Geography Year 7
Students are taught in mixed ability tutor groups in Year 7. The schemes of work they follow are designed to fit in with the new National Curriculum guidelines at KS3. In Year 7, this focuses on a Tour of the British Isles. Throughout the year, students will study: Introducing Geography; Making Connections; Population and Weather & Climate in the British Isles; Tourism, Coasts, Earth: Our Changing Home; London and Farming. Students are taught using a variety of teaching and learning methods with a particularly strong emphasis on geographical enquiry. Each half term, students are assessed using key assessment tasks. These fit in with topics being studied and are designed to emphasise a particular geographical skill. Students will take part in a field visit in June which links in with their geographical studies.
Geography Year 8
Students are taught in mixed ability tutor groups in Year 8. The schemes of work they follow are designed to fit in with National Curriculum guidelines at KS3. In Year 8, these focus on: Map Skills; Rivers and Flooding; Farming; Environmental Issues; Population; Global Fashion and Earth: Our Changing Home. Much of the work in Year 8 focuses on broadening students’ knowledge about places around the world as well as consolidating understanding of the local area, covered in Year 7. Students are taught using a variety of teaching and learning methods with a particularly strong emphasis on geographical enquiry. Each half term, students are assessed using key assessment tasks. These fit in with topics being studied and are designed to emphasise a particular geographical skill. Students will take part in a Curriculum Day in December which will involve learning about one of their topics in further detail, which will perhaps have a focus on recycling or climate change.
Geography Year 9
Students are taught in broadly setted groups in Year 9. These groups are based on previous performance in Geography and History at KS3. In Year 9 the year begins with some work on atlas skills and general place knowledge, although this is revised through all topics. Other topics covered include Hazards; Tourism; Development and Ecosystems. These topics focus on global issues and problems and students are asked to think about and discuss the ideas behind ‘sustainable development’ as part of this. With an emphasis on enquiry, students are also encouraged to question, to collect and present their own evidence, to look critically at results and to evaluate. Students are assessed through the year using key assessment tasks. These fit in with topics being studied and are designed to emphasise different skills. Students visit one of three locations at the end of the spring term (Kew Gardens, Lulworth Cove or New Forest) to broaden their geographical understanding.
Geography Year 10
The Year 10 GCSE Geography course is split into Human and Physical Geography elements, although many common themes run through both. Topics completed in Year 10 include settlement, rivers and development. Geographical skills are taught as an integral part of all topics. Students in Year 10 are assessed using past exam questions. In addition, staff make frequent use of a variety of homework tasks to apply knowledge to a variety of case studies. Coursework (worth 25% of final grades) is launched in the autumn term with an information evening for parents and a day of data collection in the local area which is followed up with work to prepare students for their individual studies. Deadlines for coursework completion are then set throughout the year. The course is taught in a similar way to KS3 using a variety of teaching and learning styles. However, increasing independence is encouraged and students are asked to monitor their own progress and to set targets.
Geography Year 11
The Year 11 GCSE Geography course follows on from work in Year 10. Students are taught in the same groups as they prepare for summer exams. The course is split into Human and Physical Geography elements, although many common themes run through both. Topics completed in Year 11 include Industry, Tectonics and Coasts. Geographical skills are taught as an integral part of all topics. In a similar way to Year 10, students in Year 11 are assessed using past exam questions. (These are an important part of preparation for final exams). In addition staff make frequent use of a variety of homework tasks to apply knowledge to a variety of case studies. Coursework has been completed by the start of Year 11. A variety of teaching and learning styles are used, increasing independence is encouraged; students are asked to monitor their own progress and to set targets. Support sessions have been set up every Tuesday, 3.45-4.30pm, to provide students with homework, coursework and exam practice support.
