Key Stage 4

At Key Stage 4 you will study many subjects such as Business Studies, Child Care, Computer Science and Drama, as well as studying core subjects such as Maths, English Language and Literature and Science.

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Subjects

Subject Information

Title: Art, Craft & Design

Qualification awarded: GCSE

Awarding body: AQA

Grading awarded: GCSE 1-9

Subject Content

Students will be introduced to a wide range of 2D and 3D processes and techniques.  This will begin with teacher led tasks but as the course progresses students will be encouraged to develop their own ideas and ways to respond depending upon their interests and aptitudes.  The assessment procedures actively support independent learning and personal response with students following lines of enquiry that are most appropriate for their own individual success. Throughout the course students will be expected to carry out research into the work of other artists across time and place and make direct links to this in their own work. A sketch book will be expected from each student evidencing research and development of ideas with this being an ongoing feature of the course.

How the subject is assessed

  • 60% Coursework – 40% Externally set task ( a paper from AQA which has 7 “themes “to chose from and students develop 1  into a practical piece .)
  • Ongoing Teacher Assessment for coursework
  • Externally set task under controlled conditions – 10 hrs to complete

Students’ work will also be assessed throughout the course and graded using the  1-9 grade structure.

Who should study Art at KS4?

Students who take GCSE Art & Design are expected to: –

 

  • Have a genuine interest in the subject and enjoy working practically
  • Be keen and motivated to do well
  • Put in additional time either at home or in after school sessions
  • Think creatively and initiate and develop ideas
  • Manage their own time and be responsible for meeting deadlines

Be open minded and prepared to experiment with different ways of working

Any special requirements?

There are no special requirements to study GCSE Art, although students should speak with their teacher about their aptitude for the subject.

Further Information

Full details of the course can be found on the AQA website. Students interested in following this course should speak to their Art teacher in the first instance.

Subject Information

Title: Business Studies

Qualification awarded: BTEC Level 2 Tech Award in Enterprise

Awarding body: Pearsons/BTEC

Grading awarded: Level 1 Pass/Pass/Merit/Distinction

Subject Content

In Business Studies pupils will study how a business is set up and formed to make them successful in making a profit, how business recruit and train employees and learn about how business provide consistent and reliable customer service. In the exam unit, pupils will learn aspects of business promotion, how businesses are marketed and accounting such as profit and loss; breakeven analysis; balance sheets and sources of revenue.

How the subject is assessed

The qualification is assessed throughout Year 10 and 11 through 2 separate pieces of coursework and 1 exam paper (business finance and promotion). Students will need to work consistently throughout the course to ensure they reach their target grade.

  • Coursework 1 – Year 10 – Exploring Enterprises.This will be taught at the start of year 10 and the coursework submitted at the end of the Autumn term.
  • Exam – Year 10 (2 hour paper which is a compulsory element of the award) – this is on the topic of Business Finance and Promotionand is taught in the spring and summer term of year 10. The exam is taken at the end of Year 10.
  • Coursework 2 – Year 11 – Planning for and Pitching an Enterprise Activity. This will be taught in the first half of year 11 and the coursework submitted at the end of spring term 2. There will be an opportunity to retake the exam if pupils need to do this in Year 11.

Students’ must complete all 3 units of work to be able to get a qualification at the end of the course. Class work will be assessed throughout the course to check for progress and understanding.

Who should study Business studies at KS4?

Anyone who is interested in developing a better understanding of business and how business work. This is an excellent first course in business for anyone wishing to pursue this subject further at post 16 level. A certain level of mathematical understanding is required, as pupils will be required to take an exam paper in business finance. Students will be expected to think for themselves and develop skills in analysis and evaluation in their coursework tasks. They will also be expected to work independently on home learning tasks.

Any special requirements?

There are no special requirements to study BTEC Business Studies.

Further Information

Full details of the course can be found on the Pearson BTEC website. Students interested in following this course should speak to the Business Studies teacher in the first instance.

Subject Information

Title: Child Care (Childrens Play, Learning & Development)

Qualification awarded: BTEC First Award Level 2

Awarding body: Edexcel

Grading awarded: Level 1 Pass, Level 2 Pass,Level 2 Merit, Level 2 Distinction

Subject Content

This subject has three compulsory units:

  • Unit 1: Patterns of Child Development
  • Unit 2: Promoting Children’s development through Play
  • Unit 3: The Principles of Early Years Practice

All units focus on how children develop and progress and what adults can do to ensure children reach their full potential and develop in all areas.

Students will also undertake a 20-hour work placement in both Yr10 and Yr.11. This is compulsory.

How the subject is assessed

This qualification is both externally (exam) and internally assessed (course work).

Unit 1 – Students will take a 1hr written exam, initially at the end of Yr.10 and possibly again in Yr.11

Unit 2 – Completed in Yr11. Students are assessed through a variety of assignment tasks set by the class teacher to be completed in assessment window after preparing for this in lessons. They receive help and guidance with this.

Unit 3 – Completed in Yr10. Students are assessed through a variety of assignment tasks set by the class teacher to be completed in assessment window after preparing for this in lessons. They receive help and guidance with this.

To achieve distinction grade, students are partially assessed on work connected to their work based placements.

Who should study Child care at KS4?

 Students who ultimately want to work with children in any capacity. Students should be interested in learning more about children and how they grow and develop. They must like children. They must like working with them, communicating with them and want to understand how to help them make progress as they grow up.

Students should be willing to work independently and also as part of a team. Students will develop many skills useful in many working environments.

Any special requirements?

There are no special requirements to study BTEC CHILD CARE (Children’s play, learning and Development) although students will be expected to be committed to work experience in a school or nursery as this is an essential part of the course. They should have the ability to work hard , work independently and use class time efficiently and be able to be a positive role model to young children.

Further Information

Full details of the course can be found on the Edexcel website. Students interested in following this course should speak to Mrs Smith in the first instance.

