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A Level Courses

Art & Design: Fine Art

Course Outline

Students should be introduced to a variety of experiences that explore a range of fine art media, processes and techniques. They should be made aware of both traditional and new media.

Students should explore the use of drawing for different purposes, using a variety of methods and media on a variety of scales. Students may use sketchbooks/workbooks/journals to underpin their work where appropriate.

Students should explore relevant images, artefacts and resources relating to a range of art, craft and design, from the past and from recent times, including European and non-European examples. This should be integral to the investigating and making processes. Students' responses to these examples must be shown through practical and critical activities that demonstrate their understanding of different styles, genres and traditions.

Students should be aware of the four assessment objectives to be demonstrated in the context of the content and skills presented. They should be aware of the importance of process as well as product.

Students are required to work in one or more area(s) of Fine art, such as those listed below.
They may explore overlapping areas and combinations of areas:

  • drawing and painting
  • mixed-media, including collage and assemblage
  • printmaking (relief, intaglio, screen processes and lithography)
  • moving image and photography
  • sculpture
  • ceramics
  • installation

Assessment

Component 1 – 60% - Coursework portfolio, including 3,000 word essay

Component 2 – 40% - Exam project with a 15 hour final exam

Entry Requirements

GCSE B grade or above in Fine Art

Further Career Opportunities

  • Creative industries
  • Architecture
  • Fashion Design
  • Web design
  • Animator
  • Marketing Director
  • Copy writer
  • Art worker
  • Art conservation
  • Fashion buyer
  • Freelance Artist
  • Set designer
  • Location Scout
  • Art Director

Fine Art is a step towards a huge range of creative careers

Art & Design: Graphic Cummunication

Course Outline

Students should be introduced to a variety of experiences that explore a range of graphic communication media, processes and techniques. They should be made aware of both traditional and new media.

Students should explore the use of drawing for different purposes, using a variety of methods and media on a variety of scales. Students may use sketchbooks/workbooks/journals to underpin their work where appropriate.

Students should explore relevant images, artefacts and resources relating to a range of art, craft and design, from the past and from recent times,
including European and non-European examples. This should be integral to the investigating and making processes. Students’ responses to these examples must be shown through practical and critical activities that demonstrate their understanding of different styles, genres and traditions.

Students should be aware of the four assessment objectives to be demonstrated in the context of the content and skills presented. They should be aware of the importance of process as well as product.

Students are required to work in one or more area(s) of Graphic communication, such as those listed below. They may explore overlapping areas and combinations of areas:

  • interactive media
    (including web, app and game design)
  • advertising
  • packaging design
  • design for print
  • illustration
  • communication graphics
  • branding
  • multimedia
  • motion graphics
  • design for film and television

Assessment

Component 1
60% - Coursework portfolio, including 3,000 word essay

Component 2
40% - Exam project with a 15 hour final exam

Entry Requirements

GCSE B grade or above in Fine Art or Graphic communication.

Further Career Opportunities

  • Creative industries
  • Fashion Designer
  • Web design
  • Animator
  • Marketing Director
  • Copy writer
  • Art worker
  • Buyer
  • Freelance Artist
  • Set designer
  • Location Scout
  • Art Director
  • Camera man
  • Graphic Designer

Graphic Communication is a step towards a huge range of creative careers

Physical Education

Course Outline

The specifications for the new A level are in draft form and have not been finalised
There is a choice between 3 different exam boards.
The content is all broadly similar but with slightly different structures. All boards have 70% theory and 30% practical.Staff at Ormskirk are currently in the process of attending courses and will make a final decision in due course. Current thinking is that we may study the AQA specification.

The Course

Y12 AS level. Can be studied as a standalone qualification
Y13 A level. Includes elements of study from AS
2 year course
1 practical unit and 1 theory unit in each year
The theory unit has an examination
The practical unit is assessed by staff throughout the course with external moderations. Half the marks are given for a verbal/written analysis of performance.

