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A LEVEL COURSE CHOICES 2020-2022


R E I G AT E G R A M M A R S C H O O L

A LEVEL SUBJECTS AT RGS Art and Design

History

Biology

Latin

Chemistry

Maths

Classical Civilisation

Music

Computer Science

Music Technology

Drama and Theatre

Photography

Economics

Physical Education

English Literature

Physics

French

Politics

Further Maths

Product Design

Geography

Psychology

German

Spanish

Greek

Theology and Philosophy


A L E V EL CO U R S E CH O I CE S 2 02 0 -2 02 2

HOW MANY A LEVELS SHOULD I STUDY? You will have heard that A Levels have undergone nationwide curriculum reform. This means that when you start your A Level course, you will study a linear course for two years before taking all of your A Level external examinations at the end of the Upper Sixth Form (Year 13). So, when choosing your A Level options, think of them all as two-year courses. There will be no external examinations at the end of the Lower Sixth Form (Year 12), although you will sit internal examinations in February and June. Our recommendation is that most students should study three A Level subjects. This allows you to focus your time and energy on developing the skills and knowledge to be successful in these subjects from the outset. The exception to this will be those who choose to do four A Levels over two years, because they have a specific degree and professional pathway in mind, such as Engineering or Natural Sciences at specific universities such as Oxford or Cambridge. In most cases, Further Maths is done as a fourth A Level. However, nearly all university offers are based on three A Levels and so a three A Level programme will be best for most students. For example, we would anticipate that the majority of successful Oxbridge

applicants will be studying three A Levels from the start rather than four. It will be the quality of grades achieved that will matter, not the quantity. Universities are looking for top grades in your chosen three subjects so your choice of subjects should be based on your own interests and aspirations with guidance from your teachers and careers team. Each year some students swap courses in the first few weeks of the Lower Sixth Form. In addition, it may be that a few of you start with four A Levels and reduce to three in the first few weeks of study. This is an exciting time and an opportunity to start to focus on the subjects you love and your future career direction. Take time to seek the advice you need and use the resources available to research university courses or careers information. Teachers are there to support you with your decision making, helping you choose subjects likely to bring the greatest success and these are usually the ones you enjoy the most!

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R E I G AT E G R A M M A R S C H O O L

HOW SHOULD I CHOOSE MY A LEVELS? How do I choose the right courses for me? Because of the range of subjects on offer the choice is not always easy; it requires research and thought. Advice should be obtained through discussion with subject and pastoral staff. The following factors should be considered: Interest and enjoyment: Choose subjects that interest you and that you enjoy. You will do better in these subjects and achieve higher grades at A Level. University requirements: Some university courses are vocational (especially in the sciences), so if you are set on a particular course this may largely dictate your choice of A Levels. However many degree courses have no specific subject requirements and so allow the choice of any combination. At this stage though it is wise to leave university options as open as possible so “tried and trusted� combinations are strongly advised. Careers: As with university requirements, certain career aspirations will determine the choice of both the subjects to be studied at A Level and the degree course. It is important to obtain early and good advice in these cases.

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A L E V EL CO U R S E CH O I CE S 2 02 0 -2 02 2

HENRY SMITH DIPLOMA The Henry Smith Diploma brings together all the elements of what we believe is an excellent all-round education. It is hoped that Sixth Form students will leave RGS with outstanding A Level results, but will also have been enriched and fulfilled by various extra-curricular and co-curricular opportunities. These are designed specifically to develop personal characteristics which will set students onto a path for a happy and successful life. Students will complete their own learning journey as they personally construct a pathway, choosing what they are interested in and learning about themselves at the same time.

DEVELOPING ADVENTUROUS MINDS

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HENRY SMITH STUDIES What are Henry Smith Studies? Henry Smith Studies is a bespoke and flexible curriculum, tailored to students’ academic curiosities and abilities. The Henry Smith Studies programme includes a range of choices and options including the Henry Smith Project, EPQ, the Qufaro Cyber EPQ and the CISI Fundamentals of Financial Services qualification. At its heart, Henry Smith Studies is an outstanding opportunity for students to develop their independent academic skills and engage with academic enrichment in a way that best suits them. Henry Smith Studies also includes a bespoke UCAS module that introduces students to the application process with guidance from key staff. Students will attend Henry Smith Studies during a timetabled double lesson once a week.

How will Henry Smith Studies help Lower Sixth Form students? The primary purpose of Henry Smith Studies is to encourage all students to broaden their academic horizons beyond the confines of A Level study. They will engage in new, inter-disciplinary topics and develop undergraduate level skills in preparation for university applications and subsequent independent study at a higher level. In an era of post A Level reform, Henry Smith Studies will also give students tangible and credible evidence of independent study interest, intellectual ambition and undergraduate quality skills, boosting the quality of their university applications. However, the main purpose of Henry Smith Studies is to encourage students to engage in intellectual debate, discourse and research in areas of academic life which pique their interest. It is a great opportunity for all students to tackle an area of study because they are enthused by it and have something to say about it, not because it is on an A Level curriculum.

What will students complete? Over the course of the year, students will complete one of the following: Henry Smith Project

An internally assessed extended essay of 2500 words or more, artefact with commentary or a suite of MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) from providers such as Future Learn and Open Learn Includes a presentation to peers at the end of the course Can be used in conjunction with other qualifications, such as Oxbridge essay competitions, CREST award etc. Can be an extension of A Level study

EPQ

An externally assessed essay of no more than 5000 words or an artefact or performance Accredited by AQA – worth approximately half an A Level, graded A*-E Includes a presentation to peers at the end of the course Must be fundamentally distinct to content of A Level courses being studied

Qufaro Cyber Security EPQ

An externally assessed project based qualification, similar to EPQ Accredited by City and Guilds Content deals with issues such as Cryptography and GDPR

CISI Level 2 Qualification in Fundamentals of Financial Services

An externally assessed taught course provided by the Chartered Institute of Securities and Investments Topics of study includes Bonds, Derivatives and Equities – assessed by a 30 question online exam

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A L E V EL CO U R S E CH O I CE S 2 02 0 -2 02 2

UNIVERSITIES AND CAREERS ADVICE The biggest piece of advice we can give is that students must find out as much as they can about the A Level courses that they are considering. This applies particularly – but not exclusively – to subjects that they have not studied before. The A Level course in many subjects is very different to that which students have studied at GCSE. It is very important that students ask their teachers about the courses, but we would also strongly advise that they ask current Sixth Form students about the subjects they are studying. The Careers Department is very happy to put Fifth Formers in touch with students who are studying any subject they are considering for A Level. Choices of A Levels sometimes depend upon your intended career or degree course. University entry requirements vary widely and it is necessary to refer to the reference books, university prospectuses (available in the Careers Department) and university websites. You may of course speak to the Head of Careers, Mr Buzzacott, at any time to discuss careers and university entry issues. There follows next page, the normal A Level subject requirements for some common Honours degree courses. Please be aware that this is a very general list, it is by no means exhaustive and you are always welcome to speak to any member of our Careers Department.

Please do not feel that your son/daughter has to do Maths and Sciences at A Level to get on in life. This is not the case. It is merely that, where a course stipulates certain subjects, it tends to be on the Maths/Science side. Students should visit digital.ucas.com/search to look for specific requirements for different subjects at university. In addition, The Russell Group Universities have recently produced a useful website which helps students to decide on which subjects they should choose for specific degree courses at their universities: informedchoices.ac.uk. Those who do Preview may refer to mycareersroom.co.uk as-well for advice. We will also set students up on Unifrog, a university course finder, in the next few months. If students are still concerned they should telephone university departments and ask for their opinions. The Careers Department is more than happy to help with this. In addition, students and parents should look on the taster course link on the RGS Website at rgsinfo.net and/or follow the Careers Department on Twitter to see links to useful taster courses that students might like to attend in preparation for university.

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DEGREES AND CAREERS THAT REQUIRE SPECIFIC A LEVELS DEGREE COURSE

NORMALLY REQUIRED

ADDITIONAL NOTES

Accountancy Maths Architecture Some ask for Maths, Physics, Art or DT

Students should be able to demonstrate good skills in Art and Maths

Biology

Biology and Chemistry/Maths or Physics

Business Studies

Some ask for Maths

Chemistry

Chemistry and Maths or Physics

Dentistry

Chemistry and Biology

Economics

Most ask for Maths

Some ask for Further Maths as well

Engineering (Chemical)

Maths and Chemistry

Physics is certainly recommended and sometimes required

Engineering

Maths and Physics

Chemistry or DT and Further Maths may also be an advantage

Geology

Chemistry and other sciences/Maths

Many universities will accept Geography as a science

Law

No specific requirements but universities favour candidates with at least two traditional academic A Levels

Mathematics

The most prestigious courses may also expect Further Maths

Maths

Medicine Chemistry and Biology

Quite a few universities are happy with Chemistry and Maths, Physics or Biology, but not doing Biology does still reduce the number of universities that you can apply to. Some universities will not accept Biology and Sports Science because of a perceived overlap. Quite a few university degree courses require a 6 in both English Language and Maths.

Physical Geography

Some courses are happy with Sports Science instead

May ask for two sciences; may include Geography as one of them

Physiotherapy Biology Psychology

Some ask for sciences and Maths can be an advantage

Psychology courses at university often involve considerable science content

Sciences

Often ask for an additional science as well as the one you plan to study

Maths may also be desirable

Vet Science

Chemistry and Biology

Also advised to do Maths and/or Physics

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A L E V EL CO U R S E CH O I CE S 2 02 0 -2 02 2

MORE GUIDANCE ON MAKING CHOICES What do universities want? They want the best A Level grade profile you can offer and for you to be able to demonstrate a sustained interest and passion for your A Level subjects. They are also likely to look at your GCSE grade profile or average point scores (APS). Numbers rather than grades are quite new at GCSE but we think that universities will be most impressed by high grades (7, 8 and 9), an absence of lower grades and a good APS. They do not want you to do A Levels for which you have no deep or lasting commitment and which you have chosen simply to get onto their course. There is a lot of discussion in the media and elsewhere about the importance of choosing the right A Levels and combinations and it is true that for some university courses there are some pre-requisite subjects that students must study for A Level. These tend to be the most selective and in areas such as Medical or Veterinary Sciences, Dentistry, Engineering, Natural Sciences and some others. It is always best to do your own research. We provide details of these subjects in this booklet and via the Sixth Form and Careers teams. Heads of Department are always happy to advise you if you are unsure. You can also search for course details at digital.ucas.com/search.

