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The Charter School

Excellence for All

Course Descriptions

Art

In Year 10 learners extend their creative, imaginative and practical skills to enable them to communicate and express their experiences, ideas and insights.  They learn to use primary and secondary observation techniques, and to investigate and interpret the codes and conventions of art, craft and design in contemporary societies, and in other times and cultures.  Learners apply their findings to their own drawings, paintings, prints and sculptures.

Keeping a sketchbook during Year 10 is compulsory.  It is used to document progress and development, and will be submitted as part of their final examination.

GCSE Applied Art & Design

In Year 10 learners extend their creative, imaginative and practical skills to enable them to communicate and express their experiences, ideas and insights, in relation to specified design briefs.  They learn to use primary and secondary observation and research techniques, and to investigate the roles of the client, target audience and deadlines in the creative industries.  By exploring a wide range of 2D and 3D Art and Design techniques and processes, examining the work of practitioners in both historical and contemporary society, learners apply their findings to their own designs.  Keeping a sketchbook during Year 10 is compulsory.  It is used to document progress and development, and will be assessed as part of each project.

Business BTEC

Learners are studying on a course that is 100% coursework comprising of 5 units in total studied over 2 years. Learners have completed unit 1 “Exploring business purpose” and are currently working on unit 3 “Business Finance” which looks at the financial issues faced by a new business start-up.  This will be completed at half term and learners will go onto study a third unit which will be completed for the end of year 10.  The last unit of this year encompasses a comprehensive study which compares the operations of The Charter School compared to Thorpe Park.

Citizenship

In Year 10 pupils complete two important Units in the GCSE Citizenship Studies: Unit 3 – focusing on how UK society has changed since 1945 (exam-based); Unit 2 – investigating the role of charity in society (coursework-based).  Unit 3 is worth 20% of students’ final grades and is examined at the end of Year 11.  Unit 2 is worth 30% of their final grade, and is a practical group project followed up with an assessed write up of their experiences and learning during the project.  Unit 2 is run in conjunction with a national youth competition run by Youth Philanthropy Initiative, whereby learners can win £3,000 for their chosen local grassroots charity working on social issues. Students are in the process of completing their assessed write ups now in class.

Design Technology

Product Design includes the following assessed modules:

Controlled Assessment Coursework project (60% of grade) – this is to be internally assessed and externally moderated.  The work will consist of practical work towards making a high quality finished product, research and investigation, analysis, generating a design specification, design development, modeling and testing, evidence of industrial practices and evaluation as well as use of ICT.

Written Paper (40% of grade) – questions will test the application of knowledge and understanding, materials, processes, techniques, and the evaluation of commercial products and practises.

Drama

Year 10 learners will have worked on all aspects of the GCSE curriculum.

Unit One – Drama Exploration

Learners use dramatic devices to explore different themes and issues.  They have learnt how to use a variety of performance techniques to express their understanding and opinions.  Written coursework of 2000 words will be completed on the practical work that has been completed in class.

Unit Two – Exploring play texts and response to live Theatre

Learners work practically on a chosen play script.  They explore the themes, style of the playwright and of performance.  They will look at different explorative strategies practically in class.  They will complete written coursework on this and visit the theatre to write a theatre review.

Unit 3 – Performance

In groups learners will rehearse and develop a piece of theatre to perform to an external examiner and audience.  They will be assessed on their practical skills.

Economics

GCSE Economics are close to completing their first Unit in Personal Economics.  Over the past year they have been studying how the laws of supply and demand influence the allocation of resources and how economic issues influence the world of money and work.  The assessment for their GCSE will take place in two exams at the end of Year 11.  Students recently started to study Macroeconomics and will spend the rest of the course examining the roles of Consumers, Governments and Industry play in the allocation of resources.

Engineering

BTEC level 2 extended certificate.  There are 4 units to be completed in this course.  The units learners are working on this year are:

Unit 1 – Working safely and effectively in engineering

Unit 2 – Working safely and effectively in Engineering

Two more units will be completed in year 11.  All units are internally assessed and externally moderated.

English

For GCSE English and English Literature learners complete Controlled Assessments in the following areas: speaking and listening; response to literature (including Shakespeare, a modern novel and poetry from the English Literary Heritage) and original writing.  Controlled Assessment is worth 60% of the final grade in English and 25% in Literature.

Learners are also prepared for examinations in the following areas: understanding and responding to non-fiction texts; writing to argue, persuade and advise and writing to inform, explain and describe.  Learners receive 2 GCSEs.

Hospitality & Catering

Catering skills related to food preparation and service.

Controlled Assessment (60% of grade) – consisting of two practical tasks selected from a bank of six set tasks, is internally assessed and externally moderated.

The first task is completed in year 10 and requires written research of a food commodity, choosing four dishes to showcase culinary skills, planning, costing and evaluating the suitability of dishes chosen to the catering industry.  The second task in year 11 requires students to research, plan, cost and evaluate and produce a 2 course meal.

