SIXTH 2013 2015
Sixth Form Studies A LEVEL CHOICES AVAILABLE FOR STUDY Art & Design Biology Business Studies Chemistry Classical Civilisation Design Technology Economics English French Geography Government and Politics Greek History (Modern) History (Traditional) Latin Mathematics Further Mathematics (11 periods) Further Mathematics (16 periods)* Music Philosophy and Ethics Physical Education Physics Psychology Spanish Theatre Studies *Counts as two AS choices
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The Sixth Form application timetable is as follows: Friday 8th February 2013 Presentation to parents of the AS choices Friday 22nd February 2013 Deadline for pupils to give in their preliminary choices Saturday 16 March 2013 Open Morning Saturday 11 May 2013 Open Morning Monday 28 October 2013 Sixth Form entry deadline Monday 11 November 2013 Sixth Form Sports Studentship Exam Tuesday 12 November 2013 Sixth Form Studentship and Ordinary Entrance Exams
Important Contacts Head of Admissions Mary-Ann McClaran
Director of Sixth Form Studies John Talbot email@example.com
A Word from the Headmaster Contents A Word from the Headmaster A Level Choices The Sixth Form Experience What our Sixth Formers say The Flecker Library Extended Project Qualification Art & Design Biology Business Studies Chemistry Classics Design Technology Drama & Theatre Studies Economics English Geography Government & Politics History Mathematics Modern Languages Music Philosophy and Ethics Physical Education Physics Psychology Learning Support English as an Additional Language GCSE Grade Expectations
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The Sixth Form is the culmination of School life; university beckons and these are the years when our young men and women really begin to show their adult selves. We ask them to take much more responsibility for their own lives and studies and to develop their credibility, intellectual curiosity and leadership as much as possible. Sixth Formers take on roles from directing plays to hosting our guests and from mentoring pupils to tackling the Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award. By the time they leave they really do show genuine self-confidence, we hope with a leaven of humility, service and core aspects of our Christian ethos. As Headmaster, I find my involvement in Sixth Form matters hugely rewarding, whether attending the philosophy, classics or geography societies, or carrying out university application interviews. There is also plenty of time for more social exchanges and the Sixth Form are very good company.
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A Level Choices GOING INTO SIXTH FORM As you come to the end of your GCSEs, it is important to start thinking about the future. What subjects are you going to study in the Sixth Form? Even if you already know what you want to do after GCSEs then it is a good idea to check that you have considered all the relevant factors when making your decision. The Sixth Form has a tremendous amount to offer, both academically and in terms of music, drama, sport and other extracurricular activities. Enjoy your time to the full, but it is important to try to achieve a balance between all these areas and your studies. Students starting in Sixth Form from September 2013 will only be able to sit AS and A level exams in the summer as the January exam series has been removed. It is essential that students make the most of their AS year and fulfil their potential in their AS exams. A LEVEL CHOICES In order to undertake the normal A level course we expect pupils to have obtained at least four grade B and two grade C subject passes at GCSE. More specific GCSE guidelines for each A level subject are given in the table at the back of this brochure, although the final decision about suitability for a particular subject lies with the Director of Sixth Form Studies. During the Lent term there is a presentation to Fifth Form students and their parents. Students are then asked to make a preliminary choice of four AS subjects. The key dates for this are provided on the inside cover of this brochure. We cannot guarantee that we will meet every pupil’s choice, but we would expect to meet most. Four option blocks are created to accommodate as many preliminary choices as possible and this information will be given to the Fifth Form just before the Easter holidays. They will then make their final choices, from these blocks, at the beginning of the Summer term. Once the subject blocking becomes more final, we cannot guarantee to accommodate pupil changes.
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The Lower Sixth Form year is a very important year in the academic life of a Sixth Form student; it lays the foundations for the Upper Sixth year and it plays a significant role in determining university and further education options. Therefore, students are expected to do well at AS level and consequently it is very unusual for students to be allowed to proceed with an A2 course if they achieve a U grade in an AS Level. How many subjects do you need to choose for the Sixth Form? The normal expectation is that a Lower Sixth Former will study four subjects to AS level. In the Upper Sixth this usually drops to three subjects, which are followed through to A2 level. Whilst it is extremely uncommon for universities to ask for more than 3 full A levels and a fourth subject at AS level, you may wish to continue to study all of your subjects through to A level. You should discuss such options with Mr Talbot, Director of Sixth Form Studies and the relevant Heads of Department, as well as your parents and your tutor. HOW DO YOU CHOOSE YOUR A LEVELS? Choose subjects that you will enjoy A levels are hard enough without having to knuckle down to a subject you only chose because it will look good on a UCAS application. Ask yourself the question – is it the subject I like or the teacher? Remember, you may have different teachers in the Sixth Form and for most subjects you are likely to have at least two teachers. Choose subjects you will be good at For many careers or courses, grades matter more than subjects. Plus, it is difficult to stay motivated if you are continually struggling, no matter how hard you work. Check your combination of subjects Ensure that the combination of subjects you choose meets the requirements of any careers or courses that you are considering. You can do this and still keep your options open – very few careers or courses specify more than one or two subjects within their overall requirements. Many universities consider that there is too much overlap in Economics and Business Studies and will not credit both examinations, if both are studied to A2.
Think about… what studying the subject really involves There can be big differences between GCSE and A level. Look carefully at the specification, even if it’s a subject you have already studied, and look at the way it’s taught and assessed. With new subjects check whether they share any similarities with other subjects or with co-curricular activities you enjoy. Consider the essay load or the course work load for practical subjects. Preps are often set with a week’s deadline; you will be set about 4 hours of work in each subject each week. You will need to organise your time, plan carefully and be self-disciplined. Think about… whether the specification plays to your strengths Talk to your current teachers for an honest, informed assessment of your potential in individual subjects. What’s essential, what’s preferred and what’s useful for university course. Bear in mind that some careers and courses need particular A levels and increasingly universities are looking back to GCSE results when making their offers. Some courses (such as Medicine) might specify a certain numbers of A* grades at GCSE. FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS When do I need to decide? Mr Talbot, Director of Sixth Form Studies, will ask for completed Sixth Form Option choices a week after you return from the February half term break. You will need to think carefully about what you want to study, as this information is used to establish the option blocks. You will have opportunities to change your mind about your choices later, but they will then need to fit into the option blocks. You do not commit yourself fully to the course until the formal registration for subjects which takes place on the first day of the Lower Sixth, in September. It is important to keep Mr Talbot fully informed at all stages of your decisionmaking. Final choices will need to be taken in the light of GCSE results. Can I take subjects which I haven’t studied at GCSE? Some subjects, like Economics, Government and Politics or Psychology, are new for everyone in the Sixth Form. Occasionally it is
POPULAR DEGREE COURSE REQUIREMENTS Degree Course
Biology at least to AS level is recommended for some courses.
Art Foundation Courses Art A Level plus a good portfolio. Some institutions may accept DT, depending on the course. Check with the colleges you are interested in.
possible to take another subject that you dropped before GCSE; talk to the appropriate Head of Department if this is something you want to do. What about work experience? If you know what you want to study at university, then investigate possible work experience requirements. It is nearly always ESSENTIAL for Medicine, Vet Science, Teaching, Nursing and Physiotherapy. It can also be helpful for Law, Social Work, Psychology and various healthcare fields. We encourage students to arrange work experience placements that can be undertaken in the Lower Sixth Form at Dean Close. Mr Fullerton, Head of Department, Careers and UCAS, can provide you with guidance according to your interests. I need to take a subject which I don’t enjoy and struggle with to go into the career I wish to follow. What should I do? This is a tough one, but if you really have not got the aptitude for a subject, then you have to ask yourself if a career where it features strongly is right for you. On the other hand, if it is really what you want to do then maybe you will be motivated to put in the effort needed. It’s important to be honest with yourself.
