Getting results for your child’s future - Crosfields School

GCSEs

Providing future foundations – core subjects

At Crosfields all our students study the core curriculum subjects including:

  • English Language AQA, English Literature AQA, Maths Edexcel, Additional Maths OCR
  • Science – choose to study Biology, Chemistry and Physics (taught separately) or Combined Science (which is worth 2 GCSE’s) AQA
  • Modern Foreign Language (choose between French or Spanish) AQA

N.B these may differ for SEND students and we will work in partnership with parents, carers and students to find the right combination.

Over 40 Languages Spoken

Working in partnership and choosing the right path

The process begins in Year 9:

Options Workshop – held in the Autumn Term providing the opportunity for students to explore their subject options. Subject teachers are on hand to answer their questions so they can make informed choices.

Parent and Student Options Evening – your chance to find answers to help your child make the right decisions.

We are here to make sure that the options which the students choose align with their future aspirations and are aligned to their strengths.

GCSE Options include:

Art & Design – Fine Art AQA

Vibrant and dynamic, this GCSE course will enable students to build their technical skills through working with a broad range of media, studying art in both traditional and contemporary contexts.

Syllabus:

The GCSE course is designed to explore a range of art ideas and processes allowing students to develop their skills in an area of their interest. Students are taken through a series of workshops at the start of the course to develop both skills and understanding of the creative process before having the opportunity to specialise in a media of their choice.  They will explore ideas and techniques in response to the work of others and refine their work towards a final outcome. Independence is encouraged, especially in the latter stages of the course which will prepare students for study at A-level and beyond.

Curriculum enrichment:

  • Visits to local galleries
  • Overseas trip such as New York
  • Visiting specialists
  • Workshop for support and scholarship students
  • Open studio time
Business Edexcel- IGCSE

Students will explore real business issues and investigate how businesses work. They will analyse the activities which happen behind the closed doors of businesses; managing money, advertising, and employment are all covered. The course gives students the opportunity to develop communication skills, numeracy in the real world, evaluative skills, organisation and teamwork. This is a great basis for those looking to work in the corporate world, or own their own business.

Syllabus:

  • Enterprise and entrepreneurship- business ownership, setting business aims and objectives, stakeholder management and planning.
  • Influences on businesses, ethical business practices, the economy, globalisation, legislation
  • Human Resources, recruitment practices, team motivation and organisation structure and training
  • Marketing including market research, understanding customers, the elements of the marketing mix

Curriculum enrichment:

  • Curriculum trips to large national businesses
  • Visiting speakers to share their real-life experiences
  • Young Enterprise Club which is part of the co-curricular offering
Computer Science Edexcel

The Computer Science GCSE courses has been designed to reflect the importance of computation in the modern world today and how it will do so in the future. Students will be able to understand and apply the fundamental principles and concepts of computer science and analyse problems in the computational terms through practical experience such as designing, writing and debugging programmes.

Students are encouraged to think creatively, innovatively, analytically, logically and critically to understand the impact of digital technology on the individual and wider society.

Syllabus:

There are six topics within the curriculum:

  1. Problem solving- Developing a set of computation thinking skills that enable them to understand how computer systems work, and to design, implement and analyse algorithms for solving problems.
  2. Programming- Students should be competent at designing, reading, writing and debugging programmes.
  3. Data- Learning how different types of data are represented in a computer.
  4. Computers- Students must be familiar with the hardware and software components that make up a computer system and recognise that computers take many forms from embedded microprocessors to distributed clouds.
  5. Communication and the internet- Understanding the key principles behind the organisation of computer networks.
  6. The bigger picture- Focusing on the influence of computing technology on their lives.

Curriculum enrichment: 

  • A visit to Bletchley Park to connect encryption concepts to the real world.
  • Reading is the heart of technology in the UK which affords our students opportunities to visit and witness day to day activities.
  • We offer a coding club within our co-curricular activities to support learning and creativity.
 Dance AQA

Dance focuses on the aesthetic and artistic qualities of contemporary and modern dance. It develops technical and expressive skills alongside knowledge and understanding of dance performance, choreography and critical appreciation of dance. Students of dance must have a genuine passion for the subject, and have been training for some years.

Reliability, commitment, enthusiasm and a strong work ethic are required for this course. Dance is a very demanding subject that requires creativity, depth of thought, clarity when analysing subject matter and the ability to think outside the box. This is a demanding subject for the body and will need many hours of extra time allocated to rehearsal and creative thought, through both the academic process and the practical work.

You must be willing to work with others and persevere when tasks are challenging.

