GCSE Options - The Folkestone School for Girls

Core Subjects – Your compulsory subjects …………………………………
Optional Subjects – Your choice ………………………………………………..
Further Guidance on Mathematics & Sciences…………………………….
Your Questions Answered ……………………………………………………………
Tips on Choosing Your Options …………………………………………………….
Attendance ………………………………………………………………………………….
Careers Education & Help and Support ………………………………………..
School Policy on Assessed Coursework ………………………………………..
Assessed Coursework Reply Slip (Retained Copy)………………………….
Compulsory Subjects
Core – English (Language and Literature) …………………………………….
Mathematics …………………………………………………………………….
Philosophy & Ethics ………………………………………………………………………
EBacc Subjects
Geography ………………………………………………………………………………..
History ……………………………………………………………………………………...
Modern Foreign Languages: French or German or Spanish …………
GCSE Options
Art & Design: Fine Art …………………………………………………………………
Art & Design: Photography …………………………………………………………
Art & Design: Textile Design………………………………………………………..
Computing ………………………………………………………………………………….
Dance ………………………………………………………………………………………….
Design & Technology: Product Design ……………………………………….
Drama ………………………………………………………………………………………..
Information Communication Technology …………………………………….
Music ………………………………………………………………………………………….
Physical Education………………………………………………………………………..
Your Key Stage 4 Curriculum
Over the next three years you will study and prepare for important public examinations. These will be
examined at the end of Year 11 with two exceptions;
GCSE Statistics will be examined at the end of Year 10
GCSE Philosophy & Ethics will be examined at the end of Year 10
The subjects you will study can be divided into two broad categories; Core and Options.
CORE Subjects
These subjects are compulsory for all students.
2 x GCSE qualifications
- English Language and English Literature
2 x GCSE qualifications – Mathematics
& Statistics (Statistics examined at the end of Year 10)
All students will study all the sciences to GCSE.
GCSE in Combined Sciences (worth 2 x GCSE)
Students who are especially keen and able scientists also
have the option to study extra science
Philosophy & Ethics
Physical Education
In addition to English, Maths and Science above the subjects below combine to form the English
Baccalaureate (EBacc) suite of qualifications. These are increasingly viewed as the prerequisite for
most job applications and further/higher education places. Together with English, Maths and
Science therefore they are vital qualifications for your future success. All students will study at
least two of these. Students can opt to study Geography/History and a language, or Geography &
History or two languages.
Modern Foreign Language
Choose either History or Geography
Choose either French, German or Spanish
You can opt to study an additional language and/or an additional humanity via the optional
subjects overleaf.
*There is further Information about Mathematics and Science on pages 4 and 5 respectively.
Optional Subjects:
In addition to the core qualifications, all students are provided with 2 options to
personalise their learning to reflect and pursue their own strengths, interests and
aspirations for the future.
Students should choose a further 2 subjects from the GCSE Options below:
Art & Design: Fine Art
Art & Design: Textiles
Art & Design: Photography
Design & Technology – Product Design
Physical Education
Extra Science: All students study all sciences as part of our core curriculum.
However, this option allows students with a keen interest and aptitude
for science to study extra Science to obtain separate GCSE
qualifications in Biology, Chemistry and Physics.
We endeavour to timetable courses such that the vast majority of subject combinations
can be accommodated and therefore that the overwhelming majority of students are able
to study the courses the courses they choose. It is inevitable however that a small
number of combinations may not be possible. Hence we ask all students to select
Reserve options.
Please see the grey options form for further details.
Please note that certain courses may not run if an
insufficient number of students choose them.
Further Guidance on Mathematics
All students will take GCSE Mathematics. This will be examined at the end of Year 11.
In addition to this ‘core’ course all students will also complete a second GCSE in a
mathematical discipline, namely GCSE Statistics.
GCSE Statistics
Statistics provides students with skills that are transferable to future employment since many
jobs require the ability to analyse and process information and data. The course actively
engages students in an accessible and relevant discipline, helps students acquire knowledge
and understanding of statistical techniques and concepts, encourages statistical problem
solving and develops student understanding of the importance and limitations of statistics.
GCSE Statistics extends knowledge of many data handling topics covered in GCSE Mathematics
by looking at them in greater depth. Statistics is also useful in supporting students with many
other subjects at GCSE and beyond, such as Geography, Psychology, ICT and Biology to varying
degrees. It is therefore a welcome additional qualification for the girls.
Further Guidance on Science
Is ‘Extra Science’ right for me?
All students will study Sciences as part of their core curriculum and will study all three disciplines;
Biology, Chemistry and Physics within this course.
This provides a broad education in Science and is the ideal course for the vast majority of students and
most careers. Students studying Sciences will achieve a Double Award GCSE (worth 2 x GCSE) in
Combined Sciences and can of course progress to A Level Science. This pathway is accepted for
Medicine, Veterinary Science or Dentistry at university.
Extra Science provides the opportunity for those students who have a real aptitude and interest in
Science to further explore and develop their level of understanding. It allows students to gain 3
discrete GCSEs in the three specialisms; Biology, Chemistry and Physics. It is aimed at able scientists
who are seriously considering studying Science to A Level standard and beyond. Students who are
considering a career in Medicine, Veterinary Science or Dentistry at university are advised to opt for
Extra Science.
GCSE Options – Your Questions Answered
What happens at the Options Evening?
You will have the opportunity to visit the subjects and subject teachers you are particularly
interested in. Subject teachers will be able to answer any queries you have regarding the
information in this Booklet. Concentrate on talking to those teachers involved with the subjects
you think you would like to study but where you still need to clarify a few points (eg amount of
coursework etc). It is important that you read this Booklet and ask your teachers questions
about their subjects.
Will I get my choices?
We aim to satisfy all choices but it is inevitable that certain combinations will not work for a
limited number of students. Therefore, we ask for RESERVE options should one of your first
choices not be possible. Similarly we aim to run all the subjects that we offer. However, on
occasion the number of students selecting a course can be too small to make running the course
If there is a problem with any of your options we may use your reserve choices. Should issues
arise you will be contacted as soon as possible.
Can I change my mind after I have handed in my options sheet?
