Wells GCSE Handbook: 2024-2025

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GCSE Handbook

2024 - 2025

Please note that you can find the latest electronic version of this document, along with our other Handbooks and forms, on our website at: https://wells.cathedral.school/joining-us

3 Contents Introduction GCSE Curriculum GCSE Grading Structure Controlled Assessment and Coursework Study Support and Neurodiversity House and Tutor System Musicians in Year 10 GCSE Results 2022 Timetable of Choices Option Choices English Language and English Literature Mathematics Modern Languages Religious Studies Science Art - Fine Art Business Studies Classical Civilisation Computer Science Drama English as an Additional Language Geography History Latin Music Wells Music Specialist Certificate Photography Physical Education Personal, Social and Health Education 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 14 15 16 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35


You are probably excited and daunted in equal measure when it comes to making important decisions about the subjects you want to study at GCSE. This handbook is therefore designed to help you with that decision-making process. It is intended to provide you with as much detail about life and the options available to you in Years 10 and 11 so that you can make informed and sensible choices which best suit you as an individual and your personal interests and aspirations.

Education is frequently about learning to make good choices, and being thorough in your research is often a good way to ensure you make the right choices. So I urge you to consider this handbook carefully and, in addition, to take full advantage of all the other sources of advice available to help inform your decisions; your parents, your teachers, your Tutor and your Head of Year, to name but a few.

Above all, choose subjects which you enjoy, for which you show an aptitude and which will keep as many doors open to you for your future because you just never know what that future might look like for you!

Welcome to the Years 10 and 11 of Wells Cathedral School. During this phase of your education you will be working towards achieving your first formal qualifications.

This will be an exciting time for you as it is your first opportunity to begin to tailor your educational experiences to match your own interests. Unlike previous years, you will be able to select some of the subjects that you study and these may be the first tentative steps that you will take towards your future career.

You will notice differences in lessons; you will no longer move around as a form, but rather find yourself in classrooms with a wide range of pupils from your year group. Your timetable will differ from those of your friends, you will be expected to take a greater responsibility for your studies, and you will be encouraged to be more proactive in your approach towards your education and independent in your learning.

You are, of course, not expected to take these steps on your own. You will be assigned a Tutor who will support you in academic matters throughout Years 10 and 11. In addition to your Tutor you will also have regular contact with Houseparents who will provide pastoral care and support.

My role as the Head of Years 10 and 11 is to work with the Tutor Team to provide a thorough and consistent approach to catering for your academic needs. I will also liaise with your parents and/or guardians and, of course, be an extra source of support and guidance should you need it. I will work with your Tutor to monitor your academic progress to ensure that you reach your potential, and provide additional support whenever it is needed.

On entering Year 10 you should: embrace the opportunity to select your own curriculum; enjoy increased independence; rise to the challenge of your studies and aim to finish Year 11 with as many doors open to your future as possible.


GCSE Curriculum

In Year 10 all pupils take courses in Mathematics, English, English Literature, Science, a short course in Religion, Philosophy and Ethics (RPE), PSHE, PE (practical), Games and Activities. In addition, all pupils are expected to take a Modern Language unless other arrangements need to be put in place to provide a suitable curriculum.

Additionally, pupils will usually select three options subjects from the following, all of which may be available subsequent to sufficient demand: Academic PE, Art, Business Studies, Classical Civilisation, Computer Science, Drama, Geography, History, French or Spanish, Latin, Music, Photography.

There is some inherent flexibility built into this process to enable us to provide sufficient practice time for the Specialist and Special Provision Musicians. Further details about the normal expectations for musicians can be found in the ‘Musicians and GCSE Options’ section of this booklet.


You may notice that across the range of subjects we offer, some of the courses are GCSEs and others are IGCSEs. IGCSEs are International GCSE qualifications, they were originally designed for a broader international market, but have been adopted in many independent schools across the UK. They are widely recognised as providing a better foundation for further study at A level through their more rigorous and academic approach.

The decision as to whether a subject is a GCSE or an IGCSE is done on an individual subject-by-subject basis

to ensure we are able to offer the most appropriate course to our pupils. Some IGCSE course are also called ‘Level 1/2 Certificates in...’ these are, however, the same IGCSE courses and are recognised as such by employers and universities alike.


Performance at GCSE has been consistently high in recent years. 16% of grades awarded to Wells pupils last year was the top grade 9; 51% were grade 9-7 and 82% were graded 9-5. This is well above the national average. We are able to achieve these very high standards for all whilst accepting that for some of our pupils academic work is not their driving focus; we strive hard to enable everyone to achieve their very best in the time they have available.

Making Choices

There are many people in School able to offer advice and guidance to the pupils on making choices at GCSE. Their main point of advice will be their Tutor, who will be able offer them guidance on putting together an appropriate programme. Alongside this pupils are encouraged to talk to their individual Subject Teachers, Instrumental Teachers, and Heads of Department as appropriate.

For those who need more detailed help in deciding what they want to study next at GCSE, and the potential implications for A level and university, Mrs Rowley (Head of Sixth Form and Careers; s.rowley@wells-cathedralschool.com) is available to meet with pupils and explore their options in more detail. She is happy to talk to both prospective and current pupils and their parents.


GCSE Grading Structure

Exam Reforms

Exam reforms have changed the GCSE grading system so that, instead of the traditional A*- G, pupils are graded on a 9 to 1 scale (with 9 being the highest grade). The new GCSE courses involve less coursework, placing a greater emphasis on the final examination element.

New Grading System

The 9 to 1 grading system used by the reformed GCSEs doesn’t directly correlate with the traditional A* - G grades. The numbers have been introduced to allow greater differentiation between different pupils’ attainment; for example a score of 9 is a very high A* and 8 a low A* / very high A. It is important to be aware that the government plans to award significantly less 9s than it did A*s, highlighting the distinct lack of comparison possible between the old and new systems. Scoring 7, however, is the equivalent of an A; 5 a high C and 4 a low C. The Department for Education has stated that a score of 5 or above will be considered the equivalent of a ‘good pass’ in any subject.


Controlled Assessment and Coursework

Assessment in GCSEs and IGCSE comes in three main forms:

Terminal Examination

This is a written examination taken at the end of the course.


This is a piece of project work which takes place over an extended period, which is marked by the class teacher and then externally moderated by sending a sample to the examination board.

Controlled Assessment

This is similar to coursework but is done under examination conditions over a shorter time period during class-time.

The following subjects currently contain some assessment by coursework or controlled assessment: Art, Photography, Drama, Music & Wells Music Specialist Certificate, PE.


Study Support and Neurodiversity

Study Support is relevant to pupils with neurodiverse learning styles, including dyslexia, dyspraxia, ADHD and other forms of Specific Learning Differences. Selected pupils will follow a highly structured and multisensory programme of study support designed specifically to harness the learning and thinking styles of individuals with neurodiverse learning differences.

In addition to transferable study skills, pupils shall learn about neurodiversity, individual learning strengths, creative thinking and self-advocacy.

