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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 students 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 were offered places at 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.

Sixth form students at Westonbirt enjoy a robust academic two years 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 students 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 pupil

Westonbirt have recently introduced a number of BTEC courses for Sixth Form. Mrs J 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

AS and A-Level Art are now two separate standalone qualifications. This means that AS results DO NOT count towards the A-Level as they have done in the past.

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 student’s 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 a 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 within 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; on the Breadth in Biology paper (AS) and the Biological processes and Biological diversity papers at A’ level.
  • AS papers will be longer to meet the requirements of a minimum of 3 hours of assessment (2 papers of 1hour 30 minutes duration).
  • A2 papers will be longer to fulfil the requirements for a minimum of 6 hours of assessment. There will be 3 papers in total; Biological processes and Biological diversity (2 hours 15 minutes) and a Unified biology paper (1 hour 30 minutes).

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 Combined Science or GCSE 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?

The changes introduced in September 2015 mean that all the examinations for AS or A’ level have to be sat at one sitting in June. During the two year course you will also carry out 16 Core Experiments which will lead to a Practical Endorsement in Chemistry.

AS Level

You will complete a written exam that lasts for 90 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 105 minutes long and accounts for 30% of the marks

Paper 2: Advanced Organic and Physical Chemistry is also 105 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

The Performing Arts thrive at Westonbirt where there are plenty of opportunities both within the curriculum and as optional extras. Concerts and plays are frequently staged in the Orangery, the Great Hall and Drama studio, as well as spaces in the school grounds. Performances have aired in nearby cultural centres such as Bristol, Bath and Cheltenham and recently at the Edinburgh Fringe. This year over 90 students were involved on stage and behind the scenes in a joint prep and senior school production of Disney’s The Lion King Jr, which took place on the Orangery stage.

Productions take place throughout the year, starting with ‘Ghostly Tales’ on Halloween. Most recently plays have included our ‘Short Plays Festival’. A series of short plays highlighting different styles and genres of theatre such as Melodrama, farce and physical theatre. Our summer production of ‘The lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’ included an elephant-sized Aslan that was operated by three students at the same time! 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. The new specific requires students to devise their own piece of theatre and perform to a live audience so year 11 and year 13 students can be very busy in the run up to Christmas!

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 students 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 students 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. These are sometimes coupled with backstage tours or workshops to enable to chance to find out more about the theatre industry. In recent years, a highlight of the Drama calendar has been the trip to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. In 2015, a group of Year 12 and 13 students prepared an interactive performance of ‘Alice in Wonderland’ to perform both at the Fringe and in local venues and prep schools. The visit to Edinburgh also encompassed the opportunity to see a range of theatrical styles in practice as the girls managed to take in around 15 shows during their 5 day visit! We are hoping to take a version of ‘Ghostly Tales’ to Edinburgh in the summer of 2019.

If you would rather help out behind the scenes, we are always looking for help with set-building, costume-making and prop design as well as recruiting lighting and sound technicians, so there is plenty for everyone to get involved in.

What should you bring to the course?

  • A willingness to think, work with others, read, write, research and - above all - DO!
  • An interest in theatre and what it tells us about ourselves and our world

Students are assessed on their knowledge and understanding of drama and theatre, which is developed through:

  • The study of two set plays
  • Analysis and evaluation of live theatre
  • Creation and performance of Devised Drama
  • The study and imitation of a range of influential practitioners
  • Performance of a range of scripted extracts

Assessments

This is a linear course, with all examinations taking place at the end of Year 13. The 3 hour written examination is worth 40% of the A-level and assesses the interpretation of two plays from a list that includes Antigone, The Servant to Two Masters, Hedda Gabler, Metamorphosis, Our Country’s Good and Bronte. Candidates are also asked to write analytically about the work of theatre makers in live theatre that they have seen during the course.

In the practical components students will work both individually and in groups and may have the opportunity to specialise in performing, sound, set, costume, puppetry and/or directing. The Devised performance (worth 20 marks) and the accompanying working notebook (worth 40 marks) represent 30% of the A’ level. Students are required to study the work and methodologies of an influential practitioner and apply them to the process and performance of a piece. Practitioners may include the work of directors and companies such as Stanislavski, Brecht, Katie Mitchell, Shared Experience, Kneehigh and Frantic Assembly.

