Options and Pathways

AQA GCSE English Language/English Literature (Compulsory)

Course Overview

All students will study GCSE English Language and English Literature in Key Stage 4.  The English Language qualification involves the study of non-fiction, imaginative writing and transactional writing, whilst the English Literature qualification will require students to study a range of texts, including 19th century fiction, a play/performance, Shakespeare and poetry.

These courses will enable students to:

  • Develop their analytical skills, considering key themes and characters in relation to a writer’s intention and purpose.
  • Acquire a deeper understanding and appreciation of a range of contexts and settings.
  • Develop creative and functional writing skills, whilst considering audience and purpose.
  • Study language – its meaning, effect and development.
  • Read for pleasure, whilst accessing a range of authors and styles.

There is no coursework or controlled assessment element to either course at GCSE.  Students will instead complete 4 final examinations (2 English Language papers and 2 English Literature papers).

Each qualification will be graded on a nine-grade scale from 9 to 1 using the total mark from both exam papers in each qualification.  This will result in students receiving two separate GCSE grades towards their future education and training goals.   The new English GCSE guidelines mean that all students in KS4 will sit the same exams.  There will be no need to distinguish between higher and foundation tiers at entry.

To be successful in English you have to be able to read a range of texts, including genres and authors you may have not previously accessed.  You must be willing to work both independently and in a group, to consider the possible meanings and interpretations of a text.  Working closely with teachers and staff is crucial to share ideas and achieve the best within this subject.

Future Pathways

A good GCSE in English provides a strong foundation for further academic and vocational study in most areas.  Future educational providers and employers will always consider an individual’s English GCSE grade, as reading and writing skills are prevalent in most careers.  An English GCSE can prepare students for jobs such as teaching, media and marketing, law, travel and tourism, and many more.

 

Edexcel GCSE Mathematics (Compulsory)

Course Overview

All students will study GCSE Mathematics in Key Stage 4.

This qualification involves the study of Number, Algebra, Ratio, Proportion and Rates of Change, Geometry and Measures, Statistics & Probability.

This course enables 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

There is no coursework or controlled assessment in Mathematics – just a final exam consisting of three equally weighted examination papers; one non-calculator paper and two calculator papers.

The qualification will be graded on a nine-grade scale from 9 to 1 using the total mark across all three papers where 9 is the highest grade.

Students will be entered for either the Foundation Tier, where grades 1 – 5 are available, or the Higher Tier, with grades 4 to 9 available.

To be successful in Mathematics you have to be able to accept and enjoy a challenge; be able to work on your own and in a group and have the ability to work closely with your teachers in order to get the most out of this subject.

Future Pathways

A good GCSE in Mathematics provides a strong foundation for further academic and vocational study and for employment.  Exciting jobs, such as medicine, engineering and accountancy are future pathways of good mathematicians.

 

AQA GCSE Science (Compulsory)

Course Overview

Combined Science (AQA)

All students will follow this Science Course.  Combined Science provides a flexible approach to teaching and learning Science.  The specification is divided into topics, each covering different key concepts of Biology, Chemistry and Physics.  Teaching of practical skills is integrated with the theoretical topics and they are assessed through the written papers so students will not be expected to complete any coursework for Combined Science.

Assessment

The combined course is linear with all exams to be taken at the end of Year 11.  There will be 6 exam papers for foundation tier students, and 6 exam papers for higher tier students, with each paper counting towards a percentage of the final grade as outlined below:

Biology Paper 1 16.7% of total GCSE

Biology Paper 2 16.7% of total GCSE

Chemistry Paper 1 16.7% of total GCSE

Chemistry Paper 2 16.7% of total GCSE

Physics Paper 1 16.7% of total GCSE

Physics Paper 2 16.7% of total GCSE

Future Pathways

This course will allow students to gain 2 GCSE grades and is a firm foundation to study A level single Science where local colleges ask for at least a ‘B’ grade to move on to further study.  Good grades at GCSE will lead to jobs in the health service such as Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, Medicine, Nursing and many more.  It is also a firm foundation for jobs involving research and jobs which require analytical thinking.

 

AQA GCSE Separate Science

Course Overview

Biology, Chemistry and Physics Separate Science (AQA)

Separate Science provides a more detailed insight into the world of Science.  The Separate Science course is split into three: Biology, Chemistry and Physics and they will gain three GCSEs.  Teaching of practical skills is integrated with the theoretical topics and they are assessed through the written papers so students will not be expected to complete any coursework for Combined Science.

Assessment

All three courses (Biology, Chemistry and Physics) are linear with all exams to be taken at the end of Year 11.  There will be 2 exam papers for each course with each paper counting towards a percentage of the final grade as outlined below:

Biology:

Biology Paper 1 50% of total GCSE

Biology Paper 2 50% of total GCSE

Chemistry:

Chemistry Paper 1 50% of total GCSE

Chemistry Paper 2 50% of total GCSE

Physics:

Physics Paper 1 50% of total GCSE

Physics Paper 2 50% of total GCSE

The Separate Science course is for students who are achieving a Grade 5- equivalent by the Easter of Year 9.  Due to the challenging nature of the course the number of places is kept low and they are reserved for the most able.  Guidance will be given by the Curriculum Leader because of the high level of challenge the course presents.  This course is aimed at the most able scientists.