If your parents write to request a change, giving the reason, then we shall do our best to make
the change. It is important that you write as soon as possible, preferably before the timetabling
process is completed (i.e. a few weeks before the end of the Summer Term). You will not be
allowed to change to an option group which is already full.
In exceptional circumstances a student may be permitted to make a change to her option
choices in the first 3 weeks of Year 9. Any changes will need to be approved by the staff
concerned and will only be permitted if there is room in the option group.
General Further Guidance
As both GCSE and A Level examinations are currently being reviewed by the Government, it may
become necessary to amend our KS4 curriculum as your daughter enters Year 10 and detailed
examination specifications are confirmed.
Any changes necessary would be notified to parents at the very earliest opportunity.
If you have any further questions about your GCSE Options or would like more information,
please see a member of the Senior Leadership Team, or your parents may write, email or
Tips on Choosing Your Options
 You should read the information on the following pages before making your option choices.
 Consider where your interests and your strengths lie. It is important to do well at GCSE level,
so choose subjects you genuinely enjoy and are good at. These are the main examination results
that will be available when you are applying for jobs or for college or for entrance to the Sixth
Form. GCSE results will also be taken into account when you are applying to universities.
(Advanced Level grades will only be predictions.)
 Research which GCSEs you may need in the future if you have a particular career in mind. For
some careers there are obvious ‘must have’ qualifications and this will inform your option
choices. Many of us do not have a clear career path in mind so aim to achieve breadth and
balance in the subjects you study.
 Find out as much as you can about the different options by talking to girls already taking the
courses you are considering and talking to your teachers and tutors.
 Read this booklet carefully and take note of the “Approach” sections in each subject. A great
deal of stress can arise if your choices all contain a large percentage of coursework. This needs
complete commitment and if you find it difficult to organise your study time, you may be wise to
choose subjects with less coursework. On the other hand, if you find examinations difficult, you
may prefer to choose subjects with more coursework.
 Don’t choose an option just because your friend has chosen it or because you like the
teacher. There is no guarantee that you will end up in the same set as your friend or in the one
taught by a particular teacher.
 You will have the opportunity to meet a Careers Adviser and be introduced to the careers
resources available. This will help you research your options and ideas, supporting an informed
 You are welcome to visit the Careers Library at any time.
 Finally, in order to gather as much information as possible before you make your choices,
make sure you attend the Options Evening.
You are asked to make your choices on the enclosed grey form.
This should be returned to Miss Challis in the Admin Office.
The deadline for this is Friday 13th March 2015
Attendance – Important Information For Parents
Now that your daughter is entering KS4 it is of paramount importance that she has excellent
attendance as she will be working towards her GCSE examinations in all lessons. No authorised
leave will be given during the public examination period or the weeks leading up to this. Parents
should note that many examinations have practical components and/or controlled assessments,
for example, Language orals, Art exams, Drama performances. These are often examined by a
visiting examiner or moderator they cannot be rescheduled and, therefore, it is vital that your
daughter attends school at these times.
Why is school attendance important?
Each day’s learning builds on what has been learnt before, so losing even one day makes
all future learning more difficult.
School attendance is linked to the number of GCSEs and Advanced Level qualifications a
young person achieves. Research shows that of those young people who have less than
90% attendance, fewer than 30% achieve 5 or more GCSEs at grade C or above.
Are you aware that 90% attendance is equivalent to missing four whole
weeks of lessons in the school year or 1 day off every fortnight?
How good is your daughter’s attendance?
 98 - 100% attendance is outstanding and gives your daughter the very best chance
of success.
 96 - 98% attendance is considered to be good
 91 - 95% attendance makes it much harder for your daughter to progress.
Attendance at this level is therefore considered to ‘Require Improvement’
 Below 90% is inadequate. If there is no good reason for the absence, your daughter
may receive a sanction and you, as parents could be issued with a Penalty Notice.
What should parents do?
 Ensure that your daughter attends school every day and arrives punctually
 Book medical appointments outside school hours whenever possible
 Plan holidays during school holidays and not in term time. The school is not permitted to grant
authorised leave for holidays. Only in very exceptional circumstances will leave of absence be
 Celebrate special occasions after school, at weekends and during the holidays
 If your daughter is unavoidably absent, ensure that she talks to her teachers
about catching up with her learning.
Careers Education, Information and Guidance
During KS4 it is recognised that future career choices become more important. With this in
mind, careers support and guidance will be provided at appropriate times. This will include
group sessions that are designed to develop a greater understanding of careers and work
related issues as well as individual interviews. In addition, there will be a programme of career
related talks which students can choose to attend and specialist advisers will also be available
at Options Evenings.
If you have a career idea, checking that the subjects of your choice are appropriate is crucial.
Students in all years can access the Careers Library at any time. The Careers Library stocks
information on a wide range of careers, as well as copies of all university prospectuses and
material on university locations and facilities, league tables, student finance and GAP Year
opportunities. For those planning to seek employment there are not only guides on writing
CVs, interviews and job hunting techniques, but also information on local and national
employers. On days when the CXK Careers Adviser is in School, students from any year group
are welcome to attend her ‘drop in’ lunchtime clinics for advice and guidance. These clinics are
advertised in the Student Bulletin.
Help and Support
There are many people in school who can support you if you are having problems with your
academic studies or in your personal life.
House Tutor:
Takes an interest in all the members of their form, and
will aim to give support and encouragement.
Student Development Leaders:
Will always listen and provide helpful advice on
courses, work problems and any related issues.
The will also, when appropriate, assist in accessing
additional services for advice.
Appointments can be arranged to see mentors who offer
advice, support and strategies to enable you to succeed.
Arrange referrals through your SDL.
Visiting School Nurse:
Referrals can be arranged through your SDL
If you feel under stress, it doesn't matter who you talk to, just that you do talk!
School Policy on Assessed Coursework
& Controlled Assessments
The inclusion of assessed coursework and controlled assessments as part of a GCSE grade
inevitably makes demands on our students’ integrity, commitment, self-discipline and powers of
organisation. The teaching staff therefore asks for parental support to reinforce advice given at
school and to ensure that the requirements are fulfilled.
