Berkhamsted GCSE Options

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Developing Remarkable People Since 1541

GCSE Information Guide 2022


Learning Pathway Programme


Which Pathway?


HPQ Programme


What Are Your GCSE Options


Assessment and Reporting


GCSE Subjects English




Sciences Biology, Chemistry, Physics Classical Civilisation


Computer Science


Design And Technology




Fine Art


Food Preparation And Nutrition






Languages French, Spanish, Chinese








Physical Education


Religious Studies


Learning Support




We have changed the format for options at Key Stage 4, GCSE, to allow our pupils a greater flexibility to their learning choices and the opportunity to gain leadership skills which are designed to prepare them for studying in Sixth Form and beyond learning skills to not just gain their first job but their first promotion too. THE PURPOSE OF THE NEW ‘LEARNING PATHWAY PROGRAMME’ IS: To foster intellectual curiosity, autonomy and self-regulation

To give the KS4 curriculum more breadth and to inspire pupils with new areas of study

To intentionally prepare pupils for methods of learning that are prevalent in the work place

To allow some pupils to develop an understanding of “sixth-form only” subjects

To prepare pupils for independent and inquisitive work in the Sixth

To prepare pupils for an EPQ in the Sixth

To intentionally coach pupils how to study, plan, review and self-evaluate

To give space in the curriculum for learning support intervention within School time

SKILLS GAINED FROM LEARNING PATHWAYS The new KS4 programme is designed to develop key skills in preparation for A Levels study and beyond. It is designed to encourage skills required for further study and in the working world:

• Independent work • Research • Planning, review and self-evaluation • Receiving coaching, mentoring and tutoring • Continuous learning online



WHICH PATHWAY? There are 4 Learning Pathway’s to choose from:

APPLIED SCIENCE • Medicine • Bio-Medicine • Bio-Chemistry • Engineering • Cyber Security • Sport Science

HUMAN SOCIAL & POLITICAL SCIENCE • Psychology • Sociology • Business • Economics • Finance • Politics • Law



• Eg. Ab Initio Languages • Oriental Studies • American Studies • Theology • Archaeology

• Media Studies • Photography • Film • Animation • Adobe Applications


Each pathway is designed to comprise of 2 elements



guided learning using a range of resources to develop an understanding of curriculum areas not covered by KS4




time to study with support from a teacher who actively intervenes to help pupils study in the best way possible, coaching them along the way. For some pupils this will also involve Learning development Lessons with a member of specialist staff


Higher Project Qualification from EDEXEL In addition to a chosen pathway, pupils will take up to 11 GCSE’s, but this number will vary according to the individual’s needs and interests. In addition, some of our Year 10 pupils will be invited to participate in an HPQ if it is felt that they are able to undertake the additional work required for this qualification.

During the Michaelmas term of Year 10, pupils who are invited to join the HPQ will not only explore and develop their understanding of their learning pathway but will also undertake a project to submit for application to this course.

What is a HPQ?

How do pupils apply for this additional qualification?

The Higher Project qualification requires pupils to study a topic area which extends or expands their learning in an appropriate area of study.

Pupils must submit their Project Proposal after the Michaelmas half-term in Year 10 to be eligible for the HPQ project.

The qualification helps pupils to:

To be accepted, they must have demonstrated excellent engagement with the Learning Pathways Programme and have clearly thought-out objectives for their proposed project.

• undertake an autonomous piece of work • take responsibility for their own learning • develop transferable, core life and study skills



















✦ Some pupils will be invited to take 3 Sciences as 2 option subjects. This will mean not participating in the learning pathway. ❋ The most able mathematicians are accelerated through the IGCSE Maths course during Year 10 so that they can also study for the OCR Free Standing Maths Qualification at the Additional Maths level. Both the IGCSE and Additional Maths examinations are taken in the summer of Year 11. ❖ For pupils undertaking Learning Support this should be chosen as one of the 6 options (non-examined subject). Whilst we will try to accommodate all choices, it will not always be possible.





RELIGIOUS STUDIES SPANISH OPTIONS EVENING In January parents and pupils are invited to our GCSE options evening to find out more about each of the subjects in which they are interested in pursuing. At this evening, parents and pupils will have the opportunity to discuss with Tutors, HOH and HOD their progress with the subject. Pupils who have been invited to participate in “Ad Science” can discuss this option at this evening. At the options evening, those pupils invited to join Further Maths GCSE will be able to find out more about the elements this quantification entails. 6



Assessment There are three main types of assessment: •

Regular internal assessments during the course

Coursework or controlled assessment (where applicable)

Formal examinations

problem is caused by the pupil who spends far too long on aspects of the task which have no assessment implications. These pupils end up taking much more time than is required, which again results in work for other subjects being adversely affected. A carefully thought out plan of work over the required time span, which is then adhered to, is the most efficient way forward. If the unexpected arises, pupils should talk to their teachers immediately to enable alternative strategies to be discussed.


