Y8 Options Booklet

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The Wilnecote School

E N S U R I N G E X C E L L E N C E

Curriculum Information

Years 9 - 11

2018 - 2021

A journey through the curriculum,

advice and subject information

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The Wilnecote School

E N S U R I N G E X C E L L E N C E

January 2018

Dear Parents / Carers,

This is an exciting time at The Wilnecote School as we begin a new way of delivering subjects at Key

Stage 4. Deciding which subjects to study now will set your child on a pathway to fulfil their future

plans and aspirations and therefore getting those choices right is really important.

We continually look to develop our Key Stage 4 curriculum so that it achieves a balance between

core subjects for all and a variety of pathways to meet the needs and interests of individuals, whilst

supporting the highest levels of progress.

Our aim is that all students should be provided with high quality information, advice and guidance

to enable them to make informed choices about which subjects to study. This ‘Options Guide’ is the

main source of information, but the parents’ consultation evening in early February will give you the

chance to speak to subject teachers about your child’s strengths, interests and future plans.

Further personalised advice and guidance will be provided by myself and other senior leaders, form

tutors and our careers advisor, to ensure that students make choices that keep appropriate future

career pathways open to them. We take an individual approach to the English Baccalaureate,

encouraging but not forcing students to take the required courses.

Once your child has made their final choices, the completed option form should be returned to the

office of the Headteachers PA by Friday 9 th February 2018.

At this point work will start on the timetable for next year. It may then be necessary for some

students to make alternative choices as some subject combinations may be impossible to

accommodate or some classes may be too small to run. If this does happen we will discuss the

issues and the alternatives with the student promptly and clearly, then give them the opportunity to

make a new choice.

Please read all of the options information carefully before making your choices. Over recent years

there have been significant national changes to both GCSE and vocational qualifications. These

have changed both the content and the way in which subjects are assessed. Some courses are

significantly different to those we offered in the past.

If you have any questions or queries please don’t hesitate to contact me either directly by email or

via the school office.

Assuring you of our best intentions at all times,

Mrs H. Tonks

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Deputy Headteacher (Student Progress)

Table of Contents

Key Calendar Dates .............................................................................................................................................. 4

Introduction ......................................................................................................................................................... 4

Information about GCSE Courses ........................................................................................................................ 4

Aims for Key Stage 4 ............................................................................................................................................ 5

How to Choose Your Subjects.............................................................................................................................. 5

Your Subjects: Core and Options ......................................................................................................................... 6

English Baccalaureate (EBacc) ............................................................................................................................. 6

Basic Guidance: .................................................................................................................................................... 7

English .................................................................................................................................................................. 8

Mathematics ...................................................................................................................................................... 10

Science ................................................................................................................................................................ 11

Information Communication Technology (Technical Award) .......................................................................... 12

Health & Fitness ................................................................................................................................................. 26

Art & Design ....................................................................................................................................................... 13

Business Studies ................................................................................................................................................. 14

Computer Science .............................................................................................................................................. 16

Drama ................................................................................................................................................................. 18

Design & Technology Graphic Design ................................................................................................................ 19

Food Preparation & Nutrition ........................................................................................................................... 20

French ................................................................................................................................................................. 21

German ............................................................................................................................................................... 23

Geography .......................................................................................................................................................... 25

History ................................................................................................................................................................ 27

Music .................................................................................................................................................................. 28

Religious Studies ................................................................................................................................................ 29

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Key Calendar Dates

Year 8 Curriculum Evening Thursday 1 st February 2018

Year 8 Parents Consultation

Evening

Deadline for submitting Options

Forms

Consultation with individual

students

Confirmation of KS4 subjects for

students

Wednesday 7 th February 2018

Friday 9 th February 2018

February - April

June

Introduction

For two years you have followed courses which have aimed to provide you with a firm foundation in

the core subjects and a broad range of subject specific knowledge, skills and understanding.

Most young people will be in education/training until at least the age of 19 and the move to Key Stage

4 sees the first stage of this phase of education/training.

It is important and sensible that, in Key Stage 4, the curriculum provides some choice and flexibility in

order to enhance motivation, achievement and self-esteem.

Information about GCSE Courses

Your GCSE courses will start at the beginning of Year 9. This extra year will provide you with the

foundation in each subject needed for you to achieve the best possible results at the end of Year 11.

GCSE provides a nationally accepted and well understood qualification. Most 16 year olds in Britain

are expected to gain GCSE qualifications. They equip the young person for ‘A’ levels, further

education or apprenticeships. V Cert qualifications are a technical alternative to a GCSEs that

provide clear progression routes into a range of education and employment opportunities.

In recent years the government has made changes to GCSE courses. There are new specifications

which are graded 9 to 1 with 9 being the highest. (This replaces the A* to G grades with which you

are probably familiar). All GCSEs that we will be offering for examination in 2021 (your

son/daughter’s year) will be new specifications graded 9 to 1. In addition we will be offering a

number of technical V Cert courses which will be graded Distinction* to Pass.

It should be stressed that all GCSE grades are passes. All students at The Wilnecote School will

achieve a good set of GCSE grades as long as there is a commitment to study, including good

attendance, and a desire to succeed. Very many will achieve mainly higher grades.

Each course (either GCSE or Technical) offered will enable the students to develop their

interest/understanding beyond 16, through a range of AS, A2, or vocational courses. More

information about post 16 opportunities will be made available during Key Stage 4.

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Aims for Key Stage 4

Over the next three years, we believe that the courses you take should:

I. Continue to provide you with a broad and balanced education.

II.

III.

IV.

Give you a certain amount of choice and flexibility about the subjects you will study.

Motivate you and provide you with an enjoyable experience that is suited to your individual

learning needs

Prepare you for your GCSE and other examinations.

BUT ABOVE ALL ELSE

V. Enable you to acquire the knowledge, skills, understanding and interests to achieve high

grades in your examinations and to lead a full life in the future.

This booklet will give you some information about the courses you can take but we cannot give you

all the details in this booklet. We hope that you will be encouraged to find out more by asking the

teachers concerned.

