Year 8 Options

Option Confirmation letters have been given to all Year 8 students today (Friday 27 May 2016).  Please ask to see them and if you have any questions contact the Academy after half term.

 

Introduction

 

To all Year 8 students

 

This booklet has been designed to help you and your parents/carers make informed choices about the subjects you will study in Years 9, 10 and 11. The choices you make will help to shape your future not only for the next three years but also in later life.

 

We believe that it is important that you study qualifications that are of the very highest quality and place you in the best position to move into higher education or into employment. At Spires Academy you will take your choices in Year 8 and follow a three year Key Stage 4. This will mean that you will be able to have some choice in the subjects you study from Year 9 onwards.

 

Read this booklet carefully with your parents/carers as it will help to give you a better understanding of the courses that are on offer to you. Please use the information provided to help you ask the right questions of your teachers about which courses represent the best personal choices for you. The best advice of all is to choose the subjects you think that you are best at and that you think you will enjoy the most.

 

In Key Stage 3 your subjects were decided for you.

In Key Stage 4 you take responsibility for your education and your future.

 

The curriculum in English schools has undergone a radical change in recent years.  The government has made a very clear statement on the subjects it feels are important for young people in England to study.  This means your choices are now more limited than they were a few years ago.

 

The changes in secondary schools will mean you are expected to study the English Baccalaureate known as the Ebacc until you are 16. The qualifications available are also changing.  It is a very confusing time but we will help to guide you and ensure you have made the right decisions for you.

 

The Ebacc is:

English Language ~ English Literature ~ Mathematics ~ Combined Science (2 GCSEs) ~ A language       with either History or Geography or Computer Science

 

The new Qualifications

You will sit your final Examinations during the summer of 2019.

There will be two types of qualifications available to students:

  1. GCSE Awards, these will look completely different over the next few years.
  2. Technical Awards which are vocationally based and will have a combination of Internal (school based) and External (exam type) assessment.

You will have the opportunity to take both types of qualification at Spires Academy depending on your interest and future aspirations.

 

Key features of the new GCSEs in England will include:

  • A new grading scale that uses the numbers 9-1 to identify levels of performance, with 9 being the top level. Students will get a U where performance is below the minimum required to pass the GCSE.

 

New Grades

Old Grades

9

8

7

A*

A

6

5

4

B

C

3

2

1

D

E

F

G

 


 

The following table explains how the DFE will be judging the progress you have made and what likely employees, colleges and universities will be looking for, we like to call it the ‘bucket’ system.

 

Bucket 1

Bucket 2

Ebacc Subjects

Bucket 3

Other Subjects

2 subjects

 

GCSE Mathematics

 

And

 

GCSE English Language

Or

GCSE English Literature

(both must be taken, highest grade counts)

Any 3 of the following

 

GCSE Combined Science (2)

GCSE French (or other language)

GCSE History

GCSE Geography

GCSE Computer Science

3 additional subjects

 

Any Ebacc subject not counted in bucket 2

GCSE English Language or English Literature if not counted in bucket 1

 

Any other accredited GCSE subject

 

Any high quality accredited Vocational subject

(so BTEC or OCR National)

 

(Subjects cannot be too similar or they will cancel each other out e.g. BTEC Performing Arts and GCSE Drama)

 

How does this affect you at Spires Academy?

 

Everyone has to do the Core Curriculum

The Core consists of subjects that are statutory.  Statutory means it is the law.

 

GCSE English & GCSE English Literature

GCSE Mathematics

GCSE Combined Science

GCSE History or GCSE Geography

Core PE (non-exam subject)

 Life Skills (PSHE)

Sex & Relationship Guidance, Citizenship, and Careers & Work Related Education.

plus

GCSE French or GCSE Spanish

This will be compulsory for all students on the Mastered and Secure Pathway.  The reason being if you do not take it then you will be disadvantaged in the choices you may wish to make at post 16 and university level.  This is because all students in all schools are being expected to study a language to age 16. 

 

 

You now have to think hard about what will suit you best.

What are the subjects you want to do?

What will they lead to in the 6th Form?

What is available after the 6th Form?

What career do you want?

What are your skills and strengths?

What qualifications do you need to get to be the best you can?

 

If you haven’t gained a grade 5 in English or Maths at the end of Year 11 the government is saying you will be expected to re-take it in the 6th Form.

In the 6th Form you will be able to continue your studies on to Level 3 qualifications in preparation for university or consolidate your skills in Level 2 qualifications.

