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About Consilium

Consilium Academies is a multi-academy Trust working across the North of England. It has nine academy schools located in Yorkshire, the North West, and the North East. Consilium is dedicated to enriching lives and inspiring ambitions for both students and colleagues.




English Language Overview

English is a lesson for life, and we remind our pupils of its importance in the world beyond school. It is the subject which creates the foundation for vital communication skills. We value both personal and academic responses from our pupils, supporting them in becoming increasingly fluent in spoken and written communication. All KS4 pupils have the opportunity to discuss, analyse, listen to and challenge perceptions. We encourage pupils to question received ideas and detect bias. Above all, we want KS4 English to offer stretch and challenge centred on intellectual curiosity and enjoyment.

The qualification would naturally lead to A Level English Language or Literature, but in essence, English Language GCSE is a gateway qualification which is required to access further and higher education and employment.


Pupils will develop the following skills:

  • The ability to read a wide range of texts, fluently and with good understanding
  • Read critically and use knowledge gained from wide reading to inform and improve their own writing
  • Write effectively and coherently using Standard English appropriately
  • Use grammar correctly, punctuate and spell accurately
  • Acquire and apply a wide vocabulary, alongside a knowledge and understanding of grammatical terminology, and linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language

  Pupils will study the following areas of English Language:

  • Explorations in Creative Reading and Writing (Literature fiction and descriptive or narrative writing)
  • Writers’ Viewpoints and Perspectives
  • Reading non-fiction texts and literary non-fiction texts
  • Writing to present a viewpoint

Course Structure

There is no tiered entry, so all pupils sit the same examinations regardless of their ability. There are two exam papers:

  • Paper 1 – 1 hour 45 minutes — 80 marks — 50% of final GCSE grade,
  • Paper 2 – 1 hour 45 minutes — 80 marks — 50% of final GCSE grade,
  • Non-examination component — Spoken Language (Separate endorsement 0% weighting of GCSE).

Additional Information & Who to Contact 


English Literature Overview

English Literature GCSE focuses upon supporting pupils' ability to think about morality and humanity, whilst studying their Literary Heritage and becoming critical thinkers. The interleaving of the two courses enables pupils to analyse the best in Literature, thus they read like writers and write like readers. The course leads directly to A Level Literature, however, it is also, like Language a gateway to any course or employment which requires communication or critical thinking.


Pupils will be developing the following skills through studying English Literature:

  • Pupils should be able to maintain a critical style and develop an informed personal response,
  • To use textual references including quotations to support and illustrate interpretations,
  • To analyse form, structure and language,
  • To show the relationship between texts and their social, cultural and historical contexts,
  • To use a range of vocabulary and sentence structures for clarity, purpose and effect.


Pupils will study the following areas of Literature:

  • Component 1 - Shakespeare and 19th century novel – pupils will study Shakespeare’s Macbeth, and A Christmas Carol
  • Component 2 – Modern Drama and Poetry since 1879 – pupils will study An Inspector Calls and an anthology of Power and Conflict poetry alongside contemporary unseen poetry.


Course Structure

There is no tiered entry, so all pupils sit the same examinations regardless of their ability. There are two exam papers:

  • Paper 1 – 1 hour 45 minutes — Closed texts — 64 marks — 40% of final GCSE grade,
  • Paper 2 – 2 hours 15 minutes — Closed book — 96 marks — 60% of final GCSE grade.

Additional Information & Who to Contact 



In this course, you will study familiar topics such as data-handling, algebra and number work in more depth as well as investigate new areas such as trigonometry, circle theorems, vectors and proof. You will also have the opportunity to further develop your communication and reasoning skills and learn problem solving strategies.

All students study GCSE Mathematics.

The course should enable pupils 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 and inferences and draw conclusions,
  4. Comprehend, interpret and communicate mathematical information in a variety of forms appropriate to the information and context.


 The curriculum is split into the following six areas:

  • Number
  • Algebra
  • Ratio and Proportion
  • Geometry and Measures
  • Probability
  • Statistics

Course Structure

At the end of Year 11 all students will sit three exams to gain a grade in GCSE Mathematics.

  • Paper 1 is a Non-Calculator
  • Paper 2 & 3 are Calculator Papers

These papers will contain a mix of question styles, from short, single-mark questions to multi-step problems. Each exam is 1 hour 30 minutes and worth 33⅓% of the final grade.

There is no coursework or controlled assessment element to the course.

GCSE Mathematics has a foundation tier, where a student can achieve grades 1 - 5, and a higher tier, where students can achieve grades 4 – 9.

Additional Information & Who to Contact 

In GCSE, if a candidate does not achieve the minimum grade in their tier of entry, then no grade is awarded, meaning that the selection of the correct tier for each student is extremely important.  We continually assess throughout the course to track their progress and we ask parents to talk to their children about how they are progressing against their target grade. As a result of our internal assessments, we may, from time to time, change the set your child is in. 

Homework is a very important part of mathematics and we ask parents to actively engage with their son/ daughter to ensure that all homework is completed in full and handed in on time. Hegarty Maths is a highly effective tool to encourage students to work independently, offering detailed revision plans for students in year 11 to address gaps in their knowledge. 

Many college courses now require a minimum of a grade 4 or 5 in Mathematics.  Employers often require people with proven mathematical ability, making a good grade at GCSE very important. 

Combined Science (Dual Award)


In science, pupils will study AQA Trilogy Combined Science. This course aims to provide pupils with the fundamental knowledge and concepts in Biology, Chemistry and Physics with the goal that pupils can apply what they learn to real-life situations or take them on to further study. Alongside this, the course aims to develop scientific skills such as planning, correct and safe use of scientific apparatus, recording of evidence, presenting scientific information, developing conclusions, and critically evaluating scientific technique and data. Pupils should appreciate the importance that science plays in everyday life and the role science plays in many sectors of employment. Science is an essential subject for all pathways post-16.


Combined Science is split up into Biology, Chemistry, and Physics. Pupils will study the following units over the length of the course.

