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AT MSJ SIXTH FORM


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LIFE IN THE SIXTH FORM AT MSJ

1. Life in the Sixth Form at MSJ

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2. Beyond the classroom

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3. Curriculum subject information

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INTRODUCTION Sixth Form marks a departure from Senior School. These two years, as you transition towards university, career and life beyond school, are incredibly important. It is our job to expertly guide you, yet allow you the freedom and independence to flourish as an individual. We offer a wide choice of A Level subjects, with inspirational teaching and small classes enabling girls to achieve outstanding results. The size of our Sixth Form means we know each girl and can offer her the individual attention she needs. Our team of tutors with a wealth of experience makes for superb UCAS preparation and guidance, as well as exceptional pastoral care. The majority of students will achieve a place at their first choice university, with bespoke preparation programmes for Medicine, Oxbridge and American universities on offer. We are also able to support with applications to alternatives to university, such as apprenticeships and degree apprenticeships. In Sixth Form, students take an intellectual step-up. A more analytical and investigative approach to lessons and personal study will see you getting under the skin of the subjects you love, and MSJ’s highly-regarded Enrichment Programme will elevate your learning and broaden your critical thinking. Enrichment comprises many elements: an annual lecture programme which includes talks from some of the top academics from the UK’s best universities; university and careers workshops, interview coaching, and mentoring from our alumnae network; Somerville Suppers, where students discuss current affairs and complex concepts; and ‘Russell Up’, our university preparation programme. Also included are multiple leadership opportunities and prestigious extracurricular activities such as Young Enterprise, Sports Leaders Awards, Model United Nations and the Gambia Expedition. MSJ regularly welcomes inspirational guests to enthuse students about their futures. Past speakers include Caroline Lucas MP (Leader of the Green Party of England and Wales), Dr Caroline Copeland (Neuroscientist, Imperial College London), Professor David Feldman (University of Cambridge, Law), Jennifer Kirby (RSC actress and star of BBC’s Call the Midwife) and Kiko Matthews (transatlantic world record-breaking rower). Of course, it’s not just about work. We want our girls to have fun and enjoy their Sixth Form years. There will be plenty of socials, glamorous occasions and shared events with other schools. Girls enjoy a greater freedom and flexibility: they have their own Sixth Form Centre, they can go ‘up-town’ to cafés or restaurants, and they enjoy plentiful cultural, shopping and social trips around the UK. The Founders’ Award Scholarship is available to Sixth Form girls only. Other scholarships are available in a variety of disciplines. Students in Year 11 are invited to apply: please see the scholarships page on our website. These two years will see you come into your own. We will encourage you to be your best and by the end of Year 13 you will be ready to fly.

MRS ALISON KINGSHOTT DIRECTOR OF SIXTH FORM


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Life in the Sixth Form at MSJ Opportunities There is always something going on. We often host or are invited to attend lectures on a huge variety of topics relating to your academic subjects and interests. We have hosted lectures from Pamela Armstrong on Women in Television and Professor David Feldman on Law as an Academic Pursuit. From our own alumnae, we have hosted Caroline Lucas MP talking about her career as Leader of the Green Party, and Professor Ursula Martin on Ada Lovelace and the place of Computing in the Modern World. There are Somerville Suppers where you have the opportunity to engage in intellectual discussion with like-minded people about interesting ideas; one discussion topic was ‘Sugar’ which girls were invited to interpret and discuss in the context of their own academic interests.


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Independence The most important thing about your time in the Sixth Form is developing your ability to be independent. You will learn to manage your own time as preparation for university and the wider world. Your academic work becomes your own responsibility, with the encouragement and support you need from your teachers. You will be busy, but productively so, with many things on offer to you both in the classroom and far beyond.

Leadership Year 13 are given the opportunity to become prefects. Our prefects have a high profile in school, and being part of the team can provide you with experience of leadership that will be useful to you later in life. All girls in Year 13, and many in Year 12, are encouraged to take a leadership role or position of responsibility. These include photographers and publicity officers for school events, the Sixth Form Social committee, House and Pastoral Ambassadors. Some girls in both Year 12 and Year 13 are also Subject Ambassadors, where they represent their subject and help girls in other years to understand what it involves; they are often the public face of these subjects at Open Days. Sixth Form girls are often asked to take visitors on tours of the School throughout the year.

Choice of Curriculum Your curriculum is tailor-made for you based on the options you choose for Sixth Form during Year 11. This means that wherever possible we construct the option blocks to suit your choices, meaning that you can study any combination of subjects. The dedicated Sixth Form Team, including the Director of Sixth Form, Higher Education Co-ordinator and Head of Careers, will help you make the right choices, based on your GCSE results, career aspirations and interests.

Social Events We hold two formal dinners each year, one at Christmas and an Awards Dinner in March, where you have the chance to relax and socialise with your friends and teachers (and they’re the perfect opportunity to get dressed up!). You will be invited to become part of the Sixth Form Social Committee which helps to run these events and others throughout the year. These range from pizza in the Sixth Form Centre to themed film nights and trips to places as diverse as the West Midlands Safari Park, bowling and Christmas markets. We often go for dinner at one of the restaurants in town. The big social event of the year is the annual Summer Ball, which girls are also very much involved in organising. In addition, we hold regular socials with boys’ schools, including reeling and wine tasting. During the working day, the Sixth Form Centre buzzes with girls chatting over coffee and biscuits in a productive working atmosphere.

Tutorials Your Tutor is there to support you through your time in the Sixth Form, including the all-important UCAS application. Under their guidance you will be able to draft and work on your personal statement, and they will write your supporting reference; by the end of the two years they will know you really well. Each Sixth Form girl will be in a Tutor Group of about 12 girls - a mixture of Years 12 and 13. Wherever possible we aim to match girls with Tutors who have similar academic interests to them. Girls meet with their Tutors regularly either in a group with the rest of the form or in a one-to-one tutorial. The Tutors work closely with the Higher Education Coordinator and with the Director of Sixth Form, the Director of Pastoral Care and Director of Teaching and Learning, to ensure that every girl in the Sixth Form is given the right level of support throughout her time at MSJ.

Pastoral Care Encouraging you to be independent doesn’t mean that we stop caring about you! Your Tutor will work closely with the Director of Sixth Form and the Director of Pastoral Care to support you. Individual pastoral care really matters to us and is a unique feature of our Sixth Form experience.

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Sixth Form Living

Sixth Form Boarding It may sound ‘clichéd’, but boarding in the Sixth Form is definitely an unforgettable experience. The last two years of School before going off to university or the wider world are ones you will remember for the rest of your life. School goes by too quickly. In no time at all you will have finished School but the close bonds of friendship you have made from boarding will last a lifetime.

“Spending 24 hours a day with each other means that we aren’t just friends, we are sisters and family; when we leave it will be very strange not having everyone around all the time.”

Once you get to Sixth Form, School isn’t just a ‘9 - 6 day’; your day is much fuller than that. Day Boarders end up staying much later, working together on academic projects with Boarders, going for coffee or out for dinner if they wish. Sixth Form boarding gives you the freedom to be independent and plan your own working day. Going to restaurants, cafés or to the theatre or movie are just a few of the privileges you enjoy in Sixth Form. With a later curfew and more responsibility given to you, you are able to go into town when you like in the evenings, creating a more sociable school life. Events also include drinks and birthday cake once a month for all girls whose birthday fell in that month. Living in the Sixth Form teaches you all the life skills you need before beginning university, from cooking to learning how to share fridge space! You also get to do your own laundry.

At Malvern St James we have two Boarding Houses in the Sixth Form: Poulton (Year 12) and Greenslade (Year 13). Poulton is situated on the top floor of the Main Building and offers cosy twin and single rooms. Greenslade is just 5 minutes’ walk from School, giving the opportunity to become more independent in preparation for life beyond school. Greenslade is a ‘transition to university’ boarding house enabling Year 13 to experience what it is like to stay in universitystyle accommodation. For instance, Greenslade has contemporary kitchens where ingredients are delivered to enable girls to occasionally cook for themselves. There are also numerous study and relaxation areas similar to a students’ union. All of Greenslade’s rooms are single, guaranteeing privacy whilst always finding someone to hang out with in your downtime.

There is always someone who will be happy to watch an episode of your favourite show with you or explain the last set piece of work if you are confused. On this note, one of the advantages of being in Poulton is that you are only just above the staff offices, so it’s easy to nip down and ask them to check how your Personal Statement is coming along. As a Day Boarder there are many opportunities to experience boarding life. All day Boarders are given three free boarding nights a term. In addition to this you are always welcome to stay if you have an early or late trip or activity. You just need to book in with the Boarding Staff and they will make sure to have a bed made and ready for you.


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Flexi Boarding Flexi Boarders in the Sixth Form all have their own designated spaces in the Boarding Houses which are ideal spaces to work in during the day or just when you feel like some quiet time. There are so many benefits to flexi boarding as it gets you used to having your independence before going away to university. Sixth Form is a great time to start increasing your flexi boarding. As your workload increases, every spare minute in school is essential to your work load. It is also handy to have a group of people around to help out whenever you are stuck on a piece of work.

“One of the great things about ‘living’ in Poulton, as it were, is that you are never apart from your best friends.”

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Beyond the classroom There are many opportunities available to MSJ Sixth Form students beyond the classroom


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Oxbridge and University Preparation We have a thorough preparation programme, including our Russell-Up seminars which focus on applications to Russell Group universities, weekly meetings with Heads of Department and senior teachers as part of our university, Medical Sciences and Oxbridge preparation. Girls applying for courses at Oxford and Cambridge, and for Medical Sciences and Law, take part in a specific preparation programme including discussion groups, mentoring and mock interviews. In addition, we have a programme of interview preparation with our own academics and those from elsewhere. All girls have the opportunity to have subject-specific mentoring in their university subject. We also prepare students for entry to U.S. universities and elsewhere in Europe, including SAT classes in school, and for university alternatives such as apprenticeships.

Extra-curricular There are a number of opportunities available exclusively to the Sixth Form. These include a working trip to Gambia, the Leiths Basic Certificate in Food and Wine, Wine Tasting, Young Enterprise, annual ski trips, and extra-curricular languages. There may be clubs and societies which you have been involved in before, for example MUN, MedSoc, GeogSoc, sports teams, which, as a Sixth Form student, you may have the opportunity to run for yourself and develop your leadership skills. If you think there is a club or society missing, why not start it yourself? There is also the chance to work towards Silver and Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards.

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The Malvern St James Sixth Form Enrichment Programme At MSJ our consistently high GCSE and A Level results continue to reflect our academic excellence. Girls benefit from a wealth of opportunities to extend, enhance and enrich their understanding and experiences beyond the core curriculum. By raising personal horizons, girls at MSJ grow in self-belief, self-esteem and confidence. They leave school poised and articulate, with the aspiration and skills to achieve in the challenging world beyond school. We offer Sixth Form girls the opportunity to enrich their learning through timetabled sessions during the working week. All the enrichment courses are intended to support girls’ learning by allowing them to flourish beyond the classroom. Every girl is able to broaden her skill set and gain qualifications and recognition for her talents and abilities. In addition, we offer a programme of lectures, careers workshops and seminars on topics as diverse as Women in Television, Politics, Law, and Polar Exploration. Curriculum enrichment courses: Photography Leiths Basic Certificate in Food and Wine Community Sports Leadership Award (CSLA)

These courses change year-by-year depending on what girls choose to do.


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Extra-Curricular Clubs and Societies Girls excel in all areas: national, regional and county sports, national and local youth theatre and choirs, worldwide community service projects and industry links, as well as everything on offer here at MSJ. Some of our clubs and societies are chaired by the girls themselves.

Archery; Art Club; Art Open Studio; Athletics; Baking Club; Ballet; Biology Skills; Book Club; Chamber Ensembles; Climbing; Cooking Club; Craft Night; Croquet; Debating; Drama; Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme; Economics Society; Film Night; Flute Ensemble; Food Tech; Free Friday Music, French Reading; Geog Soc; Greek Club; Guillotine Society (History & Politics); Guitar Ensemble; High Jump; History Film Club; Indoor Hockey; Jazz Band; Kayaking; Leiths; Medic and Vets Society; Model United Nations; More Than Monday; MSJ Chorus; MSJ Singers; Orchestra; Performing Arts; Pottery; Quest; REP Drama Group; Riding; Rounders; Rowing; Russell Up; Sailing; School Production; Senior Vocal Ensemble; STEM Club; String Ensemble; String Quartet; Swimming; Theory of Music; Tennis; Track; Women’s Society; Young Enterprise


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Careers

Careers support is available throughout your time in the Sixth Form. The information is tailored to the needs of each individual, the research that is provided is accurate and up to date, delivered in a timely manner through individual one to one meetings and in PSHEEC, over the course of the two years.

Girls and Parents are kept up to date with the latest development events, including Taster days at universities, Summer Schools and Headstart – Engineering taster courses, as well as many more. Assistance is also provided with applying to work experience and writing CVs, completing application forms etc.

You will have an individual meeting with the Head of Careers in the Autumn Term to ascertain where you are in terms of your knowledge and planning. You are free to contact me at any point, to arrange subsequent meetings.

With all these activities we seek to inspire and raise awareness of the breadth of opportunities that await you as well as motivate you to achieve your full potential.

Students are supported in all their post-18 options, whilst the majority of girls pursue Higher Education upon leaving the sixth form, guidance is also provided on alternative options including Apprenticeships, taking a Gap Year and job-hunting.

The careers guidance programme, working in conjunction with the Sixth Form Tutor Team and Teaching colleagues, seeks to support each student in making an informed decision as to their future pathway. As you plan your next steps before bidding farewell to Malvern St James, this support has never been more essential.

Contact for Further Information A Careers Fair takes place at the School every two years and is attended by representatives covering a wide range of specialisms. Girls and parents are invited to attend and it provides the perfect opportunity to find out about possible career choices. Working alongside the External Relations Director and the Sixth Form Team, a range of Lectures will be available from our Alumnae and visiting speakers. Recent talks have included “Alternatives to University” and we are eagerly anticipating the talk by the EVP Sustainable Business Development and Communications at Unilever, Sue Garrard.

Miss S Marfleet Head of Careers marfls@malvernstjames.co.uk


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Duke of Edinburgh’s Award

Recognised as the world’s leading achievement for young people, the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award programme is a real adventure from beginning to end! The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme is proudly offered by Malvern St James at all three levels, from Bronze, through Silver and culminating in Gold. It is a national and international Scheme of Achievement recognised by schools, universities and employers. The different elements of the Award are designed to be a balance to your academic life, in that they are activities that happen outside of school life and outside of the classroom. It fosters self-sufficiency, responsibility, independence, leadership and teamwork, all within a safe and enjoyable environment. It encourages you to learn new skills, meet new people and to be of service to others. The Award involves commitment to four different sections. For the Gold standard, participants must also complete a Residential section. Each must be followed for a particular length of time, depending on the level of the Award.

