ENGLISH AND ENGLISH LITERATURE (GCSE)
Examination Board: AQA
Being good at English is essential in modern life. The ability to communicate - to read accurately and to write and speak clearly - is central to nearly all activities. This courses gives you every opportunity to build up your ability to express yourself effectively and confidently. English Literature involves analysing different types of writing and understanding how writers communicate through language. Novels, poetry and drama are all studied during the course. All students will study English and everyone will be entered for GCSE. Most students will also enter the English Literature examination.
Assessment: English is 40% coursework and 60% final examination. English literature is 30% coursework and 70% examination.
Progression: You can study English Language and Literature at A Level and well developed English skills are vital in all areas of Sixth Form study. All employers look for good standards of English.
Examination Board: AQA
Mathematics at this level is an important qualification both for employment and further academic studies. You will continue to study the subject across the four different areas of Number, Algebra, Shape and Data Handling; whilst being expected to apply these skills in more open ended problems. Being numerate in a modern world allows you to organise your finances and plan practical projects with accuracy. Skills in algebra enhance your ability to solve a wide variety of problems. Data handling skills can be applied to research in several curriculum areas.
Assessment: The course at both foundation and higher levels will be assessed by two final exams - one non calculator and one calculator paper.
Progression: If taken at the higher level Mathematics GCSE is a good introduction to Maths A level and will also support many other A level courses. A minimum of grade C at GCSE is a pre-requisite of all University courses and many other further education courses.
TWENTY FIRST CENTURY SCIENCE (GCSE)
Examination Board: OCR
There are many choices in modern day life. Science can help make clear the best path into the future for ourselves, others and ultimately the planet too. TV, radio, newspapers and the internet are full of scientific facts and opinions, so understanding important scientific explanations will help you to make sense of this complex world around you. In this course you will develop the skills to weigh up both sides of an argument and then decide what to do about the issues that affect you. All students are entered for the GCSE, at either Higher or Foundation tier according to their overall progress. Triple Science will be available to selected students.
Assessment: Pupils do modules tests in January and June plus controlled assessment. They get one grade for year 10 and another for year 11.
Progression: You can continue your interest in Science at A level by taking Biology, Chemistry or Physics. A huge variety of careers, not just directly in Science, are available to all with skills developed in Science.
AWARD IN DIGITAL APPLICATIONS USING ICT (GCSE)
Examination Board: Edexcel
In this course, you will have the opportunity to develop a wide range of the IT skills needed in the workplace and in further education, using standard software packages. You will apply project management skills and learn how to reflect critically on your own and others use of digital applications. Students will be entered for this GCSE at the end of year 10. You must be self-motivated and able to work independently to successfully complete the assessed task.
Assessment: You will design and develop on e-portfolio of files containing your work in response to a task set by the exam board. This should take approximately 30 hours of lessons time; the project must be completed in school.
Progression: You can continue your interest by taking ICT at A'Level. ICT skills are in very short supply in the UK. The IT industry is predicted to grow at five times the average overall UK employment rate.
CITIZENSHIP (GCSE Short Course)
Examination Board: Edexcel
The Citizenship course teaches you the knowledge and skills to cope with the modern world. The aim is to enable you to be an active citizen, able to take part in the world of work and the wider world where political and other decisions need to be taken. We will explore different beliefs and cultures and explore your rights and your responsibilities. The main themes have been chosen to complement the Religious Studies Course: Human Rigths. Power Politics and the Media and the Global Village.
Assessment: Citizenship is 30% controlled assessment and 70% final examination.
Progression: You will need the skills base that will enable you to be an effective member of this modern democracy. The skills of working with others, solving problems and listening to other viewpoints are essential in the world of work.
RELIGIOUS STUDIES (GCSE Short Course)
Examination Board: Edexcel
The aim of the religious studies course is to learn about a variety of moral issues relevant to today's world. It engages with your ideas and your perspective looking at Medical Issues, Crime and Punishment, Peace and Conflict and Social Responsibility.
Assessment: This is 100% examination.
Progression: Religious Studies develops your analysis, problem solving, evaluation and communication skills. All these skills are transferable to all subjects at Key Stage 4 and 5 and in higher education or the work place.
The ability to take part in purposeful physical exercise is an important life skill. Through your National Curriculum PE lessons, you will be helped to make informed choices about lifelong involvement in physical activity. You will be given the opportunity to develop skills in a range of activities, to develop a deeper understanding of tactics or choreography and to improve as a coach/official. You will develop an understanding of the importance of a healthy, active lifestyle, and be shown how to plan and develop your own activity programmes. You will be expected to take increased responsibility for your own involvement in physical activity as you move through each key stage.
Assessment: Assessment takes place within the normal teaching programme, taking account of your effort to improve both practical skills and your knowledge and understanding of background theory.
Progression: You can study PE in more depth in KS4 by opting to take the GCSE course. Further study is also available at A-Level or through the BTEC Sport course. PE provides the foundation to help you include physical activity as part of a healthy lifestyle.
CAREERS WORK RELATED LEARNING AND ENTERPRISE EDUCATION
During Year 10 and 11 you will be given a number of opportunities to identify and develop the skills you will need, to continue with further education and enter the world of work.
Careers Education will take place in College Time and in your Citizenship lessons. The careers education programme is designed to provide the tools with which you can investigate suitable careers paths for yourself. You will be encouraged to assess your own skills, interests and weaknesses. This will help you identify careers that may best suit you.
Work Experience: Employers see work experience as very important when considering future employees. You can arrange your own placement or ask the Central Berkshire Education Business Partnership to arrange one for you. All pupils will be given the opportunity to taste what it is like in the world of work for one week in the summer term. You will learn how to use this experience to improve your chances in the future.
Enterprise: An enterprise person is someone who uses their initiative, takes risks, makes the most of limited resources and is determined to succeed. You will be taking part in a number of off timetable days run by the Education Business Partnership or the school, designed to help you develop your enterprise capabilities.
Assessment: You will be required to evaluate your own performance on your work experience placement and on off timetable days and identify areas that you could improve in the future. Your performance will also be recorded by teachers and employers taking part in the activities.
Progression: Whichever career route you choose, the development of key skills such as teamwork and communication is essential. You will be asked at interviews for jobs, college or university places to give examples of occasions that you have developed these skills.