Key Stage 4 Subjects

Art and Design

Course title: AQA Art, Craft & Design

Assessment: 60% Coursework 40% Exam

Specification: https://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/art-and-design/gcse/art-and-design-8201-8206/specification-at-a-glance

The AQA course allows students’ to build skills in a really wide variety of media, allowing many to then follow higher level art courses and related career paths. Once again, questioning, thinking, analysing, creating, problem solving and self-expression are key elements of the learning process. The examination period begins on the 1st January of year 11 and students produce assessed work between this date and the 10 hour examination in March / April. Throughout the course and particularly during the examination period, extension lessons are available to all students to come and receive guidance, support or just use the art rooms and art materials.

Astronomy

Exam board & Course title: Edexcel GCSE Astronomy

Assessment type: Exam. 15% of the exam will be testing observational skills developed during the course. 20% of the exam will be testing mathematical skills developed during the course.

Link to specification: GCSE_Astronomy_Spec_2012.pdf

This is a voluntary course that is currently offered to Years 10 and 11 pupils who have shown that they can achieve highly in their Science studies. It is a challenging but rewarding GCSE that covers:

  • The Earth, Moon and Sun
  • Planetary Systems
  • Stars
  • Galaxies and Cosmology

Students must also do observations in a topic of their choice. One of these will be observations made just with the human eye, and the other with the aid of a telescope, binoculars or camera. No equipment is needed by the student.

The course is excellent for students who are interested in Astronomy or for students wanting additional qualifications to impress for college or university entrance.

Business

Course title: AQA GCSE Business

Assessment: 100% exam

Specification: https://filestore.aqa.org.uk/resources/business/specifications/AQA-8132-SP-2017.PDF

This course enables students to develop their knowledge on a broad scope of business topics; including finance, marketing, human resources and operations management. Students will develop an understanding of how to set up a small business enterprise and how to manage this business into a large, successful national/multi-national corporation. This course develops sophisticated analysis and evaluation skills, which are essential if progressing on to further education.

Business (BTEC)

Course title: BTEC Level 1/2 Tech Award in Enterprise

Assessment: 25% exam 75% coursework

Specification: https://qualifications.pearson.com/content/dam/pdf/btec-tec-awards/enterprise/2017/specification-and-sample-assessments/BTEC_L12_TechAwd_Enterprise_Spec_Iss3.pdf

This is a vocational course that allows students to learn about business using a more practical approach to teaching and learning. Students will cover a wide range of topics including: business planning, finance, human resources and marketing. Throughout the course students will complete two projects where they will develop their own business concepts, research a range of different types of businesses and develop a business plan for their own business idea.

Computer Science

Course title: OCR GCSE Computing

Assessment:100% Theory

Specification: https://www.ocr.org.uk/qualifications/gcse/computer-science-j276-from-2016/

The course will develop critical thinking, analysis and problem-solving skills through the study of computer programming, giving students a fun and interesting way to develop these skills, which can be transferred to other subjects and even applied in day-to-day life. In this respect, the course provides excellent preparation for students who want to study or work in areas that rely on these skills, especially where they are applied to technical problems. These areas include engineering, financial and resource management, science and medicine.

Dance

Course title: AQA GCSE Dance

Assessment: 60% Coursework 40% Exam

Specification: http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/drama-and-performing-arts/gcse/dance-4230/spec-at-a-glance

This fantastic course gives students an understanding of all the different elements associated within the field dance including performance, choreography and analysis. The assessment requires students to perform two solos, one group dance and to choreograph a solo and a group dance for other students to perform. There is a written exam at the end of the course but the majority of lessons will be practical, focusing on a contemporary style of dance. Students do not need to dance outside school but a genuine passion and enjoyment of the subject is essential. Students will be required to rehearse one night after school in order to complete all the course requirements.

Drama

Course title: AQA GCSE Drama

Assessment: 60% Coursework 40% Written Exam

Specification: https://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/drama/gcse/drama-8261

GCSE Drama enables students to further their interest in performing while equipping them with the knowledge of how to analyse, direct and understand the social, cultural context of a play they are watching or studying. Students perform a variety of different styles through devised and scripted work, both of which they are examined on throughout the course. The written exam at the end of Year 11 requires analysis of a live professional theatre production they have seen during the course and they must answer a variety of different questions on a set text they have also studied, they will also perform sections of this set text to an age appropriate audience in Year 10. They must also answer questions on their knowledge of theatre as a whole through a series of multiple choice questions. The course enables students to develop as independent learners and critical thinkers while being imaginative and creative with their work.  Outside of the classroom students will be given the chance to go on numerous theatre trips, to take two different LAMDA exams over the 2 years, take part in 2 school shows and visit London for a residential where they will see 2 different West End shows.

