Sixth Form Curriculum

We are committed to providing real breadth in education and thus all students study one of our Sixth Form ‘pathways’: EPQ, Maths for Scientists, Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) or Extended Essay alongside their three chosen A Levels. Some students may take four A Levels after discussion with the Director of Studies and Director of Sixth Form.

A full PSHE and sport programme is part of students’ weekly life. We monitor all girls’ academic progress very closely. Sixth Form tutors have just seven to eight students to look after and can ensure that they are managing their time effectively and making the most of the many opportunities that are offered to them. Class sizes are also small so students are assured of individualised attention.

We assess pupils throughout the academic year in order to continually monitor their progress. In addition, there is an assessment week every term in the Lower Sixth. Students in the Upper Sixth sit their mock examinations at the end of the Michaelmas Term. The results of these assessments are communicated to parents through parents’ meetings and half termly reports. The reports are either a short report containing effort, assessment and termly assessed grades or a full report containing detailed comments regarding pupil progress.

Sport in the Sixth Form

Having the knowledge and understanding of a healthy lifestyle plays a key role in the aim of the PE department for our Sixth Form. We educate the girls on the importance of having a work/life balance and encourage them to try a range of sports and activities, so that on leaving Heathfield they feel equipped to continue participating in some form of physical activity.

PE is compulsory for all girls and during the two weekly 70 minutes sessions, as well as being able to participate competitively in lacrosse, netball, swimming, tennis and athletics, they are able to choose from a range of activities such as: aerobics; badminton; basketball; fitness; football; golf; indoor hockey; kick boxing; kayaking; trampolining; touch rugby and Zumba, to name but a few.

DOWNLOAD THE SIXTH FORM SUBJECT GUIDE

Heathfield offers 24 A Level subjects and Leiths Certificate in Food and Wine is also available as an extra qualification.

ART & DESIGN

Name of Qualification: A Level Art & Design: Fine Art, Textiles, 3D Design, Moving Image, and Illustration
Examination Board: Edexcel

 

How is the course assessed?
60% Coursework: Personal Investigation and Personal Study
The Personal Investigation is a portfolio of practical work produced throughout all of the LVI and the Michaelmas Term of the UVI.
The Personal Study is a critical and analytical written piece of approximately 3000 words. It comprises 12% of the total qualification.
Both the Personal Investigation and Personal Study themes are internally set by the School, and externally moderated by the examination board Edexcel.

40% Examination: Externally Set Assignment
Incorporates two major elements: preparatory studies and the 15-hour period of sustained focus.
The preparatory studies are produced throughout the Lent Term of UVI concluding with the 15-hour examination in the Summer Term of Upper Sixth.
The Externally Set Assignment is externally set, assessed by the School, and externally moderated by the examination board Edexcel.

Drawing & Recording: Drawing is an essential skill for studying any subject within Art and Design. It forms a core element of the practice of artists and designers. Drawing in the context of this qualification can include drawing, film, and photography. All examination boards have put a greater emphasis on Drawing and Recording.

Critical and Contextual Knowledge and Understanding, including Annotations: An important aspect of student progression is the application of critical and contextual knowledge, understanding, and an ability to express and justify ideas. Annotations are written notes that use specialist terminology and vocabulary relevant to the development of work as it is produced. All examination boards have put much greater emphasis on literacy skills.

Course Structure
Throughout the first two terms in LVI, students follow a theme to produce a portfolio of work based on a foundation of workshops in drawing and painting, textiles and fabric manipulation, printmaking, and sculpture. In the Summer Term of LVI and the Michaelmas Term of UVI, students will specialise in their area of interest to develop another project independently. This are of specialism might be any of those listed above, and you will work with your tutors, who will help you to identify your strengths. This project will also be the inspiration for the Personal Study, a written piece of approximately 3000 words. During this time, students will have a mock examination to prepare them for the external examination. In the Lent Term of Upper Sixth, students will be issued the Externally Set Assignment. This follows a similar format but will culminate in a 15 hour examination in the Summer Term of Upper Sixth.

Expectations and Commitment: Independent study is an essential requirement. A high level of motivation is required to ensure that opportunities such as gallery visits, research opportunities, residential trips, and cultural events are pursued in order to evidence the maturity and conceptual thinking skills required to obtain a top grade.

Course requirements
We require a minimum of a ‘B’ grade in Art and Design at GCSE. A Level work produced is expected to be presented to the same standard as a foundation course or higher.

Mathematical skills required?
Perspective, measurements, following patterns and an excellent understanding of 2D and 3D form is required.

Why study Art & Design?
If you enjoy working hard, are creative, and have a genuine sense of enquiry, you would be well suited to this course. For those wishing to pursue a creative pathway e.g. jewellery design, furniture design, costume design, set designer, fashion stylist, film maker, architecture, graphic designer, illustrator etc., an A-Level in Art and Design is a great place to start. We enjoy the support of a Fashion Designer in Residence, who is employed to organise the annual fashion show, and add additional skills to an already vibrant and exciting department. The annual fashion show is an opportunity for all students to get involved, either with stage management, dressing, producing look books, or fashion films. Guest judges have included significant figures from the fashion industry, including supermodels, London College of Fashion, famous bloggers, fashion magazines, and fashion houses.

London College of Fashion
We have a strong link with the London College of Fashion.

Alumni & Progression
Many have continued their studies at prestigious colleges, such as, at Central St Martins, London College of Fashion, Falmouth, Manchester, UCL and Parsons in New York.

BIOLOGY

Name of Qualification – AQA A Level Biology
Exam Board – AQA

 

How is the course assessed?
Biology A Level is assessed over 3 papers:

Paper 1 – Any content from topics 1-4, including relevant practical skills (91 marks, 35% of A Level, 2 hours)

Paper 2 – Any content from topics 5-8, including relevant practical skills (91 marks, 35% of A Level
2 hours)

Paper 3 – Any content from topics 1-8, including relevant practical skills. Also includes synoptic essay worth 25 marks. (78 marks, 30% of A Level, 2 hours).

All examination papers require students to access at least Higher Tier GCSE Mathematics (or equivalent), and 10% of the marks across the papers are awarded for this.

There is no coursework, although students are required to complete 12 practicals, from which contents can be assessed in any of papers 1, 2 and 3. Records and evidence of their practical work and their competencies in each practical skill are required in order for them to gain their Biology practical endorsement. This will be recorded as a pass/fail alongside their final grade.

Course requirements
Biology as a standalone GCSE grade 6, preferably 7, or Combined Science award grade 6-6. Maths at grade 6 is also required.

Mathematical skills required?
Yes

Why study Biology?
Advances in Biology have been spectacular in recent years. Research has cloned sheep, genetically engineered drugs such as insulin and wiped out smallpox. Biology is at the centre of issues that matter – should we allow human cloning? What do we think about research conducted on embryos? Does it make a difference eating genetically modified food? Is organic really better for you? Not a week goes past without Biology making the headlines in our newspapers. Studying Biology will develop the following skills:

  • Application of knowledge
  • Ability to analyse, interpret and evaluate scientific information, ideas and evidence
  • Numeracy
  • Ability to handle a variety of apparatus and to collect accurate data
  • The development of a wide variety of practical techniques
  • Ability to assess risk within practical context
  • Graphing and processing of data
  • Ability to communicate information and ideas through terminology and ICT in the context of findings of practical work
  • Evaluation of the role of science in the wider community

Course Content
The following topics are studied at A Level:

  1. Biological molecules
  2. Cells
  3. Organisms exchange substances with their environment
  4. Genetic information, variation and relationships between organisms
  5. Energy transfers in and between organisms
  6. Organisms respond to changes in their internal and external environments
  7. Genetics, populations, evolution and ecosystems
  8. The control of gene expression

There will be an opportunity to go on a field trip to study Ecology.

What subjects can I take with Biology and what career could this lead to?
As well as Chemistry and Physics, Biology matches particularly well with Mathematics, Geography, Physical Education and Psychology.