A few points to consider when making your choices: Required subjects are those which are directly linked to the degree course or career you aspire to, plus any that are specifically mentioned on the university website for that course. Do your research by going to the specific university website and course description for the course(s) you are interested in, and see if they demand any specific subjects. Do not rely on what you have heard anecdotally and remember things change quickly. The majority of degree courses which ask for specific subjects only list two leaving you with free choice for your other subject(s). However there are some that ask for more, particularly those listed above. Do your research! The Russell Group Universities have recently produced a useful website which helps students to decide on which subjects they should choose for specific degree courses at their universities: informedchoices.ac.uk.

However there are a lot of opinions and misunderstandings about other subjects which may, on the surface, not appear to fit with your plans for university study. This is intended to help you pick your way through these many opinions and reassure you. Above all, our recommendation is that you should choose subjects that you enjoy, want to do, and in which you are doing well. It is certainly not good to choose A Level subjects that you dislike or where you struggle, just because you want to get on a certain path for university. If this applies to a subject that you have to do for a certain course, because it is a major part of that course for university study or professional life, then it is very likely that the course you aspire to will not be the right one for you. Sometimes students want a particular professional pathway after university and are then ‘working backwards’ doing research to identify the best degree for such a career. However, if you discover that the A Level subjects preferred by universities for certain degrees are not your best and favourite subjects then you should be very careful – you may well be making a mistake.

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R E I G AT E G R A M M A R S C H O O L

A FEW EXAMPLES TO REASSURE YOU

If you really like a subject that is not aligned with your intended course at university, you should strongly consider doing it! All of the subjects offered at RGS are highly valued by universities and they always take great interest in students who study them. Here are just two examples: Last year, two Oxbridge students had Art as one of their A Levels. They were asked a lot about their love of Art in their university interview. Over the years, students who have gone onto Science, Medical or Vet courses (for example) have studied a language, humanity or creative subject along with their more science-based subjects. For example – a number of students who studied Music at RGS are now qualified doctors, dentists and vets. We would certainly advise following your strengths and interests. We would suggest that you keep more options available by securing an A grade in a subject that you enjoy and thrive in than a B or C grade in one that you consider more ‘useful’ for your intended career. In the final analysis, you can only do what is right for you. That must come down to doing lots of research, doing it early so you are not making last minute decisions and, if you are not sure, then please do ask. There are lots of staff here, with lots of experience and we are always pleased to help.

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A L E V EL CO U R S E CH O I CE S 2 02 0 -2 02 2

WHAT OUR SIXTH FORMERS SAY

CASE STUDY

CASE STUDY

Genevieve Collier

Emily Wheal

There is a wide range of extra-curricular activities available throughout the whole school, however, when you get to Sixth Form there is the opportunity to join societies. This allows people with similar academic interests to meet, usually once a week at school and someone will present the facts and then you are given the chance to debate the topic. Some of the societies available are History and Politics Society, The Academy where you can debate ethical issues, a medical discussion group where anyone who has an interest in medical topics can go and on Friday lunchtimes there are TSI talks which are based around science. Anyone is welcome to go to any of these extra-curricular events whether they do the subject or not. These opportunities give students the chance to broaden their knowledge in subjects they are interested in and allow them to listen and respect other people’s opinions whilst also giving them the skills to present their arguments clearly and concisely. If you are interested in doing any of these subjects at university you can put your involvement in the society on your UCAS form and it will show your fascination and dedication in the subject.

It’s always scary starting a new school, however, when I joined the Lower Sixth at RGS last September, I found it was easy to settle in. All the students and teachers were warm and welcoming, and the teachers took their time to get to know me as an individual. A levels are a big step up from GCSEs, but my teachers have made this as easy as possible. Lessons are clear and teachers are always happy to spend time going over topics if you still don’t understand. When I was struggling with one of my subjects, the school offered me extra lessons during my study periods and focussed small classes (called Learning Pathways). Since joining I’ve had the opportunity to apply for leadership roles, participate in sports, with opportunities for representing the school and taking part in other activities, such as the Extended Project Qualification. But at RGS it’s not all about work. The new Sixth Form Centre is the perfect place to socialise and get to know one another, as well as enabling us to buy a range of amazing snacks from the café! Over the last year I’ve realised how much RGS is a school that cares. Not only does it care about developing students academically and socially, it also cares about the individual. During the last few months, I’ve needed surgery on my shoulders, which left me unable to use my arms for a few weeks. The school was really supportive and made sure to accommodate my needs during this time. I’m really pleased that I decided to move to RGS and I’m very proud to call myself a Reigatian!

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R E I G AT E G R A M M A R S C H O O L

WHAT OUR SIXTH FORMERS SAY

CASE STUDY

CASE STUDY

Ethan May

Darcy Myland

I remember last year, how excited I was to start Sixth Form. Meeting new people, doing the subjects I really enjoy and of course seeing the new Sixth Form Centre! Our first day back at school was an Induction Day and we were given an insight into what life would be like over the next two years in the Sixth Form. This really helped, especially the new people to settle in to the school, allowing them to get to know the school and meet new people.

Going in to Sixth Form is a breath of fresh air, you have more freedom and more opportunities to thrive. Study periods are where I get most of my work done. The quiet space on the top floor of the Harrison Centre helps me concentrate as there are no distractions. One of my favourite parts of the Sixth Form Centre is the café – it offers a nice snack break through a double study period.

The best thing about being in Sixth Form is that you have a lot more independence. This allows you to be creative within a subject you are passionate about. Study periods also give you the opportunity to catch up with homework, catch up with teachers if you need some support or a chat and also the opportunity to socialise. If you want to explore beyond the classroom there are a vast amount of extra-curricular opportunities as well, which give an insight to life beyond school, such as the ‘Entrepreneuring Programme’ and ‘Henry Smith’ project. If you would like to have the opportunity to have a leadership role in the school, then there are a lot of roles, ranging from being part of the Foundation Committee of the school to being a House Captain, or even becoming the Head Boy or Girl of the school. There are also opportunities to help the younger years of the school by having a first-year buddy who you will meet up with every week. Life in the Sixth Form is full of opportunities and I have loved being a part of it.

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The classes in Sixth Form are nice and small. This means that you can ask more questions to make sure you really understand the topics. However, if I leave a lesson slightly unsure about a certain aspect of what the teacher has taught me, the teachers are always happy to meet up at break or lunch. Also, if you are struggling overall in the subject, there are many other opportunities to get help such as learning pathways and clinics. I really enjoy break and lunchtimes in the Harrison Centre as you can forget about work for a bit and relax with your friends. There is always a great atmosphere in the Harrison Centre and I thoroughly enjoy life as a Sixth Form student at RGS.


A L E V EL CO U R S E CH O I CE S 2 02 0 -2 02 2

ADVICE FOR APPLICANTS TO SELECTIVE UNIVERSITIES INCLUDING OXBRIDGE The Myth of the All-Rounder Oxbridge, along with other top UK universities, make offers solely on the basis of academic criteria. As students prepare for GCSE exams and start to consider their A Level choices, they would do well to bear this in mind. Do not be under the misapprehension that an average academic profile can be countered by exceptional involvement and achievement in other areas of school life: it cannot. In addition to outstanding academic results, for top universities you are likely to have made extra-curricular, volunteering and other choices that communicate your commitment. This will mean that as a History applicant, for example, you might be involved in running a History Society, assist on an archaeological dig or volunteer at a place of historical interest. Most importantly, you will be reading, reading and reading – your subject teachers can guide you towards texts that are directly related to your intended area of study, and help you to engage with them critically. The Henry Smith Studies programme and the EPQ programme provide ideal opportunities to demonstrate an interest that goes beyond the syllabus, as does entering essay competitions or Science Olympiads. You should ensure that some of the summer holiday before entering the Sixth Form is spent engaging in such super-curricular activities. Academic results matter most but these linked activities can be key when an admissions tutor is wondering whether your apparent passion for the subject is real. So, What Grades Do I Need? The reforms to A Levels mean that admissions tutors are likely to ascribe increasing importance to GCSE results, and GCSE performance is one criteria used to help screen candidates. A realistic Oxbridge candidate should have grade 8s in the majority of their GCSE subjects; candidates for all subjects should have at least six 8/9 grades, and eight or nine is realistic for most courses; applicants from RGS who gain an offer, average over eight 8 grades at GCSE. Ideally, there should be no grade 6s on the UCAS form of an Oxbridge applicant. The advice published by top selective universities, including and especially Oxford and Cambridge, can be misleading in this regard as it is aimed at widening participation but admissions tutors will expect an almost flawless academic profile from candidates applying from successful schools such as RGS.

Looking forward to A Level, typical offers are A*AA (arts subjects) or A*A*A (science subjects) at A Level and successful candidates usually exceed these offers. A student’s performance in Lower Sixth Form exams needs to be commensurate with this, and admissions tutors expect predicted A Level grades to be backed up by reference to performance in these exams. What A Level Subjects Should I Choose? We expect the vast majority of Oxbridge candidates to study three subjects (with the exception of Further Mathematicians). Potential medics need to study Chemistry and at least one other science; potential classicists will want to choose one or more classical language at A Level. Applicants for all sciences should choose at least three science or maths subjects and applicants for the Physical Sciences, Engineering or Economics should study Further Maths at A Level. Philosophy students benefit from studying a mix of maths/science and arts subjects. Successful candidates tend to be studying the more traditional academic subjects. Beyond this, the grades achieved are more important than the subjects studied. Both universities publish details of where specific courses require specific A Levels to have been taken. Preparing an Oxbridge Application Admissions tutors are looking, above all, for personal academic interest and motivation – this is not something that can be taught. Successful applicants will be those who are self-motivated and have demonstrated initiative in their engagement with their prospective course outside the confines of the A Level specifications. This having been said, at RGS there is an extensive programme to support applicants to selective universities. This is especially true for Oxbridge applicants. In the Fifth Form students should be reading around the subjects that interest them most, and take advantage of the opportunities published in the Academic Excellence Programme. A more formal process of preparation begins in earnest in the Lower Sixth Form, with visits to universities and conferences, advice on courses and colleges and a range of academic extension activities organised by departments. Course-Specific Aptitude Tests The vast majority of courses at Oxford and Cambridge now require aptitude tests which are used to shortlist candidates for interview, and provide an extra piece of information to help the universities select the best candidates. Students are 11


R E I G AT E G R A M M A R S C H O O L

ADVICE FOR APPLICANTS TO SELECTIVE UNIVERSITIES INCLUDING OXBRIDGE

prepared for subject-specific tests in regular sessions organised by departments, and for generic tests (such as the Thinking Skills Assessment). The school organises mock aptitude tests during the Autumn Term of the Upper Sixth Form. Papers are marked internally and students are advised on how to improve before sitting the tests. We have a mock interview evening for medics and Oxbridge students when specialists from relevant fields come in to interview pupils. Each candidate is given written and verbal feedback on how to improve in advance of their actual interviews. Further Information and Support Individual students are mentored through the application process by the most relevant Head of Department or appointed member of the department. The Oxbridge application process is overseen at RGS by Mrs Budden and she can be contacted at school if you require any further information. You can find out more information about the courses offered by Oxford and Cambridge, and any pre-requisites at: undergraduate.study.cam.ac.uk/courses and ox.ac.uk/admissions/undergraduate/courses-listing

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A LE VEL COU R SE CHOICES 2020 -2022

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SUBJECT INFORMATION

ART AND DESIGN Head of Department: Mrs E Burns

Why study A Level Art and Design? Art and Design gives students the opportunity to develop their investigative, analytical, experimental, practical, technical and expressive skills; develop aesthetic understanding and critical judgement. It is important that students have independence of mind in developing, refining and communicating their own ideas and have a genuine an interest in, enthusiasm for and enjoyment of Art and Design. They will have the opportunity to work with a very broad range of materials, techniques and processes and hence students will need to have a passion for experimenting and exploring different ways forward for their ideas.

