Seven out of the ten possible subjects are now compulsory at GCSE. Nevertheless, choices remain, and the syllabuses followed at Epsom have been carefully chosen in order to provide pupils with a stimulating, challenging and enlightening two years of study.
Compulsory GCSE subjects.
For the vast majority, this will lead to IGCSE in both English Language and English Literature.
A choice of French, German, Spanish or Mandarin Chinese. A second language may be taken as an optional subject.
All sets will sit IGCSE in Year 11.
All pupils currently study Biology, Chemistry and Physics as single sciences. All pupils take Biology, Chemistry and Physics IGCSE. The Science departments regularly review courses to ensure that they are suited to pupils’ abilities and may choose to introduce Dual Science IGCSE for selected pupils.
Optional GCSE subjects.
Pupils will need to choose three options from the list below which will lead to the GCSE Examinations. All option subjects are taught in mixed ability groups.
- Computer Science
- Design & Technology
- Mandarin Chinese
- Physical Education
- Religious Studies
If you wish to find out more about the specific course followed in any of our GCSE or IGCSE subjects, please click on the headings below.
Fine Art GCSE (9-1) J171
GCSE Art allows you to develop your practical skills and opens the door to an incredibly wide range of creative careers. Over the two years you will develop critical and academic skills, as well as a creative approach to problem-solving.
In 2017, 80% of our pupils achieved A*-A grades.
The GCSE is made up of two components, both internally assessed and externally moderated.
Component One: Portfolio (60%)
At the start of the course, Year 10 pupils will work under a general title, developing ideas and skills in a wide range of materials. They explore drawing, photography, mixed-media, painting, printmaking and three-dimensional studies.
Pupils establish a foundation of skills and also identify their own interests and strengths with different materials, techniques and concepts. Pupils then refine and further extend these strengths into Year 11.
The emphasis is on a personal response to given starting points. The portfolio should demonstrate diversity as well as personal strengths and interests.
Pupils are engaged in the creative process, developing practical skills, exploring creative thinking and becoming confident risk-takers and reflective learners. At the end of the Michaelmas Term in Year 11, pupils will conclude their Portfolio Component having selected, organised and presented the best of their work.
Component Two: Externally Set Task (40%)
At the start of the Lent Term, Year 11 pupils receive their exam paper. The paper has a number of starting points, one of which the pupil will choose to develop their exam project.
Responding to the exam paper, pupils record, develop, explore and prepare for the ten-hour set task.
Throughout both the Portfolio and Externally Set Task pupils are encouraged and assisted as they structure and organise their practical work and develop creativity, as well as working to establish sound study skills.
Pearson Edexcel International GCSE (IGCSE) in Biology (4BI1)
Biology is the study of the living world, encompassing the structure, function, growth, evolution, distribution and taxonomy of living organisms.
The International GCSE in Biology covers five basic themes:
- The nature and variety of living organisms
- Structures and functions in living organisms
- Reproduction and inheritance
- Ecology and the environment
- Use of biological resources.
Pupils will learn to appreciate the importance of accurate experimental work, scientific method and reporting. They will also develop an appreciation of the significance of biological facts, concepts and principles, and the skills needed for their use in new and changing situations.
They will develop an enjoyment of, and interest in, the study of living organisms.
Pupils will evaluate, in terms of their biological knowledge and understanding, the benefits and drawbacks of scientific and technological developments, including those related to social, environmental and economic issues.
The course provides a strong foundation for pupils wishing to study Biology at A-level and offers a wealth of practical opportunities throughout the three-year course.
There is no coursework or controlled assessment. Both papers contain questions designed to assess the pupils’ practical skills.
- Paper 1: Is worth 61.1% of the total mark, and lasts two hours.
- Paper 2: Is worth 38.9% of the total mark, and lasts one hour.
Edexcel International GCSE (IGCSE) (4CH0)
Chemistry is the study of materials – what they are made of and how they interact with each other. It provides the tools to make new and better compounds for the service of mankind.
