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The Buckingham School

The Buckingham School

Option Choices - Summaries & Videos

Click on the drop-down links below to read about each subject offered across our Key Stage 4 (KS4) curriculum, many of which contain Subject videos for you to watch.  Each summary has details of the Curriculum Leader for that area, to whom students can direct any specific requests for further information.  

Art & Design GCSE

Art & Design Curriculum Leader:  Mrs C Fraser
cfraser@buckinghamschool.org 

Click here to watch the video

Course Content

Throughout Year 10 and 11 students will learn a variety of skills and techniques to help them complete a portfolio of work, selection of further work (SOFW) and an externally set task, (10 hour exam in Year 11) covering a range of the skills listed below:

Painting: Candidates should explore the use of tone, colour, composition, materials and context. Candidates can show this through the use of various processes and media, such as inks, acrylic, water colour or oil paints.

Drawing: Candidates should be encouraged to work from direct observation to explore drawing using line and tone. They should also be encouraged to explore a wide variety of drawing materials using different surfaces. Drawing materials might include pastel, pencil, pen and ink, paint, charcoal or other materials.

Printmaking: Candidates should explore a variety of printmaking techniques and produce either a series of related images or one-off prints using methods such as linocut, etching, mono printing or screen printing.

Written work: Students must record their ideas, observations and insights both visually and through written annotation using appropriate specialist vocabulary, as work progresses. The content and presentation of annotation will be determined by what the student wishes to communicate, including how it supports the development of their work through the creative process. 

At GCSE students must submit a portfolio that in total shows explicit coverage of the four assessment objectives. It must include a sustained project evidencing the journey from initial engagement to the realisation of intentions and a selection of further work undertaken during the student’s course of study. 

Exam length at GCSE is 10 hours. Coursework is 60% and the controlled assessment (exam) is 40%. Our examination board is AQA. Details of the Assessment Objectives and course specification can be found on their website (see link below).

Art and Design (Full Course) Art and Design  – At a glance

Unit 1: Portfolio of Work
Controlled Assessment – set and marked by Centre and moderated by AQA.
80 marks – 60% - Candidate portfolio selected from work undertaken during course of study and must include a selection of further work.

Unit 2: Externally Set Task
Question papers issued from 1 January. Marked by Centre and moderated by AQA. 80 marks – 40% Unlimited preparation time. 10 hours of sustained focused study. Candidates respond to their chosen starting point.

The Art Exam (controlled assessment) is 10 hours. However, the preparation for the exam is graded too. This is roughly 10 weeks (30 lessons/hours) to complete a sketch book in preparation for the final outcome which you do in the 10 hours.

Students get graded on the same four Assessment Objectives as the coursework.

Where does this Course lead?

The GCSE leads directly to A level at Sixth Form. Students can also study Photography at A level. The GCSE and ‘A’ level courses we offer use the same exam board so assessment criterion are similar. This makes progression easier for students.

Visits/ Coursework / Specialist Requirements

All basic equipment is supplied, for example, acrylic paint, oil pastels, colour pencils etc. Students may wish to purchase their own resources however, it is not essential.

We require students to always attend their lesson with their own stationary and they can purchase an art pack of materials and A3 sketchbook for September, in Year 10 and an A4 sketchbook for January, in Year 11.

Any specialist crafts that students choose to undertake in Year 11 for their exam may need to be purchased by the student.

How Parents can help

The course is very time consuming and parents will need to motivate their child to work at home and to attend after-school catch up clubs. Visiting galleries and drawing at home will help to broaden student’s knowledge and understanding.

Assessment Objectives 

Students work has to cover all 4 Assessment Objectives (above). Further breakdown of the boundaries are on pages 41,42 and 43 of the Art and Design Specification found on the AQA website.

Guides / Support Materials / Websites

http://filestore.aqa.org.uk/subjects/AQA-W-SP-14.PDF

http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/art-and-design/gcse/art-and-design-

ASDAN

Asdan Curriculum Leader:  Miss S Barnes
sbarnes@buckinghamschool.org

Course Content

Skills for life including numeracy, literacy, teamwork, problem solving, planning and reviewing, communication skills, home management, health and survival, community work, information handling, world of work, improving the environment, current affairs, healthy living, cooking, personal finance, enterprise, fundraising, research skills and presentation skills.

Where does this Course lead?

Bronze Award – Short Course Award 
Silver Award / Gold Award

How Parents can help

By watching and sharing up-to-date news and current affairs for discussions, supplying their children with the correct equipment for school and by supporting with any homework required.

Assessment

Internal and external moderation.

Business Studies GCSE

Business Studies Curriculum Leader:  Miss S Robinson
srobinson@buckinghamschool.org 

Click here to watch the video

The qualification equips learners with the skills and confidence to explore how different business situations affect business decisions. It is a well-rounded introduction to the subject.

Course Content 
Students take two Business Studies Exam Units:
Business 1: Business Activity, marketing and people (50% of total GCSE)
Business 2: Operations, finance and influences on business (50% of total GCSE)

Where does this Course lead?
Learners can progress onto AS & A2 GCE Applied Business Studies or a BTEC Level 3 Certificate.