  • Biology: Cell Biology; Organisation; Infection and Response; Bioenergetics; Homeostasis and Response; Inheritance, Variation and Evolution and Ecology.
  • Chemistry: Atomic Structure and the Periodic Table; Bonding, Structure, and the Properties of Matter; Quantitative Chemistry; Chemical Changes; Energy Changes; 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; Motion; Waves and Magnetism and Electromagnetism.

Course Structure

Pupils can complete Combined Science at either higher or foundation level. A higher grade could range from 4-9 and a foundation grade ranges from 1-5. Much of the content is the same and pupils will be entered for the tier which we feel will give them the best possible outcome regardless of set or target and pupils may be moved up or down tiers depending on performance throughout the duration of the course.   

Combined Science is made up of a total of six exams, each 75 minutes in length. There will be two exams to cover content from each Biology, Chemistry, and Physics. The GCSE is 100% assessed on these six external exams at the end of the course and a final grade will be a combined total of the scores from each exam.

Additional Information & Who to contact

Physical Education 


Physical Education is a compulsory subject in the National Curriculum and is undertaken by all pupils in KS4.  It is essential that suitable kit and appropriate footwear is worn for lessons. The school PE uniform of plain navy remains the requirement in Year 10 and 11.

A degree of choice in selecting which activity pathway to follow is usually possible, with the aim of ensuring pupils are well motivated to enjoy their participation, to make progress in their chosen activities and to develop healthy active lifestyles.

We offer a very wide range of sports:

  • Team Games – Basketball, Football, Futsal, Hockey, Netball, Rugby
  • Striking/Fielding Games – Cricket, Golf, Rounders, Softball
  • Net Games – Badminton, Table tennis, Tennis, Volleyball            
  • Gymnastic Sports – Gymnastics, Trampoline
  • Fitness Activities – Aerobics/Circuits/HIIT, Indoor Rowing, Athletics, Yoga
  • Alternative Games – Dodgeball, Pop Lacrosse, Rock-it-ball, Ultimate Disc

Additional Information & Who to Contact



Geography is an exciting, dynamic, topical, and highly relevant subject that deals with many of the issues facing people and places across the planet.  It helps us to understand how places are interconnected and how the natural environment can affect humans as well as how humans can affect the natural environment.

It is a subject that supports both the Sciences and the Humanities with a focus on the physical and human environments.  It helps to develop the ability to think:

  • Creatively, by posing questions relating to different elements of geographical processes and concepts
  • Scientifically, by collecting and recording appropriate evidence from a range of sources, including fieldwork
  • Independently by applying geographical knowledge, understanding, and skills to real-world contexts

Geography can help us to understand many of the changes taking place in the world today. Through studying the range of causes of issues such as global climate change and how this may impact humans, Geography helps us to understand what impacts we, as individuals, can have and what we can do about this to live in a more sustainable way.  It also helps us to develop an understanding of issues from the local to global scale, such as why local areas are regenerated to how natural hazards can impact on some communities more than others.

Geography allows pupils to develop a wide range of transferable skills that are important in everyday life and in the world of work such as literacy; numeracy; graphicacy; ICT; problem solving; thinking skills; enquiry; analysis and social and environmental awareness, and all these skills make Geographers highly employable.

Geography is a key qualification that enables pupils to access a range of careers such as those in retail, travel, planning, surveying, estate agency, conservation, project management, civil engineering, financial services, the forces and many more.


A wide range of physical and human topics are covered throughout the course. The geography of the UK is covered in studying rivers, coastal landscapes, urban areas, rural areas and their related issues and management strategies. Tectonic and climatic hazards are studied alongside ecosystems such as coral reefs. Global issues are addressed in studying global cities, development patterns, pressure on resources such as water supplies, effects of climate change and the management of many of these issues. 

Fieldwork is a compulsory element of the course where data is collected, presented, analysed and evaluated in preparation for examination questions.

Course Structure

The GCSE course will follow the Eduqas Specification and will have 3 formal assessments (examinations) at the end of year 11. 

Component 1: Changing Physical and Human Landscapes (35% of qualification)

  • Three structured, data response questions and some extended written response

Component 2: Environmental and Development Issues (35% of qualification)

  • Three structured, data response questions and some extended written responses

Component 3: Applied Fieldwork Enquiry (30% of qualification)

  • Structured data response questions based on fieldwork, geographical skills and decision making.

Additional Information & Who to Contact



History is an engaging subject that is well respected by many colleges, universities, and employers. We provide a varied and interesting GCSE curriculum that also offers the opportunity for students to develop skills including the ability to communicate, how to express and explain complex ideas, analytical skills to help students understand information and viewpoints and how to form well supported arguments. History students can access a diverse field of future careers; graduates often go into areas such as Law, Journalism, and Politics or into direct historical roles such as Archaeology or Museum and Heritage Management. 


Thematic Study: Medicine in Britain, 1250- Present Day Students will study the development of thinking about the cause and spread of disease in Britain from the medieval era through to the modern period. We will also study how public health changed, the development of cities and the creation of the NHS. There is a separate enquiry study into injuries, treatment, and surgery in the trenches during the First World War that will encourage students to use source evidence from that time period. 

British Depth Study: Anglo Saxon and Norman England: 1060-1088 this unit is an opportunity to study in depth a fascinating period of British history. Students will study Anglo-Saxon society and government, including the powerful Godwin family and the Kingship of Edward the Confessor. They will study the reasons for the crisis in 1066 and the three battles that decided the outcome: Gate Fulford, Stamford Bridge and Hastings. Students will then go on to examine the course of the Norman Invasion, analysing how William the Conqueror subdued England. Finally, pupils will compare the two systems of government and decide to what extent the Normans revolutionised England. 

Period Study: The American West c.1835-1895 A study of American history during a crucial period. They will consider the lifestyle of the Plains Indians and, over a depth study of sixty years, explore how that lifestyle was changed by the different groups arriving and settling in the West. We will also consider some of the most iconic images of the Wild West, such as cowboys and gunslingers. 

Modern Depth Study: Weimar and Nazi Germany, 1918-1939 This unit allows students to learn in much more detail about historical events with which they may already be familiar. We will study the political troubles in Germany following the First World War, the uneasy peace between World War I and II and the rise of the Nazi Party. A strong element of this unit is life in Germany under Nazi control, including methods to control the population, control of social aspects like literature, art and propaganda, and the persecution of minority groups. 