1) Dates for handing in controlled assessments, coursework and projects will be given to
students well in advance of the deadline, with an appropriate allocation of homework time.
Regular reminders will be given.
2) If there is concern that coursework is not being produced, a letter will be sent home by the
relevant Director of Learning and coursework clinics must be attended.
3) It is the responsibility of students to hand in work on time.
4) If there is any evidence of copied or borrowed work, no marks will be awarded to all parties
concerned. Declarations have to be signed verifying that the work submitted is the student’s
5) Some controlled assessments will take place during lesson time but will be conducted under
exam board regulations. Failure to comply with these could result in the cancellation of all of a
student’s GCSE papers.
6) Depending on the regulations and recommendations of the examination board concerned,
marks and/or comments will be communicated to students as soon as possible. Students and
parents need to be aware that coursework and controlled assessments are moderated both
internally and externally and so any mark given by the teacher is provisional and subject to
change up to the point when the final GCSE grade is awarded.
7) No credit will be given for work handed in late, unless there is a genuine reason why the
deadline cannot be met. Parents/carers should notify the School in writing as soon as the
problem arises.
8) A student may be withdrawn from an examination for which no coursework has been
submitted if, according to the regulations of the board, no grade can be given to candidates
failing to comply with coursework requirements.
9) Parents are expected to support their daughter through her GCSE studies and to help her to
achieve the best possible GCSE grades. There are a myriad of resources on The Learning
Gateway to support students with their studies and to help parents in this role.
Students and parents should sign the relevant section of the loose pink reply slip
to indicate that they are aware of these requirements and will comply with
Please complete and return the loose pink sheet enclosed to
Miss Challis in the Admin Office, by Friday 13th March 2015
School Policy on Assessed Coursework
Please delete where applicable
I have read the School Policy on Assessed Coursework and agree to comply with the
coursework requirements of my chosen GCSE subjects.
Signed: _______________________________________
Student Signature
Date: ________________
I/We have read the School Policy on Assessed Coursework and agree to ensure my/our
daughter ______________________________ of House Tutor Group ______________
will comply with coursework requirements of her chosen GCSE subjects.
Signed: _______________________________________
Date: ________________
This course aims to develop your sensitivity to the ways in which spoken and written language is used. It
will help you to read with deeper understanding and to respond to all kinds of literary and media texts. It
will also give you opportunities to participate with increasing effectiveness in a variety of speaking and
listening activities. You will learn to appreciate the ways in which writers achieve their effects, and gain
awareness of the contexts in which they write. You will be encouraged to develop for yourself skills which
will enable you to write effectively, accurately and appropriately for a range of audiences and purposes.
You will also gain insight into the ways in which the English language has changed over time.
The English Language course involves preparing to take two external examinations, and will also include a
Speaking and Listening task which will be separately endorsed. We will use a range of stimulating texts in
order to prepare for the reading sections of the course, including a range of media texts such as news
reports, opinion pieces and speeches. We will also build on writing skills, considering various purposes,
such as writing to describe, explain and inform. You will also participate in group and class discussions,
and give individual talks.
The English Literature course will involve studying a selection of set texts in preparation for two exams.
The texts include “The Merchant of Venice”, “Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde”, “An Inspector Calls” and a poetry
anthology. We will look closely at the effects of the language choice and will always consider the effects
that social and historical context can have on the writer’s meaning.
External Examination
Paper 1: Explorations in Creative Reading and Writing (50%)
Section A: Reading
Section B: Writing
Paper 2: Writer’s Viewpoints and Perspectives (50%)
Section A: Reading
Section B: Writing
Speaking and Listening
A range of Speaking and Listening Tasks (0% Separate Endorsement)
External Examination
Paper 1: Shakespeare and the 19th Century Novel (40%)
Paper 2: Modern Texts and Poetry (60%)
You will develop and practise the necessary skills through a variety of individual, group and whole-class
activities. For homework you will be asked to read, make notes, write essays, prepare for a lesson or for
controlled assessment. It is important that you should also contribute to discussion, keep good notes on
your texts, aim for a high standard of accuracy in your written work and continue to read widely.
The GCSE specification will provide a broad, coherent, satisfying and worthwhile course of study. It builds on
subject content taught at Key Stage 3 and encourages students to develop confidence in, and a positive
attitude towards mathematics and to recognise the importance of mathematics in their own lives and to
society. The course will also provide a strong mathematical foundation for students who go on to study
mathematics at A-Level. Students will develop fluent knowledge, skills and understanding of mathematical
methods and concepts. They will acquire, select and apply mathematical techniques to solve problems, reason
mathematically and make deductions and inferences and draw conclusions. Students will also need to recall,
select and apply mathematical formulae.
The specification will cover the following six content headings:
i) Number; ii) Algebra; iii) Ratio, proportion and rates of change; iv) Geometry and measures; v) Probability; vi) Statistics.
Full details of the exact content of each heading can be found on the school website under ‘curriculum’.
The qualification consists of 3 equally-weighted written examination papers sat in June of Year 11. Each paper is out of 80
Paper 1 - non-calculator assessment, 1 hour and 30 minutes long.
Paper 2 - a calculator is allowed, 1 hour and 30 minutes long.
Paper 3 - a calculator is allowed, 1 hour and 30 minutes long.
The curriculum content will be assessed across all three papers. Each paper has a range of question types; some questions
will be set in both mathematical and non-mathematical contexts. The qualification will be graded and certificated on a
nine-grade scale from
9 to 1 using the total mark across all three papers, where 9 is the highest grade.
Ratio, Proportion and Rates of change
Geometry and Measures
Statistics & Probability
12 - 18%
27 - 33%
17 - 23%
17 - 23%
12 - 18%
The course will be delivered by a wide variety of teaching methods, including formal tuition, individual and class
participation, small group work, practical investigations and use of ICT. You will also have homework which will
be used to consolidate, revise and extend content taught in lessons.
It is important that a scientific calculator is brought to every lesson as it is essential for many GCSE topics.
(Science – from the Latin scientia, meaning knowledge)
During Key Stage 4, students learn about the way Science and Scientists work within society. They
consider the relationships between data, evidence, theories and explanations, and develop their
practical, problem-solving and enquiry skills, working individually and in groups. They evaluate
enquiry methods and conclusions both qualitatively and quantitatively, and communicate their ideas
with clarity and precision.
