Art and Design - Fine Art


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. The students will become proficient in drawing, painting, sculpture and other techniques whilst expanding their creative and imaginative capabilities.


Brief overview of syllabus

Fine Art is the need to explore an idea, convey an experience or respond to a theme or issue of personal significance. The students are required to work in areas such as drawing, painting, sculpture or mixed media.

The GCSE course is designed to explore a range of art ideas and processes. Students are taken through a series of workshops at the start of the course to develop both skills and understanding of the creative process. They will explore ideas and techniques in response to the work of others, and experiment with a variety of media. Independence is encouraged, especially in the latter stages of the course when they are asked to complete an extended project by working in an area of their choice to develop ideas through to a final outcome.


Component 1: Portfolio - this must include a sustained project evidencing the journey from initial engagement to the realisation of intentions (60% of GCSE).

Component 2: Externally set assignment – the students will be given a preparatory period followed by 10 hours of supervised time (40% of GCSE).

Enrichment Activities

  • The students will be encouraged to visit local galleries such as the Tate Modern and The National Gallery. The school will organise a European Art trip to either Paris or Berlin.
  • Artist in Residence.
  • Art days – Visiting specialists.
  • Workshops for support and scholarship students.



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, own their own business or looking to study business in more detail. It is a fantastic foundation for sixth form subjects such as business or economics (and many others due to the skills gained), or those looking at business related university courses.


Brief overview of syllabus

  • Enterprise and entrepreneurship - business ownership, setting business aims and objectives, stakeholders, business planning
  • Influences on businesses - ethical business practices, the economy, globalisation, legislation
  • Business operations - production, procurement, QA and customer service
  • Human resources - recruitment, motivation, organisational structure and training
  • Marketing - including market research, understanding customers, the elements of the marketing mix
  • Finance – sources of finance, cash flow, and analysing business performance


Paper 1 - Influences of operation and HRM on business activity. Written exam - 1 hour 45 minutes / 50% of GCSE (90 marks). Multiple choice, short answer questions and case studies

Paper 2 - Influences of marketing and finance on business activity. Written exam - 1 hour 45 minutes / 50% of GCSE (90 marks). Multiple choice, short answer questions and case studies

Enrichment Activities

  • Trips to organisations such as Cadbury World or Thorpe Park allowing students to see how real businesses work
  • Visiting speakers from the world of business will be invited in to discuss their experience
  • Within our co-curricular programme, we have a Young Enterprise club where students will develop business, financial and entrepreneurial capabilities

Computer Science


The Computer Science GCSE course has been designed to reflect the importance of computation in the modern world today and in the future. Students will be able to understand and apply the fundamental principles and concepts of computer science and analyse problems in computational terms through practical experience of solving problems, including designing, writing and debugging programs.

Over the two year programme, the course encourages students to think creatively, innovatively, analytically, logically and critically to understand the impact of digital technology on the individual and on wider society.


Brief overview of syllabus

There are six topics within the curriculum:

  1. Problem Solving - Developing a set of computational thinking skills that enables 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 programs.
  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.


Exams - Principles of Computer Science (40%) – 1 hour 40 minutes. Application of Computational Thinking (40%) – 2 hours

Coursework - 20 hours: Project (20%)

Must be completed without Internet access

Using: Python, Java, C-derived languages, VB .NET, Pascal / Object Pascal

Enrichment Activities

  • A visit to Bletchley Park to connect encryption concepts to real world.
  • Visits to local technology companies.
  • Within our co-curricular programme we have a coding club, video game development and graphic design hobbies.



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 a commitment to extra time will be needed for 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.



Component 1 -Performance and choreography (60%). Solo performance (15 marks) , Duet or trio performance; dance to last for 3 ½ to 5 minutes (25 marks).

Solo or Group Choreography; this dance must last 2 to 2 ½ minutes for a solo and 3 to 3 ½ minutes for a group (40 marks).

All of component 1 is internally marked and externally moderated.

Component 2 - Dance appreciation.

Written exam - 1 hour 30 minutes / 40% of GCSE (80 marks)

Section A - choreographic and performance based questions

Section B - appreciation of your own work, personal reflection

Section C - critical appreciation of 6 professional works prescribed by AQA

Enrichment Activities

  • 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 & Technology


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 understanding to the design and making of products, taking into consideration sustainability and the wider impact on society. We will 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.


Brief overview of syllabus

Students will study three aspects of Design and Technology:

Core technical principles

Developing knowledge and understanding of:

  • New and emerging technologies
  • Energy generation and storage
  • Developments in new materials
  • Systems approach to designing
  • Mechanical devices
  • Materials and their working properties
Specialist technical principles

Gaining an in-depth knowledge of:

  • The selection of materials or components, their sources and origins
  • Forces and stresses
  • Ecological and social footprint, scales of production
  • Using and working with materials
  • Stock forms, types and sizes
  • Specialist techniques and processes
  • Surface treatments and finishes
Designing and making principles

Focusing on design principles through:

  • Investigation, primary and secondary data environmental, social and economic challenge
  • The work of others
  • Design strategies
  • Communication of design ideas and prototype development
  • Selection of materials and components
  • Specialist tools and equipment
  • Specialist techniques and processes


2 hour paper / 100 marks / 50% of GCSE

Section A – Core technical principles (20 marks)

Section B – Specialist technical principles (30 marks)

Section C – Designing and making principles (50 marks)

Non-exam assessment (NEA) - 100 marks / 50% of GCSE

Practical application of the core technical principles, specialist technical principles and designing and making principles.

