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Academic Life at City of London School

A guide for GCSE and A Level pupils 2013-2014

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Designed by Tom Kelly at City of London School September 2012

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Table of Contents About this booklet

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Advice for all subjects Biology Chemistry Classics Design & Visual Arts Drama Economics English Geography History I.C.T. Mathematics Modern Languages Music Physical Education Physics Politics Religious Studies The Library

3 5 7 9 11 13 15 17 19 21 23 25 27 29 31 33 35 37 39

Becoming an effective learner

40

Tips for different learner types

41

Some help with knowing how to revise

42

General revision tips:

43

The A* at A-level

44

External links to helpful sites for A-level

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About this booklet This booklet is a guide for parents and boys to the GCSE and A Level courses that exist at CLS. You will find condensed information from all departments that will give you ready access to helpful information. The majority of these will be resources produced by the school, but we will occasionally recommend external links. Ultimately, boys will most likely achieve the grades that they deserve in their exams. A* grades are the preserve of both the clever (which all CLS boys are) and the hardworking. It is the combination of these two that will deliver the greatest success. All the staff at CLS are committed to giving boys the best possible opportunities to thrive academically, but the teachers should not be working harder for the exams than the boys. Therefore boys must not be passive passengers in this process. Boys must take responsibility for time management, revision and organising studies. Boys should develop independent study skills so that university life will not be daunting. The best advice is to work steadily and impressively at all times so class work and homework is done to the highest possible standard. This means that revision for tests and exams is not so overwhelming as boys will have notes and organised files from which to review. If these good intentions falter, holidays should be used to catch up, check over books and files, fill in gaps, replace missing handouts – do not leave this until exam leave. Use file dividers, folders, plastic wallets to keep on top of the paper!

Miss N.H. Murphy Director of Studies

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Advice for all subjects

Seeing a teacher All staff across all departments are happy to discuss any problems a boy may be having, but you are advised to wait until after a lesson before asking for help. Although departments will try to be accessible at all times, some teachers have allocated times when they try to be available to offer assistance. You should check with individual teachers for more information.

Exam boards Edexcel: www.edexcel.com OCR: www.ocr.org.uk CIE: www.cie.org.uk AQA: www.aqa.org.uk

Peer support Mentoring schemes are run by the school across various year groups. Please contact individual departments for more details.

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Biology Academic Life - Dec 2012 (Final 2).indd 4

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Where to find help with...

Head of Department:

Biology

Mr N Mackinnon nom@clsb.org.uk

IGCSE: A Level:

Edexcel OCR

Seeing a teacher 

Boys should always feel free to consult a member of the department for additional assistance.

Library 

The library has copies of all text-books used in lessons and a wide range of additional materials. It also stocks relevant journals including Nature, New Scientist and Scientific American. The library also stocks a range of relevant non-syllabus texts by such authors as Dawkins, Jones, Dennett and Pinker. Students are encouraged to explore the subject in more depth and expand their knowledge and understanding by ‘reading around’ the subject. The department also has available a number of advanced texts which are useful for those students who feel that they would benefit from a more detailed, or alternative approach to syllabus-specific topic material.

Online 

Teachers will usually recommend specific sites for particular homework/research tasks. The school website and network also has further information regarding course structure and revision advice.

Workshops 

Revision workshops take place in the run up to January and Summer exams. These are advertised in classes.

Societies 

The STEM, Science and Medical Societies arrange a programme of visiting speakers many of which are of particular interest to Biology students.

Trips 

Students will attend at least one Field Studies Course as part of their learning and assessment. Students are encouraged to look out for lecture programmes at the Royal Society and Gresham College.

Oxbridge 

Those boys applying to study Biology at Oxford or Cambridge universities will be supported by their individual Biology teachers.

Competitions 

Entry to the Biology Olympiad competition is open to all Sixth Formers.

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Chemistry Academic Life - Dec 2012 (Final 2).indd 6

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Where to find help with...

Head of Department:

Chemistry

Mrs P McCarthy pcm@clsb.org.uk

IGCSE: A Level:

Edexcel Edexcel

Seeing a teacher 

Clinics 

Any member of the Chemistry department will be happy to discuss any problems a boy may be having. Boys should see them after a lesson. Some try to be available at specific times of the week. Please check with individual teachers.

These are run for IGCSE candidates each year after the mock examinations and before study leave begins. The timetable will be sent out via Schoolcomms.

Books and library 

Science Society and Medical Society. Please find details regarding these in the Calendar and Fixtures list or from individual Science teachers.

There are two reference copies of all the current textbooks available in the library along with a range of other books suitable for further reading around the subject. The department also has its own small collection of books available. Anyone who wants to do some extra reading, particularly in the Sixth Form or in preparation for university interviews, is welcome to borrow these.

Online 

Resources including past papers, powerpoint presentations, electronic copies of the IGCSE textbook are available on the school network under all pupils, chemistry. There are also many interesting and relevant Chemistry websites on the internet including for example www.chemguide.co.uk, www.rsc.org, www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize

Clubs and societies 

Trips 

J6 Chemists are taken on a one day seminar in the first or second term of the AS Chemistry course.

Oxbridge 

Those boys applying to study Chemistry at Oxford or Cambridge universities will be supported by their individual Chemistry teachers.

Competititons 

A number of J6 and S6 boys are entered each year for the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Olympiad competition.

Department resources 

These can be found as described above in the online section.

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Classics Academic Life - Dec 2012 (Final 2).indd 8

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Where to find help with...

Head of Department:

Classics

Mr W Ellis-Rees wer@clsb.org.uk

GCSE: A Level:

OCR OCR

Books and library 

The School Library has a good selection of books on all aspects of Classical subjects. The Department also has extensive library resources on Level 4: just come and ask if you have particular requirements.

