Curriculum

Curriculum > Options

Curriculum

Options

At Northfield School, we pride ourselves on a commitment to a broad education.  We believe our curriculum represents the best possible balance for all our students and the fact that almost all of our students last year went on to further education, training or employment reinforces this.  A key part of our options guidance programme is providing identifiable pathways for our students.  By selecting within the recommended pathways, we feel confident that our students will be able to achieve their maximum potential and enable them to access Level 3 courses in further education and training.

Download the Options Booklet here.

Pathway 1 The English Baccalaureate

To recognise student achievement in a broad range of academic subjects the government has introduced the English Baccalaureate.  The English Baccalaureate includes academic subjects highly valued by leading universities. This is not a separate qualification, but recognises achievement in English, mathematics, science, modern languages and a humanities subject (either history or geography).    Students selected for this pathway must choose at least one modern foreign language and at least one humanity subject plus one further choice.

Pathway 2

Students following pathway 2 must choose one subject from the core block (French, German, history or geography) plus a further two choices from a range of subjects on offer.  Students opt for subjects within curriculum areas, staff then decide whether a BTEC or GCSE route would be the best way forward.   This does not apply to all subject areas are some are GCSE only and some are BTEC only.

Pathway 3

A small number of students are selected to follow pathway 3. Students on pathway 3 follow a foundation learning pathway.  Foundation Learning is a credit based programme.  Learners follow a personalised programme tailored to their individual needs and aspirations.  A more personalised approach encourages learners to build confidence and fulfil their own potential.

The personalised programme brings together vocational and subject learning, personal and social development and functional skills with a particular focus upon additional support in literacy and numeracy.

Curriculum Offer September 2018 (based upon a 50 period per fortnight cycle)

Mathematics
8
English
8
Science
10
PE
4
RE
2
ICT
3
Options
15 (3 x 5 hours)

AVAILABLE SUBJECTS

Core Choice Choice 1 Choice 2

French**

Art and Design

Art and Design

German**

Business

Business

Geography

Vocational Technology

Vocational Technology

History

Dance

Dance

 

Drama

Drama

 

Engineering

Engineering

 

Food Preparation and Nutrition

Food Preparation and Nutrition

 

French

French

 

German

German

 

Geography**

Geography

 

Health and Social Care

Health and Social Care

 

History**

History

 

Music

Music

 

Physical Education

Physical Education

 

D & T Product Design

D & T Product Design

 

D & T Textiles

D & T Textiles

 

D & T Graphic Products

D & T Graphic Products

 Core Choice……………………... Choice 1 …………………………………..    Choice 2 ……………………………………

Students must choose one subject from the core choice and then two further subjects.  The same subject may only be chosen once.

** Students on the English Baccalaureate pathway must choose either French or German as their core choice and then either geography or history as choice 1 plus any other subject as choice 2.

Guidance Notes 2018

It is important that students give careful consideration to their option choices as they will be following their chosen subjects for the next three years.  During this time they will follow a course of study consisting of a ‘common core’ of subjects (English, mathematics, science, P.S.C.H.E, R.E, P.E. and I.C.T.) as well as some foundation subjects.

All pupils will take examinations in English, English Literature, mathematics, science, Religious Studies and I.C.T.

Science – all pupils will take Combined Science.  This is worth two GCSE grades and allows students to access science A Level courses post 16.

ICT – all students will do either GCSE Computer Science or the Edexcel Certificate in Digital Applications. ICT subject staff will allocate students onto an appropriate pathway within ICT.

GCSE Engineering – due to the specialist nature of the course, numbers may be limited. Students must sit an entrance exam before being offered a place and must be performing well in both maths and science.  Students opting for engineering cannot choose another Design and Technology subject.

Design and Technology – students opting for Design and Technology are able to select an area of specialism for their controlled assessment work.  Specialisms are available in graphic products, textiles and product design.  They will still study and be examined upon all three aspects.

Physical Education – all students will have two hours per week of core PE. This is a non – examined course.  Those students who have an aptitude for and an interest in sport may be able to follow the GCSE PE course within the core offer time This is a 30% practical course which also has a theory exam which is worth 70% of the final grade. PE staff will discuss the appropriateness of this route with students and parents.

Pathways

Students’ forms are personalised and each student, following careful consideration, has been allocated an options pathway. By selecting subjects within the identifiable pathways, we feel more confident that pupils will be able to maximise their achievement.  This will enable them at the end of Year 11 to access Level 3 courses in further education and training.   Increasingly, the ability to achieve at higher grades is an important discriminator for both colleges and employers. . Students who do not achieve these grades must now continue to study maths and English until they are 18.

Students will receive a lot of guidance and support in completing their option forms.  We view the options process very much as a partnership between ourselves, our learners and parents and carers.