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Guidance Booklet for Year 10 and 11 Courses 2014 - 2016


Preparing for Courses in Years 10 and 11 This booklet is written for Year 9 students. It should also be helpful for parents/carers. Please read it carefully! In September 2014, at the start of Year 10, you will begin a series of two-year courses. Most of them will eventually lead to examination success at the end of Year 11. Some may not lead to a final public examination, but will still be relevant to your future life. Whether the courses lead to a public examination or not, we believe that each is important. We hope that you will find each one interesting, challenging and useful in its own right. A lot of care goes into the choice of courses, their design and the ways in which they are taught. Only one person can make sure that this effort is worthwhile and that is you. We hope that you will make the most of these opportunities by always trying your very best throughout every course you do. Where will the courses lead? The majority of the courses will result in a qualification at the end of the course. These qualifications will be gained as a full or half GCSE or as a BTEC. What is a GCSE? GCSE stands for the General Certificate of Secondary Education.      

Courses usually run for two years and are open to all students. Certificates are awarded on a single scale of eight grades, A* - G. All examinations measure what you know, understand and can do. Most subjects have some form of assessed coursework. Coursework is important because it shows what you can do outside the examination room. In some subjects, coursework can be done at home. In others, it will be done under near exam conditions. Coursework is also very important because a percentage of the final result comes from it. Failure to produce coursework on time usually leads to failure in the examination. Spelling, punctuation and grammar are tested in all subjects.

What is a BTEC? We offer Level 1 BTEC courses to a few students in KS4. BTECs are high quality vocational qualifications that blend the needs of the classroom with those of the working world. This gives students a greater choice for their future. Level 1 BTECs are equivalent to GCSE grades D-G and can lead to post-16 Level 2 courses at college. They would benefit students who enjoy a more practical, project-based approach to learning that has more relevance to the world of work. What will courses in Years 10 and 11 involve? Most courses will require you to produce coursework. This will be assessed and will count towards your final grade. There are also examinations at the end of most courses. In order to do really well in any subject, you must work hard throughout the course and prepare carefully for tests and the final examinations. Read the details in the course descriptions carefully as they will help you to understand what is required. It is very important that you make good use of study time at home. You should expect to spend up to two hours on most nights on work related to your examination courses. Some of this work will be set by your teacher as homework, but you will also be expected to do some independent work. This means reading about the subjects that you are studying and checking that your work is up to date with nothing missing.

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It is important to be aware that the final standard of your work will be compared with the work of other students from across the country. You always need to try your best: you will then have the satisfaction of achieving a grade that was well deserved and is a good reflection of your ability and the effort that you made. What will be different from KS3? All Key Stage 4 students must study a core of compulsory subjects. In addition, at SMRT, Religious Education (RE) is studied by everyone. Some subjects are optional. So, you are able to choose some of the courses that you would like to do next year. You will be asked to choose up to three optional subjects to add to the compulsory ones. You could choose:  Three traditional GCSE subjects Or you might have been guided towards:  A vocational Level 1 BTEC plus TWO GCSE options. The course will be combined with a package of other relevant courses. This will be explained later in the Year 10 and 11 Courses booklet. Note: Only a small number of subjects are taught in bands R and T next year. The majority of subjects will have a mix of students from across the year group. This does, however, mean that a number of students will need to change bands in order to accommodate their option subjects. In fact, in most of your classes, you are likely to be working with different groups of students than the ones you are with now. Don't worry about this - you will quickly adjust. What will the compulsory courses be? Below are the courses that will make up your Compulsory Core:       

English Language GCSE, plus English Literature GCSE for most students Mathematics GCSE Core and Additional Science GCSE (Double Science) Religious Education (Full or * Short Course GCSE) Values in Practice (including Careers & Citizenship) Physical Education (non-GCSE) Vocational Education (including Careers Education) * * For students who take the Level 1 BTEC course

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How do I choose my optional subjects? You can choose up to three options in total. This is done in the following way: 1.