Subject Information

Title: GCSE Combined Science: Trilogy

Qualification awarded: GCSE

Awarding body: AQA

Grading awarded: GCSE 1-9

Subject Content

Scientific understanding is changing our lives and is vital to the world’s future prosperity, and all students should be taught essential aspects of the knowledge, methods, processes and uses of science. They should be helped to appreciate the achievements of science in showing how the complex and diverse phenomena of the natural world can be described in terms of a small number of key ideas relating to the sciences which are inter-linked, and which are of universal application. These key ideas include:

  • the use of conceptual models and theories to make sense of the observed diversity of natural phenomena
  • the assumption that every effect has one or more cause
  • that change is driven by interactions between different objects and systems
  • that many such interactions occur over a distance and over time
  • that science progresses through a cycle of hypothesis, practical experimentation,observation, theory development and review
  • that quantitative analysis is a central element both of many theories and of scientificmethods of inquiry.

How the subject is assessed

The entire qualification is assessed at the end of year 11, by 6 exams. Students will need to work consistently throughout the course and will be given regular exam-linked assessments to prepare for this.

  • Biology Paper 1 – 1 hour 15 minutes (16.7% of the award) – Cell Biology; Organisation; Infection and response; and Bioenergetics. This will be taught from spring term 2 of year 9 and into year 10 and revised in year 11.
  • Biology Paper 2 – 1hour 15 minutes (16.7% of the award) – Homeostasis and response; Inheritance, variation and evolution; and Ecology. This will be taught in the second half of year 10 and revised in year 11.
  • Chemistry Paper 1 – 1 hour 15 minutes (16.7% of the award) –Atomic structure and the periodic table; Bonding, structure, and the properties of matter; Quantitative chemistry; Chemical changes; and Energy changes This will be taught from spring term 2 of year 9 and into year 10 and revised in year 11.
  • Chemistry Paper 2 – 1hour 15 minutes (16.7% of the award) –The rate and extent of chemical change; Organic chemistry; Chemical analysis; Chemistry of the atmosphere; and Using resources. This will be taught in the second half of year 10 and revised in year 11.
  • Physics Paper 1 – 1 hour 15 minutes (16.7% of the award) – Energy; Electricity; Particle model; and Atomic structure. This will be taught from spring term 2 of year 9 and into year 10 and revised in year 11.
  • Physics Paper 2 – 1hour 15 minutes (16.7% of the award) –Forces; Waves; and Magnetism and electromagnetism. This will be taught in the second half of year 10 and revised in year 11.

Students’ work will also be assessed throughout the course and graded using the end-point 1-9 grade structure.

Who should study science at KS4?

Sciences in key stage 4 continues with the process of building upon and deepening understanding of ideas developed in earlier key stages in the subject disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics.

 

For some students, studying the sciences in key stage 4 provides the platform for more advanced studies, establishing the basis for a wide range of careers. For others, it will be their last formal study of subjects that provide the foundations for understanding the natural world and will enhance their lives in an increasingly technological society.

Any special requirements?

There are no special requirements to study GCSE Combined Science:Trilogy, although students should have developed a good understanding of the Science from KS3 Science and the transition material taught at the beginning of year 9 which will be built upon. Students will also need to regularly use mathematical techniques such as basic algebra, trigonometry and standard form.

Further Information

Full details of the course can be found on the AQA website. Students interested in following this course should speak to their Science teacher in the first instance.

Subject Information

Title: Computer Science

Qualification awarded: GCSE

Awarding body: OCR

Grading awarded: GCSE 1-9

Subject Content

Currently Computer Science is one of the subjects that most employers are looking for. Computer Scientists are problem solvers and are the engineers for tomorrows problems and creators of devices that have not even been thought of by the human race. This is a profession that both men and women are actively sought and the rewards are very high, giving a rewarding career not just in the world of computing but also the worlds of finance, medicine, engineering and entertainment.

Students learn programming skills and write many small programs enabling them to complete a written exam. They learn skills that enable them to take a situation, break it down and then to re-build it using an efficient computer program. Students will study Python.

Computer Science is not for everyone and those that have a mathematical acumen will be at home with the rubrics of this subject.

Once programming has been understood we look at the computer science concepts that make the computer work and computational thinking, algorithms and programming. We then look at the wider concepts of the computing world to see where we are going with computers and computer systems. Finally we understand how to use computers safely.

How the subject is assessed

The entire qualification is assessed at the end of year 11, by 2 exams and one NEA. Students will need to work consistently throughout the course and will be given regular exam-linked assessments to prepare for this.

  • Paper 1 – 1 .5 hours (50% of the award) – Programming
  • Paper 2 – 1.5 hours (50% of the award) – Computing
  • NEA – 1 hour 15 mins (0% of the award – this is a compulsory element*) – Writing a program to solve a problem

*Is checked by the exam board and QCA.

Students’ work will also be assessed throughout the course and graded using the end-point 1-9 grade structure.

Who should Computer Science at KS4?

Those students who enjoy Computer Science and Mathematics. There is a lot of work that is involved and all students should see this subject as a hobby as it is expected that they will complete additional wotk at home.

This subject particularly welcomes female students.

Any special requirements?

A lot of of hard work. This course is a hobby and study outside of lesson time is imperative.

Further Information

Full details of the course can be found on the OCR website. Students interested in following this course should speak to their Computing teacher in the first instance.

Subject Information

Title: Design Technology – Mixed Materials

Qualification awarded: GCSE Design Technology

Awarding body: Eduqas

Grading awarded: GCSE 1-9

Subject Content

Do you have a passion for designing and making? Are you interested in understanding the working properties of a range of materials and their uses? Did you enjoy Design Technology at KS3? Then this is the course for you.