How to Choose Your Subjects

The school will guide you towards a choice that meets your aspirations and learning needs now and

in the future but YOU must take much of the responsibility. Try to ask yourself the following

questions:

What subjects do I enjoy?

Don't pick the teacher, you can't predict who may teach you next year.

What subjects am I best at?

Don't pick your friend's subject - it must be YOUR future you consider & YOU have to do the work

Should I pick certain subjects as I think I know my future career?

Keep a broad range of subjects as you are quite likely to change your mind.

Is my choice based upon sound information?

Consider each subject carefully. Listen to people who know, take advice and ask questions. Avoid

decisions based on rumour.

Am I taking enough care with my preferences?

You are expressing preferences for areas of study, not making definite choices. Please give full

consideration to each choice and each reserve choice.

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Your Subjects: Core and Options

This booklet gives outline information about the core subjects and those option

subjects you may wish to study. For each subject you are provided with brief

information about the aims, the content, the study requirements, the assessment methods, the

examination and the monitoring procedures. More information is readily available from subject

teachers.

CORE SUBJECTS

All students will continue to follow a number of core subjects. These are: English, Maths, Science,

PE & ICT. These subjects are essential to ensure students continue to study a broad and balanced

curriculum. Students who wish to study A Level Biology, Chemistry or Physics post 16, or who have

a keen interest in each of the separate sciences, may wish to take Triple Science. This decision will

be made during Year 10 following additional advice and guidance from the science staff.

These subjects will make up about 70% of your time.

OPTIONAL SUBJECTS

These are the subjects from which you may select your preferences within the school guidelines.

English Baccalaureate (EBacc)

The Government wants to encourage students to study ‘EBacc’ subjects. We take an individual

approach to the English Baccalaureate, encouraging but not forcing students to take the required

courses. Students who wish to be eligible for the EBacc need to choose at least one humanities

subject (History or Geography) and a foreign language (French or German). This along with the

core subjects of English, Maths and Science form the English Baccalaureate (EBacc). Some Sixth

Forms and universities look for students who have studied these subjects.

The following pages cover those subjects for which you may express a study

preference. All the optional subjects are accredited courses and should lead to

qualification success providing the commitment to a good work ethic is there.

All are open to every student. The school will provide advice and guidance

from a range of sources in order to ensure that each student has an

appropriate combination of subjects that meets their needs now and in the

future.

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Basic Guidance:

Please read the following basic guidance:

1. You may choose to study subjects in the FOREIGN LANGUAGES area.

They are French and German. Please select the language you have studied in KS3 as these

courses are unsuitable for the complete beginner. (These are EBacc subjects.)

2. You may choose to study a subject in the ART, DESIGN & TECHNOLOGY area.

They are Art & Design and Graphic Design.

3. You may choose to study subjects in the HUMANITIES area.

They are Geography, History and Religious Education. (Geography and History are EBacc

subjects.)

4. You may choose to study subjects from the ARTS area.

They are Drama and Music.

5. You may choose to study the subjects of:

• Business Studies

• Computer Science (This is an EBacc subject)

• Food Preparation & Nutrition

• Information Technology

• Physical Education

6. Students will be given the option to move to Triple Award Science in Year 10 if they have

shown appropriate levels of commitment and effort. Science is an EBacc subject.

7. Parents should be fully involved. Please let them read the booklet and do discuss subjects

with them. There will be the opportunity to discuss options further at the Year 8 Parents

Evening.

8. Above all, use common sense to ensure you are trying to achieve balanced study. This will

then help you in any future education, training or career option. Remember to consider

carefully the EBacc subjects.

9. You may use the practice form at the back of the booklet but remember to

complete the final options form and return it to Mrs Hartle’s office by

Friday 9 th February 2018

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English

Examination Board: AQA

Students study two courses for English. AQA English Language and AQA English Literature, leading to GCSE

qualifications in both subjects. In the new GCSE grading system a 4 is considered a ‘standard pass’ and a 5 a ‘high

pass’, and these grades replace the old C grade. It is now a requirement that students who do not pass English

at grade 4 or above in Year 11 must continue to study it at College or 6th Form.

What are the aims of the course?

English Language

Students will be expected to:










Read fluently, and with good understanding, a wide range of texts from the 19th, 20th and 21st

centuries, including literature and literary non-fiction as well as other writing such as reviews and

journalism.

Analyse writer’s techniques and use of structure for effect.

Read and evaluate texts critically and make comparisons between texts.

Summarise and synthesise information or ideas from texts.

Use knowledge gained from wide reading to inform and improve their own writing.

Write effectively and coherently, using Standard English appropriately.

Use grammar correctly, punctuate and spell accurately.

Acquire and apply a wide vocabulary, alongside a knowledge and understanding of grammatical

terminology, and linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language.

Listen to and understand spoken language and use spoken Standard English effectively.

English Literature

Students will be expected to:






Read a wide range of literature fluently and with good understanding, and make connections across

their reading.

Read in depth, critically and evaluatively, so that they are able to discuss and

explain their understanding and ideas.

Develop the habit of reading widely and often.

Write accurately, effectively and analytically about their reading, using Standard

English.

Acquire and use a wide vocabulary, including the grammatical terminology and

other literary and linguistic terms they need to criticise and analyse what they

read.

What are the study requirements?

Classwork:

Pupils will be taught content, exam technique, revision skills and be encouraged to gain knowledge of a variety of

literature and writers social and historical contexts. Pupil must learn and develop a good level of independence,

motivation and effort in order to achieve their potential in their English courses.

Homework:

Pupils will complete homework tasks that extend their classroom learning and consolidate knowledge. Pupils

may be asked to read, research, write essays or answers to shorter questions, sometimes as timed exam practice

at home. Other tasks could include: Preparation of talks and presentations; collecting resources; revision; various

writing assignments and key word/terminology spellings.

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How will I be assessed?

AQA English Language Examination- 100%

Paper One 50%: Fiction (1 hour 45 minutes)

Section A- Reading (40 Marks)

Students must complete four analysis questions on

an unseen fiction extract.

Section B- Writing (40 marks) (24 Content &

Organisation; 16 Technical Accuracy)

Students will have the choice of writing a descriptive

piece based on a picture stimulus or a narrative piece

(story) based on a given title.

