Subjects on Offer

 

 


Message to Students

 

 

You should:

 

  • Read this booklet with great care. Amongst other things, it will tell you where to get help and advice.

 

  • Make sure you think carefully about the right courses for you.

 

  • Take advantage of the help and support available to you.

 

  • Take notice of your teachers’ recommendations (although we use the word ‘choice’ we give you guidance and help you to select a package of courses which is suitable for you.)

 

  • Ask lots of questions until you are sure you have all the information you need.  You can talk to your Academic Mentor, subject teachers, any of the Curriculum Team Leaders as well as Mrs Vaughan or any member of the Senior Leadership Team.  It may be that Ms Durdan or Ms Smyth can be of particular help.

 

  • Discuss your ideas with your parents – you both have to agree your courses!

 

  • Make sure that you have alternative subjects you could study because you may not get your first choices.

 

 

You will be given guidance on completing the Choices form.

The selection of a sensible and balanced range of optional subjects is a matter which will take you, your parents/carers and teachers a number of weeks to finalise. Every effort will be made to give you your choices.   We do our very best to satisfy everyone’s demands but in the end there may be a few students who are not able to take every single subject which they first choose.

 

Please note, if there is a very small demand for a particular subject it may not be possible to run it.

 

 



Message to Parents/Carers

At around age 14, your child will be asked to make a limited number of choices for study from age 14 to 19. This stage of your child's education calls for more choices than at earlier stages:

 

  • Your child has to make choices about subjects, and might end up studying a unique mix of subjects.

 

  • There are choices to be made about styles of assessment: should your child choose an option with lots of coursework, or will they be better off with exams?

 

  • At the same time as studying for exams, you and your child will be thinking about the next steps: should they go on to advanced level study, training or work?

The subjects your child chooses for 14 – 16 are important as a foundation for further lifelong learning. The Raising of the Participation Age (RPA) means that students currently in Year 8 will continue in education or training until they are 18.

This change does not necessarily mean staying in school. Young people will be able to choose one of the following routes:

  • full-time education, such as school or college; or
  • work-based learning, such as an apprenticeship; or
  • part-time education or training, if they are employed, self-employed or volunteering for more than 20 hours a week.

 

Whatever route they choose, young people will still need to learn new skills and knowledge throughout their working career. They may well have to do more formal study.  More and more students will do Level 3 courses including A-levels, BTECs or Cambridge Nationals, then go on to higher education.

 

Foundations for buildings need to be broad and strong so that they can support what is built on top of them.  Study at 14 – 16 is the same; most students do better studying a broad range of subjects.  Later they can build on this broad foundation by specialising.

 



Some things to consider with your child

  • Some students say that they like a subject when they are really motivated by a belief that it won't involve much work! But your child will have to work hard in all subjects to get a good qualification.
  • Some choose a subject to stay in the same class as friends. This is not a good reason for studying a subject and your child might well be split from their friend for a particular subject for timetabling reasons.
  • Another easy mistake for students to make is to think they like the subject because they like the teacher. But again, timetabling (and the possibility of staff changes) can place them with a different teacher. Your child should be confident that they will enjoy the subject no matter who teaches it.
  • With the exception of English and maths, most jobs don't require your child to have studied a particular subject at GCSE. Most employers will probably be more interested in your child's range of study, grades achieved and enthusiasm for learning, than in the fact that they did or didn't study any one subject at 14 – 16.
  • The Government’s education White Paper published in Autumn 2010 placed an emphasis on more students studying GCSEs in humanities (history and geography) and a language as well as English, maths and double (or triple) science. We have structured the curriculum at Rivers Academy to allow all students the opportunity to study this group of subjects.
  • Not every subject your child chooses needs to be directly relevant to a job.  Some are worth taking just because it is something he or she enjoys. Some subjects sound like they’ll be easy, but no subject is a soft option.  Your child will have to work just as hard as for any other course.
  • For a very small number of jobs, particular A-levels are needed, such as the sciences for medicine or scientific research. Schools, sixth-form colleges and further education colleges may require particular GCSEs from students who want to study these A-levels, so it is worth checking their requirements.

It is very important that you should be involved in your child’s decisions regarding choice of courses. You should read this booklet, discuss it with your child and sign the form to show that you have agreed the choices together.

No one expects you and your child to plan out their whole life just yet, but choosing subject options for Years 9, 10 and 11 is a great opportunity to have a serious discussion with your child about what they’d like to do.

 



Important changes to GCSE

and the way GCSE success is

measured nationally

 

The curriculum at Rivers Academy has been designed to provide breadth and balance, as well as allowing students the freedom to follow courses that cater for a wide range of particular needs, aptitudes and interests. The aim of the curriculum is to ensure that all students are academically challenged and engaged, resulting in high levels of exam success whilst also developing 21st century skills.

 

The majority of students will now be expected to undertake at least one Humanities subject and a Language although some students will be better served by these subjects being optional rather than compulsory.

Other changes that affect Year 8 students concern the way in which examinations will be organised. In future, students will be required to take all assessments at the end of the course from summer 2014 onwards. This will affect all Year 8 students starting two or three-year courses in September 2013. This means there will be no more modular exams and all exams will be taken in the summer of Year 10 or Year 11.

In 2014 onwards, question papers in English literature, geography, history and religious studies will have extra marks awarded for spelling punctuation and grammar.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Year 9: Curriculum overview

 

 

 

 

 


English and Maths

(17 lessons)

 

 

 

Science/

Compulsory option

(9 lessons)

 

 

Humanities

(6 lessons)

 

Languages

(6 lessons)

 

Health and Fitness

(4 lessons)

 

Choice 1

(4 lessons)

+

Choice 2

(4 lessons)

 

 

 

 

English

(9 lessons)

+

Maths

(8 lessons)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Triple Science

9 lessons

Or

Double Science

6 lessons

+

Option

3 lessons

 

 

 

Geography

or

History

 

 

French

or

Spanish

 

PE

+

PSHE

 

2 subjects from :

Art

or

Business Studies

or

Computing/ICT

or

Citizenship

or

Drama

or

Film Studies

or

Food

or

French

or

Geography

or

 

 

 

Graphics

or

Health &Social Care

or

History

or

Law

or

Leisure and Tourism

or

Music

or

R.E

or

Resistant Materials

or

Spanish

or

Textiles

 

 

If a subject does not have enough students selecting it, it might be withdrawn from our offer and not run.


Key Dates

 

  1. Year 8 Progress review evening– Thursday 13th December 2012

 

 

  1. Year 8 Information evening and subject fair – Thursday 7th February 2013. Choices booklet issued.

 

  1. Year 8 Assembly – Friday 8th February 2013

 

  1. Choices information and support within lessons and Academic Mentoring time.

 

 

  1. Choices surgery –Wednesday 6th March 2013 5pm-6pm

 

  1. Completed Choices Form agreed, signed and collected by Academic Mentors on Friday 8th March 2013 and passed to Mrs. Vaughan.

 

  1. Mrs. Vaughan sorts choices into classes and notifies students and parents of options allocated by Friday 3rd May 2013.

