SIXTH FORM CURRICULUM 2012
Introduction by the Head Master We hope that the experience and resources of the Sixth Form at King Edward’s will help you to achieve your best as a confident and caring young adult with a commitment to the wider community. You will be able to combine academic achievement with involvement in a wide range of sport and activities and the development of key skills such as effective communication and organisation. We also cherish the time and space available in the Sixth Form to allow you to read widely, challenge received thinking and experiment with fresh ideas. There is a considerable degree of subject choice on offer and a range of possible subject combinations. The A level modular structure should enable you to be well prepared for the style and approach of most degree courses with the focus on taking charge of your own learning. The results speak for themselves with 87% of grades attained at A*, A or B and over 22% of all examinations taken awarded an A*. Over 46% of our students gained three A grades or more. There is a great deal of specialised advice available at the School to guide you through the complexities of university admissions and subsequent career choice. Almost all King Edward’s students go on to Higher Education, with over 96% achieving their first or second choice of course and 75% taking up places at the top 25 universities including 13 at Oxford and Cambridge last year (representing 12% of the total application). Sixth Form education at King Edward’s has, however, always embraced a great deal more than excellent facilities, high quality teaching in small groups and rigorous preparation for examinations. We value the opportunities for teamwork, leadership and taking responsibility which are available here. Through the extensive range of sporting, cultural and extra-curricular activities, we hope to stretch and challenge you and to offer you the chance to try something new, whether it is through charitable activities such as Summer Camp or the Goedgedacht Project in South Africa, biology field work in the rain forests of Mexico, involvement in international sporting tours, the Duke of Edinburgh Scheme or expeditions to destinations as varied as Alaska, Bolivia, Morocco and Norway. Many of you will opt to take further some of the ideas sparked by these experiences and may want to pursue them through a GAP year. This booklet and the Sixth Form prospectus together provide an introduction to what is on offer at King Edward's after GCSE. I commend it to you.
The Two Routes for Sixth Form Studies You have a choice between two routes of study in the Sixth Form: a provisional choice is made at the outset of your Sixth Form career and confirmed in the Spring term of the Lower Sixth year. Route 1 - three full Advanced level subjects You choose four subjects to study to AS level in the Lower Sixth, then decide in the Spring term of the Lower Sixth year which three to continue to full Advanced level in the Upper Sixth. Later requests to amend these choices in the light of AS results will be considered but will be subject to practical considerations. If you follow this route, you will leave the Sixth Form with three full Advanced level qualifications and at least one AS level qualification.
Route 2 - four full Advanced level subjects You can opt to follow a potentially more demanding four-subject curriculum through to A2 level. All four subjects chosen at AS level in the Lower Sixth will be continued to full Advanced level in the Upper Sixth. If you follow this route, you will leave the Sixth Form with four full Advanced level qualifications. It is, however, possible to revert to a three-subject Upper Sixth curriculum at the time A2 choices are confirmed in the Spring term of the Lower Sixth year.
Open Forum, Foundation Studies and the Extended Project These offer opportunities for broadening the Sixth Form education experience at King Edward Vi School. More details can be found in the following pages.
The Sixth Form Programme in Outline (periods per 2 week cycle) Lower Sixth
Upper Sixth Route 1
Upper Sixth Route 2
Private Study in the Sixth Form Your Lower Sixth timetable will be made up as follows: 11 class periods in each of your 4 AS subjects 4 periods of Games 1 period of Open Forum 2 periods of Foundation Studies 9 periods of Private Study Five of your Private Study periods will appear as blanks on your timetable, four of them have the subject name, your teaching set code and DS1 or DS2 instead of a teacher or room. DS stands for Directed Study. (Those taking Mathematics + AS Further Mathematics will have 12 class periods for that subject and only 8 Private Study periods). The aim of Private Study is to provide time for you in School to build on what you do in class in a relatively independent manner – by reading around your subjects, researching topics in depth or preparing written or other assignments. Of course it’s not expected that you will spend every minute of every such period working: you need to take time to have a break and have a coffee, read the paper or talk with friends. But you will be expected to manage your time sensibly and organise your independent work effectively. You will find the Sixth Form study area and the Library & Resources Centre are good places for this kind of study. It may be possible to use other areas, eg Art, DT, Music or IT facilities by arrangement with the appropriate staff. The difference between the blank Private Study periods and the subject-designated Directed Study periods is that your teachers will have specific expectations about what you will do with that time. They may set you particular pieces of work to be completed in those periods or expect you to have done some reading or research in them (or in their equivalent in terms of time). The key thing is that they – and you - will expect there to be an outcome, which might be a completed piece of work or evidence that you have increased your knowledge or skills. The teacher-guided nature of the Directed Study periods will help you manage the rest of your Private Study time independently and effectively. If you are uncertain about how best to manage your Private Study time, your tutor and subject teachers will be able to give you good advice.
The Extended Project What is it? The Extended Project offers an opportunity to use timetabled time to explore in depth an area of academic interest to you, leading to a â€˜half A Levelâ€™ qualification graded up to A*. The qualification begins at the end of the Lower Sixth year with the aim of completing the Project by January of your Upper Sixth year. Any student can apply to study for the Extended Project, and the School very strongly recommends it for those applying to competitive universities who are not continuing with four subjects at A2. The EP usually takes the form of an extended essay, or mini-dissertation but it is also possible to base it around a performance or work of art, or an experiment or field study. There are few restrictions on the subject matter, and the choice is down to the individual student in consultation with their appointed supervisor. Most often students decide to take further an area of one or more of their existing academic subjects. Alternatively the EP is an excellent way of proving interest in an area that a student wishes to study at university but that is not being taken at A Level, for example Law, Politics or Architecture. Why should you take the Extended Project? The EP will allow you to research an area of interest in some depth, give you a foretaste of undergraduate study and also demonstrate to universities that you have many of the skills and aptitudes they require. For example it shows admissions tutors that: you are interested in your subject and academic work in general you are willing and able to take on additional study you have developed important undergraduate study skills: research skills independent study planning critical thinking reflection / self evaluation The Director of Admissions at Cambridge has praised the EP for developing insight, clarity of thought, and analytical ability, and he, along with many senior admissions tutors, encourages candidates to undertake one. What is involved? There is a series of taught sessions on issues such as research skills, referencing, evaluating competing arguments, ethical viewpoints, and presentation skills. Students taking the EP attend these in place of Foundation Studies in the Autumn term of the Upper Sixth. In addition, time is put aside to use the excellent facilities at Southampton University library. Students meet regularly with their academic supervisor and are expected to produce an extended piece of writing on their chosen subject and present it to a small audience. The work is marked internally and moderated externally by Edexcel, the awarding body. In the 3 years since the inception of the Extended Project at KES, 47% of students taking the qualification have been awarded an A*, 84% of students have gained an A or A*, and 100% of have achieved A* to C.
Open forum and Foundation Studies Open Forum Open Forum is a programme of presentations, usually given by guest speakers, to the entire Lower or Upper Sixth: these take place in the Dobson Theatre throughout the autumn and spring terms. The Open Forum guest list is continually updated every year to provide a mixture of reliable favourites and exciting new speakers. Informative, entertaining and inspiring, Open Forum provides students with the opportunity to see the world through the eyes of some extraordinary individuals. Recent speakers include: Felicity Aston leader of the largest all female group to ski to the South Pole Martha Holmes series producer with the BBC wildlife unit in Bristol Mike Hurst guitarist and pop producer Steve Pendleton ex-infantryman on rebuilding his life after a devastating accident Freddie Knoller survivor of Auschwitz concentration camp Martin Taylor stage hypnosis without hypnotism Erwin James former convict now a successful writer and prison reformer Emma Cole living with HIV for nearly 20 years Bill Pirrie driving tips from a former head of Essex traffic police Alan Whitehead local MP Foundation Studies The Lower Sixth Foundation Studies programme consists of a series of short courses designed to equip students with the key skills necessary for Sixth Form success and to help prepare them for life after school. The sessions include: Presentation Skills Exploring Health and Social Issues Finance and Budgeting Introduction to Politics Study Skills IT Applying to University In the Upper Sixth, Foundation Studies is less about the delivery of what we judge to be vital key skills and is more about offering students the chance to learn something new whilst enjoying a break from academic work. Depending on other timetable commitments students may undertake as many as five Foundation Studies courses in the Upper Sixth year. Each course usually takes place over a period of four Tuesday afternoon sessions in the Autumn and Spring term. Students choose courses from a wide range; some are practical in nature and some more intellectual, but they all are intended to be stimulating and fun. The courses on offer this year include cookery, dance, digital photography, first aid, team and leadership skills, model rocketry, robotics, philosophy, power boating, self-defence and video editing.
