Options Available at Brannel School

There are a range of qualifications offered at Key Stage 4, many of which have undergone recent reforms. The qualifications being offered are of two main types: GCSE and Vocational Awards. Options Booklet 2020

GCSEs: There is one opportunity to sit the examination, which is at the end of the course in the summer of Year 11. Exams are graded from 9 to 1 (with a 9 being the highest). A grade 5 is a key benchmark and equivalent to a good pass at the old grade C.

Vocational Awards: These are high level vocational qualifications that focus on applied knowledge and practical skills. In most subjects there are two opportunities to sit the exam, with the best result counting towards the final grade. They are graded from Level 1 pass (equivalent to GCSE grade 1) to Level 2 Distinction* (equivalent to GCSE Grade 8). A Level 2 Pass is equivalent to a good pass at the old grade C.

Our Expectation: every student leaves with at least 8 qualifications

Brannel students are expected to achieve at least 8 qualifications, from the groups detailed below. Students choosing Geography or History must have studied this in Year 9.

Group 1. Compulsory (3 GCSEs)

English Language, English Literature, Mathematics

Group 2. Ebacc (at least 3 GCSEs)

Either Combined Science (2 GCSEs) and choose an additional one from Geography, History, Spanish or Computing

Or separate Sciences (3 GCSEs)

Subject Information
Computer Science This course is suitable if you have an interest in the latest technology, programming, ICT and electronics, coupled with strong skills and understanding in Mathematics and Physics to consider studying GCSE Computer Science as a subject.
French The course focuses on the four key skill areas: listening, reading, speaking and writing and allows you to manipulate the language across 8 different topics, enabling you to become an accomplished linguist.
Geography Geography is a subject that helps you to develop knowledge and understanding of the local area and the planet itself.  It helps you to understand the human and physical features of the world.
History The course will help you to understand some of the most important problems of international affairs which face us today. You will have the opportunity to develop the skills to look beyond the headlines, to ask well-constructed questions and to form and share your own opinion. History is a literary subject, therefore strong literacy and retention skills and are required.
Spanish The course focuses on the four key skill areas: listening, reading, speaking and writing and allows you to manipulate the language across 8 different topics, enabling you to become an accomplished linguist.
Triple Science

 

Students selecting the separate Sciences will have an interest in the subject, will study a broader range of scientific concepts, and will be awarded separate GCSE qualifications in Biology, Chemistry and Physics.

Group 3. Open (2 GCSEs or Vocational Awards)

Choose from: Animal Care, Art, Child Development, Computer Science, Construction, Design Technology, Drama, Food & Nutrition, Geography, History, Hospitality & Catering, Creative iMedia, Music, Photography, PE, Spanish, Sport, Events Management

Subject What you will study?
Animal Care You will learn about the health, safe handling and care of a range of different animals.
Art You will cover a range of Art practices exploring different mediums with a focus on developing a body of work based around artist research
Child Development The development of a child from conception to age 5, physically, socially and emotionally.
Computer Science You will learn about computer systems and programming. It will enable you to think logically and to assess and analyse problems
Construction You’ll learn about the sector, different roles and develop your practical skills.
Creative iMedia You will create and edit digital images, animations, web pages and computer games
Design Technology You will study technical and design principles and apply them to a design and make task.
Drama You will be able to develop your creative talent; study and analyse a play and production.
Event Operations You will gain an understanding of the world of events, and develop the ability to plan, run, manage and analyse an event
Food & Nutrition This is a study of food science & nutrition, also applied to practical cooking sessions.
Geography You will develop a knowledge and understanding of both the human and physical features of the world including natural hazards, rivers and coasts, ecosystems, resources and urban areas
History You will have the opportunity to develop the skills to look beyond the headlines, to ask well constructed questions and to form and share your own opinion
Hospitality & Catering You will learn about the industry and study nutrition, food safety and cooking skills
French The course focuses on the four key skill areas: listening, reading, speaking and writing and allows you to manipulate the language across 8 different topics
Music You’ll learn about the Industry, different roles and develop your musical skills
Photography You should have a talent in this subject that you want to develop
Physical Education In GCSE you should have an interest in Sports Science & able to perform highly in 3 different sports
Spanish The course focuses on the four key skill areas: listening, reading, speaking and writing and allows you to manipulate the language across 8 different topics
Sport Studies An interest in the sports sector including sports leadership and practical sports skills
Triple Science You will cover extended content in the topics included in the GCSE Combined Sciences section

Guidance on Choosing Options

At the end of Year 8 we ask students to choose between History and Geography.  This is to give students more preparation time so that they are ready to make a more informed choice at GCSE and help them with the increased content and skill requirements of these qualifications.

Important Dates

  • 28th January    Options Assembly
  • 31st January    Options Survey to be completed
  • Week beginning 10th February     Options booklet issued
  • 17th March     Parents and Options evening
  • 24th March    Option form to be completed
  • After Easter holidays     Discussions with students about their options choices
  • May   Final choices confirmed

As students choose the subjects they want to continue with into Year 10 and 11, we encourage them to take a long-term view of their future and to recognise that the decisions they make now will have an important influence on their further study and careers once they leave us.

Students begin their two-year courses in September of Year 10 and take their final examinations in Summer of Year 11. This gives them valuable qualifications for further education, training and/or apprenticeships. All students must continue in some form of education and/or training until they are 18 and many beyond this. It is therefore important that students consider what qualifications would be most suitable for their preferred Post 16 options and their future career opportunities.

Useful Links

Information and advice for Post 16 options and beyond is available through the school and you may also find these links and resources useful.

Callywith College  www.callywith.ac.uk

Cornwall College  http://www.cornwall.ac.uk

Newquay Tretherras  http://www.tretherras.net

The Apprenticeship Guide  http://www.apprenticeshipguide.co.uk

Truro and Penwith College    http://www.truro-penwith.ac.uk

UCAS  http://www.ucas.com

The Russell Group, which represents the top 24 universities in the UK, provide a useful guidance document about making subject choices at school, called Informed Choices. This is available at:

http://russellgroup.ac.uk/for-students/school-and-college-in-the-uk/subject-choices-at-school-and-college/

For any queries regarding options, please contact exams@brannel.com