 

You need to start thinking about your future.

This booklet will help you.

So, what do you have to choose from?

You will be asked to choose your subjects from the list of qualifications and details we have included in this booklet.

You will each have an ‘interview’ with a member of senior staff in order to help you and ensure you are on the correct pathway, but you should also speak to your parents and teachers too.

 

What does this mean for you?

  • The new style qualifications will be extremely challenging and ‘examination’ practice will be essential.
  • You won’t be graded from A* to G you will now be graded from 9 to 1.
  • The range of qualifications available to you will be more restricted.

 

Some of the courses are still being written and approved by the Examination Boards and are not yet available.  So in Year 9 you will choose the area you are interested in e.g. History and the work studied will build your skills and understanding, however the exact specification or examining board will not be decided upon until all the information is available, which will be during the next year and before you start Year 10.  So please be aware some of the subject content descriptions are liable to change.

 

When you choose a course you should consider the following questions:

 

Will I enjoy it?

Do I have the ability to succeed at it?

Do I need it for my future?

 

Will I get the subjects I choose?

We will try to give you your first choice from the options but this may not always be possible for four reasons:

  1. There may be more students wanting to take the subject than we can cater for and we will have to select those we think will benefit most from the course.
  2. A course may have too few students to make it worthwhile running. Any course that has less than 15 students opting for it is likely to be withdrawn!
  3. We may not be able to accommodate all your first choices because of the  constraints of the timetable
  4. We may feel that you have not chosen a suitable course or combination of subjects and we will help you make a more appropriate choice.

 

If this is the case with any of your choices we will let you know as soon as we can and help you find an alternative.

 

 

 

Homework and Study Routines

Homework plays a major part in all Key Stage 4 qualifications and it is vital you get an effective study routine as soon as the course starts.  You will find that the amount of homework you receive will also increase substantially, so it is important that you are well organised in order to cope with this.  You should expect to complete a maximum of 2 hours homework per night.

 

Who can help me to make my choices?

We will do everything we can to give you sound advice when making your choices.  Your subject teachers will be able to advise you on the suitability of certain courses.  You should always ask to speak to a subject teacher for more information if you need it. Don’t forget you can also talk to your tutor.

 

Remember any of the Senior Leadership Team will always be happy to listen and offer advice.

 

It is important you discuss your choices at home.


 

Courses

GCSE Mathematics

ü

GCSE Statistics

ü

GCSE English Language

ü

GCSE English Literature

ü

GCSE Combined Science

ü

GCSE Ethics

ü

Core PE

ü

You choose a humanities subject:

GCSE History

 

GCSE Geography

 

You will study 3 further subjects

Please choose 5 subjects and number them according to your preference

 

Art & Design

 

Art: Fine Art

 

Art: Textiles

 

Business

 

Food Technology: Nutrition

 

Child Development

 

 

Computer Science

 

Dance

 

Drama

 

French

 

Health & Social Care

 

ICT

 

Travel & Tourism

 

Media Studies

 

Music

 

Sport

 

 

     
 

What mistakes should I avoid in choosing my courses?

 

  • Do not choose a subject just because you like the teacher you have this year – you will probably have a different teacher next year.
  • Do not choose a subject because your friends are choosing it – what could be right for them could be totally wrong for you.
  • Think carefully about which subjects you like and are good at.
  • Find out which subjects will help you with any career choice you have in mind.

 

We will be offering an alternative, more vocational curriculum that is based around work experience and developing vocational skills to the few students who it may be more appropriate for.  However, all students will be required in the first instance to make their option choices based on the option blocks given.


 

What do I do now?

Take this booklet home and spend some time reading through all the different course summaries.

You will each have an interview with a senior member of staff where you will choose your subjects.

When all the forms have been processed, and any students not given their choices have been seen, we will confirm your choice.

 

CORE CURRICULUM

These are the subjects that everyone studies

 

GCSE English Language

GCSE English Literature

GCSE Maths

GCSE Combined Science

 

GCSE English Language

 

A GCSE in English is a core requirement and essential in the study of many post-16 choices.  All students now have to achieve a level 5 in this subject before they leave school or college.  English concentrates on developing reading skills and analytical ability and on developing a high standard of written communication and technical accuracy. It focuses on writing effectively for specific audiences and purposes. The speaking and listening element of the course will help students become a fluent and effective communicator.