In Year 10 students will learn about:

  • Design and technology and our world.
  • Smart Materials.
  • Electronic systems and programmable components.
  • Materials (including fabrics, timbers, metals, textiles, paper, plastics and boards)

In Year 11 students will specialise in ONE of the following material areas and develop a more in depth understanding of this material:

  • Fabrics (Textiles)
  • Timbers (Wood and Board)

(Please note that all students MUST study all materials throughout Years 10 & 11 to enable them to complete the written exam.)

How the subject is assessed

 50% Written Exam

Students will sit a written exam, which lasts 2 hours and assesses knowledge and understanding of designing and making principles.

50% Design and Make Task.

A design and make task is given, which will assess students’ ability to:.

  • Identify and investigate design possibilities.
  • Design and make prototypes/models

Analyse and evaluate design decisions and wider issues in design and technology

Who should study Design Technology at KS4?

You would need to have been interested in and enjoyed all aspects of DT at KS3. You should enjoy the challenge of designing and making as well as gaining an understanding of the world around you and how/why things are made.

DT GCSE requires hard working, independent learners who enjoy investigating materials such as fabrics and timber.

Any special requirements?

This course calls for students to become creative, practical problem solvers and to develop the skills needed to work independently, as the controlled assignment must be completed with minimal assistance from the class teacher. Candidates should have some creative ability and flair, and should demonstrate good presentation skills in the production of their portfolio. Candidates will be expected to work with precision in the use of hand and machine tools to manufacture 3D products and will need to be organised and well equipped for their lessons.

Further Information

Students interested in following this course should speak to their DT teacher in the first instance.

Subject Information

Title: Design Technology – Engineering Design

Qualification awarded: Level 1/2 Award

Awarding body: OCR Cambridge Nationals

Grading awarded: Level 1 Pass, Level 2 Pass, Merit, Distinction, Distinction*

Subject Content

Do you enjoy making models? Are you interested in the engineering industry? Do you like designing and making? Then this is the course for you.

This course helps students understand the processes of engineering design. They will develop skills in model making and computer modelling and how to communicate design ideas effectively. Within this course they will complete three pieces of coursework in which they will research, design and make models.

How the subject is assessed

Unit 1: Design Briefs, Design Specifications and User Requirements: Externally assessed 1 hour exam.

Unit 2: Product Analysis and Research: Coursework project.

Unit 3: Developing and presenting engineering designs: Coursework project.

Unit 4: 3D Design realisation: Coursework project.

Who should study Design Technology at KS4?

You would need to have been interested in and enjoyed DT at KS3. You should like the challenge of learning about how engineers research, design and then make products such as bike lights, vacuum cleaners and mobile phones. Engineering

L1/2 Engineering Design requires hard working, independent learners who have good computer and practical skills.

Any special requirements?

This course calls for students to be independent and creative problem solvers. They should have good drawing and presentation skills and be interested in designing using computer programmes.

Further Information

Students interested in following this course should speak to their DT teacher in the first instance.

Subject Information

Title: Design Technology – Hospitality & Catering

Qualification awarded: Level 1/2 Award

Awarding body: WJEC

Grading awarded: Level 1 Pass, Level 2 Pass, Merit, Distinction, Distinction*

Subject Content

Do you enjoy cooking? Are you interested in food? Does the idea of planning and preparing your own ethical and high quality dish excite you? Then this course is for you.

This course concentrates on the hospitality and catering industry –  including all businesses that provide food, drink and/ or accommodation, including restaurants, hotels, airlines, tourist attractions, hospitals and sports venues.

In this qualification, you will develop food preparation and cooking skills. You will learn to problem solve, manage your time and plan effectively. You will have the opportunity to learn about issues related to nutrition and food safety.

How the subject is assessed

Unit 1: The Hospitality and Catering Industry : This will be externally assessed with an on-line examination that lasts 90 minutes. You will be graded as follows:

Level 1 Pass, Level 2 Pass, Level 2 Merit, Level 2 Distinction and Level 2 Distinction*

Unit 2: Hospitality and Catering in Action: This will be internally assessed:

This involves you completing a piece of coursework in school under examination conditions. You will be set a task and will have to safely plan, prepare, cook and present nutritional dishes together with written and photographic evidence in the form of a portfolio.

Who should study Design Technology at KS4?

Students need to be interested in cooking and be committed to trying their hardest to produce quality outcomes in practical lessons, taking a pride in the presentation of their dishes.

Students who wish to develop their ability to cook, to make informed decisions about food and nutrition and acquire knowledge in order to be able to feed themselves and others affordably and nutritiously, now and later in life.

L1/2 Hospitality and Catering requires hard working, independent learners who enjoy food and nutrition.

Any special requirements?

Students must be prepared to plan, organise and provide ingredients for regular practical lessons. Candidates should be able to work independently since the coursework must be completed with minimal assistance from the class teacher.

Further Information

Students interested in following this course should speak to their DT teacher in the first instance.

Subject Information

Title: Design Technology – Designing the Built Environment

Qualification awarded: Level 1/2 Award

Awarding body: WJEC

Grading awarded: Level 1 Pass, Level 2 Pass, Merit, Distinction, Distinction*

Subject Content

Are you interested in learning about the architecture and construction industry? Does the idea of planning and designing your own building using professional computer programmes interest you? Then this is the course for you.

In this course you will learn about the architecture and construction industry from planning right through to construction. Through coursework projects you will show your skills in planning and designing a building of your own as well as the wide variety of issued that can stop a building going ahead such as Greenbelt land, laws and limitations etc

How the subject is assessed

The qualification has three pieces of coursework.

Unit 1: How to plan a building project.

Unit 2: Drawing construction plans using computer programmes and hand drawing.

Unit 3: Learning about structures and materials.

Who should study Design Technology at KS4?

You would need to have been interested in and enjoyed Design Engineer Construct (DEC) in Yr 9. You should be interested in how and why buildings are designed and have a desire to plan and create a range of building designs of your own. Good computer skills and confidence in using the Revit computer programme would be beneficial.

