GCSE Options Guide
Your son/daughter will begin Year 10 at the start of the next school year. Every pupil in Year 10 is given an individual timetable which is best suited to his or her interests, abilities and vocational goals.
During Years 10 and 11 your son/daughter will study at GCSE level. GCSE courses are sometimes referred to as Key Stage 4 (KS4). The KS4 curriculum is made up of:
A number of compulsory examinable subjects (total 6) coded here as CORE.Exd
Subjects that will be followed but not examined at GCSE level, coded COREn/exd
The pupils are then invited to choose three further subjects, coded OP.SUB, to make up their complement of 9 GCSE subjects
As you can imagine, there are too many possible combinations to allow a completely free choice so, following consultations with pupils and staff, an option pattern will be issued from which your son/daughter must then choose his or her option subjects.
We try to compile the best option pattern for the pupils but it will be obvious that with the limitations of time and resources, students will not be able to have a completely free choice and some may be disappointed that not all of their chosen subjects are available to them.
Enclosed in this brochure are details of the option subjects we could provide if there is sufficient demand. We will not run a course, however, if the numbers are too low.
Pupils should read the brochure and talk to staff. I will soon be asking them where their interests lie so that we can compile an option pattern.
The Year 9 Parents Evening will be held virtually on Wednesday, 20 January 2021 via MS Teams from 5.50pm – 8.15pm and any parents of pupils who are undecided or would like further advice about option choices will have the opportunity to seek further guidance at this event.
Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can be of further help at this preliminary stage.
1 Assessment will be mainly by exam, with other types of assessment used only where they are needed to test essential skills. Coursework or Controlled Assessments occur only in a few subjects.
2 The content is now more demanding and has been developed by the Government and the exam boards.
3 Courses are designed to be taught over two years and pupils will take all of their exams at the end of their course.
4 Resit opportunities are only available each November in English Language and January in Mathematics. Any other resits will have to be taken in the July of the following year.
From September 2021, all GCSE subjects now follow the new specifications as per the curriculum reforms.
The GCSE grading scale of 9 to 1 will be used, with 9 being the top grade. This allows greater differentiation between pupils and will now serve to distinguish the new GCSEs from previous versions.
To give you some idea as to the difference, the equivalent grades under the old grading system of A*- G are:
9 = A**
8 = A*
7 = A
6 = B
5 = C+
4 = C-
3 = D
2 = E/F
1 = G
CORE SUBJECTS CODE: CORE.Exd
Examined at Key Stage 4 (GCSE)
GCSE Double Science (2x GCSEs)
Separate Sciences (students will be invited into this group by the Head of Science)
Core Modern Foreign Language
CORE SUBJECTS CODE: CORE.N/Exd
Not examined but an integral part of the Key Stage 4 programme
Careers Information and Guidance
OPTION SUBJECTS CODE: OP.SUB
These courses, leading to GCSE certification, are run if demand is sufficient
Food Preparation & Nutrition
Sport and Physical Education
Spanish (as a second language in addition to the core language choice)
The Curriculum Support Department exists to support pupils throughout their time at Lincoln Minster School. Those who have had support at Key Stage 3, will probably also benefit from help to navigate their way through GCSEs.
Pupils may already have dropped languages, or may select a limited number of options on top of their core subjects. In both cases, pupils will devote that free option time to curriculum support.
The focus will be very much on helping pupils to:
Manage time and their GCSE workload
Understand course content
Learn how to make effective notes both inside and outside the classroom
Use those notes to create a revision pack
Explore a variety of memory techniques and revision strategies
Prepare for tests and exams
We will also help pupils to:
Give the right balance of time to each subject, depending on subject strength, and deadlines to meet.
Organise ideas and plan essay/assignment/report/research with mind maps and planning flow charts.
Most importantly, we will help pupils to become more independent in their study, in self-monitoring output and performance, and preparing for study beyond GCSE at Lincoln Minster School.
This can seem a daunting process, but the Curriculum Support Department can help to steer pupils in the right direction.
Even if they take the full set of subjects at GCSE, if pupils need drop-in sessions just to keep on track, we can help.
Come and see us to talk through the options
In addition to their option choices, some pupils will continue to benefit from:
ESOL or English for Speakers of Other Languages is a subject we offer for anyone who needs it. This includes international pupils, as part of their Tier 4 visa requirements.
We aim to make our teaching of ESOL fun, lively, interactive but also rigorous. Pupils are given practice IELTS examinations in reading, writing, speaking and listening at least twice a year and the vast majority of them improve by at least one IELTS level overall each year.
This gives them the very best opportunity to reach the standard needed to attain their chosen university place.
We also support pupils with English needed in their other subjects and help them with writing applications for the next step in their education. We have recently introduced an extra speaking qualification - Trinity- which gives an additional focus on functional speaking and listening skills.
By ensuring that pupils can function at a high academic level in the English Language, we play an important role in pupils’ future success, at A Level and beyond.