Some assessments are summative, i.e. at the end of a topic or section of the syllabus or course; others are formative, i.e. during the course of teaching in order to monitor the on-going progress of learning. Coursework (or non-exam assessment where applicable) is an important component of some GCSE assessments. Pupils are encouraged to take more responsibility for their learning and their research skills are enhanced. It offers them an opportunity to demonstrate their capabilities in more extended pieces of work. However, it can create considerable problems for pupils who are not very good at time management. Tasks may take several weeks to complete and two particular types of problem can arise. The first is caused by the pupil who leaves the work to the last minute. In a panic to meet a deadline, other work is neglected which in turn causes more problems and the downward spiral begins. The second

Heads of House are pleased to discuss individually particular concerns which may arise at any time during the GCSE programme. Grade Reports and Learning Reports are written during the course of the year, so that each pupil’s overall progress can be monitored and appropriate targets set. Learning Consultations between pupils, teachers and parents normally take place in the Michaelmas Term for Year 10 and in the Lent Term for Year 11, following mock examinations. Members of the Senior Management Team, subject staff, Heads of House and House tutors are available to discuss each pupil’s progress. A Sixth Form Preview Evening is held in the Michaelmas Term of Year 11, in preparation for A Level subject choices. Careers advice is available through information in the Careers Libraries, discussions during the house tutorial programme and consultations with Careers staff.



Page Title

Developing Remarkable People Since 1541

GCSE Subject Choices 8



English is a compulsory subject for all pupils in Key Stage 4. Pupils are prepared for a GCSE in English Language and an IGCSE in English Literature. However, if some pupils find the course particularly challenging, they will be advised just to sit the English Language GCSE. GCSE in English Language

IGCSE in English Literature

This is the core course in English for all Key Stage 4 pupils. The GCSE will

This course is offered alongside the GCSE in English Language. IGCSE English Literature offers learners the opportunity to read, interpret, evaluate and respond to a range of literature in English. The range includes drama, prose and poetry from the works of Shakespeare to contemporary literature. This course enables learners to deepen their understanding and appreciation of the ways in which writers use English to express meaning and achieve effects. It will stimulate learners to read for pleasure, to explore wider and universal issues, promoting a better understanding of themselves and the world.

develop the pupils’ ability to engage with unseen texts and evaluate how writers use linguistic and structural devices in both fiction and non-fiction texts to achieve their effects. Pupils will also develop the ability to communicate clearly, accurately and effectively when speaking and writing. This course will also help them develop a personal written style and an awareness of the audience being addressed. They will learn how to use a wide range of vocabulary, and the correct grammar, spelling and punctuation. The course is currently divided into two components: ‘Explorations in Creative Reading and Writing’ and ‘Writers’ Viewpoints and Perspectives’. These papers are both 1 hour and 45 minutes long and are each worth 50% of the overall mark.

L Jennings

The current specification requires the study of a variety of texts. The three main literary genres (drama, poetry and prose) are included in the course. Poetry and prose are assessed by a written examination where there is a choice of two questions (one passage-based and one essay response) - this accounts for 50% of the total qualification. Drama is assessed by an ‘open text’ written examination with one question on one text (worth 25%). Coursework (also worth 25%) accounts for the last component – pupils are expected to submit a portfolio of two assignments, each on a different text.




All pupils take the Pearson Edexcel IGCSE examination in Mathematics. We start the course in Year 9, continuing into Years 10 and 11. The most able mathematicians are accelerated through the IGCSE course during Year 10 so that they can also study for the OCR Free Standing Maths Qualification at the Additional Maths level. Both the IGCSE and Additional Maths examinations are taken in the summer of Year 11. Pupils are set so that they can work at a pace best suited to their learning. It is important to remember that all sets cover the same full course content and it is each pupils’ attitude to learning that has the greatest impact on their final grade outcome, and not their set number. Pupils in ALL sets achieve the higher grades. The higher sets are also able to explore topics beyond the scope of the IGCSE syllabus, enriching their experience and encouraging them to consider further study at A Level and beyond. Edexcel IGCSE

OCR FSMQ Additional Maths

Two tiers, Foundation and Higher, are available and it is our intention to enter all our pupils for the Higher tier examination which will allow them to achieve the full range of higher grades.

This 1-year course provides our more able pupils with an opportunity to study some of the core topics of their IGCSE course at a Level more in line with that of A Level. It consolidates and deepens their understanding and helps to prepare those who are keen to take either Mathematics or Mathematics and Further Mathematics at A Level. It is not a pre-requisite course for pupils to take A Level Mathematics and many pupils take the A Level course successfully without having studied it.

The assessment consists of two 2-hour calculator papers each worth 50% of the total mark and there is no coursework. The course consists of topics that relate to Number, Algebra, Shape and Space, Sets, Sequences, Graphs and Data Handling.


The course covers Algebra, Coordinate Geometry, Trigonometry, Calculus, Kinematics, Exponentials and Logs, Numerical Methods, Permutations and Combinations.



The Science curriculum at Berkhamsted is designed to give all students a broad scientific grounding in all three traditional sciences and then to offer choice. During Year 9, Biology, Chemistry and Physics are all studied equally, selecting fundamental parts of the Edexcel IGCSE specification. Looking to Year 10 and beyond, pupils either opt to continue with all three sciences, or choose to study only their favourite one or two. In Year 10 and 11, all science studies continue to follow the Edexcel IGCSE specifications. There is no coursework involved but there are core ‘required practicals’ that are examined as part of the written assessments. Two papers are taken to complete each science IGCSE, Paper 1 (2 hours) Paper 2 (1 hour 15mins). These typically include a mixture of different question styles, including multiple-choice questions, short-answer questions, calculations and extended open-response questions. A small number of students will be invited to study all three traditional sciences using only two of their option blocks plus the Learning Pathway. The opportunity to take part in Additional Science is strictly by invitation – the study skills and attitudes required for success in this pathway need to have been manifest already during the IGCSE course studied so far in Year 9 – but it is optional to those who are in receipt of an invitation.






Biology is the study of all living things and the IGCSE Biology course gives you the framework to build your Biological knowledge on. From the very smallest living organisms to the largest, from the simplest single-celled, to the largest multicellular organisms you will most likely be asked to apply your knowledge to some of this vast array of living organisms. You will also discover how humans use these organisms to feed themselves and how we should be helping to conserve the habitat of organisms.

