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Sixth Form Academic Programme

what's in this section

The academic Sixth Form programme at Westonbirt covers a wide range of A level subjects and a range of BTEC's.  

High academic achievement is continued into Sixth Form and girls are taught by specialists passionate about their subject.

Westonbirt has an excellent record of entry into the best courses and universities for higher education and our 2017 leavers have been offered conditional University places at Cambridge; Birmingham; King's College, London; Cardiff; Exeter; Durham; Edinburgh; St. Andrews; Leeds; York and many others. 95% of our Sixth Form students attend their first choice university.

Please see detail of our Sixth Form programme below.

Girls at Westonbirt enjoy a robust academic two years in Sixth Form and are taught in small A level classes providing significant teacher attention and plenty of opportunity for questions and class discussion.

Sixth Form at Westonbirt

  • Stimulating learning in addition to academic learning
  • A robust Skills for Life programme
  • Year 12 pupils choose four AS Level subjects
  • Year 13 students generally follow 3 A level subjects
  • Each A Level subject is allocated eight lessons per week
  • Personal finance lessons are attended each week 
  • There are a variety of sports on offer in the Sixth Form and games are played on Wednesday afternoons with optional extra lessons on Saturday mornings
  • Outside the classroom there are many opportunities to learn new skills including Leiths Certificate in Food and Wine and Young Enterprise as well as range of MOS and ACA qualifications
  • Small class sizes allow girls the greatest flexibility possible in their combination of subjects and co-curricular activities
  • Westonbirt Sixth Form have their own bar for supervised use on weekends
  • The Sixth Form also have their own Yoga Room
  • ALL sixth formers have their own study bedroom even if they are a DAY girl

Westonbirt have recently introduced a number of BTEC courses for Sixth Form. Mrs Jo Edwards is the lead for all BTEC subjects and the main point of contact, please contact Jo on the above link if you require further information about our BTEC courses.

The A Level courses and BTEC information are in the expandable boxes below:

Art & Design

From September 2015 AS and A-Level Art are to become two separate standalone qualifications. This means that AS results DO NOT count towards the A-Level as they have done with the present A2 course. Students currently studying for the OLD A2 qualification should refer to the existing A2 specification.

 

Year 12                 AS (2 units)

  • Art and Design builds upon those skills developed at GCSE level although it is not necessary for you to have studied art previously
  • You will be taught how to develop your creativity and ideas and to acquire proficient skills in these areas; being creative is a valuable skill in ALL future careers, from fashion to hi-technology
  • Being able to analyse and evaluate your own work and that of other artists will enable you to strengthen your work considerably
  • The course looks at many significant artists and we visit galleries and exhibitions throughout the year. The course ends with our annual art exhibition in the department

 

Component 1:  7242C                     A portfolio of work. It is Non-exam assessment, set and marked by the teacher, moderated by AQA. Emphasis is on the development of understanding of skills using an appropriate range of materials, processes and techniques. Each student must include in their portfolio a selection of thoughtfully presented work, at least one extended collection of work or project based on an idea, concept, theme or issue. This should demonstrate the student’s ability to sustain work from an initial starting point to a realisation.

Coursework:                      96 marks – no time limit imposed

Weighting:                          60% of total AS marks

 

Component 2:  7242X              Externally set assignment – At the start of February a question paper is provided by AQA with a choice of 5 questions to be used as starting points. Students are required to select one. The students response is marked by the teacher and moderated by AQA during a visit to the school, normally in June. 

Coursework:                      96 marks

Weighting:                          40% of total AS marks

Assessed time:                 Preparatory period + 10 hours supervised time

 

Year 13 A Level

Component 1                    Personal investigation

Coursework:                      96 marks – no time limit imposed

Weighting:                          60% of total A Level marks

Candidates are required to develop a personal investigation based on an idea, issue, concept or theme supported by 1,000-3,000 words

 

Component 2                    Externally-set Assignment – themes set by the board

Coursework:                      96 marks

Weighting:                          40% of the total A Level marks

Assessed time:                 Preparatory period + 15 hours supervised time

               

You are expected to have your own materials, an A1 portfolio and, where possible, a camera. Year 13 students have their own art studio. Many of our students go on to the top Art Schools. Studying Art does not limit your horizons - it extends them.

Ms Mo Stockton

Head of Art

Biology

Why study Biology in the Sixth Form?

The best reason for taking A Level Biology is because you are interested in living things and how they work, or you might be thinking of studying courses like Genetics, Animal or Plant Biology, Medicine, Veterinary Science at university or Environmental Studies.

Biology A-level helps you to build up research, problem solving, organisation and analytical skills.

Topics in A-level Biology

Year 12

Skills of planning, implementing, analysis and evaluation; Cell structure; Biological molecules; Nucleotides and nucleic acids; Enzymes; Biological membranes; Cell division, cell diversity and cellular organisation. Exchange surfaces; Transport in animals; Transport in plants; Communicable diseases, disease prevention and the immune system; Biodiversity; Classification and evolution.

Year 13

Communication and homeostasis; Excretion as an example of homeostatic control; Neuronal communication; Hormonal communication; Plant and animal responses; Photosynthesis; Respiration; Cellular control; Patterns of inheritance; Manipulating genomes; Cloning and biotechnology; Ecosystems; Populations and sustainability.

Assessment Structure

A Level Biology is now fully linear, so assessment of a student’s knowledge and understanding of the whole course takes place at the end of two years of study.

The AS Level Biology qualification won’t count towards the final grade of an A Level, but will be separate, stand-alone qualifications in its own right. It will examine the topics studied during Year 12 of the course.

Teaching of practical skills is integrated with the theoretical topics and they’re assessed through the written papers. For A Level only, the Practical Endorsement will also support the development of practical skills.

Other points to note:

  • Mathematical skills will account for 10% of the total marks
  • Multiple choice questions will be included as one of the elements of the assessment
  • AS papers will be longer to meet the requirements of a minimum of 3 hours of assessment
  • A2 papers will be longer to fulfil the requirements for a minimum of 6 hours of assessment

A Level Biology remains a course that is challenging intellectually, up-to date in content and relevant to modern life.

Mrs Susie Barr

Head of Biology

 

Business Studies

Business Studies

The Business Studies department is forward thinking, dynamic and brings theory to life through the study of case studies and modern teaching methods. This combined with school trips to a variety of modern businesses allows students to get a feel for the world of work in an international context.  The subjects are taught to the highest standards and students are encouraged to achieve beyond their expectations with many continuing to study Business Studies or Accounting and Finance at university, or pursue a career in a related subject. Westonbirt Business School offers the Edexcel A level Business Studies course which aims to:

  • Develop an interest in and enthusiasm for the study of business
  • Gain a holistic understanding of business
  • Develop a critical understanding of organisations and their ability to meet society’s needs and wants
  • Understand that business behaviour can be studied from a range of perspectives
  • Generate enterprising and creative solutions to business problems and issues
  • Be aware of the ethical dilemmas and responsibilities faced by organisations and individuals
  • Acquire a range of relevant business and generic skills, including decision making, problem solving, the challenging of assumptions and the quantification and management of information.

The Business Studies course covers the following topics:

AS level

Theme 1: Marketing and people

Theme 2: Managing business activities

A2 level

Theme 3: Business decisions and strategy

Theme 4: Global business

Student will take AS Business Studies at the end of year 12.  If they decide to take A2 Business Studies their AS examination will not count and they will have to retake all units.  Entering all students for AS Business Studies gives them the practice they need for the A2 examination. The course will be taught to provide flexibility so students can make a decision later in the year as to which route they wish to take.