Year 12 - AS

THEORY Paper 1- worth 70% (84marks) of AS marks

2 hour exam comprising of;

  • Applied physiology (28 marks)
  • Skill acquisition and sports psychology (28 marks)
  • Sport and society and technology in sport (28 marks)

PRACTICAL worth 30% (90marks) of AS marks

Students assessed as a performer or coach in one activity by • Ormskirk staff (15%)

  • Students assessed in evaluation of performance through written/verbal analysis (15%)

Year 13 - A Level

THEORY PAPER 1 worth 35% (105marks) of A level marks

2 hour exam comprising of;

  • Applied anatomy and physiology (35 marks)
  • Skill acquisition (35 marks)
  • Sport and society (35 marks)

THEORY PAPER 2 worth 35% (105marks) of A level marks

2 hour exam comprising of;

  • Exercise physiology and bio-mechanics (35 marks)
  • Sports psychology (35 marks)
  • Sport and society and technology in sport (35 marks)

PRACTICAL worth 30% (90marks) of AS marks

  • Students assessed as a performer or coach in full sized version of one activity by Ormskirk staff (15%)
  • Students assessed in evaluation of performance through written/verbal analysis (15%)

Design & Technology: Product Design

Course Outline

This is an exciting course that offers you the opportunity to study, propose and realise prototype solutions, closely linked to the real world of product manufacture in a range of material areas.

You are able to continue from your GCSE studies, either exclusively, or as a combination of, focus material areas.

The material areas offered are:

  • Food
  • Textiles

Why Study Product Design?

  • You have a genuine interest in an ever changing, fast moving and continually developing design industry
  • You want to work on exciting, innovative design projects in your chosen material areas(s)
  • You want to gain a strong understanding of the principles of design and through creative project work and enjoy overcoming challenges and constraints when working towards the production of high-quality products

Entry Requirements

This AS/A2 course builds on, but does not depend on, the knowledge, understanding and skills of KS3 and KS4 Design Technology. However, you should have a real desire to explore, question and challenge, and to envisage what could be. A good level of ICT will enhance your design and technological capability, as will an ability to work independently.

Opportunities for Progression to Higher Education and Careers

The course provides a suitable foundation for the study of design or related courses in higher education. It is also suitable for those intending to pursue careers in areas related to the focus material areas that are offered.

  • Commercial Product Design
    (in any of the material areas)
  • Graphic Design (packaging design/point of sale/ marketing/retail/exhibition displays)
  • Theatre Design /Web Design/Interior Design
  • Food Product Development
  • Design Technology Teaching
  • Costume Design
  • Textiles Crafts/Fashion

Course content

The course consists of four units which are all mandatory.

Unit Title Description
Advanced Innovation Challenge The Advanced Innovation Challenge requires you to design and model in a design workshop or examination room and complete a workbook.

Product Study

Product Study consists of product analysis and product development, prototype modelling and testing.

Design, Make and Evaluate

You are required to produce a coursework portfolio and product which fully demonstrates your designing, making and evaluation skills, using creativity, flair and innovation.

Product Design

The subject content of this unit is focused towards products and applications and their analysis in respect of:

  • Materials, components and their uses
  • Manufacturing processes
  • Industrial and commercial practices

Computer Science

What will I Study?

Computer Systems

Written Exam
40% of A Level

Understand the internal workings of the CPU and the exchange of data. You will also look at software development, data types and legal and ethical issues.

Algorithms & Programming

Written Exam
40% of A Level

Computational thinking, problem solving and programming.

Programming Project

Non-Exam Assessment
20% of A Level

Analyse, design, develop, text and evaluate a program written in a suitable programming language.

Maths

Course Outline

The exam board specifications for the new A level are in draft form and we have not yet reached a decision about which board we will be adopting. However, the content for all specifications is identical, with only the structure of assessment varying.

There are no options; all students nationally are now expected to study two modules of Pure Maths (algebra) and one module of Applied Maths (a mixture of Statistics and Mechanics).

Problem-solving, proof and modelling will now feature far more significantly and students will also be expected to analyse a large data set.

Assessment

Assessment is based solely on exam performance.

In Y12 some students may sit AS Mathematics exams (note, if a student continues to study maths in Y13 then the AS result would NOT contribute towards the A level grade awarded).

In Y13 students will sit exams based on the whole two year’s study.

Entry Requirements

The study of Mathematics at this level requires dedication, resilience and hard work.

As the subject is academically challenging, students wishing to follow an A level course in Mathematics must have obtained at least a grade 7 in GCSE Mathematics.

Additionally, a pack of summer preparation work will be given to all Y11 students who have indicated that they are likely to be studying Maths when in Y12.