Biology and another science (normally Chemistry) or Maths.
Chemistry, and sometimes Maths and/or another science.
Chemistry plus Biology usually required. Check individual institutions.
Many universities require Maths A Level – please check carefully.
Maths and Physics (or Maths and Chemistry for Chemical Engineering).
Any, but preferably traditional ‘academic’ subjects – high grades will generally be necessary.
Chemistry, usually Biology. Will not accept Maths and Further Maths, or other subjects which strongly overlap, as two subjects.
Maths required at most institutions.
One science – usually Biology. Some universities ask for TWO sciences, so please check carefully.
A science subject such as Psychology or Biology is usually required.
Some universities require Biology and another science.
Chemistry and one or two other sciences. Like medicine, Vet Schools will not accept subjects which overlap as two subjects e.g. Maths and Further Maths.
ACADEMIC RESULTS AND LEAVER DESTINATIONS At Dean Close students of all abilities achieve excellent academic results at A2 Level across a broad range of subjects. Whilst each cohort may vary slightly in ability, typical results, based on the last six years are: • 16% A*
I’m definitely going to university after my A levels, but I still don’t know which subject I would like to study, and I’ve no idea at all about what career I’d like eventually. Is it OK to choose A levels when I am so uncertain about my future plans? You certainly don’t need to choose a career right now and many people who have a career in mind at this time find their ideas change as they get older. Keeping your options open is a good idea but that doesn’t mean ignoring career choices altogether. It’s important to think about the kinds of areas that might appeal and check that your A level choices don’t rule them out. Still unsure? Talk things through with Mr Fullerton, Head of Careers and UCAS. Advice is provided by him throughout the Sixth Form because these two areas of careers and university applications are viewed at Dean Close as of great importance to ensure that you are suitably prepared for the future.
• 50% A*/A • 77% A*- B • 99.7% pass The average UCAS points score for every exam taken is 105 points (where A = 120 and B = 100) which is a reflection of the quality of teaching and learning, and a strong tribute to the effort and performance of Dean Close students in the Sixth Form. The Headmaster sits down individually with every Sixth Form student to assist with their UCAS interview and looks through their form. Furthermore, the careers department is on hand for university and careers advice, counselling, testing, contacts and practical assistance, with particular guidance given with personal statements and UCAS forms. About two thirds of students are successful in gaining a place at their first choice university; 80% get into either their first or second choice institution. In a typical year, approximately 5% of Year 13 leavers gain a place at Oxford or Cambridge and approximately 50% of Year 13 leavers go to a Russell Group university, or similar, with destinations including Bristol, Cambridge, Cardiff, Durham, Exeter, Imperial, Leeds, Manchester, Oxford, St Andrew's, Trinity Dublin, UCL and Warwick. In addition to those applying to university each year, a small number win places at elite Drama, Music and Art Schools.
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The Sixth Form Experience As part of its founding principles, Dean Close greatly values the individual, something that is borne out in the one-to-one tutorial system. This system is designed to ensure that each pupil has an adult who takes a particular interest in them, not just academically, but in terms of their wider well-being and interests. Sixth Formers choose their own tutors and the tutor-student relationship is usually a very strong one which can last a lifetime.
learning how to work independently, discussing assessments and helping with exam preperation. Tutors also help with decisions on co-curricular activities, advise on university applications, share in successes and are a shoulder to cry on when things go wrong! The tutor system works in conjunction with the boarding and day houses and the academic departments to ensure life in the Sixth Form is as happy and successful as possible.
admissions tutors value active participation in drama, outdoor pursuits, sport and music as they provide obvious opportunities for the development of leadership and organisational skills. Furthermore, involvement in these activities inevitably promotes virtues such as patience, tenacity, resourcefulness and commitment. All students are expected to be fully involved in the co-curricular programme.
A Sixth Form tutor is the person who helps you both academically and pastorally. The content of a weekly meeting will vary according to individual needs but will include managing workload, time planning,
The Sixth Form opens up a wide range of opportunities to develop specific intellectual, sporting and cultural interests. Besides the obvious enjoyment that is derived from these activities, university
The range of co-curricular activities that are presently offered include: CCF â€“ This provides a wide range of activities, both military and non-military, which develop leadership, confidence, self reliance and discipline skills as well as giving a taste of life in the Armed Forces, although there is no requirement to join up and serve with the Armed Forces at any point. Community Action - The Community Action programme works on projects within the local community and the wider world. It encourages young people to see how easy it is to make a difference through local projects including supporting the childrenâ€™s ward at Gloucester Royal Hospital, helping adults with Learning Disabilities, feeding the homeless, visiting nursing homes regularly to establish relationships with residents, assisting in a variety of charity shops and reading with asylum seekers who desperately need to learn English. Duke of Edinburgh - With so many students packing every moment of their school day with constructive activity, the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme compliments all that the Dean Close has to offer. On average, 12 students complete their Gold Award each year on both walking and
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cycling expeditions. The Scheme is also a good vehicle for students who need a bit more motivation to get involved. Drama - For a School of its size, Dean Close drama really packs a punch and expects a great deal in terms of acting standards and commitment. There is a policy to perform works of major playwrights as well as the best of contemporary drama, with up to 10 productions annually. Growing Leaders – Sixth formers with a particular interest and involvement in Chapel and CU within the School are invited to develop leadership skills in a group which meets fortnightly with members of the chaplaincy team. This reinforces the many regular Christian activities that take place throughout the week. Music – There are in excess of 50 concerts each year, ranging from informal lunchtime recitals to major choral and orchestral events, providing performing opportunities for musicians at every level of ability. Chapel Choir and Chamber Choir sing Evensong in St Paul's Cathedral and Tewkesbury Abbey each year, in addition to regular school Chapel services. There are also ample opportunities for bands to perform both informally and as part of the RocSoc.
this size. During the last three years, teams have represented the School in a number of National Finals across five sports culminating in Hockey National Champions (U16, U18), Equestrian - National Schools' Team Cross Country and National Schools' Two-Day Event and Golf, winning the ISGA Plate. Uganda Project - In 2004 the School established a link with the Nyakatukura Memorial School in Uganda. Since then we have been committed to raising money for specific projects including building a girls’ dormitory and drainage system. Every two years a group of students from Dean Close visit the School and involve themselves in teaching lessons, playing with the children and basic maintenance around the school site. The Sixth Form is a distinct part of the School community, and consequently its members enjoy certain privileges and responsibilities. Unlike a student at a conventional Sixth Form College, they are privileged to be part of a wider community
which provides opportunities to have a positive impact upon younger members of the School who look up for leadership and inspiration. Sixth Formers have a duty to meet these expectations and responsibilities with maturity, compassion and sensitivity. They are expected to exercise an unfailingly, positive influence within School and be worthy ambassadors of the School at all times. This is a particularly exciting time to enter Dean Close Sixth Form because students are achieving higher grades than ever before and there is an increasingly broad range of subjects on offer. Despite increasing competition for university places, the vast majority of current leavers have been awarded places on courses of their choice. I hope very much that you will enjoy your time as a member of the Sixth Form and that the opportunities available will provide the foundation for future success.