Written paper (40% of the grade) – one paper which will be externally set and marked.  The paper will contain short-answer, structured and free response questions drawn from the catering content.

French

Learners continue learning to understand, speak, read and write in French.  They are more confident using sounds, written forms and grammar, and use this knowledge with increasing competence to express themselves in role-plays, conversations and writing.  They improve their understanding of French by listening to speech and talking about a range of different subjects.

Learners produce two pieces of written Controlled Assessment referring to present, past and future events.

They start practising for their speaking Controlled assessment in the summer term.

Topics studied in Year 10 include : Home Life and Relationships, Going out and Hobbies, School and Work, Town and Countryside, Life in French speaking countries.

At the end of Year 10 learners will be able to use the present, perfect, imperfect, future and conditional tense.

Geography

Year 10 GCSE Geography learners have begun to develop their knowledge and understanding of contrasting places, environments and themes.  They have developed a depth of knowledge about the physical process which impact on our human world.  Through studying topics such as water world, population, extreme climates, development dilemmas, consuming resources and rivers.  They explore the challenges that our dynamic planet poses to different groups of people and evaluated their reactions.  Year 10 have developed their skills; identifying geographical and topical issues as well as analysing an array of resources and viewpoints; applying them to exam questions.  The topics studied in year 10 include ‘Dynamic Planet', ‘People and the Planet’ and ‘Researching Geography’.  At the end of year 10 learners will be ready to submit their controlled assessment coursework based on fieldwork at Juniper Hall.  In the summer they will sit a practice exam which covers the topics they have learnt this year.

Health & Social Care

In the BTEC Level 2 Extended Certificate in Health and Social Care, a wide range of Health and Social Care related subjects are studied.  For instance you will learn about the different physical, social and emotional needs individuals have and how to meet these needs; how to communicate with a wide variety of people from all cultures and the aspects of diet which lead to good health.  A valuable aspect of this course is the work experience; this will take place during your year 10 work experience week, with a variety of local health and care providers.  It is a course that is recognized and respected by employers and professional institutions.

History

Learners studying GCSE Modern World History (Edexcel) in year 10 have the opportunity to develop their historical skills of Interpretation, evaluation and analysis.

The GCSE is spread across the two years, with learners taking their controlled assessment unit at the start of the year; this is the new type of coursework and is worth 25% of the overall grade, its focus is on the impact of war on Britain between 1914 and 1945.  Pupils have moved onto the first examined unit of the course which is International Relations 1900-1939, with the pupils sitting an exam on this unit at the end of Year 11 that is worth 25 % of the overall grade.  This leaves a further two exams to also be taken at the end of Year 11, each being worth 25% of the overall final grade.

Computing – GCSE

Learners are currently undertaking the GCSE Computing.  This is a rigorous, academic qualification, which counts towards achievement of the English Baccalaureate.  During Year 10, learners have been studying the theoretical concepts of computational thinking, including binary, hexadecimal and denary numbers and arithmetic; computing hardware and specifications; and have also been learning to write algorithms and write code using BBC Basic, HTML and Javascript.  Their first Controlled Assessment, worth 30% of their final grade, will begin after Easter.

ICT – CamNats (Core)

Learners are currently undertaking the Cambridge National Certificate in ICT.  The course is worth 1 GCSE equivalent in this subject, and is formed of 4 separate units.  In Year 10, learners have been completing the first of these units, which focuses on basic ICT skills involving spreadsheets, databases, word processing, desktop publishing and internet/ email software.  Learners are completing the MStreamIT High Control Coursework project as part of this, which forms 25% of their overall grade.  They will complete two further coursework units and an examination by the end of Year 11.

ICT – OCR (Core)

Learners are currently undertaking the Level 2 National Award in ICT, which is part of the OCR Nationals suite of qualifications.  The course is worth 2 A-C grade GCSE equivalents in this subject.  It is formed of 5 coursework units, each of which must be achieved at Pass or above in order to secure the qualification.  In Year 10, learners have been working on a variety of topics, including Animation for the Web and ICT Skills for Business.

Mathematics

In Mathematics GCSE all students follow the Edexcel Linear Mathematics A Syllabus.  Dependent upon their ability they will sit either the Higher of Foundation papers.  The syllabus covers a wide range of topics across Algebra, Number, Shape and Data and builds on what students have learnt in Key Stage 3.  The course is 100% exam and is made up of 2 papers, a Non-calculator and a Calculator paper, both 1 hour and 45 minutes long.  The first opportunity to sit this exam is in November of year 11.  All students will sit the final exam in June of year 11.  There are no external exams during year 10 but internal assessments will take place to ensure students are well prepared for their GCSE.

