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A guide to choosing GCSE subjects

January 2020


Contents Introduction

1

Choosing GCSEs and University Entrance

2

GCSE Choices Draft Form

3

Core Subject – English Literature

4

Core Subject – English Language

5

Core Subject – Mathematics

6

Modern Foreign Languages – Arabic

7

Modern Foreign Languages – French

8

Modern Foreign Languages – German

9

Modern Foreign Languages – Russian

10

Modern Foreign Languages – Spanish

11


Contents Latin

12

Latin with Classical Greek

13

Humanities – Geography

15

Humanities – History

16

Humanities - Theology and Philosophy

17

Sciences - Biology

18

Sciences - Chemistry

19

Sciences - Physics

20

Art and Design - Art

21

Art and Design - Graphic Communication

22

Design and Technology

23


Contents Drama

24

Music

25

Computer Science

27

Sports Science

28


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Introduction This is a very important time for your son and I hope you will find all of the information you require in order to make the correct GCSE choices. Within this guide you will find information regarding university courses and careers. However, these should only be considered in relation to many factors in choosing subjects. Pupils in Year 9 should take into account three considerations, in equal measure: First: Do you like the subject? If you do, then you will study it willingly, and strong motivation is by far the best background for success. Particularly through the tougher parts of the course. Second: Are you reasonably good at the subject? You may like the subject, but if your chances of a good grade at GCSE are slim, you should be careful. Third: Will these subjects allow you to proceed to the university course or career you hope for? The restrictions are limited, but do check the advice given regarding university and careers. Each department has written a section about the nature of their course. However, there is no substitute for a conversation with your son’s teacher; who knows his strengths and weaknesses, and most importantly his suitability for the subject. I therefore encourage you to read the information contained here, but also to speak to your son’s tutor, housemaster, and his teachers before submitting his choices. The School has created as much choice as is possible for pupils whilst ensuring that a broad range of subjects is studied. It is recommended that, in addition to English and Mathematics, you son chooses at least:

1. One Modern Foreign Language – French, German, Spanish

2. One Humanity – Geography, History, T&P

3. Two Sciences – Biology, Chemistry, Physics

Your son then has a free choice for his remaining three subjects Subjects will only be offered if 10 or more pupils opt to study them Key dates Tuesday 14 January 2020

Year 9 GCSE Option System opens to pupils

Tuesday 25 February 2020

Deadline for GCSE options submission


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Choosing GCSEs and University Entrance Universities will always take GCSE grades into account when assessing an application. Many Haberdashers’ pupils choose to apply for competitive courses, or to competitive universities. In such cases, a certain number of GCSE grades (usually the first eight) will be scored by the university prior to first stage selection. Obviously, a column of Grade 9s and Grade 8s will impress, but 6s will not. At Haberdashers’, all pupils who have been offered places at the very top universities have had six or more GCSEs at Grade 9.

University requirements A few university courses either require specific GCSEs, or prefer specific GCSEs: • Architecture You need at least one Science at GCSE; Physics is the preferred Science. Art can be an advantage. •

Computer Science

Design

Engineering

Journalism

Many courses prefer Physics at GCSE, a few specify Physics. You should consider Art & Design or D&T for most courses. You will require Physics at GCSE. You should consider D&T. A second language can be useful, but is not required.

• Medical Science, Dentistry, Veterinary Science You must retain all three Sciences at GCSE. •

Natural Sciences

You are strongly recommended to take all three Sciences at GCSE.

Beyond this, universities simply like to see a broad range of academic GCSEs as proof of a wide range of intellectual abilities. The GCSE courses at Haberdashers’ automatically ensure that this is the case for all pupils. You can seek further clarification of any of these points by talking to the Head of Careers, Mrs Nash: Nash_K@habsboys.org.uk


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GCSE Course Choices This page will assist you with planning your choices. Note that all choices MUST be submitted via HabsNet. Choose only one subject from each column. * These subjects must have been studied in Year 9 for you to choose this option. You may not start the course now. In addition, you must choose THREE options from the lists to make up the full complement of 10 GCSEs. All pupils will study three GCSEs in: 1. Mathematics 2. English Literature 3. English Language 4. Modern Foreign Languages *French *German *Spanish

Tick

8. Option 1 *Arabic *French *German *Spanish Russian *Latin *Latin with Greek Geography History Theology & Philosophy Biology Chemistry Physics *Art & Design - Art *Art & Design - Graphic Communication *DT *Drama Computer Science *Music Sports Science

5. Humanity Geography History Theology & Philosophy

Tick

6. Science 1 Biology Chemistry Physics

Tick 9. Option 2 *Arabic *French *German *Spanish Russian *Latin *Latin with Greek Geography History Theology & Philosophy Biology Chemistry Physics *Art & Design - Art *Art & Design - Graphic Communication *DT *Drama Computer Science *Music Sports Science

Tick

7. Science 2

Tick

Biology Chemistry Physics

Tick 10. Option 3 *Arabic *French *German *Spanish Russian *Latin *Latin with Greek Geography History Theology & Philosophy Biology Chemistry Physics *Art & Design - Art *Art & Design - Graphic Communication *DT *Drama Computer Science *Music Sports Science

Tick


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Core Subject - English Literature Examination Board GCSE Type Specification No.

AQA GCSE 8702

What is GCSE English Literature? English Literature is the study of a range of poetry, prose and drama texts from different time periods. It involves discussion, analysis and skills of individual interpretation.

What skills are involved/developed through the course? Essay writing, close analysis, awareness of the importance of context in shaping the production of texts.

GCSE Specification Years 10 and 11 Unit

Assessment at the end of Year 11

Shakespeare & 19th Century Novel

1 hour, 45 minute exam

Modern texts & Poetry

2 hour,15 minute exam

Nature and timings of assessment There are two exam papers in this subject, taken at the end of Year 11 as detailed above. The exams will require knowledge of set texts studied in class and cover prose, drama and a themed collection of poetry, along with unseen poetry.


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Core Subject - English Language Examination Board GCSE Type Specification No.