Levels 9 - 4
There are two GCSE examinations available: English Literature and English Language. Most pupils undertake the study of both but for a small number, we may advise them to take the English Language only qualification. This contains many elements of literature study but will offer them more time to focus on success in English Language.
International pupils may take either English Language GCSE or the Cambridge iGCSE in English Language or the Cambridge PET qualification. This depends on the level of their English as assessed by their English as a Second Language (ESOL) teachers.
GCSE English Language
Summary of Assessment
There is no internal written assessment (coursework) in the new English Language GCSE. The course leads to two examinations designed to test the full range of pupils’ reading and writing skills:
Paper 1 - Explorations in Creative Reading and Writing
Time allowed: 1 hour 45 minutes
This examination accounts for 50% of pupils’ overall GCSE English Language grade and tests pupils' abilities to understand and produce fictional writing.
Paper 2 - Writers’ Viewpoints and Perspectives
Time allowed: 1 hour 45 minutes
This examination accounts for 50% of pupils’ overall GCSE English Language grade and tests pupils’ abilities to understand and produce non-fiction writing.
Pupils must also deliver a ten minute presentation to their class which is recorded. A separate grade is given for Speaking rather than it forming part of the English Language GCSE grade but it is an essential part of the qualification.
National Average = 80%
National Average = 71%
GCSE English Literature
Summary of Assessment
There is no internal assessment (coursework) of GCSE English Literature. The course culminates in two examinations:
Paper 1 - Shakespeare and the Nineteenth Century Novel
Time allowed: 1 hour 45 minutes
This examination accounts for 40% of pupils’ overall GCSE English Literature grade.
Pupils study one of the following Shakespeare texts: Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, The Tempest, The Merchant of Venice, Much ado about Nothing, Julius Caesar.
Also, one of the following nineteenth century novels: The strange case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, A Christmas Carol, Great Expectations, Jane Eyre, Frankenstein, Pride and Prejudice or The Sign of Four.
Paper 2: Modern Texts and Poetry
Time allowed: 2 hours 15 minutes
This examination accounts for 60% of pupils’ overall English Literature grade.
Pupils study one of the following drama or prose texts: An Inspector Calls, Blood Brothers, The History Boys, DNA, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, A Taste of Honey, Lord of the Flies, Telling Tales, Animal Farm, Never Let Me Go, Anita and Me and Pigeon English.
Also, one of the two AQA collections of poetry on the themes of either: Love and Relationships or Power and Conflict
Pupils also need to answer questions on poetry they have not seen before.
Both Papers 1 and 2 are closed book examinations – pupils are not allowed copies of any set texts during the exams.
In Year 10 pupils will embark on the new iGCSE examination, which will be assessed in January with a resit opportunity in June of Year 11. They will be awarded a grade from 1 up to 9. The examinations are rigorous but pupils are properly prepared for them. In the January examination pupils have a very good opportunity to achieve a top grade. If this does not happen, however, then they have the opportunity to resit in June.
Pupils will be entered for the Higher Tier which is designed for those candidates who are expected to achieve grades 4 to 9.
Candidates who fail to achieve a grade 4 (equivalent to the old C) at the higher level may still be awarded a grade 3 (new D). Last year everyone achieved a four or above.
Pupils will follow the EDEXCEL course. Currently the scheme of assessment consists of two, 2 hour papers each worth 50% of the total marks.
Both of the exam papers are calculator papers. The pupils have two attempts sitting in January of Year 11 and they have an opportunity to boost their grade by sitting it again in June.
Progression to A Level
About 50% of pupils normally achieve a 7, 8 or 9 (equivalent of A or A*) so pupils wishing to study Mathematics at A Level should aim at achieving at least a ‘7’ grade at GCSE Higher Level. They should also attend as many revision sessions in Year 11 as possible to ensure they have very few gaps in their knowledge. Those pupils who achieve considerable success in January start the A Level course early.
Grade 9 - 4
Pupils start the AQA GCSE Science Trilogy course in Year 9. Initially they all study the first modules of the Trilogy course. An internal exam at the end of Year 9 allows a decision to be made about setting for Year 10. All pupils study Science at KS4 with aspects of Biology, Chemistry and Physics taught by specialist teachers in all disciplines.
Some of our most scientifically minded pupils may be offered the opportunity to study some extra aspects of the Science curriculum in order to gain three GCSE grades in the separate Sciences (Biology, Chemistry and Physics). Others will study Combined Award Science which covers aspects of Biology, Chemistry and Physics and leads to two GCSE grades. Although the pupils will be in sets from the start of Year 10 a final decision about which exams the pupils will sit is not made until Year 11 after they have completed their end of Year 10 mock examinations.
Candidates taking both the Dual Award and the Separate Awards will have the experience necessary to progress to appropriate Level 3 (which include A Level) qualifications.
All courses are offered at both Foundation Level or Higher Level with the grading system for dual award being from 9,9 - 1,1 with 9,9 being the highest. The Higher Tier awards grades from 9,9 – 4,3 and the Foundation Tier awards grades from 5,5 - 1,1. The double number reflects the fact that Science is a double GCSE. Pupils taking Separate Sciences would get three separate single grades.
