A Co-educational Independent School in Suffolk for ages 4 to 18

Woodbridge School Sixth Former

Sixth Form Curriculum

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The Sixth Form at Woodbridge offers an extensive range of subjects. From September 2015, when the AS qualification becomes a two-year course, students will choose four subjects to study with the eventual option of taking one of them at AS Level.

The initial choice of subject is free from the constraint of pre-conceived timetable blocks so students may choose the best combination that suits their interests, skills, and future ambitions. Guidance and advice are always available to ensure choices are made to secure the best outcomes, including keeping open a wide range of study options beyond the Sixth Form.

All the GCSE subjects are represented at A Level, but in addition there are new opportunities offered by Economics, Philosophy, Classical Civilisation and Psychology. The Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) is available in addition and this AS Level qualification offers much to the student in terms of freedom to follow an interest, developing study skills, independence and time management. As well as their four AS subjects, pupils may opt to start GCSE Classical Greek, or take up Mandarin or Japanese. International pupils have ESL lessons on their timetable, leading to a range of qualifications to demonstrate their English language skills and allow access to courses at leading British universities.

  • Biology
  • Business Studies
  • Chemistry
  • Classical Civilisation
  • Computer Science
  • Design
  • Drama
  • Economics
  • English Literature
  • Fine Art
  • Further Mathematics
  • Geography
  • History
  • Latin
  • Mathematics
  • Modern Languages
  • Music
  • Physical Education
  • Physics
  • Philosophy
  • Psychology
  • Religious Studies
  • Sociology

Biology

Examining Board:

AQA

Minimum entry requirements:

GCSE grade B in biology or B in additional science.

A Level Course Content:

  1. Biological molecules
  2. Cells
  3. Organisms exchange substances with their environment
  4. Genetic information, variation and relationships between organisms
  5. Energy transfers in and between organisms
  6. Organisms respond to changes in their internal and external environments
  7. Genetics, populations, evolution and ecosystems
  8. The control of gene expression

Assessment Method:

Paper 1 2 hours (35% of A Level)

  • Content
    • Any content from topics 1–4, including relevant practical skills
  • Questions
    • 76 marks: a mixture of short and long answer questions
    • 15 marks: extended response questions

Paper 2 2 hours (35% of A Level)

  • Content
    • Any content from topics 5–8, including relevant practical skills
  • Questions
    • 76 marks: a mixture of short and long answer questions
    • 15 marks: comprehension question

Paper 3 2 hours (30% of A Level)

  • Content
    • Any content from topics 1–8, including relevant practical skills
  • Questions
    • 38 marks: structured questions, including practical techniques
    • 15 marks: critical analysis of given experimental data
    • 25 marks: one essay from a choice of two titles

How will I be taught?

The latest resources will be employed including new exam-specific text books, microscopes, centrifuges, PCR and gel electrophoresis equipment. Practical work including fieldwork and the use of ICT is an integral part of the course. The A Level course is delivered by two experienced A Level teachers. This offers pupils specialist knowledge with variety in teaching style and delivery of the course.

Where can it lead?

Biology opens the way to a wide range of degrees including medicine, veterinary science, zoology, botany, biochemistry, microbiology, biogeography, environmental science, agriculture, sports science, marine biology, and biostatistics. Biology is a dynamic, constantly evolving subject, relevant to our own life and how we interact with the environment. Biology is a fundamental foundation for a wide and varied range of careers and professions.

Head of Department: Dr L V Rickard

Business Studies

Examining Board:

AQA

Minimum entry requirements:

GCSE grade B in English and maths preferred. There is no requirement to have studied business studies at GCSE.

A Level Course Content:

  1. What is business?
  2. Managers, leadership and decision making
  3. Decision making to improve marketing performance
  4. Decision making to improve operational performance
  5. Decision making to improve financial performance
  6. Decision making to improve human resource performance
  7. Analysing the strategic position of a business
  8. Choosing strategic direction
  9. Strategic methods: how to pursue strategies
  10. Managing strategic change

Assessment Method:

Paper 1: Business 1

  • Section A – multiple choice 15 marks
  • Section B – short answer questions 35 marks
  • Section C and D – essay questions 25 marks each
  • Duration 2 hours weighting 33.3%

Paper 2: Business 2

  • Data response
  • Duration 2 hours weighting 33.3%

Paper 3: Business 3

  • Case study followed by questions
  • Duration 2 hours weighting 33.3%

How will I be taught?

The department aims to develop students’ interests in the world of business, enhance their confidence and self-reliance and, of course, to achieve academic success. Students are encouraged to develop a variety of skills relevant to their future careers and lives, which include the analysis of business case studies and the formation of well-founded opinions and judgements.

Where can it lead?

Studying business need not necessarily lead to the study of a business-related degree at university, although a large number of students on the course do proceed to this type of course. As a social science, it could be a useful preparation for study in many areas and as a third subject it will meet the A Level entry requirements for any degree where the subjects to be studied at A Level are not specified. Universities offer a wide range of courses that combine business studies with other subjects such as modern languages, economics, ICT and even engineering. These combinations of technical skills and understanding of the business world are positive selling points in a competitive employment market.

Head of Department: J M Percival

Chemistry

Examining board:

OCR

Minimum entry requirements:#

GCSE grade A at chemistry or GCSE grade A at additional science is preferred.

A Level Course Content:

  1. Practical skills in chemistry
  2. Foundations in chemistry
  3. Periodic table & energy
  4. Core organic chemistry
  5. Physical chemistry and transition elements
  6. Organic chemistry and analysis

Assessment Method:

  1. Periodic table, elements and physical chemistry
    • Examination
      • Multiple choice and structured questions covering theoretical and practical aspects of Periodic table, elements and physical chemistry
  2. Synthesis and analytical techniques
    • Examination
      • Multiple choice and structured questions covering theoretical and practical aspects of organic synthesis and analytical techniques
  3. Unified chemistry
    • Examination
      • Structured questions and extended response questions covering theory and practical skills

How will I be taught?

We have an excellent range of practical equipment for use in synthetic and analytical chemistry. Up-to-date textbooks are used and a wide variety of other materials from sources such as the Royal Society of Chemistry are included to enhance knowledge and understanding. The A Level course is delivered by two experienced teachers per class, offering students specialist knowledge and variety in teaching style and delivery of the course.