Overall, the aim of study support is to equip pupils with invaluable study skills, support pupils in understanding their own neurodiverse learning styles and harness their strengths as individuals, thereby promoting motivation, confidence and successful outcomes.

Pupils will learn a range of essential study skills that will be of value to their development as independent learners.

Study Support will be relevant and transferrable to other GCSE subject areas. Study skills that shall be developed will include:

• Critical thinking

• Use of academic language

• Enhancing use of subject specific vocabulary

• Analysing sources

• Understanding and analysing essay and exam questions

• Reading comprehension for inferential and factual understanding

• Revision techniques

• Memory techniques

• Efficient reading strategies including skimming, scanning and speed reading

• Developing use of assistive technology such as voice to text, text to speech and mind mapping software.

The self-understanding and skills gained during the course will prove immensely valuable to pupils as they work towards their GCSE qualifications. The skills learned through will provide a great foundation for A level study.


House and Tutor System


All pupils, day and boarding, are assigned to a House, which are all beautiful and unique buildings with their own individual character. Your House is where you keep your belongings, change for games and are able to socialise at break, lunchtime and after school. For boarders, they exist as your ‘home away from home’ during term time. Each House is run by a Houseparent who is supported by a team of staff. These include a House Assistant, Tutors, Cleaners and, importantly, a Matron who is around and on hand throughout the school day. The House Staff are responsible for your pastoral well being and will soon become important figures in your daily life.

Tutor System

Along with having the House Team for support, you will be allocated a Tutor who is the first point of call for any concerns. Most Tutors are associated with a particular House and so you will often find yourself in a tutor group with other pupils from your House. There is plenty of tutor time during the working week to help you form a productive relationship, and your Tutor will often be the first port of call if you have any concerns or questions, especially academic ones.


Musicians in Year 10

Specialist musicians in Year 10

Specialist Musicians need time for daily practice and music lessons. It is therefore necessary for them to reduce the number of subjects studied at GCSE. This is usually done by reducing the number of option column subjects chosen whilst studying the full ‘core’ curriculum.

In addition to the above, extra music time may be found during activities on Wednesday afternoons. However all pupils are expected to attend at least one Games session each week as well as PE.

There is also the option for some musicians to follow an amended pathway through the GCSE Science course, studying the Combined Science (Double Award), on a reduced timetable, rather than separate award Biology, Chemistry and Physics GCSEs. This gives further flexibility in option choices, however, discussion with Tutors, Science staff, and the Head of the relevant instrumental Department is important prior to any decision making. Most Specialists will drop at least two option subjects and all Specialists at least one.

Special Provision musicians in Year 10

The Special Provision category at Wells embraces a wide range of pupils with different aspirations. Some are as committed to their music as Specialists, whilst others, though currently possessing high musical ability, see their music mainly as a hobby. The choice of GCSE subjects, therefore, will need to be influenced by the pupil’s individual aspirations. The Music Department is ready and willing to counsel Special Provision pupils and their parents as to a suitable GCSE programme depending on the instrument. In some cases this may be reduced to a Specialist level, whilst in others a full complement of GCSEs will be appropriate.

Other musicians in Year 10

In most cases a full GCSE academic curriculum will be followed. However, a small number of pupils have been permitted to reduce their curriculum by one option subject in the past on the recommendation of the Instrumental Co-ordinator with the agreement of the Head of Year and the Deputy Head (Academic).


GCSE Results 2023

GCSE Results 2023

Total Spanish Comb Sci 2 Comb. Sci 1 Religious Education Physics Photography PE Music Media Studies Maths Latin History German Geography French English Literature English Language EAL Drama Computing Classics Chinese Chemistry Business Studies Biology Art
9 115 5 4 9 2 6 0 1 11 0 21 3 3 1 3 4 11 13 0 0 3 0 0 10 0 5 0 9 8 111 1 8 7 9 9 3 2 10 0 8 1 1 1 9 3 8 11 0 1 1 0 0 6 2 8 2 8 7 150 2 10 14 9 5 2 2 13 2 18 0 3 1 8 5 17 10 0 4 2 1 2 5 7 6 2 7 6 124 3 14 9 20 2 2 5 6 2 3 0 1 0 6 4 15 12 0 4 2 2 0 1 5 3 3 6 5 114 5 12 15 8 0 0 2 2 1 17 1 2 1 5 4 10 17 0 4 1 0 0 0 4 0 3 5 4 69 4 8 5 2 0 0 1 1 4 11 0 3 0 2 5 4 10 0 0 1 3 2 0 3 0 0 4 3 47 2 5 4 3 0 0 3 1 4 2 0 0 1 0 0 4 11 1 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 4 3 2 16 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 4 0 1 0 2 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 U 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 U Total 730 22 63 63 53 22 7 16 44 14 85 5 14 5 35 26 69 84 1 14 10 6 5 22 22 22 18 Total 9 16% 23% 6% 14% 4% 27% 0% 6% 25% 0% 25% 60% 21% 20% 9% 15% 16% 15% 0% 0% 30% 0% 0% 45% 0% 23% 0% 9 9-8 31% 27% 19% 25% 21% 68% 43% 19% 48% 0% 34% 80% 29% 40% 34% 27% 28% 29% 0% 7% 40% 0% 0% 73% 9% 59% 11% 9-8 9-7 52% 36% 35% 48% 38% 91% 71% 31% 77% 14% 55% 80% 50% 60% 57% 46% 52% 40% 0% 36% 60% 17% 40% 95% 41% 86% 22% 9-7 9-6 68% 50% 57% 62% 75% 100% 100% 63% 91% 29% 59% 80% 57% 60% 74% 62% 74% 55% 0% 64% 80% 50% 40% 100% 64% 100% 39% 9-6 9-5 84% 73% 76% 86% 91% 100% 100% 75% 95% 36% 79% 100% 71% 80% 89% 77% 88% 75% 0% 93% 90% 50% 40% 100% 82% 100% 56% 9-5 9-4 94% 91% 89% 94% 94% 100% 100% 81% 98% 64% 92% 100% 93% 80% 94% 96% 94% 87% 0% 93% 100% 100% 80% 100% 95% 100% 56% 9-4 9-3 100% 100% 97% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 93% 94% 100% 93% 100% 94% 96% 100% 100% 100% 93% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 78% 9-3 9-2 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 99% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 9-2 9-1 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 99% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 9-1

Timetable of Choices

Tuesday 30th January

GCSE Options Event; Year 9 Tutors begin to hold individual discussions with tutees

Friday 23rd February

Deadline for return of electronic options forms



Option Choices

Option 2 Option 4 Option 1 Option 3 EAL



Spanish Study Skills





PE Specialist Maths


The Options Process

Pupils are to choose one subject from each column. All pupils must choose a language in the first column unless they have been advised otherwise.

Pupils will receive an electronic options form where they will indicate the subjects that they would like to study. If a particular subject combination is not available, this can also be noted on the form.