Further Career Opportunities

Mathematics is a facilitating subject (i.e. one of the subjects most commonly required or preferred by universities to get on to a range of degree courses). It is a fascinating and exciting subject area, playing a major role in the modern world. It is essential for the advancement of modern technology, the sciences, medicine, economics and education. It is required in the fields of data processing, operational research, statistics and computing. Thus there is a need for mathematicians in industry, commerce, the public services, research establishments, administration and management.

Further Maths & Maths

Course Outline

The exam board specifications for the new A level are in draft form and we have not yet reached a decision about which board we will be adopting.

Both AS and A level Further Mathematics have a simple 50:50 split between compulsory and optional elements:

  • Compulsory – Pure Maths
  • Optional elements – Statistics / Mechanics / Decision.

Problem-solving, proof and modelling will now feature far more significantly and students will also be expected to analyse a large data set.

Assessment

Assessment is based solely on exam performance.

In Y12 some students may sit AS Further Mathematics exams (note, if a student continues to study Further Maths in Y13 then the AS result would NOT contribute towards the A level grade awarded).

In Y13 students will sit exams based on the whole two year’s study.

Entry Requirements

The study of Further Mathematics requires dedication, resilience and hard work.

To follow an A level course in Further Mathematics students must also be studying A level Mathematics.

As the subject is academically challenging, students must have obtained at least a grade 7 in GCSE Mathematics.

Further Career Opportunities

Mathematics is a facilitating subject (i.e. one of the subjects most commonly required or preferred by universities to get on to a range of degree courses). It is a fascinating and exciting subject area, playing a major role in the modern world. It is essential for the advancement of modern technology, the sciences, medicine, economics and education. It is required in the fields of data processing, operational research, statistics and computing. Thus there is a need for mathematicians in industry, commerce, the public services, research establishments, administration and management.

English Language

Course Outline

Component 1: Language Variation
(2 hours 15 mins) (35%)
Two questions on:

  • how language varies depending on mode, field, function and audience
  • how language choices can create personal identities
  • language variation in English from c1550 (the beginnings of Early Modern English) to the present day.

Component 2: Child Language
(1 hour) (20%)
One question on:

  • spoken language acquisition and how children learn to write between the ages of 0 and 8
  • the relationship between spoken language acquisition and literacy skills that children are taught, including the beginnings of reading
  • appropriate theories of children’s language development

Component 3: Language Investigation
(1 hour 45 mins) (25%)
Two questions: Students will:

  • select a research focus from five topic areas
  • develop their research and investigation skills
  • undertake a focused investigation
  • apply their knowledge of language levels and key language concepts developed through the whole course
  • develop their personal language specialism.

A subtopic will be pre-released in the January before the examination. The pre- released subtopic will provide a steer for students’ research and investigation to
enable them to prepare for the external assessment

Component 4: Coursework
(20%)
Students produce two written assignments:

  • Assignment 1: two pieces of original writing from the same genre, differentiated by function and/or audience.
  • Assignment 2: one commentary, reflecting on the two pieces of original writing produced and making connections with research undertaken.

Pearson Edexcel Level 3 Advanced GCE in English Language will enable students to:

  • develop and apply their understanding of the concepts and methods appropriate for the analysis and study of language
  • explore data and examples of language in use
  • engage creatively and critically with a varied programme for the study of English
  • develop their skills as producers and interpreters of language
  • independently investigate language in use.

Entry Requirements

Minimum requirement to study English Language at A Level is a 6 grade in English Language at GCSE. A 6 grade in English Literature GCSE is also preferable.

Further Career Opportunities

English studies provide opportunities for students to develop the skills necessary for a wide range of careers, including those directly related to creative writing and media.

English Literature

Course Outline

Component 1: Drama
(2 hours 15 mins) (30%)
One Shakespeare play and one other drama from either tragedy or comedy – both texts may be selected from one or both of these categories.
critical essays related to their selected Shakespeare play

Component 2: Prose
(1 hour) (20%)
Two prose texts from a chosen theme. At least one of the prose texts must be pre-1900.

Component 3: Poetry
(2 hours 15 mins) (30%)
Students study: poetic form, meaning and language (unseen) a selection of post-2000 specified poetry and a specified range of poetry from: either a literary period (either pre- or post-1900) or a named poet from within a literary period.

Component 4: Coursework
(20%)
Students have a free choice of two texts to study - must be complete texts and may be linked by theme, movement, author or period. Can be prose, poetry or drama.