Visits / Coursework / Specialist Requirements
Trips to large Business Marketing seminars and students are required to read and take an interest in local, national and global economic, political and business issues.

How Parents can help
Parents and carers can greatly assist student’s learning by actively increasing their child’s knowledge by discussing local and national business issues and explaining their own workplace structures and services. Parents are encouraged to join The Buckingham School Business Club. It is also advisable that students purchase the course workbook and textbook.

Assessment
Business 1: Exam (50%)
Business 2: Exam (50%)

Guides / Support Materials / Websites
Fully equipped ICT facilities, textbooks, learning guides, teacher’s notes and coursework clubs. Students involved with whole school Enterprise ethos. Edexcel examiner’s websites and online support material. 

 

Computer Science GCSE

Computer Science Curriculum Leader: Mr D Osborne
dosborne@buckinghamschool.org 

Click here to watch the video

 

 

 

 

 

 

Course Content 
Computer Science GCSE is structured to allow students get solid grounding in programming and theory  of computing. An outline of the key exciting concepts is listed below. The course is split so that there is a compulsory programming task (not examined) and two external examinations that are taken in Year 11.

Programming project:
Programming techniques; Analysis; Design; Development; Testing and Evaluation and Conclusions, using all the skills that they have built up.  

Computational thinking, algorithms and programming:
Algorithms: Programming techniques : Producing robust programmes;
Computational logic; Translators and facilities of languages; Data
representation Computational thinking, algorithms and programming (80 marks)

Computer systems
Systems Architecture; Memory; Storage; Wired and wireless networks;
Network topologies, protocols and layers; System security; System software;
Ethical, legal, cultural and environmental concerns; Computer systems. (80 marks)

Where does this Course lead?
The course gives students an in-depth understanding of how computer technology works. Students will no doubt be familiar with the use of computers and other related technology from their other subjects and elsewhere. However, this course will give them an insight into what goes on ‘behind the scenes’, including computer programming which many students find absorbing.

The course provides excellent preparation for higher study and employment in the field of computer science. The increasing importance of information technologies means there will be a growing demand for professionals who are qualified in this area.

Students who have taken a GCSE in Computing and who then progress to study the subject at ‘A’ Level/BTEC or university will have an advantage over their colleagues who are picking up the subject at these levels.  

The course will develop critical thinking, analysis and problem-solving skills through the study of computer programming, giving students a fun and interesting way to develop these skills, which can be transferred to other subjects and even applied in day-to-day life. In this respect, the course provides excellent preparation for students who want to study or work in areas that rely on these skills, especially where they are applied to technical problems. These areas include engineering, financial and resource management, science and medicine.

Visits / Coursework / Specialist Requirements
Computer Science Conference; Annual University Computing Department Day 
App development, National Coding Competitions
Bletchley Computing Trip 

From students we require enthusiasm for independent study and research, ask that they read around the subject, be proactive attitude; Build upon their independent learning; meet deadlines and prioritise their time; attend extra-curricular clubs/activities/trips.

How Parents can help
Codecademy/ Khan Academy /W3 Schools/Javascript/Python/SQL 
All students have Google drives and Computing google classroom that they can access and then share their work and progress with their parents

Assessment
Programming NON examined but compulsory:  
Total 20 hours (Completed within the course)

Computational thinking, algorithms and programming
1 hour and 30 minutes
Written paper 40% of total GCSE

Computer systems
1 hour and 30 minutes
Written paper 40% of total GCSE.

Guides / Support Materials / Websites
Course book - OCR Computer Science for GCSE Student George Rouse, Sean O'Byrne; New GCSE Computer  science OCR for the Grade 9-1 Course:

Complete Revision and Practice Websites
http://www.cambridgegcsecomputing.org/
http://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/standard/computing/computer_systems/

Construction and The Built Environment BTEC

Design & Technology Curriculum Leader:  Mr M McElroy
mmcelroy@buckinghamschool.org

Click here to watch the video

Course Content

Construction Technology, Construction and Design, Scientific and Mathematical Applications, Brickwork, Joinery, Decorating, Construction Drawing.

The core units are:

Unit 1: Construction Technology
This unit covers the different forms of construction that can be used for low-rise offices, retail units and homes.  Students will develop an understanding of the structural performance required for low-rise construction and explore how substructures and superstructures are constructed.   This unit will be externally assessed.

Unit 2:  Scientific and Mathematical applications for Construction
In this unit, students will apply scientific and mathematical knowledge, understanding and skills to practical construction contexts.  Students will develop an understanding of the scientific principles affecting the  performance of construction materials and develop skills to perform mathematical calculations in the construction contexts.

The mandatory unit is:
Unit 3: Construction and Design
In this unit, students will develop a broad understanding of the construction industry, the sorts of projects it undertakes and the contribution it makes to wider society.  Students will also look at how client needs can shape the design of a building and develop their own design ideas to a given brief.

Students choose one further unit from the seven optional specialist units offered within this qualification, building on the core and the mandatory unit to provide students with an opportunity to develop a wider understanding and appreciation of areas of the construction industry, dependent on their interests and motivation. We will be focusing on Carpentry as the main unit.

