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Year 9 Options

Options Information Evening - held Thursday 4th February 2021

We had hoped that we would be able to host our Options Information Evening in school.  However, we hope that the ‘virtual’ event still provided the same level of information to allow you and your child to make informed choices about the courses that they wish to study next year.

Should you have any questions that were not answered during the course of the evening, or by the presentations and information available on this page, please do not hesitate to contact us via options@ameryhill.school.

Mr J.  Eacott
Assistant Headteacher
 

The Options Process

Watch the pathway presentations below relevant to your child and then presentations in key subjects that your child may be interested in studying next year.

  1. Gather further information about future careers, courses and universities to help inform options choices.
  2. If you or your child need further information about a subject, please contact subject leaders at the school via options@ameryhill.school.
  3. If you would like to discuss the options pathway your child has been allocated, please contact Mr J.  Eacott via options@ameryhill.school.
  4. Please complete the online Options Selection Form below by Thursday 11th February

To complete the Options Selection form - click here


A Summary of Qualifications

Over the past few years there have been many reforms to GCSE qualifications.  GCSE specifications have been changed, with substantially more content added.  All subjects are increasingly assessed using exams at the end of Year 11, with controlled assessment tasks being reduced or removed in many subjects.

Students receive their grades for their GCSE examinations on a scale of 9-1 rather than an A*-G grade.  Grade ‘4’ is considered to be a ‘standard pass’, and the equivalent of a low C grade.  A grade ‘5’ is considered to be a ‘strong pass’ and is likely to become the national benchmark for students to achieve.  A grade ‘9’ has also been introduced to allow for students to perform at a higher level than in the historical A* grade.

Vocational qualifications have also been adapted.  Whereas many vocational qualifications used to solely assess a portfolio of coursework built up over Years 10 and 11, all vocational qualifications now include an examination that is marked externally.  Increasingly, this examination can only be taken once at the end of the course.

The table below shows how 9-1 GCSE and vocational qualification grades roughly align with A*-G grades.

Option Page Grades sml

There is a greater emphasis on the importance of the English Baccalaureate (EBacc) across the country, with an expectation that more students nationally will study English, Maths, Science, History or Geography and a Modern Foreign Language.  These subjects form a good core curriculum for many students and can be a good foundation for further success in a range of post-16 options.

Pathway Presentations recorded on the 4th February 2021

Black Pathway

Red Pathway

We're very sorry, but the Red Pathway Presentation didn't record properly.  We recommend that you watch the Black Pathway Presentation instead, as the information is nearly identical.  The only difference is in the recommendations for types of subject to be chosen.

Blue Pathway

 

Pathways

Black Pathway

Students will study the following subjects as their core curriculum:

  • English Language and English Literature
  • Maths
  • Science (Triple Science or Double Science)
  • Core PE
  • Geography or History
  • French or German

Students will then choose 2 additional options

Students will study 9 or 10 GCSE courses and will aim to achieve the EBacc suite of qualifications (English, Maths, Science, History or Geography and a Language)

A decision regarding Science courses will be taken in the summer term following further assessments this year and you will be informed of this.Bottom leafsmll

 

Red Pathway

Students will study the following subjects as their core curriculum:

  • English Language and English Literature
  • Maths
  • Science (Triple Science or Double Science)
  • Core PE
  • Geography or History

Students will then choose 3 additional options

Students will study 9 or 10 GCSE courses

A decision regarding Science courses will be taken in the summer term following further assessments this year and you will be informed of this.Bottom leafsmll

 

Blue Pathway

Students will study the following subjects as their core curriculum:

  • English Language and English Literature
  • Maths
  • Science (Triple Science or Double Science)
  • Core PE
  • Geography or History
  • Core Learning

Students will then choose 2 additional options

Students will study 8 or 9 GCSE courses

A decision regarding Science courses will be taken in the summer term following further assessments this year and you will be informed of this.Bottom leafsmll

 

Core Subjects

English Language GCSE and English Literature GCSE

Students will sit GCSE English Language and GCSE English Literature exams as part of an integrated course.  They will have five lessons each week.  At the end of the course they will be awarded a grade between 1 and 9 in two GCSE subjects: English Language and English Literature. 

There is no coursework.  All assessment will be conducted at the end of Year 11 with two English Language exams run by the Edexcel exam board and two GCSE Literature exams run by the AQA exam board.

Students will receive two separate grades when they leave Year 11.

English Language: 

  • 100% examination
  • Untiered – no higher or foundation tier
  • Two papers for English Language
  • Reading skills are tested in Section A of both papers and are 60% of the grade
  • Writing skills are tested in Section B of both papers and are 40% of the grade
  • 20% of the total grade will be awarded for spelling, grammar and punctuation
  • Speaking and listening will not be counted in the mark total but must be undertaken and reported separately; it will be focused entirely on presentations and speeches

 

English Literature:

  • 100% examination
  • Untiered – no higher or foundation tier
  • Two papers for English Literature
  • Paper 1 tests students on Shakespeare and a 19th century novel and is 50% of the grade
  • Paper 2 tests students on poetry and post 1914 British literature and is 50% of the grade
  • Closed book (no books in the exam) although Paper 1 has printed extracts to examine

For further information, please contact Mrs Rolfe, Acting Head of English Department.

 

Maths GCSE

All students will study for AQA GCSE Mathematics.  The most able students may also be entered for an extra qualification that goes beyond GCSE, such as OCR Additional Mathematics.  Students who will struggle to achieve grade 1 or 2 may also complete an Entry Level Certificate; a qualification that focuses on numerical fluency.

