Back to Year 9 Options

You have to study for GCSEs in English Language, English Literature, Mathematics and Combined Science. You will also have lessons in PE which are non-examined.

AQA GCSE English literature & language

Subject Lead: Mrs Ann-Julie Webster

English Language

Our curriculum provides students with the opportunity to explore a range of different methods of communication through the study of fiction and non fiction texts and extracts.  Students will develop the ability to write grammatically correct sentences, utilise figurative language and analyse texts. Students will explore how language shapes meaning and underpins everything they hear and see.  Through language analysis and evaluation, as well as developing their own writing skills, students will learn to interpret writers’ messages and meaning.  Students will be required to develop their own fiction and non-fiction texts as well as writing and delivering a speech on a topic of their choice.  Through the course students will develop the skills and knowledge required to be able to access IB English Literature and Language should they wish to continue in their study of English.

Our curriculum allows students to draw together knowledge, skills and understanding from a variety of literary genres spanning various historical, social and cultural contexts. Students’ exploration of a wide variety of Literature genres equips them with the range of text types to be able to study Literature and Language at IB level.    Students will utilise the skills they develop in English Language to support their Literature journey as they learn to explore layers of meaning across a variety of text types from different genres and periods across time. 

English Language

Paper 1: Explorations in creative reading and writing

  • Section A – Reading: fiction
  • Section B – Writing: descriptive and narrative

Paper 2: Writers’ viewpoints and perspectives

  • Section A – Reading: non-fiction
  • Section B – Writing: transactional 
  • Unit 1: Macbeth
  • Unit 2: An Inspector Calls
  • Unit 3: Power and Conflict poetry
  • Unit 4: Unseen Poetry
  • Unit 5: Jekyll and Hyde
English Language
  • Examination – Students will sit two 1h45 papers, each with a reading and writing section (100% of GCSE)
  • Spoken Language endorsement (Must be completed)
  • Examination – Students will sit two papers to assess the texts they have studied across the programme assessing different text types and genres (100% of GCSE)

By studying English Language & Literature, students are able to progress onto future career pathways such as:

  • Journalism
  • Teaching
  • Public Relations
  • Marketing
  • Publishing 
  • Copywriting
  • Archivist
  • Librarian

Pearsons Edexcel GCSE Mathematics

Subject Lead: Marsha Pryce

The GCSE Mathematics course is designed with the overarching intent of providing students a robust foundation in mathematical concepts, problem-solving, and reasoning skills. Building upon the Middle Years Programme (MYP) framework utilised in Key Stage 3 (KS3), this course aims to deepen students’ mathematical understanding and prepare them for the more advanced International Baccalaureate (IB) Mathematics curriculum in Key Stage 5 (KS5).

Throughout the GCSE Mathematics course, students engage with key mathematical topics such as algebra, geometry, statistics, and number theory. The curriculum emphasises both theoretical understanding and practical application, encouraging students to apply mathematical principles to real-world scenarios. The learning experiences are structured to enhance critical thinking, analytical skills, and mathematical fluency.

The course serves as a progression from the MYP framework by introducing more advanced mathematical concepts and fostering a deeper understanding of the interconnections between different mathematical areas. Students build upon the skills developed in KS3, including the ability to approach problems holistically, use mathematical models, and communicate solutions effectively.

As a crucial stepping stone towards KS5 and the IB Mathematics curriculum, the GCSE Mathematics course aims to equip students with the necessary skills and mindset for higher-level mathematical exploration. By the end of the course, students should be well-prepared to transition seamlessly into the more complex and theoretical aspects of the IB Mathematics program, empowering them for further academic pursuits and careers where advanced mathematical proficiency is valued.