 

Some Do’s

 

Do read this booklet carefully.

Do talk it over at home.

Do seek advice from the teachers who can help you.

Do choose a subject which you think will be useful to you later in life – whether for work or for leisure interests.

Do choose a subject which you have found out about.

Do choose a balanced range of courses.

Do think carefully about the amount of coursework you will have to do for the subjects you choose.

Do look at what you enjoy and are good at.

Do ask for the views of those who know you best.

Do talk to teachers about your strongest subjects.

Do get advice and information on your current careers ideas.

Do balance your final selection so you have more choices in the future.

Do remember your ideas may change later.

 

Some Don’ts

 

 

Some

 

Don’t choose a subject simply because you like the teacher.  You should choose the subject, not the teacher.

Don’t choose a subject because other people tell you it’s only for boys or only for girls.

Don’t choose a subject because a lot of your friends are doing it.  Choose what is best for you.

Don’t limit your choices now.

Don’t make a decision on the basis of your current career ideas. They may change.

Don’t make a decision until you have all the necessary information.

Don’t just look at part of a course; look at what is expected all the way through.

Don’t panic, ta

lk to us if you are unable to make up your mind.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Course Description:

 

Art & Design

Art and Design GCSE encourages students to be both adventurous and enquiring at the same time as being expressive with their work.

To be successful students should not only demonstrate practical ability and skills but also show appreciation a diverse range of art, past and present, relating to their own ideas.  This will be achieved through developing research skills.

 

On this course students will be given a practical introduction to a range of processes and techniques, also studying other artist’s work in relation to their own.  Students will learn how to draw, paint and work in a variety of mixed media, as well as basic 3D work.  In their work they will also be taught to pay attention to detail in their finished work.

Assessment Overview:

After the course:

Coursework - Coursework accounts for 60% of the overall grade and is project based over a two school year period.  It calls for commitment and self-motivation, as independent learning forms a vital part of the syllabus requirements.  It is important to realise that you will need to research and develop ideas in your own time. Success depends on YOUR commitment to hard work. Tasks follow a pattern of investigation and research of ideas, art practices and techniques to be realised in final pieces of work.  This process will be recorded in a work journal or sketchbooks.

Examination Details – The final exam takes the form of an externally set assignment, which accounts for 40% of the total marks.  Students will be given eight weeks to prepare, research and record ideas in working journals leading to the completion of a final idea over two school days (10 hours).

On completion of your GCSE Art and Design course, you could progress to KS5 and further education, which would be useful for a variety of career options particularly in the Creative Arts.

 

Courses available at KS5

  • GCE AS/A2 Art and Design
  • GCE AS/A2 Photography

 

At the end of the course you will have a portfolio of work that will be evidence of your ability to pursue a two-year GCE, or other course, in Art and Design.  This will cover different assignments produced in a range of mediums and techniques supported by research into the work of other artists from different times and cultures as well as your personal responses.

       

 





Business & Communication Systems GCSE

Course Description:

 

There are 3 units:

Unit 8 is focused on ICT systems in business

Modules of work include:

  • Aims and objectives of business including the theory of profit and increasing market share.
  • Business planning covering all aspects of setting up a business and the importance of producing a plan for success
  • Marketing looks at theory of promotion, price, place and product.
  • Finance looks at the way that businesses can you cash and rewards to motivate their workforce and produce a more productive place of work.
  • People in business is the methods of recruitment when a vacancy arises within a business.

Unit 9 is on ICT in business

Modules of work include:

  • Types of data and the way that is would be used throughout a business.
  • Computer software used to benefit the running of a business
  • Databases and the practice of actually producing real databases.
  • Graphics to make business logos for a new enterprise.
  • Spreadsheets to manage and evaluate data from businesses.

Unit 10 is a controlled assessment based on investigating ICT in business and the production a various documents to support this exercise.

 

 

Business visits are taken on a regular basis as are the use of outside speaker to help with understanding on specific topics.

 

Assessment Overview:

After the course:

There is a written paper for 1 hour on unit 8 worth 40% a practical test for unit 9 worth 35% and a controlled assessment based on unit 10 worth 25% of the overall GCSE grade. The controlled assessment will be set by the examination board and change annually. Previous tasks have been to produce a range of documents for a careers event.

This course will count as one GCSE grade.  This GCSE will not restrict your choice of profession. You will gain an overview of the business environment and ICT connected to the running of business in general. This course will give you many opportunities to continue studying in any subject area as well as AS/A2 Business Studies or OCR National level 3. It will also provide coverage of a wide range of business topics and give practice with software that any business would use.

       

 

 




Course Description:

 




Business – Cambridge National Award Level 2

 

The Cambridge Award Level 2 in Business is being developed to recognise students’ skills, knowledge and understanding of business functions, environments and operations. Students carry out a range of tasks that have been developed to recognise their achievements in a modern, practical way that is relevant to the workplace.

There are 3 units

Unit 1

Introduction to Business looks at the setting up and running of a business and the important aspects required managing a business from the offset. Various areas covered will be business objectives and types of business ownership.

Unit 2

Planning for Work includes essential theory and practice of the recruitment process involved when a vacancy arises with a business. Each stage involves numerous business applications.

Unit 3

Enterprise Skills encourages the setting up of a mini enterprise and the skills needed to be an entrepreneur as well as create a new and innovative idea to take forward.

Assessment Overview:

After the course:

The course will be assessed by both external examination and coursework.

There is also the opportunity to gain a Distinction* in this course.

Good performance in some units will compensate for weaker performance in other units.

The certificate can be achieved by studying each unit for a total of 120 hours or the award for a total of 60 guided learning hours.

You could also choose to carry on with your education and study a variety of courses. These include AS/A2 Business Studies or the OCR National Level 3 in Business. This qualification will provide you with an excellent overview of the business world and aid the attainment of any occupation after completing your education. 

       

 


 

 




Course Description:

 

Citizenship

Full Course GCSE Citizenship Studies will draw on your previous learning and build on your existing knowledge of how the world around you works. To prepare for the course it will be helpful to keep up-to-date with events happening in the news and to keep an eye on changes to the law or human rights. The course covers several key topics including:

  • Human rights;
  • Citizenship, identity and community in the United Kingdom;
  • Fairness and justice in decision making and the law;
  • The Criminal Justice System including the rights and responsibilities of the citizen;
  • Democracy and voting;
  • The media and freedom of speech;
  • Europe, including the European Union (EU);
  • The Commonwealth and United Nations (UN);
  • Our rights and responsibilities to each other, within families, within the wider community and as global citizens;
  • The economy and welfare systems;
  • Taking action and campaigning about issues that concern you.