Course Structure

This GCSE is entirely examined – there is no longer a coursework element. Students sit their units across three exam papers at the end of Year 11. All students are entered for the same exam – there are no tiers of entry.

  • Paper 1- 1 hour 15 minutes: Medicine in Britain, c1250-present and The British sector of the Western Front, 1914-18: injuries, treatment, and the trenches.
  • Paper 2- 1 hour 45 minutes: Anglo-Saxon and Norman England c1068-88 and The American West, c1835-1895.
  • Paper 3 - 1 hour 20 minutes: Weimar and Nazi Germany, 1918-39.

Additional Information & Who to Contact

Modern Foreign Language — Spanish


A foreign language is not just another GCSE grade – it is a concrete and demonstrable life skill, like being able to type or to drive a car, and it is a skill that is highly valued by employers. A skill in languages can be vital for many career paths: there are some jobs where it’s an integral part, some where it is a useful bonus and others where it is just an advantage because it indicates a general level of ability and an open outlook. One thing that you can be sure of – it is never a disadvantage to have studied a language. 

Success in languages forms a vital part of the English Baccalaureate qualification.

The Modern Languages Department offers GCSE courses in Italian and Spanish.

Pupils can choose to continue with the language they have studied in Year 9. 


The GCSE course covers the following topic areas:

  • Identity and culture
  • Local, national, international and global areas of interest
  • Current and future study and employment

Course Structure

The four skill areas of listening, speaking, reading and writing are examined at the end of the course.  Students will take all four exams at either Foundation Tier (grades 1-5) or Higher Tier (grades 4-9).





1.  Listening


Foundation or Higher

2.  Reading


Foundation or Higher

3.  Speaking


Foundation or Higher

4.  Writing


Foundation or Higher


Additional Information & Who to Contact

For more information, please follow the link to the course specification on the exam board website;

Art and Design GCSE — Fine Art or Photography

The Art department offers two different GCSE Art courses:

  • Fine Art — for those who enjoy working in all areas of art e.g., drawing, painting, sculpture, textiles, printmaking, photography, mixed media etc.
  • Photography — for those who prefer working digitally, who are creative but struggle with their confidence within drawing.  An IT-based subject using Photoshop as an editing tool. 


Both GCSE specifications provide students with a wide range of creative, exciting and stimulating opportunities to explore their own personal interests in art and design.

There are many careers in Art and Design; animator, architect, fashion designer, furniture designer, graphic designer, hairdresser, interior designer, make-up artist, painter and decorator, photographer, costume/set designer, teacher, advertising, model maker, jewellery maker, web designer, textile designer, TV/film director etc. Both GCSE areas give a strong foundation for further progression to art and design courses such as GCE A level, BTEC and Creative and Media Diplomas and enhanced vocational and career pathways.

Students need to have enthusiasm for the subject and be expected to develop their drawing, painting, design and making skills. Students will learn how to analyse and research works of art and will be expected to visit local galleries. 

Drawing and writing are essential elements of both Art courses including Photography.


  • A foundation project at the beginning of both courses will allow you to identify and develop an understanding of your skills, allowing you to develop these strengths within future work.
  • A wide range of topics will be covered during the course such as looking at themselves (human form) and the world around them (the natural and man-made world) using different methods to record what they see.
  • Different skills and techniques will be developed looking at colour, line, tone, texture, shape and form. They may explore and develop ideas by combining different areas of study depending on their chosen option e.g. 2D or 3D, drawing, painting, mixed media, collage and textiles. 
  • Art is a fascinating, challenging and exciting course which allows students to be creative and independent; they will produce work they have developed themselves based on their research into a set theme or topic. Students own personal interests in Art will be encouraged.

Course Structure

  • Coursework — Component 1 — Portfolio of work — Foundation project and self-directed project — 60% of final grade
  • Examination — Externally set task — Exam — 40% of final grade

Coursework and exam are assessed in the same way; four Assessment Objectives each with equal marks.

  • AO1 Developing ideas through research
  • AO2 Refining ideas through experimentation
  • AO3 Recording observations through drawing/photography and annotation
  • AO4 Presenting a personal and meaningful response

Additional Information & Who to Contact

  • Although pupils can choose both courses when selecting their preference, they will only be allowed to study one of the two courses.
  • At the end of the course an exhibition of students’ work will take place in school; this event will be a celebration of the achievement and progress made in the course.
  • For more information, please follow the link to the course specification on the exam board website:


In the Music department we offer two different courses:

Whichever option you choose, studying music allows you an opportunity to take part in a practically based subject, explore new and different styles and develop your creativity.

Music qualifications are highly regarded by higher education and employers alike as musicians are trained to work methodically and to be self-disciplined.  In addition to developing music-based skills, students also develop many general skills such as creativity, independent learning, research, teamwork, planning, and problem solving. 


This is a course for people who enjoy playing an instrument or singing.  You will have the chance to develop your performance skills, create your own music and broaden your listening skills by investigating new styles and composers.  Pupils on this course will receive free lessons on their instrument or voice within school in addition to their usual GCSE lessons to allow them to prepare for the performance component.  It is also recommended that pupils take part in one of the bands/groups that meet and rehearse in the music department to help develop their ensemble playing, another essential element of the course.  


You will explore through listening, analysis, performance and composition work, the musical elements and devices associated with 4 Areas of Study:  

  • Forms and Devices
  • Music for Ensemble
  • Film Music
  • Rock and Pop

There are two set works that you learn about in detail:

  • Badinerie by J.S. Bach
  • Africa by Toto

Course Structure 

Your grade is awarded through a combination of controlled assessment and an exam:

Component 1 – Performing Music – 30% - 4 minutes of performance. During the three years you will prepare several performances, both solo and ensemble (group) pieces.  This will mainly be with your instrument/singing teacher.  The final performances are recorded in school and sent to the exam board.