The qualification is linear which means that pupils will sit all their exams at the end of the course. There are six papers: two Biology, two Chemistry and two Physics. Each of the papers will assess knowledge and understanding from distinct topic areas.
Further information on the course can be found on the AQA website: http://www.aqa.org.uk/
Modern Foreign Languages
(CORE.Exd & OP.SUB)
Studying a Modern Foreign Language at GCSE is a core component of a KS4 pupil’s curriculum. Pupils may choose French or Spanish.
Pupils wishing to study both languages will choose French here as their Core Language and Spanish as one of their Options (OP.SUB).
Subject Content (French/Spanish)
Exam Board - AQA
Pupils study all of the following themes on which the assessments are based.
Theme 1: Identity and culture.
Theme 2: Local, national, international and global areas of interest.
Theme 3: Current and future study and employment.
GCSE Spanish/French has a Foundation Tier (Grades 5-1) and a Higher Tier (Grades 9-4). Pupils must take all four question papers at the same tier. All question papers must be taken in the same series.
Paper 1: Listening
Understanding and responding to different types of spoken language.
Written exam: 35 minutes (Foundation Tier) 40 marks
45 minutes (Higher Tier) 50 marks
25% of GCSE
Paper 2: Speaking
Communicating and interacting effectively in speech for a variety of purposes.
Non-exam assessment: 7 - 9 minutes (Foundation Tier) + preparation time
10 - 12 minutes (Higher Tier) + preparation time
60 marks (for each of Foundation and Higher Tier)
25% of GCSE
Paper 3: Reading
Understanding and responding to different types of written language.
Written exam: 45 Minutes (Foundation Tier)
1 hour (Higher Tier)
60 marks (for each of Foundation and Higher Tier)
25% of GCSE
Paper 4: Writing
Communicating effectively in writing for a variety of purposes.
Written exam: 1 hour (Foundation Tier) 50 marks
1 hour 15 mins (Higher Tier) 60 marks
25% of GCSE
The careers department aims to empower pupils, through information, advice and guidance to begin their career journeys with enthusiasm and confidence. Pupils are helped to discover their interests and develop their strengths during Key Stage 4, so they feel positive about their next steps. Pupils receive careers lessons with the Head of Careers in PSHE where they discuss their values and ambitions. Over this time they develop an understanding of the factors that will impact on their future careers and how this will help them find meaning and happiness in their wider life.
The aim of an effective Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance programme is to help students to:
Understand themselves better and develop their capabilities
Acquire the skills necessary for making realistic decisions
Make choices about their own career paths, continuing education and training.
Be aware of education, training and career opportunities Post 16
Manage transitions to new roles and situations
“I am easily accessible for a quick chat with the pupils, or available for longer guidance sessions.
With the support of the Pastoral team I work to get to know every young person and support them towards identifying their strengths and values and making sure they have the skills to begin their career planning.”
The Careers Support I had was excellent with supporting my next steps and helping me make my application as strong as it could be.
My careers interview with Mrs Longstaffe helped me organise my thoughts and supported me with my career planning.
Pastoral care at Lincoln Minster School underpins everything that we do and, alongside high-quality teaching and learning, is what ensures the success and personal development of the children in our care, so they flourish academically and socially.
Pupils make the transition into KS4, where possible, under the care and guidance of their KS3 form tutor and Head of Year. The knowledge tutors acquire of their tutee’s achievements, abilities and wellbeing lower down the school is invaluable in helping to support them in this new phase of their school journey. Form tutors remain the first port of call for any academic or social worries, and have the experience to signpost to other sources of help when necessary. Tutors continue to meet as a team with the relevant Head of Year each week with the Head of Year providing further pastoral care and interventions as appropriate.
However, the role of the Form Tutor is not just one of reacting to problems that might arise. They will also be proactively encouraging their tutees to involve themselves in the co-curricular life of the school. For example, we encourage Key Stage 4 pupils to train as Peer Mentors, to join our Social Action and Charity Groups, to apply to become House Captains and to act as academic mentors to younger pupils. In the case of busier pupils who may have multiple commitments across departments, tutors will also help to monitor their academic study and any pressures and conflicting commitments.
In Year 11, pupils will receive academic mentoring from a member of the SLT. This aims to support academic progress and guide pupils through post-16 choices.
There are times when the inevitable ups and downs of teenage life and exam pressure might require more specialist intervention and it is not unusual for a period of counselling to be helpful for our KS4 pupils. We can provide discreet, weekly, in school access to two experienced counsellors for any pupil who requires it.
Tutor time at KS4 remains a key medium through which pupils build skills and develop attributes that support academic and personal progress. Each Form Tutor has the flexibility to adopt their own routine in tutor time to cover the areas of wellbeing, organisation and current affairs. Their routine may include quizzes, mindfulness techniques, debates on current affairs or topics that are important to the pupils.