Online 

Trips 

We organise two trips a year. At half term in the Spring Term we take a small group of younger pupils for a walking tour of Hadrian’s Wall. A foreign trip, open to boys of all ages, takes place at the end of the Spring Term.

Exams 

There is a lot of help and advice on the school website for boys sitting GCSE, AS and A2 exams. You will find details of specifications, summaries of essential grammar, instructions for scanning poetry, links to vocabulary self-testing programs, and general help on revision. We can also recommend external websites to help you with particular aspects of your work ― just ask!

Boys sitting any public exam are provided with all necessary materials ― translations, notes, copies of articles and so on. Extra sessions are arranged for those wanting to improve their unseen translation skills. Advice and help are always available from members of the Classics Department. The Exam Board is OCR.

Clinics 

Sixth Formers aspiring to read any of the Classical degrees at Oxford or Cambridge are given a great deal of help and support in developing their interests, submitting an application and preparing for interview. We have detailed knowledge of both the Oxford and Cambridge courses, and of the general application procedure.

We organise lunch-time revision classes for GCSE candidates in the Summer Term. The principal aim of these is to give boys practice in unseen translation.

Department resources 

As well as the books already referred to, we keep copies of Omnibus, an excellent journal written for Sixth Formers studying any of the Classical subjects. We also have an extensive collection of DVDs on Classical themes, and we are happy for boys to watch these (subject to certification) in our classrooms during the lunch hour.

Clubs and societies 

Oxbridge 

Competitions 

Sixth Formers are encouraged to enter the various essay competitions that are organised by Oxford and Cambridge colleges. Researching and writing a substantial essay is not only rewarding in itself, but also a good way of developing valuable academic skills.

We have a Junior Classics Club, which meets once a week in a lunch hour. Boys are given a variety of creative and entertaining activities, and sometimes DVDs are shown. The club is open to all boys in Old Grammar, First and Second Forms.

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Design & Visual Arts Academic Life - Dec 2012 (Final 2).indd 10

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Where to find help with...

Design & Visual Arts Head of Department: Mr R G Pomeroy rgp@clsb.org.uk

OCR GCSE: A Level: OCR Edexcel (Unendorsed*) GCSE: A Level: Edexcel (Unendorsed*)

Books and library  The department has

a wide selection of books including monographs on individual artists, broad histories of art and books on more specific areas such as installation, photography, contemporary art, painting, drawing, sculpture, printmaking and architecture. Continually updated with catalogues/books from the latest exhibitions. These books are available for use within the department and boys can also borrow books with the permission of their individual teacher.

Online  • GCSE, AS & A2 revision advice • 3rd form exam revision advice • Gallery

Clinics  Workshops for GCSE, AS and A2 students are organised in the Reserve Days. Sessions for these students (formal and informal - lunchtimes and after school) are also held in the weeks prior to the main public exams. Department resources  Large Intaglio printing press. Silk screen printing beds and exposure unit. Kiln plus potters wheels. Glaze spray booth. Sculpting equipment/welding equipment. Laser cutter. Macs, PCs and laptops. Colour copier/printer. Overhead projectors/ Projector. Photography darkroom. Clubs and societies 

Craft and Design Club: lunchtime sessions for boys in 2nd, 3rd and 4th form (GCSE Art only). At all levels, boys will be developing their ideas, and technical skills, and producing finished pieces of work. They will work with the laser cutter, Cad Cam, welding equipment, machine and hand tools. Photographic Club: after school sessions (currently 2 hours on Mondays) for Art and non-Art boys at all levels. Range of techniques

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* allows boys to produce work in a wide range of media. No restrictions.

and processes taught (film/digital) including developing/use of darkroom etc. An exhibition of work by members of the Photographic Club is held each year. The sessions are organised and run by a part time professional photographer.

Trips  These include Tate Modern, Barbican, and other London galleries. Also... • Painters’ Hall – life drawing sessions. • Study days – Institute of Education. • T rips outside of London eg. The Roche Court Art Centre, Wiltshire.

Oxbridge  Boys applying to study Architecture at Cambridge are given help/ guidance with the preparation of their portfolio. Mock interviews – Head of Art plus other member of staff (Art/Careers) Competititons  The Fourth Plinth

competition – held annually for younger pupils who submit work/ideas for a piece of contemporary art for the 4th Plinth, Trafalgar Square.

Other  Work by pupils of all ages is exhibited

around the school. Exhibitions are regularly organised in the display area (level 2 – front of school) often to tie in with parents’ evenings , school events etc. At the end of each year, the DVA department holds its main exhibition of GCSE, AS and A2 work in the DVA studios, with a Private View attended byparents, staff and boys etc. Each year, a number of Senior Sixth Formers make successful applications to Art Schools (University of the Arts etc) to study on Foundation Courses. A small number also successfully apply to study Architecture at some of the top schools of Architecture in the country (Cambridge, BartlettUCL, Edinburgh etc).

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Drama Academic Life - Dec 2012 (Final 2).indd 12

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Where to find help with...

Head of Department:

Drama

Mr M C Biltcliffe mb@clsb.org.uk

IGCSE: CIE  (present Fourth Form) (present Fifth Form) GCSE: Edexcel 

Books and library 

A Level:

AQA

School Plays and clubs 

The library has copies of all the Drama set texts. It also has a large collection of plays from a wide range of different historical periods to support wider reading around the set texts. The library also stocks books on the theatre practitioners encountered in Drama such as Stanislavski, Brecht, and Artaud.