Future Pathways

This course will allow students to gain 3 GCSE grades and is a stepping stone to study A level single Science where local colleges ask for at least a ‘B’ grade to move on to further study.  Good grades at GCSE will lead to jobs in the field of Engineering, Medicine, Analytical Chemistry and many more.  It is also a firm foundation for those looking to study Science related degrees at University and jobs involving research and jobs which require analytical thinking.

 

BCS European Computer Driving Licence (ECDL) – Compulsory

Course Overview

The ECDL qualification which is a GCSE equivalent is the most widely recognised IT qualification around the world, and a great way to demonstrate that you are digitally literate.  This will give you a solid foundation for any job you apply for.

In this course, you will study several units covering ICT skills, including:

  • Word processing
  • Presentations
  • Spreadsheets
  • Improving Productivity Module

This course is a practical course showing mastery of skills.  The course is assessed on line by the exam board.

For much of the time you will work on a computer, and you should be able to work independently. You should use the skills taught in ICT at Key Stage 3 to help you with this qualification.

Future Career Opportunities

This course could lead to students studying further ICT skills, apprenticeships or any position that requires an IT skills qualification.  It is particularly useful for those wishing to work in administration or a customer care environment.  However, the skills are also useful when preparing presentations or documents for any career.

 

Edexcel GCSE French

Course Overview

In French, we use the Edexcel exam board.  GCSE French allows students to develop their ability to communicate with French native speakers in both speech and writing.  You will study across a variety of contexts relevant to your age and interests and you will also develop a greater awareness of culture of French-speaking communities and countries.

Themes and Topics

Questions across all four language skills are set in common contexts, addressing a range of relevant contemporary and cultural themes.  They are organised into five themes, each broken down into topics and sub-topics.

The five themes are:

  • Identity and Culture
  • Local Area, Holiday, Travel
  • School
  • Future Aspirations, Study and Work
  • International and Global Dimension

Content and Assessment Overview

Assessment consists of four externally examined papers, each worth 25% of the overall mark, based on listening, speaking, reading and writing skills.

Students must complete their speaking assessment in April/May and all other assessments at the end of their second year of study.

Each paper is available at Foundation tier or Higher tier.

Students who wish to choose French as an option should have achieved a minimum of a 3d at the end of Key Stage 3.  They should be confident in speaking in the target language and have a thirst to learn about different cultures.

Future Pathways

Students would have the opportunity to further study languages at college and/or University.  Many institutions welcome languages and encourage additional uptake of languages if one has already been learnt.  Commerce and business careers are always seeking professionals who have qualifications in languages, allowing students the opportunity to travel and work abroad.

 

OCR GCSE Geography

Course Overview

The OCR Geography B course is challenging, modern and engaging.  Geography is the study of the world around us and the people that live in it.  The course allows students to learn about issues in the news such as migration, earthquakes and economic events.

It is made up of three units which will be examined in June 2019.

Our Natural World

Our Natural World gives students the opportunity to gain appreciation of the natural world around them including tectonic and weather hazards, climate change, the UK’s distinctive landscapes and the global ecosystems which support life on the planet.

People and Society

Students will understand the importance of People and Society through studying why more than half of the world’s population live in urban areas, the dynamic nature of development, the UK in the 21st century and human reliance on key resources for survival.

Geographical Exploration

The third section of the course is a critical thinking unit in which students will learn problem solving skills.  Students will sit a decision making exam that will require questioning and argument abilities.

The Geography course encourages a sense of wonder about the world.  Students will deepen their understanding by taking part in fieldwork trips in each year of the course.

Students will be required to sit three written exams and be able to learn lots of keywords, processes and case study events.  They should have an interest in our world and a desire to learn more about everything that happens around us.

Future Pathways

Geography is broad, it gives you a wide range of analysis, problem solving and communication skills and is well respected.

Geography graduates are employed in a wide range of sectors, including the public sector, education, commerce, industry, transport and tourism.  Our current Prime Minister is a Geography graduate!  Geography students have excellent transferable skills, which also attract employers from the business, law and finance sectors.  Geography was recently voted one of the top qualifications, alongside Maths, to have at GCSE and A-level by the UK Redbrick universities.

 

AQA GCSE History

Course Overview

The GCSE History course follows the AQA syllabus and you will study British and World History from the medieval era to the present day.  Students will learn lots of new skills and find out about a variety of historical cultures, events, people and places.

The course is broken down into the following components:

Paper 1: Understanding the Modern World (50% of the GCSE)

  • Germany 1890-1945: Student’s will learn about Germany’s role in World War One, the rise of Hitler and the Nazi Party and the road to World War Two.
  • Conflict and Tension 1990-2009: Student’s will learn about the Iraq War and the growth of terrorism, specifically Al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden.