AS and A2 Level Subject Options CHOOSE 4 AS SUBJECTS FROM THE LIST BELOW
ART* or PHOTOGRAPHY * BIOLOGY BUSINESS STUDIES * CHEMISTRY CLASSICAL CIVILISATION COMPUTING * DESIGN TECHNOLOGY * ECONOMICS * ENGLISH LANGUAGE ENGLISH LITERATURE FRENCH FURTHER MATHEMATICS â€“ see note 3 GEOGRAPHY * GERMAN GREEK HISTORY * LATIN MATHEMATICS WITH MECHANICS MATHEMATICS WITH STATISTICS MATHEMATICS + AS Further Maths MUSIC * MUSIC TECHNOLOGY * PHILOSOPHY AND ETHICS * PHYSICS PSYCHOLOGY * SPANISH SPORTS SCIENCE * THEATRE STUDIES * NOTES: 1. 2.
You may study the subjects marked * whether or not you have taken them as GCSE courses. It may be helpful to talk to the head of department about such a choice. You will not normally be allowed to study three new subjects at Advanced Level; in many cases it may be advisable not to choose more than one subject [to follow to A2 level] which you have not previously studied at GCSE. Further Mathematics [A2] is only to be chosen as a fourth full Advanced level and must be combined with Mathematics [Mechanics]. By choosing it you are committing yourself to following Route 2 and taking four subjects in the Upper Sixth. However, AS Further Mathematics is available In combination with Mathematics [Mechanics] counting as a single timetabled subject. The availability of subjects is dependent on sufficient uptake, and the School reserves the right to make such amendments as necessary, in response to demand and in the light of practical considerations. We cannot guarantee that all subject combinations will be available.
Internal Candidates If you have successfully completed your GCSE/IGCSE courses of study in the Upper School here, we expect you to be able to make the transition to our Sixth Form. However, in making your choices for AS level, remember to choose subjects that you enjoy, that you are good at and that are in line with your intentions for higher education. The School’s policy is that we do not allow a student to study a subject to AS level if he or she has a C grade or below at GCSE or IGCSE in the relevant subject or its near equivalent unless there are significant mitigating factors. In a number of subjects such as the sciences, mathematics and modern foreign and classical languages it is strongly advised to have at least an A grade at GCSE or IGCSE. This is to ensure that the student’s knowledge and skills are of a level sufficient to allow access to the subject in the King Edward’s Sixth Form and to offer the realistic prospect of a successful outcome at Advanced level. New subjects If you intend to take a new subject in the Sixth Form, you should have done well at GCSE/IGCSE level in an equivalent subject. Advice Talk to your subject teacher before committing yourself to a particular AS level, and talk to your tutor about your intended combination of Sixth Form courses. Other sources of advice are Mr P Sheppard, Head of Upper School, Mr PD Jones, Director of Sixth Form, Ms RM Greenwood, Director of Student Guidance and Mrs CJ Mandley, Head of Careers. External Candidates If you have successfully completed your GCSE/IGCSE courses of study at your present school, we expect you to be able to make the transition to our Sixth Form. However, in making your choices for AS level, remember to choose subjects that you enjoy, that you are good at and that are in line with your intentions for higher education. New subjects If you intend to take a new subject in the Sixth Form, you should have done well at GCSE/IGCSE level in an equivalent subject. Offers of Sixth Form places will be made following interviews in March 2012. Your offer may be subject to your obtaining a specified grade in one or more subjects. Candidates seeking advice from the School are invited to contact: Head of Upper School Mr P Sheppard email@example.com Director of VI Form Mr PD Jones firstname.lastname@example.org Dir. Student Guidance Ms RM Greenwood email@example.com Deputy Head Academic Mr RT Courtney firstname.lastname@example.org Deputy Head Registrar Mr RJ Putt email@example.com General queries about the Sixth Form curriculum should be addressed to Mr Courtney either by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 023 80704561.
ART AND DESIGN : FINE ART What art offers is space - a certain breathing room for the spirit. John Updike The Fine art course at KES offers the step up from GCSE into a world where you will experiment and try new ways of working hopefully to broaden your approach to the subject. This might be through our life drawing classes or simply working on a scale never attempted before. The AS course is experimental in design and leads to a more specialised approach at A2. Flair is vital as is a willingness to try new things and a broad minded approach to the creative process. We have had recent students going to study Architecture with Art obviously being one of their main subjects. The Art studios are designed to give each student a permanent area to work and individually tailored resources. The Department has a huge library with over 3,000 Art and design titles as well as a dedicated A2 studio and a subject specific IT suite.
AS LEVEL You will receive continual assessment on your progress and regular informal and formal tutorials. Your final assessment for the AS level award is as follows: Unit 1: Coursework Portfolio (worth 50% AS) During the first two terms of the course you will have the opportunity to experience drawing, painting, printmaking and photography. This phase provides the basis for one extensive practical project. Alongside this work you will be expected to build up evidence of your critical awareness of the wider context of art within culture to complement and inform your practical work. Unit 2: Externally-Set Assignment (worth 50% AS) Towards the end of the AS course you will complete Unit 2.Your response to externally set questions. This involves a preparation period and 5 hour supervised time. A2 LEVEL If you choose to continue into the second year to complete the A2 course there are two further assessments: Unit 3: Personal investigation (worth 50%) - This involves one, extended, in-depth coursework project using skills acquired at AS level. Unit 4: Externally-Set Assignment (worth 50%) - Your response to externally set questions. This involves a preparation period and 15 hour supervised time.
ART AND DESIGN : PHOTOGRAPHY Photography is all around us and has documented the world around us and how we interact with it for 170 years. The American documentary photographer Dorothea Lange wisely said the ‘The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera’. The course will certainly try and do this as well as looking at the social, cultural and artistic context of photography. The AS course is experimental in design and leads to a more specialised approach at A2. We have an extensive Art and Design library with over 3,00 titles. Trips are arranged so that photographer’s work can be seen in context. The department has its own IT suite running Adobe Creative Suite as well as a A1 printer and dedicated film scanner. You do not need your own digital or 35mm film camera although both would be useful. You do not have to have studied Art at GCSE but you will need to be self-motivated as much photography needs in be undertaken out of school time. AS LEVEL During the first two terms of the course you will have the opportunity to experience both digital and chemical photographic processes. This phase provides the basis for one extensive practical project. Unit 1: Coursework Portfolio (worth 50% AS) Alongside this work you will be expected to build up evidence of your awareness of the context of photography within culture to complement and inform your practical work. Unit 2: Externally-Set Assignment (worth 50% AS) Towards the end of the AS course you will complete your response to externally set questions. This involves a preparation period and 5 hours of supervised time. A2 LEVEL The second year allows for a continuation of the work begun in the first year but with a greater opportunity for, and emphasis on, an increased level of ambition, depth, complexity and sophistication. Unit 3: Personal investigation (worth 50% A2) This involves one, extended, in-depth practical project as well as an extended (3000 word) compulsory written component. Unit 4: Externally-Set Assignment (worth 50% A2) Your response to externally set questions. This involves a preparation period and 15 hour supervised time.
BIOLOGY Our students study Edexcel Advanced Biology. This is an up-to-date course which deals with topics in ways that are easily seen as relevant to everyday life.
