Forms IV and V (Years 10 and 11)

All students take the core GCSE subjects of English Language, English Literature, Mathematics, Combined or Triple Science and a Modern Foreign Language (French or Spanish). Students are set for languages and will be prepared to take Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking examinations. There is the option to take Spanish in addition to French, Latin or Greek. This will be decided in conjunction with the Modern Foreign Languages department according to ability and experience.

All students follow a programme of Personal, Health, Social, Citizenship and Economic Education, which includes guidance on careers and a full PE programme.


Core Courses


IGCSE Mathematics

Exam Board: EDEXCEL


We encourage every student to achieve their full potential in Mathematics. Students will all take an active and enthusiastic role in their lessons, learning via a variety of different teaching styles and using a mixture of guided discovery, ICT and traditional methods. We aim to develop each students problem-solving skills and ability to think independently.

We are following the Edexcel Linear specification for the International GCSE Mathematics A. The specification aims to develop knowledge and understanding of topics covered in Form III and includes new topics that have not been covered before. The IGCSE course emphasises the importance of making connections between mathematical concepts and applying the functional elements of Mathematics to real life situations.

The course is split into the following six areas:


  • Encouraging the use of mental arithmetic, while becoming more competent in the use of a scientific calculator
  • Being able to apply these methods to a range of real life and abstract problems


  • Modelling real life situations using algebra to solve problems
  • Understanding how number operations underpin algebraic techniques


  • Exploring the properties of angles, circles and polygons
  • Using these properties to solve problems in a real world context


  • Applying the formulae for area, perimeter and volume of 2D and 3D shapes
  • Extending these skills to include circles, cones and spheres


  • Calculating averages and the range of data presented in a variety of contexts
  • Understanding that different types of data require different representations and being able to display the data appropriately


  • Using fractions or decimals to represent probabilities
  • Understanding complex problems involving multiple events and conditional probability

The examination for this qualification consists of two papers, each worth 50% of the course and a calculator is permitted for both papers. The Higher Tier examination is sat at the end of Form V and gives access to grades 9 to 3. Some students, who are targeting a grade 5, may be offered the opportunity to take the Foundation Tier in January of Form V with the aim of sitting the Higher Tier at the end of the year if they achieve the Foundation’s maximum grade of a 5.


IGCSE English Language

Exam Board: CAIE

Every student at Heathfield School is required to take English Language. The course enables learners to communicate clearly, accurately and effectively in spoken and written word. They are challenged to use a wide range of vocabulary, accurate grammar, punctuation and spelling, and to develop their own personal style in awareness of the audiences they address. Students will explore the use of language, select specific information, and evaluate ideas. These skills are assessed in two papers, Paper 1 (Reading), which focuses on various aspects of comprehension, and Paper 2 (Writing), which encompasses argumentative and creative writing.


Paper 1 (Reading)

80 marks (50%)

2 hours

Paper 2 (Writing)

80 marks (50%)

2 hours

IGCSE English Literature

Exam Board: CAIE

Every student at Heathfield School will follow the IGCSE English Literature course. The course gives students the opportunity to study literature texts from a range of times, locations and forms, including a novel, a selection of poetry, and a play by Shakespeare. Students will engage with these texts through discussion, analysis and essay writing. They contain themes and ideas which students will explore as they develop their own unique responses to the texts. A particularly key skill is the ability to discuss the ways in which writers achieve their effects, which is developed through the study of the set texts; students have the opportunity to demonstrate their mastery of this in the Unseen Paper, where they are offered the choice between an unstudied poem or prose extract and invited to comment on how it creates its effects. This course enables students to develop the critical skills required to study English Literature at A Level.


Paper 1: Poetry and Prose (novel)

50 marks (50%)

1 hour 30 minutes

Paper 3: Drama (open text)

25 marks (25%)

45 minutes

Paper 4: Unseen

25 marks

75 minutes

NB: Students do not sit Paper 2: Drama (closed text).

After GCSEs

No matter what path students take after GCSEs, they are required to achieve a pass (at least grade 4) in IGCSE English Language. Many universities expect a minimum of a grade 5, which indicates the ability to handle texts written for undergraduate-level courses.

English Language and Literature IGCSEs provide students with the skills to tackle a host of essay-based subjects at A Level, including but not limited to English Literature and English Language.


GCSE Sciences

Exam Board: AQA


Every student at Heathfield School is required to take Science. Students start to cover some of the GCSE content in Form III allowing those more able to access three separate Science GCSEs.