The department mounts at least one production per term involving a large number of boys in extracurricular Drama. A “Tech” Club is run most lunchtimes to train boys in technical aspects of the theatre who then become the technical team for running the school productions.

Online 

A large number of theatre trips are run by the department for pupils in the Third Form and above. These include trips to see popular West End shows, shows at the National Theatre and The Globe Theatre as well as off- West End shows and fringe theatre.

There is a wealth of useful sites designed for Theatre Studies students. The following are recommended: • National Theatre www.nationaltheatre.org.uk oyal Shakespeare Company • R www.rsc.org.uk/education • B ritish Theatre Guide www.britishtheatreguide.info Teachers will usually recommend specific sites for particular homework/research tasks. These might include podcasts and boys are encouraged to use iTunes to access these. The school website and network also has further information regarding course structure and revision advice

Workshops 

Extra rehearsal sessions for AS and A-level performance exams are run by the department from February onwards including sessions during the February half-term. Extra rehearsal sessions for GCSE are often run in March and April.

Trips 

Examinations 

The examining boards are Edexcel for GCSE and AQA for A-Level. LAMDA Exams sessions are run each year for 2nd Form pupils and above and all grades are catered for up to gold medal. These sessions run at lunchtimes and after school.

Societies 

There is a Theatre Society open to all Fourth Formers and above that meets on Thursday lunchtime to discuss aspects of theatre, recent productions and also invites in guest speakers from the acting profession.

Competitions 

Inter Form Drama Contests are held each year, mainly in the 2nd Form.

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Economics Academic Life - Dec 2012 (Final 2).indd 14

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Where to find help with...

Economics Head of Department: Mr L M Redit lmr@clsb.org.uk

A Level:

OCR

Seeing a teacher 

Staff available lunchtime or after school by appointment

Books and library 

Extensive selection in Economics department and in school library. • ‘Economics Today’ • ‘Economic Review’ • ‘British Economic Survey’ • The Economist subscription at £3 per annum

Online  • tutor2u.net • ONS.gov.uk • bankofengland.co.uk • bized.co.uk • ft.com.uk • www.google.com/finance • uk.finance.yahoo.com

Department resources 

Clinics  • AS micro/macro after school

Trips 

City Visits to Bank of England, London Metal Exchange, Lloyd’s insurance market, Baltic Exchange, NYC

Oxbridge 

Oxbridge classes in J6 for those applying for Economics related courses

Competititons  • Young Enterprise • Target 2.0 • Base Challenge • ProShare

Other 

Students are encouraged to enter essay competitions and these are advertised in the Department.

• Extensive library of economic literature • Textbooks • Clubs and societies • Economics Society

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English Academic Life - Dec 2012 (Final 2).indd 16

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Where to find help with...

Head of Department:

English

Mr G Phillipson gp@clsb.org.uk

IGCSE: A Level:

CIE CIE

Seeing a teacher  Come to the Department Staff Room next to the Junior School Hall. Make special arrangements if you need to see your teacher out of lesson times. Books and Library  The fiction, drama, poetry and Literary Criticism sections are well stocked. Success at A Level depends upon reading widely and in depth; IGCSE students who envisage going on to A Level should read widely. E Magazine and English Review contain useful articles on set texts. Books can also be obtained from the London Library. Reading lists are available from your teacher. Online  JSTOR can supply up to the minute

literary criticism and research, but you need to be judicious in its use. Remember: plagiarism is a serious offence and can get you banned from examinations! The English Dept area on the CLS website contains some past IGCSE papers and revision advice for both IGCSE and A Level.

Exam preparation  IGCSE candidates

are supplied with booklets of past papers at the start of the Fourth Year. A Level candidates are supplied with appropriate revision materials and past papers as the course unfolds. Teachers are always ready to help with advice, especially after IGCSE ‘Mocks’ and in the run up to AS and A2 exams. Use peer support: get an ‘academic buddy’ to share ideas, go through practice papers, test each other on quotations, techniques etc. Use family support: try out ideas and arguments on family members; see if they understand you, or need further development/ clarification.

Clubs and Societies  Story Telling Society, Hancock’s Half Hour Appreciation Society, Alive! Poets’ Society, The Circle (creative writing), Barnes-Amis Society (literary appreciation and discussion), ALL welcome – just turn up! Examinations  Exam Boards IGCSE CIE A Level CIE . Syllabuses are too lengthy and detailed to be summarised here. Speak to your teacher or consult the Cambridge International Examinations website (www.cie.org.uk). Syllabus details: • IGCSE First Language English (0500). You will sit Paper 2 (Reading Passages Higher Tier) & Paper 3 (Directed Writing & Composition) • IGCSE Literature in English (0486). You will sit Paper 1 (Set texts) & Paper 3 (Alternative to Course Work – Unseen Passages). • International A Level (9695). • At AS, you will sit Paper 3 (Poetry & Prose) & Paper 4 (Drama); at A2, you will sit Paper 5 (Shakespeare & other pre-C20th. texts) & submit a 3,000 word Course Work project.

Oxbridge  Prospective Oxbridge candidates will get guidance as to wider reading. Competitions  Boys are encouraged to enter the Peterhouse Thomas Campion Prize and the Tower Poetry Competition and should look in the department for posters advertising these and their deadlines.

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Geography Academic Life - Dec 2012 (Final 2).indd 18

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Where to find help with...

Head of Department:

Geography

Mr O J Davies ojd@clsb.org.uk

IGCSE: A Level:

CIE AQA

Books and library  Boys are encouraged to use the library. Where all journals and books are stored for pupil access The Geography department subscribes to the following journals: • Wide World (IGCSE) • Geography Review (Sixth Form) • Geographical Journal (Sixth Form) • National Geographic (Sixth Form) There is an academic and casual reading list on display within the department, on shared drive and in the library which is suitable for all ages. All suggested books are available in school, either from the department or the school library.

