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Year 8 Foundation Options

Options Information Evening  - held Wednesday 17th March 2021

We had hoped that we would be able to host our Foundation 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 Foundation Options Process

  1. Gather further information about future careers, colleges and universities to help inform choices.
  2. Use the information on this page to find about what is involved in studying each subject in Year 9.  If you or your child needs further information about a subject, please contact subject leaders at the school via options@ameryhill.school
  3. Please complete the online Foundation Options Selection Form by Thursday 25th March 2021 (the form will open on 17th March 2021)

To complete Options Selection Form - click here

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Foundation Evening Presentation - 17th March 2021

Foundation Options Explained

In Year 9 students will be allowed to choose some of the subjects that they wish to study in greater detail.  This booklet is intended to give you further information about the choices that your child will be able to make.

Core Curriculum

All students will continue to study:

  • English - 4 lessons per week
  • Maths - 4 lessons per week
  • Science - 4 lessons per week
  • Geography - 3 lessons per week
  • History - 3 lessons per week
  • French/German - 3 lessons per week
  • Religious Studies -1 lesson per week
  • P.E. (Core) - 2 lessons per week

These subjects represent a foundation in the core curriculum that will develop the analytical and problem-solving skills that students require as they progress with their studies.

Optional Curriculum

Students will be able to choose to study 3 Foundation Options subjects from the list below – each for 2 lessons per week:

  • Art
  • Art Textiles
  • Dance
  • Design & Technology
  • Drama
  • Food Preparation and Nutrition
  • ICT
  • Media Studies
  • Music
  • P.E. (Examined)

An Example Curriculum

Students are not choosing their full GCSE options.  However, students should select subjects that they may wish to choose to study for their GCSEs.  As well as allowing students to spend more time developing the necessary skills in these subjects, this will also allow students to try these subjects before selecting their GCSE options next year.  We have suggested qualifications that these subjects may lead towards, but please be aware that these details are subject to change as we continually review the qualifications that we offer.

The chart below shows how an example of how the curriculum could change for a student as they move from Year 8 into Year 9, and then Year 9 into Years 10 and 11.  English, Maths and Science and P.E. (Core) remain part of the core (compulsory) curriculum in all years.

The example student chooses:

  • Drama, Design & Technology and Media Studies for their 3 Foundation Options
  • Geography, French / German, Design & Technology and Media Studies from the subjects that they are studying in Year 9 for their GCSE Options

Yr 8 Foundation Options Dias

Subject Information and Presentations

Art 

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

This course has been specifically tailored so that it mirrors the expectations of the GCSE programme, therefore allowing the students the opportunity to experience a wide range of materials, processes and techniques. Some of these techniques will be new and others will develop and extend areas previously studied in Years 7 and 8. Throughout the modules, students will learn how to present their work in a GCSE sketchbook and understand the importance of annotating their work to explain their creative journey, whilst developing their ideas under the guidance of their teacher before commencing on their final piece. Of particular importance, is the knowledge that sketchbook pages can always be refined and improved, so that any piece of art work can be re-graded and the grade can increase.

Those students who then continue to study Fine Art for GCSE will have a strong understanding of the expectations of the GCSE course and a greater understanding of where their strengths lie, therefore their GCSE modules can be personalised to ensure they are producing their best work in an area that interests them. As the Year 9 course mirrors the GCSE programme, it would be possible to enter this work towards the Fine Art GCSE, if it supports the standard and quality of work produced in Year 10.  As the coursework portfolio is worth 60% of the GCSE grade, this is a fantastic opportunity to start working towards creating this body of work.

Enrichment Activities
The Art department has an Open Doors policy, meaning that students are welcome to come and work on their Art work during any break, lunch or after school from 3 - 4pm, using this as the perfect opportunity to gain additional 1:1 support and guidance with their work as it progresses.

Voluntary Course Contributions
Students are asked to voluntarily contribute £10 towards the cost of an A3 sketchbook and specialist course materials used during this year.  An Art pack containing useful materials and an A2 portfolio is available from the department costing approximately £25.

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 / lunchtime facilities are made freely available and are actively encouraged so that students are able to gain more support in the development of work and ideas.

Qualifications

KS4 Courses
Students who enjoy this area of study can then use this work and continue / develop it through Years 10 and 11 to achieve a GSCE in Fine Art.

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 Advanced Level 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.

