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Key Stage 4 Curriculum Overview

At Key Stage 4, all qualifications are measured in levels. A GCSE is worth one qualification at level 2 (9-4) or level 1 (3-1). Some pupils are not ready to take qualifications at level 1 and will therefore take qualifications at Entry Level.

Entry level qualifications can help you build skills, increase your knowledge and boost your confidence. You can take Entry level qualifications at three different levels: Entry 1; Entry 2; Entry 3. They develop basic knowledge, skills and understanding and help you build confidence and prepare for further learning and work.

Option Choices

The Core Curriculum

English Maths
Science
RE and Citizenship
Physical Education
Transition and careers
Digital employability

The Optional Curriculum

Year 10

Year 11

Option 1

Option 2

Option 3

Option 1

Option 2

Option 3

History GCSE
Construction
Art GCSE
Life Skills (Facility pupils)

Geography
GCSE
Creative Media
Health and Social Care
Hospitality
(Facility pupils)

Art GCSE
Performing Arts
GCSE Physical Education
Sports Leadership
Arts Award (Facility pupils)

Art GCSE
History GCSE
Duke of Edinburgh
Life Skills (Facility pupils)

Geography
GCSE
Performing Arts
Art GCSE
(Hospitality
Facility pupils)

Art GCSE
Hospitality
GCSE Physical Education
Arts Award (facility Pupils)

Please click on subject tabs on the left-hand side for Specifications and further information

English

The Core Curriculum ENGLISH - Exam Board: WJEC - Qualification: GCSE 9-1 - Level: 1 and 2

The English courses selected aim to inspire, motivate and challenge pupils.

English Language: 8700 Assessment

Paper 1: Explorations in Creative Reading and Writing

Section A: Reading – 40 marks

  • One literature fiction text

Section B: Writing – 40 marks

  • Narrative writing

Written paper
1 hour 45 minutes
80 marks
50% of GCSE

Paper 2: Writers Viewpoints and Perspectives Section

A: Reading – 40 marks

  • One non-fiction text and one literary non-fiction text

Section B: Writing – 40 marks

  • Writing to present a viewpoint
  • Writing to argue and persuade

Written paper
1 hour 45 minutes
80 marks
50% of GCSE

Non Examination Assessment
Spoken Language

Teacher assessed
0% of GCSE

English Literature AQA: 8702 Assessment

Paper 1: Shakespeare and the 19th Century Novel
Section A: Shakespeare
Section B: The 19th century novel

Written paper
1 hour 45 minutes
64 marks
40% of GCSE

Paper 2: Modern Texts and Poetry
Section A: Modern Texts
Section B: Poetry
Section C: Unseen Poetry

Written paper
2 hours 15 minutes
96 marks
60% of GCSE

ENGLISH - Exam Board: OCR - Qualification: Entry Level

Entry Level English qualifications are designed to give learners the skills to operate confidently, effectively and independently in education, work and everyday life. They have been created in response to employers’ perceptions that many learners are not achieving a sufficiently firm grounding in the basics.

The aims of these qualifications are to develop learner understanding and skills in:

  • Speaking, Listening and Communication – participate in discussions
  • Reading – read and understand short, simple texts
  • Writing – Write short text with awareness of the intended audience

Assessment

Controlled Assessment Task
Weighting
Level
Marks
Duration

Speaking and Listening
Reading
Writing

33.3%
33.3%
33.3%

E1
E1
E1

-
16
12

-
45 minutes
45 minutes

 

Controlled Assessment Task
Weighting
Level
Marks
Duration

Speaking and Listening
Reading
Writing

33.3%
33.3%
33.3%

E2
E2
E2

-
20
20

-
45 minutes
45 minutes

 

Controlled Assessment Task
Weighting
Level
Marks
Duration

Speaking and Listening
Reading
Writing

33.3%
33.3%
33.3%

E3
E3
E3

-
20
20

-
45 minutes
45 minutes

Mathematics

Exam Board: AQA - Qualification: GCSE 9 -1 Level: 1 and 2

This specification helps pupils to develop confidence in, and a positive attitude towards, mathematics and to recognise the importance of mathematics in their own lives and to society.

Overview of content:

  1. Number
  2. Algebra
  3. Ration, proportion and rates of change
  4. Geometry and measures
  5. Probability
  6. Statistics

Assessment

1MA1/1F
Mathematics paper 1
(Foundation)

Written paper
Calculator not permitted
80 marks
33.3% of qualification
1 hour 30 minutes

1MA1/2F
Mathematics paper 2
(Foundation)

Written paper
Calculator permitted
80 marks
33.3% of qualification

1MA1/3F
Mathematics paper 3
(Foundation)

Written paper
Calculator permitted
80 marks
33.3% of qualification

Exam Board: AQA - Qualification: Entry Level

Entry Level Mathematics qualifications are designed to give learners the skills to operate confidently, effectively and independently in education, work and everyday life. They have been created in response to employers’ perceptions that many learners are not achieving a sufficiently firm grounding in the basics.