 

The course will assess your ability to write in the correct format, clearly and effectively and will be marked on your ability to use punctuation, your spelling and your grammar.  It will also assess students on their ability to analyse quotations and texts.

 

The examination board is WJEC and students will have two examination papers and a separate test which examines spoken language skills.  The spoken language award is examined separately and does not count towards the overall GCSE grade. The two examinations are equally weighted and test reading and writing in both papers.  They test the skills of description, narration and exposition in the first paper and argument, persuasion and instruction in the second.

 

GCSE English Literature

 

English Literature is now considered as important in many respects as English Language and is a GCSE that all Year 11 students at Spires Academy will study towards.  This course is studied alongside the English Language GCSE.  It is vital for students who are interested in reading and developing an appreciation of books and literature.  Students will concentrate on developing their reading skills and analytical ability and on developing an appreciation of novels, plays and poetry.

 

The examination board is Edexcel and students will take two examinations; the first is worth 40% of the total mark and the second is worth 60%.  There is no coursework.  The first examination looks at fiction and imaginative writing in 19th century fiction and the second looks at transactional writing in a range of non- fiction 20th and 21st century texts.

 

It is important to note that spelling, punctuation and grammar and also tested in the English literature examination.

 

GCSE Mathematics

Exam Board: Edexcel 

What is it all about?

 

Mathematics contributes to the school curriculum by developing your abilities to calculate, to reason logically, algebraically and geometrically; to help you solve problems and to handle data.  Mathematics is important in many other areas of study, particularly science and technology. It is also important in everyday living, in many forms of employment, and in public decision-making.  Topics covered will include:

  • Number
  • Algebra
  • Geometry and Measures
  • Statistics

 

How will I be assessed in this subject?

 

The GCSE Mathematics course is assessed through three one and a half hour exams (two calculator exams and a non-calculator) at the end of the course.  The Foundation course allows you to achieve Grades 1-5, and the Higher course achieve Grades 4-9.

 

When I have my qualification, what could I do?

 

Gaining a GCSE in Mathematics will be a vital addition to your CV, with employers and further education practitioners requesting a Grade 5 as a minimum.

There is the opportunity to progress on to AS and A-Level Mathematics if you achieve a Grade 7+.

There are a multitude of careers available to you in mathematics such as teaching, accountancy, banking and finance, statistical analysis, engineering and aviation.

 

Things to consider

 

There are no special/minimum requirements for this course as it is a compulsory core subject, however, we do recommend that you think about career options early on as you may need to inform your teacher of a minimum grade needed.

We would request that you provide your own equipment for the course; a scientific calculator, a ruler, a compass and a protractor are a must.

 

Who should I talk to?

 

Mr M Moloney and your Maths teacher

 

 

Combined Science

Exam Board: Edexcel

What is it all about?

 

GCSE combined science provides the foundation for understanding the material world. It is changing our lives and is vital to the world’s future prosperity. Students should develop an understanding of the nature, processes and methods of science, through different types of scientific enquiries that help them to answer scientific questions about the world around them.

 

The course combines biology, chemistry and physics units. The practical element consists of 17 investigations which must be completed by all students. Students will receive 2 GCSE grades at the end of the course.

 

How will I be assessed in this subject?

 

It consists of 6 externally examined papers. These are available at foundation tier and higher tier.

Paper 1: Biology (1 hour and 10 minutes)

Paper 2: Biology (1 hour and 10 minutes)

Paper 3: Chemistry (1 hour and 10 minutes)

Paper 4: Chemistry (1 hour and 10 minutes)

Paper 5: Physics (1 hour and 10 minutes)

Paper 6: Physics (1 hour and 10 minutes)

 

When I have my qualification, what could I do?

 

Students can progress from this qualification to:

GCEs, for example, in Biology, Chemistry and /or Physics

Level 3 vocational qualifications in science, e.g. BTEC Level 3 in Applied Science

Employment, for example in a science-based industry where an apprenticeship may be available.

 

Things to consider.

 

To start to prepare for content led exams early by ensuring revision booklets are frequently used, formulae are learnt and past papers are completed.

 

Who should I talk to?

 

Mr R Spence (AVP Science)

 

 

HUMANITIES OPTION

You must choose one subject

 

GCSE History

or

GCSE Geography


 

History

Exam Board: Edexcel

What is it all about?

 

In GCSE History you will study a range of topics, covering Medicine through time, an in depth study of early Britain, the American West and Weimar and Nazi Germany.

 

Through this you will examine British and non-British history over a vast time scale, as well as building on knowledge from previous studies.