The final 30% of the course requires students to undertake practical exploration and interpretation of three extracts from different plays and involves the application of a further influential practitioner. Students may contribute as a performer, designer or director. The projects are supplemented by a 20 mark reflective report, analyzing and evaluating the theatrical interpretation of all three extracts.

How will you benefit?

The course directly improves:

  • teamwork skills
  • presentation skills
  • problem solving skills
  • empathy skills
  • reading for meaning
  • analysis through practical work
  • Independent research skills

Whatever your future studies or career, you will probably need:

  • to present information or ideas with conviction
  • to apply methodology to solve current problems
  • to work as a member of a team to a common end
  • to recognise and use your creative side

All of this will be developed during your course.                             

Mr Andrew English

Head of Drama 

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:

Year 12

Theme 1: Markets, consumers and firms

Theme 2: The wider economic environment                                                                                                    

Year 13

Theme 3: Making markets work

Theme 4: The global economy

 

The final exam in year 13 is divided into 3 papers. Paper one which includes themes 1 and 4, paper 2 which includes papers 2 and 3 and finally a synoptic research paper covering all units taught.

 

Mrs Jo Edwards

Head of Westonbirt Business School

English Literature

Why study English Literature in the Sixth Form?

English Literature is a subject that is set to challenge your conceptions about society, history, and yourself. It is a subject that often brings out deeply personal responses, and affects the way we view our own experiences as well as the world around us. A-Level Literature seeks to expose you to authors form the canon of English Literature, like Shakespeare, to more unusual texts which can challenge your views on what art and literature can be like. There is an emphasis in the subject on developing a personal relationship with the texts and genres we study.

The A’ level course requires that students study eight texts over two years - three of these from before 1900 (including one Shakespeare play), and one from post-2000.

Component 1: Drama    (written examination, 30% of the total A’ level)

We study two plays: one Shakespearian tragedy – Hamlet or Othello – and a modern play – A Streetcar Named Desire.

Section A of the exam contains a question about the chosen Shakespeare play, which you must examine in the light of your wider critical reading.

In Section B you have a choice of two questions on your other chosen play; you are tested on your ability to analyse the text with insight and conceptualised literary knowledge.

Component 2: Prose (written examination, 20% of the total A’ level)

We study two novels on the theme of the supernatural: A Picture of Dorian Grey, and The Little Stranger. Other potential themes for study include Childhood, Science and Society, Women and Society and Crime and Detection. The exam involves a comparative essay on your chosen theme.

Component 3: Poetry (written examination, 30% of the total A’ level)

You study a range of poems from a 21st Century anthology, and from a particular period or poet (this year we are studying the Romantics)

In Section A of the exam you write an essay on an unseen modern poem.

In Section B you answer one question about their studied poet or period.

Component 4: Coursework (20% of the total A’ level)

You have free choice in this unit (with our guidance) of two texts to cover in your assignment. You will write a 3000 word comparative essay on your chosen texts; the question is negotiated with their teacher. This is an opportunity for students to look into their own literary interests.

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

Mr 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.

The AQA Course Units comprise:

Component 1    Physical Geography – Section A: Water and carbon cycles.  Section B: either cold environments or Coastal systems and landscapes. Section C: either Hazards or Ecosystems under stress (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; all A* and A in the Summer of 2016, 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 the significance of events & individuals, 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 which is highly valued by all universities and all employers.

You must be inquisitive by nature. Much of the course is relevant to the world we live in today and students who opt to take History should have a desire to develop a greater understanding of our modern world. The course will be delivered in a variety of ways to suit learner’s styles. Note-taking, reading, class discussion, essay writing, watching documentaries, listening to podcasts, radio programmes and independent investigation will all feature. It is beneficial to have gained at least a grade B at GCSE but every application will be judged on its individual merits.

