Curriculum

A Level courses taught at King Edward VI Handsworth School for girls will be two year linear courses. Taught over the full two years and only examined at the end of Year 13. Thus, there is no opportunity to re-sit elements of the A Level qualification, it will all depend on performance at the end of Year 13. At King Edward VI Handsworth School for Girls we expect all students to select 3 subjects in Year 12 and to begin to prepare for the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ). They will have the opportunity to select between the EPQ, PE or self-directed Enrichment courses as an additional strand of their curriculum. Any requests to study four subjects beyond this will be considered on an individual basis following the publication of GCSE results.

The school operates as part of a wider Academy Trust and to ensure a continued broad and balanced curriculum some subjects may be run across the four schools of KE Handsworth School for Girls, KE Aston, KE Handsworth Grammar School for Boys and Handsworth Wood Girls School. For 2021-2022 this may include Art, Drama, Design Technology, French, German and Music. All schools have outstanding teaching and transport between sites will be provided. In Year 13 students will continue with 3 subjects to full A Level. The Sixth Form curriculum also currently includes fortnightly PSHCE lessons to help prepare students for life after school.

As a school we have committed to setting aside time on a Wednesday afternoon for sixth form students to organise voluntary work, work experience or to have opportunities to attend university Masterclasses. All valuable enrichments to study for examinations and aimed at developing the whole person. All A Levels are demanding, they all have requirements for deeper analysis and evaluation than at GCSE. In preparation for A Levels, students should research and consider the course content and whether a subject is going to appeal to them over the full two years. Motivation for a subject is key to success so a wise choice now should enable students to follow their chosen pathway with confidence. Students should ask questions about course content and style of delivery, ask them of staff, older students and of yourself.

A Level courses taught at King Edward VI Handsworth School for girls will be two year linear courses. Taught over the full two years and only examined at the end of Year 13. Thus, there is no opportunity to re-sit elements of the A Level qualification, it will all depend on performance at the end of Year 13.

At King Edward VI Handsworth School for Girls we expect all students to select 3 subjects in Year 12 and to begin to prepare for the Extended Project Qualification. Further Mathematics may be an additional 4th subject either as a standalone AS qualification or the full A Level. Any requests to study four subjects beyond this will be considered on an individual basis post GCSE results.
The school operates as part of a wider Academy Trust and to ensure a continued broad and balanced curriculum some subjects may be run across the four schools of KE Handsworth School for Girls, KE Aston, KE Handsworth Grammar for Boys and Handsworth Wood Girls School. For 2020-21 this may include Art, Drama, French, German and Music. All schools have outstanding teaching and transport between sites will be provided.

In Year 13 students will continue with 3 subjects to full A Level and in addition they will complete their Extended Project Qualification. The Sixth Form curriculum also currently includes fortnightly PSHCE lessons to help prepare students for life after school.

As a school we have committed to setting aside time on a Wednesday afternoon for sixth form students to organise voluntary work, work experience or to have opportunities to attend university Masterclasses. All valuable enrichments to study for examinations and aimed at developing the whole person.

All A Levels are demanding, they all have requirements for deeper analysis and evaluation than at GCSE. You need to focus on the course content and whether a subject is going to appeal to you over the full two years. Motivation for a subject is key to success so a wise choice now should enable you to follow which ever route with confidence. Please ask questions over the next few weeks about course content and style of delivery, ask them of staff, older students and of yourself.
J Kendall Deputy Headteacher Director of Curriculum and Progress.

Do we take external candidates into the Sixth Form?

Yes we do!

  • We welcome applications from girls from other schools and in recent years have welcomed between 30 and 50 applicants.
  • The minimum requirement for entry is at least 6 GCSE subjects at grade 6 including English and Mathematics and a grade 7 at GCSE in the A Level subject you want to continue to study. There are specific entry requirements for new subjects, please refer to individual subject sheets for We also require a good school report.
  • Places are limited and offers are made in the first instance on the basis of predicted grades and any “mock” results if All offers are conditional on actual results.
  • There is an online application form accessed via the school website kingedwardvi.bham.sch.uk/ under Sixth Form admissions. Admissions open on October 18th 2022 and close on January 20th 2023.
  • All subject information sheets are available on the school
  • Please be aware that not all subject combinations are possible and are dependent on subject and staff availability as well as sufficient students
  • If you wish to study Further Mathematics you must also take Mathematics.
  • Further enquiries should be made to Mrs S Bains, Pastoral Administrator Years 7 to 13.
  • We also have a Pastoral Administrator for Years 7 to 13, Mrs S Bains, who is available to see students in their study periods if they have a particular pastoral matter that needs sorting out. She also communicates with students about events in school.

Some advice on choosing your A level courses

What do I choose?

If you have a particular career area in mind, you have probably already researched the kind of subjects that are likely to be necessary, or helpful, in achieving your goal. Apart from that –

  • Choose subjects which you already enjoy and have done well in.
  • Subject information sheets will be available in each subject room and all information sheets are on the main school website under Admissions.
  • Find out about the new subjects you can start in the Sixth Form and see if they have any appeal for View the examination board websites for detailed specifications.
  • Look at the ‘Informed Choices’ guide on the Russell Group website.www.russellgroup.ac.uk
  • Talk to your current teachers, Form Tutor, Career Advisor or the Head of Sixth Form.
  • Make good use of any careers online package you have access to such as Unifrog or UCAS itself.
  • All A Levels are demanding, they all have requirements for deeper analysis and evaluation than at GCSE. You need to focus on the course content and whether a subject is going to appeal to you over the full two Motivation for a subject is key to success so a wise choice now should enable you to follow any future pathway with confidence. Please ask questions over the next few weeks about course content and style of delivery, ask them of staff, older students and of yourself.

University Course Requirements

Below is an outline of current likely course requirements. Please ensure that you check the most up to date entry requirements on the university websites.

Course General requirements
Accountancy A Level Mathematics is required at some universities
Chemistry A Level Mathematics is preferred for many courses
Dentistry 3 subjects from Sciences* is preferred at AS level. Chemistry is essential and it advisable to also have Biology

at A-Level. Some Dental Schools also require certain GCSE grades

Drama A-Level English Literature is preferred for many courses
Economics A-Level Mathematics is a requirement for many top universities (BSc courses)
English Literature Some universities may prefer an A-Level in a Modern Foreign Language.
Engineering A-level Mathematics and Physics are usually required.

Although not usually an entry requirement Further Mathematics is an advantage.

Environmental Studies One or two Science* subjects usually required, including Mathematics at some universities.
Geography One or more Sciences* may be required for BSc courses.
Law No specific A-Levels required but History and/or English Literature may be preferred at some universities.
Mathematics A-Level Mathematics and although not usually an entry requirement Further Mathematics is an advantage.
Medicine Two Sciences* at A-level are required by most universities. Chemistry is essential and Biology desirable. Most universities will accept any “rigorous” academic A-level for the third subject. Virtually all medical schools are agreed that applicants should be strongly encouraged to broaden their subject base to include non-science subjects in the Sixth Form. Some Medical Schools also require certain grades at GCSE.
Optometry Two Science* A-Levels required with Biology essential.
Pharmacy Two Science* subjects required one of which must be Chemistry.
Physics A-Level Mathematics and Physics normally required.

Although not usually an entry requirement Further Mathematics is an advantage.

Physiotherapy Occupational therapy One or two Science* subjects.
Primary teaching A wide range of subjects is required and should include one or two core subjects.
Psychology A Science*, Biology or Psychology preferred.
Speech therapy At least one Science*, Biology required by some universities.
Sports Studies An A-Level Science* is required
Veterinary Science A Level Chemistry required and Biology or Mathematics or Physics is also generally expected.

Science* – usually refers to Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics but could include Psychology. Please check each university.

Examination Board: OCR
Specification: Advanced GCE H601 Fine Art
http://www.ocr.org.uk/

Why should I study Art?

Art encourages personal creativity and freedom to explore ideas.

Art teaches lateral thinking, problem solving, observational and analytical skills. Art helps students understand the visual world within which we live in.

Art enables students to express ideas, thoughts and feelings

Art helps students analyse and interpret the wider context within which their work is placed.

