Curriculum

Discover the Difference

The subject information below gives an overview of course content and examination boards. In addition, we have given a flavour of how our enriched approach to study extends beyond the classroom. 

Art & Design

Art and Design students are encouraged to take a broad approach to their studies thus allowing them to develop a clear understanding of the nature of the subject.

Students will discover a department that offers a dynamic and vibrant course which will allow them to develop their work with complete freedom over format, media and scale.

 

Subject

Content: Years 7-9

Students are introduced to the subject in Year 7 where they undertake a broad syllabus that encompasses all the major styles.

Delivery

The course allows students to work in a truly independent and unique way, by creating a personal progression of ideas through a range of mark making processes within the discipline they have chosen.

Content: Years 10-11 (GCSE)

The course features two distinct components:
 
Component 1: Portfolio
Each student must select and present a portfolio representative of their study work. The portfolio must contain:
  1. A sustained project
  2. A selection of work resulting from activities e.g. trails and activities.
Component 2: Externally set assignment 
AQA will provide a separate eternally set assignment for each title, each with seven different starting points.
Students must select and respond to one starting point for their chosen title.

 

Staff

Who we are

 

Mrs M Peck
Head of Department
Miss L Herian 
Teacher
Mrs B W Jones
Teacher
Miss F E Jones
Teacher

 

Learning Environment

Where we are

Art and Design is located in the Barratt Centre on the Victoria site. The Centre is a purpose built design workshop that encompasses the creative subjects including Art/Ceramics/Design and Textiles. It boasts spacious teaching rooms, dedicated workshops and studio space.
 
Below is a snapshot of the facilities on offer.

Beyond the Classroom

Where we go

Trips have included excursions to Liverpool and the Tate Art Gallery and to Paris, to name but a few. 
Tate Art Gallery
Paris

Exhibition work

Students showcase their artistic talents 

As a department we regularly hold exhibitions that showcase our students creative talents throughout the year. We nurture creative talent and the course on offer is designed to promote original and independent design.
 
Below is a snapshot of student's GCSE and A-Level work exhibited at our annual Summer Exhibition.
Summer Exhibition

Biology

Students have the choice of undertaking Biology as a separate GCSE or as part of the Combined Science AQA Trilogy programme. The benefits of undertaking a separate Biology GCSE allows students to undertake an extra 45 minutes of in-depth practice each week.

Biology is always at the cutting edge of fascinating developing areas of research associated with living organisms and life processes.

Subject

Content: Years 7-8

Year 7 Science is taught by one teacher who delivers units of Biology, Physics and Chemistry with a strong emphasis on how to work scientifically.
 
Year 7 units:
  • Cells
  • Reproduction
  • Structure and function of body systems
Year 8 Biology is taught by a specialist Biology teacher.
 
Year 8 units:
  • Health and Lifestyle
  • Ecosystem processes
  • Adaptation and Inheritance

Delivery

A wide range of practical investigations will be undertaken in addition to the ten required practicals, discussion work will be prominent and pupils will have opportunities to work both in a team and independently.
 
Maths skills will be incorporated throughout as these constitute 20% of the examination paper.
 
Kerboodle (e-learning platform) resources and assessments will be employed as learning tools.

Content: Years 9-11(GCSE)

Overview
Year 9 topics already covered: Cell structure and transport, Cell division, Organisation and the digestive system, Organising animals and plants.
Year 10 topics: Communicable diseases, Preventing/treating disease, Non-communicable diseases, Photosynthesis, Respiration, The human nervous system, Hormonal co-ordination, Homeostasis in action, Reproduction, Variation and evolution.
Year 11 topics: Genetics and evolution, Adaptions/interdependence and competition, Organising an ecosystem, Biodiversity and ecosystems.
 
Assessment
Two written papers: each 1 hour 45 minutes. Papers taken are either Foundation or Higher Tier.
Each paper is worth 100 marks and constitutes 50% of GCSE marks. 
Questions: multiple choice, structured, closed short answer and open response.

Staff

Who we are

 

Mr N J Simms
Head of Department
Miss J Galvin
Teacher i/c Science (Junior)
Ms A Martin
Teacher
Dr D R Pepper
Teacher
Mrs L Dale
Department Technician
Mrs P Hurst
Department Technician

 

Learning Environment

Where we are

The Biology department is located in state of the art Stinton block which acts as the science centre for the Senior school.
The department has four spacious and modern laboratories which boast state of the facilities for practical and experiments led lessons.

Beyond the Classroom

Where we go

Year 10 undertake an adaptation and evolution day at Knowsley Safari Park and at the Science Live day trip in Manchester they watch lectures by famous scientists and chief examiners.
 
Knowsley Safari Park
Science Live

Chemistry

Chemistry has played a major role in developing and improving living standards across the world.

GCSE Chemistry students are notable for their powers of analysis and intellectual rigour as the subject invites students to think creatively about solutions to problems.

Subject

Content: Years 7-8

Year 7 Science is taught by one teacher who delivers units of Biology, Chemistry and Physics with a strong emphasis on how to work scientifically.
 
Year 7 Units:
  • Particles and their behaviours 
  • Elements, atoms and compounds
  • Reactions
Year 8 units:
  • Acids and alkalis
  • Periodic Table
  • Separation techniques
  • Metals and Acids
  • The Earth

Delivery

Students are allocated four periods of each Science per week delivered by subject specialists. Students taking Chemistry will be taught by the same teacher for both years.
 
Many double periods include practicals and there may may also be extended project work.
 
Throughout the duration of the course there are required practicals, which are examined within the written examination papers. 
 