History at Westonbirt follows the OCR syllabus for A’ level and we study the following units across the two years:

Unit 1 Y107 England 1547-1603: The Later Tudors

Unit 2 Y224 Apartheid and Reconciliation: South African Politics 1948-1999

Unit 3 Y321The Middle East 1908-2011: Ottomans to Arab Spring

Unit 4 Y100 Topic Based Essay (Coursework)

For the Coursework element, students will have the freedom to either choose a question set by the exam board or design their own question in negotiation with Mr Ahmed.

Mr Imran Ahmed

Head of History

Information and Communication Technology

Why choose Computing?

Computing is a practical subject where you can apply the academic principles learned in the classroom to real-world systems and hands on projects. It’s an intensely creative subject that combines invention and excitement, looking at the natural world through a digital prism. Our Computing course values computational thinking, helping you to develop the skills to solve problems and embed solutions within real-life projects, design systems and understand the power and limits of human and machine intelligence to the evolved platforms we have today, such as the use of emulators and network assisted building.  The BTEC is classified as an Applied General and is as rigorous as the A-Level Computer Science course, so why choose the BTEC? It is a hands-on qualification – why learn about networks when you can build one? Why learn about a computer system? When you can actually build one? All answered through the BTEC qualification.

This course will:

  • Focus on programming, emphasising the importance of computational thinking as a discipline.
  • Have an expanded maths focus, much of which will be embedded within the course.
  • Put computational thinking at its core, helping you to develop the skills to solve problems, design systems and understand human and machine intelligence.
  • Allow you to apply the academic principles learned in the classroom to real world systems in an exciting and engaging manner.
  • Give you a clear progression into higher education or further education route through the implementation of hands on projects, from setting up a network server, animation or even using client side and server-side scripting.

Assessment

Year One

Year Two

Unit 2 – Fundamentals of a Computer System

External Assessment 

  • 1 hour 45-minute exam
  • (worth 25% of qualification grade)

Unit 1 – Principles of Computer Science

  • External Assessment
  • 2-hour exam
  • (worth 33% of qualification grade)

Unit 7 – IT Systems Security and Encryption

  • Internal Assessment (coursework)
  • (worth 25% of qualification grade)

Optional unit*

  • Internal Assessment (coursework)
  • (worth 17% of qualification grade)

*Students can select their optional unit within the Extended Certificate pathway: Digital graphics and animation, Computer game development, Mobile app development or Website development.

Mr Byron Calderwood

Computer Science

 

Latin

This subject is taught across Years 12 and 13, both as an AS and A-Level.

Latin remains a stimulating and challenging subject for students who wish to build on the knowledge they gained at GCSE. This is a subject which builds neatly on the GCSE syllabus, pushing students into a deeper understanding of a language and a culture that continues to be the cornerstone of our culture, our language and even our political discourse. Students who take Latin beyond GCSE are keen to explore this ancient and beautiful language in much more detail, as well as willing to engage with the literature and ideas of the Classical world.

AS and A-Level Latin have recently undergone some minor reforms, though the areas of competence are in essence similar to those tested in earlier curricula.

Year 12                 AS Level (2 units)

  • Language: Students will build on their already extensive knowledge gained at GCSE, as much of the grammar covered in Years 10 and 11 forms the core of what will be studied at AS and A’ level. A pupil who has already coped well with the complexities of Higher Level GCSE syntax will find the language encountered at AS Level familiar, though new grammatical ideas provide a challenging and stimulating route to understanding longer, authentic texts by Roman authors.

                Exam: 1hr 30 Language Paper - an unseen passage to be translated, and either a translation of short                 sentences into Latin or comprehension questions based on a passage of unseen Latin.

  • Literature: Two set texts, one prose, the other verse, are studied in detail, and set in their historical and cultural contexts: Cicero, Pro Milone and Virgil, Aeneid VIII            

                Exam: 2hr Literature Paper – comprehension questions on two passages of each set text, plus longer                 questions demanding a more detailed understanding of the overall texts.