 

How will I be assessed in this subject?

 

You will be assessed at the end of year 11 with 3 exams. 

  • The Medicine Through Time exam will be 1 hour and 15 minutes
  • The depth studies will be 1 hour and 45 minutes
  • The Weimar and Nazi Germany exam will be 1 hour and 20 minutes.

 

When I have my qualification, what could I do?

 

This subject will develop your analysis skills, as well as your critical thinking skills. The written elements of the exam will support your extended writing and evaluation techniques. 

 

After you have received this qualification you would be able to go on to complete the History A Level, further developing your skills in historical enquiry.

 

Things to consider.

 

If you enjoy studying a wide range of time periods and have an enquiring mind then History is for you.

 

History requires in depth analysis and extended, detailed writing, which is important to consider.

 

Who should I talk to?

 

Miss Pearson, Miss Blake or Miss Lidyard.

 

 

Geography

Exam Board: WJEC Geography

What is it all about?

 

Component 1: Changing Physical and Human Landscapes

Component 2: Environmental and Development Issues

Component 3: Applied Fieldwork Enquiry

 

How will I be assessed in this subject?

 

  1. Written examination: 1 hour 30 minutes 35% of qualification
  2. Written examination: 1 hour 30 minutes 35% of qualification
  3. Written examination: 1 hour 30 minutes 30% of qualification

 

When I have my qualification, what could I do?

 

Geography will help you develop your communication and teamwork skills, as you’ll often work on group projects. You’ll also develop your research and analysis skills including in IT, lab and fieldwork, which means you will be able to collect and look for patterns in data.

 

Employers love the mix of technical and social skills people get from studying geography, which they see as very transferable, i.e. useful for a whole range of jobs.

 

Geography is great for any kind of career that involves the environment, planning, or collecting and interpreting data. Popular careers for people with geography qualifications include: town or transport planning, surveying, conservation, sustainability, waste and water management, environmental planning, tourism, and weather forecasting.

 

The army, police, government, research organisations, law and business world also love the practical research skills that geographers develop.

 

Things to consider:

 

Geography is theory based so being able to remember key facts and case studies is important. Also, good literacy is important.

 

The topics covered in year 7 and 8 are very similar to what we learn at GCSE (just in more detail).  Therefore, if you find them interesting this may be the subject for you.

 

Who should I talk to?

 

Miss Ryan or Mr Wigington

 

 

 

LANGUAGES OPTION

You must choose one subject

 

GCSE French

or

GCSE Spanish


 

GCSE French

Exam Board: AQA

What is it all about?

 

This course will allow you to expand your knowledge of the French language, whilst discovering more of the culture. The topics we will cover include:

  • Me, my family and friends
  • Technology in everyday life
  • Free time activities
  • Social and global issues
  • Your town, home
  • Travel and tourism
  • School life
  • Jobs and ambitions

 

How will I be assessed in this subject?

 

There are four skills which will be tested at final examinations at the end of Year 11 at Foundation tier (1 to 5) or Higher tier (4 to 9):

Listening exam (25%)

Reading exam (25%)

Speaking exam, which will include a role-play / discussion of a picture and general conversation (25%)

Writing exam, which will include some translation and a written task (25%)

 

There will be lots of opportunity to practise these skills in the three-year course. 

 

When I have my qualification, what could I do?

 

A language qualification will help students in almost any career and will open up opportunities at home and abroad. French language skills will prove useful for anything and everything, from fashion to banking, music and technology.

 

Business leaders in the UK say there is an alarming shortage of speakers of major languages. French is rated as the most useful foreign language for British industry as it is spoken in not only France but other French-speaking parts of the world such as Canada, Switzerland, Belgium and North and sub-Saharan Africa.

Things to consider:

 

  • You will learn how to communicate in French effectively and spontaneously
  • You will deduce meanings of words and understand longer written passages
  • You will develop my knowledge of the language and culture
  • You will be able to translate texts and communicate verbally and in writing about a variety of topics

Who should I talk to?

 

Mrs Clarke or Miss Lioud

 

 

GCSE Spanish

Exam Board: AQA

What is it all about?

 

This course will allow you to develop your knowledge of the Spanish language, whilst discovering more of the culture. The topics we will cover include:

  • Me, my family and friends
  • Technology in everyday life
  • Free time activities
  • Social and global issues
  • Your town, home
  • Travel and tourism
  • School life
  • Jobs and ambitions

 

How will I be assessed in this subject?