The four sections are:

Skills e.g. Musical instruments, Young Enterprise, Choir, learning a foreign language

Physical e.g. Yoga, Lacrosse, Badminton, Fitness, Horse Riding, Rowing

Volunteering e.g. Pool Lifeguarding, working with Prep Department girls, Library and Reading Skills

Expedition Completing a three or four day journey through one of Britain’s National Parks, you work in a group of between five and seven girls in a self-sufficient way. Bronze level expeditions occur in the Malvern Hills, while those at Silver and Gold level take place in the Peak District, the Black Mountains and the Yorkshire Dales.

“The whole DofE experience has been incredible. I have gained so much confidence in myself. It has definitely enhanced my appreciation of the world around us and the people within it”.

All of the above activities and more are available at Malvern St James. Successful completion of all the sections at any of the levels demands commitment and hard work, but the pleasure of involvement and feelings of high achievement make it a very rewarding experience. How can you not be involved?

Contact for Further Information Miss S Cole dofe@malvernstjames.co.uk


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The Expressive Arts

Music, Drama, Art and Dance all fall under the banner of ‘the Expressive Arts’ and all offer far reaching opportunities for enrichment activities beyond the curriculum. The Expressive Arts notice boards host updates and signing up sheets. You can also come to the Activities Fair at the start of the academic year to ask any questions, or see individual teachers. The Houses also support the Expressive Arts, through a series of exciting theatre trips, including visiting popular musicals, such as Matilda, Westside Story and Shrek. Everyone is welcome to join these trips, just sign up!

Dance Dance lessons on a one-to-one or small group level are available, subject to parental consent. From time to time there are special sessions, where professional dancers come in to teach specific styles of dancing.

Music If you play an instrument, there are numerous opportunities for joining ensembles or the orchestra and attend masterclasses. If you don’t play, or if you are keen to develop your skills further, you can learn by having private lessons with one of the instrumental teachers.

Drama The Drama Department offers private Speech and Drama lessons, to anyone who wishes to improve their communication skills or to develop a love of drama, literature, acting or theatre. LAMDA examinations are offered at all levels, with the top grades gaining UCAS points. Stage managers, lighting technicians and sound technicians are needed for all productions in the School, and volunteers can learn how to work the lighting and sound systems in both the Drama Centre and the York Hall. With around 15 different plays each year there is plenty to get involved in! Sixth Form girls can also help with the directing of plays and the running of clubs. Music also offers various choirs, which perform at many events, ranging from the School Production to Evensong. You rehearse regularly, building up your skills and your repertoire, as well as working alongside fellow singers and enthusiasts. The Head of Choir and Head of Orchestra support the musical activities in the School. These girls work as role models for all those who are developing their musical skills.

During the Autumn Term we stage a School Production, alternating between a musical and a play. Everyone is encouraged to take part, whether you are interested in acting, dance, art, stage management, direction, costume making or set building.

Art

fishej@malvernstjames.co.uk

For those girls opting for A Level Art, there is an Open Studio available in the Art Block on five nights per week. Art students can be inspired by the work of the School’s Artist in Residence as well as visiting Artists who specialise in print making and textiles.

Contact for further information: Mrs J Fisher


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Extra-Curricular Languages

“One language sets you in a corridor for life. Two languages open every door along the way.� Frank Smith

At Malvern St James, girls can have individual or small group lessons in Chinese, Japanese, Russian, Italian, Arabic and Sign Language. If you wish to learn any other language, the School will endeavour to fulfil this wish. These lessons may be of interest to native speakers who want to prepare for an A Level examination and also to complete beginners. Lessons are in addition to any curriculum subjects being studied and lessons usually occur at a time that is mutually convenient for both you and your language tutor.

A Level Extra-Curricular Language Girls who opt to study a language for an examination follow the Edexcel Examination Board. You follow an individually tailored course which ensures you are prepared for the examination. For our students who are non-native English speakers, we offer the opportunity to be examined in their native language which is recognised by some universities as part of their admissions entry requirements.

Non-Examination Extra-Curricular Language If you simply wish to pursue an interest in an extracurricular language previously not studied you may do so. The tutors carefully select topics of interest through which they teach the language. To stand out from the rest and show a breadth of interest and an additional skill base, consider studying an extra-curricular language to enhance your CV or UCAS application.

Contact for Further Information Mrs B Wadman wadmab@malvernstjames.co.uk


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The Gambia

Every two years a group of 20 girls from Malvern St James are taken on a life-changing experience over the Easter holidays to The Gambia. They work with local communities, mostly in schools. Over the last 15 years our School has raised more than £40,000 to help fund numerous educational and relief projects in The Gambia, including providing the funding to build two classroom blocks, a multi-purpose assembly hall, a kitchen block, re-roof existing classrooms, cultivate banana plantations, and provide medical supplies. MSJ is very proud that our girls raised sufficient funds to enable the building of a small school in Batu Kunku. The school is called Success Nursery School. Below, a short extract taken from a report by a student on her return from The Gambia:

Participants engage in a wide range of invaluable experiences during their visit to The Gambia. You benefit immensely from venturing outside your comfort zone in a different culture and sharing your skills that include planning lessons, teaching skills to various groups, painting, singing and playing with the children. To gain a place on the trip girls are asked to submit a letter of application. This may be followed by an interview. Once selected, you are given the challenge of raising a personal donation of £200 by devising imaginative and creative ways to raise money, such as car washing, babysitting, cycle rides, holding fashion shows and hosting dinner parties.

“For me, the trip was a fascinating and educational experience. Learning and exploring a culture that was nearly the antithesis of our own provided a change from previous holidays, which now seem incredibly typically tourist. As well as the exploration of Banjul, I enjoyed teaching at both schools, but in particular Batu Kunku. It was at this school that the true poverty of The Gambia really hit home and I will always remember the sadness I felt at seeing the girls who were still children themselves having to look after their siblings, as it seemed to deprive them of a childhood of their own. As someone who had limited confidence with children before the trip, I found both teaching and learning from the children very rewarding. In the future, I would love to return to The Gambia to see the progress it will hopefully make, as well as to help to continue its improvements as a country.” Contact for Further Information Mrs V Collett collev@malvernstjames.co.uk


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Leiths School of Food and Wine

Leiths is one of the world’s most prestigious cookery schools. The course at Malvern St James is designed for the interested amateur and the potential professional. You become proficient in family and party cooking; you will learn to understand recipes, plan time efficiently and cook with relaxed confidence. Sample recipes include: baked stuffed chicken breasts with sun-dried tomatoes, moules marinières, goujons with tartare sauce, homemade pasta with tomato and basil sauce and homemade ice creams. Students attain the Level Two Food Hygiene Certificate as part of the course. You are provided with a Leiths Cookery Bible, a set of high-quality professional knives and your very own chef’s white jacket with checked trousers. Some sessions are delivered by visiting Leiths specialists. A Master of Wine gives a two-hour wine and food talk, including the chance to taste carefully-selected wines. An initial deposit is required to reserve a place on this course and there are two further termly charges. This is far more cost-effective, however, than obtaining the qualification at Leiths in London.

Potential Careers

Assessment Structure - Leiths Basic Certificate in Food and Wine

If you are thinking of taking a gap year, then this is certainly the course for you. It is invaluable if you are planning any of the following: a ski season as a chalet host; a summer job working in a villa as an amateur cook; taking on an ‘au pair’ role; working for a catering company. Even if you are not thinking of any of the above, it is so useful to improve your cookery skills, in preparation for life after school. You will certainly be a very popular room-mate at university if you can offer a roast lunch on Sundays!

Continuous Assessment: weekly practical lessons, time plans and menu planning exercise.

Accreditation

Two Formal Examinations in the Spring Term of Year 13: Practical You are marked on both the method of preparation and the eventual taste and presentation of the dishes. In order to be eligible for a final certificate, you must achieve a practical mark in excess of 60%, a theory mark in excess of 60%, a continual assessment mark in excess of 60%, a good attendance record and a Food Hygiene Certificate. Theory Sound basic knowledge and understanding of cooking methods and terminology.

The Leiths course has now been accredited by the Confederation of Tourism and Hospitality (CTH) to carry UCAS points. This accredited course will count towards your UCAS total to the same value as an AS qualification, so although it is an extra-curricular option, it can support your university entrance.

Contact for Further Information Mrs S Turner turnes@malvernstjames.co.uk


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Preparation for University and Beyond Some girls will start the Sixth Form with a clear idea of where they want to go for the next stage of their education. For most MSJ Sixth Form girls this will mean university, and we have an extensive programme of support in place for them. In November of Year 12 we begin our “Russell-Up” programme to support girls who plan to apply to the top universities in the UK, known as the Russell Group. The programme is open to all girls in Year 12, whether aiming for Russell Group universities or not, and through a series of seminars and workshops it seeks to give girls academic confidence outside the classroom in preparation for what they might expect in university applications and interviews. Throughout Year 12 girls have the opportunity to work on their university applications, working closely with their Tutors (who ultimately will write their references), Higher Education Coordinator, Head of Careers and the Director of Sixth Form. We have in place an additional programme for girls aspiring to study at Oxford and Cambridge, culminating in extra sessions with Oxbridge Applications during Year 12. The process continues throughout Year 13, with a more specific and dedicated programme of subject-based mentoring and discussion group support for girls applying for Oxford and Cambridge, as well as potential Medics, Dentists and Vets. Much of this is, of course, based on applying to universities in the UK through UCAS, but we are also able to help with applications for Art Foundation courses, Conservatoires, Degree-Apprenticeships and to universities overseas. Not all girls have university plans yet, and that is fine too because it brings a sense of open-mindedness about the future; their tutors and the Sixth Form team are always on hand to help them make these vital decisions about the future. In the words of some of our former students:

MSJ definitely equipped me with a range of skills and my boarding experience at MSJ prepared me very well for life in College. Being a boarder taught me how to be independent and responsible, as well as planning my time effectively and carrying out day-today tasks such as doing laundry. I feel that I was at an advantage compared to my fellow students for whom this was the first experience of life away from home. At MSJ, a great emphasis was put on independent learning. Since at Durham the teaching is researchled, handling independent study effectively has been incredibly useful. Throughout my time at MSJ, I was constantly encouraged to step outside of my comfort zone. As a result of this, it was easier for me to take up new things at university. I never realised that I could play football, yet I now play for the College’s women’s team. Of the many lessons that I have learnt at MSJ, I feel that the lesson about being open minded and willing to immerse myself in new experiences has acted as the best preparation for the life beyond school.

For me, the English Department was the driving force, not only behind my preparation for Oxford, but on a more personal level. Of course nothing can entirely prepare you for the complete change that is university, but I realised that what MSJ does isn’t to turn you into the person who you always will be, but to ready you to begin to become that person. MSJ had readied me to begin the learning process again. I was lucky enough to speak not only with teachers, but with Old Girls, governors, and other people associated with MSJ to get an idea of what university life would be like. With the constant support I became excited about what to look forward to. There was never a sense of being held back, but there was a constant, unspoken, sense of being ready to move on. MSJ never pretended to be the forever, but it knew its importance for the now.

Contact for Further Information Mr W Morris morriw@malvernstjames.co.uk


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SAT Preparation Course

Are you interested in studying at an American university? At MSJ, we run a course for American university SAT tests. SATs are standardised tests for college admissions in the United States. The examinations are very different to A Levels. One of the advantages of doing the course is that you will dramatically extend your vocabulary.

Why choose American universities? They have an international reputation - many in the Top 200 in the world. The Liberal Arts means flexibility and breadth; American universities are also good for extracurricular activities and volunteering. There is a huge range of types of universities – 3700, in fact. You will internationalise your CV and be taught by world class academics; research is also well-funded. This commitment will be in addition to A Level courses. SAT classes focus on a range of skills and tasks, including extending knowledge and use of prescribed vocabulary and writing short critical essays. Students practice Mathematics exercises and there is some evaluation. Specific additional teaching for the Mathematics tests can also be arranged.

Much time is spent practising SAT examination exercises, such as sentence completion, grammar exercises (identifying sentence errors, editing in context and sentence correction exercises) and reading comprehension. At least one hour’s preparation is expected per week. MSJ is also a fully accredited SAT Examination Centre, so there is not too far to travel in order to sit the actual tests.

Contact for Further Information Mr P Newton-Lewis newtop@malvernstjames.co.uk


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Model United Nations Society

Dinner and Diplomacy at MSJ You have the chance to practice your diplomatic skills at the Model United Nations Society. The Society is almost entirely run by a committee who decide on the resolutions and chair the meeting. It is legendary and the Annual MUN Dinner is a wonderful occasion. One of the aims of the Society is to encourage you to look at issues from a global perspective and hone your intellectual skills. Meeting weekly over an evening meal in Lawnside you might be discussing issues such as child slavery and water scarcity, representing a range of countries such as North Korea, Columbia, Australia and Bahrain. It is not formal debating, but more cut and thrust of questions, points and answers as well as a good helping of banter. You do not have to come to all sessions but you should definitely come when you can. We host a National Day Conference at MSJ on the third Saturday in November. This is a great opportunity to take a leadership role as an ambassador. We attend Model United Nations conferences around the country. There you will represent your country in a specialist committee (e.g. Health, Human Rights or Economic) and get to know people from other schools in this country and abroad. By the end of the weekend, you will have a network

MSJ Reeling Society MSJ Reeling Society This society meets regularly leading up to a Social usually at Radley or Eton. Timing of practices vary depending on when everyone is free. The Caledonian Society is one of the most popular at leading Universities such as Oxford, Bristol and Durham to name a few. MSJ Reeling Society gives you a head start. Do come along.

Contact for Further Information Mrs R Huntley huntlr@malvernstjames.co.uk

of friends from lots of different schools in the UK and abroad. Participating schools include Eton, Shrewsbury, Abingdon and Wycombe Abbey. Your horizons will have been widened. Every girl who has attended these conferences says that it has really increased her confidence, as well as being much more fun than she expected.

Contact for Further Information Mrs R Huntley huntlr@malvernstjames.co.uk


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Wine Tasting Society

The MSJ Sixth Form Wine Tasting Society meets once a term to taste wine and food from around the world. You will learn how to taste wine and know the characteristics of wines from different regions and grapes. A committee runs the Society. The Society often starts the year with a champagne tasting. You will learn how to taste by learning how to look at the colour and ‘bouquet’ of the wines before sipping. The challenge is to see whether you can tell from the colour, bouquet and taste whether or not a particular sparkling wine uses the same grapes as others. We often round off evenings with a competitive blind tasting. The evenings are accompanied with food dishes to complement the wines.

Other events include:   Regional wine tasting with an invited guest tutor or in-house wine enthusiast    Guest Night Dinner Parties at MSJ with other schools where the format for about 50 girls and boys is that of a candlelit meal with a Quiz Night

Contact for Further Information Mr W Morris morriw@malvernstjames.co.uk Mrs R Huntley huntlr@malvernstjames.co.uk

The Guillotine Society

The Guillotine Society (History and Politics) This meets in the evenings and is open to all Sixth Form girls (whether you are studying History or Politics or not) who want a good discussion led by Sixth Former. It is very relaxed and includes refreshments. Last year, topics included: Propaganda in the Soviet Union, Machiavelli - how to be in power and stay in power, and Colonialism. These take place in the Sixth Form Centre. It is mainly a discussion starter with lots of discussion.