Online  The department has a variety of

course guidance booklets on the school website. Resources for all units studied in the school are available on the school intranet under the Geography section

Clinics  Department runs A level revision clinics every year for public exams Department resources  • Large DVD bank • P owerPoint Lessons and resources are all available on shared drive • M ember of RGS and boys are frequent visitors to the lecture programme • Textbooks are available for all year groups

Clubs and societies  GeogSoc

runs a variety of activities including regular discussions groups, speaker visits, Lower School competitions and Geography research for prospective university applicants.

Trips  • London Docklands, to examine urban regeneration (4th/5th form) • Alfriston, looking at IGCSE fieldwork techniques (4th/5th form) • R esidential trip to examine geographical fieldwork skills (Junior 6th) • S tratford and East London to look at World Cities and Globalisation (Senior 6th) In addition the department runs an optional Upper School expedition every year. The Upper School travel further and have visited Peru, Namibia, Iceland, and Morocco in recent years.

Examinations  At IGCSE we follow the CIE IGCSE syllabus, and for A-level the AQA Geography syllabus. Guidance for all public exams are available on the school website. Oxbridge  GeogSoc looks to support skills development suitable for candidates. As part of this process, mock interviews are available for all Oxbridge candidates Competitions  The department competes in the Worldwise Quiz each year and has been named North London Champions for the last two years running. There are regular internal GeogSoc competitions and challenges for the Lower school, including fieldwork challenges and lunchtime clubs 19

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History Academic Life - Dec 2012 (Final 2).indd 20

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Where to find help with...

Head of Department:

History

Mr A J Bracken ajb@clsb.org.uk

IGCSE: A Level:

CIE OCR

Library  The library has copies of all text-

books used in lessons and a wide range of additional materials. It is also stocked with an impressive number of historical journals including Hindsight (GCSE focus), History Review, History Today, 20th Century History Review, and New Perspective. The school library has links with other libraries in London (including the London Library) and shortterm loans can be arranged. 4th and 5th Form students receive a Library Guide, with suggested reading (fiction and non-fiction) to support their classroom studies. Sixth-Form classes are provided with reading lists. The department also has its own ‘library’ of specialist texts – teachers may recommend these to individual boys and loan them out on an informal basis

Online  Needless to say there is a wealth of

useful sites designed for History students. The following are recommended: ww.activehistory.co.uk • w - see department for login details • www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/education • www.schoolhistory.co.uk • www.historyonthenet.com • www.johndclare.net • www.thinkinghistory.co.uk • www.learnhistory.org.uk • www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk Teachers will usually recommend specific sites for particular homework/research tasks. These might include podcasts and boys are encouraged to use iTunes to access these. The school website and network also has further information regarding course structure and revision advice. We also make available various workbooks (IGCSE and A-Level) to facilitate the revision process. The school has online access to History Today, New Perspective, Oxford

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Dictionary of National Biography, American National Biography and JSTOR.

Workshops  A-Level and IGCSE Revision workshops take place in the run up to January and Summer exams. These are advertised in classes and on the department screen.

Societies  The Historical Society runs a number of trips (including theatre and lecture visits) and lunchtime discussion groups. These are advertised in assemblies and on the department screen. Trips  The department runs an annual trip to Berlin, for 5th Form students. This is advertised on Schoolcomms and places are secured on a first come first served basis. A range of trips also take place during the year – these are advertised in classes and assemblies. The programme varies but in recent years The National Archives, The Imperial War Museum, The Cabinet War Rooms and the Wallace Collection have been fully exploited! Oxbridge  Advice for potential Oxbridge History can be found in the pupil shared work folder on the network. Oxbridge faculty websites are a very useful first point of call. Attendance at Junior and Senior Sixth History Reading Groups is considered essential preparation for Oxbridge success. Competitions  Sixth-Form boys are encouraged to enter essay competitions run by various Oxbridge Colleges. These include: • Julia Wood (St Hugh’s, Oxford) • Vellacott (Peterhouse, Cambridge) • Robson (Trinity, Cambridge) Participation in the Erasmus Competition is also recommended.

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I.C.T. Academic Life - Dec 2012 (Final 2).indd 22

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Where to find help with...

Head of Department:

I.C.T.

Mrs S L Ralph slr@clsb.org.uk

Junior Sixth Form: ECDL Certificate

Hard copy resources 

We have a range of books available for furthering your study in this subject. Please see Mrs Ralph to browse!

Online 

IT is a rapidly changing subject. At the time of writing, we recommend the following websites for revision and for wider study. • www.cs4fn.org • www.reviseict.co.uk • www.codeacademy.org • www.tryruby.org

Department Resources 

These are stored, for the most part, in W4. Please see Mrs Ralph who will be happy to show you what is available.

Clubs and Societies 

IT club takes place in 306 each lunchtime from 1.15pm-1.45pm. Programming club takes place each Thursday lunchtime in W5 but please check with Mrs Ralph for programming club times for each academic year.

(British Computing Society)

Trips 

Students participate in trips and seminars as appropriate. Any student considering reading Computing at university should see Ms MacDonagh who will organise trips and seminars to support this.

Exams 

eDCC (Database Management), eDCC (Presentation Graphics) qualifications are taken in the second form. All J6 students take the British Computing Society qualification ECDL to demonstrate their digital literacy.

Oxbridge 

Those boys applying to study Computing at Oxford or Cambridge universities will be supported by the department

Competitions 

Boys can enter the Informatics Olympiad. See Mrs Ralph for details.

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Mathematics Academic Life - Dec 2012 (Final 2).indd 24

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Where to find help with...