Group work and presentations will be used when dealing with theory heavy topics. Modelling will also be used by pupils to envisage and understand more abstract concepts.

Content: Years 9-11(GCSE)

Overview:
The course is linear with both exams taken at the end of Year 11. 
 
Assessment:
Paper 1: worth 100 marks and 50% of GCSE marks
-Topics 1-5: Atomic structure and the periodic table; Bonding, structure and the properties of matter; Quantitative Chemistry, Chemical changes; Energy changes.
-Examination: written exam 1 hour 45 minutes
Questions: multiple choice, structured, closed short answer and open response. 
 
Paper 2: worth 100 marks and 50% of GCSE marks
-Topics 6-10: The rate and extent of chemical change; Organic Chemistry; Chemical analysis, Chemistry of the atmosphere; and Using resources.
- Examination: written exam 1 hour 45 minutes
Questions: multiple choice, structured, closed short answer and open response.

Staff

Who we are

 

Dr P Thomson
Head of Department
Mrs V A Aspinall-O'Dea
Teacher
Mr M S Lunt
Teacher
Dr G J Moore
Teacher
Mr G Moore
Department Technician
Mrs L Field
Department Technician

 

 

 

Learning Environment

Where we are

The Chemistry department is located within the state of the art Stinton Block which acts as the science nerve centre for the Senior School. The department is composed of four modern laboratories which boast state of the facilities for practical and experiment led lessons.
 

Beyond the Classroom

Outside the Classroom

Speakers/Events: STEAM workshops 
As a department we regularly invite speakers to give talks relating to Chemistry as part of the STEAM workshops programme.

Computing

The core of computing is computer science, in which pupils are taught the principles of information and computation, how digital systems work, and how to put this knowledge to use through programming.

The department aims to enable pupils to become confident independent users of computers and to develop computational thinking skills to the highest possible level.

Subject

Content: Years 7-9

Year 7
Topics - Using Technology Safely, Your Online World,  Present Yourself, 3D Design, Getting Animated, Small Basic and Scratch Programming.
Year 8
Topics - The Internet, Website development,  Business Productivity, How do Computers Work?,  Python Programming, Making Movies (a research topic about a specific area of computing).
Year 9
Students get more ‘hands on’ making use of a dedicated LAN in the main computer room and physical objects such as Raspberry Pi’s, BBC Microbits and robots.
Topics - Game Design, JavaScript Programming, App development, Database Design, Robotics, Computer Networks.

Delivery

The main programming language taught, Python , lends itself to many practical applications and students will use the resources held in the department, such as Raspberry Pi's and Bit: Bots, to develop your programming skills. 
 
Students will use software such as Visual Studio and Cambridge Elevate on a regular basis.

Content: Years 10-11(GCSE)

Overview
Computer Science acts as en excellent foundation for areas of study and work associated with problem problem solving.
 
Assessment
Paper 1 : Computer Systems - written exam worth 40% of GCSE marks.
- Theory unit: Covers hardware and software, computer communications, networking and security. You learn about the functionality and workings of the Internet and its growing prevalence in society.
Paper 2 : Computational Thinking, Algorithms and Programming - written exam worth 40% of GCSE marks.
- Covers the key techniques behind programming and binary logic.
Paper 3 : The Programming Project - worth 20% of GCSE marks.
- Coding: You will use Python as the programming language to create your solution to the problems of the task.

Staff

Who we are

 

Mr S A Luck
Head of Department

 

Learning Environment

Where we are

Computer Science is located across the recently refurbished ICT labs on the Lancaster and Victoria sites.
 

Beyond the Classroom

Extra Computing

The department has a close relationship with School of Computing and Mathematics at Keele University. In Year 10 pupils visit Keele University’s the Robotics Workshop and the department runs a Robotics and Computer Network Club.

Design Technology

Studying Design and Technology enables students to use creativity and imagination to design and make prototypes of products that can achieve real change in addressing the relevant problems facing today's world.

The course also gives students the opportunity to apply knowledge from multiple disciplines including Mathematics, Science, Art and Design, Computing and the Humanities.

Subject

Content: Years 7-9

Year 7 and 8 study Design and Technology for half of the academic year in conjunction with Food and Nutrition. Pupils develop their knowledge and skills in the following processes:
 
  • Design from a given brief
  • Design development to a final prototype
  • Manufacturing their designed product to a working prototype
  • The skilled use of workshop hand tools
  • The skilled use of the ‘Laser Cutter’ and other industry related processes
  • Product evaluation to aid further development in the future
The design themes students use to generate their ideas allows learning to take place that develops a wide range of skills. These skills cover: materials, processing and joining materials, the finishing of materials and electronics that encompass the use of micro-controller technology.
 
In Year 9 students can choose to continue studying Design and Technology.

Delivery

Design and Technology is very much a subject which allows students to develop their design and practical skills. 
 
We endeavour to deliver as much learning as possible through practical-led lessons. However, as there is a written examination 50% of the lessons will be theory based thus ensuring notes and practice material are carried out in preparation. 

Content: Years 10-11(GCSE)

Overview
Students have the choice between the Electronic Systems module OR the Timber Products module.
 
Assessment
 
Component 1: Examination - 50% of total GCSE marks (1 hour 45 minutes).
-Examination consists of a core element of Design and Technology principals which is worth 40% of Component 1's marks. 
- The remaining 60% of marks is achieved through a specialism choice relating to the chosen module (i.e. Electronic Systems or Timber Products).
There is also a mathematical element within the core and specialist area which accounts for 15 % of the examined mark.
 