How will the skills and knowledge be taught? The Art and Design course is taught by two subject teachers. Students are given a broad based theme at the start of the course and work with their own ideas and personal starting points. They will be introduced to a variety of different materials, techniques and processes and guided and supported by staff with their creative journeys – our emphasis is to ensure that every student’s work is individual and personal. There will be opportunities for students to go on gallery visits both in this country and abroad. As the course develops they will be required to decide on a personal brief that they will investigate in depth, creating practical work and research, and also an essay or extended writing piece.

COURSE DETAILS Board: EDUQAS WJEC

A LEVEL COURSE STRUCTURE Content

Assessment

The A Level in Art is 60% Coursework and 40% Exam. The coursework consists of three major elements, preparatory studies in and outside of sketchbooks, Practical outcomes and a Personal Study. Sketchbook work and practical outcomes will be developed from personal starting points and their portfolio of work should reflect the student’s interest and engagement in their chosen themes.

Coursework and exam work. Each objective has 25% weighting on each. Coursework is 60% and Exam is 40%. The assessment objectives are as follows:

The Personal study is a written piece of 3,000 words which again is based on the student’s chosen theme and interest and should tie into what is being produced in their practical work.

AO2 Explore and select appropriate resources, media, materials, techniques and processes, reviewing and refining ideas as work develops.

The Exam is a theme set by the exam board, published on 1 February of the second year of the A Level. Students then produce preparatory studies and sit a 15 hour sustained focus under examination conditions where students produce a final outcome for the Exam Unit.

AO3 Record ideas, observations and insights relevant to intentions, reflecting critically on work and progress.

All coursework and exam work will cover the same assessment criteria. Foundation project will be the theme ‘abstract, distort, enlarge’. This will be an opportunity to experiment, build up skills and knowledge that will help to inform them about what to choose as their personal investigation.

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AO1 Develop ideas through sustained and focused investigations informed by contextual and other sources, demonstrating analytical and critical understanding.

AO4 Present a personal and meaningful response that realises intentions and, where appropriate, makes connections between visual and other elements. All coursework and exam work is marked and moderated internally and then an external examiner comes in to view and moderate the marking.


A L E V EL CO U R S E CH O I CE S 2 02 0 -2 02 2

SUBJECT INFORMATION

BIOLOGY Head of Department: Miss M Pope

Why study A Level Biology? If you are curious about the natural world and want an intellectual challenge, Biology is the subject for you. Our studies encompass a wide range of topics and scales, from biochemistry to ecosystems, and include a diverse range of practical work. At the same time we explore the scientific method and develop the skills to evaluate data and conclusions. Students become skilful and articulate scientists who are prepared for a diverse range of careers and degrees.

How will the skills and knowledge be taught? Students will have two teachers who deliver the course evenly between them. Practical and analytical skills are a core element of the course and are integrated into lessons. Students work towards the Practical Endorsement, which holistically assesses their ability to conduct scientific investigations. Our wider curriculum includes lectures, participation in the British Biology Olympiad, residential fieldwork in the South West, a visit to the Natural History Museum and Biology Book Club.

COURSE DETAILS Board: AQA

A LEVEL COURSE STRUCTURE Content

Assessment

The A Level covers a diverse range of concepts and provides an excellent foundation for further study, either in a specialist area such as Biochemistry or Medicine, or on a wider Biology or Natural Sciences degree programme.

Students sit three papers at the end of Upper Sixth.

The course is divided into eight topics: 1. Biological molecules 2. Cells 3. Organisms exchange substances with their environment 4. G enetic information, variation and relationships between organisms 5. Energy transfers in and between organisms 6. O rganisms respond to changes in their internal and external environments 7. Genetics, populations, evolution and ecosystems 8. The control of gene expression In Lower Sixth we focus on the fundamental concepts of Biology, including biological molecules, cells, genetic information and exchange processes. In Upper Sixth students apply this knowledge to explore more complex biochemical, physiological and ecosystem processes.

Paper 1: 2 hour written paper, 91 marks and worth 35% of A Level. Examines content from topics 1-4. This consists of a mixture of short and long answer questions, plus 15 marks for extended response questions. Paper 2: 2 hour written paper, 91 marks and worth 35% of A Level. Examines content from topics 5-8. This consists of a mixture of short and long answer questions, plus 15 marks for comprehension questions. Paper 3: 2 hour written paper, 78 marks and worth 30% of A Level. Examines content from topics 1-8, with an emphasis on relevant practical skills. This consists of a mixture of short and long answer questions, 15 marks for critical analysis of experimental data and 25 marks for a synoptic essay exploring a general theme in Biology. Students’ investigative skills are assessed throughout the A Level course and demonstrating competence in all skill areas results in the achievement of a pass in the Practical Endorsement. Skills assessed include:

• Designing, following and modifying a method • Assessing risk and working safely • Presenting and analysing results • Identifying, using and referencing secondary sources 15


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SUBJECT INFORMATION

CHEMISTRY Head of Department: (Acting): Mr A Welch

Why study A Level Chemistry? A Level Chemistry involves the investigation of substances: what they are made of, how they interact and what role they play in modern industrial society. You will develop a logical approach to problem-solving as well as your ability to understand abstract principles. The course also encourages imaginative and critical thinking and develops your skills in laboratory procedures.

How will the skills and knowledge be taught? Chemistry students will have two teachers; the subject content of the course is split evenly between them. The course includes a large emphasis on practical work and pupils will learn many of the concepts and ideas through these sessions as well as working towards a Science Practical Endorsement over the two years. Outside of the classroom students have the opportunity to participate in national competitions such as the Chemistry Olympiad and attend several lectures and demonstrations to enrich and develop their interest in the subject.

COURSE DETAILS Board: EDEXCEL

A LEVEL COURSE STRUCTURE Content

Assessment

This A Level course covers all of the familiar areas of the subject studied at GCSE but with a much greater focus on understanding the concepts and applying them to unfamiliar situations.

Students sit three papers at the end of Upper Sixth:

The course is divided into 19 topics: Atomic Structure (Topic 1) Bonding and Structure (Topic 2) Redox (Topics 3 and 14) Inorganic Chemistry (Topics 4 and 15) Formulae, Equations and Moles (Topic 5) Organic Chemistry (Topics 6, 17 and 18) Modern Analytical Techniques (Topics 7 and 19) Energetics and Thermodynamics (Topics 8 and 13) Kinetics (Topics 9 and 16) Equilibria (Topics 10 and 11) Acid-Base Equilibria (Topic 12) A good grounding in all of these topics is essential for students wishing to continue to undergraduate study in Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Biology and Biochemistry, as well as Medicine, Dentistry and Veterinary Sciences.

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Paper 1: Advanced Inorganic and Physical Chemistry Written exam 1 hour 45 minutes Total marks: 90. Weighting 30% This consists of multiple-choice, short open, open-response, calculations and extended writing questions. Paper 2: Advanced Organic and Physical Chemistry Written exam 1 hour 45 minutes Total marks: 90. Weighting 30% This consists of multiple-choice, short open, open-response, calculations and extended writing questions. Paper 3: General and Practical Principles in Chemistry Written exam 2 hours 30 minutes Total marks: 120. Weighting 40% This consists of synoptic questions that may draw on two or more of the topics, and also assesses conceptual and theoretical understanding of experimental methods.


A L E V EL CO U R S E CH O I CE S 2 02 0 -2 02 2

SUBJECT INFORMATION

CLASSICAL CIVILISATION Head of Department: Mrs G Brickley

Why study A Level Classical Civilisation? Since Classics is the study of a complete civilisation – from political theory to literature, from history to art – it is a highly-regarded way of demonstrating all-round academic ability. An A Level in Classical Civilisation offers a profound experience of another culture, broadening intellectual horizons alongside instilling academic rigour. Classical Civilisation develops skills in analytical writing, textual interpretation and critical reasoning and may be taken at A Level without having studied the subject at GCSE.

How will the skills and knowledge be taught? Classical Civilisation students have three teachers; the subject content of the course is split evenly between them. Debate and discussion are hallmarks of Classical Civilisation lessons, where students are encouraged in a tutorial-style setting to develop their own ideas, justify their points of view and respond to challenges to their arguments. A wealth of opportunity for enrichment outside the classroom is available also, in the form of university lecture days, theatre trips, museum visits and overseas study tours.

COURSE DETAILS Board: OCR

A LEVEL COURSE STRUCTURE Content

Assessment

The world of the hero – The Iliad and Aeneid In this core component candidates will read Homer’s Iliad and Virgil’s Aeneid, both cornerstones of western Literature. The epic poem The Iliad describes the Trojan war, with its heroes, villains, gods and mortals. In The Aeneid Virgil explored what it was to be a hero in the Roman world and created a work which has proven enduringly popular. These brilliant and fascinating works of literature are studied within their context, evaluating and comparing the heroic world they each create. This is a broad core module looking at character, theme, culture and language and provides a fantastic opportunity to get both an in-depth study of the societies and a close analysis of enormously important works.