Geography Year 12
In Years 12 and 13 the Geography A Level course follows the AQA syllabus. Both AS & A2 years are split into Physical and Human Geography components, although there are common elements to each. In Year 12 we have started to follow the new AQA AS syllabus. Students will be studying rivers, floods and management which is the core physical topic, and population change which is the core human topic. In addition to these core topics, students will study one physical and one human option topic, most likely to be coastal environments and health issues. In addition there is a skills-based element to the course. Students are encouraged to take increasing responsibility for managing their learning, although support will be given. They are assessed regularly through the course, through the use of past exam questions, extended writing and skills-based questions. They are also encouraged to begin writing synoptically – thinking about the wider nature of the subject and bringing together the different elements of the course. Students attend a residential field course in North Devon during the autumn term.
Geography Year 13
In Year 13 the Geography A Level course follows the AQA ‘A’ syllabus. Both AS & A2 years are split into Physical and Human Geography components, although there are common elements to each. In Year 13 topics covered require greater depth and detail. In Physical Geography topics covered are Coastal Processes and Problems and Geomorphological Hazards. In Human Geography topics are Managing Cities and Recreation and Tourism. There is also an additional fieldwork paper. Students are encouraged to take increasing responsibility for managing their learning, although support will be given. They are assessed regularly through the course, through the use of past exam questions, extended writing and skills based questions. They are also encouraged to write synoptically, thinking about the wider nature of the subject and bringing together the different elements of the course.
History Year 7
Students are taught in mixed ability groups in Year 7. They start with an introduction to History and complete an investigation on how a group of skeletons died. This is followed by studying a series of fascinating topics in the Middle Ages, including the events of 1066; why the barons rebelled against King John; the Black Death; the Peasants’ Revolt and the development of castles. There is then a focus on the Tudors including Henry VIII and why the church in England broke away from Rome and how Elizabeth dealt with invasion and intrigue during her rule. Students will then examine the reasons for and impact of the English Civil War. Much of this work is given a local perspective with a focused study on the Battle of Newbury. Interpretations of Oliver Cromwell are also studied and students are encouraged to assess different perspectives on this key historical figure. A wide variety of interactive and engaging teaching methods are used to focus students in their lessons and encourage full participation. Assessments are set each half term.
History Year 8
Students are taught in mixed ability groups in Year 8. They begin by studying slavery focusing on the journey of the slaves, the conditions they had to endure and finally why it was abolished. They will examine the economic and social changes during the Industrial Revolution. They will have to use their enterprise skills to sell a new method of transport and produce creative and informative ways to sell their mode of transport. This is followed by a study of World War One in which students will examine why soldiers continued to fight in the trenches and learn how peace in 1919 was soon followed by war again in 1939. The events of World War Two will also be studied with a focus on the bombing of civilians and the Holocaust. A wide variety of interactive and engaging teaching methods are used to focus students in their lessons and encourage full participation. Assessments are set each half term.
History Year 9
The Year 9 course will be changing in September 2015, and further details on the new course will be available at the end of this academic year. The 2014-15 cohort will be the last year group to follow our previous curriculum and so even though some topics are the same as those mentioned in the Year 8 curriculum statement above, these topics will still be new to our current Year 9 cohort, who did not study them in Year 8. Year 9 for 2014-15 will study the causes and main events of World War One. Students will examine the features of life in the trenches why soldiers continued to fight in the trenches. The peace settlement at the end of the war will also be analysed and the students will learn how events from 1919-1939 led to another world war. The events of World War Two will be studied with a focus on the bombing of civilians and the Holocaust. The final topic in Key Stage 3 History is the Civil Rights Movement and examining the events in America in the 1950s and 1960s. A wide variety of interactive and engaging teaching methods are used to focus students in their lessons and encourage full participation. Assessments are set each half term. Students are taught in banded ability groups in Year 9.
History Year 10
In the first year of the GCSE course all of the requirements of Paper 1 are covered, which forms 45% of the GCSE grade. In the first term students learn about international relations in the period of the Cold War with a detailed assessment of who was to blame for the Cold War from 1945 to 1949, the Cuban Missile Crisis and the Vietnam War. This is followed by a depth study of the history of the USA between 1919 and 1941 which covers the period of the ‘boom’ in America, flappers, immigrants, African Americans, prohibition, the Wall Street Crash, the impact of depression and the New Deal. Emphasis is placed on developing students’ skills of explanation and analysis as well as assessing source material.