The course aims to: Use topical contexts which will motivate and excite students Be accessible, with use of clear language, yet intellectually demanding Emphasise application of knowledge rather that rote-learning Have activities and practical work integrated throughout course Make use of a full range of teaching and communication approaches Use student-centred and novel activities that show how biologists think and work in their professional lives. ICT is used to provide on-line resources for students, and interactive software is incorporated into the activities. Each student has access to web pages and interactive resources. The use of ICT allows you to work at your own pace and you can easily follow interests using the links and resources provided. Practical work is fully integrated into the units, with the use of living materials as a central focus of the activities. It includes practical study of a wide variety of living organisms, including humans and other animals, plants and micro-organisms. The approach mirrors the aims of the course, where investigation and process are emphasised rather than prescriptive methods. Other innovative activities ensure a wide variety of interactive learning styles, with problem solving, analysis and other higher skills being involved in the context of biological issues. The awarding body is Edexcel. There are three AS units; one is course work and the other two are assessed by examinations in June of the first year. One A2 unit is course work; a second unit is assessed by examination in January of the Upper Sixth and the third unit examination is taken in June. The course work required for AS is a report about a biological issue or visit and is completed during the spring term. The A2 course work is carried out during a week long residential course at the end of the Lower Sixth. We stay at a field centre in West Wales where each student can carry out an individual investigation. You will be expected to attend this field trip if you intend to study the A2 course, and there will be a cost for accommodation, meals and transport which is around ÂŁ400.
BUSINESS STUDIES Business Studies is a subject that is centred in the world around you: in the news, in the choices you face when shopping and when searching for, or working in, a job. The provision of this course should enable you to develop a critical understanding of the internal workings of a business, and of its role in the external environment. You will become aware of the effects of business behaviour from the perspective of a range of issues that affect a variety of organisations. The material studied would be useful for candidates intending to pursue careers in any area of business. The skills you require During the A Level course you will be introduced to a number of business theories and you will be expected to apply them to real world examples and case studies. You will acquire a range of skills including decisionmaking and problem solving in the light of evaluation and, where appropriate, the quantification and management of information. You will be expected to read around the subject matter, and to build up a portfolio of examples of current business behaviour. During the course you will be required to draw on a variety of disciplines, and to realise that they are interrelated. The mathematical and data handling aspects of the course require no more than a competent performance at GCSE/IGCSE mathematics. Course structure and content The course followed is the AQA Business Studies Specification (2131). The AS course is divided into two modules and is broadly based on small businesses and start-up planning with a local or national background. The A2 course is divided into two modules and builds on AS knowledge. The A2 course will consider larger businesses, with an international focus. Two teachers will deliver the course. Assessment AS Unit 1
Planning and Financing a Business: short answer questions and extended responses based on a mini case study.
AS Unit 2
Managing a Business: compulsory, multi-part data response questions examining the topics of finance, people, operations management and marketing and competition.
A2 Unit 3
Strategies for Success: questions requiring extended answers based on an unseen case study drawing upon knowledge from AS units. Topics covered in this unit are financial strategies and accounts, marketing and operations and human resource strategies.
A2 Unit 4
The Business Environment and Managing Change: two essay questions are required, one from a choice of two based on a pre-released research topic and one from a choice of three, drawing on knowledge from all four units. Topics covered in this unit are mission statements, aims and objectives, external influences and managing change.
CHEMISTRY The A-level course was developed from the best of the pre-2008 Edexcel Chemistry and Nuffield specifications and provides an engaging and inspiring GCE Chemistry specification that enables contemporary chemistry contexts to be included within the teaching and learning programme. The course has a realistic, manageable level of content and assessment and so provides an enjoyable learning experience for students of all abilities. The content of this new specification includes the fundamental key concepts of chemistry for progression into higher education and employment. However, it has been streamlined to allow students enough time to study the units in depth. Studying A-level Chemistry will be a very practical experience for students. The specification contains practical activities embedded within each unit, to reflect the nature of chemistry. This will increase the studentsâ€™ enjoyment and understanding of the chemistry along with providing them with the required skills to study science at higher levels. The practical skills assessments at AS and A2 reflect the types of practicals that students would be familiar with as part of their teaching and learning. These are designed to be assessed alongside the teaching of the units and can be taken at any point in the AS or A2 course. AS CHEMISTRY The AS course covers a number of themes including: Atomic structure and the periodic table Energetics Bonding The mole concept Organic Chemistry
Shapes of molecules and ions Intermolecular forces Redox Mass Spectra and IR Green Chemistry
External assessment will be based on two structured papers both worth 40% of AS. The other 20% will be internal assessment on studentsâ€™ laboratory skills. A2 CHEMISTRY The A2 course includes more challenging themes such as: Rates of reaction Entropy Equilibria Acid-base equilibria
Spectroscopy and chromatography Transition metals and complex ions Arenes Organic synthesis
External assessment will again be based on two structured papers both worth 40% of A2 and the internal assessment will be the other 20%. This specification is supported in many ways including: Student guides Endorsed textbooks
Revision guides Interactive electronic learning aids
CLASSICS The three Classical Advanced Levels that can be studied at the School are Latin, Classical Greek and Classical Civilisation. You can do all three of the subjects or just take any one or two of them, if you wish. All the subjects are highly regarded academic qualifications and you are by no means excluding yourself from the modern world by choosing to study the classical one! To study Latin and Classical Greek, you will need to have taken these subjects at GCSE. LATIN (OCR) Latin offers a variety of work, which some students find a relief from solely essay-based subjects. Essays are written, but less frequently than in some subjects, and students often like the more self-contained assignments such as translations or preparation of the text. Such assignments train you in a variety of skills which are highly valued: they refine your linguistic ability, stimulate logical thought and sharpen your perceptions in response to the literature. Each text is translated and discussed in class, to develop an understanding of the language, style, background and historical context, as well as to test your own reactions to it as literature. Study of the text spans out into details of history, society and mythology, and it is far from the narrow study that some assume it to be. It has rightly been said that it is an excellent subject for those who are interested in everything! Each text studied has a useful commentary to help you, and you are encouraged to read more widely in translation around the text to broaden your experience of the Classical World. You will be surprised at how relevant it is to the world today. Do not imagine that universities or employers will be unimpressed by this Advanced Level. The real situation is quite the reverse. CLASSICAL GREEK (OCR) Classical Greek is an extremely well regarded qualification. Few schools are now able to offer the subject at this level, and this will probably be your only opportunity to do it. It is often a shame if those who have made such efforts to gain mastery of the language at GCSE do not continue with it into the Sixth Form, where there is the chance to read magnificent literature, a final reward for all the grammatical pains! If you like being stretched and made to think, it is one of the best subjects to do. Assessment Unit
Unseen Translation L1+G1
1 hr 30 min
1 hr 30 min
1 hr 30 min
1 hr 30 min
Both the Latin and Classical Greek courses offer you an interesting and challenging way to develop your language skills and your appreciation of the literature of the Classical World, acquiring in the process some understanding of the culture, politics and social life of Rome and/or Greece at significant periods in their history. If you choose to study Latin and/or Classical Greek at Advanced Level you will gain a greater understanding and appreciation of our own civilisation and heritage, and the skills acquired â€“ communication, working with others, problem-solving and improving learning and performance â€“ will be of great benefit, whatever career you may follow.
CLASSICAL CIVILISATION This is a wide and interesting Advanced Level, good for those who enjoy literature and would like to read some of the greatest ever produced which has had such an influence upon later writers, and good also for those with an interest in Ancient History. A wide range of material is read, all in translation. This is a flourishing subject and we have been greatly encouraged by the response it has received since its introduction. A considerable number of students have chosen to continue this subject at University. Several have been surprised to find that something so old can be so lively and so relevant to the study of humanity, which remains remarkably unchanged over a few thousand years! Classical Civilisation can be taken by anyone from scratch, since no knowledge of the classical languages or any previous study of the Classical World is necessary. The course offers you the opportunity to study the archaeology, architecture, art, history, literature, philosophy, politics, social history and religion of the Classical World. AQA Unit
Classical Civilisation 1
1 hr 30 min
Classical Civilisation 2
1 hr 30 min
Classical Civilisation 1
1 hr 30 min
Classical Civilisation 2
1 hr 30 min
Candidates choose one topic for each unit. Unit details: 1.