A range of subjects is accessible at university with A Level Biology. Medical Sciences are very popular, such as Medicine, Veterinary Medicine, Nursing, Dentistry, Biomedical Science and Pharmacology. Other options include Marine Biology, Zoology, Botany, Forensic Science, Microbiology, Physiology & Biochemistry and Ecology.

A Level Biology is held in very high regard, as it is considered one of the most demanding A Levels you can take. It is also one of the most flexible A Level Sciences as it can be matched with a wide range of other subjects.

BUSINESS

Name of Qualification: Business
Examination Board: Edexcel

 

How is the course assessed?
A Level – 3 written papers, 2 hours each

Course requirements
Maths and English Grade 6 is recommended but it is not essential to have studied Business at GCSE.

Mathematical skills required?
Yes

Why study Business?
A Level Business prepares students for a life in business and gives experience of the real world.

Students who study business will gain the following skills:

  • Communicating and explaining their ideas
  • Exploring and presenting alternative courses of action
  • Thinking strategically and making decisions
  • Working with numbers to solve business problems
  • Keeping up to date with national and international business news
  • Learning about the world of business through research and investigation
  • Problem solving including the ability to analyse and evaluate
  • Calculations and interpretation of results
  • Decision making
  • Communication and team working skills

Course Content
Business is a dynamic subject. You will learn about the diverse nature of business enterprise and the interdependence of the various parts of the business world. You will explore business success and business failure, investigate local, national and global business markets and understand how businesses need to adapt and respond strategically to the changing environment in which they operate to survive and grow. This constant evolutionary process makes business a fascinating subject.

In Theme 1 and Theme 2 you will learn about how businesses work. You will be introduced to the marketing and people functions before investigating entrepreneurs and business start-ups. You will also explore how business finance and operations work, and understand the impact of external influences.

Theme 3 and Theme 4 move from functions to strategy. You will explore influences on business strategy and decision-making, and understand how businesses mitigate risk and uncertainty. You will also explore global business and the opportunities and issues facing businesses in today’s global world.

Through studying business you will develop transferable skills that will prepare you for studying at university or moving into the world of work. You will become skilled in making decisions, solving problems, applying numerical skills (including understanding finance and working with data) and understanding the business environment. You will also develop commercial awareness. There are opportunities to visit Eton College for meetings with their Keynes Society.

What further study and careers could Business lead to?
A Level Business could lead to further study in any Business, Economics or Accounting course. Other options for further study include:

  • Business management
  • Accountancy and finance
  • Marketing
  • Tourism management
  • International business

Business students can also progress to a wide range of careers, such as banking, sales, product management and general management, to working in public sector organisations or charities.

CHEMISTRY

Name of Qualification: OCR Chemistry A
Examination Board: OCR

 

How is the course assessed?
There are three examination papers:

  • Periodic table, elements and physical chemistry (37%, 135 minutes)
  • Synthesis and analytical techniques (37%, 135 minutes)
  • Unified chemistry (26%, 90 minutes)

There is no coursework but there is a pass or fail Practical Endorsement that is achieved by students demonstrating their competence in a variety of activities undertaken throughout the A Level course.

Course requirements
The course has been designed for students who have completed GCSE Dual Science or Chemistry Triple Award. You must have at least a grade 5 in both Science/Chemistry and Mathematics.

Mathematical skills required?
Yes

Why study Chemistry?
From the moment you are born, and throughout your life, you are surrounded by Chemistry – the air you breathe, the food you eat and the clothes you wear – they’re all Chemistry. Chemistry is the study of substances; what they are made of, how they interact with each other, and the role they play in living things. Whether you want to care for penguin colonies in Antarctica or work in a dynamic business environment, Chemistry can help you.

From research in space, to the depths of the oceans, Chemistry helps you understand the world around you and opens up lots of career opportunities.

A Level Chemistry will allow you to develop a wide range of skills including:

  • Numeracy, Analysis and Problem-Solving
  • Awareness of Ethical and Environmental impacts
  • Time Management and Organisation
  • Interpretation and Evaluation
  • Teamwork and Communication (written and oral)
  • IT and Technology
  • Confidence in dealing with unfamiliar problems
  • Understanding of the complexities, challenges and rewards of Chemistry

Course Content

  • Module 1 – Development of practical skills in chemistry
  • Module 2 – Foundations in chemistry
  • Module 3 – Periodic table and energy
  • Module 4 – Core organic chemistry
  • Module 5 – Physical chemistry and transition elements
  • Module 6 – Organic chemistry and analysis

What further study and careers could Chemistry lead to?
Chemistry is essential or strongly preferred for studying Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmacy, Biochemistry, Biology, Geology, Food Science, Nutrition, and Dietetics, as well as Chemistry, Chemical Engineering and Pharmaceutical Sciences. Today there are many joint degrees for Chemistry with Management, Law, Economics and Languages. Chemistry is highly regarded as a suitable A Level for courses such as Law, Economics and Accountancy at leading universities because a good grade proves you have well-developed logic and analytical skills as well as the ability to learn and understand complex material. You will also have a clear understanding of many current and topical issues.

Chemistry students are highly valued for their numerical, linguistic and analytical skills. A Chemistry qualification can take you almost anywhere.

CLASSICAL CIVILISATION

Name of Qualification: Classical Civilisation
Examination Board: OCR

 

How is the course assessed?
Greek Theatre 1 hour 45 minutes, 30%
Greek Religion 1 hour 45 minutes, 30%
The World of the Hero 2 hours 20 minutes, 40%

Course requirements
There are no specific subjects for GCSE which need to be taken in advance and GCSE Classical Civilisation is not needed to take up the study of the subject at A Level. Whilst there are no set minimum grade requirements, this is a reading and essay subject with the inclusion of literary and visual sources and would particularly suit those who enjoy English Literature, Drama, Art, History, History of Art and Religious Studies as well as Latin and Classical Greek.

Mathematical skill required?
No

Why study Classical Civilisation?

  • To read some of the greatest literature in Western civilisation which has shaped and formed our own literature
  • To study some of the finest art and its techniques in Western civilisation, again which has shaped and formed our own
  • To develop an interest in, and enthusiasm for, the literary, historical and cultural features of the ancient world
  • To apply analytical and evaluative skills to the text, to make an informed and personal response to the material studied, and to develop a sensitive and analytical approach to language and literature generally

Course Content
Greek Theatre – The drama produced in the
ancient Greek theatre forms some of the most powerful literature of the ancient world, and has
had a profound and wide-reaching influence on modern culture.

To fully understand this cultural phenomenon requires study of not only the plays but the context in which their form and production developed. To develop this understanding this component involves the study of the physical theatre space used by the Greeks to stage their dramas, and also depictions of this staging in the visual/material record.

This study of the production of Greek drama is coupled with an in–depth study of three plays, all of which have proven to be enduring favourites. The themes and concepts explored by these plays are of significant relevance and interest to the modern audience as well as that of the original performance.

The plays and material culture included in the specification provide learners with a range of interesting sources which will allow them to explore, evaluate and understand this aspect of ancient culture and its relevance to us today.

Greek Religion – Religion was an essential part of ancient Greek identity, permeating all strata of society and all aspects of an individual’s daily life. Religion could be connected to the household, to life in the city or life in the countryside; moreover politics and religion were intertwined to the extent that political decisions were sometimes made on the basis of divine oracular intervention. Religion was also an important tool for the creation of local and Panhellenic identities, as well as of competition between the Greek city-states. Studying the practicalities of religious ritual, and the role it played in society, alongside the functions and layout of famous temple complexes, will make this component tangible for learners and help develop their sense
of the central role religion played in the life of everyday people.

Learners will also explore the nature of the gods and their relationship with mortals. Key to this is the depiction of the gods by Homer and Hesiod, whom Herodotus credited with giving the Greeks their first understanding of the characters and responsibilities of the gods. Also included are the very different roles played by Mystery Cults, and the tensions caused by the rise of philosophical thinking.

The World of the Hero – The poems of Homer were considered by the Greeks themselves to be a foundation of Greek culture, standing as they do at the beginning of the Western literary canon.