L1/2 Designing the Built Environment requires hard working, independent learner who have good computer skills and are interested in architecture and construction.

Any special requirements?

This course calls for students to be independent and creative problem solvers and is an interesting way of strengthening numeracy, literacy and  IT skills.

Further Information

Students interested in following this course should speak to their DT teacher in the first instance.

Subject Information

Title: English Language

Qualification awarded: GCSE Foundation and Higher Level

Awarding body: AQA

Grading awarded: GCSE 1-9

Subject Content

Students will draw upon a range of texts as reading stimulus and engage with creative as well as real and relevant contexts. Students will have opportunities to develop higher-order reading and critical thinking skills that encourage genuine enquiry into different topics and themes.

This specification will ensure that students can read fluently and write effectively. Students will be able to demonstrate a confident control of Standard English and write grammatically correct sentences, deploying figurative language and analysing texts.

How the subject is assessed

One paper for all students which will be awarded from 1 – 9

Studying English Language at KS4

For GCSE English Language students should:

  • read fluently, and with good understanding, a wide range of texts from the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries, including literature and literary non-fiction as well as other writing such as reviews and journalism
  • read and evaluate texts critically and make comparisons between texts
  • summarise and synthesise information or ideas from texts
  • use knowledge gained from wide reading to inform and improve their own writing
  • write effectively and coherently using Standard English appropriately
  • use grammar correctly and punctuate and spell accurately
  • acquire and apply a wide vocabulary, alongside a knowledge and understanding of grammatical terminology, and linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language
  • listen to and understand spoken language and use spoken Standard English effectively. 
GCSE English Language is designed on the basis that students should read and be assessed on high- quality, challenging texts from the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries. Each text studied must represent a substantial piece of writing, making significant demands on students in terms of content, structure and the quality of language. The texts, across a range of genres and types, should support students 
in developing their own writing by providing effective models. The texts must include literature and extended literary non-fiction, and other writing such as essays, reviews and journalism (both printed and online). Texts that are essentially transient, such as instant news feeds, must not be included. The number and types of texts, and their length, are not prescribed.

Further Information

Full details of the course can be found on Exam board websites.

Subject Information

Title: English Literature

Qualification awarded: GCSE Foundation and Higher Level

Awarding body: AQA

Grading awarded: GCSE 1-9

Subject Content

Courses based on this specification should encourage students to develop knowledge and skills in reading, writing and critical thinking. Through literature, students have a chance to develop culturally and acquire knowledge of the best that has been thought and written. Studying GCSE English Literature should encourage students to read widely for pleasure, and as a preparation for studying literature at a higher level.

How the subject is assessed

One paper for all students which will be awarded from 1 – 9

Studying English Language at KS4

Courses based on this specification should also encourage students to:

  • Read a wide range of classic literature fluently and with good understanding, and make connections across their reading
  • Read in depth, critically and evaluatively, so that they are able to discuss and explain their understanding and ideas
  • develop the habit of reading widely and often appreciate the depth and power of the English literary heritage
  • write accurately, effectively and analytically about their reading, using Standard English
  • acquire and use a wide vocabulary, including the grammatical terminology and other literary and linguistic terms they need to criticise and analyse what they read.

Further Information

Full details of the course can be found on Exam board websites.

Subject Information

Title: French

Qualification awarded: GCSE

Awarding body: EDEXCEL

Grading awarded: GCSE 1-9

Subject Content

This subject includes developing the skills of Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing in French.  The course is structured across five themes; Identity & Culture; Local Area, Holiday & Travel; School; Future Aspirations, Study & Work; International & Global Dimension.

The authentic situations enable students to see language in context and learn about the culture of France and other French-speaking countries.

How the subject is assessed

The entire qualification is assessed at the end of year 11, by 4 exams at either Foundation or Higher Tier. Students will need to work consistently throughout the course and will be given regular exam-linked assessments to prepare for this.

  • Paper 1 Listening– 40 mins Fdn / 50 mins Higher (25% of the award) Understanding of spoken French in a range of public and social settings across the five themes.
  • Paper 2 Speaking – 9 mins Fdn / 12 mins Higher (25% of the award) – Ability to communicate and interact effectively in French for different purposes and in a range of settings.
  • Paper 3 Reading – 45 mins Fdn / 1 hour Higher (25% of the award) – Understanding of written French across a range of different types of text, including advertisements, emails, letters, articles and literary texts.
  • Paper 4 Writing – 1hour 10 mins Fdn / 1 hour 20 mins Higher (25% of the award) – Ability to communicate effectively writing in French for different purposes and audiences.

Students’ work will also be assessed throughout the course and graded using the end-point 1-9 grade structure.

Who should study French at KS4?

Anyone who has a thirst for learning languages and is interested in learning about other cultures. A certain level of linguistic understanding is required. Students will be expected to work independently and in groups. They will focus on developing effective communication, interpersonal and intercultural skills. They will also be expected to work independently on home learning tasks.

Any special requirements?

There are no special requirements to study GCSE French, although students should have developed a good understanding of the French curriculum at KS3. They will build upon the language and grammar from years 7 – 9 and will be expected to use a wide range of grammatical structures and extensive vocabulary. Students will also need to regularly learn vocabulary and practise translation and grammar tasks.

Further Information

Full details of the course can be found on the Edexcel website. Students interested in following this course should speak to their French teacher in the first instance.

Subject Information

Title: Geography

Qualification awarded: GCSE

Awarding body: AQA

Grading awarded: GCSE 1-9

Subject Content

This is a qualification that colleges and employers value highly. Employers prize the multi-skilled talents that Geographers possess and their ability to both lead teams and work within them in all industries.  Geographers are resilient, adaptable and academically robust; they excel across a diverse range of professions.  They are highly employable because Geography is a desirable qualification; students have high levels of literacy and refined analytical skills that are transferable and applicable to all high paying professions.