The course is assessed via three written examinations.

Culture and the arts – Greek Art The 6th-4th centuries BC was a period of great change in the Greek world, and this is reflected in the art which was produced. In this component learners will gain a thorough knowledge of the selected aspects of Greek art, but they will also gain some understanding of, and insight into, the context in which it was created, particularly the areas of religion, society, values and history/politics. Beliefs and ideas – Politics of the Late Republic A monarchy from its foundation in 753BC, Rome expelled its king in 509BC and became a republic. A form of governance without a king. This political system continued until the first century BC, when it fractured under the political ambitions of great generals, Marius, Sulla, Pompey and the indomitable Julius Caesar. This module explores the history of the tumultuous first century BC, and examines Roman attitudes towards their own government.

Component 1 – The world of the hero This written examination consists of short answer questions, literary analysis of a stimulus passage, mini-essays and a comparative analysis essay of Greek and Roman epic where candidates are expected to make use of secondary sources and academic views to support their argument. Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes Weighting: 40% Component 2 – Culture and the arts This written examination consists of short answer questions, analysis of a visual stimulus from a list of prescribed sources, a mini-essay and a longer essay where candidates are expected to make use of secondary sources and academic views to support their argument. Duration: 1 hour 45 minutes Weighting: 30% Component 3 – Beliefs and ideas This written examination consists of short answer questions, analysis of a stimulus source from a list of prescribed material, a mini-essay and a longer essay where candidates are expected to make use of secondary sources and academic views to support their argument. Duration: 1 hour 45 minutes Weighting: 30%

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SUBJECT INFORMATION

COMPUTER SCIENCE Head of Department: Miss P Lewty

Why study A Level Computer Science? Computer Science is a practical subject where students can apply the academic principles learned in the classroom to real-world systems. It is an intensely creative subject that combines invention and excitement, and can look at the natural world through a digital prism. Computational thinking helps students to develop the skill to solve problems, design systems and understand the power and limits of human and machine intelligence.

How will the skills and knowledge be taught? Students will be taught through a mixture of practical programming and theoretical lessons. You will be able to apply the fundamental principles of computer science: abstraction, decomposition, logic, algorithms and data representation. A key feature of the course is the real-world programming project. You will be able to pick your own problem to solve, allowing you to tailor your project to fit your individual needs, choices and aspirations.

COURSE DETAILS Board: OCR

A LEVEL COURSE STRUCTURE Content

Assessment

Computational Thinking and Problem Solving Programming techniques Algorithms

Computer Systems 2.5 hour written paper 140 marks 40% of total A Level

Computer Systems Structure and function of the processor Type of processor Input, output and storage hardware Systems software Applications generation Software development Types of programming language Compression, Encryption and Hashing Databases Networks Web technologies Data types Data structures Boolean algebra Legal, Ethical, Moral and Social Issues Automated decision making Artificial intelligence Censorship Behaviour monitoring Piracy Programming Project

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Algorithms and Programming 2.5 hour written paper 140 marks 40% of total A Level Programming Project 70 marks 20% of total A Level


A L E V EL CO U R S E CH O I CE S 2 02 0 -2 02 2

SUBJECT INFORMATION

DRAMA AND THEATRE Head of Department: S Branston

Why study A Level Drama and theatre? Theatre is one of the oldest forms of cultural expression, which has continually evolved in response to changing social, political and cultural landscapes – it offers a provocative response to the burning issues of our times: the governments, technology, cultural events and the changing environment, to name but a few. Drama & Theatre students must be forensic and passionate in equal measure! Our aim at RGS is to promote a wide-ranging understanding of theatre and performance and to enable students to make critical, interpretative and creative judgements about the work they encounter. Students will works as dramaturgs, directors, actors, designers, critics and researchers.

How will the skills and knowledge be taught? A stimulating, dynamic and vibrant department in which to study. The specification is delivered through practical theatre workshops, seminars and lectures with highly experienced members of staff, all with a range of subject specialisms and a technician. Outstanding staff-student ratio and relationships and experimental environments to support creative practice. Professional expertise in both theatre practice and exam technique, the Head of Department is a senior examiner for the exam board. Independent Projects to run alongside the A2 course and the benefit of an exceptional extra-curricular programme.

COURSE DETAILS Board: EDUQAS

A LEVEL COURSE STRUCTURE Content

Assessment

The new Eduquas course provides a superb balance between the practical and theoretical aspects of contemporary performance. Students must understand the relationship between culture, society, politics and theatre. Candidates will read, analyse, direct and act from classical and contemporary texts. They will also have the opportunity to develop their own devised work through improvisation. Reviewing Live Theatre is a vital requirement of the course. Candidates will be given the opportunity to develop both acting, directing and technical production skills.

Theatre Workshop – 20% This internally assessed, non-examined unit will develop the learning skills and theatrical knowledge of students of theatre. It will include theatre visits, performances alone and in small groups and workshops from industry professionals. Students will reinterpret texts for a contemporary audience and submit a creative log of the process. They can be examined as actors or designers.

The specification aims to: – D evelop students’ interest and enjoyment in performance and theatre both as a performer and an informed member of an audience – Foster an enthusiasm for, and a critical appreciation of theatre, culture, and the Arts – D evelop an understanding and appreciation of the significance of social, cultural and historical influences on the development of drama and theatre – G ive students a range of opportunities to develop a variety of dramatic and theatrical skills – Integrate theory and practice through understanding of critical concepts, practitioners and the way directors interpret texts

Text In Action – 40% The exploration of how text can be explored and understood through use of practical techniques and traditions. This unit will involve creating performances from a script and an original, devised piece of theatre. This unit is externally assessed by a visiting examiner. Students will write an evaluation of the process, analysing the influence of theatre companies and practitioners on their own work. They can be examined as actors or designers. Text In Performance – 40% This unit comprises a written examination in three parts. The questions will focus on; the students’ visual concept for realising a text in performance; students’ directing knowledge and the students’ ability to respond critically to live theatre. Students will study two contrasting texts – one Classical text and one Contemporary text. In addition, students will analyse the NT production of The Curious Incident of The Dog In the Night Time.

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SUBJECT INFORMATION

ECONOMICS Head of Department: Mr N Newman

Why study A Level Economics? The Economics department attempts to provide a framework to help you make sense of news stories, political decisions and even your own choices made on a daily basis. You will learn to analyse, explain and weigh up the strengths and weaknesses of the market economy and the role of individuals, businesses and government. It is not an easy option because you will need very strong Maths skills and be comfortable writing essays. Strong GCSE grades in both Maths and English are essential prior to undertaking the course.

How will the skills and knowledge be taught? You will have two specialist teachers, one who will deliver Microeconomics, the other the Macroeconomics side of the course. Lessons are delivered in a variety of ways but always with the emphasis being placed on making reasoned arguments. As a student of Economics you will be expected to broaden your understanding of the subject though wider reading, attendance at lectures and interest beyond the classroom. As a social science, you will need to be able to write longer, detailed essays whilst also being comfortable with figures in order to analyse data.

COURSE DETAILS Board: AQA (7136)

A LEVEL COURSE STRUCTURE Content

Assessment

Individuals, firms, markets and market failure 1. Economic methodology and the economic problem 2. Individual economic decision making 3. Price determination in a competitive market 4. Production, costs and revenue 5. Perfect competition, imperfectly competitive markets and monopoly 6. The labour market 7. T he distribution of income and wealth: poverty and inequality 8. The market mechanism, market failure, and government intervention in markets

Paper 1: Markets and Market Failure (questions drawn from points 1-8) Total marks: 80. Weighting 33.3%. Exam time: 2hrs Section A: Data response, choice of 1 from 2 contexts worth 40 marks Section B: Essay question, choice of 1 from 3 worth 40 marks

The national and international economy 9. The measurement of macroeconomic performance 10. H ow the macro-economy works; the circular flow of income, AD/AS analysis, and related concepts. 11. Economic performance 12. Financial markets and monetary policy 13. Fiscal policy and supply-side policies 14. The international economy

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Paper 2: National and International economy (questions drawn from points 9-14) Total marks: 80. Weighting 33.3%. Exam time: 2hrs Section A: Data response, choice of 1 from 2 contexts worth 40 marks Section B: Essay question, choice of 1 from 3 worth 40 marks Paper 3: Economic Principles and Issues (questions drawn from points 1-14) Total marks: 80. Weighting 33.3%. Exam time: 2hrs Section A: Multiple choice worth 30 marks Section B: Case Study, worth 50 marks


A L E V EL CO U R S E CH O I CE S 2 02 0 -2 02 2

SUBJECT INFORMATION

ENGLISH LITERATURE Head of Department: Mr R Shaughnessy

Why study A Level English Literature? If you have a sharp, inquisitive and critical mind, English Literature is the A Level choice for you. You will have the unique chance to engage with an array of powerful texts which will challenge your perceptions of the world around you. Your critical and creative responses will not only give you a sense of achievement, but also a sense of enjoyment from tackling and succeeding with such challenging subject matter. Your essay writing skills will develop rapidly, giving you the skills you need for your other subjects and a vital aid for your UCAS personal statement.

How will the skills and knowledge be taught? As a lover of reading, you will delve into the literary canon to develop your own interpretations, but will also promote, challenge and debate them with your intellectual peers. You will find the seminar-style lessons centred around high-level discussion and you will be involved in presenting your own ideas, interpretations and evaluations to the class. Regular theatre trips, talks from visiting specialists and engagement with the wider literary world will allow you to develop your analytical skills and become an independent thinker.

COURSE DETAILS Board: WJEC EDUQAS

A LEVEL COURSE STRUCTURE Content

Assessment

Component 1: Poetry Pre-1900 poetry and post-1900 poetry. John Donne, Owen Sheers and Seamus Heaney are studied to give you a wellrounded overview of the developments in poetry across time.

Component 1: Poetry Written examination: 2 hours (open-book) 30% of qualification

Component 2: Drama Shakespeare – the incredible opportunity to study King Lear (not to be missed). Pre-1900 and post-1900 drama with a focus on A Streetcar Named Desire (Tennessee Williams) and The Duchess of Malfi (John Webster). An impressive and challenging range of work. Component 3: Unseen Texts This module presents unseen prose and poetry for analysis. You will study a wide range of prose from the Victorian era through to the Modernist movement of the 20th Century. Your wider reading of poetry will also be challenged with a poem from the literary canon to consider how its meanings are shaped through language.