This component provides learners with the opportunity to appreciate the lasting legacy of these works and to explore their attitudes and values. The epics of Homer, with their heroes, gods and exciting narratives, have been in continuous study since their conception, and remain popular with learners and teachers today. For the first year we will be studying Homer’s Iliad which tells the story of the famous quarrel between the famous Greek heroes Achilles and Agamemnon during the Trojan War.

This component also provides learners with the opportunity to appreciate Virgil’s Aeneid, a cornerstone and landmark in Western literature. Drawing inspiration from Homer, as well as from his own cultural and political context, Virgil explored what it was to be a hero in the Roman world and created a work which has proven enduringly popular. We will read this text during the second year of study.

Pupils will also be eligible for our Classics trip which tends to run once every two years; In 2014 we visited Athens and Delphi in Greece, in 2016 we explored Rome, and discussions are currently in place for our next trip.

What subjects can I take with Classical Civilisation and what career could this lead to?
As well as any degrees with Classical content, Classical Civilisation is also very complementary to any text-based subject such as English Literature and humanity subjects such as History, Politics, History of Art and Religious Studies. Because it provides a rich selection of subjects within its four modules, it would also suit those pursuing degrees in Art, Drama, Philosophy, Languages and many more. The knowledge learned will equip the pupil for any number of Classical and non-Classical courses at university and it is no surprise that many institutions are offering Classics taster courses to students studying European and British culture, History and Literature so that they can appreciate their subject in more depth. In terms of careers, a degree or A Level in a Classical subject does not limit one’s choice of jobs and they are highly valued by prospective employers.

DRAMA AND THEATRE

Name of Qualification: Drama and Theatre
Examination Board: Eduqas (WJEC)

 

How is the course assessed?
3 Components:

Component 1; Theatre Workshop
Non-exam assessment: internally assessed
and externally moderated by WJEC

20% of qualification 60 marks

Learners are required to create a piece of theatre based on an extract from a text using the techniques and working methods of either an influential theatre practitioner or a recognised theatre company.

Component 2; Text in Action
Non-exam assessment: externally assessed by a visiting examiner

40% of qualification 120 marks

This component requires learners to engage with a stimulus to create two pieces of live theatre: one devised piece using the working methods and techniques of either an influential theatre practitioner or a recognised theatre company and one extract from a text in a different style to the devised piece.

Component 3; Text in Performance
Written examination: 2 hours 30 minutes

40% of qualification 120 marks

In this component, learners are required to study two complete texts and one extract from a third contrasting text. Centres are reminded that the five texts studied for this qualification as a whole must represent a range of social, historical and cultural contexts.

Course requirements
At least Grade 5 in GCSE English Literature and, although not a prerequisite, GCSE Drama is helpful.

Mathematical skills required?
No

Why study Theatre Studies?
A Level Drama and Theatre is for students who enjoy reading and watching plays, and taking part in them, whether performing, directing or designing sets and costumes. It offers students the freedom to choose both the content and the form of their practical presentations. Students are given opportunities to be creative and to have interpretative freedom as well as inspiration and critical and practical skills for other subjects they may be studying.

  • Students can attend any live theatre production and bring their experiences into class
  • Written papers add rigour to the course and help ensure that students understand the way plays relate to their historical, social and cultural context
  • Students develop confidence, team-building, communication and other life skills
  • The work of significant theatrical practitioners is considered and students understand the connection between theory and practice.

Students say that they like:

  • The group work that is at the heart of this course
  • The range of play choices – students study 5 throughout the course
  • Being able to go to live theatre productions
  • Having the skills to analyse and appreciate drama or theatre
  • The opportunity to devise original work
  • Being able to consider work by influential playwrights directors and theatre companies
  • Developing skills that could help them in many different careers

What further study and careers will Theatre Studies lead to?
Drama and Theatre Studies, Psychology, Media, Marketing, Event Management, Business. Considered by many universities as a complement to Law and Humanities courses.

ECONOMICS

Name of Qualification: Economics
Examination Board: Edexcel

 

How is the course assessed?
A Level – 3 written papers, 2 hours each

Course requirements
A minimum of Grade 6 in GCSE Maths and English

Mathematical skills required?
Yes

Why study Economics?
Economics involves you in using both writing and mathematical skills. It can be taken with a wide variety of other A Levels – it doesn’t tie you to either an Arts or Science bias.

It keeps your career options open. The skills developed are much valued by employers and Economics is useful in a surprisingly wide variety of careers.

Students who study Economics will gain the following skills:

  • Communicating and explaining their ideas
  • Exploring and presenting alternative courses of action
  • Thinking strategically and making decisions
  • Working with numbers to solve problems
  • Economics and business news
  • Learning about the world through research and investigation
  • Problem solving including the ability to analyse and evaluate
  • Calculations and interpretation of results
  • Decision making
  • Communication and team working skills

Course Content
Students use economic models to help them understand the complexities of the world around them, and use data to help them explore markets and economies and how governments try and influence both. Students are introduced to different perspectives, aspects of economic history and develop an understanding of economic issues.

In Theme 1 you will learn about markets, how markets work and why markets fail, and how governments intervene to stop market failure.

In Theme 2 you will learn about the UK economy – performance and policies, measures of economic performance, aggregate demand, aggregate supply, national income, economic growth, macroeconomic objectives and policy.

Theme 3 is about business behaviour and the labour market, business growth, business objectives, revenues, costs and profit, market structures, labour market, and government intervention

Theme 4 concentrates on a global perspective. Topics studied include international economics, poverty and inequality, emerging and developing economies, the financial sector, and the role of the state in the macroeconomy

What further study and careers could Economics lead to?
A Level Economics could lead to further study in any Economics, Econometrics, Business or Accounting courses.

Careers directly related to Economics include:

  • Actuarial analyst
  • Chartered accountant
  • Chartered certified accountant
  • Chartered public finance accountant
  • Economist
  • Financial risk analyst
  • Forensic accountant
  • Investment analyst
  • Statistician
  • Stockbroker

ENGLISH LITERATURE

Name of Qualification: English Literature
Examination Board: OCR

 

How is the course assessed?
Two examinations:
Comparative and Contextual Study
– 2 hours 30 minutes

Drama and Poetry pre-1900
– 2 hours 30 minutes

All examinations are closed book.

Coursework: Literature post-1900
Students complete a close reading and write a comparative essay.

Course requirements
The following GCSE grades are required: English Language Grade 6 and English Literature Grade 6.

Mathematical skills required?
No

Why study English Literature?
If you enjoy reading and debating the deepest layers of meaning in novels, plays and poems, you will love the opportunity to enhance your awareness of a subject which changes the way we see ourselves and the world around us.

You will engage with a range of novels, plays and poetry from different periods, considering issues such as the changing position of women, how religion and society inform our understanding of the world, and themes such as justice and human relationships.

English Literature is considered by universities as a ‘facilitating’ subject for higher education courses as it provides students with transferable skills such as independent thinking, critical analysis, essay writing and research skills.

Students develop their ideas through a combination of close textual analysis and imaginative insight. They develop an informed, personal response to the texts they are studying and can support their ideas with convincing arguments. They also engage with a variety of different critical interpretations of a text and learn how to evaluate the significance of historical, social and literary context.

Course Content

  • Women in Literature: ‘Jane Eyre’ by Charlotte Bronte and ‘Sense and Sensibility’ by Jane Austen
  • Drama and Poetry pre-1900: ‘Measure for Measure’ by William Shakespeare, ‘An Ideal Husband’ by Oscar Wilde and selected poems by Christina Rossetti.
  • Coursework: ‘Birthday Letters’ by Ted Hughes and a choice of post-1900 plays and novels clustered around a theme.

The department provides a range of resources for students to develop their understanding of the subject, such as wider critical and contextual reading and the opportunity to attend theatre productions.

What further study and careers could English Literature lead to?
Students with this subject frequently go on to study arts and humanities subjects at university and pursue careers in areas such as law, journalism, publishing and teaching.

EXTENDED PROJECT QUALIFICATION

Extended Project Qualification (EPQ)
Examination Board: AQA

 

How is the course assessed?
An internally assessed and externally moderated independent project which either takes the form of a 5000 word Dissertation or an artefact and 1000 word essay. Additionally students give a 10 minute Presentation.