 

There are four skills which will be tested at final examinations at the end of Year 11 at Foundation tier (1 to 5) or Higher tier (4 to 9):

Listening exam (25%)

Reading exam (25%)

Speaking exam, which will include a role-play / discussion of a picture and general conversation (25%)

Writing exam, which will include some translation and a written task (25%)

 

There will be lots of opportunity to practise these skills in the three-year course. 

 

When I have my qualification, what could I do?

 

A language qualification will help students in almost any career and will open up opportunities at home and abroad.

 

Spanish is a popular language that will be beneficial for holidaying and in business.  You can continue to study Spanish at A Level and at Degree level.

 

Things to consider:

 

  • You will learn how to communicate in Spanish effectively and spontaneously
  • You will deduce meanings of words and understand longer written passages
  • You will develop my knowledge of the language and culture
  • You will be able to translate texts and communicate verbally and in writing about a variety of topics

Who should I talk to?

 

Mrs Clarke or Miss Lioud

 

 

 

OPTION BLOCKS

 

GCSE Art

Exam Board: AQA

What is it all about?

 

AQA GCSE Art, Craft and Design:

  • Fine art
  • Graphic communication
  • Textile design
  • Three-dimensional design
  • Photography

 

How will I be assessed in this subject?

 

Entirely Coursework based

 

60% Internal focus points

40% Externally set controlled focus points

 

When I have my qualification, what could I do?

 

This will prepare students to progress onto further education within a creative field as they develop comprehensive art portfolios ready to present as part of a 6th Form or college interview.

 

Things to consider.

 

  • Do you enjoy creating Art and being creative?
  • Do you want to go onto employment of a creative nature?
  • At times we use very messy materials, are you happy to use these?
  • New assessment criteria dictates that written annotation must be used to critique work.

 

Who should I talk to?

 

Talk to Mr McKean or Mr Baxter

 

 

GCSE Statistics

Studying Statistics actively engages students in the process of enquiry to develop as effective and independent learners and as critical and reflective thinkers with enquiring minds.  It develops knowledge, skills and understanding in statistical methods and concepts and in probability, including an awareness of the potential and limitations of data and methods. 

 

Additional study of this kind in mathematics provides a critical appreciation of statistics that is increasingly important in a wide variety of careers and in everyday life and focuses on handling data, which is used in many A Level subjects and the wider world.

 

Please speak to your maths teacher and/or Mr Moloney if Statistics GCSE is a subject you are interested in selecting.

 

Music

Exam Board: AQA

What is it all about?

 

The Music course focuses on the core skills of Listening, Performance and Composition as well as developing theoretical understanding and a basic knowledge of music technology.

 

Students must have some instrumental skills, a good working attitude and a real passion for music. They will not just be studying their favourite type of music nor will they be merely playing instruments. Students will, however, be studying a wide range of styles and analysing them to give them a deeper theoretical understanding and taking their performance and composition skills to a higher level.

 

How will I be assessed in this subject?

There are four assessment objectives:

  • AO1 Perform with technical control, expression and interpretation 30%

You are required to perform a piece on your own and another as part of a group.

 

  • AO2 Compose and develop musical ideas with technical control and coherence 30%

You are required to compose 2 pieces of music. 1 must follow a brief set by the exam board. The style of the other piece is up to you.

 

  • AO3 Demonstrate and apply musical knowledge 20%

 

  • AO4 Use appraising skills to make evaluative and critical judgements. 20%

These 2 objectives are both assessed as part of a written exam.

 

When I have my qualification, what could I do?

 

With this qualification you will be able to access A-Level Music and other Level 3 courses in Music. Both of these can lead to university degrees and/ or careers in music.

Music requires a great deal of self-discipline and a range of transferable skills which are attractive to employers and will help you in other studies and life in general.

 

Things to consider.

 

This course is enjoyable but demands a high level of commitment to developing instrumental skills through regular practice at home and after school in addition to your homework. Private instrumental tuition would be beneficial.

 

Who should I talk to?

 

Talk to Mr Naylor or any of the current GCSE Music pupils.

 

 

 

GCSE Media

Young people’s lives are saturated by the mass media, whether they are listening to music, watching television, using social media or playing video games. To be media literate is a key part of being an educated citizen.  More practically, the ability to analyse, design and edit media products is a highly-marketable skill.

 

Students will be able to deconstruct a variety of texts, such as films, magazines, websites and other digital media and show off their creative abilities via production tasks that may include posters, DVD covers, commercials and digital media such as websites and computer games.