Component 2: Drama Written examination: 2 hours (closed-book) 30% of qualification Component 3: Unseen Texts Written examination: 2 hours 20% of qualification Component 4: Prose Study Non-exam assessment: 2500 –3500 word assignment 20% of qualification

Component 4: Prose Study In this module you undertake an independent study of two novels: The Road by Cormac McCarthy and a pre-2000 novel of your choice.

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SUBJECT INFORMATION

FRENCH Head of Department: Mme F Chartrain

Why study A Level French? It is ideal for students who have enjoyed it so far and want to become fluent, communicate confidently and discover more about the French-speaking world through studying many aspects of its culture, literature and ways of life. The course will complement and enhance any other A Levels and is not designed solely for those who wish to continue with French at university. It will increase career options, maximise employment in most fields and facilitate travel and business.

How will the skills and knowledge be taught? A Level French will be taught by two or three specialists who are also native-speakers. Students will study authentic materials taken from the news, film and literary sources and will engage in many discussions and debates. They will be provided with much guidance and practice to develop listening, reading, speaking and written skills that will increase real fluency and critical-thinking. Students will have a weekly individual oral session with the Assistant to practise the language and themes studied.

COURSE DETAILS Board: AQA

A LEVEL COURSE STRUCTURE Content

Assessment

Theme 1: Aspects of French-speaking society – current trends Modern and traditional family values Technological advances & cyber-society The role of volunteering in society

Paper 1: Listening, reading and writing 2 hours and 30 minutes 50% of the qualification Listening and responding, summary Reading and responding, summary Translation into and from French

Theme 2: Artistic culture in the French-speaking world French patrimony and its assets for tourism Contemporary francophone music Cinema Theme 3: Current issues in French-speaking society Positive aspects of a diverse society Social exclusion How criminals are treated (prevention, prison, rehabilitation, etc.) Theme 4: Aspects of political life in the French-speaking world Young people and politics Demonstrations and strikes: who has power? Politics and immigration Literature and film studies Individual research project

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Paper 2: Writing 2 hours 20% of the qualification Written response to a text (300 words) Written response to a film (300 words) Paper 3: Speaking Internally conducted and externally assessed 21-23 minutes (including 5 minutes preparation time) 30% of the qualification Part 1: discussion on a sub-theme of a stimulus card Part 2: presentation and discussion of the student’s individual research project


A L E V EL CO U R S E CH O I CE S 2 02 0 -2 02 2

SUBJECT INFORMATION

FURTHER MATHEMATICS Head of Department: Mr G Sillience

Why study A Level Further Mathematics? Mathematics is the art of problem solving; it is part of everyday life. From predicting the weather to understanding the origins of the universe, mathematics is used to describe and understand the world (and universe) around us. It is a vital tool in our increasingly technical world, playing an important role in many aspects of modern life, from protecting our details online to predicting the next stock market crash. Further Maths A Level is essential for those who wish to study Mathematics at university and is a facilitating subject for all Science and Engineering related degree courses.

How will the skills and knowledge be taught? Students of Mathematics will have two teachers. Lessons are taught in a variety of engaging and stimulating ways that focus on problem-solving and develop the student’s own thinking skills. Going beyond the classroom the curriculum is enriched with UKMT challenges, Hans Woyda Maths competition, National Cipher Challenge, Maths workshops, visits to attend lectures at the Institute of Education and guest speakers such as Simon Singh and Johnny Ball. Students are encouraged to attend STEM taster days at universities, such as those arranged by Headstart and the University of Oxford.

COURSE DETAILS Board: EDEXCEL

A LEVEL COURSE STRUCTURE Content

Assessment

Papers 1 & 2: Core Pure Mathematics Proof, Complex Numbers, Matrices, Further Algebra and Functions, Further Calculus, Further Vectors, Polar Coordinates, Hyperbolic Functions, Differential Equations.

A2 Further Mathematics Each paper is assessed by written examination lasting 1 hour and 30 minutes and consists of 4 units: 2 on Core Pure Mathematics, plus a choice of 2 units from: Further Pure, Further Mechanics or Decision Mathematics units.

Papers 3 & 4: Students take two of the following three options: Further Pure Mathematics 1 Further Trigonometry, Further Calculus, Further Differential Equations, Co-ordinate Systems, Further Vectors, Further Numerical Methods, Inequalities.

AS Further Mathematics Each paper is assessed by written examination lasting 1 hour and 40 minutes and will consist of 2 units: Core Pure Mathematics, plus a choice of: Further Pure, Further Mechanics or Decision Mathematics. Each unit carries an equal weighting.

Further Mechanics 1 Momentum and Impulse, Work, Energy & Power, Elastic Strings & Springs and Elastic Energy, Elastic Collisions in One Dimension, Elastic Collisions in Two Dimensions.

Calculators are allowed in all papers.

Decision Mathematics 1 Algorithms, Graphs & Networks, Algorithms on Graphs, Route Inspection, The Travelling Salesman Problem, Linear Programming, The Simplex Algorithm, Critical Path Analysis.

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SUBJECT INFORMATION

GEOGRAPHY Head of Department: Mr M Cline

Why study A Level Geography? “In the short span we have available to explore the wonders, problems and possibilities of life on this colourful planet, there is one avenue of curiosity that provides more insight into our dynamic habitat than any other – Geography. It is the spatial discipline that helps everyone understand our world, its places, people and environments. Geography is a journey, a quest for the new that takes us to the edges of perception, to the rim of our imagination and returns us to the centre of the place we call home.” Nick Crane, What Makes us Human on the Jeremy Vine Show.

How will the skills and knowledge be taught? Geography students will have two teachers, one for the Physical and one for the Human side of the course. Lessons are varied with extensive resources and active discussion. Fieldwork is compulsory and a range of opportunities is offered, both locally and further afield. Students are actively encouraged to engage in extension activities including lectures, competitions and debates. Students should get into the habit of watching, reading and listening to the news on a regular basis to think, question and develop ideas and an intellectual curiosity.

COURSE DETAILS Board: AQA

A LEVEL COURSE STRUCTURE Content

Assessment

The new specification is designed to excite minds, challenge perceptions and stimulate investigative and analytical skills.

Paper 1: Physical Geography Written exam 2 hours 30 minutes 96 marks 40% of A2

Paper 1: Physical Geography Water and carbon cycles Coastal landscapes Hazards Paper 2: Human Geography Global systems and governance Changing places Population and resources Paper 3: Geographical Investigation A minimum of four days of fieldwork for a piece of independent research Recent field trips have included: Brixton Camber River Mole flood defences at Gatwick Reigate Heath Dorking Boxhill Shanghai, China

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Paper 2: Human Geography Written exam 2 hours 30 minutes 96 marks 40% of A2 Both Papers 1 and 2 will be tested by 4, 6, 9 and 20 mark questions (requiring extended writing) Paper 3: Geographical Investigation 3000-4,000 words 60 marks 20% of A2 Marked by teachers, moderated by external examiners. This is an opportunity to do well without the pressure of an exam. Each year a number of students continue to read Geography and related subjects at universities. Destinations include Cambridge, Exeter, Durham, Nottingham, Southampton, Cardiff, Leeds and Edinburgh.


A L E V EL CO U R S E CH O I CE S 2 02 0 -2 02 2

SUBJECT INFORMATION

GERMAN Head of Department: Ms M Sowa

Why study A Level German? During the A Level German course you will develop an understanding of Germanic culture in a variety of contexts and learn to communicate confidently, clearly and effectively in German for a range of purposes. You will be able to express facts and ideas and present explanations, opinions and information in German. In studying German you will improve your employment possibilities and enhance your travel experiences.

How will the skills and knowledge be taught? A Level German will be taught by specialists. Lessons will enable you to reach a good level of fluency and develop your capacity for critical thinking through the fascinating medium of Germanic culture. You will engage intellectually with stimulating materials, including song, film and text, developing an appreciation of the language in its cultural and social context. Students will have a weekly individual oral session with a German assistant and the option to take part in work experience in a German-speaking country.

COURSE DETAILS Board: AQA

A LEVEL COURSE STRUCTURE Content

Assessment

Theme 1: Aspects of German-speaking society Traditional and modern family structures The digital world Youth culture

Paper 1: Listening, reading and writing 2 hours and 30 minutes 50% of the qualification Listening and responding Reading and responding Translation into and from German

Theme 2: Artistic culture in the German-speaking world Festivals and traditions Art and architecture Berlin’s cultural life and heritage Theme 3: Multiculturalism in German-speaking society Immigration Integration and multiculturalism Racism Theme 4: Aspects of political life in the German-speaking world Germany and the EU Youth and politics The Reunification and its consequences

Paper 2: Writing 2 hours 20% of the qualification Written response to a text (300 words) Written response to a film (300 words) Paper 3: Speaking Internally conducted and externally assessed 21-23 minutes (including 5 minutes preparation time). 30% of the qualification Part 1: discussion on a sub-theme of a stimulus card Part 2: presentation and discussion of the student’s individual research project

Literature and film studies Individual research project

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SUBJECT INFORMATION

GREEK Head of Department: Mrs G Brickley

Why study A Level Greek? An A Level in Greek is a highly-regarded way of demonstrating all-round academic ability and a rare opportunity. The ancient Greek world has given us a heritage of extraordinary richness and diversity. Greek at A Level offers the facility to explore the fascinating literature, history, drama and philosophy of the ancient Greeks, whilst developing linguistic proficiency and skills in critical reasoning, textual interpretation and analytical writing.

How will the skills and knowledge be taught? Students of Greek have two subject-specialist teachers, who teach either literature or language content. Lessons take the form of varied and interactive tutorials; emphasis is put on students learning to think increasingly for themselves, both in solving linguistic puzzles and developing their ability to analyse literature. University lecture days, trips to see productions of Classical plays, museum visits and an overseas study tour are also offered as a means of enriching students’ experience of Greek at A Level.

COURSE DETAILS Board: OCR

A LEVEL COURSE STRUCTURE Content

Assessment

Language Candidates build on and develop their range of vocabulary, accidence and syntax from GCSE, progressing to reading carefully selected passages of original, unadapted Greek. The unseen prose passage for translation will be taken from Thucydides and the unseen verse passage will be taken from the poetry of Sophocles; preparation for this takes the form of linguistic study and wider reading of these authors. Candidates also learn to scan the Greek trimeter when studying Sophocles.