Biology, Chemistry and Physics GCSE (Triple Award)
All students in the top science set will be entered for the three separate Science GCSEs. This will not involve any extra Science lessons but will mean that content within the lessons will be covered at a faster pace. If a student is struggling it will be possible for them to move to the other Science GCSE course, where they will be accredited with a Combined Science GCSE worth two GCSEs. Much of the content is transferable as a large percentage of the work covered is common to both routes. All three GCSEs are assessed at the end of the year with six written papers in total, each 1 hour 45 minutes, taken at the end of the two year period. To replace controlled assessment (coursework), students are required to complete a set number of experiments, about which they could be asked in their papers. At the end of the course students are awarded a grade from 1-9 (9 being the highest).

Paper 1 Topics 1-4 (50%)
Paper 2 Topics 5-7 (50%)

Paper 1 Topics 1-5 (50%)
Paper 2 Topics 6-10 (50%)

Paper 1 Topics 1-4 (50%)
Paper 2 Topics 5-8 (50%)

Combined Science Trilogy (worth 2 GCSEs)
Students not taking the three separate Sciences will continue their study of the three Sciences and will be examined in June of their Form V year, when they will have to complete six written papers, two in each of the Sciences, each one 1 hour 15 minutes. To replace controlled assessment, students are required to complete a set number of experiments, which could be examined in their written papers. Students at the end of the course are awarded two grades from 1-1 to 9-9. This creates a 17 mark spread, with the possibility of numbers being different e.g. 5-4. The option to take Foundation Tier remains, which limits students to a maximum grade of 5-5. The decision about whether to take a Foundation paper is taken in Form V based on what is best for the individual and is shared with their parents.

Combined Science

Biology 1 – Topics 1-4 (16.7%)
Biology 2 – Topics 5-7 (16.7%)

Chemistry 1 – Topics 8-12 (16.7%)
Chemistry 2 – Topics 13-17 (16.7%)

Physics 1 – Topics 18-21 (16.7%)
Physics 2 – Topics 22-24 (16.7%)

After GCSE
Students who take Combined Science will still have the option of studying any of the Sciences for A Level providing they have achieved at least a grade 6-6 in their Science examinations. Students who have taken the Sciences separately are required to have at least a grade 6 in the Science they wish to take. All students should also be proficient in Mathematics (Grade 6 or above) due to an increased amount in all the Science A Levels.



GCSE Foreign Modern Languages

Exam Board: AQA


The Modern Languages Department offers GCSE courses in French and Spanish.

Every student at Heathfield School is required to take either French or Spanish at GCSE. Students in the top set are stretched beyond the standard GCSE level, using the expertise of native teachers and having plenty of oral practice. Foundation tier students are encouraged to acquire the basic language skills required for success at GCSE. Both sets have regular weekly sessions with the language assistants helping them to understand grammar and to learn the discipline of starting to think in another language. The confidence that students gain from the oral work also benefits other subjects a great deal. No matter what students want to study after their GCSEs or what career they choose, having modern foreign languages improves opportunities later in life.

All students take their language GCSE examinations in the Fifth Form, although fluent or near-fluent speakers may be allowed to sit their GCSE at the end of Form IV. We believe that it is usually better for students to wait if there is any doubt; the added maturity helps them to earn the elusive grade 9, which they might forego by rushing through the course. Although we aim to cater for all cases, it is not possible to enter the GCSE course as a complete beginner.

In addition to French and Spanish, other languages (currently Arabic, Chinese, German, Greek, Japanese, Portuguese and Russian) may be studied to GCSE Level as paid for extra lessons (subject to the availability of teaching time and a suitable teacher). Further details can be obtained from the Modern Foreign Languages Department.

The new GCSE specifications allow students to develop your ability and ambition to communicate with native speakers in speech and writing. Through studying a modern language, they should also broaden their horizons and develop new ways of seeing the world.

Both French and Spanish courses concentrate on developing the skills necessary to understand and communicate in the language. Vocabulary and grammar work are important parts of language learning and enable students to perform well at GCSE, to prepare for the greater demands of A Level or further examinations and to be able to use their knowledge in a travel or work situation. Each syllabus aims to foster understanding and awareness of the relevant countries, their people and their way of life, to provide enjoyment and intellectual stimulation.

The GCSE course is a two year course. French and Spanish benefit from the same structure for the final examination. These qualifications are linear which means that students will sit all their language examinations at the end of the course. Each paper (Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing) counts for 25% of the overall marks. GCSE languages have a Foundation Tier (grades 1-5) and a Higher Tier (grades 4-9). At the end of the two years, a tier is chosen and all four question papers must be taken at the same tier. The new GCSE now includes translation from and into the target language which is assessed in the Reading and Writing examinations. Literary texts in the Reading assessment form part of the stimulus materials. The speaking assessment is conducted with the classroom teacher but marked externally.