Where can it lead?

Our chemistry A Level students have gone on to study a huge variety of courses for many different careers, including: medicine, forensic science, veterinary science, research, law, biochemistry, food and nutrition, teaching/lecturing, pharmacy, industrial chemistry, engineering, molecular modelling and many more.

Head of Department: Mrs A Hillman

Classical Civilisation

Examining Board:

AQA

Minimum entry requirements:

Classical civilisation has no specific entry requirements. It is open to all students who have an interest in, or who want to learn, about the literature and culture of the classical Greek and Roman worlds. There is an element of essay writing, so an ability to express knowledge and understanding in writing is helpful. Everything is read in English – there is no need for any knowledge of Latin or Greek.

Course Content:

At AS there are two units:

1. Greek Sculpture and Architecture

A study of the ‘Greek Revolution’, 150 years which transformed western art forever and during which architectural styles were developed in Greece which became fundamental to building design for the next two millennia.

2. The Odyssey

The second work of western literature (after the Iliad), the story of Odysseus, the Trojan War, the Wooden Horse, and the hero’s return from Troy to his wife and son is an eternally popular adventure story. We study why this text has become a classic, and we explore key themes such as justice and revenge, leadership and heroism, marriage and fidelity, the divine and human responsibility.

A2 candidates take AS and then two further units:

3. Greek Tragedy

Four tragedies of Sophocles and Euripides are studied in relation to their original performances in the Theatre of Dionysus in Athens in the fifth century BC. Based on stories from Greek mythology, Athenian tragedy presents larger-than-life characters and explores powerful tensions within relationships, especially family relationships, within strict genre conventions.

4. Roman Epic

On the surface, Vergil’s Aeneid tells of the adventures of the Trojan prince Aeneas who sails to Italy with other refugees from Troy in order to found the city which will one day become Rome. However, uniquely, Vergil’s epic poem represents both an expression of the history and imperial values of Roman society under the emperor Augustus, and also a universal expression of sympathy for the downtrodden and defeated.

Assessment Method:

AS units consist of two 1 hour 30 minutes written papers worth 65 marks.

A2 units consist of two 1 hour 30 minutes written papers worth 75 marks.

How will I be taught?

Lessons on Greek sculpture and architecture involve learning new skills of observation and analysis, and applying this within a historical narrative of development. Visual material can be viewed in class using photographs and plans, but there will also be two trips to the British Museum and the Cambridge Museum of Classical Archaeology to see key works of art in the round. Literary set texts are studied through independent and class reading. Exam-style questions and essays are set regularly. Your teachers will ensure that you know and can recall the core facts relevant to your topics. However, once this is done, class discussion and debate always form an enjoyable aspect of this course.

Where can it lead?

Classical civilisation combines well with English literature, religious studies, history and Latin, or could provide a contrast with other subjects (e.g. sciences) in order to broaden one’s education. If you have been successful at classical civilisation, you will have proved that you can enter upon a new area of study and learn the technical vocabulary and skills that are appropriate to it. You will have shown that you can write clearly and express complex ideas in a concise, logical and well-organized way. Classical civilisation could lead on to a degree in classical studies, ancient history, archaeology, or English at university. It may well be of interest to students considering architecture. Many doors will be open, and the skills developed through this course will be applicable in a range of employment areas, while your knowledge of Greek and Roman culture will always remain with you.

Head of Department: G E Gilbert

Computer Science

Examining Board:

AQA

Minimum entry requirements:

GCSE grade A in mathematics. GCSE grade B or above in a modern language preferred.

A Level Course Content:

  1. Fundamentals of programming
  2. Fundamentals of data structures
  3. Fundamentals of algorithms
  4. Theory of computation
  5. Fundamentals of data representation
  6. Fundamentals of computer systems
  7. Fundamentals of computer organization and architecture
  8. Consequences of uses of computing
  9. Fundamentals of communication and networking
  10. Fundamentals of databases
  11. Big Data
  12. Fundamentals of functional programming
  13. Systematic approach to problem-solving
  14. Non-exam assessment – the computing practical project

Assessment Method:

Paper 1 On-screen exam: 2 hours 30 minutes, 40% of A Level

  • What’s assessed:
    • A student’s ability to program, as well as their theoretical knowledge of computer science from subject content 1-4
  • Questions
    • A series of short questions and write/adapt/extend programs in an electronic answer document provided by the School

Paper 2 Written exam: 2 hours 30 minutes, 40% of A Level

  • What’s assessed:
    • A student’s ability to answer questions from subject content 5-12
  • Questions
    • Compulsory short-answer and extended-answer questions

Non-exam assessment 75 marks, 20% of A Level

  • What’s assessed:
    • The student’s ability to use the knowledge and skills gained through the course to solve a practical problem. Students will be expected to follow a systematic approach to problem-solving as mentioned in subject content 13

How will I be taught?

We have an excellent range of practical electronic and physical resources for use in computer science. Up-to-date textbooks are used and a wide variety of materials from sources such as the British Computer Society, Computing at School and others. The A Level course is delivered by two experienced A Level teachers per class, offering students specialist knowledge and variety in teaching style and delivery of the course.

Where can it lead?

Our computer science A Level students have gone on to study a variety of subjects at university level and beyond – computer science, mathematics, computer technology, forensics and others. Many of our students go straight from university into highly-paid employment with international corporations such as Shell or Crédit Suisse.

Head of Department: J A Hillman

Design: Graphic Communication or 3D Design

Examining Board:

AQA

Minimum entry requirements:

GCSE design and technology or art and design and a genuine interest in design.

A Level Course Content:

  1. Personal investigation
  2. Externally-set assignment

Assessment Method:

  1. Personal investigation
    • No time limit
    • 96 marks
    • 60% of A Level
  2. Externally-set assignment
    • Preparatory period and 15 hours supervised time
    • 96 marks
    • 40% of A Level

How will I be taught?