Contact for Further Information Mrs R Huntley huntlr@malvernstjames.co.uk

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Young Enterprise

There is a strong tradition of Enterprise education at MSJ. Young Enterprise (YE) is a programme that is offered to all Year 12 students. The girls set up their companies in September and “learn by doing”. They do everything that a real business does including creating a name for their company, selling shares, raising funds, creating and marketing a product to the public and then finally dissolving the company, splitting their assets and paying dividends. All of this is done with the support of Young Enterprise, a business advisor from the local community who can share their business expertise and experience with them, as well as their centre lead in school.

MSJ Students reflect on their experiences: I loved interacting with customers and marketing our products in different ways at the trade fairs. As we progressed as a company, I realised the best ways to talk about our product which improved my ability to persuade people to purchase from us!

Andrea Rugisara, Managing Director

“YE has taught me a lot about my own personal skills and faults, and has also shown me the values of working as a team, especially when things get tough. Overall it has allowed me to experience the runnings of a business, which I think will be extremely useful in the future.”

Sarah Jackson, Marketing Director

“I signed up for YE because it was a nice contrast to my other subjects. It is hard work but really rewarding to put time into a business idea that you care about.”

The girls are all able to learn such valuable lessons, both about the day-to-day runnings of a business, as well as other transferrable skills, such as teamwork, time management and effective communication, just to name a few. Girls take part in out-of-School activities as part of the programme. Highlights include the Christmas Trade Fair in November, the Spring Trade Fair in Worcester and the National Trade Fair at Stratford-upon-Avon. Students compete and present their companies at the Worcestershire Presentation Evening, with the hopes of making it through to the Herefordshire and Worcestershire County Final and then to the West Midlands Regional level!

Contact for Further Information Miss H MacDonald macdoh@malvernstjames.co.uk

Izzy Lee, Managing Director

“I joined YE because I had never done anything to do with Business Studies or Economics before so it would be a totally new experience for me. I also knew that it would add more diversity to my university application. Through YE, I learnt how to work as a team and what it was like to run a real business. It was also interesting to try and sell a product to the general public.”

Imy Townsend, Administration Director

I have really enjoyed being part of a YE company. Being able to participate in a business company is way more interesting than I expected, we were able to come up with ideas and products that could make an impact to society!

Prudence Lo, Sales Director


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Old Girls’ Association

The OGA welcomes all Senior School and Sixth Form leavers to our energetic network of over 4,000 members. As well as providing social opportunities to bring old friends back together, we are committed to providing tangible benefits to our Old Girl community and current pupils at MSJ. We do this by providing a network of contacts with experience and expertise across a wealth of careers sectors: the Association includes Old Girls who are just starting out in their professional lives, to those who have made it to the very top of the ladder, and every stage in between. There are many practical ways in which the OGA helps its community. We have Old Girls who offer professional mentoring to younger members, and the Association organises professional networking events for the benefit of all. We are able to offer Travel Awards to girls undertaking projects away from home, whether this is part of a degree course or volunteering. We also have Old Girls dotted around the world, many of whom are happy to be a friendly face and offer advice for Old Girls travelling or relocating to other countries. A magazine with member news and features is produced each Spring, and a digital newsletter each Autumn. And the OGA makes a significant contribution to the school’s bursary programme for The Founders’ Awards scholarships to enable talented girls to attend MSJ, who couldn’t do so without financial assistance.

Old Girls come back to School to give careers lectures and workshops; to contribute to the Careers’ Fair; to conduct mock interviews for Oxbridge entrance and Medicine; to talk about their university experiences; and to talk about the tools for success in today’s highly competitive careers landscape. And of course the OGA is about continuing and rekindling friendships. We host several events per year, in Malvern and elsewhere, to bring Old Girls, their parents, staff and former staff together. When you leave MSJ, you will join this network of alumnae, and we hope that you will participate in all that it offers, and that in turn you will participate in assisting and inspiring future generations of MSJ students.

Contact for Further Information Mrs F Meredith oga@malvernstjames.co.uk


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Limitless Opportunities for Sportswomen Sport provides a platform for girls to showcase themselves. It helps forge ambition, breeds competitive spirit and motivates girls to take pride in themselves and their team. Sports are open to all and everyone can have a go! There is much to be gained from participating in sports, not least self-belief and self-confidence. At Malvern St James, we offer specialist, first class training and opportunities for aspiring sportswomen. Nurturing talent and tailoring our curriculum to ensure sporting ability is prioritised and education is not overlooked, we promote girls to exceed their potential and extend their horizons and goals. Our sporting facilities are committed to girls’ sports. Specialist Sports Centre staff offer personal training for our aspirational athletes and full time professional coaches develop players in our key sports; Hockey, Netball, Lacrosse and Tennis. All girls benefit from our free fitness suite provision, ensuring optimal fitness levels can be achieved by all. Dedicated team players enjoy Hockey, Lacrosse and Netball lessons, team training and are supported in joining local clubs throughout the Autumn and Spring Terms, with summer sports encompassing Tennis, Athletics and Rounders. In addition, girls benefit from timetabled and extra-curricular opportunities, which include:

Archery

Climbing

Hockey

Rounders

Athletics

Dance

Horse Riding

Spinning

Badminton

Fencing

Jogging

Swimming

Ballet

Fitness (in Fitness Suite)

Lacrosse

Tennis

Basketball

Football

Netball

Trampolining

Circuits

Gymnastics

Pilates

Volleyball

Where girls are highly passionate and achieving in sports beyond our curriculum, we give special provision through their academic timetables and School commitments to allow these talented sportswomen to maximise their abilities.


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The MSJ Sports Centre

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www.msjsports.co.uk

MSJ benefits from a wealth of superb on-site facilities including: `` `` `` `` ``

Floodlit synthetic pitch All weather courts Indoor sports arena Indoor climbing wall Indoor swimming pool

`` New 30-station fitness suite `` Air conditioned, mirrored dance studio `` Professional sports coaches `` Personal trainers  `` Squash Courts

The Malvern St James Sports Scholar Programme We make exceptional provision for MSJ Sports Scholars; adapting academic timetables to accommodate for challenging sports training schedules. MSJ Sports Scholars are ambassadors of School sport. They are expected to represent the School in their chosen sports and to attend all training sessions, matches and competitions. MSJ Sports Scholars act as role models within the School community. To support and optimise the development of our leading sportswomen, our Scholars are provided with nutrition guidance, training plans and training diaries.

MSJ Sports Mentoring Programme Each of our Sports Scholars is provided with professional support. Sports Scholars in Sixth Form have a weekly Performance Enhancement session with a Personal Trainer from the MSJ Sports Centre. Mentors from the PE Department provide objectivity and advice in one-to-one sessions held each half of term. Our younger Sports Scholars in Years 7, 8 and 9 are mentored by senior Sports Scholars who offer advice and support to the younger girls. We promote and support girls’ progression and achievement in all of their sports. MSJ sportswomen are renowned for gaining Sports Scholarships to UK and American universities.


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Spirituality at MSJ MSJ provides a place of pastoral nurture and spiritual exploration regardless of whether a pupil has a commitment to any particular faith. The Chaplaincy is Christian-based, but it is also open and inclusive in approach. Pupils of many World Religions (and none) contribute to a vibrant international, multi-cultural ethos in which the non-material aspects of life are appreciated and spiritual development is valued. Girls of different nationalities, cultures and faiths live together in the Boarding Houses, study together in the classrooms and play together on the sports field and in social events. Diversity and respect for civilised, liberal values are overtly and explicitly encouraged in all that we do. We believe that our pupils should cultivate a sense of awe and wonder, sensing that they are part of a greater whole. They are encouraged to take risks in the asking of probing philosophical and theological questions in the quest for meaning and purpose in life. An emphasis on each pupil’s holistic spiritual, moral, social, cultural and intellectual development is fostered through collective worship, discussion meetings, regular ‘Thought for the Week’ and Chaplaincy Papers as well as in the academic curriculum and co-curricular activities. Collective worship underpins, reflects and strengthens the School’s ethos by encouraging pupils to: •

Participate in the experience of worship

• Respond, without coercion, to religious or spiritual stimuli • Be open to a sense of the numinous and the transcendent •

Deepen their sense of wonder about the world around them

Reflect upon dimensions of human life – the wonderful, beautiful, joyful, heroic, humorous, tragic, sorrowful and solemn

• Understand the way in which humankind has expressed the deepest spiritual feelings, through the creative and expressive arts, scientific discovery, religious practice and philanthropic endeavours •

Grow in empathetic understanding of the feelings of other people

Explore the language people use to express profound beliefs

• Reflect on personal, community, national and global values •

Develop a sense of corporate belonging and community spirit.

There is a weekly Eucharist, Bible study and prayer time for pupils of committed Christian backgrounds and, every year, some girls are prepared for Confirmation. There is also a dedicated Prayer Room for Muslim girls and they are mentored and supported by a Muslim member of the teaching staff. The Chaplain is always available to support members of other faiths in locating and attending their own places of worship as required.


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CURRICULUM Subject information Advisory Note: In the majority of subjects we will be offering the linear A Level. This decision is based on careful evaluation of how the courses can best be structured to allow girls the best chances of success. In some subjects there may be the option to take an AS which can provide a standalone qualification at the end of Year 12 or can provide a useful assessment of girls’ achievement in preparation for the full A Level. The subject entries in this prospectus will be updated as appropriate. Please be assured that at Malvern St James what is best for the girls is at the heart of everything we do. Heads of Subjects are keen to take any specific questions via their email addresses, to be found in the following section.

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List of Subjects on the Timetable (IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER, OFFERED ACCORDING TO DEMAND)

2018 - 2019 ACADEMIC YEAR - subject to change according to demand It is the expectation that most girls will choose three linear A Levels (or Diplomas) to study over two years. In addition to their three A Levels, most girls will choose an EPQ. It may be possible in addition to three A Levels to choose a single AS in a subject where it is offered. In some circumstances, four A Levels may be chosen with agreement from the Director of Sixth Form and the Director of Teaching and Learning.

A Level subjects Art and Design: Fine Art / Textiles Biology Business Chemistry Classical Civilisation Computer Science Design and Technology: Product Design Drama and Theatre Studies Economics English Literature French Geography German History Latin Mathematics Further Mathematics Music Physics Politics Psychology Religion and Philosophy Spanish Diploma Subjects Food Science & Nutrition (Level 3 Diploma) (equivalent to one A Level) Physical Education: BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Sport (Performance and Excellence) (equivalent to two A Levels) Physical Education: BTEC Level 3 National Subsidiary Diploma in Sport (equivalent to one A Level) Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) Each girl will also have non-examined PE, PSHEEC and Enrichment each week


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Important Contacts

Role

Responsibility

Name

Admissions to MSJ

Director of Marketing and Admissions

Visits, admissions, entrance examinations and marketing

Mrs Emily Harris admissions@malvernstjames.co.uk

Choosing Subjects

Heads of Year 10 and 11 (two year cycle)

Progress and subject options

Mrs Zoe Hemphill hemphz@malvernstjames.co.uk

Learning Support Senior SENCO

Advice on any additional educational needs

Mrs Penny Walker walkep@malvernstjames.co.uk

Heads of Subject

Subject leadership

See subject descriptions

The Sixth Form

Examinations, Careers and Higher Education

Mrs Kate Storey storek@malvernstjames.co.uk

Director of Teaching Scholarships and and Learning curriculum, including subject options

Mrs Lucy Hutton huttol@malvernstjames.co.uk

Director of Sixth Form

Sixth Form entry and continuation, including subject options and progress

Mrs Alison Kingshott kingsa@malvernstjames.co.uk

UCAS and Higher Education Co-ordinator

Supporting girls, Tutors and Director of Sixth Form

Mr Bill Morris morriw@malvernstjames.co.uk

Examinations Officer

Public examination entries, re-marks and enquiries

Mrs Julie Stephens exams@malvernstjames.co.uk

Head of Careers

Careers, Higher Education, GAP Year advice

Miss Samantha Marfleet careers@malvernstjames.co.uk

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Art and Design - Fine Art

EXAM BOARD: OCR

Head of Subject: Ms D Weissberg Contact: weissd@malvernstjames.co.uk Twitter: @msj_art

Why study this subject? Art and Design will allow you to explore your own ideas and experiment with a wide variety of techniques and media, this can include photography, print making and digital media, as well as painting and drawing. The department has superb resources, studios and specialist teachers, giving you a stimulating and rewarding insight into the creative process. The course develops cultural and artistic understanding, alongside creative, research and decision making skills. The hands-on approach to learning and an emphasis on experimentation, allows students to develop their own style. At A Level you can work in more depth to explore the ideas that really interest you.

What does the course involve? AS – This course consists of an initial skills based period, during which time students are introduced to a wide range of materials and processes. An important focus is on recording through using drawing and other appropriate visual forms. Students will develop the ability to select, edit and progress their ideas, using appropriate visual language and terminology. In January the Externally Set Task will provide students with a number of themes. You will pick one option to explore independently, with guidance from your teacher. During the preparatory period you will research, plan and develop ideas for your own response, which will be realised in a 10 hour controlled period of time. This unit carries 100% of the total marks. A2 – This course consists of two units: Personal investigation – A portfolio of practical work showing your personal response to either a starting point, brief, scenario or stimulus and a related written study of a minimum of 1000 words.

Externally Set Task – released in February, providing students with a number of themes. You will pick one option to explore independently, with guidance from your teacher. During the preparatory period you will research, plan and develop ideas for your own response, which will be realised in a 15 hour controlled period of time. At both AS and A2 there will be trips to galleries and exhibitions, as well as European tours organised to inspire your work. Life Drawing classes form an intrinsic part of both courses and workshops with professional artists and practitioners are organised regularly.

How is it assessed? For both AS and A Level, work is internally assessed and externally moderated using the following assessment objectives. AO1 – Develop ideas through sustained and focused investigations informed by contextual and other sources, demonstrating analytical and critical understanding. AO2 - Explore and select appropriate resources, media, materials, techniques and processes, reviewing and refining ideas as work develops. AO3 – Record ideas, observations and insights relevant to intentions, reflecting critically on work and progress. AO4 – Present a personal and meaningful response that realises intentions and makes connections between visual and other elements.

Is it the right course for me? What skills will I need? In order to study Art and Design, natural artistic ability is important but so equally is real enthusiasm for the visual world around you. A relish for practical skills and a desire to express yourself in a creative and imaginative way, is essential.


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SIXTH FORM MENTOR

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Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.

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With which other subjects does it work best?

What are the possible career pathways?

Art and Design sits comfortably with both Mathematics and the Sciences, particularly for Architecture. It fits well with English and Drama, also appealing to the creative nature within us. Design elements within the course work well with skills developed within Product Design. Geography and History and RE provide good partnerships for Art developing awareness of cultural diversity and the dramatic effects of events on art movements.

Art and Design is beneficial to a wide variety of Art based and non-Art based careers, in which dexterity and a visual awareness are important. These can include Architecture, Art Therapy, Animation, Graphic Design, Interior Design, Jewellery Design, Fashion and Textiles, Film and Television, Product Design, Marketing, Museum and Gallery work, Photography, Teaching, Web Design, Illustration, Fine Art, Theatre and Costume Design, Three Dimensional Design, Art History, Arts Administration and Management.