There is strong evidence that Universities are becoming increasingly concerned that students are defined by an over dependency on their teachers and that outstanding examination results do not necessarily reflect an enquiring mind. The successful ‘A’ level Art and Design student must be a divergent thinker driven by a desire to be proactive and independent.

What will I learn about?

The emphasis of the course is to enable students to develop their technical skills in a range of disciplines whilst enhancing their knowledge and understanding of the context within which their emerging work is placed. Students initially focus on formal elements of the visual language experimenting and developing ideas through line, tone, colour, texture, composition and so on. This eventually leads to a thematic project which should focus on the students personal interests. The theme is set by the teaching staff and where possible students are encouraged to look at the wider social, historical, cultural and political context surrounding their work. Students embarking on the A level course should expect to be independent learners and follow much broader lines of enquiry making their own personal links between the work they produce and the world around them. A level students will build on the ideas and techniques developed during Year 12 and produce work of ever greater depth. This coursework element is accompanied by a personal study consisting of between 1000 and 3000 words. The study focuses on links between work produced by the student and that of a range of other art practitioners.

How will I be taught?

Initially students are taught to experiment with a variety of media, techniques and processes in order to improve technique and become familiarised with the wide range of disciplines available to them.

Once thematic links are introduced students are taught to develop their ideas and research relevant contextual information. Specific tasks are then set for each student based on the four assessment objectives from which their work will be assessed. Individual critiques take place once a term where each student makes a presentation of their work. This is an opportunity to share ideas and give positive feedback.

Site specific visits are encouraged and official gallery and museum visits form an integral part of the course. Students are taught to investigate the processes, techniques and ideas of other Art and Design practitioners which will inform the development of their own work. There is a strong emphasis on exhaustive exploration and analytical investigation. Students are provided with most of the materials they will need to undertake the course although the cost of gallery excursions and sketchbooks is not included. Students experiencing financial difficulties can apply to the school for assistance.           Continued…..

Application beyond school:

There are diverse and varied careers to be found in the following areas:

  • Advertising
  • Product design
  • Interior design
  • Graphic design
  • Architecture
  • Web page design
  • Jewellery
  • Conservation Media
  • Theatre design
  • Fashion design
  • Photography Gallery curatorship Teaching
  • Medical Illustration
  • Advertising Director Art Editor
  • Photographic styling

Assessment Format:

LevelComponentComponent nameRequirementsDurationMarks
A LevelUnit 1
01
Personal InvestigationStudents submit a practical portfolio of work based upon a starting point of their choosing. They will also complete a related written study of 1000-3000 words.Sept Year 12 – Jan
Year 13
120
60%
of A level
A LevelUnit 2
02
Externally set assignmentStudents will select a starting point from a range of topics provided by OCR. Students will produce preparatory studies based around this topic then produce an outcome within 15 hours of controlled time.Feb – May Year 1380
40%
of A level

Are there any special requirements?

Students are expected to have attained a minimum of a grade 7 at GCSE. Students electing to take Art and Design A level should be hard working, determined, self-motivated and good at managing their time. It is important to show a willingness to experiment and be analytical in your approach. Good drawing skills are a big advantage but technical ability is not the only key to success.

Examination Board: AQA
Specification: Advanced GCE 7402

Why should I study Biology?

It is a fascinating subject for general knowledge, often in the news due to its impact on society. Biology raises many issues of interest in religion & ethics, such as what it is to be human, whether and how we might be altering ourselves as a species, and what to do about moral decisions around the start and end of life in the light of scientific facts. Biology develops your problem solving, data analysis and numeracy abilities – all very transferable skills that will help in your future studies!

What will I learn about?

  1. Biological molecules
  2. Cells
  3. Organisms exchange substances with their environment
  4. Genetic information, variation and relationships between organisms
  5. Energy transfers in and between organisms
  6. Organisms respond to changes in their internal and external environments
  7. Genetics, populations, evolution and ecosystems
  8. The control of gene expression

How will I be taught?

A variety of teaching styles are used within the department including ICT, observational practicals, investigative practical work and fieldwork. All of the staff are enthusiastic about their subject and this is contagious!

Application beyond school:

Biology A Level opens so many doors it is impossible to list them all! Possible careers range from the popular Medicine and Dentistry, through a huge field of healthcare jobs, to seemingly unrelated careers such as Accounting, Engineering and Law. In addition, it helps you navigate our constantly changing world.

Assessment Format:

Level Component Requirements Duration Marks
A Level Paper 1 Topics 1 – 4

(Year 1 content)

2 hours

Year 13

91

35% of A Level

A Level Paper 2 Topics 5 – 8

(Year 2 content)

2 hours

Year 13

91

35% of A Level

A Level Paper 3 Topics 1 – 8

(Whole A Level content)

2 hours

Year 13

78

30% of A Level

A Level Practical Assessment 12 set practicals throughout the course.

15% of examinations will assess practical skills

Are there any special requirements?

  • A love of Biology! Don’t see it as a means to an end – enjoy learning!
  • You are required to have grades 9, 8 or 7 at C.S.E. Although it is good if this is in the separate Sciences, similar grades from Core, Additional and Further Additional Science GCSE are acceptable, but only if your Biology papers are of an A grade standard.
  • It is best to be doing Chemistry at the same time, although not
  • Good ability in Mathematics is always Overall, at least 10% of the marks in assessments for Biology will require the use of mathematical skills. These skills will be applied in the context of Biology and will be at least the standard of higher tier GCSE Mathematics. Constant practice and development of your numerical skills will be embedded into your Biology A Level studies.

Examination Board: AQA
Specification: Advanced GCE 7405
QAN code 601/5731/8

Why should I study Chemistry?

This gives an opportunity for students to further their chemical knowledge, understanding and skills. It also helps with access to higher education, employment and general career development.

What will I learn about? (This is the A Level outline)

  • 3.1 Physical chemistry
    3.1.1 Atomic structure
    3.1.2 Amount of substance
    3.1.3 Bonding
    3.1.4 Energetics
    3.1.5 Kinetics
    3.1.6 Chemical equilibria and Le Chatelier’s principle
    3.1.7 Oxidation, reduction and redox equations
    3.1.8 Thermodynamics
    3.1.9 Rate equations
    3.1.10 Equilibrium constant Kc for homogeneous systems
    3.1.11 Electrode potentials and electrochemical cells
    3.1.12 Acids and bases
  • 3.2 Inorganic chemistry
    3.2.1 Periodicity
    3.2.2 Group 2, the alkaline earth metals
    3.2.3 Group 7(17), the halogens
    3.2.4 Properties of Period 3 elements and their oxides
    3.2.5 Transition metals
    3.2.6 Reactions of ions in aqueous solution
  • 3.3 Organic chemistry
    3.3.1 Introduction to organic chemistry
    3.3.2 Alkanes
    3.3.3 Halogenoalkanes
    3.3.4 Alkenes
    3.3.5 Alcohols
    3.3.6 Organic analysis
    3.3.7 Optical isomerism
    3.3.8 Aldehydes and ketones
    3.3.9 Carboxylic acids and derivatives
    3.3.10 Aromatic chemistry
    3.3.11 Amines
    3.3.12 Polymers
    3.3.13 Amino acids, proteins and DNA
    3.3.14 Organic synthesis
    3.3.15 Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy
    3.3.16 Chromatography

How will I be taught?

A variety of teaching styles are used within the department including ICT, observational practicals, investigative practical work which is an important element of the double lessons.

Application beyond school:

Chemistry is an essential A Level for university courses in pharmacy, medicine and many biological subjects. There are also many Chemistry courses, usually linked with other options e.g. Chemistry with a Modern Language, Chemistry with Psychology, Chemistry with Pharmacology, Chemistry with Business Studies. Graduate chemists enter many other fields which may seem unlikely such as Helen Sharman who became an Astronaut and Margaret Thatcher who went on to be Prime Minister. Chemistry can also be helpful with medical research and high finance careers.