  • Unit 1.  Number: This unit involves understanding and manipulating numbers. It includes topics such as place value, calculations, fractions, decimals, percentages, and ratios.
  • Unit 2. Algebra: Algebraic concepts form a significant part of the GCSE Mathematics curriculum. This unit covers topics such as expressions, equations, inequalities, graphs, and functions.
  • Unit 3. Geometry and Measures: This unit focuses on geometric shapes, their properties, and measurements. Topics include angles, triangles, circles, area, volume, and transformations.
  • Unit 4. Statistics and Probability: This unit introduces students to the basics of statistical analysis and probability. Topics may include data representation, interpretation, averages, probability calculations, and statistical diagrams.
  • Unit 5. Ratio, Proportion, and Rates of Change –  This unit explores the relationships between quantities. Topics include direct and inverse proportion, rates of change, and the application of these concepts in various contexts.

Examination (100% of GCSE)

  • The Edexcel GCSE Mathematics examination consists of three papers: Paper 1 (Non-Calculator), Paper 2 (Calculator), and Paper 3 (Calculator).  
  • Students are graded on a scale from 9 to 1, with 9 being the highest grade and 1 the lowest.
  • Edexcel, like other exam boards, offer both Foundation and Higher tier papers. Foundation tier covers grades 1-5, while Higher tier covers grades 4-9.

By studying GCSE Mathematics, students are able to progress onto future career pathways such as:

  • Administrative Roles: Many administrative and clerical positions require basic mathematical skills. Jobs such as administrative assistants, data entry clerks, and office support roles often involve tasks that require numerical competence, such as managing budgets, handling financial records, and processing data.
  • Retail Positions: In the retail sector, roles such as cashier, sales assistant, or inventory clerk may be suitable for individuals with GCSE Maths qualifications. These positions often involve handling transactions, managing inventory, and basic financial calculations.
  • Healthcare Support Roles: Some healthcare support roles, such as medical receptionist or healthcare assistant, may require basic mathematical skills. Individuals in these roles may need to schedule appointments, maintain records, and handle basic financial transactions. 
  • Apprenticeships and Entry-Level Technical Roles: Certain apprenticeships and entry-level technical positions in fields like construction, manufacturing, or IT may be accessible with a pass in GCSE Mathematics. These roles often involve practical applications of mathematical concepts, such as measurements, calculations, and problem-solving.

AQA GCSE Combined Science

Subject Lead: Mrs S Emslie

Building upon the Middle Years Programme (MYP) framework utilised in Key Stage 3 (KS3), the GCSE course aims to deepen students’ Scientific understanding by introducing more advanced Scientific content, concepts and skills. Students build upon the practical skills developed in KS3: the GCSE curriculum includes all the parts of what good science is at GCSE level: whether it be investigating, observing, experimenting or testing out ideas and thinking about them. The way scientific ideas flow through the curriculum will support students in building a deep understanding of science. This will involve talking about, reading and writing about science plus the actual doing, as well as representing science in its many forms both mathematically and visually through models.

The curriculum has been designed to spiral the 3 disciplines in small, manageable chunks at a time, and is also interleaved between paper 1 and paper 2 content. This way of designing the curriculum is to allow students better progression of content and understanding of connections between topics. Students will complete Year 10 by sitting a set of paper 1 mock exams to identify their strengths and weaknesses ahead of moving into Year 11 where they will continue to recall content of Year 10, complete interventions to maintain standards and knowledge and complete further mocks papers to ensure rigorous analysis of weaknesses to identify gaps in knowledge in advance of the GCSEs.