Students will have five Maths lessons per week, giving time to develop an in-depth understanding of topics.  Maths GCSE places significant emphasis on problem solving and mathematical reasoning.  There is more demand on students’ algebraic understanding on the higher tier papers (grades 4 to 9) and proportional reasoning on foundation tier (grades 1 to 5).  It is worth noting that the foundation paper assesses a lot of material that was previously only available on higher tier.  The overlap between grades available on the different tiers means decisions about tier of entry are made in the second half of Year 11.

The GCSE is assessed on three exam papers, all taken at the end of Year 11 and there is no controlled assessment or coursework.  Students will be assessed regularly throughout KS4 with half termly tests as well as some end-of-topic assessments, in order to prepare them for these exams.

For further information, please contact Mr N.  Eacott, Head of Maths Department.

 

Science GCSE

Students will follow one of two pathways in Science.  Triple Science (3 separate GCSEs in Biology, Chemistry and Physics) or Combined Science (2 GCSEs in Science).  Selection for each pathway will be via exams towards the end of Year 9.  They will include the GCSE topics taught up to that point in the year.  Following these exams, students will receive confirmation as to which qualification they will be studying.

There is no coursework element, but there are Required Practicals that occur throughout the course.  These are set experiments which are examined alongside the subject content in Year 11. 

 Combined Science (Trilogy)

  • Students will receive 2 Science GCSEs at the end of Year 11
  • Students sit tiered papers.  Foundation tier grades range from 1-1 to 5-5 and higher tier grades from 4-4 to 9-9
  • Students who sit the higher tier paper and receive a grade lower than a 4-4 will be awarded a U.  The overlap between grades available on the different tiers means decisions about tier of entry are made in the second half of Year 11.
  • There are 2 papers each for Biology, Chemistry and Physics.  Each of the 6 papers is 1hr 15mins and is worth 70 marks
  • The 6 papers are combined to give a total out of 420.  This total mark then determines the 2 GCSE grades awarded
  • Students are provided with a periodic table for the Chemistry exams and a Formula sheet for Physics (this only includes a small number of the formulae they need to use, the rest need to be learnt)

Triple Science

  • Students taking triple Science are expected to sit the higher tier papers (Grades 4-9)
  • There are 2 papers each for Biology, Chemistry and Physics.  Each of the 6 papers is 1hr 45mins and is worth 100 marks
  • The subject papers are combined for a total out of 200 and 3 separate grades are awarded
  • Each of the double topics has content added to transform it to triple (with the exception of Space in Physics which is a standalone triple topic)

For further information, please contact Mrs Williams, Head of Science DepartmentBottom leafsmll

English Baccalaureate ('EBacc') Subjects

French GCSE

The following presentation is for French GCSE and German GCSE Options.

Students will follow compulsory themes from the subject content:

  • Identity and culture
  • Local, national, international and global areas of interest
  • Current and future study and employment

The course is delivered using a variety of media and the course is resourced with materials prepared specifically for this syllabus.

Assessment is through separate tests for the skill areas of Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing.  Each skill represents 25% of the final grade and all of them are assessed at the end of the two year course.

Enrichment Activities
Any opportunity to practise use of French!  We have a link with a secondary school in France, to support students’ contact with French language and culture.

Why students study this subject
The examinations for modern languages are recognised through research to be amongst the most academically challenging of the range of assessments at GCSE level and equivalent.  A good pass in French is therefore well respected by universities, whether or not an application is for a degree course specifically in Languages.

Knowledge of more than one language is expected by many multi-national employers in the 21st century job market and opens so many doors to young people in terms of travel and leisure too. 

To succeed on this course, students need to be prepared to work on their grammar usage, revise vocabulary in their own time, to speak up in class and collaborate in group-work tasks with other learners. 

Entry Requirements
Available at Higher and Foundation levels so available to all. 

Voluntary Course Contributions
Students would benefit from purchasing a GCSE revision guide and a dictionary which will be useful for home study. 

Qualifications
Qualification: GCSE in French
Awarding Body: AQA

Post 16 Courses and Careers
Students take this course to prepare for Advanced Level courses such as an A/AS Level in Modern Languages and specialise in French.

With further study students could pursue a career which makes use of their languages skills in the fields of tourism, international, development, education, translation or multi-national commerce and banking.

Pre-Requisite Course
Students must have studied French in Year 9 to select this course.

More Information
For further information, please contact Mrs Batstone, Head of MFL Department.

German GCSE

Students will follow compulsory themes from the subject content:

  • Identity and culture
  • Local, national, international and global areas of interest
  • Current and future study and employment

The course is delivered using a variety of media and the course is resourced with materials prepared specifically for this syllabus.

Assessment is through separate tests for the skill areas of Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing.  Each skill represents 25% of the final grade and all of them are assessed at the end of the two year course.

Enrichment Activities
Any opportunity to practise use of German would be of benefit!  We hope to offer a trip to Germany, depending on whether it is ‘safe to book’.

Why students study this subject
The Examinations for modern languages are recognised through research to be amongst the most academically challenging of the range of assessments at GCSE level and equivalent.  A good pass in German is therefore well respected by our universities, whether or not an application is for a degree course specifically in Languages.

Knowledge of more than one language is expected by many multi-national employers in the 21st century job market and opens so many doors to young people in terms of travel and leisure too.

To succeed on this course, students need to be prepared to work on their grammar usage, revise vocabulary in their own time, to speak up in class and collaborate in group-work tasks with other learners. 

