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Science Lesson in School
Students Studying with the help of a teacher

GCSE Options

KAS students generally study nine subjects at GCSE. The curriculum for KAS students entering Year 10 will comprise four areas of study/activity:

  • Examined subjects to be studied for GCSE
  • Choice activities, non-examinable afternoon options (much as in Years 7, 8 and 9)
  • Games
  • You will also have one tutorial period (Form Hour) per week, covering a number of activities, including planning careers, study skills, IT, PSHE (Personal, Social and Health Education), and Skills for Society in general.

Students must take all the compulsory subjects and they have a choice of three optional subjects. We try to encourage students to follow a good balance of subjects and to think carefully about the mix of compulsory and optional subjects.

Art & Design

Areta Space Exhibition

Art & Design

Optional

Exam board: Edexcel

The study of Art & Design promotes and encourages the development of imagination, creativity and critical thinking. Students will work individually and together developing ideas and exploring creative processes. Students will learn to develop further their use of sketchbooks to gather ideas that interest and inspire them, and refine these ideas into more resolved outcomes. They will gain experience of working broadly across a range of disciplines within the design fields, learning about the building blocks of visual language, and covering work in the following areas:

•             Drawing and photography
•             Painting and printmaking
•             Textile and fashion design
•             Ceramics and sculpture
•             Graphic design
•             Contextual studies

The Art & Design GCSE comprises three projects spread across the two years. Each one is themed and students will be supported to produce a sketchbook of research and ideas, as well as a body of classwork for each. The themes are very much open to interpretation and the development of personal and individual imaginations will be promoted and encouraged.

Assessment of work

Students are assessed on four main criteria: the ability to research; the ability to develop design ideas from looking at the work of artists and designers; the ability to experiment with, review and refine their own work; the realisation of ideas. Coursework related to the first two projects contributes 60% of the final assessment.  The other 40% is for the final project. All work is marked internally and externally moderated at the end of the course when an exhibition is mounted of every candidate’s work.

Exam: 0%

Coursework: 60%

Other controlled assessment: 40%

Further study

Completing a GCSE in Art is essential preparation for A levels in Art & Design and History of Art (Critical & Contextual Studies in Art). It is also good preparation for Photography A level.

 

Classical civilisation

Students on a Latin trip

Classical civilisation

Optional

Exam board: OCR

Classical Civilisation is a wide-ranging humanities subject, which explores the ancient world through original sources, both literary and archaeological. All sources are studied in translation, so no knowledge of Latin or Greek is required. The course provides an excellent introduction to the classical world and its legacy. Students will study material from ancient Greece and Rome, and other societies with which they came into contact.

Many learners come to Classical Civilisation due to a love of Greek mythology, and this forms a central part of the GCSE. In the first year of the course, learners will study myths about the role of gods and heroes such as Hercules. They will also explore links between myth and the exercise of power, rituals surrounding death and burial, and festivals. Other topics that run through the modules include gender, politics, and morality; these foster creative thinking and encourage students to make comparisons between ancient and modern society. They also learn skills of rigorous interpretation of evidence, and of analytical analysis and discussion.

Assessment of work

Students do two written papers. The first is a comparative study of ancient Greece and Rome, and combines literary and visual/material sources. In the second paper, students couple an in-depth cultural and archaeological study with the study of a related body of literature.

Exam: 100%

Coursework: 0%

Other controlled assessment: 0%

Further study

Classical Civilisation can be continued at A level. A study of Classical Civilisation also complements further study of other humanities subjects such as English, History, Politics and Philosophy.

Computer science

Students Studying with the help of a teacher

Computer science

Optional

Exam board: Eduqas

The study of Computer Science encourages students to understand and apply the fundamental principles of computer science through of a combination of practical activities, algorithm design, problem analysis and studying real world applications. Through logical discipline and imaginative creativity, students can develop a deeper understanding of the underlying concepts. The course encourages students to extend their horizons beyond the school environment in order to appreciate the effects of computer science on society and individuals.

Students are to be given the opportunity to undertake programming tasks during their course of study which allows them to develop their skills to design, write, test and refine programs using a high-level programming language. Students will be assessed on these skills during the written examination.

Assessment of work

Students are assessed through two examinations. The first assesses knowledge of computer hardware and architecture, logic, communication, the organisation and structure of data, software, principles of programming, security and ethics. The second exam is screen based and will test the students ability to write algorithms, create web pages, work with graphical environments and think computationally.

Exams: 100%

Coursework: 0%

Other controlled assessment 0%

Further study

Students are able to go onto study A level OCR Computer Science.

Areta Space Exhibition

Art & Design

Optional

Exam board: Edexcel

The study of Art & Design promotes and encourages the development of imagination, creativity and critical thinking. Students will work individually and together developing ideas and exploring creative processes. Students will learn to develop further their use of sketchbooks to gather ideas that interest and inspire them, and refine these ideas into more resolved outcomes. They will gain experience of working broadly across a range of disciplines within the design fields, learning about the building blocks of visual language, and covering work in the following areas:

•             Drawing and photography
•             Painting and printmaking
•             Textile and fashion design
•             Ceramics and sculpture
•             Graphic design
•             Contextual studies

The Art & Design GCSE comprises three projects spread across the two years. Each one is themed and students will be supported to produce a sketchbook of research and ideas, as well as a body of classwork for each. The themes are very much open to interpretation and the development of personal and individual imaginations will be promoted and encouraged.