The aims of these qualifications are to develop learner understanding and skills in:

  • Representing – selecting the mathematics and information to model a situation.
  • Analysing – processing and using mathematics.
  • Interpreting – interpreting and communication the results of the analysis

Controlled
Assessment Task

Written paper
Calculators allowed
100% of qualification

Level
E1
E2
E3

Marks
16
18
20

Duration
1 hour
1 hour
1 1/2 hours

Science

(Course 1) - Exam Board: AQA - Qualification: GCSE 9-1 - Level:2 foundation
Trilogy Combined Science

This course identifies the activities and experiences pupils will come across in everyday life, and links these to scientific ideas and their implications for society. It provides the opportunity to acquire the scientific skills, knowledge and understanding necessary for life as a citizen. Course Overview

Biology

Paper 1
Written
70 marks
1 hour 15 minutes

  • Cell Biology
  • Organisation
  • Infection and response
  • Bioenergetics

Paper 2
Written
70 marks
1 hour 15 minutes

  • Homeostasis and response
  • Inheritance, Variation, and evolution

Chemistry

Paper 3
Written
70 marks
1 hour 15 minutes

  • Atomic structure
  • Bonding structure and properties
  • Quantitative chemistry
  • Chemical changes
  • Energy changes

Paper 4
Written
70 marks
1 hour 15 minutes

  • The rate and extent of chemical change
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Chemical Analysis
  • Chemistry of the Atmosphere
  • Using resources

Physics

Paper 5
Written
70 marks
1 hour 15 minutes

  • Energy
  • Electricity
  • Particle model of matter
  • Atomic structure

Paper 6
Written
70 marks
1 hour 15 minutes

  • Forces
  • Waves
  • Magnetism and electromagnetism

Double Award - (Course 2) Exam Board: AQA - Qualification: Entry Level Certificate Science (5960)

This is a course that will award our pupils with an Entry level Certificated in Science and can lead them to upgrade to the AQA Science foundation course explained above.

The pupils will need to cover the following areas to complete this course.

Externally-set-assignments (ESA)
  • Component 1: Biology, The Human Body
  • Component 2: Biology, Environment, evolution and inheritance
  • Component 3: Chemistry, Elements, mixtures and compounds
  • Component 4: Chemistry, Chemistry in our world
  • Component 5: Physics, Energy, forces and the structure of matter
  • Component 6: Physics: Electricity, magnesium and waves

  • 45 minutes per test
  • 20 marks per test
  • 57% weighting

Teacher-devised-assignments (TDA)

Pupils must submit evidence for all six components

  • Component 1: Biology, The Human Body
  • Component 2: Biology, Environment, evolution and inheritance
  • Component 3: Chemistry, Elements, mixtures and compounds
  • Component 4: Chemistry, Chemistry in our world
  • Component 5: Physics, Energy, forces and the structure of matter
  • Component 6: Physics: Electricity, magnesium and waves

  • Teacher led work
  • Each piece of work is worth 15 marks
  • 43% weighting

(Course 3) - Exam Board: OCR - Qualification: Entry Level R483

This is a course designed to provide pupils with realistic targets, encouraging them to develop science skills. This enables the pupils to progress to GCSE Science. It is assessed with a combination of short end-of-item tests, can-do tasks and practical tasks by teachers, internally standardised and then externally moderated by OCR.

Biology
  • ELB1 Dead or Alive (cells)
  • ELB2 Babies (reproduction)
  • ELB3 Control Systems
  • ELB4 Fooling your Senses
  • ELB5 Gasping for Breath
  • ELB6 Casualty
  • ELB7 You can only have one life look after it
  • ELB8 Body Wars
  • ELB9 Creepy Crawlies
 
  • ELB10 Extinction
  • ELB11 My Senses
  • ELB12 Food Factory
  • ELB7 You can only have one life look after it
  • ELB8 Body Wars
  • ELB9 Creepy Crawlies
  • ELB10 Extinction
  • ELB11 My Senses
  • ELB12 Food Factory

Chemistry
  • ELC1 Physical or Chemical Change
  • ELC2 Acids and Alkalis
  • ELC3 Everything in its place
  • ELC4 Clean Air and Water
  • ELC5 Novel materials
  • ELC6 Sorting Out
 
  • ELC7 Lets get together
  • ELC8 Heavy metal
  • ELC9 Fuels
  • ELC10 Are you overreacting?
  • ELC11 How Fast? How Slow?
  • ELC12 CSI Plus

Physics
  • ELP1 Getting the Message
  • ELP2 Full Spectrum
  • ELP3 Medical Rays
  • ELP4 Hot Stuff!
  • ELP5 Alternative Energy
  • ELP6 Nuclear Power
 
  • ELP7 Our Electricity Supply
  • ELP8 Attractive Forces
  • ELP9 Pushes and Pulls
  • ELP10 Driving Along
  • ELP11 Fly me to the moon
  • ELP12 Final Frontier

End of Item Tests
72% of total
72 marks

There are 16 can-do-tasks.
For each task learners have done 0.5 marks can be awarded.