Component 2 – Composing Music – 30% - 3 minutes of composition. You will be guided through the process of creating your initial idea, developing it into a full piece and producing a score and recording for it.  One composition will be in response to a brief (idea) set by the exam board and the second is a free composition. 

Component 3 – Understanding Music – 40% - 1½ hour exam. You will hear unfamiliar music from the four areas of study as well as the two set works that will have studied during the course.  You will be required to answer questions on the musical elements you can hear (melody, harmony, timbre, texture, tempo, and dynamics) as well as about the context and understanding the intended effect of the music.

Additional Information & Who to Contact

NCFE Tech Award in Music Technology


This course is for anyone who enjoys the technical aspect of music rather than playing instruments and performing.  If you enjoy creating music on Garageband and would like to know how to use a recording studio then this is the course for you.  However, this is not a purely technical course.  You will also develop your creativity and listening skills – both of which are essential for good music technologists.  


Unit 1 Using a Digital Audio Workstation.  Looking at the hardware and software needed to create music using MIDI and audio.  You will then create a piece of music demonstrating the features available and evaluate it. 

Unit 2 Creating Music.  You will research a style of music of your choice and then compose an original piece in your chosen style using software instruments and recorded audio.

Unit 3 Studio Recording.  The ability to create audio recordings is essential for anyone with a desire to work in the music industry in a technical role. In this unit, you will use music technology to create multi-track recordings; recording a range of audio sources (instruments and vocals) and learning how to mix the recording down into a final track.

Unit 4 Sound Creation. You will explore how sound and music are added to a range of media such as films, adverts, and video games.  You will then compose and record all the sound for a short animation.

Course Structure

The course is assessed by a portfolio and two tests.  Over the two years you will generate evidence across all four units through a range of assignments, this will be your portfolio.  There are two tests in year 11: one written that is based on understanding of the equipment and processes you have studied over the four units and listening skills and one practical where you are given a task to complete on Garageband within a set time. 

  • Portfolio – 50% of final grade
  • Written test – 15% of final grade
  • Practical text – 35% of final grade

Additional Information & Who to Contact

Drama GCSE


GCSE Drama helps you develop new and existing skills in drama. This specification offers you the opportunity to specialise either as a performer or a technician. The course is an appropriate foundation for progression in Drama and theatre studies.  


This GCSE includes the following elements:

  • Creating devised drama (including the technical aspects) (40% of GCSE)
  • Performing from a scripted play or realisation of technical skill.  (20% of GCSE)
  • Understanding Drama (Studying a play for a written exam) (40% of GCSE)

The set plays (from which one is explored practically) include:

  • Playwright Set play
  • The Crucible by Arthur Miller 
  • Blood Brothers by Willy Russell 
  • Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne/Laura Eason
  • Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman/Dominic Cooke
  • A Taste of Honey by Shelagh Delaney
  • Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

To complete the course, you can either work as a performer (actor) or in a technical role in one of the following disciplines:

  • Lighting design
  • Sound design
  • Set design
  • Costume design
  • Puppet design

Course Structure


What is assessed?

How is it assessed?

1: Understanding Drama

  • Knowledge and understanding of drama and theatre
  • Study of one set play from a choice of six
  • Analysis and evaluation of the work of live theatre makers
  • Written exam: 1 hour and 45 minutes (Open book 80 marks)



40% of GCSE

2: Devising Drama


  • Process of creating devised drama
  • Performance of devised drama (students may contribute as performer or designer)
  • Analysis and evaluation of own work
  • Devising log (60 marks)
  • Devised performance (20 marks)


80 marks in total

40% of GCSE

3: Texts in practice


  • Performance of two extracts from one play (students may contribute as performer or designer)
  • Free choice of play but it must contrast with the set play chosen for Component 1
  • Performance of Extract 1 (20 marks) and Extract 2 (20 marks)


40 marks in total

20% of GCSE

Additional Information & Who to Contact

  • There are 2 main performances that require you to perform live in front of an audience, one of which will be marked by an external examiner, so pupils must be willing to rehearse and be prepared to perform or use your technical skills live. 
  • Pupils will be working as part of a small group and they need to be willing to contribute to the devised piece which is internally marked and then moderated. 
  • For more information please follow the link to the course specification on the exam board website
  • If you require any further information or have any questions, then please contact Mr Robinson on



Dance GCSE


This course is for students who love to create Dance choreography and perform to others, whilst developing their theoretical knowledge of Dance as an Art form. This course will develop your confidence, motivation, and self-esteem. This will allow you to progress into a Dance or Performing arts degree or audition for professional dance companies and private Performing Art Schools to be a performer or a teacher. 



Over the 2 years you will be able to develop your performance and expressive skills and support these with strong theoretical knowledge and understanding of Dance. You will have the opportunity to dance as a soloist and as part of a duet/trio. You will perform to a live audience and develop your performance skills through a range of dance technique training.


You will be able to create your own original Dance choreography based on a given stimulus. This is a fantastic opportunity to be creative and showcase your own initiative and creative ideas, when exploring themes and ideas that interest you.

Theory - GCSE Dance Anthology

You will study 6 professional dance works which vary in dance styles from hip hop to contemporary. You will explore the choreographic approach of the choreographer and the defining characteristics of each work, exploring key themes and ideas. You will have the opportunity to explore a diverse range of dance styles through practical workshops based on each professional work.

Course Structure

Component 1 - Performance and Choreography

Performance (30% of GCSE, 40 Marks)

  • You will perform 2 set phrases as a solo
  • You will perform as part of a duet or trio, which will be choreographed by students and teacher.

Choreography (30% of GCSE, 40 Marks)

  • You will choreograph a solo or group choreography for 2 to 5 dancers, based on a stimulus.