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

Art Textiles

This course has been specifically tailored so that it mirrors the expectations of the GCSE programme, therefore allowing the students the opportunity to experience a wide range of materials, processes and techniques. Throughout the year, students will be taught and allowed to develop their skills using a variety of different textile processes; including how to extend their knowledge of the sewing machine, surface decoration and pattern. These skills will then develop into the creation of templates that lead to the students producing their own individual textile outcomes. Of particular importance, is the knowledge that sketchbook pages can always be refined and improved, so that any piece of textiles work can be re-graded and the grade can increase.

Those students who then continue to study Textiles for GCSE will have a strong understanding of the expectations of the GCSE course and a greater understanding of where their strengths lie, therefore their GCSE modules can be personalised to ensure they are producing their best work in an area that interests them. As the Year 9 course is skills-based, they can then use this newly found and developed knowledge to guide and inform their future GCSE work. It would be possible to enter this work towards the Textiles GCSE, if it supports the standard and quality of work produced in Year 10.  As the coursework portfolio is worth 60% of the GCSE grade, this is a fantastic opportunity to start working towards creating this body of work.

Enrichment Activities
The Art department has an Open Doors policy, meaning that students are welcome to come and work on their Textiles pieces during any break, lunch or after school from 3 - 4pm, using this as the perfect opportunity to gain additional 1:1 support and guidance with their work as it progresses.

Voluntary Course Contributions
Students are asked to voluntarily contribute £10 towards the cost of a concertina sketchbook and specialist materials used during this year. An art pack containing useful materials and an A2 portfolio is available from the department costing approximately £25, if anyone wishes to purchase them at cost price.

Why Study this subject?

This course is available to all with an interest in 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 / lunchtime facilities are made freely available and are actively encouraged so that students are able to gain more support in the development of work and ideas.

Qualifications

KS4 Courses
Students who enjoy this area of study can then use this work and continue / develop it through Years 10 and 11 to achieve a GSCE in Textiles.

Post 16 Courses and Careers
With further training, this could lead students into the world of visual communication, with careers in Costume Design, Interior Design, Illustration, Fashion, Communication and Buying as obvious outlets.  Students could take this course to prepare for Advanced Level 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.

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

 

Dance

Dance GCSE offer students the opportunity to develop skills, knowledge and understanding of dance as a choreographer, performer and critic.  The course is highly practical and therefore students need to be fully fit and committed to all aspects of the course.  The Year 9 Dance course will provide a taster of the various elements that will be covered in the full GCSE course.

The full GCSE course involves:

  • Performance (30%)

Set phases through a solo performance.Students will be expected to perform set phases of approximately 1 minute long.Students will also be expected to perform in a small group (duo / trio) dance, lasting approximately 3½ minutes.

  • Solo or Group Choreography (30%)

Students will be expected to choreograph either a solo dance lasting 2 to 2½ minutes, or a group dance (with 2 to 5 dancers) lasting 3 to 3½ minutes.The dance will be based on a prescribed list of stimuli.

  • Written Examination (40%)

Dance Appreciation.Students will answer questions based on their knowledge and understanding of choreographic processes and performing skills, critical appreciation of their own and professional works.

Why study this subject?

Students should have a keen interest in dance and be willing and able to train / choreograph and perform on a regular basis.  Students should have previous experience of contemporary dance as this forms a large part of the course.  Doing well in the contemporary components is vital for success.

Qualifications

KS4 Courses
This course could lead on to the full GCSE in Dance.

Post 16 Courses and Careers
A Level Dance and Performing Arts courses at College, and degree courses in Dance, Community Arts and Dance Teaching at University.

Potential careers include:

  • Dancer / Choreographer
  • Community arts worker
  • Dance movement psychotherapist
  • Theatre director

More information
For further information, please contact Mrs Jackson, Head of P.E.

 

Design & Technology

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.

Voluntary Course Contributions
£26 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).

Why study this subject?

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.

Qualifications

KS4 Courses
This course could lead on to GCSE in Design & Technology
Awarding Body: OCR

Post 16 Courses and Careers
The study of Design & 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 they could take this course to prepare for an apprenticeship or vocational qualification.

More information
For further information, please contact Mr Hainsworth, Head of Design & Technology.

 

Drama

The Year 9 course allows students to explore theatre and the contemporary world of live theatre.  Students are encouraged to explore their own artistic strengths and develop their own artistic identity.

