KEY STAGE 4 CURRICULUM AND PREFERENCES BOOKLET

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KEY STAGE 4CURRICULUM ANDPREFERENCESBOOKLETFOR YEARS 10 & 11SEPTEMBER 2021 TO JULY 2023v3February20211

CONTENTSMessage from the Principal.3Summary of the Year 9 preferences process.4What subjects will I study during Year 10 and Year 11?4What should I know and consider when making my preferences? What are 9 to 1 GCSEs? What is the EBacc? Why study a language? What are BTEC Tech Awards? What is ASDAN plus (overseen by Learning Support)? Other things to bear in mind when thinking about subject preferences. Timetabling for subjects. Will all courses run?5Assessment and progress.6Is my timetable all exam work?6Careers and work experience.7Courses on offer8Subjects section: Core Curriculum subjects: English, Mathematics, Science Option subjects (Level 2): GCSEs and BTEC Tech Awards ASDAN plus option (overseen by Learning Support)91433Note: The individual preferences form will be made available to students separately.2

Important and exciting things to think aboutDear Students,Welcome to our Key Stage 4 curriculum booklet. Inside you will find key information about howthe Year 9 preferences process works for choosing subjects to study in Years 10 and 11, andwhat courses are on offer.The decisions you will make over the coming weeks are amongst the most significant in youreducation so far. To make them well, it is important to think about the following things: Aim for a broad and balanced curriculum with a range of subjects. This will give you strengthto build upon. For example, a language is often seen as valuable. The subjects you enjoy. You will often be more successful in what you enjoy. The subjects that will bring success for you by the end of Year 11. Aspiration and the future: think about which subjects will help you aim high in your life andget you to where you want to be, for example Sixth Form, university and employment.Remember, these preferences are about you. It is not about your friend’s preference, nor is it apreference based on who teaches you this year. You are the person who will be living your life!Study the information available, listen to advice from parents/carers and teachers, and askquestions to help your thinking.I wish you every success in ending up with the right subjects for you.Mr GriffinPrincipalSt Ivo Academy3

Summary of the Year 9 preferences process Read the guidance and course information in this booklet. Have discussions with your form tutor, teachers, and parent/carers. Listen to subject guidance and information at the Year 9 parent/carers evening, Year 9 curriculumevening, and assemblies (changes to these due to Covid-19 circumstances will be communicated). Choose your course preferences. Complete and return your preferences form during March. The exact deadline date forhanding it in is stated at the bottom of the preferences form.What subjects will I study during Year 10 and 11?You must do some particular subjects (the core), but you have the chance to choose what you do forabout half the week (option subjects).Core subjects: Maths, English Language, English Literature, Science, plus PE and Learning4Life (alsosometimes called PSHE: Personal, Social and Health Education, which includes any updated DfErequirements for RSE – Relationships and Sex Education, and Health Education).Option subjects: In addition to the core subjects, you will study up to four ‘option subjects’. These includea wide range of subjects from the arts, humanities, social sciences, and technologies. If you study separatesciences (‘triple science’), then you will have three remaining ‘option subjects’. All available subjects arelisted on the preferences form that you will receive.What should I know and consider when making my preferences?What are 9-1 GCSEs? GCSEs now have 9 to 1 grades. Grade 9 is usually reserved for about the top 3% of students nationally. Most subjects no longer have ‘coursework’, and are assessed by exams at the end of the course. The government has stated that Grade 4 is a ‘standard pass’ and Grade 5 and above is a ‘strong pass’.Sixth Forms are likely to refer to such grades, and may demand higher grades such as grade 6 or 7 inthe subject students wish to go on to study at A Level.What is the EBacc? (English Baccalaureate)The Department for Education stated that the EBacc is a set of subjects at GCSE that keep young people’soptions open for further study and future careers. The EBacc is: English language and literature Maths Sciences (GCSE combined science – pupils take 2 GCSEs that cover the 3 main sciences, biology,chemistry and physics; OR 3 single sciences at GCSE – pupils choose 3 subjects from biology,chemistry, physics and computer science geography or history a languageThe government has stated an ambition to see 75% of pupils studying the EBacc subject combination atGCSE by 2022, and 90% by 2025.4