Head of Department:

Mathematics

Mr D R Eade dre@clsb.org.uk

IGCSE: A Level:

Edexcel OCR

Books and library 

Every boy is issued their own copy of the class text book at the beginning of the year. There are reference copies available in the library. The library also stocks a number of other mathematical texts so that boys can read outside the curriculum.

On line 

The department website www.clsmaths.org.uk contains the following sections.: • Information: Contains information on the courses we teach from Old Grammar to A Level. You will find links to the relevant exam boards for IGCSE, Additional Maths, AS and A2 awards.. • D ownloads: Contains mathematical downloads including spreadsheet activities and powerpoint presentations. • Notable Students: A list of accomplished maths students dating back to 1826!

Trips 

We invite interested Junior Sixth Form to an annual Autumn lecture.

Examinations  • 5 th Form: There will be mock exams in January – one 2 hour calculator paper will be sat by all. A one and a half hour Additional Maths paper for the top sets The IGCSE (edexcel.com) will be sat by all in the summer, which is two 2 hour calculator papers. The Additional Mathematics paper (ocr.org.uk) will be one 2 hour calculator exam. • 6 th Form: The A Level modular scheme offered by OCR. Boys can either study 3 modules for AS Maths, 6 modules for A2 Maths, or 12 modules for both A2 Mathematics and Further Mathematics.

Oxbridge 

• R esults: A summary of public exam results since 1995.

Places at Oxford are offered following an admission test in November and an interview in December; standard offer is A*AA. Places at Cambridge are offered following a December interview; standard offer is A*A*A and grades ‘1’s in STEP II and III. (cambridgeassessment.org. uk). We have past papers and example interview questions to help your preparation.

• R eading List: Mathematical books outside the exam syllabus for 10 to 18 year olds.

Competititons 

• Links: Links to loads of interesting mathematical sites. • T eachers: A list of the present CLS maths teachers and their email addresses.

Clinics 

A series of 8 lunchtime IGCSE Revision sessions are offered to Fifth Form boys in the Spring Term. See notices in the department for details.

Clubs and societies 

We enter boys for the UKMT Challenges (ukmt. org.uk) and a number qualify for the follow-on Olympiad competitions. There are also the UKMT Team Competitions, and the Hans Woyda Competition. There is a House Maths quiz in October.

“Maths Circle” is a forum in which to tackle tough problems outside the standard curriculum. See Calfix for details.

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Modern Languages Academic Life - Dec 2012 (Final 2).indd 26

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Where to find help with...

Modern Languages Head of Department: Mr R Edmundson re@clsb.org.uk

French /German / Spanish: IGCSE: CIE A Level: AQA

Books and library  There are reference

copies of all the textbooks we use in the library. There are also dictionaries in the library for all the languages we teach. Care should be taken with the latter, though, as poor use of a dictionary can be detrimental to your work. The textbook and your own vocabulary book are more useful up to IGCSE. There are also reading books for most ages in the library. These include translations into foreign languages of wellknown children’s classics, which are suitable up to IGCSE. In the Sixth Form we recommend trying some prose fiction of which there is a good selection in the library or regular reading of the foreign-language newspapers and magazines to which we subscribe.

Online  We definitely do not recommend

the use of on-line translation programmes. However a good on-line dictionary, such as www.wordreference.com can be well worth consulting. It is possible to read a wealth of material such as newspapers on-line. One particularly appropriate source (high-level IGCSE and above) is www.authentikinteractive.com. This is a subscription service and the username and password can be found in the languages section of the pupils shared work folder. The department also subscribe to www.vocabexpress.com and all boys are given a username and password for access to this online resource.

Clinics  We do not run formal clinics as we have found the more specific advice that can be given to individual pupils in lessons to be much more productive. Where most needed, extra help is given by subject teachers on an individual basis to those whose performance in the mock IGCSE or during the run-up to AS/A2 exams is a cause for concern.

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Russian: GCSE: Edexcel A Level: Edexcel

Department resources  Very many hand-outs are given to boys, especially in examination years. Many of these can also be consulted in the All Pupils Shared Work area of the school network. Clubs and societies  Modern

Languages Society runs a wide range of events aimed at different age groups.

Trips  The department organises two trips each year for each of the three main languages (French, German, Spanish) • F rench Trip to Normandy in conjunction with the History Dept (Easter - 1st Form). • G erman Christmas Markets trip (end of Autumn Term - 2nd Form). • F rench Trip (end of Summer Term - 3rd/4th Form). • S panish Trip (February half-term - 4th/5th Form). • G erman Exchange + Work Experience (February half-term - 4th–6th Form) • F rench Trip + Work Experience (Feb half-term - 6th Form) • Spanish Trip (Easter - 6th Form) • French Trip (February Half Term - 5th Form)

Oxbridge  Extensive preparation is offered outside lesson time in the Autumn Term of the S6. Wider reading is essential and any boy considering an Oxbridge application in languages should consult his subject teachers for advice about suitable material well before the end of the J6. Competititons  There are many different

competitions for which boys can enter, ranging from essay-writing in the language to short stories based on French culture, and from EU wide translation competitions to a national poetry translation competition.

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Music Academic Life - Dec 2012 (Final 2).indd 28

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Where to find help with...