Paper Two (50%): Non-Fiction (1 hour 45 minutes)

Section A- Reading (40 Marks)

Students must complete four analysis questions on

two unseen non- fiction texts one of which will be a

19 th Century piece.

Section B- Writing (40 marks) (24 Content &

Organisation; 16 Technical Accuracy)

Students will be asked to produce a piece of nonfiction

writing. Writing to Argue, Persuade or Inform.

English Literature Examination 100%

Paper One 40%: Shakespeare and 19 th Century

Novel (1 hour 45 minutes)

Shakespeare

Texts to include: Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet or The

Tempest

The first part of the question focuses on an extract;

the second part of the question focuses on the whole

play.

19 th Century Novel

Texts to include: A Christmas Carol, Frankenstein, The

Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Great

Expectations, Jane Eyre or Pride and Prejudice. The

first part of the question focuses on an extract; the

second part of the question focuses on the whole

text.

Paper Two 60%: Post - 1914 Drama/Prose and Post -

1789 Poetry (2 hours 15 minutes)

Section A

Modern texts to include: An Inspector calls, Blood

Brothers, Lord of the Flies or The Curious Incident of

the Dog in the Night time.

Students will answer one essay question on their

studied prose or drama text.

Section B Poetry (Anthology- Love and Relationships

or Power and Conflict cluster):

Students will answer one comparative question on

one named poem printed on the paper and one other

poem from their chosen anthology cluster.

Section C Unseen poetry: Students will answer one

question on one unseen poem and one question

comparing this poem with a second unseen poem.

Students studying at GCSE will receive monitoring which will inform parents of PPE- Pre- public Exam (previously

mocks) grades, CWG (Current Working Grades) which includes a more holistic view of where the student is

performing and a combination of worded grades against areas of learning that may impact on the student’s

progress.

For further information: Please contact Ms Millage.

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Mathematics Examination Board: Edexcel

Why is Mathematics important?

GCSE Mathematics covers a lot of basic skills that you will need to use in a variety of ways all through your

life and because of this it continues to be a compulsory subject for all students in years 9, 10 and 11.

In the new GCSE grading system a 4 is considered a ‘standard pass’ and a 5 a ‘high pass’, and these grades

replace the old C grade.

It is now a requirement that students who do not pass Maths at grade 4 or above in Year 11 must continue

to study it at College or 6th Form.

You will use a lot of what you learn in GCSE Mathematics in the other GCSEs that you study. For example, in

Science you may be asked to use formulae and solve equations, in Geography you will need to read charts

and diagrams and use statistics and in D & T you will need to use measures and make scale drawings.

What are the aims of the course?

The aims of this course are to enable students to:

develop fluent knowledge, skills and understanding of mathematical methods and concepts

acquire, select and apply mathematical techniques to solve problems

reason mathematically, make deductions and inferences, and draw conclusions

comprehend, interpret and communicate mathematical information in a variety of forms appropriate

to the information and context.

What will I study?

GCSE Mathematics covers a wide range of basic mathematical knowledge and skills, grouped into six main

areas:-

Number

Algebra

Geometry

Statistics

Probability

Ratio and proportion

What equipment do I need?

Students are expected to provide themselves with appropriate mathematical equipment for lessons and

examinations. This includes: a scientific calculator, protractor, ruler and a pair of compasses. You should

bring your equipment to all lessons.

Recommended Calculator: The Casio FX-83 or FX-85

How will I be assessed?

Examination 100%

Two tiers of entry: Higher & Foundation

In year 11 you will sit three papers each lasting 1 hour 30 minutes. Each paper has a range of question types;

some questions will be set in both mathematical and non-mathematical contexts.

Paper 1 – Non calculator

Paper 2 – Calculator paper

Paper 3 – Calculator Paper

For further information: Please contact Mrs Grice or your Maths teacher.

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Science

Examination Board: AQA

STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) are becoming increasingly important in modern

society. The future of our country’s economy and that of the world’s economy will rely upon the scientists,

engineers and those working in technology subjects to continue advancements that will benefit our way of

life. Students who do well in STEM subjects have better chances of employment. This course builds on core

knowledge and skills developed in Key Stage 3.

What are the aims of the course?

All the students will work through a variety of topics covering the disciplines of

Biology, Chemistry and Physics, the emphasis of which will be to develop the

knowledge and understanding of Science and the scientific issues which confront

society.

The course will enable students to:




Develop abilities and skills that are relevant to the study, practice and application of Science, which

are useful in everyday life and encourage safe practice.

Acquire a systematic body of scientific knowledge and the skills needed to apply this in new and

changing situations in a range of social, industrial and environmental contexts.

Develop an understanding of scientific issues

What will I study?

Biology Chemistry Physics

Cell Biology

Atomic structure and the periodic

table

Energy

Organisation

Bonding, structure and the

properties of matter

Electricity

Infection and Response Quantitative chemistry Particle model of matter

Bioenergetics Chemical changes Atomic Structure

Homeostasis and Response Energy Changes Forces

Inheritance, variation and The rate and extent of chemical

evolution

change

Waves

Ecology

Organic Chemistry

Chemical analysis

Chemistry of the atmosphere

Using resources

Magnetism and

electromagnetism

How will I be assessed?

The course contains elements of Biology, Chemistry and Physics and the final qualification will be equivalent

to 2 GCSEs. There are 6 examination papers at the end of the course, 2 for each subject area. They are all 75

minutes long and worth 70 marks. All six papers contribute equally to the final grade. There is no coursework

element to this course but there are a number of required practical activities which the students will

complete as part of their normal lessons.

Study requirements

Homework is usually set once or twice a week. All students are expected to have a calculator in addition to

the usual equipment required. There will be the opportunity to purchase a Revision Guide at the start of Y10

and we strongly recommend that students do this.

For further information: Please contact Mr Blake, your current science teacher, or go to the AQA

website and search for the GCSE Science Trilogy course.

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Information Communication Technology (Technical Award)

Examination Board: TBC

All students will study ICT, leading to a Technical Award (equivalent of a GCSE)

Why study ICT?