Assessment Format:

Level Component Requirements Duration Marks
A Level Paper 1 3.1.1 to 3.1.4, 3.1.6 to 3.1.8 and 3.1.10

to 3.1.12

3.2

2 hours

Year 13

105

35% of A Level

A Level Paper 2 3.1.2 to 3.1.6 and 3.1.9

3.3

2 hours

Year 13

105

35% of A Level

A Level Paper 3 All content 2 hours

Year 13

90

30% of A Level

A Level Practical Assessment 12 set practicals throughout the course. 15% of paper 1 and 2 examinations will assess practical skills.

40 marks out of 90 on paper 3 will assess practical techniques and data analysis

Are there any special requirements? 

You would be required to have a grade 9, 8 or 7 at GCSE or 77minimum in Core and Additional Science.

It is also important that you have at least a grade 6 in Higher Mathematics. There are certain aspects of the course which require Mathematical application.

Examination Board: AQA
Specification: Advanced GCE 7517

www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/computer-science-and-it/as-and-a-level/computer-science-7516-7517

Why should I study Computer Science?

We use computer systems in most aspects of our lives including at work, in our leisure time and to communicate with each other. Studying Computer Science will prepare you for university study and numerous careers as it will expand your understanding of how these computers work whilst developing a range of valuable transferable skills such as the ability to think logically, analytically and creatively to solve problems.

What will I learn about?

Throughout the course you will develop both theoretical knowledge of Computer Science and practical programming skills. You will learn how to develop complex algorithms and how to implement them. You will use Python 3 as your main programming language but also experience other languages whilst studying procedural, object oriented and functional programming techniques. You will learn more about computer architecture, communications and networking, fundamentals of data representation and data structures as you develop your understanding of the theory that underpins computer systems.

Paper One

  1. Fundamentals of programming
  2. Fundamentals of data structures
  3. Systematic approach to problem solving
  4. Theory of computation
  5. Fundamentals of algorithms

Paper Two

  1. Fundamentals of data representation
  2. Fundamentals of computer systems
  3. Fundamentals of computer organisation and architecture
  4. Consequences of uses of computing
  5. Fundamentals of communication and networking
  6. Fundamentals of databases
  7. Big Data
  8. Fundamentals of functional programming

NEA – the computing practical project

You will work independently on a topic that you choose, developing your practical programming skills to develop a solution to a realistic problem. You will analyse the problem, design, create, test and evaluate a solution with your technical solution being the most important element of this.

Unlike GCSE you work on your project outside as well as in lesson time; in study periods and at home.

A few examples of the type of problem you might choose to solve:

  • A computer game
  • A control system operated using a device such as a Raspberry Pi
  • A website with dynamic content driven by a database back-end
  • An app for a mobile phone
  • A simulation of a business or scientific nature such as modelling flu epidemics
  • A solution to a data processing problem for an organisation such as a membership system
  • A solution to an optimisation problem such as production of a rota

How will I be taught?

You will be taught by specialist teachers who will employ a range of learning and teaching techniques to help you develop your understanding and apply the theory to practical computing. You will participate in group and individual work, presentations, discussions and will need to undertake your own research. You will be given problems to solve and tackling them will require resilience and perseverance. The content will be delivered through both practical and theoretical lessons using text books and electronic resources and allowing you to link computing principles to real-life practice.

Application beyond school:

Studying Computer Science will equip you with technical and transferrable skills which are highly regarded by universities and employers, skills such as the ability to apply logic creatively and to problem solve. The ability to write computer programs is a valuable skill, not just if you are looking to undertake a degree in Computer Science, but also if you are considering a degree in a range of other subjects including Physics and Engineering. Computer Science can lead to a wide range of careers including as a programmer, software designer, software engineer or scientific researcher as well as in the fields of finance, business, government and teaching to name a few.

Assessment Format:

Level Component Requirements Duration Marks
A Level Paper 1 On-screen

examination

Topics 1 – 5 2 hrs 30 mins

Year 13

40% of A Level
A Level Paper 2

Written examination

Topics 6 – 13 2 hrs 30 mins

Year 13

40% of A Level
A Level Non-exam assessment Solve or investigate a practical problem 20% of A Level

Are there any special requirements?

We expect you to have grade 7 or above for GCSE Computer Science. You should also be a logical thinker who enjoys problem solving and Mathematics so a good grade in GCSE Mathematics is useful. If you are considering Computer Science as a degree course at university you will need also to take A Level Mathematics. We will expect you to keep up-to-date with the fast-evolving world of Computer Science.

Examination Board: AQA
Specification: Advanced GCE 7262

Why should I study Drama & Theatre?

To develop confidence and the ability to think creatively to solve problems, both independently and with others; to develop a wider interest in, and appreciation of, acting, performing, directing and design; to develop analytical and evaluative skills.

What will I learn about?

You will study at least two full plays and take part in practical exploration of at least two different theatre practitioners. You will also experience live professional theatre and learn how to analyse the work of performers, directors and designers. You will perform monologues, duologues and work in larger groups and work towards performances of both published plays and devised, original drama. The set text list includes Antigone, Much Ado About Nothing, The Caucasian Chalk Circle and Metamorphosis.

How will I be taught?

Your teachers will guide and lead you in a range of workshops covering acting skills and theatre practitioner’s styles. You will research and develop your characters for performance and learn how to evaluate your own work and that of others; you will rehearse and perform both scripted plays and devised improvisations; you will have stimulating and interesting whole-class and small group discussion. The key to success in Drama and Theatre at A level is a willingness to have a go, resilience to keep going when the pressure is on, and an enthusiasm for drama which will lead you to read around the subjects, plays and practitioners studied on the course

Application beyond school:

With Creative Industries now contributing £92 bn to the economy, and as a sector “growing at twice the rate of the economy” (gov.uk) there has never been a better time to pursure a career in the creative industries. A level Drama and Theatre is a good grounding for continuing the study drama or performance at University or Drama School, but is also suited for those intending to pursue careers in Law, Journalism, Media & Communication Studies, Advertising, Public Relations or Teaching. Many Universities, regardless of the Degree you wish to study for, look for students with a wide range of interests and expertise, as this shows you are a well-rounded learner. Drama and Theatre students are always more confident and happy to speak in public or in interview situations than some of their colleagues.

Assessment Format:

Level Component Requirements Duration Marks
A Level 1 – Drama and Theatre Witten Exam with 3 sections. Section A questions on a set text from the perspective of a performer and director or designer. Section B questions on a contrasting set text from the perspective of a director and a performer or designer. Section C is an Evaluation of a piece of live theatre seen during the course.

Texts are allowed in the exam.

3 hours

Year 13 Externally assessed

80

marks 40% of A Level

A Level 2 – Creating Original Drama A performance of devised theatre, created in the style of a recognised theatre practitioner, in which you can work as a performer or designer.

A working notebook of 3000 words.

Internally assessed, externally

moderated

60

marks 30% of A Level

A Level 3 – Making Theatre A Practical exploration of three extracts from three contrasting plays, using the approach of a recognised theatre practitioner.

Extract 3 is performed for a live audience.

A Reflective Report of 3000 words, written on the work done in preparation of the performance and research and rehearsal work carried out during

the Component.

Year 13 externally assessed 60

marks 30% of A Level

Are there any special requirements?

  • Desire to perform in front of an audience, enthusiasm for live performance and the ability to write critically and analytically.
  • C.S.E. grades 9, 8, 7 in Drama or significant performance experience through Youth Theatre or equivalent theatrical groups.

The capacity to “leave your ego at the door”, be brave, and laugh at yourself on occasion.

Subject Leader: Elizabeth Robertson
Email:  erobertson@kingedwardvi.bham.sch.uk

Year 12

Key Learning Constructs to be developed over

the academic year

Scheme of Learning

Autumn Term

Scheme of Learning

Spring Term

Scheme of Learning

Summer Term

https://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/economics/as- and-a-level/economics-7135-7136 Micro:

1. Economic methodology and the economic problem

2. Price determination in a competitive market

3. Individual economic decision making

4. Markets and market failure

5. Government intervention and failure

Macro:

1. Measurement of economic performance

2. Circular Flow, AD/AS analysis

3. Economic performance

Macro:

1. Macroeconomic policy: monetary, fiscal and supply side

2. Financial markets

Micro:

1. Production costs and revenues

Assessment Pieces Assessment Pieces Assessment Pieces
2 x ½ term assessments 2 x ½ term assessments 2 x ½ term assessments
1st assessment covers topics 1 1st assessment on 1st assessment covers macro
& 2 above macroeconomic topics 1 & 2
2nd assessment covers 3, 4 & 5 objectives/performance 2nd assessment is the Y12 end
indicators of year assessment examining
2nd assessment on AD/AS analysis the content delivered over the
whole academic year
Key vocabulary
Outside the taught curriculum Students encouraged to subscribe to the Economic Review magazine.

