Option Subjects

You can choose four subjects from the list below.  At least one of your subjects must be a modern foreign language.  You can choose to study more than one language if you wish (see subjects marked with an *). You can find out more about any of the subjects by clicking on their names in the list below.

Art

Business Studies

Design & Technology

Drama

French*

Geography

History

Music

Physical Education

Philosophy & Ethics

Spanish*

 

Back to GCSE Subjects

Business Studies

Exam board & specification code: Cambridge IGCSE (9-1) 0986

What will I study?

One of the key reasons why this subject is so popular at GCSE is that the themes and topics that you will study come directly from everyday life. The best way to think about the course is to imagine that you are going to set up your own business . . . 

First, you will need an idea. Then, you will need to take this idea to potential customers. You will need to produce a business plan to take to a bank or other investors. You will then need to decide the type of business you wish to form, where you will locate yourself and how many employees you will need. Next, you will need to look at production methods and calculate your accounts to see how efficiently your business is running. Finally, you will need to research the help and advice the government gives to start-up businesses.

How will I be assessed?

Two written papers, both 90 minutes in length.

Paper I (80 marks)

Short answer responses with a small amount of stimulus material for each question

Paper 2 (80 marks)

Extended responses with one piece of stimulus material for all four questions

What are the progression opportunities?

Business Studies at GCSE is perfect for those who wish to study IB Business and Management and Economics. It is a natural progression. Business also connects well with languages and psychology and, due to its flexibility, is very popular on combined courses at university.

Who can I contact if I need more information?

Dr Ricci, Head of Business Studies

Cambridge IGCSE Business Studies


Drama

Exam board & specification code: Edexcel 1DR0

What will I study?

In Devising Drama you will create a group performance piece, together with an accompanying written portfolio documenting your creative development. 

In Performance from Text you will present a live performance, by either acting or designing/delivering in a technical capacity. This will be performed for an invited audience and visiting examiner. You will prepare two performance pieces from the same play. 

In Theatre Makers in Practice you will analyse a set text, currently ‘An Inspector Calls’. You will also analyse and evaluate a current, hopefully live, theatrical performance.

How will I be assessed?

Component 1: 40%

Devising Drama. Coursework. Marked by your teacher. Moderated by Edexcel.

Component 2: 20% 

Performance from Text. Practical Exam. Marked by a visiting examiner.

Component 3: 40% 

Theatre Makers in Practice. Written Exam. Marked externally.

What are the progression opportunities?

GCSE Drama is not just for those seeking a career in the Arts industry, it is an outstanding subject to have for any career. Employers, universities and colleges like drama students because their skills are transferable. Students who take drama can communicate well, are self-confident, work effectively in a team, think on their feet and adapt their practice to suit the changing environment. GCSE Drama fully prepares you for the study of IB Theatre and offers a further pathway to BA Hons in Theatre Education, Community Theatre, Costume & Lighting Design, Stage Management and Performance Arts, Theatre, Dance or Music. 

Who can I contact if I need more information?

Ms Galway, Head of Drama

GCSE Drama


Geography

Exam board & specification code: Cambridge IGCSE 0976

What will I study?

The course covers aspects of Human and Physical Geography in a context that is appropriate and relevant to our modern world. Issues of local, national and global importance are tackled through the use of a range of resources, personal research, discussion in class and fieldwork. 

The course has three main themes:

Theme 1: Population and Settlement

You will study population dynamics and structure, population density and distribution, migration and settlement. 

Theme 2: The Natural Environment 

You will study earthquakes and volcanoes, rivers, coasts, weather, climate and natural vegetation. 

Theme 3: Economic Development 

You will study food production, industry, tourism, energy, water supply and environmental impacts of economic development. 

There is a fourth area of study, integrated within these themes, that enables you to develop geographical skills, including map skills, and carry out geographical investigations.

How will I be assessed?

Paper 1: Geographical Themes (45%)

This paper is based on Themes 1, 2 or 3. 

Paper 2: Geographical Skills (27.5%)
This paper is based on skills of application, interpretation and analysis of geographical information, e.g. maps, diagrams, graphs, tables of data and photographs. There is always a map skills question.

Paper 4: Alternative to Coursework (27.5%)
As an alternative to coursework, you will be set a series of tasks on issues relating to geographical investigations. The knowledge required for this paper is gained throughout the course.

What are the progression opportunities?

The course provides an excellent foundation for the study of Geography at IB level.

The very nature of Geography and the great breadth of the subject means it combines well with several other subjects at sixth form and degree level. Geography studied at school and beyond is highly sought after by employers as it shows you have had a broad education and developed useful and transferable skills.

Who can I contact if I need more information?

Mrs Helen Emmett, Head of Geography

Mr Shaun Bayes, Teacher of Geography

Cambridge IGCSE Geography


Music

Exam board & specification code: Eduqas C660QS

What will I study?

There are three sections to GCSE Music: Performing, Composing and Appraising.

Performing: You can perform music of your own choice, on any instrument or voice. You will choose two or more performances for submission. Your whole submission should last between 4 – 6 minutes. One of your performances must be an ensemble performance (i.e. performed with other people)

Composing: You will develop your skills in composing music. You will submit two compositions for the final exam, one of which will be composed to a brief set by the exam board in September of year 11. You will be required to complete a composing log, explaining how you went about composing your pieces.

Appraising: You will learn about music from a variety of different times, places and styles. In the final examination, extracts are played, and you will answer questions about what you hear.

60% of this qualification is based around coursework, so you will be supported as you self-direct your chosen area of study and work on individual projects.

How will I be assessed?

Performing (30%)

Completed under controlled conditions (coursework). Marked by your teacher and moderated by an examiner. 

Composing (30%)

Completed under controlled conditions (coursework). Marked by your teacher and moderated by an examiner. 

Appraising: (40%)

Written paper based on extracts of music played during the examination. Marked by an examiner.

What are the progression opportunities?

Direct opportunities might include Music at IB, A Level or BTEC Level 3. GCSE Music is also useful for continued study of Drama and Performing Arts.

However, the benefits of Music at GCSE are not just music related, but linked to the many transferable skills that are developed by studying the subject. These include communication skills, emotional intelligence, problem solving and ability to self-regulate. Music is a subject that is well-regarded by universities and employers.

Who can I contact if I need more information?

Mrs Leeson, Director of Music

Eduqas GCSE Music


Philosophy & Ethics

Exam board & specification code: AQA 8062

What will I study?

The aim of the course is to help you develop your critical thinking skills, your ability to reflect and your ability to formulate arguments. You will explore current world issues, develop your own opinions and develop your understanding of the opinions of  others.

You will study two world religions:

Beliefs and teachings of Christianity and Islam

Religious practice within Christianity and Islam

You will study four ethical themes:

Religion and Life (abortion, the environment, animal rights, euthanasia)

Relationship and the Family (marriage, sexuality, divorce, gender equality)

Human Rights and Social Justice (prejudice, poverty, inequality)

Peace and Conflict (terrorism, causes of war, pacifism) 

You do not need to have any religious beliefs to study this course.

How will I be assessed?

Two exam papers of 1 hour 45 minutes in length. 

Paper 1:  Christianity and Islam

Paper 2:  Thematic Ethics paper

What are the progression opportunities?

This is a valuable GCSE for anyone who is interested in people or current affairs. It is relevant for anyone who is considering a career in law, medicine, police or social work. The course is also a useful foundation for future studies as it equips you with the ability to write balanced analytical essays.

Who can I contact if I need more information?

Mrs Lay, Head of R.E., Philosophy and Ethics

AQA GCSE Religious Studies

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