 

Year 13                 A’ level (4 units)

 

                At A2 level, students continue to develop and deepen their understanding of the language and literature; at                 this level, a constant exposure to authentic Roman texts, as well as continuing with the set texts, will hone                 their skills in tackling longer and increasingly complex passages for both the Language and Literature papers.

  • Language – Unseen Translation (1hr 45 paper) An unseen translation of narrative prose and a comprehension and translation exercise based on an excerpt of unseen verse, taken from Ovid’s Metamorphoses or Amores
  • Language – Prose Composition or Comprehension (1hr 15 paper). Either a translation into Latin of an unseen prose passage, or a comprehension test.          
  • Literature – Prose (2hr paper) Learners study excerpts of Cicero, Philippic II in depth. Learners also study additional literature in translation in order to understand the context from which the set texts have been taken.
  • Literature – Verse (2hr paper) Learners study excerpts of Virgil, Aeneid XI in depth. Learners also study additional literature in translation in order to understand the context from which the set texts have been taken.  

Mr. Paul Holland

Head of Classics

Mathematics and Further Mathematics

What will I learn on this A’ level course?

The Mathematics A’ 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 6 in your GCSE and be confident in algebra.

What do you do?

From Sept 2017, the new linear Edexcel maths A’ level course has been delivered and will be examined at the end of Year 13 (first A’ level exams to be taken June 2019.) This comprises two thirds pure mathematics and one third mechanics and statistics. Technology plays a key part in the effective teaching and learning of the subject. 

Pure Mathematics

When studying pure mathematics at 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. You will also get to grips with using large data sets and the various methods analysing these.

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.

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

Mathematics is very valuable as a supporting subject to many courses at A’ level including the Sciences, Geography and Economics. A’ level Mathematics is a much sought after qualification for entry to a wide variety of full-time courses in Higher Education, especially Engineering, Computer Science, Physics, Finance and Economics.

Further Mathematics

Subject to uptake and timetabling, it may be possible to study Further Mathematics as an additional A’ level subject. This consists of a Core Maths module (covering concepts like Complex Numbers, Matrices, Vectors and Further Calculus). There is also an array of applied modules which make up this course; e.g. Further Mechanics, Decision Maths, Further Statistics as well as Further Pure Maths.

Mrs Louanne Gill

Head of 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

The media - film, TV, press, social media - unquestionably play a central role in contemporary culture, society and politics. They shape our perceptions of the world through the representations, ideas and points of view they offer. The media have real relevance and importance in our lives today, providing us with ways to communicate, with forms of cultural expression and the ability to participate in key aspects of society. The economic importance of the media is also unquestionable. The media industries employ large numbers of people worldwide and generate significant global profit. The globalised nature of the contemporary media, ongoing technological developments and more opportunities to interact with the media suggest their centrality in contemporary life can only increase.  

We study the WJEC Eduqas ‘A’ Level in Media Studies which offers a broad, engaging and stimulating linear course of study enabling learners to:  

  • demonstrate skills of enquiry, critical thinking, decision-making and analysis
  • demonstrate a critical approach to media issues  
  • demonstrate appreciation and critical understanding of the media and their role both historically and currently in society, culture, politics and the economy  
  • develop an understanding of the dynamic and changing relationships between media forms, products, industries and audiences  
  • demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the global nature of the media  
  • apply theoretical knowledge and specialist subject specific terminology to analyse and compare media products and the contexts in which they are produced and consumed  
  • make informed arguments, reach substantiated judgements and draw conclusions about media issues  
  • engage in critical debate about academic theories used in media studies  appreciate how theoretical understanding supports practice and practice supports theoretical understanding  
  • demonstrate sophisticated practical skills by providing opportunities for creative media production.​

Students can go on to study many different aspects of Media at HE or University level: theoretical, practical or a mixture of both. Media Studies combines well with English, Photography, History and Art. The new specification is 70% exam based, 30% practical coursework - film and print - using industry-standard software on iMac computers.