The design A Level course is a two year linear qualification. Students begin the course at the start of Year 12 and will only gain an A Level qualification at the end of Year 13. Two teachers work with each group, and each shares responsibility for their specialism: graphic communication or 3D design. Students will be led through a structured programme in Year 12 to cover key skills, techniques & processes in their specialist areas, which will ultimately enable students to confidently embark on their exam projects in Year 13 (see table below). Students are expected to take leadership of their work under the careful guidance of their teachers and should develop their work independently outside of the classroom. Progress will be routinely and systematically monitored using four assessment objectives:

  • AO1 Develop their ideas through sustained investigations
  • AO2 Experiment with and select appropriate materials
  • AO3 Record in visual and/or other forms
  • AO4 Present a personal, informed and meaningful response

The externally-set assignment is issued in January of the exam year when preparation work is carried out ready for the exam in June. All preparation work can be taken into the exam room.

Where can it lead?

Careers in graphic design, interactive media, illustration, motion graphics, product design, architecture, theatre design, environmental design, interior design, and all forms of craft.

Head of Department: Miss D Cracknell

Drama

Examining Board:

AQA

Minimum entry requirements:

You should have a good range of experience of drama for this course. GCSE drama is not a requirement, but is an advantage. GCSE grade B or better in English would also be beneficial.

A Level Course Content & Assessment Method:

  • Component 1- Drama and theatre
    • Knowledge and understanding of drama and theatre
    • Study of 2 plays
    • Evaluation of the work of live theatre makers
  • Component 2 – Creating original drama
    • Devised piece influenced by the work and methodologies of one prescribed practitioner
  • Component 3 – Making theatre
    • Practical exploration and interpretation of extracts taken from 3 plays
    • Methodology of a prescribed practitioner will then be applied to Extract 3 which is performed as a final assessed piece

Assessment Method:

  • Component 1- Drama and theatre
    • Written exam – 3 hours
  • Component 2 – Creating original drama
    • Performance and working notebook
  • Component 3 – Making theatre
    • Performance and reflective report

How will I be taught?

The emphasis of the course is that it is taught through practical experience. There are opportunities for all students to experience live theatre throughout the two years and students are encouraged to take part in the thriving extra-curricular life of the department. All practical examination work is supported by the state-of-the-art Seckford Theatre and students are able to work with the School’s resident academic technician in order to develop their work in a professional context. Written work is supported by theory lessons as well as regular essay tasks which prepare candidates for the written examination.

Where can it lead?

Many students have gone on to read drama as part of either a single or joint honours drama degree. A number of students have also gone on to train at prestigious drama schools such as Central School of Speech and Drama, LAMDA and Mountview Academy. Woodbridge School has produced a considerable number of successful actors and actresses, many of whom have gone on to perform in the West End, with the RSC, as well as on television and in film.

Drama provides excellent communication skills, which are vital in all careers. It can also be a launching point for various arts-based opportunities.

Head of Department: Miss G Mayes

Economics

Examining Board:

OCR

Minimum entry requirements:

Grade B in mathematics and grade B in English language at GCSE or equivalent. There is no requirement to have studied business studies at GCSE.

A Level Course Content:

  1. Microeconomics
    • Scarcity and choice
    • How competitive markets work
    • Competition and power
    • Labour market
    • Market failure and government intervention
  2. Macroeconomics
    • Economic policy objectives
    • Aggregate demand and aggregate supply
    • Application of policy instruments
    • The global context
    • The financial sector
  3. Themes in economics

Assessment Method:

  • Units 1 and 2
    • Examination
      • A 2 hour paper comprising of data response questions plus two essays from a choice of four
  • Unit 3
    • Examination
      • A 2 hour paper that will consist of multiple choice questions and an extended data response question
  • Quantitative skills will be 20% of the assessment at A Level

How will I be taught?

There is bound to be a degree of formal teaching in a subject that is new to all students. However, once economic principles have been understood, lessons will frequently involve discussion and application of theory through interactive methods and more formal written questions. It is vital that students think for themselves and practise the application of economic theory to real world issues. The quality press is a vital source of information in a subject that is topical and therefore students are encouraged to read widely. The use of relevant economics and news websites is also actively encouraged.

Where can it lead?

Economics is a subject requiring much logical analysis and is therefore highly favoured by many degree courses such as law, business and management in addition to further study of the discipline itself. There are many and varied careers in which an economics education is useful, such as finance, civil service and local government.

Graduates in economics earn more on average than other graduates. Furthermore, an understanding of resource allocation and the workings of the economic system are essential to modern business. Anyone intending to be involved in management of any size of business should have an insight into economic principles.

Head of Department: R E Fernley

English Literature

Examining Board:

OCR

Minimum entry requirements:

GCSE or IGCSE grade B in English language and English literature

A Level Course Content:

1. Drama and poetry pre-1900

a. Shakespeare (30)

b. Drama and poetry pre-1900 (30)

For Shakespeare you might study Hamlet or Measure for Measure, answering one question on a passage and one on the play as a whole. For the drama and poetry, you might work on Webster’s The Duchess of Malfi and Chaucer’s The Merchant’s Tale, or Ibsen’s A Doll’s House and Rossetti’s Selected Poetry. These paired texts will be written about together, providing scope for interesting comparisons

2. Comparative and contextual study

a. Close reading in chosen topic area (30)

b. Comparative and contextual study from chosen topic area (30)

For comparative and contextual study you will study two texts from a topic or distinct genre. This might be a study of the gothic genre reading Stoker’s Dracula and Carter’s The Bloody Chamber. Alternative genres are dystopia, women in literature, the immigrant experience, American Literature 1880-1940. Half of this unit will comprise a wider study of the chosen genre using extracts and samples to prepare students for work on an unseen passage in the examination

3. Literature post-1900

a. Critical piece OR re-creative piece with commentary (15)

b. Linked texts essay (25)

For the course work, students produce two pieces of work, the first a 1000-word essay or re-creative piece plus commentary on one text, the second, a 2000-word essay exploring comparisons and contrasts between two texts. All three texts must have been published after 1900 and include a poetry, a prose and a drama text, one of which must have been published after the year 2000. For example, you might study three texts on the theme of War Through Time or Irish Literature or Young Women

Assessment Method:

Units 1

  • Examination
    • Written paper
    • Closed text, 2 hours 30 minutes
    • 60 marks or 40% of the A Level

Unit 2

  • Examination
    • Written paper
    • Closed text, 2 hours 30 minutes
    • 60 marks or 40% of the A Level

Unit 3

  • Course work
    • Internally assessed
    • 40 marks or 20% of the A Level

How will I be taught?