AQA GCSE 8700

What is GCSE English Language? English Language is the study of written and spoken English. Over the GCSE course you will study and create a range of spoken, creative fiction and non-fiction texts.

What skills are involved/developed through the course? Original writing, close study of texts, class discussion, written analysis.

GCSE Specification Years 10 and 11 Unit/Topic

Assessment at the end of Year 11

Explorations in creative reading and writing

1 hour, 45 minute examination

Writers’ viewpoints and perspectives

1 hour, 45 minute examination

Spoken Language

1 individual presentation

Nature and timings of assessment The spoken language presentation is compulsory and will take place in Year 11. It is separately certificated to the rest of the English Language qualification and does not contribute to the final grade awarded. Students will be awarded a pass, merit or distinction grade in Oral English and this will be recorded on GCSE certificates. The two exam papers will test close reading skills using previously unseen materials and require pupils to create original pieces of writing in timed conditions.


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Core Subject - Mathematics Examination Board

Edexcel (International)

GCSE Type

IGCSE

Specification No.

Mathematics A Option H (4MA1H)

What is IGCSE Mathematics? The IGCSE in Mathematics enables pupils to focus on problem solving. The topics included are used to develop thinking skills just as much as they are used to provide a universal language for scientists. By combining geometry, data handling, calculus, algebra and number theory into a logical whole, the IGCSE Mathematics provides an excellent foundation for further study of Mathematical subjects.

What skills are involved/developed through the course? Pupils develop the ability to express precise logical ideas in accurate terms and use these ideas to solve problems. Numeracy skills are developed fully, as are the use of defined language and the use of technology.

IGCSE Specification Year 10

Year 11

Unit/Topic

Unit/Topic

Number

Number

Algebra

Algebra

Data Handling

Data Handling

Graphs

Graphs

Geometry

Calculus Geometry

Nature and timings of assessment

The IGCSE in Mathematics is examined in two papers each of two hours duration at the end of Year 11. Both papers are equally weighted and may contain any combination of topics from the syllabus. The use of calculators is permitted in both papers.


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Modern Languages - Arabic Pre-requisites - Pupils must have studied Arabic in Year 9. Examination Board

Cambridge International Examinations (CIE)

GCSE Type

IGCSE

Specification No.

0544

What is IGCSE Arabic? The Arabic IGCSE course provides a valuable opportunity to make significant progress towards becoming a specialist in the language and the culture of the Arab world. Building on the foundations laid in Year 9, pupils will develop their language skills in three key areas: grammatical awareness, comprehension and communication. As a result, pupils will become capable of understanding the language in a variety of registers as well as writing and speaking it accurately and with increasing fluency. The development of language skills will take place within a framework of topics and issues of interest and relevance to the pupils and to young people in Arab speaking countries.

What skills are involved/developed through the course? The course equips pupils with a number of key transferable skills that many employers seek in the business and public sector, especially as the Arab speaking world is of major importance in both global politics and economics. These skills include: communication (oral and written); analytical and logical thinking; creativity; literacy; independent learning; cultural and geographical awareness; team work; presentation skills.

IGCSE Specification Years 10 and 11 Unit/Topic

Assessment

Paper 1: Listening

Approx. 35 minutes

25%

Paper 2: Reading

1 hour

25%

Paper 3: Speaking

Approx. 15 minutes

25%

Paper 4: Writing

1 hour

25%

Nature and timings of assessment The IGCSE examinations take place at the end of the course.

What sort of pupil does it suit and what will they get out of the course? Well-motivated, enthusiastic, culturally aware and well-organised pupils will cope comfortably with the demands of the IGCSE course. IGCSE Arabic will go some way towards providing pupils with the language skills that are currently so sought after by a range of universities and employers. The course will also offer pupils the chance to broaden their cultural horizons and thus equip themselves to impress university admissions tutors, when the time comes. If any pupil is even vaguely considering a Modern Languages degree at university, they are strongly advised to take at least two languages to IGCSE.


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Modern Languages - French Pre-requisites - Pupils must have studied French in Year 9. Examination Board

Cambridge International Examinations (CIE)

GCSE Type

IGCSE

Specification No.

7156

What is IGCSE French? The French IGCSE course provides a valuable opportunity to make significant progress towards becoming a specialist in the language, the culture of France and the French-speaking world. Pupils will develop their language skills in three key areas: grammatical awareness, comprehension and communication. As a result, they will become capable of understanding the language in a variety of registers as well as writing and speaking it accurately and increasingly fluently. The development of their language skills will take place within a framework of topics and issues of interest. Pupils will also be strongly encouraged to participate in an exchange visit to France, which will further enhance their language skills.

What skills are involved/developed through the course? This course equips pupils with a number of key transferable skills such as: communication (oral and written); analytical and logical thinking; creativity; literacy; independent learning; cultural and geographical awareness; team work; presentation skills.

IGCSE Specification Years 10 and 11 Unit/Topic

Assessment

Paper 1: Listening

Approx. 45 minutes

25%

Paper 2: Reading

1 hour

25%

Paper 3: Speaking

Approx. 15 minutes

25%

Paper 4: Writing

1 hour

25%

Nature and timings of assessment The IGCSE examinations take place in June, at the end of the course. Three Institute of Linguists (enhancement course) assessments take place throughout Year 11 (in September, November and January) and one further assessment takes place at the end of the course.

What sort of pupil does it suit and what will they get out of the course? Well-motivated, enthusiastic, culturally aware and well-organised pupils will cope comfortably with the demands of the IGCSE course. IGCSE French will go some way towards providing the language skills that are currently so sought after by a range of employers. The course will also offer pupils the chance to broaden their cultural horizons and thus equip themselves to impress university admissions tutors when the time comes. If any pupil is even vaguely considering a Modern Languages degree at university, they are strongly advised to take at least two languages to IGCSE.


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Modern Languages - German Pre-requisites - Pupils must have studied German in Year 9. Examination Board

Cambridge International Examinations (CIE)

GCSE Type

IGCSE

Specification No.