English

The English Department follows the AQA Specification and, after much research, we believe this is the exam board which is best suited to the needs our students. All students will sit GCSE English Language and GCSE English Literature.

At the end of each module students will sit a mock exam, which will then be marked and assessed using the GCSE criteria. A mark will be awarded and a grade will be worked out using the most up-to-date information we have in relation to the grade boundaries. However, please be aware that the boundaries do change each year depending on the difficulty of the paper and the performance of students across the country. Prior to each mock exam revision strategies will be explored and appropriate homework set.

Exam board & Course title: AQA GCSE English Language

Assessment type: 100% Examination

Link to specification: https://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/english/gcse/english-language-8700

Paper 1 – A fiction reading section with four questions, followed by a writing section with a focus on descriptive and narrative writing skills. This paper is 1 hour and 45 minutes in length.

Paper 2 – A non-fiction reading section with four questions, followed by a writing section where students are asked to write an essay, leaflet, letter, article or speech.

Exam board & Course title: AQA GCSE English Literature

Assessment type: 100% Examination

Link to specification: https://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/english/gcse/english-literature-8702

Paper 1 – An extract based question on Romeo and Juliet and A Christmas Carol. This paper is 1 hour and 45 minutes in length. This is a closed book exam.

Paper 2 – A choice of two essay question on An Inspector Calls, a Poetry Anthology question (Love and Relationships or Power and Conflict) and an Unseen Poetry question. This paper is 2 hours and 15 minutes in length. This is a closed book exam.

Film Studies

Course title: WJEC Eduqas GCSE Film Studies

Assessment: Exam 70%, Controlled assessment 30%

Specification: http://www.wjec.co.uk/qualifications/film-studies/eduqas-film-studies-gcse-from-2017/

If you have an enquiring mind, are willing to explore a variety of different films in detail and are keen to develop ideas for your own film-making projects, then this course is certainly for you. The course is both creative and critical involving planning and production as well as analysis and evaluation.

The exam topics include US Film, UK Film, Independent Film, Blockbusters and Global Film. Pupils are assessed on their knowledge and understanding of films, film contexts and their application of theoretical perspectives.

Concepts studied include:

  • Media Language/ Forms
  • Representation
  • Genre
  • Narrative
  • Audience and spectatorship
  • Institution and Industry
  • Context

French

Course title: AQA GCSE French

Assessment: Exam based linear course. 25% Listening, 25% Reading, 25% Speaking and 25% Writing

Specification:

The new specification is broadly split into 3 Themes.

  • Theme 1: Identity and culture
  • Theme 2: Local, national, international and global areas of interest
  • Theme 3: Current and future study and employment.

These themes apply to all four question papers.

Students are expected to understand and provide information and opinions about these themes relating to their own experiences and those of other people, including people in countries/communities where French is spoken.

Interactive resources are used to help students develop all skills using each theme as a vehicle for expression and comprehension. The Friesland MFL staff are committed to engaging lessons to help learn not only the language but also the various cultures of the places where French is spoken.

Geography

Course title: WJEC GCSE Geography Spec B

Assessment: The course comprises three units; which are tested through examinations (75%) and two controlled assessments / coursework (25%).

Specification: http://www.wjec.co.uk/qualifications/geography/geography-gcse/geography-b-gcse.html

The course is made up of three units: Challenges of living in a built environment, Physical processes and relationships between people and environments and Uneven development and sustainable environments. 

We use a variety of classroom activities including ICT and fieldtrips to examine issues in the real world. Year 10 students visit the 2012 Olympic Park area in London and the Year 11 geographers have investigated ecosystems at Bramcote Wood and river flooding in Derbyshire.
Geography is the only subject that covers aspects of the sciences and arts. This means that you develop a broad range of knowledge and skills that are useful in any job or future studies. Plus a sense of place and understanding issues in the world around us is useful in our daily lives. Specific jobs that may require geography are town planning, tourism, environmental jobs, architecture, surveying and geographical information systems jobs, to name a few!