Students expected to use recommended internet resources such as Tutor2u; EconplusDal. Students also have access to Seneca.

Students have the opportunity to attend on line economics talks organised by KES.

The student run Business and Economics Society can be a forum for debates determined by the

students themselves.

Suggested reading https://www.tutor2u.net/economics/blog/recommended-reading-for-alevel-economists www.economicshelp.org
https://www.khanacademy.org/economics-finance-domain

https://www.economicsonline.co.uk/ https://www.tutor2u.net/economics

Year 13

Key Learning Constructs to be developed over

the academic year

Scheme of Learning

Autumn Term

Scheme of Learning

Spring Term

Scheme of Learning

Summer Term

https://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/economics/as- and-a-level/economics-7135-7136 Micro

1. Competition and concentrated markets; perfect competition, monopoly, oligopoly, monopolistic competition

2. The labour market

Micro

1. Individual economic decision making

2.  Technological change

3.  Market imperfections, competition policy, privatisation, regulation

Micro

1.  Revision/recap

Macro

1.  Revision/recap

Macro

The international economy

Macro

1. Uses of national income data

2.  Fisher’s equation

3.  Macro objectives and conflict 4, Commercial, investment banks and regulation of the financial system

Start revision
Assessment Pieces Assessment Pieces Assessment Pieces
2 x ½ term assessments Micro mock
Macro mock A level exam.
1st assessment; micro essay on
market structure
2nd assessment ; macro data
response
Key vocabulary
Outside the taught curriculum Students encouraged to subscribe to the Economic Review magazine.

Students expected to use recommended internet resources such as Tutor2u; EconplusDal. Students also have access to Seneca.

Students have the opportunity to attend on line economics talks organised by KES.

The student run Business and Economics Society can be a forum for debates determined by the

students themselves.

Suggested reading https://www.tutor2u.net/economics/blog/recommended-reading-for-alevel-economists www.economicshelp.org                 https://www.khanacademy.org/economics-finance-domain

https://www.economicsonline.co.uk/ https://www.tutor2u.net/economics

Examination Board: AQA
Specification: Advanced GCE 7717

http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/english/as-and-a- level/english-literature-b-7716-7717

Why should I study English Literature?

Offering clear progression from GCSE, this course allows students to build on the skills and knowledge already gained and prepare for their next steps. The English Literature course aims to develop a relevant, engaging and up-to-date approach to the reading and study of literature through the lens of genre and theory, encouraging independent study of a range of texts within a shared context, giving meaning to the way that texts are grouped. This unifying approach facilitates the inclusion of a range of wider reading, thus extending students’ experience and appreciation of literature.

The variety of assessment styles used, such as passage-based questions, unseen material, single text questions, multiple text questions, open- and closed-book approaches, allows students to develop a wide range of skills, such as the ability to read critically, analyse, evaluate and undertake independent research which are valuable for both further study and future employment.

A LEVEL (7717BB) What will I learn about?

In Literary Genres (Paper 1), the texts are connected through a mainstream literary genre. We have selected Aspects of Comedy. Comedy has a long tradition in literature, with its origins in the Ancient World and with a specific emphasis on drama. Texts have been selected and grouped together because they share some of the common features of traditional tragic and comic drama while also offering some interesting variations. We will study four texts: one Shakespeare play, one further drama text, one poetry text and one prose text.

In Texts and Genres (Paper 2), the texts are grouped together as having elements of more modern genres. These genres, which are heavily influenced by culture, are continually evolving. You will study three social and political texts: one post-2000 prose text, one poetry collection and one further text, one of which must be written pre-1900. You will also respond to an unseen passage in the examination and comment on how it explores elements of the textual tradition. The paper for this component is open book. You may take a copy of your set texts into the examination.

Theory and NEA

The A-level non-exam assessment component provides opportunities for you to pursue your own areas of interest and develop personal and independent learning skills. Through the integration of a Critical Anthology with A-level non-examination assessment study, you are able to explore some of the critical and theoretical approaches that form the basis for literary study which in turn informs and illuminates your own reading of texts. You will complete two essays of 1500 words each.

How will I be taught?

Your teachers will encourage you to explore a wide range of literature and study texts through a range of methods. You will research and present your findings to the class; you will have stimulating and interesting whole-class and small group discussion. Drafting of coursework and practice of timed examination questions will also be important parts of both courses. The key to success in English Literature at A level is an open mind, wider reading, being able to apply critical opinions and not being afraid to defend your opinion.

Application beyond school:

  • A good grade at A level English Literature is a passport to all university courses but is especially suited for those intending to pursue careers in Law, Modern Languages, History, Journalism, Media & Communication Studies, Philosophy and the Civil Additionally, many university faculties such as Medicine and Dentistry like to admit students with another ‘string to their bow’, as well as the usual science and mathematics A level subjects.

Assessment Format:

Level Component Requirements Duration Marks
A Level Paper 1 Literary genres Option 1B Aspects of comedy Shakespeare, The Taming of the Shrew; Oscar Wilde, The Importance

of Being Earnest; Jane Austen, Emma.

2 hours 30 mins

Closed book Year 13

75

40% of A Level

A Level Paper 2 Texts and genres Option 2B Elements of political and social protest writing

Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale; Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner; William Blake, Songs of Innocence and of Experience.

3 hours Open book Year 13 75

40% of A Level

A Level Paper 3 Theory and independence Study of two texts, chosen by students in collaboration with their teacher. Two essays of 1250-

1500 words

50

20% of A Level

Are there any special requirements? 

  • Enthusiasm to read widely and critically and to write
  • C.S.E. grades 9, 8 or 7 in both English Language and English Literature.
  • A sense of humour is also desirable, as some of our best writers can be a little eccentric and ‘leftfield’ at times!

 Examination Board: AQA

Who takes the EPQ?

All students in the 6th Form complete the EPQ, alongside three linear A-Levels.

What is the Extended Project Qualification?

The EPQ is a Level 3 qualification (click here for the specification) which is graded up to A* and carries UCAS points equivalent to half an A-Level. It is a long-term, student-led investigation which tests their ability to:

  1. Manage – goal setting and management of time and materials to achieve the outcome
  2. Use Resources – critical selection and evaluation of appropriate sources of evidence
  3. Develop and Realise – decision-making and delivery of the final project
  4. Evaluate – reflection on successes and failures, strengths and weaknesses over the duration of the project

The key assessed components are the production log – a record of all the planning, decision- making and reflections – a research log, a 20-minute presentation and the product – either an artefact (such as a computer program, a website, a model etc) or a 5000-word report. Choice of topic is the student’s: the only prohibited titles are questions covered by the student’s A-Level subject specifications.

Previous EPQ titles have included:

  • Which types of teaching materials are most effective in learning a new computer program?
  • Why do we love chocolate so much?
  • Is time travel in science fiction based on fact?

How is it delivered at Handsworth?

Students are allocated a supervisor who meets with them periodically to discuss progress.

Term 1: This is a sequence of taught lessons on study skills using the latest academic research into effective learning. Techniques of source analysis, note making and referencing are covered, along with sessions on academic motivation and revision. These are all essential skills for university study, whatever the subject.

Terms 2-4 (January Year 12 to Christmas Year 13): Students consider the topics which interest them, and begin to formulate their driving question. They submit their proposals to their supervisor and once approved they begin their research. Progress is reviewed in supervisions, students deliver their presentations and evaluate their project management skills before submission of their projects.

Why do we promote the EPQ? 