The aim of this course is to give pupils the opportunity to:
- learn about unifying patterns and themes of chemistry
- appreciate the practical nature of chemistry, acquiring experimental and investigative skills based on correct and safe laboratory techniques
- appreciate the importance of accurate experimental work and reporting
- form hypotheses and design experiments to test them
- develop a logical approach to problem-solving in a wider context
- understand the widespread importance of chemistry and the way materials are used in the world
- appreciate how the work of the chemist has social, industrial, technological, environmental and economic consequences for the community
- prepare for more advanced courses in chemistry and for courses which require them to have a knowledge of Chemistry.
There is no coursework component as this is examined within the material covered by the two papers.
- Paper 1: Is worth 61% of the total mark and lasts two hours.
- Paper 2: Is worth 39% of the total mark and lasts 1 hour 15 minutes.
The new course uses the 9-1 grading system. Both papers contain a mixture of different question styles, including multiple-choice questions, short-answer questions, calculations and extended open-response questions.
CIE International GCSE (IGCSE) (0478)
This IGCSE puts emphasis on learning the principles of problem-solving using a computer, computational thinking and programming. Pupils apply their understanding to develop computer-based solutions to problems using algorithms and a high-level programming language (Python 3).
This is not a programming course, but a course in which the fundamental programming concepts are learnt, which then can be applied in solving various practical problems using any high-level programming language.
This qualification will help pupils appreciate current and emerging computing technologies and the benefits of their use. They learn to recognise the ethical issues and potential risks when using computers.
It is an ideal foundation for further study in Computer Science, at A-level or beyond. The ultimate goal and ethos of this course is the academic rigour, creativity and the excitement of making things happen that comes with programming.
Paper 1: Theory (60%) 1 hour 45 minutes
This written paper contains short-answer and structured questions. Topics assessed include:
- binary, hexadecimal numbers, and their application
- learning how data is input, output, stored, transmitted and processed
- logic gates and electronic circuits that make a computer component
- what is inside a processor and how it works/executes instructions
- security and ethical questions when working with computer systems.
Paper 2: Practical Problem Solving and Programming (40%) 1 hr 45 mins
This written paper assesses candidates’ understanding and ability in solving a problem by writing its algorithm in a flowchart, pseudocode, and then code. This will involve the use of validation, testing techniques, identifying errors, and using trace tables.
An important emphasis is placed on thoroughly planning a solution (with flowcharts and pseudocode) before any line of programming code is written.
Programming is an important part of this paper and is used to demonstrate candidates’ understanding of problem-solving and programming concepts – we use Python 3 at GCSE.
Finally, the basics of databases, data types, primary keys and querying a table are also included.
Edexcel GCSE (9-1) Design and Technology (1DT0/1F)
This GCSE prepares pupils to become creative and critical thinkers. It develops their skills to design and deliver prototypes that solve real and relevant problems.
The course combines the use of CAD and CAM, through our excellent range of CNC machines, with more traditional manufacturing processes.
Pupils develop their knowledge and skills through the completion of design exercises, small project work, taught theory lessons and a series of visits to exhibitions and industrial environments.
Current visits include:
- the Oxford Mini car factory
- the New Holland tractor factory
- the V&A museum
- the Science Museum.
In addition, voluntary trips are offered to see key exhibitions at London Design week, the London Design Festival and Grand Designs Live as appropriate.
There is also an opportunity for future engineers to apply for an Arkwright Scholarship in the Year 11.
We have opted to follow the Edexcel GCSE (9-1) Design and Technology 1DT0/1F. The ‘F’ represents our chosen specialist area of timbers for the theory paper, however, pupils will be able to use the full range of available materials within the non-examined assessment, which is the design and make project.
Paper 1: Externally-examined paper worth 50% of the final grade. 1 hour 45 minutes.
- Section A: Core
This section is worth 40% of the paper. It contains a mixture of different question styles, including open response, graphical, calculation and extended open-response questions.
- Section B: Material categories, for which we have chosen to focus on timber.
This section is worth 60% of the paper’s total. It contains a mixture of different question styles, including open response, graphical, calculation and extended open-response questions.
