Key Stage 4 Subjects

For an overview of our curriculum offer across all Key Stages, view our Curriculum Map 2016-17.

For information regarding Controlled Assessment requirements in all Key Stage 4 subjects click here.

For a copy of our Y9 Options Booklet 2017-19 click here.

Key Stage 4

Five Ways to Help Your Child – Key Stage 4

Bridgewater students study their National Curriculum and Option Subjects between the ages of 14 and 16. At the end of the two year course it is likely that they will take examinations in a number of subjects. The examination taken will normally be a GCSE (General Certificate of Secondary Education) or a BTEC.

As students move into Year 10, it is necessary to reduce the number of subjects slightly to ensure adequate preparation for vital examinations. However, balance and breadth remain important and the curriculum for Years 10 and 11 has two distinct parts to ensure that students have some freedom of choice within a carefully structured programme.

Compulsory Subjects

These subjects will be followed by our students: English; Mathematics; Science; Physical Education; Citizenship; Religious Education; Personal, Social & Health Education; Careers Education and work related learning (work experience).

Entitlement Subjects

In addition to the compulsory subjects, students will select a further four subjects. This range of subjects is designed to prepare young people for adult life, including further study and employment. They allow students to broaden the base of their studies and educational experience.

In Key Stage 4 pupils are expected to choose to study (at least) one of the following subjects; French, German, Geography, History, Computer Science.

They may also choose subjects from the following list; Art, Business Studies, Catering, Child Development, COPE, Dance, Drama, Food Nutrition, Graphics, ICT, Music, PE, Product Design, RS, Textiles.

Where appropriate, a pupil’s curriculum may be modified so that they take less than 4 option subjects or undertake a work placement. Full details of the Curriculum at Key Stage 4 will be found in our new Options Booklet later in the year.

KS4 Courses

Art
Pupils learn how to use and manipulate a wide variety of materials and techniques under the umbrella of themes such as natural Form, Structure and Journey. Pupils research a wide selection of both contemporary and historical artists to also inform their practice.

Business Studies
The GCSE in Business Studies provides students with a unique insight into the world of work. Pupils discover how businesses operate and learn about their key elements and essential business functions. The GCSE course provides a broad foundation of knowledge in Marketing, Finance, Operations and Human Resource Management.

Catering (current Y11 only)
Catering is a practical based course where students learn about the types of food outlets, key personnel, health and safety, costing, food preparation and cookery skills. The students carry out 2 controlled assessments and have a terminal examination.

Child Development
In Child Development students learn about how children develop from pre-conceptual care to age 5. There are 3 elements which are assessed. A Research Task, an Observational Study and the Final Examination.

Computer Science
In optional computer science, students have followed the OCR GCSE Computing course. Students have worked on the programming controlled assessment tasks, solving given problems using two different programming languages. They have tested and evaluated their work to ensure they have working solutions.The coursework is worth 60% of the final GCSE grade and the theory element is worth 40%.

BTEC Dance (Level 1 or 2)
Unit 1 – Individual showcase: Individual choreographic work and an individual performance. There is also a written assessment under controlled conditions.
Unit 2 – Performance/ Production: Final showcase performing a variety of dance styles that have been developed in Unit 4. Students will have input in to the performance pieces and design elements of the show.
Unit 4 – Dance skills: Contemporary/ Jazz/ Commercial/ Musical theatre styles of dance. Technique classes, workshops and performance pieces to showcase the range of skills in each style of dance.

Drama
Students will build on the skills they developed in KS3. They will work collaboratively to create a devised piece of drama from a given stimulus, developing a working log book evidencing their progress. Students will also study the set text (Blood Brothers) in preparation for a final written exam, whereby they will also visit the theatre in order to develop a written theatre review. Students will also perform two extracts from a play to a visiting examiner.

English
All students sit GCSE English Language and English Literature via the EDUQAS specification (formerly known as Welsh Board or WJEC)  These are both linear courses with two terminal examinations at the end of each course. There is no longer any coursework, nor different tiers of entry. At the end of the course, students will be awarded a numerical score between 1 and 9 with 9 being the highest.
In English Language, students study extracts from fiction and non-fiction texts  from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. They are examined in their reading of these texts as well as in their ability to produce their own non-fiction and creative writing. Additionally, they are required to deliver a speech and respond to questioning.
In English Literature, Students study a Shakespeare play; 18 poems from an Anthology provided by the examination board; post-1914 drama (currently ‘An Inspector Calls’ by J. B. Priestley); 19th Century prose (Currently ‘War of the Worlds’ by H.G. Wells); as well as a selection of previously unseen poetry.