Component 2: Coursework - 50% of total GCSE marks.
-Students undertake a project as part of a non-examined assessment.
 

Staff

Who we are

 

Mr J S Meredith
Head of Department 
Mr P E Finney
Teacher
Mr S Dobson
Department Technician (Part-time)
Mr S Thomas
Department Technician (Part-time)

 

Learning Environment

Where we are

Design and Technology is located on the basement floor of the Lancaster building boasting two large purpose built workshops with cutting edge 3D Printing and Laser Cutter facilities.
 
There are also two dedicated classrooms for the study of electronics, design and with each having dedicated PC’s for the use of subject specific software such as Spaceclaim 3D design software.

 

Beyond the Classroom

Student opportunities

The Department participates in the National Greenpower Electric Car race series. The combination of the race series. developing the car and and applying the skills honed in the workshop allows co-curricular involvement in a different context. We also have close links with the Junior school and support the Year six pupils in the Greenpower Goblin car race series.
This is a great opportunity for the Year 6 pupils to experience life in the senior school prior to Year 7.
 
Annually the department arranges a visit for all the pupils Year 7 to the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) Regional Big Bang fair.
 
We also organise a visit to the Jaguar Land Rover education facility which is based at the engine manufacturing plant near Wolverhampton. This is for all Design and Technology pupils in Year 10 and allows them to see first-hand one of the most modern and advanced manufacturing facilities in Europe.
Electric Car Design
National Greenpower Electric Car Race
Trip to Jaguar LandRover (2018)
Trip to Aston Martin (2018)
Big Bang Day

Drama

GCSE Drama is an active, engaging and stimulating course which allows students to explore the theatrical process from the point of view of the actor, designer and audience.

Subject

Content

Overview
You will be introduced to a variety of theatrical styles, mostly through practical exploration, in preparation for two performance components and a written examination. 
 
Assessment 
Component 1: Devising Theatre - worth 40% of GCSE marks.
Practical unit whereby students explore different performance styles before choosing one to develop into an original piece of theatre.
The performance will be assessed and a recording of it will be sent to the examination board.
Component 2: Performing from a Text - worth 20% of GCSE marks.
Exploration of two extracts from the same text and prepare a performance as an actor or designer.
In the Spring term of Year 11 an external examiner will assess your performance.
Component 3: Interpreting Theatre - worth 40% of GCSE marks.
Students will undertake a practical study of a set text and undertake live theatre visits in preparation for a written examination.

Delivery

The majority of the course is delivered through practical workshop sessions, supported by notes made about the experience of exploring text - as both a participant and audience member. 
 
The guiding philosophy behind the course is that students, first and foremost, should understand theatre as a performance art.

 

Staff

Who we are

 

Mrs J Betts-Nicholson
Teacher I/C Drama
Mr S Yu
Drama

 

 

 

Learning Environment

Where we are

The Drama department is located within the English department on the Lancaster site. It also makes substantial use of the David Cohen Suite and the Memorial Hall.

Beyond the Classroom

Drama on Stage

Drama plays a major part in the life of the school and the opportunities to perform are many and varied. In 2016-2017, over 150 pupils gave up their time to participate in productions including behind the scenes, on the stage or in our outstanding musical orchestra.
 
With a packed programme of performances, our journey began in the late 19th Century with Rodgers and Hammerstein's "Carousel", travelled through to the 1980's with "A Midsummer Night's Dream", then went back in time for Rachel Barnett's "Noah" to ending the year with an original production by Mrs Robson, "The Living Library."
 

 

Additional Information 

GCSE Drama is not only valuable for those intending to to go on and study theatre at a more advanced level, but also offers a wide range of transferable skills that benefit many other courses and occupations.
 
The course develops many transferable skills which will be useful throughout life such as: communication, leadership and time management skills.

 

Trips

The London Theatre Experience 
During the Autumn Half-Term students from Year 7 up to Sixth Form had the opportunity to head to the heart of London's West-end for a truly immersive theatrical experience. 
 
The programme included a bespoke workshop with the world famous Pineapple Dance Studios, the casts of Aladdin and the Phantom of the Opera. 
 
Drama Trips
London Theatre Trip
Pineapple Dance Studios
National Theatre Puppetry Experience at the Lowry

English Language

English Language allows our pupils to immerse themselves in a wide range of engaging and challenging literary non-fiction. Throughout the course, pupils are encouraged to develop  

Subject

Content: Years 7-8

Years 7 and 8 follow the IGNITE English text book, supplemented by whole class and private reading, grammar and language work. The course helps pupils to see connections between what they learn in lessons and the world beyond school.
Being able to respond in a creative and personal way is vital in lessons so we offer a wide range of reading, writing and spoken tasks which ask pupils to respond in different and creative ways.
Each unit opens with a ‘big question’ which underpins the learning that will happen. Students are encouraged to evaluate their progress and, at the end of the unit, sit an assessment often in a real-world context, to show what they have learned.

Delivery

The course is delivered alongside the English Literature IGCSE with five lessons per week, usually taught by one subject teacher.
 
Pupils are encouraged to develop their independent learning skills, through the coursework modules and the preparation for exploring unseen material.

Content: Years 9-11(GCSE)

The IGCSE course is composed of two assessed exams and an oral presentation:
 
Paper 1 : Non-fiction Texts and Transactional Writing - worth 60% of total IGCSE marks. 
-The paper covers reading and writing skills where pupils study a variety of texts and compose their own transactional writing pieces.
Paper 2 : Poetry and Prose Texts and Imaginative Writing - worth 40% of total IGCSE marks
- The paper is composed of two sections; one piece of writing responds to two poetry or prose texts from an anthology, the second piece is imaginative writing.
 