 

September 2016

January 2017

June

2017

September 2017

January 2018

June

2018

AS option 1

Theme 1

Theme 2

Enter for AS level qualifications

 

 

 

A level option 2

Theme 1

Theme 2

Enter for AS level qualifications

Theme 3

Theme 4

Enter for A level qualification

Mrs Jo Edwards

Head of Business School             

Chemistry

Why Study Chemistry in the Sixth Form?

This course will try to give you the skills and understanding to make decisions about the way chemistry affects your everyday life by applying concepts into contemporary areas of chemistry including climate change, green chemistry and pharmaceuticals to name but a few. In addition, an A Level in Chemistry allows you to develop a range of generic skills requested by both employers and universities. For instance, a successful A Level chemist will be an effective problem-solver and be able to communicate efficiently both orally and with the written word. Handling data will be a key part of your work, allowing you to demonstrate information retrieval skills as well as use of numeracy. You will build up a range of practical skills that require creativity and accuracy as well as developing a firm understanding of health and safety issues. As chemistry is a subject in which much learning stems from experimental work it is likely that you will need to work effectively as part of a group, developing team participation and leadership skills. As you become more skilled you will take responsibility for selecting appropriate qualitative and quantitative methods, recording your observations and findings accurately and precisely as well as critically analysing and evaluating the methodology, results and impact of your own and others' experimental and investigative activities.

What do I need to know, or be able to do, before taking this course?

The qualification builds on the knowledge, understanding and process skills that you achieved in GCSE Science, Additional Science and Chemistry. In chemistry you will need to be able to communicate effectively, be able to carry out research, work independently and critically think about problems. Good practical skills are also important as chemistry is a very practical subject.

How will I be assessed?

In light of Michael Gove’s changes to A levels this is a new specification that we have just started teaching. However, there is little difference in content to the old specification; it is just the order the topics are taught and the method and timing of how they are assessed which differ. All the examinations for AS or A level have to be sat at one sitting in June.

AS Level

You will complete a written exam that lasts for 75 minutes for each of Paper 1 and 2. The papers will contain objective questions, short answer questions and extended answer questions. As there is no longer any formal practical examination, the papers will include questions that assess conceptual and theoretical understanding of experimental methods (indirect practical skills).

A Level

You will complete three written exams

Paper 1: Advanced Inorganic and Physical Chemistry is 90 minutes long and accounts for 30% of the marks

Paper 2: Advanced Organic and Physical Chemistry is also 90 minutes long and accounts for 30% of the marks

Paper 3:  General and Practical Principles in Chemistry is 150 minutes long and accounts for 40% of the marks. Questions in this paper may draw on any of the topics in the specification and will include synoptic questions that may draw on two or more different topics. The paper will also include questions that assess conceptual and theoretical understanding of experimental methods (indirect practical skills)

What next?

Speak to your Chemistry teacher and to find out more about careers involving GCE Chemistry visit websites such as: http://www.rsc.org/Education/SchoolStudents/index.asp

Mr Mark Gluning

Head of Chemistry

Drama

Drama

The Performing Arts thrive at Westonbirt where there are plenty of opportunities both within the curriculum and as optional extras. We frequently stage concerts and plays in the Orangery, the Great Hall, the Chapel, Camellia House and the newly decorated studio space and we have performed in nearby cultural centres such as Bristol, Bath and Cheltenham.  

Productions take place throughout the year and alternate between Senior, Junior and whole school performances. Following the success of last year’s senior play, ‘Our Country’s Good’ we will be performing another play this year, ‘Twelfth Night’. A Spring Gala showcases the work of students from across all the year groups and further performances are delivered by the GCSE and A Level Drama groups. 

In between, Sixth Form students support events including the bi-annual House Dance and Drama competitions, lunchtime concerts and play host to visiting practitioners. Many pupils opt to take individual or paired Speech and Drama Lessons, working towards ESB and LAMDA examinations to build both their confidence, English spoken word and performance skills. These pupils also have the opportunity to compete in the Mid-Somerset and Cheltenham Festivals of Speech and Drama.

Each term you can also sign up for trips to theatres in Bristol, Bath, Cheltenham, Cardiff or London to seek inspiration from the professionals. These are sometimes coupled with backstage tours or workshops to enable to chance to find out more. During August, we took a Senior group of girls to perform at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and this is planned again for Summer 2017.

If you would rather help out behind the scenes, the tech crew are trained in how to light a production; we are always looking for help with set-building, costume-making and prop design. So there is plenty for everyone to get involved in. 

Economics

Why study Economics in the Sixth Form?

A Level Economics forms part of the Westonbirt Business School. Students gain a fascinating and realistic insight into the world around them. Understanding what influences decisions made by consumers, businesses and governments helps them to be able to make informed choices and decisions themselves.  Economics is an ever changing and evolving subject. The economy does not stand still and the study of Economics helps to understand these changes as well as helping us understand what the future might look like.

Westonbirt Business School offers the Edexcel Economics course which aims to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the specified content
  • Apply knowledge and understanding of the specified content to problems and issues arising from both familiar and unfamiliar situations
  • Analyse economic problems and issues
  • Evaluate economic arguments and evidence, making informed judgements
  • Develop an understanding of a range of concepts and acquire an ability to use these concepts in a variety of different contexts
  • Use an enquiring, critical and thoughtful approach to the study of Economics and develop an ability to think as an economist

The Economics course covers the following topics:

AS level

Theme 1: Markets, consumers and firms

Theme 2: The wider economic environment

A2 level

Theme 3: Making markets work

Theme 4: The global economy

 

September 2016

January 2017

June

2017

September 2017

January 2018

June

2018

AS option 1

Theme 1

Theme 2

Enter for AS level qualifications

 

 

 

A level option 2

Theme 1

Theme 2

Enter for AS level qualifications

Theme 3

Theme 4

Enter for A level qualification

Mrs Jo Edwards

Head of Westonbirt Business School

English Literature

Why study English Literature in the Sixth Form?

English Literature is the mirror of life. Through it we find answers, ask new questions and crystallise our own experience. On this course you will study some impressive authors from the canon of English Literature, from Shakespeare to more contemporary writers, including works published post 2000. As we study early literature, through to contemporary poetry, you will almost certainly run through an emotional roller coaster as we travel through romance and pathos, from comedy to tragedy. It is guaranteed that every student will have a very individual response to this course. When we read a text, we all project onto it our own gender, experience, opinions and era. This makes this subject unique and one which students find immensely rewarding.

The course will build upon the skills you have acquired during GCSE English and English Literature. You will need a willingness to read widely and independently as well as the ability to think for yourself, support your views and write cogent essays, drawing comparisons between texts. Final assessment will come from a combination of two examination papers (80% in total) at the end of the two year course and coursework (20%).

You will benefit directly in the following areas:

  • Improved reading skills                                
  • Improved writing skills                                  
  • Improved presentational skills                                  
  • Improved vocabulary
  • Enhanced communication skills
  • Enhanced general knowledge
  • Developed ability to think/analyse

Studying English Literature enhances skills in extracting and reorganising information, summarising relevant material from numerous sources, skim reading and reading intensively. These skills are relevant in other A Levels too.

Finally, English Literature has enjoyed a long tradition of happy students and successful results at Westonbirt, and we are proud of our reputation.