Choose one subject from Table A below. Enter your choice into the main table on the Options Choices Forms A and B as Option Choice 1 (at the back of this booklet).

2.

Choose two more subjects from Table A or Table B below. In other words, two subjects from the whole list (this could be one from Table A and one from Table B; or two from Table A; or two from Table B). Enter your choices into the main table on the Options Choices Forms A and B as Option Choice 2 and Option Choice 3 (at the back of this booklet).

Table A

Table B

Geography GCSE

Art & Design GCSE

History GCSE

Music GCSE

French GCSE

Drama GCSE

German GCSE Triple Science GCSE (this would replace Double Science)

PE GCSE Media Studies GCSE

Computer Science

Business Studies GCSE

Photography GCSE (mainly for Level 1 students) DT: Food Technology GCSE (mainly for Level 1 students)

ICT (National First Award) DT: Product Design GCSE

Level 1 BTEC course (see below for subject choices)

DT: Textile Technology GCSE DT: Food Technology GCSE Health & Social Care GCSE Child Development GCSE

Note 1

Level 1 is equivalent to GCSE D-G (Level 2 is equivalent to GCSE A*-C).

Note 2

Only one Design Technology (DT) subject may be chosen.

Note 3

You cannot choose both Art & Design GCSE and Photography GCSE.

Note 4

Level 1 BTEC course: This takes the time of one option. However, students choosing this will study two BTEC Level 1 Awards. One will be studied in Y10 and the other in Y11. Each one is equivalent to a GCSE at grades D-G. It may be possible to study one subject over two years and get a BTEC Level 1 Certificate worth two GCSEs at D-G grades. The subjects available are:

Level 1 BTEC subject choices (you will study two of these) Motorbike maintenance Hair & Beauty Dance Construction Caring for Children Animal Care Catering & Hospitality (including home cooking)

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How will my time be spent? The school week consists of five 5 period days, giving a total of twenty-five teaching periods. We work a two-week timetable of fifty teaching periods. So, over a two week period, you will be getting the following subject timings, unless you are doing the Level 1 BTEC course: English Mathematics Double Science RE PE and Games (Non-exam) Values in Practice Options (three of these*)

7 periods 7 periods 10 periods 5 periods 4 periods 2 periods 5 periods each

* Triple Science counts as one option plus it replaces Double Science. If you are doing the Level 1 BTEC course, the subject timings will be: English Mathematics Double Science RE (short course) & Values in Practice PE and Games (Non-exam) Vocational Education Level 1 BTEC course

6 periods 7 periods 10 periods 3 periods 4 periods 4 periods 6 periods 5 periods each

What types of choices can I make? Science A Science course is compulsory, but a choice can be made between Double Science (consisting of Core + Additional Science) or Triple Science (consisting of the three separate sciences of Biology, Chemistry & Physics). Both Double Science and Triple Science provide an appropriate in-depth grounding for progression to science subjects at A-level. 

Double Science: Many students are likely to choose this. It consists of Core Science GCSE plus Additional Science GCSE from the optional subjects. The Core Science GCSE will be completed in Y10, including the external exams. The Additional Science GCSE will be taken in Y11. Double Science covers all three sciences. You can choose three optional subjects.

Triple Science: If you are likely to achieve at least a Level 6 in your KS3 Science and you really want to study more science, maybe because you are considering a science-based career, then you could choose Triple Science. This uses the Double Science time plus the time of one option to study separate sciences (Biology, Chemistry & Physics). You can choose two other optional subjects.

Vocational Courses (including the Level 1 BTEC course) Vocational courses are closely related to the world of work and would suit you if you prefer a much more practical approach to learning or if you are motivated by seeing the relevance of the subject to the job market. There are two types of vocational course on offer: 

Health & Social Care Vocational GCSE: This involves a mixture of coursework and one exam. It is a full GCSE course.

Child Development GCSE: This involves a mixture of coursework and one exam. It is a full GCSE.