All students develop their ability to relate their understanding of Science to their own and others’
decisions about lifestyles, and to Scientific and technological developments in society. Most students
also develop their understanding and skills in ways that provide the basis for further studies in
Science and related areas.
All students will study Sciences as part of their core curriculum. They will, of course, study all
three disciplines Biology, Chemistry and Physics within this course. This leads to a GCSE in
Combined Sciences (worth 2 GCSEs). Topics studied include:
 Cell Biology
 Transport systems
 Health, disease and
the development of
 Coordination &
 Photosynthesis
 Ecosystems
 Inheritance, variation
& evolution
 Atomic structure & the
periodic table
 Structure, bonding & the
properties of matter
 Chemical changes
 Energy changes in
 The rate & extent of
chemical change
 Chemical analysis
 Chemical & allied
 Earth & atmospheric
 Energy
 Forces
 Forces & motion
 Waves in matter
 Light & electromagnetic
 Electricity
 Magnetism &
 Particle model of matter
 Atomic structure
However, opting for Extra Science allows students the opportunity to study all of the content covered
by Combined Science but, in addition, to probe to greater depth their level of understanding of the
universe around us. It is aimed at able Scientists who have an aptitude and interest for Scientific
study. This option is worth three discrete GCSE’s overall, GCSE Biology; GCSE Chemistry and
GCSE Physics. Extra Science topics are the same as Combined Science but also include:
 The genome and
gene expression
 Organic Chemistry
 Space Physics
Philosophy and Ethics
Philosophy is not a body of knowledge that you simply learn. It is an activity. To study it you
need to do it. Philosophy is the activity of seeking a reflective understanding of ourselves and of
the natural and social worlds we live in. Students will engage critically with problems and some
of the main attempts to solve those problems that have been debated, tested and puzzled
people for over two thousand years; the fundamental questions of life such as ‘why are we
Ethics concerns what we ought to do and ought not to do. Engaging with these dynamics, larger
questions about what is good and right arise such as: What is good? What makes actions or
people good? What is right? What makes actions right? How should I treat others?
We seek to stimulate enquiry and awaken students to the active pursuit of knowledge and
understanding of philosophical and religious traditions. To ‘do’ philosophy you must construct,
criticise and analyse arguments. Philosophical skills are therefore applicable in any area where
arguments are important.
We promote self-awareness and honest self-assessment by reflecting on issues of personal
meaning and identity. We encourage reflection, dialogue, creativity and a sense of the spiritual.
Pupils learn about, and from, the beliefs and examples of others, enabling them to view world
issues of today within broader perspectives, thus developing tolerance, understanding and
respect for others
The syllabus is AQA’s ‘Ethics, Philosophy and Religion in Society.’
The course encourages students to reflect upon ultimate and ethical questions about the
meaning and purpose of life develop students own reasoned response to those questions.
The course covers the following topics:
First Unit - Religion and Life Issues (50%)
Animal Rights
Planet Earth
War and Peace
Second Unit - Philosophy and ultimate questions (50%)
 The Existence of God
 The Problems of Evil and Suffering
 Miracles
 Science and Religion
Each unit accounts for 50% of the total Full Course marks.
There is a written paper for each unit (1 hour 30 minutes). Students answer four structured essay questions
from the choice of six questions given.
“Without Geography you are nowhere!”
Michael Palin
This course provides students with the opportunity to understand more about the world and the challenges it faces. The
course will deepen understanding of geographical processes and the interaction between people and the environment as
well as promoting an understanding of the need for sustainable management of both physical and human environments.
Students will learn to appreciate the differences and similarities between people, places and cultures leading to an
improved understanding of societies and economies. GCSE Geography will inspire students to explore their place in the
world and their own values and responsibilities to other people and to the environment.
Students will extend their knowledge of locations, places, environments and processes. Students will find out about both
physical and human features of different areas across the globe. They will learn to recognise different relationships
between people and the environment. Students will be able to look in detail at some countries which will form the basis
of case studies. As well as looking at the global picture, students will also look a bit closer to home and study the UK
geography including its landscape, environmental challenges, climate, geology, geomorphic processes and human activity.
As such, fieldwork will be a big part of the GCSE course and students will explore both physical and human environments
investigating geographical processes and human interaction. The students will collect their own data and investigate
geography by seeing it in action. Students will also learn further practical geography skills such as being able to use maps
and other digital systems (GIS- Geographical information systems) to find out, analyse and evaluate areas of interest.
The changing weather and climate will be a key part of the GCSE programme demonstrating the relevance of the subject
to the modern world. Students will see how the climate is changing, what consequences this might have and even
formulate ways of reducing this issue.
Global ecosystems and biodiversity will be analysed as will how humans interact with these ecosystems and use global
resources such as oil. Students will also understand how we can develop sustainable management of the world’s
Finally students will look at human issues and consider how our cities and society are changing. The students will compare
countries with different levels of development. Finally the students will also look at the global economic issues and how
countries work together to address them.
Assessment will consist of an exam based approach. Field work will be an important element and be worth 15% of the
total grade but will be assessed through an exam style question. There will be no separate coursework as it will be
covered in a more practical skills paper.
The subject will be taught using a wide variety of methods including data interpretation; map and photograph
interpretation; the analysis of satellite imagery as well as practical work involving field experimentation and investigation.
The range of approaches used throughout the course will allow students to develop communication skills, technological
skills, interpersonal skills and problem solving capabilities. Throughout the course contemporary examples will be used to
support the concepts and issues being studied in our rapidly changing world. The key approach will be an enquiry based
approach with an emphasis of investigating key issues and developing a range of skills to help our students today and in
the future.
The course is designed to enable students to develop their knowledge and understanding of the past as well as their
skills of historical enquiry. They are encouraged to question how the past has been represented and present their own
At present the course content includes the following topics:
A Study in Development: Medicine and Public Health through Time
An Enquiry in Depth: Germany 1918-1945
A Local Historical Enquiry – History Around Us
The government is currently reviewing the GCSE History curriculum but we hope to match our present course as closely
as possible to the new specification
There are 3 distinct units including a breadth study (world history), a depth study (European) and a local study (British)
Unit 1
Medicine Through Time
This is a study in the development of medicine and public health from prehistoric times until the present day. Topics
include, disease and infection, surgery and anatomy and supernatural versus natural cures.