John Talbot Director of Sixth Form Studies
Leiths Cookery Course - This popular and prestigious cookery course is completed over the first five terms of the Sixth Form. Students who pass the examination attain the coveted Leiths qualification at either Ordinary, Merit or Distinction level, a professional certificate in food and wine. Sport – Dean Close has a tradition of performing at a high level on the sports field and teams regularly achieve results that might not be expected of a School of
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What our Sixth Formers say “At some schools, being an academic scholar would mean that I was confined to the library all year. However, at Dean Close I have been able to get involved with sport, drama, CCF and many other activities, whilst still being pushed academically, whether by taking extra A levels or by being encouraged to pursue my extra-curricular academic interests. Above all, my time at Dean Close has been made by the relationships which I have formed, not only within my own year, but also with staff and younger students. Education at Dean Close is not about cramming for exam success – although that comes too – it is about finding out what makes you excited about the world. I could not recommend Dean Close highly enough to anyone who wants to spend their Sixth Form years being challenged, but also having plenty of time to have fun.“ Charlotte, Upper Sixth Head of School and Academic Scholar “Dean Close has been a great place for me to spend the last four years, and in the Sixth Form I have been really pushed, both academically and in an extra-curricular context. With the focus of just four subjects, I have loved being able to study, in depth, the areas that I am genuinely interested in. The highlight of my Sixth From time has been getting involved in the very active Drama and Sports departments, both of which have coached me and helped me to develop my skills. I feel really privileged to have so many fantastic opportunities offered to me, and it would be my advice to get involved in as much as you can during your time here; you will be busy, but you will learn valuable skills, be exposed to new ideas, and build relationships with not just your peers, but also with teachers and students of different ages and houses.” Charlie, Drama and Sports Scholar “Dean Close has provided me with a supportive and conductive learning environment which is very accepting and understanding of various cultural and religious backgrounds. It has a very friendly atmosphere whereby teachers are willing to listen to students opinion. The School has helped me grow, as both as an academic and overall as a person, by providing many different opportunities along with encouragement and the freedom to think for oneself. There is a chance for anyone to seize the day and make the most of their time here, and one can learn as many lessons about life outside the classroom as in it.” Richard, International Student and Maths Olympiad competitor “Being a Sports Scholar at Dean Close is a responsibility that I have embraced in my time here and has been of huge benefit to my sporting career. The dedicated programme of developing young athletes is well organised and can cater for anyone. There is a wide range of sports to get involved with at School and there is a place for anyone, whether it be in the first XV rugby or the U14c hockey team.” Elliot, Prefect & Sports Scholar “Dean close had offered me a wide range of opportunities from team building in hockey, netball and equestrianism as well as supporting me with my academic work. Life is very busy but thoroughly enjoyable and I would really recommend taking on what the School has to offer as it can really help your future. Being given the role of School Prefect and Deputy Head of House has made me interact with both staff and pupils from all ages and has been a really rewarding role. Equestrianism has been a key part of my School life. Dean Close provides great variety from lessons for beginners to qualifying team and individual events at a higher level. This has been a great opportunity to have days out and bond as a team. There is always lots of support around you to encourage you to strive that extra mile to achieve your personal best. I only joined the School in the Sixth Form but found that by putting myself up for things that weren’t necessarily my strengths helped me develop as an individual and made me feel part of the community within the first week!” Eleanor, School Prefect day girl who joined in the Lower Sixth 8 | Sixth Form Studies 2013 ~ 2015
The Flecker Library Aeschylus, Banksy, Camus, Dawkins, Efron, Jesus, Jobs, Keynes, Picoult, Shakespeare... all in one place, anytime, anywhere.
21st Century Shakespeare From our leather-bound editions to our library iPad, the Library offers access and guidance to a multitude of exciting resources:
Recently refurbished, the Schools’ Flecker Library supports learning, advanced information literacy and the pleasures of reading, empowering students through a wide-ranging, specialist information service.
• • • • • • •
Exam Success Success at A level requires range, depth and application of understanding. Working closely with teachers and tutors across the School, the Library strives to provide students with the right opportunities and assistance to extend knowledge, challenge thinking and develop key skills necessary for their future.
Thousands of fiction and non-fiction titles Feature film, TV and documentary DVD collection Daily newspapers, magazines & academic journals Online library portal with video streaming Academic database subscriptions including JSTOR & Britannica Online iOS & Android apps Contemporary Careers resources
Learning Experience The Library continually seeks to provide the best space and methods for learning and research. Matching the dynamic needs of today’s students and tomorrow’s professionals, we are committed to staying at the forefront of both traditional and new technologies and providing appropriate environments in which to study and explore, offering: • • • •
Pleasant, flexible learning spaces including silent, independent, group and tech zones. IT facilities and Wi-Fi Specialist assistance in information research An innovative and professional support team
A good library remains the same: always changing For us, the work is never done. We are constantly updating our resources and refining our use of technologies, responding to students’ needs and the demands of the contemporary professional world. Upcoming developments will almost certainly include an eBook loan system offering eBook borrowing on laptops, smart phones and tablets, a more integrated virtual library environment, bespoke skill development sessions and in-house digital publishing. Aren’t libraries great?!
Zach Suckle Librarian
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Extended Project Qualification The EPQ (Extended Project Qualification) is new to Dean Close. This additional and optional qualification is equivalent to half an ‘A’ level in terms of UCAS points and is intended to be accessible to students with a wide range of abilities. It requires pupils to produce an independently researched piece of work on almost anything that interests them. It can be an extended essay, a physical artefact or an activity. For those who choose to do it, the Extended Project is an opportunity to take their learning off at a tangent where you can demonstrate greater depth in an existing area of study or take the opportunity to investigate something completely fresh or different. It’s an excellent way to showcase your organisational, research, critical thinking, extended writing and presentation skills and hugely valuable preparation for degree-level study. Many Universities that demand the highest grades have given their support to this qualification. “[T]he University recognises that the EPQ will provide an applicant with the opportunity todevelop research and academic skills relevant for study at Oxford. Candidates are encouraged to draw upon relevant EPQ experience when writing their personal statement.” University of Oxford
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“The Cambridge Colleges welcome the introduction of the Extended Project … primarily because of the benefit we recognise in the skills it will develop in learners and the consequent easing of the transition from study in secondary to higher education.”
“The University recognises that some A Level students may also choose to offer the Extended Project. In such cases some admissions tutors may make two alternative offers, one of which involves success in the Extended Project.”
The EPQ requires pupils to keep a detailed log book to demonstrate their progress and explain how they have overcome any problems that they have encountered. It is not entirely unsupported; each student is allocated a supervisor, who will help you frame your title and be someone off whom you can bounce ideas. You will also be taught a variety of research skills, which will not only help you at Dean Close, but will be useful for when you go to University. At the end of the project, you will be required to present it to a few of your teachers and your fellow students. It is anticipated that most pupils will start their EPQ after AS exams during the Trinity Term of the Lower 6th.
University of Bristol
Alastair Milne Head of EPQ.