The optional specialist units available are:
Unit 5: Exploring Carpentry and Joinery Principles and Techniques. 

In this unit, students will be introduces to the tools, materials and PPE used by Carpenters and Joiners. You will learn about potential health and safety risks within the work area, completing a full risk assessment. You will actively make and assemble a carpentry frame, consisting of a host of specialist carpentry joints.

Where does this Course lead?

Level 2 BTEC First Award is for girls as well as boys.  The rationale for all qualifications in the BTEC First Suite in Construction and the Built Environment is to:

  • Inspire and enthuse students to consider a career in the Construction industry
  • Give students the opportunity to gain a broad knowledge and understanding and develop skills in the Construction industry
  • Support progression to a more specialised Level 3 vocational or academic Construction course or an apprenticeship
  • Give students the potential opportunity in due course to enter employment within a wide range of junior job roles across the Construction sector.

Visits / Coursework / Specialist Requirements

Applicants need to have:

  • Ability with mathematics (Set 1,2 or 3)
  • Science ability is also required
  • Drawing skills need to be of a good standard for the design unit of this course
  • Students must also have good practical skills in woodwork and carpentry.

How Parents can help

Students will require:
Calculator, pencil, ruler, pen and access to a computer and printer.
Good key skills and organisation are vital if students are to cope with this course. They will have to work independently at home on their Unit 3 client house specification drawings and conceptual ideas.

Assessment

25% external and 75% Continuous assessment internal.

Guides / Support Materials / Websites
www.edexcel.com

Enterprise BTEC tech AWARD

Enterprise Curriculum Leader:  Miss S Robinson
srobinson@buckinghamschool.org 

Click here to watch the video

Students are given the opportunity to develop sector-specific knowledge and skills in a practical learning environment. The main focus is on the knowledge, understanding and skills required to research, plan, pitch and review an enterprise idea.

Course Content 
Students are required to complete and achieve all the components included in the qualification:
Component 1: Exploring Enterprises (internally assessed by coursework)
Component 2: Planning for and Pitching an Enterprise Activity (internally assessed by coursework)
Component 3: Promotion and Finance for Enterprise (externally assessed exam)

Where does this Course lead?

BTECs are vocational qualifications designed to give students the skills they need to either move on to higher education or go straight into employment. They can use this qualification to progress on to BTEC L3 and Advanced Level courses.

Visits / Coursework / Specialist Requirements
Trips to large Business Marketing seminars and students are required to read and take an interest in local, national and global economic, political and business issues. Access to online learning materials and guest speakers.

How Parents can help
Parents and guardians can greatly assist student’s learning by actively increasing their child’s knowledge by discussing local and national business issues and explaining their own workplace structures and services. Parents are encouraged to join The Buckingham School Business Club. We recommend that the course workbook for Component 3 is purchased. 

Assessment
Component 1: Internal
Component 2: Internal
Component 3: External

Guides / Support Materials / Websites
Fully equipped ICT facilities, textbooks, learning guides, teacher’s notes and coursework clubs. Students involved with whole school Enterprise ethos. Edexcel examiner’s websites and online support material

Film Studies GCSE

Film Studies Curriculum Leader: Mr R Lewis
rlewis@buckinghamschool.org

Click here to watch the video

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Course Content

The GCSE Film course will introduce students to a wide range of film forms and allow them to develop their understanding of how films are developed, created and produced. They will study the film industry and aspects of production such as audio, lighting, costuming, budget and finance.

Across the course, students will plan and develop their understanding of the many forms of film; their audiences and their impact. The three components will cover Developments in US Film including films from Hollywood’s Golden Era, modern mainstream movies and contemporary independently produced films. As well as this, students will study Global English Language films such as Slumdog Millionaire, Global Non-English films such as Totsi and contemporary British films. They will also have a coursework element which gives them the opportunity to write their own screenplay.

The course will encompass a range of group, pair and individual work and aims to build a detailed theoretical knowledge as well as developing a range of practical and technical skills.

Where does this Course lead?

The course can lead to an ‘A’ Level in Film Studies. It can then be used to progress to university courses with a base in media, journalism or film studies or to apply for work experiences and apprenticeships in media firms. 

Visits / Coursework / Specialist Requirements

This film course requires strong literacy levels and writing ability. All written exams require essay style responses. 

How Parents Can Help

Support students in exploring a range of media texts, including film, TV, newspaper and magazine articles. 

Assessment

GCSE Film Studies 
Exam: 
Component 1: Key Developments in US Film Written examination 40% of qualification 
Component 2: Global Film: Narrative, Representation and Style Written examination 30% of qualification

NEA:
Component 3: Creating a screenplay Non-exam assessment 30% of qualification

Guides / Support Materials / Websites

https://www.eduqas.co.uk/qualifications/film-studies-gcse/#tab_overview

Food Preparation and Nutrition GCSE

Design & Technology Curriculum Leader:  Mr M McElroy
mmcelroy@buckinghamschool.org

Click here to watch the video

Course Content

Component 1 Principles of Food Preparation and Nutrition
Learners will be given the opportunity to develop their knowledge and understanding of the six areas of content set out below. Learners will also be given the opportunity to develop technical skills through practical and experimental work. This opportunity will allow learners to develop sound technical skills whilst exploring and consolidating knowledge and understanding relating to food preparation and nutrition.