Mathematical skills required?
No

Why study for an EPQ?
An EPQ is graded from A* (70 UCAS points) to E (20 UCAS points) and so is worth half an A Level. It is a single piece of work of a student’s choosing that requires evidence of planning, preparation, research, and independent learning.

The Extended Project offers opportunities for learners to:

  • have significant input into the choice and design of an extended piece of work
  • develop and apply decision-making skills, problem-solving skills, initiative and enterprise
  • extend their planning, research, critical thinking, analytical, synthesis, evaluation and presentation skills
  • use their learning experiences to support their personal aspirations for higher education and career development

Course Content
The course is composed of roughly 80 hours of independent study and up to 40 hours of taught skills. The skills that students develop through the EPQ are directly relevant to and useful for university-level study. Students can refer to the Extended Project in their UCAS personal statements and at interview to demonstrate some of the qualities that universities are looking for.

Subjects it might lead to at University/College
This is a highly regarded qualification to hold in conjunction with your A Levels. Increasingly, Admissions Tutors are making lower offers to students who have completed an EPQ and there is evidence to suggest that students who have completed the EPQ perform better in their degrees.

FILM STUDIES

Name of Qualification: Film Studies
Examination Board: WJEC Eduqas

 

How is the course assessed?
Component 1: Written Examination: 2½ hours
Component 2: Written Examination: 2½ hours
Component 3: Production (non-exam assessment)

Course requirements
Skills established at GCSE in literacy and Information Technology

Mathematical skills required?
No

Why study Film Studies?

  • The subject bridges written and creative subjects
  • It is one of the main cultural innovations of the 20th century
  • It is a major art form of the last 100 years
  • It provides an opportunity to be creative with new media
  • You will investigate how film works
  • You will learn about film as an aesthetic medium
  • You are offered an opportunity to look at mainstream American film, contemporary British film, and global films
  • The subjects is ideal for everyone of any ability
  • The course provides an exciting step into the world of film and film making. Students will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of film as an audio-visual form of creative expression and apply this, including some of the common critical approaches that characterise the subject.

Course Content
Component 1: Varieties of film and filmmaking
This component assesses knowledge and understanding of six feature-length films.

Written examination: 2½ hours – 35% of qualification

  • Section A: Hollywood 1930-1990 (comparative study)
    One question from a choice of two, requiring reference to two Hollywood films, one from the Classical Hollywood period (1930-1960) and the other from the New Hollywood period (1961-1990).
  • Section B: American film since 2005 (two-film study).
    One question from a choice of two, requiring reference to two American films, one mainstream film and one contemporary independent film.
  • Section C: British film since 1995 (two-film study).
    One question from a choice of two, requiring reference to two British films.

Component 2: Global filmmaking perspectives
This component assesses knowledge and understanding of five feature-length films (or their equivalent).

Written examination: 2½ hours – 35% of qualification

  • Section A: Global film (two-film study)
    One question from a choice of two, requiring reference to two global films: one European and one produced outside Europe.
  • Section B: Documentary film
    One question from a choice of two, requiring reference to one documentary film.
  • Section C: Film movements – Silent cinema
    One question from a choice of two, requiring reference to one silent film or group of films.
  • Section D: Film movements – Experimental film (1960-2000)
    One question from a choice of two, requiring reference to one film option.

Component 3: Production Non-exam assessment
This component assesses one production and its evaluative analysis.

30% of qualification

Learners produce: either

  • a short film (4-5 minutes) or a screenplay for a short film (1600-1800 words) plus a digitally photographed storyboard of a key section from the screenplay.
  • An evaluative analysis (1600 – 1800 words).

What further careers could Film Studies lead to?

  • Broadcast engineer
  • Broadcast presenter
  • Location manager
  • Programme researcher broadcasting/film/video
  • Television camera operator
  • Television/film/video producer
  • Television production coordinator
  • Advertising art director
  • Community arts worker
  • Marketing executive
  • Runner broadcasting/film/video

However, the skills acquired during the course would also provide essential expertise that could lead to many other opportunities:

  • Skills in interpreting a variety of literary and cultural works
  • An understanding of historical, political and cultural contexts
  • Understanding of language to communicate ideas and information
  • The ability to analyse
  • The ability to conduct independent research
  • Implement independent thought and judgement
  • Essay writing
  • Peer / self-assessment opportunities
  • Film making skills including the use of direction, sound, cinematography, performance and mise-en-scene to understand and create film

FRENCH

Name of Qualification: French
Examination Board: AQA

 

How is the course assessed?
Paper 1: 2 hours 30 minutes              50%
Listening, reading and translations into English and into French

Paper 2: 2 hours                                    20%
Response to a question on a set text and a question on a set film

Paper 3:                                                     30%
Oral examination: 21 to 23 minutes (including 5 minutes preparation time)
For the oral, A Level students will prepare an individual project on a theme of their choice

Course requirements
French GCSE at Grade 7 minimum

Mathematical skills required?
No

Why study French?
Communication is essential in today’s world. By studying a foreign language, you will not only be given the tools to communicate with people from other countries but will also be introduced to their culture, politics, customs and thoughts. Language learners agree that language proficiency facilitates better relationships with other countries and is undoubtedly helpful to their future.

Course content
Social issues and trends
AS and A Level: Aspects of French-speaking society: current trends

  • The changing nature of the family
  • The “cyber-society”
  • The place of voluntary work

A Level: Aspects of French-speaking society: Current issues

  • Positive features of a diverse society
  • Life for the marginalised
  • How criminals are treated

Political and artistic culture
AS and A Level: Artistic culture

  • A culture proud of its heritage
  • Contemporary francophone music
  • Cinema: the 7th art form

AS and A Level: Aspects of political life in the French-speaking world

  • Teenagers, the right to vote and political commitment
  • Demonstrations, strikes – who holds the power?
  • Politics and immigration

What further study and careers could French lead to?
It can lead to a huge variety of degrees in foreign languages, art, social sciences and humanities, science, engineering and medicine. Linguists are among the most employable.

GEOGRAPHY

Name of Qualification: Geography
Examination Board: AQA

 

How is the course assessed?
There are 3 components:
2 exams and a geographical investigation

Physical Geography written paper 40%

Human Geography written paper 40%

3-4,000 word Fieldwork investigation 20%

Course requirements
Grade 6 or above in Geography GCSE

Mathematical skills required?
Mathematical skills are important. A sound Grade 5 in Maths GCSE for geographical skills and calculations with some statistics.

Why study Geography?
Geography is everywhere! Geography students hold the key to the world’s problems.

“So many of the world’s current issues – at a global scale and locally – come down to geography, and need the geographers of the future to help understand them. Global warming as it affects countries and regions, food and energy security, the degradation of land and soils from over-use and misuse, the spread of disease, the causes and consequences of migration, and the impacts of economic change on places and communities.”
Michael Palin RGS.

Students are encouraged to understand their role in society by considering different viewpoints, values and attitudes. Students will develop the following skills:

  • Geographical – Cartographic, Graphical, Numerical, Statistical
  • Thinking skills, problem-solving, decision-making and evaluation
  • IT and technology
  • Time management and organisation
  • Awareness of ethical and environmental impacts
  • Thinking like a Geographer – aware of the bigger picture

 Course Content

  • A chance to explore the many relationships between people and the environment they occupy
  • Physical Geography – water and carbon cycles, coastal systems and landscapes, hazards
  • Human Geography – global systems and global governance, changing places, contemporary urban environments
  • A Geographical investigation defined and developed by the student

There are also opportunities for field trips which take place on a local, regional and international level to places around the UK and further afield such as North America.

What further study and careers could Geography lead to?
Geography BA or BSc, Physical or Human Geography, part of combined Honours e.g. with Politics, Climate Science, Hazard Management, Environmental Science or Geo-politics.

Geography students are highly valued for their numerical, analytical and decision-making skills. Many employers appreciate the knowledge and skills that geographers can provide eg GIS, town and transport planning, chartered surveying, land and water management, sustainability, environmental consultancy, development, tourism, conservation, demography, housing and social welfare, overseas development, as well as the Civil Service. A fifth of geographers go on to further study teaching, legal training, masters or doctorates. The Russell Group of Universities recognises Geography as a key “facilitating” subject for entry to degree-level study.