Pupils may then choose any three or more from the following:



GCSE Art and Design

Exam Board: EDEXCEL


General outline: GCSE Art and Design
Students will follow one or more of the following artistic pathways: Drawing, Installation, Digital Photography, Mixed Media, Land Art, Painting, Printing, Sculpture, Illustration, Constructed Textiles, Installed Textiles, Fashion Design, Stitched or Embellished Textiles, Jewellery, Animation and Film.

Although practical skills are taught throughout the course, the development is extremely flexible and tailored to each individual. Support for this is provided through co-teaching and 1:1 tutorials, which are highly adaptive to accommodate emerging interests and talents.

Unit 1 Personal Portfolio: 60%
The Personal Portfolio (coursework) is produced during the three terms of Form IV, and the first term of Form V. An overarching theme for the Personal Portfolio is given, for example, ‘Identity’, ‘Superstition’, ‘Similarity and/ or Difference’, which is deliberately broad and open-ended, and encourages students to develop project ideas with originality and personal insight.

Form IV Michaelmas Term
With the examinations board’s renewed focus on observational drawing, much of this term is given over to refining drawing skills to ensure that students are able to meet the requisite standard, irrespective of whichever artistic discipline they prefer. Students are taught how to draw using a range of methods to suit individual learning.

Form IV Lent Term
Students embark on a series of taught workshops in a variety of skills, which the student is then able to use to fit their preferred discipline. For example, a workshop in printing could be adapted on to fabric for a student interested in Textiles, on to paper for Fine Art, on to clay for Ceramics, or on to found objects for a student interested in Sculpture. Stop-frame animation could just as easily be produced with textiles as it could with painting or clay.

Form IV Summer Term & Form V Michaelmas Term
Students will work with more independence to develop their theme in whichever discipline they are best suited to. A series of outcomes will be produced during this time, and which will offer a creative conclusion to themes researched and explored

Unit 2 Externally Set Assignment: 40%
The Externally Set Assignment (examination project) is released by Edexcel at the beginning of the Lent Term in Form V, and culminates in a 10 hour examination in the Summer Term.

With 1:1 support, students will have the freedom to develop this theme according to their interests, and in whichever discipline they have shown aptitude. In Form V, students are given the opportunity to attend optional paid Life Drawing classes.

Although the 10-hour examination may sound intimidating, all preparatory studies (30%) are produced in advance. Students are also encouraged to make a final piece prior to the examination, so that there can be no surprises when re-producing the piece under timed conditions (10%).

Work is internally marked and externally moderated.

Please note the following:
Work is marked synoptically and holistically across all four of the Assessment Objectives. This means that students will begin the course at Level 0 and continue to increase this as they build and refine their portfolio of work, over the five terms of the course. It would be expected that most students would have reached a Level 4 by the end of the first year.

25% of the marks are awarded to ‘Developing’ ideas. This means that students must be able to evidence perceptive critical thinking and independent review, of both their own and others artwork.

25% of the marks are awarded to ‘Recording’, meaning that highly skilled drawing and photography needs to be evidenced if students are to secure a high Level at the end of the course.

Partnerships & Relationships:
Falmouth School of Art: Heathfield is the first school in the UK to have a Creative Partnership; the Art Department works in collaboration with Senior Tutors on the BA Fine Art and BA Drawing.

London College of Fashion: We have a strong relationship with the London College of Fashion.



GCSE Business

Exam Board: EDEXCEL


The aim of this course is to provide an interesting and inspiring qualification which reflects the demands of a truly modern and evolving business environment that allows students to develop as commercially minded and enterprising individuals.

The qualification consists of two externally examined papers which must be taken in one sitting in May/June in any single year.

Theme 1 Investigating small business:
Written examination: 1 hour 30 minutes
50 percent of the qualification, 90 marks

Content overview:
Enterprise and entrepreneurship | Spotting a business opportunity | Putting a business idea into practice | Making the business effective

Understanding external influence on business Assessment overview. The paper is divided into three sections:
Section A: 35 marks
Section B: 30 marks
Section C: 25 marks

The paper will consist of calculations, multiple choice, short-answer and extended writing questions. Questions in Sections B and C will be based on business contexts given in the paper. Calculators may be used in the examination.