 

Assessment Overview:

After the course:

  1. The exam board for this course is OCR. 
  2.  
  3. GCSE Citizenship is 60% Controlled Assessment and is therefore ideal for any student who enjoys project work.  Candidates work in groups to complete active Citizenship campaigns, which aim to influence decision makers and really make a difference, both in the Academy and local community. Examples of past activities have included awareness of multiculturalism through a fashion show, interviewing local police officers, song writing/performing and facebook campaigns.
  4.  
  5. Unit A341: Controlled Assessment (30%) - school-based assignment. A Citizenship Campaign related to rights and responsibilities (e.g. a creative campaign against knife crime, child abuse, litter etc…).
  6.  
  7. Unit A342: Examination 1hr (20%) - multiple-choice/short answer questions, two questions requiring a longer written response, two short case studies for analysis/evaluation and one piece of extended writing.
  8.  
  9. Unit A343: Examination 1hr (20%) - a mix of short answer questions and questions requiring longer written responses. The paper contains documents related to the specification content for analysis and interpretation. Candidates are required to support, oppose or evaluate viewpoints using evidence from the documents to help them.
  10.  
  11. Unit A344: Controlled Assessment (30%) - school-based assignment in two parts. A Citizenship Enquiry based on a selection of source materials and Practical Citizenship Action including planning, negotiating, taking action and evaluating the action (e.g. a creative campaign challenging bullying, racism, homophobia in the Academy or local community etc…).

This course develops a number of key skills and is extremely useful for any student wishing to progress to further education in any area requiring independent learning and research, or those entering employment and wishing to develop transferable skills such as communication, action planning and working with others.

 

The course content provides a foundation for further academic or vocational study in a wide range of areas such as Citizenship, Law, Sociology, Government and Politics, Media, History, Geography, Religious Studies, Health and Social Care or Business Studies. 

 

It provides knowledge and skills useful for a wide range of careers including journalism, politics, development, advocacy, law or social care. 

 

Most importantly, it provides students with the opportunity to develop as well-rounded, informed and active citizens.

       

 

GCSE Computer Science

Course Description:

Welcome to one of the newest GCSEs. Since September 2012, only Rivers Academy and one other school in Hounslow are offering GCSE Computer Science. Do you wonder how Facebook works? Or why you spend most of your life on your phone using apps? Played Angry Birds? Watched Harry Potter? This subject focuses on what is behind the scenes of some of this country’s most successful technology-based traditions – leading in computer games, digital special effects in the film industry, and the birth of the World Wide Web. All of these are underpinned by Computer Science.

 

Computer Science has greater relevance today given the rise of mobile phones, web-related technologies, computer games as well as traditional programming. It is about developing knowledge for rapidly changing business and social environments and applying these in the real world. Students would benefit from any prior knowledge of programming languages such as Python or experimenting with software such as Scratch or Game Maker. It is suggested for Computer Science you will need to show high levels of English and mathematical ability to understand the fundamental techniques behind this course.

Key topics

  • Computer Hardware – making computers function, tablets, phone, embedded systems, CPU, memory, computer performance
  • Computer Networking – coding for networks, client-server systems
  • Algorithms – what makes an efficient program? Why is that important? Pseudocode – expressing how a program works to aid its design
  • Programming Techniques – theory and how to be a successful programmer, selection, IF-ELSE, WHILE, FOR techniques, sequences, functions and how they reduce code and make programs easier to test and develop
  • Software Development Life Cycle – Prototyping, unit testing for functions
  • Database Concepts - Students interact with a database, simple SQL queries, interrogating databases

 

Assessment Overview:

After the course:

This is through a combination of two controlled assessment tests and an external examination. Your teacher will assess the evidence provided for the controlled assessments. These are then checked by the examination board. The external examinations are marked by an examiner and can be in the form of a paper or on-screen examination.

 

You will be assessed on two main areas as follows:

Component 1: Practical programming – Controlled Assessment (60%)

  • Two tasks of 25 hours each
  • Submitted electronically or on paper
  • 126 marks – 63 marks per task
  • Examples involve – game design or creating an app for a mobile phone

Component 2: Computing fundamentals – Written Paper (40%)

  • 84 marks
  • Paper-based or on-screen version

GCSE Computer Science is a highly regarded qualification as it was endorsed by leading figures such as Eric Schmidt, the chairman of Google. The course was developed with input from Google professionals, by Microsoft, and other industry leaders in the Computer Science field.

 

Therefore, there is a natural progression to vocational IT, computing-related qualifications, and industry recognised IT courses. At Rivers Academy’s sixth form there will be the option to study ICT for an academic route. The Oracle Academy is an enrichment qualification which enables students to learn database design and programming in SQL – highly specialised skills for those who wish to pursue a career as a database designer, programmer and offers transferable skills that are desirable in the workplace.

 


 

 

Design & Technology

Food

Course Description:

 

You will enjoy this course if you want to study a subject that:

 

  • is both creative and technical
  • is relevant to the consumer society you live in
  • makes you aware of the things the catering industry does
  • enables you to design and make products
  • Theory is demonstrated in practical work

 

GCSE Food Technology covers a wide range of topics including special diets, nutrition, multi-cultural influences in cooking, investigating and designing and practical cooking  skills.  Over the course of two years you will develop a whole range of creative designing and making skills, technical knowledge and understanding relating to the food industry and invaluable transferable skills such as problem solving, organisation skills and time management.

Assessment Overview:

After the course:

All students will carry out mini practical assessments throughout the first year, preparing them for the final controlled assessment in the second year. The course is set by AQA and assisted by teachers.

 

The controlled assessment will be moderated by the teacher in charge and will be verified by an external AQA assessor. There will be a theory paper at the end of the course that is set and marked by the AQA exam board.

Food Technology students usually study one or more of numerous food-related subjects including: A Level Food and Nutrition, City and Guilds NVQs and VRQs in Catering and Food Manufacture, BTEC Nationals in Catering and Hospitality.

 

Employers value this GCSE qualification as it helps the development of creative, technical and transferable skills.

       

 


Course Description:

 




Design & Technology Graphic Products

A practical approach that encourages students to design and make products with creativity and originality in a variety of practical activities using a range of graphic materials and techniques.  Products will be manufactured in card, paper, foam board and some resistant materials.  Products will be designed and made from the students’ own design and modelled in a number of computer programs such as Pro desk top, Sketch up and Coral Draw.

Over the course of two years you will develop a whole range of creative designing and making skills, technical knowledge and understanding relating to Graphic products  and invaluable transferable skills such as problem solving and time management.

Assessment Overview:

After the course:

All of you will undertake a controlled assessment project that will be started in the first year of GCSE, just before the summer holiday.  It will allow you to undertake your research during the summer break.  The project will then be completed during the autumn term when you return for the second year of GCSE.  This project will account for 60% of the final examination mark. The themes of the projects will be set by AQA, the exam board.

 

As well as being assessed through the Controlled assessment project you will take a written paper, which will account for 40% of the final examination mark.

Many students have enjoyed studying GCSE Graphics so much that they go on to study A-Level Graphic Products for a further two years.  However, it is possible to study any D&T related courses at Sixth Form level.

 

Creative students usually study one or more of the creative subjects, such as A-Level Art & Design, Media and / or Film, OCR National Diplomas in Art & Design of Media and the Diploma in Creative and Media.

 

Of course, if further study is not for you, employers value this GCSE Graphic Products qualification for the development of creative, technical and transferable skills. It is especially useful in graphics and computer design and well as computer game design, architecture and film set modelling.


