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Key Stage 4


Art and Design

In KS4 all creative work is project based with an initial theme for students to work from.  Each project is a way of working through an artistic journey, taking an idea from a starting point to a realised outcome.  Each project usually covers all four-assessment objectives, so there must be evidence that the pupils can develop ideas through research and investigations and that learners can select and experiment with appropriate resources, materials, processes and techniques.  There must be evidence of recording ideas and observations, which might be through drawing, taking photographs, making notes, creating models, or producing design sheets, as well as some sort of realised outcome or final art piece. 

Art forms and Projects

        Two-Dimensional: Drawing, Painting,  Printmaking and Graphic Design

        Mixed media work

        Photography & Digital Art

        Three-Dimensional: Sculpture & Model Making (Ceramics/Pottery & Textiles where possible)

Projects: Year 9 - Natural Forms, Year 10 - Architectural Forms and Y11 - Image & Identity (Human Forms). In addition to this project in Y11 pupils will also sit the externally set task (Art Exam).

Assessment

The course itself is divided into two areas for assessment (each area is covered by four main assessment objectives):

        Unit 1: Portfolio of Work.  This is all the project-based work that you will produce from the start of Year 9.  This is marked out of 80 and carries 60% of the total marks.

        Unit 2: Externally Set Task.  This is the examination element of the course and will take place throughout the Spring Term in Year 11.  This is also marked out of 80 and carries 40% of the total marks. 


Computing/ICT/Business

Computing - GCSE OCR
There are two controlled assessments which focus on app design and creation using a web based application and then programming using both text and graphic languages.  There is also a final theory examination which looks at “computing” in a systems way rather than a user experience or application.

ICT - GCSE EDEXEL
This is a course for the user of ICT. A controlled assessment takes students through using the internet efficiently, using a database, creating multimedia products (video, sound, presentations), creating web based products (banners, websites, e-newsletters) and creating a complex spreadsheet to model a scenario and make a decision.  There is also an exam which focuses on applications of ICT in the “digital world”.

Business - BTEC 1st Award
There are 3 assignments/controlled assessments focusing on enterprise and small business (creating your own business plan), promoting a brand (your own) and retail.  There is also a business finance exam that is online and on demand.

Creative iMedia - OCR Cambridge National Certificate
There are 3 assignments focusing on a choice of media applications such as video, web, sound, comic graphics, gaming or some combination of these.  There is also an exam which focuses on the processes and services that support the creation of any media product.

ITQ - Entry Level 1/Level 1
This is the common IT users’ qualification that is used in the world of work by a number of awarding bodies. It involves a number of assignments that require the use of chosen software to solve given problems.  It is an open systems course so the user really can solves the problems using whatever fit for purpose method they like.

ECDL
This is the widely recognised industry standard “licenses” that provides evidence that the user in this case is proficient at L2 in basic Office Applications and can apply them in a holistic scenario.


Dance

Performing Arts - BTEC Level1/2 First Award

Students complete three units;

Unit 1 Dance Skills (internally assessed):

A - Explore and Develop dance skills and review own practice

B - Use Dance skills within rehearsal and performance


Unit 2 Preparation, Performance and Production (internally assessed):

A-  take part in the preparations for a live performance

B - demonstrate performance or production skills and techniques in a performance

 

Unit 3 Individual Showcase (externally assessed):

A - understand the skills required for a progression opportunity within performing Arts

B -  present a self-promotional response to a progression opportunity within performing Arts


Dance Leaders - Level 1 Continuous Assessment 

YR10 - Develop leadership skills and lead activities that promotes healthy lifestyle. 

Using a stimulus to create a dance piece and the relationship of music to dance. 

Plan, lead and review a dance activity.


Drama

GCSE -  with Wjec we have three units, the Devised Performance and Written Report, Performance from a Text, and a Written Exam exploring a text from an actor's and director's perspective. 

BTEC - with Edexcel we complete three units in Acting Skills, Preparation, Planning and Performance and finally the Individual showcase.