The UK is considered a world leader in the creative digital industries, such as in the creation of visual effects

for films and computer games. However, there is growing recognition that we need to build on and improve

the UK’s capability and capacity for technical innovation and creativity in this area.

This course aims to engage and enthuse young people with an interest in the creative use of ICT, for example

digital graphics and animations, interactive multimedia products and computer games.

We aim to deliver a course designed to teach students the digital design skills and enable young people to

use digital tools to express their creativity in an informed and responsible way, as well as the confidence to

succeed post 16.

What are the aims of the course?

To ensure students have the knowledge, understanding and skills they need to design and make,

effective digital products for others to use

To foster students’ creativity and develop their independent learning skills

To challenge students to reflect on what they produce and strive for excellence

To increase students’ awareness of their responsibilities in the digital world and their respect of

other people’s rights

To equip students with professional, real-world skills in planning, project management and

communication

What are the Study requirements?

Homeworks will be set regularly. Tasks set will either reinforce or extend the learning from lessons or will

give students the opportunity to carry out independent learning.

Homework activities will include analysing problems and identifying user’s needs, research activities or

completing examination style questions.

Students without their own computer, or have computers without the suitable software, will be expected to

use the ICT facilities after school.

How will it be monitored?

Students’ classwork and homework will be assessed regularly, and feedback will be given to students

throughout each stage of the course.

We will try to involve parents as much as possible from the outset and will contact parents if students are

giving cause for concern in any aspect of the course.

For further information: Please contact Mrs Mann

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Art & Design

Examination Board: AQA

Students follow the AQA examination board syllabus for Art & Design. This is an attractive course that allows

students the choice of working in a variety of art media or to specialise in

one.

What are the aims of the course?

To stimulate and challenge students to become confident

independent learners capable of expressing feelings and ideas in a

personal and effective way.

To build on the knowledge skills and understanding gained in KS3

and to prepare students effectively for advanced level, further

education courses and careers in Art & Design.

To enable all students to achieve at their highest level.

To develop appreciation of Art & Design allowing for greater enjoyment of it throughout adult life

both as a consumer and creator.

What will I study?

For coursework, students are required to submit a portfolio that comprises a

sustained project and a selection of “one off” pieces. A unit of coursework may begin

with a gallery/exhibition visit, a workshop or responding directly to a theme or the

man-made or natural environment.

Students will be taught how to use a range of different materials and techniques

effectively (drawing, painting, sculpture, ceramics, IT) how to analyse art from

different time periods and cultures and how to develop an effective personal response

to a topic.

Study requirements

Students will be expected to develop an exciting and personal portfolio containing all the preparatory studies

for their two units of coursework. The preparatory studies will include a wide range of tasks including

recording and researching, exploring the visual elements, experimenting with materials and processes and

reviewing and evaluating their own work as well as that of other artists, craftspeople and designers. There

will be an equal expectation of the contribution made through classwork and homework.

How will I be assessed?

60% Coursework (collection of practical activities and a sustained project).

40% End of course, externally set assignment (a sustained project)

Progression and Career Opportunities

GCSE Art and Design will help you to develop your creative, technical,

communication, analytical and problem solving skills - skills that are essential in

these and a wide range of other career opportunities.

You can progress onto the following courses after you have completed your GCSE:

GCE AS/A2 Art and Design

BTEC Nationals in Art and Design

Career opportunities are vast! Architecture, animation visualisation, illustration, product design, fashion,

textiles, ceramics, silversmithing, jewellery, visual media, graphics, sculptor, painter, game design. New

technologies are creating a whole new range of courses where Art is being used in innovative ways.

For further information: Please contact Mrs Marsland or their Art Teacher

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Business Studies

Examination Board: Edexcel

What are the aims of the course?

To actively engage students in the study of business and economics and

then to develop as effective and independent students and as critical

and reflective thinkers with enquiring minds

To allow students to develop and apply knowledge, understanding and

skills to a range of business concepts and issues to a variety of contexts.

To provide students with the skills to analyse and evaluate business

information and issues within a business to make judgements and draw

appropriate conclusions.

What will I study?

The course is divided into 2 units of assessment covering two main areas of content:

Unit 1 - Investigating Small Businesses

Enterprise and entrepreneurship

Spotting a business opportunity

Putting a business idea into practice

Making the business effective

Understanding the external influences on

business

Unit 2 - Building a Business

Growing the business

Making marketing decisions

Making operational decisions

Making financial decisions

Making human resource decisions

What skills will I develop?

How to use an enquiring and critical approach to distinguishing facts and opinions

How to build arguments and make informed decisions

Effective communication skills

How to work as a team

How to select and use appropriate research and investigation techniques

How will I be assessed?

All candidates will take two final exam papers. (All grades 9-1 are available.)

Unit 1

Unit 2

Investigating Small Business

Externally assessed examination, 1½ hours. 50% of the qualification.

Building a Business

Externally assessed examination, 1½ hours. 50% of the qualification.

Both examinations will consist of 3 sections which may require students to carry out calculations, answer

multiple choice, short-answer and extended- writing questions.

Two sections of both examinations will be based on business contexts where students may be expected to:

Apply knowledge and understanding of different business contexts, ranging from small enterprise to large

multinationals.



Show an understanding of how these contexts impact on business behaviour.

Apply business terminology to identify and explain business activity.

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What are the Study Requirements?

Homework tasks will be set regularly. Homework activities will be examination style questions and research

tasks. Students will have the opportunity, and be expected, to use ICT facilities after school or at home if a

suitable computer is available.

How will I be monitored?

Students’ class work will be assessed regularly and feedback will be given to students throughout the course.

Subject specific actions will be part of the feedback given.

Students will be entered for the exams, in the summer of Year 11, for which there will be mocks in Year 10

and Year 11.

For further information: Please contact Mr Tonks or Mr Herbert

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Computer Science

Examination Board: Edexcel

GCSE Computing allows students to be inspired and challenged to create programming solutions to given

problems; this is a modular GCSE which allows students the opportunity to gain a single GCSE with the

appropriate level of self-motivation and support.

What are the aims of the course?