7159

What is IGCSE German? The German IGCSE course provides a valuable opportunity to make significant progress towards becoming a specialist in the language and the culture of Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Building on the foundations laid in Year 9, pupils will develop their language skills in three key areas: grammatical awareness, comprehension and communication. As a result, pupils will become capable of understanding the language in a variety of registers as well as writing and speaking it accurately and increasingly fluently. The development of language skills will take place within a framework of topics and issues of interest and relevance to the pupils and to young people in German-speaking countries. Pupils will also be strongly encouraged to participate in an exchange visit to Germany, which will further enhance their language skills as well as personal and emotional maturity.

What skills are involved/developed through the course? This course equips pupils with a number of key transferable skills such as: communication (oral and written); analytical and logical thinking; creativity; literacy; independent learning; cultural and geographical awareness; team work; presentation skills.

IGCSE Specification Years 10 and 11 Unit/Topic

Assessment

Paper 1: Listening

Approx. 45 minutes

25%

Paper 2: Reading

1 hour

25%

Paper 3: Speaking

Approx. 15 minutes

25%

Paper 4: Writing

1 hour

25%

Nature and timings of assessment The IGCSE examinations take place in June at the end of the course. Three Institute of Linguists (enhancement course) assessments take place throughout Year 11 (in September, November and January) and one further assessment takes place at the end of the course.

What sort of pupil does it suit and what will they get out of the course? Well-motivated, enthusiastic, culturally aware and well-organised pupils will cope comfortably with the demands of the IGCSE course. IGCSE German will go some way towards providing pupils with the language skills that are currently so sought after by a range of employers. The course will also offer pupils the chance to broaden their cultural horizons and thus equip themselves to impress university admissions tutors when the time comes. If any pupil is even vaguely considering a Modern Languages degree at university, they are strongly advised to take at least two languages to IGCSE.


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Modern Languages - Russian Examination Board

Edexcel

GCSE Type

GCSE

Specification No.

2Ru01

What is GCSE Russian? The Russian GCSE course provides a valuable opportunity to discover the language and culture of Russia. This is an ab initio course (i.e. it requires no previous knowledge of Russian), but the standard required by the GCSE exams is the same as for the other languages. The pace, therefore, is very brisk, but progress is smooth and rapid: we would expect virtually all pupils to achieve at least a Grade 8, and the vast majority get Grade 9. During the course, pupils will develop their language skills in three key areas: grammatical awareness, comprehension and communication. As a result, pupils will become capable of understanding the language in a variety of registers as well as writing and speaking it accurately and increasingly fluently. The development of their language skills will take place within a framework of topics and issues of interest and relevance to pupils and to young people in Russia.

What skills are involved/developed through the course? This course equips pupils with a number of key transferable skills such as: communication (oral and written); analytical and logical thinking; creativity; literacy; independent learning; cultural and geographical awareness; team work; presentation skills.

GCSE Specification Years 10 and 11 Unit/Topic

Assessment

Paper 1

Listening and Understanding

Paper 2

Speaking

Paper 3

Reading and Understanding

Paper 4

Writing

Nature and timings of assessment The GCSE examinations take place at the end of the course.

What sort of pupil does it suit and what will they get out of the course? Given its accelerated nature, this course is particularly suitable for pupils who have enjoyed success in other languages. Well-motivated, enthusiastic, culturally aware and well-organised pupils should cope comfortably with the demands of the GCSE course. GCSE Russian will go some way towards providing pupils with the language skills that are currently so sought after by a range of employers. The course will also offer you the chance to broaden pupils’ cultural horizons and thus equip them to impress university admissions tutors when the time comes.


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Modern Languages - Spanish Pre-requisites - Pupils must have studied Spanish in Year 9. Examination Board

Cambridge International Examinations (CIE)

GCSE Type

IGCSE

Specification No.

7160

What is IGCSE Spanish? The Spanish IGCSE course provides a valuable opportunity to make significant progress towards becoming a specialist in the language and the culture of Spain and Latin-America. Building on the foundations laid in Year 9, pupils will develop their language skills in three key areas: grammatical awareness, comprehension and communication. As a result, pupils will become capable of understanding the language in a variety of registers as well as writing and speaking it accurately and increasingly fluently. The development of language skills will take place within a framework of topics and issues of interest and relevance to pupils and to young people in the Spanish-speaking world. Pupils will also be strongly encouraged to participate in an exchange visit to Spain, which will further enhance their language skills as well as their personal and emotional maturity.

What skills are involved/developed through the course? This course equips pupils with a number of key transferable skills such as: communication (oral and written); analytical and logical thinking; creativity; literacy; independent learning; cultural and geographical awareness; team work; presentation skills.

GCSE Specification Years 10 and 11 Unit/Topic

Assessment

Paper 1: Listening

Approx. 45 minutes

25%

Paper 2: Reading

1 hour

25%

Paper 3: Speaking

Approx. 15 minutes

25%

Paper 4: Writing

1 hour

25%

Nature and timings of assessment The IGCSE examinations take place in June, at the end of the course. Three Institute of Linguists (enhancement course) assessments take place throughout Year 11 (in September, November and January) and one assessment takes place at the end of the course.

What sort of pupil does it suit and what will they get out of the course? Well-motivated, enthusiastic, culturally aware and well-organised pupils will cope comfortably with the demands of the IGCSE course. IGCSE Spanish will go some way towards providing pupils with the language skills that are currently so sought after by a range of employers. The course will also offer them the chance to broaden their cultural horizons and thus equip themselves to impress university admissions tutors when the time comes. If pupils are even vaguely considering a Modern Languages degree at university, they are strongly advised to take at least two languages to IGCSE.


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Latin Pre-requisites - Pupils must have studied Latin in Year 9. Examination Board

OCR

GCSE Type

GCSE

Specification No.

J282

What is GCSE Latin? Latin GCSE is a fusion of the study of the language and literature of the Romans, with elements of Classical history and philosophy encountered along the way. It will represent the culmination of linguistic skills accumulated in Year 9 in the form of further translation/comprehension of unseen Latin passages. These linguistic skills will also be put to good use in reading, discussing and critical analysis of some of the most influential literature of the western world in its original form. The epic poetry of Virgil and the historical accounts of the Druids by Caesar and Tacitus are currently prescribed. There is no coursework.