Non-Examined Assessment, worth 50% of the final mark
There are four parts to the assessment:
- Investigate: This includes investigation of needs and research, and a product specification
- Design: This includes producing different design ideas, review of initial ideas, development of design ideas into a chosen design, communication of design ideas and review of the chosen design.
- Make: This includes manufacture, and quality and accuracy.
- Evaluate: This includes testing and evaluation.
Pupils will undertake a project based on a contextual challenge released to us from Edexcel on the 1st June in Year 10. The project will test pupils’ skills in investigating, designing, making and evaluating a prototype of a product. The task will be internally-assessed and externally-moderated.
Pupils will submit a three-dimensional outcome and a concise electronic design folder.
Candidates will prepare for their assessed project by completing a number of smaller projects. These are designed to develop their awareness of the iterative design process and their understanding of areas outside the traditional resistant materials approach.
The components include a design portfolio of between 20-30 A3 pages. This should detail the entire design process, from conception through to testing and evaluating, as well as the manufactured prototype itself, which is often full size. Candidates should spend approximately 40 hours on this activity.
WJEC Eduqas GCSE (9-1) Drama
Pupils study theatre skills and may specialise in acting, lighting or sound design. They can choose if they wish to act or design in either of their two practical performance exams and have an open choice.
Regular theatre visits each half term form the lifeblood of the course. These ensure pupils gain a wide understanding of theatre styles and genres to influence their work as performers, designers and directors alongside preparing for their live theatre review in Section B of the written paper.
In addition to seeing live theatre performances every term and experiencing some professional workshops, pupils have the opportunity to come on the New York Broadway tour, which next runs in April 2020, where they will see five productions and attend three professional workshops on a five-day tour.
- Component 1: Devising Theatre (40%)
This part of the course is internally-assessed and externally moderated. Pupils devise a practical performance based on a given stimulus, linked with a practitioner or genre. Pupils may choose either acting, lighting or sound design.
The timing of the final performance is 5-16 minutes, depending on group size. Work is performed to a public audience and recorded on DVD. Pupils will produce a short portfolio charting key moments in their devising process and the development of their skills. They end the unit evaluating their final performance or design in a timed 1 hour and 30 minutes controlled assessment, where they write an evaluation report.
- Component 2: Performance from a Text (20%)
This part of the GCSE is externally assessed by a visiting examiner. Pupils are assessed on either their acting, lighting or sound design skill, in a timed public performance, combining two different, ten-minute extracts from a published play.
Pupils have complete freedom in editing the text from their extracts to create the final performance piece, which will be timed exactly to be between 5-14 minutes, depending on group size.
- Component 3: Interpreting Theatre (40%)
This is an externally-assessed written exam, lasting 1 hour 30 minutes.
- Section A: Set Text
Candidates analyse and answer a series of questions on War Horse by Michael Morpurgo, adapted by Nick Stafford, as an actor, designer or director. Pupils are allowed to take in a clean copy of the play.
- Section B: Live Theatre Review
Candidates answer one question requiring analysis and evaluation of a given aspect of a live theatre production seen during the course. The review must cover vocal and movement skills, as well as lighting, sound, set and costume design. Pupils are not allowed to take in any notes to the exam.
Edexcel International GCSE (IGCSE) English Language A(4EA1)
English Language and English Literature are taught in an integrated scheme of work.
The course allows pupils to:
- develop the ability to communicate clearly, accurately and effectively when speaking and writing
- learn how to use a wide-range of vocabulary, and the correct grammar, spelling and punctuation
- develop a personal style and an awareness of the audience being addressed.
Pupils are also encouraged to read widely, both for their own enjoyment and to further their awareness of the ways in which English can be used.
The Edexcel IGCSE also develops more general analysis and communication skills such as synthesis, inference, and the ability to order facts and present opinions effectively.
Our candidates are entered for Papers 1 and 2:
- Paper 1: Non-Fiction Texts and Transactional Writing 2hrs 15mins (60%)
Candidates answer questions on unseen texts and texts from a prepared anthology of non-fiction writing, including travel writing, rhetorical writing and other genres. They also undertake a 45-minute writing task.