To pursue the A Level course successfully, students ideally need a minimum of: GCSE Art 6


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Art and Design - Textiles

EXAM BOARD: OCR

Head of Subject: Ms D Weissberg Contact: weissd@malvernstjames.co.uk Twitter: @msj_art

Why study this subject? Art and Design – Textiles will allow you to explore your own ideas and experiment with a wide variety of techniques and media, which are directly related to the manipulation of fabric. This can include, print based media, digital processes, fashion illustration and production, experimental stitch based media, embroidery, woven techniques and three-dimensional construction. The department has superb resources, studios and specialist teachers, giving you a stimulating and rewarding insight into the creative process. The course develops cultural and artistic understanding, alongside creative, research and decision making skills. The hands-on approach to learning and an emphasis on experimentation, allows students to develop their own style. At A Level you can work in more depth to explore the ideas that really interest you.

What does the course involve? AS – This course consists of an initial skills based period, during which time students are introduced to a wide range of materials and processes. An important focus is on recording through using drawing, stitch and other appropriate visual forms. Students will develop the ability to select, edit and progress their ideas, using appropriate visual language and terminology. In January the Externally Set Task will provide students with a number of themes. You will pick one option to explore independently, with guidance from your teacher. During the preparatory period you will research, plan and develop ideas for your own response, which will be realised in a 10 hour controlled period of time. This unit carries 100% of the total marks. A2 – This course consists of two units: Personal investigation – A portfolio of practical work showing your personal response to either a starting point, brief, scenario or stimulus and a related written study of a minimum of 1000 words.

Externally Set Task – released in February, providing students with a number of themes. You will pick one option to explore independently, with guidance from your teacher. During the preparatory period you will research, plan and develop ideas for your own response, which will be realised in a 15 hour controlled period of time. At both AS and A Level there will be trips to galleries and exhibitions, as well as European tours organised to inspire your work. Life Drawing classes form an intrinsic part of both courses and workshops with professional textile artists and practitioners are organised regularly.

How is it assessed? For both AS and A Level, work is internally assessed and externally moderated using the following assessment objectives. AO1 – Develop ideas through sustained and focused investigations informed by contextual and other sources, demonstrating analytical and critical understanding. AO2 – Explore and select appropriate resources, media, materials, techniques and processes, reviewing and refining ideas as work develops. AO3 – Record ideas, observations and insights relevant to intentions, reflecting critically on work and progress. AO4 – Present a personal and meaningful response that realises intentions and makes connections between visual and other elements.

Is it the right course for me? What skills will I need? In order to study Art and Design – Textiles, natural artistic ability is important but so equally is real enthusiasm for the world of fashion and textiles. A relish for practical skills and a desire to express yourself in a creative and imaginative way, is essential.


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With which other subjects does it work best? Art and Design - Textiles sits comfortably with both Mathematics and the Sciences, particularly with regard to garment construction and pattern cutting. It fits well with English and Drama, also appealing to the creative nature within us. Design elements within the course work well with skills developed within Product Design. Geography and History and RE provide good partnerships, developing an awareness of cultural diversity and the dramatic effects of events on contemporary fashion. What are the possible career pathways? Art and Design - Textiles is beneficial to a wide variety of Art based and non- Art based careers, in which dexterity and a visual awareness are important. These can include Fashion Design and Fashion Marketing, Animation, Graphic Design, Interior Design, Jewellery Design, Film and Television, Product Design, Museum and Gallery work, Photography, Teaching, Web Design, Illustration, Theatre and Costume Design, Three Dimensional Design, History of Costume, Arts Administration and Management.

To pursue the A Level course successfully, students ideally need a minimum of: GCSE Art 6


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Biology

EXAM BOARD: OCR-A

Head of Subject: Miss N Phipps Contact: phippn@malvernstjames.co.uk Twitter: @msj_biology

Why study this subject?

What does the course involve?

Biology is the study of life; understanding where life came from and how it evolved, how organisms survive and how they work. If you are interested in the world around you, then you will be interested in Biology. Biology lies at the heart of some of the biggest challenges facing the planet today. For example, feeding the ever-increasing global population, predicting and mapping the consequences of climate change, developing new antibiotics to cure diseases, curing cancer and diabetes and dementia and understanding the origins of humanity all depend on our knowledge and understanding of biological processes. Biology suits all types, whether you are an indoor or an outdoor type, whether you are interested in animals, plants, humans or microorganisms, there are options for everyone.

A-Level Biology aims to expand your knowledge and explore in further depth topics that were covered in the GCSE course. You will develop your understanding of the detailed structure of cells and the biological molecules that constitute all life; you will gain a better understanding of evolution and biodiversity and the interactions of humans with the environment; you will learn more about the physiology and anatomy of the human body and you will build on your knowledge of genetics and biotechnology and how these are being used to aid humans and understand the underlying causes of variation between living organisms. In Year 13 we will also attend a 4-day residential field trip to gain a fuller understanding of field work techniques and ecological studies.

A LEVEL Teaching Units Module 1 Development of Practical Skills in Biology Module 2 Foundations in Biology Module 3 Exchange & Transport Module 4 Biodiversity, Evolution & Disease Module 5 Communication, Homeostasis & Energy Module 6 Genetics, Evolution & Ecosystems

Assessment Method & Weighting Biological Processes (01)

Biological Diversity (02)

2 hours 15 mins written exam

2 hours 15 mins written exam

100 marks

100 marks

A Level - 37%

A Level - 37%

(Modules 1,2,3 & 5)

(Modules 1,2,4 & 6)

Unified Biology (03) 1 hour 30 mins written exam 70 marks A Level - 26% (Modules 1 to 6)

Practical endorsement in Biology (04) (non exam assessment) 12 Assessed experiments


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How is it assessed? Is it the right course for me? What skills will I need? Mathematics always has been and is now, more than ever, an essential skill in Biology. You will need to be comfortable with various aspects, such as ratios, fractions, percentages and graph plotting as well as statistical tests and the calculation of rates of reaction, surface areas and magnification. However, a good understanding of GCSE Chemistry is very necessary as well as a minimum of Grade A in GCSE Biology/ Double Award Science. The practical and application skills of Biology are interwoven through all of the final examinations and all pupils need to be accomplished and confident practitioners of Biology in a practical sense. Bioskills sessions are run every week to best provide all pupils with the necessary suite of skills and understanding.

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IT IS VERY SATISFYING TO UNDERSTAND BIOLOGICAL PROCESSES IN DETAIL

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What are the possible career pathways? Biology is a versatile subject and the possibilities are endless. Pupils can pursue careers in medicine and medically related fields, focus on biotechnology and start-up companies, pursue drug development both from an industrial and academic perspective, study sports science and physiotherapy, move into Food science and research, become a vet, a dentist, a forensic scientist, a marine biologist, a zoologist, a botanist, a vintner, a microbiologist, a biochemist, a conservationist, a lawyer, a brewer. The options are varied and exciting!

With which other subjects does it work best? Chemistry, Physics, Maths, Further Maths. Geography, Food Science and Nutrition and PE.

To pursue the A Level course successfully, students ideally need a minimum of: GCSE Biology 7 / GCSE Double Award Science 7-7 (Biology component 7) GCSE Maths 7


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Business

EXAM BOARD: AQA

Head of Subject: Mrs Z Hemphill Contact: hemphz@malvernstjames.co.uk Twitter: @Business_MSJ

Why study this subject?

Is it the right course for me?

The world of business is exciting and challenging. Whatever you decide to do, there is no escaping the fact that business will frame your everyday life. Business is a dynamic subject which stimulates discussion about real world issues affecting consumers and businesses. The course develops students’ consumer awareness so they can make rational choices and not be influenced by the marketing activities of local, national or international businesses. It will enable students to understand the internal workings of a business, the importance of finance and people management in cultivating a successful business and the effects of the external environment on business decisions.

What skills will I need?

What does the course involve? Students will learn theory related to marketing, financial, operational and human resource decisions, and at the end of the course, students will be able to analyse situations and make choices about the best strategy a firm should use in order to achieve its objectives. Business will enable you to answer questions such as ‘Should Google pay more tax in the UK?’, ‘Has the digital world reduced the need for newspapers?’, ‘Is it better to reward your shareholders with higher dividends or use the profit to invest?’.

How is it assessed? A Level Paper 1: A Level Paper 2: A Level Paper 3:

Business 1 (examination 33.3% of A Level) Business 2 (examination 33.3% of A Level) Business 3 (examination 33.3% of A Level)

The papers are assessed using a mixture of multiple choice, short and long answer questions based on the given data.

Business will provide you with the skills you need for a future in a commercial economy. These include numeracy and literacy skills, communication, independent thinking, problem solving, creativity and critical thinking skills. It is also important to keep upto-date with the fast moving business world. With which other subjects does it work best? Business works well particularly with Languages, Politics, Geography, the Sciences, History and Economics (some universities, such as LSE, Oxford and Cambridge, do not like you studying both Economics and Business). However, whatever your combination, Business works well with all subjects. What are the possible career pathways? All of the skills you learn in Business will be transferable to an array of careers including business management, finance and accounting, marketing, human resources, journalism, sociology, law, public relations, hospitality and consultancy. You will develop skills such as communication, numeracy, critical thinking and problem solving; all of which are in high demand and recognised by universities and employers as being of great value.

Textbook AQA Business for A Level 1, Hodder Education, ISBN 9781471836138


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EMILY MARRIOT

To pursue the A Level course successfully, students ideally need a minimum of: GCSE Maths 4/5 GCSE English 4/5

I have enjoyed studying business this year as it’s a great general knowledge subject that I know will benefit me later on in life with whatever I do. You can also link everything you learn to things that are happening around you which makes it easier to understand.


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Chemistry

EXAM BOARD: AQA

Head of Subject: Dr S Guy Contact: guysss@malvernstjames.co.uk Twitter: @msj_chemistry

Why study this subject? The AQA A Level Chemistry Course is a natural progression from studying AQA GCSE Chemistry. The course will enable you to develop your knowledge and understanding of the concepts and extend your intellectual and practical skills. Studying Chemistry helps develop a wide range of skills, such as problem solving, communication and creativity. This means that chemists are much sought after and can pursue careers in many exciting and varied fields of work, both Chemistry-related and beyond.

What does the course involve? Chemistry is a challenging subject, but also very rewarding if you work hard. It is a big jump from GCSE to A Level. Many of the topics will be familiar to you from GCSE, but we will explore them in greater depth. The topics are broadly divided into Physical, Organic and Inorganic Chemistry. There is a lot more calculation work in A Level Chemistry than there is at GCSE.

A separate ‘endorsement’ of practical work will be assessed by teachers. This will not be graded. If students pass, it will be reported on their certificate, otherwise it will not be reported.

Is it the right course for me? What skills will I need? You will need to have achieved at least a Grade 7 in GCSE Chemistry, or Grade 8-8 in Double Award Science and at least a Grade 7 at GCSE Mathematics. With which other subjects does it work best? A Level Mathematics is an excellent subject to take alongside A Level Chemistry. It supports the large amount of calculations encountered in A Level Chemistry. Biology and/or Physics naturally complement Chemistry as the other major sciences. What are the possible career pathways?

There are trips, including a visit to Bristol University Chemistry Department to do practical work with specialist equipment. You will be taught by two teachers. There will be lecture-style lessons, exciting class practicals, demonstration experiments and assessments.

Medicine, Dentistry and Veterinary Medicine. Other careers directly related to Chemistry include Pharmacy and Chemical Engineering.

How is it assessed?

AQA A Level Chemistry Year 1 Second Edition Student Book - OUP - ISBN 9780198351818

This is an A Level only course. The external examinations take place at the end of Y13. There are three written two-hour papers. Practical work will be assessed in the written papers. 15% of the total A Level marks will be for practical knowledge and understanding.

Textbooks

AQA A Level Chemistry Year 2 Second Edition Student Book - OUP - ISBN 9780198357711


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To pursue the A Level course successfully, students ideally need a minimum of: GCSE Chemistry 7 / GCSE Double Award Science 8-8 GCSE Maths 7


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Classical Civilisation

EXAM BOARD: OCR

Head of Subject: Mrs V Atkinson Contact: atkinv@malvernstjames.co.uk Twitter: @msj_classics

Why study this subject?

A2 / Year 13 Three papers World of the Hero Homer’s Odyssey Virgil’s Aeneid 2 hours 20 minutes

Studying Classical Civilisation is stimulating and enjoyable. You will be able to appreciate a wide range of Classical literature in translation. You will acquire the confidence to approach literature sensitively and critically as you develop the vocabulary to appreciate literature. You will gain highly respected and transferable analytical and evaluative skills, which will be beneficial for many courses of further study. A Level Classical Civilisation can lead directly to a degree in Classics, which covers a range of disciplines such as history, philosophy, literature, religion and politics.

Love and Sappho extant works Relationships Ovid’s Ars Amatoria 1 hour 45 minutes

What does the course involve?

Is it the right course for me?

You will read Greek and Roman literature in translation, which leads to discussion and debate. You will follow Odysseus’ epic journey home after the Trojan War and learn about the dysfunctional families of Greek Tragedy. You will enjoy the drama of Greek plays and watch Oedipus make a terrible discovery that he has killed his father and married his mother. You will realise that, despite some differences, ancient and modern comedy have much in common. This course will enable you to present your own personal response to literature by selecting and organising information from the texts to produce a clear, logical argument.

How is it assessed? AS / Year 12 Two papers of 1 hour 30 minutes each World of the Hero

Homer’s Odyssey 1 hour 30 minutes

Greek Theatre Sophocles’ Oedipus the King Euripides’ Bacchae Aristophanes’ Frogs 1 hour 30 minutes

Greek Theatre Sophocles’ Oedipus the King Euripides’ Bacchae Aristophanes’ Frogs 1 hour 45 minutes

What skills will I need? It is not necessary to have studied GCSE Classical Civilisation to take this subject. We assume no previous knowledge of the Classical world, but it would be beneficial to have an interest in some aspect of Greek or Roman culture, e.g. Greek Mythology. You need to enjoy reading and be prepared to defend your opinions. Analytical and critical skills are developed during the course. You will improve your writing skills and be supported in learning how to create a logical and persuasive argument. Enthusiasm for the subject is the most important requirement. Even though written texts are the main focus of study, you will also engage with the ancient world through images, objects and films. You will have the opportunity to watch plays and attend lectures. In recent years we have seen memorable productions at the National Theatre and the Globe.


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With which other subjects does it work best? Students who study Classical Civilisation also often study English, Drama and History. Some girls have taken it to provide a contrast to Sciences and Mathematics and to develop writing skills if they do not have an essay subject. What are the possible career pathways? Statistics show that Classics graduates are highly employable and go on to a range of diverse and stimulating careers from Law, Banking and the Civil Service to Journalism and Marketing. Employers value transferable analytical skills and facility with language.

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Classics has helped me so much with my writing skills in all of my A Level subjects and I have taken skills I have learnt with me to my other classes.