Theme 2: Building a business:
Written examination: 1 hour 30 minutes
50 percent of the qualification, 90 marks

Content overview:
Growing the business | Making marketing decisions | Making operational decisions | Making financial decisions | Making human resource decisions

Assessment overview
The paper is divided into three sections:
Section A: 35marks
Section B: 30 marks
Section C: 25 marks

The paper consists of calculations, multiple choice, short answer and extended-writing questions. Questions in Sections B and C will be based on business contexts given in the paper. Calculators may be used in the examination.

Business is a useful GCSE subject to take, both as a preparation for the A Level and out of general interest and, as such, students will become critically aware of current affairs. It helps to build skills that will be of practical use in later life. For example, students will be able to analyse a business scenario and form a justified recommendation/option. A good level of mathematical ability is required and questions also rely on reading comprehension and being able to write clearly and concisely.


GCSE Classical Civilisation

Exam Board: OCR


Classical Civilisation is a study of the civilisations and empires of the ancient world that have shaped and influenced humanity to the present time. The languages, politics, economics, religions and literatures of the western world and beyond owe much in particular to the ancient Greek and Roman civilisations. The subject is an enquiry into the past with which we have a shared cultural heritage. Students who like studying literature, history, religion, drama and culture will enjoy Classical Civilisation.

Topics studied at GCSE level include life in the cities of Athens and Rome, Greek and Roman mythology and religion, archaeology of ancient Greece and Homer’s epic poetry.

GCSE Classical Civilisation contains two examination papers. Each paper has equal weighting (50%) and each examination is one hour and thirty minutes long.

Exam Paper 1: Thematic Study

Myth and Religion
Many learners come to Classical Civilisation due to a love of the mythology of the ancient world, and so this forms a central part of this thematic component. Students will study myths regarding the role of the gods and heroes in the founding of Athens and Rome and the importance of Heracles/Hercules to both the Greek and Roman world. These are well known stories that students will enjoy engaging with and studying in increased depth. Myth as a symbol of power will also be explored, as will ever-popular myths about the underworld.

Students will also look at the role of religion in the everyday lives of ancient Greeks and Romans. The study of temples, sacrifice, festivals, death and beliefs in the afterlife will give a broad overview of religion in the ancient world, and provides opportunity for the study of a wide variety of material remains, including remarkable temples and works of art. Students will be required to make informed comparisons between Greek and Roman ideas, including the characteristics of the different societies, and the impact of the different cultural contexts on the theme studied. They will also be expected to use literature and visual/material culture in conjunction with one another in order to inform their judgements, including discussion of why or how the sources may present things differently from each other.

Exam Paper 2: Literature and Culture

The Homeric World
The Greeks themselves recognised the world of Homer’s poems as the cradle of Greek literature and civilisation, and this component provides the opportunity for the study of a fascinating period of history and a work of literature with great enduring appeal.

The Culture section involves a study of life in Mycenaean times. This is a very diverse area, allowing the study of particular sites, their archaeology and the valuable role they play in our understanding of the age. The Mycenaean Age is also rich in sculpture, frescos and jewellery, as well as the famous tombs and their accompanying treasure, meaning that students can study a wide range of fascinating materials. Everyday life in Mycenaean times is also explored, allowing students to consider what life was like for real people in this period, rather than simply focusing on the exploits of epic heroes. However, since the exploits of epic heroes are one of the most popular areas of study for students, Homer’s Odyssey has been chosen to form the Literature half of this component. The selection of books chosen for study in this component combines the fantastical and enjoyable tales of Odysseus’ journey, with those which give a possible insight into everyday life, including aspects such as palace life and the lives of women. The final books, which focus on the battle between Odysseus and the suitors, are exciting in themselves and also pose interesting questions about revenge and punishment.

Students will have the opportunity to visit Classical sites and exhibitions to support classroom learning and even excursions abroad; the Classics department has run trips recently to Athens, Delphi and Rome and we aim to run a trip every two years.



GCSE Classical Greek

Exam Board: OCR


Those who have studied Latin will benefit from and appreciate the option of Classical Greek which shares much of the same grammar, although of course the alphabet is rather different. We begin with the symbols but move on using the course-book Greek to GCSE (by Taylor) to develop skill at reading Ancient Greek set in the context of Athens in the Fifth Century BC. As well as linguistic study of Greek, students will study topics including Greek Gods, Myth, Festivals and the City of Athens. Throughout, comparisons are made with the many English words which are derived from Greek.

The emphasis in the Fourth Form is on solid understanding of the language; in the latter part of the Fourth Form and the Fifth Form the focus shifts towards the reading and enjoyment of a selection of Greek verse and prose literature. The reading of literature is one of the delights of GCSE Greek and sets it apart from other languages studied at GCSE. The set-text authors include Herodotus, Lucian, Homer and Euripides.