The course enables students to enjoy reading and discussing English literature, and to increase their understanding of what the study of literature involves. The emphasis is on developing the confidence to respond independently to a wide range of texts in depth, both through close reading, a variety of critical approaches, and an appreciation of the contexts in which literary texts are written and understood. As the students develop an understanding of modern critical theory, for example, they will also be helped to improve their writing in order to capture the depth and complexity of the ideas raised in discussion and through reading and analysis.

The A Level course is delivered by two A Level teachers per class, offering students specialist knowledge and variety in teaching style and delivery.

Where can it lead?

An Advanced GCE in English literature is welcomed as a qualification for many careers, and provides a very wide range of opportunities for courses in the arts, humanities, media and communications at degree level. English literature can also be a valuable contrast to scientific, technological and economics-based subjects, opening up greater breadth of interest, range of reference and facility with ideas and language.

Head of Department: Dr A Renshaw

Fine Art

Examining Board:

Edexcel

Minimum entry requirements:

The fine art A Level course is a two year linear qualification. Students begin the course at the start of Year 12 and will only gain an A Level qualification at the end of Year 13. However the A Level fine art course here at Woodbridge includes (as part of its course work unit) an AS Level qualification in photography. This means that the graduating student in fine art will gain two qualifications: an AS Level in photography and an A Level in fine art.

A Level Course Content:

  1. Fine art skills foundation coursework
  2. Photograph skills foundation coursework
  3. Coursework preparation and development
  4. Externally-set “exam” units (practical coursework)
  5. Completion of a 1000-word written dissertation

Assessment Method:

  • Course work = 60%
  • Exam = 40% of total marks

How will I be taught?

There is a distinct step up from GCSE in terms of content and skills to study fine art at A Level. It is likely that candidates will have studied a qualification such as a GCSE in art and design.

Fine art requires engagement with aesthetic and intellectual concepts through the use of traditional and/or digital media, materials, techniques and processes for the purpose of self expression, free of external constraints. Fine art may be created to communicate ideas and messages about the observed world, the qualities of materials, perceptions, or preconceptions. Fine art allows us to consider and reflect on our place in the world.

For the purposes of this qualification, fine art (including photography) is subdivided into the following five disciplines: painting and drawing, printmaking, sculpture (including textiles) and lens-based art. Students will be required to work in two or more of these disciplines to communicate their ideas and will be expected to work independently for the majority of the time. There is no “house style” and the student is free to find their own solutions to assessment objectives, guided and encouraged by a team of artist teachers. Progress will be routinely and systematically monitored.

Where can it lead?

Transferable skills offered by the course, beyond becoming a better, more knowledgeable skilled artist, include:

  • Non-routine problem-solving – expert thinking, and creativity.
  • Critical thinking – such as analysing, synthesising and reasoning skills and creative argument.
  • ICT literacy – access, manage, integrate, evaluate, construct and communicate.
  • Communication – active listening, oral communication, written communication, assertive communication and non-verbal communication.
  • Relationship-building skills – teamwork, trust, intercultural sensitivity, self-presentation and social influence.
  • Adaptability – ability and willingness to cope with the uncertain, handling work stress, adapting to different personalities, communication styles and cultures.
  • Self-management and self-development – ability to work remotely, autonomously, be self-motivating and self-monitoring, willing and able to acquire new information and practice. Students can progress from this qualification to:
  • Higher education courses such as a BA Honours degree with an art and design focus or a BTEC Higher National Diploma.
  • Further education courses such as a Foundation Diploma in art and design.
  • Apprenticeships or other training.

Head of Department: H J Tebbutt

Further Mathematics

Examining Board:

OCR

Minimum entry requirements:

GCSE or IGCSE grade A*. Further mathematics can be studied only in addition to mathematics.

Course content:

Y12

  1. Core Maths 1
  2. Core Maths 2
  3. Core Maths 3
  4. Core Maths 4
  5. Mechanics 1
  6. Decision Maths 1

These modules constitute an A Level in mathematics, although this will not be certificated at this stage

Y13

  1. Further Pure Maths 1
  2. Further Pure Maths 2
  3. Further Pure Maths 3
  4. Statistics 1
  5. Mechanics 2
  6. Statistics 2

These modules are one of the possible combinations for A Level further mathematics. Some modules can be aggregated into either mathematics and further mathematics, but this is done automatically to the candidate’s best advantage

Assessment Method:

All units are assessed by examination

How will I be taught?

The mathematics and further mathematics course is delivered by either two or three teachers with fourteen periods per week in total, using computer simulations and software where appropriate to aid a student’s understanding. There is full and proper preparation for each examination with every member of the department happy to offer students extra help.

Where can it lead?

This is a challenging and stimulating course aimed at the best young mathematicians. The mathematics covered is required not only for mathematics degrees but is also hugely beneficial for some science, computing and engineering courses. An A Level in further mathematics will give the student a major advantage over those who have not studied it and will lead to a much more advanced understanding of mathematics.

Head of Department: J M Allen

Geography

Examining Board:

OCR

Minimum entry requirements:

None. GCSE geography grade B minimum is useful, but candidates without it will be considered individually.

Course Content:

Year 1 Core Content:

  • Physical Themes
    • Water/carbon cycles
    • Landscape systems
  • Human Themes
    • Global systems
    • Changing places

Year 2 Non-core Content:

  • People-environment issues
  • Physical system and processes
  • Geographical skills – independent investigation

Assessment:

Year 1: Written examination

Year 2: Written enquiry

How will I be taught?

Each unit is delivered by teachers who are experienced in their fields. A wide variety of methods is used with up-to-date resources including videos, maps, photographs, textbooks and ICT packages. Field work is an integral part of the course and the local environment is used extensively. Geography is the best subject on Earth! That is what it is all about; your world, what it is like, the issues that it faces, the impacts that we have on it and that it has on us.