Music Head of Department: Mr P Harrison ph@clsb.org.uk

IGCSE: A Level:

CIE OCR

Library 

The library has copies of reference books that supplement all work covered. Room 203 also has an extensive library of scores, recordings and reference books. Members of the department also have their own resources in their respective offices. Teachers may recommend these to individual boys and loan them out on an informal basis

Online 

Needless to say there is a wealth of useful sites designed for Music students. • w ww.naxosmusiclibrary.com The school scubscirbes to the Naxos Music Library which provides unlimited audio streaming of their archive. Username and password available from a member of staff • h ttp://imslp.org Scores can be downloaded from the ISMLP Petrucci Music Library free of charge: Teachers will usually recommend specific sites for particular homework/research tasks. These might include podcasts and boys are encouraged to use iTunes to access these. The school website and network also has further information regarding course structure and revision advice.

Extra-curricular groups 

The timetable for these is extensive. They take place before, during and after school each day. A full timetable of activities can be found in the front of Calfix.

Societies 

Informal musical groups are often created and run by students themselves. Staff are always available for guidance.

Trips 

Students often attend concerts organised by the department. Boys that would like a particular event to be scheduled should see a member of staff. Overseas trips/tours are held at least once each academic year.

Oxbridge 

Advice for potential Oxbridge Choral Awards can be obtained from JEJ. Visits to colleges are encouraged. The Eton Choral Course also offers a good insight into what is required.

Competitions 

Sixth-Form boys are encouraged to enter external music competitions as well as the CLS Music Prizes which take place each March.

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Physical Education Academic Life - Dec 2012 (Final 2).indd 30

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Where to find help with...

Physical Education Head of Department: Mr N F Cornwell nfc@clsb.org.uk

GCSE:

OCR

Books and library 

Department resources 

The department has its own copies of the course text and boys are issued with a copy of the text (OCR PE for GCSE by John Honeybourne)at the start of the GCSE PE course. The department holds its own copies of other relevant ready materials and anyone who wants to do some extra reading, is welcome to borrow these. The school library also has copies of interesting relevant reading.

These can be found as described above in the online section.

Online 

A number of sports trips take place throughout the year. Please ask a member of the PE department for more information.

Resources including past papers, revision guides and notes are available on the school website. There are also many interesting and relevant PE websites on the internet including for example,

Clubs and societies 

There are numerous sports clubs. Please see your teacher or the sports notice board for times and venues of training etc.

Trips 

• www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/pe • www.peshare.co.uk

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Physics Academic Life - Dec 2012 (Final 2).indd 32

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Where to find help with...

Head of Department:

Physics

Mr H R S Jones hrsj@clsb.org.uk

IGCSE: A Level:

Edexcel AQA

Seeing a teacher 

Any problems can be brought up during or after lessons. Also, there is always someone available to sort out difficulties up to 5.30pm every day. Room 502 or 509 are the usual venues.

Books and library 

The school library has two copies of all text books. There is a department library in the corridor of level 5 and any member of the department’s staff can issue books from this to anyone requesting.

Online 

All past papers and mark schemes are on the school network. There are other web pages which are relevant to pupils studying this subject, and individual teachers will provide those web addresses when appropriate.

Clinics 

These occur for IGCSE, AS and A2 candidates. Dates and times are announced, and displayed on the department notice board on level 5. They tend to occur more between November and December, and also between March and May.

Department resources 

These can be found as described above in the online section (All Pupils, Physics)

Clubs and societies 

Science Society, Medical Society, Lego Club, Aero Soc, STEM soc.

Trips 

S6 Physicists tend to go to Geneva (CERN) in February, or occasionally elsewhere - like USA (detectors such as Brookhaven, Stanford LINAC).

Oxbridge 

Those boys applying to study Physics or Engineering at Oxford or Cambridge universities will be supported by their individual Physics teachers.

Competititons 

A number of J6 boys are entered each year for the Physics Olympiad competition. The Physics Challenge is taken by IGCSE students.

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Politics Academic Life - Dec 2012 (Final 2).indd 34

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Where to find help with...

Head of Department:

Politics

Mr A J Bracken ajb@clsb.org.uk

A Level:

Edexcel

Books and library  The library has

copies of all text-books used in lessons and a wide range of additional materials. It also stocks with an impressive number of relevant journals including Politics Review, Prospect, The Week, The Economist, Spectator, New Statesman, and Private Eye. The school library has links with other libraries in London (including the London Library) and short-term loans can be arranged. The department also has its own ‘library’ of specialist texts – teachers may recommend these to individual boys and loan them out on an informal basis Specific reading lists are provided for each topic.

Online  Needless to say there is a wealth of

useful sites designed for Politics students. The following are recommended: UK Politics • www.electoralcommission.gov.uk • www.parliament.uk • www.unlockdemocracy.org.uk • www.labour.org.uk • www.conservatives.com • www.libdems.org.uk • www.ucl.ac.uk/consitution-unit.ac.uk • www.dca.gov.uk • www.number-10.gov.uk • www.judiciary.gov.uk • www.revolts.co.uk US Politics Suggested resources can be found on the pupil shared network drive inside the Politics folder: Teachers will usually recommend specific sites for particular homework/research tasks. These might include podcasts and boys are

encouraged to use iTunes to access these. The school website and network also has further information regarding course structure and revision advice

Workshops  A-Level and IGCSE Revision workshops take place in the run up to January and Summer exams. These are advertised in classes and on the department screen.

Societies  The Politics Society, run by a committee of boys, arranges a programme of visiting speakers. Applications to become a member of this committee are requested in March. Trips  Junior Sixth students visit Parliament in September and all Sixth-Formers attend relevant lecture conferences. Boys are encouraged to look out for lecture programmes at the LSE, Gresham College and the Eccles Centre Oxbridge  Advice for potential Oxbridge PPE/PPS can be found on the shared network drive in the Politics folder. Oxbridge faculty websites are a very useful first point of call: • http://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/ undergraduate_courses/courses/ philosophy_politics_and_economics/ philosophy_politic_4.html • http://www.cam.ac.uk/admissions/ undergraduate/courses/pps/

Competitions  Sixth-Form boys are encouraged to enter essay competitions run by various Oxbridge Colleges and other organisations, such as the Adam Smith Institute. Participation in the Erasmus Competition is also recommended.