Mrs Alex Mew

Head of English

Geography

“Geography is the subject that holds the key to our future.

More than ever we need the geographer’s skills and foresight

to help us learn about our planet - how we use it and how we abuse it.”

Michael Palin

Geography studies the real world, tackling subjects that directly affect you. You will enjoy this exciting and challenging course if you have an interest in and concern for the environment and want to learn more about the physical and economic forces and decisions that shape our planet. The Geography syllabus is a new, exciting course commencing in September 2016. The course includes both physical and human geography as well as fieldwork and skills. The papers are based on contemporary issues and there is a personal fieldwork 3,000 – 4,000 words enquiry to complete. The course has three components at A level.

Draft AQA Course Units comprise:

Component 1    Physical Geography – Section A: Water and carbon cycles.  Section B: either hot desert environments and their margins or Coastal systems and landscapes. Section C: either Hazards or Ecosystems under stress or Cold environments (2½ hour exam worth 40% of A level)

Component 2    Human Geography - Section A: Global systems and global governance. Section B: Changing places Section C: either Contemporary urban environments or Population and the environment or Resource security (2½ hour exam worth 40% of A level)

Component 3   Geographical Investigation. Students complete an individual investigation which must include data collected in the field. The individual 3,000 – 4,000 words investigation must be based on a question or issue defined and developed by the student relating to any part of the specification content. (Worth 20% of A level, marked by Westonbirt Geography department and moderated by AQA)

There are opportunities for discussion, decision making, presentations and individual work. Fieldwork is an integral part of the A level course. A residential course is arranged in the Spring Term of Year 12 when data for the coursework is collected and the theory brought impressively to life in the natural environment. It is important that families budget financially and logistically for this in advance. The course costs around £280 and usually takes place over a weekend during the Spring term.

Geography provides a fundamental bridge between the arts and the sciences.  It therefore combines well with all other subjects giving breadth and balance to your Sixth Form studies. Taken with sciences like Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry and Biology, it supports applications for almost any science-based university course (e.g. Engineering, Psychology, Environmental Sciences, Oceanography and Geology).  Taken with humanities like English, German, Spanish, French, Politics, History or Sociology, it supports an equally wide range of humanity university courses such as Business, Law, Media, Politics and Philosophy.

With excellent results maintained in the department at A Level, many Westonbirt A Level geographers go on to read Geography at university. Geographers are highly employable in a wide variety of careers owing to their unique position in being able to interpret, analyse and organise a variety of evidence to produce coherent arguments. Some possible career options include:  advertising, the diplomatic service, education, environmental agencies, finance, land management, law, marketing, sales and social/health services.

Mrs Nicola Gill

Head of Geography

History

Other subjects teach you the answers, but History teaches you to ask the questions. During the course students learn how to evaluate evidence, assess ideas and attitudes, produce informed arguments and plan a comprehensive historical investigation. These skills are of immense value in a variety of careers including law, journalism, accountancy, public relations and publishing. It is a subject valued by all universities and all employers.

You must be inquisitive by nature. Note-taking, reading, class discussion, essay writing and independent investigation will be expected. It is beneficial to have gained at least a grade B at GCSE but every application will be judged on its merits.

History in Westonbirt follows the OCR syllabus for A Level and there are a variety of options available which are changing in September 2015 and are as yet not fully confirmed by the examinations board.

However, the areas of study for the full two year A Level course are likely to be:

  1. Italy Democracy and Dictatorship 1890 – 1942
  2. The Tudors: including the Mid Tudor Crisis as a depth study
  3. Elizabeth 1
  4. The Middle East from fall of the Ottoman Empire 1906 – present day

For the AS level course the first two will be completed in one year.

Mr Imran Ahmed

Head of History

Information and Communication Technology

The future!

At Westonbirt we believe that ICT is an integral component of your education. Whilst used to support other subject areas, ICT is very relevant in today’s society as a subject in its own right. Understanding the theory behind ICT will aid your development of all the skills and techniques you will need in the future. The increasing use of technology in all aspects of society makes confident, creative and productive use of ICT an essential skill for life. ICT capability encompasses not only the mastery of technical skills and techniques, but also the understanding to apply these skills purposefully, safely and responsibly in learning, everyday life and employment. ICT capability is fundamental to participation and engagement in modern society. ICT can be used to find, develop, analyse and present information, as well as to model situations and solve problems.

Year 12

At AS, the two units are complementary and are concerned with applying ICT to solve problems and the study of the opportunities for and effects of using ICT in the world today. Candidates will have the opportunity to put into practice a range of software and hardware to create solutions to solve problems.

Unit 1: Practical Problem Solving in the Digital World

  • Practical use of ICT, identifying, designing, producing, testing, documenting and evaluating solutions
  • Data entry, storage, output of information, use of software, current health and safety legislation

Assessment: Written Paper: 1 hour 30 minutes, supported by a piece of coursework

Unit 2: Living in the Digital World

  • ICT systems, their components, uses, users, safety and security
  • Data and information, data transfer, backup and recovery

Assessment: Written Paper: 1 hour 30 minutes

Year 13

At A2, the two units are complementary and are concerned with the theory of ICT in the digital world and the practical issues surrounding ICT. Candidates will explore how ICT is used from the high-level organisational usage to the ground-level physical installation and implementation.

Unit 3: The Use of ICT in the Digital World

  • Future developments in technology, ICT systems, management of ICT
  • Developing ICT systems, introducing large ICT systems into organisations
  • Training and supporting users of ICT systems

Assessment: Written Paper: 2 hours

Unit 4: Coursework: Practical Issues Involved in the Use of ICT in the Digital World

  • Investigating, analysing, defining requirements
  • Selecting and using appropriate technologies and designing solutions
  • Creating a piece of bespoke software for an individual or an organisation
  • Methods for testing and installation, documenting and evaluating

Assessment: Creation of a piece of software and the associated project report

Why choose ICT?

Information and Communication Technology has become a vitally important part of business, academic and industrial life. This course takes you through the main ideas of ICT but allows you to choose your own areas of specialisation by means of the practical work and projects. Do you enjoy working with computers and technology? Do you want to find out more about the ICT "revolution" and how it has affected businesses, organisations and the lives of individuals? If so, ICT is the course for you. It can be an exciting career choice. From developing software and web sites, to creating multimedia or graphics, to handling data and modelling financial situations, there is a career in ICT for any of us.

Mr Duncan Thompson

Head of Digital Learning and Computing

Mathematics

What will I learn on this A Level course?

Mathematics at AS and A2 Level is a course worth studying in its own right. It is challenging but interesting.  It builds on work you will have met at GCSE, but also involves new ideas that some of the greatest minds of the millennium have produced. It serves as a very useful support for many other qualifications as well as being a sought-after qualification for the workplace and courses in Higher Education.

While studying Mathematics you will be expected to:

  • use mathematical skills and knowledge to solve problems
  • solve quite complicated problems by using mathematical arguments and logic
  • simplify real-life situations so that you can use mathematics to show what is happening and what might happen in different circumstances
  • use mathematics to solve problems given to you in a real-life context
  • use calculator technology and other resources (such as formulae booklets or statistical tables)

You will be expected to have achieved at least a grade B in your GCSE. 

What do you do?

In Year 12, you will study C1 and C2 (these are pure modules) and S1 (statistics). These will gain you an AS Level. In Year 13, you will study C3 and C4 (these are more pure mathematics modules) with either M1 (Mechanics) or D1 (Decision Maths). The six modules give you a full A Level.