This course aims to develop students’ understanding of the principles of computer science and their ability to

apply computational thinking to problem solving.

Content:

The course is split into 2 units:

Component 1: Principles of Computer Science

Component 2: Application of Computational Thinking

The subject content includes:

Understanding of what algorithms are, what they are used for and

how they work; ability to interpret, amend and create algorithms.

Understand the requirements for writing program code.

Understanding of binary representation, data representation, data

storage and compression, encryption and databases.

Understanding of components of computer systems; ability to

construct truth tables, produce logic statements and read and

interpret pseudo-code.

Understanding of computer networks, the internet and the worldwide

web.

Awareness of emerging trends in computing technologies, the impact of computing on individuals, society

and the environment, including ethical, legal and ownership issues

What will I study?

Students will learn about current and emerging technologies and how they work, they will acquire practical

skills in using algorithms in computer programs to solve problems using programming. Students will develop

a computer program to solve problems and to work collaboratively with other students.

This course will be of interest to those students who would like a future career in programming or who have

a keen interest in problem solving

Students will develop the following skills:






Knowledge and understanding – includes algorithms, contemporary

secondary storage, cyber security and network protocol layers, alongside more

familiar content such as binary representation of numbers, Boolean logic and

systems architecture.

Problem Solving and Logic

Programming – be able to use at least one high level language

The systems lifecycle

Computing related maths e.g. convert binary to denary, construct truth tables and logic statements.

Therefore we would recommend a good understanding of mathematics.

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What are the study requirements?

Homework will be set regularly. Tasks will either reinforce or extend the learning in lessons and also give

students the opportunity to carry out independent learning.

Homework activities may include analysing problems, planning and designing solutions to the problem given,

research or completing examination style questions.

Students without their own computer, or who have computers without suitable software will have access to

the ICT facilities at school during lunch breaks or after school.

How will I be assessed?

All candidates will take two final exam papers. (All grades 9-1 are available.)

Component 1: Principles of Computer Science

This unit is externally assessed through a 1 hour 40 minute examination paper set and

marked by the exam board, worth 50% of the overall GCSE grade.

Component 2: Application of Computational Thinking

This unit is externally assessed through a 2 hour examination paper; the paper is scenario based and focuses

on students understanding of Algorithms and how to develop program code. It will also draw upon

knowledge from Component 1 that students will apply to the scenario. It is worth 40% of the overall GCSE

grade.

How will I be monitored?

Students’ classwork and homework will be assessed regularly and feedback will be given to students

throughout the course.

From the outset, we try to involve parents as much as possible and will contact parents if students are giving

cause for concern in any aspect of the course.

For further information: Please contact Mrs Mann or Mr Garland

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Drama

Examination Board: Edexcel

Why study Drama?





Do you enjoy performing?

Do you enjoy working as part of a team?

Do you enjoy going to the theatre?

Do you want a future career that involves working with people?

GCSE Drama can teach you all of these skills and more!

GCSE Drama is an excellent starting point if you want to study Performance Studies, Drama and Theatre

Studies or Performing Arts at A Level and for University degree courses.

What will I study?

But Drama isn’t just for people who want to work in films or theatre you will also learn important life skills

such as: speaking and listening, research and investigation, analysis and evaluation, public speaking and

presentation, team work and social skills, as well as confidence.

GCSE Drama opens up a wide range of career possibilities, including those involving public speaking and

presenting, leadership and management, team work and co-operation, performing and communicating,

teaching and learning, problem solving and investigation, and analysis and evaluation.

How will I be assessed?

Component 1: Devising 40%

The focus of this component is on you devising your own performance based on a stimulus. You will explore

the stimulus through various activities in lessons before working in groups to create and perform a final

performance. As well as the final performance you will complete a portfolio explaining, analysing and

evaluating the devising process. This portfolio will be a record of your practical work and the two pieces of

work will be assessed together.

Component 2: Performance (From Text 20%)

This component focus on your performance skills. It is an exciting opportunity to perform in front of an

audience and a visiting examiner. You will rehearse and perform two performances from the same play. For

this component you will work on a published play text and will create two group performances, both of

which will be marked by a visiting examiner.

Component 3: Theatre Makers in Practice (Written Examination 40%)

The focus of this component is to explore a play from the point of view of a director. You will explore the play

practically as performers, designers and directors and will apply this knowledge to a written examination sat

at the end of Year 11. For this component you will also go to the theatre to see a live performance and in

your exam you will review the performance you have seen in response to a question.

How will I be monitored?

Students’ classwork and homework will be assessed regularly and feedback will be given to students

throughout the course.

From the outset, we try to involve parents as much as possible and will contact parents if students are giving

cause for concern in any aspect of the course.

For further information: Please contact Miss S Julius

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Design & Technology Graphic Design

Examination Board: AQA

What are the aims of this course?

Design & Technology is part of our everyday life and it’s constantly evolving. This D&T GCSE will prepare

students to participate confidently and successfully in this increasingly technological world. The course

focuses on developing practical skills within a particular material area, allowing students to manufacture high

quality outcomes. The new GCSE places great emphasis on understanding and applying the design processes.

Students will use their creativity & imagination to design and make prototypes that solve real and relevant

problems, considering their own and others’ needs, wants and values.

Design & Technology can set you up for a career in a wide variety of industries such as Construction Trade,

Advertising, Media, Engineering, Architecture, IT and even Education.

Popular careers for people with design & technology qualifications include: carpentry and joinery product or

graphic designer, architect.

What will I study?

Students will study and learn from wider influences on Design & Technology including historical, social,

cultural, environmental and economic factors. They will get the opportunity to work creatively when

designing and making and apply technical and practical expertise to timbers or polymers.

They’ll gain an understanding of commercial processes and careers in related industries, as well as

developing core transferable skills, such as teamwork and communication.

How will I be assessed?

The GCSE course is split into a final 2 hour examination (50%) and a non-examined project

The Exam will assess:

Core technical principles

Specialist technical principles

Designing and making principles

Non-Exam assessment will include a design and make task which will assess:

Identifying and investigating design possibilities

Producing a design brief and specification

Generating design ideas

Developing design ideas

Realising design ideas

Analysing & evaluating

Students will produce a prototype product and a portfolio of evidence.