Paper 2: Shaping the Modern World (50% of the GCSE)

  • Migration, Empire and People’s 700-the modern day: Student’s will look at different types of cultures and societies that have moved to Britain, from the Vikings to the Normans, and also Britain’s role in the Slave Trade and building an Empire.
  • Elizabethan England 1568-1603: Students will discover about the key challenges facing Elizabeth during her reign, including from Mary, Queen of Scots and the Spanish Armada.

Students need to have good literacy skills and essay writing skills.  They also need to be good at using historical skills, for example source analysis.

Future Pathways

Many students continue to study History at A Level and many have then gone on to undertake a degree in the subject.  History is a good subject if you wish to work in Law.  It is also good for teaching and if you want to work in business.  The skills you learn will equip you for a number of professional occupations.

 

OCR GCSE Art, Craft and Design

Course Overview

Portfolio (01)

This is a compulsory unit which is developed throughout Year 10 and term one of Year 11.

Students are expected to produce a portfolio of work that demonstrates a personal response to starting points or stimuli.  Students will gain and develop their knowledge, skills and understanding in a variety of areas of Art and Design, encouraging learners to widen their creativity, imagination and independence.

Students will have the opportunity to work in the areas of:

  • Fine Art
  • Printing Techniques and Process
  • Ceramics
  • 3D
  • Computer Aided Design

Students will investigate a topic developing ideas through research, sketching, experimentation and produce a final outcome(s).

Assessed by: Internally assessed and externally moderated portfolio, 120 marks (60%).

Externally Set Task (02)

Learners will be provided with the exam paper from 2 January in the year of certification (Year 11).

The Externally set task offers students the opportunity to respond to a choice of themes, written and visual starting points and stimuli.  Students will make independent choices to research, develop and produce artefacts, producing a portfolio of work during the preparation time allocated.  Students will complete a classroom based 10 hour controlled assessment to produce their final outcome.

Assessed by: This unit is internally assessed and externally moderated, it is worth 80 marks (40%) and is assessed by a 10 hour classroom based controlled assessment.

Students must have skills in one or more area of Art and Design and must have a passion for the subject.  Students must be willing to regularly complete homework, independently developing their portfolio at home.  Students should attend after school sessions to attain their aspirational target grade.

Future Pathways

Many students choose to study AS/A2 level Art at college along with a range of other subjects such as Graphics, Art Textiles and Photography.  Other higher education courses in Art include BTEC First and National Diplomas.

 

AQA GCSE Art and Design – Textile Design

Course Overview

Component 1 – Portfolio

This component consists of two projects; ‘Textured Surfaces’ in Year 10 and ‘Pop Art’ in the first half of Year 11.  This component holds 96 marks and is 60% of the GCSE.  This component introduces students to a range of materials, experimental techniques and processes.  Students will be given the opportunity to explore ideas via a range of activities which will be presented in a personal sketchbook.  Students will make connections with the work of textiles artists and designers, influencing their own practice.  Students will extend their knowledge, understanding and skills through engagement and application of suitable materials, processes and techniques when responding to their two starting points.  At the end of each project, a final piece will be created in the form of a ten hour supervised exam.

Component 2 – Externally Assessed Assignment

This is a controlled assessment task set by the exam board.  This component holds 96 marks and is 40% of the GCSE.  Students will choose a personal starting point; this is followed by a preparatory period whereby they build upon previously developed skills, knowledge and understanding.  Students must then complete 10 hours of supervised, unaided exam work demonstrating their intentions in the form of a final piece of their choice.  Students must demonstrate their ability to work independently.

Future Pathways

This specification provides an excellent route into fashion, textiles or art based courses.

You will be a creative person with a keen interest in Textiles.  You will be confident on the sewing machine, have a good understanding of textiles techniques such as tie dye, batik, printing and surface design.  You will be an independent worker and creative thinker who is not afraid to take risks and strive to succeed.

 

CACHE Child Development and Care

Course Overview

At ICC we study a vocational L2 Award in Child Development.  We follow the Council for Awards in Care, Health and Education (CACHE) exam board and this qualification is an equivalent to a full GCSE qualification.

The following 3 units of study are followed:

Unit 1: An Introduction to Working with Children aged 0-5 years.  This unit is internally assessed.

Unit 2: Development and Well-being 0-5 years.  This unit is internally assessed.

This unit focuses on holistic development and factors that affect development.

Unit 3: Childcare and Development 0-5 years.  This unit is externally assessed and is a multiple choice question paper.

This unit will assess knowledge about the development of children aged 0-5 years.

Students need to have good literacy skills and an interest in creativity along with good creative skills. Students also need to have an interest in the development and learning of children particularly the under 5s.

Future Pathways

Some students who succeed in this course go on to study the Level 3 Award, Certificate and Diploma in Child Care and Education.  Other students continue to study through an apprenticeship within the Childcare industry. This course would lead to work in the Childcare industry such as a nursery nurse, a pre-school worker or primary school teacher.