What skills are involved/developed through the course? Competence in Latin language; a sensitive approach to language in general; analytical and evaluative skills; the ability to make informed, personal responses to literature; active engagement in the process of enquiry into the classical world; awareness of the continuing influence of the classical world on later times and of the similarities and differences between the classical world and later times.

GCSE Specification Years 10 and 11 Unit/Topic

Assessment at the end of Year 11

J282/01 Latin Language 1

1 hour, 30 minutes examination

J282/03 Latin Prose Literature B

1 hour examination

J282/05 Latin Verse Literature B

1 hour examination

Nature and timings of assessment J282/01: comprehension/translation of an unseen Latin passage + explanation of word derivations + either translation of simple English sentences to Latin or recognition, analysis and explanation of grammar and word endings J282/03: questions on context, background and literary content of a prose set text J282/05: questions on context, background and literary content of a prose set text

50% 25% 25%

What sort of pupil does it suit and what will they get out of the course? This course would suit a pupil who has reached at least a reasonable competence in Latin by Year 9 and has enjoyed the varied aspects of the Cambridge Latin Course i.e. the challenges of Latin grammar but also study and discussion of the history and culture of the ancient Romans. You will acquire transferable skills useful for future studies and the world beyond academic life.


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Latin with Classical Greek Pre-requisites - Pupils must have studied Latin in Year 9. Examination Board

OCR

GCSE Type

GCSE

Specification No.

J282 (Latin) and J292 (Classical Greek)

What is GCSE Latin? Latin GCSE is a fusion of the study of the language and literature of the Romans with elements of Classical history and philosophy encountered along the way. It will represent the culmination of linguistic skills accumulated in Year 9 in the form of further translation/comprehension of unseen Latin passages. These linguistic skills will also be put to good use in reading, discussing and critical analysis of some of the most influential literature of the western world in its original form. The epic poetry of Virgil and the historical accounts of the Druids by Caesar and Tacitus are currently prescribed. There is no coursework.

What is Habs Beginners’ Course Greek? Habs Beginners’ Course Classical Greek is an introduction to the language and culture of the Ancient Greeks. It starts in Y10 with an emphasis on learning the basic rules of the alphabet, grammar and vocabulary and expands in Y11 to include study of a wide range of historical/ cultural topics.

What is Classical Greek GCSE? Greek GCSE is a combination of the study of the Ancient Greek language (which has its own alphabet and grammatical rules) with the study of Greek Literature (the study, discussion and analysis of a prose text and a verse text). This subject gives pupils the opportunity to study the language, literature and history of classical Greece, encountering the works of famous authors such as Homer, Herodotus and Plato. There is no coursework.

What skills are involved/developed through the course? Competence in the Latin and Greek languages; a sensitive approach to language in general; analytical and evaluative skills; the ability to make informed, personal responses to literature; active engagement in the process of enquiry into the classical world; awareness of the continuing influence of the classical world on later times and of the similarities and differences between the classical world and later times.


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GCSE Specification Years 10 and 11 Unit/Topic

Assessment at the end of Year 11

J282/01 Latin Language

1 hour, 30 minutes examination

J282/03 Latin Prose Literature B

1 hour examination

J282/05 Latin Verse Literature B

1 hour examination

with possibly J292/01 Greek Language

1 hour, 30 minutes examination

J292/02 Greek Prose Literature A

1 hour examination

J292/06 Greek Literature and Culture

1 hour examination

Nature and timings of assessment Latin J282/01: comprehension/translation of an unseen Latin passage + explanation of word derivations + either translation of simple English sentences to Latin or recognition, analysis and explanation of grammar and word endings J282/03: questions on context, background and literary content of a Latin prose set text J282/05: questions on context, background and literary content of a Latin verse set text

50% 25% 25%

Greek J292/01: comprehension/translation of an unseen Greek passage + explanation of word derivations + either translation of simple English sentences to Greek or recognition, analysis and explanation of grammar and word endings J292/02: questions on context, background and literary content of a Greek prose set text J292/04: questions on context, background and literary content of a Greek verse set text

50% 25% 25%

What sort of pupil does it suit and what will they get out of the course? This course would suit a pupil who has enjoyed the paralinguistic aspects of the Cambridge Latin Course but is also particularly comfortable with the linguistic challenges of the subject. A successful candidate in Latin with Greek will have a proven track record of industry and reliability; these qualities are essential because of the inevitable increase in workload. During this course pupils will experience elements of the culture, language and social and political life of the Greek civilisation which has inspired many later generations.


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Humanities - Geography Examination Board

EDUQAS

GCSE Type

GCSE

Specification No.

C111QS - Specification A

What is Geography GCSE? Geography is a challenging and exciting course that studies the modern world by looking at its inter-acting human and physical systems. It is inherently multidisciplinary using a wide range of subjects such as Economics, Politics and Environmental Science to explain what is happening in the World, why it is happening there, and how things might change in the future. There is no assessed coursework, but fieldwork is a key element of the course and is examined as part of Component 3. There are two fieldwork days to support this.

What skills are involved/developed through the course? In a world that increasingly values people who have the transferable skills needed to work across the physical and social sciences, Geography develops a wide range of relevant transferable skills including: communication skills and literacy, numeracy – particularly data analysis and statistical techniques, problem solving, team work – especially through fieldwork, the use of information technology, and independent study.

GCSE Specification Unit/Topic Theme 1: Changing Physical and Human Landscapes Theme 2: Environmental and Development Issues Theme 3: Applied Fieldwork Enquiry (examined)

Topics from each theme are taught at various points throughout the 2 years, where possible to illustrate links and connections between different areas of Geography. Nature and timings of assessment Three written papers taken at the end of Year 11: Component Two compulsory structured questions and one 1 hour, 30 minutes 1 shorter structured question from a choice of two Component Two compulsory structured questions and one 1 hour, 30 minutes 2 shorter structured question from a choice of two Component Three compulsory stuctured questions assessing 1 hour, 30 minutes 3 fieldwork and decision making

35% 35% 30%

What sort of pupil does it suit and what will they get out of the course? Anyone who has enjoyed Geography so far should consider taking it to GCSE. Whether you consider yourself a humanist, a scientist, a linguist, an artist or a generalist, Geography makes a strong supporting subject and it teaches pupils a wide range of useful transferable skills. It is also a fantastic subject in its own right and has recently been heralded as the subject of our times exploring a range of contemporary concepts and issues. Importantly, it will make pupils look at the world in a different way and help them to understand what is going on and why. If pupils know that, then maybe they are holding the key to the future.