This subject includes the study of human and physical geography as well as geographical skills and fieldwork. Students will travel the world from their classroom, exploring case studies in the United Kingdom (UK), Higher Income Countries (HICs), Newly Emerging Economies (NEEs) and Lower Income Countries (LICs). Topics of study include climate change, poverty, deprivation, global shifts in economic power, natural hazards and the challenge of sustainable resource use. Students are also encouraged to understand their role in society by considering different viewpoints, values and attitudes. Geography enables students to understand the environment around them, how it will change and helps them prepare for the future. Did you know that the world is likely to change more in the next 50 years than ever before? We believe that students learn best when they question processes and concepts as they think independently and flexibly. Students are prepared for these global changes as they learn how to ‘think Geographically for life’.

The subject is split into four units: Living with the physical environment, Challenges in the human environment, Geographical applications & Geographical skills:

Living with the physical environment:

This unit is concerned with the dynamic nature of physical processes and systems, and human interaction with them in a variety of places and at a range of scales.

The aims of this unit are to develop an understanding of the tectonic, geomorphological, biological and meteorological processes and features in different environments, and the need for management strategies governed by sustainability and consideration of the direct and indirect effects of human interaction with the Earth and the atmosphere.

Challenges in the human environment

This unit is concerned with human processes, systems and outcomes and how these change both spatially and temporally. They are studied in a variety of places and at a range of scales and must include places in various stages of development, such as higher income countries (HICs), lower income countries (LICs) and newly emerging economies (NEEs).

The aims of this unit are to develop an understanding of the factors that produce a diverse variety of human environments; the dynamic nature of these environments that change over time and place; the need for sustainable management; and the areas of current and future challenge and opportunity for these environments.

Fieldwork

Fieldwork willtake place outside the classroom and school grounds on at least two occasions. The two enquiries will be carried out in contrasting environments and show an understanding of both physical and human geography. In at least one of the enquiries students are expected to show an understanding about the interaction between physical and human geography.It is an essential aspect of geography. It ensures that students are given the opportunity to consolidate and extend their geographical understanding by relating learning to real experiences of the world.

Geographical skills

Students are required to develop and demonstrate a range of geographical skills, including cartographic, graphical, numerical and statistical skills, throughout their study of the specification. Skills will be assessed in all three written exams. Ordnance Survey (OS) maps or other map extracts may be used in any of the three exams.

How the subject is assessed

The entire qualification is assessed at the end of year 11, by 3 exams. Students will need to work consistently throughout the course and will be given regular exam-linked assessments to prepare for this.

  • Paper 1 – 1 .5 hours (35% of the award) – Living with the physical environment including the topics of, The challenge of natural hazards, The living world, Physical landscapes in the UK & Geographical skills
  • Paper 2 – 1.5 hours (35% of the award) – Challenges in the Human environment, including the topics of, Urban issues and challenges, The changing economic world, The challenge of resource management & Geographical skills
  • Paper 3 – 1 hour 15 mins (30% of the award) – Geographical applications including questions on Issue evaluation, Fieldwork & Geographical skills

Students’ work will also be assessed throughout the course and graded using the end-point 1-9 grade structure.

Who should study Geography at KS4

Anyone who is interested in developing a better understanding of the world in which they live and their role within it, focusing on modern world geographical issues and the interrelationship between human and physical processes.  Students will be expected to think for themselves and develop skills in analysis and evaluation.

Any special requirements?

There are no special requirements to study GCSE Geography although students should have developed a good understanding of geography and its relevant skills through their Key Stage 3 lessons. Students will be expected to be able to carry out basic mathematical and statistical skills as well as understanding the core geography content. Students should be aware that this is an academic GCSE, requiring a reasonable grasp of basic literacy skills and students will need to be self motivated and hardworking throughout the two year course. They will also be expected to work independently on home learning tasks.

Further Information

Full details of the course can be found on the AQA website. Students interested in following this course should speak to their Geography teacher in the first instance.

Subject Information

Title: History

Qualification awarded: GCSE

Awarding body: EDEXCEL

Grading awarded: GCSE 1-9

Subject Content

This subject enables students to study an exciting variety of popular historical events and personalities over a wide ranging of period of time. Within the framework students will learn about both the History of Britain and the History of a number of other countries both within and outside of Europe.  The course will enable you to see how some of the strengths and problems of the world today have their roots in the past. All Year 9 students have started this course and now need to decide if they wish to continue with it as one of their GCSE option choices.

How the subject is assessed

The entire qualification is assessed at the end of year 11, by 3 exams. Students will need to work consistently throughout the course and will be given regular exam-linked assessments to prepare for this.

  • Paper 1 – (30% of the award) British Thematic Study with Historic Environment (1 Hour 15 mins) Medicine in Britain, c1000–present with The British sector of the Western Front, 1914–18: surgery and treatment – This is currently being taught in Year 9
  • Paper 2 – (40% of the award): British Depth Study and Period Study (1 Hour 45 mins)

Anglo-Saxon and Norman England, c1060–88 – This will be taught in Year 10

The American West, c1835–c1895 – This will be taught in Year 11

  • Paper 3 – (30% of the award):Weimar and Nazi Germany, 1918–39 (1 Hour 20 mins) – This will be taught in Year 11

Students’ work will also be assessed throughout the course and graded using the end-point 1-9 grade structure. These assessments will be in the form of GCSE style questions.

A minimum of 3 minutes and a maximum of 41⁄2 minutes of music in total is required. This component is 30% of GCSE marks.

Who should study History at KS4

Primarily you would need to have been interested in and have enjoyed your experience of History at Key Stage 3. You should enjoy forming your own opinions, even if they might be different from those of your friends or teachers.

You also need to be prepared to stand your ground and argue your case backing this up with evidence. GCSE History requires young people who can think independently, are open-minded and are good at problem solving. If this sounds like you then GCSE is the right choice. If you want to brighten your future study the past

Any special requirements?

