Year 8 Options - Core Subjects

CORE SUBJECTS OPTIONAL SUBJECTS

BTEC SUBJECTSTHE RISE

OPTIONS FORM 2021

When you have made your choices, please use this form and return by Thursday 1st April 2021.

English GCSE

  • Faculty Leader:  Miss J Monahan

  • Board and Syllabus: AQA

  • Course Outline

    In years 9, 10 and 11, you will be following an integrated course in your English lessons.  This means that you will be studying English Language and English Literature together in a combined course, rather than as separate subjects. At the end of your study, you will receive two GCSEs in English: English Language and English Literature.

English Language

English Language GCSE is made up of 3 components. The two chief components are assessed through examinations at the end of Year 11. The third element of GCSE English Language is a non-examination Spoken Language assessment which is set and marked by the teacher throughout the course. This qualification will be separately endorsed by AQA at the end of Year 11. There are no coursework or controlled assessment elements which contribute to the weighting of the GCSE.

Paper 1 – Explorations in Creative Reading and Writing

Examination – 50%

Section A - 25% Reading one literature fiction text

Section B - 25% Writing: descriptive or narrative

Paper 2 – Writers’ Viewpoints and Perspectives

Examination – 50%

Section A - 25% Reading one literature fiction text

Section B - 25% Writing: descriptive or narrative

English Literature

English Literature GCSE is made up of several components and texts which are assessed through two examinations at the end of Year 11. Students will study a combination of prose, drama and poetry. There are no coursework or controlled assessment elements which contribute to the weighting of the GCSE.

Paper 1 – Shakespeare and the 19th century novel

Examination – 40%

Section A - Shakespeare

Section B - The 19th century novel

Paper 2 – Modern texts and poetry

Examination – 60%

Section A - Modern texts

Section B - Poetry

Section C - Unseen poetry

Mathematics GCSE

  • Faculty Leader: Mr N Sleeman

  • Board and Syllabus: AQA 8300

  • Course Outline

    Year 9 will study for their GCSE Mathematics across three years.

    They will follow a ‘mastery’ curriculum in which topics are studied in depth and which has problem solving at its heart.  They will be assessed 3 times each half term and sit formal internal examinations at the end of each year.

In May of Year 11, pupils will take a linear examination (Higher or Foundation). This consists of three papers – one without a calculator and two with calculator allowed.

There will be two tiers of entry for the final examination, all papers sat will be from the same tier:

  • Higher: grades available are 4-9

  • Foundation: grades available are 1-5

  • Each paper may consist of topics learnt from across any part of the syllabus.

Equipment

Pupils will need a scientific calculator, pair of compasses, a protractor and a glue stick in addition to their usual tools for learning. This equipment is necessary for lessons as well as examinations. Items may be purchased from the Mathematics department if required.

Areas of study follow the traditional mathematical categories of Number, Algebra, Shape and space and Statistics.

There is no non-examined element to the course i.e. no coursework.

Science GCSE

  • Faculty Leader: Mr. J Phillips

  • Board and Syllabus: AQA GCSE Combined Science Trilogy

    Pupils will study for GCSEs in Combined Science Trilogy taught in Years 9, 10 and 11 then final examinations are in May and June 2024 and is equivalent to 2 GCSEs.  Year 11 pupils will also have an opportunity to study and gain separate GCSEs in Biology, Chemistry and Physics.  Entry for separate Sciences is conditional on being in sets 1a in year 11. 

  • Course Outline

    The GCSE Science specification covers all aspects of a science education: evaluating evidence and the implications of science for society; explaining, theorising and modelling in science and procedural and technical knowledge of science practice.

BIOLOGY areas of study

  • Cell Biology

  • Organisation of Organ systems

  • Infection and Responses

  • Bioenergetics – Photosynthesis and Respiration

  • Homeostasis and Responses

  • Inheritance Variation and Evolution

  • Ecology

CHEMISTRY areas of study

  • Atomic Structure and the Periodic table

  • Bonding Structure and properties of matter

  • Quantitative chemistry

  • Chemical changes

  • Energy changes

  • The rate and extent of chemical change

  • Organic Chemistry

  • Chemical Analysis

  • Chemistry and the atmosphere

  • Using Resources

PHYSICS areas of study

  • Forces

  • Energy

  • Waves

  • Electricity

  • Magnetism and Electromagnetism

  • Particle model of matter

  • Atomic Structure

Assessment

The three units are currently assessed by two 1 hours 15 minute exams each. There will also be a practical science assessment within these exams where pupils will be questioned on the subject knowledge they have gained in practical sessions

  • GCSE Biology, Chemistry and Physics

    If a pupil is in our top set in year 11 they will be given the opportunity to continue being taught and examined on the Separate Science Syllabus.  Pupils achieve 3 GCSEs, 1 for each subject.    This work will be in additional depth to subject matter already taught.