 

The media is an expanding industry in the UK, and skilled media students are highly employable in a number of fields including radio, music, television and film, advertising and marketing; both in a production and creative capacity.

 

A GCSE in media studies will enable students to:

  • demonstrate skills of enquiry, critical thinking, decision-making and analysis
  • acquire knowledge and understanding of a range of important media issues
  • develop appreciation and critical understanding of the media and their role both historically and currently in society, culture and politics
  • understand and apply specialist subject-specific terminology to analyse and compare media products and the contexts in which they are produced and consumed in order to make informed arguments, reach substantiated judgements and draw conclusions about media issues
  • appreciate how theoretical understanding supports practice and practice supports theoretical understanding
  • develop practical skills by providing opportunities for creative media production

 

Ethics (Religious Studies) GCSE

Studying Ethics at Spires Academy reflects the fact that the religious traditions of Great Britain are in the main Christian, while taking into account other principal religions represented in Great Britain.  Students will be studying Christianity and Buddhism in depth, as well as examining ethical issues from the perspective of these two religions. Ethics requires students to explore the origins and histories of the two religions, whilst also examining their role and function in society today. The Ethical studies also allow students to examine moral issues both from religious and non-religious perspectives.  It gives students the opportunity to develop their understanding of other cultures and traditions across the world, as well as exploring the different cultures and traditions within Britain.

 

Studying Ethics (Religious Education) will enable students to:

  • Adopt an enquiring, critical and reflective approach to the study of religion
  • Explore religions and beliefs, reflect on fundamental questions, and engage with them intellectually and respond personally
  • Enhance their spiritual and moral development, and contribute to their health and wellbeing
  • Enhance their personal, social and cultural development, their understanding of different cultures locally, nationally and in the wider world, and contribute to social and community cohesion
  • Develop their interest in, and enthusiasm for, the study of religion, and relate it to the wider World
  • Reflect on and develop their own values, opinions and attitudes in light of their learning.

 

 

BTEC Level 2 First Award in Performing Arts (Drama)

Exam Board: Edexcel

What is it all about?

 

Unit 1: Individual Showcase (Externally assessed - 30 credits)

In this unit students will learn how to apply, prepare and perform for an audition. Students learn about the journey a professional will undertake to reach their goal of becoming a performer via acting, dance or musical performance.  

 

Unit 2: Preparation, Performance and Production (Internally assessed – 30 credits) In this unit students will learn how to develop a performance piece as a member of a fictional performance company. Students will need to devise and script their own play, develop their acting role and also produce the play taking on a stage production role as well.  

 

Unit 3: Acting Skills (Internally assessed – 60 credits)  

In this specialist unit students will be introduced to important acting skills and will learn about the specific demands that acting makes on the body and mind. Students will build on professional performance skills whilst learning about the traditions of Drama and theatre and apply these to develop existing scripts and performances.  

 

How will I be assessed in this subject?

 

This is a practical driven course and assessment is continuous throughout. Unit one will be subject to external assessment and the other two units will be internally assessed via film, audience and portfolio evidence. This will then be awarded with a final grade of pass, merit, distinction or distinction* grade.

 

When I have my qualification, what could I do?

 

The Edexcel BTEC Level 2 First Award in Performing Arts provides a suitable foundation for further study within the industry through progression to qualifications such as the Edexcel BTEC Level 3 Nationals in Performing Arts or an A- Level equivalent. This course will be perfect for students who want to develop subject specific skills and communication skills of all kinds. The course will allow them to develop their theory and performance skills or follow the teaching pathway.

 

Things to consider.

 

This BTEC Level 2 first qualification will develop the knowledge and understanding of the exciting and every changing Performing Arts industry. Students will learn in an inspiring and exciting environment, looking at the traditions, skills and performance qualities of Performance. Students will take responsibility for their own learning and develop skills essential for the modern day workplace. These include: teamwork, confidence, working from a brief, working to deadlines and presenting information effectively and subject specific knowledge.

 

Who should I talk to?

 

Mr Woodbridge or Mr Naylor

 

 

 

BTEC Level 2 First Award in Sport

 

Exam Board: Edexcel

What is it all about?

 

BTEC Sport gives you the opportunity to learn about a number of different topics that are linked with sport and physical activity.  You will learn about the different types of fitness as well as how to train and test them. You will develop your leadership skills by becoming a sports coach and you will also have an opportunity work on your own sport specific skills.