There are no special requirements to study GCSE History, although students should have developed a good understanding of the subject at Key Stage 3. Successful completion of the course does require a reasonably good level and command of written English.

Further Information

Full details of the course can be found on the EDEXCEL website. Students interested in following this course should speak to their History teacher in the first instance.

Subject Information

Title: Mathematics

Qualification awarded: GCSE Foundation and Higher Level

Awarding body: AQA / Edexcel

Grading awarded: GCSE 1-9

Subject Content

The subject content is broken into these broad areas:
Number, Algebra, Ratio proportion and rates of change, Geometry and measures, Probability, and Statistics. All content can be assessed on any of the three question papers and some questions will draw together elements of maths from different topic areas.

How the subject is assessed

The entire qualification is assessed at the end of year 11, by 3 exams. Students will need to work consistently throughout the course and will be given regular exam-linked assessments to prepare for this.

  • Paper 1 – 1hour 30 minutes (Non Calculator)
  • Paper 2 – 1hour 30 minutes (Calculator)
  • Paper 3 – 1hour 30 minutes (Calculator)

Students’ work will also be assessed throughout the course and graded using the end-point 1-9 grade structure.

Studying Mathematics at KS4

This course should enable students to develop fluent knowledge, skills and understanding of mathematical methods and concepts. Students will be given the opportunity to to acquire, select and apply mathematical techniques to solve problems. Students will develop their skills to reason mathematically and comprehend, interpret and communicate mathematical information in a variety of forms. Students will be able to develop confidence in, and a positive attitude towards mathematics and to recognise the importance of mathematics in their own lives and to society. This course will provide a strong mathematical foundation for those students who wish to study mathematics at a higher level post 16.

Further Information

Full details of the course can be found on Exam board websites.

Subject Information

Title: Music

Qualification awarded: GCSE

Awarding body: AQA

Grading awarded: GCSE 1-9

Subject Content

1. Understanding music
2. Performing music
3. Composing music

How the subject is assessed

This qualification is linear which means that students will sit all their exams and submit all their non-exam assessment at the end of the course.

  1. Understanding Music – assessed though a listening and understanding exam paper using excerpts of music. The exam is 1½ hours and is 40% of the GCSE marks.
  2. Performing Music – assessed through 2 performances as an instrumentalist and/or vocalist.

Performance 1: Solo performance

Performance 2: Ensemble performance

A minimum of four minutes and a maximum of seven minutes of performance in total is required, of which a minimum of one minute must be the ensemble performance.  This component is 30% of GCSE marks.

  1. Composing music – assessed through 2 pieces of course work.

Composition 1: Composition to a brief

Composition 2: Free composition

A minimum of three minutes and a maximum of four and a half minutes of music in total is required. This component is 30% of GCSE marks.

Who should study Music at KS4

Students interested in all genres and styles of music, from Classical to Pop, Rock and Hip-hop.

Students wishing to go on to further and higher education in music or related subjects.

Studying music can give you a great mix of social, technical and business skills, which can all help in acquiring the skills that define employability.

Music offers a wide range of career optionsboth inside and outside the industry, including: performer, teacher, administrator, songwriter, conductor, composer, recording engineer, manager, promoter, or music publisher.

There are also more jobs than ever in music business related areas, such as: careers in digital marketing, social media, PR, technology, label services, ticketing and merchandising. It is also common to find people who studied music working in consultancy, finance, banking, music therapy and legal jobs.

Any special requirements?

Students must be able to perform music either as an instrumentalist or as a vocalist and already be taking lessons on their chosen instrument on a weekly basis, either in school or privately.  Students should be a minimum of grade 1 standard in order to access minimum marks.

Students should be willing to listen attentively to unfamiliar music and be able to use the elements of music and appropriate music vocabulary.  They should also be able to read and write staff notation.

Further Information

Students lay the foundations for further study or a musical career, and develop: problem solving skills, self-confidence, communication skills, creative skills, team building, critical analysis and evaluation skills.

Subject Information

Title: Performing Arts (Drama)

Qualification awarded: BTEC Tech Award Level 1/2

Awarding body: Edexcel/Pearson

Grading awarded: Level 1 pass, Level 2 Pass, Level 2 Merit, Level 2 Distinction.

Subject Content

    • Exploring the performing arts
    • Developing skills and techniques
    • Performing to a briefThis subject has three compulsory units:

    Students will explore performance styles, understand how practitioners create and influence what is being performed, develop vocal and performance skills and perform a 15 – 20 minute piece to a target audience. This performance will be filmed. Students will also be expected to reflect on their performance and evaluate their work.

    All units will be assessed, with 2 being assessed through assignments and 1 being assessed as an examination. Students will be assessed throughout the course so need to be able to work well to deadlines.

How the subject is assessed

This qualification is both externally (exam) and internally assessed (course work).

Unit 1 – Internally assessed through assignments (30%)

Unit 2 – Internally assessed through assignments (30%)

Unit 3 – Externally assessed through a performance to a brief which is filmed and sent for moderation (40%)

Who should study Drama at KS4?

Students who have enjoyed drama at KS3, and who have the confidence to perform in groups. Students need to be able to work well to deadlines for assignment tasks. This course would act as a good route onto further study in Drama, Performance Arts or Theatre Studies at post-16.

Any special requirements?

There are no special requirements to study Performing Arts BTEC although students will be expected to be committed to a performance and the necessary rehearsal as an essential part of the course. They should have the ability to work independently and as part of a team.

Further Information

Full details of the course can be found on the Edexcel website. Students interested in following this course should speak to Miss Jones in the first instance

Subject Information

Title: Religious Studies Specification ‘A’

Qualification awarded: GCSE

Awarding body: AQA

Grading awarded: GCSE 1 – 9

Subject Content

Religious Studies is all about trying to answer the big questions that we all think about now and again like ‘what is the meaning of life?’ or what happens to us after we die?’ Religious Studies is all about finding out what people believe and why.