The ethos of the EPQ chimes with our own vision for learning at Handsworth: the development of creative, independent, active and reflective students. In contrast with the generally short-term, teacher-directed tasks required in A-Levels, the EPQ places the student’s curiosity centre stage and tests it over a full calendar year. It provides a safe space for students to encounter problems of time management, procrastination, dead ends and confusing choices. The skills gained are highly rated by universities and medical schools (see here for the University of Manchester’s view of the EPQ), and they will often lower their entry requirements for students with strong EPQ grades.

Examination Board: AQA
Specification: Advanced GCE 7652
http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/languages/as-and-a- level/french-draft-7652/specification-at-a-glance

Why should I study French?

Plenty of opportunity to express opinions and look at subjects of interest to your age group. Transferable skills such as presenting and evaluating arguments, summarising the main points of texts and interpreting an argument to another person.

What will I learn about?

The AQA specification is divided into 3 themes:

  1. Aspects of French speaking society: current trends and issues
  2. Artistic culture in the French speaking world
  3. Aspects of political life in the French speaking

These topics are designed to engage and motivate linguists to understand more fully current and emerging trends and issues in the French speaking world.

In addition students will study one literary text and one French film from a list set in the specification.

How will I be taught?

Using the digital book as well as a selection of authentic materials, we shall read and listen to material in the target language. This will lead to discussing in pairs, groups or with the whole class. Written work will be based on this material. There will be a requirement for students to undertake reading and listening, and learning of vocabulary on their own initiative.

Application beyond school:

  • Useful for leisure purposes – holiday and travel
  • Wide application for business and commercial
  • Opens opportunities for study of all subjects abroad under ERASMUS/ SOCRATES
  • Valuable adjunct to other qualifications in any profession – there is a shortage of people with language qualifications.
  • Language graduates have one of the lowest unemployment

Assessment Format:

Level Component Requirements Duration Marks
A Level Paper 1 Listening, reading and writing Reading and listening material will be generated from the 3 themes. Pupils will be required to complete a range of activities including comprehension based tasks, summarising passages using synonyms and translating into both the target language and English 2 hours 30 minutes Year 13 160

40% of A Level

A Level Paper 2 Writing Two essay questions from one literary text and one film from the list set in the specification. 2 hours

Year 13

90

30% of A Level

A Level Paper 3 Speaking Individual research project on a topic of your choice relating to a current or emerging trend in the French speaking world.

Discussion of a photocard stimulus

based around one of the 3 themes.

Oral exam, 25 minutes

Year 13

60

30% of A Level

Are there any special requirements?

  • Normally grade 9, 8 or 7 at C.S.E. required.
  • Students will need to be able to cope competently with

Examination Board: EDEXCEL
Specification: Advanced GCE 9GE0

https://qualifications.pearson.com/en/qualifications/e dexcel-a-levels/geography-2016.html

Why should I study Geography?

This course offers students the opportunity to study in detail the key issues and debates that are shaping the world we live in. Students develop a critical understanding of our planet going forward into the rest of the 21st century. You will study and develop informed opinions on issues as diverse as Brexit, Donald Trump, the rise of China, migration, climate change and managing natural disasters. You will develop an in depth understanding of social and cultural changes within Birmingham and the forces driving this. Having an informed understanding of contemporary issues and challenges is useful for whatever career or profession you wish to follow.

Studying Geography also allows students to develop many transferable skills such as high level ICT skills, good oral and written communication skills; critical thinking; numeracy; individual research skills; and teamwork skills through field work and the many opportunities for group work. The A Level includes an independent investigation where students identify a geographical issue and conduct fieldwork and research investigating this. The skills developed through geographical study are recognised and highly valued by universities and employers.

What will I learn about?

Area of study 1 Topic 1: Tectonic Processes and Hazards Area of study 1 Topic 2: Coastal Landscapes and Change Area of study 2 Topic 3: Shaping Places: Globalisation Area of study 2 Topic 4: Diverse Places

Area of study 3 Topic 5: The Water Cycle and Water Insecurity Area of study 3 Topic 6: The Carbon Cycle and Energy Security Area of study 4 Topic 7: Superpowers

Area of study 4 Topic 8: Global Development and Connections

How will I be taught?

A range of teaching and learning methods are used throughout the two years. These include individual research, seminars, group work and presentations, and work in the field. We run a four day field trip to support the classroom teaching but also to develop the skills required to undertake an independent investigation. The independent investigation is completed by A Level students based on an issue of their choice. The cost currently is approximately £350 – any students experiencing financial hardship can apply for support. Other field work opportunities exist (such as investigating the economic and cultural forces shaping Birmingham) and there is no cost involved on these additional trips.

Application beyond school:

Students with an A Level in Geography have access to a wide range of possible career and higher education opportunities. They develop a variety of transferable skills that are highly sought after by employers and universities. Geography allows access to a wide variety of university courses and is identified as a ‘facilitator subject’ by Russell Group universities. This means that it is one of the subjects most preferred and most commonly required by universities to get on to a range of degree courses.

Beyond straight Geography degrees taking Geography at A level can support many other types of courses depending on how it is combined with other subjects. Geography is traditionally seen as a bridge between the sciences and humanities and therefore supports degree choices in either of these areas. Taken with sciences like Mathematics or Chemistry, Geography supports applications for almost any science-based university course. Taken with humanities like English, History, or Economics, Geography supports an equally wide range of university courses.

Studying Geography allows a wide variety of career choices with Geography graduates recognised as being the most employable graduates. Some specific careers that Geography can lead to include cartography, law, civil service, earth scientist, local government, environmental management, journalism, development charities and overseas charity work.

Assessment Format:

Level Component Requirements Duration Marks
A Level Paper 1 Topics 1, 2, 5, 6, 2 hours 15 mins

Year 13

90

30% of A Level

A Level Paper 2 Topics 3, 4, 7, 8 2 hours 15 mins

Year 13

90

30% of A Level

A Level Paper 3 Topics 1, 3, 5, 6, 7 2 hours 15 mins

Year 13

60

20% of A Level

A Level Independent Investigation 60

20% of A Level

Are there any special requirements?

Students who take this course should have an interest in the world around them and world issues such as hazards, global warming, globalisation, and development. Having a Geography GCSE is advantageous but not essential. Geography combines well with science subjects like Chemistry, or Mathematics; as well as humanities and social sciences like History, Economics, or English Literature.

Examination Board: AQA
Specification: Advanced GCE 7662

http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/languages/as-and-a- level

Why should I study German?

  • There are plenty of opportunities to express opinions and look at subjects of interest to your age
  • Transferable skills such as presenting and evaluating arguments, summarising the main points of texts and interpreting an argument to another person.
  • It is fun!
  • Opportunity to do Work Experience in Germany in Year
  • Increased cultural
  • Post-Brexit the need for language skills will be potentially greater than

What will I learn about?

  1. Social issues and trends
  2. Political and artistic culture
  3. Grammar
  4. Literary texts and films (Options from)

G.C.S.E. grammar will be revised and consolidated, and new grammar introduced gradually throughout the course. The four language skills will be developed as the course progresses. (More detailed information about course content and assessment is available on the AQA website)

How will I be taught?

Using authentic materials, we shall read and listen to material in the target language. This will lead to discussion in pairs, in groups or with the whole class. Written work will be based on this material. There will be a requirement for students to undertake reading and listening, and learning of vocabulary on their own initiative. The course contains much online material which can be revisited at home for consolidation and revision purposes, and it also contains practice examination materials.

Application beyond school: 

  • Germany is the UK’s largest trading partner – ideal for business related
  • In many jobs, it is a positive
  • Opens opportunities for study of all subjects
  • Valuable adjunct to other qualifications in any profession – there is a shortage of people with language qualifications.
  • Language graduates have one of the lowest unemployment

Assessment Format:

Level Component Requirements Duration Marks
A Level Paper 1 Listening, reading and writing Aspects of German-speaking society Artistic culture in the German-speaking world

Multiculturalism in German-speaking society

Aspects of political life in German- speaking society

2 hours 30 mins

Year 13

160

40% of A Level

A Level Paper 2 Writing One text and one film or two texts from the list set in the specification. 2 hours

Year 13

90

30% of A Level

A Level Paper 3 Speaking Individual research project

One of four sub-themes ie Aspects of German-speaking society or Artistic culture in the German-speaking world or Multiculturalism in German-speaking society or Aspects of political life in German-speaking society

Oral exam, 21-23 mins

inclu. 5 mins prep. time.