Total Component 60%

Component 2 - Dance Appreciation - Written Examination

  • Knowledge and understanding of choreographic processes and performing skills
  • Critical appreciation of own work
  • Critical appreciation of professional works

Written exam 1 hour 30 minutes, (40% of GCSE, 80 Marks)     

Additional Information & Who to Contact

  • A review of the qualification pupils follow will be undertaken once the cohort of pupils has been identified through the preferences process. If it is felt that pupils have a greater chance of success following a BTEC course instead of GCSE this will be considered and communicated to parents in advance of commencing the course.
  • For more information please follow the link to the course specification on the exam board website

Film Studies


In this dynamic, creative, and challenging course, students learn how a range of possible meanings are conveyed through Film Form (cinematography, mise-en-scene, editing, sound) and analyse key scenes in the set films. The course also encourages the understanding of key issues and developments within history, society, and culture because all the films we study have been purposefully chosen to offer rich and interesting analysis and represent different time periods and moments in history showing alternative representations of culture and people. Students will also develop their creativity by using the knowledge gained from the study of film to make their own short film or screenplay.

The analytical skills and the historical and cultural perspectives students develop are eminently transferable across a range of other subjects, like English and History. If pupils pursue the screenplay option, writing skills for English will be enhanced. The aesthetic aspects of film study and production are linked to skills required of Art and Textiles students. We have shown in the past that these skills will improve their opportunities to study a variety of academic subjects at A Level and beyond. All the local universities, including Durham, offer courses in Film as do many major universities, including Oxford and Cambridge. We have many ex-students who have gone on to university and are now using their talents in areas of the media and some, like Mrs. Owen’s husband, who has his own award-winning small film company working directly in the film/television industry. At our first attempt, one of our last A Level students won the exam board’s short film award of 2019 and she is now studying filmmaking at university. However, other students have gone on to study a variety of subjects, like English Language or Literature, Art, Journalism, Modern Languages, Textiles and Media. 

Do not take the course if you expect to sit around watching films all day. It will not happen. We have a good track record of people who work hard and go on to do well at A Level and beyond.

Topics and Course Structure

We follow the EDUQAS specification:

  • 30% coursework
  • 70% final exam.

All units study the way Film Form creates meanings for the audience. Each unit has its own specialist areas. The exam is divided into two components and each exam lasts one and half hours.

Year 10 GCSE: – at the moment, we prefer to start with Component 2.

Component 2: Narrative, Representation and Film Style

  • Contemporary British Film – Attack the Block (Joe Cornish, 2011): a British sci-fi/horror film. We study how the film’s aesthetic – a mix of sci-fi, horror and dystopian urban Britain - is created.
  • Global English Language Film – Rabbit Proof Fence (2002): an Australian drama about the treatment of mixed- race children. We look at the narrative, context, and representation.
  • Global non-English Language Film - Let the Right One In (2008): a Swedish horror film. The study area is representation of characters or country or society or culture.

Component 1: Key Developments in US Film

  • Integrated Study of Film, including Genre: Comparative US Film Study: A Cold War American sci-fi film, Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956). Genre, representation, and context are particularly significant here.

Year 11 GCSE:

Component 1: Key Developments in US Film (cont.)

  • Integrated Study of Film, including Genre: The Comparative US Film Study: A more recent American sci-fi film, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (1982). We look at genre, representation, and context.
  • US Independent Film - focus on Specialist Writing: Little Miss Sunshine (2006), a black comedy. The film is studied with specific reference to a piece of critical writing.
  • Key Developments in Film and Film Technology – a five-mark exam answer: essentially a memory test that asks students to retrieve information studied during Y11.

Component 3: Production

A practical production where students have the choice of making a short film extract (one and half to two minutes long) or a screenplay extract (800-1000 words) from a list of specified genres. Their production will be informed by the knowledge of cinema acquired during the rest of the course. The screenplay will be accompanied by a shooting script to note details of cinematography, editing, timing and sound to match one minute of the screenplay. Both will require a written evaluation of 750 – 850 words.

Additional Information & Who to contact

Triple Science (GCSE Biology, GCSE Chemistry and GCSE Physics)


Should pupils opt to study triple science, they will be working towards achieving 3 separate science GCSEs – GCSE Biology, GCSE Chemistry and GCSE Physics.  To do this they will use both the core/dual science lessons other pupils have and one set of options lessons. Triple science follows AQA GCSE Biology, Chemistry and Physics specifications.

This course aims to provide pupils with a broad knowledge of the key concepts in Biology, Chemistry and Physics.  If follows a similar structure to Dual Award Science but offers more depth into each topic and some additional topics also.  The goal is that pupils can apply what they learn, so they can offer well thought out and constructed opinions on scientific issues as well as apply any science needed to understand the world around them. Alongside this, the course aims to develop scientific skills such as planning, correct and safe use of scientific apparatus, recording of evidence, presenting scientific information, developing conclusions, and critically evaluating scientific technique and data. Pupils who opt for triple science need to have an interest in the subject and a desire to learn more about explaining the world around them.  Science is an essential subject for all post-16 pathways, triple science is particularly useful for anyone one wishing to study Biology, Chemistry, Physics or Engineering at A Level. 


Pupils will study the following units over the length of the course:

  • Biology: Cell Biology; Organisation; Infection and Response; Bioenergetics; Homeostasis and Response; Inheritance, Variation and Evolution and Ecology.
  • Chemistry: Atomic Structure and the Periodic Table; Bonding, Structure and the Properties of Matter; Quantitative Chemistry; Chemical Changes; Energy Changes; 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; Motion; Waves and Magnetism and Electromagnetism, Space Physics.

Each unit has additional content to Dual Award, and Space Physics is an additional topic. 

Course Structure

Pupils can complete each of the three science GCSEs at either higher or foundation level, they are independent from each other. A higher-grade ranges from 4-9 and a foundation grade ranges from a 1-5. Much of the content is the same and pupils will be entered for the tier which we feel will give them the best possible outcome regardless of set or target and pupils may be moved up or down tiers depending on performance throughout the duration of the course.

Each of the three GCSEs is assessed by two exams, which are 1hr 45 minutes in length (a total of 6 x 1hr45min exams).   Each GCSE is 100% assessed on these 2 external exams at the end of the course and a final grade will be a combined total of the scores from each exam.  They will receive three independent grades. 

Additional Information & Who to contact

Religious Education


Religious Education gives students valuable insights into the diverse beliefs & opinions held by people today. It helps with their own personal development & supports an understanding of the spiritual, moral, social & cultural questions that surface again & again in their lives. Learning about religion and learning from religion are important for all pupils, as religious education (RE) helps pupils develop an understanding of themselves and others. RE promotes the spiritual, moral, social, and cultural development of individuals and of groups and communities.