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Level 1 BTEC course: If you choose this, you will spend half a day per week at The Park in South Bristol. Courses run for one year and students will complete one in Y10 and another in Y11. It is assessed throughout the course. Depending on your progress, you may achieve a Level 1 qualification (equivalent to a GCSE at grades D-G) or an Entry Level qualification (equivalent to below grade G at GCSE) in each of the two subjects. It takes the time of one option. If you have been guided to take this, you will need to choose two other optional subjects. You may also be given guidance as to which options may be appropriate for you. The vocational subjects on offer will probably be some of the following:  Motorbike maintenance  Hair & Beauty  Dance  Construction  Caring for Children  Animal Care  Catering & Hospitality (including home cooking) You will study two Level 1 BTEC subjects, but you will need to give an order of priority for up to four of these. This is because the subjects offered will depend on everyone’s preferences.

Other Options The remaining optional subjects are single GCSE subjects and so you can choose up to three of these, depending on which type of science course you have chosen and whether you have chosen a vocational course. There are a few University courses that require a Modern Foreign Language at GCSE grade C or above. If you have a particular degree course in mind, you should check whether this is a requirement and, if so, you will need to study a language. So, how do I show my choices? You must select three main choices, plus two reserves. Put your choices in priority order in the following way:  If you have chosen more than one subject from Table A, put the one that you most want to do as Option Choice 1  The remaining two choices should then be placed in priority order. Put the one that you most want to do as Option Choice 2 and the other as Option Choice 3 Your two reserves should be chosen as follows:  One reserve chosen from Table A  One further reserve chosen from either Table A or Table B Notes  You cannot pick both Art & Design GCSE and Photography GCSE from Group 5 as they both cover the same process skills and so the Government does not allow students to take more than one.  You cannot pick more than one Design Technology subject from Group 6 as they all cover the same process skills and so the Government does not allow students to take more than one.  If you have been guided to take a Level 1 BTEC course, you need to choose two other subjects. You might be given advice about which other options to choose.  If you have been guided to take a Level 1 BTEC course, you must give an order of priority of up to four subjects from the list on page 5. You will study two of these.

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The English Baccalaureate Current Government thinking is that students who are capable of at least a C grade should seriously consider taking a Modern Foreign Language and either History or Geography, as well as Double or Triple Science or Computer Science. These, together English and Maths, make up what the Government calls the English Baccalaureate. It is not a qualification in its own right and, as yet, no University has made it part of their entry requirements for degree level courses. Will I be guaranteed the subjects of my choice? No. Not guaranteed - but we hope that the option choices of most students can be met. The numbers of places in each subject will be limited by the staffing and other resources that we have available. Some courses offered in this booklet may not run, if not enough students want to take them. As far as the compulsory subjects are concerned, you are guaranteed a place on those courses. If there are more students wishing to study an optional subject than there are places in the classes, the following will happen: 1.

Students who have returned Form A (at the back of this booklet) late will be the last to be considered for a place for any over-subscribed subject.

2.

The students’ order of priority will be considered and those who have the subject highest up their order will be included first.

3.

A random selection will be made from students who have placed the subject as their lowest priority.

4.

Those who are unlucky will be moved to one of their reserves. The Deputy Head (Learning & Achievement) will discuss with you which of your reserves you want.

5.

For Triple Science, students must have Level 6 at KS3. If there are more students opting than can be accommodated, the decision will be made based on performance in KS3 Science. If this does not resolve the problem fully, points 2 and 3 above will be used.

6.

For Photography, students, whose achievement so far suggests that they will probably attain Level 1 qualifications at KS4 (equivalent to GCSE grades D-G), will be given priority. Other places will be allocated as above.

7.

For DT Food Technology, students, whose achievement so far suggests that they will probably attain Level 1 qualifications at KS4 (equivalent to GCSE grades D-G), will be given priority for the group in Table A. Other places will be allocated as above. If there are sufficient numbers opting for DT Food Technology in Table B, a second group will be run for students of the full range of abilities.

Your Tutor will sign and date Form A on the day it is received. No advantage will be gained from the form being returned early.