German

Course title: AQA GCSE German

Assessment: Exam based linear course. 25% Listening, 25% Reading, 25% Speaking and 25% Writing

Specification:

The new specification is broadly split into 3 Themes

  • Theme 1: Identity and culture
  • Theme 2: Local, national, international and global areas of interest
  • Theme 3: Current and future study and employment.

These themes apply to all four question papers.

Students are expected to understand and provide information and opinions about these themes relating to their own experiences and those of other people, including people in countries/communities where German is spoken.

Interactive resources are used to help students develop all skills using each theme as a vehicle for expression and comprehension. The Friesland MFL staff are committed to engaging lessons to help learn not only the language but also the various cultures of the places where German is spoken.

History

Course title: Edexcel GCSE History

Assessment: 3 written exams (Edexcel exam board)

Specification: https://qualifications.pearson.com/en/qualifications/edexcel-gcses/history-2016.html

Commencing in Year 9, students will spend the first term building on the skills developed at KS3 before starting on the content of the GCSE course. GCSE History students will explore a wide ranging and balanced course encompassing many historical periods and events, meaning there is something for everyone! Students will study four topics, examined over three papers and testing a wide range of historical skills.

  • Paper 1 – Medicine in Britain, c1250–present and The British sector of the Western Front, 1914–18: injuries, treatment and the trenches.
  • Paper 2 – The Tudors, Henry and his ministers 1509-1540.
  • Paper 2 – American West: c1835-c1895
  • Paper 3 – Weimar and Nazi Germany, 1918–39

ICT

Course title: Creative iMedia Level 1/2 Certificate

Assessment: 75% Practical and 25% Theory

Specification: Creative iMedia Level 1/2 Certificate

Cambridge National in Creative iMedia equips students with the wide range of knowledge and skills needed to work in the creative digital media sector. They start at pre-production and develop their skills through practical assignments as they create final multimedia products.

Maths

Exam board & Course title: Edexcel GCSE Maths Linear Course

Assessment type: 100% Exam at the end of Year 11 (3 x 1.5 hour exams, one non-calculator and 2 calculator papers)

Students will be awarded a number grade, ranking from 1-9, instead of the old grading system of A*-G. See the picture for how the grades match up. Students will start the GCSE course in Year 9 and study the syllabus during Year 9 and 10. Year 11 will targeted topics based on regular assessments and revision. Year 11 students also have the opportunity to attend after school revision. Students will sit dependent on their ability either a higher tier paper (grades 4-9) or a foundation tier paper (grades 1-5).

The KS4 course requires the coverage of broader and deeper mathematical content, delivered through a single GCSE. There is now a greater emphasis on problem-solving and mathematical reasoning, with more marks in the GCSE exams being allocated to these higher-order skills. There is more content to teach with harder topics being introduced across both tiers. The course has been designed to equip students for the mathematical demands that they will face in further study of the subject or in employment.

Music

Course title: Edexcel GCSE Music

Assessment: 60% performance/coursework 40% exam

Specification: https://qualifications.pearson.com/en/qualifications/edexcel-
gcses/music-2016.html

The GCSE Music course is practical, with considerable focus on performance and composing. Students are required to perform two pieces of music on their chosen instrument, one of which will be as part of an ensemble. They will also compose two pieces of music. Students will study many aspects of music and a wide variety of musical styles and genres, composers and performers. This course suits students who listen to and appreciate a variety of musical styles (including jazz and pop), students who are able to play an instrument or sing and students who enjoy composing music.

Music Technology

Course title: Edexel BTEC First Level 2 Music

Assessment: 25% exam, 75% coursework

Specification: http://www.edexcel.com/quals/firsts2012/music/Pages/default.aspx

This course is for students who have an interest in the music or music technology industry. Working both individually and as a member of a group (usually about 10 students), students take part in a variety of practical work, making music with computers, recording, composing and performing. Students work on Apple Mac computers to ensure the smooth transition to A level and degree level study. This course suits students who listen to and appreciate a variety of musical styles (including jazz and pop), students who have an interest in music technology and students who enjoy composing music.