University of Cambridge
Art Why study Biology at A level? Ideally, you will have studied Art and Design at GCSE level and achieved either an A or A*. However, our Fine Art Based course is directed at all those with a genuine interest, aptitude and enthusiasm for the subject regardless of their future intentions. If you enjoy creative and practical problem solving and relish the opportunity to express yourself in a personal and independent manner than this is the subject for you. The Course The AS/A2 level specification encourages an adventurous and enquiring approach to Art and Design. The unendorsed pathway will enable you to explore and develop skills in an exciting range of two and threedimensional media within your study either as free-standing or related experiences. Work produced will aim to demonstrate the use of the formal elements, advanced creative skills and give visual form to individual thoughts, feelings, observations and ideas. The course aims to develop: • Intellectual, imaginative, creative and intuitive powers. • Investigative, analytical, experimental, practical, technical and expressive skills, aesthetic understanding and critical judgement. • Knowledge and understanding of art and
“Happiness... it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort!” Vincent Van Gogh
design in contemporary society and in other times and cultures. Work Journals Within the AS and A2 courses you will be required to keep work journals for each unit. The work journal can be defined as a combination of sketchbook and time-based record which contains evidence of the development of your ideas and should show your understanding of meanings, contexts and your ability to make skilled judgements, using appropriate visual/ verbal form. The work journal is a vital tool in supporting and stimulating the artistic process and has a major role in the production of preparatory work. Such study is essential in meeting the assessment objectives of the course at all stages. Trips, Workshops and Exhibitions The studio based courses are enhanced by regular internal and external exhibitions in our own BonBernard Gallery. Often, exhibiting, professional artists will give inspirational talks on their work, give practical masterclasses and run workshops which will greatly enrich your practical investigations. Every year we run an overnight trip to London to visit a number of the major art galleries, including the Saatchi Gallery and The Tate Galleries; Britain and Modern. Opportunities for
travel abroad also exist; outstanding visits to New York and Barcelona have been the most memorable. Results A good percentage of our A level students go on to study Art at a higher level and we have enjoyed considerable success in recent years with many of our number obtaining highly sought after places at some of London’s top colleges including Chelsea School of Art, The Slade School and The Bartlett School of Architecture. Potential Careers If you are intending to study art and/or design at a higher level, and/or are hoping to enter a career where an art and design background would be relevant or useful, this course must be considered essential to achieving such goals. With a view to careers, other than Fine Art, the following fields stem from the study of art and design: Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Fashion and Textiles, Interior Design, Printing, Photography, Media Studies, Graphic Design, Theatre Design, Product Design and Teaching, while industries of all descriptions are becoming increasingly interested in employing people with creative skills and imagination. Caroline Evans Head of Art
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Biology Why study Biology at A level? Biology is the study of life, covering everything that we are and how we function. From understanding the distant evolutionary past to our future survival, advances in biological fields from ecology to medicine and biotechnology will be vital for the human race over the coming decades. Studying Biology to AS or A level will teach you the basics of the subject, inform you of the issues that affect all living things on the planet today and help you to understand more about the functioning of your own body. As well as opening the door to future study in the biological and related sciences, it will also help develop your analytical and investigative skills and provide you with tools to evaluate Biology reports in the media critically. Essential for study of medical and biological subjects at university (for which many courses may also require a minimum of AS study in Chemistry), Biology also combines well with either other science or non-science subjects. Eight of this yearâ€™s leavers have successfully gained places to study medically or biologically related subjects at university. Experiments and Dissections Biology is a practical subject best illustrated through hands-on laboratory work. Throughout the course, experiments are used to demonstrate a wide range of
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biological techniques, also helping to develop a variety of study skills. By the end of the course, students will be confident in planning their own practical work and in critically evaluating their own and othersâ€™ experimental designs and data. Dissections are carried out as an important aid to understanding various organ systems, the whole rat dissection being a highlight of the A2 practical work. This gives students the chance to see for themselves the complexity of an organism and to relate textbook Biology to real structures and their functions. Biology beyond the classroom The Biology course ranges from studying specific molecules to entire ecosystems, where in addition to carrying out lab work, pupils undertake fieldwork at both AS and A2 level. AS students carry out field work in the School grounds where they study the effects of various biotic and abiotic factors on species diversity. Upper Sixth formers enjoy field work at Crickley Hill Country Park an SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest), where they explore sampling techniques, succession and zonation of species, and the complex management and conservation needs of llimestone grasslands and ancient woodland.
Visitors, including lecturers and university staff, regularly come to the School to give seminars and practical demonstrations on a wide range of Biological topics in support of Sixth Form studies, and the department arranges trips to events at the annual Cheltenham Science Festival. Studying Biology at Dean Close gives you the opportunity to gain an excellent understanding of a subject that underpins all human, animal and plant life and the chance to experience it at first hand, through practical work and field study, as well as to hear perspectives from experts in the field. Leslie Kent Head of Biology
Business Studies Do you see yourself as the next Sir Alan Sugar? …or maybe a Dragon? Are you interested in running your own business? What about going global and following in the footsteps of Sir Richard Branson and Virgin? Why should I take Business Studies? The last two decades have seen a revolution in attitudes to entrepreneurial activity and the development of globalisation. As a result, Business Studies has become one of the fastest growing A-levels, offering students an opportunity to find out how real businesses organise themselves to achieve a wide range of objectives in a highly competitive global economy.
Unit 1: Developing New Business Ideas Unit 2: Managing the Business Unit 3: International Business Unit 4: Making Business Decisions What help will I get? Business Studies is taught by experienced teachers with a track record of success. Delivery is via taught lessons using current business examples, backed up with the
latest texts and supported by an extensive range of digital resources. Local business experience is utilised and the department runs class trips to The Cheltenham Festival of Literature and to various businesses. Iain McGowan Head of Economics & Business Studies
What will I learn? You will learn about risk, what makes a successful entrepreneur, financing your business, marketing, human resource management, organising business operations, strategic decision making, investment appraisal and the global environment, and much, much more. A level Business Studies is non-vocational, despite the fact that it uses real business case studies as its foundation. Edexcel is the Exam Board we use and the course is divided into the following modules:
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Chemistry What is this?
Why should I choose to study chemistry? COOH
If you have tried to come up with an answer then you may want to study chemistry at A level. The answer will be revealed as well as explanations of what is really going on in your GCSE chemistry. Chemistry at A level suits anyone who has an enquiring mind and is fascinated by the composition of materials and enjoys finding patterns in behaviour that can be explained. But isn’t chemistry really difficult? Chemistry is a challenging subject and should not be attempted by someone who found GCSE chemistry very difficult, although the majority of Dean Close chemists achieve A or B grades at A Level and this suggests that chemistry cannot be too difficult.
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• Chemistry can be fun. You will be able to do many of the practicals that lower down the School were said to be too dangerous.
What will I learn? We follow the AQA chemistry specification which can be found on the following web link http://web.aqa.org.uk/qual /gce/science/chemistry_overview.php.
• If you want to stretch yourself chemistry will provide the opportunity to do so and it will look impressive on your CV. • It is an essential subject if you are aiming at a career in the medical profession and is very useful if you want to study any science at a higher level.
What help will I get? You will be taught by two different teachers who will offer help and guidance throughout the course. You will be signed up as a member of the Royal Society of Chemistry for the time that you are studying Chemistry, which means that you will receive a monthly magazine called Chemistry World and are registered users of the chemnet web community. The department makes use of its links with the University of Bristol Chemistry Outreach Department and will take students on trips to the University Chemistry Department.
Aron Needs Head of Chemistry
Classics If you are intrigued by these statues and wonder why they adorn a restaurant in Cheltenham ...or if you have ever wondered at a phrase like the Midas touch ...or asked yourself who invented democracy? or why Christianity emerged as a world religion? or who was Homer? â€Śthen it sounds as though you should be studying Classics: Latin, Greek and Classical Civilisation are all offered at A Level. If you are interested in Literature, History, Art History, Architecture, Philosophy, Archaeology, Drama, Politics and Languages, read on. What are our aims? Post GCSE, the aims of the department are two-fold: firstly we aim to sharpen and develop the linguistic skills thus far acquired (to enable the student to cope with the wider range of syntax and vocabulary to be encountered); and, secondly, to develop the historical perspective necessary to appreciate each author in his period. No one should think of tackling A level Latin or Greek unless he or she is excited by history or language. We try to grapple with the great minds of the past, to study contemporary problems and we are ever conscious of the derivation of our native tongue. We believe that the discipline required to master the language is of great value; we know that the business world and the professions value the Classics graduate for his clear thinking and analytical ability. We also believe that the past has valuable lessons for the present.