Curriculum enrichment:

• Students will have the opportunity to display progress in performances throughout the year such as concerts, speech day and specially arranged dance recitals
• Visiting performances and workshops
• Trips to see professional performances in different dance styles such as ballet, tap or contemporary
• Co-curricular – Rehearsals will be offered outside of curriculum time

Design and Technology AQA

The GCSE Design and Technology course is designed to develop creative thinking, apply problem solving skills to practical and technological problems and develop the communication skills central to design, making and evaluation. Students will be expected to apply their knowledge and understand the design and creation process. Students are encouraged to consider the impact of their work from a sustainability perspective. We encourage students to apply learning to areas of personal interest, developing a range of transferable skills and the attributes of the learner. They will need to develop the ability to make aesthetic, economic, moral and technical value judgements.

Syllabus:

Students will study three aspects of Design and Technology: core technical principles, specialist technical principles and design and making principles.

 

Drama Edexcel

This qualification encourages creativity and has a focus on practical work. This allows students to develop an understanding and enjoyment of drama, developing group and individual skills and studying ways to communicate ideas and feelings to an audience.

Syllabus:

Drama is an exciting, creative and challenging subject: a practical based course and students are encouraged to pursue a fully integrated course that allows them to develop their performance skills within a theoretical framework. Practical work will develop both group and individual skills in relation to extracts from plays, other diverse stimuli, the theories of practitioners and dramatic work of the students’ own devising. Students take an integrated approach to the creation and/ or staging drama and will consider not just the function of actors but also that of designers such as set, costume, lighting and sound.

Curriculum enrichment:

  • Trips related to plays studies as part of the course
  • Participation in school productions
  • LAMDA and drama sessions
Economics Edexcel- IGCSE

Economics studies how people, businesses and governments make their choices in order to maximise welfare. It is a course that anyone can access and is especially useful for those who are looking at Maths and Economics as A level choices. The course is split into Micro and Macro topic areas.  

Syllabus includes the following topics: 

Microeconomics 

  • The economic problem  
  • Demand, supply and market equilibrium  
  • Business costs, revenues and profit  
  • Business competition 

Macroeconomics 

  • Macroeconomic objectives 
  • Government policies 
  • International trade 
  • Exchange Rates  

Curriculum enrichment: 

  • Online subscription to the Economist 
  • Lunchtime investment club.  
Geography AQA

This exciting course is based on a balanced framework of physical and human geography. It allows students to investigate the link between the two themes, and approach and examine the battles between the man-made and natural worlds. Students who complete the course will have the skills and experience to progress into A Level and beyond.

Students will travel the world from their classroom, exploring case studies in the United Kingdom, higher income countries, newly emerging economies and lower income countries. Topics of study include climate change, poverty, deprivation, global shifts in economic power and the challenge of sustainable resource use.

Syllabus:

  1. Living with the physical environment including the challenge of natural hazards, the living world, physicals landscapes in the UK, geographical skills.
  2. Challenges in the human environment including urban issues and challenges, the changing economic world, and the challenge of resource management.

Curriculum enrichment:

  • Trips to local area
  • Expert speakers
  • Model United Nations co-curricular team
History Edexcel- IGCSE

This IGCSE framework has been designed to develop a love of history and a keen understanding of international history. Students will evaluate historical evidence; justify their points of view and present information both individually and collaboratively. Over the course students will develop and extend their knowledge and understanding of specified key events, periods and societies in history. They will engage in historical enquiry to develop as independent thinkers, whilst developing the ability to ask relevant questions about the past.

Curriculum enrichment: 

  • There will be two trips including the Imperial War Museum.
Music Edexcel

This GCSE course has been recently redesigned to reflect the demands of a truly modern and evolving music environment. It aims to form personal and meaningful relationships with music whilst engaging critically and creatively with a wide range of music. The students will develop an understanding of the place of music in different cultures; how music is used in the expression of personal and collective identities. It is designed to give equal weighting to performance and composition allowing development and progress in both skills. They will have the opportunity to learn in depth appraising skills for both the set works and how to analyse unfamiliar music.

Syllabus:

There are three components that form the music GCSE syllabus.

  1. Performing– two performances are required including a solo and ensemble piece totaling a minimum of four minutes.
  2. Composing– Two compositions are required, one is set to a brief and the second allows the student full creative choice.
  3. Appraising– Four areas of study with two set works each; instrumental music 1700-1820, Vocal Music, Music for Stage and screen and Fusions.

Curriculum enrichment:

  • Attend concerts and performances
  • Workshops focusing on composing techniques and performance
  • Career talks from musicians in different lines of work
Modern Foreign Language (choose an additional language, French and Spanish) AQA

The GCSE French and Spanish courses have been developed to help students of all abilities progress and develop a passion for languages, through culturally engaging content.