Design & Technology Resistant Materials

Course Description:

 

A practical approach that encourages students to design and make products with creativity and originality in a variety of practical activities, using a range of materials and techniques.  Products will be manufactured in resistant materials such as wood and plastic and there will be some work with casting metals.  Products will be designed and made from the students’ own designs.

 

Over the course of two years you will develop a whole range of creative designing and making skills, technical knowledge and understanding relating to Resistant Materials and invaluable transferable skills such as problem solving and time management.

Assessment Overview:

After the course:

All students will undertake a controlled assessment project that will be started in the second year of GCSE. The coursework is assessed through five different areas from designing work right through to practical solutions.  This project will account for 60% of the final examination mark. The themes of the projects will be set by AQA, the exam board.

 

As well as being assessed through the Controlled assessment project you will take a written paper, which will account for 40% of the final examination mark.

Many students have enjoyed studying GCSE Resistant Materials so much that they go on to study A-Level Product Design for a further two years.  This subject allows students to access a multitude of areas within Design Technology.

 

Creative students usually study one or more of the creative subjects including A-Level; Art & Design, Media and / or Film, OCR National Diplomas in Art & Design of Media and the Diploma in Creative and Media.

 

If further study is not for you, employers value this GCSE Resistant Materials qualification for the development of creative, technical and transferable skills it provides.  These include automotive and aero engineering, structural and civil engineering, building, carpentry and site management. This subject relates to budding product designers.

             

 


Course Description:

The course offers students the opportunity to develop their creativity in Textiles using a wide range of resources and processes offered to inspire innovative projects.  All techniques and skills are taught through practical demonstration, leading to independent project work. Students enjoy using the wide range of resources, which in turn encourage freedom to experiment whilst they learn necessary skills to become independent designer- makers.

Textiles has strong links with Sciences and can support learning by recognising basic elements, while realising current trends and evolving new technologies.

 






Design & Technology

Textiles

Assessment Overview:

After the course:

Assessment is 60% coursework based and 40% written exam.

Coursework consists of a main project chosen by the student from a selection of topics set by AQA. Marks are awarded for research, designing, testing and making the product.

The written paper is in two parts: the first part being focused design based on a pre-released theme, and the second being an examination of knowledge on materials, skills and processes.

 

 

Students who have enjoyed GCSE Textiles opt to study A Level Textiles for fashion studies or, for a wider spectrum of design OCR with a Textiles specialism.

Many students who have studied Textiles at Rivers Academy have progressed to Fashion Colleges and Universities.

Careers in Textiles include: Fashion designer, fashion editor, interior designer, tailor, milliner, garment technologist, costume designers, production manager, buyers, conservation technicians, forensic technicians, scientists, materials researchers, amongst many others.

 

 

 

 

Drama

Course Description:

 

This is a practical course that focuses on developing your performance skills from Key Stage 3 by applying them to a range of stimuli, for example pictures, poems and plays.  The course allows you to explore and develop ideas as part of a group to create workshop performances.  You will need to be willing to learn new skills and contribute your ideas to group work.  You must be punctual to lessons and your attendance good as 60% of the course is assessed in your lesson time.  You must be willing to perform in front of an audience.  You must have enthusiasm and be willing to actively participate in both practical and written tasks.

As part of the course you will have to visit the theatre, which is arranged by the School and you will have additional opportunities to work with drama professionals in workshops throughout the course.  Recent trips include Billy Elliot, Tribes and The Woman In Black and we have been fortunate to work with professionals from The Donmar Warehouse and The Royal Court Theatre in workshops at School.

You will also learn many other skills that are highly valued in any walk of life.  These include analytical skills, the ability to approach tasks from different and creative perspectives, teamwork, confidently presenting yourself in public and how to effectively speak in front of an audience.

Assessment Overview:

After the course:

80% Practical; 20% Written Coursework

There is no written examination, although you will be required to keep a written record of your practical work.

40% of the course is practical and involves creating drama from a range of stimuli and interpreting a text.

20% is coursework based on the practical work you complete in class.  The aim is to show your understanding of the drama terminology and how you applied it to the practical work.

40% is a group performance in front of an external examiner.

After you have completed GCSE Drama you can go on to higher levels of study.  These include:

  • Arts Award
  • BTEC in Acting
  • Drama and Theatre Studies at AS and A2 Level
  • A Level Performing Arts

If you are looking for work experience in the theatre we have good links with several theatres in order for students to gain an insight into the industry.  Completing this course can also help you to access theatre stage craft, stage management, lighting, sound or theatre administration.

       

 


Course Description:

The English courses assess students’ ability in reading, writing and speaking and listening through a combination of examination and coursework. There are two pathways a student can take;

  1. Completing GCSE English Language (AQA 4705) and GCSE English Literature (4710) which gives them two GCSEs or
  2. Completing GCSE English (AQA 4700) which awards them one GCSE.  For further details please access the AQA website (www.aqa.org.uk).

English Language allows students to demonstrate their ability to use English in real life contexts and uses an investigative and analytical approach to language topics drawing on personal experience. GCSE English Literature requires candidates to explore texts from a personal perspective and offers an experience of literature today, global literature and literary heritage. GCSE English is a combined course offering a range of language and literature topics, allowing candidates to demonstrate their use of English in real-life contexts.

Novels and plays to be studied will include: ‘Of Mice and Men’ by John Steinbeck, ‘Lord of the Flies’ by William Golding, ‘Mister Pip’ by Lloyd Jones, ‘To Kill a Mocking Bird’ by Harper Lee and ‘Macbeth’ or ‘Romeo and Juliet’ - both by William Shakespeare.  Poetry will include the study of a pre –released anthology or war poetry.

English

Assessment Overview:

After the course:

  • Terminal examination on completion of the course
  • No coursework element is involved
  • The exam is made up of both language and literature elements
  • Students will complete the language exam at the end of year 10 and the literature exam in year 11
  • Students will be assessed on the quality of their written responses and grammatical accuracy

Students have the option of studying the ‘Arts Award’ receiving a bronze, silver or gold award in year 11 if they wish

Studying English allows students the experience of reading and engaging with all types of texts.

It allows students to develop the ability to communicate effectively, a skill which is essential in many areas of further study and employment.

Colleges, Universities and employers are all interested in seeing the study of English as it provides a huge diversity of transferable skills.

All courses at AS level require you to have a sound understanding of English in order to access their curriculum subject content.


Film Studies

Course Description:

 

Film is widely acknowledged as the major art form of the 20th century and today film continues to be an important part of most people’s cultural experience. This course is designed to build upon students’ own experience of film – as consumers and creators – and to encourage recognition of the complexity of this experience within an increasingly globalised, interconnected environment.

Starting with familiar mainstream films, the specification allows students to study films and the ways in which they are experienced, the importance of visual representation in today’s global society and the place film has in communicating ideas, attitudes and cultural beliefs, both now and in the past.