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

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: Appraising music (96 marks)

This is assessed by an Exam paper with listening and written questions using excerpts of music.  The areas of study provide an appropriate focus for students to appraise, develop and demonstrate an in-depth knowledge and understanding of musical elements, musical contexts and musical language. There are six areas of study:

1 Western classical tradition 1650–1910 (compulsory)

2 Pop music

3 Music for media

4 Music for theatre

5 Jazz

6 Contemporary traditional music.

Section A: Listening (49 marks) Students must be able to listen attentively to unfamiliar music from two strands to identify and accurately describe musical elements and use musical language (including staff notation).

Sections B & C: Analysis (17 marks) For one of the selected strands, students must be able to critically appraise music through analysing excerpts from the set works. Essay (30 marks) For two of the named artists/composers from their selected Area of study, students must be able to respond to a set essay question using musical vocabulary and terminology relevant to the work and Area of study.

Unit 2: Performing (50 marks)

Students develop their performing skills and offer two performances for a minimum of 6 minutes:

• A solo instrumental/vocal piece

• A instrumental/vocal ensemble piece

Through their performance students must also demonstrate understanding of context, including the chosen style or genre of the music being performed and the composer’s purpose and intention.

Unit 3: Composing (50 marks)

Students learn how to develop musical ideas and compose music that is musically convincing through two compositions. One must be in response to an externally set brief (Composition 1) and the other is a free composition (Composition 2). Students also write a Programme note of approximately 150 words for each composition.

The combined duration of the compositions must be a minimum of four and a half minutes.

A2 Units

Unit 4: Appraising Music (120 marks)

There are seven areas of study:

  • Western classical tradition 1650–1910 (compulsory)
  • Pop music
  • Music for media
  • Music for theatre
  • Jazz
  • Contemporary traditional music
  • Art music since 1910.

Students must study Area of study 1: Western classical tradition 1650–1910 and choose two from Areas of study 2–7.

Section A: Listening (56 marks) Students must be able to listen attentively to unfamiliar music from each of the three strands to identify and accurately describe musical elements and use musical language (including staff notation).

Sections B & C: Analysis (34 marks) For two of the selected strands, students must also be able to critically appraise music through analysing excerpts from the set works. Essay (30 marks) For three of the named artists/composers from each of their selected areas of study, students must be able to appraise music and make critical judgements in response to a set essay question.

Unit 5: Performance (50 marks)

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. Students can perform as a soloist or as part of an ensemble. Through their performance students must also demonstrate understanding of context, including the chosen style or genre of the music being performed and the composer’s purpose and intention.

Unit 6: Composition (50 marks)

Students learn how to develop musical ideas and compose music that is musically convincing through two compositions. One must be in response to an externally set brief (Composition 1: 25 marks) and the other is a free composition (Composition 2: 25 marks). Students also write a Programme note of approximately 150 words for each composition.

The combined duration of the compositions must be a minimum of four and a half minutes.

Mrs Nicola Atwell

Director of Music

photography

Photography is a creative and practical course which combines technical aspects of photographic image making with the study of the aesthetic qualities of images.  It is a course in which students can develop the practical skills to express ideas through the media of photography.  Students will learn to critique other photographers’ work as well as to develop and realise their own art. We will look at alternative processes such as cyanotype, solar-prints and salt prints and make a simple pinhole camera.

Lessons will contain critiques of photographer’s work, analysis of composition, research and the development of ideas. Practical lessons will take place in the darkroom and the classroom which is equipped with iMac computers.

Photography combines well with many creative and technical subjects. Typical combinations could be Art, Media Studies, History, Geography or English Literature and Drama. Photography is also offered at degree level for a BA (Bachelor of Arts) and BSc (Bachelor of Science) and there are many interesting combinations with Art and Media.

The AQA specification consists of two components at AS & A2. If students are entered for the A’ level, the first year is non-examined.

AS - Subject Modules (100% Coursework).

Component 1 Portfolio- 60% of AS Marks - The emphasis of this component is on the development of understanding and skills using an appropriate range of materials, processes and techniques. Students will produce a collection of materials that exemplifies work carried out during the AS course.

Component 2 Externally Set Assignment - 40 % of AS Marks – Preparatory period + 10 hours supervised time. Question papers are provided by the exam board. They consist of a choice of five questions to be used as starting points. Students are required to select one and respond with their ideas.