Business Studies

Computer Science




PE Photography


Business Studies


Wells Specialist Music



Classical Civilisation

Currently these are subjects that we plan to offer in the academic year 2024-25, however these may be subject to change based on demand and resources. B2 qualification

English Language and English Literature

What do I need to know and be able to do before taking this course?

The new skills that you will learn and those that you will re-visit are skills for life: the ability to communicate effectively on paper, electronically and through speech, and to read and interpret a wide range of written material, both fiction and non-fiction, in order to develop your own thoughts and opinions.

What will I learn?

You will learn to become increasingly confident in selecting and using a written style appropriate to the writing you undertake: from business letter to poetry, from persuasive writing to autobiography, from literary criticism to short story writing. You will also be taught to use a range of writing styles and how to improve your literacy skills.

You will become progressively more adept at reading and analysing a wide range of written material from the past and the present. You will be expected to learn how to make individual, paired and group oral contributions appropriate to your ability.

How is the written part of the course structured and assessed?

At the end of the two-year course the majority of

pupils will be entered for both English Language and Literature, thus gaining two IGCSEs. For pupils identified as benefiting from a less literature-intensive course, Media Studies will be the alternative option to English Literature. In Year 10 we aim to complete the coursework requirements and practise responding to short fiction and non-fiction pieces, both orally and through writing analytically. In Year 11 we will study literature examination texts and practise responding to examination style questions. All written work, whether examination preparation or coursework, will be assessed using the board’s criteria.

The examinations’ structures are as follows:

In English Literature you will take two papers: Paper 1(1 hour 30 minutes) will feature questions on prose and poetry.

Paper 2 (45 minutes) will have questions on a drama text. Paper 1 is closed, Paper 2 is open text.

In English Language you will take two 2 hour papers. Paper 1 will test your reading skills, including comprehension and appreciation of non-fiction texts. Paper 2 will test your writing skills and will involve composing a response to a non-fiction stimulus and producing a piece of ether descriptive or narrative writing in response to a prompt.

0990 & 0992
Mr N Bowen

English Language and English Literature

What is the nature and timing of coursework?

Only the Literature IGCSE requires coursework. This coursework is ongoing throughout Years 10 and 11 and is worth 25% of the overall IGCSE. The board advises that pupils should undertake a wide range of tasks from which the two best coursework pieces are selected at the end of the course. It is vital to appreciate that work from any time within the course may be entered; thus written pieces must always be done to the best of your ability. A rushed or superficial piece is a wasted opportunity. Your oral contributions are also assessed and recorded throughout the course. Do not underestimate the importance of your efforts here.

What Sixth Form subjects will this course be useful for?

Universities expect applicants to have achieved at least a grade 4 in English before consideration for any of their degree courses. We aim to teach you to structure and express your ideas clearly and lucidly. We encourage you

to think creatively and analyse carefully, and we foster an open-minded approach to that which is new and thought provoking.

What were the English and English Literature IGCSE results like last year?

Most candidates achieved excellent grades last year. Pupils at Wells consistently gain IGCSE English and English Literature results well above their baseline predictions. Last year, for instance, 16% of our pupils achieved level 9 in Literature [nationally only 3.6% of pupils reach level 9] and 15% reached the same level in Language [compared to only 2.6% nationally]. In the same year 52% of our pupils achieved grade 9-7 in Literature [compared to 21% nationally] and 40% achieved grades 9-7 in English Language [compared to 16% nationally]. English with Media Studies is also thriving with very strong results now stretching back over a number of years.



What do I need to know and be able to do before taking this course?

The IGCSE course is a continuation (and revision) of the National Curriculum for Mathematics. It builds on work studied in Years 7, 8 and 9 or the Common Entrance work studied in some other schools.

What will I learn?

You will reinforce and build upon your knowledge in the four Assessment Objective areas for school mathematics.

• Using and Applying Mathematics

• Number and Algebra

• Shape, Space and Measures

• Handling Data

How is the written part of the course structured and assessed?

There are two written papers, each of which is worth 50% of the final mark, and each is of two hours duration. Questions are set on topics from the assessment areas.

The Higher Tier covers grades 9 - 4; the Foundation Tier covers grades 5 - 1.

What Sixth Form subjects will this course be useful for?

Mathematics is a core subject and IGCSE Mathematics is required by all further education establishments,

and by most employers. Sixth form subjects require an element of mathematics in their courses – in the same way that all require an element of English. It is especially useful for A level courses in Biology, Chemistry, Business, Economics, Geography, Geology, Music Technology, Psychology, Physics and, of course, essential for Mathematics and Further Mathematics.

What were the Mathematics GCSE examination results like last year?

In 2022 our overall grades 9-4 was 98% with 35% of our pupils achieving a grade 8 or 9 and 19% a grade 7.

Specialist Mathematicians

Specialist Mathematicians will have the opportunity to take part in the Higher Project Qualification programme and the OCR Additional Mathematics exam as part of their studies. In addition they will be studying some A level Mathematics topics and continuing with their enrichment programme, which includes weekly sessions with our visiting Professor of Mathematics. They will be studying all the subjects in the school core curriculum. Those who are in the Specialist Mathematics programme must select ‘Specialist Mathematics’ in place of one of their options choices.

Mathematics Edexcel 4MA1

Cambridge IGCSE French 7156

Cambridge IGCSE German 7159

Cambridge IGCSE Spanish 7160

Ms J Desmarchelier-Arpino

Modern Languages

Modern Languages appear in the options columns, but pupils are strongly advised to include at least one modern language in their GCSE programme. Any pupil wishing to discontinue French, German or Spanish may be able to do so after consultation with their Tutor, parents and the Director of Languages. Languages are very important, especially for musicians contemplating studying in Europe. You cannot study a language at GCSE unless you have studied it before or you are a native speaker of the language- in which case you will need to come and have a conversation with Ms Desmarchelier-Arpino.

What do I need to know and be able to do before taking IGCSE French, German or Spanish?

You are likely to have followed a course to Key Stage 3 (Year 9) in French, German or Spanish, or you were raised in a French, German or Spanish speaking environment. If you are a native of a French, German or Spanish speaking country, you may be able to do the First Language examination in this language, a situation that would need to be discussed with Ms DesmarchelierArpino.

What will I learn?

You will extend your ability to use and understand the written and spoken language. This involves learning items of vocabulary and mastering the grammatical rules which enable you to put words together into effective sentences. The topics you will study in order to practise this language are grouped under five broad areas:

Area A: Everyday Activities

Area B: Personal and Social Life

Area C: The World Around Us

Area D: The World of Work

Area E: The International World

There is plenty of opportunity for this course to contribute to and benefit from your work in other subjects. In the examination you will be tested separately on the four following skills, in an end of year examination: Listening (Paper 1 approx. 45 minutes), Reading (Paper 2 approx. 60 minutes),

Speaking (Paper 3 approx. 10 minutes: conducted and marked by teachers, but moderated by Cambridge) and Writing (paper 4 approx. 60 minutes). Each skill weighs 25% of the total IGCSE.

How are the written and spoken parts of the course structured and assessed?