The exam syllabus to be followed is not yet known. All exam boards are still in draft proposals. However, all must have a core content equally divided between physical and human geography, a teacher-assessed independent investigation worth 20% of the total and a minimum of four days fieldwork.

Where can it lead?

Anywhere! Geography degrees (with the potential to specialise in either physical or human areas); other science-based courses such as oceanography, geology, conservation, engineering and meteorology. Humanities courses; international development; law; planning; business. The skills and knowledge gained lead to careers in a wide range of professions.

Head of Department: Miss J A Gill

History

Examining Board:

AQA

Minimum entry requirements:

GCSE grade B in history and a high grade in English language or English literature. For students who have not studied GCSE history, each case will be assessed on its merits.

A Level Course Content:

  1. Tsarist and Communist Russia 1855–1964
  2. Religious conflict; England c1529–c1570
  3. Historical investigation

One essay from:

Douglas Haig and the British Army 1801-1945

The causes of the English Civil War 1529-1642

The late Medieval Church 1377-1517

The causes of war 1815-1939

Assessment Method:

Units 1 and 2: examinations

Unit 3: Coursework essay

How will I be taught?

Teaching methods are wide ranging. Whole-class Powerpoint presentations, coupled with question and answer discussions, will be teacher-led, but students are keenly encouraged, and given the opportunity, to join in and also to lead their own seminars. Equal emphasis is attached to taking sides in the various historical arguments and persuading (or undermining) opponents in debate, fact-finding missions, unlocking murders and mysteries, skills-specific tasks and the use of contemporary computer software and DVDs to research, share opinions and present findings. Preparatory study will centre primarily upon reading, taking notes, preparing for seminars, writing essays and document responses.

Where can it lead?

History is one of the facilitating A Levels so is highly regarded by selecting universities. It lends itself to most degree courses but especially to history, law, politics, journalism, sociology, anthropology and criminology. Former historians have even been known to become information technology consultants! More usually they make excellent lawyers, detectives, politicians, diplomats, journalists and business leaders of all descriptions. Famous history graduates include John F. Kennedy, Gordon Brown, Sacha Baron Cohen, Prince Charles, Michael Portillo, Shakira, Louis Theroux, Bruce Dickenson, Mike Atherton and Jonathan Ross. Many of the world’s top businesses have also been headed by a disproportionately large number of historians; Anita Roddick (founder Body Shop), Chris Hughes (co-founder Facebook), Donna Dubinsky (CEO Palm), Samuel Palmisano (CEO IBM), Carly Fiorina (president and CEO Hewlett-Packard), Howard Stringer (chairman and CEO Sony), Richard B. Fisher (chairman Morgan Stanley), Lee Lacocca (CEO Chrysler), Charles Sennott (co-founder Global News), Ben Silverman (co-chairman NBC and NBC TV), James Kilts (CEO Gillette).

Head of Department: N E Smith

Latin

Examining Board:

OCR

Minimum entry requirements:

GCSE Latin at grade A or equivalent.

A Level Course Content:

Latin Language (2 papers)

  • Unseen Translation
  • 1 hour 45 minutes
  • 100 marks

Prose Composition or Comprehension

  • 1 hour 15 minutes
  • 50 marks

Latin Literature (2 papers)

  • Prose Literature
  • 2 hours
  • 75 marks

Verse Literature

  • 2 hours
  • 75 marks

Assessment Method:

  • The Unseen Translation question paper has two sections:
    • A: candidates will translate a passage of unseen prose into English
    • B: candidates will translate a passage of unseen verse into English and scan two lines of verse
  • The Prose Composition or Comprehension question paper has two sections, either:
    • A: candidates will complete a short translation, answer comprehension questions and grammar questions; or
    • B: candidates will translate a passage English, of at least 100 words, into Latin
  • In the Prose Literature question paper candidates answer comprehension questions, set text translation and analysis questions on the texts that they have studied, also drawing upon the additional reading they have done in English
  • In the Verse Literature question paper candidates answer comprehension questions, set text translation and analysis questions on the texts that they have studied, also drawing upon the additional reading they have done in English

How will I be taught?

Teaching is usually done in small groups. Much of the grammar will have been taught at GCSE, but this is thoroughly revised and extended at A Level, with the aim of increasing reading fluency of Latin texts. You will regularly be given graded passages of Latin prose and verse for unseen translation in order to build up your translation skills. You will also read a range of Roman authors in the original Latin and in this way you will build confidence in your awareness and understanding of vocabulary, accidence and syntax and also gain a deeper insight into Roman culture. To this end, extended reading in English will be done alongside your studies of Latin texts. In studying Latin literature, you will be reading authors such as Cicero, Seneca, Virgil and Ovid. You will learn to evaluate and respond to these works of Latin literature, analysing the authors’ use of language and thus extending the literary critical skills that you developed at GCSE.

Where can it lead?

Latin is a very highly regarded A Level and is recognized as a marker of exceptional academic ability. By learning to read sophisticated literary texts in the original language, and by acquiring mastery of a highly inflected language purely through its grammatical rules, you will demonstrate to university admissions tutors and future employers that you have a supple and powerful mind and that you have developed a broad range of critical and analytical abilities. Latin combines well with English, history, classical civilisation, modern languages and, interestingly, mathematics. Latin can be studied as classics alongside Greek at universities such as Oxford and Cambridge. Latin can also be of great benefit for those taking degrees in English, history, comparative literature, linguistics, and modern languages. Latin is particularly valued by faculties of law, as Latinists have been solidly trained to analyse texts with precision and to express thoughts and ideas clearly and coherently.

Head of Department: G E Gilbert

Mathematics

Examining Board:

OCR

Minimum entry requirements:

GCSE or IGCSE at least grade A. Experience suggests that candidates with only a grade B struggle to cope at AS Level.

Course Content:

AS At AS there are three units:

  1. Core Maths 1
  2. Core Maths 2
  3. Mechanics 1

A2 A2 candidates take AS and then three further units:

  1. Core Maths 3
  2. Core Maths 4
  3. Statistics 1

Assessment Method:

All assessment is by examination

How will I be taught?

The course is delivered by two teachers during eight periods per week using computer simulations and software where appropriate to aid a student’s understanding. There is full and proper preparation for each examination with every member of the department happy to offer students extra help if they ask.