For further information: Please contact Mr Thomas

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Food Preparation & Nutrition Examination Board: AQA

What are the aims of the course?

GCSE Food Preparation and Nutrition is an exciting and creative course which focuses on practical cooking

skills to ensure students develop a thorough understanding of nutrition, food provenance and the working

characteristics of food materials. This qualification focuses on nurturing students' practical cookery skills to

give them a strong understanding of nutrition.

What will I study?

Food preparation skills are integrated into five core topics:

Food, nutrition and health

Food science

Food safety

Food choice

Food provenance.

Delivery will be through a combination of class teaching, group work and individual tasks. These will be both

written and practical.

What are the study requirements?

Regular practical sessions to develop practical skills. Theory lessons will develop

knowledge and understanding. Homework will be set every week for approximately

one and half hours minimum per week which will include use of the internet,

television, written work and research.

Students must be prepared to participate in at least 1 practical lesson per week, this is an integral part of

the course. Students need to supply their own ingredients.

How will I be assessed?



Written examination 50% 1 paper (1 hour 45 minutes)

Non – Exam Assessment (NEA) 50% – This consists of 2 pieces of practical and written work selected

from tasks set by AQA.

How will I be monitored?

Monitoring will involve various short tests throughout the course and a Year 11 Pre Public Exam.

For further information: Please contact Mrs Hamilton

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French

Examination Board: AQA

What are the aims of the course?

The course builds on the work done in Key Stage 3 and aims to develop the ability to understand and use

French for purposes of practical communication to:

offer insights into the culture and civilisation of French speaking countries;

encourage positive attitudes to foreign language learning and to speakers of foreign languages and

provide enjoyment and intellectual stimulation.

What will I study?

The following topics will be delivered through a variety of media:

Theme 1: Identity and Culture (Me, family and friends / Technology and everyday life / Free time activities /

Customs and Festivals).

This is always a popular theme with the students, where they are able to express more complex views, for

example concerning their views on marriage and the world of social media.

Theme 2: Local, national, international and global areas of interest (Home and Region / Social Issues /

Global Issues / Travel and Tourism)

In this theme, students will explore a variety of issues ranging from healthy living (social issues) to poverty

and homelessness (global issues).

Theme 3: Current and Future Study and Employment (My Studies / Life at school/college / Education post-

16 / Jobs, career choices and ambitions.

This theme explores what school life is like, with opportunities to compare it with other countries. Students

discuss the attributes, advantages and disadvantages of different professions and discuss their own plans for

the future.

What are the study requirements?

Homework is normally set weekly for up to 30 minutes involving preparation for class work, written work,

learning work, comprehension and grammar tasks. Students should equip themselves with a good dictionary

and are advised to purchase the board’s study aid (approximately £6). A revision guide is also available.

How will I be assessed?

There are 2 levels of entry for each test: Higher (9 - 4) and Foundation (5 - 1).

Assessment

objectives (AOs)

Component weightings (approx %)

Paper 1:

Listening

Paper 2:

Speaking

Paper 3:

Reading

Paper 4:

Writing

Overall

weighting

(approx %)

AO1 (Listening) 25 25

AO2 (Speaking) 25 25

AO3 (Reading) 25 25

AO4 (Writing) 25 25

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Paper 1: Listening

Exam at the end of year 11 lasting 35 minutes (Foundation) or 45 minutes (Higher). 5 minutes reading time is

given before the test and students will respond in both English and French to different types of spoken

language.

Paper 2: Speaking

Internal exam at the end of year 11, conducted by the teacher and marked externally by AQA. The speaking

exam will last 7-9 minutes (Foundation) or 10-12 minutes (Higher) and is made up of:

Role play, lasting 2 minutes

Photo card, lasting 2 minutes (Foundation) or 3 minutes (Higher)

General conversation, lasting 3-5 minutes (Foundation) or 5-7 minutes (Higher)

Students will be allowed supervised preparation time, during which they make notes to take into the

exam.

Paper 3: Reading

Exam at the end of year 11 lasting 45 minutes (Foundation) or 1 hour (Higher). Students will answer in French

and English (or non-verbally), responding to different types of written language.

Paper 4: Writing

Exam at the end of year 11, lasting 1 hour (Foundation) or 1 hour and 15 minutes (Higher). Students will have

to communicate in writing for a variety of different purposes, which include: producing 4 sentences in

response to a photo card; structured or open-ended writing tasks (in response to bullet points) and

translation from English into French.

How will I be monitored?

Monitoring will involve regular assessment through the course and tests on particular topic areas. There will

be pre public examinations in Year 10 and Year 11. Parents will be contacted if lack of progress or effort

causes concern.

For further information: Please contact Mrs Hill

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German Examination Board: AQA

What are the aims of the course?

The course builds on the work done in Key Stage 3 and aims to develop the ability to understand and use

German for purposes of practical communication to:

offer insights into the culture and civilisation of French speaking countries;

encourage positive attitudes to foreign language learning and to speakers of foreign languages and

provide enjoyment and intellectual stimulation.

What will I study?

The following topics will be delivered through a variety of media:

Theme 1: Identity and Culture (Me, family and friends / Technology and everyday life / Free time activities /

Customs and Festivals).

This is always a popular theme with the students, where they are able to express more complex views, for

example concerning their views on marriage and the world of social media.

Theme 2: Local, national, international and global areas of interest (Home and Region / Social Issues /

Global Issues / Travel and Tourism)

In this theme, students will explore a variety of issues ranging from healthy living (social issues) to poverty

and homelessness (global issues).

Theme 3: Current and Future Study and Employment (My Studies / Life at school/college / Education post-

16 / Jobs, career choices and ambitions.

This theme explores what school life is like, with opportunities to compare it with other countries. Students

discuss the attributes, advantages and disadvantages of different professions and discuss their own plans for

the future.

What are the study requirements?

Homework is normally set weekly for up to 30 minutes involving preparation for class work, written work,

learning work, comprehension and grammar tasks. Students should equip themselves with a good dictionary

and are advised to purchase the board’s study aid (approximately £6). A revision guide is also available.