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Humanities - History Examination Board

Cambridge International Examinations (CIE)

GCSE Type

IGCSE

Specification No.

0977

What is IGCSE History? Following on from the Year 9 course, the IGCSE syllabus covers major topics of twentiethcentury world history. We begin with the peace-making efforts which followed the First World War, the Great Depression and the collapse of world peace in the 1930s, culminating in the outbreak of the Second World War. The rise of Hitler, life in Nazi Germany and the Final Solution are also studied in Year 10. In Year 11 we move onto the Cold War, including the Cuban Missile Crisis and Vietnam, ending the course with studying the Iranian Revolution and Iraq Under Saddam Hussein, including the Gulf War of 1991.

What skills are involved/developed through the course? IGCSE History develops skills of critical thinking and analytical writing. It tests the ability to recall and select relevant factual information. IGCSE History teaches pupils to put together clearly articulated, coherently structured and well supported arguments, whether in standard historical essays or in critical response to source materials. It encourages independence and organisation. This course thus provides an excellent foundation for further study in a range of subjects at A Level.

GCSE Specification Year 10 Unit/Topic

Assessment

Year 11 Unit/Topic

International Germany and Paper 1 and Paper 2 Relations, the Second examinations at end of Year 11 1919-39 World War Germany, 1918-45

1 hour Paper 1 examination at International end of Year 11 and coursework Relations, in Years 10 and 11 1945-91

Assessment Coursework on the significance of an event that took place in Germany in the Second World War. Paper 1 and Paper 2 examinations at end of Year 11

Nature and timings of assessment Two written papers taken at the end of Year 11: Paper 1

2 hours

Core paper – a mixture of short and factual questions

40%

2 hours Core paper – a series of source-based questions 1 hour, 30 Germany and the Second World War – one assignment Coursework minutes completed in lessons

33%

Paper 2

27%

What sort of pupil does it suit and what will they get out of the course? Any pupil who enjoys debate and wants to understand the world-changing events of the last century will find this course fascinating. IGCSE Historians acquire not only a thorough and wideranging knowledge of historical developments; they are also better equipped to understand the world we live in today.


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Humanities - Theology and Philosophy Examination Board

AQA

GCSE Type

GCSE

Specification No.

RS Specification A (8062A)

What is IGCSE Theology and Philosophy? The course is a continuation and development of the units which have been introduced in Year 9. We will consider issues in the Philosophy of Religion and Ethics. Theology and Philosophy at GCSE combines the critical analysis of ideas and arguments with the very real intellectual and personal challenges encountered by those who face complex ethical dilemmas.

What skills are involved/developed through the course? The course develops a range of skills including the facility to analyse, critique and formulate arguments; the capacity to empathise with others in difficult ethical situations; and the ability to understand different points of view before reaching a balanced conclusion. Pupils will also find their skills of interpretation enhanced.

GCSE Specification Year 10 Unit/Topic Component1: Worldview Analysis (Beliefs, teachings and practices) Topics covered: Buddhism: • Buddhist beliefs about existence and the problem of suffering. • Buddhist practices. • Buddhist Ethics Christianity: • The extent to which theism is coherent. • The nature of salvation • Arguments for life after death • Reconciliation, persecution and poverty

Year 11 Assessment 1 hr 45 min written exam the end of Year 11

Assessment Component 2: Philosophy of Religion 1 hr and Ethics. 45 min Topics covered: written • Religion and Life: Religion, Science exam at and Medical Ethics. the end • The Existence of God and of Revelation: Arguments for and Year 11 against God and analysis of the concept of revelation. • Religion, Peace and Conflict: The influence of beliefs on violence, terrorism and war • Religion, Crime and Punishment: Causes, punishments and the place of forgiveness. Unit/Topic

Nature and timings of assessment Both written examinations will take place at the end of the course in Year 11. There is no coursework.

What sort of pupil does it suit and what will they get out of the course? The course will suit a pupil who enjoys reflecting on and discussing questions of ultimate significance. There is a focus on the development of arguments and the critical evaluation of different points of view. Pupils will also need to be interested in a range of contemporary debates. The extent to which a pupil has enjoyed engaging with the topics considered in the Year 9 course is a good indicator of their suitability for the GCSE.


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Sciences - Biology Examination Board

Edexcel (International)

GCSE Type

IGCSE (9-1)

Specification No.

4BI1

What is IGCSE Biology? Biology is an exciting and relevant IGCSE. It covers the whole spectrum of a fast-developing science that impacts on medicine, the environment and how humans think and function. The subject ranges from ecology, to the human body to genetics and genetic engineering. Biology has been called the science of the 21st century and new breakthroughs are being announced almost daily.

What skills are involved/developed through the course? Lessons are varied and many include practical work. The understanding of practical skills is part of the examination. Pupils will develop experimental and investigative skills, and be able to select, organise and present information. They will learn to evaluate competing hypotheses using scientific evidence and present these scientific theories clearly and logically.

IGCSE Specification Year 10

Year 11

Unit/Topic

Unit/Topic

Heat and circulation

Nervous system and the eye

Lungs and breathing

Selective breeding

Homeostasis, including the kidney

Natural selection

Transport in plants

Genetics

Immune system

Cloning Genetic engineering

Nature and timings of assessment Biology IGCSE is assessed through two written papers (one hour and two hours) at the end of the course (Year 11); these will include questions that will assess both the theoretical and experimental aspects of the course.