Your skill in the written language will be assessed by means of an end of course one-hour examination, during which you will have to respond in the target language to three tasks. It is therefore vital that you acquire a lot of vocabulary and a good understanding of the grammar during the course.

Your skill in the spoken language will be assessed by means of an end of course 10-minute examination divided into two parts: role-play and general conversation on 2 Areas, undisclosed in advance.

What Sixth Form subjects will this course be useful for? French, German or Spanish at IGCSE is necessary for A-Level study of these languages. All that you learn about a foreign language will also contribute to language, communication and presentation skills needed in other subjects such as English and History, and to make yourself more marketable when choosing a career or seeking employment, in engineering, law or business especially.

What were the Language IGCSE results like last year? Results in the department were very good with a considerable number of pupils achieving 43% all three main languages combined in 2023.

What about other languages?

If you are a native of another language, do come and speak to Ms Desmarchelier-Arpino about taking a IGCSE in your native language if it exists. Currently, it is possible to take IGCSE First Language in Chinese, Spanish, French and German. You will not have any lessons, but will need to be registered with Ms Desmarchelier-Arpino. This is an EXTRA GCSE.


Religious Studies

What will I need to know and be able to do before taking this course?

No prior knowledge is assumed, although you will benefit from having been through the Lower School Religious Studies programme; if you have come to Wells recently, the Religious Studies course you followed at Key Stage 3 or to Common Entrance will almost certainly have contained relevant material.

What will I learn?

There are two assessment objectives in GCSE Religious studies:

AO1 Knowledge and Understanding of religious beliefs and concepts.

AO2 The ability to analyse and evaluate.

In the course you will focus on two religious traditions; Christianity and Islam. You will learn about their key beliefs and ethical teachings. You will also study two contemporary moral issues. You will learn what the main problems are in these areas and how the two religions respond to them as well as a range of secular responses. The course is examined by two 50 minute papers in Year 11: Paper 1, Beliefs and Teachings: Christianity and Islam Paper 2, Themes: Religion Peace and Conflict, Relationships and Families.

How is the course structured and assessed?

The course is taught for three periods per fortnight over two years supplemented by prep. Some preparation will also be done during Year 9. The course is assessed by final examination with two 50 minute papers, one on Christianity and Islam the other on Themes. The course is supported by subject-specific textbooks and a wide range of other resources including artefacts, audio and visual materials and ICT.

What Sixth Form subjects will this course be useful for?

Most! Clearly Religious Studies (although it is not a requirement), but also the Humanities and English, because it develops transferable skills such as analysis, comprehension, explanation and evaluation. Students studying A Level Religious Studies are taking Maths, Biology, Psychology, English Literature and Modern Languages.

What were the Religious Studies GCSE examination results like last year?

84% of candidates who took the GCSE course achieved grade 9-4, with 44% at grade 9-7, and 79% at grade 9-5.

AQA (Short Course) Christianity and Islam 8061D Mr B Poxon

Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Combined Science

Science Edexcel GCSE Science

What do I need to know about these courses?

Pupils will study a course over three years, starting in Year 9, which will lead to separate science qualifications in Biology, Chemistry and Physics or Combined Science. Both pathways follow a common curriculum but with additional content for the separate science courses. Combined Science is the course followed by the majority of students. The course is taught as Biology, Chemistry and Physics and examined with separate papers in each. An award of two GCSEs is made reflecting the overall time allocation given to the delivery of the course. The separate science route is an express set option for those students that have demonstrated an ability to work at an accelerated pace in Science through outstanding exam performance. The separate sciences and Combined Science qualifications both enable pupils to go on to study science courses at A Level and degree level including Oxbridge and Medicine. All Year 9 pupils follow a common curriculum of Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Practical Skills. In Year 10 and 11 there is an increased time allocation and setting to reflect the needs of pupils of different levels of attainment. Setting is decided by exams in the Advent term of Y10. In Year 10 and 11 Specialist and Special Provision Musicians may, by agreement, opt to join the Combined Science Musicians’ group. This is taught over fewer periods allowing an additional three hours over a two week period for more music practice. For pupils chosing this option there is no access to the separate science course. Further details of alternative arrangements available for musicians can be found in the ‘Musicians and GCSE Options’ section of the prospectus.

What will I learn?

The courses aim to give candidates the scientific understanding needed to progress to further studies of Chemistry, Biology and Physics, but will also provide them with a broad and balanced understanding to go on to be scientifically literate in an increasingly technological world. These specifications contain a broad range of topics that are designed to engage and stimulate pupils’ interest in science. The main emphasis is on scientific knowledge, the application of science and scientific enquiry. Practical work is an important aspect

of all of the courses and will form a significant amount of the work.

How is the course structured and assessed?

The separate sciences are assessed with two question papers per science to be taken in the same examination series at the end of the course. Both papers are 1 hour and 45 minutes long, having a total of 100 marks each. They both consist of a mixture of different question styles, including multiple-choice questions, shortanswer questions, calculations and extended openresponse questions.

Combined Science is assessed with six question papers to be taken in the same examination series at the end of the course, one in each of Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Each written paper is 1 hour 10 minutes and is out of 60 marks and consists of a mixture of different question styles, including multiple-choice questions, short-answer questions, calculations and extended open-response questions. The score from each paper is aggregated to give an overall grade.

What is the nature and timing of the coursework?

There is no coursework. Practical and investigative skills are assessed during the final exams.

What Sixth Form subjects will this course be useful for? Biology, Chemistry and Physics GCSEs are necessary for the study of these subjects at A level. Biology is useful for A level courses in Physical Education and Psychology. Chemistry is useful for A level courses in Geology and Physics is useful for A level courses in Music Technology and Computing.

What were the Science GCSE examination results like last year?

Last year there were a large number of grades 9 and 8, 67% across the three separate Sciences and 83% of pupils gained a grade 7 or higher. For the Combined course 40% of pupils gained a 7 or higher, with a 90% pass rate.


Art - Fine Art

Is this the right subject for me?

It’s important that you enjoy art and have an interest in historical and contemporary art and artists. You will have opportunities to explore and experiment with a broad range of art materials, processes and techniques, including drawing, painting, photography, mixed media, installation work and sculpture.

What will I learn?

You will learn all relevant practical skills and contextual understanding required to produce an individual Portfolio and Externally Set Assignment.

Throughout the course you will:

• develop and explore ideas

• select and experiment with appropriate media, materials, techniques and processes

• record your ideas, observations and insights

• present personal and meaningful responses

• learn about artists and visit art galleries

GCSE Art and Design is a broad and flexible course. You are encouraged to develop your individual strengths and interests, within a supportive and inspiring teaching and learning environment.

What does the course involve?

Component 1: Personal Portfolio

This component is worth 60% of your GCSE. You will complete both a skills focused project and a mock exam project, to develop your own personal ideas and responses, based on set themes. This portfolio of work will include artist research, preparatory studies and 2-3 final outcomes.

Component 2: Externally Set Assignment (Exam)

This component is worth 40% of your GCSE. You will receive your exam paper in January in Year 11, and produce exam preparatory work for your 10 hour focused period, when you will complete a final outcome for this component, under exam conditions.