Entry Requirements
Available at Higher and Foundation levels so available to all. 

Voluntary Course Contributions
Students would benefit from purchasing a GCSE revision guide and a dictionary which will be useful for home study. 

Qualifications
Qualification: GCSE in German
Awarding Body: AQA

Post 16 Courses and Careers
Students take this course to prepare for Advanced Level courses such as an A/AS Level in Modern Languages and specialise in German.

With further study students could pursue a career which makes use of their languages skills in the fields of tourism, international, development, education, translation or multi-national commerce and banking.

Pre-Requisite Course
Students must have studied German in Year 9 to select this course.

More Information
For further information, please contact Mrs Batstone, Head of MFL Department.
 

Geography GCSE

Students will be following the AQA Geography GCSE.  This is an exam board that we have worked with for many years and have achieved strong, positive results with.  This exciting and relevant course studies a balance of physical and human Geography and investigates the link between them.  Students will travel the world from the classroom, exploring case studies in the United Kingdom, newly emerging economies and lower income countries.  The course is broadly broken into two sections:

  1. Physical Geography: This unit is concerned with physical processes and systems, and how humans interact with them. This includes:
  • Natural hazards such as earthquakes, volcanoes and tropical storms (hurricanes)
  • Extreme weather that affects the U.K.
  • Global climate change
  • Coasts
  • Rivers
  • Tropical rainforests ecosystems
  • Hot deserts ecosystems
  1. Human Geography: This unit is concerned with human processes and systems and how they change. This includes:
  • Urban (city) issues and challenges
  • The changing economic world
  • Economic futures in the U.K.
  • Management of food, energy and water in the U.K.  and globally
  • Management of freshwater in more depth

Fieldwork
There will still be the need and requirement to take students out to experience fieldwork first hand.  This will be at two differing environments.  This could be, for example, coasts and urban.  They must collect their own primary data.  This fieldwork experience will be examined in exam paper 3. 

Assessment
As is typical with all the new style GCSEs there is no longer a Controlled Assessment part.  The whole of the GCSE is based around three final written exams which will happen in the summer of Year 11.  The exams are structured to follow the two sections mentioned above with an extra decision making paper at the end.

  • Paper 1: Physical Geography written exam: 1hour 30 minutes.  35% of the GCSE.
  • Paper 2: Human Geography written exam: 1hour 30 minutes.  35% of the GCSE.
  • Paper 3: Geographical issue written exam: 1 hour 15 minutes.  30% of the GCSE.

This final exam is designed to give an opportunity for students to show their understanding and appreciation of the links between physical and human Geography based on a single issue set by the exam board.  The exam will be based around resources (maps, photos, graphs etc) that will be released to the students approximately three months before the exam.  This will allow time for students to familiarise themselves with the resources and to explore possible questions, though the final questions about the resources will, of course, be secret until the exam.

All of these exams will feature a range of question types from multiple-choice and short answer questions to those requiring a higher level of response and extended writing.

Qualifications
Qualification: GCSE in Geography
Awarding body: AQA

Post 16 Courses and Careers
The course will naturally lend itself to A or AS level Geography at college or a similar course in which geography would be useful such as Travel and Tourism.  Geography is the perfect blend of science and arts that allow it to be combinable with any other A level to access most university degree courses.  It is called a ‘facilitating subject’.  These are the subjects most commonly required or preferred by universities to get on to a range of degree courses.  They can help students keep their options open when choosing a degree and many of the top universities will ask you to have at least one A-level in a facilitating subject when you apply.

The knowledge and skills that geographers gain from their degree studies are highly relevant to the workplace and geography graduates experience some of the lowest levels of graduate unemployment.  Students will find geographers working in every sector of the economy including finance (the City), local businesses, not-for-profit organisations, leading highly relevant research or as key decision makers in local and national government.

More Information
For further information, please contact Mr Parker, Head of Geography Department. 


History GCSE

Students will be following the AQA GCSE in History.  This course has four sections:

  • One period study
  • One thematic study
  • One wider world depth study
  • One British depth study including the historic environment (the study of an historic site in Britain)

It is a historical journey, full of opportunities to develop important skills.  Students will consider people, issues and events in their wider historic context.  This will help students to analyse information, research, evaluate sources, balance information, make judgements and justify them.

The period study will be:

  • Germany 1890-1945: Democracy and Dictatorship

The wider depth study will be:

  • Conflict and Tension between East and West, 1945-1972 (The Cold War)

The thematic study will be:

  • Britain Health and the People C1000 to the Present Day

The British Depth Study will be:

  • Elizabethan England 1568-1603

Assessment
Students will be assessed by two, 2 hour exams each of which account for 50% of the marks. 

Qualifications
Qualification: GCSE in History
Awarding body: AQA

Post 16 Courses and Careers
History is regarded as an academic subject by all colleges, universities and employers.  Students could obviously go on to study A level History, but it would also help in many other subjects such as Law, Philosophy, Politics, English, Psychology and Sociology and any others where students are required to analyse and evaluate information, present information and make judgements.

History is a useful subject for a wide range of careers.  Most students who study history do not go on to be professional historians.  However, students who study history gain a broad perspective that gives them the range and flexibility required in many work situations and is relevant to analytical requirements in both the public and private sectors.  Half of the CEO's in the City of London have History as a first degree.  Many civil servants, lawyers, and journalists have also studied History.

Finally, the study of history equips students with a range of skills which they can use in their everyday lives and we cannot understand the present unless we understand the past.