Assessment of work

Students are assessed on four main criteria: the ability to research; the ability to develop design ideas from looking at the work of artists and designers; the ability to experiment with, review and refine their own work; the realisation of ideas. Coursework related to the first two projects contributes 60% of the final assessment.  The other 40% is for the final project. All work is marked internally and externally moderated at the end of the course when an exhibition is mounted of every candidate’s work.

Exam: 0%

Coursework: 60%

Other controlled assessment: 40%

Further study

Completing a GCSE in Art is essential preparation for A levels in Art & Design and History of Art (Critical & Contextual Studies in Art). It is also good preparation for Photography A level.

 

Students on a Latin trip

Classical civilisation

Optional

Exam board: OCR

Classical Civilisation is a wide-ranging humanities subject, which explores the ancient world through original sources, both literary and archaeological. All sources are studied in translation, so no knowledge of Latin or Greek is required. The course provides an excellent introduction to the classical world and its legacy. Students will study material from ancient Greece and Rome, and other societies with which they came into contact.

Many learners come to Classical Civilisation due to a love of Greek mythology, and this forms a central part of the GCSE. In the first year of the course, learners will study myths about the role of gods and heroes such as Hercules. They will also explore links between myth and the exercise of power, rituals surrounding death and burial, and festivals. Other topics that run through the modules include gender, politics, and morality; these foster creative thinking and encourage students to make comparisons between ancient and modern society. They also learn skills of rigorous interpretation of evidence, and of analytical analysis and discussion.

Assessment of work

Students do two written papers. The first is a comparative study of ancient Greece and Rome, and combines literary and visual/material sources. In the second paper, students couple an in-depth cultural and archaeological study with the study of a related body of literature.

Exam: 100%

Coursework: 0%

Other controlled assessment: 0%

Further study

Classical Civilisation can be continued at A level. A study of Classical Civilisation also complements further study of other humanities subjects such as English, History, Politics and Philosophy.

Students Studying with the help of a teacher

Computer science

Optional

Exam board: Eduqas

The study of Computer Science encourages students to understand and apply the fundamental principles of computer science through of a combination of practical activities, algorithm design, problem analysis and studying real world applications. Through logical discipline and imaginative creativity, students can develop a deeper understanding of the underlying concepts. The course encourages students to extend their horizons beyond the school environment in order to appreciate the effects of computer science on society and individuals.

Students are to be given the opportunity to undertake programming tasks during their course of study which allows them to develop their skills to design, write, test and refine programs using a high-level programming language. Students will be assessed on these skills during the written examination.

Assessment of work

Students are assessed through two examinations. The first assesses knowledge of computer hardware and architecture, logic, communication, the organisation and structure of data, software, principles of programming, security and ethics. The second exam is screen based and will test the students ability to write algorithms, create web pages, work with graphical environments and think computationally.

Exams: 100%

Coursework: 0%

Other controlled assessment 0%

Further study

Students are able to go onto study A level OCR Computer Science.

Design & Technology

Students in the Design Technology labs

Design & Technology

Optional

Exam board: AQA

GCSE Design and Technology will prepare students to participate confidently and successfully in an increasingly technological world. Students will gain awareness and learn from wider influences on Design and Technology including historical, social, cultural, environmental and economic factors. Students will get the opportunity to work creatively when designing and making and apply technical and practical expertise.

The new GCSE Design and Technology course will give students the opportunity to use their creativity and imagination to design and make prototypes that solve real and relevant problems. Whilst considering their own and others’ needs wants and values, students can learn about a wide variety of contemporary technologies, materials and processes, as well as established practices.

Assessment of work

Students do one written exam and coursework. In the exam there is a mixture of multiple choice, short answer and extended response questions. It is split into sections assessing breadth of Technical knowledge, Specialist technical principles and Designing and making principles. In the Non-Exam Assessment students will undertake a single ‘design and make’ activity, which will arise from investigating one of five contextual challenges set by the exam board (released annually by AQA on 1 June in the year prior to the submission of the NEA). Students will produce a working prototype and a portfolio of evidence (max 20 pages). Work will be marked by teachers and moderated by AQA.

Exam: 50%

Coursework: 50%

Other controlled assessment: 0%

Further study

Students who gain GCSE Design & Technology can go on to study the subject at A level, where students study 3D Design: WJEC Art and Design.

Drama

Upper School Show - Legally Blonde

Drama

Optional

Exam board: UAL

This course is aimed at students who have a passion for Drama and is shaped to get the maximum out of its students as performers, production technicians and designers. The key qualities we look for: enthusiasm, passion for theatre, and a ‘can do’ attitude. You can approach this course as an actor, technician or a mixture of both.

You will explore many aspects of performance and production and develop as an artist, an academic and as a person developing resilience, responsibility, organisation, critical & creative thinking, teamwork and professionalism. A variety of performance opportunities will allow you to put your skills and technique into practice. Such projects include: From page to stage – bringing a text to life, devising, scripted performance, personal research project and presentation. All practical work will be produced to the highest technical standard at King Alfred’s very own Phoenix Theatre and be internally marked externally moderated.

Assessment of work

NOTE: this course is not a GCSE but is equivalent to four GCSEs
Practical assessments are carried out through a series of projects based on real industry scenarios and academic tasks. Projects are accompanied by written work varying from essays to presentations to journals that document student progress.