Unit 2
Germany 1918-45
Students examine in depth the rise of Hitler and the Nazi Party and the establishment of a totalitarian government
during the Third Reich. They consider the strength of opposition as well as the reasons why many supported the
regime for so long. As part of the course students will also study the persecution of the Jews and the Final Solution.
Unit 3
History Around Us
This is the coursework component of the course. Students will go on a site visit to Dover Castle and study the Secret
Wartime Tunnels, exploring how their function and appearance have adapted over time. They will conduct class-based
and online research and when ready will then be given a series of enquiry questions to answer under timed conditions
in class. Overall length of coursework is approx. 2000 words.
Lessons are taught in an engaging and challenging manner. Students are encouraged to take an active part in group
tasks, role plays and debates. Full use is made of the excellent ICT resources available within the department and its
very own website www.studyhistory.co.uk. Considerable time is also spent developing skills of source analysis and
extended writing skills to prepare students for their final written exams. There will also be the opportunity for extracurricular activities, including a visit to a site of local historic interest, museums and video conferences with the
National Archives. Outside of school hours we offer a number of special excursions. A Crime & Punishment day, where
we visit the London Dungeons and go on a Jack the Ripper Tour (Y9); a Medicine through Time Weekend, where we
visit sites such Fleming’s Laboratory and the Old Operating Theatre (10) and an overseas visit to Berlin (Y11). History
promotes critical reasoning, decision making and problem solving abilities. Above all, it requires you to think for
yourself and appreciate the viewpoints of others. It encourages a range of communication skills and is highly valued
by employers. It is particularly useful for careers in law, journalism, media and tourism as well as management
“Through studying a GCSE in a modern foreign language, students should develop their ability and ambition to
communicate with native speakers in speech and writing. The study of a modern foreign language at GCSE
should also broaden students’ horizons and encourage them to step beyond familiar cultural boundaries and
develop new ways of seeing the world.”
- Department for Education, 2015
Knowledge of a modern foreign language is an essential skill in an ever-changing world. In a 2013 survey of
businesses by the Confederation of British Industry only 36 per cent were satisfied with their employees’
language skills. Seven out of ten businesses stated that they value language skills in their employees. German,
French and Spanish appear in the top five most important languages for the UK’s export market. Between a
third and half of UK businesses rate these languages as useful to their organisation.
Our aim at FSG is to prepare our students to compete in the modern world, whilst broadening their cultural
horizons and enriching their knowledge of the rich cultures which surround them. The GCSE language courses
will not only teach you to be able to use French, German or Spanish proficiently, but also introduce you to
new cultures and societies.
At GCSE level, you will learn to use your language of choice in a range of contexts, including personal,
academic and employment-related use. You will be expected to understand and use language for different
situations, such as in formal and informal contexts. The overarching aim of the three-year course will be to
teach you to use the target language spontaneously and naturally, with little emphasis on rote learning, giving
more prominence to transferrable language skills.
You will be assessed in examinations in the four key areas of listening, speaking, reading and writing and each
examination, sat in year 11, will constitute an important part of the overall GCSE grade.
At FSG, we aim to make our languages lessons engaging and interesting, giving you an opportunity to practise
using French, German or Spanish with the support of your teacher and other members of staff.
The focus on language study at GCSE level is meaningful communication. To this end, lessons will enable you
to practise using French, German or Spanish in an interactive way. Your teacher will design opportunities for
you to practise your listening, speaking, reading and writing and you should make the most of these
opportunities. You will also be given the chance to practise using your language skills on trips abroad.
You will not know exactly which topics will be covered in the exams in advance, so it is essential that you build
a bank of vocabulary which you can both recognise and understand in the reading and listening papers, and
use in your writing and speaking. You will therefore be expected to undertake independent study and
learning to consolidate your knowledge of the target language.
This dynamic and exciting course will encourage and expand your artistic skills and increase your powers
of creativity through observation, experimentation, technical workshops, analysis and imagination.
The emphasis is on achieving a balance of technical skill and personal expression, with the first half of
each Coursework Unit being taught, and then developed more individually by each student’s own
aspirations with teacher’s support.
Our approach allows for an increasingly flexible structure as the course progresses and an excellent
choice of experiences tailored to meet the needs and aspirations of each individual student.
Year 9:
Year 10:
Year 11:
Foundation time to explore a range of approaches with a Gallery Visit in Term 5/6
Coursework – Portfolio Unit and Workshops and Gallery Visit
Personalised Coursework in Terms 1 & 2 then externally Set Task in Terms 3 & 4
A wide range of disciplines are available to each student from which to construct an individual
Drawing and Painting
Mixed Media
Lens based Media (Photography)
Light-based Media (Computers)
Responding to the work of artists enhances your own perception and visits to see Art at first hand are an
essential part of the course.
Other optional opportunities include: Working with Community Arts organisations, Competitions, Life
Drawing (held after School), etc.
Work from both observation and imagination is required and you will record your ideas, experiments,
research, etc., within a work-journal. The use of photographic and digital imagery maybe incorporated
into your artwork.
Your Coursework Portfolio and the work you produce for the Externally Set Task is finally assessed at the
end of the course – teacher assessment and group debate is continuous throughout the course.
You will be given supportive teaching and encouragement from experienced teachers to gain the
confidence to develop your own ideas and imagination, and produce highly personalised artwork. These
qualities lay the foundations and experience for future advanced study in many exciting careers:Architecture
Media TV/Film
Theatre Design
Fine Art
History of Art/Design
Landscape Gardening
Special Effects
Multimedia Design
Computer Animation
Exhibition Design
Industrial Design
Gallery Curator
Graphic Design
Interior Design
Art Conservation
Web Design
Art Therapy
Product Design
This newly-designed and exciting course will encourage and expand your practical photographic
and image-editing skills and increase your powers of creativity through observation,
experimentation, technical workshops, image analysis, presentation skills and the understanding
of other photographer’s intentions.