What Sixth Form subjects will this course be useful for?

In addition to acting as an important gateway to facilitating the study of A level Fine Art, the study of GCSE Fine Art also develops practical skills and understanding that can be utilised within other creative subjects, such as A level Photography, as well as contextual knowledge and understanding that is useful for the study of the subject academically, through A level History of Art. A broad range of other academic transferable skills, such as independent learning and research as well as analysis, problem solving, time management and adaptability, are also key areas of development that can aid the study of many other subjects on the curriculum.

OCR J171
D Heath

Mrs T Jarman and Ms W Mahon

What do I need to know and be able to do before taking this course?

You will not have studied Business before taking this course, but that does not matter. You might have an interest in either the subject, or you may want to start your own business one day; or both. You will have an enquiring mind and be interested in learning about the world around you, how businesses are set up, and what it is that makes someone a great entrepreneur.

Is this the right subject for me?

This course is active and enjoyable. You learn to be good at communicating and explaining your ideas, and not afraid of learning new things and working with numbers to solve problems. You will learn how to be a creative thinker and how to make decisions. You will learn about the world of business through research and investigation, as well as through practical tasks.

What will I learn?

Do you want to know how to run a business? You will be introduced to the world of small businesses and will look at what makes someone a successful business person. You will find out how to spot an opportunity and develop an idea, and to turn that into a successful business. You will understand how to make a business effective and how to manage money well. You will also see how the world around us affects small businesses and all the people involved. Do you want to know how Marks & Spencer grew from a Penny Bazaar market stall into an international retailer? You’ll find out how important marketing is, how to manage cash and people; and how growing businesses are affected by the wider economy and by governmental decisions. This course emphasises an investigative approach: every aspect is tackled in a way that poses a problem to be solved, using the skills and techniques which form the core of the subject. The emphasis is not on learning a bookful of knowledge; but you will acquire a toolkit of investigative, analytical and evaluative skills which will enable you to solve problems in this and other subjects. It is up to date and relevant to issues that are being decided today by individuals, companies and governments: for instance, is

Business Studies

getting richer necessarily a ‘good thing’ to be pursued at all costs? Who bears those costs? Ought we to be socially responsible, or pollute for profit?

How is the course structured and assessed?

For Unit 1, you will take a written examination paper with multiple-choice and objective test questions based on the unit. For Unit 2 you will sit another written examination paper giving you the other half of your marks. The questions will be a mixture of multiplechoice, data response, short-answer, extended-writing and scenario-based questions. For example, you might be given details of a business and asked a few questions based on that business.

Unit 1: Investigating small business - written examination

The exam paper is 1 hour and 45 minutes, and is 50% of the qualification. The questions will be a mixture of multiple choice, calculations, short answer and extended writing, and scenario-based questions. For example, you might be given details of a business and asked a few questions based on that business.

Unit 2: Building a business - written examination

The exam paper is 1 hour and 45 minutes and is also 50% of the qualification. This paper also consists of multiple choice, short answer and extended writing questions.

What Sixth Form subjects will course be useful for?

It is not necessary to take this course in order to tackle Business at A level, though a number of people do follow it through. As the emphasis is on the acquisition of skills rather than knowledge, and because these skills are “transferable”, this course is an excellent preparation for a wide range of subjects, particularly within the humanities and the natural sciences.

What were the Business Studies results like last year?

The enthusiasm with which many candidates approached the subject led to some good results in 2023 with 95% achieving grades 9 - 4.


Classical Civilisation

What do I need to know and be able to do before taking this course?

This GCSE course requires no prior knowledge of the subject. However, previous information covered in the Roman Life sections of the Years 7-9 Latin course may be useful but is certainly not essential. Similarly, any work on the Romans and Greeks covered at Key Stage 2 (Junior School) might also be useful in putting some of the information in context. All candidates study the same course from scratch and the only requirements are a genuine interest in the Classical world of Greece and Rome, an enquiring mind, and a willingness to learn, assess and discuss the many and varied aspects of Classical life that this course covers.

What will I learn?

The subject offers the opportunity to study the culture and society of the Ancient Mediterranean world. You will investigate elements of the culture, myths, sociopolitical and historical aspects of the Roman and Greek civilisations.

How is the course structured and assessed?

1. Thematic Study (50% of total marks)

Selected from one of the following:

Unit J199/11: Myth and Religion

Unit J199/12: Women in the Ancient World

2. Literature and Culture (50% of total marks)

Selected from one of the following:

Unit J199/21: The Homeric World

Unit J199/22: Roman City Life

Unit J199/23: War and Warfare

What is the nature and timing of the coursework?

There is no coursework element in this course. Both units taken are assessed by final written examination at the end of the second year of study.

What Sixth Form subjects will this course be useful for?

Pupils who have studied Classical Civilisation at GCSE have found that the skills of analysis and appreciation they have developed have been useful in the widest possible range of Sixth Form subjects: Sciences, English, Languages, Humanities – particularly History and RPEand, of course, Classical Civilisation at full A Level!

What were the GCSE Classical Civilisation exam results like last year?

In 2023 results were, as normal, very good with 100% achieving levels 9-4 and 50% of those achieving grades of 6-9. We believe that this is a realistic reflection of the levels achievable and is the benchmark set by the department given the ability range of pupils anticipated to opt for this course.

OCR GCSE (9-1) - Syllabus J199
Mr J Mayes & Mr L Plum

Cambridge IGCSE (9-1) 0984

Computer Science

What do I need to know and be able to do before taking this course?

IGCSE Computer Science builds on the thinking skills and approaches to problem solving covered in Years 7, 8 and 9. There is no need to have any previous experience with programming, but an interest in computers, new technologies and solving problems will be very useful.

What will I learn?

Computer Science covers the principles and practices of computing, computational thinking and programming. You will learn to program by writing computer code and develop your understanding of the main principles of problem-solving using computers.

You will be able to apply your understanding to develop computer-based solutions to problems using algorithms and coding in Python 3. This qualification will help you appreciate current and emerging computing technologies and the benefits of their use.

How is the course structured and assessed?

There are two written papers of 1 hour and 45 minutes each. The IGCSE has no coursework.

Paper 1 is a theory paper, worth 50% of the overall grade, covering many of the topics listed above. Paper 2 covers problem solving and programming, worth 50% of the overall grade.

What Sixth Form subjects will this course be useful for?

IGCSE is the natural foundation for further study in A level Computer Science. Understanding the principles of Computer Science provides learners with the knowledge required for many other subjects in the sciences, mathematics and engineering, and the analytical skills learnt can also be used in everyday life.

Additionally, the IGCSE is accepted and valued by leading universities and employers around the world as evidence of academic achievement.



What do I need to know and be able to do before taking this course?