At GCSE level, religious education is concerned with the philosophy and ethics of belief: what do the major religions tell us? Why do they tell us these things? What does it mean to believe in that religion? What impact does those religions have on individuals and society? Students will be challenged with questions about belief, values, meaning, purpose, and truth, enabling them to develop their own attitudes towards religious issues. Students will also gain an appreciation of how religion, philosophy and ethics form the basis of our culture.

The RE course is a 2-year programme of study leading to a highly valued GCSE qualification. The specific exam board has not yet been finalised, but all the major exam boards offering this qualification follow the same broad content, themes, and approach. Studying RE is not about you having a religious faith or belief, it is about understanding why and how others have those beliefs.


Students will learn how religion, philosophy and ethics form the basis of our culture by studying the beliefs and practices of two of the major world religions:

  • Buddhism
  • Christianity
  • Catholic Christianity
  • Hinduism
  • Islam
  • Judaism
  • Sikhism

In addition, students will look at major themes in world religion today, looking at the philosophical and ethical questions that arise, for example:

  1. Relationships and families
  2. Religion and life
  3. The existence of God and revelation
  4. Religion, peace, and conflict
  5. Religion, crime, and punishment
  6. Religion, human rights, and social justice

There may also be the opportunity to examine religious texts as part of the enquiry into the world’s major religions.

OCR Computer Science

Computer Science is a modern, fascinating subject. The world depends on computers. In this GCSE you will learn about how computers work, the networks they use and how programming can create solutions to everyday problems and future challenges and combined with other subjects can open up a whole world of opportunities.


Component 01: Computer systems

Introduces students to the central processing unit (CPU), computer memory and storage, data representation, wired and wireless networks, network topologies, system security and system software. It also looks at ethical, legal, cultural, and environmental concerns associated with computer science.

Component 02: Computational thinking, algorithms, and programming

Students apply knowledge and understanding gained in component 01. They develop skills and understanding in computational thinking: algorithms, programming techniques, producing robust programs, computational logic, and translators.

Practical programming

Students are to be given the opportunity to undertake a programming task(s) during their course of study which allows them to develop their skills to design, write, test, and refine programs using a high-level programming language. Students will be assessed on these skills during the written examinations, in particular component 02 (section B).

Course Structure

The course structure consists of 2 summative assessment exams, Computer systems and Computational thinking, algorithms, and programming. Each are equally weighted, 50% of the final mark for each paper. Each paper is 1 hour 30 minutes and has 80 marks allocated.

Additional Information & Who to contact

Sport BTEC First Award


‘BTEC Level 1/Level 2 First Award in Sport’ (2018) is the option to study for a qualification in sport and is additional to Core PE. Those opting for ‘BTEC Sport’ should have a keen interest in the study of fitness and training, as well as a commitment to sport and practical performance.

Course Structure

There are four units of study, each worth 25% of the course – Unit 1 is an exam and the other three units are assessed by school staff through coursework assignments. 

The Award can be achieved at: Level 1 Pass and Level 2 Pass, Merit, Distinction or Distinction*.


UNIT 1 - Fitness for Sport and Exercise – an on-screen test that covers training concepts, training methods and fitness testing. 

UNIT 2 - Practical Sports Performance – candidates will study two selected sports and produce projects that contain both written and practical coursework. 

UNIT 3 - Applying the Principles of Personal Fitness – students design, implement and evaluate a personal fitness training program, so assignments are both written and practical.

UNIT 5 - The Sports Performer in Action – candidates will produce written assignments on the short-term and long-term effects of exercise on the musculoskeletal and cardiorespiratory systems.

Additional Information & Who to contact 

Enterprise (Business) BTEC Tech Award


All businesses need enterprising employees to drive their organisations forward, to have ideas and initiatives to instigate growth, and to ensure that businesses survive in this fast-changing world. The learning experience in the Business and Applied Learning department reflects this.  Our learners should be independent, passionate, motivated, and proactive.  Enterprise is a key government focus and is set to form an important part of the UK’s global economic status, both now and in the future. Our learners should be able to stand side by side with another business student from any background and compete on an equal playing field.  The BTEC Tech Award in Enterprise that we follow in the department enables our learners to develop these all-important transferable skills. The way in which the course is designed allows an opportunity for practical application alongside conceptual study. This is achieved by involving local small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) throughout the study to bring the course alive.


The BTEC Tech Award in Enterprise is a practical introduction to life and work as an entrepreneur, our learners will:  delve deeper into how the sector works, appreciate the importance of business planning and understanding the market and analyse and evaluate the skills they develop. The course has two internally assessed components, and one that is externally assessed.  These components build on each other to motivate our learners by helping them put what they have learned into practice and grow in confidence.

Component 1 Exploring Enterprises (internal assessment)

  • This component is brought to life by the involvement of two local SME’s in its delivery.
  • Both enterprises visit the department and provide lots of business information for the learners to use to successfully complete their internal assessment.

Component 2 Planning for and Pitching and Enterprise Activity (internal assessment)

  • This component requires learners to come up with their own business idea, to plan and pitch the idea in the style of Dragons Den.
  • Programmes such as Dragons Den and The Apprentice are very useful in classroom activities for this component.
  • This component is internally assessed, and we invite local business entrepreneurs to make up our team of dragons. 

Component 3 Promotion and Finance for Enterprise (external assessment)

  • Case studies on local and national enterprises are used for this component to bring to life how they use marketing to make their brand successful.
  • Coca Cola and Unilever marketing strategies are examined.
  • In the finance element of this component learners examine the costs that businesses face, how they manage their finances and how to achieve a healthy profit leading to a successful enterprise.
  • This component is externally assessed in the form of a 2-hour written exam set and marked by Pearson.

Course Structure

The course is structured in a way that gives the learners the best opportunity for success.  We begin with component 1 to introduce the concept of enterprises then move to component 3 to give the learners a chance to sit the exam in the summer of year 10.  Then in year 11 we continue with component 3 giving them a resit opportunity in January of year 11.  From then on, the learners develop their own enterprise idea for component 2 building on what they have learnt in the other two components.  