  • Biology Paper 1: Topics 1–4: Cell Biology; Organisation; Infection and response; and Bioenergetics.
  • Biology Paper 2: Topics 5–7: Homeostasis and response; Inheritance, variation and evolution; and Ecology.
  • Chemistry Paper 1: Topics 8–12: Atomic structure and the periodic table; Bonding, structure, and the properties of matter; Quantitative chemistry; Chemical changes; and Energy changes.
  • Chemistry Paper 2: Topics 13–17: The rate and extent of chemical change; Organic chemistry; Chemical analysis; Chemistry of the atmosphere; and Using resources.
  • Physics Paper 1: Topics 18–21: Energy; Electricity; Particle model of matter; and Atomic structure.
  • Physics Paper 2: Topics 22–24: Forces; Waves; and Magnetism and electromagnetism

Examination (100% of GCSE)

  • The AQA GCSE Combined Science examination consists of six papers: Biology Paper 1 and 2, Chemistry Paper 1 and 2, Physics Paper 1 and 2
  • Students are graded on a scale from 9 to 1, with 9 being the highest grade and 1 the lowest.
  • AQA, like other exam boards, offer both Foundation and Higher tier papers. Foundation tier covers grades 1-5, while Higher tier covers grades 4-9.

By studying GCSE Science, students are able to progress onto future career pathways such as:

Forensic Scientist, Doctor, Nurse, Midwife, Teacher, Engineer, Biochemist, Mechanic, Veterinarian, Beautician

AQA GCSE French & Spanish

Subject lead: Geraldine Ahern

AQA French and Spanish GCSE is a two year course which builds upon the basic vocabulary and grammar points introduced throughout KS3 and develops this to a level of fluency. While the majority of the vocabulary and grammar points will have been seen by the students throughout KS3, the GCSE course allows these to be examined further, with the end goal being for the students to have a deepened understanding of the linguistics, as well as the confidence and autonomy to manipulate and use the language to communicate what they need to. 

This course covers a wide range of topics, allowing students to immerse themselves in the language of choice while attaching their knowledge to a range of topics which are both relevant and interesting to them and their lives. The assessments for this course are in Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing, which are also the skills assessed on in KS3 languages, meaning the students enter their GCSE course comfortable and knowledgeable of the style of assessment which lies ahead. 

We have a range of subject specialists with over 30 years of teaching experience combined, each having a level of proficiency in both languages on offer. All of our teachers, while best preparing students for their exams, are knowledgeable on the importance of being able to speak many languages, as well as have a passion for language learning, which they are eager to pass on and embed into their teaching.

Units of study: These courses are broken into three themes, each of which consists of three topics

Theme 1: People and lifestyle

  • Topic 1: Identity and relationships with others
  • Topic 2: Healthy living and lifestyle
  • Topic 3: Education and work

Theme 2: Popular culture

  • Topic 1: Free-time activities
  • Topic 2: Customs, festivals and celebrations
  • Topic 3: Celebrity culture

Theme 3: Communication and the world around us

  • Topic 1: Travel and tourism, including places of interest
  • Topic 2: Media and technology
  • Topic 3: The environment and where people live
  • Paper 1: Listening – Students are to listen to a variety of audio clips, and use the relevant pieces of information to infer the correct answers, in both English and Spanish/French. Students also complete a dictation task in Spanish/French which consists of new vocabulary to assess knowledge of grammar and phonics (25% of GCSE)
  • Paper 2: Speaking – Students are to complete a series of tasks speaking in the target language as well as reading an extract of an unseen text aloud to show their knowledge of phonics and pronunciation (25% of GCSE)
  • Paper 3: Reading – Students are to read a variety of texts, and use the relevant pieces of information to infer the correct answers, in both English and Spanish/French. Students also complete a translation task from Spanish/French into English (25% of GCSE)
  • Paper 4: Writing – Students are to complete a series of writing tasks, varying in length and requirement. They are to demonstrate both knowledge of vocabulary, as well as ability to manipulate the language, using different tenses and complex structures. Students also complete a translation task in this section from English into Spanish/French (25% of GCSE)

By studying French or Spanish, students are able to progress onto future career pathways such as:

  •  Business
  •  Travel
  •  Law
  •  Teaching

Edexcel B GCSE Geography

The course is designed to be enquiry based learning, in essence applying the critical concepts, many of which have been explored in key stage 3, and now applied to reality through a more critical, analytical lens. The course examines a number of geographical issues, both human and physical, in the UK and Globally. 