Areas of Content:
1.Food commodities
2.Principles of nutrition
3.Diet and good health
4.The science of food
5.Where food comes from
6.Cooking and food preparation

Component 2: Food Preparation and Nutrition in Action
This component offers the students chance to apply the principles learned in component 1 in an assessed environment. There are different investigative tasks within this component and they focus on the scientific principles of food through alongside a task that focuses on the selection, preparation and evaluation of a three-course menu based on guidelines provided by the exam board.

Where does this Course lead?

Food Preparation and Nutrition can lead to a number of careers not just those directly linked with the food industry. It can also help to support applications to a wide range of further education courses such as Food Science, Product Development, Food and Nutrition, Sports Science, Midwifery and Nursing, Medicine, Dietetics, Catering and Hospitality, Food Journalism and PR, Food Styling and Photography, Food Retail and Environmental Health.

Visits / Coursework / Specialist Requirements

Opportunities to experience foods from different cultures will occur during this course and trips to look at the production of food will be built into the curriculum.

You will need to provide ingredients for practical sessions.

How Parents can help 

Encourage your child to prepare and cook at home regularly and experiment with a range of ingredients from across the world.

 Assessment

You will complete two NEAs (non-exam assessments) during the course.
NEA 1: Food Investigation (15%). A report on the scientific principles of the preparation and cooking of food.
NEA 2: Food Preparation assessment (35%).
You will plan and cook a three course menu in 3 hours.
Written Examination (50%)

Guides / Support Materials / Websites

Information can be found at:   
https://www.eduqas.co.uk/qualifications/food-preparation-and-nutrition/
Revision guides are available to purchase from Reprographics at school. 

French GCSE

French Curriculum Leader: Mrs S Hatton
shatton@buckinghamschool.org

Click here to watch the video

Course Content

French GCSE is a practical course in which students learn to speak French in situations which might arise if they were in France or a French-speaking country.  These situations include everyday activities, personal and social life, the world around us, the world of work and the international world.  

Students also learn to understand details of what is said to them as well as announcements, instructions, requests and conversations within the areas listed above. They practise reading and understanding menus, timetables, weather reports, brochures, letters and accounts about an aspect of life in France.  

The course gives students an insight into life in France or a French-speaking country and an awareness of French culture worldwide. The work covered in Years 10 & 11 is determined by the demands of the examination. As in KS3, the vocabulary and the grammatical constructions associated with the topics required by the syllabus are taught concurrently. Regular practice is given in the four skills required by the GCSE syllabus. 

Where does this Course lead?

A Modern Foreign Language qualification is an increasingly important asset in many careers. A GCSE in a modern language can be the basis for study at AS or ‘A’ level as well as Vocational courses.

A GCSE in a modern foreign language has gained even more importance with the implementation of the English Baccalaureate that the government are introducing. 

Visits / Coursework / Specialist Requirements

Course book: AQA STUDIO GCSE French. Students will also benefit from having native speakers within the department. 

In Years 10/11, students will have the opportunity to take part in a French residential trip where they can put into practice their French learned in lessons. It is an excellent opportunity for them to experience the culture and language of France.

How parents can help

Monitor the student’s progress in their exercise books.  Show an interest in what and how the student is learning in class.  Be prepared to help the student to learn new phrases / grammar rules.

Encourage the student to explore French radio, news websites online, watch French TV and Films. 

Assessment

Guides / Support Materials / Websites

Course book: AQA STUDIO GCSE Foundation/Higher books. (provided for work in school no need to purchase)

Students will need to purchase AQA GCSE French Grammar & Translation Workbook £5.00 available from Reprographics

Each student will be expected to bring a dictionary to each lesson and a verb book. 

We recommend: 

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Oxford-School-French-Dictionary-Valerie/dp/0199115281/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1394022729&sr=1-2&keywords=oxford+school+French+dictionary

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Blue-Pocket-French-Verbs-Language-Learning/dp/0071421637 

Geography GCSE

Geography Curriculum Leader: Mrs J Wilkinson
jwilkinson@buckinghamschool.org

Click here to watch the video

Take a Virtual Holiday - pack your virtual suitcase and enjoy your trip! 
Click here to choose your holiday

Course Content 

Within the Eduqas Geography GCSE there are three main study areas;

Changing Places - Changing Economies. Students will investigate changes in urban and rural areas and the impact for both UK and Global places. Issues studies will include; development, resources, impact of globalisation and consequences of uneven development.

Changing Environments. Students will focus on the formation of, and changes to distinctive landscapes of the UK. Students will learn about how natural environments are affected due to human influence, and natural events such as storms, flooding and climate change.

Environmental Challenges. Students will study the changing environments of different biomes around the world. Students will consider the struggle to achieve water and food security in some locations around the world. Students will consider how challenging environments can be managed sustainably in the future.

In addition, students will have the opportunity to experience geography in the wider environment.