GCSE Drama follows on from the work you have done in Years 7, 8 and 9. It offers the chance to explore texts, themes and ideas practically and requires you to be able to evaluate them effectively, both verbally and in writing. Whilst there are no specific qualifications required to elect to take the course, you will need to be reasonably confident or thoroughly prepared to challenge your own confidence levels in performance. You will also need to be a well organised individual and a team player. Pupils taking drama are expected to rehearse outside of lesson time. It is also part of the requirements that they attend at least two professional performances of a theatre show during each year.

You should have an enthusiasm for drama and have some meaningful experience in the subject. Due to the high level of practical and written communication required, a fluency in English is desired.

What will I learn?

• To become a self-critical and confident actor and performer.

• To evaluate critically other performances, both professional and those of your peers, with insight and intelligence.

• To understand the evolution and role of the theatre in our society.

• To work effectively alone or in a team and to develop your confidence.

• To analyse a range of texts and scripts from a performance, direction and design perspective.

• To explore elements of practical and technical theatre.

How is the written part of the course structured and assessed?

Component 1 involves the study of theatrical theory, the practical study of a play and a live theatre evaluation, assessed through a written examination at the end of Year 11. Component 2 provides the opportunity for pupils to create a devised drama, contributing as either designer or performer. Pupils must also produce a Devising Log. This is assessed by the teacher and moderated by AQA. Component 3 requires pupils to perform two extracts from the same play, again contributing as either designer or performer. This is assessed by AQA.

What Sixth Form subjects will this course be useful for?

A GCSE in Drama is preparation for most, if not all, subjects as a direct result of its focus on critical evaluation and presentation skills. The subject demands that you become a reflective learner, looking at your own work and that of your peers to identify strengths and weaknesses along with considering strategies to improve that work. Further to this the ability to consider one’s presentation and delivery of speech and ideas is a key skill in any area of study or even later life. Through the pursuit of Drama you will have a better understanding of how to influence your audience, deliver your messages and generate a positive response. Subjects of particular note include: Theatre Studies, the natural path of progression, English Literature, for the study of plays and Psychology for its focus on human behaviour. Due to the importance placed on the socio/ historical context of themes and texts in Drama, the subject could also be useful for History though the subject will complement any creative, interpretative or text-based subject.

AQA 8261 Mr D Todres

Cambridge Assessment


B2 First for Schools

English as an Additional Language Level B2

What do I need to know and be able to do before taking this course?

The B2 First for schools is designed for pupils with an upper-intermediate level of English - it is not for native English speakers. In order to access the content of the lessons, you should have good oral and written skills and a solid understanding of grammar.

If you require significant support with your English, individual or small group sessions would be a better option for you and can be arranged with the EAL department directly in any option block (in such cases EAL fees apply).

How is the course structured and assessed?

This is a one year course, designed to run for the duration of Year 10 with assessment off-site at a recognised Cambridge exam centre in the Trinity term. There are four parts to the examination - Reading & Use of English, Writing, Listening and Speaking. Further information can be found at: https://www.cambridgeenglish.org/exams-and-tests/ first-for-schools/

In Year 11, pupils can choose to continue to study for a qualification at a C1 level or use the option block for private or supported study for GCSE examinations.

What Sixth Form subjects will this course be useful for? Confidence and accuracy in fundamental English skills is a must for all A level study. Pupils can also move on to study C1 in Sixth Form. a qualification widely accepted by UK universities.

Which institutions recognise the exam?

The B2 First for Schools certificate is recognised around the world as proof of upper-intermediate level English skills for industrial, administrative and service-based employment. It is also accepted by a wide range of educational institutions for study purposes. Cambridge English Qualifications are accepted and trusted by thousands of organisations worldwide.

Does the course bear an additional cost?

EAL fees do not apply for pupils taking this option, so there is no charge for lessons. However you will need to cover the cost of the exam at the end of the year (approximately £170).



What do I need to know and be able to do before taking this course?

GCSE Geography builds on the knowledge and information gained during the study of the subject in Years 7 to 9. The AQA course has been completely rewritten to offer pupils an outstanding range of subject matter and skills. At the end of the course your understanding of major national and global issues and places will be highly developed with a broad range of geographical skills to complement them. The course is particularly suited to those who have an interest in the changing world around them, including both landscapes and environments whether natural or human.

What will I learn?

The course involves a mixture of theoretical lessons and practical teaching with fieldwork exercises, as well as ICT experience, interwoven into a stimulating course, with teachers encouraging a lively and enquiring approach. During the course pupils develop their knowledge of physical and human geography, as well as an understanding of environmental issues and other current affairs. Fieldwork remains a significant part of the subject, enhancing a pupil’s problem-solving skills and further developing interest in the subject. Pupils in Year 10 conduct fieldwork both at Lulworth Cove on the Jurassic Coast and at Bristol’s Temple Quarter which is being substantially redeveloped. Both are very valuable and memorable days. The Lulworth and Temple Quarter trips form the basis of the pupils’ field work preparation.

How is the written part of the course structured?

The course is divided up into three papers. Paper 1 (Living with the Physical Environment) has three aspects: the challenge of natural hazards; the living world; and physical landscapes in the UK. Recent events such as the Nepal earthquake and extreme weather in the UK are highlighted, and natural disasters are linked back to human impact including climate change. The Living World includes the study of ecosystems, tropical rainforests and cold environments. Physical Landscapes in the UK provides an opportunity to study coastal and glaciated environments in the UK.

Cartographic, numerical and presentational skills are built into the course.

Paper 2 is called Challenges in the Human Environment. The unit again has three sections: urban issues and challenges; the changing economic world; and the challenge of resource management. Pupils are able to develop investigative, mapwork, and presentational skills in this section, Pupils learn about the nature of rapid change in cities both in the Developed and Developing Worlds, economic development in the UK and globally, and our use of resources.

Paper 3, Geographical Applications, involves the application of geographical skills including maps, atlases and graphs. There’s also an issue evaluation section and an assessment of the fieldwork we will be conducting during the course.

How is the course assessed?

For Papers 1 and 2, examination papers are a mixture of short, structured responses and the opportunity for extended writing. 70% of marks are gained from two written exams (Papers 1 and 2), whilst the remaining 30% are from Paper 3, Geographical Applications. Pupils take all three papers in the summer of Year 11. There is no coursework or controlled assessment in this course.

Which Sixth Form subjects will this course be useful for?

A GCSE in Geography provides an excellent springboard for many Sixth Form subjects and is particularly regarded as an outstanding “bridging” subject between the arts and the sciences. A high proportion of GCSE Geography pupils opt to follow Geography and Geology in the Sixth Form, and many subsequently embark on degree courses in these areas. In the last few years a number of pupils have successfully applied to read Geography at top universities.

What were the GCSE Geography examination results like last year?

Results in the department are strong at both GCSE and A level with 25% grade 9 and 75% 9-6 at GCSE in 2022.

AQA 8035 Mr J Boot


What do I need to know and be able to do before taking this course?

The most important requirements for studying IGCSE History successfully are an enquiring mind, an interest in the past and its impact on the present, a willingness to explore a variety of interpretations and an ability to express yourself clearly on paper.

What will I learn?