Athenian Democracy, The Life and Times of Cicero, Women in Athens and Rome, Menander and Plautus, Greek Architecture and Sculpture, Aristophanes and Athens
Homer (Iliad), Homer (Odyssey), Athenian Vase Painting, Athenian Imperialism, Roman Architecture and Town Planning, The Second Punic War
The Persian Wars 490-479 BC, Mycenaean Civilisation, Greek Tragedy, Augustus and the Foundation of the Principate
Tiberius and Claudius, Roman Epic, Alexander, Socrates and Athens
We like to broaden our studentsâ€™ experience of the ancient world wherever possible, taking trips to plays and museums and using a wide range of other exciting multi-media material. There is the opportunity to attend the London Festival of Greek Drama, which happens every year in March, lectures organised by the Southampton branch of the Classical Association and Classical performances at Oxford or Cambridge.
COMPUTING Whatâ€™s the difference between Computing and ICT? COMPUTING is aimed at understanding how computers work is about how networks and the Internet work is about writing computer programs is regarded as highly as Maths or English by universities
ICT is aimed at business is about advanced use of applications e.g. MS Office is about understanding business systems
AQA Computing Advanced level Prepares students who wish to go on to higher education courses or employment where a knowledge of Computing would be beneficial Allows students to demonstrate their knowledge of the fundamental principles of the subject Requires no prior knowledge of Computing or ICT. AS COMPUTING Unit 1
Stages of problem solving State transition diagrams and tables Introducing algorithms Programming in a high level language Number bases and information coding Development of a software system. 2 hour on-screen examination 60% of AS
Logic gates and boolean algebra The internal components of a computer Hardware devices The fundamentals of computer systems The internet and networking 1 hour written examination 40% of AS
A2 COMPUTING Unit 3
Problem solving and algorithms Algorithms and data structures Programming paradigms and object oriented programming techniques The role of an operating system Database design 2 hour 30 minute exam 60% of A2
Evaluate the possible need for development of a computer-based solution to a real problem Document a design Document the analysis, design, construction, testing, training and maintenance of a programmed solution. Project report 40% of A2
DESIGN AND TECHNOLOGY The AS and A2 courses in Design and Technology will offer any student the chance to develop a wider range of both academic and practical problem solving skills along with project management. Design Technology is recognised as providing an opportunity to broaden all academic and personal skills, however, an Advanced level qualification in the subject is considered a distinct advantage when applying for design, engineering, or architecture related courses. The course aims to develop and stimulate creativity, and innovation in all areas of design and technology. Students will be expected to exercise initiative, imagination and resourcefulness in both design and manufacture. Both the full A Level and AS courses will be available to all pupils who have studied a GCSE in Design and Technology, regardless of the individual specialism (Resistant Materials, Textiles, Graphic Products or any other course available). Students who have not studied the subject at GCSE are not excluded: however, they are subject to interview with the Head of Design and Technology Department.
COURSE OUTLINE The A Level has a total of four assessed units, two in each year. AS LEVEL This examination consists of two units: Unit 1:
2 hr Written paper worth 50% of the total AS marks. Materials and Components and Application
(Nominally 50 hrs) Coursework worth 50% of the total AS marks. A manufactured project with associated written or electronic portfolio.
A2 LEVEL This may only be attempted if the AS level has been passed, the AS then counting for up to 50% of the final mark. This examination again consists of two units: Unit 3:
2 hr Written paper worth 25% of the total marks. The paper will contain six questions; candidates will be required to answer three. These will cover all aspects of the course.
(Nominally 60 hrs) Coursework worth 25% of the total marks. A single integrated coursework project using any material or combination of materials.
DRAMA AND THEATRE STUDIES Drama and Theatre Studies at AS and A level offers you the opportunity to study a course which is vibrant, creative, challenging and stimulating. It also allows you to develop and hone important life skills such as negotiation, cooperation and time management and to improve your abilities in public speaking, presenting information in varied and engaging ways and commanding the attention of an audience. The skills you require: During both years of the course you will undertake practical performance work, you will need to undertake substantial individual research and you will learn to analyse contemporary productions from the perspectives of actor, director and designer. In the A2 year you will devise and perform your own unique piece of theatre. You will acquire production skills such as lighting, set and costume and make up design and you will become familiar with a variety of theatrical styles and practitioners. We prefer you to have a good grade at GCSE Drama to take this course but we do not insist on it. More important is that you have an open and enquiring mind, a good sense of humour and that you are prepared to have a go at any challenge we throw at you! Course structure and content: AS LEVEL Unit 1 Live Theatre Productions Seen and Prescribed Play Written Paper, 1 hour 30 minutes 60% of total A/S marks, 30% of A level marks Section A – response to live theatre seen during the course Section B – interpretation of one set play from a performance perspective Unit 2 Presentation of an Extract from a Play Performance coursework, externally moderated 40% of total A/S marks, 20% of total A level marks Working in groups to develop and present an extract from a published play chosen by the candidates. Study of an influential director, designer, theatre company or other practitioner, linked to the candidates’ practical work. A2 LEVEL Unit 3 Further Prescribed Plays including Pre-Twentieth Century Written Paper, 2 hours 30% of total A level marks Section A – choice of one pre-20th century play and one 20th century or contemporary play, both to be studied from a performance perspective. Section B – Synoptic. An essay describing the complete stage realisation of an extract from a specified play. Unit 4 Presentation of Devised Drama Performance Coursework, externally moderated 20% of total A level marks Working in groups to develop and present a devised drama, performed in the theatrical style of their choice. Research into a theatrical style chosen by the group for their practical work. Please note that the department will organise a variety of theatre trips throughout the course, some of which will be compulsory to meet the requirements of the Unit 1 examination, and to which the students will be asked to make a financial contribution. It is also our expectation that Theatre Studies students will visit the theatre as often as they can in their spare time and will be prepared to read widely around the subject.
ECONOMICS Economics is one of the social sciences: a group of subjects that study various aspects of human behaviour. It concentrates on how we behave when faced with the problem that the world has too few resources to produce enough goods and services to satisfy all the wants of all of its people. Given this economic problem, choices have to be made about what, how and for whom to produce goods and services. Economists study how people make these choices and the consequences of their decisions. The skills you require During the Advanced Level course you will encounter the underlying theories of Economics and be expected to apply them to various real world situations. In addition to acquiring a sound knowledge and understanding of the subject matter, you also need to develop your powers of logical analysis and evaluation. To be successful, you will have to read widely and keep abreast of current affairs. The statistical and data handling aspects of the work require no more than a competent performance at GCSE/IGCSE Mathematics. Course structure and content The course followed is the AQA Economics Specification (2141). It consists of four modules that focus mainly on the UK economy and its recent performance. Two modules will be studied in each year. You will have two teachers; one for microeconomics (the study of the behaviour of individual components of the economy) and one for macroeconomics (the behaviour of the whole economy). AS LEVEL (Lower Sixth Year: 2 modules) Module 1: Markets and Market Failure Module 2: The National Economy A2 LEVEL (Upper Sixth Year: 2 modules) Module 3: Business Economics and the Distribution of Income Module 4: The National and International Economy (This module covers some of the more advanced aspects of macroeconomics.) Assessment AS Level â€“ Modules 1 and 2 contain multiple-choice and data response questions. A2 Level â€“ Modules 3 and 4 contain data response and essay questions and are synoptic. Economics is suitable preparation for many degree courses and careers, especially those related to the worlds of finance and business. Economics is a contemporary, thought-provoking and evolving subject. It is always in the news, unearthing new problems and proposing new remedies. The challenge of learning about something that exerts a significant influence over your behaviour and life should be given serious consideration.
