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Co-educational independent day preparatory school for children aged 3-13 years


GCSE - Core Subjects

English Language


The English Language qualification aims to extend students’ knowledge by broadening and deepening their skills through the study of an interesting and varied range of materials. In preparation for the exam, students will develop their skills of interpretation, analysis and evaluation. Text types studied will include a range of non- fiction forms, poetry and prose with students given the opportunity to practise a range of writing techniques, including planning and proofreading skills.

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Brief overview of syllabus

Non-Fiction Texts and Transactional Writing

Students should be able to read substantial pieces of writing, including whole and extended texts that make significant demands in terms of content, structure and the quality of the language. Throughout the qualification, students should develop the skills of interpretation and analysis.

Text types studied should include a range of non-fiction forms, such as journalism (for example articles and reviews), speeches, journals and reference book extracts, as well as literary non-fiction texts, such as selections from autobiography, letters, obituaries and travel writing.

Poetry and Prose Texts

Students will read a selection of challenging poetry or prose fiction in preparation for an assignment based on their selected poetry and prose texts. Throughout the qualification, students should develop the skills of inference and analysis. Students should use what they have learned about the writer’s craft in their reading of fiction to inspire and influence their own imaginative writing. They should develop a range of creative writing techniques, planning and proofreading skills.

Spoken Language

Throughout the course students will take part in a variety of activities to develop spoken language skills, focusing on individual presentation, group work and effective use of Standard English. The preparation and assessment of spoken language is an optional component of the course of study. If a student completes the endorsement, it will appear on their certificate as a separately reported grade, alongside the overall grade issued.


Paper 1: Non-Fiction Texts and Transactional

Writing. Written exam: 135 minutes/ 60% of IGCSE

Paper 2: Poetry and Prose Texts and Imaginative

Writing. Coursework: Two written assignments/ 40% of IGCSE

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/ shows related to texts studied
  • Author visits
  • Writing workshops

English Literature


The IGCSE English Literature course aims to engage students with and develop their ability to read and respond to a wide range of literary texts from around the world. They will develop an appreciation of the ways in which authors use literary effects and develop the skills needed for literary study through exploring the author’s use of language to create effects.

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Brief overview of syllabus

Poetry and Modern Prose

Students will study two set texts for this component: this includes all poems from a set Anthology and one of the modern prose set texts.

Students will study the whole text, developing their comprehension, critical reading and comparison skills, as well as their ability to produce clear and coherent writing using accurate Standard English. Wider reading of literary texts is also encouraged to help students develop these skills.

Modern Drama & Literary Heritage Texts

Students will study two set texts: one of the modern drama set texts and one of the literary heritage set texts.

Students will develop their knowledge and understanding of the texts by exploring the ways in which writers use language, form and structure to create effects. Students will study the relationship between the texts and the context in which it was written.


Paper 1: Poetry and Modern Prose.

Written exam: 120 minutes/ 60% of IGCSE

Paper 2: Modern Drama & Literary Heritage

Texts. Written exam: 90 minutes/ 40% of IGCSE.

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:

  1. Develop fluent knowledge, skills and understanding of mathematical methods and concepts.
  2. Acquire, select and apply mathematical techniques to solve problems.
  3. Reason mathematically, make deductions, inferences and draw conclusions.
  4. 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.

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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 & Probability 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

Inspiring speakers from various sectors who use maths in everyday life visiting the school alongside visits to local companies where maths applications are used.

We will continue to enter children into National competitions.

Co-Curricular: Investor Challenge

Additional Maths

(Free standing Mathematics Qualification)

This qualification gives students an introduction to the mathematics studied in AS and A level modules. It is designed as an enrichment programme for those students who have a thorough knowledge of the content of the Higher Tier of the National Curriculum for Mathematics. Although it is not a GCSE it will give the children an excellent grounding for their future studies.

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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 two-hour paper.

The assessment has a gradient of difficulty and consists of a mix of short and long answer questions.

Assessment Objectives

  • Use and apply standard techniques
  • Reason, interpret and communicate mathematically
  • Solve problems within mathematics and in other contexts.

Modern Foreign Language

French or Spanish - EDEXCEL

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 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.

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Brief overview of syllabus

The five themes are:

  • Identity and culture
  • Local area, holiday and travel
  • School
  • Future aspirations, study and work
  • International and global dimension

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

Enchrichment Activies

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.

Religious Studies


Religious Studies is taken as a GCSE at the end of Year 10. The skills and understanding developed through Religious Studies are relevant to a wide range of subjects and future careers.

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.

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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 1hour 45 minutes, 50% of GCSE

Component 2: Written exam 1hour 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.

Co-Curricular: Gavel Club,

Model United Nations (M.U.N).



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 pupils 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.

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Brief overview of syllabus

Alongside the skills outlined in the course aims, all pupils will continue to nurture a curiosity of the world around them. Pupils 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 and 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.

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

Co-Curricular: Engineering, Astronomy



Contact Us

  • Crosfields School
  • Shinfield Road
  • Reading, Berkshire
  • RG2 9BL
  • Main Office: 0118 9871810
  • Bursar's Office: 0118 9862535
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