West Heath School

Key Stage 4 Curriculum Offer

ENGLISH 


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The English Faculty aims to provide students with an accessible, bespoke and varied curriculum based on the needs of individuals and within Government guidelines.
We encourage students to become avid readers of both fiction and non-fiction texts and have an excellent Dyslexia friendly selection in our new library;   library sessions are incorporated into the weekly plans and it is also available at social times.  We support our students to develop into confident, articulate speakers through robust speaking and listening lessons, providing a plethora of opportunities to practice both in and out of the classroom and with support of our Speech and Language Department.
We endeavour to provide our students with the skills needed to write with accuracy, clarity and succinctly whether writing to respond, to entertain, to inform or when analysing and comparing texts and moving image.

Overview of content of curriculum available in English

Following a bespoke assessment, students are arranged in small classes following either the Functional Skills English Level 1 and 2 or the GCSE Language.  GCSE Literature is offered as an additional option.

The week is planned to include reading comprehension, writing, SPaG and speaking and listening.

Functional Skills is an accredited English course that focuses on the fundamentals of English language used in further education, work and general life.

Functional Skills English is split into three key areas: reading, writing and speaking and listening.  Tests can be taken at any time throughout the academic year; the tests are paper-based for the Entry levels and online for levels 1 and 2. Functional Skills is recognised by FE establishments and employers alike.

Following either programme, reading is key and actively encouraged.  Structured Library sessions are in place and it is also available at social times.

The current iGCSE is 50% coursework and the students are required to complete 3 assignments assessing key competencies in writing.  There is a speaking and listening element to the examination, where students are required to talk on an individual topic in a clear, structured and interesting way.  At the end of Year 11, students will sit one or two exam papers depending on which tier is selected.

From 2018 the GCSE (9-1) will be 100% exam:

Student have the opportunity to further develop skills of analysis by exploring both fiction and non-fiction leading to their GCSE Language examination. Students will follow the AQA syllabus, which will require them to study a range of literary texts, both fiction and non-fiction, from the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries.  They will develop analytical skills of texts using appropriate subject terminology, make comparisons between texts and explore how they have been written.  Students will be taught how to demonstrate their ability to writing in a range of styles and for different purposes.  There is a speaking and listening element to the examination, where students will need to talk on a topic in a clear, structured and interesting way.  This will be graded separately with either a Pass, Merit or Distinction grade being awarded.  At the end of Year 11, students will sit two exam papers.

The English and Literacy teams provide bespoke intervention to ensure success for all students.

Courses Available:

  • Functional Skills English (Entry 3 – Level 2)
  • AQA GCSE (9-1) English Language
  • AQA GCSE (9-1) English Literature
  • Currently Cambridge iGCSE English Language
  • BKSB assessment and diagnostic to provide individualised computerised learning
  • Literacy intervention on a 1:1 basis comprising bespoke programmes, Toe by Toe and Alpha to Omega

 

MATHS

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Overview of content of curriculum available in Maths

KS4 pupils are taught in ability groups and attend five forty minute lessons every week. The results they achieve in the Optional Tests at the end of KS3 decide into which group they will be placed. The groups are monitored carefully and if staff feel a pupil has been misplaced they can easily transfer to one more suited.  We use Collins textbooks alongside other resources such as MyMaths, MathsWatch, Bitesize and Active Maths. Pupils are tested at the start and end of year 10 and have a mock in year 11. All these exams are in the school’s exam rooms under exam conditions. This helps to familiarise pupils with the way they are expected to conduct themselves when they take external exams.

Pupils working below GCSE level study Entry Level Maths and we aim for as many of these pupils as possible to achieve a Level 3 pass by the end of year 11. If pupils make good progress and they achieve a Entry Level 3 pass before they have completed Key Stage 4 they can transfer onto the GCSE Maths or Functional Skills pathway.