Pure Mathematics

When studying Pure Mathematics at AS and A Level, you will be extending your knowledge of such topics as Algebra and Trigonometry as well as learning some brand new ideas such as Calculus. If you enjoyed the challenge of problem-solving at GCSE using such techniques, you should find the prospect of this course very appealing.

Statistics

When you study Statistics you will learn how to analyse and summarise numerical data in order to arrive at conclusions about it. You will extend the range of probability problems that you started for GCSE by using the new mathematical techniques studied on the Pure Mathematics course.

Mechanics

When you study mechanics you will learn how to describe mathematically the motion of objects and how they respond to forces acting upon them, from cars in the street to satellites revolving around a planet.  You will learn the technique of mathematical modelling, that is, of turning a complicated physical problem into a simpler one that can be analysed and solved using mathematical methods.

Decision Maths

Decision Maths uses mathematical modelling to solve real life problems such as what is the best route for a postman to travel to visit every house in the shortest distance. It links to Business Studies, ICT and Accounting.

What could I go on to do at the end of my course?

An AS in Mathematics is very valuable as a supporting subject to many courses at A Level and degree level, especially in the Sciences, Geography, Sociology and Medical courses. A Level Mathematics is a much sought after qualification for entry to a wide variety of full-time courses in Higher Education.

Mrs Gemma Conway

Head of KS5 Mathematics

Further Mathematics

Further Mathematics is an AS/A Level qualification which both broadens and deepens the Mathematics covered in AS/A Level Mathematics. Further Mathematics at Westonbirt is taught independently from the normal AS and A2 qualification and is timetabled as a Further Mathematics course in its own right.

You will be expected to have achieved at least a grade A in your GCSE Mathematics. 

The Further Mathematics modules are taken in addition to the normal six modules that are required at A-Level.

The AS Further Mathematics Award is made up of an additional three modules, one of which must be Further Pure 1 (FP1). This course involves studying nine modules over two years. 

The A2 Further Mathematics Award is made up of an additional six modules. This course involves studying twelve modules over two years.

The modules available are:

  • Core Mathematics 1-4
  • Mechanics 1 & 2
  • Statistics 1 & 2
  • Decision Maths 1 & 2
  • Further Pure Mathematics 1 & 2

There are many good reasons to take Further Mathematics:

  • Students taking Further Mathematics overwhelmingly find it to be an enjoyable, rewarding, stimulating and empowering experience.
  • It enables students to distinguish themselves as able Mathematicians in the University and employment market.
  • Some prestigious university courses will only accept students with Further Mathematics qualifications.
  • Any student planning to take a Mathematics-rich degree (this covers a very wide range of academic areas, for example Engineering, Sciences, Computing, Finance, Economics as well as Mathematics itself) will benefit enormously from taking Further Mathematics, at least to AS level.

It should be noted that the option to study Further Mathematics should not be taken lightly, as the dedication and workload is demanding from the onset. You will be expected to work a lot harder than the normal A Level students. 

Mrs Gemma Conway

Head of KS5 Mathematics

Media Studies

This interesting and thought provoking course in designed to give you a grounding in Industry standard Adobe software – Photoshop, InDesign and Final Cut Pro.

We also study the grammar and language of film-making and how to both read and make meaning in films and TV programmes. Students will maintain a Blog for the duration of the course where they can write about what they have been doing and post their coursework.

Good subject options to choose alongside Media Studies are Drama, English and History and Art. Students need to be interested in film and in using contemporary technology such as blogs, iPads, camcorders and iMac computers. After the Sixth Form, students could study a wide variety of film and design based courses at University.

The course is comprised of 4 Units as follows:

AS

G321 Coursework: Foundation Portfolio - 50% of the year’s marks; 100 marks. Coursework is internally marked and externally validated. Students will be taught how to use the software and hardware and will do a preliminary task followed by the making of a 2 minute opening of a new film, including the titles, music and graphics, a poster and a two page magazine spread advertising and featuring ‘their’ film.

G322: Key Media Concepts (TV Drama) - 50% of the year’s marks: 100 marks

This paper covers the two areas of Textual Analysis and Representation alongside Institutions and Audiences.

This unit is externally examined.

Section A requires students to answer one question based on an unseen moving image [TV Drama] extract.

Section B requires students to answer one question based on Media Institutions and Audiences.

A2 Builds upon the skills and knowledge acquired in AS.

G324: Advanced Portfolio in Media 50% of the year’s marks: 100 marks

This is a coursework unit where candidates engage with contemporary media technologies to produce a media portfolio through a combination of two or more media and then present their research, planning and evaluation in digital format. This is a development of the skills from Unit G321 and is also internally assessed and externally moderated.

The brief is to design and make a promotion package for a new film, to include a trailer, together with two of the following three options:

  • a website homepage for the film;
  • a film magazine front cover, featuring the film;
  • a poster for the film.

G325: Critical Perspectives in Media 50% of the year’s marks: 100 marks

The purpose of this unit is to assess candidates’ knowledge and understanding of media concepts, contexts and critical debates, through their understanding of one contemporary media issue and their ability to evaluate their own practical work in reflective and theoretical ways.

Section A: Theoretical Evaluation of Production (50 marks)

Section B: Contemporary Media Issues (50 marks)

Contemporary Media Regulation

  • What is the nature of contemporary media regulation compared with previous practices?
  • What are the arguments for and against specific forms of contemporary media regulation?
  • How effective are regulatory practices?
  • What are the wider social issues relating to media regulation?

Candidates might explore combinations of:

Film censorship, the regulation of advertising, the Press and regulation / control, computer / video game classification, the regulation of online media, social networking and virtual worlds, contemporary broadcasting and political control, the effects debate and alternative theories of audience, children and television, violence and the media or a range of other study contexts relating to the regulation of contemporary media. Regulation might be researched in regard to media content, access, ownership and control and / or in relation to politics, public interest and democracy.

Mrs Vivienne Spencer

Media Studies and Photography 

Modern Languages

Why choose to study AQA AS and A-level Languages? These qualifications will appeal to students looking to broaden their existing knowledge of languages. They will enable you to develop your linguistic skills alongside your understanding of the culture and society of countries where French and Spanish are spoken. Bringing out the best in you they will help you on your journey to further studies and the world of work. Both qualifications are linear which means you will sit your exams at the end of the course. The AS course is fully co-teachable with the first year of the A-level course, enabling flexibility for students as they plan their course of study.

AS-level

You will study social and technological change alongside highlights of artistic culture, including music and cinema. You will also explore the influence of the past on present French or Spanish-speaking communities. Throughout your studies, you will learn the language in the context of French or Spanish-speaking countries and the issues and influences which have shaped them. You will study a text or a film.

Subject content:

Core content

  1. Social issues and tends
  2. Artistic culture
  3. Grammar

Options

  1. Works: Literary texts and films

Assessments:

Paper 1: Listening, reading and writing 40%

What is assessed?

  • Aspects of French or Spanish-speaking society: current trends
  • Artistic culture in the French or Spanish-speaking world
  • Grammar

Paper 2: Writing                                                              30%

What is assessed?

  • One text or one film from the lists in the specification
  • Grammar

Paper 3: Speaking                                                           30%

What is assessed?

  • One sub-theme from Aspects of French or Spanish-speaking society: current trends and one sub-theme from Artistic culture in the French or Spanish speaking world

A2-level

You will study technological and social change, looking at diversity and the benefits it brings. You will study highlights of French or Spanish-speaking artistic culture, including music and cinema, and learn about political engagement and who wields political power in the French or Spanish-speaking world.