Qualification Structure

Y10UnitContent
Term 1Unit 1 Introduction to performance

Unit 2 Introduction to production

An introduction to elements of the course in terms of performance, production and writing, building towards informal performances
Term 2Unit 3 Communicating with an audience

Unit 4 Staging a performance

Unit 5 Contextual research for performance and production

An exploration of a text – practically and on paper – in terms of its context and style, building towards performance of extracts
Term 3Unit 6 Performance skills and practice

Unit 7 Production skills and practice

A devised project that will encourage all students to consider elements of performance and production skills, building towards a performance
Y11UnitsContent
Term 1Unit 8 Personal projectAn exploration of the history of theatre, its practitioners and styles. Students will then write and prepare a ten minute research project on a topic of their choice
Term 2Unit 8 Presentation

Unit 9 Producing and performing to an audience

Presentation of project

Rehearsals begin for final project

Term 3Unit 9 Producing and performing to an audienceRehearsals for and performance of final project
Exam LeaveStudents will use this time to finish off their journals and evaluations for their final project

Controlled assessment: 100%

Further study

Students can go on to take A level Theatre Studies or the UAL Level 3 Extended Diploma in Performing and Production Arts.

English Language & English Literature

Upper School students in the library

English Language & English Literature

Compulsory

Exam board: OCR

The new OCR Language qualification meets the needs of students of differing abilities and interests and encourages an exploration of communication, culture and creativity through exciting 19th, 20th and 21st century texts. The syllabus encourages students to develop independent and critical thinking; engage with the richness of our language and literary heritage; and experiment in writing across a range of contexts and styles.

The new OCR English Literature specification is designed to encourage students to engage critically with and explore a variety of texts across the major genres including modern texts as well as classic literature. Underpinned by a skills-based approach, the emphasis is on building students’ confidence
in developing and articulating a fresh, individual response to texts that is supported and justified.

Assessment of work

GCSE English Language is made up of two units: Unit 1 develops understanding of reading and writing non- fiction texts and Unit 2 explores literary texts and creative writing. This is designed to support learners’ development as critical readers and help them make conscious choices when planning and crafting their own writing. Students are assessed by two, two-hour exams. It is also mandatory for candidates to undertake a speaking and listening task as part of the course. However, their achievement in this will constitute an endorsement on their GCSE certificate and will not contribute to their final GCSE grade.

GCSE English Literature is made up of two units, each assessed by a two-hour exam: Unit 1 asks candidates to study one modern prose or drama text and one 19th century prose text. Unit 2 sees students study one thematically linked poetry cluster and one Shakespeare play. There is an unseen element to each exam where candidates will have to compare one of the texts they have studied to a text or section of text which is new to them.

Exam: 100%

Coursework: 0%

Other controlled assessment: 0%

Further study

Students can go on to study A level English Literature.

Students in the Design Technology labs

Design & Technology

Optional

Exam board: AQA

GCSE Design and Technology will prepare students to participate confidently and successfully in an increasingly technological world. Students will gain awareness and learn from wider influences on Design and Technology including historical, social, cultural, environmental and economic factors. Students will get the opportunity to work creatively when designing and making and apply technical and practical expertise.

The new GCSE Design and Technology course will give students the opportunity to use their creativity and imagination to design and make prototypes that solve real and relevant problems. Whilst considering their own and others’ needs wants and values, students can learn about a wide variety of contemporary technologies, materials and processes, as well as established practices.

Assessment of work

Students do one written exam and coursework. In the exam there is a mixture of multiple choice, short answer and extended response questions. It is split into sections assessing breadth of Technical knowledge, Specialist technical principles and Designing and making principles. In the Non-Exam Assessment students will undertake a single ‘design and make’ activity, which will arise from investigating one of five contextual challenges set by the exam board (released annually by AQA on 1 June in the year prior to the submission of the NEA). Students will produce a working prototype and a portfolio of evidence (max 20 pages). Work will be marked by teachers and moderated by AQA.

Exam: 50%

Coursework: 50%

Other controlled assessment: 0%

Further study

Students who gain GCSE Design & Technology can go on to study the subject at A level, where students study 3D Design: WJEC Art and Design.

Upper School Show - Legally Blonde

Drama

Optional

Exam board: UAL

This course is aimed at students who have a passion for Drama and is shaped to get the maximum out of its students as performers, production technicians and designers. The key qualities we look for: enthusiasm, passion for theatre, and a ‘can do’ attitude. You can approach this course as an actor, technician or a mixture of both.

You will explore many aspects of performance and production and develop as an artist, an academic and as a person developing resilience, responsibility, organisation, critical & creative thinking, teamwork and professionalism. A variety of performance opportunities will allow you to put your skills and technique into practice. Such projects include: From page to stage – bringing a text to life, devising, scripted performance, personal research project and presentation. All practical work will be produced to the highest technical standard at King Alfred’s very own Phoenix Theatre and be internally marked externally moderated.

Assessment of work

NOTE: this course is not a GCSE but is equivalent to four GCSEs
Practical assessments are carried out through a series of projects based on real industry scenarios and academic tasks. Projects are accompanied by written work varying from essays to presentations to journals that document student progress.