The study of Physics gives an appreciation of how the World works, allowing the understanding of a great many phenomena by learning a few but crucially important laws. The Physics IGCSE is interesting and engaging for students and applications and careers in the field are often referenced to demonstrate the significance and relevance of the content. The course is also designed to ensure good preparation, both for those continuing to further study and for those wishing to work in a Physics-related field, such as engineering, design and those that require high levels of numeracy and analysis, for example finance.

Biology IGCSE will be essential if you would like to continue to study it at A-level. It is also worth bearing in mind that many other A-level courses and careers will require IGCSE Biology and therefore you may well want to carry out some research into this as part of your decision process. Biology Course Content The syllabus offers a wide range of topics within Biology covering both plants and animals broadly covering the following:

Practical Physics is an integral part of the IGCSE and students are given many opportunities to discover and apply the theories and concepts covered. Students’ analytical skills and logic are developed and encouraged by inclusion of some questions that are more problemsolving in style. Generally, question papers are clear and straightforward, with questions that are accessible for all students of all ability ranges and learning styles.

• The nature and variety of living organisms

Physics Course Content

• Structures and functions in living organisms

• Forces and motion

• Reproduction and inheritance

• Electricity

• Ecology and the environment

• Waves

• Use of biological resources

• Energy resources and energy transfers • Solids, liquids and gases • Magnetism and electromagnetism • Radioactivity and particles • Astrophysics

Chemistry Study atoms, chemical equations, metals, atmospheric gases and more! As you perform practical experiments to test, separate, identify and titrate you will reveal key patterns and themes in Chemistry, across different contexts. Chemistry is the study of all material matter around us ranging from industrial plants to sub – atomic particles. It is the central science which aids with study in a range of other subjects and not just Biology and Physics but Physical Education, Design Technology and Food Science to name a few. It is also essential to pursue careers in Medicine and Dentistry not to mention Chemical Engineering and Pure Chemistry. Practical work is central to most topics and this is examined in the final exam in Year 11. Curiosity of the world around us can be given scientific meaning through Chemistry and critical thinking skills, investigative experience and analytical analysis can be learned whilst also learning the factual content. Chemistry Course Content • Principles of chemistry • Chemistry of the elements • Reproduction and inheritance • Organic chemistry • Physical chemistry




GCSE Classical Civilisation is open to all pupils regardless of whether or not they have studied it before. Certainly those who have enjoyed Classical Civilisation lower down the school, will probably find that GCSE Classical Civilisation is a good choice. If they have studied Latin in Year 9 and are looking for a course which does not require knowledge of classical languages but builds on their work on the background material, then this course should suit them. Classical Civilisation is a popular choice of GCSE subject because of its great variety of content and the fascinating areas we investigate. It lends itself well to links with other GCSE subjects; this glimpse of the

ancient world will be useful in pupils’ wider studies, as well as providing a stimulating option choice. The subject has real value today. We offer opportunities to study the ancient civilisations of Greece and Rome, to read some of the best literature ever produced and to make comparisons with our lives today. Classical Civilisation helps pupils of the 21st century to understand our world and to become sensitive to the lifestyles and emotions of real people, who are similar to ourselves but separated from us by two thousand years.

Course Content The syllabus offers a range of topics on the classical world, from which two are chosen. Thematic Study

Literature and Culture

The Thematic Study provides the opportunity to study both literature and visual/material culture in Greece and Rome. These components are wide ranging and encompass a variety of interesting, engaging material. Learners will either focus on Myth and religion or Women in the ancient world, themes which are popular and rewarding to study.

I n Literature and Culture learners will be able to undertake an element of cultural study, and then couple this with the study of literature in translation. This approach enables a diverse course of study and preserves the variety of material which has always been such a popular feature of Classical Civilisation. Learners will study one component from The Homeric world, Roman city life or War and warfare.

L earners will be required to make informed comparisons between Greek and Roman ideas, including the characteristics of the different societies. They will also be expected to use literature and visual/ material culture in conjunction with one another in order to inform their judgements, including discussion of why or how the sources may present things differently from each other.

I n this part of the course there is an emphasis on enabling learners to respond to and engage with a wealth of sources and ideas, equipping them with readily transferable, analytical skills.




Ever wondered how your data is kept secure when using social media? Or what it takes to create a computer game? The Computer Science IGCSE is an exciting course which will help you to develop your curiosity while relating real-world technology to the theories that underpin them. Computer Science is both practical and creative and will suit pupils who enjoy applying their knowledge to different situations. The course will appeal to those pupils who enjoy problem solving as well as those who are looking to improve their programming skills. The programming part of the course will develop your computational thinking and give you the skills necessary to solve computer-based problems using the Python programming language. While the theory side of the course will look at how a computer operates, giving you an insight into the hardware of computer, how they communicate over the internet and what is really going on when you press a button!

Course Content Content


Computer Systems

Cambridge IGCSE

• Data representation

2 Examination papers are taken both 1 hour 45 minutes.

• Data transmission • Hardware

• Paper 1 – Computer Systems

• Software • The internet and its uses

• Paper 2 – Algorithms, Programming and Logic

• Automated and emerging technologies

(including a scenario-based questions)

Algorithms, Programming and Logic • Algorithm design and problem-solving • Programming • Databases • Boolean Logic




Studying Design and Technology allows students to develop designing and making skills that open a world of possibility. It will excite and engage students with contemporary topics covering the breadth of this dynamic and evolving subject. This GCSE challenges students to be more empathetic, able to understand the needs and wants of others and therefore critique the man-made world. Design and Technology is a subject that brings learning to life, requiring students to apply their problem-solving skills and develop a real-world awareness of the iterative design practices and strategies used by the creative, engineering and manufacturing industries. Students will be required to use critical thinking leading them towards invention and innovation, to design and make prototypes that solve real and relevant problems.