You will also explore the influence of the past on present-day French or Spanish-speaking communities. Throughout your studies, you will learn the language in the context of French or Spanish-speaking countries and the issues and influences which have shaped them. You will study texts and films and have the opportunity to carry out independent research on an area of your choice.

Subject content:

Core content

  1. Social issues and tends
  2. Political and artistic culture
  3. Grammar

Options

  1. Works: Literary texts and films

Assessments:

Paper 1: Listening, reading and writing 40%

What is assessed?

  • Aspects of French or Spanish-speaking society: current trends
  • Aspects of French or Spanish-speaking society: current issues
  • Artistic culture in the French or Spanish-speaking world
  • Aspects of political life in the French or Spanish-speaking world
  • Grammar

Paper 2: Writing                                                              30%

What is assessed?

  • One text and one film or two texts from the lists set in the specification
  • Grammar

Paper 3: Speaking                                                           30%

What is assessed?

  • Individual research project
  • One of four sub-themes i.e. Aspects of French or Spanish-speaking society: current trends, Aspects of French or Spanish-speaking society: current issues, Artistic culture in the French or Spanish-speaking world, Aspects of political life in the French or Spanish speaking world

Choice is the keyword of this new specification, which gives a variety of pathways through the examination.  With the AS option this flexibility is enhanced still further and opens the possibility of a post-GCSE modern language qualification to people who do not necessarily see themselves as language specialists, but who appreciate the importance of a foreign language, as well as to those seeking employment in the world market.

People wanting to study languages must have ideas, interest and imagination. You will need to discuss newspaper articles and current affairs, to be open-minded and prepared to offer your own views, whilst listening to those of others. 

Obviously a prolonged stay in France or Spain during the course is essential. You could attend a language course, try a stint as an au-pair or as a one-way paying guest ‘en famille’. If you have good contacts yourself you might even be able to organise some work experience with a French or Spanish firm. The possibilities are endless!

You are all aware of the vital and growing importance of Europe and your role in it. An A Level or AS Level in a modern foreign language will broaden your horizons but also open up opportunities in employment.

Mrs Charlotte Rock

Head of Modern Languages

 

Music

Even if you choose not to study Music at A Level, there are many opportunities for Sixth Form students to be involved in the musical life of the school, such as joining Senior Choir, Chamber Choir, Orchestra, Flute Choir, Guitar Group, String Group and Reed Group. Girls often form their own rock bands in the Sixth Form and this is very much encouraged. Chamber Choir is an auditioned choir and rehearse once a week. The Senior Choir is open to everyone without audition and rehearses once a week. Both Choirs sing at services and concerts in and out of school throughout the year. Individual music lessons are offered in all orchestral instruments, as well as drums, guitar (acoustic or electric), piano and voice. The school offers weekly aural and theory classes without charge. Many girls take examinations and compete in festivals.

The Music Department involves all singers and musicians in the annual Carol Service at the end of the Autumn Term as well as the large May concert in the summer term. All musicians are encouraged to perform in the informal lunchtime concert series and to audition for the biennial musical production. In recent years these have included Annie and Oliver. There is also the biennial School Music Competition where the Sixth Form are responsible for organising their House Entry involving soloists, small ensembles and a performance from the whole House! Many more informal concerts and charity concerts feature during the academic year. Indeed Sixth Form musical initiatives are very much encouraged and supported by the Music Department.


MUSIC

AQA

This is an exciting course!

A Level Music involves the maturity of diverse skills: theoretical, practical, aural and intellectual. It is a multidisciplinary course exploring all areas of musical skill: performing, composing, listening and analysis. 

By choosing A Level Music you will:

  • study a diverse range of music
  • learn to listen critically and analytically
  • gain an understanding of compositional processes
  • perform in a range of contexts, including solo and ensemble work
  • develop a professional  approach to communication and performance

Practical skills in an instrument or voice to the equivalent of at least Grade V are a requirement.

A Level music is a well-respected qualification when applying for University courses across the spectrum of academic disciplines, and is essential for those wishing to read the subject at university or Music College.

The specification contains six units:

AS Units

Unit 1: Influences on Music (written examination 30% of AS or 15% of A Level)

Students acquire, explore and apply musical language and context.

Section A: Students develop their listening skills and respond to structured listening questions. Students explore a variety of music, from the renaissance to early jazz, in preparation for their examination.

Sections B & C: Students explore two areas of study: The Western Classical Tradition and Music Theatre: a study of the Musical from 1940-1980. Study involves listening to music from these two Areas of Study, study of scores and gaining an awareness of the context in which the music was composed. Haydn’s Symphony no 104, the 1st and 3rd movements are studied as a set work.

Unit 2: Composing (coursework 30% of AS or 15% of A Level)

Students demonstrate their ability to create and develop their composing skills with technical control and expressive understanding, making creative use of musical devices, conventions and resources.

Unit 3: Performing (internally assessed 40% of AS or 20% of A Level)

Students develop their performing skills and offer two performances from the options below:

  1. A solo performance on an instrument;
  2. A solo performance on voice;
  3. A solo performance on a second instrument;
  4. An ensemble performance.

Each performance should last 5-8 minutes. Students may submit a single piece or a programme of shorter pieces.

A2 Units

Unit 4: Music in Context (written examination 20% of A Level)

Students acquire, explore and apply musical language and context.

Section A: Students develop further their listening skills from Unit 1 and respond to structured listening questions. Students enjoy exploring a variety of music in preparation for the examination. 

Sections B & C: Students explore two areas of study. The first area of study, The Western Classical Tradition, is an extension of study completed at AS level. Students study a new set work, Symphony No. 1 in A ƅ major, by Elgar. Pupils can then choose between Jazz and Blues or English choral music for their second area of study.

Unit 5: Developing Musical Ideas (coursework 15% of A Level)

Students develop and extend their skills acquired in Unit 2, choosing one of the following options:

  1. compositional techniques:

i.      Harmonisation of a Bach chorale melody

ii.    Completing part of a movement from a classical string quartet

  1. Composing a 5-8 minute piece in any style or genre.
  2. Arranging a piece of popular ‘classical’ music in response to a brief and should be 5-8 minutes in length.

Unit 6: A Musical Performance (externally assessed 15% of A Level)

Students offer two (or more) contrasting pieces to form a short solo recital of a balanced programme of music. The programme should last 10-15 minutes in length, showing a variety of style, technique, period and/or approach.

Mrs Nicola Atwell

Director of Music

Physical Education

This is an exciting AS and A2 Level course covering a wide range of study areas both practical and theoretical. 

The course encourages girls to:

  • develop knowledge and skills in selected physical activities
  • develop the skills of planning, performing and evaluating physical activities
  • foster an understanding of the historical, cultural and sociological factors

underpinning sport and physical education

  • gain an understanding of the physiological and mechanical basis

of performance in sport and physical education

  • develop an understanding of psychological factors influencing behaviour

in sport and learning in physical education

  • develop an ability to appreciate the relationship between theory and practice

and to apply theoretical knowledge to develop understanding of practical performance in sport

AS UNITS

Unit 1:  Participation in Sport and Recreation

 (25%)                   (written paper, 1hour 30 minutes)

                                Healthy and Active Life study

                                Opportunities and Pathways

 

Unit 2:  The Critical Sports Performance (90 marks)

(25%)    (Coursework)

(30%)    Personal Performance

(15%)    Local Study

(15%)    National Study

(30%)    Performance Analysis

A2 UNITS

Unit 3:  Preparation for Optimum Sports Performance

(25%)    (2 hours examination paper)

                Short-term preparation

                Long-term preparation

                Managing elite performance

Unit 4:  The Developing Sports Performance (90 marks)

(25%)    (coursework)

(45%)    Development Plan

(15%)    International Study

(20%)    Progressive Participation

(10%)    Life Plan

Mrs Lizanne Johnson

Director of Sport

 

Physics

Physics has no limits physics seeks to explain everything in your life, on this planet, other planets, to the far reaches of universe and beyond.