ENGLISH LANGUAGE What is it? The English language is the most influential language in the world. As a subject, English Language offers an opportunity for students of academic rigour by developing a detailed analytical understanding of the way language works, the way it is used and the ways in which it is closely intertwined with social values. English Language as an A level has a wide appeal and has been cited by NATE (National Association for the Teaching of English) as, “The most practical, empowering and vocationally relevant of the three strands.” (English Literature, Language, and Language and Literature) What will you study? At AS and A2 Level you will complete one examination and one coursework unit. AS LEVEL Examination – You will study he way in which language is used across a range of spoken, written and electronic genres. More specifically, you will study how context shapes language use and how language is used in order to achieve a specific effect. You will also study childhood acquisition of language. Coursework – You will conduct a language investigation of your own choosing which analyses language use in relation to a particular subject several texts. You will also learn how to write a range of different text types (e.g. editiorials, speeches etc.) and will have to write one of these on a topic of your choice. A2 LEVEL Examination – You will study how the English language has changed from its creation up to the present day, and how it may continue to change in the future. You will also study how and why language usage varies according to region, gender, age, professions and special interest. Both these topics will be studied with reference to the attitudes people hold with regards to language change and variation. Coursework – Similar to AS Level, you will conduct one investigation and create one original piece of writing, both of your own choosing. Here, your investigation will focus on some aspect of spoken language and your piece of writing will be on one of the subjects studied in the A2 examination unit (e.g. language change and attitudes towards it).
What skills will you gain? The course allows for a range of essential skills for further education and employment. According to NATE: ‘Students deal with the concepts of audience and purpose in every module. By exploring each stage of the writing process—from inception through production, drafting and editing to publication—they are encouraged to become autonomous writers.’ By observing language in many forms of use, students integrate language with philosophies of thought, social interaction, and how purpose and audience shape communication. Studying English Language at AS/A2 is an excellent preparation for Higher Education courses in Linguistics, English Literature, Modern Foreign Languages and as well as Humanities and Social Science Subjects. It provides an excellent foundation for careers in Journalism, the Media, Law, Politics, and Civil Services. Critical awareness of language not only helps you understand how you express yourself, but also how others use language and for what purpose.
ENGLISH LITERATURE Why Study Literature? Arnold Wesker described words as ‘a bridge to another land’. Literature is about using words in a special way to communicate ideas and feelings. In Literature classes you will be discussing these ideas and feelings in an open and mature manner and in so doing you begin to understand not only about the text, but about yourself. Literature is also a serious academic subject that appeals to universities for students intending to study not only this discipline but Law, History and even as a fourth subject for Medicine. How is it different from GCSE/IGCSE? At A Level you have the time to really explore texts instead of racing through them as is necessary at GCSE/ IGCSE. You are also with other like-minded students, people who have chosen to do the subject because they enjoy it, which makes the level of debate more intense. What do I need to study Literature? You need to have an interest in words, an enquiring mind, and be prepared to share your thoughts with others in the class. An enjoyment of reading is obviously going to be an advantage. Didn’t the course change recently? Yes, there are now two modules at AS Level, instead of six, but you will get to study more texts. In a typical AS year, you might therefore study the following: Unit 1 (Exam) Aspects of Narrative The Kite Runner (Hosseini) Enduring Love (McEwan) Dubliners (Joyce) The Ancient Mariner (Coleridge) Selected Poems (Auden) Short Stories (Lawrence)
Unit 2 (Coursework) Comedy Twelth Night (Shakespeare) A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Shakespeare) Pygmalion (Shaw) The History Boys (Bennett)
Students cover a wider range of literature, including modern texts. There is also emphasis on Modern Literary Criticism. At AS Level this means a study of Narratology, how a narrative is put together. This puts students in a stronger position if they go on to study the subject at university. What happens in class? The emphasis is on variety. As well as discussion, you may be asked to give a presentation on the role of women in Elizabethan England, act out a scene from Pygmalion or to discuss religious extremism in Afghanistan whilst studying The Kite Runner. Will we get to meet writers and academics? All Literature students are encouraged to come along to English Society events, and last year we had a variety of visiting speakers ranging from poets to university professors. Literature and Language students also vote for the Society president.
FRENCH Studying French in the Sixth Form can be extremely rewarding. Students combine French with a wide variety of subjects and most aspire to being fluent French speakers by the end of the Upper Sixth. Numbers in the Sixth Form have been rising steadily in recent years as KES students realise the value of a foreign language and appreciate how well French can add to their overall profile. French can improve students’ chances of getting on to a good university course and later into an interesting career. French classes are relatively small with about ten students in each class, allowing for considerable individual attention and a great deal of lively interaction. Each class has a team of teachers and each individual student has a 25 minute lesson with one of our two French assistants every week. There are numerous opportunities available to develop linguistic skills, be it in lunchtime workshops or language conferences, by borrowing a DVD of a French film or by taking part in the French Exchange in the Autumn Term. The French department is a lively and welcoming place to be and the French teachers are dedicated and positive in their approach to students. The language facilities are outstanding. The classrooms have just been refurbished and all have interactive whiteboards. The two multi-media centres have the ‘Sanako Study 1200 software’ allowing students to practise and develop their oral and aural skills. The course follows the WJEC French specification and it is based on themes relevant to young people. There are dedicated VLE courses and these are embedded in our teaching enabling all students to access relevant video clips, articles, songs, interactive grammar exercises, power points and much of the teaching material.
AS LEVEL All topics are grouped under the headings of Leisure and Tourism and The individual and society. Two modules are examined at the end of the Lower Sixth. There is an oral examination (15 minutes) and a Listening, Reading and Writing examination, (2 ½ hours).
A2 LEVEL The A2 course places greater emphasis on written style, tone and accuracy. Literary texts and French Films are studied in preparation for the final examination units. In addition, the topics are grouped under Environmental issues and Social and political issues. Two further modules are examined at the end of the Upper Sixth. There is an oral examination (15 minutes) and a Listening, Reading and Writing examination, (3 hours). Both the AS and A2 courses are wonderfully stimulating and challenging. They allow students to progress and develop into linguists of the highest calibre by testing a wide range of skills and by allowing for a good deal of independent research and choice at A2 level. Our French students are increasingly leaving us to study French alongside subjects such as business, law, management and in some cases Medicine.
GEOGRAPHY Geography at Advanced Level explores the inter-relationships between physical and human processes whilst ensuring relevance to the modern world. The subject can be taken in combination with either Arts or Science subjects and it is not necessary for students to have studied the subject to GCSE/IGCSE level, although such study does convey certain advantages. The Advanced Level specification involves preparation for four separate papers, which may be described as Physical and Human Geography. The varied topics are based on natural and man-made systems and require students to be able to make links across the material. The question papers for the ‘Managing Physical Environments’ and ‘Managing Change in Human Environments’ have a common format with a mixture of structured data-response questions and essays. Unit 1 (F761) Managing Physical Environments This unit involves the study of two or more key elements: River environments or Coastal environments Cold environments or Hot arid and semi-arid environments (Three units are studied) Unit 2 (F762) Managing Change in Human Environments This unit involves the study of two or more key elements: Managing urban change or Managing rural change The energy issue or The growth of tourism (Three units are studied) The combination of structured style questions and extended writing will give students the opportunity to demonstrate an ability to develop sustained and well supported arguments. Unit 3 (F763) Global Issues A minimum of four topics will be studies in this Unit: Section A - Environmental Issues Earth Hazards Ecosystems and environments under threat Climatic hazards (Two topics are studied) Section B - Economic Issues Population and resources Globalisation Development and inequalities (Two topics are studied) Unit 4 (F764) Geographical Skills Formulating hypotheses; planning and data collection; presenting data; analysis and interpretation. There is no formal coursework.