More Information
For further information, please contact Mr Eaton, Head of History Department. Bottom leafsmll

Open Subjects

Art & Design: Art GCSE

The following presentation is for both Art GCSE & Art Textiles GCSE Options.

This course is specifically tailored to meet students’ needs so that they experience a wide range of art materials.  It is possible to complete the two years working in a mix of drawing and painting, photography, printing, mixed media, clay and textiles.

Each module is made up of smaller units so that students can develop their skills across a range of materials appropriate to their ideas.  There is one visit, to the London Art Galleries during the course, which will help students with their research and enable them to discuss their findings with the art teacher and make judgements about the direction to take their art work.

Much of the work is done in sketchbooks before students commence a final piece.  Of particular importance is the knowledge that students can always refine and add more to any piece of art work so that it can be re-graded to improve their mark as the course progresses.

At the end of the two years, students will sit a practical examination with at least eight weeks to prepare their final ideas and studies in advance of the exam.  The exam is worth 40% of the final grade, meaning that 60% of the mark is achieved through the coursework portfolio (the work produced in class and at home throughout the two years).  There is a public exhibition at the end of the course as a celebration of students’ hard work and this should reflect their success in this GCSE.

Enrichment Activities
A visit to an Art Gallery complements the work done and is important as a stimulus to the work being tackled in class.

Voluntary Course Contributions
Budget for the Art Gallery visit is £20-30.  We ask students for a voluntary contribution of about £20 at the beginning of Year 10.  This covers all of the sketchbooks, canvases and specialist art materials required over the whole 2 year course.

Why study this subject?
This course is available to all with an interest in Art and Design.  Students do not need to be a naturally talented artist to do well, but they must enjoy this area of study and be prepared to commit a fair amount of time in the preparation and completion of assignments at home.  After school facilities are made freely available and are actively encouraged so that students are able to gain more support in the development of their work and ideas.

Qualifications
Qualification: GCSE in Art and Design
Awarding Body: AQA

Post 16 Courses and Careers
With further training, this could lead students into the world of visual communication, with careers in Architecture, Advertising, Design, Media, Illustration, Fashion and Photography as obvious outlets.  Students could take this course to prepare for courses such as an AS/A Level or a BTEC in Art and Design.

Any employer will recognise the basic key skills learnt from choosing a creative GCSE such as risk taking, the ability to learn from mistakes, thinking imaginatively and creatively and the ability to work independently to reach deadlines.

Pre-requisite Course
Students must have studied Art in Year 9 to select this course.

More Information

For further information, please contact Miss Burrell, Head of Art Department.

Art & Design: Art Textiles GCSE

This course is specifically tailored to meet students’ needs so that they experience a wide range of textiles materials and techniques.  It is possible to complete the two years working in a mix of sewing, embroidery, printing, weaving, painting, dying and construction. 

Each module is made up of smaller units so that students can develop their skills across a range of materials appropriate to their ideas.  There is one visit, to the London Art Galleries during the course, which will help students with their research and enable them to discuss their findings with the art teacher and make judgements about the direction to take their textile work.

Much of the work is done as samples in sketchbooks before students commence a final piece.  Of particular importance is the knowledge that students can always refine and add more to any piece of textiles work so that it can be re-graded to improve their mark as the course progresses.

At the end of the two years, students will sit a practical examination with at least eight weeks to prepare their final ideas and studies in advance of the exam.  The exam is worth 40% of the final grade, meaning that 60% of the mark is achieved through the coursework portfolio (the work produced in class and at home throughout the two years).  There is a public exhibition at the end of the course as a celebration of students hard work and this should reflect their success in this GCSE.

Enrichment Activities
A visit to an Art Gallery complements the work done and is important as a stimulus to the work being tackled in class.

Voluntary Course Contributions
Budget for the Art Gallery visit is £20-30.  We ask students for a voluntary contribution of about £20 at the beginning of Year 10.  This covers all of the sketchbooks, fabrics and specialist art materials required over the whole 2 year course.

Why study this subject?
This course is available to all with an interest in Art and Design or Textiles.  Students do not need to be a naturally talented artist to do well, but they must enjoy this area of study and be prepared to commit a fair amount of time in the preparation and completion of assignments at home.  After school facilities are made freely available and are actively encouraged so that students are able to gain more support in the development of their work and ideas.

Qualifications
Qualification: GCSE in Art Textiles
Awarding Body: AQA

Post 16 Courses and Careers
With further training, this could lead students into the world of visual communication, with careers in Architecture, Advertising, Design, Media, Illustration, Fashion and Photography as obvious outlets.  Students could take this course to prepare for courses such as an AS/A Level or a BTEC in Art and Design or Textiles.

Any employer will recognise the basic key skills learnt from choosing a creative GCSE such as risk taking, the ability to learn from mistakes, thinking imaginatively and creatively and the ability to work independently to reach deadlines.

Pre-requisite Course
Students must have studied Art in Year 9 to select this course.

More Information
For further information, please contact Miss Iles, Art Textiles teacher.
 

Design & Technology GCSE

Using creativity and imagination, students will design and make products that solve real and relevant problems within a variety of contexts, considering their own and others’ needs, wants and values.  Students will develop practical skills through the use of tools, materials and components and will acquire a broad range of subject knowledge on topics such as different materials and their properties, programmable electronic systems, mechanisms and structures, CAD/CAM, graphical techniques, environmental and sustainability issues, prototyping and scales of manufacture. 

Students will draw on disciplines such as Mathematics, Science, Engineering and Computing, whilst learning how to take risks, in both designing and practical work, becoming resourceful, innovative and enterprising citizens.