This means that an increasing number of students nationally will be taking this selection of subjects,against whom St Ivo students will be competing in the future for college, university and employmentopportunities. We do not want St Ivo students to be disadvantaged, locally or nationally, by not havingtaken the EBacc combination. Hence, if your subject attainment so far suggests that you can gain theEBacc, we recommend that your preferences choose this combination.Why study a language?The EBacc combination ties in with the desire for students to have a broad and balanced academiccurriculum experience, for example including a language. Learning and studying a language offers all kindsof fantastic benefits, as outlined in the languages section of this booklet.What are BTEC Tech Awards?BTEC stands for Business and Technology Education Council, and Tech means technical. BTEC TechAwards are a recent set of vocational qualifications which are designed to be taught alongside GCSEs for14-16 year old KS4 students. They are designed to give students a glimpse into a professional sectorwhilst teaching them transferable skills for life. They are assessed using assignments and practical tasksto suit vocational students, and will be studied as Level 2 subjects (equivalent to GCSEs) during Year 10and Year 11. Students will be graded as unclassified, pass, merit, distinction and distinction*.What is ‘ASDAN plus’ (overseen by the Learning Support Department)?For some students, it might be a significant challenge to follow a full set of standard ‘option subjects’ ontop of the core. Hence there will be a small number of students for whom the ‘ASDAN plus’ option subjectwould form one of their preferences. This involves the ASDAN award body programme (see the ASDANpage in the booklet), plus additional support for literacy and numeracy, and the development of variouspersonal life skills. The Learning Support Department will contact students and parents where thisexperience may be suitable.Other things to bear in mind when thinking about subject preferences: If you have a “home” language you should talk to the Languages department as you may be ableto get an extra GCSE qualification if this subject is available as a GCSE. You can indicate this onyour preferences form.There are some new subjects available which you will not have studied before. Make sure youfind out all about these subjects before you finalise your preferences.Do not choose a subject just because you like the teacher or because your friends want to do it you might have a different teacher next year and your friends might be in a different group.After GCSE, you move on to post-16 studies. It is important to consider how your subjectpreferences might provide a solid foundation for sixth form, college or university, and work.You should choose subjects you enjoy and are good at - you are most likely to succeed in thesesubjects. As well as the joy of learning, you may wish to progress to the next level in post-16education.If you have a possible career idea, include preferences which will help you achieve your aim.However, because you might want to change your mind about careers later, do not specialise toomuch at this stage, and so make sure you take a broad and balanced range of subjects.Think carefully about the demands of homework, portfolio work and any non-examinationassessments across the subjects you are thinking of choosing, to make sure that you will be ableto manage your work.Timetabling for subjectsThere is a 2 week timetable system, weeks A and B, each having 25 lessons of 1 hour each.Typically, Maths, English and Science get more hours per week than the ‘option subjects’.5

Will all courses run?The courses that run, and the various combinations, are finally decided after the preference forms aresubmitted. The final decision on whether courses can run is based upon such factors as the amount ofstudent uptake, availability of staffing, timetabling possibilities, and resources.Assessment and progressAssessments: At the beginning of Year 10, teachers will give you information about your course, includingassessment objectives. As you work through the course, the feedback that your teachers give you willshow how you are making progress towards these assessment objectives. You can be assessed indifferent ways; written and orally; practical tasks and project work; assignments, practice questions, testsand mock exams; and by teachers talking to you and observing you.Data system: Your progress against your targets and your assessments will be recorded on a central datasystem at regular intervals. Students and parents have access to this, so you can track your progressregularly through the course.Homework: Teachers will also assess and record your homework, including how you manage your workand meet deadlines. It is therefore important to plan ahead and use your time wisely. If you find that youare unable to complete a homework or are falling behind with your deadlines, you must tell your subjectteachers and form tutor so that they can advise you.For subjects with Non-Examination Assessments (NEAs), your teachers will be able to advise you aboutwhat you need to do to gain the best possible marks. These will be marked to nationally agreed standards,and the marks are moderated and inspected by other teachers. Your teachers will give you a timetableand deadline dates for completing assessments.Is my timetable all exam work?No. Your timetable will also include assembly, tutor periods, core PE and Learning4Life.The core PE programme will allow you to experience a range of sports, team games and health-relatedactivities on a weekly basis. There are many opportunities to do even more by taking part in clubs,activities and teams at lunchtimes and after school. In addition, you may choose to take GCSE PE.The Learning4Life programme includes timetabled lessons for Years 10 and 11, as well as assemblies,tutor periods and Learning4Life days, and is designed to help you to develop as an individual, and remainhealthy and safe throughout your adult life. Part of the course focuses on RSE (Relationships and SexEducation).Students will also learn how to deal with examination stress, how to manage their workload and maintaina work/life balance. They will also receive information and advice about study skills.Our Learning4Life programme is committed to supporting and reinforcing British Values (such asdemocracy, rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs) andProtected Characteristics (against discrimination), and will give you the opportunity to reflect on currentaffairs and ethical issues.The Learning4Life programme also contains modules on computing, with a key role to support you bydeveloping skills and processes in the use of ICT that will enable you to improve upon much of the workthat you do in other subject areas.6

CAREERS AND WORK EXPERIENCEWork Related LearningIn Year 9 you will have experienced the Virtual World of Work and you will have started considering futurecareers. During Years 10 and 11, you will probably begin to think about possible occupations and the skillsyou might need for them. In order to help with this process of preparing for the world of work, the schoolprovides a number of experiences for all students: Work experience (in Year 10), if possible under the Covid-19 circumstances.Access to Careers Information and Guidance via an online computer program.Project work in some subjects which is based in a vocational context, e.g. problem solving drawnfrom the real needs of business and industry.STEM (’Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths’) opportunities via the Science andMathematics Departments.Will I do work experience?Normally, Year 10 students have a two-week experience of the world of work. At the placement you willgain an insight into the requirements of the work place, its disciplines and develop upon your currentpractical and social skills.The school administers the whole work experience process. We require students to find their ownplacements (Student’s Own Placement). The school then checks that companies conform to health andsafety and insurance requirements. If the company of choice meets the requirements, you will be able toattend work experience there. The process begins at the start of Year 10. Students are monitored by theirtutors and Heads of Year whilst on work experience.Work experience is a valuable part of the curriculum and normally takes place towards the end of thesummer term. Many students consider this as two of their most enjoyable weeks of education, andplacements can often result in part-time opportunities.How do I find out about post-16 options open to me at the end of Year 11?On the school website there is a careers webpage where you can access careers diagnostic programmes.These can help you decide the subjects you wish to take for post-16 study.7

COURSES ON OFFER 2021-2023(FOR YEARS 10 & 11, SEPTEMBER 2021 TO JULY 2023)CORE SUBJECTSExam coursesEnglish LanguageEnglish LiteratureMathematicsScienceNon-exam coursesCore