Media Studies

The course is designed to enable learners to develop a critical understanding of the role of the mass media in society.  In year 10 learners are introduced to the key concepts of the course (Media Language; Representation; Audience and Institutions) through both written and practical assignments.  Learners study aspects of Film and Television; the Music Industry; Advertising and the Print industry.  They are given opportunities to develop and apply a range of ICT/video skills.

The work builds towards producing a portfolio of 3 assignments, all composing of a written and practical element, which represents 60% of the total marks.  The Controlled Test, based on a pre-released topic at the end of Year 11, accounts for the other 40%.

Music

During Year 10 learners cover all 4 of the exam Areas of Study in their composing, performing and listening and appraising exam revision work.  The set works studied are:

  • AoS1 - Western classical music 1600-1899 : And the Glory of the Lord: Handel, Symp No40:Mozart, piano Prelude No15,Chopin
  • AoS2 - Music in the 20th Century : Peripetie:Schoenberg, Something’s Coming:Bernstein, Electric Counterpoint: S.Reich
  • AoS3 - Popular song in context : All Blues:M.Davis, Grace:J.Buckley, Why Does My Heart:Moby
  • AoS4 - World music : Skye Waulking Song:Capercaille, 3 Rag Desh pieces (Indian classical raga), Yiri:Koko

The Solo Performance Controlled Assessment examination takes place during Y10, generating up to 15% of their final mark.  We aim to record ensemble/duet performances during summer term of Y10.  The first composition is again up to 15% of the final grade, and is worked on under Controlled Assessment conditions.

The Y10 Listening and Appraising practice written exam takes place in the summer term.  The results from all 3 areas, composing, performing and listening, are amalgamated to give the grade for Y10 work.  The actual written exam is in May of Y11.

PE

In Year 10 learners in the core have been assessed in their ability to combine skills and techniques with consistency and precision.  Learners are also expected to self-reflect, and analyse the specific skill related activities of others within a practice and competitive environment.  As part of the AQA GCSE PE long course option group, two units have to be completed over two years.  Unit 3 the theory element is a 90 minute exam worth 40%.  Unit 4 the practical element is four sports and an analysis of one sport worth 60% of the total exam.

RE (GCSE)

Students follow the Edexcel Religious Studies GCSE course, which consists of two units.  The first, entitled ‘Religion and Life’, consists of four thematic modules in which learners engage with Christian and non-religious perspectives : “Believing in God” looks at why people do and do not believe in God; “Matters of Life and Death” explores the issues of life after death, abortion and euthanasia; “Marriage and Family Life” looks at issues around relationships, marriage, family life and divorce; “Community cohesion” focuses on prejudice and discrimination based on race, gender and religion.  The second unit is an in-depth study of Islam, taking into account the history of the religion, its core theology, beliefs and practices, and issues such as being a Muslim in modern Britain.

The course is assessed by two exam papers at the end of Year 11.

Science

Learners follow the core 21st Century Science course in Year 10 which is assessed by 3 exams and two pieces of coursework.  The course is split into nine modules which are: You and your Genes, Air quality, The Earth and the Universe, Keeping Healthy, Material Choices, Radiation and Life, Life on Earth, Chemicals in our lives and Sustainable energy.  They learn the processes of ‘How Science Works’ which enables learners to acquire an understanding of scientific ideas and how they develop over time.  They learn the process of scientific enquiry and the nature of scientific knowledge.

Science BTEC

This qualification gives learners the opportunity to learn about the concepts in chemistry such as hydrocarbons, endothermic/exothermic reactions and how elements bond together.  In biology they study about ecosystems and sustainability and how we can protect the habitats of animals and plants.  In physics they study electricity and forces and different types of energy.  They complete 8 assignments and have to pass all of them in order to gain the BTEC qualification as well as completing a single exam.  A pass at the BTEC is equivalent to a C at GCSE.

Spanish

Learners continue learning to understand, speak, read and write in Spanish.  They are more confident using sounds, written forms and grammar, and use this knowledge with increasing competence to express themselves in role-plays, conversations and writing.  They improve their understanding of Spanish by listening to speech and talking about a range of different subjects.

Learners produce two pieces of written Controlled Assessment referring to present, past and future events.

They start practising for their speaking Controlled assessment in the summer term.

Topics studied in Year 10 include : Home Life and Relationships, Going out and Hobbies, School and Work, Town and Countryside, Life in Spanish speaking countries.

At the end of Year 10 learners will be able to use the present, perfect, imperfect, future and conditional tense.

Textiles

Textiles Technology includes the following assessed modules:

Controlled Assessment Coursework project (60% of grade) – this is to be internally assessed and externally moderated.  The work will consist of a high-quality practical product and a supporting design folder comprising  research and investigation, analysis, generating a design specification, design development, modeling and testing, evidence of industrial practices and evaluation as well as use of ICT.

Written Paper (40% of grade) – questions will test the application of knowledge and understanding, materials, processes, techniques, and includes a design question for which a preparation sheet is issued by the exam board beforehand.