Qualification Structure

Y10UnitContent
Term 1Unit 1 Introduction to performance

Unit 2 Introduction to production

An introduction to elements of the course in terms of performance, production and writing, building towards informal performances
Term 2Unit 3 Communicating with an audience

Unit 4 Staging a performance

Unit 5 Contextual research for performance and production

An exploration of a text – practically and on paper – in terms of its context and style, building towards performance of extracts
Term 3Unit 6 Performance skills and practice

Unit 7 Production skills and practice

A devised project that will encourage all students to consider elements of performance and production skills, building towards a performance
Y11UnitsContent
Term 1Unit 8 Personal projectAn exploration of the history of theatre, its practitioners and styles. Students will then write and prepare a ten minute research project on a topic of their choice
Term 2Unit 8 Presentation

Unit 9 Producing and performing to an audience

Presentation of project

Rehearsals begin for final project

Term 3Unit 9 Producing and performing to an audienceRehearsals for and performance of final project
Exam LeaveStudents will use this time to finish off their journals and evaluations for their final project

Controlled assessment: 100%

Further study

Students can go on to take A level Theatre Studies or the UAL Level 3 Extended Diploma in Performing and Production Arts.

Upper School students in the library

English Language & English Literature

Compulsory

Exam board: OCR

The new OCR Language qualification meets the needs of students of differing abilities and interests and encourages an exploration of communication, culture and creativity through exciting 19th, 20th and 21st century texts. The syllabus encourages students to develop independent and critical thinking; engage with the richness of our language and literary heritage; and experiment in writing across a range of contexts and styles.

The new OCR English Literature specification is designed to encourage students to engage critically with and explore a variety of texts across the major genres including modern texts as well as classic literature. Underpinned by a skills-based approach, the emphasis is on building students’ confidence
in developing and articulating a fresh, individual response to texts that is supported and justified.

Assessment of work

GCSE English Language is made up of two units: Unit 1 develops understanding of reading and writing non- fiction texts and Unit 2 explores literary texts and creative writing. This is designed to support learners’ development as critical readers and help them make conscious choices when planning and crafting their own writing. Students are assessed by two, two-hour exams. It is also mandatory for candidates to undertake a speaking and listening task as part of the course. However, their achievement in this will constitute an endorsement on their GCSE certificate and will not contribute to their final GCSE grade.

GCSE English Literature is made up of two units, each assessed by a two-hour exam: Unit 1 asks candidates to study one modern prose or drama text and one 19th century prose text. Unit 2 sees students study one thematically linked poetry cluster and one Shakespeare play. There is an unseen element to each exam where candidates will have to compare one of the texts they have studied to a text or section of text which is new to them.

Exam: 100%

Coursework: 0%

Other controlled assessment: 0%

Further study

Students can go on to study A level English Literature.

Geography

Geography Residential

Geography

Optional

Exam Board: OCR

By focusing on the major global issues likely to dominate our future sustainable use of the planet, Geography encourages students to think about their own place in the world, their values, their rights, and their responsibilities. Modern Geography attempts to provoke students into asking and coming up with answers to, the big questions facing society. Climate change, hazard management, the disparities between rich and poor, the future of urban areas, sustainable management of global resources such as the Arctic & the Rainforest, and the changing face of 21st Century UK are just some of the topics about which students can expect to develop a well-informed opinion.

Alongside the ability to think critically and creatively about the changing world,  students will also develop fieldwork skills to allow them to investigate the theory learnt in class in the world around them. There are two field trips, one day trip and one residential, that explore the geography of contrasting places and environments.

In terms of careers, Geographers can be found in every sector of the economy; working in corporations, local business, not-for profit organisations, academia, local and national government and the media. Geography is part of the academic group of English Baccalaureate GCSE subjects and the Russell Group of universities have recognised it as one of their preferred ‘facilitating’ subjects, which support an application into a wide range of undergraduate courses.

Geography bridges the gap between the natural and social sciences. By developing an understanding of how physical and human systems operate and by considering why others’ views may differ from their own, the subject enables students to make sense of the world around them and encourages them to become active local & global citizens.

Assessment of work

There are three exam papers at the end of the course: Our Natural World; People and Society; Geographical Exploration.

Exam: 100%

Coursework: 0%

Other controlled assessment: 0%

Further study

Students can go on to study A level Geography.

History

Ypres trip 2019

History

Optional

Exam board: Edexcel GCSE

History GCSE at KAS equips students to understand crucial themes, stories and events that shaped our world.  Students learn to analyse and organise information, argue and explain their ideas, evaluate source material and use evidence to answer historical questions.

There are four main units of study:

  • Migration to Britain from c800 – today.  This is the story of how Britain has been shaped by and responded to human migrations, from Saxons and Vikings to the Windrush generation. This unit includes a depth study on the experiences of Caribbean migrants in Notting Hill in the 1950s and 1960s.
  • The Cold War – How a conflict between two nuclear-armed superpowers dominated the second half of the twentieth century.
  • Elizabethan England – Power, religion, society and culture in the Elizabethan age.
  • Mao’s China – The dramatic and revolutionary impact that Mao’s rule had on the world’s most populous country.

The course provides an insight into contemporary debates in British history around colonialism and its legacy, and how our world has been shaped by global forces and powers.

Students who are inquisitive, and interested in understanding how our world was shaped by the past will thrive on this course.

In Year 10 we organise a trip to Berlin, to see a city as the epicentre of these events, and also take students out in London to see history on their doorsteps.

Assessment of work

There are three exams of between 1 hour 15 minutes and 1 hour 45 minutes in length. There is no coursework on the GCSE syllabus.

Exam: 100%

Coursework: 0%

Other controlled assessment: 0%

Further study

Students can go on to study A level History and/or A level Politics.