What sort of pupil does it suit and what will they get out of the course? Any Habs pupil has the potential to obtain a top grade in Biology and most do. Biology is a science which develops data analysis and analytical skills that are directly applicable to many other subjects and as a science; IGCSE Biology is highly valued by universities and future employers. The course is essential for the study of Biology A Level and is vital for any pupil considering scientific degree courses.


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Sciences - Chemistry Examination Board

Edexcel (International)

GCSE Type

IGCSE (9-1)

Specification No.

4CH1

What is IGCSE Chemistry? The course builds on the experimental skills and knowledge of the subject already developed throughout the School. In fact, the content of Year 9 is part of the IGCSE syllabus and provides the foundation that is built on in Years 10 and 11. The course focuses on the understanding of energy changes and rates of chemical reactions, an introduction to Organic Chemistry and an appreciation of the huge impact that the Chemical Industry has had on our daily lives. The course also provides the best basis for further study due to the consistent focus on core chemical concepts.

What skills are involved/developed through the course? Chemistry is a practical subject and the refinement of experimental skills is a major component of the course. As well as carrying out experiments and making careful observations, pupils will develop the ability to make inferences helping them to understand and explain the processes taking place. Analytical skills will be fostered, especially, through the consideration of ‘How Science Works’. Pupils will grow in their appreciation of the links between practical work, scientific theory and be able to better grasp the vital role that Chemistry plays in the modern world. Pupils will use mathematical skills to solve quantitative problems involving the amounts of chemicals involved or produced in chemical reactions and also interpret graphical data.

IGCSE Specification Year 10

Year 11

Unit/Topic

Unit/Topic

Mole calculations II

Acids and Bases

Rates of Reactions

Equilibria and Industrial Chemistry

Thermochemistry

Electrolysis II

Electrolysis I & Metal Etraction

Organic Chemistry III & IV

Organic Chemistry I & II

Qualitative Analysis

Solubility

Nature and timings of assessment Chemistry IGCSE is assessed through two written papers (one hour 15 minutes and two hours) at the end of the course (Year 11); these will include questions that will assess both the theoretical and experimental aspects of the course.

What sort of pupil does it suit and what will they get out of the course? Pupils that are best suited to this subject are those with an enquiring mind who wish to better understand the material world. Regardless of future study, Chemistry provides a significant academic challenge and is an excellent platform for the strengthening of rigorous, logical thinking skills. The course is essential for those looking to study Chemistry A Level and is vital for any pupil considering scientific degree courses; it is also a requirement for the study of medicine and related course.


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Sciences - Physics Examination Board

Edexcel (International)

GCSE Type

IGCSE (9-1)

Specification No.

4PH1

What is IGCSE Physics? The course builds on the knowledge of the subject already developed up to Year 9 and provides further opportunities to appreciate its relevance in everyday contexts. In addition to this, it provides a firm foundation for further study with its focus on energy in its many forms, and how it interacts with matter.

What skills are involved/developed through the course? Physics is a practical subject and safe laboratory techniques and experimental skills are central to this. As well as making and recording measurements, pupils will use collected data to arrive at appropriate conclusions, drawing links with scientific understanding and fact. Pupils will use mathematical skills to investigate the quantitative relationships between physical quantities and to solve problems that involve them.

IGCSE Specification In addition to topics already covered before the beginning of Year 10; Year 10

Year 11

Unit/Topic

Unit/Topic

Magnets and electromagnets

Momentum

Forces and motion

Effects of forces

Radioactivity

Molecules and kinetics

Charge and charge flow

Electromagnetic induction

The universe

Revision and extension of various topics

Nature and timings of assessment Physics IGCSE is assessed through two written papers (one hour 15 minutes and two hours) at the end of the course (Year 11); these will include questions that will assess experimental skills.

What sort of pupil does it suit and what will they get out of the course? Pupils with an enquiring mind who have a general interest in science and technology are best suited to the subject. The course is essential preparation for Physics A Level and is highly advantageous for any pupil considering scientific or mathematical degree courses; it is a requirement for degrees in medicine and engineering. For non-scientists, it provides an excellent introduction to a subject that has an everyday impact on us all.


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Art and Design: Fine Art Examination Board

Edexcel

GCSE Type

GCSE

Specification No.

1FA0

What is GCSE Art and Design: Fine Art? In Art pupils produce original and creative personal work. They are encouraged to explore a wide range of media including Drawing, Painting, Sculpture, Print making and Photoshop. Pupils develop their skills and ideas through a series of sketchbooks and outcomes. Popular areas of study which usually require pupils to have studied Art & Design are Architecture, Graphic Communication, Digital Design, Film & Media, Industrial Design, Illustration, Animation and of course Fine Art.

What skills are involved/developed through the course? • Intellectual, imaginative, creative and intuitive capabilities • Lateral thinking, resourcefulness, problem solving, ability to be reflective and make decisions • Self-motivation, resilience, self-management, enthusiasm designing and presenting • The ability to record observations and insights in visual and written form using a range of media • Investigative, analytical, experimental, practical, technical and expressive skills, aesthetic understanding and critical judgement • Independence of mind in developing, refining and communicating their own ideas, their own intentions and their own personal practical outcomes • Knowledge and experience of real-world contexts and, where appropriate, links to the creative industries • Knowledge and understanding of interrelationships between art, craft, design, media and technologies in contemporary and past societies and cultures

GCSE Specification Year 10 Unit/Topic Unit 1: Coursework

Year 11 Assessment Continuous

Unit/Topic Unit 1: Personal Investigation

Assessment 60% of GCSE mark

Unit 2: Externally set assignment (ESA)

40% of GCSE mark

Nature and timings of assessment Coursework assessment is continuous throughout the two-year course. All sketchbook work, prep work and outcomes is assessed for and counts towards the final GCSE grade. The ESA, which starts in January of Year 11, consists of an 8-week preparatory period and a 10-hour timed assessment which is completed in the Art Department. All sketchbook work, prep work and outcomes is assessed for and counts towards the final GCSE grade.

What sort of pupil does it suit and what will they get out of the course? Art and Design: Art would suit any pupil who has an interest and passion for artistic experimentation. Pupils taking this course value the opportunity to investigate their own themes, to “think differently” and to enhance their ability in many transferable skills.themes, to “think differently” and to enhance their ability in many transferable skills.