Pearson Edexcel Level 3 Advanced GCE in English Literature will enable students to:

  • read widely and independently set texts and others that they have selected for themselves
  • engage critically and creatively with a substantial body of texts and ways of responding to them
  • develop and effectively apply their knowledge of literary analysis and evaluation
  • explore the contexts of the texts they are reading and others’ interpretations of them
  • undertake independent and sustained studies to deepen their appreciation and understanding of English literature, including its changing traditions

Entry Requirements

Minimum requirements to study English Literature at A Level are 6 grades in both English Literature and English Language at GCSE. A 6 grade or above in Literature is desirable, as it is a very demanding subject.

Further Career Opportunities

English Literature is considered to be a facilitating subject and is largely respected by Universities when applying for many degree courses. English studies provide opportunities for students to develop the skills necessary for a wide range of careers.

Physics

Physicists explore the fundamental nature of almost everything we know of. They probe the furthest reaches of the earth to study the smallest pieces of matter. Join them to enter a world deep beneath the surface of normal human experience.

Possible Degree Options

According to bestcourse4me.com, the top seven degree courses taken by students who have an A-level in Physics are:

  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Computer Science
  • Civil Engineering
  • Economics
  • Business.

Possible Career Options

Studying A-level Physics offers an infinite number of amazing career opportunities including:

  • Geophysicist/field seismologist
  • Healthcare scientist, medical physics
  • Higher education lecturer
  • Radiation protection practitioner
  • Research scientist (physical sciences)
  • Scientific laboratory technician
  • Secondary school teacher
  • Meteorologist
  • Structural engineer
  • Acoustic engineer
  • Product/process development scientist
  • Systems developer
  • Technical author

You can also move into engineering, astrophysics, chemical physics, nanotechnology, renewable energy and more, the opportunities are endless.

Topics Covered

AS Physics and first year of A-Level
- Measurements and their errors, Particles and radiation, Waves, Mechanics and energy, Electricity.
Second year of A-level
- Further mechanics and thermal physics, Fields, Nuclear physics, Mechanics and energy, Electricity.

Exams

There is no coursework on this course. However, your performance during practicals will be assessed.

There are three exams at the end of the two years for A-level, all of which are two hours long. At least 15% of the marks for A-level Physics are based on what you learned in your practicals.

The AS has two exams at the end of the year. Both are 1 hour 30 minutes long.

Practicals

Physics, like all sciences, is a practical subject. Throughout the course you will carry out practical activities including:

  • investigating interference and diffraction of laser light
  • measuring acceleration due to gravity
  • investigating systems that oscillate
  • investigation of the links between temperature, volume and pressure
  • safe use of ionising radiation
  • investigating magnetic fields.

These practicals will give you the skills and confidence needed to investigate the way things behave and work. It will also ensure that if you choose to study a Physics-based subject at university, you’ll have the practical skills needed to carry out successful experiments in your degree.

Entry Requirements

Grade A in Core and Applied Science GCSE for students who have studied Dual award Science.
Grade A in Physics GCSE.
Grade B in Maths GCSE
Students are highly recommended to also study A-level Maths

Spanish / French / German

Course Outline

  1. Social issues and trends
  2. Political and artistic culture
  3. Grammar
  4. Individual research project
  5. Literature

Assessment

Reading/Listening/Writing exam
Written exam
Speaking exam

Entry Requirements

Grade 3 at GCSE

Further Career Opportunities

Languages may be central to some occupations, such as the diplomatic service, interpreting, translating, journalism, sales, teaching and tourism. In today’s global economy such opportunities are constantly expanding. Other openings may be in the media, the leisure industry, international organisations, business and customer care.

Languages graduates are found in a wide range of professions in the private and public sectors, including international agencies and government bodies (national and European).

In 2014, a CBI (Confederation of British Industry) and Pearson survey, "Gateway to growth: educational and skills survey" revealed that almost two thirds (65%) of businesses value foreign language skills among their employees, particularly in helping build relations with clients.

Language skills can be applied in a vast range of roles - the ability to communicate effectively beyond national boundaries is valued for example in sales and marketing, logistics, finance, insurance, hospitality and tourism, and from work in international organisations to teaching in local schools.

Geography

Course Outline

The A-Level Geography course gives you a strong foundation for understanding the 2 main themes of the subject: human geography and physical geography. Between them, they’re what makes our planet tick.

Human geography deals with how people and the environment interact and the way we both exist. It also looks at how people and groups move and live in the world around us. For example, you will learn about things you see in the papers and on the news everyday, including issues of sustainability. Physical geography on the other hand, is all about the scientific aspects of our world with an emphasis on how we can
manage them.