- Paper 2: Poetry and Prose and Imaginative Writing 1hr 30mins (40%)
Candidates write about a poetry or prose text from a prepared anthology and undertake a 45-minute writing task.
Edexcel International GCSE (IGCSE) English Literature (4ET1)
The course allows pupils to:
- read, interpret and evaluate texts through the study of literature in English
- develop an understanding of literal and implicit meaning, relevant contexts and of the deeper themes or attitudes that may be expressed
- recognise and appreciate the ways in which writers use English to achieve a range of effects
- present an informed, personal response to materials they have studied
- explore wider and universal issues, promoting pupils’ better understanding of themselves and of the world around them.
Our candidates are entered for Papers 1 and 2.
- Paper 1: Poetry and Modern Prose 2hrs (60%)
Candidates write about a prepared novel as well as two poems from a prepared anthology. They also complete one task on an unseen poem.
- Paper 2: Modern Drama and Literary Heritage Texts 1hr 30mins (40%)
Candidates write about a modern play and one text from the English literary heritage. The latter category covers works by Shakespeare, Austen, Dickens and other major writers.
CIE International GCSE (IGCSE) French (0520)
Whilst many of the areas studied will be familiar (some time will be spent consolidating previously taught grammar and vocabulary), an emphasis is placed on rekindling interest for the lower sets and stretching the more able.
The textbook is bespoke for the course, and is accompanied by a grammar work book. All pupils also have regular exposure to the language through work with our French assistants, who practise oral skills and help pupils prepare for the Oral tests.
Textbooks will be supplemented by multimedia resources, and a variety of printed media.
The Speaking examination will be taken in March of Year 11, and the others during the main examination period. The Reading and Listening components are based on everyday materials pupils will encounter.
The top sets on both option blocks will also study towards the B1, or in some cases B2, Level of the DELF diploma in Year 11. This is the French certificate within the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) for Languages, offered by the French Ministry of Education. The qualification is accepted by French Universities and the National Employment Agency. This may be useful for gap year work experience and studies abroad, is recognised by UCAS, and serves as an excellent preparation for AS French.
Pupils will sit the DELF exam before Easter and complete their IGCSE exams in the summer term of Year 11. Since the structure of the DELF examinations is exactly the same as the IGCSE, at a slightly higher level, DELF serves as a further practice for the IGCSE that follows.
The IGCSE examination consists of four papers, each worth 25%. Papers One, Two and Four are externally assessed Paper Three is internally-assessed and externally moderated.
- Paper One: Listening (45 minutes)
- Paper Two: Reading and Directed Writing (1hour). The directed writing consists of short answers in the foreign language.
- Paper Three: Speaking (15 minutes). Two short role plays, a short presentation of a topic chosen by the candidate, followed by a conversation on this and other areas.
- Paper Four: Continuous writing (1 hour). Candidates write three pieces, two short ones and one of 130-140 words. The emphasis here is on accuracy rather than on complexity, and the use of a range of structures.
Edexcel International GCSE (IGCSE) 4GE1
Geography is the study of Earth’s landscapes, peoples, places and environments. It bridges the social sciences (human geography) with the natural sciences (physical geography).
Geography creates global citizens of us all; our pupils understand the issues facing the world now and in their future, and appreciate the complex relationships between people and place which shape our lives and our world.
Our aim is to actively engage pupils in the process of geographical enquiry, to develop them as independent learners and as critical thinkers with enquiring minds.
We will develop a deep understanding of the fundamental geographical process which shape places and environments from a local to global scale.
IGCSE geographers will appreciate the different viewpoints held by different groups of people on a variety of contemporary and challenging issues facing the world today.
Through the multiple opportunities for fieldwork, we will develop and apply practical geographical enquiry skills by undertaking geographical investigations from conceptualisation through data collection and analysis.
We explore the complex nature of Hazardous Environments; developing a detailed understanding of the nature of hazards, risk, and vulnerability. This involves the exploration of coral reefs, tropical storms and tectonic hazards; the reasons for their occurrence and the factors which affect our ability to cope.