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Religious Studies Academic Life - Dec 2012 (Final 2).indd 36

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Where to find help with...

Religious Studies Head of Department: Mr J Silvester jts@clsb.org.uk

GCSE: A Level:

OCR (switching to AQA from 2013) OCR

Library 

The library has copies of all text-books used in lessons and a wide range of additional materials. The school library has links with other libraries in London (including the London Library) and short-term loans can be arranged. Boys are provided with plenty of reading on a topic by topic basis. The department also has its own ‘library’ of specialist texts – teachers may recommend these to individual boys and loan them out on an informal basis

Online 

Needless to say there is a wealth of useful sites designed for Religious Studies students. The following are recommended: • www.philosophypages.com • ethics.sandiego.edu • plato.stanford.edu • www.rep.routledge.com • www.iep.utm.edu • www.philosophersnet.com • www.philosophynow.org • www.philosophybites.com The school website and network also has further information regarding course structure and revision advice.

Workshops 

GCSE workshops are run from February half term until Easter.

Societies 

The Philosophy Society is well established and popular. The senior group meets on Friday lunchtime. Refreshments are provided.

Trips 

GCSE: Boys visit the place of worship for each of their chosen religions. A level: Boys attend two day long conferences, one for each half of the course.

Examinations 

GCSE: OCR Philosophy of Religion and Applied Ethics, A level: OCR Religious Studies (http://www.ocr.org.uk)

Oxbridge 

Advice for potential applicants for any degree that contains a philosophical or theological component can be sought from the department. All members of staff are happy to contribute time and ideas as well as, for example, arranging mock interviews. Boys are provided with reading and encouraged to explore the suggested reading for their chosen course.

Competitions 

Sixth-Form boys are encouraged to enter essay competitions run by various Oxbridge Colleges and other organisations. These are advertised on the board outside the department. Participation in the Erasmus Competition is also recommended

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The Library Academic Life - Dec 2012 (Final 2).indd 38

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Where to find help with...

Head of Department:

The Library

Mr D A Rose dar@clsb.org.uk

The CLS Library is open from 8am–5pm every day during term time and is a valuable resource for your studies. It is staffed by a team of professional librarians who are trained to help you, possibly in ways you may not yet have realised, and could be crucially important in the success of your studies and research projects. If you’re after a particular title, the best way to find it is to search the Library Catalogue. This runs on a computerised system and enables you to search for relevant material in a variety of ways. Alternatively, browsing the shelves of your subject area and the reference section is a good way of gathering material and ideas. The members of the library staff are also, of course, delighted to help you. The Library is located on Level 3 and all pupils are entitled to borrow books. Non-fiction is arranged according to Dewey numbers from 001 to 999, as found in public and most academic libraries. This system keeps books on the same subject in the same area of the Library. Some reference books, particularly textbooks, are shelved along with their subjects throughout the Library, but there is also a Reference Section in the Library, containing encyclopaedias, dictionaries and year books. There are also many journals and magazines on various subject areas – often a good place to find the latest ideas and research.

The Library has a large stock of approximately 30,000 items, including CDs and DVDs. In addition to our own collections, the Library can borrow on your behalf from other libraries, including the British Library. Ask the Librarians for details of how to access these resources. The public libraries of London are also well worth a visit. Their catalogues can be searched easily via the internet. There are IT work stations in the Library where you can type up coursework or access the internet. Another source of Research leads are bibliographies. A bibliography is a list of books, articles, and other printed resources relevant to a particular subject. Many academic works end with a bibliography, usually either to give further details of works consulted and opinions already referenced, or to make suggestions for further reading. Bibliographies are also sometimes published as entire works. Finally the Library is a quiet place where you can do your coursework, research or relax with a newspaper, magazine or a good book. We can also provide you with reading guides for your leisure reading. There are so many great books to read!

Things you could ask the Librarians… ...to help you find study skills and revision guides ...to guide you with referencing and bibliographies ...to help you choose relevant and helpful books ...to borrow books up from the British Library or other libraries (if we don’t have them in stock) ...to buy useful books for the Library ...to help with Internet research (there are links to online resources on the intranet homepage) …and many other things: just ask for help!

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40

Becoming an effective learner When we gather information about the world around us (including the information we need in order to study), we employ all our senses. But some of us employ one sense more than others. The VARK system assesses how much people rely on the following sensations:

Visual

Auditory

Reading

Kinaesthetic

There are several competing theories about how people learn and lots of websites and quizzes designed to assess your individual learning style. But Just because you may have been told you are a ‘visual learner’ or an ‘auditory learner’ you should not feel stuck in a learning style. You should feel free to adopt the learning strategies which are most appropriate for a particular task. Just as with any skill (such as skiing, drawing or speaking another language) practising it builds up your confidence and competence. We all have incredible potential to acquire new skills, and to learn in new ways. If you normally think of yourself as a visual learner, you will probably draw mind-maps and use coloured highlighters to help you memorise information. You may find it helpful to try a totally different approach, like reading some text while you walk around, or use an exercise bike (kinaesthetic), or read or sing it aloud (auditory). You need to learn how to make the most of your strengths and practise strategies that will allow you to build up the weaker areas. This should help you succeed in a wider range of tasks and subjects.