The course approaches this through three inter-related study areas, which act as a framework for studying and creating film:

• the ‘language’ of film

• the organisations which produce, distribute and exhibit films and

• the audiences for film.

Students will have opportunities to become active participants in modern society through producing film texts for audiences and to explore the vital role that film plays in the spiritual, moral, ethical, social and cultural development of individuals and communities.

Assessment Overview:

After the course:

External Assessment (50%)

Paper 1: Exploring Film 30% - The exam will assess knowledge and understanding of film language and key industry and audience issues.

Paper 2: Exploring Film outside Hollywood 20% - Three compulsory questions on one film produced outside Hollywood, chosen from a list prescribed by the exam board.

Controlled Assessment (50%) - Exploring and creating

Two main items: a film exploration (two tasks) and a production (four tasks).

 1: Exploring a film of the candidate’s choice – two tasks (30 marks)

An exploration of a film of a candidate’s choice consisting of (i) industry research (350-500 words) and (ii) a micro analysis of a short extract from the film (350 – 750 words).

 2: Production – four tasks (70 marks)

Candidates create (i) a pitch for an imaginary film (approximately 150 words); use the created pitch to form the basis of (ii) a preproduction (chosen from a list of options) and (iii) a final production.

The course will develop students’ interest and enjoyment of film in its national and global contexts and begin to develop an appreciation of cultural diversity through the close study of a wide range of films

 

This course will contribute to students’ understanding of spiritual, moral, ethical, social and cultural issues through discussion of, for example, representations of gender, age, culture, social class, ethnicity and disability in the range of films studied. Moral and ethical issues will be raised through the study, most notably, of films outside Hollywood. As such, it provides knowledge and skills useful for a wide range of careers.

 

Most importantly, it provides students with the opportunity to develop as well-rounded, informed and active citizens.  Students can progress onto A2/AS courses in Film Studies.

           

 

 


Course Description:






French

 

 

Studying French at KS3 will have equipped you with a lot of the core vocabulary and grammar that you will need for GCSE.  You will already know how to talk about yourself, your family and friends, your hobbies, where you live, school, holidays, food and drink.

At KS4 you will build on the topics you have already studied, increase your knowledge of vocabulary and grammar and study new topics such as media and culture.

 

Assessment Overview:

After the course:

 

There are four sections:

Listening (Set & marked by exam board – 20% of the course) You will sit a listening exam paper at either Foundation or Higher level (to be decided in discussion with your teacher).  You will sit this exam in either May or June at the end of the course.

Speaking (Set & marked by school - 30% of the course) You must complete 2 tasks of 5 minutes each from a choice of activities such as describing a photo or giving a short presentation to your teacher.  These assessments will be carried out during the course and marks submitted at the end.

Reading (Set & marked by exam board – 20% of the course) You will sit a listening exam paper at either Foundation or Higher level (to be decided in discussion with your teacher).  You will sit this exam in either May or June at the end of the course.

Writing (Set by school, marked by exam board - 30% of the course) You must complete two written tasks from different topics, for example a magazine article about your favourite music and a letter about a recent holiday you have been on.  These assessments will be carried out during the course and submitted to be marked at the end.

People with language skills and knowledge are highly sought after in the modern world.  They stand out as talented and successful people with broad and exciting horizons.  Taking a modern foreign language means you will be able to:

 

  • communicate with people of different nationalities abroad and at home.
  • study AS and A2 MFL courses
  • study MFL at university
  • be in a stronger position to get a job in companies with links abroad
  • work abroad
  • prove that you can learn a new skill

 


Geography

Course Description:

Before choosing a GCSE in geography, it is essential that you have an interest in the world.  You should be interested in tackling big issues such as environmental responsibility, cultural understanding and tolerance and global and environmental change.

The world in which we live is likely to change dramatically in the next 50 years.  Geography will help provide the answers and help prepare you for a different world.  You should have developed your decision making and geographical enquiry skills in Key Stage 3.  You should be aware of environmental issues and be keen to find out more about the themes outlined below.

 

The course consists of three units:

Unit 1: Managing places in the 21st Century – Costal Environments

Unit 2: Hostile World – Natural Hazards

Unit 3: Investigating the shrinking world – Global Tourism

Unit 4: Local investigation including fieldwork and graphical issue investigation – 2 Controlled Assessment Tasks (CATs).  One is based on local fieldwork; the other is a research assignment.

 

Statistics show that compared to other subjects, geography graduates are among the most employable. This is because they possess the skills many employers look for.

 

Geographers can:

Geographers are:

  • Make a concise report,
  • Good communicators
  • Handle data
  • Spatially aware
  • Ask questions and find the answers
  • Socially and environmentally
  • Make decisions about an issue
  • Aware
  • Analyse material
  • Problem solvers
  • Manage themselves
  • Good team players
  • Solve problems
  • Computer literate
  • Independent thinkers

 

 

 

Assessment Overview:

After the course:

 

Unit 1: Managing places in the 21st Century – 25% of the total GCSE marks, 1hour written paper - 50 marks.

 

Unit 2: Hostile World – 25% of the total GCSE marks, 1hour written paper - 50 marks.

 

Unit 3: Investigating the shrinking world – 25% of the total GCSE marks, 1hour written paper – 50 marks.

 

Unit 4: Local Investigation including Fieldwork and Geographical issue Investigation – 25% of the total GCSE marks, Controlled Assessment – 60 marks.

 

Students can either be entered for a Foundation Tier (G-C) or a Higher Tier (D-A*)

Geography is well known as a subject that links to all other subjects in the curriculum.  A GCSE in geography is a stepping stone to a whole range of future opportunities.  A good grade will help to move you on to any AS, Applied A Level or OCR National course.  You may want to continue your study of geography or take a course such as an OCR National in Travel and Tourism which has a more work-related approach.

Employment opportunities where the skills you have developed will be of particular value are in journalism, media, engineering, ICT, travel and tourism, environmental management, marketing, business management and teaching.  Geographers are everywhere!

           

 


 


Course Description:

 

Health & Social Care

Cambridge National - Level 2

Cambridge Nationals is the new name of OCR Nationals.  They were created in partnership and in consultation with students, teachers, education specialists and employers to ensure that they reflect the real world and prepare students for future study and the workplace. 

Students will learn transferable skills that are practical and relevant, and, furthermore, are needed in future study and the workplace. The OCR Cambridge Nationals are vocationally-related qualifications that take an engaging, practical and inspiring approach to learning and assessment.

Cambridge Nationals in Health and Social Care provide students with essential knowledge, transferable skills and tools to improve their learning in other subjects, with the aim of enhancing their employability when they leave education, thus contributing to both their personal development and future economic well-being.

 

This course will equip students with a sound, specialist knowledge as well as skills for everyday use. Students will study the following areas:

 

Essential values of care

Communication

Understanding body systems and disorders

Pathways for providing care

Understanding life stages

Understanding development

Nutrients needed for good Health

 

In addition to these externally assessed units, students will also complete First Aid and Food Hygiene qualifications as well as the ‘Real Care Baby Programme’ where students get to care for a simulated infant over a weekend.

Assessment Overview:

After the course:

How will I be assessed?

