Triple Science (Optional)

By taking Sciences separately at GCSE level you will cover more content and find you’re better prepared if you want to take Science A Levels. Students who take separate GCSE Sciences are also more likely to get higher grades in A Level Sciences. If you’re already thinking about university and careers and are interested in science-based degrees and jobs then it is definitely worth considering taking separate Science GCSEs. Whatever career you are considering, taking Triple Science will set you up well for later life. Employers are crying out for candidates with science-based skills.

Due to the extra content that has to be taught, students who opt to take the Triple award will need to receive additional lessons. These additional lessons will be offered via an option block and pupils will need to indicate their choice on the option form.

Geography (Optional)

In an ever-changing world it is important for students to have an understanding of the places they inhabit, the processes that cause change and the impact this has on different groups of people.

At GCSE, Geography aims to cover these issues. By looking at both Human and Physical Geography, the course intends to give students a breadth and depth of understanding of the world they live in.

Students study a range of different themes including:

  1. Challenges of living in a built environment. What conflicts happen within our cities? What will the future of urban living look like?
  2. Physical Geography and the impact people have on the environment. Why does certain weather occur in certain places? How can we manage extreme weather?
  3. Uneven Development and Sustainable Environments. Why are so many companies out-sourcing to India and China? What does it mean to be sustainable? Will trade or aid solve the problem of poverty?

Geography teaches highly sought after skills in problem-solving, managing delicate situations and data analysis. Therefore any career in which these are listed as skills or attributes required would be a career for a GCSE Geographer.

History (Optional)  

Studying History helps students develop an understanding of the present world, through an awareness of the past. The course covers a range of national and international history and is a great opportunity for young people to gain an insight and confidence in explaining the world around them.

Students are equipped to:

  • explain how and why things change or stay the same;
  • appreciate how people lived in the past and how this compares with their experience today;
  • analyse and evaluate historical evidence.

The skills developed in History complement learning in a range of other subjects, including English Language and English Literature.

History develops skills of enquiry, reflection and communication.

This is an excellent course for anyone with an interest in the subject who wants to work in careers such as law, teaching, administration and management. This course is also suitable for specialist careers such as an archivist, librarian or any career involving analysis and evaluation.

Modern Foreign Languages – Spanish & French (Optional)

Students who are presently studying French as their only foreign language can continue with this to GCSE level or take up Spanish as a new language.

Studying a Modern Foreign Language enables students to become confident in each of the 4 main language skills (listening, speaking, reading and writing) within a range of different contexts. It also equips students to deal with real-life situations and provide an appreciation of the cultures and civilisations of the communities concerned.

A range of audio-visual and practical methods are used to help students learn. The emphasis throughout is on the use of authentic materials, such as reading signs and hand-written letters, and listening to announcements or conversations.  Speaking work is often done in pairs and groups, and students. There are also extensive opportunities to use ICT to support students’ learning.

Careers include: journalism, teaching, interpreting, export sales, marketing, European sales, news reading, customs, translating, banking, travel and the tourism industry.

Computer Science (Optional)

You are growing up in a world where technology is evolving rapidly, creating new subject areas to explore and changing the way people work in every area from medicine and fashion to engineering and economics. So whatever your career plans, you know it’s vital to develop your grasp of these ideas and concepts that will shape your world.

GCSE Computer Science explores the principles of digital technology and a way of working that’s called ‘computational thinking’, with coding as a core of the course. You’ve got to be able to think logically, solve puzzles and be tenacious when the going gets tough. But it is also really creative and you’ll get a real buzz out of getting something to work yourself, especially when programming.

So if you enjoyed Scratch in previous years or enjoy game design then you might find computing is for you. Before you can do the complicated stuff you need to master the basics. Making a computer dance to your tune is a really creative thing – but we shouldn’t pretend it’s easy. Computer Science will make you think. It will stretch you and test your powers of logic and patience. It might even drive you a bit crazy at times. In short, Computer Science is serious fun!

It’s no exaggeration to say the world runs on computers. They are everywhere: in homes, schools and offices but not just in the way you think. They are also embedded in all sorts of machines. Computers control airplanes, chemical plants, send rockets to space, control the central heating and make sure your mum/dad’s car runs efficiently. As new things are developed, the world needs more and more people to research new ways of using computers to do the things they want.

GCSE Computer Science is a great foundation for going on to do Computing at A level. And Computing at A level is a great foundation for going on to study Computer Science at University. And that can open up a lot of possibilities! But you don’t have to want to go on to be a computer scientist to do this course – you might just be curious about learning a bit more.

Art (Optional)

Art provides students with the opportunity to develop their creative and imaginative powers and to give them the practical skills to communicate and express ideas, feelings and meanings in Art, Craft and Design. Students develop personal qualities such as confidence, initiative and resourcefulness and understand the purpose of Art in contemporary society and in other times and cultures.

Students will make personal responses to their own and others’ environment and to the work of artists, craftspeople and designers, working in two and three dimensions.

Previous projects include:

  • Design and make a screen or decorate a chair in the style of a chosen architect.
  • Discover patterns from other cultures and make a mask or body piece.
  • Develop their drawing and painting skills through figure drawing.