 

WJEC Level 1 & 2 Constructing the Built Environment

Course Overview

This qualification consists of 3 units:

Unit 1

Safety and Security in Construction: This is an online health and safety test taken by all students.

Unit 2

Practical Skills in Construction: In this unit the student will undertake a minimum of 3 practical tasks and carry out theory work to underpin their knowledge in that task.

Unit 3

Planning Construction Projects: In this unit the students will explore and underpin their knowledge in planning various construction projects.

During this course students will take part in site visits and have lectures from various members of the construction industry.

This course has the potential of a full GCSE:

  • Level 1 = ‘D’ GCSE
  • Level 2 = ‘C’ GCSE
  • Level 2 merit = ‘B’ GCSE
  • Level 2 Distinction = ‘A’ GCSE

This course involves a range of outdoor practical based projects and a written construction project.

Future Pathways

The rewards of this course have a great potential to help students enter the construction industry at a higher level such as tradesperson or even allowing them to enrol on higher levels of qualifications which can lead to jobs such as Quantity Surveyor/Architect/Project Manager and many more.

 

Edexcel BTEC First Award in Creative Digital Media Production

Course Overview

This course which is a GCSE equivalent is designed to give students a solid introduction to the five key media industries – Website Design, Game Design, TV, Radio and Digital Publishing.  Students must complete four units of work:

1.  Digital Media Sectors and Audiences

This unit is worth 25% of the final grade and is assessed through an exam.  Students learn about the five media sectors, the products they produce, how these products are distributed, the different audience theories and how audiences engage with the media.

2.  Planning and Pitching a Digital Media Product

This unit is worth 25% of the final grade and is assessed through a coursework project.  In this unit students learn how to develop ideas for a media product, how to pitch an idea and how to produce planning documentation.

3.  Digital Publishing Production

This unit is worth 25% of the final grade and is assessed through a coursework project.  In this unit students learn about digital publishing opportunities, how to use digital publishing technology and techniques and how to produce material for digital publication.

4.  Website Production

This unit is worth 25% of the final grade and is assessed through a coursework project.  In this unit students learn about the context and purpose of websites, the technical requirements for website production and how to produce and review a functioning website.

Students must show evidence that they have made good progress in ICT at Key Stage 3.  There are a number of written reports to produce so good literacy skills are helpful but most of all you need to have a passion for the creative use of ICT.

Future Pathways

This course can lead to careers in the media sector including film, television, radio, journalism, publishing, web development and gaming, and has IT at its heart.  It is an excellent stepping stone towards college study and will give you a good grounding for further study in Media, IT & Graphics.

 

AQA Level 2 Technical Award Food and Catering

Course Overview

This qualification which is a GCSE equivalent is modular and is split into three units.  One is an externally assessed exam and the other two are internally assessed

About this Qualification

The Food and Catering Technical Award is ideally suited to learners who are creative and enjoy practical work.

Who is this Level 2 Technical Award in Food and Catering for? 

This qualification is intended for learners aged 14-16 years who wish to learn about food preparation in a commercial environment.  Learners will be expected to make a range of food products and develop skills related to commercial food preparation including food hygiene, food presentation and considering production in quantity.  They will be expected to apply technical and practical expertise to ensure that food meets customer needs and preferences and is appropriate for a given occasion. They will have the opportunity to use a wide range of practical skills and techniques, gaining an understanding of catering and an awareness of related career paths.

What will Learners Study?

Learners complete three mandatory units across 120 guided learning hours.

Unit 1: Skills demonstration (internally assessed) – Learners will create a number of small practical outcomes to demonstrate their competence in 12 core skills outlined in the specification. These will include the transferable skill of teamwork. Learners will provide evidence of their work in a portfolio of no more than 15 pages A3 or A4 equivalent.

Unit 2: Extended making project (internally assessed) – Learners will undertake an extended making project that showcases the skills and knowledge they have developed in Unit 1 and the knowledge they have developed through Unit 3. The project will be in response to a brief. Learners will develop skills in planning and development, making, testing, evaluation and communication.

Unit 3: Food and Catering fundamentals (externally assessed) – Learners will study commodities, menu planning and key aspects of commercial catering practice including food hygiene and food presentation. They will also learn about possible careers within industry.

 

AQA Level 2 Technical Award in Visual Communication – Graphics

Course Overview

This qualification which is a GCSE equivalent is intended for students interested in using graphics based materials in a practical and imaginative way, in the context of marketing and promotion. Learners will develop an understanding of commercial and industrial processes and an awareness of careers within the industry. It will particularly appeal to learners who are looking for a course that is practical in nature.

The Level 2 Technical Award will enable students to develop skills in making high quality promotional materials, including packaging. Students will make a range of products, prototypes and samples, applying technical and practical expertise to ensure that the product is fit for purpose. They will have the opportunity to use traditional skills and modern technologies. Students will also gain an understanding of commercial practice and potential career opportunities in the industry.