 

How will I be assessed in this subject?

 

BTEC Sport is divided in to 4 units.  Each unit is worth 25% of your final grade.

 

Unit 1 – Fitness for Sport and Exercise – 1 hour exam

Unit 2 – Practical Sports Performance – Coursework

Unit 5 – Training for Personal Fitness – Coursework

Unit 6 – Leading Sports Activities – Coursework

 

All work is graded at either – Level 1 Pass / Level 2 Pass / Level 2 Merit / Level 2 Distinction

 

When I have my qualification, what could I do?

 

Level 2 BTEC Sport is a really useful qualification for anyone who is interested in a career in the sports industry.  This could be a personal trainer, sports coach, PE teacher or physio-therapist.

 

The qualification is a good introduction for anyone who wishes to study Sport at post 16 level.  This could be the Level 3 BTEC Sport or A-Level Physical Education.

 

Things to consider.

 

You need to have an interest in sport as you will be expected to take part in extra practical lessons.

You do not have to be amazing at sport to take this course but a positive attitude and a willingness to try new things will help.

At least 50% of your lessons will be theory lessons in a classroom.  You will not just be playing sport.

 

Who should I talk to?

 

Mrs Collins – Head of PE (Teacher of Year 9 BTEC Sport)

Miss Ward – Teacher of Year 11 BTEC Sport

Mr Wallis – Teacher of Year 10 BTEC Sport

 

 

 

ICT

Exam Board: OCR

What is it all about?

 

Students will take four topics in total.  All students will study two, mandatory, topics. The first topic of study is on computer systems. This will cover:  the different types of computer and mobile devices such as personal computers, smartphones, tablets and cloud technologies  networks, operating systems, software, communication and data sharing  how systems are used securely the legal, ethical and safety implication.

 

The second topic of study is on using ICT to create business solutions. Students will learn how to complete everyday business tasks using different types of ICT software, such as word processing, spreadsheets, databases, presentation and web design

 

In addition, students will have a choice of two additional topics in the following areas:     

 

How will I be assessed in this subject?

 

1 x examination unit

3 x coursework units

 

When I have my qualification, what could I do?

 

You will gain a detailed knowledge of ICT's potential that will enable you to use it more effectively. The type of knowledge and practical skills you will develop through these two topics include knowing which software is the most appropriate for a task and being able to use that software's range of tools and features. You will also know how to use different formatting techniques effectively. This should help you to complete tasks that are typical in the workplace and be innovative when using technology. The set of underpinning knowledge, understanding and skills students develop will help them to go on to complete their other topics.

 

Things to consider.

 

When considering this subject you must have an interest in ICT that stretches further that using social networks or playing games. It aims to develop your skills in IT and how they apply in everyday life. A good level of English and Maths would be beneficial also to excel in this subject as the coursework and exam units demand a high level of written literacy as well as digital literacy.

Who should I talk to?

 

Mr C Mills

 


 

 

Dance

Throughout this dance course students are given the opportunity to study a range of dance styles and aims to develop a student’s technical and expressive skills as well as knowledge and understanding of dance through performance, choreography and critical appreciation of dance.

 

Students will learn to develop performance and choreographic skills through the process of rehearsal and performing to an audience. Students will be internally and externally assessed across the duration of the course and will have many performance opportunities.

 

The course enables students to:

  • Increase their confidence and self-esteem
  • Employ the skills of problem solving and creativity
  • Make knowledgeable decisions about dances.


 

GCSE Citizenship Studies

 

Exam Board: AQA

What is it all about?

 

Students will gain a deeper knowledge of democracy, government and law, and develop skills to create sustained and reasoned arguments, present various viewpoints and plan practical citizenship actions to benefit society.

 

How will I be assessed in this subject?

 

There are two exams that are 1 hour 45 minutes long and are worth 50% each. Both papers contain multiple choice, short answer, source based questions and extended answer questions.

 

Paper 1 is about Active Citizenship and Politics. Paper 2 is on Life in Modern Britain and Rights and Responsibilities.

 

When I have my qualification, what could I do?

 

Subject content is useful preparation for studying A Levels in Politics and Sociology. There are also A Level courses available in Citizenship and Level 3 BTEC courses.

 

Things to consider.

 

The course is designed around the principle of how citizens can make a difference in society. You will have the opportunity to explore through case studies and by your own actions how citizens can make a difference. An element of Paper 1 is based around a pre-released case study in which you are expected to analyse and carry out your own research on.