The end result of studying human and physical geography is that you will have a better understanding of how people and the world work together.

Why Geography?

  • Geography tackles the big issues and finds solutions to today’s problems.
  • It combines well with a variety of other subjects.
  • Geography graduates are the most employable because of the wide range of skills gained through geography.
  • Transferable skills – map reading, data collection and analysis, GIS, problem solving, teamwork and communication.

A-Level Course Outline

Component 1: Physical Geography

  • Water and carbon cycles
  • Coastal Systems and landscapes
  • Hazards

These units will be assessed by a written exam.
The exam will be 2 hours 30 minutes and it will be worth 40% of your A-Level in geography.

Component 2: Human Geography

  • Global Systems and global governance
  • Changing places
  • Population and the environment

These units will be assessed by a written exam.
The exam will be 2 hours 30 minutes and it will be worth 40% of your A-Level in geography.

Component 3: Geography Fieldwork Investigation

Students will complete an individual investigation which must include data collected in the field.

This unit will be assessed by a 3,000 to 4,000 word investigation. This component is worth 20% of your A-Level in geography.

Where will success take me?

Anywhere on Earth! There are many careers that require geography including:

  • Development Work
  • Cartography
  • Teaching
  • Town Planning
  • International Aid

Music Technology

Course Outline

This course provides students with opportunities to create, record and listen to music. Students are encouraged to develop their interest in how popular music has evolved and learn about the development of music technology.

Throughout the course students will experiment with recording equipment and computer technology, arrange and compose music, learn about the principles of sound audio technology and it’s development and how to analyse audio.

The ways music technology has developed throughout history will be explored. The course is designed to open up a range of exciting and useful skills to all students, including those who do not play a traditional instrument, and they are encouraged to explore their musicality and create original music using technology. The course is highly practical consisting of two units of coursework and two examinations. Therefore students are expected to support class study with independent study time on the school’s Macs and recording studio. Through studying popular music and its development, students will be expected to have an understanding of relevant musical theory and terminology.

A-Level

Component 1: Recording (20%)
Component 2: Technology-based composition (20%)
Component 3: Listening and Analysis examination (25%)
Component 4: Producing and analysing practical examination (35%)

Assessment

Coursework is externally assessed as are the examined units (3 and 4)

Entry Requirements

A grade B at music GCSE, alternatively an ability to play an instrument/sing and read staff notation.

Further Career Opportunities

There are many opportunities in higher education and careers for those proficient in handling music technology. Students completing the A-level in music technology have gone on to careers in the recording industry, sound engineering, record producing and music education.

Music

Course Outline

The A-level syllabus provides students with a balanced course in music, whilst at the same time allowing scope for the development of individual interests and aptitudes. Students are encouraged to: study and develop critical listening; develop skills in composition; develop research skills through investigating set works; develop a life-long interest and enjoyment in listening to and making music; develop an ability to listen to, appreciate and analyse a wide range of classical music and read from full orchestral scores.

The A level Music course is a balance of coursework and examinations.
Coursework is worth 60% of the course: Performing (30%) and Composing (30%). Students are expected to supplement class lessons with individual instrument tuition, instrument practice, and independent study time on composition tasks.
The remaining 40% of the course is assessed in a written examination at the end of year 13.

Assessment

Performance is internally assessed and externally moderated. Composition is externally assessed. Final examination is externally assessed.

Entry Requirements

At least a Grade B in GCSE music and performing ability on at least one instrument/voice to Grade 5 standard. Reasonable keyboard skills and experience of using music software are desirable. Students will need to be able to read and understand music notation at the level of Grade 5 music theory.

Further Career Opportunities

Students completing the A-level in music have gone on to study a wide range of careers including: engineering, English and law. Those specifically interested in musical careers have taken opportunities in drama, film studies, journalism, administration, publishing, radio and television, recording technology, speech and music therapy as well as more obvious areas such as: performing, teaching, composing, arranging and editing.

History

Introduction

History is an exciting subject which allows those who study it to develop a deep understanding of the world in which they live as well as a range of skills which can be applied to a number of careers.