Year 9 is a chance for students to build skills towards the upgraded AQA GCSE Drama assessment, including:

  • The written exam (40% of Drama GCSE)
  • A devised performance (30% of Drama GCSE)
  • A scripted performance (30% of Drama GCSE)

There are no formal assessments that count towards the GCSE until Year 10.  In Year 9, each term students will study different styles and genres in drama, to prepare for the demands of the full GCSE course.

  • Autumn Term – 1st half

The students will start with a baseline assessment by performing a short monologue.Students will then study and perform scenes from ‘Blood Brothers’, while developing exam skills for later in the year

  • Autumn Term – 2nd half

Students will participate in several workshops on different styles of drama, and will watch a piece of live theatre (ideally involving a trip to see a professional play)

  • Spring Term

Drama students participate in a mini mock exam, as part of the entire school mock exam schedule.  Students are assessed on the set text from Autumn Term.  Students will also use the skills from the autumn term workshops to create a short group performance

  • Summer Term

The students will study scenes from various contemporary play scripts, create short performances and develop their ability to show their own artistic intentions

Voluntary Course Contributions
Visits to live theatre performances will be essential.

Why study this subject?
This course is available to all students who enjoy Drama.  Students should enjoy seeing live performances, and studying all of the aspects that go into creating a live performance.  Students should also have a passion to try creative thinking, and be willing to experiment.

Qualifications

KS4 Courses
This course could lead on to GCSE in Drama.

Post 16 Courses and Careers
Students could take this course to prepare for courses such as an A Level in Drama or courses in Performing Arts.  The skills developed will also be beneficial for students looking to pursue careers in the media, or those looking to perform more confidently in interviews.

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

 

Food Preparation and Nutrition

The Year 9 Food course is for students with an interest in food and cookery and will provide them with the experience of using different cooking techniques and methods.  This course will give plenty of opportunity to prepare and cook exciting, interesting and challenging recipes – some recipes will be prescribed as part of the course, but some will be chosen by students.

The aims of this course are to help students to: 

  • Prepare and cook using basic skills and develop more complex skills and cooking techniques
  • Understand food and its functions (including some Food Science) and nutrition in the body
  • Understand balanced diets, healthy eating guidelines and the modification of recipes for health 
  • Understand the importance of food safety & hygiene and apply this to practical cooking
  • Think about where food comes from, it’s provenance and sustainability
  • Plan, cook and produce dishes for a purpose or task within a specified time (preparation for practical exams in Year 10 & 11)
  • Understand the requirements of NEA (Non-Exam Assessment) Food Investigations and Food Preparation Tasks prior to Year 10 & 11 courses
  • Learn a valuable ‘life skill’ – we all have to eat!

Voluntary Course Contributions
Please be aware that there is a commitment to bring ingredients to school for Food lessons in Year 9.  School provides some ‘stock’ ingredients.

Why study this subject?
Students will have completed food topics as part of DT Food Technology in Years 7 and 8 and should have an interest in developing their knowledge and understanding of food and cooking further.  It is a course suitable for students of all abilities.

Qualifications

KS4 Courses
This course could lead on to GCSE in Food Preparation and Nutrition

Post 16 Courses and Careers
Students could take this course to prepare for:

  • Hospitality and catering courses (e.g. at BCOT)
  • Food Science
  • Dietician and nutritionist
  • Working in the food industry
  • Chef or cook
  • Career in catering

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

 

ICT

The course is designed to teach the necessary skills to prepare students for either the GCSE Computing course or a GCSE equivalent qualification in iMedia.  It offers the opportunity to explore programming techniques as well as an introduction to digital artistic skills.

Students will study:

  • Website creation using HTML and Dreamweaver
  • Graphic Illustration using Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop
  • Computer programming using Python
  • Using databases and spreadsheets
  • Cybersecurity basics

The programming element of the course will develop critical thinking, analysis and problem-solving skills, 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, including engineering, financial and resource management, science and medicine.

The graphics element aims to:

  • equip students with the knowledge, understanding and skills they need to design and make, effective digital products for others to use
  • enable students to use digital tools as a means of expression to inform, persuade and entertain
  • foster students’ creativity and develop their independent learning skills
  • challenge students to reflect on what they produce and strive for excellence
  • increase students’ awareness of their responsibilities in the digital world and their respect of other people’s rights
  • give students the knowledge, understanding and skills they need to support future learning and exploit the creative digital industries

Why study this subject?