*We have quality equipment within the department so having your own camera is not compulsory. However, access to a phone which can take
photos or an existing compact digital camera is helpful for taking photographs at home.
*If you are considering purchasing a camera at any time before or during the course please ask for Mr Fitz’s camera buying guide which is
unbiased regarding manufacturers.
The emphasis is on achieving a balance of technical skill and personal expression, with the first half of
each project for the Coursework Unit being taught, and then developed more individually by each
student’s own aspirations, with your teacher’s support.
Year 9 and 10:
Coursework - Portfolio Unit comprises of Creative and Technical Workshops, Gallery
Visit and response, Entry to external competitions and Major project.
Year 11: Personalised Coursework in Terms 1 & 2, then the Externally Set Task (a choice of 7 starting
points) in Terms ¾.
A wide range of disciplines are available to each student:- Digital Photography, Analogue Photography,
Image-editing (e.g. Photoshop), Printing, Moving Image, etc.
Themes include (and not restricted to): Portraits/identity, Landscape, Close-up, Still-life, Documentary,
Photo-journalism, Nature, Experimental imagery, The City, Photo-montage, Distortion, etc.
Responding to the work of artists and photographers enhances your own perception and two school
visits to see Photography at first hand is an essential part of the course.
You will record your ideas, experiments, research, etc., within work-journals and using ICT. You will print
out images in a range of sizes and types of paper, acetate, fabric, etc. and mount them individually, as a
collection, as a photobook or as on-screen presentations.
Facilities include an iMac computer suite (with both apple & windows operating systems), top quality
DSLR cameras with a range of specialist lenses, wireless flashguns, ring flash, tripods, range of Interfit
studio lighting and light tents, reflectors, film cameras and lenses, fully equipped darkroom.
ASSESSMENT - Your Coursework Portfolio (60%) and the work you produce for the Externally Set Task
(40%) is assessed by AQA at the end of the course – Teacher assessment and group debate is continuous
throughout the course.
APPROACH - You will be given supportive teaching and encouragement from experienced teachers to
gain the confidence to develop your own ideas and imagination, and produce highly personalised
photographic work. These qualities lay the foundations and experience for future advanced study in
many exciting careers.
Picture Editor
Special Effects
Advertising Art Director
Forensic Photographer
Media TV/Film
Web Design
Architectural Photographer
Photographic Technician
Product-Design Photographer
This course gives you the opportunity to use your creativity and imagination to create pieces of
textile art. You will be taught how to use a range of techniques, materials and processes to make a
range of pieces which can take the form of whole, complete products (e.g. a costume), something
small scale in the form of an accessory (e.g. a bag or scarf) or to explore textiles in a fine art way,
(e.g. printing or embellishment) without need for function.
Our approach allows for a flexible structure and an excellent choice of experiences tailored to
meet the needs and aspirations of each individual student. The emphasis is on achieving a
balance of technical skill, personal expression and contextual knowledge, with the first half of the
Portfolio unit being taught, and then further developed by each student’s own aspirations.
Portfolio Unit – Year 9 and 10
Fashion and/or costume design including accessories.
Make items of clothing or smaller accessories including brooches, bags and scarves.
Become confident with the use of hand stitching as well as learning how to use a sewing
machine to construct pieces of work or to add surface details (e.g. by free machining).
Printing your own fabrics and dyeing materials.
Learn how to block print, tie-dye fabrics, image transfer, batik and felt your own cloth from
Stitched and embellished textiles.
Understand how to add surface decoration with beads and decorative threads using both
traditional techniques as well as modern forms of application.
Your coursework portfolio and the work you produce for the Externally Set Task is finally assessed
at the end of the course. Teacher assessed and group debate is continuous throughout the
Unit 1 – Unit 1 Coursework Portfolio: Portfolio of work (a minimum of two projects) plus
workshops and gallery visit.
Course work is worth 60% of final marks.
Journals will form an important part of your work.
Unit 2 – Unit 2 Externally Set Task: You choose from 7 AQA set starting points
The Externally Set Assignment is worth 40% of the overall marks.
It is the aim that lessons will be practically led and ‘buzzing’ with creativity from the outset…
This is a new course, which is being offered at our school. The main question that people have is
“what is the difference between ICT and Computing?”
Computing can be divided into two areas; learning about how computers work and
programming. There are three main areas of programming; app development for mobile
devices such as phones, game programming and lastly applications for PC’s.
ICT on the other hand looks at how ICT is used in the world. Most of the course is designed to
help you master a range of applications to create products for consumers; this can be websites,
multimedia CDs, etc. There is a separate page in this booklet explaining ICT in more detail. If
you cannot decide between the two subjects, as the subjects are very different you can of
course choose to study both.
If you are considering Computing, another question will be: “Do I have what it takes to be
successful?” The easiest way to answer this is to ask you two questions instead. If you answer
yes to both, then you will find Computing fun and will have lots of success. The two questions
Do you have a logical mind?
Did you enjoy creating games like Frogger or Pacman this year?
Well, what’s the course about? In a nutshell this course will teach you at least two programming
languages so that you can create your own applications including utilities, games and mobile
phone apps. It will improve your problem solving skills as well as increasing your technical
knowledge and vocabulary. A more detailed explanation can be found below:
 The course will give learners a real, in-depth understanding of how computer technology
works. Learners will no doubt be familiar with the use of computers and other related
technology from their other subjects and elsewhere. However, the course will give them an
insight into what goes on ‘behind the scenes’, including computer programming, which
many learners find absorbing.
 The course provides excellent preparation for higher study and employment in the field of
Computer Science. The increasing importance of information technologies means there will
be a growing demand for professionals who are qualified in this area. Learners who have
taken a GCSE in Computing and who then progress to study the subject at A Level or
university will have an advantage over their colleagues who are picking up the subject at
these levels.
 The course will develop critical thinking, analysis and problem-solving skills through the
study of computer programming. For many learners, it will be a fun and interesting way to
develop these skills, which can be transferred to other subjects and even applied in day-today life. In this respect, the course will make an excellent preparation for learners 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.