Spoken Language Endorsement
- Pupils will demonstrate their presentation skills in a formal setting, listen and respond to feedback and use spoken language effectively. 
They awarded a separate certificate with a grade of Pass, Merit or Distinction. 

Staff

Who we are

 

Mrs A A Keay
Head of Department
Mrs J Betts-Nicholson
Teacher
Mrs B Godrige
Teacher
Mr R M Lench
Teacher
Mrs L Marrable-Griffiths
Teacher
Ms K Saunders
Teacher
Mr A R Sparks
Teacher
Mr S S Yu 
Drama

 

Learning Environment

Where we are

The English department is located on the second floor of the Lancaster building.
 

Beyond the Classroom

The London Theatre Experience 

During the Autumn Half-Term students from Year 7 up to Sixth Form had the opportunity to head to the heart of London's West-end for a truly immersive theatrical experience. 
 
The programme included a bespoke workshop with the world famous Pineapple Dance Studios, the casts of Aladdin and the Phantom of the Opera. 
London Theatre Experience
London Theatre trip
Pineapple Dance Studios

Debating

There is a thriving Debating Society which meets at lunchtimes during the week. The teams have had several successes this year including the Rotary Youth Speaks competition.
 

English Literature

English Literature offers up a diverse and popular range of set texts across the three genres of poetry, prose and drama.

Subject

Content: Years 7-8

In Years 7 and 8, pupils follow the IGNITE English 1/2 text book, supplemented by whole class and private reading, grammar and language work. The course aims to help pupils see connections between what they learn in lessons and the world beyond school.
Being able to respond in a creative and personal way is vital in lessons so we offer a wide range of reading, writing and spoken tasks which ask pupils to respond in different and creative ways.
Each unit opens with a ‘big question’ which underpins the learning that will happen. Students are encouraged to evaluate their progress and, at the end of the unit, sit an assessment often in a real-world context, to show what they have learned.

Delivery

The course is delivered alongside English Language in five lessons per week, usually taught by one teacher.
Pupils are encouraged to develop their independent learning skills,  through the coursework modules and the preparation for exploring unseen material.

Content: Years 9-11(GCSE)

The IGCSE course is composed of two assessed exams:
 
Paper 1 : Poetry and Modern Prose - exam worth 60% of total IGCSE marks.
- Pupils study a particular section from the Edexcel Anthology which covers poems from many different cultures and a modern novel, currently "Of Mice and Men."
-Pupils develop their analytical skills when preparing to explore unseen poetry.
Paper 2 : Modern Drama and Literary Heritage Texts - two coursework assignments worth 40% of total IGCSE marks.
-One piece of writing responds to a Shakespeare play and the second to a modern play.
-Pupils study whole texts and learn to explore the ways in which writers use language, form and structure to shape dramatic effects.

Staff

Who we are

 

Mrs A A Keay
Head of Department
Mrs J Betts-Nicholson
Teacher
Mrs B Godrige
Teacher
Mr R M Lench
Teacher
Mrs L Marrable-Griffiths
Teacher
Ms K Saunders
Teacher
Mr A R Sparks
Teacher
Mr S S Yu 
Drama

 

Learning Environment

Where we are

The English department is located on the second floor of the Lancaster building.

Beyond the Classroom

The London Theatre Experience 

During the Autumn Half-Term students from Year 7 up to Sixth Form had the opportunity to head to the heart of London's West-end for a truly immersive theatrical experience. 
 
The programme included a bespoke workshop with the world famous Pineapple Dance Studios, the casts of Aladdin and the Phantom of the Opera. 
London Theatre Experience
London Theatre trip
Pineapple Dance Studios

English Extra

 
The department often runs a 'Carnegie' prize shadowing group in order to allow pupils to extend their own reading choices.
 
Regular theatre trips are organised in order to support the teaching of set texts.

Food and Nutrition

Food Preparation and Nutrition students will develop and nurture an understanding of nutrition, food provenance and food materials. Students will also experience food from around the world through the study of international culinary traditions. 

This is an exciting and creative course which will allow you to demonstrate your practical skills whilst making connections between theory and practice!

Subject

Content: Years 7-9

Year 7 and 8 are taught Food and Nutrition on a half yearly basis, students can the opt to study the subject for a further year. Pupils are taught the following:
 
  • How to handle and use cooking equipment safely
  • Importance of following a healthy diet
  • Practical work is a key component of the course and pupils are given a choice of recipes with each topic
  • Independent learning and teamwork skills are developed throughout
Year 9 are taught the basics needed for the GCSE Food preparation and Nutrition Course. 

Delivery

This is a GCSE course with a strong practical focus. You'll master a variety of technical skills and become proficient in a kitchen setting. 
 
In addition you'll develop a working knowledge of the five key areas of the syllabus. Furthermore, you'll also develop transferable skills such as: analysis, evaluation, communication, working independently, time management and the ability to interpret data and information.

Content: Years 10-11(GCSE)

Overview
The course covers five key areas:
 
  • Food, nutrition and health
  • Food science
  • Food safety
  • Food choice
  • Food provenance
Assessment 
Consists of 1 exam worth 50% of total marks (1 hour 45 minutes). The second part of the assessment consists of two tasks worth 50% of total marks which involves practical work.

Staff

Who we are

 

Mrs J A Machin
Head of Department
Mrs N G Swindells
Teacher

 

Learning Environment

Where we are

Food Preparation and Nutrition is located on the ground floor of the Barratt Centre on the Victoria site. The department itself boasts two large kitchen/teaching areas as well as a dedicated IT lab.