Whilst also having the freedom to focus on areas they are interested in, this even extends to the written exam where students can choose which material area they want to specialise in (from the list above) During the course, pupils extend their knowledge and develop skills in materials and processes by working through a range of tasks where they will design and/or make products. Pupils evaluate ideas, materials, production techniques and their own design procedures throughout the course. The development of skills in the use of information technology, particularly 3D CAD, 3D Printing, laser cutting, and the general use of workshop equipment and machine tools are a vital and integral part of the course.

Students will build and develop their broad knowledge and understanding of the following: • Designing and making principles including ergonomics, the work of designers and design companies, and design communication • New and emerging technologies including CAD and CAM • Developments in new materials including smart materials • Energy generation and storage • Ecological and social footprint including sustainability • Systems, mechanisms, forces and stresses • Materials and their working properties covering papers and boards, timbers, metals, polymers, and textiles

Course Content Non-Examined Assessment (NEA) “Design Challenge”

Examination requirements:

The exam board release design contexts in June of Year 10. Students select one of these and take ownership of the process; they set their own brief based on the problems they identify for a client that they select. They then design, develop ideas through sketching and modelling, and make a final prototype. The NEA accounts for 50% of the total GCSE mark.

Students are entered for the written paper at the end of Year 11. This accounts for 50% of the GCSE mark and is not tiered. This is a 2 hour paper which consists of 3 Sections: Section A – Core Technical Principles. 20 marks. Section B – Specialist Technical Principles. 30 marks Section C – Designing and Making Principles. 50 marks. The subject provides a good foundation for those pupils who wish to progress to A-level with a view to a career in design (from cars through to household appliances), all fields of engineering (from civil to aerospace) and into new and emerging fields such as robotics, 3D printing and design for sustainability. It also encourages all pupils to develop an awareness of the effect of technology on our lives and on the environment.




In an increasingly competitive world, speech and communication skills are becoming more important. Through studying Drama pupils gain a greater sense of confidence about themselves and a greater capacity to express their opinions and beliefs to others. They develop their imagination, sensitivity and self-confidence through the exciting world of drama. Whether pupils wish to become professional actors or simply wish to develop their speech and communication skills, the GCSE course in Drama will be both stimulating and of great value in the world beyond education. This course will appeal to those who are interested in performing and/ or the technical side of theatre. It promotes pupils’ involvement in and enjoyment of drama as performers, devisers, directors and designers and provides opportunities for pupils to watch live theatre and to develop their skills as informed and thoughtful audience members. The course is primarily practical and pupils will be involved in a wide range of drama activities during their lessons. This work will be supported by written coursework. The drama course is examined in the following way:

Course Content Component 1 – 40% Written examination 2 hours 30 minutes

Component 2 – 60% Practical Coursework

The questions on this paper relate to pre-release material which is sent to Centres in advance of the examination. This material consists of two extended extracts from two plays. Candidates study the extract from these two plays. The questions on the paper will require candidates to have engaged with the pre-release material from the perspective of actor, director and designer. The question paper is structured as follows:

Candidates submit three pieces of practical work. • One individual performance (2–3 minutes) of an extract from a play. • One group performance of an extract from a play. • One original Devised group performance. Internally assessed and externally moderated.

• Section A (30 marks) Candidates answer 6 short-answer questions on the extract from one of the set plays. (30 marks). • Section B (25 marks) Candidates answer two longer-answer questions on the extract of the other set play. One question is worth 10 marks. The other is worth 15. • Section C (25 marks) Candidates answer two longer-answer questions based on the devised drama performance the students have performed in Year 11. One question is worth 10 marks. The other is worth 15.

Additional Information: We arrange a number of theatre trips during the GCSE Drama course to inspire and broaden the pupils understanding of Drama and theatre. It is expected that pupils will make every effort to attend these, as preparation and follow-up work will take place in the classroom. We would also encourage pupils to involve themselves in extra-curricular school productions, where possible. Pupils who study Speech and Drama are also encouraged to keep this going as this will complement and enhance their GCSE Drama work. The study of Drama can help to develop invaluable transferable skills that can lead into many careers or jobs. Whether career path a student takes the GCSE course in Drama will be both stimulating and of great value in the world beyond education.




Art is a visually expressive form of communication and language. At Berkhamsted we work with all pupils to help them explore and develop their own ‘voice’ with which to express themselves. At the centre of our teaching is drawing, always the artist’s first point of inquiry.The GCSE course is designed to develop those skills and practices learnt in Years 7-9.Technical skills are taught and improved upon, whilst pupils are also encouraged to work in a variety of media, resolving their ideas in two and three dimensions. Candidates who take Fine Art GCSE must be motivated and willing to take the initiative. Homework is set every week and, due to the practical nature of the subject, enough time needs to be set aside to complete it.The department does offer Open Studio access on three nights during the week and until 17:30, thus providing pupils access to the spaces and equipment. Attendance at one of these is sufficient to complete weekly homework tasks. Gallery visits are also an important aspect of the course: some visits will be organised as school trips whilst others will be set as homework.