HISTORY OF ART

Name of Qualification: History of Art
Board: Excel

 

How is the course assessed?
2 written exams

  • Analysis studies and Thematic Topics 3 hours 50% of marks
  • Historical topics 3 hours 50% of marks

Course Requirements
The course assumes no prior knowledge of the subject although students must have strong literacy skills and a willingness to visit galleries and museums in their own time. It is advantageous for girls to have gained at least a grade B at GCSE in either English Language or Literature. An interest in the visual environment, of beauty and aesthetics as well as a desire to search beneath its surface is desirable.

Mathematical skills required?
No

Why study History of Art?
Art History is a wonderful enriching visual subject. It involves learning to unpack the visual understanding of images, never more essential than in today’s visually saturated world. Art History students are opened up to the messages embedded in our day to day environments.

Aims

  • To reveal an understanding and appreciation of some of the most significant artistic and cultural ideas and achievements in painting, sculpture and architecture from classical Greece to the end of the twentieth century.
  • To develop visual analytical skills both orally and in written form.
  • To relate works of art to their social, historical and cultural context.

Course content
Students are taught to look at and analyse art. They are introduced to the formal characteristics, terminology and techniques of painting, sculpture and architecture with reference to particular works that are examined in Paper 1. Ideas include composition, colour, light, space, ornament, volume, line and shape.

We also study the context and meaning of works, studying periods in depth, specialising in areas of the Renaissance, particularly in Florence and of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the Shock of the New, looking at the birth of modernism.

Themes are addressed and students specialise in two themes, choosing from either identity, war or nature.

What subjects can I take with History of Art?
The subject complements studies in English, History, Classics, Art, RS, Drama, Languages, Music and even Chemistry if a student is interested in restoration.

History of Art is a well-respected academic subject that is offered by both Oxford and Cambridge. Students with a degree in History of Art will find that their visual, literary and analytical skills will not only prepare them for careers in the academic and commercial art worlds, but will make them attractive candidates for entry to the creative and marketing industries. As an essay-based discipline it would support any career where the expression and organisation of ideas is important.

HISTORY

Name of Qualification: History
Examination Board: Edexcel

 

How is the course assessed?

  • Three externally assessed examination papers (2 x 2¼ hrs; 1 x 1½ hrs)
  • One coursework assignment of 4,000 words

All examinations are closed book.

Course requirements
GCSE History Grade B or above

Mathematical skills required?
No

Why Study History?
A Level History is a fascinating course that shows you how modern Britain, France and the USA were all formed through their own particular experience of revolutions. It also enables you, in the Upper Sixth year, to complete a piece of research-based coursework to a standard approaching undergraduate level. In addition, having A Level History can open you up to a world of possibilities at university and beyond. The A Level History course gives you practice in writing and literature skills and also provides you with contextual knowledge and research experience. Consequently, universities and employers look incredibly favourably upon applicants with A Level History. Many skills will be developed throughout the course including analytical and critical reasoning, oral and written communication and research skills.

Course Content
Paper 1: Britain, 1625-1701: conflict, revolution and settlement (Option 1C)
Paper 2: France in Revolution: 1774-1799 (Option 2C)
Paper 3: Civil rights and race relations in the USA: 1850-2009 (39.1)
Paper 4: Coursework

Student extension activities and trips include revision conferences as well as a possible trip to France or the USA.

What further study and careers could
History lead to?

  • Accountancy and Finance
  • Archaeology
  • History (Modern and Ancient)
  • Journalism
  • Law
  • Politics
  • Sociology
  • Teaching
  • Tourism

A Level History on a CV shows that a student has practised a number of key transferable skills much sought after by universities and employers, such as analysing, synthesising, reasoning, decision making, active listening, oral communication and written communication.

In the guide, Informed Choices, produced by the Russell Group of leading UK universities, History is listed as one of only eight ‘facilitating’ subjects that open up a wide range of options for university study. It is regarded by universities as one of the premier academic subjects.

LATIN

Name of Qualification: Latin
Examination Board: OCR

 

How is the course assessed?
AS Level Course – 2 papers:
Language (01), 1 hour 30 minutes, 50%
Literature (02), 2 hours, 50%

A Level Course – 4 papers:
Unseen Translation (01), 1hour 45 minutes, 33%
Prose Composition or Comprehension (02), 1hour 15 minutes, 17%
Prose Literature (03), 2 hours, 25%
Verse Literature (04), 2 hours, 25%

Course requirements
Grade 6 or above in GCSE Latin

Mathematical skills required?
Yes – the scanning of metric verse requires some basic mathematics

Why study Latin?

  • To read some of the greatest literature in its original form to obtain its full sense, meaning and tone
  • To acquire language skills in Latin which can be transferred to the learning of other languages as well as giving pupils an informed grammatical perspective of the English language
  • To develop an interest in, and enthusiasm for, the literary, historical and cultural features of the ancient world
  • To apply analytical and evaluative skills to the Latin text, to make an informed and personal response to the material studied and to develop a sensitive and analytical approach to language and literature generally
  • To develop skills of logic and reasoning in deciphering a language with a very different cognitive process from our own

Course content
The language modules continue to examine a high standard of Latin either through translation, comprehension or composition. Whilst the AS has its own vocabulary list, the A Level course requires a study of individual, pre-determined authors and has no vocabulary list, meaning that pupils acquire vocabulary by gaining experience of that particular author’s works. For examinations in 2018-19, the prose will be Pliny’s letters whilst the verse will be the poems of Ovid.

For the literature modules for 2018-19 the course content will be as follows:
Prose: The writings of Cicero, Tacitus and Seneca
Verse: Virgil, Ovid, Tibullus and Propertius

Through the study of the language and culture, pupils will be extended, particularly through the prose composition element and no vocabulary list. The authors studied are renowned for their pioneering and enlightening works with plenty of scope for academic and philosophical discourse.

Pupils will also be eligible for our Classics trip which tends to run once every two years; in 2016 we explored Rome whilst in 2014 we visited Athens and Delphi in Greece.

What subjects can I take with Latin and what career could this lead to?
As well as any degrees with Classical content, Latin is also very complementary to any language, text and humanity subject. In addition, many potential medics or lawyers study Latin with the roots of many medical and legal terms coming from the language. An A Level in Latin is an impressive indicator to any university of academic ability.

Studying Latin does not, as some might think, close doors to most careers as it is a challenging subject with a strong academic reputation amongst universities and employers; this makes it a desirable A Level. Latin is also an opportunity to take on the study of many different subjects as it encompasses literature, history, politics, theology and art, as well as the language itself, and could provide a solution to those who are unsure or unwilling to leave behind so many subjects at school.

LEITHS

Name of Qualification: Leiths Introductory Certificate in Food and Wine
Examination Board: Leiths School of Food and Wine

 

How is the course assessed?
20% Theory examination (1½ hours): techniques, methods, terminology and definitions covered during the course.
40% Practical examination (2½ hours): specified dishes cooked to the required standard under timed conditions.
40% Continuous assessment: cooked dishes, time plans, menu planning assignments and revision tests are assessed.

Course requirements
There is no requirement for specific GCSEs, however the professional nature of the course requires consistent effort and full attendance.

Mathematical skills required?
No

Why study Leiths?
‘Before I learnt to cook I opened the kitchen cupboard and saw meaningless ingredients, now I see food…..’

Leiths School of Food and Wine is one of the most prestigious and respected cookery schools in the country. We are delighted to be able to offer to Sixth Form students the opportunity to study the Leiths Introductory Certificate in Food and Wine. This course is designed for the interested amateur cook as well as the potential professional chef. Students will be shown a wide range of professional practical cooking methods and taught the associated theory. The primary aim is to provide them with a vital life skill for independent living which could also open up areas of possible employment. Students will gain the confidence to become proficient in family cooking and entertaining, learn to interpret and follow recipes, manage time efficiently and work in an organised manner.