Subject Content and Assessment

Unit 1 – The British Empire, c1857-1967

The British Empire was the largest empire any nation has built in human history, at its peak it covered one quarter of the Earth’s surface and it was said that “the sun never set on the British Empire”. In your study you will examine the reasons a relatively small country such as Britain was able to reach the levels of dominance it achieved across the world. You will learn to understand the factors that encouraged the growth of empire such as bringing civilisation or hunting for economic resources. You will study the key individuals who led these developments and the legacy they have left behind such as Cecil Rhodes, Winston Churchill and Ghandi. Finally, you will examine the fate of the empire and reasons it begin to slowly decline as attitudes changed as well as the impact of two worlds wars. Perhaps most importantly you will be able to appreciate the roots of many issues that dominate life today and how these were shaped by empire. Throughout this topic you will study interpretations and the ways in which historians have formed opinions about the past. You will use your understanding to assess these interpretations and engage in thorough debate of their merits to other historians.

1 exam sat in Year 13. 40% of grade

Unit 2 – The Cold War, c1945-1991

For nearly 50 years in the twentieth century, the Cold War dominated and shaped the world that many people today grow up in. With its origins in the first and second world wars you will study how the alliance of the USA and USSR, which was so successful in defeating Nazi Germany during World War Two, suddenly collapsed to become the most bitter, controversial and dangerous relationship of the twentieth century – the results of which are still being felt today. You will learn about the role of ideology in bringing two superpowers into confrontation and then study how this directly affected the whole world with a focus on the division of Germany, the war in Vietnam and most significantly the continual escalation of a nuclear arms race. Finally, you will study the ways in which this conflict finally came to an end and the role of key individuals such as Mikael Gorbachev and Ronald Reagan, as well as the impact of ordinary people in leading to the overthrow of dictators and the fall of the Berlin Wall. Throughout the study you will examine a range of primary source material and use your understanding to assess their value to historians and make judgements about their value and limits.

1 exam sat in Year 13. 40% of grade

Unit 3 – None Examined Assessment

In unit three you have your chance to investigate a period of history which covers 100 years and research your own interpretations and sources in order to complete an answer to a question agreed with your teacher. Topics included in this are the making of the United State of America, from its creation through to the Civil war, studying the role of key individuals such as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln. Alternatively, you might like to study the relationship between Britain and Ireland from the creation of the Union between Britain and Ireland through its struggle for independence from Britain.

1 essay 3,000-3,500 words. 20% of grade

Biology

Course Outline

The AQA Biology course covers a wide range of Biological principles, split in to 8 topics.
During Year 12 fundamental principals are covered; these include cells, biological molecules, exchange systems and variation.
During Year 13 more complex principles are covered; these include energy transfer, response to changes, genetics, ecosystems and gene expression.

There is also the opportunity to attend a Biology Field Course to cover topics in the ecosystem module.

Assessment

A level Biology - Three exams at the end of Year 13. All are 2 hours long.

Paper 1 covers topics 1-4 (AS topics) and is worth 35% of the A level grade.

Paper 2 covers topics 5-8 (Year 13 topics) and is worth 35% of the A level grade.

Paper 3 covers all 8 topics (including a 25 mark essay) and is worth 30% of the A level grade.

Students will also achieve a practical endorsement which is completed over the two years and involves undertaking twelve compulsory practical investigations.

Entry Requirements

Grade B in Biology (Triple Science) or A in Additional Science.

Further Career Opportunities

Biology offers a wide range of career options, both through the topics themselves and also because of the practical and investigative nature of the subject. Career options include marine biology, zoology, medicine, pharmacy, physiotherapy, microbiology, scientific journalist and many more.

Drama & Theatre Studies (AQA)

Why Choose Drama & Theatre Studies?

Students can pursue their interests and develop their skills in a range of practical and theoretical drama elements including acting. directing, costume and lighting.

The requirements of the specification, with its 70% written paper and coursework elements enable students to gain a valuable qualification for courses in higher education.

The content of the A level follows through from that of the AQA GCSE Drama and Performing Arts specification, enabling a smooth transition from one to the other. At the same time it must be emphasised that GCSE is not a requirement for students wishing to take the A level course.