We also investigate Coastal Environments; the processes and systems at work and the landscapes and ecosystems which are found on global coasts. Coasts are also considered as a resource and conflicts over their use are an integral part of their study.
Urban Environments are studied; the significance of the world’s increasingly urban population, through to the challenges faced in cities in countries at all levels of development.
We also explore economic change and energy dependency and the implications that economic development and resource exploitation have on the planet.
Finally we study development and human welfare – a synoptic unit in which both physical and human factors are developed to help us understand the complex interrelationship between people and the land they occupy.
At all stages, fieldwork is integral to study. In past years, IGCSE pupils have visited Cuckmere Haven and East London to carry out fieldwork.
The IGCSE is assessed through two end-of-year examinations. There is no coursework component.
CIE International GCSE (IGCSE) German (0525)
Whilst many of the areas of study will be familiar (some time will be spent consolidating previously taught grammar and vocabulary), an emphasis is placed on making sure that pupils of all abilities are catered for in lessons.
The text books used provide a solid foundation for all topics and will be supplemented by multimedia resources and a variety of printed media.
All pupils also have regular exposure to the language through their work with our German assistant, practising oral skills and helping pupils prepare for the Speaking tests.
The Speaking examination will be taken in April of the Year 11, and the other tests during the main examination period.
The Reading and Listening tests are based on everyday materials pupils will encounter.
For pupils who have already reached a high level of German, there will be the opportunity to study for the CEFR DaF examinations.
This is a language course approved by the German government, in the context of the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) for Languages. It is internationally recognised and it enhances any CV or university application.
The IGCSE examination consists of four papers, each worth 25%. Papers One, Two and Four are externally assessed. Paper Three is internally assessed and externally moderated.
- Paper 1: Listening (45 minutes)
- Paper 2: Reading & Directed Writing (1hour). The directed writing consists of short answers in the foreign language.
- Paper 3: Speaking (15 minutes). Two short role plays, a short presentation of a topic chosen by the candidate, followed by a conversation on this and other areas.
- Paper 4: Continuous writing (1 hour). Candidates write three pieces, two short ones and one of 130-140 words. The emphasis here is on accuracy rather than on complexity, and the use of a range of structures.
Edexcel International GCSE (IGCSE)
The study of History at IGCSE offers a varied and exciting insight into the twentieth century. Pupils will explore the three major ideologies of communism, capitalism and fascism in their different contexts; evaluating the impact of decisions made by the leaders of each country on their population.
The course consists of two examinations, both of which are 90 minutes in duration.
The course examines pupils’ knowledge and understanding of:
- Development of Dictatorship: Germany 1918-1945
- A Divided Union: Civil Rights in the USA 1945-1974.
The former involves an exploration of the challenges that faced Germany after the First World War, before moving onto the rise and fall of the Nazis.
The latter is predominantly concerned with the rise of protest movements in America: African American, anti-Communist, pupils and women.
This unit consists of two modules:
- The USA, 1918-1941
- Conflict, crisis and change: China 1900-1989.
The first unit is an in-depth study in regard to America following the First World War. This will include prohibition, the economic boom and the position of African Americans before the Wall Street Crash.
The final area of study encapsulates the changing nature of Chinese history, focussing on the rise of the Communists and the development of society.
OCR Latin (J281)
The Latin GCSE course focuses on the OCR Latin specification, comprising one Latin Language paper, one Literature paper and a Literature and culture paper to be taken at the end of the Year 11.
Preparation for the Language paper consolidates and builds on grammar and vocabulary studied so far and pupils are examined on their translation and comprehension skills.
There are also some questions testing the pupil’s understanding of grammar and three short translation sentences from English into Latin.
There is a defined vocabulary and grammar list for this unit.
For the Literature paper, pupils study a short extract of a Latin text or selection of shorter texts (120 lines) on a particular theme.
They will explore the background and context of the extracts studied, translate the text and analyse the style of the writers, characters and themes.
For the verse text pupils will explore Book 2 of the Aeneid, one of the greatest works from Ancient Rome.