The full OCR Classical Greek qualification is comprised of the following modules:

  • Classical Greek Language (1 hour 30 minutes)
  • Classical Greek Prose Literature (1 hour)
  • Classical Greek Verse Literature (1 hour)

Students will have the opportunity to visit Classical sites and exhibitions to support classroom learning and even excursions abroad; the Classics department has run trips previously to Athens, Delphi and Rome and we aim to run a trip every two years.


GCSE Computer Science

Exam Board: OCR

Syllabus: J277

Studying GCSE Computer Science offers students a myriad of compelling reasons to engage with this dynamic and rapidly evolving field. Firstly, in an increasingly digital world, possessing a foundational understanding of the Computer Sciences equips students with essential skills for the future job market. The course cultivates problem-solving abilities, logical reasoning, and computational thinking, fostering a mindset that transcends the boundaries of programming.

Moreover, the GCSE Computer Science provides a gateway to creativity, enabling students to develop and implement the ideas through coding and software development. As technology continues to play a pivotal role in diverse industries, students who study GCSE Computer Science gain a competitive edge, not only in terms of employability but also in their capacity to comprehend and shape the technological landscape that shapes our daily lives. Beyond the pragmatic advantages, the subject fosters a deep appreciation for the ethical considerations and societal impacts of technology, nurturing responsible digital citizens.

In essence, studying GCSE Computer Science is an investment in intellectual growth, practical skills and a holistic understanding of the digital world. Additionally, it offers a deep understanding of computational thinking and the ability to apply it to any chosen programming language.

What will I study?

In Form IV, there is a strong emphasis on procedural programming in Python. Students will engage in an authentic programming experience which supports their learning and exam preparation. Students will analyse problems in computational terms through practical experience and devise creative algorithms by designing, writing, testing, debugging and evaluating programs whilst ensuring their code is well-written, efficient and conforming to coding conventions and standards.

In Form V, the concentration will shift to theoretical study. Students will develop their understanding and application of the core concepts which will be put into perspective, considering the thorough and robust understanding from the practical component in Form IV.


Paper 1 (50%) written theoretical

Paper 2 (50%) written programming, with theory of programming

After GCSEs

Studying Computer Sciences will enable students to develop valuable analytical and critical thinking skills, which are transferable to any field of study. Being able to think creatively, innovatively and logically is an attractive asset in the modern workplace. There are many disciplines that incorporate the Computer Sciences.


GCSE Drama

Exam Board: EDUQAS (WJEC)


The study of Drama aims to nurture creativity, personal growth, self-confidence, communication and analytical skills through the acquisition of knowledge, skills and the exercise of the imagination. It promotes students’ involvement in and enjoyment of Drama as a performer, deviser, director and designer. Students will have the opportunity to attend professional and community dramatic performances, and develop their skills as an informed and thoughtful audience member.

Throughout the course, students will be given opportunities to participate in and interpret their own and others drama. Investigating the forms, styles, and contexts of drama, learning to work collaboratively to develop ideas, to express feelings, experiment with technical elements and to reflect on their own and others performances.

Course Content
Component 1: Devising Theatre
40% of qualification. Internally assessed/externally moderated

This component involves the creation, development and performance of a piece of devised theatre. Students will be assessed as actors or designers, and must produce a finished piece of theatre; together with a portfolio of supporting evidence and an evaluation of the final performance or design.

There are 3 stages to the component:
1. Devising from a stimulus and creating supporting evidence during the process
2. Realising the piece of theatre in front of an audience
3. Evaluating the final piece and students’ individual contribution to it

Component 2: Performing from a Text
20% of qualification. Externally assessed

The study of two extracts from the same performance text chosen by the centre, and will be assessed as either an actor or designer. Students will participate in one performance using sections of text from both extracts.

Component 3: Interpreting Theatre
40% of qualification. Written paper; 1 hour 30 mins

Section A: Set Text
A series of questions on ONE set text from a choice of five. The examination gives the opportunity to show understanding of the processes involved in taking a play from page to stage.

Section B: Live Theatre Review
One question, from a choice of two, requiring analysis and evaluation of a given aspect of a live production seen during the course.

GCSE Drama demands more than a simple enjoyment of acting; it also requires academic skills and an interest in the creation, analysis and evaluation of theatre as an art form. By studying GCSE Drama, students will learn how the subject contributes to social and cultural commentary; and will come to appreciate that drama, whether intended for audiences or not, provides significant opportunities for expressing cultural and personal identity. The course will relate well to GCSE English and History. Whilst A Level Theatre Studies is more academically demanding, many students have taken the subject on into the Sixth Form and have been extremely successful. Former Theatre Studies students have gone on to earn places at RADA and LAMDA, or chosen to study at university for a Bachelor of Arts degree.