This qualification has a grading scale that fully encompasses achievement at Levels 1 and 2.  This enables learners of all abilities to receive appropriate recognition of their achievement and will motivate them to improve and progress during their period of learning and formative assessment. Please see the table below for the grading compared to GCSE course grading.


Level / Qualification Grade

Grade Equivalent

Level 2 / Distinction*


Level 2 / Distinction


Level 2 / Merit


Level 2 / Pass


Level 1 / Distinction


Level 1 / Merit


Level 1 / Pass



Additional Information & Who to contact

Travel and Tourism BTEC First Award


What does it take to be a successful travel agent, tourist information representative, cruise ship steward, cabin crew or museum marketer? The thriving travel and tourism industry provides exciting opportunities requiring a wide range of skills including self-management, team working, business and customer awareness, problem solving, literacy, numeracy, IT, and communication skills.


BTEC Firsts in Travel and Tourism provide a practical, real-world approach to learning and develop specific knowledge and skills learners need to work successfully in the industry, such as:

  • Understanding travel and tourist destinations and investigating the appeal of UK tourist destinations
  • Presenting information about the key developments over time and how they have moulded and influenced UK travel and tourism into the sector it is today
  • Developing business and customer awareness by understanding the importance of customer service to travel and tourism organisations.

Learners will also be able to present their work in a variety of ways, including:

  • Producing leaflets and posters
  • Taking part in role-plays and discussions
  • Face-to-face or audio-visual presentations
  • Business reports

Course Structure

The table below outlines the units that will be covered in the BTEC Travel and Tourism course, their key learning aims and how they will be assessed.

Unit Title

Learning Aims

Assessment Method

Unit 1 – The UK

Travel and Tourism


  • To understand the UK travel and tourism sector and its importance to the UK economy. 
  • To know about the industries, and key organisations, within the travel and tourism sector, their roles, and interrelationships. 

External – 

1 hour exam

Unit 2 – UK Travel and Tourism Destinations

  • To know UK travel and tourism destinations and gateways.
  • To investigate the appeal of UK tourism destinations for different types of visitors and plan UK holidays to meet their needs.


Internal – Coursework


Unit 4 –

International Travel and Tourism Destinations

  • To know the major international travel and tourism destinations and gateways.
  • To investigate the appeal of international travel and tourism destinations to different types of visitor and be able to plan international travel to meet the needs of these visitors.

Internal – Coursework


Unit 6 – The Travel and Tourism Customer


  • To investigate travel and tourism customer service and understand its importance.
  • To explore the needs and expectations of different types of customer in the travel and tourism sector.  

Internal – Coursework


Additional Information & Who to contact 

Health and Social Care BTEC Tech Award


The Pearson BTEC Level 1 / Level 2 Tech Award in Health and Social Care is for learners who wish to acquire knowledge, understanding and technical skills through vocational contexts as part of their Key Stage 4 learning.  The Tech Award gives learners the opportunity to develop sector-specific knowledge and skills in a practical learning environment.

The main focus is on three areas, which cover:

  • Skills and processes, such as interpreting data to assess an individual’s health, and designing a plan to improve their health and wellbeing.
  • Attitudes, namely the care values that are vitally important in the sector, and the opportunity to practise applying them.
  • Knowledge that underpins the effective use of skills, processes, and attitudes, including human growth and development, health and social care services, and factors affecting people’s health and wellbeing. 

Course Structure

Pearson BTEC Level 1 / Level 2 Tech Award in Health and Social Care requires learners to complete each of the three components that are outlined below.

Component Number

Component Title



Assessment Method


Human Lifespan Development





Health and Social Care Services and Values





Health and Wellbeing



Synoptic External


Component Details

Component 1 – Human Lifespan Development

Learners will investigate how, in real situations, human development is affected by different factors and that people deal differently with life events.

Learning Aims:

  • Understand human growth and development across life stages and the factors that affect it.
  • Investigate how individuals deal with life events. 

Component 2 – Health and Social Care Services and Values

Learners study and practically explore health and social care services and how they meet the needs of real service users. They also develop skills in applying care values.

Learning Aims:

  • Understand the different types of health and social care services and barriers to accessing them.
  • Demonstrate care values and review own practice. 

Component 3 – Health and Wellbeing

Learners will study the factors that affect health and wellbeing, learning about physiological and lifestyle indicators and how to design a health and wellbeing improvement plan.

Assessment Objectives:

  • AO1 – Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of factors that affect health and wellbeing.
  • AO2 – Interpret health indicators.
  • AO3 – Design a person-centred health and wellbeing improvement plan.
  • AO4 – Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of how to overcome obstacles relating to health and wellbeing improvement plans.

Additional Information & Who to contact 

Creative iMedia Cambridge National


Our Cambridge National in Creative iMedia equips students with the wide range of knowledge and skills needed to work in the creative digital media sector. They start at pre-production and develop their skills through practical assignments as they create final multimedia products.

Depending on the options chosen, a student will develop a range of skills in the use of digital packages. This will enable them to express their own creativity when designing a creative and digital media solution – for example creating a video trailer to advertise a forthcoming movie.

This qualification is for students aged 14–16 who can think creatively and innovatively to produce Creative iMedia products.


All students will study two, mandatory, topics.

The first topic will focus on developing the students’ understanding of preproduction skills that are used in the creative and digital media sector. Meeting the needs of the client, planning, and creating preproduction documentation and reviewing output, will all feature heavily in this first topic. 

The second topic of study will build on the first, enabling students to demonstrate preproduction skills and techniques as they plan and create new digital graphics to meet a specific client brief. Knowledge and understanding will be reinforced and enhanced as students create their own unique digital graphic solution. 

In addition, students will have a choice of two optional topics to study from the following areas: creating 2D and 3D digital characters and storytelling with a comic strip multipage website creation, digital animation and interactive multimedia product creation creating a digital sound and video sequence digital photography designing and developing digital game concepts.