Courses Available:

  • We enter many of our students on the Edexcel GCSE course, either at Foundation or Higher Level.  Those taking GCSE Maths in Summer 2017 will be the first to take 9-1 graded exams.
  • Students who are working below GCSE level will study Edexcel Entry Level Maths.
  • Edexcel Functional Skills Level 1 is available for those that achieve Entry Level 3 during KS4 but are unable to access the GCSE course.

 

SCIENCE

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Overview of content of curriculum available in Science

Year 10 students will either be following Edxcel (1 – 9) Combined Science, or AQA single or dual award Entry Level certificate in Science.  The dual award GCSE qualification is a newly released qualification, it will result in two GCSE’s graded in the new fashion of 1 to 9.   The Entry Level Certificate also has the opportunity to upgrade to a dual award resulting in two entry level certificates.  The route through key stage 4 will be dependent on prior attainment, taking in a variety of factors to make sure that course is fitting for individual needs of our students.   In addition to continuing their learning of Science specific content students will develop a range of skills such as practical and enquiry skills, critical understanding of evidence and communication skills. Both courses follow the programme of study in Science for key stage 4.

Year 11 students will be either following AQA Science A (Single award GCSE A*-G), or AQA Entry Level certificate in Science.  This is the last year that these courses run following which all students will be working on the new GCSE content and awards for Science.

Edexcel Combined Science will cover topics such as:

  • Key concepts in Biology
  • Cells and Control
  • Genetics
  • States of matter
  • Methods of separating and purifying substances
  • Atomic Structure
  • The periodic table
  • Ionic bonding
  • Covalent bonding
  • Types of Substance
  • Motion
  • Forces and motion
  • Conservation of energy

AQA Entry Level Certificate Science will cover units such as:

  • The Human Body
  • Elements, mixtures and compounds
  • Energy, forces and the structure of matter

AQA Science A GCSE will cover units such as:

  • Keeping Healthy
  • Nerves and hormones
  • Use and abuse of drugs
  • Metals and their uses
  • Crude Oil and fuels
  • Energy and efficiency
  • Generating electricity

Courses Available:

  • AQA Science A (old specification completing in 2017)
  • AQA Entry Level Certificate Science (old specification completing in 2017)
  • Edexcel Combined Science (2 GCSE’s 1-9)
  • AQA Entry Level Certificate Single Award Science
  • AQA Entry Level Certificate Double Award Science

 

 

ART

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Overview of content of curriculum available in Art & Design

In Years 10 and 11 we use a “Skills-based approach” to art and design working with the exam boards specifications this allows students to develop knowledge and understanding during the course through a variety of learning experiences and approaches, including engagement with sources. This allows them to develop the skills to explore, create and communicate their own ideas. It also allows learners to demonstrate these skills through the development, refinement, recording, realisation and presentation of their ideas through a portfolio and to respond to the externally set exam in a confident and coherent way allowing the learner to fully realise their potential.

Courses Available:

GCSE Art and Design AQA – this exam promotes learning across a variety of experiences and through various processes, tools, techniques, materials and resources to generate different kinds of evidence of working and outcomes. The context of the exam is practice based and supported by course work.

 

CAREERS & CITIZENSHIP

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Overview of content of curriculum available

The school is committed to investing in our students’ health and wellbeing. We believe that by doing this that we assist the process of raising the students’ achievements. Students are encouraged to take part in a wide range of activities and experiences across, and beyond, the curriculum, contributing fully to the life of the school and communities. In doing so they learn to recognise their own self-worth, work well with others to become increasingly responsible for their own learning. They reflect on their own experiences and understand how they are developing personally and socially, tackling many of the spiritual, social, and cultural issues that are part of growing up. We teach them how societies are organised and governed. We ensure that they experience the process of democracy through our school council. They learn to understand and respect our common humanity, diversity, culture and differences so that they can go on to form the effective, fulfilling relationships that are an essential part of life and learning. They will learn skills to prepare them for their working lives as citizens of Britain and the wider world.

