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GCSE (Year 10 & 11) Curriculum

In Years 10 and 11, the curriculum provides a diverse range of subjects, wide enough to satisfy both universities and future employers.

Most students study nine IGCSEs. The compulsory core curriculum comprises:

  • English Language (in English and Mathematics, students are set according to ability).
  • English Literature
  • Mathematics
  • One Science (minimum)

In addition to the compulsory subjects, students can choose six subjects from an options list and they are encouraged to take a modern foreign language, a humanities subject and a creative arts option to achieve a balanced curriculum.

  • Our GCSE pass rates for English and Maths are over 90% – that’s 25% higher than the UK average!
  • In 2022, over one fifth of all grades were 7-9 at GCSE (A* and A)

 

Please find our 2024-2026 options booklet below:

Mathematics

Mathematics

The course aims to build on past mathematical experience and knowledge, but where these are not properly founded, remedial techniques are likely to be incorporated. Additionally, it seeks to provide a basis from which some students will be able to undertake further study at a more advanced level.

English Language

English Language

The specification will 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.

Computer Science

Computer Science

Computer science helps students to develop an interest in computing and gain confidence in computational thinking. It develops problem solving skills such as the ability to decompose a problem into smaller more manageable elements and then think logically about the sequence of operations needed to solve a problem successfully. These skills will be invaluable in other areas of study and in everyday life.

English Literature

English Literature

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

Science

Science

The courses offered are separate GCSE courses in each of the sciences of biology, chemistry and physics, leading to one GCSE each. Students may take just one, two or all three sciences so as to keep the provision flexible for all. The sciences are experimental subjects and this is reflected in the delivery of all of the courses. All three sciences are taught through the AQA examination board and are assessed by terminal exams at the end of year 11. Each GCSE has 2 exams; each 1 hour and 45 minutes long and equally weighted. Due to governmental changes, there is no longer a coursework element so the entire grade comes from exams.

You are required to study at least one science course from the choice of biology, chemistry or physics.

Art, Craft and Design

Art, Craft and Design

GCSE Art, Craft & Design will enable you to develop your creative design ideas and practical skills through various processes, tools, techniques, materials and resources to generate different kinds of evidence of working and outcomes. Your knowledge and understanding of art-based, craft based and design-based practice will be developed to support your practical projects. You will produce work based in 2 main areas of study that could include: fine art, graphics, textiles and 3-dimensional design. Practical workshops will be used to introduce new techniques and you will then relate them to their own chosen design theme. The portfolio will consist of A2 presentation boards and a range of mixed media final pieces based around an overarching theme e.g. The Natural World.

Trips include Hannah Peschar Sculpture Garden and Paris.

Business Studies

Business Studies

The course provides students with a detailed examination of the business world and the internal and external factors which affect businesses in the modern world. Its central aim is to provide the students with the basis from which to effectively analyse and evaluate in the business environment.

Drama

Drama

The course encourages students to work imaginatively and creatively in a collaborative context, creating, developing and communicating ideas.
It has a clear, three-unit structure; with one unit led and assessed by the teacher, one practical scripted / design module assessed by a visiting examiner and a third assessed as a terminal written paper.

French

French

We use a variety of materials for the teaching of our French GCSE programme: all pupils have their own copy of the Studio AQA course book and other supporting materials including their own access to the online textbook and activities.

The department also runs a weekly lunchtime class for KS4 pupils, who would like extra practice in their GCSE French skills.

Geography

Geography

The course provides students with the opportunity to develop their awareness of global issues and recognise the challenges of moving towards a sustainable future. They will build on their geographical knowledge and apply it through geographical enquiry, developing into critical and reflective learners with enquiring minds. This will enable them to develop independence in their learning which will prepare them for further study. They will apply their learning to the real world through fieldwork which will include data collection, presentation and analysis, drawing conclusions and evaluation of the enquiry process. Students will learn to appreciate that people have different views of world issues and be able to use their knowledge and skills to form their own opinions about our changing world.

You will have a two fieldwork days during your course.

History

History

The aims and objectives of this qualification are to enable students to:

  • develop and extend their knowledge and understanding of specified key events, periods and societies in history; and of the wide diversity of human experience
  • engage in historical enquiry to develop as independent learners and as critical and reflective thinkers
  • develop 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
  • develop an awareness that different people, events and developments have been accorded historical significance and how and why different interpretations have been constructed about them
  • organise and communicate their historical knowledge and understanding in different ways and reach substantiated conclusions.

There is a Year 11 History trip to Berlin.

Spanish

Spanish

We use a variety of materials for our Spanish teaching: course books and other supporting materials as well as ICT materials, interactive boards and online activities.

We regularly offer trips to Valencia and Seville, in order to give our students the opportunity to use and improve their acquired language skills and to broaden their cultural outlook. Modern Languages Week, theatre events and other cultural activities are also organised to make language learning even more interesting.

Music

Music

The GCSE Music course provides a contemporary, accessible and creative education in music with an integrated approach to the three main
elements, namely: performing, composing and listening. Four areas of study form the backbone of GCSE and connect these three disciplines.
The four areas of study are as follows:

  • The concerto through time
  • Rhythms of the world
  • Film and computer game music
  • Conventions of Pop (Rock ‘n’ Roll, Rock, Pop & contemporary artists)

3D Design

3D Design

Within the context of three-dimensional design, students must demonstrate a range of: model making, constructing, surface treatment, assembling,
modelling. Students will learn about the working properties of materials and design considerations to complement the 3D design element.
Students may study a range of areas in addition to product design including:

  • architectural design
  • sculpture
  • jewellery and body adornment
  • exhibition design
  • designs for theatre, film and television.

Physical Education

Physical Education

This is a new specification which started in September 2016 and is designed to meet the needs of all students and the new GCSE reforms put forward by the government. Pupils at Box Hill School follow the AQA Full Course. Before undertaking the course, it is important for pupils to be aware that the amount of theory content within the course has greatly increased and includes a large amount of science based theory. Two theory exams at the end of the two year course form the basis for assessment.

Further Maths

Further Maths

It is appropriate for some students in set 1 of the IGCSE programme, to be accelerated and take the AQA Further Mathematics qualification alongside the IGCSE. This is only appropriate for students whose tracking data suggests they have a good chance of attaining an 8 or 9 level. There is time to cover the syllabus of this additional qualification. The content is similar to 7,8 and 9 level topics covered in the IGCSE course plus some extra, ‘stand-alone’ topics including, for example, matrices and the factor theorem. It is also an excellent ‘bridge’ between IGCSE and IB or A level. Students who have done this course have already made headway into AS modules and IB work in the sixth form.

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