Paper 1 covers global issues: Hazards (tectonics and tropical storms); Development issues (key focus on India) and Urbanisation in emerging and developing countries.

Paper 2 covers the UK evolving landscape, features created through glacial and river and coastal processes . The problems and opportunities of urbanisation is assessed with a detailed look at urban land uses, patterns of development and regeneration. The last part of the paper reflects on the field work experiences of the students.

Paper 3 incorporates a more balanced and general assessment of people and environmental issues. It will draw upon their knowledge of the threats to one of the world’s biomes (Tropical rainforest or Taiga rainforest). The exam is often supported by resources which the students are expected to analyse and include in their answers.

Throughout the whole course students are encouraged to debate and apply their knowledge. The basic concepts will have been addressed in KS3  and are reinforced throughout the two years. The department will always encourage students to express their viewpoints and emphasise the importance of justifying their thinking.

The skills and knowledge gained act as a springboard for those looking to continue into Key Stage Five and beyond where global enquiries continue with conflict and the influence of global politics and superpowers are considered.

Unit 1: 

  • Topic 1: Hazardous Earth
  • Topic 2: Development dynamics
  • Topic 3: Challenges of an urbanising world

Unit 2: 

  • Topic 4: The UK’s evolving physical landscape 
  • Topic 5: The UK’s evolving human landscape – including a Case Study – Dynamic UK cities.
  • Topic 6: Geographical investigations –including link to fieldwork.

Unit 3: 

  • Topic 7: People and the biosphere
  • Topic 8: Forests under threat 
  • Topic 9: Consuming energy resources
  • Examination – Papers 1 and 2 account for 37.5%  of the  marks each. Paper 3 accounts for 25% of the marks (100% of GCSE)

By studying Geography, students are able to progress onto future career pathways such as:

  •  Sustainability consultant
  •  Town and city planner
  •  Geospatial analyst
  •  Teacher
  •  Environmental consultant.
  •  Diplomatic service
  •  HM Forces
  •  Logistics/Transport planner
  •  Travel writer/Media
  •  Tourist adviser.

AQA GCSE History

Subject lead: Catherine Bell

We believe in the importance of learning from history. We provide a curriculum that allows students to study different aspects of the past, so they can engage with key issues such as conflict, understand what drives change and how the past influences the present. We include exciting topics for today’s world that will resonate with students, helping them gain new insights into the world around them. GCSE History builds on the skills and topics taught within the IB MYP Key Stage 3, source analysis, understanding of cause and consequence and the ability to discuss opposing interpretations, equipping students with essential skills and preparing them for further study. Additionally, this GCSE course will build on the rise of extremism, development of medicine in society and the role of war in shaping society, that has been studied in KS3 to deepen students understanding of these topics

Students are able to use these skills to study four topics which have shaped our world today and unpick the history of language, culture, war, medicine and many other fundamental areas of our society.

The knowledge developed in this course provides students with a secure foundation to continue into IB History, further honing their historical knowledge and skills while studying a broader range of historical topics. The skills learned at GCSE will also support them in continuing their studies in a variety of subjects as History GCSE provides key critical thinking skills which can be transferred in their higher education.

  • Unit 1: Germany: Democracy and Dictatorship 1890 – 1945
  • Unit 2: Conflict and Tension: The interwar years 1918 – 1939
  • Unit 3: Health and the People c.1000 – modern day
  • Unit 4: A Norman England, c1066-c1100
  • Examination – Students complete 2 examination papers in the summer of Year 11, both of which are worth 50% of the final grade. Paper 1 is scheduled for 2 hours and covers the content outlined in units 1 and 2. Paper 2 is scheduled for 2 hours and covers the content outlined in units 3 and 4. (100% of GCSE)

By studying history, students are able to progress onto future career pathways such as:

  •  Journalism
  •  Law
  •  Teaching
  •  Writer/author
  •  Editor