We aim to provide a broad and challenging curriculum for all pupils in the Fourth and Fifth Forms. The core curriculum is supplemented with the choice of five option subjects.

The Core Subjects

The qualifications for all of the core subjects are IGCSEs, which are an international equivalent of GCSEs and recognised as such by universities and employers. The following subjects are taken by all pupils. All courses conclude with examinations at the end of the Fifth Form.

English

All pupils are prepared for the IGCSE in English Language. Pupils will also submit work for the Living Texts qualification. A natural development of our internal literature course, this is an alternative to GCSE English Literature. It should be noted that, whilst the award is not the equivalent of a GCSE, Grades (from A* downwards) and certificates will be awarded by the OCR Examination Board. Pupils will read a wide selection of texts and complete analytical and creative responses to what they read. Teachers have the freedom to choose texts and set appropriate tasks, thereby developing further the skills needed to study English effectively and independently.

Mathematics

All pupils take the IGCSE course, sitting the exams in the Fifth Form.

Sciences

All pupils are prepared for IGCSEs in Science. Eight sets will be prepared for the Triple Award (pupils achieving IGCSEs in Biology, Chemistry, and Physics) and two sets for the Double Award (pupils achieving 2 IGCSEs across the three sciences). In all cases pupils will continue to study Biology, Chemistry and Physics as separate subjects. The make-up of these sets will be reviewed at the end of the Fourth Form.

A note about GCSE Coursework

Some GCSE courses contain a coursework element. Coursework is independent work completed by pupils during the course which is submitted for formal assessment to the examination boards. Marks from coursework are combined with marks from examinations to form the overall grade. The proportion assessed by coursework varies from subject to subject. Similarly, rules for completion of coursework vary from subject to subject, including the amount of preparation, help available from teachers, the possibility of re-submission of marked pieces of work and time available for working on the piece outside the classroom. There is one fundamental rule for all pieces of coursework, which is that the work submitted must be the pupil’s own. Pupils who do not adhere to the rules for one subject may be considered to be cheating by the examination boards with the possible result that they will be failed for all of their GCSEs.

A note about Educational Support

Educational Support continues to be available to pupils on an individual basis in the Fourth and Fifth Form.

GCSE Options Booklet