Personal Development remains a vital part of developing well-rounded pupils. Our Personal Development provision at KS4 is delivered in taught sessions by our specialist teachers. Your child will study topics in 3 key areas: Personal wellbeing and Relationships, Citizenship and Careers. Our taught lessons are supported by external agencies and individuals delivering workshop style sessions. Sessions have been delivered by agencies such as the Counter Terrorist Unit, Positive Health, Lincoln Street Pastors, Think 2 Speak, NCS and Young Addaction.
In this nurturing atmosphere pupils thrive. As well as growing naturally in confidence, KS4 pupils are happy to embrace new challenges and take on increasing responsibilities. As a result, they are well prepared for the next stage of their education, with self-awareness, intellectual curiosity, resilience and compassion – attributes essential for success and fulfilment in their future lives.
Pastoral Care & PSHE
We offer a huge variety of over 100 co-curricular clubs and activities at our Senior School. These vary from sports, such as Cricket and Horse Polo, to Robotics and Drama club.
A number of these clubs run within the school day during Enrichment periods.
Full details and a timetable of the clubs and activities we offer can be found on our website.
In addition to options subjects, pupils will continue to benefit from a programme of sports and physical activities throughout the academic year delivered during Games lessons.
Co-Curricular & Enrichment
Many pupils choose three creative subjects
Art, Graphic Design and Photography.
GCSE Art is a natural progression from Key Stage 3 and pupils are presented with opportunities for objective, analytical, imaginative and expressive practical responses to the work of artists and crafts persons.
Throughout the course pupils will acquire a visual language enabling each individual to gather resources and materials, using them to stimulate and develop ideas, exploring both the potential of two and three dimensions working on a variety of scales.
Levels 9 - 7
Pupils will develop an understanding of the work of artists, craft people and designers, applying this knowledge to their own work.
Areas of study include ceramics, sculpture, drawing and painting, printmaking and graphics.
Pupils are encouraged to attend Life Drawing sessions during Year 11.
We offer two residential study trips to Paris/London/Italy/Berlin and Amsterdam to enhance coursework operating biannually.
Candidates are required to submit a Portfolio of practical work with written analysis and annotation. This can include a mixture of the areas of study outlined above, or candidates can focus on one area e.g. drawing and painting. Candidates will produce a portfolio of practical work showing their personal response to starting briefs and stimulus.
Coursework is split into major projects from which your best work is presented for final assessment. The topics change year on year. Examples of previous projects include.
Jenny Saville expressive portraits and figurative work exploring large format painting drawing and sculpture.
Portraiture and Grayson Perry. Landscapes, and the concept of Distortion.
The Mock Exam replicates the preparation process and exam conditions that candidates will experience for the externally set task (80 marks) 10 hours 40% of the total GCSE.
Externally set task 80 marks 10 hours (40%)
Preparation commences in January of Year 11.
The Exam Board sets a wide choice of stimulus questions well in advance to allow for meaningful preparation. Early in the main examination period, candidates spend 10 hours, spread over two days to put their ideas into final execution.
“I was delighted to see my 15 year old bring home art books in the search for inspiration …. seemed to spend quite a lot of time sketching… the subject gave a lot of satisfaction and also gave rise to much self-criticism.”
Year 10 particularly appreciate the freedom to express their own ideas."
Business Studies is an exciting and modern course for a modern world, aimed at pupils who want to learn something new and diverse. Many pupils want to run their own business and aspire to be entrepreneurs. This course will give you a broad introduction to businesses, their relationship with the economy, global issues and their impact on society.
Unit 1 - This unit looks at the purpose of business activity, the role of business enterprise and entrepreneurship and the dynamic nature of business. Pupils will develop an understanding of how the real world impacts on business decisions.
Unit 2 - This unit looks at the importance of external influences on business and how businesses change in response to these influences.
Unit 3 - Pupils will be learning about production methods and controlling the costs of production. As well of the provision of services and how they influence business activity.
Unit 4 - Pupils will learn about Human resource issues facing businesses, such as recruitment and selection and motivation and paying of staff.
Unit 5 - This unit looks at the use of market research, the marketing mix and how this is used to solve business problems as well as how it influences business activity.
Unit 6 - Pupils will be learning about financial decision making, cash flow and budgeting. Pupils who enjoy Maths will particularly enjoy this unit as the pupils will have to analyse financial accounts and ratios.
The course is of direct relevance to the real world; it provides a bridge between your educational needs and the needs of life after school.
Paper 1 - Influences of operations and HRM on business activity
Paper 2 - Influences of marketing and finance on business activity
Both papers are 105 minute written examination.
The papers consist of three sections.
Section A – multiple choice and short answer questions worth 10 marks
Section B – one case study stimuli with questions worth approximately 40 marks
Section C - one case study stimuli with questions worth approximately 40 marks
The course is delivered in many ways, ranging from debate, group presentations, and case study material. The course will focus on many different types of business in both the public and private sectors, of different size and stature.
The department consistently gains excellent grades with many pupils choosing to continue the subject at A level and beyond.