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What help can I get in making my choices? Before you choose your three optional choices, think carefully! You might like to think about your choices in the light of the school’s ALIVE values, skills and attributes (printed in your Planner). Which choices will best help you develop these in the next two years? Answering the following questions will also help you to make the right decision:  Do you understand clearly what each course is about and where it might lead to later?  Which subjects might be required for a particular career that you have in mind?  Which subjects have you been good at so far?  Which subjects do you have a genuine interest in? You will need help in deciding your answers to these questions - don't be afraid to ask for information and opinions from:  Parents or Carers  Subject Teachers  Your ViP Teacher  Your Tutor  People doing jobs that interest you There is helpful information in the careers section of the Learning Resources Centre. Don’t choose a subject just because:  You like a particular teacher - someone else may be teaching you!  Your friends have chosen the subject - it may be right for them, but not for you and you may well not be put into the same group as them. Does all this mean that I should know now what I want to do for my career? No, but it is helpful if you know your strengths and weaknesses, likes and dislikes and have some appreciation of the types of work that might interest you. During the next two years, help will be available to you through your ViP lessons. Remember: It’s your future! You are choosing courses to last for two years. Changing courses later may not be possible – get it right first time! How soon must the choices be made? The final date by which Form A (at the back of this booklet) must be returned to your House Tutor is Monday 3 March 2014, so you have several weeks to make your decision. Use the time wisely. Form B is for you to fill in and keep, to remind you of your choices. The lists of classes for option subjects will be displayed before the end of Term 6. The lists for compulsory subjects will be displayed in subject areas or given to you by your teachers. Note: Remember to discuss your choices with your Tutor, who will be glad to use his or her experience to guide you. Deadline Date Your completed forms must be returned to your Tutor by Monday 3 March 2014.

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Form B Option Choices for Year 10 (your copy to keep) Surname

Tutor Group

First Name

Band (R or T)

My priority order for Optional Subjects is: Subject Title Option Choice 1 from Table A Option Choice 2 from either Table A or B Option Choice 3 from either Table A or B Reserve from Table A Reserve from either Table A or B Please fill in all three choices and both reserves. Put your choices in priority order in the following way:  If you have chosen more than one subject from Table A, put the one that you most want to do as Option Choice 1  The remaining two choices should then be placed in priority order. Put the one that you most want to do as Option Choice 2 and the other as Option Choice 3 For students choosing the Level 1 BTEC course only Please choose four of the six options below in order of priority. You will only study two of these, but the courses that run will be based on everyone’s priorities. Subject

Order of priority (1 = highest 4 = lowest)

Motorbike maintenance Hair & Beauty Dance Construction Caring for Children Animal Care Catering & Hospitality (including home cooking)

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Form A Option Choices for Year 10 Please fill in this sheet, detach it from the booklet and return it to your tutor by Monday 3 March 2014. Print clearly. Surname

Tutor Group

First Name

Band (R or T)

My priority order for Optional Subjects is: Subject Title Option Choice 1 from Table A Option Choice 2 from either Table A or B Option Choice 3 from either Table A or B Reserve from Table A Reserve from either Table A or B Please fill in all three choices and both reserves. Put your choices in priority order in the following way:  If you have chosen more than one subject from Table A, put the one that you most want to do as Option Choice 1  The remaining two choices should then be placed in priority order. Put the one that you most want to do as Option Choice 2 and the other as Option Choice 3 For students choosing the Level 1 BTEC course only Please choose four of the six options below in order of priority. You will only study two of these, but the courses that run will be based on everyone’s priorities. Subject

Order of priority (1 = highest 4 = lowest)

Motorbike maintenance Hair & Beauty Dance Construction Caring for Children Animal Care Catering & Hospitality (including home cooking) Tutor signature

Date received

Tutors – please sign and put the date that you received this form, then return to your HoH. Please ensure all forms are returned.

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Options booklet advice section 2014  

Guidance booklet for Year 10 and Year 11 courses in 2014 at St Mary Redcliffe and Temple School, Bristol.