Can-do-tasks
8% of total
8 marks

The school are able to devise their own practical task.

Practical Task
20% of total
20 marks

Art and Design

Exam Board: AQA - Qualification: GCSE 9-1 - Level: 1 / 2

The GCSE Art and Design course allows students to develop knowledge and understanding through a range of practical learning experiences such as drawing, printing, painting, textile manipulation and 3d model making.

Component 1: Personal Portfolio

Two sustained projects evidencing the journey from initial ideas to final piece covering all four assessment objectives.

  • 96 Marks
  • 60% of GCSE
  • Year 10
Component 2: Externally Set Assignment

Students select a theme from the AQA exam paper.

From January to May students develop a body of work inspired by chosen theme. Students produce a final piece in May during their exam.

  • 96 Marks
  • 40% of GCSE
  • Year 11

Transition and careers

Careers education information and guidance is an essential part of a young person’s journey to adulthood. The aim of the careers programme in key stage 4 is to encourage pupils to develop their self-awareness, self-determination and self-improvement as a learner. They will learn about careers and the world of work in relation to themselves. They will continue to develop career management and employability skills. These skills will include listening, speaking, problem solving, creativity, staying positive, aiming high, leadership and teamwork. They will start to plan their transition from school to further education.

Pupils complete a programme of activities that allows them to:

  • recognise how they are changing, what they have to offer and what is important to them
  • explain how they manage their well-being progress and achievements
  • review and reflect on how they benefit from activities and experiences
  • discuss the skills involved in managing their career
  • explain how working life impacts on career satisfaction
  • find labour market information and use it in their career planning
  • know their rights in relation to stereotyping, discrimination and other barriers
  • be aware of their responsibility to stay healthy and follow safe working practices
  • make the most of a range of face to face and digital careers information, advice and guidance services
  • show they can manage their finances and how to access available support
  • be able to research their education, training, apprenticeship, employment, volunteering options
  • make plans and decisions carefully
  • use strategies to improve chances of success in a selection process
  • reflect on previous experiences to help prepare for future change

It is our aim at Saxon Mount to continue to build relationships with local agencies to further improve the opportunities and life chances of our pupils.

Introduction to Vocational Studies

Exam Board: Edexcel - Qualification: Entry 3

This course offers pupils the opportunity to work collaboratively and independently to develop skills and understanding in a range of settings. The course may be delivered alongside other option subjects or pupils complete standalone activities. There is a strong emphasis on working in practical ways do develop social skills and confidence in different situations. Pupils may work with support to plan an event, or go on a visit, or use guidance to complete a task. The course is aimed at pupils who may need to gain an understanding of the BTEC courses and to begin to develop life skills in different areas. The topics aim to give pupils a basic understanding of how to complete simple activities and build a folder of evidence.

BTEC Construction

Exam Board: Edexcel - Qualification: Level 1 Certificate

This construction qualification will help pupils understand aspects of the construction industry and the skills required to work successfully in the industry. Pupils will find out about career opportunities in Construction as well as developing their own skills.

Food and cookery

Home Cooking Skills - Exam Board: Edexcel - Qualification: Level 1

This is a very practical qualification which explores the cooking industry and the nature of the work within it. Students learn how to prepare themselves and the environment for cooking, prepare suitable dishes safely. They develop knowledge and a variety of fundamental skills required to prepare quality and health foods. Pupils will develop skills that will support them and their lives in the future. The course has a very positive impact on pupil’s communication skills.

VCERT Food and Cooking - Exam Board: NCFE - Qualification: Level 1 Certificate

This qualification is designed for learners with an interest in food and cookery. It will provide learners with experience of using different cooking techniques and methods to enable them to use these within further education or apprenticeships. It will give them a basic understanding of the skills required for a career in food.

Geography

Geography GCSE 8035 - Exam Board: AQA - Qualification: GCSE 9-1 Level: 1 and 2

This qualification allows pupils the opportunity to develop: communication and interpersonal skills through class discussions and personal opinion, map reading, location and environmental skills with field trips and outdoor activities. Geography also supports literacy and numeracy skills throughout the course.

