gcse english language
IMG_7139
gcse biology
The Curriculum
The programme includes all the requirements of the National Curriculum and additional learning opportunities to engage pupils in the pursuit of scholarship. Through its design, the curriculum seeks to equip pupils with the intellectual, physical and emotional means for life beyond the School.
Key Stage 3

Pupils in Years 7 and 8 are placed into four forms of mixed ability. All pupils follow the same extensive programme of study in Mathematics, English, Biology, Chemistry, Computing, Latin, French, German, Art, History, Geography, Design Technology, Music, Religious Studies, Physics, PSHCE and Physical Education; thereby, going far beyond the statutory National Curriculum. Details of the content of the KS3 courses can be found in the KS3 Curriculum Information Booklet.

Key Stage 4

Classes are set by ability in mathematics but are mixed ability everywhere else. All pupils follow a compulsory programme of GCSEs in Mathematics, English Language, English Literature, Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Each year some pupils take GCSE Further Mathematics in addition to the standard course and a small number are entered for Core and Additional Science rather than the separate sciences.

All pupils choose further GCSE options from a list. The School is currently transitioning to a new curriculum structure; therefore, pupils entering

• Year 9 in September 2019, will follow ten GCSE courses over three years by selecting four optional subjects, which must include a language (French, German or Latin) and a humanities (Geography or History).
• Year 10 in September 2019, will follow nine GCSE courses over two years by selecting three optional subjects. There is no compulsion to take a language or a humanities subject though depending on the pupil’s career aspirations, there may be a strong argument for doing so.
• Year 11 in September 2019, will continue into the second and final year of their nine GCSE programme.

The range of optional GCSE courses on offer varies each year. Typically, pupils select from a list that includes Art and Design, Computer Science, Design and Technology, Food & Nutrition, French, Geography, German, History, Latin, Music, Physical Education and Religious Studies. Details of the content of the KS4 courses can be found in the GCSE Options Booklet. Subject preferences should be recorded on the GCSE Options Form.

If an insufficient number of pupils choose a subject for it to be viable, the School may decide to withdraw the course; if too many pupils apply for a course, the over-subscription criteria will be made clear to those affected. Due to timetabling restrictions, not all subject combinations are possible.

In 2019-20, KS4 pupils will follow compulsory non-examined courses from a list including Art, Careers, Computing, Geography, History, Music, PSHCE, Physical Education and Religious Education.

External examinations are taken at the end of Year 11.

Support sessions are provided by subject areas in addition to lessons. A list of these sessions can be found here GCSE Support Sessions 2019-20.

Key Stage 5

On entry, pupils select three subjects to follow at A Level; for pupils with sufficiently high prior attainment at GCSE (i.e. an average points score of 7.0 or higher where A* = 8.5, A = 7, B = 5.5, C = 4 and reformed GCSE points awarded as per grade), a fourth A Level subject can be added.

The range of A Level courses on offer varies each year, but typically pupils select from a list that includes: Art and Design, Biology, Chemistry, Classical Civilisation, Computer Science, Design Engineering, Economics, English Language, English Literature, French, Further Mathematics, Geography, German, Politics, Product Design, History, Latin, Mathematics, Music, Physical Education, Physics, and Philosophy & Ethics. Some of these courses are run off-site, in collaboration with Skipton Girls’ High School. Details of the content of the KS5 courses can be found in the KS5 Curriculum Information Booklet.

If an insufficient number of pupils choose a subject for it to be viable, the School may decide to withdraw the course; if too many pupils apply for a course, the over-subscription criteria will be made clear to those affected. Due to timetabling restrictions, not all subject combinations are possible.

There is an even stronger emphasis at this stage on scholarship and on pupils developing independent study and research into areas of personal interest. A significant number of Sixth Form pupils pursue this through the Extended Project Qualification.

A Level work is supplemented by a Lecture Programme that offers distinguished visiting speakers the opportunity to present significant issues for question and discussion. There are also compulsory non-examined courses in PSHCE and an enrichment programme that includes careers and preparation for higher education. Physical Education is part of the compulsory curriculum in the Sixth Form unless pupils are excused on medical grounds. Sixth Form pupils may alternatively opt to participate in the volunteering programme.

External examinations are taken at the end of Year 13.