To pursue the A Level course successfully, students ideally need a minimum of: Interest in the ancient world GCSE English 6


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Computer Science

EXAM BOARD: OCR

Head of Subject: Mr G Shaw Contact: shawgg@malvernstjames.co.uk Twitter: @computing_msj

Why study this subject?

How is it assessed?

Computer Science studies the design and operation of computer hardware and software, and its myriad applications to us personally and to the world we live in. There is no avoiding the computer-driven technologies we have already incorporated into our daily lives and their potential applications to revolutionise our future. Computer Science:

The AS has two components, externally assessed (weighted at 50% each):

Puts computational thinking as an academic discipline at its core, enabling you to develop your creative problem-solving skills and translate your algorithms into real programmed solutions

Applies the principles learned about real-world hardware and software systems in a creative, exciting and engaging manner

Embeds the mathematics of computing – Boolean algebra/logic and the elements of algorithm construction (sequence, iteration, selection, variables)

What does the course involve? The course involves studying the principles of how and why hardware and software enable computer systems to operate the way they do in a variety of situations. The course also promotes your ability to decompose a problem into smaller, more solvable components, and develops your skills creatively in computational thinking to derive algorithms to solve those problems. A logical approach and use of algebra will be required. You will learn to use programming languages practically to implement those algorithms.

Computing Principles: The characteristics of contemporary processors, input, output and storage devices; software and software development; exchanging data; data types, data structures and algorithms; legal, moral, cultural and ethical issues. Algorithms and Programming: Elements of computational thinking; programming and problem solving; pattern recognition, abstraction and decomposition; algorithm design and efficiency; standard algorithms. The A Level consists of three components: two externally marked question papers (weighted at 40% each) and a programming project (worth 20%): Computer Systems (AS Computing Principles plus extension topics). Algorithms and Programming (AS topics plus extension topics). Programming Project: This is specific to the A Level and is internally marked and moderated. Girls analyse a complex problem they have identified, design a solution, program and test that solution and give a thorough evaluation. We use electronic and online resources to supplement the text book, OCR AS and A Level Computer Science by Heathcote and Heathcote (ISBN 9781910523056).


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Is it the right course for me? What skills will I need? You do not have to have studied Computing or Computer Science previously. You will be applying your GCSE Maths skills to creative problem solving involving Boolean logic, algebra and program design. You will study how computers work and interact with the world around you. The Computer Science A Level complements other Science, Mathematics and Design and Technology A Levels, but they are not essential.

Mathematics courses in Higher Education have a computer science / programming element, so the A Level in Computer Science can form an effective underpinning element.

What are the possible career pathways? A Level Computer Science supports pathways to Computer Science, Software Engineering and other computing-based courses in Higher Education or employment. In addition, many Science and

To pursue the A Level course successfully, students ideally need a minimum of: GCSE Maths (Grade 6) / GCSE English Language (Grade 5) GCSE Computer Science (if studied) (Grade 6)


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Design & Technology

EXAM BOARD: EDUQAS

Head of Subject: Mrs A Marks Contact: marksa@malvernstjames.co.uk Twitter: @MSJ_Technology

Why study this subject? Design & Technology is a course based around the study and creation of innovative modern design. Outcomes of the course can be split into two main categories; academic and practical. On the academic side you can expect to develop and sustain skills in critical thinking, analytical thinking, innovation and creativity, linking to business and economic theory. This is achieved through in-depth analysis of existing products on the market, in order to improve their design, and identify gaps in the market for new products. Practical skills can be developed through learning design techniques and applying your academic study to create innovative designs. You will make these ideas a reality using workshop tools and equipment.

What does the course involve? The course will involve both practical and theory lessons and you will apply your learning through small focussed tasks as well as larger projects. You will explore the history of design by looking at designers and design eras. As well as this you will study manufacturing techniques, commercial practices and material properties. The course will contain detailed theory lessons leading to a written examination and assessed practical work; you will have the opportunity to use modern CAD/CAM manufacturing machinery, such as a Laser Cutter and 3D Printer.

How is it assessed? Design & Technology is split equally with non-examined assessment carrying 50% and the examination carrying 50% of the total marks.

The practical work will be formed around an investigation and analysis of a problem within a context, and the needs, wants and values of users, to define a design opportunity leading to the production of a design brief and specification to direct, inform and evaluate their design practice.

Is it the right course for me? What skills will I need? You should be open to taking design risks, showing innovation and enterprise whilst considering your role as a responsible designer and citizen. You will want to use creativity and imagination when applying design processes to develop and modify designs, and to design and make prototypes/products that solve real world problems, considering your own and others’ needs, wants, aspirations and values. Mathematical skills will be called upon as you engineer products. You should have good IT skills and be able to work independently. With which other subjects does it work best? A Level Design & Technology works well with Maths, Science (particularly Physics), Geography, History, Business and Economics. This course also works well with the Young Enterprise scheme offered at MSJ. What are the possible career pathways? A Level Design & Technology can lead to further study in creative, technological, and business areas, such as Product Design, Architecture, Engineering, Manufacture and Art and Design.


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I chose to study Product Design because it’s about solving problems in all aspects of our daily life. The course is so far reaching that I am learning new and exciting skills all the time.

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To pursue the A Level course successfully, students ideally need a minimum of: GCSE D&T Grade 5


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Drama & Theatre

EXAM BOARD: AQA

Head of Subject: Mrs J Fisher Contact: fishej@malvernstjames.co.uk Twitter: @MSJ_ExpressArts

Why study this subject?

Is it the right course for me?

A Drama and Theatre student should have a passion for creativity. You should be self-motivated, able to work alone and in a group and have the ability to take a practical, as well as theoretical, approach to academic issues. You should enjoy drama and the theatre and be excited about the ‘hands on’ style of learning. Drama and Theatre offers the prospect of learning specifically about the skills and theories unique to the subject. It will teach you about plays, practitioners, playwrights, design, genres, dramatic form and style. In addition, it develops highly sought after transferable skills, including an excellent ability to communicate on a small or large scale, lead a group, and help to develop self-confidence and charisma.

What skills do I need?

What does the course involve? The course requires you to deepen your understanding of Drama and Theatre through the practical study of several published/performed plays. You must learn about Theatre Practitioners in conjunction with the plays you study. Your work must take a practical and academic approach. You must perform extracts from plays, communicating meaning as part of the theatre making process, and have the ability to analyse and evaluate your work. You need to work with others in your group, although you are marked individually.

How is it assessed? 60% non-exam assessment - performance with evaluative response. You will perform plays and key extracts as well as devising your own performance work. You can work on acting skills or, for some of the work, offer design skills. 40% written exam – consisting of the review of a live theatre production and the analysis and evaluation of plays you have studied through your practical lessons.

The key progression skills required by the course are creative, practical, devising and self-reflection skills. Acting, designing, group working, motivational, analysis and evaluative skills will all help you to do well. With which other subjects does it work best? Drama naturally works well alongside English, Classics, Languages, the Arts and the Humanities. However, with the flexibility of being able to study both AS and A2, it can also complement subjects in areas which you might not expect, such as the Sciences. What are the possible career pathways? Nearly three million people in Britain are employed in the Creative Industries sector and it accounts for over one 12th of the economy – more than any other country in the world. The UN estimates that the Creative Industries account for 7% of global GDP and are growing at 10% per year. There are career opportunities in television, film, theatre, advertising, writing, marketing, public relations, event management, charities, teaching, therapy and many more. The transferable skills Drama & Theatre Studies offers makes it ideal for a very wide range of careers. Past students have gone on to directing at RADA, study English at Oxford and practice Medicine.


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The best part of Drama is that you are learning new things and expanding yourself without actually realising that it’s happening, all because of the fun you’re having.

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To pursue the A Level course successfully, students ideally need a minimum of: Interest and/or experience in the performing arts


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Economics

EXAM BOARD: Edexcel

Head of Subject: Mrs Z Hemphill Contact: hemphz@malvernstjames.co.uk Twitter: @Economics_MSJ

Why study this subject? Economics is about choice and the study of the world in which we live. It is a challenging, thought provoking subject, which stimulates debate about local, national and international issues and the impact of our choice on others. Economics enables us to participate as effective citizens in, and make a positive difference to, the everchanging global village. It doesn’t matter if you haven’t studied Economics before; you soon develop the skills necessary and fully enjoy and participate in lessons. Economics enables you to make effective decisions and choices throughout your lifetime.

A Level Paper 3:

Textbook

Microeconomics and macroeconomics (examination using data response questions and an essay covering the whole of the A Level specification which is 30% of A Level)

Edexcel A Level Economics A, Hodder Education, ISBN 9781471830006

Is it the right course for me?

What does the course involve?

What skills will I need?

At the end of the course, you will be able to understand what determines the demand for, supply of, and price of a variety of products and services. You will also study the objectives of the government, the causes and effects of globalisation and how economies develop. Economics enables you to answer big news topics such as: ‘Why didn’t economists predict the Global Financial Crisis?’, ‘Why do some economies grow and others don’t?’, ‘Will the Eurozone survive?’ and ‘what impact will BREXIT have on the UK economy?’ If these issues intrigue you, then Economics will provide you with a way of analysing and questioning the assumptions behind them.

In order to study Economics it is important to be able to think critically and develop and share your own views. The ability to read graphs, problem solve and do simple calculations is important as it allows you to interpret and analyse economic problems. Economics provides an excellent grounding in how the national and international economy works, so it is important to keep up-to-date with current economic issues.

With an ever-changing world, Economics does not stand still. No two lessons are the same and every discussion will lead to a different outcome!

How is it assessed? A Level Paper 1:

Markets and business behaviour (examination using short and long answer questions based on the given data which is 35% of A Level)

A Level Paper 2:

The national and global economy (examination using short and long answer questions based on the given data which is 35% of A Level)

With which other subjects does it work best? If you wish to pursue Economics at university, it is essential that you study A Level Mathematics Economics. As a social science it works well particularly with the Sciences, Languages, Politics, Geography, Business and History. However, whatever your combination, Economics works well with all subjects. What are the possible career pathways? The intellectual skills of data analysis and presenting arguments are of life-long value. Students will also develop transferable skills such as communication, numeracy, critical thinking and problem solving, all of which are in high demand and recognised by universities and employers as being of great value. Students could pursue an array of careers including business, management, law, civil service, government and international relations, journalism, accounting and finance.


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How good would it be to have a female in this line up?

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studying economics is challenging as well as fun. it has broadened my wider knowledge of the world around me, allowing me to link my economic knowledge to many current issues. -corliss tse

To pursue the A Level course successfully, students ideally need a minimum of: GCSE Maths 6 GCSE English 6


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English Literature

EXAM BOARD: OCR

Head of Subject: Mr W Morris Contact: morriw@malvernstjames.co.uk Twitter: @msj_eng

Why study this subject?

Is it the right course for me?

The study of English Literature at A-level will lead you to an appreciation of books that are stimulating and interesting in themselves. You will also acquire a broad overview of the important movements of cultural history, as literature is always studied in relation to the contexts that have influenced its creation. Through the interpretation of texts, you will become more analytical and precise in your thinking - perhaps the most important of the transferable skills that you will develop. At the same time, you will become more aware of the possibilities of language and inevitably, therefore, you will add to your skills as a communicator in both the written and spoken word.

What skills will I need?

What does the course involve? The course includes a detailed study of Hamlet, in many ways the most complex and fascinating of Shakespeare’s plays, and a comparative study of Chaucer’s ‘The Merchant’s Tale’ and Ibsen’s ‘A Doll’s House’ in which you will focus on the very different treatment of particular themes in different time-periods. In the ‘Women in Literature’ module you will study novels by Virginia Woolf and Jane Austen, as well cover wider reading in preparation for the ‘Unseen’ study in the final paper. Finally, you will produce a coursework folder of two essay: one a comparative study of T S Eliot and James Joyce, and the other a detailed commentary on a work of modern drama. By the end of the course, you will have acquired a broad knowledge of books, authors and cultural history, and will be able to write with insight and authority on cultural subjects.

How is it assessed? The course is assessed through two written examinations and one coursework folder. Both papers are two and a half hours long, one covering Shakespeare, Chaucer and Ibsen, the other covering the ‘Women in Literature’ module. The coursework folder will be 3000 words long and cover Eliot, Joyce and a work of modern drama.

English is well suited to students who are interested in reading, discussion and the arts in general. If you are intrigued by what a strange exhibit in a museum really means, then you probably also have an instinct for exploring below the surface of a text, where it means more than just ‘a good story’. It might be that you have experimented with writing of your own or have experienced in your own reading a sense of how powerful or illuminating good writing can be. English works well with other Humanities subjects. It is also a natural companion for Modern Foreign Languages (which usually also involve some study of Literature and cultural background) and also for artistic subjects (the study of different artistic periods in English is excellent background for Drama or Art, for example). Also, English works well as a self-contained standalone subject for students who are studying Maths and Sciences or Maths and Economics, who want one cultural subject to vary their portfolio. An A Level in English Literature is highly valued by institutions of Higher Education and provides a wide range of opportunities for courses at degree level, and is therefore a stepping stone towards many possible careers. As well as the obvious (journalism, publishing, advertising, academia), the best-paid jobs in law, finance, management, public administration and even computing are accessible via an English qualification.


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“

SIXTH FORM MENTOR

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My love of English stems from my fondness of reading. Books teach you lessons, develop your imagination, widen your horizons and much more without you having to leave the confines of a room. The study of literature enlightens you by knocking down walls of prejudice and ignorance and, thus, shapes you into an individual with wide knowledge and, most importantly, understanding of the world around you.

To pursue the A Level course successfully, students ideally need a minimum of: GCSE English 6


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Food Science & Nutrition

EXAM BOARD: WJEC

Head of Subject: Mrs S Turner Contact: turnes@malvernstjames.co.uk Twitter: @msj_foodnut

Why study this subject? This is an exciting new course which explores food related issues and food production skills. You will learn the science behind food from its nutritional value to how food needs to be stored, handled, prepared and cooked correctly to ensure safe consumption. You will develop a range of advanced food production skills so that you can work with a range of commodities and present them to restaurant standard. This will enable you to interpret recipes so that you can plan out how to prepare a menu. Although it is preferable to have completed GCSE Food and Nutrition, it is not essential.

What does the course involve? Lessons will be both theoretical and practical. Practical sessions will involve skill development and investigational work. You will gain an understanding of the science of food safety, nutrition and nutritional needs in a wide range of contexts. Questions will be posed to promote higher order thinking and response skills, for example, is any food “bad” for us? How does loss of mobility affect what I need to eat? Should we eat more in the winter? Can vitamin tablets replace fresh fruit? Throughout the course you will cook recipes to learn a variety of skills in order to produce quality food items to meet the needs of different individuals.

How is it assessed? Food Science and Nutrition is assessed using a combination of internal and external assessments. There is a 1½ hour examination (plus 15 minutes reading time) worth a total of 90 marks taken in the Summer Term. The examination is in three sections

which involves short answer, extended answer and case study related questions. You will also complete controlled assessment pieces completed over several lessons to show knowledge, understanding and skills learned throughout the unit and applying these by responding to information on different topics from the course. The Food Science and Nutrition Diploma is awarded as Distinction* (equivalent to A* at A Level,) Distinction (A,) Merit (C,) and Pass (E.)