Students are encouraged to cook and experience a range of ingredients and explore different cooking techniques to produce dishes that have a modern twist. The principal techniques and methods covered include knife skills, meat and vegetable preparation, jointing poultry, filleting fish, roasting, stewing, marinating, steaming, batters, the making of classic sauces, pasta and rice dishes, the use of gelatine, caramel, mousses, ice creams, meringues, tarts, bread, various pastries and cakes, as well as decorating and icing skills.

Course Content
Students write a time plan for each practical session, complete a menu planning exercise, follow healthy eating guidelines, develop an awareness of what to look for when buying ingredients, and learn the basic theoretical principles associated with the cooking techniques.

Sample recipes include – Chicken with Caramelised Onions & Apples – Duck Breast with Ginger, Honey & Lime – Sirloin Steak with Béarnaise Sauce – Rack of Lamb with Mustard & Herb Crust – Trout en Papillote – Moules Marinière – Leek & Gruyère Tart – Cheese Soufflé – Broad Bean, Pea, Feta & Mint Salad – Rosemary Focaccia – Individual Apple Tarts – Chocolate Profiteroles – Crème Brûlée – Pavlova – Blueberry Clafoutis – Citrus Fruit Salad in Spiced Caramel – Whisked Sponge – Christmas Cake.

The students also spend time with a Master of Wine, tasting various wines and learning how to select the most appropriate to complement different ingredients and dishes.

Leiths provide all the course material, termly visits to see how students are progressing, and substantial behind-the-scenes support.

At the end of the course, the students take a practical and theory examination set by Leiths and successful candidates are awarded a graded Leiths Certificate in Food and Wine.

Students also complete a Level 2 Food Safety Award which along with the Certificate can be used to find employment in a variety of family level cooking jobs, through the agency, ‘Leiths List’. Should they decide to take up cooking professionally they would be eligible for the Two Term Diploma at Leiths School of Food and Wine which could open doors to a wide range of opportunities within the industry.

 What further study and careers could Leiths lead to?
Food and Nutritional Sciences; Culinary Arts and Professional Cookery; Catering and Hospitality.

MATHEMATICS

Name of Qualification: A Level Mathematics
Examination Board: Edexcel

 

How is the course assessed?
A Level Mathematics is assessed by three papers; each paper is two hours long and they are all equally weighted. Two of the papers test Pure Mathematics topics such as algebra, calculus and proof. The other paper is a combination of Mechanics and Statistics. All papers allow the use of a calculator.

Course requirements
At least a Grade 7 in GCSE Mathematics

Mathematical skills required?
Yes

Why study Mathematics?
Mathematics is a fascinating subject and there is so much more to learn about it past the level of GCSE. If you enjoy learning Mathematics and the way that it demands a very different set of skills compared to your other subjects then you will find A Level Mathematics very rewarding. Other than enjoying the subject and a desire to learn more, there are other practical reasons to study Mathematics in terms of the opportunities it offers once you have completed the course. It is either highly desirable or essential for university courses such as Accountancy, Economics, Engineering, Architecture, Business, Physics, Chemistry, Psychology and Medicine. Even for university courses or careers that do not relate to Mathematics, the A Level is viewed highly due to the unique skills it develops and the complexity of the course. Studying A Level Mathematics will improve your ability to think logically and understand abstract concepts. It will also help you to communicate your ideas mathematically and present your reasoning in an ordered and concise manner.

Course Content
By its nature, Mathematics often has clear real world applications and at other times can appear to be quite abstract. A Level Mathematics reflects these two qualities by combining Applied modules: Mechanics and Statistics, which use Mathematics to solve real life problems with Pure modules; Pure Mathematics 1 and 2, which focus on the underlying tools and discoveries of Mathematics such as Algebra, Trigonometry, Calculus and Proof. Working through the “A 2 A-Star Booster Pack” on MyMaths would be an excellent way to prepare for the demands of studying A Level Mathematics. Two excellent books that may give you an insight into why people wish to study Mathematics for the beauty and intrigue of the subject are ‘Fermat’s Last Theorem’ by Simon Singh and ‘The Music of the Primes’ by Marcus Du Sautoy.

What further study and careers could Mathematics lead to?
STEM, Medicine or Economics.

FURTHER MATHEMATICS

Name of Qualification: Further Mathematics
Examination Board: Edexcel

 

How is the course assessed?
A Level Further Mathematics is assessed by 4 papers; each paper is 1.5 hours long and they are equally weighted. Two of the papers are compulsory Pure Mathematics papers. The other two papers will be selected to match the needs and interests of the Further Mathematics class; these two papers can either be Further Pure Mathematics, Further Applied Mathematics or a combination of the two.

Course requirements
Students should have gained an 8 or 9 in GCSE Mathematics if they wish to study A Level Further Mathematics. They must also be studying A Level Mathematics.

Mathematical skills required?
Yes

Why study Further Mathematics?
A Level Further Mathematics is a challenging and rewarding course that offers the opportunity to study a vast variety of topics within Mathematics. You will develop a wide range of skills as you progress through the course which can be applied to your future studies of many different subjects. The course also offers a unique opportunity to study the fascinating topic of Proof in greater depth and also gives you an insight into many more applications of Mathematics, such as the Mathematics used in the business world as well as further applications of the subject in Physics and Statistics. A Level Further Mathematics is an excellent choice for someone who wishes to study Mathematics, Statistics, Physics or Engineering at university. Some of the harder content of the course is equivalent to the topics covered during the first year of a Mathematics degree and therefore it is excellent preparation if you intend to study Mathematics in the future. As with A Level Mathematics, this course will improve your ability to think logically and understand abstract concepts. It will also help you to communicate
your ideas mathematically and present your reasoning in an ordered and concise manner.

Course Content
A Level Further Mathematics is made up of four modules; two compulsory modules cover Pure Mathematics and the other two optional modules cover Pure or Applied Mathematics. All modules build upon the topics covered in A Level Mathematics. In addition to the preparation for A Level Mathematics, you may also wish to read “Q.E.D. Beauty in Mathematical Proof” by Dr Burkard Polster or borrow one of the many books from the Mathematics department library.

What further study and careers could Further Mathematics lead to?
STEM subjects.

MUSIC

Name of Qualification: A Level Music
Examination Board: OCR

 

How is the course assessed?
Video/Coursework/Written paper

Number of papers at A Level: 3
Unit 1: 10 – 12 minute videoed recital worth 35%
Unit 2: Two coursework compositions worth 25%
Unit 3: Written Examination (90 minutes) worth 40%

Course requirements
GCSE Music Grade B.

Mathematical skills required?
No

Why study Music?
This subject will foster a real love and understanding of music within students through the study of great masters, writing compositions, developing aural awareness and building upon performing skills. However, music cannot be studied in isolation and other subjects including philosophy, culture and religion are also discussed.

“The advantage of Music A Level is that curricular and extra-curricular music often overlap. Lessons are relaxed but challenging and it is really a case of learning a new thing every day. Composition is hard work, but you get a real sense of achievement when you have worked so hard on something and you are pleased with the outcome.” An A Level pupil

Course content
Unit 1: a video recording accompanied by a verbal or written explanation of the pieces chosen.

Unit 2: Two coursework compositions:

  • One to a brief set by OCR
  • One to a brief written by the student
  • Combined duration at least 4 minutes

Unit 3: Written Examination (90 minutes)

  • Area of Study 1: Instrumental Music of Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven
  • Area of Study 2: Popular Song: Blues, Swing and Big Band

Candidates choose two further areas of study from a choice of six as follows:

  • Area of Study 3: Developments in instrumental Jazz 1910 to the present day
  • Area of Study 4: Religious Music of the Baroque Period
  • Area of Study 5: Programme Music 1820 – 1910
  • Area of Study 6: Innovations in Music 1900 to the present day

Other requirements
Grade V Associated Board Theory.
Harmony work will be studied during the LVI year, but is non-examined.
Music students are expected to participate weekly in one of the ensembles, such as Choir or Orchestra. There is a biennial European Choir Tour to which all students are invited, provided they attend Choir or Orchestra on a regular, weekly basis. This bears an additional cost.