The course enables you to explore momentous events and understand the forces, which have shaped the 20th century, and its people. If you learn about your past you will understand the world today. You don’t have to be exceptionally academic to enjoy the course, but you do have to be willing to read, to think and to write clearly and to share your ideas with others in class discussions.

A wide range of books, videos and multimedia are used in class and pupils are encouraged to develop their literacy and historical fluency through independent research. Pupils who would like extra help or encouragement with this course in Year 11 are encouraged to attend ‘History Clinic’ sessions which run after the Mock exams.

How is the course structured and assessed?

The course comprises:

• An overview ‘Core Content’ study of the development of International Relations 1919-1991.

• A ‘Depth Study’ of Germany 1919-45.

• Coursework on the Normandy Campaign in World War II 1941-1945.

These are assessed as follows:

Paper 1: 2 hour external examination.

This comprises two questions on Core Content which looks at broad issues and trends emerging in international relations, 1919-1991 and one on the Depth Study of Germany 1919-45 focussing on the key events, changes and legacies of the period. All three questions are answered using a combination of analysis, extended writing and factual understanding.

Paper 2: 2 hour external examination.

This comprises a series of questions on an aspect of the Core Content (pupils are notified in advance what this aspect will be - the 2020 exam for instance will be on the causes of the Cold War). Candidates will be presented with a series of historical sources and required to answer a series of questions based on their utility, content and purpose.


This comprises a single 2,000 word essay on the issue of historical significance based on the Normandy campaign in World War II, to be done in the Michaelmas and Advent terms of Year 11.

What is the nature and timing of coursework?

Coursework is traditional in format (i.e., not a controlled assessment) with an emphasis on individual reading and research. It can easily be completed within two terms. For those struggling with co-curricular commitments, a non-coursework option is available at IGCSE with the pupil sitting an extra 1 hour exam on the depth study.

What Sixth Form subjects will this course be useful for?

Pupils will find the literary and analytical skills of History useful for any Sixth Form subject, and indeed any career. More specifically IGCSE provides a firm foundation for the A level History course studied in the Sixth Form and any other literary subjects. Typically historians follow careers that utilise their exceptional skills of information handling and argument such as journalism, law, politics, international relations, teaching, publishing, marketing and senior management. Historians are highly employable people!

What were the History IGCSE examination results like last year?

Last year, 50% of History IGCSE pupils achieved grades 9-7 and 93% achieved grades 9-4. These outstanding results are a testament to the dedication and enthusiasm of our pupils and also of an exam board which recognises and rewards potential.

CIE 0977


What do I need to know and be able to do before taking this course?

The GCSE course in Latin builds upon the linguistic skills and knowledge of vocabulary which have been gained in Years 7-9. All those who have enjoyed studying Latin in the past should consider continuing the subject to GCSE.

What will I learn?

This subject gives you the opportunity to study the language, literature and culture of the Roman Empire. You will experience elements of the culture, language and social and political life of the Roman civilisation which has inspired later generations and still has a major impact on modern life. As well as being exciting and inspiring, this course will help you to develop analytical skills and intellectual flexibility which will be useful in further study and in a wide range of jobs.

How is the course structured and assessed?

1. Language – Unit J282/01 (50% of total marks)

Translation of an unprepared Latin passage of approximately 45-55 words relating to a Mythological theme or connected with Roman domestic life, followed by a shorter comprehension passage or translation of English into Latin.

2. Verse Literature A– Unit J282/04 (25% of total marks)

You will study approximately 135 lines of Latin poetry written by poets such as Ovid, Vergil and Catullus.

These poems will feature lyric and satire and feature exciting scenes from myth and legend as well as more personal reflections; all with the common theme of the ‘unexpected effects of love’ Examination questions will involve translation and appreciation of the literary content and style, context and background of the poems.

3. Literature and Culture – Unit J282/06 (25 % of total marks)

A special study of aspects of Roman life and society, based on original source material (including literature, inscriptions and visual media) and secondary sources. We will study and discuss two of the following topics: Myths and Beliefs and The Romans in Britain. Assessment will be via written examination in which the pupils will be expected to furnish responses based on their knowledge of the prescribed source materials.

What Sixth Form subjects will this course be useful for?

Pupils who have studied Latin have found that the skills of analysis and appreciation they have developed have been useful in the widest possible range of Sixth Form subjects: Sciences, English, Languages, Humanities – and, of course, Latin!

What were the Latin GCSE examination results like last year?

In 2023, 100% of pupils achieved grades 9-4 with 50% grade 9 and 80% achieving the top grades 9-7.

Mr L Plum

Edexcel GCSE (9-1)


What do I need to know and be able to do before taking this course?

All GCSE Music pupils must take instrumental or vocal lessons throughout the course, and to do well they should be at least Grade 4 standard by the start of Year 10. A good theoretical base is important, and pupils without Grade 5 Theory are advised to supplement their studies by attending theory clubs and to reach this level. Music staff will be happy to advise pupils on this through preliminary discussion.

Music GCSE and Music Specialism

Music is a required course of study for Specialist Musicians entering Year 10. However, nonspecialists with passion and dedication to music are enthusiastically encouraged to choose the subject and the mix of specialists and non-specialists is mutually supportive. Pupils outside the M-form or arriving new to the school in Year 10 are advised to discuss their suitability with the Music Department. Specialists sitting GCSE in Year 9 will choose the Wells Specialist Music Certificate option.

What will I learn?

Pupils will study music through the integration of performing (30%), composing (30%) and listening and appraising (40%). Four areas of study (vocal and instrumental music, music for stage and screen and music from across cultural traditions) are studied which comprise eight set works (list below). This breadth allows pupils to capitalise on their different musical interests as well as developing an understanding of the whole musical spectrum. There are opportunities to use music technology within the course.

How is the written part of the course structured and assessed?

There is one written examination in the summer of the final year of the course which focuses on listening and appraising. Candidates are required to respond to music from a variety of styles and traditions.

What is the nature and timing of coursework?

The coursework falls into the two components of performing and composing. Performances may take place at any time during the course, up to the end of the Lent term in Year 11. For composing, candidates create a number of pieces in controlled conditions throughout the course up to the end of the Lent term in Year 11. Subsequently, the best two are selected for submission.

What Sixth Form subjects will this course be useful for?

Whilst many GCSE Music pupils are already set to study Music seriously at A level and beyond, Music GCSE is considered as a rigorous and multi-faceted discipline and the diverse skills, independent study and motivation that it promotes will support the full spectrum of A level choices.

What were the Music GCSE examination results like last year?

In 2023, 34 pupils took GCSE Music with 71% achieving grades 9-7.

Set Works

Vocal Music: Purcell Music For A While, Queen Killer Queen

Instrumental Music: Bach Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 in D (3rd movement), Beethoven Piano Sonata No. 8 in C minor (Pathétique) (1st movement)

Music for Stage and Screen: John Williams Star Wars

Episode IV: Opening Title, Stephen Schwartz ‘Defying Gravity’ (Wicked)

Fusions: Powell/Moraes/Spalding Samba em Prelúdio, Afro Celtic Sound System Release

PleasenotethatGCSEMusicorWellsSpecialistMusic CertificateisarequiredcourseofstudyforSpecialist MusiciansenteringYear10.