Physical Education

Course title: AQA-GCSE PE

Assessment: 60% Practical and 40% Theory

Specification: https://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/physical-education/gcse/physical-education-8582

Students are assessed practically over a two year period in a large number of different sports within school. They can also provide video evidence of themselves performing in sports they participate in outside of school in a competitive situation. At the end of the two year practical assessment, internal moderation takes place and a visiting external assessor moderates the practical marks. There are many different theoretical elements of the course, including “Applied anatomy and physiology, sports psychology and socio-cultural influences". Students sit two exams at the end of year 11, both 1 hour and 15 minutes in duration. If successful in both theory and practical areas, they are awarded a single GCSE qualification.

Physical Education (BTEC)

Course title: Edexcel-BTEC First in Sport, Level 2

Assessment: 25% external exam, 75% Assignment based Coursework

Specification: https://qualifications.pearson.com/en/qualifications/btec-firsts/sport-2012-nqf.html#tab-2

The BTEC course is taught over two years and is broken down into 4 units (2 per year). The first being a mandatory external exam, which is based on “Fitness for Sport and exercise” and students perform the test online. The three other units are classroom based assignments with a vocational emphasis. “Practical Sports Performance” , “Training for Personal Fitness” and “Leading Sports Activities”. Students are taught the content of the unit and then given time to produce a piece of work for internal assessment. A small sample is then sent to the exam board for moderation. The course is a mixture of both theory and practical lessons.

Religious Studies

Course title: Eduqas GCSE Religious Studies

Assessment: Assessment: 100% written examination

Specification: http://www.eduqas.co.uk/qualifications/religious-studies/gcse/

Students are able to take RS as an option subject or as part of a Humanities choice providing they also choose a language for GCSE. The GCSE exam board is Eduqas Route A.

GCSE Religious Studies will help you to develop your own thoughts and ideas about a range of ethical, philosophical and religious topics and how these form the basis of our culture. This course will not make you religious but it will enable you to problem solve, think critically and assess a range of beliefs and views. Studying the course will involve personal independent projects, whole class debates, presentations and exam practice. There are also opportunities to go on visits to deepen knowledge and understanding from the classroom.

Component one is looking at philosophical and ethical studies in the modern world. We look at relationships, life and death, good and evil and human rights. We will use case studies to delve into the complexities of these topics such as euthanasia, abortion, the problem of evil and racism. Component two is looking at Christian beliefs and practices – how belief affects the way people live their lives. We look at key festivals like Christmas and Easter, pilgrimages and the work of charities and how Christian belief affects these. Component three looks at the belief and practices of Hinduism. You will study how their beliefs affect their community and will examine the culture associated with the faith. We will go to a Hindu Temple and experience their faith first hand and you’ll be able to ask an expert and satisfy all your curiosities.

Assessment The course is assessed with three written exams. Component one accounts for 50% of your final grade and is a two hour exam. Component two accounts for 25% of your final grade and is an hour long exam. Component three accounts for the final 25% of your final grade and is another one hour exam.

Science

GCSE Science

Exam board & Course title: AQA GCSE Science

Assessment type: 100% Exam; Students must carry out mandatory practical activities throughout the course which are assessed via the examinations. There are 6 exams which are sat at the end of Y11.

Link to specification: http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/science/gcse/combined-science-trilogy-8464

The content of the course is split equally between the three sciences (Biology, Chemistry and Physics).

The topics covered in Biology are cell biology, organization, infection and response, bioenergetics, homeostasis and response, inheritance, variation and evolution, ecology.

The topics covered in Chemistry are atomic structure and the periodic table, bonding, structure, the properties of matter, quantitative chemistry, chemical changes, energy changes, the rate and extent of chemical change, organic chemistry, chemical analysis, chemistry of the atmosphere.

The topics covered in Physics are Energy, electricity, particle model of matter, atomic structure, forces, waves, magnetism and electromagnetism

Progression from GCSE Science post-16

For those who achieve 6’s or above in GCSE Science then there is the option of A-Level Biology, Chemistry and Physics.

For those with a grade 4 in the above there is the option of Level 3 BTEC Applied Science course, which is the equivalent of an A-Level.

Science (Triple Award)

Triple Award Science

Triple award science is offered only to our most able students. Students work at a fast pace to achieve three full GCSE qualifications. Students will receive an extra lesson of science per week making the total of 5 lessons in Y10 and 6 in Y11. There will be a total of 9 exams which are all sat at the end of Y11.