Latin

Girl studying with Latin text books

Latin

Optional

Exam board: OCR

Latin is all around us; it is the basis of much of our language and culture. Studying Latin helps enlarge and clarify English vocabulary, grammar, and spelling. It is also invaluable when learning foreign   languages – especially those directly derived from it, such as French, Spanish and Italian. It opens the door to much of the history, literature, and philosophy of the West, and is invaluable for an understanding of the Classical, Medieval, and Renaissance periods in particular. Much contemporary art, film, and writing derives from Greek and Roman history and myth. Latin at KAS is fun but challenging. Students will build on the work they have done in Year 9 and will follow an intense two-year course, culminating in the reading of two pieces of Latin literature in the original language. This is a programme that requires commitment, but one that offers great rewards.

Assessment of work

There are three components: Language, Prose Literature, and Verse Literature (set texts in the original Latin).

The Language paper is worth 50% of the GCSE and tests translation and comprehension skills as well as the understanding of the derivation of English words from Latin.

The Prose and Verse Literature papers are each worth 25% of the final mark. There is considerable choice of topics. Students are currently studying extracts from Tacitus’ Annals and Pliny’s Letters, alongside a portion of Virgil’s Aeneid about the fall of Troy. The examination tests linguistic understanding and literary appreciation and students welcome the opportunity to study sources in the original language at such an early stage.

Exam: 100%

Coursework: 0%

Other controlled assessment: 0%

Further study

Students can go on to study A level Latin and/ or A level Classical Civilisation.

Geography Residential

Geography

Optional

Exam Board: OCR

By focusing on the major global issues likely to dominate our future sustainable use of the planet, Geography encourages students to think about their own place in the world, their values, their rights, and their responsibilities. Modern Geography attempts to provoke students into asking and coming up with answers to, the big questions facing society. Climate change, hazard management, the disparities between rich and poor, the future of urban areas, sustainable management of global resources such as the Arctic & the Rainforest, and the changing face of 21st Century UK are just some of the topics about which students can expect to develop a well-informed opinion.

Alongside the ability to think critically and creatively about the changing world,  students will also develop fieldwork skills to allow them to investigate the theory learnt in class in the world around them. There are two field trips, one day trip and one residential, that explore the geography of contrasting places and environments.

In terms of careers, Geographers can be found in every sector of the economy; working in corporations, local business, not-for profit organisations, academia, local and national government and the media. Geography is part of the academic group of English Baccalaureate GCSE subjects and the Russell Group of universities have recognised it as one of their preferred ‘facilitating’ subjects, which support an application into a wide range of undergraduate courses.

Geography bridges the gap between the natural and social sciences. By developing an understanding of how physical and human systems operate and by considering why others’ views may differ from their own, the subject enables students to make sense of the world around them and encourages them to become active local & global citizens.

Assessment of work

There are three exam papers at the end of the course: Our Natural World; People and Society; Geographical Exploration.

Exam: 100%

Coursework: 0%

Other controlled assessment: 0%

Further study

Students can go on to study A level Geography.

Ypres trip 2019

History

Optional

Exam board: Edexcel GCSE

History GCSE at KAS equips students to understand crucial themes, stories and events that shaped our world.  Students learn to analyse and organise information, argue and explain their ideas, evaluate source material and use evidence to answer historical questions.

There are four main units of study:

  • Migration to Britain from c800 – today.  This is the story of how Britain has been shaped by and responded to human migrations, from Saxons and Vikings to the Windrush generation. This unit includes a depth study on the experiences of Caribbean migrants in Notting Hill in the 1950s and 1960s.
  • The Cold War – How a conflict between two nuclear-armed superpowers dominated the second half of the twentieth century.
  • Elizabethan England – Power, religion, society and culture in the Elizabethan age.
  • Mao’s China – The dramatic and revolutionary impact that Mao’s rule had on the world’s most populous country.

The course provides an insight into contemporary debates in British history around colonialism and its legacy, and how our world has been shaped by global forces and powers.

Students who are inquisitive, and interested in understanding how our world was shaped by the past will thrive on this course.

In Year 10 we organise a trip to Berlin, to see a city as the epicentre of these events, and also take students out in London to see history on their doorsteps.

Assessment of work

There are three exams of between 1 hour 15 minutes and 1 hour 45 minutes in length. There is no coursework on the GCSE syllabus.

Exam: 100%

Coursework: 0%

Other controlled assessment: 0%

Further study

Students can go on to study A level History and/or A level Politics.

Girl studying with Latin text books

Latin

Optional

Exam board: OCR

Latin is all around us; it is the basis of much of our language and culture. Studying Latin helps enlarge and clarify English vocabulary, grammar, and spelling. It is also invaluable when learning foreign   languages – especially those directly derived from it, such as French, Spanish and Italian. It opens the door to much of the history, literature, and philosophy of the West, and is invaluable for an understanding of the Classical, Medieval, and Renaissance periods in particular. Much contemporary art, film, and writing derives from Greek and Roman history and myth. Latin at KAS is fun but challenging. Students will build on the work they have done in Year 9 and will follow an intense two-year course, culminating in the reading of two pieces of Latin literature in the original language. This is a programme that requires commitment, but one that offers great rewards.

Assessment of work

There are three components: Language, Prose Literature, and Verse Literature (set texts in the original Latin).