Electronics

Y9/Y10 GCSE - Students develop an understanding of components and how they are combined to produce a circuit through a series of short design and make projects. Circuit Wizard software is used develop and test circuits  and modern manufacturing techniques such as Laser Cutting are used to produce final outcomes.

Y10/Y11 GCSE - Students undertake a Controlled Assessment (CA) in the second half of Y10 and into Y11. The CA accounts for 60% of students GCSE. Students work to set design and make briefs including storage units, gadget tidy and mobile phone docking station. The remaining 40% is gained through an exam at the end of Y11. Students prepare for the exam through a combination of theory and practical exercises.


Engineering

YEAR 9 - Students are introduced to basics of Engineering including drawing in Isometric and Orthographic projections (using both traditional drawing methods and Computer Aided Design (CAD) software). Manufacturing methods and techniques are taught through small design and make projects using metals, woods and plastics.

YEAR 10/11 - Students undertake a Controlled Assessment (CA) in the second half of Y10 and into Y11. The CA accounts for 60% of students GCSE. Students work to set design and make briefs. The remaining 40% is gained through an exam at the end of Y11. Students prepare for the exam through a combination of theory and practical exercises.


English

Y9 - As a bridge between Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4, our Y9 curriculum provides students with an introduction to the requirements of GCSE English Language and GCSE English Literature. Each class follows a mirrored curriculum with mock assessments designed to emulate GCSE specifications. This includes the study of a Shakespearian play, an analytical essay on a modern British novel such as ‘Lord of the Flies’, and a study of contemporary poetry on a similar theme such as love and relationships. Writing skills are enhanced through the production of a creative monologue and short story in addition to producing a range of non-fiction texts. We believe this provides our students with a strong basis on which to begin their GCSE course, which provides a smooth transition to Key Stage 4.

Y10 - Both the AQA GCSE English Language and AQA GCSE English Literature (Specification B) courses are studied by students in Year 10. Over the course of two years, all students complete five formal assessments to include the analysis of First World War poetry, the ever-popular American Classic ‘Of Mice and Men’, a comparative essay focusing upon a Shakespearian text, and the study of a further English Literary Heritage text. Additionally, a range of creative writing assessments, such as monologues and letters, are completed alongside an in-depth spoken language study. This culminates in three final Year 11 exams: one English Language exam that focuses on the analysis and creation of non-fiction texts; an English Literature exam centred around a contemporary British play and novel; a further English Literature exam around the study of a collection of poems from the AQA Anthology.

Y11 - Year 11 students are nearing the end of their AQA English GCSE course, having completed reading controlled assessments on First World War Poetry from Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon, Shakespeare’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’ and John Steinbeck’s ‘Of Mice and Men.’ Furthermore, two creative writing pieces have been studied through the production of a monologue and a letter inspired by a text they have read during Y10. The final part of this year sees students engage in opportunities to re-sit the aforementioned assessments, in order to maximise their progress, and to prepare for their GCSE English exam. Exam revision is centred on analysing a range of non-fiction texts, interpreting writers’ intentions and explaining how both language and presentational features affect the audience. In revision lessons, literacy skills are honed in preparation for the writing section of the exam; students are tested on their ability to create their own non-fiction texts such as articles, letters and persuasive speeches. All Year 11 students have the opportunity to attend after-school revision sessions, each Wednesday, in order to supplement their learning in class.


Geography

GCSE
Edexcel B (4 units; 3 exams + 1 CA)
25% CA / 75 % exam

CONTROLLED ASSESSMENT
Y11 – Autumn/Spring
Based on fieldwork conducted in North Wales

EXAMS
Unit 1 Dynamic Planet (physical geography), studied in Y10. 1.25hr exam

Unit 2 People and the Planet (human geography), studied in Y11. 1.25hr exam

Unit 3 Decision making paper. 1.5hr exam



Graphics

Y9/Y10 GCSE - Students build on the skills gained in KS3 through a series of design and make projects to prepare them for Y10/11. CAD software is used develop and model ideas and modern manufacturing techniques such as Laser Cutting are used to produce final outcomes. Projects include Mobile Phone re-packaging and Advertising Displays.