Is it the right course for me? What skills will I need? Girls will need to have the ability to work independently, particularly during the second year. Girls will develop skills in making, analysing, experimenting, presenting, researching, and the use of ICT as well as learning a range of food preparation and presentation skills. With which other subjects does it work best? Food Science and Nutrition links well with the Sciences, Business and PE. What are the possible career pathways? Food Science, Food and Nutrition, Food Technology, Dietetics, Food and Consumer Science, Nutrition, Food Management, Exercise and Health, Consumer Marketing and Consumer Law, Food Technologist with large food stores, NPD, QC, Food Production Management, Quality Assurance Management, Food Retail Management, Marketing, Health Promotion, Dietician, and Teaching (with a PGCE).


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To pursue the A Level course successfully, students ideally need a minimum of: GCSE Food and Nutrition Grade 4


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French

EXAM BOARD: AQA

Head of Subject: Mrs B Wadman Contact: wadmab@malvernstjames.co.uk Twitter: @msj_french

Why study this subject?

What does the course involve?

A Level French will give you skills prized by employers and the chance to gain deep knowledge of one of the world’s most influential cultures along the way. Among the many benefits, this course is designed to help you to develop your linguistic skills as well as gaining an insight into various aspects of society where French is spoken; ranging from music and cinema to current issues and politics. This course offers an exciting opportunity to study a film and a literary text in more depth, allowing you to discover not only French film directors and authors, but also to develop your understanding of French society and history. A most valuable foundation for your university course.

The approach is a focus on how French speaking society has been shaped socially and culturally and how it continues to change. In the first year of the course, aspects of French speaking society: current trends such as the changing nature of family and the place of voluntary work are studied, together with the artistic culture in the Frenchspeaking world. Topics such as the contemporary francophone music and cinema will be covered. Lessons will also be dedicated to a study of a film.

Textbook AQA French. A Level. Year 1 and Year 2.

AS Paper 1

Written examination Listening, Reading and translation into English

1 hour 45 minutes

40% of AS Level

AS Paper 2

Written examination. One question on a set film. Translation into target language

1 hour 15 minutes

30% of AS Level

AS Paper 3

Oral examination` Discussion of two sub-themes with a discussion based on a stimulus card

12 - 14 minutes

30% of AS Level

A Level Paper 1

Listening and Reading. Translation into English and into French

2 hours 30 minutes

40% of A Level

A Level Paper 2

Written examination One question on a set book and one question on a set film

2 hours

30% of A Level

A Level Paper 3

Discussion of a sub-theme with a discussion based on a stimulus card. Presentation and discussion of individual research project

21 - 23 minutes

30% of A Level


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In the second year of the course, current issues in the French speaking world such as positive features of a diverse society are covered alongside aspects of political life; teenagers, the right to vote and political commitment, politics and immigration. Time will also be dedicated to study a book.

Is it the right course for me? What skills will I need?

With which other subjects does it work best? French lends itself well to being studied as part of a joint degree. You can study the language on its own, but you can also combine it with one or two other languages, or with a completely different subject.

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What are the possible career pathways? French, combined with a chosen field, will open the world to you and give you a choice of careers that will go way beyond specialist occupations, such as Interpreting, Translation and Language Teaching. You will have many opportunities in a wide range of career fields, such as International Business, Economics, Journalism, Government, Health Care, Foreign Office, diplomatic service and International Affairs.

Studying French in the Sixth Form has been not only stimulated my linguist skills but also broadened my views regarding French culture. the variety of subjects to research and discuss offered by the course, from nuclear energy to French film and literature, pushes each student to their full potential. Moreover, the knowledge of the French language and culture that students accumulate over the two years is very useful in the long-term. Regarding studying languages in general, I feel that it is an indispensable skill that will be appreciated in any career or public relations; having a few languages on your CV will definitely make you stand out!

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Learning French at A Level teaches you a range of transferrable skills such as reading, listening and translation. In addition you learn to communicate clearly, fluently and confidently both in oral and written form. The course will also give you the opportunity to research and critically evaluate texts and information to offer informed and logical arguments of your own. As a result, you will become more confident in exercising responsibility and initiative. Linguists are sought after by universities as they tend to be open-minded, analytical, organised and have great communication skills

To pursue the A Level course successfully, students ideally need a minimum of: GCSE French 7 Interest in French culture


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Geography

EXAM BOARD: Educas GCE A Level

Head of Subject: Mrs R Lewis-Hopkins Contact: lewisr@malvernstjames.co.uk Twitter: @msj_geography

Why study this subject?

How is it assessed?

If you want to learn about the complex, exciting and fascinating world that you live in, you need to study Geography. An A Level in Geography is recognised for its academic ‘robustness’ and, most importantly, it also helps young people into the world of work. In today’s rapidly changing world, few subjects can boast the same breadth, relevance and importance as Geography. Unless we fully understand the physical world and the challenges that it poses to societies in the 21st century, then we will be unable to find solutions. These challenges include migration, climate change, population growth, water and energy security and the causes and management of natural hazards.

This is taught as a full A Level only, which will be examined at the end of two years.

What does the course involve? The aim of the course is to develop an enthusiasm for and competence in Geography by using contemporary real-world examples and by learning new geographical skills and techniques. It draws on a wide and stimulating range of physical and human Geography topics, explores vital people-environment interactions, and encourages the development of fieldwork and enquiry. There is a really enjoyable and rewarding residential field trip to Snowdonia and an accompanying trip to Iceland. Topics studied on the course include tectonic hazards, weather and climate, the water and carbon cycle, cold environments, changing places, global governance (oceans and migration) and economic growth and challenge (India, China or Africa).

Component 1: Changing Landscapes and Changing Places – 20.5% – 1 hr 40 mins exam Component 2: Global Systems and Global Governance – 27.5% – 2 hr exam Component 3: Contemporary Themes – 32% 2 hr 15 mins exam Component 4: Independent Investigation Non-exam Assessment – 3000 to 4000 words – 20%

Is it the right course for me? What skills will I need? Anyone with an interest in Geography can study this subject at A Level, although good GCSE grades in English, Maths and the Sciences are recommended. Each year there are girls who choose to study A Level Geography without having completed GCSE. With enthusiasm, interest and motivation, they have gone on to achieve the highest grades. What you will learn from choosing to study A Level Geography is how to apply geographical knowledge, theory and skills to the world around you. In turn this will enable you to develop a critical understanding of the world’s people, places and environments in the 21st century. You will learn to develop both knowledge and understanding of contemporary geographical concepts, and will leave the course with many transferable skills that will not only help you in your progress to higher education, but also help you in a wide range of employment opportunities.


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With which other subjects does it work best? Geography goes well with all subjects and since the topics are wide-ranging, there are some overlaps with Economics, Politics, Biology, Chemistry and Physics. The subject is also frequently chosen alongside languages, maths and other humanities subjects, such as History. What are the possible career pathways? Studying geography opens up a wide range of careers. These will include careers in: environmental management, the earth sciences, law, meteorology, policy and government, society, the built environment, development and global issues, business, the physical environment, travel, tourism and leisure. Look at the Royal Geographical Society for more information.

STUDYING GEOGRAPHY HAS NOT ONLY ALLOWED ME TO UNDERSTAND THE PROCESSES THAT HAVE SHAPED TODAY’S WORLD, BUT HAS ALSO HELPED ME TO LEARN ABOUT THE KEY GEOGRAPHICAL ISSUES THAT WE FACE AND THE ROLE WE PLAY IN MANAGING OUR FUTURE.

To pursue the A Level course successfully, students ideally need a minimum of: Interest in Geography and enjoyment of fieldwork


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German

EXAM BOARD: AQA

Head of Subject: Mrs B Wadman Contact: wadmab@malvernstjames.co.uk

Why study this subject? German is an ideal subject to study if you envisage a career in international banking, teaching, the civil service, commerce, translating and interpreting, international relations, the tourist industry, leisure and tourism and even the media. Both Katya Adler the BBC’s Europe Editor, and the BBCs Political Editor Laura Kuenssberg speak German - Laura Kuenssberg is of German descent. Germany has a very high standard of living and is an ideal tourist destination being sandwiched in the heart of Europe. So German is perfect to study if you enjoy travelling or want to study a particular subject abroad.

What does the course involve? The approach is a focus on how German-speaking society has been shaped socially and culturally and how it continues to change.

In the first year of the course, aspects of the social context are studied, together with the artistic life of German speaking countries. Topics such as the changing state of the family and festivals and traditions will be covered. Lessons will also be dedicated to a study of a film. In the second year of the course further aspects of the social background are covered alongside the German political landscape both in relation to Germany itself and its place in Europe. The past and its role in shaping the present is viewed through the reunification and its consequences while the focus on young people and politics looks forward to shaping the future of German speaking countries. Time will also be allocated to study of a novel. Pupils will study Der Vorleser by Bernhard Schlink (1995) which focuses on German guilt in relation to its Nazi past and was filmed as The Reader in 2008 starring Kate Winslet and Ralph Fiennes.

AS Paper 1

Written examination Listening, Reading and translation into English

1 hour 45 minutes

40% of AS Level

AS Paper 2

Written examination. One question on a set film. Translation into target language

1 hour 15 minutes

30% of AS Level

AS Paper 3

Oral examination` Discussion of two sub-themes with a discussion based on a stimulus card

12-14 minutes

30% of AS Level.

A Level Paper 1

Listening and Reading. Translation into English and into German

2 hours 30 minutes

40% of A Level

A Level Paper 2

Written examination One question on a set book and one question on a set film

2 hours

30% of A Level

A Level Paper 3

Discussion of a sub-theme with a discussion based on a stimulus card. Presentation and discussion of individual research project

21 - 23 minutes

30% of A Level.


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Is it the right course for me? What skills will I need?

With which other subjects does it work best?

The A Level German course is an interesting and varied subject to study which will equip you with a broad range of knowledge and skills. You will develop your ability to interact effectively with German speakers in speech and in writing and enhance your capacity for critical and analytical thinking through the study of a film or a literary text. You will also acquire transferable skills such as autonomy, resourcefulness, creativity, cultural and cognitive flexibility that will enable you to proceed to further study at university or to employment.

To take full advantage of the opportunities in today’s global market, language skills are essential. Studying German in conjunction with another subject will give you many opportunities in a wide range of industries and will stand you in good stead when looking for a job.

Business, Economics, Export / Import, Finance, Law, Marketing, Journalism, Foreign Service, International Affairs, Teaching, Interpreting, Music, Art - the range of careers is almost limitless.

German – a distinctive and important language that increases your options in the near future, developing indispensable skills for employment in all sectors of the working world. Through this exemplary experience, one gains the ability to communicate as well as learning to appreciate the German culture and the language itself. Ja, es ist sehr gut! SIXTH FORM MENTOR

What are the possible career pathways?

To pursue the A Level course successfully, students ideally need a minimum of: GCSE German 7 Interest in German culture


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History

EXAM BOARD: OCR

Head of Subject: Mr A Fisher Contact: fishea@malvernstjames.co.uk Twitter: @msj_histpol

Why study this subject? If you are curious about the past, History is a compelling subject. History teaches us to question everything. History is a study of how complex, inventive, destructive, mad, marvellous, bad, good, strong, weak, clever, boring, lively, witty and dull human beings are. Historians are trained to look for prejudice in the evidence they study. Few subjects deal so well with sorting out what is useful, reliable and relevant. History teaches you to examine critically, argue logically and come to an analytical judgement - essential transferrable skills. As a rigorous academic discipline History is a highly respected A Level subject for entry to almost all degree courses. History equips you with skills and knowledge on how to structure answers to challenging questions, it teaches analysis and evaluation and it gives you the tools to think beyond and really form fact and evidence supported opinions. Studying History makes you change the way you think about things; without even realising it you end up becoming a person who is able to analyse and evaluate any question thrown your way.

What does the course involve? Y106 England 1485- 1547 & The Mid Tudor Crisis 15471558: Studying Henry VII & Henry VIII, and Gender, Economics, Rebellions, Religion and Politics from historical sources during Edward VI and Mary I’s reign Y216 The USA in the 19th Century: studying Westward Expansion (Native Americans, Slavery, Railways, Economics and Migration) and the American Civil War

Y318 Russia 1855-1964: Studying the Tsars, the Russian Revolution, Lenin, Stalin, Khrushchev with three depth studies. General topics include: Government, Economics and Society, War and Revolution, Empire and Satellite States Y100 An extended independent research essay on 19th Century America (your choice of topic).

How is it assessed? Y100 Coursework An essay of 3000-4000 words arising from independent study and research. Including Primary Sources and historical interpretations Y106 Examination 1 hour 30 minute paper A source analysis question on the Mid-Tudor crisis and a topic essay on the Early Tudors Y216 Examination 1 hour 1 short answer question and 1 essay Y318 Examination 2 hours 30 minutes 1 thematic essay and 1 evaluation of historical interpretations

Is it the right course for me? What skills will I need? A willingness to read critically, write and speak coherently. Independent thought and research are essential. All these skills are developed by the A Level.


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With which other subjects does it work best? Obvious complementary subjects are Politics, Geography, Ancient and Modern Languages, English Literature, and Economics. Every year girls study History to balance their other subjects such as the Sciences, Mathematics and applied A Levels. What are the possible career pathways? The Higher Education Statistical Agency places History in the top five disciplines in terms of successful employability within six months of graduation.

History offers a wide variety of skills that you wouldn’t perhaps expect actually helping boost all my other A levels. The subject and teaching is inspiring and so interesting

As History is about sifting evidence precisely and constructing arguments, there is a natural progression to a career in Law. A very high percentage of Law students will have studied History A Level. Moreover, it supports careers in Banking and Journalism by honing skills in research and analysis. History students are not simply destined to become history teachers! Not are they destined to work in a museum or library. There are so many careers out there that require the skills that a study of history can bring; law, medicine, business, finance, diplomacy, administration, accountancy, tourism, town planning, politics, journalism, research to name but a few.

To pursue the A Level course successfully, students ideally need a minimum of: GCSE English 6, GCSE History 6 Interest in History and willingness to read around


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Latin

EXAM BOARD: OCR

Head of Subject: Mrs V Atkinson Contact: atkinv@malvernstjames.co.uk Twitter: @msj_classics

Why study this subject?

Assessment Structure

Studying Latin is stimulating and enjoyable. You develop language skills gained at GCSE and you will be able to appreciate a range of literature in the original language. You gain highly respected and transferable analytical and evaluative skills and acquire the confidence to approach language sensitively and critically. You develop the vocabulary to appreciate literature. A Level Latin can lead to a degree in Classics, which covers a range of disciplines such as Literature, History, Art, Philosophy, Archaeology, Linguistics, as well as Latin and Greek.

AS / Year 12 Two papers

What does the course involve? You will extend your Latin vocabulary and develop greater sensitivity to the Latin language as you tackle passages for translation and comprehension. There is a defined vocabulary list at AS Level. You will demonstrate knowledge, understanding and an appreciation of Latin texts within their literary, social and historical contexts. Set texts are prepared thoroughly in lessons, literary techniques are examined and personal responses to Latin literature are produced. Find out why Barack Obama is called the new Cicero and enjoy Ovid’s flippant approach to love poetry.