A Buss

Course Content Assessment Coursework Portfolio (60%) Pupils are required to do two projects for their coursework portfolio. Each project will include preparatory work that shows a logical progression towards a final piece or pieces. This preparatory work will be mounted and presented in an A2 portfolio. Pupils will be encouraged to produce both studio outcomes in a range of processes. Controlled Test (40%) At the end of the course, pupils sit a ten-hour practical test set by the examination board. Candidates will have at least three months to develop ideas in the classroom followed by ten hours of supervised time. During the ten hours, the final piece is created in examination conditions. All work completed during the two-year course is marked according to how well pupils have shown evidence of: • developing ideas through investigations, demonstrating critical understanding of sources; • refining work by exploring ideas, selecting and experimenting with appropriate media, materials, techniques and processes; • recording ideas, observations and insights relevant to their intentions as work progresses; • presenting a personal and meaningful response that realises intentions and demonstrates understanding of visual language.




Why study Food Preparation and Nutrition? By studying food preparation and nutrition pupils will: • be able to demonstrate effective and safe cooking skills by planning, preparing and cooking a variety of food commodities whilst using different cooking techniques and equipment • develop knowledge and understanding of the functional properties and chemical characteristics of food as well as a sound knowledge of the nutritional content of food and drinks • understand the relationship between diet, nutrition and health, including the physiological and psychological effects of poor diet and health

• understand the economic, environmental, ethical and socio-cultural influences on food availability, production processes, diet and health choices • demonstrate knowledge and understanding of functional and nutritional properties, sensory qualities and microbiological food safety considerations when preparing, processing, storing, cooking and serving food • understand and explore a range of ingredients and processes from different culinary traditions (traditional British and international) to inspire new ideas or modify existing recipes. This course enables learners to make connections between theory and practice so that they are able to apply their understanding of food science and nutrition to practical cooking. Pupils will have one practical cooking lesson of one hour and 20 minutes during most weeks of their course. All ingredients will be provided. Pupils study the following topics : •

Food commodities

• Principles of nutrition •

Diet and good health

• The science of food •

Where food comes from

• Cooking and food preparation

Course assessment Theoretical knowledge of food preparation and nutrition as well as the student’s practical skills are assessed. Component 1: Principles of Food Preparation and Nutrition

Component 2: Food Preparation and Nutrition in Action

Written examination: 50% of qualification

Non-examination assessment: internally assessed, externally moderated: 50% of qualification.

Written examination: 1 hour 45 minutes. This component consists of two sections both containing compulsory questions and will assess the six areas of content as listed in the specified GCSE content above. Section A: questions based on stimulus material (20 marks). Section B: structured, short and extended response questions to assess content related to food preparation and nutrition (80 marks).

Assessment 1: The Food Investigation Assessment. This scientific food investigation assesses student’s knowledge, skills and understanding in relation to scientific principles underlying the preparation and cooking of food (30 marks). Assessment 2: The Food Preparation Assessment. Pupils prepare, cook and present a menu which assesses their skills and understanding in relation to the planning, preparation, cooking and presentation of food (70 marks). Both assessments are completed in year 11 and are based on a choice of tasks released by the exam board annually.

Having a sound knowledge of nutrition and an ability to cook are important life skills for everyone. Pupils who wish to further their knowledge will be able to study the Level 3 Diploma in Food Science & Nutrition in the sixth form. A Food qualification provides a foundation for a number of exciting careers in Nutrition, Dietetics, Food Science, Food product development and Public Health.




If Geography itself has any significance, it is that we are made to lift our eyes from our small provincial selves to the whole complex and magnificent world. Richard Burton (1821 – 1890) to the Royal Geographical Society. Geography enables us the see the world through different eyes. Not only is it dynamic and relevant, it is one of the most exciting and rewarding subjects that you could study. Geography teaches us about the awe-inspiring natural and the man-made world and why they are inextricably linked and mutually dependent. Geography takes us from the microscopic to the colossal, the past to the future, and helps us to make

sense of the present. As such, the study of Geography is fundamental for everyone and is increasingly valued by universities and employers explaining why increasing numbers of pupils are choosing it. The study of Geography at KS4 aims to actively engage pupils, developing them as effective independent learners as well as critical and reflective thinkers with enquiring minds. The IGCSE course fosters an appreciation of the differences and similarities between peoples’ environments, societies and cultures. Pupils will develop an understanding of their responsibilities as global citizens and of the ways in which they can contribute to a future that is sustainable and inclusive. All pupils will apply their learning to real world through fieldwork learning opportunities which may include day and residential trips to field study centres in the UK as required by the course.

Course Content

Pupils study Edexcel IGCSE specification. The key components of the course are: The Physical Geography 4GEO/01

The Human Geography 4GEO/02

The Natural Environment

People and the Environment

Hazardous Environments

Economic Activity and Energy

• Hazards vary from place to place

• Economic sectors importance varies

• Hazards have an impact on people and the Environment

• Impacts and resource issues

• Levels of Development affect how people cope

• Energy security

River Environments

Urban Environments

• The World’s Water Supply

• The Growth of Urban Populations

• The Development of landforms

• Urban Social and Environmental Change

• The Management of Water

• Sustainable strategies to manage cities Globalisation and Migration • Globalisation ‘a more connected world?’ • Impacts of Globalisation • Responses to increasing migration

IGCSE Assessment Pupils undertake two examinations at the end of the 2 year linear course: Duration 70 minutes 40% of GCSE

Fieldwork Learning Opportunities In preparation for the Physical and Human Geography examinations the following field trips have been organised.

IGCSE Assessment Duration 105 minutes 60% of GCSE

and climb in via ferrata as well as canoeing across the fjords. Further details of this trip will be made available in the Lent Term 2023.