 

Unit 1 is assessed through an external exam (25% of final grade).

 

• Units 2 – 4 are coursework based, students will produce a portfolio of evidence presented to an OCR moderator on moderation days throughout the year.

 

• Units are graded Pass, Merit,  Distinction or Distinction*.

 

 

What can I do after I’ve completed the course?

 

  • Progress to Level 3 qualifications, such as the Cambridge Technical Level 3 Health and Social Care Diploma.

 

  • Start work, for example as, a trainee care assistant or nursery nurse.

 

  • Enter employment and undertake a work-related NVQ, or diploma, for example, NVQ Care or NVQ Early Years Care and Education.
       

 


 


History

Course Description:

To study History, you need to be a person who is willing to ask questions.  You also need to be a person who shows an interest in the world around you and what created it.  History students should be enthusiastic about the subject and be willing to produce their highest quality of work on a weekly basis.   History is a challenging GCSE and requires you to demonstrate high levels of literacy, analysis and evaluation.   

In History you will learn to develop skills that will help you in the subject and help prepare you for employment.  You will be taught to interpret information and produce concise and effective written work.  You will work with staff to produce balanced arguments and effective evaluations.  Most importantly, you will learn how to think for yourself and create arguments based on evidence.  To do this, you will look at key events in the 20th Century that helped to shape the world today. 

Unit 1 will cover the Cold War between 1945 and 1991.  This unit will explore the relationship between the two 20th Century superpowers, the USA and Russia.  The consequences of their relationship can still be seen in the Middle East, Afghanistan, Asia, Europe and South America today.  Unit 2 will see students study three case studies.  The first study will focus on Russia between 1914 and 1924.  The Russian Revolution set the scene for the remainder of the century and contributed to many of the events studied in Unit 1.  The second study will be on Hitler’s Germany.  This is a period of time that helped to define the modern western world, the influence of which can still be seen in many aspects of 21st Century  life.  The third study will explain the development of Civil Rights in America between 1955 and 1968 looking at key characters such as Martin Luther King.  Without the Civil Rights Movement, America would not have elected President Obama in 2008.  Unit 3 will be a comparative study of the impact of World Wars I and II and will be assessed in the classroom.

Assessment Overview:

After the course:

You will be assessed on three units. 

Unit 1 is worth 37.5% of you total grade and you will be required to answer several questions in an examination.  Some of the questions are based on sources.

Unit 2 is also worth 37.5% of your total grade.  You will be required to answer several questions in an examination.  You will be provided with sources to help you with your answers.

Unit 3 will be assessed through a school-based assessment and is worth 25% of the total grade.  It will take the form of a historical enquiry into the impact of the World Wars on British society.

Once you have completed a History GCSE, you can use the subject as a gateway into many occupations.  History is a well-respected and established subject that is valued in careers such as journalism, law and politics.  However, the skills taught are desirable in any setting that requires good written communication.  Of course, you could also stay on and study the subject at A-Level before attending university. 

 


Course Description:

 

BTEC FIRST ICT

The BTEC First in Information and Creative Technology (ICT) inspires and enthuses learners to become technology savvy. At the same time, it also encourages them to be adventurous, enquiring and expressive with their work. To be successful, students need not only demonstrate their practical skills and theoretical ability, but also show a diverse understanding of a range of past, present and future ICT/computing concepts. This will be achieved through using their creative ability and developing research skills.

On this course students will be introduced to a range of processes and techniques, also researching other work in relation to their own.  Students will learn how to investigate and solve problems, gain the practical skills, knowledge and understanding to make different types of products and/or systems:

• Information technology e.g. databases, website design

• Computer science e.g. computer programming

• Creative technology / computing e.g. animation

• Developing and maintaining computer systems e.g. a network

Assessment Overview:

After the course:

Coursework – Coursework accounts for 75% of the overall grade and is project- based over a three school year period.  It calls for commitment and self-motivation as independent learning forms a vital part of the syllabus requirements.  It is important to realise that you will need to research and develop ideas in your own time. Success depends on YOUR commitment to hard work.

External Examination – The final exam accounts for 25% of the marks

and takes the form of an onscreen test which, for example, consists of:

  • Multiple choice
  • Short answer questions
  • Matching exercises

Prior to the exams students will be given revision lessons in preparation to research and record information needed.

On completion of your BTEC ICT course, you could progress to KS5 and higher education (university) which would be useful for a variety of career options particularly in the IT industry such as web design, IT support, programming and much more.

 

 



Law

Course Description:

Law is major part of our everyday lives. Law is responsible for most of the rules that we take for granted in British society. It covers a wide variety of areas from Crimes to regulating Employment. It is only by studying law that we can truly understand ‘why’ we can do some things and not others. Law also helps to make sense of our place in the world, if it wasn’t for law we would not have international trade or a relationship with the European Union.

By studying law you are taking a small but definite step towards a better understanding of how and why we regulate society so much. Hopefully studying GCSE Law will give you an interest in studying law at a higher level.

Law is obviously appealing to any learner who wishes to work in law as a career choice. However it is not just restricted to this field. For example Law is a good background for careers in Business or Management as it shows an understanding of the laws governing business and contracts. Law is a useful subject which will always benefit a learner regardless of their future plans.

As Law is a difficult academic discipline it should encourage any learner who can look at a range of complex materials and weigh up competing arguments. Law helps to develop healthy debating and personal skills which are an essential for studying law at any level.

Assessment Overview:

After the course:

GCSE Law is assessed by 2 one and a half hour exams taken at the end of the course.

For the first half of GCSE Law we look at the actual structure of our legal system ranging from the Criminal and Civil Structure to the people who work within law on a daily basis such as Judges, Solicitors, Barristers, Magistrates and the Police.

For the second part of GCSE Law we begin to look at what our law actually is with an in-depth study of the origins of English law from Statute Law and Common Law right up to the modern intervention of the European Union.

In the Unit 1 exam you are required to answer all the questions and in Unit 2 you must answer on two topics from a possible choice of four. The topics are:

  • Law of Tort
  • Criminal Law including a discussion of non-fatal offences and the law of Murder.
  • Family Law which involves looking at the main topics of Divorce and Marriage.
  • Rights and Responsibilities in our everyday lives.

Law is a subject which will complement whatever subjects you choose to study at GCSE or A-Level or other. Law tends to be popular with learners who want to study English Language/Literature, History, Government and Politics, Sociology, Citizenship, Geography, Business or Religious Studies.

 

Law is valued by Universities and Employers for the skills that GCSE Law students develop as part of their study. A qualification in GCSE Law shows the ability to deal with and read complex materials, deal with different points of view and presented informed arguments. Therefore whilst GCSE Law is obviously a good background (though not essential) to those who wish to study Law at A-Level, it is also complementary to a range of A-Level subjects such as History, Government and Politics and English. If you are unsure about what paths to take please feel free to speak to Mr Wormald, Mr Payne or Mr Berryman.