History Year 11
The first term of Year 11 will be spent preparing their Paper 2 depth study of Britain 1890-1918, which forms 30% of the GCSE grade. The three main topics are the Liberal Welfare Reforms, Votes for Women and the Home Front in World War One. It is a source based examination so students will be further developing their skills in the handling of evidence and the evaluation of sources. The spring term will be focused on the Controlled Assessment task which forms 25% of the GCSE grade. The remainder of the year will be focused on revision and preparation for the two exams which take place in the summer term.
History Year 12
The AS History course has two components. One is British Domestic Issues 1918-1951 in which students will examine events such as the General Strike, the success of the National governments from 1931-9 and the development of welfare. This unit is essay based and there is an emphasis on developing essay writing skills. The exam is 1 hour 30 minutes and forms 50% of the AS grade. The second component is Dictatorship and Democracy in Germany 1933-63. The course covers topics such as the rise and consolidation of the Nazis, the impact of their social policies, opposition to the Nazis, the division of Germany in 1949 and the policies of both the GDR and the FRG. The unit is assessed through document based questions which require specific skills of evaluation. The exam is 1 hour 30 minutes and forms 50% of the AS grade.
History Year 13
The A2 course has two components. One is the thematic study of Russia from 1855-1964 and covers topics such as the nature of government, the impact of war and revolution, the development of opposition and the experience of the various social classes. The exam is two hours long and requires students to write two synoptic essays. The second component of the A2 course is the study of the War in Vietnam 1955-75 in which students will assess why the US got involved, the actions they took in Vietnam, why the US failed to win and the impact of this war in the USA and on South East Asia. This is a coursework unit for which students will write two essays of 2000 words. The focus is on the skills of interpretation and investigation and students are expected to critically evaluate historical arguments and evidence.
Religious Education Year 7
Big questions such as ‘Why do we suffer? and Are humans special? are at the very the heart of the course in Year 7. This ‘big question’ approach highlights how the subject is an exploration and enquiry which can give rise to diverse answers and beliefs. The questions have been grouped into three main areas of focus: Truth, Ethics and Expression. Throughout the year students will have opportunities to develop and express their own beliefs and ideas. Where possible, we aim to build in chances to experiences in the classroom which enhance the learning.
In Year 7 students are taught for an hour a week in mixed ability tutor groups and they will focus mainly on Christianity. Students are assessed every half term throughout the year leading to a teacher assessed Key Stage 3 level at the end of the year
Religious Education Year 8
In Year 8 students study Buddhism and Islam. They deepen their understanding of important beliefs, concepts and issues of truth and authority in religion. Through these two major world religions the students will apply their understanding of religious beliefs, teachings and practices to a range of ultimate questions and ethical issues, with a focus on self-awareness, relationships, rights and responsibilities. We start the interfaith dialogue by looking at topical issues within the country. Again in Year 8 students are taught for an hour a week in mixed ability tutor groups. They are assessed every half term throughout the year leading to a teacher assessed Key Stage 3 level at the end of the year.
Religious Education Year 9
In Year 9 all students begin the GCSE course. We follow the new revised syllabus, AQA GCSE Religious Studies Specification B Unit 2. Students will study this unit for two years. They are examined nationally at the end of Year 10 and if successful, gain a Short Course GCSE. The topics include Religion and Planet Earth, Animals, Prejudice, War, Matters of Life and Matters of Youth. Again in Year 9 students are taught for an hour a week in mixed ability tutor groups and they are assessed every half term throughout the year and given a grade A* to G. Throughout the year the students study the religious texts relating to the topics and learn how the different Christian denominations interpret the texts.