Year 10 Topics include:

Term 1 Term 2 Term 3
  • Introducing work experience
  • Preparing for Work Experience
  • First Aid Awareness
  • Lifestyles and healthy Living
  • The Effects of Alcohol, Tobacco and Smoking
  • Personal Safety
  • Safeguarding
  • Food Hygiene
  • Health and Safety Act
  • Hazards Awareness
  • Illegal Drugs
  • Rights and Responsibilities
  • Relationships and Sex Education

 

  • Forms of Government
  • The Law
  • Financial Aspects of Life
  • Economy and Taxation
  • E-Safety and On-Line Grooming

In the course of Year 10, students will have a group session with an independent, impartial careers advisor.

Year 11 Topics include:

Term 1 Term 2 Term 3
  • Applying for Jobs and Courses
  • Course work – CV, job advertisements, letter of application, job interview preparation
  • The World of Work
  • Economic and Financial Aspects of life
  • Record of Achievement

 

  • Examination Preparation

In Year 11, each student will have a personal interview with an independent, impartial careers advisor

Courses Available:

Students follow a modified and combined version of the Key Stage 3 Citizenship and PSHE curriculums.

Progression Routes

Key Stage 4 – AQA GCSE Preparation for Working Life
AQA Level 1 / 2 Preparation for Working Life

 

CREATIVE CRAFTS & DESIGN

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Overview of content of curriculum available

In Years 10 and 11 we use a “Skills-based approach” for the Crafts and Design NCFE qualification, which allows learners to fully engage in the practical learning of Craft, based skills. This will allow them to gain a practical skill base qualification that will aid in the progression to college or the work place with a set of real life skills that are easily transferable to following further studies in design based subjects or equally as a bases for practical vocational courses. On this course learners will use raw materials, tools and equipment in a safe and competent manner.  They will develop analytical and research skills enabling them to evaluate their own work and develop ideas and learning through the craft process. This in turn will develop an understanding of health and safety considerations in the craft environment.

Courses Available:

NCFE Creative Crafts and Design level 1 – The NCFE level 1 Creative Crafts and Design has a broad scope of syllabus that encourages pupils with a wide variety of musical interests and strengths to continue their study of the subject, and our small cohort of students are currently working towards this examination, with an almost equal balance of boys and girls. Results have been consistently high in recent years.

 

CATERING

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Overview of content of curriculum available

Traditionally Key stage 4 students have undertaken GCSE Catering examinations. From September 2016 we will be offering the BTEC Jamie Oliver home cooking skills course.  Students will still follow a strong and varied course and will cover all aspects of food, cooking, nutrition and safety but geared towards a more “home” key skills style of course rather than a more vocational “chef” course. The purpose is to allow students to understand and develop key skills in healthy and interesting foods suitable for families and themselves, but provide a suitable qualification so that each student would have a good basis should they wish to pursue a more vocational hospitality course at college.

Courses Available:

  • BTEC Jamie Oliver Home cooking skills
  • Yr10 -level 1
  • Yr11- level 2

 

HISTORY


 

 

 

Overview of content of curriculum available

Students can opt to take a GCSE History course over Years 10 and 11, sitting their final examinations in May/June of Year 11.  GCSE History builds upon many of the skills and concepts that will have been developed during Key Stage 3.

We are currently studying the new GCSE AQA History syllabus. This involves four main sections;

Year 10

  • 1. Period Study – Germany 1890 – 1945
  • 2. Wider World Depth Study Conflict and tension, focusing on Germany 1918 – 1939

Year 11

  • 1. Thematic Study – Britain: Migration, Empires and the people, focusing on 790 – the present day
  • 2. British Depth Study – Restoration England 1660 – 1685, including a local study of Greenwich Observatory

The four modules are examined at the end of the two-year course. There are 2 examination papers, each paper being worth 50% of the final attainment.

A site visit to the Greenwich Observatory will be organised as part of the British Depth Study on Restoration England.