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Art and Design: Graphic Communication Pre-requisites - Pupils must have studied Fine Art or Graphic Communication in Year 9. Examination Board

Edexcel

GCSE Type

GCSE

Specification No.

1GC0

What is GCSE Art and Design: Graphic Communication? In Graphic Communication pupils produce original and creative personal work; studying design topics such as Poster Design, Logos, Typography, and Branding. They are encouraged to explore a wide range of media including Photography, Print making, Collage, Illustrator and Photoshop. Pupils develop their skills and ideas through a series of sketchbooks and outcomes. Popular areas of study which usually require pupils to have studied Art & Design are Architecture, Digital Design, Film & Media, Industrial Design, Illustration, Animation and of course Graphic Design.

What skills are involved/developed through the course? • Intellectual, imaginative, creative and intuitive capabilities • Lateral thinking, resourcefulness, problem solving, ability to be reflective and make decisions • Self-motivation, resilience, self-management, enthusiasm designing and presenting • The ability to record observations and insights in visual and written form using a range of media • Investigative, analytical, experimental, practical, technical and expressive skills, aesthetic understanding and critical judgement • Independence of mind in developing, refining and communicating their own ideas, their own intentions and their own personal practical outcomes • Knowledge and experience of real-world contexts and, where appropriate, links to the creative industries • Knowledge and understanding of interrelationships between art, craft, design, media and technologies in contemporary and past societies and cultures

GCSE Specification Year 10 Unit/Topic Unit 1: Coursework

Year 11 Assessment Continuous

Unit/Topic Unit 1: Personal Investigation

Assessment 60% of GCSE mark

Unit 2: Externally set assignment (ESA)

40% of GCSE mark

Nature and timings of assessment Coursework assessment is continuous throughout the two-year course. All sketchbook work, prep work and outcomes is assessed for and counts towards the final GCSE grade. The ESA, which starts in January of Year 11, consists of an 8-week preparatory period and a 10-hour timed assessment which is completed in the Art Department. All sketchbook work, prep work and outcomes is assessed for and counts towards the final GCSE grade.

What sort of pupil does it suit and what will they get out of the course? Art and Design: Graphic Communication would suit any pupil who has an interest and passion for experimenting in design. Pupils taking this course value the opportunity to investigate their own themes, to “think differently” and to enhance their ability in many transferable skills.


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Design and Technology Pre-requisites - Pupils must have studied Design and Technology in Year 9. Examination Board

OCR

GCSE Type

GCSE

Specification No.

J310

What is GCSE Design and Technology? This course encourages pupils to develop design and thinking skills that give them the tools needed to create the future. We will introduce pupils to the real-life design strategies used by the engineering and creative industries, enabling pupils to design and make functional products using a range of materials relevant to the task. Material choices include timbers, metals, plastics, electronics and graphic materials. Following the ‘Design Process’ pupils will, produce a design folder which will then lead to them making a working prototype of their chosen design solution.

What skills are involved/developed through the course? Pupils will develop their creativity and use critical thinking techniques to invent and innovate, to design and make prototypes that solve real and relevant problems, considering their own and others’ needs, wants and values. This subject offers pupils the opportunity to engage with engineering and practically apply knowledge from other curriculum disciplines such as mathematics, science, computing and humanities as well as developing the practical skills, technical knowledge and understanding they will learn from Design and Technology. Pupils will develop their presentation skills through free hand sketch work and ICT competence in the use of Computer Aided Design (CAD) packages such as Solidworks to produce and test products. In the practical work, the pupils will use a variety of hand tools and workshop machinery in addition to computer aided manufacturing techniques such as 3D Printing, laser cutting and CNC Router work.

GCSE Specification Unit 01 Unit 02

Principles of Design and Technology: Written paper – 2 hours – 120 marks - 50% of total GCSE Iterative Design Challenge: Coursework Unit – 40 hours - 50% of total GCSE

What sort of pupil does it suit and what will they get out of the course? This course will suit a pupil who enjoys designing and making things. The aim of the course is to inspire pupils in the study of engineering, to develop pupil’s problem-solving skills and creativity. Half of the course concentrates on folder-work and the other half deals with the making of the project and the relevant theory. Pupils will gain an understanding and appreciation for design engineering. They will increase their technical understanding of many practical manufacturing techniques alongside developing advanced computer modelling skills which will enable them to use 3D Printing, Laser cutting and CNC manufacture to test and realise their ideas.


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Drama Pre-requisites - Pupils must have studied Drama in Year 9. Examination Board

AQA

GCSE Type

GCSE

Specification No.

8261

What is GCSE Drama? The course enables pupils to participate as much as possible in performance, creating and devising Drama. All pupils explore texts practically and work on two text-based performances developing their individual performance skills through workshops, improvisation and the appreciation of live professional theatre and expanding their knowledge of theatrical processes.

What skills are involved/developed through the course? In addition to developing individual acting techniques and voice production, pupils also have the option to develop practical skills in theatre lighting, sound production, costume and puppetry if they wish. Whatever option they choose, with the emphasis on working co-operatively and creatively, pupils learn to collaborate, think analytically and evaluate effectively. They learn to pursue their own ideas, reflect and refine their efforts.

GCSE Specification Year 10

Year 11

Unit/Topic Component 1: Understanding Drama

Assessment No external assessment

Unit/Topic Component 1: Understanding Drama

Component 2: Devising Drama – Presentation & Log

Internally marked practical assessment

Component 2: Devising Drama

Component 3: Texts in Practice

Assessment 1 hour, 45 minute Exam (Written) External moderation of Devising Drama Log (Written coursework) External Marked (Practical Exam)

What sort of pupil does it suit and what will they get out of the course? Pupils will get a chance to increase their cultural awareness through their study and experience of live theatre. In addition, Drama is an excellent way to improve presentation skills, increase confidence and, uniquely, to develop the capacity to work co-operatively and creatively with others. Drama is a subject that suits a wide range of pupils but particularly those pupils who would like to develop their own skills as performers and who enjoying working as part of a team.