Religious Education Year 10
In Year 10 all students continue with the new revised syllabus, AQA GCSE Religious Studies Specification B Unit 2 as outlined in Year 9. To gain the highest grades it is essential that students draw on TWO Christian denominations and be able to use technical language. Relevant teachings from the denominations must be related to the examination question. In Year 10 students are taught in bands of ability and they are assessed every half term throughout the year and given a grade A* to G.
Religious Education Year 11
In Year 11 all students continue on from the Short Course GCSE with module 4 of AQA GCSE (unit 30604). This is examined at the end of Year 11 and together with the Short Course (30601) make up a Full Course GCSE. Section A consists of Truth and Spirituality and Section B is made up of the following topics: Matters of Death and the Elderly, Crime and Punishment, Drugs and Matters of Life. To gain the highest grades it is essential that students draw on TWO Christian denominations and be able to use technical language. Relevant teachings from the denominations must be related to the examination question. In Year 11 students are taught in bands of ability and they are assessed every half term throughout the year and given a grade A* to G.
Philosophy and Theology Year 12
Over a two year period students will study Philosophy and Ethics. Students will follow the OCR syllabus with two module exams at the end of each year. AS G571 consists of the Greek influence on the nature and existence of God and the problem of evil and suffering. The AS G572 Ethics paper looks at the work of Kant, Bentham and Mill as well as Christian ethics and applies these to abortion, euthanasia, genetics and war and peace. Students will follow the OCR syllabus with module exams at the end of each year. There is no coursework involved in this subject, although students will be expected to produce essays regularly.
Philosophy and Theology Year 13
Over a two year period students will study Philosophy and Ethics. Students will follow the OCR syllabus with 2 module exams at the end of each year. A2 G581 looks at the philosophical issues in argument for God’s existence through religious experience and deals with the difficulty of speaking about God; religious language, and life after death. The A2 G582 Ethics paper looks at the issues of conscience, freewill and determinism, meta-ethics and then concentrates on sexual and environmental issues. There is no coursework involved in this subject, although students will be expected to produce essays regularly.
In Core Studies the students have a series of taster lessons before being asked to opt for one of two courses leading to an AS qualification. General Studies (AS) is a discussion based subject, requiring logical argument and good general knowledge.
It is taught in subject specialisms in five areas of study: Arts & Media, Beliefs & Values, Industry & Commerce, Society & Politics and Science & Technology. Students are able to bring their own specialist knowledge to the lessons, but will also get the opportunity to explore contemporary topics which lie outside the confines of their other AS subjects.
Critical Thinking (AS) is a skills based course which teaches students how to analyse, evaluate and develop arguments and to assess the credibility of evidence. The skills developed in Critical Thinking are valuable across all other academic disciplines and will enable them to identify strengths and weaknesses in their own and others’ arguments.
Government & Politics:
The AS Politics course has two components on British politics. One unit will focus on political parties, pressure groups and elections. The other looks at the Government, Parliament, the constitution and the judicial system. Assessment is different in each unit and there is an emphasis on developing appropriate techniques as the units are being taught. Both units are examined in June in 1½ hour exam papers.
The A2 Politics course has three components. This year one teacher has been covering the unit on the Government and Politics of the USA, teaching topics such as the Presidency, Congress, the Supreme Court and political parties. The other taught unit is the synoptic paper which brings together the work done at AS on the UK with the study of American politics at A2. Questions focus on the similarities and differences between the two systems with other examples brought in from around the world as appropriate.
Sociology Year 12
Students follow the AQA specification in Sociology. The AS examination consists of two papers. Unit 1 – The Family, where students consider the changing nature of the family and its role and functions in society. Students also learn about demographic trends since 1900 and the social construction of childhood. Unit 2 – Education and Methods in Context; where students learn about the function of education from differing sociological perspectives and reasons for differential educational achievements among different social groups. Both units are examined at the end of the course in June with two separation papers.
Sociology Year 13
Students follow the AQA specification in Sociology. The A2 examination consists of one piece of coursework and two examinations; Unit 4 World Sociology and the synoptic unit Crime and Deviance, where students have to make links with previous topics studied.