In Year 11 students will undertake a re-iterative design project which will include a 40 page A4 written design portfolio as well as making prototypes from a wide range of different materials. 

Entry Requirements
Students should enjoy designing and working with a range of different materials, problem solving, evaluating, and be able to work independently.  Students should also have a reasonable understanding of both Maths and Science.

Voluntary Course Contributions
£21 total.  This will include a revision workbook and enables higher quality materials/resources to be bought for students’ practical work (which they are able to take home).

Assessment
Assessment is through one coursework (NEA) project and one final exam:

  • NEA (Non-examined assessment) 50%
    The project theme is given by the examination board and varies from year to year.  Previous themes include innovative storage solutions, helping people in developing countries, security devices and sports equipment.  Students have to research, design, model and make a high quality fully functioning prototype.  ICT is used extensively to produce the folder work for this project.
     
  • Exam 50%
    The exam is divided into two sections:
    Section A covers all core aspects of the subject
    Section B will give the students a choice to answer a question by using either wood, metal, plastic, graphics, electronics or textiles.

Qualifications
Qualification: GCSE in Design & Technology
Awarding Body: OCR

Post 16 Courses and Careers
The study of design and technology can lead to future careers in Engineering, Product Design, Architecture, Electronics and STEM related careers in a wide range of technological industries. 

Students could take this course to prepare for advanced level courses in Design Engineering or Product Design in preparation for an Engineering or design based university course, or could take this course to prepare for an apprenticeship or vocational qualification. 

Pre-requisite Course
Students must have studied Design & Technology in Year 9 to select this course.

More Information
To find out more about this qualification ask Mr Hainsworth, Head of Design & Technology.

Drama GCSE

The course is designed to teach and assess theatrical performance.  It offers the opportunity to explore dramatic techniques and artistic styles while, at the same time, developing confidence, concentration and collaborative skills.

Students explore drama as a practical art form in which ideas and meaning are communicated to an audience through choices of form, style and convention.

Assessment
All assessment is linear, with a written exam taking place at the end of the course.

60% will be assessed through non-exam assessment, 40% through a written exam.

The course is split into three components:

  • Component 1: Understanding Drama (written exam).  Set text: Things I Know to be True (Frantic Assembly)
  • Component 2: Devising Drama (practical) – small group performance
  • Component 3: Texts in Practice (practical) – perform extracts from contemporary plays.  Groupings: solo; duologue (2 people); small groups (3-6 people)

Voluntary Course Contributions
Attending a live theatre trip is essential to answer Section C of the written exam. 

Qualifications
Qualification: GCSE in Drama
Awarding Body: AQA

Post 16 Courses and Careers
There is clear progression to continue studying Drama and Theatre at both AS and A level. 

Students would be able to confidently access the BTEC courses in Performing Arts and Drama.

Possible future careers include acting, theatre design, technical positions and working within a theatre.  Other options include teaching, working within media and literature.

Students learn to collaborate with others, think analytically and evaluate effectively.  They gain the confidence to pursue their own ideas, reflect and refine their efforts.  Whatever the future holds, students of GCSE Drama emerge with a toolkit of transferable skills, applicable in further studies and the workplace.

Pre-requisite Course
Students must have studied Drama in Year 9 to select this course.

More Information
For further information, please contact Mr N.  Gibbs, Head of Drama Department.
 

Food Preparation and Nutrition GCSE

Food Preparation and Nutrition is a GCSE course which builds upon the work done in Food and Nutrition in Year 9.

Food Preparation and Nutrition is largely a practical subject with plenty of opportunity to cook interesting, exciting and challenging recipes which students can take home and enjoy.  There is an emphasis on improving practical cookery skills to make high quality, appetising dishes as well as learning about nutrition, healthy eating, food safety and hygiene, food science and food provenance.

Entry Requirements
Students will have completed food topics in the lower school and should have an interest in developing their knowledge and understanding of food and cooking further.  It is a GCSE course suitable for students of all abilities.

Voluntary Course Contributions
Ingredient costs for cooking lessons.  School provides various ‘stock’ ingredients.

Assessment
Assessment is through a mixture of non-exam assessments (50%) and a final examination (50%):

  • Task 1 Assessment: Food Investigation (15%) Recommended time: 10 hours

This non-exam assessment task focuses on assessing the student’s knowledge, learning and understanding of the scientific principles underpinning the preparation and cooking of food.The task involves practical investigation and producing a written report.For example students could investigate what type of flour is best for bread making.

  • Task 2 Assessment: Food Preparation Assessment (35%) Recommended time: 20 hours (including a 3 hour practical test period)

This non-exam task gives students an opportunity to showcase the practical skills that they have developed over the course.The task requires students to research and trial suitable dishes on an exam board set theme (e.g.a range of dishes suitable for vegetarians or a range of dishes from the Mediterranean culinary tradition) and then to prepare, cook and present a final menu of three dishes made within a 3 hour test period.

  • Written Examination (50%) 1 hour 45 minutes.

The written exam assesses student’s theoretical knowledge of food preparation and nutrition in a combination of multiple choice questions and longer answer questions with sub questions.There are no long essay type questions.

Qualifications
Qualification:  GCSE in Food Preparation and Nutrition
Awarding Body: AQA

Post 16 Courses and Careers
Students could take this course to prepare for Advanced Level courses such as A/AS Level in Home Economics (Food, nutrition and health) or AS/A Level Product Design (specialising in Food).

This could be the first step in a career in catering or food industries or students could embark on an apprenticeship or go straight into employment and do further training or part time study with the support of your employer.