The Language paper is worth 50% of the GCSE and tests translation and comprehension skills as well as the understanding of the derivation of English words from Latin.

The Prose and Verse Literature papers are each worth 25% of the final mark. There is considerable choice of topics. Students are currently studying extracts from Tacitus’ Annals and Pliny’s Letters, alongside a portion of Virgil’s Aeneid about the fall of Troy. The examination tests linguistic understanding and literary appreciation and students welcome the opportunity to study sources in the original language at such an early stage.

Exam: 100%

Coursework: 0%

Other controlled assessment: 0%

Further study

Students can go on to study A level Latin and/ or A level Classical Civilisation.

Maths

Upper School student studying

Maths

Compulsory

Exam board: Edexcel

GCSE Mathematics at KAS is a three year course and the pupils in Year 10 continue on from the excellent work that they started in Year 9. Currently in Year 9 all pupils are studying for the Higher level of entry where they can achieve grades from 4-9.

As in Years 7 to 9 pupils are encouraged to come to a ‘drop in’ Mathematics Clinic in the mornings before school starts, for extra help when needed (these run each weekday from 8:05-8:55am).

Homework of some 1½ hours per week in Year 10 rising to 2½ hours in Year 11 is required. Parental guidance and encouragement are welcome and members of the Maths Department are always available to give specific help.

Assessment of work

The examination involves three written question papers.

Exam: 100%

Coursework: 0%

Other controlled assessment: 0%

Further study

Students can go on to study A level Mathematics and/ or A level Further Mathematics.

Modern foreign languages: French & Spanish

upper school lesson

Modern foreign languages: French & Spanish

Compulsory (with option)

Exam board: Edexcel IGCSE

Students can choose to study either French or Spanish or both. If students would like to take both French and Spanish, it will take up one of the three GCSE options.

In both French and Spanish, students work on all four skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing. The department run fortnightly debating clubs in both languages as well as drop in language support sessions.

In Spanish, Year 10 students are offered a chance to participate in our residential trip to Salamanca during Easter holidays. Students are immersed in the language as they stay with Spanish families and attend school during the day.

In French, Year 11 students are offered a chance to participate in our residential trip to Lyon during the first week of October half-term. Students are immersed in the language as they stay with French families and attend school during the day.

Assessment of work

Speaking is worth 25%. This will be a 8-10 minute oral examination in April or May of Year 11.
Listening is worth 25%. This will be examined in May or June of Year 11
Reading and writing is worth 50%. This will be examined in May or June of Year 11.

Exam: 100%

Coursework: 0%

Other controlled assessment: 0%

Further study

Students can go on to study A level French and A level Spanish.

Music

Choir Group

Music

Optional

Exam board: OCR

Music GCSE is an enjoyable and exciting way to consolidate and advance a thorough understanding of a wide range of musical styles and cultures. It is creative course that is designed to suit all young musicians no matter how eclectic their taste.

GCSE Music students need skills on an instrument or voice (around Grade 5 level by the second year of the GCSE course) and an understanding of Music Theory (working towards Grade 3 prior to the start of the course). Any instrument and style of playing is acceptable. Students must take instrumental and vocal lessons, in or out of school, and be willing to attend Music Theory sessions to supplement the work done in class and develop the skills necessary to access the course content.

Unit 1: Listening and appraising (40%)
•             1 hour 30 minute Exam Paper with listening exercises using excerpts of music.

Unit 2: Performing (30%)
•             Performance 1: Solo performance (15%)
•             Performance 2: Ensemble performance (15%)

Unit 3: Composing Music (30%)
•             Composition 1: Composition to a brief (15%)
•             Composition 2: Free Composition (15%)

Candidates are required to contribute to some of the many extra-curricular musical activities in the school. This is a direct and enjoyable way to polish musical skills and broaden musical experience, as well as being a requirement of the exam.

Assessment of work

Students are assessed verbally throughout the GCSE course when both the teacher and their peers give feedback and positive criticism of their performances or compositions. The compositions are completed in lesson time under informal controlled assessment.

The Listening and Understanding exam is the final summative assessment at the end of Year 11. Students work towards this exam by completing practice exercises that are marked together and the answers reflected upon by the group.

Students regularly perform at school concerts to further develop their performing skills and to build their confidence.

Compositions are performed, annotated and recorded throughout the course as a record of progress made. Again, students are given feedback that is taken from the Assessment Guide developed by the exam board.

Exam: 40%

Coursework: 60%

Other controlled assessment: 0%

Further study

Students can go on to study A level Music and/ or A level Music Technology.

Upper School student studying

Maths

Compulsory

Exam board: Edexcel

GCSE Mathematics at KAS is a three year course and the pupils in Year 10 continue on from the excellent work that they started in Year 9. Currently in Year 9 all pupils are studying for the Higher level of entry where they can achieve grades from 4-9.

As in Years 7 to 9 pupils are encouraged to come to a ‘drop in’ Mathematics Clinic in the mornings before school starts, for extra help when needed (these run each weekday from 8:05-8:55am).

Homework of some 1½ hours per week in Year 10 rising to 2½ hours in Year 11 is required. Parental guidance and encouragement are welcome and members of the Maths Department are always available to give specific help.

Assessment of work

The examination involves three written question papers.