For the Literature and culture paper pupils will learn about the myths and beliefs of the Ancient Romans and the Romans in Britain through the study of both sources in English translation and archaeological evidence.
- Latin Language (50%) 1 hour 30 mins
- Latin Literature (50%) 2 hours total, comprising 1 hour for Literature (25%) and 1 hour for Culture (25%).
Edexcel GCSE Mandarin (1CN0)
This syllabus is designed for pupils who are learning Mandarin Chinese as a foreign language. The aim is to develop an ability to use the language effectively for purposes of practical communication.
The course is based on the linked language skills of listening, reading, speaking and writing, and these are built on as pupils progress through their studies.
The syllabus also aims to offer insights into the culture and civilisation of countries where Mandarin Chinese is spoken, encouraging positive attitudes towards language learning and towards speakers of foreign languages.
Content and assessments provide an engaging real-world focus. The authentic situations and stimuli enable pupils to see language in context and learn about the culture of the country.
The assessments allow for spontaneity and test grammar, as well as providing plenty of opportunities for pupils to apply their knowledge independently, creatively and in authentic situations.
Paper 1: Listening and understanding in Chinese. Written examination (25% of the final qualification).
- Foundation tier: 35 minutes, including 5 minutes’ reading time; 50 marks. All questions are set in English. The instructions to pupils are in English.
- Higher tier: 45 minutes, including 5 minutes’ reading time; 50 marks. All questions are set in English. The instructions to pupils are in English. The listening audio files are available on our website. Recordings of spoken Chinese will be available in Mandarin and Cantonese.
This paper draws on vocabulary and structures across all the themes and topics.
Pupils are assessed on their understanding of standard spoken Chinese by one or more speakers in a range of public and social settings. Pupils will respond to multiple-response and short-answer open-response questions based on a recording featuring male and female Chinese speakers. Pupils must answer all questions in both sections. There is no requirement for pupils to produce written responses in Chinese.
Paper 2: Speaking in Chinese. Internally conducted and externally assessed (worth 25% of the final qualification).
- Foundation tier: 7-9 minutes plus 12 minutes’ preparation time; 70 marks.
- Higher tier: 10-12 minutes plus 12 minutes’ preparation time; 70 marks.
This paper draws on vocabulary and structures across all the themes and topics.
Pupils are assessed on their ability to communicate and interact effectively through speaking in Chinese for different purposes and in different settings.
There are three tasks which must be conducted in the following order:
- Task 1 – a roleplay based on one topic allocated by the examiner.
- Task 2 – questions based on a picture stimulus based on one topic allocated by the examiner.
- Task 3 – conversation based on two themes. The first theme is based on the topic chosen by the pupil in advance of the assessment. The second theme is allocated by the examiner.
Paper 3: Reading and understanding in Chinese. Written examination (25% of the total qualification).
- Foundation tier: 50 minutes; 50 marks.
- Higher tier: 1 hour 5 minutes; 50 marks
This paper draws on vocabulary and structures across all the themes and topics.
Pupils are assessed on their understanding of written Chinese across a range of different types of texts, including advertisements, emails, letters, articles and literary texts. Pupils are required to respond to multiple-response and short answer questions based on these texts. Pupils must answer all questions in each of the two sections:
- Section A is set in English. The instructions to pupils are in English.
- Section B includes a translation passage from Chinese into English with instructions in English.
Paper 4: Writing in Chinese. Written examination (25% of the total qualification).
- Foundation tier: 1 hour 15 minutes; 60 marks. There are three open-response questions and one translation into Chinese.
- Higher tier: 1 hour 25 minutes; 60 marks. There are two open-response questions and one translation into Chinese.
This paper draws on vocabulary and structures across all the themes and topics.
Pupils are assessed on their ability to communicate effectively through writing in Chinese for different purposes and audiences. Pupils are required to produce responses of varying lengths and types to express ideas and opinions in Chinese.
Edexcel International GCSE (IGCSE) (4MA1)
The topic areas are:
- Graphs & Differentiation
- Space & Shape (ie. Geometry)
- Data Handling (Statistics, Probability and Set Theory).