Latin and/or Greek can be successfully combined with any Arts or, indeed, scientific subject. University Classics Departments are crying out for Classics pupils and B/C grades may ensure entry to all but Oxbridge, Durham and Bristol. Meanwhile Classics students have pursued successful careers in Accountancy, Banking, Computing, the Law and even Teaching. What is Classical Civilisation? This subject involves an extensive survey of many of the chief aspects of Graeco-Roman civilisation and, as such, is a particularly good companion subject to English and History. A working knowledge of the achievements, culture and mythology of Greece and Rome will certainly enhance an A level candidate's appreciation of European literature and thought. All texts are studied in translation and no knowledge of Greek or Latin is assumed or
required nor is it necessary to have studied the subject at GCSE. What are the requirements? Answer - an interest in the past, an ability to respond critically to a body of literature that continues to excite debate today and a willingness to empathise with peoples from a past not so unlike our present. There are two modules at AS level and two modules at A2 level which enable you to study Literary, Historical and Art Historical / Archaeological subjects. For more information, particularly about the extra-curricular activities run by the Department (the Classical tour, the Classical Society, the Latin and Greek Reading Competition), go to the Classics Department section of the School website. Jon Allen Head of Classics
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Design Technology Preferably, you will have studied Design Technology at GCSE level and achieved either an A or A*. However, our course is directed at anyone with a genuine interest, capability and enthusiasm for the subject regardless of their future intentions. If you enjoy creative and practical problem solving and working in an independent manner then this may well be a subject option for you. The Course The AS/A2 level specification is a progressive development of knowledge and understanding required for examination. You will gain knowledge and skills during the Lower Sixth Form that will go on to help you in developing your own coursework project where you will work with a client of your own to provide solution/s to problems that you identify. The course is technical and has a focus on industrial application of designing and manufacturing. The course is aimed to: • Stimulate and sustain the interest of design and technology • Develop awareness in all aspects of design activity including sensitivity to aesthetic factors and refinement and accuracy in the choice and use of materials
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• Develop the ability to discriminate and make value judgements • Provide a body of knowledge and skills which will be of considerable benefit to your personal and working life, whether or not you continue further studies in this or related subject areas • Provide an opportunity for you to exercise initiative, imagination, resourcefulness and time management skills in the solution of design problems • Give an understanding and appreciation of the role of both design and technology in meeting human needs and an awareness of modern technological developments against a background of their historic perspective • Encourage you to apply your knowledge and understanding of design technology, to familiar and unfamiliar situations and problems. • Develop numerical and communication skills appropriate to design technology examination requirements. Facilities and Experiences The workshop based course is enhanced by drop in sessions and Trips or Visits with
designers and engineers offering and sharing experiences. There is regular access to the school facilities both during the school day and during co-curricular times. Results and Careers Our A level pupils have gone on to read Engineering, Architecture, Product Design and Industrial Design to name but a few courses. If you are intending to study design or engineering courses at a higher level, and/or are hoping to enter a career where a design technology background would be relevant or useful, this course must be considered an essential element in you’re A level portfolio. With a view to careers, other than fine art, the following fields stem from the study of art and design technology: architecture, landscape architecture, fashion and textiles, interior design, printing, photography, media studies, graphic design, theatre design, product design and teaching, while industries of all descriptions are becoming increasingly interested in employing people demonstrating a mixture of imagination and both technical and creative skills.
Dom Evans Head of Design Technology
Drama & Theatre Studies What are our aims? Theatre Studies is about everything that happens on stage in a theatre: the drama, acting and directing, the set and staging, costumes, design... We read and study plays from the angle of performance and staging. We go and see a great deal of live theatre. We study acting techniques in lessons and through workshops and learn about great practitioners such as Stanislavski and Brecht. What does it involve? You will need to be able to act, and act well. An A grade in GCSE drama is a complete requirement. There is a strong practical element to the course but there are also important theoretical aspects, and the artistic and intellectual ability to transport a text from page to stage is a core part of the subject; hence, design, costumes, period, background are all just as important as ideas on how to perform or direct a role. Theatre Studies is not about achieving fame or bolstering ego: it involves learning about dramatic interpretation and possibility. The AS course Written exam: interpreting a set text for performance – how to direct, act, design, etc and a question on response to Live Theatre. Practical exam: performance of an extract from a play, with a portfolio of 3000 words. The A2 Course Written exam: on a further two texts (eg
Chekhov and Arthur Miller). Practical performance: of Devised Piece by the Sixth Formers themselves, with supporting notes.
world) with Close Up Theatre, where we recently had Sell-Out status for the ninth year with acclaimed performances of The Crucible.
Trips, workshops, theatre visits A great many visits to live performances in Stratford (RSC), Malvern, Cheltenham, London, Bath and others. An all-day visit to Stratford: workshops with professional actors, visits to Shakespeare’s birthplace and tomb, and a performance at the RSC. An allday visit to The Globe Theatre in London, with workshops from professional actors and directors, followed by a performance at The Globe.
Careers In the last five years, a significant number of students have gone on to major drama schools: LAMDA, RADA, Mountview, Central School of Speech and Drama and others. In addition, an Old Decanian theatre company, No Prophet, performed at the Fringe in 2012, garnering 5 star reviews and no little press interest. One OD in this company – Will Merrick – is also in Richard Curtis’ new film About Time, released in 2013. But studying the subject does not mean that a career in acting is the only option; it will open up opportunities in the arts, advertising, PR, journalism, theatre management and film. We find that Theatre Studies improves confidence, public speaking and sense of organisation and self-discipline.
Workshops/visits with working actors Over the last few years we have been visited by JUDI DENCH, JEREMEY IRONS, OLIVER FORD-DAVIES, NIGEL HAVERS, NATHANIAL PARKER and others. Most recently we have held workshop days with Jamie Parker (from the original cast and film of The History Boys) and Roger Sloman (star of the cult Mike Leigh film Nuts in May with Alison Steadman). It is compulsory to attend all School plays so that students get the benefit of a wide range of performance styles; in the last two years students will have seen Death of a Salesman, Romeo and Juliet, The Browning Version, The Crucible, Cabaret and many others. Exceptionally talented students who pass auditions attend the annual visit to Edinburgh (the largest Arts festival in the
The Director of Drama will be very glad to meet anyone and discuss their potential in this subject; ideally they should be prepared to discuss their experience of acting and theatre. It is expected that candidates will express a genuine interest in theatre beyond West End musicals.
Lloyd Allington Director of Drama 17 | Sixth Form Studies 2013 ~ 2015
Economics Want to know why the UK economy went into recession and what caused the crisis in the Eurozone? Want to understand what causes inflation? Interested in learning how the UK economy works? Why should I take Economics? Economics is an academic subject that is held in high regard by major universities. As a subject it combines well with both the Arts and Science disciplines. The course is fairly rigorous in its approach so a taste for mathematical-type reasoning is useful although the mathematical content of the course is almost non-existent.
Edexcel is the Exam Board we use and the course is divided into the following modules: Unit 1 Unit 2 Unit 3 Unit 4
What will I learn? In the study of microeconomics you will learn how markets operate, why they fail, what governments can do to intervene, the nature of competition amongst firms and how firms make pricing and output decisions. In the study of macroeconomics you will learn about key Government objectives in the economy and policies to control unemployment, inflation, interest rates, exchange rates and economic growth. You will develop an understanding of economic models and apply these to the UK and the global economy as you examine the UKâ€™s economic relationships with other countries. 18 | Sixth Form Studies 2013 ~ 2015
Competitive Markets - How They Work and Why They Fail Managing the Economy Business Economics and Economic Efficiency The Global Economy
What help will I get? As with Business Studies you will be taught by experienced teachers with a track record of success. Delivery is via taught lessons using current economic data, backed up with the latest texts and supported by extensive digital resources. The Department brings in examiners to give advice directly to students and runs class trips to revision conferences. Extension opportunities include essay competitions, clinics and topical activity sessions. Iain McGowan Head of Economics
English “The best moments in reading are when you come across something – a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things – which you had thought special and particular to you. Now here it is, set down by someone else, a person you have never met, someone even who is long dead. And it is as if a hand has come out and taken yours...” The History Boys by Alan Bennett Our fundamental aim The English Department seeks to create in students the ability to respond with imagination and clarity to the rich and many complexities of English Literature. We want them to debate, respond and express themselves. Nothing is formulaic in the study of English – our text books are texts, (as opposed to instruction manuals); we will not tell our students what to write, but we will teach them how to do it for themselves.
wants and ideals. A level English taps into this at every level.