There are 3 modules in Computing:
Unit A451: Computer systems and programming
This unit covers the body of knowledge about computer systems on which the exam will be
Unit A452: Practical investigation
An investigative computing task, chosen from a list provided by OCR, which assesses the
following: research, technical understanding, analysis of problem, historical perspective, use of
technical writing skills, recommendations/evaluation.
Unit A453: Programming project
Students will:
 Learn to understand standard programming techniques
 Design and write programming code to solve a chosen problem
The 3 units are assessed and weighted in the following way:
Exam paper: 1 hour 30 min
Controlled Assessment
Controlled Assessment
A452 and A453 are projects, which are both assessed under ‘controlled’ conditions. In
other words they are completed within lesson time over a given time period.
Students will learn how to use scratch (an introductory programming language) and will
then learn to a more formal language such as Visual Basic. Students will also find out
about other languages. All programming techniques are taught in a fun and practical
way. This will give students the skills and confidence to complete the controlled
assessment later in the course. During the course, computing knowledge is taught in
bite sized amounts. This subject knowledge is then examined at the end of the course
when students have a deeper understanding of computing and are more naturally
converse with its vocabulary.
This course aims to develop the knowledge, skills and understanding required to create and
perform dance.
Unit 1: Critical appreciation of dance
Written Paper
The Focus is appreciation of professional dance works. Candidates are also encouraged to
show an understanding of their own practice in the studio and their own dance composition.
Unit 2: Set Dance
Candidates will be required to perform a set dance that focuses on technical skills in
Unit 3: Performance in a duo/group dance related to a professional work
Candidates perform a dance in a duo or group, which is created by the teacher with the
Unit 4: Choreography:
Solo Composition task
Group Choreography - Candidates must choreograph a dance by selecting an appropriate
theme from a set list.
Written Paper
40% of total mark
Practical Examination
Set Study
Solo Composition
Group Composition
The course encourages candidates to develop skills which will be central to their lives as they
move into adulthood. Collaborative work and commitment are the keys to success. Dance Skill
will be developed through technical training and opportunities to work as a choreographer. In
addition, the cornerstone to good practice is derived from the study of professional repertoire
in all its diversity.
Why choose Design and Technology: Product Design?
 Interested in new things?
 Love good design?
 Crazy about gadgets?
 Enjoy creating practical and useful things?
 This could be the course for you!
What is Product Design?
Designing and making new products for the future.
Everything around us has been thought of and created.
As a potential designer of the future it will be your creative ideas that may shape the wider world,
making an impact on people and their lifestyles.
By studying Product design you will be able to develop useful skills and build on existing skills. You
will learn how to use your creativity to produce engaging ideas and develop your own confidence
and individuality that can be applied to other subjects and other areas of your life.
You will learn how to work safely and independently and in teams in the workshop giving you the
ability to problem solve and develop attributes of strong leadership.
You will be able to enjoy and achieve whilst making a positive contribution to the wider world.
This course has been designed to encourage students to be able to design and make useful products
with creativity and originality, using a range of materials and techniques. Packaging, labelling and
instructions are encouraged as part of the complete design proposal and advertising, points of sales,
etc can be used to supplement the making experience and help to create products which can be
evaluated for their commercial viability. Students will be enthused and challenged by the range of
practical activities possible as the course seeks to build upon the multimedia approach taken in Key
Stage 3. The subject is clear, realistic and straightforward. It mirrors good practice, allows students
to design and make quality products and is designed to foster awareness amongst students of the
need to consider sustainability and the environmental impact of their designing and making.
Design & Technology also forms part of the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics
group of subjects known as (STEM). The subject supports many career paths including various
strands of Engineering and Architecture.
You will produce coursework. This consists of a major project chosen from the list provided by the
examination board. This will take the form of a design e-folio and a 3D outcome. This represents 4045 hours of supervised workshop time and will represent 60% of your final mark. You will also sit a 2
hour written paper; this will represent 40% of your final mark.
Unit 1 Design Portfolio and 3D Realisation 60%
Unit 2 Design and Theory paper
You will receive support and encouragement to gain many kinds of skills and confidence to develop
your individual way of working. The first year of the course will be a foundation year. You will have
the time and opportunity to experiment with materials and components that you may later use in
your in your major project.
“I regard the theatre as the greatest of all art forms, the most immediate way in which a
human being can share with another the sense of what it is to be a human being.”
Oscar Wilde
This course encourages students to develop:
 Creativity, with the opportunity to make and understand Drama, communicating meaning and
ideas through different Drama forms, styles and conventions as well as developing theatrical
skills and apply them to create performances.
 An understanding and response to a wide range of performance texts, an appreciation of the
ways in which playwrights achieve their effects and the ability to communicate the author’s
intentions to an audience.
 An awareness of social, historical and cultural contexts and influences through an investigation
of plays and other styles of dramatic presentations.
 Increased self and group awareness and collaboration leading to the ability to appreciate and
evaluate their own work and that of others.
 Skills of creativity, self-confidence, concentration, self-discipline, reflection and communication.
In Year 9 students will study a play in depth, developing their understanding of the performance
context and performing extracts from this play. Students will study Stanislavski in depth and explore his
methods of developing character. In the second part of the year students will create a Theatre in
Education piece aimed at a target audience and devised and created by themselves.
In Year 10 students will study Shakers by John Godber and perform extracts from this in groups,
demonstrating their understanding of the era it is set, the form and style of the piece and the demands
of multi-role performance work as well as actor/audience relationships. Students will also devise their
own piece of theatre, experimenting with style and form and genre, challenging their concept of
In Year 11 students will study the play Hard to Swallow by Mark Wheeler, researching the themes of
the play and exploring performance space. Groups will work as an ensemble company to create a piece
of physical theatre. Students will continue to work towards their written exam paper, consolidating
their knowledge and developing their written interpretation of the work created over the past 3 years.
Assessment comprises two components: coursework and a written paper
 Coursework is internally assessed and externally moderated. Candidates are required to
present practical work for both a scripted and a devised piece of work.
Written Paper at the end of Year 11 which is externally marked.