Year 13

60

30% of A Level

Are there any special requirements?

Normally a grade 9, 8 or 7 at G.C.S.E. is required, although an enthusiasm for the language and a determination to participate fully are equally important.

Examination Board: AQA
Specification: Advanced GCE 7042

http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/history/as-and-a-level/history-7041-7042/spec-at-a-glance

Why should I study History?

  • Look at the subject content – it is both interesting and relevant!
  • It fits very easily with both arts and sciences because, on the one hand, its subject matter deals with the range of human experience and, on the other hand, its skills are logical and analytical.
  • History A Level is well regarded by universities and employers because it is academically rigorous and produces students who are literate and likely to be independent thinkers.

What will I learn about?

For more details go to: http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/history/as-and-a-level

Unit 1: Breadth Study. The Tudors: England, 1485-1603

The study of developments over a period of around 100 years and associated interpretations.

  • Part 1 of the course (Y12) will look at the years 1485-1547 with the restoration of the monarchy under Henry VII and Henry VIII, as well as at changes in power structure and the revolution in Church and State which took place in this period.
  • Part 2 of the course (Y13) will extend your studies up to 1603 with the governments of Edward, Mary and Elizabeth, focusing on continuing religious conflict, problems of the succession, relations with parliament and foreign affairs.

Unit 2: Depth Study. The Cold War, c1945-1991

The study in depth of a major historical development and associated primary evidence.

  • Part 1 of the course (Y12) will look at the way in which the Cold War emerged in the aftermath of the Second World War, its development in the 1950s and crises in Hungary, Berlin and Cuba which took the superpowers to the brink of nuclear war.
  • Part 2 of the course (Y13) will consider the impact of the Vietnam War, US relations with China and attempts to reach arms agreements in the 1970s. We will look at the role of Reagan, Thatcher and Gorbachev in bringing about an end to the Cold War by 1991.

Unit 3: Historical Investigation

Russia, 1855-1953: From Tsars to Commissars

Following a taught overview course in the summer of Year 12, you will identify a question of your choice based on a historical issue or development within this period that has been subject to differing interpretations. We have a vast range of resources on Russia in the school library which you can use for your research. Examples of possible approaches:

  • A broad issue and related question which analyses its development, e.g. assessing the extent to which war was an agent of political change; or the failure of opposition groups to coordinate effectively across the period.
  • A more specific issue in the context of approximately 100 years, for example comparing the leadership styles of the Tsars with Lenin and Stalin – did one autocracy just replace another?

Your question will be approved by the exam board before you go on to independently research and write the assignment. This will be presented in the form of a piece of extended writing, drawing upon your investigation of sources (both primary and secondary) and the differing interpretations that have been placed on your chosen issue. As such, it is excellent preparation for university study!

How will I be taught?

The teaching is not primarily about the imparting of knowledge but much more concerned with analysis and understanding, together with the acquisition of the skills that make these things possible. Ultimately, you will be tested via written work but you will develop your ideas in a variety of other ways as well. Group work, both in preparation and presentation, is encouraged and discussion is of great importance. We are able to support this with varied textbook provision and a well-stocked section in the school library. We also ensure that pupils have the opportunity to attend conferences for revision and stimulation as appropriate.

Application beyond school:

History can lead to a wide range of attractive (and even lucrative!) careers. Frequently linked is Law (qualification requires further training), but also:

  • Media work- print journalism, V. and radio presenting, research
  • Libraries and museums (including the increasing number of historical attractions)
  • The Civil Service-both local and national
  • Personnel posts in business enterprises…

The list is endless – it includes anything that demands analytical thinking with the ability to express oneself effectively both orally and in writing.

Assessment Format:

Level Component Requirements Duration Marks
A Level Paper 1 Breadth of Study One compulsory source-based question.

Choice of two from three essay questions.

2 hours 30 mins

Year 13

80

40% of A Level

A Level Paper 2 Depth Study One compulsory source-based question.

Choice of two from three essay questions.

2 hours 30 mins

Year 13

80

40% of A Level

A Level Paper 3 Historical investigation 3500 – 4000 words Must cover 100 years Submitted spring of Year 13 40

20% of A Level

Are there any special requirements?
A grade 9, 8 or 7 in GCSE History is required. You should have good written skills, a willingness to read widely and an ability to think critically.

Mathematics
Examination Board:
AQA Specification: 7357

Further Mathematics
Examination Board:
MEI Specification: H645

Why should I study Mathematics?

This course is designed to help students fulfil their potential by taking and enjoying mathematics courses that are relevant to their needs post-16. This involves four key elements: breadth, depth, being up-to-date and providing students with the ability to use their mathematics in the real world.

The course is designed to provide students with the necessary interpretive and modelling skills to be able to use their mathematics and to relate what they have learnt to the world around them. Modelling and interpretation are key elements that are stressed in all areas of the course.

Mathematics has been transformed at this level by the impact of modern technology: the graphical calculator, the spreadsheet and dedicated mathematics software. There are many places where this course strongly encourages the use of such technology and this makes the work more enjoyable and relevant.

What will I learn about?

A Level students will study Pure Mathematics, Statistics and Mechanics.

Further Mathematics

This counts as a second A level and can either be one of your three choices or taken as an addition fourth choice. Students cannot study Further Mathematics without taking Mathematics.

How will I be taught?

A Level students will be taught by one or two mathematics specialists. Further Mathematics students will be taught by two mathematics specialists.

You will be introduced to a wide variety of new techniques and shown how to apply these techniques to problems. You will then be expected to spend time outside of lessons gaining more experience of applying these techniques to a range of problems. In the period of time directly proceeding examinations much time is spent working through past papers.

Application beyond school:

Mathematical skills at a high level are essential in the modern and technological world we live in. Logical thinking and problem solving skills developed throughout the course are transferable to all areas of business, commerce and industry and are in great demand.

Many students at this level are taking mathematics as a support subject. Their needs are almost as diverse as their main fields of study, and consequently this subject includes the breadth of several distinct strands of mathematics and a firm foundation in the basic skills that they will need in their main specialism.

There are, however, those students who will go on to read Mathematics, Applied Science, Engineering or Economics at university. These students need the challenge of taking the subject to greater depth and this is provided by the considerable wealth of Further Mathematics units in the course. Students considering courses beyond school in these areas are strongly encouraged to study Further Mathematics.

Assessment Format:

Level Component Duration Marks
A Level Three papers covering the compulsory content of: Paper 1 – Pure Mathematics Paper 2 – Pure and Statistics

Paper 3 – Pure and Mechanics

Any content from Paper 1 can be assessed in Papers 2 and 3.

Each paper will be 2 hours

Year 13

Each will be:

100 marks

331⁄3% of the A Level

A Level Further Mathematics Four papers

Compulsory Core Pure Mathematics

Mechanics Minor Statistics Minor

Modelling with Algorithms Minor

2 hours 40 mins

1 hour 15 mins

1 hour 15 mins

1 hour 15 mins

Year 13

50 % of the A Level

16 2⁄3% of the A level 16 2⁄3% of the A level 16 2⁄3% of the A level

Are there any special requirements?

We expect you to have grade 7, 8 or 9 at GCSE for Mathematics, and a grade 8 or 9 at GCSE for Further Mathematics A Level.

There will also be an Initial Baseline Mathematics Test in the first week of teaching that will focus on the most important GCSE algebra skills that are essential for success at Mathematics A level. It is expected that preparation for this is done over the summer and we recommend the following books.

Head Start to AS Maths (by CGP Books)

Bridging GCSE and A Level Maths Student Book (by Collins)

Examination Board: Eduqas
Specification: Advanced GCE

Why should I study Music?