This course is an excellent progression for the new A Level Business Studies courses. From there many pupils opt for a business and management related degree course at university, including combinations with languages, politics, art and design and other social sciences. Since 2016 we have had four pupils go on to undertake business and accountancy school leaver programmes with the John Lewis Partnership, Grant Thornton and Mazars and Marks and Spencers.
Computing is of enormous importance to the economy and the role of Computer Science as a discipline itself is expanding rapidly. Computers are all around us in almost every walk of life, from the games we play to the way we communicate, from the design of products to their manufacture. We live in a digital society where advances in technology are growing at an ever-increasing rate.
Computer Scientists are at the forefront of this rise where they invent, develop, design, adapt, maintain and produce the hardware and the software that we use every day.
Professionally qualified, technology aware individuals, are in are in high demand by businesses in a diverse field ranging from engineering to gaming.
Structure of the course
Exam (1.5 hours)
Computational thinking, algorithms and programming
Exam (1.5 hours)
Unassessed (20 hours)
Component 001 - Computer Systems
Introduces pupils to the central processing unit (CPU), computer memory and storage, wired and wireless networks, network topologies, system security and system software. It also looks at ethical, legal, cultural and environmental concerns associated with Computer Science.
Component 010 - Computational thinking, algorithms and programming
Pupils apply knowledge and understanding gained in Component 001. They develop skills and understanding in computational thinking: algorithms, programming techniques, producing robust programs, computational logic, translators and data representation, including the binary and hexadecimal number systems. The skills and knowledge developed within this component will support the learner when completing the Programming Project.
Component 011 - Programming project
Pupils use the Programming Project task to develop their practical ability in the skills developed in the other two components. They will have the opportunity to define success criteria from a given problem, and then create suitable algorithms to achieve the success criteria. Pupils then code their solutions in a suitable programming language (our language of choice is Python), and check its functionality using a documented test plan. Finally, they will evaluate the success of their solution and reflect on potential developments for the future.
Pupils will be offered 20 hours timetabled time to complete their Programming Project. The Programming Project does not count towards a candidate’s final grade but is a requirement of the course.
We follow the Edexcel course, which gives opportunities for pupils to explore Drama as a performer, director, designer and critic. The course will stretch and challenge pupils, but will also equip candidates with many skills, which are valuable beyond Drama, and indeed, beyond school. Pupils will learn to communicate, work independently, and to think critically and objectively. Drama pupils tend to be motivated, ambitious for themselves and others, able to empathise, and good team players.
Devising from a stimulus - pupils will create a devised performance from a given stimulus. Then analyse and evaluate the work by creating a portfolio of evidence. Pupils can also opt to be assessed on a technical option such as costume design, lighting or sound.
The portfolio must be between 1500-2000 words.
Performance from text - pupils will perform 2 key extracts from a performance text as part of a group. Candidates can also opt to be assessed on a technical option such as costume design, lighting or sound.
This will be externally assessed by a visiting examiner.
Written exam - pupils practically study and perform a text, to be confirmed. Then answer an exam question based on the play and write an evaluation of a live theatre performance under timed exam conditions.
Assessment as follows - Devising 40%; Scripted 20% and Written exam 40%
In our increasingly technology-driven society, electronics is a very relevant subject to our everyday lives. It also continues to be a growth area in our economy.
GCSE Electronics is an ideal course for anyone with an interest in electronics or who might be considering a future in engineering.
It is a very practical subject with a real emphasis on circuit designing and building.
Structure of the course
The course is assessed through three units of work:-
Discovering Electronics - Exam (1½ hours) 40%
Applications of Electronics - Exam (1½ hours) 40%
System design and realisation - Controlled Assessment 20%
This unit covers the theory behind electronics systems and the various components that make up the majority of electronic circuits. Through theory and practical work, pupils will learn what they need to be able to design effective analogue and digital electronic circuits.
Applications of Electronics
This unit covers the understanding and use of a range of fundamental circuits such as amplifiers, timing circuits and digital control circuits. Pupils will learn through designing, building and testing a wide array of circuits. Another important aspect of this unit is to learn to program micro controllers, such as those that are used to control domestic appliances, car systems, aircraft, etc.
System design and Realisation
This controlled assessment unit encourages pupils to work independently to research, design and build a system of their own choosing. This is a significant part of the course that will reinforce the skills already learned as well as provide opportunities for students to take their learning in a direction that interests them.
Electronics is a practical subject with tangible links to systems and devices that pupils are familiar with in the own lives. It is a creative subject that encourages and develops problem solving and logical thinking skills. These skills are beneficial to everyone and are transferable to many other subject areas and career paths.
This course will provide an excellent grounding in electronics for anyone considering a future in any of the engineering disciplines. It can also lead on to A Level Electronics which is a course we would hope to run from September 2021.
Food Preparation and Nutrition is an exciting and creative course which focuses on practical cooking skills to ensure pupils develop a thorough understanding of nutrition, food provenance and the working characteristics of food materials. At its heart, this qualification focuses on nurturing students’ practical cookery skills to give them a strong understanding of nutrition.