Exam: 100%

Coursework: 0%

Other controlled assessment: 0%

Further study

Students can go on to study A level Mathematics and/ or A level Further Mathematics.

upper school lesson

Modern foreign languages: French & Spanish

Compulsory (with option)

Exam board: Edexcel IGCSE

Students can choose to study either French or Spanish or both. If students would like to take both French and Spanish, it will take up one of the three GCSE options.

In both French and Spanish, students work on all four skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing. The department run fortnightly debating clubs in both languages as well as drop in language support sessions.

In Spanish, Year 10 students are offered a chance to participate in our residential trip to Salamanca during Easter holidays. Students are immersed in the language as they stay with Spanish families and attend school during the day.

In French, Year 11 students are offered a chance to participate in our residential trip to Lyon during the first week of October half-term. Students are immersed in the language as they stay with French families and attend school during the day.

Assessment of work

Speaking is worth 25%. This will be a 8-10 minute oral examination in April or May of Year 11.
Listening is worth 25%. This will be examined in May or June of Year 11
Reading and writing is worth 50%. This will be examined in May or June of Year 11.

Exam: 100%

Coursework: 0%

Other controlled assessment: 0%

Further study

Students can go on to study A level French and A level Spanish.

Choir Group

Music

Optional

Exam board: OCR

Music GCSE is an enjoyable and exciting way to consolidate and advance a thorough understanding of a wide range of musical styles and cultures. It is creative course that is designed to suit all young musicians no matter how eclectic their taste.

GCSE Music students need skills on an instrument or voice (around Grade 5 level by the second year of the GCSE course) and an understanding of Music Theory (working towards Grade 3 prior to the start of the course). Any instrument and style of playing is acceptable. Students must take instrumental and vocal lessons, in or out of school, and be willing to attend Music Theory sessions to supplement the work done in class and develop the skills necessary to access the course content.

Unit 1: Listening and appraising (40%)
•             1 hour 30 minute Exam Paper with listening exercises using excerpts of music.

Unit 2: Performing (30%)
•             Performance 1: Solo performance (15%)
•             Performance 2: Ensemble performance (15%)

Unit 3: Composing Music (30%)
•             Composition 1: Composition to a brief (15%)
•             Composition 2: Free Composition (15%)

Candidates are required to contribute to some of the many extra-curricular musical activities in the school. This is a direct and enjoyable way to polish musical skills and broaden musical experience, as well as being a requirement of the exam.

Assessment of work

Students are assessed verbally throughout the GCSE course when both the teacher and their peers give feedback and positive criticism of their performances or compositions. The compositions are completed in lesson time under informal controlled assessment.

The Listening and Understanding exam is the final summative assessment at the end of Year 11. Students work towards this exam by completing practice exercises that are marked together and the answers reflected upon by the group.

Students regularly perform at school concerts to further develop their performing skills and to build their confidence.

Compositions are performed, annotated and recorded throughout the course as a record of progress made. Again, students are given feedback that is taken from the Assessment Guide developed by the exam board.

Exam: 40%

Coursework: 60%

Other controlled assessment: 0%

Further study

Students can go on to study A level Music and/ or A level Music Technology.

Photography

Sixth Form Photography Dark Room

Photography

Optional

Exam board: Eduqas/ WJEC

In GCSE the specification used is Art & Design (Photography). It emphasises the importance of photography as an art form as well as a way to communicate ideas.

Development of ideas through sustained research and individual work is the most important aspect of the course. Candidates are encouraged to understand the potential of photography through:
•             The proper use of cameras, both film and digital and associated equipment
•             Developing and printing monochrome images
•             Working to a brief, theme or topic
•             Viewpoint, composition, depth of field
•             Presentation, layout, mounting
•             The production of journals and critical studies to explain ideas
•             Digital post-production software
•             Studio practice and electronic lighting
•             Work on location

Students may choose to work in many areas of the subject area including: Photo-journalism; Fashion; Portraiture; Illustration; Documentation; Landscape and Cityscape.

All students must provide their own 35mm Single Lens Reflex camera in good working order, a digital camera and ideally a tripod.

Assessment of work

The GCSE examination consists of a coursework Portfolio (60% of the final mark), several projects looked at together as a group, externally set assignments (40% of the final mark). Work is documented in work journals and a portfolio. All work is internally marked and moderated by the exam board.

Exam: 0%

Coursework: 60%

Other controlled assessment: 40%

Further study

Students can go on to study A level Photography.

Physical education

Netball team celebrate a win

Physical education

Optional

Exam board: OCR

GCSE specification in Physical Education will equip students with the knowledge, understanding, skills and values to develop and maintain their performance in physical activities and understand the
benefits to health, fitness and well-being. The content of OCR’s GCSE in Physical Education is divided into three components:

Component 1: Physical factors affecting performance
Students explore how parts of the human body function during physical activity and the physiological adaptations that can occur due to diet and training. They also develop skills in data analysis, and an understanding of the principles of training, why we train in different ways and how training plans can be made to optimise results.

Component 2: Socio-cultural issues and sports psychology
Students develop their knowledge of the social-cultural and psychological influences on levels of participation in sport, and also how sport impacts on society more broadly. This includes the individual benefits to health, fitness and well-being of participating in physical activity, as well as the influences of commercialisation, sponsorship and the media.

Component 3: Performance in physical education
Students are assessed in performing three practical activities and one performance analysis task. In the practical performance, they demonstrate effective performance, the use of tactics or techniques and the ability to observe the rules and conventions under applied conditions. They are also required to demonstrate their ability to analyse and evaluate their own performance to produce an action plan for improvement.