The Technical Award in Visual Communication will give learners the opportunity to develop an understanding of:

  • Digital software applications
  • How to develop products, both traditional and digital, that demonstrate creativity and originality
  • Materials, components and technologies and the ability to select these appropriately
  • How to read, interpret and work from drawings, plans and instructions
  • Quality and how this can be achieved by making to fine tolerances
  • Key technical terminology related to materials and processes
  • Commercial and industrial practices
  • Career opportunities in the sector.

What will the learner study as part of this qualification? 

Students will complete three mandatory units (one externally assessed and two internally assessed)

Unit 1: Skills demonstration (internally assessed) 30% 

Students will create a number of small practical outcomes to demonstrate their competency in 12 core skills outlined in the specification. This will include the transferable skill of teamwork.

Unit 2: Extended making project (internally assessed) 30% 

Students will undertake an extended making project that showcases the skills they have developed in Unit 1 and the knowledge and understanding they have acquired in Unit 3. Learners will develop skills in planning and development, making, testing and evaluation and the transferable skill of communication.

Unit 3: Fundamentals of Visual Communication (externally assessed) 40% 

Students will study the fundamentals of Visual Communication including:

  • Visual communication techniques
  • Processes in industry
  • Health and safety
  • Materials and stock forms
  • Tools and equipment
  • Systems and control procedures
  • Consideration of commercial aspects
  • Social and environmental issues
  • Career opportunities.

You should be a creative person with a keen interest in Graphic Design.  You will have some existing skills in the areas of packaging design, drawing, CAD (computer aided design) and making prototype models using card.

Future Pathways

The skills and knowledge gained will allow learners to progress to a wide range of courses in both general and vocational qualifications. It is a particularly good preparation for A-level Design and Technology (Product Design), related level 3 vocational qualifications, or an apprenticeship in a related area of employment. This qualification prepares learners by developing an in-depth knowledge of graphics based materials and their practical use within the industry. Learners will also develop valuable transferable skills in teamwork and communication that will be of value to them no matter what career they choose to follow.

 

Edexcel BTEC Health and Social Care

Core Information

The aim of this course which is a GCSE equivalent is to enable learners to gain the knowledge, understanding and practical skills they need to be able to communicate effectively within a health and social care environment. Throughout this course learners will investigate and learn about different forms of communication, understand barriers to communication and be able to communicate effectively.

This course has core units and optional units selected from the list below.  One of the core units is externally assessed.

Unit 1: Human Lifespan Development

Unit 2: Health and Social Care Values

Unit 3: Effective Communication in Health and Social Care

Unit 4: Social Influences on Health and Wellbeing

Unit 5: Promoting Health and Wellbeing

Unit 6: The Impact of Nutrition on Health and Wellbeing

Unit 7: Equality and Diversity in Health and Social Care

Unit 8: Individual Rights in Health and Social Care

The course involves 8 written assignments that will be completed across Year 10 and Year 11.  You should also have an interest in the caring professions as this will be part of the units that you study.

It is helpful if you are interested in current affairs and are prepared to share opinions on current issues.  You need to be open-minded to opinions that are different from your own.

Future Pathways and Career Opportunities

Completing this course could prepare you for a variety of careers including care assistant, welfare officer, healthcare manager, probation officer, residential support worker, social worker, volunteer organiser, youth or community officer or a career in the NHS.

Assessment

Assessment for this course is on-going but will require you to complete 3 pieces of written controlled assessment for each unit completed.  Unit 1 is an externally set unit and is assessed externally by a written examination.

 

Edexcel BTEC Level 2 Award in Performing Arts – Acting Pathway

Course Overview

This course is a GCSE equivalent.

CORE UNIT:  UNIT 1: Individual Showcase

Unit 1 is a core unit on the Performing Arts course.  This is an externally assessed unit of work using a task set and marked by Edexcel.  The unit focuses on the students presenting their performance skills in both practical and written assessments.  This unit covers what to include in a letter of application and how to prepare two audition pieces or presentations that demonstrate the relevant skills and knowledge.  Edexcel provide a ‘theme’ for audition pieces and students select appropriate material.

  • A letter of application and a demonstration of two pieces of solo performances, each lasting two minutes.
  • Material for solo performances (Monologues) will be two contrasting pieces of work from any published texts.

Assessed by:  Written Paper (2hours) / Performance x 2 (2-3minutes each).  25% of overall grade.

CORE UNIT:  UNIT 2: Preparation, Performance and Production

This unit is assessed internally by the teacher and externally verified by Edexcel.  Students will learn how to develop a performance piece as a member of a fictional performance company.  Students will take on a specific performing or production role and will prepare for, and produce, a performance by carrying out tasks that are appropriate to their role.  The performers and production team will need to work together to explore, develop and shape ideas for the performance.  Students will need to take part in preparations for the performance that are appropriate to their role to ensure everything is ready for the opening night.  This might include attending rehearsals, production meetings, making sessions and get-ins and get-outs.

Assessed by:  Written portfolio of evidence and reflective assignment / Performance to an audience.

