English Students are taught to communicate through language: the spoken word and the written word as well as through their appreciation and understanding of what others have written. Classic fiction is studied according to the requirements of the syllabus, and students are taught to analyse modern communications media.
Emphasis is placed on imagination in creative writing, understanding the layers of meaning in written texts and the need for accuracy in the communication of thoughts and ideas.
Mathematics The Mathematics course is designed to meetthe needs of the full range of student ability and develop student confidence in, and enjoyment of, mathematics. Students are taught skills which will not only equip them well for the GCSE examination, but to enable them to use and apply mathematics in practical tasks and in real-life problems.
Emphasis is placed on traditional skills of numeracy - all students should become proficient in both written and mental methods of calculating - as well as on modern problem-solving approaches to mathematics.
Physics Physics is the study of the natural world and the rules that govern the behaviour of matter and energy. From surprisingly few general principles, much about the way nature works can be understood. This allows quick and gratifying progress to be made from the moment the student is introduced to this elegant subject. Such phenomena as electricity, forces, heat and radio are explored in the context of the everyday experiences that we all share.
The knowledge gained at GCSE level can form a base on which to proceed to A Level study, or support well a student who might choose subsequently to study a more arts-based subject.
Chemistry The study of the reactions of substances with each other is a rich area of study. The behaviour of materials at a macro- and molecular level is included, and basic organic (carbon) chemistry is introduced. Knowledge of chemistry is important to any student who wishes to follow a scientific career path, or who might eventually work in, for example, manufacturing or any material-based field.
Biology At GCSE, Biology is an introduction to the systems involved in sustaining life in plants and animals. Respiration, transpiration, reproduction and evolution are all explored. This course is a broad introduction to the rather complex concepts involved in the life sciences, the study of which will be extended later for those interested students who proceed to A Level in Year 11.
Information TechnologyConversance with information systems, and personal computers in particular, has become vital to both the student and the individual entering the workplace. Computers can be applied to a huge range of tasks, both analytical and creative. Manufacturing processes are now centrally controlled and monitored by electronic means. Increasingly, artwork is created, stored, transmitted and printed using computers, without recourse to pencil or paint. Personal communication between individuals can be conducted digitally, as can automated communication between discrete information systems such as those used by banks and the police service.
This course will serve to educate the student in those skills that will aid him practically in his school and professional life, and inform him as to the role played by the large systems that are used in the administration of an increasing part of our everyday lives.
Students will study information types and their generic application, digital communication, networking principles, the components of a personal computer, the role of the operating system, and so on. They will also be given an appreciation of those circumstances where the use of a computer is inappropriate.
Toward the end of the course, a project is set. This involves the creation of several related pieces of work, using appropriate choices from the main software categories such as desktop publishing, wordprocessing, database management and spreadsheets. This coursework will contribute around half of the final mark for the course.
Modern LanguagesThose students who have attended the Grammar School have had some exposure to French and Spanish, and may have developed an affinity for them. It is usual to continue study of French to GCSE level, and Spanish can be taken as an option. Lessons are usually delivered by native speakers of the language. Study concentrates on the language itself, although significant time is spent informing the class as to the unique characteristics of the respective history and lifestyle of the country.
Business StudiesThe course is designed to help and encourage students to achieve a basic understanding of the world of business. It is a modular course run over 2 years. Business Studies is can benefit those who contemplate careers in areas such as Marketing, Banking, Insurance, Law, Accountancy, Management and Personnel Management. The course covers many interesting aspects:
• Nature of Economic, Social, Political and Legal Environment.
• Trends in UK Business activity.
• Nature and Types of Business.
• The Legal structure of Business.
• Objectives of Business.
• People and their needs.
• The internal organisation of a Business.
• Information, i.e. what Business needs to know.
• Solutions to standard Business problems.
HumanitiesThe Humanities curriculum aims to challenge students and create independent learners. Students develop a range of inter-disciplinary and specialist skills through the use of local, National and International studies.
The History course is theme-based, focusing on important periods and events and their context in relation to others on the time-line. While these evens are analysed in detail, emphasis is placed upon the common influences that engender change in a general sense.
The Geography course examines both physical and human geography. Whilst the emphasis has classically been on the influence of the former upon the latter, the course now includes consideration of the increasingly significant converse process.