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Music Pre-requisites - Pupils must have studied Music in Year 9. Examination Board

AQA

GCSE Type

GCSE

Specification No.

8271

What is GCSE Music? The course caters for a wide range of musical enthusiasms and is sufficiently flexible to cater for a variety of musical tastes, covering 16 topics as diverse as Contemporary Latin Music, The Requiem of the late Romantic period, and Rock music of the 1950s and 60s.

What skills are involved/developed through the course? Performing (30%): Pupils should be learning an instrument and should be at a minimum standard of about Grade 3-4 at the start of the course. Pupils will produce two performances, one as a soloist and one as part of an ensemble or group. There is no restriction on style or instrument. Composing (30%): Pupils will produce two compositions. One will be in response to a brief given by the board the other will be a free composition. Understanding Music (40%): Pupils will analyse and evaluate a wide variety of music covering 16 diverse topics, and will also study in detail four set works.

GCSE Specification Year 10

Year 11

Unit/Topic Component 1 – Understanding Music: 7 topics covered in addition to the 6 covered in Year 9

Assessment Written Exam at end of Year 11

Component 2 – Performing Music: 2 solo and 2 ensemble pieces to be recorded

Coursework submission before half term of Year 11 spring term

Component 3 – Composing Music: Preparatory exercises and one free composition completed

Coursework submission before half term of Year 11 spring term

Unit/Topic Component 1 – Understanding Music: 3 topics covered in addition to the 13 covered in Years 9 and 10 Component 2 – Performing Music: 2 solo and 2 ensemble pieces to be recorded.

Assessment Written Exam: 40% of GCSE Mark

Coursework submission of recording of one solo and one ensemble before half term of Spring term: 30% of GCSE Mark Component 3 – Externally Composing Music: One Marked composition in response to a (Practical Exam) set brief completed.


26

Nature and timings of assessment Pupils will submit performance and composition coursework before half term of the Spring term of Year 11 and will sit the written examination (Component 1) during the summer exam period in Year 11.

What sort of pupil does it suit and what will they get out of the course? Pupils need to have a good musical ear and the ability to play an instrument to a high level. They should have an open mind to all styles of music and a desire to be challenged by unfamiliar music. Pupils will develop performing, composing and analytical skills in their work towards the GCSE.


27

Computer Science Examination Board

CIE

GCSE Type

GCSE

Specification No.

0984

What is GCSE Computer Science? Computer Science combines the study of Software, Hardware and Information Communication technologies. It combines understanding the fundamentals of how computers work and developing new software to be able to achieve a goal.

What skills are involved/developed through the course? Computer Scientists are required to be able problem-solvers. They must be able to break a complex problem into a series of smaller problems to be solved. It is important to develop computational thinking skills to be able to understand what can be computed and how. There is also a requirement to develop a competence in programming in a high-level language.

GCSE Specification Pupils will study a range of topics over the two years: • Computer systems: hardware; software networking • Programming: Algorithms, data representation and database concepts • Programming concepts: Constants, variables and data types; structures; program flow control; procedures and functions; • Software development: Software development life cycle; prototyping; application testing • Social impact of technology Year 10

Unit/Topic Theory of Computer Science

Assessment End of year mock examination to take place at end of Year 10. GCSE Examined in Year 11.

Unit/Topic Theory of Computer Science 1 hr 45 mins (60%) Problem End of year mock examination Component solving and to take place at end of Year 2: Devising programming 10. Drama GCSE Examined in Year 11.

Year 11

Assessment 75 mark written exam paper. Questions will be based on section 1 of the subject content External moderation of Devising Drama Log (Written coursework)

Nature and timings of assessment There are two written papers at the end of Year 11. Both exams are short answer and structured questions. All questions are compulsory and externally assessed in two 1 hour 45-minute exams

What sort of pupil does it suit and what will they get out of the course? The course is suitable for students who enjoy puzzles and problem solving. Students should be confident in think analytically and interested in using technology to solve real life problems. During the course students will have the opportunity to work with external companies to be able to get a taste of career opportunities and the latest technology and techniques in solving problems.


28

Sports Science Examination Board

CIE

GCSE Type

IGCSE

Specification No.

0413

What is GCSE Sports Science? This specification follows on from the Year 9 Sports Science programme of study by providing pupils with opportunities to lead a healthy and active lifestyle by choosing from a variety of activities in which to be practically assessed. Theoretically, pupils study the physiological, psychological and social effects on sport and sports performance. Pupils will be assessed practically and can choose from the following activity groups; Games, Athletic, Aquatic, Adventure, Dance, Gymnastic and Combat.

What skills are involved/developed through the course? Knowledge of the physiological and psychological demands of performance; an understanding of health, fitness and a healthy lifestyle; knowledge of training methods and nutrition; and an understanding of how cultural and social factors can affect participation and performance.

GCSE Specification Years 10 and 11 Unit/Topic

Assessment at the end of Year 11

Component 1:

Written Paper: 1 hour, 45 minutes 100 marks – 50% Controlled Assessment: Practical 50% - 4 Assessments from at least 2 groups

Component 2:

Nature and timings of assessment Sports Science IGCSE is assessed through a written theory paper examining knowledge of Sports Physiology, Biomechanics, Sports Psychology, Health & Fitness and Sport & Society (50%) alongside an in-depth practical study of four different sporting activities (50%). The style of the question paper has been designed to include a mixture of short and long answer questions. A large proportion of the course is practical, and it is an advantage to be currently involved in sport inside or outside School. Practical performance is externally moderated through video evidence around Easter of Year 11.

What sort of pupil does it suit and what will they get out of the course? The content of this IGCSE Sports Science specification is designed to enable pupils to enjoy and understand the benefits of living a healthy and active lifestyle; to provide a route to study in Further Education awards, such as A levels and to Higher Education in Sports and Exercise Science, as well as to related career opportunities. It will suit pupils who have a clear interest in sporting activity, and the issues which affect participation and performance. Pupils who perform at high school/club level and beyond will have an advantage when being assessed in the practical context.


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