Core Studies

All students at QE follow a core set of lessons through their Core Studies as follows:


  • 6 periods per week of English and English Literature (examined at the end of Year 10) giving 2 GCSE’s grades 9-1
  • 6 periods per week of Mathematics giving 1 GCSE grade 9-1 (2 GCSE's grades 9-1 for Set 1)
  • 6 periods per week of  Combined Science giving 2 GCSE’s grades 9-1 or for Set 1 students only individual GCSE's in Biology, Chemistry and Physics (3 GCSE's grades 9-1)
  • All students will follow GCSE Citizenship Studies giving a GCSE at grades 9-1 and examined at the end of Year 10.  This is delivered through Form time and builds on their set lessons in Year 9 where they began the course
  • All students will through the option blocks be selected for an element of Physical education (either GCSE Physical Education, NCFE Health and Fitness or Core Physical Education meeting our statutory duty to ensure all students undertake physical activity weekly.  For those students opting for GCSE Art Photography in Block E there is an expectation that they will join and attend an extra-curricular provision for physical education
  • All students have the opportunity to study GCSE Religious Studies through the option block

GCSE English Language and Literature

GCSE English Language follows the WJEC Eduqas (9 – 1) specification.  It is assessed through 2 final exams, Component A is 1 hour 45 minutes (40% of qualification) and Component B is 2 hours (60% of qualification).  There is also a Spoken Language assessment, and although this does not contribute to the final grade, it will be reported as part of the qualification.


GCSE English Language enables learners to:

  • read a wide range of texts, fluently and with good understanding
  • read critically, and use knowledge gained from wide reading to inform and improve their own writing
  • write effectively and coherently using Standard English appropriately
  • use grammar correctly, punctuate and spell accurately
  • acquire and apply a wide vocabulary, alongside a knowledge and understanding of grammatical terminology, and linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language
  • listen to and understand spoken language, and use spoken Standard English effectively


20% of the marks for the written exams will be allocated to accurate spelling, punctuation and grammar.  The final exams are untiered and there is no coursework.


Exam topics are:

  • 20th Century Reading Study
  • Creative Prose Writing
  • 19th and 21st Century Non-fiction Reading Study
  • Transactional and Persuasive Writing

   

GCSE English Literature follows the WJEC Eduqas (9 – 1) specification. It is assessed through 2 final exams, Component A is 2 hours (40% of qualification) and Component B is 2 hours 30 minutes (60% of qualification). 


The WJEC Eduqas GCSE in English Literature encourages learners to develop knowledge and skills in reading, writing and critical thinking. It provides learners with opportunities to read widely for pleasure across a range of high quality texts in the genres of prose, poetry and drama and to develop an understanding of how literature is both rich and influential. It enables learners to make connections across their reading and develop a clear understanding of literary works and also prepares them for the study of literature at a higher level.


It enables students to:

  • read a wide range of classic literature fluently and with good understanding, and make connections across their reading.
  • read in depth, critically and evaluatively, so that they are able to discuss and explain their understanding and ideas
  • develop the habit of reading widely and often
  • appreciate the depth and power of the English literary heritage
  • write accurately, effectively and analytically about their reading, using Standard English
  • acquire and use a wide vocabulary, including the grammatical terminology and other literary and linguistic terms they need to criticise and analyse what they read

Students will study:

  • a Shakespeare play
  • poems from the WJEC anthology
  • Post 1914 Prose and Drama
  • Unseen Poetry

GCSE mathematics and Statistics

GCSE Mathematics follows the AQA Mathematics syllabus 8300.  It is assessed through 3 final examinations.  Each exam is 90 minutes and will have equal weighting.  Paper 1 is non-calculator and Papers 2 and 3 are both calculator.


Mathematics requires students to develop knowledge skills and understanding of mathematical methods and concepts in the following areas:

  • Number
  • Algebra
  • Ratio and Proportion
  • Geometry and Measure
  • Statistics
  • Probability


Throughout the course, students will be encouraged to; use their knowledge and understanding to make connections between mathematical concepts; apply the functional elements of mathematics in everyday and real-life situations. Students will also have the opportunity to develop their ability to; acquire and use problem-solving strategies; select and apply mathematical techniques and methods in mathematical, every day and real-world situations; reason mathematically, make deductions and inferences and draw conclusions; interpret and communicate mathematical information in a variety of forms appropriate to the information and context.


Students who begin Year 10 in Set 1 will additionally study the content of the GCSE Statistics course alongside their mathematics GCSE studies.  This will allow these students to achieve 2 GCSE grades, their standard GCSE in mathematics and GCSE Statistics.  This is only open to Set 1, all other students will study only the standard GCSE mathematics course and receive 1 GCSE in that course.

GCSE triple Science Set 1 only : Combined SCIENCE Sets 2 & 3

Combined Science is taught across the 3 main disciplines in Year 10 & 11.  There are Controlled Assessments & 6 examined units.  The examined units are divided into Biology, Chemistry and Physics, covering the following topics:

  • Biology; You and your genes (Year 10), Keeping Healthy (Year 10), Life on Earth (Year10), The process of life (Year 11), Growth & Development (Year 11) and Brain & Mind (Year 11)
  • Chemistry: Air quality (Year 10), Material choices (Year 10), Chemicals in our lives (Risk & benefits) (Year 10), Chemicals of the natural environment (Year 11) and Chemical synthesis (Year 11)
  • Physics: The Earth in the universe (Year 10), Radiation and life (Year 10), Sustainable energy (Year 10), Explaining motion (Year 11), Electrical circuits (Year 11) and Radioactive materials (Year 11)


Triple Science is taught across the 3 main disciplines in Year 10 & 11.  There are Controlled Assessments & 6 examined units.  The examined units are divided into Biology, Chemistry and Physics, covering the following topics:

  • Biology; You and your genes (Year 10), Keeping Healthy (Year 10), Life on Earth (Year10), The process of life (Year 11), Growth & Development (Year 11) and Brain & Mind (Year 11)
  • Chemistry: Air quality (Year 10), Material choices (Year 10), Chemicals in our lives (Risk & benefits) (Year 10), Chemicals of the natural environment (Year 11) and Chemical synthesis (Year 11)
  • Physics: The Earth in the universe (Year 10), Radiation and life (Year 10), Sustainable energy (Year 10), Explaining motion (Year 11), Electrical circuits (Year 11) and Radioactive materials (Year 11)

 

Further information on this subject can be obtained from the Faculty Leader for Science and Physical Education Mr S Day or subject teachers Mr N Witcomb, Miss C Fowler or Mrs L Jordan.


The downloads below give details of the course content, specification and support materials which support the qualification. 


GCSE Citizenship Studies (for qualifying students)

This GCSE will be available to all students and will be studied through structured Form Time activity.  The content meets the required delivery of aspects of Citizenship that all schools are required by law to deliver but has the added advantage of a GCSE as the end result.


 Students will gain knowledge of democracy, government and law, and develop the ability to create sustained, well balanced arguments.  Communication skills are increasingly sought after by employers and this qualification will enhance students’ writing and speaking styles.