25% of overall grade.

OPTIONAL UNITS – UNIT 3 Acting Skills and UNIT 5 Musical Theatre Skills

UNIT 3: Acting Skills 

This unit is assessed internally by the teacher and externally verified by Edexcel.  The focus of this unit is the exploration and development of the students acting skills and the application of these in performance.  Students will participate in exploring and developing their acting skills during practical workshops and lessons.  They will create a portfolio of evidence of their acting skills and identify their strengths and areas for development.  Once they have worked on developing their acting skills they are assessed through a performance role.  Students will take part in devising their own work in groups from a given stimulus and present to an audience.

Assessed by:  Written portfolio of evidence and reflective assignment / Performance to an audience. 

50% of overall grade.

OPTIONAL UNITS – UNIT 3 Acting Skills and UNIT 5 Musical Theatre Skills

UNIT 5: Musical Theatre Skills 

This unit is assessed internally by the teacher and externally verified by Edexcel.  The focus of this unit is the experience and development of acting, singing and dance skills and the application of these skills to musical theatre work.  This unit allows students to study musicals from different genres including American musicals, British musicals and Songbook musicals.  Evidence for this unit will be through practical sessions, rehearsals and a performance from a musical.  A portfolio of evidence is submitted by every student to identify their strengths and areas for development.

Assessed by:  Written portfolio of evidence and reflective assignment / Performance to an audience. 

50% of overall grade.

Students must have skills or prior experience in scripted and devised work and must have a passion for the subject. Students must be willing to regularly complete homework, independently developing their portfolio at home. Students should attend after school sessions to attain their aspirational target grade.

  • Be committed! (Attendance to all lessons and rehearsals are vital to pass the course)
  • Enjoy Performing and Acting to an audience
  • Have Confidence (Or the willingness to build on your own confidence)
  • Good Written English Skills
  • Enjoy Drama
  • Enjoy Public Speaking / Presentations
  • Strong team working skills (happy to work with any combination of students)

Optional Extras

  • Involvement in the College productions
  • Participation in Winter Wonderland or Summer Show
  • Working consistently at a band 4 or above

Future Pathways 

The BTEC First Award in Performing Arts provides a good foundation for Students in post-16 education.  The qualification provides a suitable foundation for further study within the sector through progression on to qualifications, such as BTEC Nationals, and A levels.

Alternatively, the underpinning knowledge, practical and vocational skills learnt on the BTEC course will enhance and support progression to a competency-based course and any other A levels.

The course can help begin your pathway to a job in the creative industry for roles such as:

  • Actor/ Performer Drama TherapistTelevision Production Assistant Director
  • Screenwriter
  • Producer
  • Drama Teacher
  • Stage Manager
  • Arts Administrator
  • Broadcast Journalism / Radio Presenter
  • Theatre Design
  • Media Makeup
  • Youth Community Worker

 

Edexcel BTEC Level 2 Award in Performing Arts – Dance Pathway

Course Overview

This course is a GCSE equivalent.

CORE UNIT:  UNIT 1: Individual Showcase

Unit 1 is a core unit on the Performing Arts course.  This is an externally assessed unit of work using a task set and marked by Edexcel.  The unit focuses on the students presenting their performance skills in both practical and written assessments.  This unit covers what to include in a letter of application and how to prepare two audition pieces or presentations that demonstrate the relevant skills and knowledge.  Edexcel provide a ‘theme’ for audition pieces and students select appropriate material.

  • A letter of application and a demonstration of two pieces of solo performances, each lasting two minutes.
  • Material for solo performances (Dances) will be two contrasting pieces of work linking to the theme.

Assessed by:  Written Paper (2hours) / Performance x 2 (2-3minutes each).  25% of overall grade.

CORE UNIT:  UNIT 2: Preparation, Performance and Production

This unit is assessed internally by the teacher and externally verified by Edexcel.  Students will learn how to develop a performance piece as a member of a fictional performance company.  Students will take on a specific performing or production role and will prepare for, and produce, a performance by carrying out tasks that are appropriate to their role.  The performers and production team will need to work together to explore, develop and shape ideas for the performance.  Students will need to take part in preparations for the performance that are appropriate to their role to ensure everything is ready for the opening night.  This might include attending rehearsals, production meetings, making sessions and get-ins and get-outs.

Assessed by:  Written portfolio of evidence and reflective assignment / Performance to an audience.

25% of overall grade.

OPTIONAL UNITS – UNIT 4 Dance Skills and UNIT 5 Musical Theatre Skills

UNIT 4: Dance Skills 

This unit is assessed internally by the teacher and externally verified by Edexcel.  The focus of this unit is the exploration and development of the students dancing skills and the application of these during the build-up and in a final performance.  Students will participate in exploring and developing their dancing skills during practical workshops and lessons.  New skills will be acquired in dance styles that will then be applied to a final performance. Physical, interpretive and technical skills are all essential to communicate the style and theme of the performance piece to the audience. They will create a portfolio of evidence of their dancing skills and identify their strengths and areas for development. Once they have worked on developing their dancing skills they are assessed through a performance.  Students will take part in choreographing their own work in groups from a given stimulus or set phrase and present to an audience.