Beyond the Classroom

Events and Trips

Each year the department gives students the opportunity to attend the Good Food Show at the NEC in Birmingham where we have been fortunate to watch live shows by Nadia Hussain, Paul Hollywood, the Hairy Bikers and Mary Berry. Students are encouraged to try new food products and engage in master classes such as Suchi making, adding to the whole experience of what proves to be a most enjoyable day.
 

School Life

The department plays a full role in the wider life of the school. The 'Catering Squad' provide refreshments for numerous drama and musical productions throughout the year. The provision of Cream Teas at the Junior Sports day and refreshments for the opening of the annual Arts Exhibition acts as the perfect opportunity to showcase their culinary talent and to improve their communication and team skills.
 
We also prepare refreshments for the Community Service Afternoon at Christmas as well as well as many other fundraising events held throughout the academic year. We have worked closely with the Charity Committee in fund raising events for charities such as the Air Ambulance during this past year.
 
We participate in the Year 11 Health Day providing opportunities for pupils to enhance their understanding of the importance of a healthy lifestyle.
 

Christmas Cake Club and Baking Club

The Christmas Cake club and Baking Club allows for students to further develop their culinary skills outside the classroom.  
 
Year 11 Health Day
Christmas Baking Club
Senior Citizens Tea Party

Geography

Geographers are taught a wide-ranging combination of subjects and skills. The Geographer’s ability to view issues from a wider perspective is appropriate for working in many different areas.

The nature of peoples’ working lives is changing. It is less likely that someone will spend all their life in one company or organisation (the so-called job for life). If your career path is to be varied you will need to develop transferable skills and you will need to be flexible. Geography fosters these qualities and provides a firm base for life-long learning.

Subject

Delivery

The IGCSE Geography course is delivered over a two year period by an allocated Geography Specialist.
 
The department prides itself in applying a range of teaching styles and methodologies; including independent learning and 'thinking skills'.

Content: Years 10-11(GCSE)

Overview
IGCSE Geographers develop many life long skills including: an understanding of physical processes, an understanding of location (local-global), ability to use geographical data, an understanding of how communities globally are affected by different environments.
 
Assessment 
Paper 1: 1 hour 45 minutes 
-Geographical Themes: 75 marks (45% of total)
Paper 2: 1 hour 30 minutes 
-Geographical Skills: 60 marks (27.5% of total)
There is no Paper 3 (practical element of the syllabus)
Paper 4: 1 hour 30 minutes 
-Alternative to Coursework: 60 marks (27.5% of total) 

 

Staff

Who we are

 

Mr T P Jowitt
Head of Department
Mrs N J Mackintosh
Teacher
Mr D P Sherratt
Teacher

 

Learning Environment

Where we are

The Geography Department is located on the Lancaster site on the first floor in the Kitchener building.
Each classroom boasts a large teaching space, latest SMART board technology and a Sixth Form teaching space with IT facilities. 

Beyond the Classroom

Explore the world through Geography

Geography students have the opportunity to travel far and wide with regular field trips at home and abroad. 
 
Geographers have travelled to Iceland, New York and Morocco on excursions abroad with trips to Snowdonia, Preston Mountford and Liverpool taking place in the UK.
 
Below is a taste of where Geography has been!
Snowdonia
Morocco
Preston Mountford
New York
Liverpool coast

History

History takes an all encompassing approach to aspects of Twentieth Century history, with a wide breadth of study coupled with 3 more in-depth areas of investigation.

The course is a challenging yet rewarding course for students and acts as a foundation for those wishing to take their studies to Sixth Form level.

Subject

Delivery

The course builds on what students learned through Year 9 with regard to World War One and the development of weapons and warfare during 1914-1918.
 
The course is taught through a combination of note making and essay writing, class based discussion and debate, individual research, documentaries and dramas relating to the course material.

Content: Years 10-11(GCSE)

Paper 1: 1 hour 30 minutes worth 50% of the final marks. Our chosen topics are:
- Option 3: Development of Hitler's dictatorship in Germany 1918-1945. Depth study/ knowledge based.
- Option 6: Superpower relations (Cold War) 1943-1972.  Depth study/ knowledge based.
 
Paper 2: 1 hour 30 minutes worth 50% of the final marks. Our chosen topics are:
- Option A2: The Russian Revolution 1905-1924. Historical investigation/ sources based.
- Option B6: The Changing nature of warfare and international conflict, 1919-2011. Breadth study/ knowledge based.

Staff

Who we are

 

Dr D Dunlop
Head of Department
Mr D A Cawdron
Teacher
Mrs J A Simms
Teacher
Mrs S J Stockdale
Teacher

 

Learning Environment

Where we are

The History Department is located on the Victoria site in the Powell building.
 
 

Beyond the Classroom

Stepping back in time - Exploring the world through History

Students are offered the opportunity to participate in fieldwork trips to the First World War battle fields at Ypres or to the D-Day landing beaches and other sites in Normandy.
 
Fieldwork is also offered further field with opportunities to travel to Berlin, Krakow (and Auschwitz), Moscow and St Petersburg.
 
Below is a taste of where History has been!
Berlin
Flanders

Latin

Latin fosters a broad range of disciplines and gives students a clear understanding of some of the elements of classical civilisation, literature and language that have had a profound impact on modern day societies.

Latin students can therefore take the 'long view' on aesthetic, ethical, linguistic, political, religious and social questions.

Subject

Delivery

The GCSE course builds on knowledge developed from Years 7-9 but with a greater emphasis on independent learning.
 