Where can it lead?

Mathematics A Level is a hugely sought-after qualification and the Russell Group universities have listed it as one of their facilitating subjects that equip students with the skills and knowledge to undertake courses at some of the most competitive universities. The problem-solving skills that it develops are applicable to most aspects of modern life and it is perhaps most important for potential applicants to economics, engineering, scientific and computing courses.

Head of Department: J M Allen

Modern Languages

French, German, Spanish

Examining Board:

AQA

Minimum entry requirements:

GCSE grade B in the language to be studied, though GCSE grade A/A* is a better indicator of success at A Level.

A Level Course Content:

Module Content Assessment Method

Paper 1: Listening, reading and writing

  • Aspects of Hispanic society
  • Artistic culture in the Hispanic world
  • Multiculturalism in Hispanic society
  • Aspects of political life in Hispanic society
  • Grammar

Paper 2: Writing

  • one text and one film
  • grammar

Paper 3: Speaking

  • An individual research project
  • One of four sub-themes ie Aspects of Hispanic society or Artistic culture in the Hispanic world or Multiculturalism in Hispanic society or Aspects of political life in Hispanic society

Assessment Method:

  • Written exam: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Listening, reading and translation
  • 160 marks in total
  • 40% of A Level

Paper 2: Writing

  • Written exam: 2 hours
  • Two essays (300 words each in the target language): one on the film, one on the novel
  • 90 marks in total
  • 30% of A Level

Paper 3: Speaking

  • Oral exam: 21-23 minutes (including 5 minutes preparation time)
  • 60 marks in total
  • 30% of A Level

How will I be taught?

Eight lessons per week shared by two language teachers, plus one lesson per week with the language assistant who is a native speaker of the target language. Much use will be made of Kerboodle, an Internet-based software package, produced by the publisher Nelson Thornes, along with a plethora of other online resources. Grammar is reviewed in the first instance, and topics relating to aspects of society, culture, multiculturalism and political life are taught and consolidated in a variety of ways. Film and literature are also examined and students are expected to research a topic of their own choice which is discussed in the oral.

Where can it lead?

Entry to any good university to study a degree course in the language(s), including a year abroad. Alternatively, a proven record in advanced language learning allows access to new languages such as Russian, Mandarin or Arabic. Language skills support success in many academic courses (with study abroad through the EU Erasmus scheme) and those, along with other advantages such as cultural sensitivity, lead to success in a wide variety of professional careers.

Head of Department: Mrs L R Chandler (MFL & Spanish/French), S D Richardson (German)

Music

Examining Board:

Edexcel

Minimum entry requirements:

A high level of practical performance. GCSE grade B in music is a minimum.

A Level Course Content:

There are 3 components:

  1. Performing (minimum standard grade 7 Associated Board or equivalent) 30%
  2. Composing: 2 compositions totalling a minimum of 6 minutes in length
    • Composition 1: a free choice piece or based on a free choice of a brief, at least 4 minutes in length
    • Composition 2: a composition from a list of briefs assessing techniques (e.g. Bach Chorale, 2-part counterpoint, etc.), at least 1 minute in length
  3. Appraising: developing musical understanding through:
    • listening on set works from 6 areas of study: vocal music, instrumental music, music for film, popular music, fusions, new directions in 20th century music, including a short dictation exercise
    • analysis through listening of an unfamiliar work based on one of the areas of study
    • comparison of an unfamiliar piece and one of the set pieces through listening

Assessment Method:

Component 1

  • A solo or ensemble (or a mixture of the two) recital of a minimum of 8 minutes. This can be on any instrument or voice

Component 2

  • Composition 1 – Coursework
  • Composition 2 – Controlled conditions coursework in the final term of the exam year

Component 3

By examination using a personal CD player. Short and medium length questions for Part A. Extended writing for Part B, requiring an ability to place the music in its historical and social context

How will I be taught?

Composition via the use of Sibelius software, often one-to-one. Analysis of set works in traditional framework class lessons. Practice in writing essay questions. Listening extracts for response. Harmony often in one-to-one sessions as well as group teaching.

Where can it lead?

Degrees in music, performing courses at conservatoires, arts management, performing and teaching.

The Edexcel Music A Level is, as yet, still uncertain in parts and is awaiting final accreditation by Ofqual.

Head of Department: J R Penny

Physical Education

Examining Board:

AQA

Minimum entry requirements:

It is not a requirement that you should have studied GCSE PE, but candidates should have at least a grade B in biology or additional science. First-team, club or county-level sport is mandatory as either a player/performer or coach.

A Level Course Content:

Paper 1: Factors affecting participation in physical activity & sport

  • Section A: Applied Anatomy
  • Section B: Skill Acquisition
  • Section C: Sport & Society Section A, B & C: multiple choice, short answer & extended writing (35 marks each)

Paper 2: Factors affecting optimal performance in physical activity & sport

  • Section A: Applied Anatomy
  • Section B: Skill Acquisition
  • Section C: Sport & Society Section A, B & C: multiple choice, short answer & extended writing (35 marks each)

Non-exam assessment:

Practical performance in physical activity & sport

  • Students are assessed as a performer or coach in the full-sided version of one activity
  • Plus: written/ verbal analysis Internal assessment, external moderation

Assessment Method:

Paper 1: Factors affecting participation in physical activity & sport

  • Section A, B & C: multiple choice, short answer & extended writing (35 marks each)
  • Written paper, 2 hours, 105 marks 35% of A Level

Paper 2: Factors affecting optimal performance in physical activity & sport

  • Section A, B & C: multiple choice, short answer & extended writing (35 marks each)
  • Written paper, 2 hours, 105 marks 35% of A Level

Non-exam assessment:

Practical performance in physical activity & sport

Students are assessed as a performer or coach in the full-sided version of one activity

  • Internal assessment, external moderation
  • 90 marks
  • 30% of A Level

How will I be taught?