Fieldwork Component. These change in focus each year.  Current Year 9, moving into Year 10, will be assessed in 2023 and as such will adopt Use of Transects as the  Methodological approach and Inequality as the Conceptual framework.

Topics and case studies. The main components are delivered through topics and case studies. Students have a variety of case studies (in depth examples of places) for each of the ten topics.

Develop key skills

Students will utilise, and develop, a broad range of skills to enable them to make connections, draw contrasts, analyse trends and interpret a range of sources of geographical information using maps, diagrams, globes, aerial photographs and Geographical Information Systems (GIS.) Students will also practice and develop extended writing skills.

Where does this Course lead?

This course offers students the chance to learn about the world around them and builds their academic journey towards A Level Geography. We encourage students to have a curiosity and fascination in finding out about the world and its people and to develop an excellent knowledge of where places are and what they are like. Through a holistic understanding of the ways in which places are interdependent and interconnected, and how human and physical environments are interrelated students will develop a comprehensive understanding of the issues facing a diverse range of places and people, now and in the future. Recent world wide events have shown how valuable geographic skills are to understand the challenges and opportunities that face people today and tomorrow.

Visits / Coursework / Specialist Requirements

There are two field trips necessary for the completion of this course. Duration and location are dependent on restrictions, such as Covid.

How Parents can help 

Encourage in discussion and debate around current affairs, natural disasters and innovations is the way we live and interact with our environment.

Ensure your child has a revision guide and, if possible, a course-specific textbook to aid their extended learning.

Assessment

Assessment is done through three end-of-course exams.

Guides / Support Materials / Websites

The course title is: Eduqas B GCSE Geography 9-1
Information can be found at: https://www.eduqas.co.uk/media/5ofdo23l/gcse-geog-b-spec.pdf
Revision guides are available to buy from Reprographics at school.

Health & Social Care BTEC

Health & Social Care Curriculum Leader:  Mrs J Houston 
jhouston@buckinghamschool.org

Click here to watch the video

Course Content

The course enables learners the opportunity to gain a broad understanding and knowledge of the health and social care sector. 

The units we study in Year 10 and 11 are:
1.Human Lifespan Development
2.Health and Social Care Services and Values
3.Health and Wellbeing  

Where does this Course lead?

This is a vocational subject that develops a range of transferable skills, techniques, understanding, personal qualities and attitudes essential for successfully working in a health, social care or early year settings.

At Key Stage 5, students can progress to the BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate or Diploma in Health and Social Care.

Visits / Coursework / Specialist Requirements

Students will have use of ICT facilities and specialist textbooks. Guest speakers are invited into school to discuss health and social care issues.

Students are able to attend support sessions at lunch time and after school to help them with their coursework.

How Parents can help

Parents and carers can greatly assist student’s learning by discussing local and national health and social care issues and by helping students to research local health, social care and early year settings.

Assessment

The final qualification consists of the three components studied in Years 10 & 11. Components 1 and 2 are assessed through internal assessment. Component 3 is an external assessment. Students are awarded either a Pass, Merit or Distinction.

Guides / Support Materials / Websites

Information about the course can be found at www.qualifications.pearson.com - BTEC Tech Award in Health and Social Care Level 1/Level 2

History GCSE

History Curriculum Leader: Miss R Buck
rbuck@buckinghamschool.org

Click here to watch the video

Course Content

The History GCSE course will teach students new and valuable skills.  Students that take this subject will learn to:

  • Make links between events
  • Analyse the causes and consequences of events
  • Evaluate and interpret a range of sources
  • Draw conclusions from evidence
  • View the past from a range of perspectives.

Students will follow the Edexcel GCSE History course.  The units studied are:

  • Medicine in Britain, c1250–present and The British sector of the Western Front, 1914–1918: injuries, treatment and the trenches
  • Anglo-Saxon and Norman England, c1060–1088
  • Weimar and Nazi Germany, 1918–1939
  • The American West c1835-c1895

Where does this Course lead?

This course is designed to provide students with the skills they need to achieve their potential at GCSE.

Visits / Coursework / Specialist Requirements

Students use a range of source material and interactive activities.
Students are taught in mixed ability teaching groups.

How Parents can help

Parents can encourage their children to use the Google Classrooms which been set up with a wide variety of revision resources and materials.

Assessment

This course is assessed using core tasks, one per half-term.
Students will be assessed on both their knowledge and understanding and their key skills.  Mock examinations will take place in Years 10 and 11.

Guides / Support Materials / Websites
https://qualifications.pearson.com/en/home.html 

Materials - Revision guides are available

Music BTEC First Award

Music Curriculum Leader: Ms R Curness 
rcurness@buckinghamschool.org 

Click here to watch the video

Course Content

Mandatory:
Unit 1: The Music Industry (Examination)
Unit 2: Managing a Music Product

Optional from list:
Unit 4: Introducing Music Composition
Unit 5: Introducing Music Performance

All have 30 Guided Learning Hours (GLH)

Where does this Course lead?