There is an emphasis on problem-solving and application in the 9-1 examinations. Calculators are used on both papers. A standard scientific calculator, such as the Casio Fx- 83Gt Plus is required in addition to standard mathematic equipment including a 30cm ruler, protractor and compasses for all mathematics lessons and examinations.
All sets will take the Higher Tier IGCSE in the summer of their Year 11.
AQA International GCSE (IGCSE) Level 2 Certificate (8360)
The top sets in Years 10 and 11 study this Further Mathematics course in parallel with the IGCSE.
The course is aimed at extending higher ability pupils and covers some additional topics as well as developing strong problem-solving and application skills.
It is only suitable for pupils who are confident with IGCSE work and who can apply their learning successfully in unfamiliar contexts and under examination pressure. Additional topics include higher order polynomial and the factor theorem, matrices, further trigonometry and proof.
Admission to the course is dependent on a suitable level of attainment during the Year 9 and the end-of-year examinations.
Grades awarded are:
- A* with distinction (grade 9 equivalent)
There are two papers. Paper 1 is non-calculator; Paper 2 is a calculator paper.
A standard scientific calculator, such as the Casio Fx- 83Gt Plus is required in addition to standard mathematic equipment including a 30cm ruler, protractor and compasses for all mathematics lessons and examinations. All examinations are taken in the summer of Year 11.
This course develops musical knowledge, understanding and skills through performing, composing and appraising.
It encourages pupils to engage critically and creatively with a wide range of music and musical contexts, to develop an understanding of the place of music in different cultures, and to reflect on how music is used in the expression of personal and collective identities.
This course is assessed via three components.
Component One: Performing (30%)
Two recordings are submitted, one of a solo performance and one of an ensemble performance. The combined duration of these performances must be at least four minutes. Standard Level is identified as Grade IV and marks for performances above this level are scaled up. This is a non-examined assessment which is internally marked and externally moderated.
Component Two: Composing (30%)
Two compositions are submitted: one to a brief set by Edexcel and one which is free. This is also a non-examined assessment which is internally marked and externally moderated.
Component Three: Appraising (40%)
This is assessed as an examination lasting 1 hour 45 minutes. Preparation for this examination focuses on four areas of study:
- Instrumental Music 1700-1820
- Vocal Music
- Music for Stage and Screen
There are two set works in each area of study.
In addition, wider listening is expected and the examination will draw on set works and also ask about how they relate to other pieces. GCSE Music is an excellent course for anyone interested in any aspect of the subject. It broadens knowledge and develops skills.
Eduquas GCSE (9-1) Photography (C656QS)
This is an exciting and creative course with an outstanding record of 100% A*s in 2017. Pupils will be taught various creative techniques, and enjoy the benefits of a fully-equipped photography studio with Apple Macs and Photoshop. They will learn how to manipulate images digitally as well as how to master traditional darkroom techniques.
Pupils have to complete two components of artwork during the two-year course.
Component One: Personal Investigation (60% of qualification)
This is a major in-depth practical investigative portfolio. This is a personal portfolio of artwork where pupils are free to decide which themes and ideas they wish to investigate.
Component Two: Externally Set Assignment (40% of qualification)
The externally set assignment will involve creating a portfolio of work in response to a topic set by the exam board. This portfolio and final images will count for 40% of the final grade.
This is an engaging, multi-dimensional course which aims to develop a thorough understanding of the factors which affect sports performance and participation at the highest level.
Pupils will learn about:
- anatomy and physiology of the skeletal, muscular, cardiovascular and respiratory systems
- exercise physiology investigating the short and long-term responses of the body to different types of exercise
- methods and principles of training and how these can be used to maximise perfomance
- nutrition and how it can improve health and performance
- the use of biomechanics in movement analysis
- psychological topics including mental preparation, goal setting and methods of effective feedback
- a range of sociocultural material surrounding topical issues such as drugs, commercialisation of sport, violence and factors affecting participation in sport in the UK.
