GCSE Class News
Although we know that many pupils tell their parents all about what they having been studying and doing at school, not every child is so forthcoming. Therefore so that you all know what your child has been up to in the last term and what plans there are for next term, you can now visit this new page providing the latest news from the GCSE Class. The page is updated each term.
If you have any specific queries concerning this class or your child please speak to or email the class leader Nicholas.
This term Year 10 will become familiar with the requirements of the English Language GCSE through exploration of all questions covering Section A and Section B of the exam. Year 11 will increase their practise of exam-style questions to help with their confidence and knowledge. However, underpinning this, both years will explore the value of communication concepts as enrichment for their lives & relationships.
In term one of English Literature we will be reading and studying Animal Farm. This is the chosen text for this GCSE class and we will working on creating an in-depth understanding of the themes, symbolism, key characters, and how we can analyse the text to best fit the mark schemes. Animal Farm also offers the students the opportunity to look at it in its historical context.
This half term the class competed three Mock GCSE exams that were designed to allow for a diagnostic assessment of where students conceptual and skill based gaps are within the GCSE specification. Students then compared the question breakdown data of their exams against a specification that has been formatted with a confidence indicator to allow them to further refine down what they need to review.
Concepts and skills in mathematics build upon fundamentals and so students are encourage to think deeper into where they have any misconceptions or gaps before moving on to more complex content.
In the following half term students will come together to move forward as a class on new materials whilst revisiting prior content.
The new Year 10s are getting started on the GCSE curriculum, initially focusing on the 'Air and Water' topic in Chemistry and then moving on to more advanced work on electricity, magnetism and ecosystems (working in parallel with the main Lower Secondary group). We're continuing the fortnightly Science Club on Mondays to help them extend their classroom learning through fun and engaging practical work.
Year 11 are revisiting all the above topics too in preparation for their GCSE exams, and also consolidating their learning by creating, testing and leading practical activities for the new Junior Science Club (open to Upper Primary and Lower Secondary pupils) - which also gives them a valuable 'work experience' opportunity for their CVs.
We have embarked on the start of the GCSE course. We have started with a physical geography topics of Rivers & Coasts.
In term one we will be looking at Migration, Empires, and the People from c790 to present day. We will be exploring and analysing key themes and linking them together in order to best prepare for their GCSE History. Migration, Empires, and the People will give us a key understanding of the way our world works and how movement has effected history.
In term one we will be looking at Criminal Psychology and Development. Our in-depth study of Criminal Psychology will allow students to develop a sound awareness of the different types of crime, how crime is measured, and how we can understand crime as a social construct. When we move on to Development in the second half of the term, students will look at the stages of development, Piaget’s theories around development and how we change and mature across our lifetimes.
This term we will be starting our GCSE coursework by learning about the formal elements of line, shape, pattern, form, tone, texture and colour.
We will be starting a project based on ‘Natural forms’ and recording observations through drawing, print and photography. We will also be looking at a number of artists, craftspeople and designers who take inspiration from nature.
For the Autumn term students will be working on their self-directed coursework projects. They will be building up a sketchbook of observations and artist’s research, exploring ideas and experimenting with test pieces and eventually making a final outcome.
We are consolidating our syllabus and technical work, whilst continuing the composition course work. We will record both the performance courseworks ready for submission before the Christmas Holidays.
Summer Term 2019
This summer term involves final revision stages in preparation for the June 2019 GCSE exams and on-going work around functional skills and creative expression for our year 10 students.
This term we will be completing the poetry component of the English Lit GCSE course. We will then be preparing for the Year 11s GCSEs.
This term we will focusing exclusively on the upcoming GCSEs with work on past papers and covering revision topics.
Our year 11's are just embarking on their final GCSE exams, and we wish them all the best. Meanwhile, in year 10, we're looking at chemical analysis and calculations in Chemistry, and biodiversity and human food security in Biology. We're also setting students up on the newly released OCR Practical Tracker system so they can keep ongoing records of the skills, knowledge and understanding that they're gaining from class practical work.
Last term we completed topics on our Changing Economic World which included looking at differences in development between countries and case studies on Rio de Janeiro and Nigeria. We completed the course with a unit about the challenges with resource management. The GCSE exam is nearly upon us! Good luck!
After our amazing trip to Berlin where we visited the old Berlin Wall, the Spy Museum and numerous other sites we will be completing our study of the Cold War and preparing for the Year 11s History GCSE.
In Psychology we will complete our case study of dreaming and meaning, before moving onto considering research in psychology, where we will apply our knowledge to understand how successful research is carried out and how to avoid the many pitfalls of research studies. We will then be focusing on preparing our Year 11s for their Psychology GCSE papers.
During the summer term all work will be finished off and the ten hour art exam will be taken over three days. The work is then graded and an external moderator will visit to confirm each grade is at the appropriate level.