Assessed by: Written portfolio of evidence and reflective assignment / Performance to an audience. 

50% of overall grade.

OPTIONAL UNITS – UNIT 4 Dance Skills and UNIT 5 Musical Theatre Skills

UNIT 5: Musical Theatre Skills 

This unit is assessed internally by the teacher and externally verified by Edexcel.  The focus of this unit is the experience and development of acting, singing and dance skills and the application of these skills to musical theatre work.  This unit allows students to study musicals from different genres including American musicals, British musicals and Songbook musicals.  Evidence for this unit will be through practical sessions, rehearsals and a performance from a musical.  A portfolio of evidence is submitted by every student to identify their strengths and areas for development.

Assessed by:  Written portfolio of evidence and reflective assignment / Performance to an audience. 

50% of overall grade.

Students must have skills or prior experience in one or more styles of Dance and must have a passion for the subject. Students must be willing to regularly complete homework, independently developing their portfolio at home. Students should attend after school sessions to attain their aspirational target grade.

  • Be committed! (Attendance to all lessons and rehearsals are vital to pass the course)
  • Enjoy Performing and Dancing to an audience
  • Have Confidence (Or the willingness to build on your own confidence)
  • Good Written English Skills
  • Enjoy Dance and Movement
  • Enjoy Public Speaking / Presentations
  • Strong team working skills (happy to work with any combination of students)

Optional Extras

  • Involvement in the College productions
  • Participation in Winter Wonderland or Summer Show
  • Working consistently at a band 4 or above

Future Pathways 

The BTEC First Award in Performing Arts provides a good foundation for Students in post-16 education.  The qualification provides a suitable foundation for further study within the sector through progression on to qualifications, such as BTEC Nationals, and A levels.

Alternatively, the underpinning knowledge, practical and vocational skills learnt on the BTEC course will enhance and support progression to a competency-based course and any other A levels.

The course can help begin your pathway to a job in the creative industry for roles such as:

  • Dancer/ Performer
  • Dance Therapist
  • Arts Manager
  • Choreographer
  • Freelance Dance Artist
  • Dance Teacher
  • Stage Manager
  • Arts Administrator
  • Theatre Design

 

Edexcel GCSE Physical Education

Course Overview

Physical Education consists of two Theory (externally-examined papers) and two Practical (non-examined) assessment components.

Component 1: Fitness and Body Systems

Written examination: 1 hour and 45 minutes

36% of the qualification (90 marks)

Content Overview

  • Topic 1: Applied Anatomy and Physiology
  • Topic 2: Movement Analysis
  • Topic 3: Physical Training
  • Topic 4: Use of Data

Assessment Overview

The assessment for Component 1 and Component 2 both consist of multiple-choice, short-answer, and extended writing questions.  Students must answer all questions.  (Calculators can be used in the examination).

Component 2: Health and Performance

Written examination: 1 hour and 15 minutes

24% of the qualification (70 marks)

Content Overview

  • Topic 1: Health, Fitness and Well-being
  • Topic 2: Sport Psychology
  • Topic 3: Socio-cultural influences
  • Topic 4: Use of Data

Component 3: Practical Performance

Non-examined assessment: internally marked and externally moderated

30% of the qualification (105 marks [35 marks per activity])

Content Overview

  • Skills during individual and team activities
  • General performance skills

Assessment Overview

The assessment consists of students completing three physical activities from a set list.

One must be a team activity, one must be an individual activity and the final activity can be a free choice.

Component 4: Personal Exercise Programme (PEP)

Non-examined assessment: internally marked and externally moderated

10% of the qualification (20 marks)

Content Overview

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

Assessment Overview

The assessment consists of students producing a Personal Exercise Programme (PEP), which will require students to analyse and evaluate their performance.

Students must enjoy sport, take part in all PE lessons, continually bring their kit and be willing to take part in each activity.  Students should also have good skills in written English.

Future Pathways

A GCSE in Physical Education enables students to move on to further education to study ‘A’ Level

Physical Education or BTEC Level 3 Sport.  There are Apprenticeships in Sports Coaching or you can work in the Sports industry.

 

OCR GCSE Psychology

Course and Awarding Body: 

OCR Level 1/2 GCSE (9–1) in Psychology (J203)

Course Overview: 

Students will study the core theories, key concepts, key studies and applications of each of the following topics in this Psychology GCSE:

Criminal Psychology

Development

Psychological Problems

Social Influence

Memory

Sleep and Dreaming

In addition to these topics, students will develop the understanding and knowledge of how to carry out research methods that link to each of these topics.

Students will also develop an insight into the approaches and debates that underpin all of psychology as a discipline.

This course is in partnership with and is proud to support “Time for Change” which aims to end mental health discrimination.