The Religious Studies GCSE ‘A” Specification from AQA covers the major world religions of Christianity and Sikhism and four contemporary ethical themes ensuring that students have a diverse collection of intriguing and exciting subjects to explore over the two years of GCSE study.

Students will be challenged with questions about belief, values, meaning, purpose and truth, enabling them to develop their own attitudes towards religious issues.

Students will also gain an appreciation of how religion, philosophy and ethics form the basis of our culture. They will develop analytical and critical thinking skills, the ability to work with abstract ideas, leadership and research skills. All these skills will help prepare them for further study and give them a valuable insight into many of the issues facing society today.

The subject is split into two components:

  • Component 1: The study of religions: beliefs, teachings and practices
  • Component 2: Thematic studies

Component 1:

Students will study the beliefs, teachings and practices of Sikhism and Christianity with the foundations of the knowledge of these religions already laid at Key Stage 3.

The beliefs and teachings of a religion focus on the beliefs about God, gods or ultimate reality; the role of communities of faith, key moral principles and the meanings and the purposes of human life. The practices of a religion look at the application of these beliefs and teachings to the lives of modern believers including the study of places and forms of rituals, prayer, meditation, festivals and celebrations, fasting, rites of passage, religious journeys and pilgrimage.

Through the study of Christianity and Sikhism students will learn to understand the influence of religion on individuals, communities and societies and understand significant common and divergent views between and within religions and beliefs. They will learn to apply knowledge and understanding so they can analyse questions related to religious beliefs and values and construct well-informed and balanced arguments on matters concerned with religious beliefs and values.

Component 2:

Students will study a further three themes over the two years in a similar way that they examined Religion, Crime and punishment in year 9.

The Relationships and families unit studies religious teachings about the role of families in the 21stcentury. Students will examine religious attitudes to marriage, cohabitation and divorce and issues related to the nature and purpose of families; roles of men and women; equality; gender prejudice and discrimination.

In Religion and life students will study different religious views of the world, including their relationship to scientific views; beliefs about death and an afterlife; explanations of the origins and value of the universe and of human life.

The final theme of Religion, peace and conflict; looks at violence, war, pacifism, terrorism, jus twar theory, holy war, the role of religion and belief in 21st century conflict. It is also concerned with peace making and the concepts of justice, forgiveness and reconciliation in the modern world.

How the subject is assessed

The entire qualification is assessed at the end of year 11, by 2 exams. Students will need to work consistently throughout the course and will be given regular exam-linked assessments to prepare for this.

  • Paper 1 – 1 .75 hours in duration (50% of the award) Tests Component 1: The study of religions: beliefs, teachings and practices
  • Paper 2 – 1.75 hours in duration (50% of the award) Tests Component 2: Thematic studies

Students’ work will also be assessed throughout the course and graded using the end-point 1-9 grade structure as they have been used to throughout year 9.

Who should study RS at KS4?

Anyone who has questions to ask and opinions to give will enjoy Religious Studies. The course will be of interest to people who are interested in others and in human beliefs and behaviours. The course will allow you to express your own beliefs whilst taking into account the beliefs of others.

A GCSE in Religious Studies is a stepping stone to a wide range of future opportunities. The skills you develop will support you in further studies and employment. A good grade at GCSE will help you progress to further studies in a whole host of different subjects.

In addition, as you enter the world of work, you will be expected to work alongside people with different beliefs to your own. Religious Studies will teach the skills and understanding needed to work with people of all faiths and cultures. These skills are vitally important in all careers especially professions such as the police, retail, teaching, the law, the caring professions and the armed forces. In fact any profession that brings you in contact with other people.

In 2017, it was announced that 28.3 per cent of those taking the full RS GCSE nationally were awarded an A or A*. This compares with 20 per cent across all subjects. Pendle Vale College has an excellent examination result history with 75% of students attaining an A*-C in 2017 and students who made progress significantly above the national average for the subject.

Special Requirements?

There are no special requirements to study GCSE Religious Studies although students should have developed a good understanding of Religious Studies and its relevant skills through their Key Stage 3 lessons. Students should be aware that this is an academic GCSE, requiring a reasonable grasp of basic literacy skills and students will need to be self motivated and hard working throughout the two year course. They will also be expected to work independently on home learning tasks.

Further Information

Full details of the course can be found on the AQA website. Students interested in following this course should speak to their Religious Studies teacher in the first instance.

Subject Information

Title: SEPARATE SCIENCES GCSE Biology; GCSE Chemistry; GCSE Physics

Qualification awarded: GCSE X 3

Awarding body: AQA

Grading awarded: GCSE 1-9

Subject Content

Scientific understanding is changing our lives and is vital to the world’s future prosperity, and all students should be taught essential aspects of the knowledge, methods, processes and uses of science. They should be helped to appreciate the achievements of science in showing how the complex and diverse phenomena of the natural world can be described in terms of a small number of key ideas relating to the sciences which are inter-linked, and which are of universal application. These key ideas include:

  • The use of conceptual models and theories to make sense of the observed diversity of natural phenomena
  • The assumption that every effect has one or more cause
  • That change is driven by interactions between different objects and systems
  • That many such interactions occur over a distance and over time
  • That science progresses through a cycle of hypothesis, practical experimentation, observation, theory development and review

That quantitative analysis is a central element both of many theories and of scientific methods of inquiry.

How the subject is assessed

The entire qualification is assessed at the end of year 11, by 6 exams. Students will need to work consistently throughout the course and will be given regular exam-linked assessments to prepare for this.

GCSE Biology

  • Biology Paper 1 – 1 hour 45 minutes (50% of the award) – Cell Biology; Organisation; Infection and response; and Bioenergetics.
  • Biology Paper 2 – 1hour 45 minutes (50% of the award) – Homeostasis and response; Inheritance, variation and evolution; and Ecology.

