This qualification enables students to explore the world, the issues it faces and their own place in it. There are three components – Global Geographical Issues, UK Geographical Issues and People and Environment Issues. Topics within these components include natural hazards, economic development, urbanisation, the UK landscape, energy resources and biodiversity. When learning these topics students will be encouraged to make geographical decisions by applying their knowledge, understanding and skills to real-life 21st century people and environment issues. Alongside content students will investigate three case study examples. These will be based on the study of the development of an emerging country, the study of a megacity and the study of a UK city which is changing.
A key part of geography study is students having an opportunity to investigate a place of concept independently through fieldwork. This GCSE has students carrying out fieldwork and research in two contrasting environments; a human landscape (in a rural or urban landscape) and a physical landscape (in a river or at the coast). Students will develop questions to which they will then conduct fieldwork and research to find out the answers. Fieldworks in recent years have included the Dorset coastline, the Norfolk coastline, The Bay of Naples in Italy and Iceland.
Students must complete three written examinations for this qualification. There are two examinations each of 37.5% weighting titled “Global Geographical Issues” and “UK Geographical Issues”. These examinations include a combination of short open response questions, extended writing, calculations and questions related to fieldwork. The third examination has a weighting of 25% and is titled “People and Environment Issues – Making Geographical Decisions. This examination requires students to write an extended answer based on a decision from a geographical based scenario.
Paper 1: Medicine in Britain, c1250–present and The British sector of the Western Front, 1914–18: injuries, treatment and the trenches
Across four time periods: 1250-1500, 1500-1700, 1700-1900 and 1900-present, students will explore the following themes in the development of medicine through time:
- Ideas about the cause of disease and illness
- Approaches to prevention and treatment
- Case Studies
- The Black Death
- William Harvey and the circulation of blood
- The Great Plague
- Edward Jenner and vaccination
- Fighting cholera
- Development of penicillin
- Fighting lung cancer
Student also have an in-depth study of the British sector of the Western Front in World War One, exploring the kind of injuries and treatments that this conflict created.
Paper 2: Henry VIII and his ministers, 1509–40
A fascinating and turbulent period of history, students will learn about the changes England underwent during the reign of Henry VIII. Topics covered include:
- Henry VIII: Renaissance Prince
- The rise of Wolsey and his policies
- Wolsey’s foreign policy
- Wolsey, Catherine, the succession and annulment
- Cromwell’s rise to power and government
- Cromwell and the king’s marriages
- The Break with Rome and Dissolution of the Monasteries
Paper 2: Superpower relations and the Cold War, 1941–91
How close did the world come to a nuclear apocalypse in the 20th century? This unit will give students a clear understanding of the relations between the USA and the USSR with topics covering:
- Early tension and the development of the Cold War
- Increased tensions including The Bay of Pigs incident, the construction of the Berlin Wall and the Cuban Missile Crisis
- Attempts to reduce tensions in the 1970s and 1980s
- Flashpoints in the 1970s and 1980s such as the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan
- The collapse of Soviet control of Eastern Europe
Paper 3: Weimar and Nazi Germany, 1918–39
This unit will provide a detailed study of this significant period of European and world history. Topics include:
- The origins and early challenges of the Weimar Republic
- The recovery of the Weimar Republic
- Hitler’s rise to power
- The creation of the Nazi dictatorship
- Life in Nazi Germany
The four units will be assessed in three written examinations at the end of Year 11.
Our religious studies course covers a range of the major world religions, six contemporary ethical themes and two textual studies, ensuring students have a diverse choice of intriguing subjects to explore. Students will be challenged with questions about belief, values, meaning, purpose and truth, enabling them to develop their own attitudes towards religious issues.
Students will also gain an appreciation of how religion, philosophy and ethics form the basis of our culture and the world around us. They will develop analytical and critical thinking skills, the ability to work with abstract ideas, leadership and research skills. As well as this, students will develop their knowledge, skills and understanding of religion by exploring the significance, impact of beliefs, teaching, sources, practices, ways of life and form of expressing meaning. All these skills will help prepare them for further study.
The religious studies GCSE course has no coursework or controlled assessment. The qualification is linear, meaning that students will sit all of their examinations at the end of the GCSE course in Year 11. There are two examinations, each lasting 1 hour and 45 minutes which hold equal waiting.