Wells Specialist Music Certificate

What do I need to know and be able to do before taking this course?

This course is designed for students who have taken their GCSE Music before beginning Year 10 and who have a strong theoretical musical understanding (Grade 5 or above).

What will I learn?

The course integrates the performance, theoretical, compositional, technological and entrepreneurial skills we feel are important for a musician entering the music profession. You will develop your skills in improvisation, harmony, recording, arranging and concert organisation. You will also develop your ability to research, analyse, write about and present the music that you perform and learn how to lead educational demonstrations and workshops.

How is the course structured and assessed?

The course is separated into 14 modules completed steadily throughout the 2-year course, Each module is assessed by the department and awarded a pass, merit or distinction, the final certificate grade being the grade that is in the majority. Each module will be assessed in different ways: there will video-recorded performances, course essays, compositions, arrangements, class tests and teacher observations.

What is the nature and timing of coursework?

Coursework is produced and assessed throughout the course according to a schedule shared with pupils. The course is designed so that there is no assessment in the summer (Whitsun or Trinity terms) in Year 11, allowing pupils to focus on their other GCSE subjects and music-making.

What Sixth Form subjects will this course be useful for?

The course is excellent preparation for the A level Music course and its independent nature prepares students for study in the Sixth Form in general. The focus on recording and computer-based composition is also a great basis on which to begin Music Technology A level. The extended writing and project organisation parts of the course also prepare students for possible EPQ work in the Sixth Form

What were the certificate results like last year?

Last year 70% of pupils passed with distinction with the remaining pupils achieving merits.

PleasenotethatWellsSpecialistMusicCertificateor GCSEMusicisarequiredcourseofstudyforSpecialist MusiciansenteringYear10.

Newpupilsinterestedinthiscourseshouldmake contactwiththeMusicDepartmentattheearliest convenience to make an assessment ofwhether this course is suitable for them.


WJEC Eduqas C656QS


What do I need to know and be able to do before taking this course?

The course provides a framework for a lifelong appreciation of our visual culture, therefore a keen interest in the fields of Visual Arts and Creative Media is a key starting point. Enthusiasm and a willingness to work hard are also important. Pupils must have access to their own DSLR camera and there is a requirement to make contributions towards the printing of final outcomes.

What will I learn?

The qualification provides opportunities for pupils to gain:

• Knowledge and understanding of a range of practical techniques and processes in response to a project title or brief. These will include functions of digital cameras and other photographic equipment, as well as image manipulation software.

• Understanding of the different photography genres and the work practises of individuals and the creative industries.

• Confidence in working independently, in order to generate their own ideas and develop their individual interests and strengths.

How is the written part of the course structured and assessed?

Throughout the course pupils will record their learning in Photography journals and they are required to study and critically analyse art and photography genres, in order to inform and help develop their own work. These studies form part of their coursework portfolio.

What is the nature and timing of the coursework?

Component 1

A personal portfolio which will comprise of their practical explorations, final outcomes and critical analysis of their own and others work. This accounts for 60% of the GCSE

Component 2

An externally set assignment. This accounts for 40% of the GCSE

What were the Photography GCSE exam results like last year?

Last Year 71% pupils achieved grades 9-7 and 100% pupils achieved grades 9-4.


Physical Education

What do I need to know and be able to do before taking this course?

This two year course will be of interest to pupils of a wide range of physical and academic ability. An interest in Physical Education and leading a healthy lifestyle is obviously a priority, personal sporting performance is also part of the course and hence the expectation is that you are active in a variety of sports. The course consists of five periods in every cycle, two of which are practical and three that cover the theoretical aspects. The course is a 40% practical, this is made up of three sports which you are assessed in, and a piece of coursework. 60% of the course is theoretical, and is assessed at the end of the course through two written exams.

What will I learn?

The aims of the course are:

• To develop an understanding of the different factors that affect participation and performance in physical activity.

• To promote an understanding of the health benefits of taking part in physical activity.

• To become increasingly effective in their performance in different types of physical activity.

• To support personal and social development through working with others and taking on different roles in the sporting environment, such as official, coach and participant.

• To help establish self-esteem through the development of physical confidence.

How is the written part of the course structured and assessed?

Two papers will be taken. The papers will be a mixture of short answer and extended answer questions.

Paper 1: Physical Factors Affecting Performance

This will cover:

The structure and function of the skeletal system, structure and function of the muscular system, movement analysis, cardiovascular and respiratory systems, effects of exercise on body systems, components of fitness, applying the principles of training, preventing injury in physical activity and training.

Paper 2: Socio-cultural and Sports Psychology

This will cover:

Engagement patterns of different social groups in physical activities and sports, commercialisation of physical activity and sport, ethical and socio-cultural issues in physical activity and sport, sports psychology, health, fitness and well-being.

What is the nature and timing of the coursework?

40% of the course is coursework based. This includes being assessed in three different sports; one team sport, one individual sport and then another from either category. A piece of controlled assessment will be completed in the second year which is based around the evaluation of a performer.

What Sixth Form subjects will this course be useful for?

The subject does cover a certain amount of Science, Psychology, History, ICT, Health and is, of course, an ideal base for Physical Education, Biology or Psychology in the Sixth Form. However, it sits well with any subjects.

Physical Education is becoming an increasingly popular subject as the benefits of living a healthy lifestyle and the importance of lifelong activity are being recognised nationally.

Mrs G

Miss I Nixon

Personal, Social and Health Education

Year 10

What will I learn?

Year 10 pupils do not have timetabled PSHE lessons. However each term they attend a talk or workshop on a relevant topic such as alcohol and drugs, sexual relationships or mental health. These topics will be supported through the tutor programme.

What skills will I develop?

The diverse range of topics and speakers will help develop your listening skills as well as informing you on a wide range of thought provoking subjects.

What equipment will I need?

You will be provided with any equipment that you need.

Year 11

What will I learn?

All pupils in Year 11 will have a fortnightly PSHE lesson. The Michaelmas and Advent terms will be spent exploring the features of positive, healthy relationships, risk taking behaviours and how to look after friends. The

Epiphany and Lent terms will move on to explore sexual health and safety in intimate relationships, including contraception, before considering mental health and healthy coping strategies for the upcoming exam season. Talks from visiting speakers will support the work done and topics explored during timetabled lessons.

What skills will I develop?

You will learn how to recognise the features of healthy relationships, how to keep yourselves and others safe, and how to utilise healthy coping strategies in challenging situations. This will include risk management skills and basic first aid. You will also develop your teamwork and communication skills as well as an ability to discuss ideas on a range of often sensitive topics.

What examinations will I take?

You will not be examined on the content of this course.

What equipment will I need?

No specialist equipment will be required.


If you have any questions before you join us, please don’t hesitate to contact our Admissions Team; they will be more than happy to help: +44 (0)1749 834 441 / admissions@wells.cathedral.school

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