We are checking what gaps are in our year 10 visit to the whole syllabus and really focusing on completing a through-composed composition to our own brief. Make sure they are completed before I go to Glastonbury GCSE musicians!
Spring Term 2019
The Spring term will increasingly focus on GCSE practise questions for our exam students, whilst continuing our general aim to extend knowledge of complex texts and how to respond to themes, motifs and devices used by authors.
This term we will be completing our study of H.G. Wells' War of the Worlds, before moving onto the poetry component of the English Lit GCSE course. This will include poems by Blake, Byron, Wordsworth, Heaney, Owen, Douglas and Dharker etc...
We will be focusing on inverse proportions, probability and statistics, trigonometry, rearranging equations and formulas. The year 11 children are being taught by Helen for 2 out the 3 sessions (Thursdays) and can be practising on GCSE past papers (AQA 8300 course) or using the mymaths website to plug any gaps in their knowledge.
We are, of course, well into revision mode. We're starting the term with C1 'Air and Water' and P2 "Sustainable Energy". Meanwhile, any help that parents/carers and siblings can provide with learning physics equations would be very much appreciated. The students have been asked to come up with creative ways to memorise the list of 18 required equations (19 for triple science) - from mnemonics to colourful posters and silly songs - in the hope of shifting them out of 'Ugh, physics!' mode and into a growth mindset. If anyone has 'accidentally' lost the list, Ash can provide another copy!
We are moving towards the end of our GCSE course with only a few topics to go before we start revision! This term we are looking at the 'changing economic world'.
Now that we have completed our study of Nazi Germany we will be focussing on the aftermath with a comprehensive exploration of the the first 30 years of the Cold War. We will be considering how it started, was it necessary and who was to blame as we study the key events of the period.
This term we will be completing our study of 'Memory' before moving onto the final main topic of the course, 'Sleep and Dreaming'. We will then be undertaking some research into different areas where the students will develop their own studies / experiments.
Art and Design
After Christmas we will be starting the externally assessed set task for the Art, Craft and Design GCSE. Each student will select a starting point from the five themes listed on the exam paper and will be using this term to produce preparatory work. Work should take the form of a sketchbook or portfolio and needs to include observations, drawings, photographs, artist's research, test pieces/samples and developmental ideas for a final piece.
Continue our first look through the syllabus - looking closely at film and game music, as well as ongoing composition practise and practical sessions. Homework is always set for each session, two per week, each week.
Autumn Term 2018
Focusing on our composition techniques and writing music to a brief. Continuing through the syllabus work, looking at Greek, Palestinian and Israeli folk music and African percussion music traditions.
The School Choir needs your support! We meet each Friday lunchtime in the Studio 1.30-2pm. Anyone from Upper Primary upwards is more than welcome to join - as well as parents and staff! We sing a great and fun mix of music in many styles. Please encourage your child to come and join us, and why not come along yourself?!
We are studying the Physics module 'P5 Radioactive Materials' - learning about different types of radiation, use of radioactive materials in medical treatment and imaging, and the reactions that explain both nuclear power and the atomic bomb! The rest of the term will be dedicated to a recap of modules that were studied in years 9/10, to refresh everyone's memories before the serious business of GCSE revision starts!
We will be completing the second and final year of the GCSE course. Currently we are working through the Living world unit starting with Tropical Rainforests and moving on to Hot Deserts.
This term we will be working on components of the syllabus for OCR English Language, considering Aims and Objectives (AOs), individual Section B essay responses and working with practise exercises to stregthen technical, functional skills.
We will be studying the much imitated War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells as past of the 19th century section of the English Lit GCSE course. The novel raises multiple issues about the nature of progress, the effects on humanity of technology as well as timely reminders about our place in the universe.
After studying over 1,000 years of British history last year we have landed into the most extraordinary century to date, the 20th. This term we will be studying Germany from 1871-1945, covering the rise of the new nation, the impact of World War One and the rise and fall of the Nazis. These classic lessons from the not too distant past seem more relevant than ever before.
This term we will be focussing on the topic of Social Influence. We will be studying the psychology of crowds, the effects of culture on social behaviour, the effect of situational factors in Milgram's classic 'Electric Shock' experiment and Bickman's 'Power of the uniform' experiment, the effect of dispositional factors and a study of the Tottenham riots of 2011.
Art and Design
For the Autumn Term, students will be working on their self-directed projects. Building up a sketchbook of observations and artist's research, they will be exploring ideas and experimenting with test pieces and eventually making a final outcome.
A new timetable to navigate, which includes a double lesson on a Thursday. We have a lot of work to get through, as some students will be sitting their GCSE this year. We will start working through past papers soon. So far we have studied similarity, and will be looking at foreign currency and exchange rates very soon.