The core aims of the course are:
Demonstrate effective and safe cooking skills through planning a variety of techniques utilising a range of equipment
Understand the functional properties and chemical processes through nutritional content of food and drinks
Understand the relationship between diet, nutrition and health, identifying the effects of a poor diet
Understand the economic environment, ethical and socio-cultural influences
Demonstrate the functional properties of food, sensory qualities and microbial food safety
Explore a range of ingredients and processes from different culinary traditions
Develop an interest in the creative aspects of food
Promote enjoyment of food
Make connections between theory and practice
Apply knowledge and understanding to other subjects
The programme of study is split into two parts, as follows:
Paper 1: Written Examination
One written paper that represents 50% of the GCSE. The examination is 1 hour 45 minutes in length and is taken in Year 11.
What is assessed?
Theoretical knowledge of food preparation and nutrition from Sections 1-5.
Food Preparation & Nutrition
Content for GCSE
Food preparation skills integrated into five sections:
1. Food, nutrition and health
2. Food science
3. Food safety
4. Food choice
5. Food provenance
How is it assessed?
Written exam: 1 hour 45 minutes. Taken in Year 11.
Multiple choice questions (20 marks)
Five questions each with a number of sub questions (80 marks)
Two tasks - Represents 50% of GCSE - Food investigation
Task 1: Food investigation - Pupils' understanding of the working characteristics, functional and chemical properties of ingredients.
Task 2: Food preparation assessment - Pupils' knowledge, skills and understanding in relation to the planning, preparation, cooking, presentation of food and application of nutrition related to the chosen task.
Pupils will prepare, cook and present a final menu of three dishes within a single period of no more than three hours, planning in advance how this will be achieved.
Grade 9 - 6
Geography GCSE follows the AQA syllabus and allows pupils to:
Develop and extend their knowledge of locations, places, environments and processes at different scales and of social, political and cultural contexts
Gain understanding of the interactions between people and environments, change in places and processes over space and time, and the interrelationship between geographical phenomena at different scales and in different contexts
Develop and extend their competence in a range of skills including those used in fieldwork, in using maps and Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and in researching secondary evidence, including digital sources whilst developing their competence in applying sound enquiry and investigative approaches to questions and hypotheses
Apply geographical knowledge, understanding, skills and approaches appropriately and creatively to real world contexts, including fieldwork, and to contemporary situations and issues; and develop well-evidenced arguments drawing on their geographical knowledge and understanding
The 6 areas of Geography studied throughout the GCSE course will be:
Develop competence in Maps, Fieldwork and Geographical Skill
Place: processes and relationships
Physical geography: processes and change
People and environment: processes and interactions
Human geography: processes and change
Topics covered in GCSE Geography
Ecosystems, Tropical Rainforests, Urban Issues & Challenges: Rio de Janeiro and Bristol, Tropical Storms, Extreme Weather in the UK and Climate Change, Energy, Coastal Landscapes in the UK, River Landscapes in the UK, Changing Economic World, Tectonic Hazards, and Challenge of Resource Management.
GCSE Geography has a specific focus on the geography of the UK. However, case studies include local, national and international locations.
Fieldwork in GCSE Geography
There is no controlled assessment/coursework in the new Geography GCSE, however, fieldwork experiences will be assessed in a terminal written examination in the summer of Year 11.
Fieldwork is completed during a residential visit in the Trinity term of Year 10 or the Michaelmas term of Year 11 and costs around £200 (inclusive of transport, teaching, accommodation, food and equipment). The opportunity to take part in the bi-annual residential international visit (currently Iceland) will remain an optional fieldwork experience. (GCSE pupils who do not take part in the international visit will not be disadvantaged in any way).
Assessment of the GCSE will be by terminal examination at the end of the two year course in Summer 2022. Pupils will sit three Geography examinations; one testing fieldwork skills and findings and the remaining two focusing on the taught areas of the course.
Paper 1 (90 mins): Living with the Physical Environment - 35% of GCSE
This exam covers: Natural hazards, Tropical Rainforests and Cold Environments, UK River and Coastal Landscapes and Geographical skills.
Paper 2 (90 mins): Challenges in the Human Environment - 35% of GCSE
Urban issues and challenges, Changing Economic World, Resource Management and Geographical skills.
Paper 3 (75 mins): Geographical Applications - 30% of GCSE
Issue evaluation - based on a pre-release booklet, Fieldwork and Geographical skills
GCSE Graphics involves pupils exploring a range of digital illustration, text and image manipulation techniques.
Throughout the course, pupils learn to respond practically to a variety of design briefs, using traditional and digital media. We use the latest industry standard software Adobe Creative Cloud 2018, which includes Photoshop for digital image and text manipulation and Illustrator for vector illustration.
Technology is therefore an integral part of the course underpinning the outcome of most projects, in one way or another. Pupils do not necessarily need to have any knowledge of the software package above mentioned.
Pupils are offered two residential study trips to Paris and London to enhance coursework operating biannually, however those who do not take part will not be disadvantaged in any way.