Non-exam assessment (NEA): 30–35 hours approx.

We will continue to enter children into National competitions.

  • Writing Workshops



This qualification encourages creativity and focuses on practical work. As a drama practitioner you will develop skills that will support progress to further study of drama and a wide range of other subjects.

The GCSE course encourages 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.  


Brief overview of syllabus

Drama is an exciting, creative and challenging subject: a practical based course where 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 creation of and/or staging of drama and will consider not just the function of actors but also that of designers, e.g. set, costume, lighting and sound, as well as the ways in which a director might approach the interpretation of the piece within the given performance space.

Students who wish to study GCSE Drama should have a genuine interest in the subject and be committed to being part of a group that promotes and supports drama throughout the School.


Component 1: Devising

Non-examination assessment | 40% of the qualification – 60 marks

Students will be expected to:

  • create, develop, and perform a devised piece or design realisation from a stimulus
  • analyse and evaluate the devising process and performance
  • Performer or designer routes available

Component 2: Performance from Text

Non-examination assessment | 20% of the qualification – 48 marks

Students will be expected to:

  • Either perform in and/or design for two key extracts from a performance text
  • Performer or designer routes available

Component 3: Theatre Makers in Practice

Written examination: 1 hour 45 minutes | 40% of the qualification – 60 marks

Students will be expected to:

  • Practically explore and study one complete performance text
  • Choice of 12 performance texts
  • Live theatre evaluation of a performance they have seen

Enrichment Activities

  • Trips related to texts and plays studied during the course
  • Students can also be involved in our school productions
  • Our co-curricular programme offers LAMDA and drama sessions



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 onto A Level and beyond.

Students will travel the world from their classroom, exploring case studies in the United Kingdom (UK), higher income countries (HICs), newly emerging economies (NEEs) and lower income countries (LICs). Topics of study include climate change, poverty, deprivation, global shifts in economic power and the challenge of sustainable resource use. Students are also encouraged to understand their role in society, by considering different viewpoints, values and attitudes.


Brief overview of syllabus

Living with the physical environment

Topics assessed are - the challenge of natural hazards, the living world, physical landscapes in the UK, geographical skills.

Section A - The challenge of natural hazards

Section B - The living world

Section C - Physical landscapes in the UK

Challenges in the human environment

Topics assessed are - urban issues and challenges, the changing economic world, the challenge of resource management, geographical skills.

Section A - Urban issues and challenges

Section B - The changing economic world

Section C - The challenge of resource management

Geographical applications

Topics assessed are - issue evaluation, fieldwork, geographical skills.

Section A - Issue evaluation

Section B - Fieldwork


Paper 1 - Living with the physical environment Written exam - 1 hour 30 minutes / 35% of GCSE (88 marks).

Question types - multiple-choice, short answer, levels of response, extended prose.

Paper 2 - Challenges in the human environment Written exam -1 hour 30 minutes / 35% of GCSE (88 marks)

Question Types - Question types - multiple-choice, short answer, levels of response, extended prose.

Paper 3 - Geographical applications Written exam - 1 hour 15 minutes / 30% of GCSE (76 marks). Pre-release resources booklet made available 12 weeks before Paper 3 exam.

Question Types - multiple-choice, short answer, levels of response, extended prose.

Enrichment Activities

  • The students will attend a field trip in the local area, we will also offer international field trips
  • External presenters from organisations, for example, The Environmental Agency
  • In our co-curricular programme, students can attend Model United Nations (MUN) and complete their Duke of Edinburgh award



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; and the wide diversity of human experience. They will engage in historical enquiry to develop as independent learners and as critical and reflective thinkers, whilst developing the ability to ask relevant questions about the past, to investigate issues critically, and to make valid historical claims by using a range of sources in their historical context.


Brief overview of syllabus

Paper 1

Students study two depth studies from more than one country:

  • Germany: development of dictatorship, 1918 - 45
  • A World Divided: superpower relations, 1943 - 72
Paper 2

There are two sections:

  • Historical Investigation: The origins and course of the First World War, 1905 - 18
  • One Breadth Study: Changes in medicine, c.1848-c1948


  • Two examinations
  • Each paper is 1 hour and 30 minutes in duration
  • Each paper is given the equal weighting of 50% of the overall qualification

Enrichment Activities

  • Two examinations
  • There will be two exciting trips to support this course; a visit to the Imperial War Museum, and either one of the following, a trip to the First World War Battlefields or a trip to Berlin
  • In co-curricular we have History Films as well as study sessions



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.