The course has a healthy balance between practical and academic aspects, and one key feature is the importance of individual responsibility. This is especially true of the performing and composing work but also of the musical listening and understanding lessons. Music is an inescapable part of human existence and culture and studying at A Level allows students to develop their knowledge and skills to a high level as well as helping them to understand and appreciate what it is to be creative.

What will I learn about?

Performing

Pupils are required to perform at least 3 pieces on their instrument or voice that are at Grade 5/6 standard or above. Their recital needs to be around 10 – 12 minutes in length. Credit is given where the difficulty of the pieces played is higher than the required level.

Composing

The composing Units have two strands: A free composition and a composition based on one of four briefs set by the exam board. Pupils need to compose between 4 and 6 minutes of music in total.

Listening and Appraising

The listening units involve study of the Western Classical tradition and Music of the 20th and 21st centuries. These are compulsory units that contain 4 set works. Pupils must also study 1 further area from the following; Rock and Pop, Musical Theatre and Jazz. You will learn to analyse and describe music in detail as well as understand the social and cultural contexts of the period the music was composed in. In the examination, there are short answer listening questions and longer essay types, comparing the works.

How will I be taught?

For the Performing units, relatively little class time is needed. Teaching staff will ensure that you understand the requirements and have selected pieces to perform that are appropriate. You will then be expected to practice regularly to ensure that you gain the best possible marks. The composing units involve the study of models as well as exercises to help develop your melodic and harmonic skills. The listening units involve listening and understanding how the music studied ‘works’. You will explore the melodic, rhythmic, textural and structural features of the music and compare them with other well-known pieces. Home learning tasks will include research as well as further background reading and listening.

Application beyond school:

A level musicians are highly sort after people. As well as looking to further develop your musical skills at University or Conservatoire, A Level musicians are analytical, organised, creative, team players and highly skilled individuals; all skills that apply to a wide range of university courses and disciplines. As well as careers as performers, teachers and academia, music students have gone on to careers as diverse as Law, banking and Finance, Social and Therapeutic work, Psychology and working in the general Arts and Culture sectors.

Assessment Format:

Level Component Requirements Duration Marks
A Level Unit 1: Performing Public performance of a recital program of at least 3 pieces. The

recital must last between 10 – 12 minutes

Year 13 April

– May Externally assessed.

108

marks 35% of A Level

A Level Unit 2: Composing Pupils create 2 compositions: one is a free composition and the second is a composition based on a brief set by the exam board. The total length of composition is between 4 and 6 minutes. Year 12 free composition. Year 13 exam board brief.

Both externally assessed.

72

marks 25% of A Level

A Level Paper 3 Appraising Written examination based on the compulsory set works and the pupils optional area of study. Questions will be a mix of short listening extracts and longer essay based questions. Pupils are allowed to take blank copies of the musical scores studied into the

examination.

2 hours 15 mins

Year 13

100

40% of A Level

Are there any special requirements?

General: As with GCSE, you need to be prepared to develop all three core skills – performing, composing and listening. Students who only want to perform and do not enjoy composing or analysing will not excel at A Level. A GCSE grade of 7 – 9 is a starting point, as it shows all round ability.

Performing: You need to be at least Grade 5 standard on your instrument or voice when you begin the course and be prepared to practice as the A level examiners expect a very polished performance in your recital. To help with this, pupils will receive free, regular tuition on the instrument they will be performing on.

Theory: Pupils need to be able to read notation and have a grasp of music theory if they have not taken GCSE music. We encourage all pupils to take Grade 5 theory during Year 12 to help with their composition and allow them access to higher practical grades.

Examination Board: AQA
Specification: Advanced GCE 7408

Why should I study Physics?

Without Physics all the gadgets that we take for granted like laptops and mobile phones wouldn’t exist. Nor would the electricity supply that charges them and powers so many other things we use every day. Did you know that a physicist invented the World Wide Web? It’s hard to imagine a world without the Internet, but when you were born almost no one had heard of it. Physicists are constantly finding new things. They have recently shown that teleportation is possible – who knows what that will lead to in a few years’ time?

If you have an enquiring mind and are always asking why things happen, then Physics will help you find the answers. It forms the basis of all modern technologies and holds the future to global well-being.

What will I learn about? 

First year of A-level

  1. Measurements and their
  2. Particles and
  3. Waves, including progressive waves, interference and
  4. Mechanics and energy, including projectile motion and Newton’s laws of
  5. Electricity, including current/voltage characteristics, circuits, electromotive force and internal

Second year of A-level

  1. Further mechanics and thermal physics, including periodic motion, thermal energy transfer and molecular kinetic theory model.
  2. Fields, including Newton’s law of gravitation, orbits of planets and satellites and magnetic flux
  3. Nuclear physics, including evidence for the nucleus, radioactive decay and nuclear
  4. Turning points in

How will I be taught?

Wherever possible we want you to see and discover for yourself so practical activities are used when appropriate, some of these will be in groups, while others may be individual tasks. There are many opportunities for collaborative work and you will be expected to make contributions within the group. Questions are encouraged and links are made to current scientific advances wherever possible. There will, of course, be formal teaching, but on other occasions you will expected to do research and present your own notes. There is a course text book for each year and past examination questions are used to sharpen your examination technique. Extensive links with the Physics Department at Birmingham University enhance the learning experience through an evening lecture series in the autumn and early spring terms.

Application beyond school:

Employers and universities are always impressed by a good A level grade in Physics, it shows the ability to think methodically and the capacity to take on and understand knowledge which sometimes seems counter intuitive. A Level Physics is a doorway to a technical degree leading to a very wide range of careers including Aeronautical, Electrical and Mechanical Engineering, GeoPhysics, Material science, Forensic science, Meteorology, Medical Physics, AstroPhysics, Architecture, Software engineer and many, many more.

Assessment Format:

Level Component Requirements Duration Marks
A Level Paper 1 Topics 1 – 5 and 6.1 2 hours

Year 13

85

34% of A Level

A Level Paper 2 Topics 6.2, 7 and 8 2 hours

Year 13

85

34% of A Level

A Level Paper 3 Practical skills plus option sections 2 hours

Year 13

80

32% of A Level

A Level Practical Assessment 12 set practicals throughout the course. 15% of examinations will assess practical skills

Are there any special requirements?

You will have achieved either GCSE Physics or Core and Additional Science to at least grade 7. There is a lot of mathematical content within A Level Physics so we would require a GCSE Mathematics grade 7, 8 or 9. The A level course does not explicitly require A level Mathematics, but if you are considering a career in Engineering or Physics then Mathematics A level is required and Further Mathematics A level makes a very good partner subject. This will prepare you for the mathematics you will face in your first year at University.

Examination Board: AQA
Specification: 7152

http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/government-and-politics/as-and-a-level/politics-7152

Why should I study Government & Politics?

You are likely to benefit from this course at A Level if you:

  • Are already interested in current affairs and politics
  • Realise that you don’t know much about politics or the organisation of government, but think it is important to find out more
  • Like studying a subject which is relevant and affects people’s everyday lives
  • Like to be actively involved, in terms of discussion, research and visits
  • Would like to do something different and keep your options open for the

What will I learn about?

The first unit provides an introduction to and an understanding of the concepts which guide our political system and the structure of government. For example, we begin by looking at the British constitution and its origins, and also at the nature of democracy in the UK. The second unit allows a study of the US style of government and a comparison to the UK, for example how the roles of the Prime Minister and President differ. The final unit allows students to explore some of the key ideologies which underpin our political system, such as conservatism, liberalism, socialism and, as our optional ideology, feminism.

A Level

Examined  Units       

Unit 1: Government and Politics of the UK

Unit 2: Government and Politics of the USA and Comparative Politics

Unit 3: Political Ideas

There are three examinations, all taken in the summer term. Each paper carries a third of the marks and contains a mixture of short answer questions, source material and a choice of two essay titles.

How will I be taught?

Government and Politics is a subject which draws a great deal upon the developments of the present and recent past and is being constantly updated. We make good use of a variety of textbooks but also rely on the use of TV, Internet, radio and the press.