How we do this To deepen awareness and develop expertise, we give students guidance, facilities and space. The pursuit of highquality public examination results is a vital element of this teaching, but the fostering of a life-long love of reading is our grander ambition. Creative writing is encouraged and rewarded. The way we communicate is as fundamental as walking or sleeping – it’s the glue that binds our society – we are all students of our language in the way we communicate our feelings, ideas, wishes,
Who should study English Students who study English at A level are often amongst the best: there is width enough and depth to engage and inspire the very brightest minds. But we also cater for those who are not amongst the intellectual elite - as a top subject, English is remarkably accessible. Whatever the combination of subjects, whatever students go on to study at university, English will develop the ability to formulate original, personal responses, deal with challenging texts and ideas, and teach the vital skills of
Students have two teachers at A Level, both of whom choose texts according to their personal passions and enthusiasms; the more we love the teaching, the more likely it is that we will inspire similar enthusiasm in our students. We go outside the classroom: to the theatre, to lectures, to landscapes that inspire our poets, our great writers and, we hope, our students.
structure and clarity in essay writing essential skills for A levels, university and beyond. Please contact us if English is a possibility, but if you are unsure; it is often better to talk things through. Sean Hamill Head of English
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Geography As the committee of ministers at the Assembly for Europe stated:
‘Environmental issues cannot be taught solely in the form of knowledge. They should be related to the world in which pupils live and to real-life situations.’ What will it teach me? ? Geography is concerned with the multicultural society and interdependent world in which we live, where incidents in one place are caught up in chains of events spanning the globe. The world in which we live is likely to change more in the next 50 years than it has ever done before and as Geographers our understanding of that change is more important than ever. Geography develops the ability to combine scientific principles with economic awareness, environmental concern and an appreciation and tolerance of peoples’ attitudes and values. On October 31st 2011, the world’s population passed the 7 billion milestone. The continued growth of global population and the inevitable strain on global resources will play a key role in shaping the 21st century world. Geography is therefore a very contemporary subject, tackling a wide variety of issues and questions in both the physical and human environment.
Geography at Dean Close Geography is an increasingly popular subject at Dean Close. In the last two years, 9 students have continued to study some aspect of Geography at University whilst at present there are over 50 students studying A level Geography, where we follow the OCR A specification. The department is well resourced and located close to the heart of the School. Staff are passionate about the subject and have a wide range of experience both in the classroom and in the wider school setting. Specific interests include Geology, Glaciation, Tourism and Urban Regeneration. Fieldwork is an integral part of this course not only as a fundamental basis for one of the modules but it also allows students to observe in detail and try to measure and quantify the real world rather than study it from the isolation of the classroom. However, there is no formal ‘coursework’ – no work that will need to be written up and sent to the exam board.
What will it give me? At the conclusion of the course, students will appreciate the important role Geographers will play in the coming millennium. Today’s students can’t open newspapers or watch the news without being confronted with issues such as climate change; the impact of hurricanes and floods; or the future supply of energy and food. Geographers more than any other subject group, have considered the inter-relationships between different aspects of economic, social, environmental, political and cultural issues. As the committee of ministers at the Assembly for Europe stated: ‘Environmental issues cannot be taught solely in the form of knowledge. They should be related to the world in which pupils live and to real-life situations.’ Geography looks to the future and will prepare students for the world of the 21st Century – Geography provides an education for life. John Talbot Head of Geography
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Government & Politics Why study Politics at A level? • Politics affects everyone, everywhere at any time. • Understanding Political processes and ideologies helps you to understand why certain decisions have been made on your behalf, by world leaders. • The study of Politics includes the study of Personalities, Psychology, History, Economics and Geography – it is multidisciplinary. • It is ever-changing and always relevant and fascinating. What do you study? At AS you are given a thorough grounding of UK Politics. In Unit 1 there is a study of “People and Politics” looking at issues such as the state of Democracy in the UK, the role of Pressure groups, Political Parties and the electoral systems of the UK. Unit 2 entitled “Governing the UK” complements this study with an overview of the UK Political system, looking at the constitution, Parliament, the role of PM and the legal system. A2 takes you on a journey through the main Political ideologies ranging from Liberalism to Anarchism, and Conservatism
to Socialism in Unit 3. Unit 4 extends this with a study of other ideological traditions such as Feminism, Multi-culturism and Ecologism.
Are there other opportunities? We are extremely fortunate to be able to welcome a number of politicians to Dean Close each year. Sixth Formers have the opportunity to meet and question a number of politicians. In recent years we have met Gordon Brown, David Blunkett, William Hague and Tony Benn as well as having regular visits from our local MP, Martin Horwood. • Each year Politics students have the opportunity to visit the Houses of Parliament. • A number of students are offered work placements with local MPs at the House of Commons. • Many Politics students take part in the European Youth Parliament competition. Last year Dean Close reached the National Finals. • Each year a number of students go onto to study a number of politics-based degrees at university including PPE and International Relations.
Catherine Feltham Head of History and Politics
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History The French philosopher, Etienne Gilson wrote:
"History is the only laboratory that we have in which to test the consequences of thought." What will it teach me? The History Department seeks to create an enjoyment of the study of History, combined with a rigour for learning. The Department is staffed by enthusiasts with a commitment to bring the subject to life by using a variety of techniques. We hope to instil in our students the same sense of enthusiasm. As Abraham Lincoln said “No one can escape History”, and we hope our students won’t either. We encourage our students to develop the skills of critical enquiry, analysis and the construction of sharply focused and detailed argument. In doing so our aim is that each student achieves their individual potential in the subject. In the long term we wish their study of History to give them the capacity to understand and appreciate the world, both past and present. What does History offer? History offers the opportunity to study a range of complex issues in depth and links to a number of other subjects at A level, most notably English, Geography, Philosophy and Politics. It teaches you to
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analyse and evaluate many different types of information, to express yourself in a clear and precise manner as well as gain an understanding of different people and cultures. Sixth Form Historians are naturally inquisitive, interested students who love to debate issues and get to the root of an argument. Students studying History go on to many different professions including Law, the Civil Service and the City. Each year a number of students from Dean Close study History-based degrees at university, including Oxford and Cambridge. What do we study? Students are given the choice to study one of two routes. The Traditional Route offers students the opportunity to study Henry VII of England and Henry IV of France at AS. At A2 students will further their study of Tudor England with the Elizabethan Age. Those who opt to study the Modern Route will study America 1890-1945 and the war in Vietnam 1961-75 at AS. For A2 students will develop their knowledge of Modern History with a study of the British state and Society 1918-64. At A2 students on both
courses will complete an independent Historical Investigation (3,500 words) on a 100 year period of History. This is an aspect of the course much favoured by universities. Outside the classroom There are a number of opportunities to meet historians and visit key historical sites at Sixth Form. In recent years students have held court with the likes of David Starkey, met leading academics from top universities such as Oxford, Cambridge, Warwick and Bristol.
Catherine Feltham Head of History and Politics
Mathematics Consider the following mathematical challenges.
Why should I choose to study Maths? Maths A level is essential for many degree courses, and extremely useful for many more. According to UCAS it is the most widely required A level by UK universities. Furthermore, it is a lot of fun, as long as you are prepared to work hard and ask lots of questions! What help will I get? At Dean Close you will be taught by committed, highly qualified teachers using the latest ICT teaching aids. Maths clinics are held three times a week, which are very popular with AS & A2 students. In addition, there is a series of lectures looking at Maths beyond the classroom.
What do we mean by the critical path of a network? Consider the sequence
_1 , _1 , _1 , _1 , _1 , _1 , _1 , _1 2
1 ..... , _ 16 32 64 128 256 512
What is the 100th term? What is the millionth? What do we mean by saying that the sum of all the terms up to infinity is 1? Why are curves like these so important in Statistics?