GCSE Geography

Exam Board: AQA


The study of Geography leads to a sense of wonder about the world in which we live – the places, the people and the environment. It helps to make sense of the complex and ever changing world. It explains the processes and systems of physical and human geography including the physical landscapes, how people and environments interact, how economies, societies and cultures interact and how we can make the world a sustainable place.

AQA Course
Travel the world from the classroom, exploring case studies in the United Kingdom, higher income countries, newly emerging economies and lower income countries.

Topics of study include the rivers and coasts, climate change, natural hazards, poverty, deprivation, global shifts in economic power and the challenge of sustainable resource use. Students are encouraged to understand their role in society, by considering different viewpoints, values and attitudes.

Learn the skills and experience to progress onto A Level and beyond.

There are three papers:

Paper 1: Living with the physical environment
Examination: 1 hour 30 minutes
35% of examination

Section A: The challenge of natural hazards
Section B: The living world
Section C: Physical landscapes in the

UK Paper 2: Challenges in the human environment
Examination: 1 hour 30 minutes
35% of examination

Section A: Urban issues and challenges
Section B: The changing economic world
Section C: The challenge of resource management

Paper 3: Geographical applications
Examination: 1 hour 15 minutes
30% of GCSE

Section A: Issue evaluation
Section B: Fieldwork, Geographical Skills

(Pre-release resources booklet available 12 weeks before Paper 3)


IGCSE History

Exam Board: EDEXCEL


It is a common misconception that History involves writing lots of essays. In fact, the vast majority of examination questions carry a tariff of around 3-10 marks and therefore require a relatively short answer. The content and skills required for the examinations are taught in active and engaging ways to ensure that the learning process is fun and effective.

Choosing History at GCSE will provide students with plenty of opportunities for further progression. At colleges and universities, History is considered to be an academically rigorous subject and is therefore very highly regarded no matter what career path students wish to pursue in the future. Through the study of History students will gain vital key skills such as: problem solving, analysis of evidence, empathy and teamwork. These skills are essential not only for History and other subjects in schools, but for any career they may wish to pursue in the future. Therefore, History can gain students entry into a wide range of careers, including television, radio, journalism, the police force, social work and the civil service.

In 2013 we introduced the History International GCSE (IGCSE), a highly respected alternative to the mainstream GCSE qualification which has been adopted by a number of prestigious independent schools. The History IGCSE is comprised of four units, all of which are assessed in two 1 hour 30 minute examinations. There is no controlled assessment.

Paper 1
Covers units 1 and 2. It is the depth study paper and contains four different questions testing chronological understanding and the ability to explain cause and effect.

Paper 2
Covers units 3 and 4. It includes a source based historical investigation and a breadth study focusing on `change over time’.

Unit 1: A World Divided: Superpower Relations after the Second World War, 1943-72
This unit focuses on the changing relations between the superpowers after the Second World War up to the beginning of Détente.

Unit 2: A Divided Union: Civil Rights in the USA, 1945-74
This unit focuses on the period of hysteria and protest in the USA brought about by the Cold War, Vietnam War and black civil rights.

Unit 3: Russia and the Soviet Union, 1905-24
Students will study the upheaval in Russia during this period which started with an attempted revolution in 1905 and culminated in a full revolution in 1917 and the formation of the world’s first communist state.

Unit 4: Conflict, Crisis and Change: China, 1900-1989
Students will learn about a period of great change in Chinese history dominated by revolution, civil war and dictatorship. The focus will largely be on the impact of Chairman Mao and his successors’ reforms on the Chinese people.


GCSE Latin

Exam Board: OCR


Did you know that 60% of words in the English Language and 80% of words in the Romantic Languages derive from Latin? The Latin language is alive. At Heathfield students have the opportunity to acquire this language and reap the rewards of an education in the Classics.

Students’ qualification in the Classics is an asset on a Curriculum Vitae and will make an impression on university departments, when applying for and competing for a place at university.

The OCR GCSE Latin specification provides students with the opportunity of acquiring the knowledge of the language, literature, culture, politics, economy, legal system and religion of the Roman world. They will develop their skills in writing, translating, critical thinking, analysis, reflection, logic and organisation. In addition, students will have the opportunity to read and study some of the greatest and most influential writers of all time.