GERMAN The German Advanced Level course at King Edwardâ€™s is aimed at keen, successful GCSE/IGCSE students who wish to develop their existing knowledge of the language to a high degree of fluency and explore a wide variety of aspects of the modern culture of German-speaking countries. We follow the WJEC Advanced Level specification with its strong emphasis on fluency and oral competence and use many authentic materials on topic areas that are chosen to be relevant to young people in a social, vocational, educational, literary or political context. Students receive tuition from two teachers each teaching five or six periods per fortnight in the Lower Sixth. This includes two periods in a media centre with full access to IT facilities on the Schoolâ€™s network and the internet. In addition, students have one period per fortnight of Directed Study in which they are expected to undertake independent research, and a weekly lesson is arranged with a language assistant to enhance oral competence. These arrangements allow for thorough coverage of all skill areas and flexibility in meeting the varied needs of the individual student. The Lower Sixth programme of study prepares students for the two AS Units 1 and 2, which assess the skills of Listening, Reading, Speaking and Writing (as at GCSE/IGCSE) and build on GCSE/IGCSE Areas of Experience. This is therefore a realistic course for those who have performed well at GCSE/IGCSE, gaining an A or A* grade. The more complex grammatical structures required for this Lower Sixth Year are supplied in an intensive structured programme especially designed to bridge the gap between the less rigorous nature of GCSE/ IGCSE and the demand for independence expected of the more mature student. The successful Advanced Level student will make full use of our excellent facilities and resources and will embrace all opportunities available in School: borrowing CDs, DVDs or library stock, taking part in an exchange programme or a study trip to Berlin and perhaps making a contribution to the running of the German Magazine Club. Independence and commitment outside the classroom are a great help. The German Advanced Level course is recommended for a variety of students: not only those who wish to make languages the focus of a Higher Education Course either purely in languages or in combination with business, law, finance or management-related studies for a future career, but also for those looking to complement, broaden or balance a more mathematically or scientifically based Advanced Level programme. For interested students this is a rewarding and stimulating Advanced Level choice.
HISTORY The Department follows the OCR specification which consists of the following: AS LEVEL Candidates will take two papers. The first paper will be a 1 hour 30 minute document exercise on a named topic. Candidates will study a topic from British, European or American History. The second paper will be a 1 hour 30 minute paper. Candidates will answer two essay questions on British or European or American history. A2 LEVEL Candidates will take two units. The first will be an in-depth coursework study. Candidates will produce two 2000 word essays based on interpretations in passages and an individual investigation. This will be internally assessed. The second will be centred on a theme from British, European or American history. Candidates will be required to answer two essay questions in two hours.
There are at least four sets in the LVI and three in the UVI; each of the sets studies British, European or American topics from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Some sets will also have the opportunity to study some medieval and early modern history. The topics you study will depend upon the expertise of your teachers but it should be possible for pupils to opt for a particular course if a specific historical period is of interest. British History topics studied in recent years include Rebellion and Disorder under the Tudors, the causes of the English Civil War, the life and career of Oliver Cromwell, the life and career of Winston Churchill from 1920-45 and the careers of Peel, Gladstone and Disraeli. Foreign History topics include The Crusades, the American Civil War, Russia from 1855-1963, Mussolini, American policy towards Asia from 1945-1975 and Civil Rights in the USA from the 1860s to 1990s. Outside the confines of the AS and A2 syllabus, the Department offers regular and structured preparation for Oxbridge entry. There is also a highly successful, pupil-directed, Senior Historical Society which meets every fortnight to hear presentations given by members of the VI form, KES History teachers or academics from the university world. From October 2014 it is hoped to introduce an annual Upper Sixth Form trip to Eastern Europe, allowing pupils to see at first hand the important sites of the Holocaust and the Nazi occupation of Poland and Czechoslovakia. The department has also for the first time joined the â€œLessons from Auschwitzâ€? project that will allow pupils to study aspects of the Holocaust in more depth whilst also visiting Auschwitz itself.
MATHEMATICS There are four types of Mathematics courses on offer at the School: a one year Advanced Subsidiary (AS) level course a two year Advanced (A) level course, comprised of the first year AS and second year A2 stages a two year course comprising Advanced (A) level Mathematics plus Advanced Subsidiary (AS) level Further Mathematics a two year, two A level course in Mathematics and Further Mathematics What will be learnt on these Mathematics courses? Mathematics at AS and A level is a subject worth studying in its own right. It is challenging but interesting. It builds on work you will have met at GCSE/iGCSE, but also involves some new ideas. It serves as a very useful support for many other qualifications as well as being a sought-after qualification for the workplace and courses in Higher Education. Students wishing to study science-based subjects at prestigious universities should strongly consider taking Further Mathematics. While studying Mathematics you will be expected to: use mathematical skills and knowledge to solve problems solve quite complicated problems by using mathematical arguments and logic. You will also have to understand and demonstrate what is meant by ‘proof’ in mathematics simplify real-life situations so that you can use mathematics to show what is happening and what might happen in different circumstances use the mathematics that you learn to solve problems that are given to you in a real-life context use calculator technology (some students purchase graphics calculators through the School), besides other resources, effectively, accurately and appropriately. Mathematics at AS and A level is divided into three branches: Core and Pure Mathematics (Units C1, C2, C3, C4, FP1, FP2, FP3) Pure Mathematics includes such topics as algebra, trigonometry and calculus. Although many of the ideas you will meet in pure mathematics are interesting in their own right, they also serve as an important foundation for other branches of mathematics, especially mechanics and statistics. Mechanics (Units M1, M2, M3, M4, M5) Mechanics involves learning how to model, mathematically, the motion of objects and how they respond to forces acting upon them, from cars moving in the street to ladders resting against walls to colliding snooker balls. Statistics (Units S1, S2, S3) When you study statistics you will learn how to analyse and summarise numerical data in order to arrive at a conclusion. You will extend the range of probability problems that you began at GCSE/iGCSE by using the new mathematical techniques studied in the pure mathematics units. Generally: If you take Mathematics alongside Arts subjects or Biology in the Sixth Form then you will be encouraged to study the Statistics, S, units alongside the pure mathematics units. If you take Mathematics alongside Physics then you will be encouraged to study the Mechanics, M, units alongside the pure mathematics units. Further Mathematics If you are considering a course involving AS or A2 Further Mathematics you must not only be very able in Mathematics, preferably having studied Additional Mathematics, or a similar course, but also have a great commitment and enjoyment of the subject.
MUSIC AS and A2 Music offers an enjoyable and logical extension of the elements of Music studied for GCSE; we follow the specification offered by OCR. The details of the course are shown below: AS LEVEL Unit 1 Performing
A solo recital (5 â€“ 8 minutes) together with a choice of a further recital on a second instrument, playing in an ensemble or performing an own composition. This is played to a visiting examiner.
Unit 2 Composing
Exercises in melody and harmony and an original composition or arrangement. This is coursework.
Unit 3 Historical Study
This includes aural work, studying set works from 18th and 19th Century Orchestral repertoire and from 20th Century Jazz repertoire. This is assessed in a two-hour written examination.
A2 LEVEL Unit 4 Performing
A further recital (12 â€“ 15 minutes) and the investigation of performances styles and techniques.
Unit 5 Composing
Further original composition work and exercises of music written in the styles of earlier composers, as set down by the Awarding Body.
Unit 6 Historical & Analytical Studies
In a 2 hour and 30 minute examination, candidates will answer aural and essay questions on various topics which are studied during the course.
It will be seen that the three elements from GCSE are maintained, and that the Performing and Composing elements are studied and assessed as coursework. Only the Historical Topics papers are assessed as a written examination. The course will be exciting and challenging, allowing candidates to work to their strengths. It should also be noted that A Level Music is recognised in Higher Education as one of the traditional academic subjects.
MUSIC TECHNOLOGY Music Technology offers the chance to study music production in the context of both MIDI sequencing and Studio Recording. We also look at acoustics and the development of electronic technology. Both AS and A2 are entirely externally assessed, through in-depth coursework projects and examinations. The specification followed is that offered by Edexcel. AS LEVEL Unit 1
Coursework Portfolio 1
Candidates will use Logic on i-macs to generate a MIDI Sequence and Arrangement in the computer lab, and an 8-16 track audio recording in the digital Recording Studio.
Listening and Analysing
This unit is presented as a 2 hour examination. Each candidate will receive a CD containing 10 excerpts of popular music or jazz and are required to answer short, longer and essay questions on musical, technical and stylistic features of the music.
Coursework Portfolio 2
Students are required to produce a MIDI backing track of a popular or jazz song with audio overdubs. They are also required to produce a 16-24 track professional cover version of a piece of their choice in the recording studio. There will also be a 3-minute composition using audio samples and loops to a brief set by the exam board.
Music Production examination
A 2 hour examination where each candidate is presented with a CD-Rom containing pre-recorded sound files. Students are required to generate a full mix of the files, analyse the data and answer short and longer questions.