Component 1 – Unseen Translation Section A: Translation of an unseen prose passage from Greek into English Section B: Translation of an unseen passage of verse from Greek into English Duration: 1 hour 45 minutes; Weighting: 33%

Literature For both the prose and verse components, candidates study in detail a short section in Greek from a prescribed text. Additional sections in translation from this set text are also studied to enhance understanding of the context from which the set texts have been taken. Candidates develop their skills in analysing literary style, characterisation and argument. The prose text will be from Herodotus, the Greek historian. Herodotus imagines a speech of Persian king Xerxes, in which he vows to avenge his father and invade Greece. The verse set text will be Euripides’ Medea. In this play Medea takes violent, shocking revenge on her unfaithful husband, Jason.

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Component 2 – Comprehension Either: Answer comprehension and grammar questions on an unseen passage of Greek prose Or: Translation of a passage from English into Greek Duration: 1 hour 15 minutes; Weighting: 17% Component 3 – Prose Literature Sections A & B: Short answer questions, including both translation and comprehension, showing understanding and appreciation of the set text studied Section C: Essay on set text studied Duration: 2 hours; Weighting: 25% Component 4 – Verse Literature Sections A & B: Short answer questions, including both translation and comprehension, showing understanding and appreciation of the set text studied Section C: Essay on set text studied Duration: 2 hours; Weighting: 25%


A L E V EL CO U R S E CH O I CE S 2 02 0 -2 02 2

SUBJECT INFORMATION

HISTORY Head of Department: Mrs F Gunning

Why study A Level History? History is vital to our understanding of the world around us and the forces that shape the present and the future. At A Level, History seeks to answer such significant questions such as: What causes civil wars and revolutions? How can individuals come to dominate their own and other countries? What forces bring about fundamental changes in society and politics? Why do some groups struggle to achieve equal rights? History does this through the study of particular events, individuals, and developments in British, European and American History.

How will the skills and knowledge be taught? The prime focus at A Level is on explanation, evaluation and analysis. The study of History aims not only to increase your knowledge and understanding of the key factors that have shaped our world but also to cultivate your ability to think critically, produce coherent and compelling arguments, to research effectively and communicate clearly. That is why History A Level is so highly regarded by both top universities and employers and is considered relevant for a wide range of career paths from the City to the Cabinet, top management to the diplomatic corps, and law to journalism.

COURSE DETAILS Board: AQA

A LEVEL COURSE STRUCTURE Content

Assessment

Unit 1: Tsarist and Communist Russia, 1855-1964 This option allows students to study in breadth issues of change, continuity, cause and consequence in this period through the following questions:

Unit 1 examination 2 hours 30 minutes. Section A: one compulsory question testing students’ ability to analyse and evaluate the views of historians. (30 marks) Section B: three essay questions of which students are required to answer two. These will test historical understanding over a broad chronology. (2 x 25 marks) 40% of the A Level.

–H  ow was Russia governed and how did political authority change and develop? – W hy did opposition develop and how effective was it? – H ow important were ideas and ideology? – H ow important was the role of the individual? Unit 2: Religious Conflict and the Church in England, c1529-c1570 This option provides for the study in depth of a period of major change in the English Church and government, focusing on issues which led England to break with Rome and the problems surrounding the establishment of a new Anglican Church and faith. Unit 3: The growth of American Civil Rights, 1865-1968 Coursework module.

Unit 2 examination 2 hours 30 minutes. Section A: one compulsory question linked to primary sources or sources contemporary to the period. (30 marks) Section B: three essay questions of which students are required to answer two. These will test historical understanding of an event or issue in depth. (2 x25 marks) 40% of the A Level. Unit 3 coursework module Students will submit an essay of 3000-3500 words. It will be marked by teachers and moderated by AQA. 20% of the A Level.

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SUBJECT INFORMATION

LATIN Head of Department: Mrs G Brickley

Why study A Level Latin? An A Level in Latin is a highly-regarded way of demonstrating all-round academic ability and complements both Arts and Science A Level combinations. It is a rich, stimulating and wideranging course which explores the language, literature, history, politics and culture of the Romans. Whilst fascinating in its own right, by its interdisciplinary nature, Latin A Level promotes the acquisition of a myriad of transferable skills, from problem-solving to analytical writing.

How will the skills and knowledge be taught? Students of Latin have subject-specialist teachers, who teach either literature or language content. Lessons take the form of varied and interactive tutorials; emphasis is put on students learning to think increasingly for themselves, both in solving linguistic puzzles and developing their ability to analyse literature. University lecture days, trips to see productions of Classical plays, museum visits and a study tour to Italy are also offered as a means of enriching students’ experience of Latin at A Level.

COURSE DETAILS Board: OCR

A LEVEL COURSE STRUCTURE Content

Assessment

Language Candidates build on and develop their range of vocabulary, accidence and syntax from GCSE, progressing to reading carefully selected passages of original Latin. The unseen prose passage for translation will be taken from Livy and the unseen verse passage will be taken from the poetry of Ovid; preparation for this takes the form of linguistic study and wider reading of these authors. Candidates also learn to scan a variety of metres used in Ovid’s poetry.

The course is assessed via four written examinations.

Literature For both the prose and verse components, candidates study in detail a short section in Latin from a prescribed text. Additional sections in translation from this set text are also studied to enhance understanding of the context from which the set texts have been taken. Candidates develop their skills in analysing literary style, characterisation and argument. The prose text will be chosen from Cicero’s Pro Cluentio. In this speech Cicero successfully defends an unpopular young man who is accused by his mother of poisoning his step-father. In what turns out to be a fairly murky case Cicero pulls off a spectacular win, and is later said to have boasted how he ‘pulled the wool over the judge’s eyes.’ The verse component offers the opportunity to study Virgil’s Aeneid, the great epic story of how the hero Aeneas, founded the city of Rome.

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Component 1 – Unseen Translation Section A: Translation of an unseen prose passage from Latin into English Section B: Translation of an unseen passage of verse from Latin into English Duration: 1 hour 45 minutes; Weighting: 33% Component 2 – Comprehension Either: Answer comprehension and grammar questions on an unseen passage of Latin prose Or: Translation of a passage from English into Latin Duration: 1 hour 15 minutes; Weighting: 17% Component 3 – Prose Literature Sections A & B: Short answer questions, including both translation and comprehension, showing understanding and appreciation of the set text studied Section C: Essay on set text studied Duration: 2 hours; Weighting: 25% Component 4 – Verse Literature Sections A & B: Short answer questions, including both translation and comprehension, showing understanding and appreciation of the set text studied Section C: Essay on set text studied Duration: 2 hours; Weighting: 25%


A L E V EL CO U R S E CH O I CE S 2 02 0 -2 02 2

SUBJECT INFORMATION

MATHEMATICS Head of Department: Mr G Sillience

Why study A Level Mathematics? Mathematics is the art of problem solving, it is part of everyday life. From predicting the weather to understanding the origins of the universe, mathematics is used to describe and understand the world (and universe) around us. It is a vital tool in our increasingly technical world, playing an important role in many aspects of modern life, from protecting our details online to predicting the next stock market crash. Mathematics A Level is essential for those who wish to study Mathematics at university and is a facilitating subject for all Science and Engineering related degree courses.

How will the skills and knowledge be taught? Students of Mathematics will have two teachers. Lessons are taught in a variety of engaging and stimulating ways that focus on problem-solving that develop the student’s own thinking skills. Going beyond the classroom the curriculum is enriched with UKMT challenges, Hans Woyda Maths competition, National Cipher Challenge, Maths workshops, visits to attend lectures at the Institute of Education and guest speakers such as Simon Singh and Johnny Ball. Students are encouraged to attend STEM taster days at universities, such as those arranged by Headstart and the University of Oxford.

COURSE DETAILS Board: EDEXCEL

A LEVEL COURSE STRUCTURE Content

Assessment

Pure Mathematics Algebra & Functions, Proof, Coordinate Geometry, Sequences & Series, Trigonometry, Exponentials & Logarithms, Differentiation, Integration, Numerical Methods and Vectors.

There are three papers, each of which is assessed by written examination lasting 2 hours.

Statistics Statistical Sampling, Data Presentation & Interpretation, Probability, Statistical Distributions and Statistical Hypothesis Testing.

Paper 1: Pure Mathematics Paper 2: Pure Mathematics Paper 3: Statistics & Mechanics Each unit carries an equal weighting. Calculators are allowed in all papers.

Mechanics Quantities & Units in Mechanics, Kinematics, Moments, Forces and Newton’s laws.

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SUBJECT INFORMATION

MUSIC Head of Department: Miss J Korzinek

Why study A Level Music? In a competitive world, Music A Level can be seen as invaluable. Universities frequently cite students with Music A Level as among their strongest applicants due to their ability to be creative, perform and present with confidence, analyse at a deep level and write with insight. Past students have gone on to degree courses not only in Music, but also in a wide variety of Science and Technology subjects and other Arts subjects. Music students have people-management skills, sensitivity and are able to multi-task.

How will the skills and knowledge be taught? Music students can expect to study music as a practical, creative and intellectual subject and will love the diversity it brings. The areas of study reflect the cultural age in which we live, with music covered from classical, jazz, popular and world genres. Each area of study is seen within a broad cultural and historical context, and students gain in-depth experience of musical elements, resources, qualities and repertoire. A large part of the course is practical, with assessments in performing and composing.

COURSE DETAILS Board: EDEXCEL

A LEVEL COURSE STRUCTURE Content

Assessment

A Level Music consists of three components: Performing, Composing, and Appraising.

A recital of a minimum of 8 minutes’ duration, either playing/ singing solo, in a group, improvising or realising music using technology. Recorded in school towards the end of the Upper Sixth year, and sent to Edexcel for assessment. Worth 30% of the A Level.

Performing This can be performing on an instrument or with voice, either as a soloist or in a group. Improvisation can be chosen instead of ‘traditional’ performing, or a Music Technology option is available. Composing Students learn how to compose music in a variety of ways, including using a set brief, writing freely and employing compositional techniques learned through studying the music of other composers. Composition can be with or without the use of technology, and can be in any style. Appraising The study of musical Elements, Contexts and Language through music appraisal. This will include studying a variety of set works covering vocal music, instrumental music, music for film, popular music and jazz, fusions and new music. Music will range from Mozart’s Magic Flute to Danny Elfman’s score for Batman Returns; from Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique to the Beatles’ Revolver album; from contemporary jazz fusion to pieces with electronics.