Physics also deals with the big questions: How do we search for aliens? Are there parallel universes? Will we ever travel back in time? Why do we always find the smallest bits of cereal at the bottom of the packet?

During your GCSE course you will have come across the main concepts of physics: forces, energy, waves, radioactivity, electricity and magnetism. At A-level you will start to see how these ideas work together, and begin to grasp the universal principles that apply to everything from the smallest atoms to the largest galaxies.

Do you want to investigate the limits of space, the beginning of time and everything in between? Whatever you do the knowledge and skills you gain by studying physics will be useful. Physics is more than a subject – it trains your brain to think beyond boundaries.

The structure of the course:

Year 12

Topics: Mechanics, Electrical Circuits, Materials, Waves and the Particle Nature of Light.

Year 13

Topics: Further Mechanics, Electric and Magnetic Fields, Nuclear and Particle Physics, thermodynamics, Space, Nuclear Radiation, Gravitational Fields and Oscillations

Assessment:

AS Physics candidates will study only the Year 12 topics and be assessed by two examinations.

A Level candidates will study all components and have three examinations at the end of Year 13.  One of these examinations will include questions on practical principles. There will also be a practical skills endorsement component that is assessed separately to the A Level as either pass or fail.

Westonbirt School Physics Department believes strongly in the exposure of our students to practical experiences. We believe the practical endorsement is an opportunity to enrich the A Level physics curriculum.

Why study physics?

“There are millions of students in the world, but to get a job you have to stand out from the crowd. Physics will help to give you that edge; people are always impressed by a qualification in physics.”

If you study physics you can go on to a wide variety of careers and courses, including: medicine, astrophysics, weather forecasting, law, media and TV, renewable energy, mechanical engineer, architecture, accountant, particle physicist, publishing, environment and climate, computer games development, sound engineering, music producing, satellite engineer, and a wide variety of other areas and roles. 

Miss Helen Rogerson

Head of Science

Psychology

Psychology is the scientific study of behaviour and the mind. It offers a unique educational experience that develops a distinctive and broad set of skills. The brand new A Level will provide students with the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of Psychology and encourage them to think like Psychologists.

As a Psychology student, you will develop a wide-ranging set of key skills, including being able to communicate effectively using appropriate language and critically assess scientific data. In addition, you will research and critically evaluate a range of sources. The course also encourages the development of strong literacy and numeracy skills. The acquisition of such a diverse range of skills will be of great benefit to you in your further education, the workplace and society in general.

Overview of the A Level in Psychology

Component 1: Psychology – Past to Present

Written examination: 2 hours 15 minutes (33% of qualification)

This component provides a foundation in some of the core aspects of Psychology. You’ll study classic evidence spanning the past one hundred years, to gain an appreciation that Psychology continues to evolve and contains a variety of approaches (Biological, Psychodynamic, Behaviourist, Cognitive and Positive).

Component 2: Psychology - Investigating Behaviour

Written examination: 2 hours 15 minutes (33% of qualification)

The purpose of this component is for you to acquire the skills of working scientifically. It is divided up into three parts: Principles of Research, Personal Investigations and Application of Research Methods to a Novel Scenario.

Component 3: Psychology – Implications in the Real World.

Written examination: 2 hours 15 minutes (33% of qualification)

Having learnt about the various approaches in Component 1, you’ll be expected to apply your knowledge to human/animal behaviours. You’ll study three different behaviours (e.g. criminal behaviours, Schizophrenia and Stress) and five controversies (cultural bias, ethical costs of conducting research, non-human animals, scientific status, sexism).

To study Psychology successfully at A Level you need to have a good GCSEs in Mathematics and English Literature / Language. You should also enjoy reading because there is a lot of this during the course.

You should consider studying this subject if:

  • you enjoy reading, learning lots of new terminology (words), group discussions, giving presentations and investigative work
  • you are prepared to work hard because of the volume of reading, learning and preparation required
  • You are ready to be focused in class whilst asking plenty of questions

Mrs Alexis Shea

Head of Psychology

Religious Studies

Religious Studies is an exciting subject, highly regarded by top universities for its academic rigour and transferable skills. It promotes deep discussion of some of the fundamental questions we have about our existence and morality, and develops the enquiring minds of those who opt to study it. Students do not need to have studied the subject at GCSE level to commit to the subject at A Level. However, they must enjoy writing essays, so a good GCSE grade in English Literature or English Language would certainly be beneficial.

As mentioned above, the subject promotes skills transferable to the study of a wide range of subjects at university. In addition, an A Level in Religious Studies is useful for careers in Medicine, Law, Politics, Education, Journalism, Social Work and Counselling, to name just a few.

The course is broken down as follows:

Year 12

AS Philosophy of Religion (Unit G571) is assessed by 1 x one and a half hour examination at the end of year 12, which makes up 50% of the AS and 25% of the A2:

  • Ancient Greek influences on philosophy of religion
  • Judaeo-Christian influences on philosophy of religion
  • Traditional arguments for the existence of God
  • Challenges to religious belief

AS Religious Ethics (Unit G572) is assessed by 1 x one and a half hour examination at the end of year 12, which makes up 50% of the AS and 25% of the A2:

  • Ethical theories
  • Applied ethics topics (Medical Ethics and the Ethics of War)

At AS Level, you will be marked according to the following assessment objectives:

  • A01 Knowledge and Understanding (70%)
  • A02 Analysis, Application and Evaluation (30%)
  • Quality of written communication

Year 13

A Level Philosophy of Religion (Unit G581) is assessed by 1 x one and a half hour examination at the end of year 13, which makes up 25% of your final A2 grade:

  • Religious language
  • Experience and religion
  • Nature of God
  • Life and death
  • Miracle

A Level Religious Ethics (G582) is assessed by 1 x one and a half hour examination at the end of year 13, which makes up 25% of your final A2 grade:

  • Free will and determinism
  • Conscience
  • Virtue ethics
  • Applied ethics topics (Sexual Ethics and Environmental & Business Ethics)

At A2 level, you will be marked according to the following assessment objectives:

  • A01 Knowledge and Understanding (65%)
  • A02 Analysis, Application and Evaluation (35%)
  • Quality of written communication

Further information about this qualification may be obtained from the OCR website: http://www.ocr.org.uk/qualifications/as-a-level-gce-religious-studies-h172-h572/

Miss Angela Douglas

Head of Religious Studies

Travel and Tourism

The Leisure & Tourism Industry is one of the most dynamic industries in the world. In the UK alone there are over 2.5 million people employed in either a leisure or tourism based organisation. You will investigate a wide range of areas, including marketing, customer service and health and safety and see how and why they are important within a leisure and tourism environment. The subject provides you with a broad understanding of the growing and diverse sectors of travel and tourism. The AS units aim to give an overview of the industry and to build a sound knowledge of travel and tourism issues, from which you can build the deeper understanding required for A2 units.