 

           

 


Course Description:

Leisure & Tourism - GCSE

This course has been designed for candidates who wish to gain a sound knowledge and understanding of the leisure and tourism industry. The UK leisure and tourism industry is huge and rapidly expanding, offering many career opportunities for today’s young people. In 2008 it employed over 3 million people – more than 13% of UK employees. An AQA GCSE Leisure and Tourism qualification is a real first step-up onto the career ladder. Leisure and Tourism is an applied subject at GCSE, which is concerned with people’s changing leisure activities and travel behaviour, the destinations that people visit and changes in patterns of tourism, including the issues of impact and sustainability that they raise. GCSE Leisure and Tourism also covers the study of leisure and tourism organisations – the businesses which make up the leisure and tourism industries. Promotion and sales activities, working in leisure and tourism, and health and safety issues faced by leisure and tourism organisations are all included.

There are 4 units:

Unit 1: Understanding leisure and tourism destinations

Unit 2: The nature of leisure and tourism

Unit 3: The business of leisure and tourism

Unit 4: Investigating tourism destinations and impacts

Assessment Overview:

After the course:

Units 1 and 3 are assessed using a 1 hour written paper, comprising mostly short and some longer questions.

Written exams make up 40% of the final mark

Units 2 and 4 are assessed using a choice of 3 CATs.

CATS make up 60% of the final mark

This course provides a useful platform of learning for AQA’s GCEs in Leisure Studies or Travel and Tourism at AS/A2 level, or AQA’s Diplomas in Sport and Active Leisure or Travel and Tourism


Mathematics

(including Statistics)

Course Description:

Dependent on their Key Stage 3 assessment, students are allocated to one of 5 sets for the start of their GCSE course at the beginning of Year 9.  All students follow the Edexcel Linear course which is examined by two written papers at the end of Year 10, one non-calculator and one calculator. The linear course offers a flexible route to GCSE Mathematics. This specification is designed to be holistic, with a clear structure, and to encourage and motivate students. There is currently no coursework element to this course. Students will either be entered for the Higher Tier of the examination in which they can achieve grades D to A*, or the Foundation Tier where grades G to C are available.

 

In Year 11, some students will also take a GCSE in statistics or FSMQ in Additional Mathematics.  Statistics are being used at an increasing rate in business, politics and the sciences.  In the r

 

eal world we are constantly bombarded, through the media, with graphs, economical data such as retail price index (RPI) and various other statistical statements.  Students will find that understanding statistics is important in many aspects of everyday life.

Having completed this course students should have a far greater understanding of how to interpret and use statistical statements.

Assessment Overview:

After the course:

The Maths GCSE will be entirely assessed by written examination, which means that no coursework will be expected from any student. Questions will also require students to be able to communicate the mathematics they have applied (a requirement called Quality of Written Communication, QWC, which is compulsory for all GCSE examinations).

 

The content of the GCSE Mathematics specifications has been grouped into the topic areas of Number, Algebra, Geometry, Measures, Statistics and Probability.

 

After GCSE, some students will study a Free Standing Maths Qualification in Additional Mathematics. This qualification will extend their knowledge and understanding beyond GCSE. It provides an excellent introduction to a range of topics which are studied in the AS Level Mathematics and Further Mathematics courses. For students who do not wish to continue studying Maths in the Sixth Form, this qualification carries UCAS points for university applications. In addition, students will have the option to study for GCSE statistics.

                      

The GCSE statistics course includes a Controlled Assessment task which will involve you choosing a task to investigate.  You will make a plan, collect data, analyse it and then write up a report on your work.  Some of this will be done during lesson time.  You will also sit a written examination.

If you are continuing in education, you will have acquired important skills required for studying other subjects.  A pass in GCSE Mathematics (along with one in GCSE English) is often vital for entrance to training for any number of professions or careers. It is also very valuable as a supporting subject to many courses at GCSE, AS and A level and at degree level, especially in the sciences: for example, Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Geography, Psychology, Sociology, and medical courses.

 

You might also use your mathematical skills to make decisions about things in your own life such as investment, savings, choosing electrical equipment and buying cars.

 

You might consider studying mathematics at a higher level.  At Rivers Academy we offer AS and A level in mathematics and further mathematics.

In year 12 students study three modules. Core 1 and Core 2 which focus mainly on algebra, coordinate geometry, trigonometry, differentiation, integration, sequences, logarithms and exponentials. Statistics 1 covers statistical diagrams, measures of location and spread, correlation and regression, probability theory and discrete probability distributions.

In year 13 students study a further three modules: Core 3 and Core 4 which build on the work covered in Core 1 and 2, and Mechanics 1 which covers equations of motion, forces and equilibrium and momentum

 

Mathematics and Statistics can also be studied at university where either subject can lead on to a variety of fascinating jobs.  These include working in most areas of manufacturing, insurance and the civil service.  Mathematicians are needed in most walks of life and people with an A Level maths qualification earn on average 10% more than the rest of the population!

         

 

 


 


Course Description:

BTEC First Certificate in Music

The BTEC First Certificate in Music is ideal for students who have enjoyed the practical aspects of their learning at key stage 3. The course is designed to prepare students for working in the music industry, whilst developing their individual musical skills. Students must already play an instrument or be keen to learn, and will be required to learn an instrument as part of the course. The course requires team work and independent working skills for all of the units.

 

There are two core units that must be completed, as well as a range of optional units to suit learners’ needs and interests. Below is an example of what you could be studying next year:

 

Core Units

The Music Industry – this unit provides an overview of the industry, particularly focusing on the shape of the modern industry and covering the emergence of the role of the self-employed producer, performer and promoter.

Managing a Music Product – this unit covers essential areas for progression, looking at the development of a music product. As well as providing a vehicle for demonstrating skills and learning, it also introduces the role of planning and promotion in the management of a music product. Learners can base their work on a live concert, event, CD, or online product, providing opportunities for both music performers and technologists.

Music and Production Analysis – this unit develops learners’ ability to listen critically, which is key for those working in the music industry. Learners will have the opportunity to explore through critical listening, the features of musical styles, genres and production techniques used in music.

Optional Units include performance, composition, recording, theory and sequencing using music technology.

All students will also work towards their Arts Award Silver in year 9, which is a nationally recognised award. Here students develop their individual musical/arts skills, organise events and share their knowledge through teaching and workshops. It is ideal preparation for the BTEC course, which students will begin in the Summer term of year 9. It also provides students with an additional qualification.

Assessment Overview:

After the course:

100% Coursework

  • Two externally assessed units by an examiner/moderator
  • Five internally assessed units by your teachers

Performance, composition, using technology and recording equipment, presentations, concerts, CDs and a written portfolio will all be used as ways to assess your work.

 

Once you have completed a BTEC First in Music, you can use the subject as a gateway into many occupations in the performing arts.  It prepares students for the BTEC level 3 course, A level Music/Music Technology, a degree in Music at university and practical skills that employers are look for in the music industry.