Year 10 Compulsory Day Field Trips The IGCSE pupils are required to attend local day field trips where fieldwork opportunities relevant to curriculum topics studied will be taught. Trips will takes place throughout the 2 year course with costs approximately £50. Year 10/11 Optional Norway October 2023 A new and exciting opportunity has arisen for IGCSE pupils to take part in an optional 5-day trip to Norway. Pupils will get the opportunity to experience the panoramic sights of Bergen by cable car, travel on the famous Flam railway line through the stunning Norwegian landscapes, take in the magnificent fjords by boat, snowshoe across a glacier, zip wire ‘DEVELOPING REMARKABLE PEOPLE’



Why study History? The best reason for studying History is an enjoyment of the subject and a fascination with the past. The History department offers a modern world syllabus and this enhances our understanding of contemporary national and international situations and problems. History as a subject is well suited to the development of the skills of investigation, analysis and interpretation. The study of historical issues can teach pupils to distinguish fact from opinion, to detect bias and to understand the concept of change over time. History is one of the cornerstones of the Humanities and its study is acclaimed as excellent preparation for a wide range of careers. Pupils are afforded the exciting opportunity to take part in a First World War Battlefields trip to Belgium in February of Year 11. A trip to Berlin will also be offered during the Easter holidays in Year 10.

Course Content Content



The IGCSE syllabus chosen is Modern World. The core curriculum includes a study of International relations after 1919 . The depth study is on German history 1919-1945.

Two examination papers are taken, both of 2 hours duration based on essay skills and source evaluation .

One piece of work of 2000 words is completed during the Lent term of Year 11 based on The First World War or Votes for Women.

This includes the following topics: The post-war peace treaties 1919-1923 The causes of the Second World War The origins of the Cold War between 1945-1949 Cold War conflict in Korea, Cuba and Vietnam The Weimar Republic 1919-1933 Hitler’s rule over Germany 1933-1945



LANGUAGES (French, Spanish, Chinese)

Why learn a Language? Whether you want to study abroad, work internationally or simply explore other countries for fun, language study is the key to a better understanding and appreciation of people, cultures and places. Languages unlock doors that would otherwise remain shut.

How will languages help me and what can I do after I have completed the course? People with language skills and knowledge are highly respected across the modern world.They stand out as talented and successful people, with broad and exciting horizons.Taking an IGCSE Language means you will add an international dimension to your choice of GCSE subjects, which will impress future employers and higher education providers. It will add an extra dimension to your personal skills profile which in a global economy will stand out for anyone who reads your CV. Learning a language will allow you to learn many skills which are useful in a wide range of future careers, such as the ability to communicate clearly, and use problem-solving strategies.

GCSE/IGCSE in a modern language will place you in a strong position for interesting employment with plenty of career opportunities.You will be in a better position to get a job in companies with international links or based abroad. Examples of employment where language skills are particularly valued include journalism and media, law, engineering, business and marketing, fashion, sport and leisure, travel and tourism, customer service, civil service (Diplomatic Service), hospitality and teaching (UK and abroad). Learning French, Chinese or Spanish will also allow you to learn about the countries where the language is spoken and to communicate directly with native speakers in their own language. It will also leave you the option of studying your chosen language at A Level and later at University.

Can I study more than one language? Absolutely! We certainly encourage you to study two languages at GCSE/ IGCSE, which really helps keep all your options open for an exciting future.

Employers are always asking for candidates with language skills and a

French and/or Spanish If you enjoy communicating with other people, finding out how language works and learning about different countries and cultures, studying IGCSE French and/or Spanish is an excellent choice. What will I learn about? • •

hobbies and interests holidays and tourist information

• • • • •

education and employment house, home and daily routines the modern world and the environment social activities, fitness and health The world of work

We like to widen the cultural focus to include other parts of the world where the language is spoken, and to include cross-curricular themes such as ecological issues and news headlines. Access to online language materials also helps bring the subjects to life with creative projects, digital storytelling, podcasts and videos. .

Assessment Paper 1: Listening (25%) Paper 2: Reading and Writing (50%) Paper 3: Speaking (25%) Edexcel is our examination board.



LANGUAGES (French, Spanish, Chinese)



The new Chinese GCSE Edexcel course offers an engaging and inspirational course of study that will enable pupils to manipulate and use the target language effectively, independently and creatively, so that they have a solid basis from which to progress to A Level or employment.

1.Identity and culture • Who am I?: relationships; when I was younger; what my friends and family are like; what makes a good friend; interests; socialising with friends and family; role models

The authentic situations and stimuli will enable pupils to see language in context and learn about the culture of the target language country and develop a greater awareness of the culture of Chinese-speaking communities and countries.

• Daily life: customs and everyday life; food and drink; shopping; social media and technology (use of, advantages and disadvantages)

Questions across all four language skills are set in common contexts, addressing a range of relevant contemporary and cultural themes.They are organised into five themes, each broken down into topics and sub-topics:

• Cultural life: celebrations and festivals; reading; music; sport; film and television 2. Local area, holiday, travel • Holidays: preferences; experiences; destinations • Travel and tourist transactions: travel and accommodation; asking for help and dealing with problems; directions; eating out; shopping • Town, region and country: weather; places to see; things to do 3. School • What school is like: school types; school day; subjects; rules and pressures; celebrating success • School activities: school trips; events and exchanges 4. Future aspirations, study and work • Using languages beyond the classroom: forming relationships; travel; employment • Ambitions: further study; volunteering; training • Work: jobs; careers and professions 5. International and global dimension. • Bringing the world together: sports events; music events; campaigns and good causes • Environmental issues: being ‘green’; access to natural resources Assessment Papers will be tiered, with 25% assessment weightings per skill (listening, speaking, reading, writing).