What further study and careers could Music lead to?
Music A Level is excellent preparation for Music Degrees in Performing, Composing and 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.

PHOTOGRAPHY

Name of Qualification: A Level Photography
Examination Board: AQA

 

How is the course assessed?
Introductory Project
Component 1: Personal Investigation 60% of qualification
Component 2: Externally Set Assignment 40% of qualification
15 hr practical examination

Course requirements
There is no requirement to have studied GCSE Art & Design or GCSE Photography

Mathematical skills required?
A basic understanding of Maths skills is required

Why study Photography?

  • The subject bridges Art, Design and Science subjects
  • You can obtain life skills that can be transferred for use in years to come
  • The subject contains more depth and skill than some may initially realise
  • Each student is encouraged to start ‘seeing’ things instead of just ‘looking’
  • Photography crosses over with many other subjects the include Art, Science, History, Politics, Psychology, Drama, English etc
  • The subject explores social, moral, cultural and spiritual issues within personal topic choices
  • The course is based on independent learning and students personal choices of exploration
  • There are practical, written, technical aspects to the course which will suit everyone
  • Photography offers a chance to be creative without drawing or painting
  • The subject is ideal for everyone of all abilities and interests
  • The course could lead to many different careers

Photography students regularly achieve A* – B grades due to dedication, hard work and enjoyment of the subject. It is a strong and popular subject in that many schools now have a separate Photography department. At Heathfield we have been awarded ‘The best Photography department in an independent girls’ school’ award from the Good Schools Guide since 2009.

By studying Photography students will develop the following skills:

  • Independent Learning
  • Contextual study
  • Analytical skills
  • Subject specific terminology
  • Essay writing
  • Personal choices and responses
  • Research methods
  • Peer / self-assessment opportunities
  • Students have an opportunity to work with digital imaging, traditional film techniques and film and video making

Course Content
Introductory Project
Skills based and teacher led, this unit is predominantly practical and core skills needed to complete the course are taught. Students will learn many important techniques including camera controls, properties of different camera types, traditional darkroom methods, digital imaging including post-production techniques and experimentation methods to enhance the meaning of their work. A theme is provided on which students will base their practical work.

Component 1: Personal Investigation 60%
Component 1 continues to be skills based and teacher led during the initial stages of the unit. Students work independently in an area of personal interest and as the unit progresses, investigate further techniques and methods to include within their work. Each student will also submit a 3,000 word investigation that links with their chosen theme alongside a work journal and portfolio images.

Component 2: Externally Set Assignment 40%
Component 2 is and independent project that is based on the students personal choice of theme and genre taken from the list of topics supplied by the examination board. Students will complete a 15 hour examination at the end of the unit and will submit a work journal and portfolio images.

Outside of the classroom

  • There are also opportunities to apply for photography prefect / scholar positions that strengthen leadership / initiative / organisational skills. Students will also learn advanced techniques and methods that will not be taught in the classroom
  • All students will have the chance to enter national photographic competitions
  • Students will have an opportunity to participate in trips to London galleries to gather Primary Research
  • Students will have an opportunity to join a residential trip, domestic or abroad

What further study and careers could Photography lead to?
After A Level Photography, there are many BA (Hons) Photography courses that could be considered in many different genres of photographic interest. However, with a Photography A Level all other creative courses can also be considered.

There are also many careers that could be pursued after studying Photography to degree level: Graphic designer, Magazine features editor, Medical illustrator, Photographer, Press photographer, Television camera operator, Advertising art director, Digital marketer, Film director, Film/video editor, Media planner, Multimedia specialist, Stylist, Visual merchandiser, Web content manager, Web designer.

Many universities welcome Photography as a subject where you need to problem-solve and ‘think outside the box’ even if applying for a non-related subject (Check with preferred universities first)

PHYSICAL EDUCATION

Name of Qualification: Physical Education
Examination Board: OCR

 

How is the course assessed?
3 externally marked written papers:

  • Physiological factors affecting performance (2 hours) 30%
  • Psychological factors affecting performance (1 hour) 20%
  • Socio-cultural issues involved in physical activity (1 hour) 20%

Practical Assessment in chosen sport plus an evaluation & analysis of performance 30%

Course requirements
Ideally (although not essential) GCSE PE minimum grade 6.
Biology / Science grade 5 (if no GCSE PE)
Practically competent in one sport (1st team level or equivalent)

Mathematical skills required?
No

Why Study PE
A Level PE is a versatile subject, combining well with both the Humanities and the Sciences. For those wanting to pursue a career in the sporting world or teaching PE this is a must.

Course content
The Physiological component of the course helps develop a theoretical knowledge and understanding of how the body responds to exercise and physical activity and what is required to improve performance.

Within the Psychological component you will gain an understanding of sports psychology: personality, motivation and the formation of groups and leadership and the effects these have on performance and how such knowledge can assist you in improving your own performance.

The study of socio-cultural and contemporary sporting issues gives you an insight into the background of sport in the UK as well the USA and Australia and looks at what we can learn from the two countries. It also covers the contribution that physical activity makes to a healthy active lifestyle as well as looking at issues such as drugs in sport, the role of technology, the history of the Olympics and the Media.

The final component of the course is the practical assessment which involves you being assessed either performing or coaching a sport which can be chosen from a wide variety including team sports such as lacrosse and netball to outdoor adventurous activities such as skiing and equestrianism.

What further study and careers could PE lead to?
Fitness Trainer or Instructor, Physiotherapy, Sports Coaching, Sports Science, Sports Psychology, Sports Management, Sports Journalism, Teaching.

PHYSICS

Name of Qualification: Physics
Examination Board: AQA

 

How is the course assessed?
AS Level: 2 papers
A Level: 3 papers

AS
Paper 1
What’s assessed?
Sections 1 – 5

written exam: 1 hour 30 minutes
70 marks
50% of AS

70 marks of short and long answer questions split by topic.

Paper 2
What’s assessed?
Sections 1 – 5

written exam: 1 hour 30 minutes
70 marks
50% of AS

Section A: 20 marks of short and long answer questions on practical skills and data analysis.
Section B: 20 marks of short and long answer questions from across all areas of AS content.
Section C: 30 multiple choice questions.

A Level
Paper 1
What’s assessed?
Sections 1 – 5 and 6.1 (Periodic motion)

written exam: 2 hours
85 marks
34% of A Level

60 marks of short and long answer questions and 25 multiple choice questions on content.

Paper 2
What’s assessed?
Sections 6.2 (Thermal Physics), 7 and 8
Assumed knowledge from sections 1 to 6.1

written exam: 2 hours
85 marks
34% of A Level

60 marks of short and long answer questions and 25 multiple choice questions on content.

Paper 3
What’s assessed?
Section A: Compulsory section: Practical skills and data analysis
Section B: Students enter for one of sections 9, 10, 11, 12 or 13

written exam: 2 hours
80 marks
32% of A Level

45 marks of short and long answer questions on practical experiments and data analysis.
35 marks of short and long answer questions on optional topic.

There is also a separate practical assessment.

Course requirements
To study and succeed at A Level Physics you should be on course for at least a 7 in Physics GCSE or 7 in your Physics modules if studying Combined Science. In addition, since the course has a significant mathematical content you should also be on course for at least a 7 in Mathematics GCSE.

Mathematical skills required?
Yes

Why Study Physics?
Physics is a highly valued post-16 subject which clearly demonstrates that the student has the following attributes:

  • Logical thought
  • Problem solving
  • Key practical skills
  • Numeracy
  • An understanding about the world around us from sub-atomic, through every day to galactic proportions
  • A solid appreciation of “How Science Works” and the way that existing scientific theories are replaced when new evidence is available

Importantly, these are transferable skills and equip the student for further study, employment and for understanding the changing world in which we live.

What further study and future careers could Physics lead to?
This is just a small selection of careers available to students who study Physics:

  • Electronics, Communications, Space and Avionics
  • Law, Accountancy and Finance
  • Medicine and Veterinary Science
  • Environment, Architecture and Civil Engineering
  • Transport and Mechanical Engineering
  • IT, Media, Sound and Vision Technology
  • Education
  • Sports Science & Biomechanics
  • You decide! Something which doesn’t exist yet

There are no set trips as part of the curriculum but we like to take advantage of any relevant lectures or presentations when we can.