Y10/Y11 GCSE - Students undertake a Controlled Assessment (CA) in the second half of Y10 and into Y11. The CA accounts for 60% of students GCSE. Students work to set design briefs and produce a design portfolio and 3D outcome. The remaining 40% is gained through an exam at the end of Y11. Students prepare for the exam through a combination of theory and practical exercises.


Health & Social Care

BTEC Level1/2

YEAR 9 - Students will complete Unit 1 Human Lifespan Development in the form of a exam. Unit 2 Health & social care values in form of assignment. Unit 3 Effective Communication in Health & Social care in the form of an assignment and various group activities.

YEAR 10/11 - Students will resit/complete Unit 1 Human Lifespan Development in the form of a exam (to get a higher level).  Unit 6 The impact of Nutrition on Health and well being.


History

GCSE - students who chose to study History in Y9 will undertake a three year study programme which starts in year nine with module two- Germany 1918-45.  This is followed by module 3 'The Transformation of Surgery', module 4 (controlled assessment) 'Britain 1951-79' and finally module 1 'The Changing Nature of Warfare'.


Maths

Y9 - The mathematics GCSE curriculum begins in year 9 at Firth Park Academy. This gives our students an added advantage, when compared many other schools; as our students have three years to study the GCSE curriculum . Year 9 curriculum content strengths fundamental skills and concepts that students require to achieve a good GCSE grade. Core topics that appear in the majority of examinations are also covered to enable students to progress at a quick rate, giving them the confidence and ability to improve their grades. Students complete about half of the curriculum in year 9.

Y10 - The curriculum in year 10 is designed to enable students to revise year 9 content but also to build on previous knowledge. Students generally have a mock or trial exams each half term. This enables class teachers to support and revise any topics students have any misconceptions with.

Real life and functional maths questions, where students have to solve maths problems are build into the curriculum and deepen student knowledge and understanding, leading to a rich and engaging curriculum.

Y11 - All students study GCSE Mathematics in Y11. Students either sit the higher or foundation tier paper with Edexcel examing board.

A minority of students also have the opportunity to study GCSE Statistics, in which a controlled assessment is complete.

Students are assessed throughout the school year through teacher assessment and trial exams.

The Y11 curriculum also provide students the opportunity of studying and sitting Entry level Maths to build their confidence prior to sitting their GCSE exam.



MFL

Y9 - Currently in French, German and Spanish we are completing the third book of each language to prepare for GCSE.  Y9 will get a taste for writing coursework to prepare them for Y10.

YEAR 10/11 - In both years pupils complete a written and spoken piece of Controlled Assessment.  In Y10 the Controlled Assessment topics are Media & Leisure and then Holidays.  In Y11 the Controlled Assessment topics are Homelessness and the Environment.


Music

Music Technology - NCFE

Students will complete four units using computer programs such as Reason, Garageband and Cool Edit.

    Unit 1 Set up and operate a digital audio workstation. A portfolio of evidence is created and assessed internally

    Unit 2 Create music using a digital audio workstation. A portfolio of evidence is created and assessed externally.

Students can choose there other two units from a range of options, all of which are assessed internally. These options include; producing dance music, sound design, microphone techniques in music production, location sound recording and live sound recording. 


Music - GCSE

Students will study four areas of study; My Music, Shared Music, Dance Music and Descriptive Music.

They complete controlled assessment work which includes a solo performance, an ensemble performance, composing a piece of music for the instrument they play and composing either a piece of dance music or a piece of descriptive music.

In addition, there are two external exams; the Creative Task and a Listening Test.


Performing Arts - BTEC Level1/2 First Award

Unit 1 Music Performance Skills (internally assessed):

A explore and develop music performances skills and review own practice

B use own music performance skills within rehearsal and performance

 

Unit 2 Preparation, Performance and Production (internally assessed):

A take part in the preparations for a live performance

B demonstrate performance or production skills and techniques in a performance

 

Unit 3 Individual Showcase (externally assessed):

A understand the skills required for a progression opportunity within performing Arts

B present a self-promotional response to a progression opportunity within performing Arts


Physical Education

Y9 - cover a variety of activities on a half termly rotation.