Even if students choose not to use this qualification to further their career, the skills learned will be extremely useful in adult life.

Pre-requisite Course
Students must have studied Food & Nutrition in Year 9 to select this course.

More Information
For further information, please contact Mrs C.  Miller, Head of Food Technology Department.
 

ICT: Computing GCSE

The following presentation is for both ICT Computing GCSE and Creative iMedia Options.

The GCSE Computing course gives students a real, in-depth understanding of how computer technology works.  Students will no doubt be familiar with the use of computers and other related technology from their other subjects and elsewhere.  However, this course will give them an insight into what goes on ‘behind the scenes’, including computer programming, which many students find absorbing.

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

Why study this subject?
This is a demanding course and is open to all students who are mathematically minded plus capable of working independently.  Students should aim to be grade 6+ in Maths by the end of Year 11.  The course consists of one controlled assessment in which no help of any kind can be offered.

Assessment
The course will be assessed through two 1½ hour written papers (50% each).

Qualifications
Qualification: Computing GCSE
Awarding body: OCR

Post 16 Courses and Careers
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.  Students 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.

Pre-requisite Course
Students must have studied ICT in Year 9 to select this course.

More Information
For further information, please contact Mr Willcocks, Head of ICT Department.

ICT: Creative iMedia Award/Certificate

The Cambridge Nationals in Creative iMedia will equip students with a range of creative media skills and provide opportunities to develop, in context, desirable, transferable skills such as research, planning, and review, working with others and communicating creative concepts effectively.  Through the use of these skills, students will ultimately be creating fit-for-purpose creative media products.  The Cambridge National in Creative iMedia will also challenge all students, including high attaining students, by introducing them to demanding material and techniques; encouraging independence and creativity and providing tasks that engage with the most taxing aspects of the National Curriculum. 

The ‘hands on’ approach that will be required for both teaching and learning has strong relevance to the way young people use the technology required in creative media.  It will underpin a highly valid approach to the assessment of their skills as is borne out by what teachers tell us.  The qualification design, including the range of units available, will allow students the freedom to explore the areas of creative media that interest them as well as providing good opportunities to enhance their learning in a range of curriculum areas.

Why study this subject?
This is open to all students with an interest in creative digital media.

Assessment
Creative iMedia comprises four units.  There is an examination over 1¼ hours, worth 25% of the marks.  This will be set and marked by OCR.  The remaining 75% of the marks is gained by completing three ten-hour projects.

Qualifications
Qualification: Creative iMedia Level 1/2 Award/Certificate
Awarding body: OCR

Post 16 Courses and Careers
This qualification provides a broad and solid foundation for further study of various aspects of creative computing, such as graphic design, web design, computer games design and interactive media.  

It supports progress to further study, including:

  • GCE in Media: Communication and Production
  • Level 3 BTEC in Creative Media Production
  • Level 3 BTEC in IT
  • Level 3 Principal Learning in Creative and Media. 

It also enhances students’ overall digital literacy and gives them a solid foundation for further study and employment.

Pre-requisite Course
Students must have studied ICT in Year 9 to select this course.

More Information
For further information, please contact Mr Willcocks, Head of ICT Department.MFL Options Information Presentation - click here

 

Media Studies: Creative Media Production BTEC

The following presentation is for Creative Media Production BTEC & Media Studies GCSE Options.

This three unit certificate in media is an introductory vocational qualification which focuses on aspects of practical work in the media industry.  The course offers a GCSE good pass equivalent qualification

There are 3 components:

  • Component 1
    Exploring media products (30%) Internally assessed analytical, research work
  • Component 2
    Developing digital production skills (30%) Internally assessed creative, practical skills
  • Component 3
    Responding to a brief (40%) Externally assed a mixture of written and creative work

The production units involve a mixture of practical and written work.  These components allow students to gain experience of working independently and creatively by responding to project briefs: giving students a similar experience of a real media industry. 

Why study this subject?
This course is suitable for any student interested in working in a creative industry.  If you like conceiving and visualizing ideas and work best when in a group, then this course will benefit you.

Qualifications
Qualification: BTEC Technical Award in Creative Media Production
Awarding Body: Edexcel

This course offers students a specialist qualification for working in areas of the creative industry.  This could lead onto other vocational qualifications such as a BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Creative Media Production or other practical media courses.

Post 16 Courses and Careers
This is the first stepping stone to a career in the creative media industry; with further training students can go for a job in the industry.

Pre-requisite Course
Students must have studied Media Studies in Year 9 to select this course.

More Information
For further information, please contact Mrs Winch, Head of Media Studies Department.

Media Studies: Media Studies GCSE

This course is suitable for any student interested in working in a creative or analytical industry.  Students will develop an appreciation and critical understanding of the media and its role in our daily lives.  As well as analysing existing media texts, students will learn practical production media skills (such as photography and editing).

Assessment
There are nine close study media products that we analyse in class.  These range from video games and music videos to advertising, newspapers and film.  Exam questions will then be focused on these set media products.

Paper 1 – written exam worth 35% of the GCSE.

  • Questions will focus on three areas: industries, audiences and representation. 
  • The questions will be a mixture of multiple choice and short and extended answers to assess depth of knowledge.

Paper 2 – written exam worth 35% of the GCSE

  • Questions will focus on media language and contexts of the media. 
  • Questions will focus on three areas: industries, audiences and representation. 
  • The questions will be a mixture of multiple choice and short and extended answers to assess depth of knowledge.