Courses Available:

  • AQA GCSE History, studied over Years 10 and 11, with 2 examinations sat in May/June of Year 11

Progression routes

  • A level History at university, college or a different school

 

 

IT & COMPUTING

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Overview of content of curriculum available

Students will working through a number of units from communication and working in the IT industry to constructing computer systems and installing hardware and software across arrange of computer systems. The aim of these units is to give learners a coreunderstanding of the internal and external elements of a computer and functions around all types of systems. This will also be supported by working in the industry and taking part in live work with IT technicians across the school and how to exchange information safely and securely. student’s skills within IT from working on computer programming development to working with robotic systems or computer systems depending on their chosen IT sector at the start of the year. This is a specialist course, which will aid each learner to work in a variety of IT and computing sectors of their interest.

Courses available:

  • BTEC Level 2 Diploma in IT
  • BTEC Level 2 Certificate Specialists in IT Systems and Principles

 

 

 MODERN FOREIGN LANGUAGES

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Overview of content of curriculum available

Students can opt to take a GCSE German course over Years 10 and 11, sitting their final examinations in May/June of Year 11. Communication in German throughout the course is encouraged and practised, as students build on their linguistic and grammatical knowledge of German. The culture of the German people and lifestyle is studied, as well as that of other countries by way of comparison.
The 4 areas of learning a modern foreign language are assessed: reading; writing; speaking and listening. Having learnt German as a modern foreign language prior to Key Stage 4 is a distinct advantage. There are 2 possible tier levels to the examination; foundation and higher. The culture of the German people and lifestyle is studied, as well as that of other countries by way of comparison.
Themes and topics covered over the 2-year course are set out below:

There are three distinct themes. These themes apply to all four question papers.  Students are expected to understand and provide information and opinions about these themes relating to their own experiences and those of other people, including people in countries/communities where German is spoken.

Theme 1: Identity and culture  covers the following four topics with related sub-topics shown as bullet points:

Topic 1: Me, my family and friends

  • Relationships with family and friends
  • Marriage/partnership

Topic 2: Technology in everyday life

  • Social media
  • Mobile technology

Topic 3: Free-time activities

  • Music
  • Cinema and TV
  • Food and eating out
  • Sport

Topic 4: Customs and festivals in German-speaking countries/communities
Theme 2: Local, national, international and global areas of interest covers the following four topics with related sub-topics shown as bullet points:
Topic 1: Home, town, neighbourhood and region

Topic 2: Social issues

  • Charity/voluntary work
  • Healthy/unhealthy living

Topic 3: Global issues

  • The environment
  • Poverty/homelessness

Topic 4: Travel and tourism
Theme 3: Current and future study and employment covers the following four topics:

Topic 1: My studies

Topic 2: Life at school/college

Topic 3: Education post-16

Topic 4: Jobs, career choices and ambitions

Courses Available:

AQA GCSE German

 

MUSIC

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Overview of content of curriculum available in Music

In Years 10 and 11 we use a “Skills-based approach” for the music performance and technical courses both are pitched at level 1 and 2 learners allowing learners to develop musical performance and technical skills in solo and group capacity. Units studied are developed to allow the learner to get a firm grounding in the intricacies of playing and recording all forms of music. It is also to allow the learners to prepare for a college course.

Courses Available:

NCFE Music

The NCFE level 1 and level 2 in Performance Skills using Music and the NCFE level 1 in Music Technology has a broad scope of syllabus that encourages pupils with a wide variety of musical interests and strengths to continue their study of the subject, and our small cohort of students are currently working towards this examination, with an almost equal balance of boys and girls. Results have been consistently high in recent years.

 

PERFORMING ARTS

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Overview of content of curriculum available in Performing Arts

In Years 10 and 11 we use a “Skills-based approach” to allow learners to explore a NCFE level one certificate in Performing Arts the qualification aims to allow the learner to gain a firm foundation in the performing art industries and allow them to progress to a higher qualification and college placement. Learners apply a range of skills knowledge and understanding that will provide them with a set of good practical theatrical skills building on the work they have done in earlier years.