Course Outline

The subject content for A level Drama and Theatre Studies is divided into 3 components:

  1. Drama and Theatre
  2. Creating Original Drama
  3. Making Theatre

Assessment

Component 1 - Drama and Theatre:
3 hour exam with open books – 40% of A level
Knowledge and understanding of Drama and theatre is developed by studying 2 set texts. The exam also includes analysis and evaluation of the work of live theatre makers.
SECTION A - 1 Question about one set text (25/80)
SECTION B - 1 Question about the other set text (25/80)
SECTION C - 1 Question on the work of theatre makers in a single live production seen (30/80)

Component 2 - Creating original Drama:
Practical exam - 30% of A level
The process of creating devised drama is assessed & students perform a devised performance which has been influenced by the work or methodologies of one practitioner.
Working notebook (40/60 marks)
Devised performance (20/60 marks)

Component 3 - Making Theatre:
Practical exam - 30% of A level
Students will practically explore and interpret 3 extracts each taken from a different play. Methodologies of a practitioner must be applied to extract 3 (final assessed piece). A reflective report analysing and evaluating theatrical interpretation must be submitted to the exam board.
Performance of extract (40/60 marks)
Reflective report (20/60 marks)

Entry Requirements

Students wishing to study this A level must meet the school’s standard entry requirement. It is also recommended that Theatre Studies students have at least a B in English literature at GCSE level.

Further Career Opportunities

Theatre Studies A level is regarded as a valued academic qualification in all British universities and may serve as a springboard to many varied careers.

Philosophy & Ethics

Why Choose Philosophy & Ethics?

The A Level is designed to provide a coherent and thought-provoking programme of study, whilst also acting as a rigorous course which prepares learners for progression to Higher Education. This qualification is designed to nurture the development of critical and reflective thinking with the aim of developing a greater understanding and appreciation of religious beliefs and teachings, as well as the disciplines of ethics and philosophy of religion. Emphasis is placed on critical analysis and the construction of balanced, informed arguments within the context of a religious, philosophical and ethical awareness.

There is no coursework, but students will have plenty of time to develop their written skills for the exams.

Course Outline

The subject content for A level Philosophy & Ethics is divided into 3 components:

  1. Philosophy of religion
  2. Religion & Ethics
  3. Development in religious thought

Assessment

There will be 3 exams. Each for 2 hours weighted 33.3% of total A Level.

Philosophy of religion

Learners will study:

  • ancient philosophical influences
  • arguments about the existence or non-existence of God
  • the nature and impact of religious experience
  • the challenge for religious belief of the problem of evil
  • the nature of the soul, mind and body
  • the possibility of life after death
  • ideas about the nature of God
  • issues in religious language

Religion and ethics

Learners will study:

  • normative ethical theories
  • the application of ethical theory to two contemporary issues of importance
  • ethical language and thought:
  • debates surrounding the significant ideas of conscience and free will
  • the influence on ethical thought of developments in religious beliefs and the philosophy of religion.

Developments in religious thought

Learners will study:

  • religious beliefs, values and teachings, their interconnections and how they vary historically and in the contemporary world
  • sources of religious wisdom and authority
  • practices which shape and express religious identity, and how these vary within a tradition
  • significant social and historical developments in theology and religious thought
  • key themes related to the relationship between religion and society.

Entry Requirements

Students wishing to study this A level must meet the school’s standard entry requirement. It is also recommended that Philosophy & Ethics students have at least a B in English literature/language at GCSE level.

Further Career Opportunities

Philosophy & Ethics A level is regarded as a valued academic qualification in most Russell Group universities and may serve as a springboard to various careers such as Medicine, Law, PPE or Journalism.

Chemistry

A-level Chemistry attempts to answer the big question ‘what is the world made of’ and it’s the search for this answer that makes this subject so fascinating. From investigating how one substance can be changed drastically into another, to researching a new wonder drug to save millions of lives, the opportunities that chemistry provides are endless.

Topics covered

AS Chemistry lasts one year, with exams at the end. A-level Chemistry lasts two years, with exams at the end of the second year. The table below shows what you’ll learn in each year.

AS and first year of A-level Second year of A-level

Physical chemistry
Including atomic structure, amount of substance, bonding, energetics, kinetics, chemical equilibria and Le Chatelier’s principle

Physical chemistry
Including thermodynamics, rate equations, the equilibrium constant Kp, electrode potentials and electrochemical cells

Inorganic chemistry
Including periodicity, Group 2 the alkaline earth metals, Group 7(17) the halogens

Inorganic chemistry
Including properties of Period 3 elements and their oxides, transition metals, reactions of ions in aqueous soluton

Organic chemistry
Including introduction to organic chemistry, alkanes, halogenoalkanes, alkenes, alcohols, organic analysis

Organic chemistry
Including optical isomerism, aldehydes and ketones, carboxylic acids and derivatives, aromatic chemistry, amines, polymers, amino acids, proteins and DNA, organic synthesis, NMR spectroscopy, chromatography

Practicals

Chemistry, like all sciences, is a practical subject. Throughout the course you will carry out practical activities including:

  • measuring energy changes in chemical reactions
  • tests for identifying different types of compound
  • different methods for measuring rates of reaction
  • studying electrochemical cells
  • preparation of organic solids and liquids
  • an advanced form of chromatography for more accurate results.