Assessment of work

There are two exams assessing taught content in component 1 and component 2. Component 3 is the non-exam assessment (NEA), contributing 40% of the GCSE.

Exam: 60%

Coursework: 40%

Other controlled assessment: 0%

Further study

This course will prepare learners for the further study of PE or sports science courses as well as other related subject areas such as psychology, sociology and biology.

Science

Science Lesson Upper School

Science

Compulsory (with option)

Exam board: Edexcel IGCSE

Pupils follow the Edexcel IGCSE course in Science (Double Award) in Year 9. In Year 10 they can choose to continue with this Science course, or study science as separate subjects, Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Choosing to study Biology, Chemistry and Physics as separate subjects requires extra time as there is more content and consequently it will take up one of the three options.

The Science course (Double Award) is built up of content taken from Biology, Chemistry and Physics and pupils will attain a qualification in Science worth two IGCSEs. If students choose to study Biology, Chemistry and Physics as separate subjects then they will obtain three IGCSEs. There is no coursework for either route but pupils will experience a wide range of practical activities to develop their skills in this area. Both courses help to develop transferable skills valued by universities and employers as well as help to broaden and deepen student’s analytical, logic, and maths skills.

A summary of the number of exams that are needed for IGCSE in Science (Double Award), Biology, Chemistry and Physics is shown in the following table.

Exam: 100%

Coursework: 0%

Other controlled assessments: 0%

Further study

Students can go on to study A levels in Biology, Chemistry and/ or Physics.

Sixth Form Photography Dark Room

Photography

Optional

Exam board: Eduqas/ WJEC

In GCSE the specification used is Art & Design (Photography). It emphasises the importance of photography as an art form as well as a way to communicate ideas.

Development of ideas through sustained research and individual work is the most important aspect of the course. Candidates are encouraged to understand the potential of photography through:
•             The proper use of cameras, both film and digital and associated equipment
•             Developing and printing monochrome images
•             Working to a brief, theme or topic
•             Viewpoint, composition, depth of field
•             Presentation, layout, mounting
•             The production of journals and critical studies to explain ideas
•             Digital post-production software
•             Studio practice and electronic lighting
•             Work on location

Students may choose to work in many areas of the subject area including: Photo-journalism; Fashion; Portraiture; Illustration; Documentation; Landscape and Cityscape.

All students must provide their own 35mm Single Lens Reflex camera in good working order, a digital camera and ideally a tripod.

Assessment of work

The GCSE examination consists of a coursework Portfolio (60% of the final mark), several projects looked at together as a group, externally set assignments (40% of the final mark). Work is documented in work journals and a portfolio. All work is internally marked and moderated by the exam board.

Exam: 0%

Coursework: 60%

Other controlled assessment: 40%

Further study

Students can go on to study A level Photography.

Netball team celebrate a win

Physical education

Optional

Exam board: OCR

GCSE specification in Physical Education will equip students with the knowledge, understanding, skills and values to develop and maintain their performance in physical activities and understand the
benefits to health, fitness and well-being. The content of OCR’s GCSE in Physical Education is divided into three components:

Component 1: Physical factors affecting performance
Students explore how parts of the human body function during physical activity and the physiological adaptations that can occur due to diet and training. They also develop skills in data analysis, and an understanding of the principles of training, why we train in different ways and how training plans can be made to optimise results.

Component 2: Socio-cultural issues and sports psychology
Students develop their knowledge of the social-cultural and psychological influences on levels of participation in sport, and also how sport impacts on society more broadly. This includes the individual benefits to health, fitness and well-being of participating in physical activity, as well as the influences of commercialisation, sponsorship and the media.

Component 3: Performance in physical education
Students are assessed in performing three practical activities and one performance analysis task. In the practical performance, they demonstrate effective performance, the use of tactics or techniques and the ability to observe the rules and conventions under applied conditions. They are also required to demonstrate their ability to analyse and evaluate their own performance to produce an action plan for improvement.

Assessment of work

There are two exams assessing taught content in component 1 and component 2. Component 3 is the non-exam assessment (NEA), contributing 40% of the GCSE.

Exam: 60%

Coursework: 40%

Other controlled assessment: 0%

Further study

This course will prepare learners for the further study of PE or sports science courses as well as other related subject areas such as psychology, sociology and biology.

Science Lesson Upper School

Science

Compulsory (with option)

Exam board: Edexcel IGCSE

Pupils follow the Edexcel IGCSE course in Science (Double Award) in Year 9. In Year 10 they can choose to continue with this Science course, or study science as separate subjects, Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Choosing to study Biology, Chemistry and Physics as separate subjects requires extra time as there is more content and consequently it will take up one of the three options.

The Science course (Double Award) is built up of content taken from Biology, Chemistry and Physics and pupils will attain a qualification in Science worth two IGCSEs. If students choose to study Biology, Chemistry and Physics as separate subjects then they will obtain three IGCSEs. There is no coursework for either route but pupils will experience a wide range of practical activities to develop their skills in this area. Both courses help to develop transferable skills valued by universities and employers as well as help to broaden and deepen student’s analytical, logic, and maths skills.

A summary of the number of exams that are needed for IGCSE in Science (Double Award), Biology, Chemistry and Physics is shown in the following table.

Exam: 100%

Coursework: 0%

Other controlled assessments: 0%

Further study

Students can go on to study A levels in Biology, Chemistry and/ or Physics.

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