GCSE Chemistry

  • Chemistry Paper 1 – 1 hour 45 minutes (50% of the award) –Atomic structure and the periodic table; Bonding, structure, and the properties of matter; Quantitative chemistry; Chemical changes; and Energy changes.
  • Chemistry Paper 2 – 1hour 45 minutes (50% of the award) –The rate and extent of chemical change; Organic chemistry; Chemical analysis; Chemistry of the atmosphere; and Using resources.

GCSE Physics

  • Physics Paper 1 – 1 hour 45 minutes (50% of the award) – Energy; Electricity; Particle model; and Atomic structure.
  • Physics Paper 2 – 1hour 45 minutes (50% of the award) –Forces; Waves; Magnetism and electromagnetism; and Space physics.

Students’ work will also be assessed throughout the course and graded using the end-point 1-9 grade structure.

Who should study science at KS4?

Sciences in key stage 4 continues with the process of building upon and deepening understanding of ideas developed in earlier key stages in the subject disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics.

For some students, studying the sciences in key stage 4 provides the platform for more advanced studies, establishing the basis for a wide range of careers. For others, it will be their last formal study of subjects that provide the foundations for understanding the natural world and will enhance their lives in an increasingly technological society.

Any special requirements?

Students wishing to study Separate Sciences should be performing at least at their target grade and have a positive ATL score at this stage in year 9. Any student wishing to study Separate Science should indicate this on their option form and then make arrangements to see Mrs Broster, Mr Ravat or Mrs Duperouzel to check their suitability.

Further Information

Full details of the course can be found on the AQA website.

Subject Information

Title: Cambridge National Certificate in Sport Studies

Qualification awarded: Level 1/2

Awarding body: OCR

Grading awarded:

Pass, Merit or Distinction at level 1

Pass, Merit, Distinction, Distinction* at level 2

Subject Content

Core Units (Mandatory, MUST be studied)

Unit R051 Contemporary issues in sport

Unit R052 Developing sports Skills

Optional Units that will be studied:

Unit R053 Sports Leadership

Unit R054 Sport and the Media

How the subject is assessed

  1. Unit R051 Contemporary issues in sport – assessed by written paper, set and marked by OCR. The examination lasts for one hour and is worth 60 marks (60 UMS), GLH 30.
  2. Unit R052 Developing sports skills – Centre assessed tasks OCR moderated. Worth 60 marks (60 UMS), GLH 30.
  3. Unit R053 Sorts leadership – Centre assessed tasks OCR moderated. Worth 60 marks (60UMS), GLH 30.
  4. Unit R054 Sport and the media – Centre assessed tasks OCR moderated. Worth 60 marks (60UMS), GLH 30.

GLH = Guided learning hours

Who should study Sports Studies

Students keen to develop practical skills and sports leadership through largely practical means. Learners will also develop different types of skill; communication, problem solving, team working, evaluating and analysing, performing under pressure and formulating written findings from practical investigation. These skills are transferable and can be utilised in many other educational and employment settings.

Special Requirements?

Students choosing to study the Cambridge National Certificate in Sport Studies will have an exemplary record of taking part in PE lessons and extra-curricular activities throughout key stage 3. They should also have an excellent attitude towards learning. Homework is set regularly, and it is expected that it will be completed by the due date.

Further Information

For more information visit www.ocr.org.uk

Subject Information

Title: Travel & Tourism

Qualification awarded: BTEC L1/2 Travel Tourism

Awarding body: Edexcel

Grading awarded: BTEC L1P to Distinction*

Subject Content

The course consists of 3 Components, each with differing methods of assessment. Two components are internally assessed, and one has an external exam and synoptic assessment.

How the subject is assessed

For this exciting course students will complete 3 components to achieve the qualification all of which are compulsory.  The compulsory component titles are:

  • Travel and Tourism Organisations and Destinations. (Internally assessed)
  • Influences on Global Travel and Tourism. (Externally assessed by a two hour exam which is set and assessed by Pearson in Y10)
  • Customer Needs in Travel and Tourism. (Internally Assessed)

Whilst component “Influences on Global Travel and Tourism” is externally assessed by a two-hour examination, the other 2 components will be internally assessed through assignments set by the class teacher to be completed in class and verified by Pearson to ensure they meet the standards required.  Students must meet all the deadlines as set in the assignment plus each criteria must be met to reach the Pass standard. The final grade awarded will be either at Level 1 or Level 2. The skills and knowledge acquired whilst doing BTEC Tech Award in Travel & Tourism will be valuable to any student wishing to progress to a Vocational Course, Further Education as well as working in any area of the Tourist, Travel or Leisure Industry.

Who should study Travel and Tourism at KS4?

This course is ideal for those students who like to work independently and who can meet deadlines. As it is a vocational qualification it is beneficial to those who are thinking of pursuing this type of study Post 16 and to those students wishing to become truly independent learners. There are many courses available at local colleges for students to take their study of Travel and Tourism further, and for possibly working in the Travel and Tourism Industry.

Special Requirements?

Students will be expected to work independently, be organised and research a wide range of topics then evaluate / summarise the information gathered. They will communicate tasks through a wide range of ICT and oral presentations. Tasks will be assessed individually and whilst working in a team to solve problems and scenarios set by the teacher.  Students will develop skills useful to all working environments and essential in today’s job market.

Further Information

The skills and knowledge acquired whilst doing BTEC Tech Award in Travel and Tourism will be valuable to any student wishing to progress to a Vocational Course, Further Education as well as working in any area of the Tourist, Travel or Leisure Industry.

This course alone will not be suitable for students wanting to take their study of Geography further, however, this course may be studied alongside GCSE Geography.

Attendance Contact

If your child is going to be absent from school today or for the forseeable future then please contact us on 01282 682252 or email us at attendance@pendlevale.lancs.sch.uk

Attendance Contact

If your child is going to be absent from school today or for the forseeable future then please contact us on 01282 682252 or email us at attendance@pendlevale.lancs.sch.uk