The A level specification will equip students with both a depth and breadth of knowledge, understanding and skills relating to scientific, socio-cultural and practical aspects of physical education. This will require them to:

develop theoretical knowledge and understanding of the factors that underpin physical activity and sport and use this knowledge to improve performance

understand how physiological and psychological states affect performance

understand the key socio-cultural factors that influence people’s involvement in physical activity and sport

understand the role of technology in physical activity and sport

refine their ability to perform effectively in physical activity and sport by developing skills and techniques by selecting and using tactics, strategies and/or compositional ideas

develop their ability to analyse and evaluate to improve performance

understand the contribution which physical activity makes to health and fitness

improve as effective and independent learners and as critical and reflective thinkers with curious and enquiring minds.

play to their strengths and gain dynamic theoretical and practical skills for further education or work.

Subject content:

Applied anatomy and physiology

Skill acquisition

Sport and society

Exercise physiology

Biomechanical movement

Sport psychology

Sport and society and the role of technology in physical activity and sport

Where can it lead?

Degrees in sports science, physiotherapy, teaching, sports journalism, sports media and many more professions.

Head of Department: Miss N L Sanders

Physics

Examining Board:

OCR Physics B

Minimum entry requirements:

GCSE grade A in physics or additional science is strongly recommended. Grade A in GCSE mathematics is also highly desirable.

A Level Course Content:

The course is divided into 6 modules, two cover the skills required for practical work and analysis of results and four theory modules. The modules cover the following topics:

SI units, Newton’s Laws of Motion, estimation, awareness of limitations of physical measurements, vectors, scalars, mechanics, circular motion, electric circuits (including capacitance), waves, kinetic theory, quantum and nuclear physics, and fields (electric and gravitational)

Assessment Method:

Assessment is by three examinations which assess content from all 6 modules:

Component 1 – fundamentals of physics 2 hours 15 minutes written paper (110 marks)

Component 2 – scientific literacy in physics 2 hours 15 minutes written paper (100 marks)

Component 3 – practical skills in physics 1 hour 30 minutes written paper (60 marks)

There is also a practical skills component which is assessed separately on a pass/fail basis. This does not contribute to the final A Level grade

How will I be taught?

Teaching will be shared between two experienced teachers in our well-equipped laboratories. The emphasis will be on practical work, observation and data collection, leading to understanding the underlying concepts and using knowledge and information in problem-solving. You will have access to a range of digital resources including kerboodle containing the electronic version of the textbook and Fronter, the School’s VLE, with a range of study materials and revision guides. Both Fronter and Kerboodle are accessible anywhere through an internet connection.

Where it can lead?

Why physics? ‘Physics is important….it has no limits – everything in your life, on this planet, other planets, to the far reaches of the universe and beyond, is in physics’. Professions in engineering, energy, scientific research, medicine, dentistry, meteorology, and more, are all enhanced by having an A Level in physics. Many non-scientific careers value the analytical abilities and problem-solving skills that an A Level in physics develops.

Additional information on the course can be obtained from the following website: http://www.ocr.org.uk/Images/171729-specificationaccredited-a-level-gce-physics-b-advancing-physics-h557.pdf

Head of Department: J C Bauer

Philosophy

Examining Board:

AQA

Minimum entry requirements:

Candidates for philosophy should have a minimum of grade A at GCSE in nearly all subjects taken. This gives a chance of success at A Level.

Course Content:

  • At AS there are two units:
    • Epistemology (perception, realism, idealism, knowledge, empiricism, rationalism)
    • Philosophy of religion (the concept of God, arguments for the existence of God, the problem of evil, religious language)
  • A2 candidates take AS and then two further units:
    • Ethics (utilitarianism, deontological ethics, Aristotelian virtue ethics, ethical language)
    • Philosophy of mind (dualism, materialism, behaviourism, functionalism, eliminative materialism)

Assessment Method:

One 3 hour written examination paper

How will I be taught?

There is no better way of learning philosophy than by doing philosophy. This involves reading, discussing, arguing, rationalising, criticising, thinking and writing. Through a range of texts, exercises, arguments and thought experiments, we pose the most perplexing and fundamental questions known to mankind. And then we encounter the most ingenious solutions, challenging thoughts and profound ideas put forward by the greatest thinkers.

Where can it lead?

A qualification in philosophy is immensely useful to most areas of study and professional avenues, but it is of particular value in the fields of law, journalism and education and the humanities in general.

Head of Department: M Davis

Psychology

Examining Board:

AQA

Minimum entry requirements:

GCSE grade B in biology or additional science, mathematics and English.

A Level Course Content:

Unit 1

a) Social influence: conformity and authority, considering Milgram and Zimbardo

b) Memory: how we remember and what it is that makes us forget, with particular reference to eye-witness testimony

c) Attachment: the implications of poor attachment in infancy, infant-caregiver interactions and how these might influence development in later life

d) Psychopathology: the symptoms, causes and treatments of obsessive compulsive disorder, phobias and depression

Unit 2:

a) Approaches in psychology: the origins of psychology and the work of the early psychologists such as Wundt, Watson, Freud, Pavlov, Skinner, Maslow and the five main approaches to understanding human behaviour

b) Biopsychology: our behaviour stems from how we are affected by our biological environment, investigating the nervous system, the brain and the effect of medications, injury

c) Research methods: psychological theory and ideas that have been arrived at by much investigative research. Psychological methodology will be tested in the examination. Investigations will be carried out and all students will be expected to conduct an extended piece of research to gain experience

Unit 3:

a) Issues and debates in psychology: “are we free to choose our behaviour?” “Is my behaviour the result of my biology or my upbringing?” We aim to answer these amongst other questions

b) Gender: what is it that makes a little boy more active and/or aggressive than a little girl? Is it our genetics and biology or our upbringing?

c) Schizophrenia: this topic looks at the symptoms and types of schizophrenia, the possible causes and the treatments that are available

d) Forensic psychology: what is a crime? Some crime may be a crime in the UK, but not elsewhere; why? We will touch on offender profiling as well as explanations for crime and treatments of criminals

Assessment Method:

Paper 1:

Introductory topics in psychology written exam: 2 hours 96 marks in total 33.3% of A Level multiple choice, short answer and extended writing, 24 marks each

Paper 2:

Psychology in context written exam: 2 hours 96 marks in total 33.3% of A Level multiple choice, short answer and extended writing, 24 marks each

Paper 3:

Issues and options in psychology written exam: 2 hours 96 marks in total 33.3% of A Level multiple choice, short answer and extended writing, 24 marks three further topics from different sections, multiple choice, short answer and extended writing, 24 marks each

How will I be taught?