Coursework: Portfolio 120 marks (60%)
This unit is a non exam assessment (internally assessed and externally moderated)
Candidates are to submit a Practical Portfolio of work entitled 'Text and Image' showing research, development of ideas and final outcomes.
Externally set task 80 marks 10 hours (40%)
Preparation commences in January of Year 11.
The Exam Board sets a wide choice of stimulus questions well in advance to allow for meaningful preparation. During the examination period, candidates spend 10 hours spread over two days, putting their ideas into final execution.
GCSE History pupils at Lincoln Minster School study Edexcel's History course. It is assessed through examinations at the end of Year 11.
Paper 1: Thematic study and historic environment
Written examination: 1 hour and 15 minutes; 30% of the qualification.
Crime and punishment in Britain, c1000 - present.
This unit gives pupils an excellent overview of British society and government over the last one-thousand years using crime and punishment as a linking theme. Pupils consider how British society developed over time and how government responses to crime changed. They will also investigate changes such as the impact of William the Conqueror on Saxon justice, issues such as trial by ordeal, witchcraft, smuggling, the ‘Bloody Code’, prison reform and the introduction of a police force.
Whitechapel, c1870–c1900: crime, policing and the inner city
This unit is an exciting focus on East-End London in the late nineteenth-century. Pupils learn about inner-city life, poverty, immigration, crime and vice, policing and the popular press with the infamous ‘Jack the Ripper’ murders as a linking case study.
Paper 2: Period study and British depth study
Written examination: 1 hour and 45 minutes; 40% of the qualification.
Early Elizabethan England, 1558 - 88.
This unit focuses on the religious, social, cultural and military experience of early Elizabethan England. Pupils study Elizabeth’s largely successful response to the massive religious divisions in England as well as England’s relations with Europe – including the Spanish Armada – and the start of England’s global exploration and empire.
Superpower relations and the Cold War, 1941–91
This unit focusses on the 'Cold War' between the capitalist USA and the communist USSR. Pupils study how Hitler’s defeat in 1945 shattered the 'Grand Alliance' and led to 45 years of spying, propaganda, 'proxy wars' and the threat of a Third World War. Students study events such as the Korean War, the Cuban Missile Crisis and the eventual end of the Cold War and collapse of the USSR between 1989 and 1991.
Paper 3: Modern depth study
Written examination: 1 hour and 20 minutes; 30% of the qualification.
The USA, 1954 - 75: conflict at home and abroad
This unit focuses on the story of the United States’ divisive post-World War II experience. Pupils study how Martin Luther King’s Civil Rights movement campaigned peacefully for equality for Black Americans but also the violent and racist response which encouraged the Black Power Movement to advocate more extreme tactics. Pupils also study America’s descent into war in Vietnam and its negative military outcomes. Alongside this pupils study how opposition to war electrified a generation into political, social and musical opposition.
Other than the remarkable human stories in the events we investigate, studying History gives an opportunity to develop skills that are important in other subjects at school, in Higher Education, at work and in life generally.
Pupils develop skills in:
Writing clearly structured, well expressed and fully focused answers
Using evidence to present a balanced argument and then make supported judgements
Using a variety of sources of information to reach and present conclusions
Considering the reliability of information
Beyond GCSE, History is considered to be a ‘keystone’ subject by universities because it has real academic rigour and the skills it develops are applicable to any academic course.
Music plays an important part in the world around us and we welcome pupils of all abilities, instruments and musical tastes to the GCSE Music course.
Pupils may be surprised to hear that GCSE Music does not only help them to specialise in playing an instrument/voice, create exciting compositions and develop listening skills. There is scientific evidence to show that studying music can help to increase the capacity of memory; music is one of the few activities that involves using the whole brain!
Music also helps to refine time management and organisational skills, boosts team working skills, teaches perseverance, enhances co-ordination, boosts mathematical ability, improves reading and comprehension, promotes social skills and reduces stress levels.
At Lincoln Minster School we are fortunate to benefit from outstanding facilities including a purpose built 200 seater recital hall, three large teaching classrooms and 15 practice rooms. There is a diverse extra-curricular music programme with regular performances in the Cathedral. The dedicated music team achieve excellent results at GCSE, often beating national averages.
Structure of the course
Exam Board - Edexcel
60% of GCSE Music is coursework
30% of this is performance. Two pieces are required, which can be on different instruments or the same one (voice counts), one of which has to be a solo with accompaniment (if required) and the other has to be an ensemble.
The other 30% is composition, comprising of one free composition and one composition to a brief set by the exam board in the final year of study.
The remaining 40% of the course is an appraising exam, based around the set areas of study. This involves studying in detail a diverse range of music including: J S Bach - Brandenburg Concerto, Purcell - Music for a While, Queen - Killer Queen, Defying Gravity from Wicked and John Williams' Star Wars Episode IV.
Regular performances at Lincoln Cathedral.
Opportunities to perform in many musical world-class venues
40% Practical (including the NEA coursework)
Two Exam Papers
A GCSE in Physical Education is simply one of the most diverse, current and ‘en vogue’ subjects on offer.