Food Preparation & Nutrition
GCSE Food Preparation and Nutrition specification equips students with an array of culinary techniques, as well as knowledge of nutrition, food traditions and kitchen safety. The controlled assessment carries 50% of the grade which is practical and written based and the examination also carries 50%.

French
Students study a variety of topics, including relationships with family and friends, free time activities and the environment. Students submit 2 speaking assessments and 2 writing assessments completed under exam conditions. These take place during Year 10 and Year 11 and are worth 60% of the final GCSE grade. In Year 11 students take a listening exam and a reading exam, each is worth 20%.

German
Students study a variety of topics, including relationships with family and friends, free time activities and the environment. Students submit 2 speaking assessments and 2 writing assessments completed under exam conditions. These take place during Year 10 and Year 11 and are worth 60% of the final GCSE grade. In Year 11 students take a listening exam and a reading exam, each is worth 20%.

Geography
Geography in Year 10 completes three of the six units covered in the course. Urban issues and challenges, Physical landscapes in the UK and The challenge of resource management.  During the summer we undertake 2 days fieldwork to a river system and then to a large urban area.  Students develop the fieldwork skills that are tested in paper 3 of the examination.
Geography in Year 11 completes the last two units of the six units examined in the two geography exams at the end of the year. Globalisation looks at the global relationships between countries and their greater interdependency. Plate tectonics looks at volcanoes, earthquakes and tsunamis, their causes, effects and human responses. Students also completed their Controlled Assessment course work on the River Wyre.

Graphic Design
Graphic Designers are responsible for designing logos, posters, advertising campaigns and packaging for products. The controlled assessment carries 60% of their marks and involves designing and making a new product. The final examination is worth 40%.

History
Year 10
Students follow the Edexcel course which will give them the opportunity to study a variety of historical topics. In Year 10 they will study Medicine through Time, c.1250-present. This includes a historical environment study on the British sector of the Western Front. Once completed students will then study the reign of Queen Elizabeth I and the challenges that she faced as monarch.
Year 11
In Year 11 students will complete their GCSE studies by firstly studying the American West, c1835-1895. This includes the early settlement of the West, the development of the Plains and the theme of conflicts and conquest. Following this students will take a source based approach to the topic of Weimar and Nazi Germany, 1918-1939.

ICT
In Optional ICT, students have followed the Edexcel GCSE ICT. Students have explored how digital technology impacts on the lives of individuals, organisations and society. They have learnt about current and emerging technologies and the issues raised by their use in a range of contexts. They have developed an awareness of the risks that are inherent in using ICT and features of safe, secure and reasonable practice. Students have completed their Controlled Assessment coursework which is worth 60% of their final GCSE grade; they will also sit a theory exam which is worth 40% of their final grade.

Maths
At KS4 students continue to develop the knowledge, skills and understanding gained at KS3 as they complete the EDEXCEL GCSE Maths specification. Students develop confidence in tackling increasing difficult problems in a variety of contexts. They develop their skills to reason, interpret and communicate mathematically.

Music
Music at GCSE level develops the three key skills of performing, composing and listening. Students compose and perform music, both solo and ensemble, in a variety of styles. They also examine eight set works in detail, by composers from a wide range of genres, times and places.

PE – GCSE
In this course, students will develop their knowledge and understanding of Physical Education and physical activity, in relation to balanced healthy lifestyles. This includes how and why people take part in physical activity, exercise and fitness, personal health and well-being.
Students will also develop their knowledge and understanding of how a healthy, active lifestyle contributes to the growth and development of the skeletal, muscular, cardiovascular and respiratory systems.
In addition, students will develop their understanding of movement analysis whilst also learning about socio-cultural influences on sport and the impact of sports psychology.

PE – CORE
Physical Education Core Curriculum provides every child with a high quality curriculum which inspires them to achieve across a full range of activities. It provides opportunities for pupils to become physically confident in a way which will support their health and fitness.

Performing Arts
BTEC Level 2 Award in Performing Arts (Musical Theatre) teaches pupils about the industry. They learn about administration and production jobs and get the chance to perform drama, dance and music to a professional level.