This subject combines well with other AS and A2 Levels, particularly Modern Languages, Geography and Business Studies. The best reason for taking AS and A2 Travel and Tourism is because you are interested in travel but also want to keep your options open.

The Travel and Tourism course is designed to give students:

  • The opportunity to gain a broad knowledge and understanding of the travel and tourism industry, both nationally and globally
  • An understanding of the scale and importance of the travel and tourism industry and the interdependence of the sectors within it
  • An appreciation of the impact of information and communication technology (ICT) on the development of the travel and tourism industry
  • The opportunity to develop and use skills relevant to working in the travel and tourism sectors such as research, analysis, evaluation and customer service skills
  • Insight into what it means to work in the travel and tourism sector and a chance to explore working methods linked to industry practice
  • A sound basis for progression to further study or employment with training

A Level Travel and Tourism is designed to provide students with a course that links classroom activities with the vocational sector. Students who choose to study the course will have an opportunity to bridge the gap between school and the world of work. In order to understand the nature of travel and tourism, students must actively experience the sector environment. This can be achieved through a variety of approaches including meeting professionals who work in the sector, linking with local employers and carrying out case studies based on particular travel and tourism facilities.

The course comprises a combination of the following 4 units:

AS                                                                           A2

Introducing Travel & Tourism                      Tourism Impacts & Tourism Developments

Investigating Tourism Destinations                          Trends and Issues in Travel & Tourism or

                                                                                Event Management in Travel & Tourism

At both AS and A2 there is a high coursework component (60%) and a portfolio is produced. Students’ portfolio work is marked by their teachers and moderated by the awarding body. The exact nature of the external assessment will vary according to the content of the unit concerned. This portfolio helps girls who achieve best in coursework an excellent final grade.

It is important to note that the vast majority of the assessment is by coursework, the department has scored extremely highly in this area in previous assessments. Visits to local visitor attractions, accommodation and transport as well as visits by tourism professionals help in the acquisition of data for this.

Mrs N Gill

Head of Geography

BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate In Performing Arts

BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate in Performing Arts

The performing arts are a major part of the creative and cultural industries in the UK. Overall, the industry contributes £4 billion to the UK economy and is a major employer. The UK’s performing arts sector is vibrant, varied and hugely successful. It is a growth industry that offers diverse employment opportunities, for example in dance, drama, music, theatre, film, puppetry, costume design, directing, set design, make-up or special effects, as well as in the support functions and roles that bring these art forms to the fore.

Who is this qualification for?

BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate in Performing Arts is intended as an Applied General qualification, and is designed for post¬16 students, with an interest in performing arts, who want to continue their education through applied learning, and who aim to progress to higher education. The qualification is equivalent in size to 1 A Level and is designed to occupy one ¬third of a typical study programme, which could include other vocational or academic qualifications, such as another BTEC National or A Levels. This qualification gives a broad introduction to the performing arts sector, with an emphasis on core knowledge and fundamental skills that are transferable across other sectors (including communication, presentation, physical and creative skills).

What does the qualification cover?
The content of this qualification has been developed in consultation with academics to ensure that it supports progression to higher education. In addition, employers and professional bodies have been involved and consulted in order to confirm that the content is also appropriate and consistent with current practice for students choosing to enter employment. The three mandatory units focus on:

  • research – critical analysis and extended writing skills that aim to support students’ progress to higher education. As possible performing arts practitioners, students will gain a good understanding of the work of influential practitioners to inform their own work and practice (Unit – Investigating Practitioners’ Work)
  • an induction into the performing arts – where students will develop the appropriate skills and techniques in various performance disciplines such as acting, dance, musical theatre and physical theatre (Unit – Developing Skills and Techniques for Live Performance)
  • group performance – students will develop the essential psychomotor and affective skills essential for the performing arts.

They will develop physical techniques, as well as wider transferable skills such as being able to work collaboratively, personal management and organisation (rehearsals, time management), being able to give and take direction, confidence in front of an audience, problem solving and team work (essential when dancing as a group). Students will understand different audiences in different environments and will learn to adapt a performance to engage the target audience.
Students select one optional unit to support choices in progression to performing arts and other courses in HE, and also cover acting, dance and musical theatre topics. Examples of the optional units include: classical ballet technique, street dance technique, acting styles, developing the voice for performance, and variety performance.

BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate In Travel And Tourism

The travel and tourism industry is one of the fastest and growing industries in the UK. The value of tourism to the UK economy is approximately £126 billion, and the sector employs around 3.1 million people.

Who is this qualification for?

BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate in Travel and Tourism is intended as an Applied General qualification. It is designed for post-16 students with an interest in travel and tourism who want to continue their education through applied learning and who aim to progress to higher education. The qualification is equivalent in size to one A level and is designed to occupy one-third of a typical study programme, which could include other vocational or academic qualifications, such as another BTEC National or A levels. This qualification gives a broad introduction to the travel and tourism industry, with an emphasis on core knowledge and fundamental skills that are transferable across other sectors. No prior study of the sector is needed, but students should normally have a range of achievement at level 2, in GCSEs or equivalent qualifications.

What does the qualification cover?

The aim of the qualification is to support progression to higher education, and the content has been developed in consultation with higher education providers to ensure that it supports this. In addition, employers and professional bodies have been involved and consulted, to confirm that the content is appropriate and consistent with current practice. The qualification provides the knowledge, understanding and skills that will prepare students for further study or training. Everyone taking this qualification will study three mandatory units, covering the following content areas:

  • the travel and tourism industry – developing the skills needed to examine, interpret and analyse a variety of statistics that measure the importance of tourism to the UK
  • different types of destinations and their importance – investigating the features and appeal of global destinations
  • customer service – exploring and applying ways of managing internal and external customer experience to support organisational success and to develop customer service skills. Students select one option unit to support their progression to travel and tourism and other courses in higher education.

The option units cover content areas such as:

  • visitor attractions
  • passenger transport
  • events, conferences and exhibitions.

BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate In Equine Management

The equine sector is an exciting and well-respected industry, which is rapidly expanding in the UK, contributing £7 billion a year to the economy. This sector has more than 19,000 businesses, 41,200 employees and many volunteers. The equine industry includes the welfare, husbandry, supervision and riding of horses, which means there are opportunities for working ranging from livery operations to thoroughbred racehorse training.

Who is this qualification for?

BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate in Equine Management is intended as a Tech Level qualification, equivalent in size to one A level and, as such, is designed to meet the Tech Bacc measure, when studied alongside level 3 mathematics and the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ). This qualification offers an engaging programme to support students who aspire to a career in the equine industry. This size of qualification allows students to study related and complementary qualifications without duplication of content. It provides good preparation for someone considering an apprenticeship in the equine sector. When taken alongside further level 3 qualifications, it also supports access to a range of higher education courses in the Equine management sector. No prior study of the sector is needed, but students should normally have a range of achievement at level 2, in GCSEs or equivalent qualifications.

What does the qualification cover?

The content of this qualification has been developed in consultation with employers and professional bodies to ensure that the content is appropriate for those interested in working in the sector. In addition, higher education representatives have been involved to ensure that it fully supports progression towards higher study. There are four mandatory units, which cover the following aspects of equine management:

  • equine structure, form and function
  • work experience in the equine sector
  • horse tack, equipment and rugs
  • equine health and husbandry. Students will be able to add one option unit to the mandatory content. The option units have been designed to support progression to a range of employment opportunities in the equine management sector, and to a range of higher education courses. Option units introduce students to a sector specialist area of their choice, including working in particular environments, and link with relevant occupational areas.