    Assessment

    The three units are currently assessed by two 1 hours 45 minute exams each. There will also be a practical science assessment within these exams where pupils will be questioned on the subject knowledge they have gained in practical sessions.

Design and Technology GCSE - One course needs to be selected from Design & Technology and Food Preparation & Nutrition


  • Head of Department:  Mr. B Turnham

  • The new Design and Technology GCSE is divided into two GCSE options:

    - GCSE Design & Technology

    - GCSE Food Preparation and Nutrition

The Design and Technology GCSE will require pupils to have a basic understanding of all areas covered at KS3 (excluding Food) and will cover the following materials: woods, metals, plastics, papers and boards, man-made and natural fabrics and smart/modern materials.

It will also cover a range of core D&T theory areas such as energy production, sustainability, new and emerging technologies, mechanisms and electronic systems.

Pupils only ‘specialise’ in a chosen material for a section of the final exam and for their non-exam assessment (coursework project).

The options available for the Design and Technology GCSE are:

  • D&T – Timber based Materials

  • D&T – Textile based Materials

  • D&T – Metal based Materials

  • D&T – Paper & Board Materials

The Food Preparation and Nutrition GCSE course focuses solely on food and the science behind food.

Both courses are split 50% examined content and 50% non-exam assessment (a coursework project carried out in Year 11).

Every effort will be made to ensure that pupils are able to study their first choice, but care will be taken to ensure that this is also the most appropriate choice.  It is very important that pupils study the subject that best suits their own skills and style of work, so that they can achieve the highest possible grade. 

All employers and further education establishments recognise all the areas of study as being equal in status and validity.  The common core of all Design and Technology courses allows pupils to go on to study at A-Level.

All pupils in year 8 will be given the opportunity to discuss their choice of course and their suitability for each with members of the Technology staff.  Due to Health and Safety regulations numbers are limited in each group.  It will also be very difficult to change groups once the courses have begun.

DESIGN AND TECHNOLOGY – GCSE

 

  • Subject Leader: Mr. B Turnham

  • Board and Specification: EDEXCEL (1DT0)

Assessment: Written exam – 50% of GCSE (1 hour 45 mins)

Section A – Core technical principles (40% of exam - 40 marks)

This section contains a mixture of different question styles, including open-response, graphical, calculation and extended-open-response questions. There will be 10 marks of calculation questions in Section A.

Section B – Material categories (60% of exam 60 marks)

This section contains a mixture of different question styles, including

open-response, graphical, calculation and extended-open-response questions. There will be 5 marks of calculation questions in Section B.

This section focuses solely on the material that matches your option choice.

Non-exam assessment – 50% of GCSE

Non-exam assessment (NEA): 30–35 hours approx. (100 marks)

This will consist of a major project carried out in Year 11 where students will produce a prototype and a portfolio of evidence.

The marks will be awarded for:

- Identifying and investigating design possibilities

- Producing a design brief and specification

- Generating design ideas

- Developing design ideas

- Realising design ideas

- Analysing and evaluating

During the course, pupils will build on the design skills, practical skills and knowledge and understanding gained during Key Stage 3. Pupils will gain further understanding of all the following material areas: woods, metals, plastics, papers and boards, man-made and natural fabrics and smart/modern materials. It will also cover a range of core D&T theory areas such as energy production, sustainability, new and emerging technologies, mechanisms and electronic systems.

Options choices – All options will cover the same syllabus but the choice will affect the specialised materials categories section of the examination and the choice of primary material used for the non-exam assessment.