How will I be assessed?

There are 2 levels of entry for each test: Higher (9 - 4) and Foundation (5 - 1).

Assessment

objectives (AOs)

Component weightings (approx %)

Paper 1:

Listening

Paper 2:

Speaking

Paper 3:

Reading

Paper 4:

Writing

Overall

weighting

(approx %)

AO1 (Listening) 25 25

AO2 (Speaking) 25 25

AO3 (Reading) 25 25

AO4 (Writing) 25 25

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Paper 1: Listening

Exam at the end of year 11 lasting 35 minutes (Foundation) or 45 minutes (Higher). 5 minutes reading time is

given before the test and students will respond in both English and French to different types of spoken

language.

Paper 2: Speaking

Internal exam at the end of year 11, conducted by the teacher and marked externally by AQA. The speaking

exam will last 7-9 minutes (Foundation) or 10-12 minutes (Higher) and is made up of:

Role play, lasting 2 minutes

Photo card, lasting 2 minutes (Foundation) or 3 minutes (Higher)

General conversation, lasting 3-5 minutes (Foundation) or 5-7 minutes (Higher)

Students will be allowed supervised preparation time, during which they make notes to take into the

exam.

Paper 3: Reading

Exam at the end of year 11 lasting 45 minutes (Foundation) or 1 hour (Higher). Students will answer in French

and English (or non-verbally), responding to different types of written language.

Paper 4: Writing

Exam at the end of year 11, lasting 1 hour (Foundation) or 1 hour and 15 minutes (Higher). Students will have

to communicate in writing for a variety of different purposes, which include: producing 4 sentences in

response to a photo card; structured or open-ended writing tasks (in response to bullet points) and

translation from English into French.

How will I be monitored?

Monitoring will involve regular assessment through the course and tests on particular topic areas. There will

be pre public examinations in Year 10 and Year 11. Parents will be contacted if lack of progress or effort

causes concern.

For further information: Please contact Mrs Hill

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Geography

Examination Board: AQA

What are the aims of the course?

This course encourages students to actively engage in the process of Geography to develop as effective and

independent learners and critical and reflective thinkers with enquiring minds. To develop knowledge and

understanding of our changing world and recognise how they can contribute to a future that is sustainable and

inclusive.

Students will travel the world from the classroom, exploring case studies in the United Kingdom (HICs), newly

emerging economies (NEEs) and lower income countries (LICs). Topics of study include climate change,

poverty, deprivation, global shifts in economic power and the challenge of sustainable resource use.

Students are also encouraged to understand their role in society, by considering different viewpoints, values

and attitudes.

What will I study?

Living with the Physical Environment

Section A: The challenge of natural hazards (Earthquakes, volcanoes, tropical storms

and climate change)

Section B: The living world (Tropical rainforests and hot deserts)

Section C: Physical landscapes in the UK (Rivers and Coasts)

Challenges in the Human Environment

Section A: Urban issues and challenges (Population and urban cities, Rio de Janeiro & Birmingham)

Section B: The changing economic world (Global differences in economic development and quality of

life)

Section C: The challenge of resource management (Issues in relation to food, water and energy)

Pre-release material 12 weeks before the final examination

Study Requirement:

Homework is set on a regular basis (approximately 1 hour per week). This will take a variety of forms including

practice questions, research and case studies.

Fieldwork

As part of the preparation for paper 3 two day-long fieldtrips to collect data will be undertaken in Summer

Term of Year 10.

How will I be assessed?

All candidates will take three final exam papers. (All grades 9-1 are available.)

Paper 1: 35% - Living with the Physical Environment

Paper 2: 35% - Challenges in the Human Environment

Paper 3: 30% - Geographical Application– fieldwork skills, map skills and use of statistics

Pre-release material 12 weeks before the final examination.

How will I be monitored?

1. Frequent GCSE exam questions practice. This helps assess student progress and improves examination

technique.

2. There will be a practice exam at the end of every unit and a full mock exam at the end of year 10 and

in Year 11.

3. Regular monitoring of progress throughout the course within the Humanities faculty.

4. Concern about individual progress will be conveyed to parents via email, text or telephone.

For further information: Please contact Mrs Gibson or your Geography teacher.

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Health & Fitness Examination Board: NCFE VCert Level 2

What are the aims of the course?

The NCFE Level 2 Certificate in Health and Fitness is aimed at 14 – 16 year olds studying the Key Stage 4

curriculum who are interested in any aspect of health and fitness. They’re an alternative to a GCSE and offer

equivalent levels of rigour and challenge.

The NCFE Level 2 Certificate in Health and Fitness is designed to provide pupils with the skills, knowledge and

understanding of the applied study of good health and fitness practice and an understanding of working in

the sector.

The course aims to prepare students for study Post 16, those who achieve a level 2 pass could go on to study:

A level in Physical Education, a Diploma in Exercise, Health and Fitness Studies.

It may also be useful to pupils studying qualifications in the following areas:

• Sport

• Nutrition

• Exercise.

What will I study?

VCert in Health and Fitness is a suite of high quality technical qualifications which are appropriate for pupils

who are motivated and challenged by learning through hands-on experience and through content which is

concrete and directly related to those experiences. Throughout this course students will gain an

understanding of:






The benefits of fitness

Learn the functions of the main body systems

Understand the benefits of a healthy balanced diet and how it affects lifestyles

Plan for the delivery of an exercise session

Prepare, plan and develop a personal health and fitness programme

How will I be assessed?

Unit of study

Unit - 1 Principles of Health and Fitness

Unit - 2 Healthy Lifestyles.

Unit - 3 Preparing and Planning for Health and

Fitness.

Unit - 4 Develop a Personal Health and

Fitness Programme.

Assessment

Internally assessed portfolio of evidence

Worth 25% of final grade

Internally assessed portfolio of evidence

Worth 25% of final grade

Externally assessed through a 2 hour written

examination paper

Worth 25% of final grade

Internally assessed portfolio of evidence

Worth 25% of final grade

For further information: Please contact Mr Mason

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History

Examination Board: Edexcel

What are the aims of the course?