The Full OCR GCSE Latin qualification is comprised of the following papers:

Paper 1 Language
(1 Hour 30 minutes)
Paper 2 Language 2
(1 Hour)
Paper 3 Prose Literature
(1 Hour)

The Latin authors typically studied at GCSE include Virgil, Cicero, and Livy.

Students will have the opportunity to visit Classical sites and exhibitions to support classroom learning and even excursions abroad; the Classics department has previously run trips recently to Athens, Delphi and Rome and we aim to run a trip every two years.


GCSE Music

Exam Board: EDEXCEL


Music GCSE is looked upon favourably by universities. It offers opportunities to play, compose, conduct, teach and direct so that, even if students do not take A Level, they will have developed a high level of skill and knowledge which will be extremely useful later – either directly in a career or indirectly as part of their leisure activities. GCSE students will be expected to study for their Grade V Theory during the course, as this provides an excellent background to musical theory and harmony.

Key subject aims
The Edexcel GCSE in Music specification:

  • Encourages students to be inspired, moved and challenged by following a broad, coherent, satisfying and worthwhile course of study.
  • Develops broader life skills, including critical and creative thinking, aesthetic sensitivity, emotional awareness, cultural understanding, self-discipline, self-confidence and self-motivation.
  • Enables students to engage actively in the study of music.
  • Develops musical skills and interests, including the ability to make music individually and in groups.
  • Enables students to understand and appreciate a range of different kinds of music.

The Edexcel GCSE in Music comprises three units:

Unit 1: Performing Music
This is internally assessed and requires one solo and one ensemble performance, worth 30% of the total marks.

Unit 2: Composing Music
This is internally assessed and requires two compositions, one to a set brief and one free composition, together lasting a minimum of three minutes, worth 30% of the total marks.

Unit 3: Music – Listening and Appraising
This is externally assessed by means of a 1 ¾ hour written paper and requires the candidate to have knowledge of eight set works, worth 40% of the total marks.

Teaching Approaches
A wide range of resources is available, including students’ own laptops running Sibelius 8 for composition. Students will be encouraged to actively participate in groups such as Orchestra, Choir, Chamber Ensembles and student formed groups, performing in school concerts and culminating in a biennial European Tour. An annual trip is also arranged to an Orchestral Concert.

After GCSE
Music GCSE is excellent preparation for the A Level Course in Performing, Composing, Historical and Analytical Studies. Music graduates may become Teachers, Arts Administrators, Music Publishers, Performers, Music Therapists, Instrument Repairers, Music Journalists, Radio or Television Producers, Army Musicians or Sound Engineers, amongst other career options.


GCSE Photography

Exam Board: AQA


Students are introduced to a variety of learning experiences which encourage the development of skills through the use of photography and photographic processes. Students will be guided how to develop their own strengths and interests in photography and follow their own lines of enquiry to produce a final portfolio submission and supporting workbooks.

During the course, students will be introduced to various techniques and will be able to demonstrate some ability in lighting, viewpoint, aperture, shutter speed and movement, depth of field, use of enlarger plus chemical and digital processes.

Students could choose to work in one or more of the following areas: portraiture, location photography, studio photography, experimental imagery, documentary, landscape and nature photography or perhaps photo-journalism or fashion photography.

Component 1: Portfolio
Students will be given a theme from which they will develop an independent response evidencing the journey from the initial stages of the course to final outcome. During this time, students will have an opportunity to demonstrate different areas of knowledge, skills and understanding from across their course of study.

Component 2: Externally Set Assignment
AQA will provide a selection of starting points from which each student will choose one to pursue as a chosen title. The creative response will evidence students ability to draw together different areas of knowledge, skills and understanding from their initial starting point to realisation of intentions. At the end of this preparatory period, students will undertake 10 hours of supervised unaided work.

There are no prior learning requirements. However, the GCSE course does provide a strong foundation for further study at A level.


GCSE Physical Education

Exam Board: OCR


Studying GCSE Physical Education will introduce pupils’ to the amazing world of sports performance. Not only will students have the chance to perform in three different sports through the non-examination assessment component, but they will also develop wide ranging knowledge into the how and why of physical activity and sport. Students will learn the reasons why we do things and why some people mentally and physically outperform others. They will also consider the ethical considerations on the use of drugs and gain an understanding of the consequences of inactivity and poor diet. We strongly advise that pupils who choose to take GCSE PE must be training and competing to a high standard weekly, preferably in three sports, or at least two. Pupils must be committed and enthused sportswomen and have a keen interest in both the physical and theoretical side of sport. At a time when female sport is breaking all records and glass ceilings this is a fantastic time for pupils to be widening their knowledge and understanding of sport.

