as their Option Block A subject choice. 

More details on this can be found on the Separate Science subject page.

GCSE Science Triple

Title of Course
Separate Science

Level
GCSE

Exam Board
AQA

Staff Contact
Mr C. Goddard Director of Learning for Science

What is the subject about?

The GCSE Separate Sciences pathway offers students access to 100% of the GCSE Biology, GCSE Chemistry and GCSE Physics content and topics available from AQA. It incorporates all of the topics and content covered on the GCSE Combined Science pathway and extends on a number of the fundamental concepts, as well as adding a few new areas of study. This is the ideal pathway for students who want that bit more from their science studies and who might have a particular interest in science, with further scientific study in mind in the future. As with Combined Science, this pathway develops both subject-specific scientific knowledge across all three sciences and the broader skills required to ensure that students are equipped for understanding and scrutinising science-related information in the world around them.

What will the students learn?

Students will cover content from across seven different biology topics ranging from cell biology, through to evolution and ecology; ten different chemistry topics starting with atomic structure and the periodic table – building up to quantitative chemistry, organic chemistry and beyond; and eight different physics topics covering fundamental concepts such as energy, matter, and forces – also including Space Physics as an additional eighth topic. This pathway includes additional content not covered in Combined Science.

How will the students learn?

Lessons in science will be focused on three key aspects: the acquisition and understanding of scientific knowledge, the experience of hands-on practical work used to develop students’ ability to manipulate equipment and further understand scientific concepts and the analysis and evaluation of data in a scientific context. In addition, science lessons will involve routine retrieval practice to ensure that all key concepts are well-understood and embedded.

Independent Learning

Students will be expected to complete additional, regular home-learning tasks outside of the timetabled learning in lessons. Compulsory tasks will be set via Google Classroom and further resources will be provided for voluntary additional study.

Controlled Assessments, Coursework and Examination Information

The GCSE Separate Sciences are assessed solely by external examinations which are sat during May & June of Year 11. As with Combined Science, there are six externally set examinations – for the Separate Sciences, each exam is 1 hour 45 minutes in duration and carries a maximum mark of 100. For GCSE Separate Sciences, a GCSE qualification is awarded separately for each science, with the grade being determined by the corresponding exams taken specifically for that science.Students are required to have experience of a range or “Required Practical” activities and skills which will be embedded throughout their studies. The skills and knowledge from these “Required Practicals” are assessed within the six externally set examinations.

Career and other important information

The Separate Sciences pathway, completed at higher tier and achieving a suitable grade, provides a strong foundation of knowledge for access onto Post-16 courses in Biology, Chemistry and Physics. The content covered by the Separate Science pathway at higher tier takes students slightly beyond the starting point of Post-16 courses.  As such, the GCSE Separate Sciences pathway is excellent preparation for those students who know clearly that they wish to study sciences at a higher level at Post-16 and beyond.  The pathway also enables students to develop a wider range of skills that extend to areas beyond the sciences, opening up a wide range of careers and further studies opportunities. 

In order to follow the Separate Science option, please select it as your subject choice in Option Block A.

GCSE Spanish

Title of Course
Spanish

Level
GCSE

Exam Board
AQA

Staff Contact
Mr T Hurth | Director of Learning – Modern Foreign Languages

What is the subject about?

Knowledge of a foreign language is not just another GCSE grade – it is a concrete and demonstrable life-skill.  It can help you see things from a range of perspectives, develop your problem-solving skills, and make you more adaptable, resourceful and creative.  Learning a language combines the intellectual with the practical, as no other subject does.  You need to be able to think on your feet, but when you can find exactly the right foreign word or phrase, you get a real sense of achievement.

NB: STUDENTS WILL NEED TO HAVE STUDIED SPANISH IN YEAR 9

What will the students learn?

Students will learn to discuss a wide range of topics from the following themes:

  • Identity and culture
  • Local, national, international and global areas of interest
  • Current and future study and employment

Each theme contains a series of sub-themes that enable and encourage learners to develop real-life skills in a range of relevant contexts.

How will the students learn?

Teachers will employ a wide range of strategies to communicate the essential skills and knowledge with students. This will often include:

  • A range of presentation methods
  • Researching about Spain and Spanish culture
  • Pair work and group work
  • Learning new vocabulary
  • Learning and practising through games
  • Language learning websites
  • Working with the Foreign Language Assistant
  • Taking part in a visit to Spain

Independent Learning

We expect students to complete Independent Learning, on a regular basis.  This will include:

  • Learning new vocabulary and spelling on a weekly basis
  • Answering set questions
  • Research Tasks
  • Revising for the Speaking and Writing components
  • Attending Weekly Revision Sessions

Controlled Assessments, Coursework and Examination Information

The Spanish GCSE is divided into 4 components and follows the AQA syllabus:

  • Listening Paper (Foundation/Higher): end of Yr 11 (25%)
  • Reading Paper (Foundation/Higher): end of Yr 11 (25%)
  • Writing Paper (Foundation/Higher):  end of Yr 11 (25%)
  • Speaking Paper (Foundation/Higher): end of Yr 11 (25%)
  • Examination length depends upon the skill and the tier of entry, Foundation or Higher. Written exams are between 35-75 minutes. The speaking examination is 15 minutes

Career and other important information

Languages form part of the English Baccalaureate subjects, in recognition of the importance of Language Skills for the future of students and the UK economy.  As a result, many universities, including the Russell Group (the top Universities in the UK) have a language qualification as an entry requirement. A language qualification will often be the determining factor for recruitment by employers and universities alike. It is hoped that students will have the opportunity to visit Spain during the GCSE Course.