Non-exam assessment: creating a media product (the old coursework part) – worth 30% of GCSE

  • Students will respond to a brief in order to produce a media product for an intended audience e.g.  a four page magazine using own photography,
  • or a two minute film using own footage.

Qualifications
Qualification: GCSE in Media Studies
Awarding Body: AQA

Post 16 Courses and Careers
GCSE Media Studies provides a good foundation for further study of Media Studies and Film Studies at A-level.  It is a great choice for people considering a career in the media, advertising, marketing and IT.

Pre-requisite Course
Students must have studied Media Studies in Year 9 to select this course.

More Information
For further information, please contact Mrs Winch, Head of Media Studies Department.
 

Music GCSE

 

Students will be following the Edexcel GCSE in Music. The three components of the course are:

Solo and Ensemble Performances 30%

The solo can be for example a traditional solo piano or rock guitar with a backing track.  The ensemble can be traditional duet/trio etc. or a rock band style.  No parts can be doubled in an ensemble and an accompaniment is expected in solos unless a study.

Composing 30%

All students compose two pieces of music (using Sibelius or, if appropriate, other musical packages) based on two areas of study from the listening area.  Each composition is worth 15%

Listening and appraising (40%)

This is a listening paper based on an anthology of music:

Section A – Areas of study, dictation, and unfamiliar pieces

Six questions related to six of the eight set works.

  • One short melody/rhythm completion exercise.
  • One question on an unfamiliar piece (skeleton score provided) with questions on its musical elements, musical contexts and musical language.

Section B – Extended response comparison between a set work and one unfamiliar piece

  • One question that asks students to compare and/or evaluate the musical elements, musical contexts and musical language of one set work with one unfamiliar piece of music.
  • A CD with the music extracts will be played to all students at the same time and will repeat the extracts a set number of times.
  • on 4 areas of study
  • Instrumental Music 1700-1820
  • Vocal Music
  • Music for Stage and Screen
  • Fusions

Enrichment Activities
It is a course requirement that students attend some extra-curricular activities to enhance their performance.  It is also beneficial for all students to be taking vocal or instrumental lessons.

Voluntary Course Contributions
Visits to some musical events and concerts would be expected at minimal cost.

Why study this subject?
For students with an interest in music and some practical ability to make music.

Qualifications
Qualification: GCSE in Music
Awarding Body: Edexcel

Post 16 Courses and Careers
Students could take this course to prepare for Advanced Level courses such as an A Level in Music Technology courses and Performance courses, or Performing Arts.  This course is also a good stepping stone for a Specialist Music Course.  With further training, students could go into a job related to music and the performing arts such as a Teacher or Musician or they may wish to pursue a career in the production of music.
Students must have studied Music in Year 9 to select this course.

More Information
For further information, please contact Ms Worwood, Head of Music Department. 
 

P.E.: P.E.  BTEC

The following presentation is for PE BTEC & P.E. GCSE Options 

 

Students will be taught the range of topics through both practical and theoretical lessons.  The course is made up of 4 units:  

UNIT 1- Fitness for Sport and Exercise (Exam, 25%)

  • Know the components of fitness and the principles of training
  • Explore different fitness training methods
  • Investigate fitness testing to determine fitness levels

UNIT 2 - Practical Performance in Sport (Coursework, 25%)

  • Understand the rules, regulations and scoring systems for selected sports
  • Practically demonstrate skills, techniques and tactics in selected sports
  • Be able to review sports performance

UNIT 3 - Applying the Principles of Personal Training (Coursework, 25%)

  • Design a personal fitness training programme
  • Know about the musculoskeletal and cardiorespiratory system and the effects on the body during fitness training
  • Implement a self-designed personal fitness training programme to achieve own goals and objectives
  • Review a personal fitness training programme

UNIT 6 - Leading Sports Activities (chosen from 3 optional units) (Coursework, 25%)

  • Know the attributes associated with successful sports leadership
  • Undertake the planning and leading of sports activities
  • Review the planning and leading of sports activities

Enrichment Activities
Students are encouraged to attend extra-curricular clubs at Amery Hill to help with sporting performance and knowledge for Unit 2 and Unit 6 in particular.

Why study this subject?
Students require an interest in sport, together with the corresponding willingness to tackle the theory and complete the necessary coursework assignments which underpin the course.

Students will be expected to attend after school sporting events to complete unit 6.

Qualifications
Qualification:  BTEC Level 1/Level 2 First Award in Sport
Awarding Body: Edexcel

Post 16 Courses and Careers
This course offers students a specialist qualification for working in various areas of the sports industry.  This could lead onto further vocational qualifications such as a BTEC Level 3 Nationals in Sport.  It is the first stepping stone to a career in the sports industry.

Pre-requisite Course
Students must have studied Examined PE in Year 9 to select this course.

More Information
For further information, please contact Mrs Jackson, Head of PE Department.

P.E.: P.E.  GCSE

The GCSE PE course consists of three parts:

The Theory of PE (60%)

There are 2 written examinations.Both exams are 1hr 15mins long and worth 30% each.Both exams will contain a mixture of multiple choice, short answer and extended answer questions.

  • Topics in exam paper 1 are:  Applied anatomy and physiology, Movement Analysis and Physical training.
  • Topics in exam paper 2 are: Sports psychology, socio-cultural influences and Health, fitness and well-being.

Student’s ability to use and analyse data will also be assessed as part of both exams.

Practical performance in PE (30%)

Candidates are assessed on their practical skills as a performer in 3 sports.One performance must be in a team game and one performance must be as an individual.The third sport can be either a team or an individual sport.Each sport is worth 10% of the overall qualification.Candidates can only be assessed on activities that are included in the specification of which there are 50 (27 team and 23 individual).There are also 8 disability/specialist activities.