All pupils studying Latin in Year 9 will have already made a start on the early stages of the GCSE course. The vocabulary and background material in the Cambridge Latin Course and Suburani form an important basis for the subject at GCSE. If pupils have found interesting our study of the Roman way of life and have been translating the Latin passages with enjoyment, then they will be good candidates for the GCSE course. There is no coursework or controlled assessment for GCSE Latin.

Course Content There are two main areas of study: Language

Set texts

Pupils continue to make progress with Latin, expanding their knowledge of the language and developing their grasp of important vocabulary. The class learns strategies to handle Latin passages both in unseen translations and in comprehension questions.

Pupils read two set texts, much of which is studied in the original Latin. In class we compare our translations and agree among ourselves a final version. We put emphasis on achieving a translation which is both accurate and in clear English. We also look at linguistic and literary points in the Latin and learn about the historical and social context in which each text was written. Each set text is around 115 lines in length.

By the end of the course, we hope that pupils will have been able to: • enjoy a subject which is both a rewarding experience in itself and a sound basis for further study at A Level; • develop a good understanding of the rudiments of the Latin language; • develop a sensitive approach to languages generally, including an awareness of the relationship between Latin and the languages of today;

Pupils who study GCSE Latin are coached through all aspects of the syllabus, gaining an understanding of the world of the Romans through a close study of a relatively small amount of Latin literature and through a detailed examination of relevant archaeological evidence. The final outcome will be a brief but fascinating glimpse into the legacy of the Roman World.

• respond effectively to texts in original Latin and appreciate the culture in which they were written.




Why study Music? This is an incredibly diverse course, encompassing a variety of practical, creative and academic approaches to the study of music. The qualification is highly valued by universities irrespective of the course applied for and so should not be seen simply as a useful stepping stone towards a musical career. Indeed, a musical qualification opens doors to many pathways, as it enables pupils to develop highly-desirable skills in areas such as self- management, teamwork, problem-solving, and communication; all of which makes them an attractive prospective for potential employers. Typically, those pupils who tend to access the top grades at GCSE are currently having instrumental or vocal and are at least Grade 4 standard when they start the course. If pupils are unsure about their approximate standard or would like guidance about their suitability, do not hesitate to speak to us..

Course Content The course is divided into three separate components: PERFORMING 30% Pupils perform a short recital of at least four minutes in length, which can be recorded anytime during Year 11. This component is divided into two equal areas, each of which may be recorded separately. Pupils may choose to make multiple recordings and choose their best for submission.

• Solo piece(s) (which may be accompanied by a piano or guitar) • Ensemble piece(s) comprising a minimum of two performers. The additional musicians need not be pupils. The component is internally marked and externally moderated.

COMPOSING 30% Pupils produce two compositions lasting a combined duration of three minutes. This creative and enjoyable element allows pupils to develop musical ideas, learn and apply compositional techniques. They can compose in the style of their choice and are encouraged to use music technology to help them. For the two compositions, which have a combined duration of at least three minutes.

• One composition to a set brief (connected to the areas of study in the Appraising Paper) • One free composition The component is internally marked and externally moderated.

APPRAISING 40% (1¾ hour Listening Paper) This formal examination is sat in the summer of Year 11 and is marked externally. Pupils explore eight short set pieces by composers including Bach, Purcell and Beethoven. There is a song by 70s rock band Queen as well as a hit from the musical ‘Wicked’. They will also explore an extract from the soundtrack to ‘Star Wars’ by John Williams. The final two accessible songs draw on influences from World Music, which allows pupils to explore elements of Jazz, Latin, Irish Folk and African music. The paper is varied and requires pupils to respond to questions ranging from multiple choice selection to an extended written task. They also have short melodic or rhythmic dictation questions and so will develop their aural skills. They answer both on the set pieces as well as unfamiliar music, although the latter is usually related to the set pieces in style or context.

Enrichment Opportunities Pupils are encouraged to join, or continue to belong to, at least one of the many musical ensembles run by the Music Department as this will enrich their learning across the course. Additional opportunities to widen and deepen their understanding and experience will be offered such as trips to the theatre, to concerts as well as participation in workshops and recital evenings. For pupils who have not yet achieved Grade 5 Music Theory, the department offers free weekly classes, which we would also recommend.




Due to the growth of the sports and health industries, GCSE Physical Education has become a well-recognised qualification. This dynamic and challenging course aims to develop the pupils’ understanding of following a healthy and active lifestyle. It offers an excellent insight into the theoretical and physiological concepts associated with sporting performance and provides a solid foundation for those pupils considering studying A Level Physical Education or pursuing a sportsrelated career. The GCSE course has a blend of practical and theory, allowing pupils to show off their sporting prowess as well as developing their knowledge of anatomy and physiology. Pupils should rest assured that there will be a blend of both practical and theoretical lessons.

Studying Physical Education complements a broad and well-balanced combination of subjects.

Candidate requirements Pupils must have a passion for sport and an appetite to develop their knowledge and understanding of developing their own performance. It is important that pupils are involved in a range of sports throughout the year to support their practical assessment. Pupils will be studying the Edexcel (9-1) GCSE Physical Education Course (1PE0).