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Two compositions written during the course and submitted to Edexcel for assessment. At least one of these will be in response to a set brief (there is a choice of briefs) and will include the assessment of compositional techniques. Minimum of 6 minutes overall duration, and worth 30% of the A Level. One written paper (2 hours) with two sections. Section A will contain various listening questions on the set works, and Section B will consist of two questions asking students to evaluate the music they have studied and draw links to other music that they have not heard before. Worth 40% of the A Level.


A L E V EL CO U R S E CH O I CE S 2 02 0 -2 02 2

SUBJECT INFORMATION

MUSIC TECHNOLOGY Head of Department: Miss J Korzinek

Subject leader: Mr Lobb

Why study A Level Music Technology? Music Technology is a skills-based subject that is aimed at people who have an interest in recording and producing music and possess competent instrumental skills. The course could be a first step to working in a recording studio, or lead a student to study related courses at university. Music Technology demonstrates a wide-range of skills and demonstrates an ability to organise time, manage self-led projects and develop listening and analysing skills.

How will the skills and knowledge be taught? Students will have a practical approach to the subject. The theory aspects of the course will be taught alongside practical applications within recording and composition tasks. Students will listen to a wide range of musical styles and be able to aurally identify different techniques, features and effects used in professional commercial recordings. There is scope for students to chose from a selection of different coursework tasks and they will be given individual feedback and target setting.

COURSE DETAILS Board: EDEXCEL

A LEVEL COURSE STRUCTURE Content

Assessment

Language Students will learn about studio recording, looking at a wide range of studio recording techniques and also developing listening and mixing skills. Students will learn how different recording equipment works and how this can best be used to achieve high quality recordings.

A studio-based recording project, where students will be given a choice of artists from which to select a song to record. Students will be expected to record a number of compulsory instruments and will have a range of further additional instruments. The recording forms 20% of the overall mark.

The study of composition is a mix of traditional music techniques with an effective use of music technology. Compositions will feature effective use of synthesis (with appropriate editing), sampling, automation, sound capture and effects. Students will look at the creation of different moods through the use of various music and technology features. Students will study a wide range of music genres, from jazz to dance music, looking at the range of production techniques used in each and how the development of music technology had an impact on the music. Students will learn about the history of music technology equipment, how different items work and how they can be used in a practical application.

The students will compose one piece of music from a choice of three briefs. One will be to compose a piece of music to a short film (provided by the exam board), another to compose a piece of music based on a set text and finally, a composition using samples based on a particular theme. This forms 20% of the overall mark. The students will sit two exams for this subject. The first is a listening and appraising exam with two sections. Section A is made of short questions where students are expected to identify and analyse different recording techniques. Section B has two longer questions, one is a comparison of recording techniques from two versions of the same song. The second is an essay-style question where students would be expected to comment on a particular aspect of recording and producing techniques. The final exam requires students to manipulate and mix audio, completing a series of set tasks. This will be completed using a digital audio workstation in exam conditions.

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SUBJECT INFORMATION

PHOTOGRAPHY Head of Department: Mrs E Burns

Why study A Level Photography? Photography gives students the opportunity to develop their investigative, analytical, experimental, practical, technical and expressive skills; develop aesthetic understanding and critical judgement. It is important that students have independence of mind in developing, refining and communicating their own ideas and have a genuine an interest in, enthusiasm for and enjoyment of Photography. They will have the opportunity to work with a very broad range of materials, techniques and processes and hence students will need to have a passion for experimenting and exploring different ways forward for their ideas.

How will the skills and knowledge be taught? Taught by a subject specialist, students are given a broad based theme at the start of the course and work with their own ideas and personal starting points. They will be introduced to a variety of analogue and digital materials, techniques and processes and guided and supported by staff with their creative journeys. Our emphasis is to ensure that every student’s work is individual and personal. There will be many opportunities for students to go on gallery visits both in this country and abroad. As the course develops they will be required to decide on a personal brief that they will investigate in depth, creating practical work and research, also an essay or extended writing piece.

COURSE DETAILS Board: OCR

A LEVEL COURSE STRUCTURE Content

Assessment

The A Level in Photography is 60% Coursework and 40% Exam. The coursework consists of three major elements, preparatory studies in and outside of sketchbooks, practical outcomes and a Personal Study. Sketchbook work and practical outcomes will be developed from personal starting points and their portfolio of work should reflect the student’s interest and engagement in their chosen themes.

Coursework and exam work, each objective has 25% weighting on each. Coursework is 60% and Exam is 40%. The assessment objectives are as follows:

The Personal Study is a written piece of 3,000 words which again is based on the student’s chosen theme and interest and should tie into what is being produced in their practical work. The exam is a theme set by the exam board, published on the 1 February of the second year of the A Level. Students then produce preparatory studies and sit a 15 hour sustained focus under examination conditions where students produce a final outcome for the exam unit.

AO2 Explore and select appropriate resources, media, materials, techniques and processes, reviewing and refining ideas as work develops.

All coursework and exam work will cover the same assessment criteria. Foundation project will be the theme, ‘abstract, distort, enlarge’. This will be an opportunity to experiment, build up skills and knowledge that will help to inform them about what to choose as their personal investigation.

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AO1 Develop ideas through sustained and focused investigations informed by contextual and other sources, demonstrating analytical and critical understanding.

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, where appropriate, makes connections between visual and other elements. All coursework and exam work is marked and moderated internally and then an external examiner comes in to view and moderate the marking.


A L E V EL CO U R S E CH O I CE S 2 02 0 -2 02 2

SUBJECT INFORMATION

PHYSICAL EDUCATION Head of Department: Mrs L Mitchell

Why study A Level Physical Education? This course links the scientific disciplines of physiology, biomechanics and psychology to help you to understand how an elite athlete performs. It also gives you an introduction of how the multi-million pound sporting industry has developed throughout time and the ethical issues that have arisen from striving to be come the ultimate athlete. Physical Education A Level is useful for those who wish to study Sports Science at university and is a facilitating subject for most Science and Psychology related degree courses.

How will the skills and knowledge be taught? Students of Physical Education will have three specialist teachers: Anatomy, Physiology and Biomechanics, Skill acquisition and Psychology and Sport and society and technology in sport. Lessons are taught in a variety of engaging and stimulating ways, which focus on developing the student’s own thinking skills and using their own sporting experiences to enhance learning. Going beyond the classroom, the curriculum is enriched with lectures on topics such as nutrition in sport, trips to places of sporting interest (e.g. Wimbledon tennis museum) and guest speakers such as Susannah Townsend (Olympic Gold medallist GB Hockey).

COURSE DETAILS Board: AQA

A LEVEL COURSE STRUCTURE Content

Assessment

Applied anatomy and physiology: Cardiovascular system, respiratory system, neuromuscular system, the musculo-skeletal system and analysis of movement in physical activities, energy systems. Skill acquisition: Skill, skill continuums and transfer of skills; Impact of skill classification on structure of practice for learning; Principles and theories of learning and performance; Use of guidance and feedback; Memory models; General information processing model, Efficiency of information processing. Sport and society: Emergence of globalisation of sport in the 21st century; Pre-industrial (pre-1780); Industrial and postindustrial (1780-1900); Post World War II (1950 to present); The impact of sport on society and of society on sport – sociological theory applied to equal opportunities. Exercise physiology: Diet and nutrition and their effect on physical activity and performance, Preparation and training methods in relation to maintaining physical activity and performance, Injury prevention and the rehabilitation of injury Biomechanical movement – Biomechanical principles, Levers, Linear motion, Angular motion, Projectile motion, Fluid mechanics. Sport Psychology: Aspects of personality, Attitudes, Arousal, Anxiety, Aggression, Motivation, Achievement motivation theory, Social facilitation, Group dynamics, Importance of goal setting, Attribution theory, Self-efficacy and confidence, Leadership, Stress management. Sport and society and the role of technology in physical activity and sport: Concepts of physical activity and sport; Development of elite performers in sport; Ethics in Sport; Violence in sport; Drugs in sport; Sport and the law; The role of technology in physical activity and sport.

Paper 1 Factors affecting participation in physical activity and sport Section A: Applied anatomy and physiology (35 marks) Section B: Skill acquisition (35 marks) Section C: Sport and society (35 marks) Written Exam: 2 hours Total 105 marks, 35% of A Level Paper 2 Factors affecting optimal performance in physical activity and sport Section A: Exercise physiology and biomechanics (35 marks) Section B: Sports psychology (35 marks) Section C: Sport and society and technology in sport (35 marks) Written exam: 2 hours Total 105 marks, 35% of A Level Paper 3 Practical Performance in physical activity and sport Student assessed as a performer or coach in a full-sided version of one activity 15% of non-exam assessment

• Written/verbal analysis and evaluation of performance. 15% of non-exam assessment

Internal assessment, external moderation Total 90 marks, 30% of A Level

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SUBJECT INFORMATION

PHYSICS Head of Department: Miss G Cooper

Why study A Level Physics? The subject stimulates and excites curiosity about phenomena and events in the world; satisfying this curiosity with knowledge and understanding. Physics can engage students at many levels and is a spur to critical and creative thought. Through science, and Physics in particular, candidates understand how major scientific ideas contribute to technological change; impacting on industry, business and medicine improving the quality of life.

How will the skills and knowledge be taught? Students of physics will have two teachers; the course is split evenly between them. Practical skills are a core element of the course and students will work towards a Science Practical Endorsement over the two years. Students will develop strong problem solving and analytical skills to tackle a wide variety of question types. Outside of the classroom we enrich with British Physics Olympiad challenges, IOP and IET lectures and visits to leading centres of physics research including Diamond Light Source and the Joint European Torus.

COURSE DETAILS Board: EDEXCEL

A LEVEL COURSE STRUCTURE Content

Assessment

Advanced Physics 1 Working as a Physicist Mechanics Electric Circuits Further Mechanics Electric and Magnetic Fields Nuclear and Particle Physics

Advanced Physics 1 Paper 1 is 1 hour 45 minutes long. The paper consists of 90 marks Weighting 30%

Advanced Physics 2 Working as a Physicist Materials Waves and Particle Nature of Light Thermodynamics Space Nuclear Radiation Gravitational Fields Oscillations

Advanced Physics 2 Paper 2 is 1 hour 45 minutes long. The paper consists of 90 marks Weighting 30% General and Practical Principles in Physics Paper 3 is 2 hours 30 minutes. The paper consists of 120 marks Weighting 40% Questions in this paper may draw on any of the topics in this specification. The paper will include synoptic questions that may draw on two or more different topics. The paper will include questions that assess conceptual and theoretical understanding of experimental methods (indirect practical skills) that will draw on students’ experiences of the core practicals. In all papers students will be expected to apply their knowledge and understanding to familiar and unfamiliar contexts. All papers may include multiple-choice, short open, openresponse, calculations and extended writing questions.