Courses Available:

NCFE Performing Arts
The NCFE level one certificate in Performing Arts has a broad scope of syllabus that encourages pupils with a wide variety of theatrical interests and strengths to continue their study of the subject. Our small cohort of students are currently working towards this examination, with an almost equal balance of boys and girls. Results have been consistently high in recent years.

 

PHYSICAL EDUCATION

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Overview of content of curriculum available

The curriculum for years 10 and 11aims to teach students to use a variety of tactics and strategies to overcome opponents as an individual (Tennis, Badminton, Table Tennis Boccia) or as part of a team (Volleyball, Football, Basketball, Netball, Hockey, TAG, Cricket). They will also get the chance to develop techniques and improve their performance in various disciplines (Athletics, Fitness, Trampolining, swimming).
Students will continuously evaluate their performance compared to previous ones with the aim of achieving a personal best within. activities on offer. Students will take part in outdoor and adventurous activities in a range of environments which present intellectual and physical challenges and encourage students to work in a team, building on trust and developing skills to solve problems either individually or as part of a team.
Students will be given the opportunity to compete in various disciplines against other schools in the local area.

Courses Available:

AQA GCSE Physical Education, Short and Full course

 

SELF SCIENCE

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Self- Science has been part of the basic core curriculum at West Heath since the school’s inception. The subject incorporates various psychological approaches including aspects of:

  • Emotional Intelligence
  • NLP( Neuro Linguistic programming)
  • CBT ( Cognitive Behavioural Therapy)
  • Mindfulness
  • Positive Psychology as developed by Martin Seligman

These combined approaches plus the S.E.A.L. initiative (Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning) help to form our programme of promoting greater emotional intelligence in our students. The S.E.A.L. programme focuses on: Self Awareness, Managing Feelings, Motivation, Empathy & Social Skills. Why focus on Emotional Intelligence? ‘Emotional Intelligence is a master aptitude that profoundly affects all other abilities.’ Daniel Goleman Emotional intelligence (EI) refers to the ability to perceive, control and evaluate emotions. Some researchers suggest that emotional intelligence can be learned and strengthened, while others claim it is an inborn characteristic. The Self Science Department works closely with the C&C (Citizenship & Careers) Faculty in order to ensure that all aspects of the PSHE National Curriculum are delivered. Self Science is delivered twice weekly to students from Year 7 to Year 11. There is also an added option for a student to request a weekly 1:1 Self Science session.

Overview of content of curriculum available in Self Science

  • S.E.A.L
  • Goal Setting
  • Self Coaching
  • Learning Styles
  • Learning strategies
  • Stress management
  • Anti-Bullying
  • Mindfulness
  • Character Strengths
  • Relationships & Sex-Education
  • Rapport
  • Self Esteem & Confidence
  • Morals
  • Values
  • Beliefs
  • Extremism
  • Personal Responsibility
  • Co-operation and collaboration
  • Exploitation

 

TEXTILES


 

 

 

Overview of content of curriculum available in Textiles

Students in Years 10 and 11 use a “Skills-based approach” to textiles. Working with the exam board (AQA) specifications this allows students to develop knowledge, safe practice and understanding during the course through a variety of areas of study including cultural knowledge, environmental and creative contexts. How ideas and intentions are relevant to textiles design, using a variety of techniques, processes which are appropriate to the students’ intentions.
Students develop their work through investigation, refinement, exploring and experimenting with appropriate media. Allowing them to record ideas and observations. Progressing to present a personal and meaningful response to their portfolios. This allows them to move on to respond to the externally set examination in a confident and coherent way to allow students to realise their potential.

Areas of study:

  • Portfolio on Mark Making
  • Sustained portfolio project ‘Architecture or Myself’ Examination question to students from 4th January.

Courses Available:

GCSE Textiles Art and Design AQA – This exam promotes learning across a variety of experiences and through various processes. Historical research, artist/designer inspiration, equipment, techniques, materials and resources to generate different kinds of evidence of working and outcomes. The context of the examination is practice based and supported by course work with a structured practical examination over 10 hours.

College choices in Textiles BTEC (outside provider)

A level (outside provider)