Course Content Component 1: Fitness and Body Systems Written examination – 1 hour and 45 mins, 90 marks, 36% of the qualification. Pupils develop their theoretical knowledge and understanding of applied anatomy and physiology, movement analysis and physical training so that they can use this knowledge to analyse and evaluate performance and devise informed strategies for improving/optimising their own practical performance.

Component 2: Health and Performance Written examination – 1 hour and 15 mins, 70 marks, 24% of the qualification. Pupils develop their theoretical knowledge and understanding of the contribution that physical activity and sport make to health, fitness and well-being and how these can impact their own performance. Sport psychology is introduced, with a focus on skill development, through relevant practice, guidance and feedback, that learners can then apply to their own learning in practical situations in order to improve their performance. Key socio-cultural influences that can affect people’s involvement in physical activity and sport will also be considered.

Component 3: Practical Performance Non-examined assessment: internally marked and externally moderated – (105 marks, 30% of the qualification) Pupils must complete three physical activities (35 marks per activity) from a set list. • One must be a team activity • One must be an individual activity. • The final activity can be a free choice. *some combinations of the same type of activity are not allowed i.e. Rowing, Kayaking & Canoeing.

Permitted Team Activities*

Permitted Individual Activities*

Acrobatic gymnastics Badminton (singles) Basketball Cricket Dance Figure skating Futsal Football Ice Hockey Inline/Roller Hockey Handball Hockey Lacrosse Netball Rowing Rugby (Union & League) Sailing Sculling Squash Table Tennis Tennis Volleyball Water polo

Athletics Badminton (doubles) BMX cycling Canoeing Cycling Dance Diving (platform) Golf Gymnastics Equestrian Figure skating Kayaking Rock Climbing Rowing Sailing Sculling Skiing Snowboarding Squash Swimming Table Tennis Tennis Trampolining Windsurfing

Component 4: Personal Exercise Programme (PEP) Non-examined assessment: internally marked and externally moderated – (20 marks, 10% of the qualification) The assessment consists of pupils producing a Personal Exercise Programme (PEP), which they will then carry out and it will require them to analyse and evaluate their performance throughout.




What should you do about Religious Studies at GCSE? Religious Studies focuses on current debates and issues in ethics, from Human Rights to modern medical issues, and in the philosophy of religion such as classic arguments for God’s existence or religion in an age of science. It develops your grasp of Christian thought, and that of some other Faiths, and of secular atheism/agnosticism. It is directly relevant to you in its emphasis on critical skills and in gaining knowledge and understanding of many major contemporary issues.

Course Content Full Course IGCSE (Edexcel) This is offered as an option and you should choose it because •

You enjoy RS – you enjoy thinking, analysing, discussing

It is a fascinating and stimulating course in its own right

Critical thinking skills: these much-prized higher-level skills are learnt here

• There is no coursework or controlled testing, so you are under less pressure • IGCSE is globally recognised as a challenging qualification that prepares you very well for A Level and university Paper 1 ‘Beliefs and Values’

Paper 2 ‘The Religious Community’

Section 1: The Universe, Creation and the place of human beings

Section 1: Origins and their Impact on the community

Section 2: Life and Death

Section 2: Celebration and Pilgrimage

Section 3: Peace and Conflict

Section 3: Worship and Practice

Section 4: Rights, Equality and Social Justice

Here we specialise in Christianity. This section is worth 40% of the overall qualification.

Within this section we cover a range of issues, such as medical ethics, women and equality, wealth and poverty and free will and determinism. This examination is worth 60% of the overall qualification.

A copy of the specification can be found on Firefly under sites/Religious Studies/Year 10 IGCSE.

And finally... Whether or not you belong to any Faith at the moment you will find that the skills of argument, listening to others, analysis, interpretation and evaluation which we uniquely encourage in Religious Studies, and the moral, social, philosophical and religious importance of the issues we cover, combine to give you a course you will really enjoy and you are well prepared for Philosophy and Ethics A Level which we offer in the Sixth Form.




Learning Support is offered in a variety of ways during Years 10 and 11; however, where pupils need to be supported they will be allocated a Specialist Teacher at some point during Key Stage 4. In addition they can attend a drop-in session on a weekly or ad hoc basis.

We do have some flexibility in what we cover each week and it is possible that the pupils themselves will help us to decide our programme when we know who we have and can look at their individual needs.

In Years 10 and 11, emphasis is placed on Study Skills and preparation for public examinations and pupils will learn to develop their skills in revision and examination technique. All pupils receiving Access Arrangements for public examinations will be offered some individual or small group support during Year 11. These sessions normally take place before school during House or assembly time, at lunchtime, or for those pupils who opt for the Learning Pathway, support can then be offered during a coached study period.

The Learning Support option choice usually attracts a small group of pupils so that the sessions can include individual support where necessary. By taking away an examined GCSE option, pupils can devote more time to improving the grades of their remaining subject areas.

In some cases, pupils may choose to do Learning Support instead of a GCSE subject. This option is normally confined to those pupils who have received Study Skills group tuition as part of the curriculum during Key Stage 3 but this is not always the case. Learning Support is a timetabled ‘subject’ and we arrange the lessons to include English, Maths, Science and Study Skills support. A team of teachers support the pupils in this option choice.

Learning Support does not have a homework slot on the homework timetable and there is no end of course exam. If you are interested in the Learning Support GCSE option we would recommend that you discuss this with the Learning Support team.



Berkhamsted Girls, part of the Berkhamsted Schools Group Kings Campus, Kings Road, Berkhamsted HP4 2BB 01442 358166

Berkhamsted Boys, part of the Berkhamsted Schools Group Castle Campus, Castle Street, Berkhamsted HP4 2BB 01442 358000

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