In addition to helping students acquire subject knowledge, this specification:

  • Provides students the opportunity to gain self-confidence through performing to others
  • Develops team-working skills through performing with others
  • Extends students' creative skills through composing music
  • Encourages the understanding of the importance of continuous evaluation and refinement in any process
  • Provides a solid foundation for progression to music related courses, including Level 3 Music/Performing Arts, and a career in music professions.

Visits / Coursework / Specialist Requirements

Possible class trips to see venues, concerts and studios to learn about the Music Industry. 
Coursework will involve designing, advertising and assessing a musical product such as a concert or podcast.

How Parents can help

  • Enrol student(s) in peripatetic music lessons for their specific instrument
  • Engage in any musical activities; concerts, musicals, symphony concerts, any place where they may hear various styles and genres of music
  • Listen to students perform/have them perform for family friends etc. (when they are ready, not forced).

Assessment

Unit 1: The Music Industry
Unit 2: Managing a Music Product 
Unit 4: Introducing Music Composition
Unit 5: Introducing Music Performance

Guides / Support Materials / Websites

Online resources including a number of sites, as well as a virtual textbook on YouTube. 

Performing Arts BTEC Tech

Performing Arts Curriculum Leader: Ms R Curness 
rcurness@buckinghamschool.org 

BTEC Tech Award in Performing Arts Drama/Dance or Production pathways)
You can choose Dance & Drama or Dance and Production Pathways.

Click here to watch the video

Course Content

Exploring the Performing Arts
Research into 3 different types of performance in your chosen pathway.

•             Internally assessed assignments
•             30% of the total course

Developing Skills and Techniques in the Performing Arts

•             Internally assessed assignments
•             30% of the total course

This will be a performance (if dance or drama) planning and supporting the performance (if production)

Performing to a Brief (exam unit)
A brief is set and you work as a team to create a performance - written element is completed on a computer under supervised conditions.

•             Externally assessed task
•             40% of the total course    

Where does this Course lead?

If student’s work to achieve a minimum of a merit in all units, they will receive a level 2 qualification. They will then be able to progress to level 3 qualifications in Performing Arts, depending on the strand chosen.

Visits / Coursework / Specialist Requirements

Evidence portfolios, performances to external audiences, classes in chosen techniques, video work. There will be an expectation to complete a rehearsal log which will be extra to the hours in school.

How Parents can help

By watching and sharing up-to-date news and current affairs for discussions, supplying their children with the correct equipment for school and by supporting with any homework required.

Assessment

Internal and external moderation, including Solo performance & external written work.

Guides / Support Materials / Websites

https://qualifications.pearson.com/content/dam/pdf/btec-tec-awards/performing-arts/2017/teaching-and-learning/First-Look_Guide__BTEC_Tech_Award_in_Performing_Arts.pdf 

Physical Education GCSE

PE Curriculum Leader:  Mr L Churchward
lchurchward@buckinghamschool.org

Click here to watch the video

Course Content

The GCSE Physical Education course contains three areas of content. 
1. The human body and movement in physical activity and sport. Applied anatomy and physiology • Movement analysis • Physical training • Use of data.
2. Socio-cultural influences and well-being in physical activity and sport. Sports psychology • Socio-cultural influences • Health, fitness and well-being • Use of data.
3. Non-exam assessment: Practical performance in physical activity and sport.

Where does this Course lead?

GCSE PE can be the launch pad for a career in the sports industry and a lifelong commitment to fitness.  Students who succeed in GCSE PE can study ‘A’ Level PE/BTEC Sport in Years 12 and 13.

Visits / Coursework / Specialist Requirements

Students require Level 5 in PE and, ideally, Level 5 in English, Maths and Science. Pupils must be adept in at least two sports. For example, they should either represent the school or play for an external team.

How Parents can help

  • Collect extra course information regarding the specification of GCSE, Download past papers and mark schemes.
  • Support homework and coursework deadlines being met. Ensure students are suitably equipped for all lessons, including PE kit. Parents should also support and encourage their sons and daughters to attend extra-curricular activities and external sporting ventures.
  • Pupils need to attend two extra-curricular sporting activities.

Assessment

Section 1 Written exam: 1 hour 15 minutes • 78 marks • 30% of GCSE Section 2 Written exam: 1 hour 15 minutes • 78 marks • 30% of GCSE Practical assessment of 3 sports 2 team one individual or visa versa. Assessed by teachers • Moderated by AQA • 100 marks • 40% of GCSE.

Guides / Support Materials / Websites

AQA GCSE PE Revision guide AQA GCSE PE Text book http://www.s-cool.co.uk/gcse/pe

Photography GCSE

Art & Photography Curriculum Leader:  Mrs C Fraser
cfraser@buckinghamschool.org 

Click here to watch the video

 Course Content

Photography is defined as the practice of producing images using light-sensitive materials such as photographic film, or digital methods of development and production to create static or moving images.

In Component 1 and Component 2 students are required to work in one or more area(s) of photography, such as: portraiture; location photography; studio photography; experimental imagery; installation; documentary photography; photo-journalism; moving image: film, video and animation; fashion photography 

They may explore overlapping areas and combinations of areas.