A2 - Subject Modules (100% Coursework).

Component 1 Personal Investigation - 60% of A2 Marks - This is a practical investigation supported by written material. Students are required to conduct a practical investigation, into an idea, issue, concept or theme, supported by written material. The focus of the investigation must be identified independently by the student and must lead to a finished outcome or a series of related finished outcomes.

Component 2 - Externally Set Assignment - 40% of A2 Marks – Preparatory period + 15 hours supervised time.  Question papers are provided by the exam board. They consist of a choice of eight questions to be used as starting points. Students are required to select one and respond with their own ideas.

Mrs Vivienne Spencer

Media Studies and Photography 

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 asks questions such as

  • Are criminals born or made?
  • Is happiness a choice?
  • Is there such a thing as an ‘addictive personality’?

As a Psychology student you will develop a wide-ranging set of key skills, including being able to communicate effectively and to critically assess scientific data. The course 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 and therapies 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: through which you will learn about the general principles of conducting psychological research; you will carry out of your own Personal Investigations; and you will learn how to apply your knowledge of research methods to different scenarios.

Component 3: Psychology – Implications in the Real World.

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

Having learnt about the various approaches to psychology and methods of research, you’ll be expected to apply your knowledge to human/animal behaviours. You’ll explore three different behaviours in depth: criminal behaviours, Schizophrenia and addictive behaviours.  You will also consider some of the controversial debates in the field of psychology, such as whether psychological research is sexist and if the use of non-human animals in research is ethical.  

To study Psychology successfully at A’ level you need to be confident in your Maths skills, particularly that you will be able to develop your understanding of statistics and graphical representation of data.  In addition, sound written communication skills will be important for extended pieces.

You should consider studying this subject if:

  • you want to find out why humans think, feel and behave in the way we do;
  • you like asking questions and being inquisitive about new concepts;
  • you enjoy drawing together lots of different ideas in order to process the positives and negatives of different situations to form your own, evidence-based arguments;
  • you enjoy reading, learning new information, group discussions and investigative work;
  • and you are prepared to work hard because of the volume of reading and preparation required to learn about some completely new concepts.

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.

Students will study the two year OCR syllabus (H573)

The course is broken down as follows:

Philosophy of Religion (2 hour written paper worth 33.3% of the A’ level)

  • Ancient philosophical influences
  • The nature of the soul, mind and body
  • Arguments about the existence or non-existence of God
  • The nature and impact of religious experience
  • The challenge for religious belief of the problem of evil
  • Ideas about the nature of God
  • Issues in religious language.

Religion and Ethics (2 hour written paper worth 33.3% of the A’ level)

  • Normative ethical theories
  • The application of ethical theory to euthanasia and business
  • Ethical language and thought
  • Debates surrounding the significant idea of conscience
  • Sexual ethics and the influence on ethical thought of developments in religious beliefs.

Developments in Religious Thought: Christianity (2 hour written paper worth 33.3% of the A’ level)

  • Religious beliefs, values and teachings, their interconnections and how they vary historically and in the contemporary world
  • Sources of religious wisdom and authority
  • Practices which shape and express religious identity, and how these vary within a tradition
  • Significant social and historical developments in theology and religious thought
  • Key themes related to the relationship between religion and society.

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

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 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)

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.

Mrs Jo Edwards

Head of Vocational Studies

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?

The Pearson 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. 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.

What Does The Qualification Cover?

The aim of the qualification is to support progression to higher education. 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.

What could this qualification lead to?

Students who have completed this qualification in a year may progress to further learning at level 3, for example, to a larger size BTEC National in the travel and tourism sector. In addition to the travel and tourism sector-specific content, the requirements of the qualification will mean students develop transferable and higher-order skills, which are highly regarded by higher education providers and employers. For example, when studying the World of Travel and Tourism unit, students will analyse information and data from the travel and tourism industry, identifying trends and the potential impact of different factors on the industry and its customers, which supports some of the skills students need to progress into higher education, employment, self-employment or training.