How is it assessed? Latin involves studying language and literature. In addition to the unprepared translation papers, students study two authors at AS Level or four authors for the A Level course.

01 Language (80 marks) 1 hour 30 mins 50% of AS Unprepared translation defined vocabulary list 02 Literature (80 marks) 2 hours 50% of AS One prose author and one verse author A2 / Year 13 Four papers 01 Unseen Translation (100 marks) 1 hour 45 mins 33% of A Level 02 Comprehension (50 marks) 1 hour 15 minutes 17% of A Level 03 Prose Literature (75 marks) 2 hours 25% of A Level Two prose authors 04 Verse Literature (75 marks) 2 hours 25% of A Level Two Verse authors


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Is it the right course for me?

With which other subjects does it work best?

What skills will I need?

The skills gained in Latin will complement English, Drama or Modern Languages. Some girls have taken Latin to provide a contrast to Sciences and Mathematics.

You need to have demonstrated good language skills at GCSE and be able to translate reasonably confidently. You need to have an interest in languages and be willing to think logically and analytically. There is little new grammar to learn so you will be consolidating and building upon the grammar you learned for GCSE. You need to be prepared to learn vocabulary. You should also have enjoyed studying the GCSE set texts, since you will be doing more of the same. Greater understanding and fluency will enable you to enjoy the texts more readily. You need to be interested in the ancient world and be willing to express your opinions and listen to others.

What are the possible career pathways? Classics graduates are highly employable and are appreciated for their intellectual flexibility. They go on to a range of diverse and stimulating careers from Law, Banking and the Civil Service to Journalism and Marketing. Employers value the transferable analytical skills and facility with language.

To pursue the A Level course successfully, students ideally need a minimum of: GCSE Latin 7


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Mathematics

EXAM BOARD: Edexcel

Head of Subject: Mrs E Bell Contact: bellee@malvernstjames.co.uk Twitter: @msj_maths

We offer three separate courses in Mathematics: •

A Level Mathematics

•

AS Level Mathematics (over 2 years)

•

A Level Mathematics with Further Mathematics (with two A Levels)

Occasionally girls elect to study A Level Mathematics with AS Further Mathematics (worth 1.5 A Levels)

Why study this subject? Advanced Mathematics and Further Mathematics are sought-after qualifications for entry to a wide variety of full-time courses in Higher Education. There are also many areas of employment that see A Level Mathematics as an important qualification and it is often a requirement for the vocational qualifications related to these areas. Mathematics demonstrates the ability to think clearly and logically and uses the skills of problem solving and devising strategies. If you enjoy the challenge of analysing a question, deciding what techniques to employ and then applying these to a problem, then you have the right background for Mathematics. In its own right, Mathematics is challenging and fun!

What do the courses involve? All three courses contain pure Mathematics, Statistics and Mechanics. When studying Pure Mathematics, you will be extending your knowledge of such topics as algebra, trigonometry and differentiation, as well as studying new topics such as integration. Statistics is about analysing and summarising numerical data in order to arrive at conclusions about it. You will extend the range of probability problems that you started for GCSE, by using new mathematical techniques. In Mechanics you will learn how to describe the motion of objects and how they respond to forces acting upon them, from cars in the street to satellites revolving around a planet. You will learn about mathematical modelling, that is, turning a complicated physical problem into a simpler one which can be analysed and solved using mathematical methods.

Further Mathematicians will also study Decision which examines how computer algorithms work and how to find optimal solutions to real life problems. This is an area of Mathematics you will not have studied before, which relates well to computer science and business.

How is it assessed? A Level Mathematics (sat at the end of Y13): Papers 1 & 2 (2 hours each) Pure Mathematics Paper 3 (2 hours) Statistics and Mechanics AS Level Mathematics (sat at the end of Year 13): Paper 1 (2 hours) Pure Mathematics Paper 2 (1 hour 15 mins) Statistics and Mechanics A Level Mathematics with Further Mathematics: As A level Mathematics plus Papers 1 & 2 Further Core Mathematics and Papers 3 & 4 choosing two of Further Mechanics, Further Pure and Decision Mathematics.

Is it the right course for me? What skills will I need? You should be aiming for Grade 8 or 9 at GCSE Mathematics. If you have the opportunity to study additional qualifications such as GCSE Further Mathematics, this is beneficial but such study is not essential. Strong algebra skills are a must, as is mastery of trigonometry. With which other subjects does it work best? Traditionally, Mathematics has often been paired with Sciences and Economics, but at MSJ it can be combined with any other subject. There are no boundaries to the choice of other subjects to study with Mathematics.


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What are the possible career pathways? Higher Education courses or careers include Sciences, Economics, Business Studies, Medicine, Architecture, Geography, Sociology, Psychology, Engineering, Astronomy, Accountancy, Teaching, Environmental Studies, Computing, Information and Communication Technology and many more!

“

BENZ

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Maths is everywhere. The mathematical mind-set is a logical one and helps you understand the world and how everything works. Mathematics also supports my other A level subjects. I am studying both Mathematics and Further Mathematics which are essential for entrance to my chosen course at top ranking universities.

To pursue the A Level course successfully, students ideally need a minimum of: GCSE Mathematics Grade 7 (AS Mathematics), Grade 8 (A level Mathematics) or Grade 9 (Further Mathematics)


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Music

EXAM BOARD: Eduqas

Head of Subject: Mrs L Miller Contact: millel@malvernstjames.co.uk Twitter: @MSJ_ExpressiveArts

Why study this subject?

How is it assessed?

Music is uniquely varied and challenging at A Level, meaning it requires many different learning styles from analytical to creative. All musical skills are transferable to other subjects and beyond the world of sixth form study. Performing music teaches preparation, concentration and confidence in front of an audience. Composition trains the musician to match creative ideas with the discipline of theoretical study. Analysis develops the skills to understand, describe and evaluate the music of the Classics, of stage and screen, and the world of popular entertainment. All these skills are widely recognised and desired by university courses.

Appraising is examined through a listening and written paper lasting 2 hours and 15 minutes. Performance is externally marked by a visiting examiner to the School. Composition is also externally marked and the final pieces are completed over a number of lessons to include a log of the composition process.

What does the course involve? The Music A Level covers three key areas of the subject: Appraising, Performance and Composition. The Appraising Examination (40%) is divided into sections focusing on three different areas of study: The Western Classical Tradition, Musical Theatre and Into the Twentieth Century. Music studied includes symphonies by Haydn and Mendelssohn, a range of musical theatre pieces by composers such as Richard Rodgers and Stephen Sondheim and music by the early Twentieth Century composers Debussy and Poulenc. Question styles include set work analysis with a score, extended responses on a wider context, responding to unprepared extracts of music with and without a score and comparison questions. Students may choose the weighting of Performance and Composition depending on their personal strengths with either being worth 35% or 25% of the final mark. In Performance, a programme of music should be presented lasting 6-8 minutes or 10-12 minutes, depending on the weighting. For composition, students should compose two pieces lasting a total of 4-6 minutes or three pieces totalling 8-10 minutes again depending on their choice of pathway. One of these compositions is to a brief set by the examination board, the other(s) being free choice.

Is it the right course for me? What skills will I need? Music A Level is suitable for performers of a minimum Grade 5/6 standard and above. Most candidates have already completed Music GCSE but some have not. In the latter case, good notation skills and some knowledge of theory can suffice. You should have a love of music and enjoy listening to and performing different styles. As an A Level Musician you will be required to listen more widely around the topic in your own time. Playing or singing in ensembles in and out of school will help develop your knowledge of different composers’ styles and is important for your performing skills. You will need to read treble and bass clef notation, or at least be able to work it out. We have the use of Sibelius notation programme to help us compose but you also learn to write four-part Harmony by hand.


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Learning is more personal and teachers are willing to spend extra time with you if you need help

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With which other subjects does it work best?

What are the possible career pathways?

Music combines well with both Arts and Sciences. There is no approved combination but you can take Music with Humanities such as English and History, with Languages, or with Science and Maths. It is both a technical and an expressive subject. Music is the perfect complement to any other A Level selection.

It is a common misconception that by taking A Level Music you limit yourself to a degree choice and career within the subject area. In actual fact, Music opens up a wide range of career opportunities. Universities welcome applicants for all courses who have studied Music at A Level as it shows you to have a wide-ranging skill set as well as the ability to contribute to the wider life of the university. There is a wealth of single honours Music courses to choose from but Music is also offered as a joint honours course, with Maths or Physics for example, in a number of universities. Students who have studied A Level Music have gone on to degrees in not only Music but also Medicine, Biochemistry, Languages, Business Studies and History.

To pursue the A Level course successfully, students ideally need a minimum of: GCSE Music Grade 7


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Physics

EXAM BOARD: AQA (A Level Physics 7408)

Head of Subject: Mr P Forsyth Contact: forsyp@malvernstjames.co.uk

Why study this subject? Physics teaches us a method of systematic thinking and the theories necessary to allow us to understand how the things we rely on actually work. After all, without Physics there would be no light bulbs, mobile phones, digital cameras, cars, planes, solar panels, high speed fibre optic broadband, computer games, radiotherapy, CT and MRI scanners, TVs... get the picture? With Physics you could help develop the next breakthrough in medical techniques, design the highest building in the world, or solve the world’s energy problems.

What does the course involve? The course develops familiar subject matter studied at GCSE level, such as Waves and Electricity, but also focuses on new and exciting topics, including Particle Physics. The Option topic permits a further area of Physics to be studied in greater depth. A variety of teaching styles and techniques are employed to bring the subject alive, and to emphasise the relevance of Physics in today’s technological society, a variety of contexts and applications are presented. Practical skills are developed by carrying out experimental and investigative activities, some of which require the use of IT to capture and process data. Not only do these activities help prepare you for Paper 3, but practical skills are also valued highly by universities if applying for Science courses.

How is it assessed? Physics is offered as a two year full A Level course. Over the course of the two years you will complete 12 compulsory experiments, where you will be assessed on your practical skills and the ability to carry out practical work in a safe and scientific manner.

Physics is a hands-on subject and throughout the two years you will study the following topics: • • • • • • • • •

Measurements and their errors Particles and Radiation Waves Mechanics and materials Electricity Further Mechanics and thermal Physics Fields and their consequences Nuclear Physics Option topic

At the end of the two years you will sit three written papers, each two hours long, as described below: Paper 1: Sections 1-5 and 6.1 (34% of A Level) Paper 2: Sections 6.2, 7 and 8 (34% of A Level) Paper 3: Practical skills and data analysis and Section 9 (32% of A Level)

Is it the right course for me? What skills will I need? Perhaps the greatest skill a physics student needs to develop is a sense of wonder about how things work. Mathematics is undoubtedly an important tool in Physics, as is the ability to communicate effectively using appropriate scientific language. Physics is a practical subject, so you should enjoy undertaking experimental investigations and be confident in the use of laboratory equipment. With which other subjects does it work best? A Level Physics goes well with Mathematics and other Sciences, as well as Computing, Design & Technology, Economics or Geography. With which other subjects does it work best? A Level Physics goes well with Mathematics and other Sciences, as well as Computing, Design & Technology, Economics or Geography.


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SIXTH FORMER

I love Physics because it is all encompassing. It’s the study of fundamental forces and particles which drive physical processes ..... It has enabled me to approach problems logically and develop my confidence when tackling challenging concepts and ideas ..... Physics allows us to view the world through new perspectives!

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What are the possible career pathways? A Level Physics covers essential topics for progression to university courses in Physics and other subjects in which Physics is a key component. It is highly regarded by universities as a test of problem-solving ability and logical thought and as such, is a very good facilitating subject. Careers are wide-ranging and numerous and include: Research and Development, Engineering, Architecture, Medical Physics, Electronics, Communications, Computing, Space Science, Meteorology, the Energy Sector, Defence, Teaching, Law and Finance. Additional information on career possibilities may be found at www.iop.org.

To pursue the A Level course successfully, students ideally need a minimum of: GCSE Physics 7


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Politics

EXAM BOARD: Edexcel

Head of Subject: Mrs R Huntley Contact: huntlr@malvernstjames.co.uk Twitter: @msj_politics

Why study this subject? In Politics, the political landscape changes every day, with new examples appearing constantly in the media. Picking which examples to use in your answers is really exciting as something that has happened on the day you are taking your A Level exams can appear in your response! It is about the factors shaping both the British and American systems. You will also be studying Political Philosophy which gives you a real breadth of understanding. It helps in the development of discussion and debating skills and encourages you to think beyond the constraints of a textbook. One main strength though, is that it will give you the knowledge and transferable skills to evaluate and understand some of the most important forces shaping the future of us all.

What does the course involve?

Component 2: UK Government • The constitution • Parliament • Prime Minister and executive • Relationships between the branches • Political Philosophy: Nationalism Component 3: USA and Comparative Politics • How to elect a President • Democratic and Republican Parties and third parties • How much power does the US President, Congress and Supreme Court have? • The US Constitution and federalism, US Congress, US presidency, US Supreme Court • Civil rights, democracy and participation, comparative theories

How is it assessed?

Students will be required to take detailed notes from power points and textbooks, watch news programmes, analyse texts, discuss, do presentations, as well as writing responses from short paragraphs to longer essays.

A Level Each examination is 2 hours long and a 1/3 of the marks

Component 1 UK Politics and Ideologies • Concepts such as democracy and Participation. Why do some groups have more say than others? • Political parties: Policies and Ideas. What does Jeremy Corbyn actually believe and how divided are the Conservatives • Elections. Is First Past the Post the best system or should we adopt PR • The role of the Media • Political Philosophy: Conservatism, Socialism and Liberalism

Component 2: UK Government: as above Ideologies: an essay on Nationalism

Component 1: UK Politics: an essay based on a source and an essay question. Ideologies: an essay on Socialism, Conservatism or Liberalism

Component 3: Section A • One 12-mark question from a choice of two Section B • One compulsory 12-mark question focused on comparative theories Section C • Two 30-mark questions from a choice of three


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Is it the right course for me? What skills will I need? A good standard of English is important, but the main qualification is curiosity about how society works, and an interest in current affairs and Philosophy. To get the most out of the subject you will need to keep up to date with current events through newspapers, TV, radio and the internet. Students must learn to question the accuracy of all the information they are presented with whether in class, Parliament or in any form of media.

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What are the possible career pathways? Well regarded by all universities, Politics A Level can lead directly to single subject degrees in Politics or International Relations, and to a wide variety of combined courses, such as PPE. Old girls currently studying Politics and International relations are aiming for Law, Banking and Business and working in International Agencies. There is a considerable range of options open to graduates, including the Media and TV and newspaper journalism, Banking, the Law, the home and diplomatic civil service, local government, business management and political research.

With which other subjects does it work best? Politics combines particularly well with Economics, Business Studies, English, History, Geography, MFL, RS, but equally complements most subjects because of its immediate relevance and focus on current affairs. To pursue the A Level course successfully, students ideally need a minimum of: GCSE English 6 Interest in politics and a willingness to read around


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Psychology

EXAM BOARD: AQA

Head of Subject: Mrs L Cooper Contact: coopel@malvernstjames.co.uk

Why study this subject?