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A L E V EL CO U R S E CH O I CE S 2 02 0 -2 02 2

SUBJECT INFORMATION

POLITICS Head of Department: Mr J Haskey

Why study A Level Politics? At a time of political and economic uncertainty at home and abroad there has never been a more important time to understand more about the workings and ideas behind how we are governed. During the A Level course students will look at the key institutions and issues in domestic politics both within the UK and the USA. Students will debate various issues such as the nature of democracy, the fairness of elections as well as recent changes in party politics. Students will develop key academic skills such as improving their writing so that they can construct and communicate arguments clearly and coherently using appropriate political vocabulary.

How will the skills and knowledge be taught? Politics is a well-resourced department. Students will have the most up-to-date textbooks that are approved by the examination boards. We are also fortunate that our subject has a number of fascinating books and documentaries to enliven most topics. The syllabus is complemented by a range of stimulating co-curricular opportunities that include guest speakers and visits to the Westminster Parliament, the UK Supreme Court and Washington DC.

COURSE DETAILS Board: EDEXCEL

A LEVEL COURSE STRUCTURE Content

Assessment

Government and politics of the UK The evolution of democracy in the UK Elections and referendums Political parties Pressure groups The nature and sources of the British Constitution The structure and role of Parliament The Prime Minister and Cabinet The judiciary Devolution

Three Exam Papers: Each paper will be 2 hours

Comparative politics – politics of the USA The US Constitution and federalism, US congress, US presidency, US Supreme Court, democracy and participation, civil rights

Paper 1: UK Politics Section A: UK Politics (extract question and essay question) Section B: Core Political Ideas (essay question) Paper 2: UK Government Section A: UK Government (extract question and essay question) Section B: Non-Core Political ideas – Anarchism (essay question) Paper 3: Comparative Politics Section A: Comparative Politics – USA and UK (short essay question) Section B: Comparative Politics – USA and UK (short essay question) Section C: USA Politics (two longer essay questions)

Political ideas Core ideologies: Liberalism, Conservatism, Socialism Other ideologies (study just one): Nationalism, Feminism, Multiculturalism, Anarchism, Ecologism

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SUBJECT INFORMATION

PRODUCT DESIGN Head of Department: Mr P Williams

Why study A Level Product Design? Product Design is a very exciting course that will stretch the student’s ability to think critically about design and how consumers interact with products. The course is both practical and theoretical so that students will understand the whole design process. There is a big emphasis on sustainability and materials which inform many design decisions. Students that study Product Design at A Level regularly go on to study design-based courses at university including architecture, product design & engineering.

How will the skills and knowledge be taught? The course is taught by two teachers and will be split between theory and practical lessons. There is a need for independent study as each student’s designs will take a different route. As well as lessons, students will also benefit from trips and the option to use ‘real world’ clients for their projects. Lessons will allow students to use their creative flair and they will be encouraged to think how their products would fit in to the commercial world.

COURSE DETAILS Board: WJEC EDUQAS

A LEVEL COURSE STRUCTURE Content

Assessment

Component 1 – Examination Paper Designing and innovation Materials and Components Processes Industrial and Commercial Practice Product Analysis & Systems Human responsibility Public interaction

Component 1 – Examination Paper (50%) 3 hours Learners take a single examination in Product Design. The examination includes a mix of structured and extended writing questions assessing the learner’s knowledge and understanding of: – Technical Principles – Designing and Making Principles.

Component 2 – Design and Make Project Candidates will undertake a single substantial project – a sustained design and make project, based on a brief developed by the candidate, assessing the candidate’s ability to:

Along with their ability to: – A nalyse and evaluate design decisions and wider issues in design and technology.

– Identify, investigate and outline design possibilities. – Design and make prototypes –A  nalyse and evaluate design decisions and wider issues in design and technology. Candidates will submit a major project which will satisfy the A Level assessment criteria.

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Component 2 (50%) Non-exam assessment (approximately 80 hours) This component is marked by the centre and moderated by the WJEC.


A L E V EL CO U R S E CH O I CE S 2 02 0 -2 02 2

SUBJECT INFORMATION

PSYCHOLOGY Head of Department: Miss F Lee

Why study A Level Psychology? Psychology is the study of the human brain and human behaviour. We study a wide range of areas, from early child development to social influence concepts such as obedience and social change. During your studies you will learn how to conduct research and have many opportunities to run your own experiments. Studying Psychology will develop your critical thinking skills as well as your numerical skills, enabling you to access a wide range of career opportunities.

How will the skills and knowledge be taught? Psychology covers three main skills: description, application and evaluation. Practical research methods skills are covered, and you will have the opportunity to use these during regular experiments which you will plan and execute. You will be taught to think reflectively on all of the theory and ideas you learn, to enable you to consider the strengths and weaknesses of them. Lessons will incorporate lots of discussion and the opportunity to develop both your written and verbal analytical skills.

COURSE DETAILS Board: AQA

A LEVEL COURSE STRUCTURE Content

Assessment

Paper 1 – Introductory Topics in Psychology Section A: Social Influence Section B: Memory Section C: Attachment Section D: Psychopathology

Paper 1 – Introductory Topics in Psychology (2 hours) All sections feature multiple choice, short answer and extended writing. The paper consists of 96 marks.

Paper 2 – Psychology in Context Section A: Approaches in Psychology Section B: Biopsychology Section C: Research Methods

Paper 2 – Psychology in Context (2 hours) All sections feature multiple choice, short answer and extended writing. The paper consists of 96 marks.

Paper 3 – Issues and Options in Psychology Section A: Issues and Debates Section B: Gender or Cognition and Development Section C: Schizophrenia Section D: Forensics or Aggression

Paper 3 – Issues and Options in Psychology (2 hours) All sections feature multiple choice, short answer and extended writing. The paper consists of 96 marks. The papers are evenly weighted and all assess the key skills of description, application and evaluation. Across the three papers students will be expected to apply their learning to unseen scenarios. Questions will also target mathematical skills including calculations.

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SUBJECT INFORMATION

SPANISH Head of Department: Miss A-M Vaughan

Why study A Level Spanish? During the A Level Spanish course, you will develop an understanding of Hispanic culture in a variety of contexts and learn to communicate confidently, clearly and effectively in Spanish for a range of purposes. You will be able to express facts and ideas and present explanations, opinions and information in Spanish. In studying Spanish you will improve your employment possibilities and enhance your travel experiences.

How will the skills and knowledge be taught? A Level Spanish will be taught by two specialists. Lessons will enable you to reach a good level of fluency and develop your capacity for critical thinking through the vibrant medium of Hispanic culture. You will engage intellectually with stimulating materials, including song, film and text, developing an appreciation of the language in its cultural and social context. Students will have a weekly individual oral session with a Spanish Assistant and the option to take part in a Sixth Form trip to Madrid, or complete work experience abroad.

COURSE DETAILS Board: AQA

A LEVEL COURSE STRUCTURE Content

Assessment

Theme 1: Aspects of Hispanic society Modern and traditional values Technological advances Equal rights

Paper 1: Listening, reading and writing 2 hours and 30 minutes 50% of the qualification Listening and responding Reading and responding Translation into and from Spanish

Theme 2: Artistic culture in the Hispanic world The influence of idols on young people Regional identity in Spain Hispanic heritage, traditions and festivals Theme 3: Multiculturalism in Hispanic society Immigration Racism Integration and multiculturalism Theme 4: Aspects of political life in the Hispanic world Young people and politics Monarchies and dictatorships Social movements Literature and film studies Individual research project

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Paper 2: Writing 2 hours 20% of the qualification Written response to a text (300 words) Written response to a film (300 words) Paper 3: Speaking Internally conducted and externally assessed 21-23 minutes (including 5 minutes preparation time 30% of the qualification Part 1: discussion on a sub-theme of a stimulus card Part 2: presentation and discussion of the student’s individual research project


A L E V EL CO U R S E CH O I CE S 2 02 0 -2 02 2

SUBJECT INFORMATION

THEOLOGY AND PHILOSOPHY Head of Department: Mr E Hogarth

Why study A Level Theology and Philosophy? This course is open to all those who are fascinated by philosophical and ethical questions of meaning, purpose and truth. If you are interested in issues such as arguments for the existence of God, the question of suffering and the after-life, the relationship between religion and society and how we can make decisions between ‘right’ and ‘wrong’, this course is certainly worth considering.

How will the skills and knowledge be taught? Students will be taught in a variety of ways, from small seminar style discussions to independent projects and presentations. Part of the study involves reading some extracts or short books about what particular philosophers think about the topics being studied. This enables students to engage with particular arguments and critically evaluate them. Beyond the classroom, pupils are encouraged to participate in The Academy, a student led discussion group, and to partake in trips to conferences in London and beyond.

COURSE DETAILS Board: OCR

A LEVEL COURSE STRUCTURE Content

Assessment

Philosophy of Religion The study begins with a glimpse of some of the philosophical issues discussed by the Ancient Greeks, including debates about God’s existence, and whether belief can be rationally justified. Classic philosophical arguments are explored to help students to think more clearly and to evaluate big questions such as those raised by the problem of evil and suffering. You will also explore the nature of the body and soul, the question of survival after death and whether religious experiences can give evidence of God.

Three papers (Philosophy, Ethics, Developments) Each 2 hours long. Questions will be 40 mark essays, three essays per paper. Pupils will need to be comfortable writing at length.

Religious Ethics This part of the course explores what it means to lead a ‘good life’. Are there ways in which I can be helped to make important moral decisions? A variety of ethical traditions will be studied, from the relativism of Utilitarianism to the absolutism of Natural Law. Students will debate moral issues in the news and in society. Other topics include abortion and euthanasia, the ethics of war and peace, sexual, business and environmental ethics. Students are asked to consider what is distinctive about a religious perspective on ethical issues. The nature and role of conscience and the debate over free-will and determinism are also covered. Religious Developments This unit explores the inter-connections between religion and the contemporary world through an exploration of sources of religious wisdom and authority and how practices shape and express religious identity. We consider significant social and historical developments in theology and religious thought – Feminism, Communism and Secularism – and questions such as ‘How relevant is religion today?’ and ‘How should I live a moral life?’

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