GCSE studies begin in Term 6 of Year 9, and for some core subjects earlier than this. In order to ensure a balanced programme of study some restrictions are placed on the choice of subjects. All students take English (leading to two GCSEs in English Language and English Literature), GCSE Religious Studies, GCSE Mathematics and a Science Course (leading to either a combined award in Science or to three GCSEs in Biology, Chemistry and Physics). Students will then need to select four more courses to complete their GCSE programme which must include at least one Modern Foreign Language course and at least on Humantities course.
All students will also follow non-examination courses in core Physical Education and through the school’s Focus Days in Personal, Social & Health Education, Citizenship and Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance.
Throughout Years 10 and 11 students will be encouraged to become involved in their own self-assessment and, through discussion with their teachers, encouraged to identify their strengths and areas for further development in order to plan future learning needs. Thinking skills will become increasingly important to students and their GCSE studies, particularly the higher order thinking skills which are linked to grade 9-1 style examination questions. Students will be encouraged to use a wide range of thinking tools such as Thinking Maps to help enhance their learning.