 

Course Content
Core Content

Topics 1 to 5 AS and A Level
Topics 6 to 8 A Level only

Options

A Level only

1.     Measurements and their errors

2.     Particles and radiation

3.     Waves

4.     Mechanics and materials

5.     Electricity

6.     Further mechanics and thermal physics

7.     Fields and their consequences

8.     Nuclear physics

9.     Astrophysics

10.   Medical physics

11.   Engineering physics

12.   Turning points in physics

13.   Electronics

POLITICS

Name of Qualification: A Level Politics
Examination Board: Edexcel

 

How is the course assessed?
Three externally assessed examination papers
Each paper is 2 hours long
All examinations are closed book

Course requirements
English Language Grade 5

Mathematical skills required?
No

Why study Politics?
Politics affects everything we do in life and this A Level course takes a look at the major functions of government and politics in the UK and beyond. During the Lower Sixth year, students study political participation, including democracy, political parties, electoral systems, voting behaviour and the media. They also study core political ideas such as conservatism, liberalism and socialism. Along with this, they will look at UK Government, including the constitution, parliament, Prime Minister and executive and relations between branches of government. They will also study one of the following ideas: anarchism, ecologism, feminism, multiculturalism or nationalism. During the Upper Sixth year, students study the US Constitution and federalism, Congress, Presidency, Supreme Court, civil rights, democracy and participation and comparative theories. This is a subject where candidates get to practise skills of explanation, analysis, synthesis and evaluation to a high level. Consequently, it is well regarded by both universities and employers. The study of Politics will develop the following skills: analytical and critical reasoning, oral and written communication, and research skills.

Course content
Component 1: UK Politics
Component 2: UK Government
Component 3: Comparative Politics

Extension activities and trips include revision conferences as well as possible trips to parliament and Washington, DC.

What further study and careers could Politics lead to?
Subjects it might lead to at University/College include:

  • Advertising
  • History
  • International Relations
  • Journalism
  • Law
  • Media Studies
  • Philosophy
  • Politics
  • Sociology

A Level Politics on a CV shows that a student has practised a number of key transferable skills much sought after by universities and employers such as:

  • Analysing
  • Synthesising
  • Reasoning
  • Decision making
  • Active listening
  • Oral and written communication

This course is highly regarded by universities as it helps to produce well informed students capable of independent thought

PSYCHOLOGY

Name of Qualification: Psychology
Examination Board: AQA

 

How is the course assessed?
3 papers, each 2 hours, mixture of multiple choice, short answer and extended essay answers required.
All papers are closed book.

Course requirements
A minimum of Grade 5 in GCSE Maths, English and Biology.

Mathematical skills required?
Yes

Why study Psychology?
It is directly applicable to students’ lives and there are elements of Psychology in any job. It gives a good insight into working with people and what drives human behaviour. It is fascinating and will even help you to become a better learner. As well as giving a grounding in the scientific method, Psychology is unique in that there is also an art to expressing ideas through essay writing as well as maintaining and developing mathematical skills.

Course Content
In the first year topics include memory, attachment, social influence, psychopathology, bio psychology and research methods. In year two topics are selected from a choice including gender, relationships, eating behaviour, schizophrenia, and forensic psychology. Issues and debates in Psychology are also examined, with plenty of opportunities for group discussions on interesting topics such as the nature / nurture debate.

The subject involves developing a mixture of skills such as critical thinking, evaluation and other higher order thinking skills, as well as essay and report writing, presentations, use of maths and statistics, and scientific investigation.

What further study and careers could Psychology lead to?
Psychology is a hugely popular subject that has grown substantially in recent years. It is one of the most popular A Levels in the UK and is regarded as a science when applying to the majority of universities.

Psychology supports applications for almost any science-based university course and an equally wide range of humanities courses. Psychology develops the transferable skills and key skills that employers are looking for and can lead to a very wide range of employment opportunities.

Extension activities include ‘psychology movie night’ where films related to topics studied are watched, Psychology Club which provides an opportunity to investigate topics of personal interest to students and discuss them further, and trips to conduct students’ own psychological research.

RELIGIOUS STUDIES

Name of Qualification: Philosophy of Religion and Religious Ethics
Examination Board: OCR

 

How is the course assessed?
There will be three two-hour papers containing essay questions.

Course requirements
GCSE English at Grade 6
GCSE Religious Studies Grade 6

Mathematical skills required?
No

Why study Religious Studies?
If you enjoy discussions and debates regarding the big questions in life then you will find this subject thought-provoking, intriguing, challenging and – best of all – very enjoyable! We will explore ideas such as: Is this the real life or just fantasy? Why is there evil in the world? Where do I go when I die? Can we prove God exists by philosophical argument? Is God female?

Course Content
There are three components to this course; Philosophy of religion, Religion and ethics, and Developments in Christian thought. The course involves the combined study of religion, theology, modern and ancient philosophy, ethical theory, and practical ethical problems. For example:

  • Business ethics
  • Gender and society
  • Feminist theology
  • Liberation theology and Marx
  • Sexual ethics
  • Soul, mind and body
  • Death and the after life
  • The challenge of secularism

You will have the opportunity to discuss and reflect on a wide range of philosophical questions, developing your ability to critically analyse and evaluate different philosophical and theological arguments. Expect to be challenged!

What further study and careers could Religious Studies lead to?
It provides an excellent foundation for those going on to study Law, Medicine, Veterinary Science, Philosophy, Theology, Journalism and Politics partly because of its strong emphasis on the development of skills such as problem solving, disciplining oneself in discussion, and analysing complex arguments.

 

Course Content List For A Level Religious Studies
Philosophy of religion:
·       ancient philosophical influences

·       the nature of the soul, mind and body

·       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

·       ideas about the nature of God and issues in religious language

Philosophy of religion (01) 120 marks 2 hour written paper
33.3% of total A Level

 

Religion and ethics:
·       normative ethical theories

·       the application of ethical theory to two contemporary issues of importance

·       ethical language and thought

·       debates surrounding the significant idea of conscience

·       sexual ethics and the influence on ethical thought of developments in religious beliefs

Religion and ethics (02) 120 marks 2 hour written paper
33.3% of total A Level

 

Developments in religious thought:
·       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 in the context of one religion chosen from Christianity

Developments in religious thought (03–07) 120 marks 2 hour written paper
33.3% of total A Level

 

SPANISH

Name of Qualification: Spanish
Examination Board: AQA

 

How is the course assessed?
Paper 1: 2 hours 30 minutes, 50%
Listening, reading and translations into English and into Spanish

Paper 2: 2 hours, 20%
Response to a question on a set text and a question on a set film

Paper 3: 30%
Oral examination: 21 to 23 minutes (including 5 minutes preparation time)
For the oral, A Level students will prepare an individual project on a theme of their choice

Course requirements
GCSE Spanish Grade 7 minimum

Mathematical skills required?
No

Why study Spanish?
Communication is essential in today’s world. By studying a foreign language, you will not only be given the tools to communicate with people from other countries but will also be introduced to their culture, politics, customs and thoughts. Language learners agree that language proficiency facilitates better relationships with other countries and is undoubtedly helpful to their future.

Course Content
Social issues and trends
AS and A Level: Aspects of Hispanic society

  • Modern and traditional values
  • Cyberspace
  • Equal rights

A Level: Multiculturalism in Hispanic society

  • Immigration
  • Racism
  • Integration

Political and artistic culture
AS and A Level: Artistic culture

  • Modern day idols
  • Spanish regional identity
  • Cultural heritage or cultural landscape

A Level: Aspects of political life in Hispanic world

  • Today’s youth, tomorrow’s citizens
  • Monarchies, republics and dictatorships
  • Popular movements

What further study and careers could Spanish lead to?
It can lead to a huge variety of degrees in foreign languages, art, social sciences and humanities, science, engineering or medicine. Linguists are among the most employable.