The course is designed to encourage you to analyse and criticise and we therefore promote active discussion to develop an understanding of what has been read, seen and heard. Likewise, you will have opportunities for individual research of various kinds and will be able to present work in a variety of ways, e.g. talks and wall presentations, not just essays! Class atmosphere is friendly and informal.

It is also important to keep up with current affairs through newspaper, television, radio and internet. Politics students recently visited the Houses of Parliament and we attend the local ‘Democracy Forum’ each year, where girls have a chance to quiz a panel of MPs. As a department, we are committed to offering a continuing programme of involvement and stimulation within the confines of the school’s visits policy.

Application beyond school:

  • As the basis for degree study: either a pure Politics course, or as part of International Relations, American Studies, Public Policy or similar courses. Politics is also commonly offered in conjunction with other subjects g. Law, PPE (Politics, Philosophy and Economics), Sociology, Business/Management, History, and Economics, to name but a few!
  • Even without further study, the course will enable you to take a lasting interest in political issues and play your part as an effective citizen at election time!

Assessment Format:

Level Component Requirements Duration Marks
A Level Paper 1 Government and Politics of

the UK

Contains a mixture of short answer questions, source material and a choice of two essay titles. 2 hours

Year 13

77

33.3% of

A Level

A Level Paper 2 Government and Politics of the USA and Comparative Politics Contains a mixture of short answer questions, source material and a choice of two essay titles. 2 hours

Year 13

77

33.3% of

A Level

A Level Paper 3 Political Ideas Contains a mixture of short answer questions, source material and a question on our optional ideology, feminism. 2 hours

Year 13

77

33.3% of

A Level

Are there any special requirements?

There is no requirement for previous related study and you do not have to be a History student, though the two subjects do go well together! You should have good written skills, a general interest in current affairs and an ability to think critically. A grade 9, 8 or 7 in English or History is required.

Examination Board: EDEXCEL
Specification: Advanced GCE 9PS01

Why should I study Psychology?

Psychology is about people and people are fascinating. Studying psychology we explore fundamental questions about the way we experience and make sense of the world around us and how we behave in it. What makes us who we are? Why do we behave in the ways that we do? Studying psychology is interesting and challenging and makes you think about abilities and social behaviour that you take for granted. You will develop your oral and written communication skills, your scientific thinking and your powers of critical analysis, in a lively, yet focused, productive and supportive atmosphere.

What will I learn about?

Paper one – Foundations in Psychology

The content of this paper introduces students to important psychological ideas and ways of thinking through study of four key areas in Psychology. Social psychology is all about the ways in which people understand and affect each other. Students learn about destructive obedience to authority and the causes of prejudice. Cognitive psychology is all about how human memory works and students apply their knowledge to questions about the best way to study and the accuracy of eyewitnesses. In biological psychology students learn how behaviour is influenced by the brain and nervous system and their relationship with behaviour such as aggression. Learning theories is a topic that addresses the ways in which people’s behaviour is influenced by their environment. Students learn, amongst other things, about how phobias can be explained and treated.

Paper two – Applications of Psychology

The content of this paper invites students to study two topics in considerable depth. In Clinical Psychology, students learn about how psychologists classify, diagnose and treat psychological disorders such as schizophrenia and depression. Criminological Psychology is all about how psychology is applied within policing and the criminal justice system. Students learn how psychologists explain criminal behaviour and the role that psychology can play in police investigations and criminal trials. By applying to these topics the concepts and theories studied in paper one students develop a more sophisticated understanding of how Psychology works as a science.

Paper three – Psychological Skills

Whilst learning about the course content, students develop a range of psychological research skills by carrying out their own practical investigations. They also develop thinking skills, and explore broad debates that appear repeatedly within the field. These skills and understandings are assessed on paper three, which draws together the entire content of the course.

How will I be taught?

We use a wide range of teaching and learning techniques to deliver the subject in a dynamic and engaging manner. In a psychology lesson you might find yourself applying psychology to real-life problems, analysing your own or others’ behaviour, discussing theories or research or pulling apart a (model) brain to find out what’s inside. You will always be expected to get involved, try things out and explain or defend your ideas, views and conclusions. Outside class you will have preparation tasks for new topics, essays and exam questions to help you consolidate your understanding and develop your skills in thinking and writing like a psychologist. But you might also conduct a survey or observation so your class can analyse the data or ask your family members about what you were like when you were two years old. Everything you do outside class will be relevant to making you a better psychologist and helping you get the best examination grade you can.

Application beyond school:

Psychology at A Level is a Science qualification but it combines well with humanities, creative arts, languages, mathematics or the physical sciences. The course provides an introduction to the field for anyone considering a career in applied psychology areas such as sport, criminal behaviour, mental health or education. It is an approved science subject for many medical schools as well as being ideal for those intending to follow higher education courses in business, law, journalism, media, theatre studies and many others. Knowledge of psychology is useful in careers as diverse as product design, advertising, management, computing and IT, health care, teaching, policing and the military. Indeed, psychology has applications in nearly every career.

Assessment Format:

Level Component Requirements Duration Marks
A Level Paper 1 Fundamentals

of Psychology

Social psychology, bio-psychology, cognitive psychology, learning theory 2 hours

Year 13

90

35% of A Level

A Level Paper 2 Applications of Psychology Clinical psychology, criminological psychology 2 hours

Year 13

90

35% of A Level

A Level Paper 3 Psychological skills Research methods and statistics, synoptic review or studies, themes, issues and debates. 2 hours

Year 13

80

30% of A Level

Are there any special requirements?

Grade 7+ in one of GCSE English, Mathematics, a science, or an humanity is required as is an interest in why people do the things they do. You also need self-motivation and discipline and the ability to work independently and as part of a team.

Good grades in Mathematics and the Sciences are advantageous.

Examination Board: WJEC/Eduqas

www.eduqas.co.uk/qualifications/religious-studies/as-a-level/

Why should I study Religious Studies?

Whether you have a personal faith or not, religion is all around us and affects many aspects of people’s lives. The in-depth study of the beliefs and practices of a major World Religion will enable you to understand the beliefs of others, which is essential in today’s pluralistic society. You will also have the opportunity to reflect on your own beliefs, to consider whether they rest on solid foundations. The study of Ethics will equip you with the skills to analyse and think critically about current ethical dilemmas, which is an excellent foundation for those wishing to pursue a career in Medicine. The study of philosophical questions will challenge and extend your thinking, and Religious Studies is worth pursuing for its own intrinsic value as well as being highly valued by many Universities and employers.

What will I learn about?

  1. Religious figures and sacred texts
  2. Religious concepts and religious life
  3. Social and historical developments in religious thought
  4. Christian practices that shape religious identity
  5. Arguments for the existence of God
  6. Challenges to religious belief
  7. Religious experience
  8. Religious language
  9. Ethical language and thought
  10. Deontological Ethics
  11. Teleological Ethics
  12. Freewill and Determinism

How will I be taught?

We use a wide range of teaching and learning techniques, which may be familiar from GCSE or General RS. We have a wide range of video and ICT resources, including a well-resourced Moodle site. Lessons may involve reading, note-taking and discussion; video stimulus, debates and arguments, presentations, ICT activities and role-plays and other creative tasks. Students have also attended lectures such as the 2015 Cadbury lecture on the Cosmological Argument, given by Dr. William Lane Craig.

Application beyond school:

A Religious Studies qualification is highly regarded by many academic institutions, and is an excellent preparation for Medicine and other professions such as Law, Teaching, Journalism and Social Work.

Assessment Format:

Level Component Requirements Duration Marks
A Level Paper 1 Study of a Major World Religion (Christianity)

Themes 1-4

2 hours

Year 13

100

33.3% 0f

A level

A Level Paper 2 Philosophy of Religion Themes 1-4 2 hours

Year 13

100

33.3% 0f

A level

A Level Paper 3 Religion and Ethics Themes 1-4 2 hours

Year 13

100

33.3% 0f

A level

Are there any special requirements?

You do not need to be ‘religious’ or have a qualification in RS at GCSE, but we welcome students with an interest who enjoy thinking deeply about philosophical questions. If you love a good argument, but want to learn to argue better and critique the views of others, this course would suit you. You must also be prepared to investigate and think critically about one religious tradition.