Controlled assessment (10%)

Candidates are also assessed on their ability to analyse and evaluate performance as part of a coursework based project.This coursework is worth 10% of the overall qualification.

Enrichment Activities
A wide range of extra-curricular activities to boost skill and overall performance scores. 

Why study this subject?
Students require an interest and good level of ability in sport, together with the corresponding willingness to tackle the theory which underpins the course.

As part of the course students will be expected to attend after school sports clubs at least once a week to further improve their skills and performance. 

Qualifications
Qualification: GCSE in Physical Education
Awarding Body: AQA

Post 16 Courses and Careers
Candidates spend time working independently as well as part of a team.  Their communication skills become far more effective and they learn how to analyse and evaluate effectively.  Whatever they move onto, students of GCSE Physical Education emerge with a wide range of transferable skills, applicable in all further studies and the workplace.

This course would specifically prepare candidates for Advanced Level courses such as an A/AS Level in Physical Education which could then lead to an array of sports degrees.  With these further qualifications and training, students could go onto a whole host of sport-related jobs from Physiotherapy to Teaching and Sports Development, amongst many others. 

Pre-requisite Course
Students must have studied Examined PE in Year 9 to select this course.

More Information
For further information, please contact Mrs Jackson, Head of PE Department.
 

Religious Studies GCSE

Students study many areas of contemporary life to make sense of the range of beliefs in our society.  The course will give students knowledge and skills which will be valuable in life as well as gaining a GCSE in a subject where thinking skills are promoted and recognised.

Religious Studies GCSE (AQA Specification A) offers a range of faith-specific options and a variety of relevant and contemporary themes, ensuring students have a diverse choice of intriguing subjects to explore and discuss.

Students will learn how religion, philosophy and ethics form the basis of our culture, and develop valuable skills that will help prepare them for further study.

The course is made up of two main ‘components’ that are covered over the two year duration:

  • Component 1: The study of religions: beliefs, teachings and practices
    this will include beliefs, teachings and practices of two religions.  We will focus on Christianity and Buddhism
  • Component 2: Thematic studies
    Religious, philosophical and ethical studies.  We will study 4 of the 6 themes below:
  • Theme A: Relationships and families
  • Theme B: Religion and life
  • Theme C: The existence of God and revelation
  • Theme D: Religion, peace and conflict
  • Theme E: Religion, crime and punishment
  • Theme F: Religion, human rights and social justice

Enrichment Activities
If we are able to offer it, the visit to Auschwitz is an incredible experience and the memories will last a lifetime.  In addition to this, we often host visitors who come in to talk about their beliefs and experiences such as Amnesty International and Street Pastors.  We also are given the opportunity to visit parliament by invite only as well as taking part in national conferences and exhibitions.

Assessment
There will be two exams that are taken at the end of Year 11
There is no coursework
There will be regular homework and module assessments

Why study this subject?
Open to all abilities and there is no requirement for religious belief.  A GCSE in RS is recognised as a course which promotes independent thinking and develops skills of empathy and perspective, which are valued in many professions and are well regarded by higher education providers when students are looking to study subjects like English.  GCSE RS will help with any job which involves working with people.  Students who would be interested in studying politics, law or ethics in the future will find aspects of these subjects within the RS GCSE

Qualifications
Qualification: GCSE Religious Studies
Awarding Body: AQA

Post 16 Courses and Careers
Students could go on to do A/AS levels in Religious Studies, Philosophy, Ethics, Theology and Critical Thinking.  Careers where religious studies would be an advantage are law, journalism, medicine, social work, child care, teaching, local and national government, charitable organisations, customer service, personnel work, voluntary sector, project management, retail, animal care and many others.

More Information
For further information, please contact Miss Stobbart, Head of RS Department.

 

Statistics GCSE

Statistics is about making decisions when there is uncertainty.  This versatile area of Maths gives students the skills to collect, analyse, interpret and present data using techniques that go beyond the content of the core Maths GCSE.  There is significantly more emphasis on quantifying the reliability of statistics than is found in GCSE Maths.  GCSE Statistics can open the door to a wide range of post-16 study and career options – from weather forecasting to the biological sciences.

Students opting for Statistics GCSE will study the following areas:

  • The Statistical Enquiry Cycle; understanding the importance of carefully planning a strategy for collecting, recording and processing data in order to address a hypothesis
  • Identifying limitations, constraints or bias that data-collection techniques can impose on analysis of data
  • Produce visualisations of data
  • Compare data using statistical measures
  • Interpret results through statistical measures or visualisations, and evaluate the validity and reliability of conclusions

Why study this subject?
Only students who enjoy Maths should opt for Statistics GCSE!  An interest in further study in scientific subjects would indicate that Statistics could be of practical relevance.

Students taking Statistics GCSE should be confident at handling most of the content of KS3 Maths.  Students should aim to be on track to achieve at least Grade 5 in Maths GCSE.

Assessment
There will be two exams, each lasting 1 hour 30 minutes.  The exams are each 50% of the total assessment and include short, medium and extended response questions.

Qualifications
Qualification: GCSE Statistics
Awarding Body: Edexcel

Post 16 Courses and Careers
This course will benefit those progressing to A-level subjects such as the sciences, geography and psychology.  Statistics GCSE will overlap to some extent with A-level Maths.

More Information
Please contact Mr N.  Eacott, Head of Maths Department.Bottom leafsmll