If these have got you thinking, you should consider studying A level Maths.
And more overâ€Ś A recent study showed that employees with a Maths A level earned 10% more than those without one. A similar survey by the big four UK Management Consultant firms showed that the top professions all required at least an A level in Mathematics. At the end of the Lower Sixth we invite a speaker from companies such as Hewlett-Packard, General Electric and William Hill, to explain how they use maths on a daily basis.
Peter Garner Head of Maths
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Modern Languages What will it teach me? Languages are a life skill and few experiences in life can match the sense of achievement and pleasure of being able to communicate with someone in a foreign language. You will study beyond the confines of the GCSE vocabulary list. You will widen your cultural knowledge of France or Spain and study their key literature and even films (in the Upper Sixth). Languages combine well with any subject, even Sciences. Universities like to see languages on a UCAS form and you can combine languages with almost any degree and gain more course credits. Is there a massive jump from GCSE and don’t I need to be fluent? No and no. The jump from GCSE to A2 is not as great as you may think and you will be in smaller classes with students who have all chosen the subject. You will also benefit from a weekly conversation lesson in pairs with a language “assistante”. “Fluent” is a widely misused term - to approach fluency you will need to be studying at degree level and to have spent at least three months living in a foreign country and immersed in its language.
English is the global language today. Why learn a foreign language when everyone can speak ours? Many of the reasons for learning a language are often related to jobs and careers. This is what a top employer (from a multinational computer software company) said about the skills that he is looking for in a new employee: • Social skills • Ability to work in a team • Communication skills • Problem-solving skills • Confidence • Experience • Open mindedness • Flexibility Many of these skills are developed when learning a language, so it can really help to make you stand out from the crowd when it comes to employment. Indeed, the same employer also said that: • Business is global today • English is important but not enough • You need to get noticed overseas • Foreign languages are vital He also gave tips on the social side of business: • Listening is a skill • Cultural awareness pays off • Relationships make a difference • Networking is easier in the local language
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Give yourself the edge: they did! And, if that doesn’t prove it, look at how successful these former students of languages and related studies have been. J. K. Rowling, author of Harry Potter French and Classics (1987) Paula Radcliffe, athlete Modern European Studies (1996) Jonathan Ross, TV and radio presenter European Studies (1982) Rory Bremner, comedian French and German (1983) Fiona Bruce, newsreader French and Italian (1986) Nigella Lawson, TV chef Medieval and Modern Languages (1983) What is involved? During the Lower Sixth all languages follow the same topics of Media, Popular Culture, Healthy Living/Lifestyle and Family/Relationships. In the Upper Sixth the main three topics are the Environment, Multicultural Society and Contemporary Social Issues. You will also have to write an exam essay on either an author playwright or film director’s work that you have studied and to talk about them in the oral. Chris Hooper Head of Modern Languages
Music Do you enjoy Classical Music? Do you play an instrument or sing to Grade 6 level? Do you aspire to becoming a better musician? If the answer to these questions is yes, A level Music could be the perfect choice for you. Who can study Music at A level? It is preferable to have taken GCSE (and in some cases essential) but it is sometimes possible to take Music at A level if you have considerable practical ability and a good general musical awareness and knowledge. Performance counts for 30% of the A level overall (30% of the AS level) so if you are of a standard equivalent to Grade 6 plus on an instrument or voice you can secure a considerable percentage fairly easily. As a musician you will be developing your practical skills anyway through your instrumental lessons and independent practice during the Sixth Form and by taking A level music you will be able to use these skills to enable you to achieve a high A level grade. What goes on? The Music Department at Dean Close is thriving with a host of musical activities Choirs, Orchestra, Concert Band, Jazz Band, Sinfonia, Choral Society and ensembles and a full programme of concerts, musicals (bi-annually) and Choir tours abroad,
including recent trips to New York, Venice, Paris, Salzburg and Vienna. Concerts at the stunning Pittville Pump Room (generally involving student concertos) and Evensongs at St Paulâ€™s Cathedral and Tewkesbury Abbey occur annually. Masterclasses and concerts given by professionals happen on a regular basis as do Music Society trips to concerts and operas.
With a high chance of a top academic grade and studying within a friendly and vibrant department, why not consider Music?
What will Music A level give me? Although Music has a practical element it is still considered a fully academic subject by universities, including Oxford and Cambridge. Some of our musicians go on to study at the leading Conservatoires, sometimes on studentships, while others choose to study Music at University. There is a strong tradition of Oxbridge Choral and Organ studentships with six past pupils on such awards at present. However, there are others who purely enjoy the welcome break Music can provide as a contrast to their other subjects, thereby giving a more rounded education and a chance to pursue creativity.
Helen Porter Director of Music
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Philosophy & Ethics Are we alone in the universe? Is it wrong to lie if your life is at stake? Why is there so much suffering? Can it ever be 'right' to sacrifice your child? Does God approve of homosexuality? Do miracles really happen? Are we pre-conditioned to make the choices we make? What will it teach me? Philosophy and Ethics involves an investigation into important questions that affect our beliefs and the way we live. It is a rigorous academic discipline that requires: • an open-mind • interest in current affairs • ability to argue a case rationally and consider the implications of a view. Where will Philosophy and Ethics lead me? One of the oldest disciplines, Philosophy and Ethics has historically been considered one of the most valuable subjects for a variety of university courses and careers, including: • Law & The Civil Service • Social work, Politics and Business • Research; Debate and analysis; Teaching
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What does it involve? The AS assessment involves taking two exams, one of which is a piece of timed coursework you have prepared in advance on Medical Ethics or a topic you have chosen. Throughout the year you will be taught and supported teachers from the two disciplines: Philosophy of Religion and Ethics. You will be invited to conferences, talks, debates and socials which help us to explore interesting issues through debate, film and interaction. At A2 students will consider Kantian Deontology, Virtue Ethics and Natural Moral Law for Religious Ethics whilst for Philosophy of Religion they will explore topics such as Religious Experience, Life after Death and the Ontological argument.
And Finally… Philosophy and Ethics can dove-tail nicely with many subjects - Maths and Science, Classics and Art, as well as the more traditional English and Humanities. The vast majority of students in the last few years have gained their highest or joint highest grade in this subject. Laura Mears Head of Religious Studies
Physical Education If you are interested in how the body works, the structure of sport, how we learn and refine skills, how to improve practical performance, and enjoy playing sport, then AS and A2 PE may well be for you! Who can study Music at A level? The study of Physical Education is becoming ever more popular both at Dean Close and across the country as a whole. PE is now recognised by Universities as being just as valuable as other A levels, and in recent years this subject has become increasingly popular and can lead to a variety of career options in: Sports Science Leisure Management Sports Studies Sports Psychology Sports Physiotherapy Journalism Teaching and Coaching In each of the two years here you will be taught by three different teachers who each utilise their different areas of knowledge, expertise and experience to give you a broad understanding of the modules they lead. What is required of me? We follow the OCR specification for PE. At AS level you sit an exam worth 60% which
covers the modules of Anatomy and Physiology, Acquisition of Skill, and SocioCultural Studies. The other 40% is made up of coursework which requires you to complete two practical activities and an oral evaluation of an individualâ€™s performance in one of these practical activities. At A2 the further three modules completed are Exercise Physiology, Sports Psychology and History of Sport, and for the coursework only one practical activity plus an oral evaluation need to be completed. What extra is there? Students who chose to study PE get a lot of extra support outside of normal lesson. We take both the AS and A2 to revision conferences in the Lent term, as well as visiting the Oxstalls campus at the University of Gloucestershire to do some hands on Exercise Physiology testing. As well as that we are able to offer the chance to have top Olympic athletes come to talk to our students. Talks by relevant individuals the Cheltenham Helen Porterat Director of Music Literature
Festival, such as Ben Fogle and James Cracknell in 2010 and Steve Redgrave in 2011, are also supported by those doing PE at A level.