Teaching and learning in psychology are a mixture of:

Teacher-led classroom discussion in which notes based on worksheets should be taken.

Student-centred learning in which students will be asked to research topics and to report back, perhaps in a presentation. This is often accomplished in small groups.

Small research projects to demonstrate ideas or concepts and learn the methodology.

Where can it lead?

About a quarter of those who study psychology at A Level at Woodbridge go on to study psychology at university; criminal psychology is currently very popular. Other courses pursued are education, nursing, business, advertising and marketing as well as law enforcement and the armed forces. Not surprisingly, the study of psychology equips you for any profession in which you might have to deal with other people!

Head of Department: A P Jackson

Religious Studies

Examining Board:

Edexcel

Minimum entry requirements:

You should have at least a B grade in English language or English literature, and just as important – an open and enquiring mind.

The new revised specification allows students to explore three key areas that together could be described as theology.

These are:

  • Philosophy of Religion
    • The areas of study will be: philosophical issues and questions; the nature and influence of religious experience; problems of evil and suffering; philosophical language; works of scholars; influences of developments in religious belief.
  • Religion and Ethics
    • The areas of study will be: significant concepts in issues or debates in religion and ethics; a study of three ethical theories; application of ethical theories to issues of importance; ethical language; deontology; virtue ethics and the works of scholars; medical ethics: beginning and end of life issues.
  • New Testament Studies
    • The areas of study will be: the social, historical and religious context of the New Testament; texts and interpretation of the Person of Jesus; interpreting the text and issues of relationship, purpose and authorship; ways of interpreting the scripture; texts and interpretation; the Kingdom of God, conflict, the death and resurrection of Jesus; scientific and historical-critical challenges, ethical living and the works of scholars.

A Level Course Content:

1. Philosophy of Religion

2. Religion and Ethics

3. New Testament Studies

Assessment Method:

1. Philosophy of Religion

  • Written examination: 2 hours
  • 33.33% of the qualification, 80 marks
  • Section A – Three short, structured questions
  • Section B – Two extended-response questions on an unseen passage
  • Section C – A choice of two extended essay questions

2. Religion and Ethics

  • Written examination: 2 hours
  • 33.33% of the qualification, 80 marks
  • Section A – Three short, structured questions
  • Section B – Two extended-response questions on an unseen passage
  • Section C – A choice of two extended essay questions

3. New Testament Studies New Testament

  • Written examination: 2 hours
  • 33.33% of the qualification, 80 marks
  • Section A – Three short, structured questions.
  • Section B – Two extended-response questions on an unseen passage
  • Section C – A choice of two extended essay questions

How will I be taught?

The course helps develop a holistic understanding of religion and it facilitates enquiry into, and develops insightful evaluations of, ultimate questions about the purposes and commitments of human life, especially as expressed in philosophy, ethics and religion. The A Level encourages students to make connections so that in each field of study they understand the influences over time of developments in religious beliefs and practices, the philosophy of religion, religious ethics and/or textual interpretation.

Students are taught by two members of staff. One will cover the philosophy unit and part of the ethics unit. The other member of staff will cover the second part of the ethics unit and the New Testament unit. In addition, students will also present seminars and produce at least one extended essay every two weeks and time is set aside for reading round the subjects. This is essential to the learning process and students are expected to use this time effectively.

Where can it lead?

The course can lead on to a degree in philosophy or theology. However, a major skill that is developed through this course of study is the ability to critically analyse, to assess concepts and to formulate an argument. These are skills that are easily transferable to any higher level of study.

Head of Department: The Reverend Canon I A Wilson

Sociology

Examining Board:

AQA

Minimum entry requirements:

You should have at least a B grade in English language or English literature, and just as important – an open and enquiring mind.

A Level Course Content:

  1. Crime and deviance
  2. Education
  3. Culture and identity
  4. The media

Assessment Method:

Paper 1: Education with theory and methods

  • Examination
    • Education: short answers & extended writing = 50 marks
    • Methods in context: extended writing = 20 marks
    • Theory and methods: extended writing = 10 marks

Paper 2: Topics in sociology (culture and identity; the media)

  • Examination
    • Culture and identity: extended writing = 40 marks
    • The media: extended writing = 40 marks

Paper 3: Crime and deviance with theory and methods

  • Examination
    • Crime and deviance: short answers & extended writing = 50 marks
    • Theory and methods: extended writing = 30 marks

How will I be taught?

Do you find yourself questioning why people commit crime? Perhaps you ponder how people gain their identity? Or maybe you want to understand why you are in education and question what the role and function of education is in the twenty-first century. If these questions intrigue you then perhaps sociology is the subject for you!

The new revised sociology specification has a central focus on contemporary UK society; however this can often be understood through the study of other cultures too. You will learn about the two core threads that run through many areas of social life: socialisation, culture and identity and social differentiation, power and stratification. In addition, by the end of the course you will understand the significance of conflict, consensus, social structure and action and be able to apply sociological research methods to the study of each unit – hence the category of social science – it has a social aspect but uses research to underpin its findings.

You will be encouraged to have an active involvement with the research process, in other words carry out small-scale sociological research to find sociological explanations for these issues as well as engage in theoretical debate. The key skills that you will gain from this subject are under the following assessment objectives:

  • AO1 – detailed knowledge and understanding of sociological theories, concepts and evidence; sociological research methods.
  • AO2 – application of sociological theories, concepts, evidence and research methods to a range of issues.
  • AO3 – analysis and evaluation of sociological theories, concepts, evidence and research methods leading to you being able to present arguments, make judgements and draw conclusions.

Where can it lead?

Sociology is an academically demanding subject regarded as an acceptable A Level by universities. A qualification in sociology acts as a good foundation for further study in the social sciences or related subjects, such as history, law, business and psychology. Typically, people with a sociology A Level or degree gain employment in careers that involve working with people. Some of the more popular choices include: law, police, teaching, journalism, personnel management, social work, nursing and marketing.

Head of Department: The Reverend Canon I A Wilson