Core Subjects

English Language


This course aims to enable students of all abilities to develop the skills they need to read, understand and analyse a wide range of different texts covering the 19th, 20th and 21st century time periods as well as to write clearly, coherently and accurately using a range of vocabulary and sentence structures.


Brief overview of syllabus

Explorations in Creative Reading and Writing

The aim of this paper is to engage students in a creative text and inspire them to write creatively themselves by:

  • in section A, reading a literature fiction text in order to consider how established writers use narrative and descriptive techniques to capture the interest of readers
  • in section B, writing their own creative text, inspired by the topic that they have responded to in section A to demonstrate their narrative and descriptive skills in response to a written prompt, scenario or visual image.
Writers' Viewpoints and Perspectives

The aim of this paper is to develop students’ insights into how writers have particular viewpoints and perspectives on issues or themes that are important to the way we think and live our lives. It will encourage students to demonstrate their skills by:

  • in section A, reading two linked sources from different time periods and genres in order to consider how each presents a perspective or viewpoint to influence the reader.
  • in section B, producing a written text to a specified audience, purpose and form in which they give their own perspective on the theme that has been introduced to them in section A.
Spoken Language

The aim of this assessment is to allow students to demonstrate their speaking and listening skills by:

  • giving a presentation in a formal context
  • responding appropriately to questions and to feedback, asking questions themselves to elicit clarification using spoken Standard English.


Paper 1: Explorations in Creative Reading and Writing.

Written exam: 1 hour 45 minutes / 50% of GCSE (80 marks)

Paper 2: Writers’ Viewpoints and Perspectives

Written Exam : 1 hour 45 minutes / 50% of GCSE (80 marks)

Non-examination Assessment: Spoken Language. Students must demonstrate their presentation skills in a formal setting, listen and respond to questions and feedback, using spoken English effectively.

Enrichment Activities
  • Opportunities to see plays and shows related to texts studied
  • Author visits
  • Writing workshops

English Literature


This course encourages students to develop knowledge and skills in reading, writing and critical thinking. Through literature, students have a chance to develop culturally and acquire knowledge of the best that has been thought and written.

Studying GCSE English Literature should encourage students to read widely for pleasure, and as a preparation for studying literature at a higher level.


Brief overview of syllabus

Shakespeare and the 19th Century Novel

Students will study one Shakespeare play from a list of six set texts, and one novel from a list of seven set texts. In both cases, students should study the whole text.

Modern Texts and Poetry

Students will study one from a choice of 12 set texts, which includes post-1914 prose fiction and drama. They will also study one cluster of poems taken from the AQA poetry anthology, Poems Past and Present. There is a choice of two clusters, each containing 15 poems. The poems in each cluster are thematically linked and were written between 1789 and the present day.

Students should study all 15 poems in their chosen cluster and be prepared to write about any of them in the examination. In the unseen poetry section, by way of preparation, students should experience a wide range of poetry in order to develop their ability to closely analyse unseen poems. They should be able to analyse and compare key features such as their content, theme, structure and use of language.


Paper 1: Shakespeare and the 19th-century novel.

Written exam: 1 hour 45 minutes / 40% of GCSE (64 marks)

Paper 2: Modern texts and poetry.

Written Exam:2 hours 15 minutes / 60% of GCSE (96 marks)

Enrichment Activities
  • Trips related to set texts studied
  • Author visits
  • Poetry workshops



The Mathematics GCSE course will be taught over 3 years. The aims and objectives of the course are to enable students to:

  • Develop fluent knowledge, skills and understanding of mathematical methods and concepts.
  • Acquire, select and apply mathematical techniques to solve problems.
  • Reason mathematically, make deductions, inferences and draw conclusions.
  • Comprehend, interpret and communicate mathematical information in a variety of forms appropriate to the information and context.

During Year 10 we will decide if each student will sit the Higher or Foundation tier. Those very able students will also sit an Additional maths qualification.


Brief overview of syllabus

All students will develop confidence and competence in the following areas:

Foundation Tier:
  • Number 25%
  • Ratio, Proportion and Rates of Change 25%
  • Algebra 20%
  • Geometry & Measures 15%
  • Statistics & Profability 15%
Higher Tier
  • Number 15%
  • Ratio, Proportion and Rates of Change 20%
  • Algebra 30%
  • Geometry & Measures 20%
  • Statistics & Probability 15%
  • Geometry & Measures 20%


There are three equally weighted exam papers at either Foundation or Higher level, each 1 hour and 30 minutes long.

The Higher tier will be graded from 4 to 9.