This inspirational course will enable our students to manipulate and use the French or Spanish language effectively, independently and creatively, so that they have a solid basis from which to progress to A Level or employment.

Students are required to choose one Modern Foreign Language in their core subjects, they can then choose the other language as one of their option subjects.

Syllabus:

The three themes are:
1. Identity and culture
2. Local, national, international and global areas of interest
3. Current and future study and employment

The aims and objectives of this qualification are to enable students to:
Develop their ability to communicate confidently and coherently with native speakers in speech and writing, conveying what they want to say with increasing accuracy. Express and develop thoughts and ideas spontaneously and fluently. Listen to and understand clearly articulated, standard speech at near normal speed. Deepen their knowledge about how language works and enrich their vocabulary in order for them to increase their independent use and understanding of extended language in a wide range of contexts.

Curriculum enrichment:

-A week immersion in France/Spain with the opportunity to meet French/Spanish students.

-Co-curricular French and Spanish opportunities available throughout the year

-Languages week celebrates culture and diversity in a variety of ways

-Spanish and French performances in the theatre

Physical Education AQA

AQA have worked closely with the Youth Sport Trust to develop a new Physical Education course that will help students of all abilities to develop a well-rounded skill set and prepare them for progression to further studies. Candidates need to demonstrate that they are an all-round sportsperson with a developed, deeper understanding of the physical, psychological and practical demands of sports performance.

Syllabus:

The students taking this course will foster a theoretical understanding of sports performance and how it is affected physically, mentally and culturally. They will be able to study a chosen sports at a technical level, improving and analysing personal performance. The course will focus on seven areas:

  1. Applied anatomy and physiology
  2. Movement analysis
  3. Physicals training
  4. Use of data
  5. Sports psychology
  6. Socio-cultural influences
  7. Heath, fitness and wellbeing

Curriculum enrichment: 

  • Through our vast co-curricular programme students have access to a number of opportunities within a range of sports.
Psychology AQA

Psychology is the scientific study of the mind and behaviour. It encompasses every aspect of human experience and psychological findings and the impact to our day-to-day lives. Exploring high performance (from learning to sport) , trying to control the behaviour of nations, and better understand our own thinking processes, a foundation of knowledge in psychology has real-life impact on behaviours within the working world.

We are offering this course to give students an insight to their own thinking and behaviours. There are several crossovers with other subjects such as Biology, Maths, PE, Art, Drama and Business not only within GCSE but beyond. As well as direct links, there are transferable skills such as evaluation, essay writing and data analysis and interpretation. Psychology is one of the most popular A Levels and Degree subjects in the UK so a chance to study this subject at this stage give students an early chance to gain a strong foundation.

Syllabus:

  • Memory- models used, types of memory and accuracy.
  • Perception- senses, visual illusions constructivist theories.
  • Development- child development (neural, nature vs nurture)
  • Social influence- conformity, obedience, prosocial behaviour, collective behaviour
  • Language– language and thought, human and non-human communication, non-verbal communication and body language.
  • The brain and neuropsychology- the nervous system, neurons, structure and function of the brain, neuropsychology
  • Psychopathology- mental health and treatments.
  • Research methods- designing research, correlations, ethics, data collection and interpretation.

Curriculum enrichment:

  • Students will have the chance to conduct and participate in research projects.
  • Trips to places such as the Science Museum, Freud Museum.
  • Brain Club which is part of our co-curricular offering.
Religious Studies AQA (short course)

Religious Studies is a rigorous and demanding academic discipline. It encourages critical thinking, decision making, collaboration and independent working skills that will benefit all subjects. It provides opportunities to explore, make and respond to meanings of life experiences in relation to the beliefs and experiences of others. The AQA syllabus covers a range of the major world religions and ethical themes. Students will be challenged with questions about beliefs, values, meaning, purpose and truth. This will enable them to develop their own attitudes and beliefs whilst gaining an understanding of how religion, philosophy and ethics form the basis of our culture.

Syllabus: 

Students will consider different beliefs and attitudes to religious and non-religious issues in contemporary British society.

Curriculum enrichment: 

  • Trips to places of worship in the local area
  • Optional overseas trip to enhance their understanding of philosophy and ethics

GCSEs are designed to be challenging, but they shouldn’t become so overwhelming that they affect your child’s mental wellbeing. Rest assured that we never allow a child to struggle on their own. To support students on the lead up to exams, we organise workshops to help them manage stress, practice wellbeing activities and encourage students to talk to us.

GCSEs are the students first opportunity to pick their timetable and pursue their subjects of choice, leading to a culmination of hard work. We are excited for our first exam results in 2024 which will set the tone for Crosfields as a Senior School.

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