Music Technology A level can be taken in conjunction with Music A level. What is learned in Music Technology can be used to great effect in the Music A level course, and vice versa. It is also an excellent companion to Physics, especially for those potentially interested in acoustics. There is no requirement to perform on an instrument and, thanks to the advanced technology we use at KES, you do not necessarily need to be able to read music.
PHILOSOPHY AND ETHICS The Advanced level course in Philosophy and Ethics allows students to build on areas that they have previously been introduced to during their GCSE course and lower down the School, allowing them to deepen their understanding and develop sound academic skills to equip them for university life and beyond. The OCR specification is wide-ranging, including a survey of the contributions of Plato and Aristotle to religious philosophy, an evaluation of arguments for and against the existence of God and an analysis of six different ethical theories and how they could be applied to medical, environmental and social dilemmas. Who should choose to study the Philosophy and Ethics course? The course can work with Arts or Humanities combinations of subjects or complement a scientific combination; the subject matter relates to scientific topics and encourages students to develop excellent skills in the art of academic discussion and essay-writing. It is the utility of Philosophy and Theology that marks them out from other academic subjects. These rigorous disciplines provide the opportunity for students to master academic argument, to defend a case and to think logically, empathetically, skilfully without making assumptions. It is such transferable skills that will form the basis of a studentâ€™s dealings with others and their approach to all academic study. The course gives students the opportunity to enter into dialogue, to understand the beliefs and values that underpin their own and other cultures, to challenge beliefs and develop their own convictions and outlook. University and Job Prospects? For many, philosophy and theology are studied at both Advanced and Undergraduate level because they provide essential key skills useful in the workplace and at university. Those who have studied these subjects will have developed high levels of logical ability and verbal fluency; they will have the ability to analyse problems, identify solutions and to discuss and argue with clarity. All of this makes them particularly attractive to employers within law, journalism and information technology to name but a few professions. The demands placed on philosophers and theologians to listen and think mean that students in these areas flourish at jobs where they deal with and manage people. AS LEVEL Unit 1: Philosophy of Religion Topics include: Ancient Greek influences on philosophy of religion; Judaeo-Christian influences on philosophy of religion; Traditional arguments for the existence of God and Challenges to religious belief. Unit 2: Ethics Topics include: the exploration of ethical theories, such as Utilitarianism and Kantian ethics, and applied ethical areas such as Medical Ethics and War and Peace. A2 LEVEL A2 allows further specialisation and in-depth study of the themes explored at AS Level. Unit 3: Philosophy of Religion Topics include: Religious language; Experience and religion; the Nature of God; Life and death and Miracle. Unit 4 Topics include: Meta-Ethics; Free will and determinism; Conscience; Virtue ethics and Applied ethics topics such as Sexual Ethics and Environmental Ethics.
PHYSICS Physics is the study of the most fundamental aspects of the world and universe in which we live. Constantly striving to gain a better understanding of how the universe works, it forms the foundations upon which every other science is ultimately built. A-level outline The course followed at King Edward VI is the only Physics A-level course which was developed in conjunction with the Institute of Physics. This ensures that the course embraces some of the new and exciting applications of physics, while providing a sound footing in the main areas which will underpin any the study of Engineering, Physics or Chemistry in higher education. In addition, all of the physics teachers at KES are physics specialists and have experience of marking the Advancing Physics A-level, a number also have experience of setting the papers.
AS LEVEL Unit 1: Physics in Action Imaging and sensing techniques are studied. These can be directly linked to the other half of unit 1 â€“ the study of materials and how the macroscopic properties can be linked to the microscopic structure. Unit 2: Understanding Processes Both classical and quantum mechanics are studied, the latter in a fashion inspired by the famous Nobel Laureate, Richard Feynman. The notion of wave-particle duality is introduced, allowing the students to appreciate the fundamental uncertainty inherent in any scientific measurement or model. Unit 3: Quality of Measurement and Physics in Use The coursework element of the AS course allows the students to design and test their own sensor. The Physics in Use oral presentation affords the opportunity to research an area of personal interest and to practise the oral presentation skills necessary to deliver the material to an audience of their peers. A2 LEVEL Unit 4: Rise and Fall of the Clockwork Universe Many fundamental ideas are examined: from Newtonian Gravity to Thermodynamics and aspects of Cosmology. Further, the mathematical modelling methods that would serve anyone pursuing a career in physics, engineering or even finance are introduced. Unit 5: Field and Particle Pictures The final taught element of the A-level considers the fascinating world of electromagnetism, the understanding of which has shaped the world we live in today. Particle physics is also looked at in detail for the first time, and how successive models have been refined over the last 120 years to bring them back into line with the most recent data (of course these could change again depending on what happens at CERN over the course of your A-levels). Unit 6: Practical Investigation and Research Briefing The A2 coursework element is broadly similar to that at AS, though obviously a higher standard is expected. The main difference is that a research paper, rather than an oral presentation, has to be produced. Many students see this as a rewarding and exciting culmination of their studies of physics at school.
PSYCHOLOGY Course Contents and Aims Psychology is the scientific study of mind and behaviour. It addresses questions such as: Why do we obey orders? What causes stress? Why do we remember some things and not others? Is a baby a ‘blank slate’ upon which life experience writes? How can depression be treated? Why do we behave in the way that we do? AS LEVEL OUTLINE Unit 1: Social and Cognitive Psychology Social Psychology includes obedience and prejudice against others and Cognitive Psychology includes the processes of memory and forgetting. The students will carry out their own psychological research including a survey and an experiment. Unit 2: Understanding the Individual This unit considers the Biological approach, including how biology affects our behaviour, the Learning approach, including how we learn behaviours and the Psychodynamic approach, including the importance of the unconscious mind. Gender development will also be considered. Students will conduct an observation, a correlation and a further experiment.
A2 LEVEL OUTLINE Unit 3: Applications of Psychology In this unit the students study how psychology can be applied to the real world. Students have a choice to study two of the following options: criminological psychology, child psychology, health psychology: substance misuse, sport psychology. Unit 4: How Psychology Works This unit is divided into two sections: clinical psychology and issues and debates. The clinical psychology section looks at the explanations and treatments of mental health issues. The issues and debates section focuses on debates within psychology, including the nature-nurture debate, as well as how psychological knowledge can be applied to issues in the world. Skills and Interests Required An interest in ‘people’ is essential to the study of Psychology. The subject allows students to gain an understanding of both the physiological and the psychological aspects of our make-up and investigates both the brain functions and the social stimuli involved in behaviour. Lessons are both experiential and discursive but have a sound theoretical base. Students are expected to be proficient at essay construction and willing to contribute to class discussion. Focus is placed upon analysis, evaluation, interpretation, ethical issues and a critical appreciation of psychological methodologies. A strong performance at GCSE/IGCSE English and Science is highly recommended. Progression Psychology provides opportunities for those looking to progress to degree level in a number of fields. It can be studied at many Russell Group Universities including Oxford and Cambridge. Psychology provides skills and understanding which are very useful in the workplace and at University across courses. Psychology is a particularly useful subject for those wishing to go into clinical work, such as health and social care services, medicine, research, teaching and human resources. It is essential for Clinical Psychology, Educational Psychology, and Counselling-related fields. Other specialist fields include Sports and Criminal Psychology.
SPANISH The course content during the first term of the Lower Sixth Year in Spanish builds on the foundations laid at GCSE/IGCSE. Familiar topics form the basis of the first parts of the language course, but while there is much familiar material here, a lot of new vocabulary is added. You should aim to begin the course with a firm knowledge of the major verb tenses and forms for both regular and irregular verbs, and you should revise these thoroughly if necessary before beginning the course. The tenses of which knowledge will be assumed are the present, imperfect, preterite, perfect and future. A working knowledge of the bulk of GCSE/IGCSE vocabulary will also be assumed. As the language course progresses, more advanced structures are introduced, and these require a sound knowledge of the more basic structures if they are to be effectively added to your linguistic armoury. We follow the WJEC Advanced Level specification which places a great deal of emphasis on fluency and oral competency. By the end of the first term, you should find yourself beginning to cope successfully with understanding and communicating in genuinely Advanced Spanish. By the end of the two-year course to A Level, our best students achieve near-native fluency in a wide variety of topics and situations. Work will be done mainly in Spanish. Your teachers will speak to you in Spanish for the great majority of the time and you will be expected to conduct yourself, even for the most routine issues, in Spanish.