Physics

Exam board & Course title: AQA GCSE Physics

Assessment type: 100% Exam; Students must carry out mandatory practical activities throughout the course which are assessed via the examinations. There are 3 exams which are sat at the end of Y11.

Link to specification: http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/science/gcse/physics-8463

This course covers all the material required for an excellent grounding in modern Physics. It covers the same topic range as the GCSE Science qualification but in greater depth.

Biology

Exam board & Course title: AQA GCSE Biology

Assessment type: 100% Exam; Students must carry out mandatory practical activities throughout the course which are assessed via the examinations. There are 3 exams which are sat at the end of Y11.

Link to specification: http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/science/gcse/biology-8461

This course covers all the material required for an excellent grounding in modern Biology. It covers the same topic range as the GCSE Science qualification but in greater depth. The Biology course also enables students to explore the ethical issues associated with some of the current medical applications of Biology such as the use of genetic modification and stem cells.

Chemistry

Exam board & Course title: AQA GCSE Chemistry

Assessment type: 100% Exam; Students must carry out mandatory practical activities throughout the course which are assessed via the examinations. There are 3 exams which are sat at the end of Y11.

Link to specification: http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/science/gcse/chemistry-8462

This course covers all the material required for an excellent grounding in modern Chemistry. It covers the same topic range as the GCSE Science qualification but in greater depth.

Progression from GCSE Science post-16

For those who achieve 6’s or above in any of the Separate Sciences then there is the option of A-Level Biology, Chemistry and Physics.

For those with a grade 4 in the above there is the option of Level 3 BTEC Applied Science course, which is the equivalent of an A-Level.

Spanish

Course title: AQA GCSE Spanish

Assessment: Exam based linear course. 25% Listening, 25% Reading, 25% Speaking and 25% Writing

Specification:

The new specification is broadly split into 3 Themes.

  • Theme 1: Identity and culture
  • Theme 2: Local, national, international and global areas of interest
  • Theme 3: Current and future study and employment.

These themes apply to all four question papers.

Students are expected to understand and provide information and opinions about these themes relating to their own experiences and those of other people, including people in countries/communities where French is spoken.

Interactive resources are used to help students develop all skills using each theme as a vehicle for expression and comprehension. The Friesland MFL staff are committed to engaging lessons to help learn not only the language but also the various cultures of the places where Spanish is spoken.

The Spanish team currently run a 5 night residential trip to Valencia in the final half term of the year. This gives KS4 students the chance to communicate in an authentic setting. Students participate in city-based activities in order to practise their speaking and listening skills as well as being immersed into and experiencing the ancient and modern culture of this Mediterranean Capital.

Technology

Course title: AQA: GCSE Product Design

Assessment: Controlled assessment coursework 60%, written 2hour exam 40%

Specification: http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/design-and-technology/gcse/design-and-technology-product-design-4555

The Product Design course is brimming with variety allowing students to develop their originality and creativity. Students have the opportunity to choose the area, within product design, that they would like to specialise and be successful in. These include Graphics, Food, Electronics, Resistant Materials or Textiles.

The course allows students to design their own product by following the design process. This includes investigating an existing problem, through to the designing and making of a product, suitable for sale on the local High Street.

Product Design covers a variety of skills including, designing, making, and theory of product design, which allows all students to achieve. Students learn how to analyse they own work and existing products, be creative and develop practical/workshop skills.

Travel and Tourism (BTEC)

Course title: BTEC First Award in Travel and Tourism

Assessment: Coursework 25%, exam 75%

Specification: https://qualifications.pearson.com/content/dam/pdf/BTEC-Firsts/Travel-and-Tourism/2013/Specification-and-sample-assessments/BTECFIRST_AWD_TT_SPEC_ISS3.pdf

The BTEC First Award in Travel and Tourism is a vocational qualification that allows students to research all aspects of the tourism industry. Students will study different types of tourism and tourist destinations both in the UK and worldwide and assess their appeal and impact on the global economy. This is a practical qualification which requires students to carry out extensive research and analysis on a range of worldwide issues that may affect tourism. Although its focus is on Travel and Tourism, this course has close links with many other subject areas and can reinforce learning in areas such as Business, Media, Geography and English.