Our GCSE curriculum is well planned, wide ranging and enriching. Its balance and focus on individual development, helps us to stimulate an enquiring mind, establishing key skills and a wealth of experience in our pupils that will be of great benefit to them for the future.
At GCSE we aim to provide a demanding and flexible curriculum.
Preparation for GCSE takes two years: the examinations are not designed to be taken in less time, partly because of the content and the skills that have to be developed, and partly because a major element is coursework, i.e. the work done throughout the two years of study. For this reason, everyone starting a course is advised that it is important to make the right choice, and that changing from one course to another is difficult, except at the very beginning.
The following subjects are compulsory for all pupils:
English Language or English Language and Literature
English as an Additional Language (for international students)
Science (Double Award)
Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE)
Careers Guidance and Study Skills
Offered in the core is English Language or English Language and Literature; the teaching of this subject is an integral part of the English curriculum and could lead to a double grade GCSE. Some pupils might be unable to cope with the additional demands of English Language and Literature and may be advised not to take it. Science is offered as a double or triple grade subject.
The remainder of a pupil’s course is made up of 14 optional subjects.
These may be chosen from a range of subjects that will be arranged in FOUR blocks that allow a number of choices. These subjects will be defined by pupil choice. This could allow a subject in heavy demand to repeat in another column and therefore increase the combinations available. This will enable every pupil to sit up to a maximum of nine GCSE examinations. We are sometimes asked why pupils do not take more subjects: the answer is that a total of nine passes is more than enough to meet the needs of any situation in the future, and that what matters is the standard of grades, not the number of qualifications.
The most important point to bear in mind when deciding which subjects to take in Year 10 is balance.
Career aspirations are important, as is the enjoyment of a subject.