A sketchbook is vital to students’ success at GCSE.

We request as a voluntary contribution, that parents provide students with a sketch-book for homework and coursework. The provision of a set of water colour paints, coloured pencils and other basic art and design equipment would also be helpful.

Photography (Optional)

The Photography course has many similarities with Art GCSE, however students focus specifically on Photography rather than a range of different media. Photography students learn about the development of photography in the past and apply their creativity to a range of different techniques and skills. Photography also helps students improve their communication skills, understanding how others communicate with them and how they can effectively communicate their own ideas with others. As in Art, students develop personal qualities such as confidence, initiative and resourcefulness.

A sketchbook is vital to students’ success at GCSE and it is also an advantage for students to have access to their own camera.

Both Art and Photography are excellent courses for anyone who wants to work in the world of design, architecture, interior design, film work and stage set design, fashion, beauty, hairdressing, ceramics, a jeweller, landscape architect, fashion stylist, furniture designer. They also complement greatly any student who is interested media and journalism, including online journalism. The list goes on!

Music (Optional)

Music provides students with the opportunity to develop all-round musical skills and understanding in a way that suits them best, and to give a solid foundation for ‘A’ and ‘AS’ level or for a music-related career.

Students learn by listening and appraising many different styles of music. They develop their own practical instrumental/singing skills through solo and group performance and explore ideas to enable individual music composition.

Students should be prepared to undertake a wide range of listening activities.

Media Studies (Optional)

Media Studies offers a broad, coherent and rigorous course of study, which will prepare students to make informed decisions about further study and progression to AS and A level or employment. Media Studies enables students to:

  • demonstrate skills of enquiry, critical thinking, decision-making and analysis;
  • acquire knowledge and understanding of a range of important media issues;
  • develop appreciation and critical understanding of the media and their role both historically and currently in society, culture and politics;
  • understand and apply specialist subject-specific terminology to analyse and compare media products and the contexts in which they are produced and consumed in order to make informed arguments, reach substantiated judgements and draw conclusions about media issues;
  • appreciate how theoretical understanding supports practice and practice supports theoretical understanding;
  • develop practical skills by providing opportunities for creative media production.

Media studies is ideal for any student who wishes to pursue a career where critical thinking is important.

Food & Nutrition (Optional)  

The course is designed to provide opportunities for investigation, designing, making and evaluation, which focus on the use of food as a material.

In order to apply the appropriate designing and making skills, candidates will need to acquire an appropriate knowledge of the complex nature of food as a material, its various properties, the effects of processing and the appropriate selection of tools and equipment which enable it to be cut, formed, shaped and finished.

Students acquire this knowledge and experience through focused tasks and assignments, which enable a range of skills and processes to be developed.

The emphasis is on practical activities based on a design and problem-solving approach.  There will, however, also be a considerable amount of theoretical work on food science and nutrition. It is essential that all students take part in the practical sessions.

Careers include: catering, food manufacture, hotel management, food science degree, health and safety, restaurant, advertising, teaching, nursing and as a dietician.

Design Technology Resistant Materials (Optional)  

This course aims to enable students to combine their designing and making skills with knowledge and understanding, in order to produce quality products. It also aims to develop knowledge, skills and understanding of design and manufacturing methods, processes and procedures.

Students learn through active involvement in design and manufacturing projects, tasks and activities which integrate the areas of:

  • Mechanisms;
  • Construction processes and manufacture;
  • Construction materials – wood, metal, plastic;
  • Computer aided design (CAD/CAM);
  • Social, cultural, moral, health and safety and environmental issues;
  • Product analysis.

The emphasis is on practical activities, based on a design and problem-solving approach.  However, there is also a considerable amount of academic, theoretical work involving: research, written analysis and evaluation.

Careers include carpentry, joinery, cabinet making, engineering, furniture design, architecture, product development, product and industrial design and most semi-skilled and skilled practical trades.

Sport (Optional)

The aims and objectives of this qualification are to enable students to:

  • develop theoretical knowledge and understanding of the factors that under pin physical activity and sport and use this knowledge and understanding to improve performance;
  • understand how the physiological and psychological state affects performance in physical activity and sport;
  • perform effectively in different physical activities by developing skills and techniques and selecting and using tactics, strategies and/or compositional ideas;
  • develop their ability to analyse and evaluate to improve performance in physical activity and sport;
  • understand the contribution that physical activity and sport make to health, fitness and well-being;
  • understand the key socio-cultural influences that can affect people’s involvement in physical activity and sport.

Students can progress from this qualification to further study of physical education at Sixth Form, college and university, as well as apprenticeships and other training, employment in a related sector.

Career opportunities include sports coaching, teaching, uniformed public services, physiotherapy, leisure management, professional sport and health and fitness.

Health and Social Care (Optional)  

The Health and Social Care industry is one of the largest employers in Suffolk. People within this area are caring, compassionate, and trained to a very high standard to ensure that the quality of care that service users gain is the best.

Studying Health and Social Care can be used as a way into this career path. This is a vocational subject which means a lot of emphasis is put on independent study and enquiry.

Health and Social Care is a natural choice for people who wish to enter the health and social care industry. It also allows skills of independence, enquiry and critical thinking to be developed.