Product Design
Product Design is about finding a ‘gap in the market’ and creating a new product to fill it. The controlled assessment carries 60% of their marks and involves designing and making a new product. The final examination is worth 40% of the total marks.

Religious Studies
Short Course
All students study Religious Studies through years 10 and 11.
The current Year 11’s are coming to the end of Edexcel’s “Religion and Society” syllabus which allows students to explore life issues such as Environmental & Medical issues, Crime & Punishment and Peace & Conflict from the perspective of Christians, Muslims and non-religious people.
At the end of Year 11 students will sit one exam paper covering everything listed above.
Year 10 and beyond are following the new course from AQA.  This has at it’s foundation an in-depth study of the beliefs and teachings of Christianity and Islam.  This knowledge can then be applied to explore the themes of Relationships & families and Religion, peace & conflict.  At the end of Year 11 students will sit one exam paper which covers both of the religions and the two themes.
Full Course
Some students choose to study for the full course in RS and again we are currently running two specifications.
The current Year 11’s are following OCR’s Philosophy and Ethics course which looks at various different themes including End of Life, Belief about deity, Medical ethics, Science & religion and religion & human relationships.  At the end of Year 11 they then take two exams: one covering ethics and the other covering philosophy.
Year 10 and beyond are also following AQA Religious Studies A.  As well as completing all the units as the Short Course students who have opted for this GCSE will also look at the practices within Christianity and Islam in addition to looking at the beliefs and teachings.  They will then apply this knowledge will then be applied to explore the themes of Relationships & families, Religion, peace & conflict (as Short Course) as well as Religion & life and Religion, crime& punishment.  At the end of Year 11 students will sit two papers: one covering the religions and one covering the themes.

GCSE Additional Science (Current year 11 only)
GCSE Additional Science identifies topics that students come across in everyday life, and links these scientific ideas and their implications for the future.  Topics include respiration, cloning, rates of reaction, energy and radioactivity. the course provides the opportunity to acquire the scientific skills, knowledge and understanding covering topics in biology, chemistry and physics.

Science B (current 11K4 only)
Science B GCSE identifies the activities and experiences learners will come across in everyday life, and links to these scientific ideas and their implications for the future including topics on climate change, generating electricity and the use of chemicals in manufacturing. It provides the opportunity to acquire the scientific skills, knowledge and understanding covering topics in biology, chemistry and physics.

Biology (current year 11 Sep Sci)
Biology GCSE allows students to develop a knowledge and understanding of life processes and the organisation and importance of all living organisms. They investigate inheritance and evolution and look at how humans influence the world’s ecosystems.

Chemistry (current year 11 Sep Sci)
Chemistry at GCSE gives students an understanding of chemical processes and their applications in a technologically developing society. Pupils learn the skills necessary to make numerical predictions related to chemical reactions and develop a critical approach to scientific evidence and methods. Physics (current year 11 Sep Sci) GCSE Physics enables students to apply scientific theory to real life situations such as waves in communication, thermodynamics in home insulation and electricity generation. Aspects of space are touched upon as in the application of Newton’s Law of motion and kinematics in transport, roller coasters and car safety.

AQA GCSE Combined Science : Trilogy (starting with the current year 10)
Pupils will study topics in Biology, Physics and Chemistry and learn to apply these to real life situations.  They will gain practical and problem solving skills.  Topics studied over the 2 years include Cell Biology, Infection and Response,  Atomic structure and the periodic table, Organic chemistry, Energy and Waves.

AQA GCSE Separate Sciences : Biology / Chemistry / Physics (starting with the current year 10)
Pupils will study towards 3 different qualifications in Biology, Physics and Chemistry.  The topics they cover will be taught in a way that allows them to learn to apply these to real life situations.  They will gain practical and problem solving skills.  Topics studied over the 2 years include Cell Biology, Infection and Response and bioenergetics (Biology), Atomic structure and the periodic table, Organic chemistry and Energy Changes (Chemistry), Energy, Waves and Space (Physics)

Textiles
Pupils learn a variety of hand making skills such as felting, embroidery, wax resist and hand stitching as well as machine stitching skills. These are then used to create outcomes based on given themes such as Natural Form, birds and body image. Pupils research a wide selection of both contemporary and historical textiles artists to also inform their practice.