Exams

There is no coursework on this course. However, your performance during practicals will be assessed. There are three exams at the end of the two years for A-level, all of which are two hours long. At least 15% of the marks for A-level Chemistry are based on what you learned in your practicals.

Entry requirements

A-level Chemistry builds on the work done in GCSE Science and Maths, so you’ll need good GCSE results from both. Written communication is also important and you’ll need to be a strong writer. We ask for an A in GCSE Chemistry or AA in core and Additional Science, and a B in Maths.

Possible Degree Options

According to bestcourse4me.com, the top five degree courses taken by students who have an A-level in Chemistry are:

  • Chemistry
  • Biology
  • Pre-clinical medicine
  • Mathematics
  • Pharmacology.

Possible Career Options

Studying an A-level Chemistry related degree at university gives you all sorts of exciting career options, including:

  • Analytical chemist
  • Chemical engineer
  • Clinical biochemist
  • Pharmacologist
  • Doctor
  • Research scientist (physical sciences)
  • Toxicologist
  • Chartered certified accountant
  • Environmental consultant
  • Higher education lecturer
  • Patent attorney
  • Science writer
  • Secondary school teacher

Economics

Course Outline

Individuals, firms, markets and market failure

  1. Economic methodology and the economic problem
  2. Individual economic decision making
  3. Price determination in a competitive market
  4. Production, costs and revenue
  5. Perfect competition, imperfectly competitive markets and monopoly
  6. The labour market
  7. The distribution of income and wealth: poverty and inequality
  8. The market mechanism, market failure and government intervention in markets

The national and international economy

    1. The measurement of macroeconomic performance
    2. How the macroeconomy works the circular flow of income, AD/AS analysis, and related concepts
    3. Economic performance
    4. Financial markets and monetary policy
    5. Fiscal policy and supply-side policies
    6. The international economy

Assessments

The A-Level assessment takes place at the end of year 13 and includes 3 exam papers - 2 hours long and 33.3% each (topics 1-14 above)

Assessments consist of a mixture of multiple choice questions (MCQs), short answer questions, 40 mark essays, 40 mark data response questions and case study based questions

Lesson Structure

Economics lessons will take a number of different forms:

      • Critical thinking
      • Note making (rather than note taking)
      • Problem based learning
      • Group work
      • Summarising articles
      • Assessment for Learning – Self and peer assessment

Career Opportunities

Economics is a varied and useful subject and can provide a solid foundation for various careers.

A few of these include careers in:

      • Politics
      • Law
      • Business
      • Banking
      • Civil Service
      • Accountancy

Business Studies

Course Outline

Topics include:

      1. What is business
      2. Managers, leadership and decision making
      3. Decision making to improve marketing performance
      4. Decision making to improve operational performance
      5. Decision making to improve financial performance
      6. Decision making to improve human resource performance
      7. Analysing the strategic position of a business
      8. Choosing strategic direction
      9. Strategic methods: how to pursue strategies
      10. Managing strategic change

Assessment

The A-Level assessment takes place at the end of year 13 and includes 3 exam papers - 2 hours long and 33.3% each (topics 1-10 above).

Assessments consist of a mixture of multiple choice questions (MCQs), short answer questions, 25 mark essays, 33 mark data response questions and case study based questions

Lesson structure

Business lessons will take a number of different forms:

      • Critical thinking
      • Note making (rather than note taking)
      • Problem based learning
      • Group work
      • Summarising articles
      • Assessment for Learning – Self and peer assessment endorsement which is completed over the two years and involves undertaking twelve compulsory practical investigations.

Career Opportunities

Business Studies is a varied and useful subject and can provide a solid foundation for various careers. A few of these include:

      • Market Research
      • Advertising
      • Sales
      • Accountant
      • Production manager
      • Quality control manager
      • HR assistant/manager
      • Management consultant
      • Business Studies teacher (!)
      • Self employed
        ...are you the next Alan Sugar?