Each pupil's grammar book continues to be an essential reference guide and support during translation activities.
 
Translation can range from simple sentences to longer passages of myth and and legend, illuminating characters and events from Roman history!

Content: Years 10-11(GCSE)

Overview
The Latin course will allow students to develop an analytical and evaluative set of skills to make an educated and personal response to the material studied.
The subject is designed to foster pupis' ability as critical and reflective learners.
 
Assessment 
The course at GCSE level is broken down into three papers.
-Paper 1: Latin Language (50% of GCSE marks)
-Paper 2: Latin verse (25% of GCSE marks)
-Paper 3: Latin Prose (25% of GCSE marks) 

Staff

Who we are

 

Mrs T Thomas
Head of Department
Mrs E Scullion
Teacher

 

Learning Environment

Where we are

The Latin department and Classical Civilisation are located on the Victoria site and  taught in classrooms N2 and N4.
 

Beyond the Classroom

Extra Latin

The Classics Department organise a workshop on Classical Drama for Year 9 which usually take place in the Spring Term.
 
Classical Greek is also offered off timetable to those who show an aptitiude for classical languages.
 

Mathematics

Without mathematics, there’s nothing you can do. Everything around you is mathematics. Everything around you is numbers.

The writing of structured solutions, proof and justification of results help you to formulate reasoned arguments. And importantly you will have excellent numeracy skills and the ability to process and interpret data.

Subject

Content: Years 7-8

Year 7 starts by reviewing work that pupils completed in their primary schools.
Pupils who have a good understanding of their work pursue extension activities and puzzles to keep their minds stimulated and stretched. 
The course then moves on to the introduction of algebra and emphasis is placed on the ability to produce clear and concise working solutions, rather than just providing answers.
 
In Year 8 what distinguishes one set from another is the pace at which new theory is introduced and the level of problems set. The same topic may be presented to the sets in different ways.

Delivery

In Year 7 pupils are taught in their form groups.
In Year 8 pupils are set according to tests and examinations taken in Year 7.
During Years 10 and 11 all students have five 35 minute lessons a week.
These lessons will focus on learning and mathematical skills, techniques and concepts and how to use them to solve problems.

Content: Years 9-11(GCSE)

Overview
Students study the Edexcel International GCSE in Mathematics (Specification A). 
The level of entry (Foundation or Higher) will be discussed with individual students and parents before any decision is made. 
The top set will cover an additional course in Year 11 alongside the International GCSE.
 
Assessment
Examinations are externally assessed.
There are Two Tiers:
-Higher Tier: Two papers: 3H and 4H (each paper is worth 50% of GCSE marks)
-Foundation Tier: Two papers: 1F and 2F (each paper is worth 50% of GCSE marks)

Staff

Who we are

 

Miss J M Griffiths
Head of Department
Mrs J A Cryer
Teacher
Ms M C Dawson
Teacher
Mr A Dyer
Teacher
Dr O Exley
Teacher
Mr E J Griffiths
Teacher
Mr R Smith
Teacher

 

Learning Environment

Where we are

The mathematics department is housed in its own building. There are seven classrooms, each of which is equipped with a PC, digital projector and interactive whiteboard.

Beyond the Classroom

Extra Maths

Each year, we enter a large number of pupils into The United Kingdom Mathematics Trust (UKMT) junior, intermediate and senior Mathematics Challenges. Many of these pupils achieve Gold, Silver or Bronze certificates and a small number qualify for the follow-up rounds. We also enter pupils into the Senior and Junior Regional team events.

Modern Foreign Languages - French/German/Spanish

 

In a world where effective global communication skills are more vital than ever, all pupils at Newcastle-under-Lyme School choose one of French, German or Spanish as their compulsory MFL.

In addition, pupils have the option of continuing with two modern languages to GCSE. Providing distinct advantages for the future, all languages are highly regarded by universities, can be combined well with other subjects and there are good career prospects afterwards: you are very employable with a language!

Subject

Content: Years 7-9

Year 7 have the opportunity to choose which language they would like to study, out of a choice of French, German or Spanish. They do not need to have previously studied the language they choose at Junior School.  However, plenty of pupils choose to study a language they may not have been given the opportunity to learn before, to give them greater exposure to, and breadth in, their language learning.
 
The language chosen is timetabled for four teaching periods per week throughout Years 7 and 8. All students currently have the opportunity to take up an additional Modern Foreign Language when they reach Year 9, either or both of which could be continued through to GCSE and beyond.

Delivery

Pupils are taught in mixed ability classes and have four 35-minute lessons per week.
The emphasis in language lessons is always on effective communication with a strong grammatical base.
Up-to-date resources are used in all three languages as well as regular use of the interactive language laboratory and other ICT-based activities.
Our native speaker Foreign Language Assistants also work with our GCSE pupils, in small groups and individually, to particularly build oral confidence and comprehension skills.
Variety is built-in to language lessons: lessons are never the same activity throughout and there is something for everyone!

 

Content: Years 10-11(GCSE)

Students are examined in the skills of Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing - each section is worth 25% of the overall marks.
Specification covers the following themes and topics:
 
  • Identity and Culture
  • Local, National, International and Global Areas of Interest
  • Culture, Future Study and Employment

 

Staff

Who we are 

 

Mrs M T Holmes
Head of Modern Languages (Teacher I/C of German)
Ms I M Alcazar Prieto
Teacher
Miss M I Barnes
Teacher
Miss S Graham
Teacher
Mrs M Isherwood
Teacher I/C of Spanish
Ms E L Kozlowski
Teacher I/C of French
Mrs S Thomas
Teacher
Mrs D Oldham
Foreign Languages Assistant (French)
Mrs C Spooner
Foreign Languages Assistant (German)
Mrs C Conlin
Foreign Languages Assistant (Spanish)

Learning Environment

Where we are

There are co-curricular clubs to further engage in and enjoy the languages taught in the classroom such as our European Film club, Spanish Dancing group and linguistics society. Co-curricular activity allows pupils to develop their appreciation of not just the language but the culture that surrounds it.