Students will need to develop and show knowledge and understanding of the following things:

The way sources inspire the development of ideas, relevant to photography including: 

  • how sources relate to historical, contemporary, social, cultural and issues-based contexts and external considerations such as those associated with the cultural industries and client-oriented requirements

  • how ideas, themes, subjects and feelings can inspire creative responses informed by different styles, genres and aesthetic considerations and/or an individual's distinctive view of the world.

The ways in which meanings, ideas and intentions relevant to photography can be communicated include the use of:

  • figurative and non-figurative forms, image manipulation, close up, and imaginative interpretation

  • visual and tactile elements such as: colour; line; form; tone; texture; shape; pattern; composition; scale; sequence; surface; contrast.

Within the context of photography, students must demonstrate the ability to:

  • use photographic techniques and processes, appropriate to students’ personal intentions, for example: lighting; viewpoint; aperture; depth of field; shutter speed and movement; use of enlarger; chemical and digital processes.

  • Use media and materials, as appropriate to students’ personal intentions, for example: film; photographic papers; chemicals appropriate to darkroom practices; digital media, programs and related technologies; graphic media for purposes such as storyboarding, planning and constructing shoots.

Where does this Course lead?

This GCSE leads directly to A Level Photography, currently offered in our  sixth form. This is an ideal pathway as many of the processes, equipment and assessment are similar between the two courses.

Visits / Coursework / Specialist Requirements

Whilst we endeavour to supply all materials for the course, we do ask for a contribution of £50 to cover the purchase of specialist materials used during the course. Students who have their own DSLR cameras can use these for their coursework, although this is not a requirement.

Any specialist crafts and materials that students choose to use for their assessments may need to be purchased by the student.

We run a number of trips throughout the duration of this course.

How Parents can help 

Encouragement to take photos, manipulate photos and publish photos are all ways in which parents can help. Researching different photographers and showing an interest in the subject will be vital to students’ success in this subject.

Assessment

Assessment is through completion of two components:

Component 1:

  • A portfolio that in total shows explicit coverage of the four assessment objectives. It must include a sustained project evidencing the journey from initial engagement to the realisation of intentions and a selection of further work undertaken during the student’s course of study. 
  • 60% of the overall GCSE
  • No time limit
  • Internally assessed, externally moderated

Component 2:

  • Externally-set assignment
  • Preparatory period followed by 10 hours of supervised time
  • 40% of the overall GCSE

Guides / Support Materials / Websites

https://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/art-and-design/gcse/art-and-design-8201-8206/subject-content/photography

Psychology GCSE

Curriculum Leader:  Mrs A Simmons
asimmons@buckinghamschool.org

Click here to watch the video
 
Course Content

Psychology is one of the most popular subjects to study because it has a big impact on all areas of life, from education and health, to the economy and crime.

Psychologists apply scientific methodology to explain human behaviour. They formulate theories, test hypotheses through observation and experiment, and analyse their reports with statistical techniques that help them identify important findings.

The topics covered are:
Criminal behaviour, Development, Psychological problems, Social influence, Memory, Sleep and dreaming, and Research methods

Where does this Course lead?

Psychology can help you in your future career, whatever that may be. There are plenty of exciting careers in psychology that you might want to explore, such as forensic psychology and working in mental health professions. 

However, studying the subject can help you in many other professions as well. For example, if you want to become a business manager, understanding human behaviour can improve your ability to manage and interact with your employees. The police, sports, working with children and finance are also popular career choices with people who have studied Psychology.

Visits / Coursework / Specialist Requirements

Excellent extended writing/literacy skills and strong foundations in science/maths and english at KS3 will be of benefit for this course.

There will be a visit that develops understanding of one area of the curriculum.

There is no coursework in GCSE Psychology.

How Parents can help

By encouraging their son or daughter to take an interest in the world around them by reading a newspaper or watching the news on television.  By talking about Psychology with their children, encouraging critical thinking and independent learning that includes wider reading.

Revision resources are available through OCR and Hodder for this course.

Assessment

2 x written paper exams. Each worth 90 marks and lasting 1hr 30 mins.
Each paper is worth 50% of total GCSE.
Guides / Support Materials / Websites

Separate Sciences (Biology, Chemistry & Physics) GCSE

Science Curriculum Leader:  Ms S Rodrigues
srodrigues@buckinghamschool.org

Click here to watch the video

Course Content

This course is designed for the most able science students. It contains units in Biology, Chemistry and Physics and each course will be examined separately at the end of Year 11. 

On completion of this course, students will receive three GCSEs in the three Separate Sciences (Biology, Chemistry and Physics).  By studying separate sciences students will cover more science content, and in more depth than those following Combined Science, and therefore be better prepared should they wish to take science A Levels of use scientific skills in their careers in the future.  Whatever career students are considering, taking separate science will set them up well for later in life due to transferable science-based skills, such as problem solving. 

Where does this Course lead?

This course prepares students wonderfully for further academic study, i.e. A-Level Biology, Chemistry and/or Physics at Key Stage 5. The new AQA GCSE course has been specifically designed to make the transition between GCSE and A-Level as seamless as possible. These courses can then lead to a wide variety of university courses and careers in STEM subjects.