No prior knowledge or learning of the subject is required.  However, this is a demanding and academically rigorous subject which will suit learners who have achieved progress to band 4E or above in both English and Mathematics.  There is some very technical terminology and a new vocabulary to learning psychology and students need to be at this level of progress in order to fully be able to access the knowledge and understand the basic concepts of this course.

Future Pathways:

This course can lead to all kinds of professions that involve working closely with others, especially in health and social care, social work, the law, police force, teaching, counselling and other therapeutic and educational work.  Many students who have completed this GCSE have continued to study A level Psychology and this qualification provides the ideal foundation for learners to progress to OCR’s AS Level in Psychology and A Level in Psychology.

 

Eduqas GCSE Religious Studies

Course Overview

GCSE Religious Studies is an exciting, modern and relevant course that explores moral and ethical issues and ultimate questions.  Every issue will be explored and debated from a variety of perspectives including Christian, Islamic and non-religious viewpoints.  The course is divided into 3 components and papers:

Component 1 weighting 50%

Religious, Philosophical and Ethical Studies in the Modern World

This will be a 2 hour paper

Candidates will study the following four themes:

Theme 1: Relationships

Theme 2: Life and Death

Theme 3: Good and Evil

Theme 4: Human Rights

Component 2 weighting 25%

Study of Christianity

This will be a 1 hour paper

Candidates will study the beliefs, teachings and practices of Christianity.  Here candidates will explore in detail how the beliefs and practices of Christianity affects not only the lives of individual members of that religion but also the Christian community at large and other aspects of the wider community that interacts with the Christian Church along with the issues that emerge as a result of this interaction.

Component 3 weighting 25%

Study of Islam

This will be a 1 hour paper

Candidates will study the beliefs, teachings and practices of Islam.  Here candidates will explore in detail how the beliefs and practices of Islam affects not only the lives of individual members of that religion but also the Islamic community at large and other aspects of the wider community that interacts with the Muslim community along with the issues that emerge as a result of this interaction.

The content will be delivered in Years 10 and 11.  Lessons focus on what can be learned about various religious and non-religious perspectives and there is a built-in expectation that students will debate, discuss and question all the taught content on the course.

It is expected that students will be motivated to study the course and be enthusiastic about it. They should also be making their minimum expected progress in Religious Studies during Year 9.

Future Pathways

Taking Religious Studies does not mean that you want to be a priest, monk or nun!  Religious Studies as a subject is highly valued by colleges and universities because it demonstrates that you can think in a variety of different ways whilst also being able to empathise with different people of various cultures and of differing beliefs.  To be good at Religious Studies, you need to be a flexible thinker and be keen to have a better understanding of people.  In terms of future careers, Religious Studies is highly regarded by many future employers, and institutions.  These include; those who train Primary and Secondary school teachers, nurses, social workers, doctors, the police and those in the armed forces.  This is because they are regularly on the lookout for people who understand different religions and philosophies because they need people working with and for them who are able to communicate with other people and cultures well.

 

AQA Level 2 Technical Award in Materials Technology – Resistant Materials

Course Overview

This qualification which is a GCSE equivalent is intended for learners who are interested in understanding the working properties of woods, metals and plastics and wish to use these materials in a practical way.  It will particularly appeal to learners who are looking for a course that is practical in nature and will prepare them for further study and employment within related industries.

What will the students study as part of this qualification? 

Learners will complete three mandatory units (one externally assessed and two internally assessed)

Unit 1: Skills demonstration (internally assessed) 30% 

Students will carry out a number of bite-sized design and make projects to demonstrate their competence in 12 core skills. This will include the transferable skill of teamwork and one of the mini-projects will for this. Learners will produce a series of small made outcomes and record their work in a portfolio.

Unit 2: Extended making project (internally assessed) 30% 

Students will undertake an extended making project that showcases the skills and knowledge they have developed in Unit 1 and the knowledge they have developed through Unit 3. The project will be in response to a design brief which will be set by the exam board. Learners will develop skills in planning and development, making, testing, evaluation and communication.

Unit 3: Fundamentals of Materials Technology (externally assessed) 40% 

Learners will study materials and their working properties and learn about processes and manufacture. They will gain knowledge of the applications and characteristics of a wide range of woods, metals and polymers and also learn about possible careers within industry.

The Technical Award in Materials technology will give learners the opportunity to develop an understanding of:

  • Materials and their working properties
  • Processes and manufacture
  • Joining, components, adhesives and finishes
  • Commercial practice
  • Sustainability
  • Careers opportunities.

You should be a creative person with a keen interest in Resistant Materials.  You will have some existing skills in the areas of designing, drawing, CAD (computer aided design) and manufacturing products using wood, metal and plastic.

Future Pathways

This specification provides an excellent route into GCE A Level Product Design, related level 3 vocational qualifications and apprenticeships in the construction industry.

Year 9 Subject Choices

In each option box students are asked to consider a first and second choice.  Use the space provided below to write any information you feel will be useful when making your choice.  This information will be provided by teachers at the Year 9 Options / ‘Pathways’ Evening.