The Foundation tier will graded from 1 to 5

Enrichment Activities
  • Students will enjoy visits from inspiring speakers who use maths in everyday life, alongside trips to local companies where maths applications are used
  • Students will be entered into national competitions
  • In our co-curricular programme, students can take part in the Investor Challenge

Additional Maths


The OCR Level 3 Free Standing Mathematics qualification in Additional Maths gives students an introduction to the mathematics studied in AS and A Level modules. Taught alongside GCSE Maths in Years 10 and 11, it is designed as an enrichment programme for students who will be high achieving at GCSE (9-1). Although it is not a GCSE it will give students an excellent grounding for their future studies.


Brief overview of syllabus

This FSMQ builds on the skills, knowledge and understanding acquired during the GCSE (9–1) course. It consists of four main ‘pure’ mathematics topics, each of which contains an ‘applied’ dimension, and two numerical topics, all underpinned by an Algebra section.

The single paper will assess content covering:
  • Algebra
  • Enumeration
  • Coordinate Geometry
  • Pythagoras and Trigonometry
  • Calculus
  • Numerical Methods
  • Exponentials and Logarithms


The examination consists of one 2-hour paper, taken alongside GCSE Maths in Year 11. The assessment has a gradient of difficulty and consists of a mix of short and long answer questions, graded on the scale A, B, C, D, E where A is the highest.

Assessment Objectives
  • Use and apply standard techniques
  • Reason, interpret and communicate mathematically
  • Solve problems within mathematics and in other contexts
Enrichment Activities
  • Involvement in annual Maths Week England
  • UKMT junior and intermediate maths challenges
  • Maths ‘clinics’ for supporting students
  • Weekly maths puzzles
  • Local maths competitions, team challenges and ‘Maths Feast’

Modern Foreign Languages


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.


Brief overview of syllabus

The three themes are:
  • Identity and culture
  • Local, national, international and global areas of interest
  • 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


Paper 1: Listening and Understanding Skills (worth 25%)

Foundation Tier: (40 minutes)

Higher Tier: (50 minutes)

Paper 2: Speaking Skills (worth 25%)

Foundation Tier: 7-9 minutes

Higher Tier: 10-12 minutes

Paper 3: Reading and Understanding Skills (worth 25%)

Foundation Tier: 40 minutes

Higher Tier: 1 hour

Paper 4: Writing in Skills (worth 25%)

Foundation Tier: 1 hour

Higher Tier: 1 hour 15 minutes

Enrichment Activities
  • A week immersion in France/Spain with the opportunity to meet French/Spanish students.
  • In Year 11 the students will have an intensive, fun revision day at the Europa Centre.



Science is a set of ideas about the material world. This course includes all the parts of good science whether it be investigating, observing, experimenting or testing out ideas and thinking about them. The way scientific ideas flow through the course will support students in building a deep understanding of science. This will involve talking, reading and writing about science plus the actual doing, as well as representing science in its many forms both mathematically and visually through models. GCSE science encourages the development of knowledge and understanding in science through opportunities for working scientifically.


Brief overview of syllabus

Alongside the skills outlined in the course aims, all students will continue to nurture a curiosity of the world around them. Students will be encouraged to consider the power and limitations of science and the impact on our wider global community.

Science will be taught in the 3 recognised areas of science Biology, Chemistry and Physics.

Biology: Cell biology, Organisation, Infection and response, Bioenergetics, Homeostasis and response, Inheritance, variation and evolution, Ecology.

Chemistry: Atomic structure and the periodic table, Bonding, structure and the properties of matter, Quantitative chemistry, Chemical changes, Energy changes, The rate and extent of chemical change, Organic chemistry, Chemical analysis, Chemistry of the atmosphere, Using resources.

Physics: Energy, Electricity, Particle model of matter, Atomic structure, Forces, Waves, Magnetism and electromagnetism.

The students begin their GCSE Science course at the start of Year 9, at the start of Year 10 we will decide if they will sit a GCSE in each area of Science or a combined Science course worth two GCSEs. This decision will be made on our experience of the children’s scientific ability.


Triple Science GCSE

6 x 1 hour 45 minute exams – 2 for each science.

Resulting in a separate GCSE grade for each science.

Double (Trilogy) Science GCSE

6 x 1 hour 15 minute exams – 2 for each science.

Resulting in 2 combined GCSE grades.

Enrichment Activities
  • Trips to GCSE Science live! and The Science Museum
  • Trip to Iceland
  • Visiting speakers from Reading University and other organisations
  • In our co-curricular programme there are options to look at astronomy and engineering