The specification is made up of the following units;

Living with the physical environment

A: Challenge of natural hazards
B: The living world
C: Physical Landscapes in the UK

  • Paper 1 – Written – 35%
  • 1 hour 30
  • 88 marks
Challenges in the human environment

A: Urban issues and challenges
B: The changing economic world
C: The challenge of resource management

  • Paper 2 – Written – 35%
  • 1 hour 30
  • 88 marks
Geographical Applications

A: Issue evaluation
B: Fieldwork
Geographical Skills

  • Paper 3 – Controlled Assessment – 30%
  • 1 hour 15
  • 76 marks

History

Exam Board: AQA - Qualification: GCSE 9-1 - Level: 1 / 2

This qualification enables pupils to study different aspects of the past so they can engage with key issues in the present for example constitutional monarchy and government (the recent proroguing of parliament) or why the British Empire expanded and ultimately fell (Windrush migration and independence) or the study of the Cold War and the rise and fall of Communism. This subject allows our pupils to see the bigger picture of where we as a nation have come from and where we are going to. History develops the pupil’s skills of debate, communication and explanation.

Paper 1 – Understanding the modern world
Section A: Period studies, American West
Section B: Wider World Depth Studies, Cold War

  • 1 hour 45
  • 84 marks
  • 50%

Paper 2 – Shaping the nation
Section A: Thematic studies , Migration, Empire and People
Section B: British depth studies, Restoration

  • 1 hour 45
  • 84 marks
  • 50%

Creative Performing Arts

Within RSL Level 1 Creative and Performing Arts the pupils learn to develop their design and live performance skills in response to a given brief.

The course is comprised of two units; one internal unit and one external unit.

The pupils explore the art of puppetry within the internal unit and throughout the first year they are supported to research, design and make a puppet. They will then use their puppet within a short performance in order to demonstrate their skills. Self-reflection and Evaluation of skills and knowledge will be ongoing and can be demonstrated through written tasks, presentations and recorded discussions.

In Year 2 the pupils begin to develop their acting skills towards a life performance in response to a brief provided by the exam board. They then are expected to evaluate their performance and submit their performance and responses for external assessment.

Physical Education

Exam Board: WJEC - Qualification: Level 1 / 2

The WJEC GCSE qualification in physical education will enable learners to engage in a practical course, designed to encourage learners to be inspired, motivated and challenged by the subject. Through studying GCSE Physical Education learners will acquire the knowledge, understanding, skills and values to develop and maintain their performance in physical activities and understand the benefits to health, fitness and well-being. This course has been designed to allow learners to develop an appreciation of physical education in a wide range of contexts.

RSE and PSHE

At Saxon Mount School the curriculum allows for the teaching of both Relationships and Sex Education as well as Personal, Social, Health and Education. Pupils will cover a variety of topics; safety in forming and maintaining relationships, the characteristics of healthy relationships, how relationships may affect mental and physical health. There is also a focus on healthy bodies and lifestyles, including keeping safe, puberty, drugs and alcohol education, healthy minds, including emotional wellbeing, resilience, economic wellbeing and financial capability. Saxon Mount aim to better prepare our pupils for life beyond the supportive structure of its education improving individual life chances.

Religious Education and Citizenship

Within the RE and Citizenship curriculum the pupils will develop a knowledge and understanding of different cultures and faiths practised in our own country and by others around the world. In Citizenship the pupils will learn how the country they live in is ‘run’ by the government, how to take a part in their local and global communities and how when citizens act together, they can solve problems and contribute to society. In teaching these subjects the pupils at Saxon Mount will develop the skills to recognise and tolerate others beliefs, opinions and ideas. They will learn to have and develop opinions of their own about the world in which they live and the current affairs that affect them and their communities.

Duke of Edinburgh

Exam Board: South East - Qualification: Bronze

DofE is designed to help young people build life-long belief in themselves, supporting them to take on their own challenges, follow their passions, and discover talents they never knew they had. When you prove to yourself that you’re ready for anything, nothing can hold you back. At Saxon Mount we believe that these attributes are key to improve our pupil’s life chances.

Digital Employability Award

Exam Board: OCR - Qualification: Entry Level 1

At KS4 students study Digital Employability. Students will have the opportunity to hone the skills they have developed and apply them to a range of software applications needed for college and the work environment. These skills also support them in creating and presenting work necessary to complete their other courses at school. Time is also spent learning how to communicate ideas through technology e.g. creating and editing a short film.

BTEC Creative Media

Exam Board: Edexcel - Qualification: Level 1 / 2 Tech Award

As an option choice we also offer Btec Level 1/2 Tech Award Creative Media Production. There are two internally assessed projects and an externally assessed unit where they create a media product in response to a brief. Students explore audio/moving image, publishing and interactive media. Students will learn practical skills e.g. video editing, and develop knowledge and understanding of the creative media sectors