Mrs Jo Edwards

Head of Vocational Studies

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.

Mrs Jo Edwards

Head of Vocational Studies

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 post 16 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 are:

  • Film production OR Digital magazine production

Mrs Jo Edwards

Head of Vocational Studies

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.

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.

Mrs Jo Edwards

Head of Vocational Studies

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.

Mrs Jo Edwards

Head of Vocational Studies

BTEC- Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma in Hospitality (QCF)

 

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. 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.

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.

The units covered within the course are:

  • The Hospitality Industry
  • Principles of Supervising Customer Service Performance in Hospitality, Leisure, Travel and Tourism
  • Providing Customer Service in Hospitality
  • Contemporary World Food
  • Environment and Sustainability in Hospitality
  • Planning and Managing a Hospitality Event
  • Industry-related Project in Hospitality (work experience)

Mrs Jo Edwards

Head of Vocational Studies

BTEC- Level 3 Childrens Play, Learning and Development

The early year’s sector

The early year’s sector in England is made up of over 80,000 settings, with 1.3 million childcare places for children under five. This ranges from childminders and nannies, to nurseries, crèches and preschools.

Who is this qualification for?

This qualification is for students interested in learning about the early year’s sector as part of a balanced study programme. It is intended as an Applied General qualification, and is equivalent in size to 1 A’ level. It supports access to a range of higher education courses, possibly in the early year’s sector, if taken alongside further level 3 qualifications. 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 higher education to ensure it supports progression towards higher study. In addition, employers and professional bodies have been involved, in order to confirm that the content is also appropriate for those interested in working in the sector.

 Students taking this qualification will study the following three mandatory units:

● Children’s Development

● Development of Children’s Communication, Literacy and Numeracy Skills

● Play and Learning.

 Students will complete 50 hours of work experience in the sector. Students are able to select one option unit, which supports their progression to specialised degree programmes within the sector and covers areas such as:

● Keeping Children Safe

● Children’s Physical Development, Care and Health Needs

● Working with parents and others in Early Years

● The Early Years Foundation Stage

Mrs Jo Edwards

Head of Vocational Studies

BTEC- Level 3 Information Technology

Computing is concerned both with computers and computer systems – how they work and how they are designed, constructed, and used. The core study of computing encompasses programming languages, data structures, algorithms, and the underlying science of information and computation.

The influence of computing has been profound in shaping the world in which we now live. The use of technology is almost universal among UK businesses, and increasingly businesses are adopting strategic technologies to deliver new opportunities.

The professional, scientific and technical sector has shown the largest increase of all broad industry groups between 2012 and 2013, with a particularly large increase for this sector in London. Telecommunications has been the fastest growing part of the information economy sector; growing at 5.7 per cent per annum during the period from 2000 to 2013. There are approximately 1.3 million people working in technology specialist roles in the UK, and technology specialist employment is consistently increasing, growing by 6 per cent (71,000) in the year from 2013 to 2014 alone.

The UK is ranked second in the world for technological readiness by the World Economic Forum. Ongoing developments in the sector include the government commitment of £1.2 billion to extend superfast broadband to 95 per cent of UK premises by 2017.

Who is this qualification for?

The Pearson BTEC Level 3 Extended Certificate in Computing is equivalent in size to 1 A’ level and is designed for students interested in an introduction to computing, alongside other fields of study, with a view to progressing to a wide range of higher education courses, but not necessarily in computing.

What does the qualification cover?

The content of this qualification has been developed in consultation with academics to ensure that it incorporates the most up-to-date knowledge and skills to enable progression to higher education. In addition, employers and professional bodies have been consulted on the content development to confirm its relevance with current industry practice used in computing and related occupational disciplines. The course offers students access to subject knowledge and skills in computer science and computer systems, enabling them to progress to further study of the computing sector or other sectors.

Students study three mandatory units:

● Principles of Computer Science

● Fundamentals of Computer Systems

● IT Systems Security and Encryption.

Students can choose one option unit from a range covering creative computing, computer science and networking disciplines.

Mrs Jo Edwards

Head of Vocational Studies

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