 

PE (GCSE)

Course Description:

  •  
  • The GCSE Physical Education course will appeal to you if you:
  • Have a keen interest in sport and recreation and always look forward to your PE lessons
  • Take part in sport/recreation outside class
  • Want to follow a course that develops knowledge and understanding through practical involvement
  • Want to know more about the benefits of sport and exercise
  • Want to improve your own performance in a range of sports roles
  • Want to study a course that is active and that you will enjoy
  • Are considering a sports-related career or an A Level/higher education course

You will learn about:

  • Health and Fitness
  • Training and Diet for specific athletes
  • International sports and competition
  • School, social and cultural influences
  • Competition in a number of different sports and games and learn to analyse and improve individual performance

 

Assessment Overview:

After the course:

2 hour final exam – multiple choice, short answer and pre-released scenarios which is 40% of final mark.  60% is practical, which includes controlled assessment of 10%.

As well as being the ideal preparation for the A Level Physical Education course, GCSE PE allows for progression to related vocational qualifications, such as OCR Nationals in Sport.  The course develops the transferable skills that employers are looking for and can lead to a wide variety of employment opportunities.  This can include further training in such areas as recreational management, leisure activities, coaching, officiating, the fitness industry, the Armed Forces and the Civil Service.

 



Course Description:


Religious Education

Religious Education is made up of two parts: philosophy and ethics. Year 9 will act as an introduction to these topics.

Ethics: exploring what is right and wrong. In this course we will study topics such as abortion, euthanasia, marriage, divorce, war and peace, world poverty, medical technology, and sexual relationships, and consider the issues surrounding them. We will study Christian attitudes to these issues, and through this students will learn to develop their own opinions through argument and debate.

Philosophy: ‘the love of wisdom’.  We will look at issues such as the existence of God, the problem of evil, the compatibility of religion and science, and life after death. We may not be able to answer the big questions in life, such as ‘what happens when we die?’ but through discussing these issues, you will develop your ability to listen to people’s argument, and argue your own opinion.

 

Assessment Overview:

After the course:

The new RE course is 100 % exam based. At the end of year 11 you will sit 2 exams: one in philosophy, and one in ethics. Both exams are 1 ½ hours long. You will be required to explain religious views, argue your own view, and discuss each of the issues that we study.

 

RE will give you the ability to form an argument and express your beliefs and opinions with confidence. Through debating these key issues and beliefs, students learn to listen to each other, and develop constructive arguments. RE gives you the skills that you will need to make the decisions that every adult faces.

RE will also prepare you for a number of different A levels: Law, Sociology, Psychology, Philosophy and Ethics, History, English and Geography. You will develop your essay writing technique, and learn to carefully consider and evaluate different arguments. In addition, many jobs appreciate the skills GCSE RE will give you, as it develops your ability to empathize, listen to others, and confidently justify your views.

 

Science

Course Description:

 

Increasing numbers of students study AS/A levels in Biology, Chemistry and Physics as well as combinations of the three subjects.

 

A level qualifications in any science subject leads on to a wide range of courses and careers.  You could use the sciences to support other qualifications or move on to further studies or employment, including medicine, forensic science, pharmacy, dentistry, engineering, environmental science, agriculture, animal management, radiography, biotechnology and many more.

 

Science A levels are recognised as an entry qualification for a wide range of Higher Education courses and enhances employment opportunities.

Assessment Overview:

After the course:

Core Science is studied throughout the first two years of GCSE.  This is a combination of Biology, Chemistry and Physics. There are two external exams for Core Science. A controlled assessment makes up 25% of the final grade and consists of a practical investigation planned and carried out by all candidates .One GCSE is awarded for the successful completion of the two exams and coursework.

 

In Year 11 Additional Science follows a similar plan, except that topics are studied in more depth and detail.

A further GCSE is awarded for the successful completion of the two Additional Science exams and coursework.

Several pathways are available to study in Science in Key Stage 4.

 

For students who wish to follow a more academic route the Gateway Core Course includes aspects of Chemistry, Biology and Physics.  If successful, a GCSE is awarded at the end of the first year.  Students then go on to study Additional Science during the second year at the end of which a further GCSE can be awarded.  It is expected that the majority of students will follow this pathway. Triple Science is available to those who plan to continue their Science study to A Level and results in the award of 3 Science GCSEs.

 

For students who enjoy Science in a more career-related context, the BTEC Science course is followed as well as Single Science GCSE.

       

 


 


Course Description:

 


Spanish

Studying Spanish at KS3 will have equipped you with a lot of the core vocabulary and grammar that you will need for GCSE.  You will already know how to talk about yourself, your family and friends, your hobbies, where you live, school, holidays, food and drink.

 

At KS4 you will build on the topics you have already studied, increase your knowledge of vocabulary and grammar and study new topics such as media and culture.

 

Assessment Overview:

After the course:

There are four sections:

Listening (Set & marked by exam board – 20% of the course) You will sit a listening exam paper at either Foundation or Higher level (to be decided in discussion with your teacher).  You will sit this exam in either May or June at the end of the course.

Speaking (Set & marked by school - 30% of the course) You must complete 2 tasks of 5 minutes each from a choice of activities such as describing a photo or giving a short presentation to your teacher.  These assessments will be carried out during the course and marks submitted at the end.

Reading (Set & marked by exam board – 20% of the course) You will sit a listening exam paper at either Foundation or Higher level (to be decided in discussion with your teacher).  You will sit this exam in either May or June at the end of the course.

Writing (Set by school, marked by exam board - 30% of the course) You must complete two written tasks from different topics, for example a magazine article about your favourite music and a letter about a recent holiday you have been on.  These assessments will be carried out during the course and submitted to be marked at the end.

 

People with language skills and knowledge are highly sought after in the modern world.  They stand out as talented and successful people with broad and exciting horizons.  Taking a modern foreign language means you will be able to:

 

  • communicate with people of different nationalities abroad and at home.
  • study AS and A2 MFL courses
  • study MFL at university
  • be in a stronger position to get a job in companies with links abroad
  • work abroad
  • prove that you can learn a new skill
       

 

 

 

 

 


Year 8 Choices Form

 

Name

 

 

Academic Mentor Group

 

 

 

All students will study a core curriculum that includes:

 

Using the information in this booklet please make your choices on the reverse of this sheet.

 

In the third section you should choose 6 subjects, numbered 1-6, with 1 being your first choice.

Of these you will be able to study 2, 3 or 4 of them depending on your Science course and your PE choice.

 

Final decisions will depend on student numbers and staffing, but every effort will be made to offer subjects according to student’s choices.

 


Your form should be returned to Mrs Vaughan via your Academic Mentor by

Friday 8th March 2013

 

 

 

Student signature

 

 

Parent/Carer signature

 

 

 


 

 

Please chose either

Geography

 

 

History

 

           

 

Please chose either

French

 

 

Spanish

 

 

 

Please choose 6 subjects from the list below. You should number your choices to indicate a preference e.g. 1 is your first choice etc

 

SUBJECT

CHOICE

SUBJECT

CHOICE

Art and Design

 

 

Health and Social Care (Cambridge National)

 

Business studies (GCSE)

 

 

History

 

Business studies (Cambridge National)

 

 

 

Food

 

 

ICT (BTEC)

 

Citizenship

 

 

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