The option units cover areas such as:

  • equine behaviour
  • riding horses in the open
  • estates and grassland management
  • introduction to equestrian coaching

All students taking this qualification will be required to engage with sector employers as part of their course, including 75 hours’ work experience with an employer in the sector, where opportunities will be given to develop practical skills in preparation for employment.

BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate In Creative Digital Media Production

In 2014, the UK Government reported that the creative industries were worth £8 million an hour to the UK economy. From Guardians of the Galaxy to Minecraft, the UK holds the talent and resources that produce some of the most innovative and imaginative media in the world. The range of industries represented by creative digital media production includes media such as film and television, digital publishing and digital games. These are some of fastest growing industries in the UK and are one of the areas in which the UK leads the rest of the world.

Who is this qualification for?

BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate in Creative Digital Media Production has been developed in consultation with higher education and is intended to be an Applied General qualification. It is for post16 students who want to continue their education through applied learning [‘hands-on’] and who aim to progress to higher education, and ultimately to employment, possibly in the creative industries. The qualification is equivalent in size to 1 A Level and makes up one third of a typical study programme, normally alongside A Levels or other vocational qualifications at Level 3. It links really well with the BTEC in Production Arts, A Level Art or Photography and English.

What does this qualification cover?

The content of the qualification relates directly to the skills and understanding needed for further study in creative digital media production and has been developed in consultation with higher education. Over three units of mandatory content, students gain a broad understanding of the subject and learn the skills to produce media artefacts. They develop their ability to analyse and deconstruct media images and representations. Through vocational media projects, they learn the required communication skills to pitch for digital media commissions and planning skills to work in teams and create media products. Through an optional introductory unit in a particular media sector such as publishing and film, students create engaging digital media content using industry-standard software.
The mandatory units are:

  • Media Representations
  • Pre-production portfolio
  • Responding to a commission [double weighted unit]

The optional units that we will offer will be:

  • Film production OR
  • Digital magazine production

BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate In Business

There are many different career paths for those who wish to work within the business sector. These include management, HR, finance, marketing and business information management, with the opportunity to work both in the UK and internationally.

Who is this qualification for?

BTEC National Extended Certificate in Business is intended to be an Applied General qualification for post 16 students wanting to continue their education through applied learning, and who aim to progress to higher education and ultimately to employment, possibly in the business sector. The qualification is equivalent in size to 1 A level and aims to provide a coherent introduction to study of the business sector, normally alongside other level 3 qualifications. Students wishing to take this BTEC will have successfully completed a level 2 programme of learning with GCSEs or vocational qualifications.

What does the qualification cover?

The content of this qualification has been developed in consultation with academics to ensure that it supports progression to higher education. In addition, employers and professional bodies have been involved and consulted in order to confirm that the content is also appropriate for and consistent with current practice for students planning to enter employment directly in the business sector. Everyone taking this qualification will study three mandatory units.
They are:

  • Exploring the Business Environment
  • Developing a Marketing Campaign
  • Personal and Business Finance

The optional units have been designed to support choices in progression to business courses in HE, and to link with relevant occupational areas. They cover content areas such as:
human resources

  • accounting
  • marketing
  • law

In addition, the qualification includes an optional work experience unit, which enables all students to benefit from practical experience of the sector.

BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate In Animal Management

The animal management sector is rapidly developing from a low¬ grade, largely manual sector into a service industry meeting the broad demands of the animal ¬owning and interested public. Animal care is worth £1 billion to the UK economy. This sector has 20,000 businesses, 78,000 employees and many volunteers. There are many different career paths and opportunities for those wishing to work in animal management which range from working with small to large, domesticated and exotic animals in subsector areas such animal welfare, business, science and wildlife conservation.

Who is this qualification for?

This qualification offers an engaging programme to support students who aspire to a career in an animal related industry. It is intended as a Tech Level qualification, equivalent in size to 1 A level and, as such, is designed to meet the Tech Bacc measure, when studied alongside level 3 mathematics and the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ). This size of qualification allows students to study related and complementary qualifications without duplication of content. It provides good preparation for someone considering an apprenticeship in animal management. When taken alongside further level 3 qualifications, it also supports access to a range of higher education courses in the animal management sector. No prior study of the sector is needed, but students should normally have a range of achievement at level 2, in GCSEs or equivalent qualifications.

What does the qualification cover?

The content of this qualification has been developed in consultation with employers and professional bodies to ensure that the content is appropriate for those working in the sector. In addition, HE representatives have been involved in order to ensure it supports progression towards higher study. The mandatory units are as follows:

  • Unit 3: Animal Welfare and Ethics
  • Unit 4: Practical Animal Husbandry
  • Unit 5: Animal Behaviour
  • Unit 6: Animal Health and Disease
  • Unit 7: Work Experience in the Animal Sector

All students taking this qualification will be required to engage with sector employers as part of their course, including 75 hours work experience with an employer in the sector, where opportunities will be given to develop practical skills in preparation for employment.

BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma In Hospitality

The hospitality sector spans a range of 20+ industries including hospitality services, contract food services, holiday parks, hotels and other venues, events management and visitor attractions. Together, the sector contributes over £63 billion in GVA each year and employs approximately 2.9 million people in more than 419,000 establishments. The majority of the organisations are private sector. The hospitality and tourism sector employs 7% of the working population (1 in every 14 jobs). Longer-term employment projections suggest that by 2020 the sector’s workforce will have grown by 6% (660,200 people), which is higher than the projected increase for the economy as a whole. Labour market reports from the Sector Skills Council, People 1st, further suggest that the investment required to improve quality and standards in a service driven sector such as hospitality and tourism should focus on increasing the skills of those working in the sector.

Who is this qualification for?

BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma in Hospitality is part of a larger suite of hospitality qualifications, in a range of sizes, which share the common purpose of helping people to become occupationally ready to take up employment in the hospitality sector at the appropriate level. This can follow either directly after achieving the qualification, or via the stepping stone of Higher Education (HE) in university or college. By studying a BTEC National, learners develop knowledge, understanding and skills required by the sector, including essential employability skills, and apply them in real work contexts. Learners can operate at a standard that can reasonably be expected of an 18 year old in full-time education.

What does the qualification cover?

BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma in Hospitality is a vocational qualification, equivalent in size to an A level, which has been designed to occupy one third of the curriculum within a broader programme of study, which could include other vocational or academic qualifications. Its main purpose is to allow learners to develop the core specialist knowledge, understanding and skills, including knowledge and understanding of the scale, structure and organisation of provision of the hospitality industry, the principles of supervising customer service, how to provide customer service and why good customer service is essential for hospitality businesses to succeed, required by the sector. It provides a basis for progression into a broad range of roles within the sector when supported by relevant qualifications at level 2, such as GCSE English and mathematics, and/or at level 3, such as A levels in Biology or Business Studies, a vocational qualification in cookery, food service or health and social care, or food hygiene or health and safety qualifications at Level 2 or 3. Learners have some opportunity to study in more depth a range of option areas of their choice, including:

  • understanding nutrition in a range of different cuisines
  • food and drinks service
  • events management
  • business enterprise and marketing
  • accommodation operations
  • personal and professional practice
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Sixth Form
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Westonbirt Schools

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Westonbirt Schools

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