All our students also get the chance to go on major school tours such as the New Zealand rugby tour in 2008, South Africa hockey tour in 2010 and the most recent Rugby and Netball to Malaysia and Australia in 2012. AS and A2 PE is not just about playing sport. However if you feel dedicated to achieving success both academically and practically, then this may be the perfect subject for you. Rhona Donaldson Head of Academic PE
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Physics Do Black Holes really look like this? Have you ever noticed what a wonderful universe we live in? Can you think laterally? Do you enjoy thinking your way through questions like ‘how does this work?’ or ‘why does this happen?’ Did you know that Physics A level can help you in many areas of everyday life such as?: Mechanics: you can play your sport more successfully. Heat: you can cook more efficiently. Waves: you can make music more effectively and get to understand how your mobile phone works. Galaxies and Quarks: you can fire your imagination and see the scope of the universe. Is Physics A level of any use? Surveys consistently suggest that a Physics A level is one of the most highly regarded qualifications you can take at school. If you want to study Science, Medicine, Engineering or Maths at a good university then A level Physics will certainly be useful
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and may well be essential. All sorts of career opportunities are open to you if you are in lots of situations. What other subjects go with Physics? Physics can work in combination with almost any other A level subject, but we strongly advise that you take Maths at least to AS level if you opt for Physics. You will also be expected to have at least a Grade A/B in GCSE Double Award Science or an A in GCSE Physics. What is the Physics course like? At Dean Close you will be prepared for OCR Specification B Physics, which titles itself ‘Advancing Physics’. The course has been written by the Institute of Physics specifically to cover a wide range of topics and encourage analytical skills. Topics covered at AS include Digital
technology, Electricity, Materials, Mechanics, Waves and Quantum Physics. At A2 they include Mathematical Models, Space and Relativity, Thermodynamics and Particle Physics.
“The important thing is not to stop questioning”… Albert Einstein Jeremy Niblett Head of Physics
Psychology is the study of how people and animals behave and how the mind works. “The human mind is the most complex machine on Earth. It is the source of all thought and behaviour”.
Psychology The Science of Mind and Behaviour With the study of mind and behaviour at its core Psychology is a diverse and fascinating subject. The course content spans the spectrum of traditional subjects giving wide appeal to pupils whose strengths lie in Humanities, Creatives or Science. In Psychology, students will consider the explanations for obedience and prejudice and how an individual’s behaviour is influenced by the presence of others. Applications of psychological research to society are explored, for example the use of memory and forgetting research in improving the reliability of eyewitness testimony. Students will discuss the extent to which human characteristics such as mental illness or criminality are predetermined before birth or are a product of our upbringing. The course also provides the opportunity for students to conduct their own research, engaging participants in a variety of activities to investigate psychological issues. Should I choose Psychology? Psychology is compatible with any combination of A level subjects. Prior knowledge of the subject is not a prerequisite; but it is recommended that
students have good grades in Maths, English and Science at GCSE or equivalent. Universities and employers value the skills that Psychology students can offer, which include critical analysis, using evidence to formulate discussions, interpersonal awareness, practical research and problemsolving. Psychology pupils can go on to become professionals in the field, such as Clinical Psychologists and Forensic Psychologists. Others apply what they have learned to a wide variety of careers such as Law, Medicine, Education, Politics, Sport and Business. Opportunities and Activities in Psychology The course combines a wide range of activities to encapsulate the diversity of the content. From discussions, debate, and role plays such as jury members of a court case to practical investigations, conferences and some fascinating visits. Practical Investigations One aspect of Psychology that students enjoy is designing their own research, including experiments and observations where data can be collected using peers, staff and families as participants.
Contemporary Issues An key element of the course is exploring key issues such as football hooliganism, the influence of the media and the occurrence of psychological disorders such as anorexia and schizophrenia. Psychology Visits, Speakers and Extension Programme The department has run visits to the Oxford University Autism Research Centre; a Criminal Psychology Conference, Erlestoke Prison and Milestone School to learn about children with development disorders. External speakers have also been invited to the School from fields of Criminal, Clinical, Child and Environmental Psychology. Our Extension Programme involves students in providing mentoring, entrance to national competitions and opportunities to explore psychology beyond the A level specification which is valuable to their university application. Exam Success Psychology appeals to a wide range of students who have gone on to achieve success in the subject. Students gain places at some of the top universities including UCL, Durham and Nottingham.
Tracey Williams Head of Psychology
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Learning Support in the Sixth Form Although there is no regular, all year round support for Sixth Form students, the Learning Support department offers ‘trouble shooting’ tutorial help on specific issues. The duration of support varies with the student/issue but most students attend a series of 2-3 tutorials, often with a follow up tutorial some time later to check the issue has been managed. We aim to offer well-targeted support, working closely with tutors and subject teachers. Examples of areas we deal with are: •
structure in essays
planning for essays
focus in lessons
efficient learning and retention
revision planning and organisation
anxiety in presentations or performances
software for speech recognition, screen reading, mind mapping and proof reading
The Learning Support Centre has a drop-in lounge where a limited number of students can work during their private study periods. Here, they have access to the School intranet, a colour printer, a wide range of stationery and tea and coffee making facilities.
English as an additional language Dean Close Sixth Form welcomes students from overseas and recognises that they come with different levels of English. The EAL Department prides itself on its flexibility and dedication to individual needs and works on an ‘open door’ policy to ensure all students are supported pastorally and academically. All new international students are encouraged to attend the Overseas Induction weekend prior to the start of term, in order to familiarise themselves with the School and its facilities, to meet key members of staff, to take part in activities and prepare themselves for the start of Sixth Form. Students for whom English is a second language are assessed during this weekend (or on arrival if they cannot attend) to identify if extra language tuition is needed. If so, typically, two lessons of one-to-one support during study periods are arranged. However, there may be more or less support given, depending on needs and timetables. The assessment will identify the particular strengths and weaknesses in the student’s language, and the type and level of support will be adjusted accordingly. Support is also offered for some curriculum subjects, particularly where essay writing may be a difficulty. This could be lessons in a small group, or individual support depending on numbers. Students may attend these lessons at any time during the school
30 | Sixth Form Studies 2013 ~ 2015
year, either at their own request or when advised by the teaching/House staff. This support is highly-valued and viewed as giving weaker students the best chance of achieving good grades at A Level. All students are expected to achieve a language qualification which is accepted by British-speaking universities by the end of the Lower Sixth Form. Therefore if students have NOT taken and passed GCSE English, or have NOT got a minimum score of 6.5 in the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) when they enter Sixth Form, they will be required to attend lessons or demonstrate the intention to take the test independently. Both IELTS tuition and language support is charged on a per-lesson basis as set out in the Fees Schedule. Alongside lessons, the School strives to achieve integration between international students and British nationals, with Sixth Formers playing a vital role. Many overseas students become either school or house prefects in Upper Sixth. There is also an Overseas Students Committee of Sixth Form students, who mentor and support younger students from overseas, and regular get-togethers which the Sixth Form are encouraged to arrange. Above all, overseas students are encouraged to take full advantage of all that Dean Close has to offer in order to receive an all-round education.
Art & Design
Dual award Science
GCSE Grade Expectations for A Level
A Level Subjects Art and Design
Double Mathematics (11)
Double Mathematics (16)
Philosophy & Ethics
Spanish Theatre Studies
Bl Bl Bl
B grade in at least one of the sciences These grades are given as a guideline for subject courses. Although the advice of Heads of Department should be heeded, the final decision for suitability for a subject rests with the Director of Studies.
31 | Sixth Form Studies 2013 ~ 2015
DEAN CLOSE SCHOOL Shelburne Road Cheltenham Gloucestershire GL51 6HE Telephone 01242 258000 Email firstname.lastname@example.org www.deanclose.org.uk
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