This is made up of an analysis of performance task, which gives pupils the opportunity to critically observe physical activity. They have to identify strengths and weaknesses in it and produce an in-depth action plan to improve future performances. It challenges pupils to draw on information from the whole course when developing the action plan.
This part of the course promotes pupils’ advanced skills and techniques. It helps them learn to select and use tactics, strategies and/or compositional ideas. Their regular involvement in physical activity gives them a real opportunity to participate in a range of roles such as umpire and coach. This increases self-esteem and fosters their leadership, teamwork and communication skills.
Examination One (30% of the course, 1 hour paper)
- Applied anatomy
- The effects of physical training
Examination Two (30% of the course, 1 hour paper)
- Sociocultural and Health Influences
Coursework and Practical Activity Assessment (40% of the course)
- Evaluating and Analysing Performance. This is a written coursework task.
- Practical Assessment in three chosen activities. The assessments are ongoing throughout the Years 10 and 11.
Edexcel International GCSE (IGCSE) Physics (4PH1)
Physics is the study of natural phenomena. The concepts involved are wide-ranging and provide opportunities for cross-curricular links.
Whilst the course is practically based, it also seeks to develop the mathematical nature of the subject and shows how our understanding of the world around us can be improved by the use of models.
Applications of the ideas include many technological developments and the impact these have on the environment.
All pupils follow the Edexcel IGCSE Physics course, which is aimed at providing a sound foundation in the basic principles of Physics.
It is very suitable for candidates who wish to continue to a higher level in this subject, but also provides a thorough grounding for pupils to understand the world around them and the social issues involved, even if they are going no further with their science studies.
The course emphasises the understanding of concepts rather than rote learning of large amounts of material.
There is no coursework component and this is examined within the material covered by the two papers.
- Paper 1: (61%) 2 hours.
- Paper 2: (39%) 1 hour 15 minutes.
The course uses the 9-1 grading system. Both papers contain a mixture of different question styles, including multiple-choice questions, short-answer questions, calculations and extended open-response questions.
The Religious Studies GCSE involves two components:
- Component One: The study of religions: beliefs, teachings and practices.
- Component Two: Thematic studies.
In Component One, pupils study the beliefs, teachings and practices of Christianity and Judaism.
This component provides pupils with the opportunity to develop their knowledge, skills and understanding of religion by exploring the significance and impact of beliefs, teachings, sources, practices, ways of life and forms of expressing meaning.
In Component Two, pupils study four religious, philosophical and ethical study themes.
This component supports pupils to become adept in expressing their personal responses and developing informed insights into the ethical problems surrounding such issues as life, the existence of God and revelation, peace and conflict, and crime and punishment.
Pupils learn to write analytical answers in a structured and coherent manner, and to think critically and with empathy.
- Component One: 1 hour 45 minutes.
- Component Two: 1 hour 45 minutes.
CIE International GCSE (IGCSE) Spanish (0530)
Whilst many of the areas studied will be familiar (some time will be spent consolidating previously taught grammar and vocabulary), an emphasis is placed on making sure that pupils of all abilities are catered for in lessons.
We use the new second edition of the bespoke CIE textbook for the course, which is accompanied by a workbook and has interactive features via the website.
All pupils also have regular exposure to the language through work with our Spanish assistant, who practise oral skills and help pupils prepare for the oral tests.
Textbooks will be supplemented by multimedia resources, and a variety of printed media.
The Speaking examination will be taken in March/April of the Year 11, and the other papers during the main examination period. The Reading and Listening components are based on everyday materials pupils will encounter.
For pupils who have already reached a high level of Spanish, there will be given the opportunity to study for the DELE.
This is a language course approved by the Spanish government. It is internationally recognised and is given UCAS points for university applications.
Papers One, Two and Four are externally assessed. Paper Three is internally assessed and externally moderated. All papers are externally assessed but the oral is done with the teacher examiner.
- Paper One: Listening (25%) 45 mins.
- Paper Two: Reading (25%) 60 min.
- Paper Three: Speaking (25%) 15 mins.
- Paper Four: Writing (25%) 60 min.