Students should be aware that programming can be demanding, and is suited to students who are mathematically minded and capable of working independently.  The graphics element is suitable for all students with an interest in creative digital media.

Qualifications

KS4 Courses
This course could lead on to GCSE in Computing, or a Cambridge National Certificate in iMedia.

Post 16 Courses and Careers
This course could lead on to qualifications in A Level Computing, Graphic Design, Creative Digital Media, and BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in ICT.

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

 

Media Studies

This course will prepare students for either the GCSE course or the BTEC Media course in Year 10, and will include a mixture of practical work and written analytical work.

Students will learn to apply the four key concepts (language / audience / representation / institutions) to a range of media texts including: film and television, magazines, advertising, video games and social media.  Students will develop a better understanding of the media industry and its role in our daily lives. 

As well as analysing media texts, students will learn pre-production and production skills, and have the opportunity to make their own media texts, for example magazine production and film making.

Why Study this subject?

Students do not need to be an artist to take Media Studies, but must have a willing and open mind.  Students will be encouraged to work independently on project based tasks and sometimes they will be asked to work in groups.  We hope that students choosing Media Studies will want to take their own photos and film footage in their own time outside of school.

Qualifications

KS4 Courses
This course could lead on to GCSE in Media Studies, or a BTEC (GCSE equivalent qualification) in Creative Digital Media.

Post 16 Courses and Careers
The BTEC course offers students a specialist qualification for working in areas of the creative industry.  This could lead on to other vocational qualifications such as a BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Creative Media Production or other practical media courses.  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.

GCSE Media 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 media, advertising, marketing and IT.

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

 

Music

The three components of this course are:

Performance

  • Solo and ensemble performance
  • Developing performance skills

Composing

  • Developing skills in garage band and Sibelius in forms such as Ternary Form, Ground Bass and Film Music

Listening and appraising

  • Listening to a variety of genres and commenting on the elements as well as comparing music for example, ‘Why does Star Wars make a better fantasy piece than Batman?’

Voluntary Course Contributions
Visits to some musical events and concerts will be beneficial.

Why Study this subject?
Students should have an interest in music and some practical ability to make music.  A good performance level and / or receiving lessons in voice or instrument are not needed for Year 9, but are something that will need to be considered prior to beginning full GCSE options in Year 10.

Qualifications

KS4 Courses
This course could lead on to GCSE in Music.

Post 16 Courses and Careers
Students could take this course to prepare for courses such as an A Level in Music Technology, Music Performance courses or courses in Performing Arts.  This course is also a good stepping stone for the Specialist Music Course.

With further training, students could go into a job related to music and the performing arts such as a musician or teacher, or they may wish to pursue a career in the production of music.

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

 

P.E. (Examined)

The Year 9 P.E. course is for students with an interest in sport, and will provide an introduction to some of the key theory topics that they will go on to cover in more depth if they opt for one of the examined P.E. courses at the end of Year 9.  The course will give more practical time to enhance students’ skills across a range of activity areas.

Theoretical modules will cover:

  • The muscular-skeletal system
  • The cardio-respiratory system
  • Planes of movement and axes of rotation
  • Fitness components
  • Types of training
  • Principles of training
  • Sports psychology: arousal control
  • Sports psychology: guidance and feedback
  • The impact of technology on physical activity and sport
  • A balanced diet
  • The consequences of a sedentary lifestyle
  • The commercialisation of sport

Practical activities will include:

  • Invasion games (e.g. Basketball)
  • New / wall games (e.g. Badminton)
  • Striking / fielding games (e.g. Cricket)
  • Athletics activities

Why study this subject?

Students should be passionate about sport and keen to learn more, both practically and theoretically.  Students should be playing and competing in a range of sports at a good level, and be willing to attend after-school clubs and training sessions to further develop their skills and performances.

Qualifications

KS4 Courses
This course could lead on to GCSE in P.E., or a Technical Award in Sport (GCSE equivalent qualification).

Post 16 Courses and Careers
Students could take this course to prepare for courses such as an A Level in P.E., followed by Sport Science courses at University.

Potential careers include:

  • Sports coach
  • P.E. Teacher
  • Physiotherapy
  • Nutritionist
  • Sports Psychologist

More information
For further information, please contact Mrs Jackson, Head of P.E.