Specification Overview:

Physical factors affecting performance

This component will assess:

  • 1.1 Applied anatomy and physiology
  • 1.2 Physical training

Socio-cultural issues and sports psychology

This component will assess:

  • 2.1 Socio-cultural influences
  • 2.2 Sports psychology
  • 2.3 Health, fitness and well-being

Practical Performances 

This component will assess:

  • Core and advanced skills in three activities taken from the approved OCR PE lists:
  • One from the ‘individual’ list
  • One from the ‘team’ list
  • One other from either list

Analysis and Evaluation of Performance 

This component draws upon the knowledge, understanding and skills a student has learnt and enables them to analyse and evaluate their own or a peer’s performance in one activity.


Written paper: 1 hour 30% of total GCSE (9–1) 60 marks

Written paper: 1 hour 30% of total GCSE (9–1) 60 marks

Practical Performance: Non-exam assessment (NEA) 30% of total GCSE (9–1) 60 marks (20 per sport)

AEP – Non-exam assessment (NEA) 10% of total GCSE (9–1) 20 marks


GCSE Religious Studies

Exam Board: OCR


The RS full course is both academically rigorous and intellectually challenging. Studying RS will help students develop their thinking skills and understand the world around them. The topics and religions chosen will equip students to lead constructive lives in the modern world as well as to adopt an enquiring, critical and reflective approach to the study of religious beliefs and practices. The knowledge, understanding and skills gained as a result of studying GCSE Religious Studies are useful for a wide range of A level subjects and further academic studies.

There are three parts of the course:

  • Christian beliefs and teachings and Christian practices (25%)
  • Muslim beliefs and teachings and Muslim practices (25%)
  • Philosophical and Ethical themes (50%)

Some of the topics studied in the Philosophy and Ethics module are:

  • Relationships and families in the 21st century, sex, marriage, contraception, same-sex relationships and divorce
  • Roles of men and women; equality; gender prejudice and discrimination
  • The nature of God and the problem of evil
  • Violence, peace and war
  • Secularism, freedom of belief and dialogue between religious and non-religious groups in society

The course is assessed through three external exams at the end of Form V. Examination questions consists of shorter knowledge based questions and longer evaluation essays.

Religious Studies is a thriving subject both nationally and at Heathfield. Many students choose to continue on to A Level Religious Studies in the Sixth Form; some go on to select philosophical and theological courses at top universities including Oxford, Durham, Edinburgh and King’s College, London.

Compulsory lessons


Physical Education


Students in Forms IV and V have three lessons a week. Two of these lessons will be Games lessons in which our key sports – Lacrosse and Netball – will take place, alongside a range of other options for pupils to explore and try out. We aim for all students to find sports which they enjoy and where they can increase their competency and confidence.

During their third weekly lesson, the pupils participate in a “Movement for the Mind” module which focuses on pupils’ mental wellbeing, health and exercise. In these sessions pupils will have tailored options such as yoga, walk and talk, gym and fitness sessions. The aim of all our PE lessons is to provide students with a framework where they can compete and train in a team sport, and to provide options which highlight the importance of general physical activity and exercise. We encourage all students to discover  a sport or exercise that they feel passionate about and want to positively and proactively engage with at Heathfield and beyond.


Personal, Social and Health Education


PSHE is taught in Forms I-UVI in one lesson every two weeks. Lessons are supplemented by presentations from outside speakers and agencies.

The aim of the course is to help students to:

  • Lead confident, healthy and responsible lives as individuals and as members of society.
  • Gain practical knowledge and skills to help them live healthily and deal with the spiritual, moral, social, cultural and financial issues they face as they approach adulthood.
  • Reflect on their experiences and try to understand and manage responsibly a range of relationships, showing respect for others.
  • Believe in their ability to succeed and take responsibility for their learning and future choices.
  • Demonstrate personal and group responsibility in their attitudes to themselves and others.
  • Obtain and use different kinds of information, including the media, to form and express an opinion.


Flourishing at school


Flourishing lessons are taught alongside students’ GCSEs once every two weeks. These lessons are based on psychological research and are designed to allow students to develop skills to manage their own mental health and wellbeing. In these lessons students will learn about:

  • What evidence tells us about what we can do to be happier and more mentally healthy.
  • Mindfulness and activities that help them to be more mindful.
  • Meditation and the positive effects that it can have.
  • What their character strengths are and how they can use them to achieve success and wellbeing.
  • The importance of different qualities such as kindness, motivation and mindset.

The goal of these lessons is to help students to develop a lifelong ability to look after their own and others’ mental health and enable them to flourish and thrive.