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Tips for different learner types Visual learners 33 Use visual materials such as pictures, charts, and maps 33 Use colour to highlight texts and own notes 33 Brainstorm using illustrations, mind maps and models 33 Use multi-media where possible (computers: mind maps) 33 Visualise information as pictures 33 Skim read to get an overview before reading in detail Auditory learners 33 Participate frequently in discussions and debates 33 Make speeches and presentations 33 Read text aloud 33 Discuss ideas verbally 33 Create musical jingles and mnemonics to aid memory 33 Advice for tactile/Kinaesthetic learners 33 Take frequent study breaks 33 Move around to learn new things 33 Stand up to work 33 Use bright colours to highlight reading material and turn it into posters or models

Tactile/Kinaesthetic learners 33 Take frequent study breaks 33 Move around to learn new things 33 Stand up to work 33 Use bright colours to highlight reading material and turn it into posters or models

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42

Some help with knowing how to revise Your son can never ever say that he has not been taught how to revise – he has been given advice constantly. What he might be saying is that he does not like what he has heard – i.e. there is a level of slog and application to revision and there are no quick fixes to be found on the Internet. The old adage about revising is best done with a pen in hand is still a useful one. However, revision cards might also be typed as this is a good way of processing information. Remember what Gary Player said about his golf: The more I practice, the luckier I get!

Before you start revising a subject Be clear about what you need to know – look at copies of the syllabus provided by your teachers; Be clear about how you are going to be tested – long answers / short answers / source ques¬tions etc – look at copies of past exams questions and copies of the syllabus; Be clear about how your answers are going to be rewarded. What are the success criteria? Look at information provided by your teacher, look at the feedback provided on your work, look at model answers, look at mark schemes from the exam board. Some helpful information will be available in revision guides, text books and on the examination board’s website.

Planning your revision

Work out how what you need to revise and how long it will take you to revise a topic. Then – work out when you will be available for revision. Give each task a ‘home’ – make sure you pace your revision (i.e. that you don’t spend 10 hours revising one tiny topic leaving no room at all for other more major topics). Be realistic with yourself. Know the times you’re able to work at your best and make sure you put the most difficult and demanding tasks in these slots. Ensure that you plan for breaks and downtime. Remember that A2 exams are long – some more than 2 hours – so that you need to practise concentrating for that amount of time.

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General revision tips: 33 Make the very most of all opportunities offered to you – attend

revision classes, extra¬curricular activities etc. (Although revision classes are not a substitute for private revision.)

33 During periods of study leave, structure your day so that you don’t feel that you have a huge expanse to fill. It might be a good idea to come into school to break up your day.

33 If you feel you’re not getting anywhere, take a break and return to a topic.

33 Make sure your work space is tidy and well organised. 33 Reward yourself for jobs well done. Make deals with yourself – If I get this done, then…

33 Timers and clocks can be helpful for breaking down your revision (some people like to tick off tasks as well).

33 Keep your eye on the goal – it is much easier to be motivated when

you know why you’re working (make a poster of your goal and put it somewhere visible to spur you on!). e.g. The university building at Bristol!

33 Remember that you will have a huge long summer holiday once you have finished the exam!

33 Good revision is best done on top of a platform of good work

throughout the year. If you have understood a topic at the time, then it is going to be much easier to go back to it in revision.

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44

The A* at A-level An A* grade has been introduced to the grading of A level (not AS) to recognise the highest achieving candidates. It will be awarded to students who achieve a grade A (80%) overall at A level and also achieve 90% or more on the Uniform Mark Scale across their A2 units. The first A* awards were in 2010. Please note the following possible outcomes: AS score

A2 score

Total score

Final Grade

160/200 (80%)

180/200 (90%)

340/400

A*

200/200 (100%)

179/200 (<90%)

379/400

A

155/200 (<80%)

185/200 (>90%)

340/400

A*

240/300 (80%)

270/300 (90%)

510/600

A*

300/300 (100%)

269/300 (<90%)

569/600

A

235/300 (<80%)

275/300 (>90%)

510/600

A*

n.b. For Maths you need 90% from C3 and C4.

C1, C2, S1, M1 score

C3, C4 score

Total score

Final Grade

320/400 (80%)

180/200 (90%)

500/600

A*

400/400 (100%)

179/200 (<90%)

579/600

A

n.b. For Further Maths you need 270 from three of the five A2 modules offered: FP2, M2, M3, S2, S3. This is hard to get!

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External links to helpful sites for A-level Some of these are undergraduate level but they are still useful.

Essay writing guide The Royal Literary Fund has an excellent online essay writing guide1, which may save you some pain. Dip into it when you have a few spare minutes. While youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re at it, why not brush up your knowledge of punctuation2 and then improve your writing with some grammar exercises3? 1

www.rlf.org.uk/fellowshipscheme/writing/essayguide.cfm

2

www.bristol.ac.uk/arts/exercises/grammar/grammar_tutorial/index.htm

3

www.bristol.ac.uk/arts/exercises/grammar/grammar_tutorial/page_41.htm

Mathematics support Mathcentre (www.mathcentre.ac.uk) offers mathematics support materials. The resources available include quick reference leaflets, video tutorials, practice and revision booklets, diagnostic tests and exercises.

Time management and Mind Maps Do you use your time effectively? Take a moment to consider your work/ life balance and how best to structure your time (bit.ly/vYXIYm). Learning to mind map can be beneficial to many aspects of your studies. Combine this with the SQ3R (www.studygs.net/texred2.htm) reading technique. Inspiration mind-mapping software (www.inspiration.com) is installed at CLS.

Downloadable Planners Weekly Planner: http://bit.ly/SgulWt Example Monthly Planner: http://bit.ly/XG3byx

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Academic Life - Dec 2012 (Final 2).indd 1

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Academic Life  

Academic Life at City of London School. A guide for GCSE and A Level pupils 2013-2014

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