This is a very practical course aimed at students who would like to explore Drama and Theatre in more
depth and have the opportunity to perform on a regular basis. Students will be encouraged to develop
their own ideas and interpretations of text whilst being introduced to a variety of Drama techniques
and theatre styles. Students will work in groups throughout the course but graded individually. There is
a written element throughout the course and students are expected to research and record theatre
practitioners and keep a detailed record of their progress in class as well as final performance
Information Communication Technology (ICT)
A GCSE in Information and Communication Technology offers a unique opportunity for students to identify and
solve real problems by designing information and communication systems in a wide range of contexts. ICT
develops student’s skills and their capacity for imaginative, innovative thinking, creativity and independence.
ICT results within our school are extremely high and regularly over 80% of our students achieve A/A* each year.
So if chosen, with hard work students should be aiming for the highest of grades.
The course enables students to:
 acquire and apply creative and technical skills, knowledge and understanding of ICT in a range of contexts to
solve problems.
 develop skills, knowledge and understanding in contexts that are directly relevant to employment situations,
thereby enhancing their general employability, including within the ICT sector.
 develop their understanding of current and emerging technologies and their social and commercial impact.
 recognise potential risks when using ICT, and develop safe, secure and responsible practice.
 become aware of the implications of ICT for individuals, organisations and society.
The course consists of 4 separate units, 2 practical and 2 examination units. Below are the units in the order
that they are covered during the 3 years:
Unit 4: Developing Multimedia ICT Solutions (practical task)
The project involves creating a multimedia product; after investigating existing products such as DVD,
Internet sites and computer games, students design and create their own multimedia product, including a
variety of media such as video, sound, graphics and animation.
Unit 2: Solving Problems with ICT (practical tasks)
This unit is a more traditional, where students require skills which are required in many areas of
employment. They learn how to use a range of software to enable data handling using databases and
spreadsheets as well as developing skills using desktop publishing software and email.
Unit 1: Understanding ICT (written exam)
This unit looks at how ICT affects the way in which we live, both in the home and business environments.
This includes learning about home entertainment, communication systems, ICT in schools, web safety as
well as new emerging technologies.
Unit 3: ICT in Organisations (written exam)
This unit investigates how ICT tools and techniques are used to enhance the running of organisations. Much
of this is covered by the practical units that the students undertake during the practical tasks.
Both practical units are undertaken under controlled conditions and assessed internally by teaching staff and
then moderated by an external WJEC moderator.
Students are taught a variety of advanced skills and undertake their own projects in a modern, practical way
that is relevant to the workplace. Skills, along with some theory, are taught throughout year 9 to prepare
them for the 2 practical units. Students then undertake the multimedia project in year 10 and the Solving
Problems project in year 11.
The course will give students a real experience of working in the world of ICT
The course is designed to:
 Develop your musical knowledge, understanding and skills including
performing,composing and appraising.
 Promote your cultural development through the study of a wide range of music.
 Support your social and personal development through creating and performing
music with others both within the lesson and through extra curricular activities.
 Broaden musical experience and interests, develop imagination and foster creativity.
You will focus on the following areas:
Performing –Develop performing skills individually and in groups focussing on
communicating musically with fluency and control.
Composing – Develop individual composing skills to organise musical ideas and
make use of appropriate resources.
Listening & Appraising - Develop awareness of a variety of instruments, styles and
approaches to performing and composing; awareness of music technologies and
contrasting genres, styles and traditions of music.
Which will be explored through various styles of music:
The Western Classical Tradition 1650-1910
Popular & World Music Genres
Non Examination Assessment 60%
You can expect a mixture of teaching and learning styles – group work, individual
performance, creating original compositional ideas at your instrument or computer,
researching music from different cultures, listening to music from a variety of styles and
theoretical work. You will be expected to complete individual practice on your
instrument/voice away from the lesson.
The School offers a wide range of musical activities, and you will be expected to participate
in appropriate lunchtime activities and concerts in order to develop your performing skills.
In addition, weekly attendance at Senior Choir is compulsory in order to develop your aural
awareness skill which is a key component of the course. If you are having instrumental or
vocal lessons, enjoy composing music and are open to a variety of musical styles, then you
should consider taking Music as a GCSE option. We arrange visits to concerts, courses,
operas and musicals in London and you should try to take advantage of these
“PE is Powerful Education”
This course aims to inspire, motivate and challenge students to make informed decisions about further
learning opportunities and career pathways. By the end of the course students should be equipped with
knowledge and understanding, skills and values to develop and maintain their performance in a range of
physical activities.
Practical (40% of the full GCSE)
Students will be assessed as performers in three activities one of which must be a team sport. We plan to
offer six week blocks of instruction in some of the following activities: Trampolining, Badminton, Netball,
Dance, Athletics, Volleyball, Handball and possibly Kayaking. Some of these lessons will be off site using
local sports facilities and their availability may affect our final offer.
PE students will also plan, carry out, monitor and evaluate personal exercise training programmes so will
need to be motivated with a view to improving fitness levels. Through team sports, cooperation and
collaboration will be required to use strategies and tactics to achieve a team objective.
Theory (60% of the full course)
Students will study the anatomy and physiology of the musculo-skeletal and cardio-respiratory systems.
The benefits of physical activity are explored from a physical, emotional and social perspective and the
consequences of a sedentary lifestyle are investigated along with diet, nutrition, hydration and energy
Data will be collated based on physical performance and students will be guided towards presenting
findings using tables and graphs. They will then analyse and evaluate findings, with a view to improving
upon a performance.
New content includes sports psychology studying how psychological factors can
affect sporting
performance. Socio-cultural influences like the commercialisation of sport and its impact on society are
also explored.
Assessment consists of an examination which will make up 60% of the course. 30% of the final
assessment is assessed through practical performance in three activities including at least one individual
and one team sport. The final 10% is achieved through analysing performance in a chosen sport.
The subject will be taught using a wide variety of methods with a view to predominantly making this
subject as practical as possible. Students will develop their communication skills through leadership
activities, taking warm up’s, coaching skills and leading the cool down. They will develop their ability to
analyse a performance through the use of video feedback. Of course there will be classroom study time
too, satisfying the requirement for greater academic rigour. “However it is critical that the course retains
a significant practical element so students can demonstrate their theoretical knowledge and apply their
understanding of physical education through practical performance." (Association of Physical Education