The curriculum is designed to ensure that students have a broad and balanced education to allow them to have a wide choice of pathways at 16. The Key Stage 4 curriculum is made up of subjects which students are required to study (this is called Core Curriculum) and subjects that they can select to study (this is called Options). The table below shows that the Core Curriculum occupies 60% (30 out of 50 lessons) of your child’s timetable in Year 10 and 11.
|Subject||Hours per fortnight|
|English Language and Literature (2 GCSEs)||8|
|Core Science ( 2 GCSEs or equivalent)||9|
|Philosophy and Ethics (1 GCSE)||3|
|Physical Education ( non examined)||4|
|CPSE ( non examined)||1|
|Total (out of 50 hours)||32|
In addition to studying the Core Curriculum, pupils select 3 Option subjects. Pupils are offered guidance about options and which would be most appropriate for them to study to enable them to achieve the best possible grades. This is based on their Key Stage 2 data and Key Stage 3 progress data. The Options occupy 36% (18 out of 50 lessons) of your timetable in Year 10 and 11.
Each GCSE option is allocated 6 hours over a fortnightly period.
The subjects we offer are:
GCSE: Art, Design Technology, Drama, Food, French, German, Geography, History, ICT, Music, Physical Education, and Triple science (by invitation only). Technical Award: Health and Social Care.
Last year, almost all of our students were given their first choices in option subjects. We do reserve the right to alter courses available if group members are too low to make the option viable. We therefore request that you make a serious reserve option choice which might be used if one of the first option choices cannot be accommodated.
For further information about the options please click here.
Additionally here are the current GCSE specifications for the subjects that are being currently offered.
THE ENGLISH BACCALAUREATE
What is the English Baccalaureate? The English Baccalaureate was introduced by the government as a performance measure in the 2010 performance tables. It is not a qualification in itself. The measure recognises where students have secured a C grade or better across a core of academic subjects – English, mathematics, history or geography, the sciences and a language.
There is currently no compulsion to select all of these subjects, but these subjects should ensure that all students study a broad core of subjects, ensuring that doors are not closed off to them in terms of future progression. It is also viewed as an effective way to prepare for sixth form courses.
Parents can find more information at: www.education.gov.uk/schools/teachingandlearning/qualifications/englishbac
GCSE QUALIFICATIONS EXPLAINED
This stands for General Certificate of Secondary Education. From September 2017, due to the reform of the examination system there will be new specification requirements for subjects. The majority of GCSEs will be terminally assessed by examination only at the end of Year 11 . For many subjects, there is only one tier of entry.
For GCSEs, there is a new grading system 9-1 ( 9 being the top).
Controlled Assessment: The weighting of controlled assessment varies from subject to subject, but will be organised similarly across all subjects. They consist of tasks/activities that will happen at certain points throughout the 2 year course. They are completed in class, but some subjects are allowed to use homework time for preparation. They have to be completed under controlled conditions which means that students are only allowed to have a certain amount of time to complete them and that they are generally carried out under examination conditions. This is marked by teachers, but then moderated by the Examining Body (see moderation below). Please note that controlled assessment marks given to students by teachers are subject to moderation and may go down.
External Examinations: These are examinations that are set by the Examining Body. The dates and times of them are outside our control which means that if your child is absent on that day, a medical note must be provided as there may not be another opportunity for your child to sit this examination again. These examinations will contribute towards GCSE awards.
Folder/Portfolio: This is the accumulation of a student’s controlled assessment. This contributes towards a GCSE award.
Specification: Each subject has a specification written by the Examining Body. This details the knowledge, skills and understanding that students are expected to develop in order to gain a qualification for that subject.