  • D&T – Timber based Materials

  • D&T – Textile based Materials

  • D&T – Metal based Materials

  • D&T – Paper and board Materials

DESIGN AND TECHNOLOGY – GCSE FOOD PREPARATION AND NUTRITION

  • Subject Leader:  Miss J Seymour

  • Board and Syllabus: AQA

Assessment:

Written exam – 50% of GCSE

This consists of one written paper, set and marked by the Examination Board to assess pupils’ knowledge and understanding and is out of 100 marks.  This examination accounts for 50% of the final GCSE grade.

Non-exam assessment - 50% of GCSE

The non-exam assessment is worth 50% and is split into Task 1 (15%) – written report (1,500-2,000 words including photographic evidence) to show the understanding of the working characteristics, functional and chemical properties of ingredients. Task 2 (35%) – plan, prepare, cook and serve a three course meal in three hours.

Task 1: Food investigation (15%)

Looking at the working characteristics, functional and chemical properties of ingredients. Written or electronic report (1,500 – 2,000 words) including photographic evidence of the practical investigation.

Task 2: Food preparation assessment (35%)

Knowledge, skills and understanding in relation to the planning, preparation, cooking and presentation of the food. Application of nutrition related to the chosen task is also judged.

Pupils will prepare, cook and present a final menu of three dishes within a 3 hour time frame. Photographic evidence of the final dishes must be included as well as a written or electronic portfolio of work.

This course allows pupils, through practical work to develop their planning, preparing and cooking skills by using a variety of commodities, cooking techniques and equipment. By looking at a range of ingredients pupils will explore and understand the processes used in different culinary traditions to inspire new ideas or the ability to modify existing recipes. It also ensures that pupils develop a thorough understanding of the nutritional content of food and the relationship between diet, nutrition and health. Pupils will also look at the economic, environmental, ethical and socio-cultural influences that affect food availability and production processes. Microbiological food safety considerations will also be covered when preparing, processing, storing, cooking and serving food.

Food preparation skills are integrated into five main sections:

  1. Food, nutrition and health

  2. Food science

  3. Food safety

  4. Food choice

  5. Food provenance

Pupils will be required to bring in ingredients and suitable ovenproof containers for their lessons

Citizenship GCSE

  • Subject Leader:  Mr G Dawson
  • Course Outline

    The Citizenship GCSE curriculum prepares pupils for the opportunities, responsibilities, challenges and experiences of young and adult life.  It is essential for the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of pupils.

The following areas are studied:

Theme 1: Life in Modern Britain

  • Principles and values in British Society

  • Identity The media and the free press

  • The UK’s role in key international Agencies

  • Making a difference in society

Theme 2: Rights and Responsibilities

  • Laws in contemporary society

  • Rights and responsibilities within the legal system

  • How laws protect the citizen and deal with criminals

  • Universal human rights

  • Bringing about change in the legal system

Theme 3: Politics and Participation

  • Political power in the UK

  • Local and devolved government

  • Where does political power reside?

  • How do others govern themselves?

  • Bringing about political change

Theme 4: Taking citizenship action.

  • An investigation, of the student’s choice, of a citizenship issue.

Assessment

The specification is assessed through two exams of 1 hour 45 minutes.

 Pupils are continually assessed using the following methods

  • End of unit written tests

  • Portfolio evidence in the form of written classroom assignments

  • Presentations

  • Peer and self assessment

  • Home learning tasks

The curriculum content is delivered by specialist teachers includes the use of engaging, current and relevant resources which aim to motivate and enthuse pupils about the topics they study.

CORE PHYSICAL EDUCATION - NON EXAMINATION

  • Subject Leader:  Mr A Worsell
  • Pupils continue to have the opportunity to follow a broad and balanced PE curriculum.  This offers them the chance to expand and consolidate the skills that they learned in Key Stage 3, and gives them an opportunity for a choice of activities.  During this Key Stage pupils are expected to extend their planning, performing and evaluating skills in order to understand the benefits of exercise, and continue a healthy lifestyle.  It is also hoped that they will develop their ability to organise teams and officiate games.

The activities offered for further study include: rugby, football, netball, basketball, lacrosse, cooperative games, health related fitness, yoga, parkour, gymnastics, dodgeball, handball, trampolining, badminton, table tennis, athletics, cricket, tennis, American football, softball and rounders.

There is always the opportunity to experience alternative sporting activities if the situation arises and the specialist instructors can be found locally.

The PE department hopes that all pupils will acquire the skills, knowledge, understanding and confidence to participate actively in sport throughout their adult lives.