Beyond the Classroom

Explore the world through languages

Trips abroad are regularly organised, the department has recently visited Normandy, Bilbao and Cologne to name but a few. Pupils are strongly advised to participate in these trips as it provides them with the opportunity to use their language skills in a real world setting. Further day trips, for example with the Business Language Champions, are also organised on a regular basis.
Below is a snap shot of where MFL has been!
Bilbao
Bilbao
French Trip

Music

As a potential musician you will be comfortable with performing in front of audiences great and small and will want to develop your musical skill through singing and instrumental lessons.

Musicians are renowned for their patience in carrying out long term composition tasks and their positive attitude towards constructive criticism to better their work.

Subject

Delivery

During Year 10 you will be taught a tool-kit of skills needed to listen effectively to music  and to write about it using the correct terminology.
You will then apply these skills to 8 set musical pieces. This will be a written music exam coupled with one short essay.
At the beginning of the course it is not expected that pupils will be fluent in reading music, however help will be given and it is expected that pupils work on this aspect of the course as it will aid their work in all the three papers.
 

Content: Years 10-11(GCSE)

(Pearson Edexcel)
The GCSE Music course consists of 3 papers:
 
Paper 1: Performing - 30% of the total GCSE marks.
Paper 2 : Composing - 30% of the total GCSE marks.
Paper 3 : Appraising Music - 40% of the total GCSE marks
 

Staff

Who we are

 

Mr T Sagar
Head of Department
Mrs J Perkin
Teacher

 

Learning Environment

Where we are

The Music department is located within the self-contained music centre on the Victoria site. The 19th century building houses a well sized Music hall with a staged area, large teaching spaces and numerous one to one tuition rooms.
 
We also make use of the Memorial Hall, David Cohen Suite, Margaret Powell Hall and St Paul's Church for concerts and music productions.

Beyond the Classroom

Clubs, Events and Music Practice

The Music Department runs a packed programme of clubs, practices and events throughout the academic year. 
Lessons are offered in all orchestral instruments, and in voice, guitar, piano and drums taught by 16 visiting teachers, with pupils receiving around 220 weekly individual lessons.
 
Event Highlights
 
Autumn Term: Founders Day Service, Autumn Concert at St Paul's Church, Remembrance Parade, Carols by Candlelight, Carol Service.
 
Spring Term: CCF Dinner, Rock and Jazz Evening, Teatime Concert, Newcastle Music Festival, Choral & Orchestral Concert at St Paul's Church.
 
Summer Term: Summer Concert, ABRSM  music exams.
 

 

Rock and Jazz Evening
St Pauls Concert
Rock and Jazz Evening
Tea Time Concert

Physical Education

Physical Education plays a prominent part in the life of the School. As a department, we aim to provide opportunities for all pupils to participate in a physical activity, whilst at the same time promoting a competitive and healthy interest in sport.  

At GCSE level the combination of coursework and a final exam assessment provides students with the opportunity to use a wide array of study skills.

Subject

Content: Years 7-11 (General)

Years 7 and 8  partake in 3 hours of Swimming, Games and P.E each week.
Years 9, 10 and 11  have a single P.E lesson and a Games afternoon for 2 hours. 
 
Team sports are arranged on a seasonal basis and include invasion games in winter (hockey, netball, football and rugby) and striking games in the summer (rounders, tennis and cricket).

Delivery

The two year GCSE course encompasses two units of theoretical study delivered by Sports Science and Sports Psychology specialists.
 
The practical performance and analysis of three sporting activities is internally assessed by P.E staff and externally moderated. 
 

 

Content: Years 10-11(GCSE)

Overview:
The two year GCSE course encompasses two units of theoretical study. The practical performance and analysis of three sporting activities is internally assessed and externally moderated.
 
Assessment:
  • Paper 1: Theory - Physical Factors (30% of GCSE marks)
  • Paper 2: Theory - Socio-Cultural Issues (30% of GCSE marks)
  • Paper 3: Practical Performance (40% of GCSE marks)

Staff

Who we are

 

Mr G Chesterman
Director of Sport
Mr G M Breen
Teacher i/c Cricket
Mrs R C Lea
Teacher i/c Netball
Mr S A Robson
Teacher i/c Rugby
Miss L J Shackleton
Teacher I/C Swimming
Miss E M Stubbs
Teacher (Hockey)
Miss E G Thompson
Teacher (Tennis)
Miss E Thornbury
Teacher i/c Hockey

 

Learning Environment

Where we are

The department is very well equipped boasting various indoor and outdoor facilities, with two major refurbishments of the main Sports Centre and Swimming Pool areas having taken place over the past few years.
 
The Sports Centre consists of a 4-lane 25 metre Swimming Pool, a Fitness Suite and a Sports Hall that can be configured for a variety of sporting events. There is also a teaching classroom for GCSE and A-Level P.E courses. Furthermore, the department also has a separate gymnasium and changing room block. 
 