 

Who should I talk to?

 

Mr R Forrest

 

 

 

Food

Exam Board: NCFE

What is it all about?

 

This qualification is designed for students with an interest in food and cookery. You will learn how to prepare and cook using basic skills and gain an understanding of food and its functions in the body and in recipes. During the course you will also develop an understanding of balanced diets and modification of recipes for health. You will also be expected to plan and produce dishes for a purpose.

 

How will I be assessed in this subject?

 

There are four mandatory units. Unit 01 ‘Preparing to Cook’, Unit 02 ‘Understanding Food’ and Unit 04 ‘Plan and Produce Dishes in Response to a Brief’ are all internally assessed through building a portfolio of evidence.

 

Unit 03 ‘Exploring Balanced Diets’ is an externally assessed assessment paper.

 

To be awarded the NCFE Level 2 Certificate in Food and Cookery, you must successfully complete all the units.

 

When I have my qualification, what could I do?

 

It will provide you with experience of using different cooking techniques and methods to enable you to use them within further education or apprenticeships. It will give you a basic understanding of the skills required for a career in food.

 

Students can progress onto Level 3 qualifications and A Levels such as:

  • Advanced GCE in Design and Technology: Food Technology
  • Advanced GCE in Home Economics
  • Professional Cookery Studies

 

Things to consider.

 

To successfully be awarded the qualification, you need to fulfil the requirements of the assessment criteria and comply with the relevant literacy, numeracy and health and safety aspects of the qualification.

 

Who should I talk to?

 

Miss Newbold or Mr Forrest

 

 


 

BTEC Award in Business

Exam Board: Edexcel

What is it all about?

 

Students are given a broad introduction to the commercial world investigating topics such as Marketing, Finance and Human Resources. This BTEC qualification provides students with opportunities to link education and the world of work in engaging, relevant and practical ways.

 

After successfully completing the course, students will be awarded a Pass, Merit, Distinction or Distinction* grade.

 

How will I be assessed in this subject?

 

The course comprises of:

Unit 1 Enterprise in the Business World – Coursework unit worth 50 marks (25%)

Unit 2 Finance for Business – One hour onscreen test 50 marks (25%)

Unit 3 Promoting a Brand– Coursework unit worth 50 marks (25%)

Unit 8 Recruitment, Selection and Employment – Coursework unit worth 50 marks (25%)

 

When I have my qualification, what could I do?

 

Achievement at level 2 provides a suitable foundation for further study on to other vocational qualifications at level 3, such as the Edexcel BTEC Level 3 Nationals in Business.

 

The underpinning knowledge and practical and vocational skills learnt will also enhance and support the progression to a relevant competency-based course, such as the Edexcel BTEC NVQ Level 2 in either Business Administration or Team Leading, or the Edexcel BTEC NVQ Level 3 in either Business Administration or Management, or their corresponding apprenticeships.

 

A Level courses in Business and Finance are also other suitable pathways available to students whom achieve a Level 2 qualification in the BTEC Award in Business.

 

Things to consider.

 

The course is 75% coursework, which means there is a lots of assignment writing to complete. Students must have a good level of literacy so that they can successfully complete their coursework assignments. Due to the amount of coursework that students need to complete, if they are absent from a lesson they must be prepared to see their teacher after school for extra support and work from home.

 

Who should I talk to?

 

Mr R Forrest

 


 

BTEC Health & Social Care

 

Exam Board: Edexcel

What is it all about?

 

This course is taught in modules and the units you will study include:

  • Human Lifespan Development
  • Health and Social Care Values
  • Effective communication in health and social care
  • The Impact of Nutrition on Health and Wellbeing

 

How will I be assessed in this subject?

 

BTEC Health & Social Care

Coursework units            75%

External assessment       25%

 

 

When I have my qualification, what could I do?

 

You could go onto further study at Level 3 in the 6th Form or an apprenticeship or enter employment within a range of junior job roles across the health and social care sector.

 

Things to consider.

 

An interest in human development and wellbeing is essential. You may want to pursue a career in the health and social care sector or a related sector such as early years.

 

You will be expected to meet deadlines and have the ability to work in a team which are both vital in the workplace.

 

The ability to revise and recall information is also essential.

 

Who should I talk to?

 

Mrs Ellcock or Mrs Bellenie will gladly give you advice on whether the course offers you the skills you require to continue your studies or to follow the career path of your choice.