Y10 - cover a variety of activities on a half termly rotation.

In Years 9 and Year 10 Dance is offered as part of the programme of activities, including Dance Leaders Award.

Y11 - the PE Faculty runs a very successful options programme whereby students have the opportunity to experience sports and activities outside of school including swimming, local sports centre Gym, Bowling and Ice Skating.

The Faculty offers the following courses as part of the Sport Studies option. Students follow the course that is most appropriate for them:

Edexcel GCSE PE

L1/2 Cambridge National Sport Studies

Entry Level PE

Sports Leader Award is offered after school to a cohort of Y9/Y10 students



PSCHE - Personal, Social, Citizenship and Health Education 

Y9/Y10/Y11 GCSE - The personal development and well-being of each and every student in Firth Park Academy is at the heart of all we do here at Firth Park, and our PSCHE lessons strive to engender knowledge and understanding of student’s self-awareness of their place in the local community and wider society – the key role they can play as responsible and respectful citizens of the UK and in the World.

All students are educated in the 3 key areas of development across both key stages via discrete lessons and through Additional Learning Days where outside agencies/experts visit our Academy to deliver talks to cohorts of students within the following areas:

·        Health and Well-being

·        Sex and Relationships Education

·        Living in the Wider World


Religious Studies

Y9/Y10/Y11 GCSE - Religious Education gives students the opportunity to adopt an enquiring, critical and reflective approach to the study of religion.  Students explore religions and beliefs, reflect on fundamental questions, engage with them intellectually and respond personally. The course aims to enhance their spiritual and moral development, and contribute to their health and wellbeing, alongside focussing on the personal, social and cultural development of students, their understanding of different cultures locally, nationally and in the wider world, and teach young people how to contribute to social and community cohesion.
Themes covered include:
Matters of Life and Death - Belief in God - Community Cohesion - Family Life - War and Peace - Crime and Punishment - Religion and the Environment - Religion and social responsibility - Religion and Medical Issues



Resistant Materials

Y9/Y10 GCSE - Students build on the skills gained in KS3 through a series of design and make projects to prepare them for Y10/11. 2D and 3D CAD software is used to develop and model ideas. Modern manufacturing techniques such as Laser Cutting are used to produce final outcomes. Projects include Desk Tidy, Clocks and Children’s Toys.


Y10/Y11 GCSE - Students undertake a Controlled Assessment (CA) in the second half of Y10 and into Y11. The CA accounts for 60% of students GCSE. Students work to set design and make briefs including storage units, gadget tidy and mobile phone docking station. The remaining 40% is gained through an exam at the end of Y11. Students prepare for the exam through a combination of theory and practical exercises.

Science

Core Science AQA

The large majority of students study Core Science through Key Stage 4. This is examined in Biology, Chemistry and Physics at the end of year 11, with a coursework component taking the final 25% of the marks.

The course is stimulating with lots of practical activity and chance to see how the learning fits in with everyday life.

Additional Science AQA

Students who are achieving well in Core Science can opt to study Additional Science, which builds on the basics of the Core programme. This is a challenging course and ideal for those wishing to study A Science related 'A' Level.

The course is examined through three end of year papers B2, C2 and P2 plus a coursework element worth 25% of the final grade

Further Additional Science AQA

For our most academic students, this course allows students to leave the Academy with three Science qualifications. The course is a bridge between GCSE and 'A' level and as such contains a detailed look at Science around us.

The course is examined through three  end of year papers B3, C3 and P3 plus a coursework element worth 25% of the final grade.

Sociology

Y9/Y10/Y11 GCSE - Students follow the WJEC Sociology course which is chosen as an option at the end of Y8. The course covers units that allow students to explore ideas surrounding ‘Social Structures’ and ‘Social Processes’ with two focus areas where specialist knowledge and understanding is needed when answering essay questions in the 2 end of Y11 examinations. These are ‘Crime and Deviance’ and ‘The Sociology of the Family’.  Students learn about issues surrounding social inequality, life chances and socialisation, alongside examining how education and agencies of social control shape our society.