How much work is involved outside lessons? In addition to your normal timetabled classes, you will have 25 minutes each week with the Spanish Assistant. This will be used for conversation. You will often be expected to have prepared for these classes in advance by preparing a topic for development. You will be expected to undertake about six hours of private study per week in Spanish. A lot of the language work is based upon the reading of a variety of texts and listening to recorded authentic material. All you do will improve your ability to communicate in speech and in writing, develop your ability to construct a convincing argument and use evidence appropriately and as you do so, you will also gain confidence in defending your arguments against those of others. All these skills are needed when performing successfully at an advanced level. The department offers students the opportunity to travel to Salamanca during February half-term. The week long trip involves staying with families (normally in pairs) and attending daily culture and language classes at a local language school (4 hours/day). Although this is not a compulsory trip, it is highly recommended as it helps greatly with fluency, comprehension skills, confidence and gives a real insight into Spanish life and culture. There is also a Film Club, which will show Spanish films in original version. This will be very useful, apart from interesting in its own right, if youâ€™re thinking of studying A2 as the course contains a film section.
SPORTS SCIENCE AS LEVEL Unit 1: Opportunities for, and the effects of, leading a healthy and active lifestyle Topic list The physiological effects of adopting a healthy lifestyle · The short term effect of exercise/performance and the long term effects of training · Analysis of movement across a range of sporting actions · Acquisition of skills and the impact of psychological factors on performance · Opportunities for physical activity, benefits to the individual and society and the potential barriers faced by minority groups Assessment: 2 hour written paper 60% AS marks Unit 2: Analysis and evaluation of physical activity as performer and/or in an adopted role/s Topic list Execution of skills/techniques in two roles (performer, official/referee/umpire/judge or leader/coach) in a chosen physical activity · Analysis of own performance · Application of theoretical knowledge to achieve effective performance Assessment: Internal assessment with external moderation: 100 marks 40% AS marks Candidates are assessed on their ability to perform, analyse and evaluate the execution of core skills/ techniques in isolation and a structured practice as either: a player/performer and in an adopted role or in two adopted roles. Section A requires candidates to be assessed on their ability in two from a choice of three roles. Section B will look at the theoretical factors that improve performance. Candidates are assessed on this element through the section B question in Unit 1. A2 LEVEL Unit 3: Optimising performance and evaluating contemporary issues within sport Topic list Energy sources and systems · Elite preparation and training · Specialised training and sports injuries · The use of psychological theories and techniques to optimise performance · Concepts and characteristics of World Games and their impact on the state and individual · Development and impact of sports technology on performers, equipment and facilities · The development of sport from rational recreation to its modern day format. Assessment: 2 hour written paper 30% A Level marks Unit 4: Optimising practical performance in a competitive situation Topic list Optimising performance in competitive or performance conditions in one role · Evaluation of own performance in identifying weaknesses, suggesting cause of own weakness and an appropriate corrective measure. Assessment: Internal assessment with external moderation: 120 marks. 20% of total A Level marks.
SOME QUESTIONS ANSWERED How do I choose my subjects for the Sixth Form? You will be studying a much narrower range of subjects than in the past and spending more time on each of them, so it certainly makes sense to choose subjects you know you enjoy! Equally, your results in these subjects will be your passport to Higher Education, so they should also be subjects in which you can reasonably expect to achieve good results. A combination of subjects offering a degree of variety of study is often a good idea. If you have clear future intentions for university and beyond, check if you should take certain subjects at Advanced level. If you are not sure what you want to do beyond the Sixth Form, it’s best to choose a range of subjects that keeps your options open. Take advice as widely as possible and visit the Student Guidance department. What is meant by AS and A2? AS stands for Advanced Subsidiary and represents the first half of a full Advanced level course, consisting of two or three assessment units. It is an independent qualification in its own right and is worth half the UCAS points tariff of a full Advanced level. A2 is the name given to the second half of a full Advanced level course, also consisting of two or three units, including ‘synoptic’ assessment, i.e. testing skills and knowledge acquired over the full course. An Advanced level grade is awarded on the basis of combined performance in both AS and A2 units. What’s the difference between an A* and an A grade? The A* grade was introduced in summer 2010. It is awarded when you achieve both of the following in a subject: grade A overall (ie 80% of the maximum uniform marks for the whole qualification including AS and A2 units) and 90% of the maximum uniform mark on the combined A2 unit scores. Should I do 3 or 4 full Advanced levels? Further Mathematics, Mathematics, plus two other subjects is the traditional four-subject combination, but you can take all four of your AS subjects forward to A2 if you wish, whatever combination you are studying. It is important not to under-estimate the potential demands of any four-subject Upper Sixth course of study, and to take advice as widely as possible. Taking four full Advanced levels generally does not enhance your chances of obtaining a university place and may, in fact, result in your being made a more demanding offer. Which subjects are the best preparation for university later on? The School believes that all the subjects offered at Advanced level have good academic credentials and are suitable for study by Sixth Formers intending to enter Higher Education. Some HE courses have specific subject requirements, very many do not. Students who are concerned whether their Advanced level subjects are appropriate preparation for their intended course of study at university should consult the website of the university concerned or look at the entry profiles for courses featured on UCAS Course Search. When do I have to decide which AS subjects I want to carry on to A2? Having chosen four AS subjects for your Lower Sixth year, you don’t have to decide which three you will carry on with in the Upper Sixth until the Spring term of the Lower Sixth year. It is then that you will be asked to confirm your choice of Route 1 [3 A2 subjects] or Route 2 [4 A2 subjects]. Requests to change your choice of subjects after that, for example in the light of AS results, will be considered but will be subject to considerations such as staffing, set numbers and timetabling implications.
SOME QUESTIONS ANSWERED We do ask you when making your initial choices to indicate which of the four subjects is likely to be your AS only option, if you intend to follow Route 1. The reason for asking this question is that it enables us to create teaching sets in such a way as to maximise continuity of teaching from Lower to Upper Sixth. The Spring term of the Lower Sixth year is when you will be asked to confirm your intentions for the Upper Sixth. Can I drop my fourth A2 subject in the Upper Sixth? You should consider the demands of a four A2 course carefully before embarking on it. If, however, the School agrees that it would be in your best interests to reduce the number of full Advanced level subjects, you will be allowed to drop the fourth subject. Making such a change in the Upper Sixth year itself may, however, involve changes of teaching set. Will I have the same teachers in both years in the Sixth Form? Continuity of teaching cannot be guaranteed, as we will need to make some rearrangements to teaching sets in the light of choices for A2, but we will do our best to provide continuity for as many sets and students as possible. Will subjects be examined in both the Lower and Upper Sixth? Yes. All subjects will be examined at AS level at the end of the Lower Sixth year, and A2 subjects will be examined in January and/or June in the Upper Sixth year. If subject units are not taken in January of the Upper Sixth year, there may be some form of internal assessment arranged by subject departments. There are no examinations in the January of the Lower Sixth year. Can I resit units? Yes â€“ you may resit examination units, with the best result to count. Resits of AS units will be available in January and June of the Upper Sixth year. Advice should be sought from your teachers and your tutor on the merits and disadvantages of resitting units. What are Open Forum and Foundation Studies? In the Lower Sixth year every student will enter the Foundation Studies programme and attend a series of weekly sessions designed to equip students with key skills and to extend their education beyond the examined curriculum. For students opting for Route 1, Foundation Studies continues in the Upper Sixth year where it becomes a series of five short courses chosen from a wide ranging list. Full details of these will be made available in the Spring Term of the Lower Sixth year. In addition, all Sixth Form students will attend Open Forum, a series of weekly presentations by staff and guest speakers, intended to interest, inspire and broaden the experience of all students Any questions you might have which are not answered above should be addressed to RT Courtney Deputy Head Academic & Director of Studies 023 80704561 email@example.com
Published on Oct 7, 2012