Course Structure

  • The course consists of four units for level 2 and 2 units for level 1. There are 2 mandatory units – 
  • Pre-production skills and creating digital graphics.
  • For a level 2 qualification there are a further 2 optional units as indicated above.
  • Each unit has an equal weighting of 25%.
  • There is an external exam for pre-production skills which counts for 25% of the final grade for Level 2 (50% for level 1).
  • All students will be expected to initially follow the level 2 option.

Additional Information & Who to contact

Engineering Design Cambridge National


Engineering design is a process used to identify market opportunities and solve problems which contribute to the development of new products and systems. This qualification is aimed at learners who wish to study the processes involved in designing new engineered products and the requirements of a design specification. Through research and practical activities, learners will understand how market requirements and opportunities inform client briefs and will use practical skills such as drawing, computer modelling and model making to communicate design ideas. 

The Cambridge Nationals in Engineering Design encourage learners to communicate and consult with a client to develop a viable and innovative product. Learners will apply practical skills to produce a prototype in the form of a model and test design ideas to inform further product development. Through reflection, learners evaluate the prototype, making a comparable outcome against specification points, and assess possible, practical solutions and improvements to their prototype design. 

A practical approach to teaching and learning will provide learners with knowledge in engineering technology and develop their critical thinking, creativity and dexterous skills through engaging practical experiences.


Unit 1 - This first unit provides the opportunity for learners to develop their understanding of the requirements of design briefs and design specifications for the development of new products. Through research and practical activities, learners will understand how consumer requirements and market opportunities inform design briefs. Learners will understand the overall design process through study of the design cycle, existing product and life cycle analysis, study of new and improved materials and manufacturing processes, and how these and other factors influence a design solution.

Unit 2 - This unit will enable learners to perform effective product analysis. They will research existing solutions and assess the development of engineered products. Learners will develop dextrous skills and gain practical experience of product assembly and disassembly to appreciate manufacturing processes, design features and materials used. This unit develops learner’s creativity and critical analysis through an understanding of the principles behind good design. They will consider what makes a good product sell by analysing existing solutions.

Unit 3 - This unit develops techniques in generation, concept development and the communication of design ideas using hand rendering and computer-based presentation techniques including computer aided design software. Learners will generate design ideas using a mixture of detailed hand rendering and computer-based presentation techniques including computer aided design in 2 and 3 dimensions. Learners will gain skills in annotation and labelling techniques, such as showing key features, functions, dimensions, materials, construction/manufacture methods.

Unit 4 - This unit requires learners to apply practical skills to produce a prototype product or model using craft-based modelling materials alongside computer-controlled or rapid-prototyping processes. Learners will produce a prototype product in the form of a model and test design ideas in a practical context, to inform further development utilising more complex production processes. Learners will evaluate the prototype making a comparison of the outcome against the product specification and evaluate potential improvements in design such as features, function, materials, aesthetics and ergonomics and make suggestions on improvements to the final product.

Course Structure


Assessment Method


R105 – Design Briefs, design specifications and user requirements

Written exam paper – 1 hour – marked externally


R106 – Product analysis and research

Centre Assessed Task completed during lessons– marked internally, moderated externally


R107 – Developing and presenting engineering design

Centre Assessed Task completed during lessons– marked internally, moderated externally


R108 - 3D design realisation

Centre Assessed Task completed during lessons– marked internally, moderated externally



Additional Information & Who to contact

Hospitality and Catering Award


The hospitality and catering sector includes: all businesses that provide food, beverages and/or accommodation services. This includes restaurants, hotels, pubs, bar, airlines, tourist attractions, hospitals, and sports venues. According to the British Hospitality Association, hospitality and catering is Britain’s fourth largest industry and accounts for around 10% of the total workforce.

This course has been designed to support learners who want to learn about this vocational sector and the potential it can offer them for their career or further study. It is most suitable as a foundation for further study. Further study in Further Education, Higher Education and Apprenticeships would provide opportunities to develop a range of specialist and general skills supporting their progression to employment. Employment in hospitality and catering can range from waiting staff, receptionists and catering assistants to chefs, hotel and bar managers and food technologists in food manufacturing.

The ability to plan, prepare and present food is an essential skill within the hospitality and catering industry. This course equips learners with knowledge about the industry as well as enabling them to develop practical skills in planning, preparing and cooking a variety of dishes.

The qualification provides learners with a broad appreciation of work in the hospitality and catering sector and wider opportunities for progression into Further Education, employment or training. 


The course is made up of two units:

Unit 1: The Hospitality and Catering Industry

Areas of study -the structure of the hospitality and catering industry, job requirements and working conditions, factors affecting success, operation of kitchens and front of house, meeting customer requirements, personal safety responsibilities in the workplace, risks and control measures, food related causes of ill health, symptoms of food induced ill health, common types of food poisoning, the role and responsibilities of Environmental Health Officers and food safety legislation.

Unit 2: Hospitality and Catering in Action

Areas of study - the function of nutrients in the human body, nutritional needs of specific groups of people, characteristics of unsatisfactory nutritional intake, effect of cooking methods on nutritive value, factors to consider when planning menus including meeting both customer needs and environmental issues. Techniques to prepare and cook commodities to ensure quality, completing dishes using presentation techniques and demonstrating food safety practices throughout all practical activities.

As well as school-based learning it is envisaged visits will take place to various hospitality providers and visits from Nutritionists, Environmental Health Officers, Hospitality and Catering providers will provide relevant experience and learning relating to the Hospitality and Catering sector.  

Course Structure

Learners must complete both units to be awarded the qualification at the end of the course. The assessment of each unit is as follows:

Unit 1: The Hospitality and Catering Industry – external assessment (40%). Completion of an online or paper based 90-minute exam comprising of both short and extended answer questions.

Unit 2: Hospitality and Catering in Action – internal assessment (60%). Learners complete a Non-examination assessment task (NEA) under controlled conditions where they apply their learning from the unit to safely prepare, cook and present nutritional dishes suitable for the task set.

Assessments for both units are graded as Level 1 Pass, Level 2 Pass, Level 2 Merit or Level 2 Distinction leading to the award of an overall grade on completion of the course.   

Additional information & Who to Contact