Visits / Coursework / Specialist Requirements

There are no longer coursework components to Science GCSEs, however, the students will be carrying out specific practicals throughout their course that they will be expected to write about during their examinations. 

How Parents can help

Parents/carers may wish to consider purchasing good revision guides specific to the new AQA GCSE Separate Sciences specifications. Suitable revision guides will be available from Reprographics throughout the year. It is our intention that all of our students have access to past examination papers. 

Assessment

This is a linear course and therefore all of the students’ exams are sat in the Summer of Year 11, although progress will be monitored through formative and summative internal assessments throughout the course.

Guides / Support Materials / Websites

Excellent revision guides are available from both AQA and Collins publishers. Students will be made aware of how they can access these resources through their class teachers.

GCSE Bitesize online offers a variety of support activities to support revision and exam preparation.
http://filestore.aqa.org.uk/resources/science/AQA-KS4-SCIENCE-COMP-GUIDE.PDF

Spanish GCSE

Spanish Curriculum Leader:  Mrs C Hernandez
chernandez@buckinghamschool.org

Click here to watch the video

Course Content 

Spanish GCSE is a practical course in which students learn to speak Spanish in situations which might arise if they were in Spain or a Spanish speaking country.  These situations include everyday activities, personal and social life, the world around us, the world of work and the international world.  

Students also learn to understand details of what is said to them as well as announcements, instructions, requests and conversations within the areas listed above. They practise reading and understanding menus, timetables, weather reports, brochures, letters and accounts about an aspect of life in Spain.  

The course gives students an insight into life in Spain or a Spanish speaking country and an awareness of its culture. The work covered in Years 10 & 11 is determined by the demands of the examination. As in Year 9, the vocabulary and the grammatical constructions associated with the topics required by the syllabus are taught concurrently. Regular practice is given in the four skills required by the GCSE syllabus.

Where does this Course lead?

A Modern Foreign Language qualification is an increasingly important asset in many careers. A GCSE in a modern language can be the basis for study at AS or A level as well as vocational courses.

A GCSE in a modern foreign language has gained even more importance with the implementation of the English Baccalaureate that the government has introduced.

Visits / Coursework / Specialist Requirements

We follow the AQA specification.  The course aims to develop students’ language skills within a variety of contexts, relating to their own lifestyle and that of other people, including people in countries/communities where Spanish is spoken.  The course builds on Key Stage 3 study and prepares students for further study.

How Parents can help

Monitor the student’s progress in their exercise books.  Show an interest in what and how the student is learning in class.  Be prepared to help the student to learn new phrases / grammar rules.

Encourage the student to listen to Spanish radio online and also to watch DVDs in Spanish.

Assessment

Guides / Support Materials / Websites

Course book: Viva! AQA GCSE Spanish Foundation/Higher. (Provided for work in school no need to purchase)

Students will need to purchase AQA GCSE Spanish Grammar & Translation Workbook £5.00 available from Reprographics.

Each student will be expected to bring a dictionary to each lesson and a verb book. 

We recommend:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Oxford-School-Spanish-Dictionary-Valerie/dp/019911529X/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1394023816&sr=1-2&keywords=oxford+school+spanish+dictionary

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Pocket-Book-Spanish-Verbs-Language-Learning/dp/0071421629/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1394023966&sr=1-1&keywords=333+spanish+verbs

http://www.spanishrevision.co.uk

SPORT, FITNESS & ACTIVITY BTEC TECH AWARD

Curriculum Leader: Mr L Churchward
lchurchward@buckinghamschool.org

Click here to watch the video

Course Content
Component 1: Understand the Body and the Supporting Technology for Sport and Activity. Aim: explore body systems, common sports injuries and technological advances in the sector. 
Component 2:The Principles of Training, Nutrition and Psychology for Sport and Activity. Aim: explore how training, nutrition and psychological factors contribute to engagement in sport and activity
Component 3: Applying the Principles of Sport and Activity. Aim: to understand the attributes of a successful sports leader and plan and lead an engaging activity session.

Where does this Course lead?
This course pathway continues at The Buckingham School where you can Join our Sports Academy in sixth form and continue your learning in higher level detail. Expanding your knowledge into areas such a Sports Psychology, Business and Media. The can lead to University and your choice of a vast array of Sports related Degrees.

Visits / Coursework / Specialist Requirements
Pupils will be required to lead  younger students in their role as a Coach/Leader. They will require appropriate PE kit for their practical lessons. 
 
How Parents can help
  • Support students with their homework
  • Add yourself as a parent to the Classes Google Classroom
  • Support students with their organisation and time management at home, especially in relation to
    completing assignment based coursework.
Assessment
Component 1: Understand the Body and the Supporting Technology for Sport and Activity. Assessment: internally assessed Weighting: 30% of total course
Component 2:The Principles of Training, Nutrition and Psychology for Sport and Activity. Assessment: externally assessed Weighting: 40% of total course
Component 3: Applying the Principles of Sport and Activity. Assessment: internally assessed assignments Weighting: 30% of total course.

Guides / Support Materials / Websites
For the course outline and specification please follow the link below 
https://qualifications.pearson.com/en/qualifications/btec-tech-awards/sport-activity-and-fitness.html