How is it assessed?

Psychology is the scientific study of the mind and human behaviour. It is a fascinating and popular subject, and studying Psychology will help you develop an understanding of how we function as individuals and why people and groups sometimes behave in unusual and unpredictable ways. Studying Psychology will enable you to develop skills such as critical thinking, creative writing, practical research skills and an inquiring mind.

A Level is assessed through 3 papers Each paper is worth a third of the final mark Each paper is 2 hours

What does the course involve? The course is diverse and covers several topics in the context of real life experiences. These include how your memory works, how your personality develops through early childhood experiences, how culture and society influence people’s behaviour and how psychological abnormalities are defined and treated. You will learn about the different approaches within Psychology and how these approaches view behaviour differently. During the A Level a number of these areas will be explored in more depth and further topics such as relationships, schizophrenia and forensic psychology are investigated. Robust research is crucial to all of these areas, therefore you will study the different techniques and methods that Psychologists use to conduct scientific research into human behaviour.

Paper One: Introductory Topics in Psychology Topics: Social Influence, Memory, Attachment and Psychopathology Paper Two: Psychology in Context Topics: Approaches in Psychology, Biopsychology and Research Methods Paper Three: Issues and Options in Psychology Topics: Issues and Debates, Relationships, Schizophrenia and Forensic Psychology

Is it the right course for me? What skills will I need? You should enjoy debating and discussing the merits of different theories and research, be prepared to conduct small scale experiments to develop your understanding of research, and be willing to participate in group projects and presentations. The course and the examinations include some mathematical elements and some extended pieces of writing. With which other subjects does it work best? Psychology complements many other subjects in the Sciences, Humanities and Arts. What are the possible career pathways? Psychology students develop numerous transferable skills that complement a wide range of subjects at university and in their transition to employment. Psychology is a versatile subject and will give you skills that are compatible in many fields of employment.


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Psychology is so interesting because we learn to broaden our mind about current issues in society and helps me realise why I feel like I feel SIXTH FORMER

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To pursue the A Level course successfully, students ideally need a minimum of: GCSE Maths 5, GCSE English 5 or 4/5 GCSE any Humanities 5, GCSE Biology or Dual Science 5


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Religious Studies

EXAM BOARD: OCR

Head of Subject: Mrs V Collett Contact: collev@malvernstjames.co.uk

Why study this subject?

Is it the right course for me?

You will explore questions such as, ‘Do I have an immortal soul?’ and ‘Is an act morally right if it produces the greatest good for the greatest number?’ RS enhances the ability to think critically. Studying RS at A Level helps to develop a greater understanding of religious beliefs, the study of ethics and philosophical theories.

What skills will I need?

What does the course involve? Students will study Philosophy of Religion, Religion and Ethics, and Developments in Religious Thought (Christianity). They will develop an enquiring, critical and reflective approach to Religious Studies, relating key themes to the wider world. It encourages students to consider and develop their own values, opinions and attitudes, in the light of their studies.

How is it assessed? It is a linear 2 year course of study. Students will receive an A Level qualification. It is assessed by written examinations: • Philosophy of Religion: 120 marks, 2 hour written paper, 33.3% of total course. Answer three out of a choice of four questions • Ethics: 120 marks, 2 hour written paper, 33.3% of total course. Answer three out of a choice of four questions • Developments in Religious Thought (Christianity): 120 marks, 2 hour written paper, 33.3% of total course. Answer three out of a choice of four questions • All are 60% evaluation and 40% knowledge

You will need to adopt an analytical, evaluative approach. Being open-minded is a prerequisite. You should welcome intellectual rigour, be able to make clear and concise notes, have the ability to assimilate complex information, be an independent learner and also be a keen contributor to discussion. In addition, the ability to write logical, coherent and structured essays is essential. With which other subjects does it work best? Religious Studies works well with a diverse range of other subjects. In addition to Geography, History, English Literature, Classics or Modern Foreign Languages, possible choices can include Biology, Physics or Chemistry. Other options could be Politics, Latin, Mathematics or Psychology. What are the possible career pathways? Possible career pathways include Broadcasting, Law, Business Management, Politics, Nursing, Teaching, Academic Research and Journalism.


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SIXTH FORMER

Religious Studies hasn’t just enriched my learning, it has also helped to improve how I structure my arguments and essays in my other subjects

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To pursue the A Level course successfully, students ideally need a minimum of: GCSE Religious Studies Grade 6


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Spanish

EXAM BOARD: AQA

Head of Subject: Mrs B Wadman Contact: wadmab@malvernstjames.co.uk Twitter: @msj_spanish

Why study this subject?

What does the course involve?

Enhance your employability profile by learning a global language which has more than 400 million native speakers worldwide. Develop an advanced level of knowledge and understanding of the Spanish language by studying it in the context of Hispanic countries and issues and influences which have shaped them. Consider modern day issues that face the Hispanic society such as modern and traditional values, equal rights and immigration. Discover the rich and fascinating artistic culture in the Hispanic world by studying Spain’s most controversial film maker, Pedro Almodóvar. Listen to Hispanic music from around the world and access some of the most striking literature of modern times by reading Spanish and Latin American authors.

The approach is a focus on how Spanish-speaking society has been shaped socially and culturally and how it continues to change. In the first year of the course, aspects of the Hispanic society are studied, together with the artistic culture in the Hispanic world. A film will also be studied. In the second year of the course further aspects of the social background are covered, this time focusing on matters associated with multiculturalism. Students also study aspects of the political landscape including the future of political life in the Hispanic world by focusing on young people and their political engagement. Time will also be dedicated to study a book.

AS Paper 1

Written examination Listening, Reading and translation into English

1 hour 45 minutes

40% of AS Level

AS Paper 2

Written examination. One question on a set film. Translation into target language

1 hour 15 minutes

30% of AS Level

AS Paper 3

Oral examination` Discussion of two sub-themes with a discussion based on a stimulus card

12-14 minutes

30% of AS Level.

A Level Paper 1

Listening and Reading. Translation into English and into Spanish

2 hours 30 minutes

40% of A Level

A Level Paper 2

Written examination One question on a set book and one question on a set film

2 hours

30% of A Level

A Level Paper 3

Discussion of a sub-theme with a discussion based on a stimulus card. Presentation and discussion of individual research project

21 - 23 minutes

30% of A Level.


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Is it the right course for me?

What are the possible career pathways?

What skills will I need?

Studying Spanish at university not only increases your chances of employment in the UK and abroad, but also offers a wide range of exciting careers such as Foreign Exchange Trader, Foreign Correspondent, Translator / Interpreter, International Banking, National Security, Foreign Diplomatic Service Officer, International Development Worker, Court Interpreter, Medicine abroad and many more.

Learning Spanish teaches a range of transferrable skills such as reading, listening, speaking and translation. In addition you develop the ability to write critically and analytically about a film and a literary text. As part of the Speaking test at A Level conducting research on a subject of personal interest, relating to the country or countries where Spanish is spoken, will enable you to develop research skills in the language of study. There is no doubt that studying Spanish provides a most valuable foundation for a variety of university courses.

Textbook AQA Spanish A Level Year 1 and Year 2.

With which other subjects does it work best? Those who choose Spanish at A Level are able to study at some of the best universities in the UK and follow single or joint honours degrees in Spanish and another language, or they can combine Spanish with a range of other courses. Combined courses include Law with a European Legal System, Engineering with European Studies, Spanish and Politics, Spanish and International Management, Spanish and Criminology.

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SIXTH FORMER

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Spanish has always been very special to me. I wanted to continue and expand my passion for this language after my studies at GCSE because I fell in love with the language and the culture after I visited the Dominican Republic. It is very important for my career in the future and I believe that it is very useful to study it at an advanced level especially for my career, not only that, but it is also beneficial to understand not only the language but its culture and history. This is why I believe that it is so amazing to study Spanish because it gives you a new view about the vibrant culture and the charming Spanish language.

To pursue the A Level course successfully, students ideally need a minimum of: GCSE Spanish Grade 7 Interest in Spanish culture


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BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Sport (Performance and Excellence) Head of Subject: Miss R Smith Contact: smithr@malvernstjames.co.uk Twitter: MSJ_PE

EXAM BOARD: Edexcel

Why study this subject?

Is it the right course for me?

The sport and leisure industry is very diverse. This course is designed to enable students to learn about the industry with the emphasis on practical, work-related projects and assignments. The principles of sport learnt on the course underpin many aspects of professional life and reflect the enormous breadth and depth of the subject from principles of anatomy and physiology to talent identification and development, organising sports events and fitness testing. It offers girls the opportunity to gain specific knowledge, understanding and skills that are relevant to a potential subject or area of work, or as an entry point to university or other specialist courses.

What skills will I need?

What does the course involve? All candidates follow nine compulsory units of study and then choose four optional units from a wide variety of sport-related topics. The specification is structured to give students maximum flexibility when selecting these so that any specific interests or career aspirations can be reflected in your choices. There is the opportunity to include practical performance in either a team or individual sport. The course is practically based and involves regular sports participation in a variety of units, for example, Sports Coaching, Fitness Testing, Fitness Training and Programming. However, the practical elements of the course will be supported by class tasks, logbooks and assignments to demonstrate your understanding of the topics.

How is it assessed? This two year course is equivalent to two A Levels but can be claimed as one A Level after one year of study if required. There is no examination and performance is assessed through a portfolio of coursework assignments and projects. These can be in many forms, such as PowerPoint presentations, log books, video diaries, reports, leaflets and booklets.

Knowledge of sport Interest in sport Literacy skills Good communication skills ICT skills Enthusiasm Teamwork With which other subjects does it work best? The BTEC Diploma works well alongside subjects such as Biology, Food and Nutrition, Psychology, Business Studies, Sociology and Geography. What are the possible career pathways? This subject opens up a number of different careers in health and leisure, including: Sports Science, Coaching, Health and Fitness Instruction, Teaching, Marketing, Leisure Management, Sports Therapy and Physiotherapy.

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SIXTH FORMER

I really enjoy doing BTEC Sport because there’s a lot less pressure on you because you don’t have exams. You can get your work done as you go along


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BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma in Sport (Performance and Excellence) Head of Subject: Miss R Smith Contact: smithr@malvernstjames.co.uk Twitter: MSJ_PE

EXAM BOARD: Edexcel

Why study this subject?

Is it the right course for me?

The sport and leisure industry is very diverse. This course is designed to enable students to learn about the industry with the emphasis on practical, work-related projects and assignments. The principles of sport learnt on the course underpin many aspects of professional life and reflect the enormous breadth and depth of the subject from principles of anatomy and physiology to talent identification and development, organising sports events and fitness testing. It offers girls the opportunity to gain specific knowledge, understanding and skills that are relevant to a potential subject or area of work, or as an entry point to university or other specialist courses.

What skills will I need?

What does the course involve? All candidates follow four compulsory units of study and then choose three optional units from a wide variety of sport-related topics. The specification is structured to give students maximum flexibility when selecting these so that any specific interests or career aspirations can be reflected in your choices. There is the opportunity to include practical performance in either a team or individual sport. The course is practically based and involves regular sports participation in a variety of units, for example Sports Coaching, Fitness Testing, Fitness Training and Programming. However, the practical elements of the course will be supported by class tasks, logbooks and assignments to demonstrate your understanding of the topics.

How is it assessed? This two year course is equivalent to one A Level but can be claimed as an AS Level after one year of study if required. There is no examination and performance is assessed through a portfolio of coursework assignments and projects. These can be in many forms, such as PowerPoint presentations, log books, video diaries, reports, leaflets and booklets.

Knowledge of sport Interest in sport Literacy skills Good communication skills ICT skills Enthusiasm Teamwork With which other subjects does it work best? The BTEC Diploma works well alongside subjects such as Biology, Food and Nutrition, Psychology, Business Studies, Sociology and Geography. What are the possible career pathways? This subject opens up a number of different careers in health and leisure, including: Sports Science, Coaching, Health and Fitness Instruction, Teaching, Marketing, Leisure Management, Sports Therapy, and Physiotherapy.

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SIXTH FORMER

I chose BTEC in Sport because it’s ALL coursework and also it’s very practical; there are so many different units we study so there is something for everyone. I particularly like Nutrition because I am really interested in how different foods can affect your performance

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Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) Head of Subject: Dr R Jones Contact: library@malvernstjames.co.uk

EXAM BOARD: AQA

Why study this subject? EPQ is a fantastic opportunity to expand and broaden your knowledge in an area or subject that interests you. Alongside deepening your understanding of your chosen focus, you also develop invaluable transferable,planning, research, analysis and project management skills. The EPQ allows you to experience real university-style independent learning and develops personal responsibility and motivation amongst students. The EPQ allows you to pursue your interest in areas outside of your A-level choices and can take the form of an essay or a more practical based product plus report. You are in charge of the direction and development of your project and are supported throughout by individual guidance from your supervisor. EPQ is equivalent to 50% of an A level and worth more UCAS points than an AS. It is highly regarded by many universities and can result in a lower offer or place a student in a more competitive position. Your choice of project enables you demonstrate skills and subject focus.

What does the course involve? You will have 30 hours of teaching to support the development of your research and project management skills to enable you to access, analyse and complete your project within an agreed timescale. Academic research and contextualising your project is an important aspect of the EPQ and you will be expected to engage with a range of different resources, including primary research and to gather evidence, where appropriate. You will need to spend at least 60 hours of independent work on your project. The Qualification also requires you to complete a production log where you include details of the processes you have undertaken and justify the decisions you have made throughout your project, including a self-evaluation of your strengths and weaknesses. Finally, you deliver a Presentation which provides you with an opportunity to discuss your findings and analyse your learning journey.

The product of a Project can be in one of three formats: A research-based 5,000 word extended essay A production* (for example a, charity event, sporting event or drama event) An artefact* (for example, a piece of art, a computer game, a realised design, a creative piece, an investigative documentary or podcast) *supported by a written report You will decide the precise format and scope of your project with your supervisor.

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How is it assessed?

With which other subjects does it work best?

EPQ has an holistic assessment process where all the elements combine to give you your final mark You are assessed on the production of your Project, your Production Log and your presentation. Marks are awarded for your progress and development as well as the standard to which you complete your product. AO1 Manage the project A02 Use resources A03 Develop & realise A04 Review

An EPQ works well with any combination of subjects as the focus of the project is individual and unique and is designed to extend any area of study outside of the taught curriculum. The EPQ provides you with a set of skills that are vital for higher study and also valuable in the workplace.

Is it the right course for me? What skills will I need? Girls taking an EPQ need to be curious, motivated and determined to succeed as each project requires a high level of independence, however this is balanced with the satisfaction of developing new knowledge and skills in an area that has been carefully chosen by each individual.


Call 01684 584624 admissions@malvernstjames.co.uk www.malvernstjames.co.uk Malvern St James, 15 Avenue Road, Great Malvern, Worcestershire WR14 3BA

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Malvern St James Girls' School Sixth Form Subject Booklet 2019-2021  

The guide to Sixth Form studies at Malvern St James Girls' School.

Malvern St James Girls' School Sixth Form Subject Booklet 2019-2021  

The guide to Sixth Form studies at Malvern St James Girls' School.