Beyond the Classroom

Sporting Clubs and Societies

There is a thriving co-curricular programme which encompasses the inter-house competition where maximum pupil participation is encouraged with a wide range of events on offer including e.g. Tug of War, Cross Country, Rowing, Athletics, Badminton, Table Tennis and Swimming.
 
The department itself runs an annual competitive programme in major team sports with fixtures against schools from a wide area taking place during the week and on Saturday mornings. All age groups are included in local leagues as well as in District, County and National competitions.
 
A programme of team practices run during lunchtimes and after school throughout the week. On a regular basis our teams reach a high level of success, with many students involved at academy level or representing their county and some have even gained regional or national honours.
 
Sports tours and training camps are organised for pupils from time to time. Previous tours have included Australia, South Africa.
 
Lower School House Tug of War

Physics

Physics helps you understand the world around you; from the motion of Galaxies to the structure of atoms. In the 21st century major new discoveries such as exoplanets and gravitational waves demonstrates how Physics is constantly pushing the boundaries of known science.

Subject

Content: Years 7-8

Year 7 Science is taught by one teacher who delivers units of Biology, Chemistry and Physics with a strong emphasis on how to work scientifically. The topics are as follows:
 
  • Year 7: Forces, Sound Waves and Space
  • Year 8: Electricity & Magnetism, Motion & Pressure, Energy 

Delivery

Lessons will be a mixture of theory, demonstrations, practical experiments and practise exercises. Pupils will have more time allocated to Physics in there timetable and the amount and pace of work will be greater.
 
Pupils are likely to have the same teacher for Year 10 and 11.
 
Practical work helps to develop an understanding of how experiments are carried out and how to handle data. These skills will be examined in the final papers.
 
Over the three years you will cover a number of compulsory experiments that will bring the theory to life.

Content: Years 9-11(GCSE)

Overview:
Maths features heavily in the Physics course, including rearranging equations and explaining how variables are related to one another.
 
Topics taught over three years:
  • Energy
  • Electricity
  • Particle model of matter
  • Atomic structure
  • Forces, their interactions, and motion
  • Waves
  • Magnetism and electromagnetism
  • Space physics
Assessment: 
Consists of two written papers (1 hour 45 minutes each)
  • Paper 1: Covers topics 1-4
  • Paper 2: Covers topics 5-8

Staff

Who we are

 

Mr N P Migallo
Head of Department
Dr J L Klein
Teacher
Mrs K Rigby
Teacher
Mr S Danby
Department Technician

 

Learning Environment

Where we are

The three Physics laboratories are located within the state of the art Stinton science block together with Chemistry and Biology.

Beyond the Classroom

Extra Physics

Currently we have a lunchtime Astronomy club, and a small number of extra keen pupils carry out coursework and prepare for the GCSE Astronomy examination in their own time.
 
Recently, we have taken trips to Jodrell Bank Observatory, Birmingham Science Museum and the European Particle Physics Laboratory (CERN).
 
STEAM Workshop talks: This academic year we have been fortunate to run a program of talks by subject specialists relating to the STEAM subjects. 
Radiology and Physics Talk
Trip to CERN 2017
Trip to CERN - 2017

Religious Studies and Philosophy

Religious Studies students acquire both the academic and interpersonal skills required to develop a unique understanding of our world and the diverse array of people and religions that live within it.

Students will learn how religion, philosophy and ethics interact, and how they form the basis of the different cultures that exist within the UK and beyond. Pupils will be encouraged to recognise, appreciate and critically evaluate the broad range of beliefs and practices that will be explored at each Key Stage.

Subject

Content: Years 7-9

Pupils are encouraged to think, evaluate, empathise,  intuit, critique, and discern as they consider how different people view the world. 
 
Year 7 develop their understanding of the six major religions, learning about their core beliefs and how such beliefs influence everyday life.
 
Year 8 examine the lives of religious founders  which involves an assessment of their ideas about existence and meaning, and  how their lives and legacies impact on the world today.
 
Year 9 study a range of contemporary moral issues such as racism, equality, crime and punishment and war, providing opportunities for them to consider their own views on the world, and how they relate to those from different faith backgrounds.

Delivery

A variety of learning techniques are utilised and employed to enable pupils to successfully negotiate the core content of the course:
 
  • Discussion and debate.
  • Films and documentaries.
  • Examination questions are practiced on a regular basis, especially ones where students are expected to justify a moral and philosophical perspective they hold.

Content: Years 10-11(GCSE)

Overview
In studying Religious Studies students will be challenged with questions about belief, values, meaning, purpose and truth, enabling them to develop their own attitudes towards sensitive religious issues. 
 
Assessment
The course is split between two examinations.
  • Paper 1: The study of religions (50% of GCSE)
  • Paper 2: Thematic studies: philosophy and ethics (50% of GCSE)

Staff

Who we are

 

Mr A Poole
Head of Department
Mr J S Preston
Teacher
Mr I Dicksee
Teacher
Mrs S J Stockdale
Teacher

 

Learning Environment

Where we are

The subject is predominantly delivered in the Sixth Form Centre using specialised classrooms that are conducive to the type of learning that pupils will be undertaking.
Displays and other visual stimuli are designed to encourage pupils to think at a deep level about the existential questions that they are being encouraged to explore.
 

 

Beyond the Classroom

Where we go

Pupils will be introduced to religious believers as part of the curriculum and there may be opportunities to visit places of worship in order to embed learning. 
 
The subject aims to prepare students for life beyond the classroom by helping them to be informed citizens who understand the range of motivations that different people hold.  Developing the softer skills of empathy, tolerance and understanding, to name but a few, are crucial as students begin to form their futures in an increasingly diverse and globalised world.