This course is designed to allow the students to develop the following skills: -

a) Understand the key Historical events that have shaped the modern world.

b) Gain an understanding of societies different in time and place from our own.

c) Gain a range of communicative, investigative and analytical skills.

What will I study?

Medicine in Britain c1250-present day, including case study of the trenches.

• Early beliefs about the causes of illness

• Case studies of how plague was tackled – The Black Death and the 1665 Plague

• The work of key individuals who improved medicine – e.g. Lister and antiseptics, Florence

Nightingale, Jenner and vaccines, and Fleming and antibiotics.

• The creation of the NHS and 20 th century attempts to tackle disease – e.g. cancer.

• Analysis of the types of injuries in World War One and how medicine evolved to cope with them.

Superpower relations and the Cold War

• Reasons for the start of the Cold War

• Conflicts between the Superpowers– e.g. Berlin Wall, Cuban Missile Crisis

• The reasons for the end of the Cold war

Early Elizabethan England

The difficulties Elizabeth faced when she came to the throne.

Threats to her reign at home – e.g. Mary , Queen of Scots

Threats to her reign from abroad – e.g. Spanish Armada.

Changes in Elizabethan society – e.g. colonising the Americas, dealing with vagabonds.

USA 1954-75: Conflict at home and abroad

Black civil rights in 1950s and 60s, including Martin Luther King and Malcolm X

Vietnam War – reasons for it and reasons for USA’s defeat

How will I be assessed?

All candidates will take three final exam papers. (All grades 9-1 are available.)

Paper 1

30% - One paper of one hour and 15 minutes, covering the topic of Medicine in Britain

c1250-present day, with an environmental case study of The British Sector of the Trenches

(which looks at the treatment of injuries in World War One).

Paper 2 40% - One paper of one hour and 45 minutes, covering the Superpower relations and the

Cold War and Early Elizabethan England 1558-88.

Paper 3 30% - One paper of one hour and 20 minutes, covering the USA 1954-75:

Conflict at home and abroad.

For further information: Please contact Mr Farrell

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Music

Examination Board: OCR

Why study Music at KS4?

Do you sing or play an instrument?

Do you have an interest in learning about how music is created and performed?

Do you want to use Music Technology to record and create music?

IF SO, this course is for you

GCSE in Music will develop your understanding of how music is created through performing, composing and

learning about various styles of music.

What will I study?

Area of Study 1

Area of Study 2

How to compose: How to compose and perform on your chosen instrument or voice

in a style of your choice.

The Concerto: The Concerto and its development through time.

Area of Study 3

Area of Study 4

Area of Study 5

Rhythms of the world: India and the Punjab; Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle

East; Africa; Central and South America.

Film Music:

Music that been composed specifically for a film

Music from the Western Classical tradition that has been used within a film

Music that has been composed as a soundtrack for a video game.

Conventions of Pop:

Rock ‘n’ roll of the 1950s and 1960s

Rock Anthems of the 1970s and 1980s

Pop Ballads of the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s

Solo Artists from 1990 to the present day.

How will I be assessed?

The subject is mostly controlled assessment:

Component 1 (30%):

Component 2 (30%):

Component 3 (40%):

One Performance and One Composition (to a brief set by the performer)

One performance and One Composition (to a brief set by the exam board)

Listening and appraising

A written paper, with CD.

Aural recognition and context unheard/unfamiliar music from within the

Areas of Study 2, 3, 4 & 5.

Study Requirements:

Anyone wishing to study Music should:

1. Be able to listen to a wide range of musical styles with an open mind to learn how and why music has

developed and sounds like it does (from Bach and Beethoven to Rock, Pop, Jazz and Blues)

2. Be able to study an instrument or sing and be prepared to perform in a style of your choice (this

includes all pop and orchestral instruments including drums)

3. Develop their understanding of how to compose, using a range of musical techniques which they will

cover through studying different styles of music during the course.

Homework will include regular practise on your chosen instrument.

For further information: Please contact Mr Adams or Mr Hyden

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Religious Studies

Examination Board: AQA Religious Studies A

What are the aims of the course?







To consider and respond to a range of current moral and ethical questions, such as war,

animal testing and abortion.

To investigate and respond to fundamental questions about life, such as the purpose of

life and the nature of evil.

To explore the views of different religious believers and traditions in relation to these questions. To

compare these to your own beliefs so that you can reflect on your own values.

To understand what Christians and Muslims believe about God and how they worship.

To develop your analytical skills.

To develop your understanding of different viewpoints and attitudes.

What will I study?

If you are interested in discussing, debating and writing about any of these topics this course is for you. It builds

on what you did in Key Stage 3 and gives you the opportunity to present your own thoughts and opinions on the

issues above. It’s an interesting and valuable GCSE for anyone wanting to develop their knowledge of both

controversial issues in the news today, as well as the perspectives and beliefs of Christianity, Islam and other

religions. This GCSE develops high levels of skills of evaluation, presentation and analysis.

You will need to keep up to date with current affairs, and take detailed notes from your lessons.

There are class tests throughout the course often on new key terms and details from Christianity,

Islam and the learning for these is often set as homework to help you develop the revision skills

necessary for the final exam.

What are the study requirements?

Homework is set on a regular basis (approximately 1 hour per week). This will take a variety of forms

including practice questions, research, learning key terms and case studies.

How will I be assessed?

Component 1: The study of religions:

beliefs, teachings and practices

Written exam: 1 hour 45 minutes

50% of GCSE

96 marks, plus 6 marks for spelling,

punctuation and grammar (SPaG)

Component 2: Thematic Studies

Written exam: 1 hour 45 minutes

50% of GCSE

96 marks, plus 3 marks for spelling, punctuation and grammar

(SPaG)

How will I be monitored?

1. Frequent GCSE exam questions practice. This helps assess student progress and improves

examination technique.

2. There will be a practice exam at the end of every unit and a full mock exam at the end of year 10 and

in Year 11.

3. Monthly monitoring of progress throughout the course within the Humanities faculty. Concern about

individual progress will be conveyed to parents via email, text or telephone

For further information: Please contact Mrs Day

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