Brief overview of syllabus

Component 1 – Performing

Two performances – solo and ensemble

Minimum of four minutes in total.

Component 2 – Composing

Two compositions – one to set brief, one free choice

Minimum of three minutes in total.

Component 3 - Appraising

Four areas of study with two set works each; Instrumental Music 1700-1820, Vocal Music, Music for Stage and Screen and Fusions.


Component 1: Two performances, 30% of GCSE

Component 2: Two compositions, 30% of GCSE

Component 3: One written exam, 1 hour and 45 minutes, 40% of GCSE

Enrichment Activities

  • The students will attend concerts and performances related to study pieces but also to widen their musical experiences of other genres from the four areas of study
  • We will also have career workshops with music therapists and recording engineers to show them to breadth of career opportunities.

Physical Education


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 would be capable all-round sportspeople, and would develop a deeper understanding of the physical, psychological and practical demands of sports performance. They would further develop skills to be able to analyse and improve as participants/competitors.


Brief overview of 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 chosen sports at a technical level, improving and analysing personal performance.

The course will focus on 7 areas:

  1. Applied anatomy and physiology
  2. Movement analysis
  3. Physical training
  4. Use of data
  5. Sports psychology
  6. Socio-cultural influences
  7. Health, fitness and well-being


There are two written examinations, each 1 hour 15 minutes and each worth 30% of the GCSE.

Paper 1: The human body and movement in physical activity and sport.

Paper 2: Socio-cultural influences and well-being in physical activity and sport.

The non-exam assessment makes up 40% of the GCSE.

Practical performance in physical activity and sport

  • Practical performance in three different physical activities in the role of player/performer
  • Analysis and evaluation of performance to bring about improvement in one activity

Enrichment Activities

Our co-curricular programme allows for many opportunities to participate in a variety of sporting and fitness activities.

Students will also have access to the following:

  • Trips to governing body performance centres(e.g. Bisham Abbey)
  • Trips sports events and fixtures
  • Trips to health clubs
  • Visits by sports performance experts in S&C, Sports Psychology, nutrition
  • Visits from elite coaches in different sports



Psychology is the scientific study of mind and behaviour. It encompasses every aspect of human experience and psychological findings are having an increasing impact on all our dayto- day lives. Exploring high performance (from learning to sport), trying to control the behaviour of nations, and better understanding our own thinking processes, a foundation of knowledge in psychology will only become more important.

This Course

We are offering this course to give students an insight into their own thinking and behaviour. Also, there are crossovers with several other subjects such as Biology, Maths, PE, Art, Drama, and Business both at GCSE and beyond. As well as direct links, there transferable skills such as evaluation, essay writing, and data analysis and interpretation. Psychology is one of the most popular A-Level and Degree courses and so a chance to study this subject at this stage gives students an early chance to gain a foundation in this area.


Brief overview of syllabus

  • Memory – memory models, types of memory, and accuracy
  • Perception – senses, visual illusions, constructivist theories
  • Development – child development (neural, nature vs. nurture etc.), Piaget, learning development (Dweck)
  • 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


Paper 1: Cognition and behaviour – 1 hour 45 minutes / 50% of GCSE (100 marks). Multiple choice, short answer questions and extended writing.

Paper 2: Social psychology and behaviour – 1 hour 45 minutes / 50% of GCSE (100 marks). Multiple choice, short answer questions and extended writing.

Enrichment Activities

  • Students will have a chance to conduct and participate in research projects
  • Trips will be arranged to places such as the Science Museum, Freud Museum, Bethlam Museum of the Mind or Derren Brown shows (if available).
  • In our co-curricular programme students can attend Brain Club where they will investigate areas not on the specification, such as sports psychology and forensics.

Religious Studies


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 the meanings of life experiences in relation to the beliefs and experiences of others, as well as to one’s own experiences.

This Course

The AQA syllabus covers a range of the major world religions and ethical themes. Students will be challenged with questions about belief, 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.


Brief overview of syllabus

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

Component 1 - The study of religions. Beliefs, teaching and practices of two from:

  • Buddhism
  • Christianity or Catholic Christianity
  • Hinduism
  • Islam
  • Judaism
  • Sikhism

Component 2 - Thematic Studies. Four of the following religious, philosophical and ethical studies themes:

  • Theme A - Relationships and families
  • Theme B - Religion and life
  • Theme C - The existence of God and revelation
  • Theme D - Religion, peace and conflict
  • Theme E - Religion, crime and punishment
  • Theme F - Religion, human rights and social justice


Component 1: Written exam 1 hour 45 minutes, 50% of GCSE

Component 2: Written exam 1 hour 45 minutes, 50% of GCSE

Enrichment Activities

  • Trips to places of worship in the local area and visitors to the school.
  • Optional trip to Rome to gain a deeper understanding of the origins and history of Christianity. It will also support their learning of Philosophy and Ethics.
  • In our co-curricular programme, students can attend Gavel Club and Modern United Nations.