GCSE Physical Education is now becoming the subject of choice for pupils, due to the broad career options it offers. GCSE PE is also seen as one of the most sought after qualifications from an academic perspective but also from a practical point of view.
Sport, Leisure and Health is one of the fastest growing industries within the UK. Skills and knowledge in Sports Science, Sports Coaching, Physiotherapy, Sports Marketing and Leisure and Business are currently in high demand.
Topics of study:
Paper 1 - The Human Body and Movement in Physical Activity and Sport: Applied Anatomy and Physiology, Movement Analysis, Physical Training and Use of Data.
Paper 2 - Socio-Cultural Influences and Well-being in Physical Activity and Sport: Sports Psychology and Health, fitness and well-being.
The Practical element consists of three sports, either two team activities or one individual sport, or vice versa. Pupils who do well in their practical element, are those who have participated in three or more sports for the School at Key Stage 3 or have a keen involvement in sport outside of school at a competitive level.
Sports listed on the GCSE specification:
Team Activities - Association Football, Badminton, Basketball, Camogie, Cricket, Dance, Gaelic Football, Handball, Hockey, Hurling, Lacrosse, Netball, Rowing, Rugby League, Rugby Union, Squash, Table Tennis, Tennis and Volleyball.
Individual Activities – Amateur Boxing, Athletics, Badminton, Canoeing/Kayaking (slalom), Canoeing/Kayaking (sprint), Sculling, Cycling Track or Road Cycling, Dance, Diving, Golf, Gymnastics (artistic) Floor routines and apparatus only, Equestrian, Rock Climbing, Sculling, Skiing outdoor/indoor on snow, Snowboarding outdoor/indoor on snow, Squash, Swimming and Trampolining.
Specialist Team Activities – Blind cricket, Goal ball, Powerchair football, Table cricket, Wheelchair basketball and Wheelchair rugby.
Grade 9 - 7
Grade 9 - 1
WJEC EDUQAS GCSE
It is a linear course so all exams will be taken at the end of Year 11.
The GCSE Course offered by the Religious Studies department is designed to build upon and develop some of the key skills and issues looked at in the latter part of Key Stage 3 studies. It is intended to be relevant to life in the modern world, raising issues that are part of our everyday existence such as War and Peace, Relationships, Medical Ethics, the Environment in which we live and Issues of Justice and Inequality, just to mention a few.
This specification is intended to be accessible to pupils of any religious persuasion or none, and provides a broad structure for the study of the beliefs and practices of a living religion or religions, with emphasis on the educational basis of the study.
Religious Studies is about world issues that affect us all. Sooner or later everyone has to face up to the big questions of values and priorities and the meaning and purpose of our existence. Many people only begin to think about these issues when a crisis arises in their lives.
Religious Studies allows pupils to develop a coherent view of life, a sense of value and purpose, and either secure a faith of their own or a sympathetic awareness of the faith of others.
The syllabus provides an opportunity for pupils to:
The various options studied provide ample scope for studies that might contribute to students spiritual development. All modules directly address subject matter that is concerned with:
The quest for meaning in life, truth and ultimate values;
Awareness of aspects of human life other than the physical and material;
Human experiences of transcendence, awe, wonder and mystery;
The exploration of religious beliefs;
The course also provides opportunities for pupils to:
Explore their own beliefs, creative abilities, insights, self-identity and self-worth, and recognise and value the world and others.
Topics studied include:
Component 1: Religious, Philosophical and Ethical Studies in the Modern World
Issues of Relationships
Issues of Life and Death
Issues of Good and Evil
Issues of Human Rights
Component 2: Study of Christianity
Pupils will study the beliefs, teachings and practices
Component 3: Study of a World Faith
Pupils will study the beliefs, teachings and practices of Islam
Pupils will be required to sit three exams.
Component 1: A written exam of 2 hours - 50% of qualification
Component 2: A written exam of 1 hour - 25% of qualification
Component 3: A written exam of 1 hour - 25% of qualification
Pupils will use a variety of skills whilst studying GCSE Religious Studies. These include:
Recall, select and organise information in a coherent manner
Analysing information presented
The ability to argue both sides of a discussion question.
acquire knowledge and develop understanding of the beliefs, values and traditions of one or more religions;
consider the influence of the beliefs, values and traditions associated with one or more religions;
consider religious and other responses to moral issues;
identify, investigate and respond to fundamental questions of life raised by religious and human experience, including questions about the meaning and purpose of life;
develop skills relevant to the study of religion.
Levels 9 - 1
GCSE Textiles will enable students to explore a wide range of exciting and stimulating creative textile-based processes and techniques with a contemporary and modern approach, plus relevance to industrial practices.
Pupils will build on the skills learnt at Key Stage 3, but develop and expand a broader and more sophisticated range of skills, such as machine sewing and embroidery, pattern cutting and dress making, print, paint and transfer techniques, batik, resist, dyeing, as well as fabric manipulation, appliqué and quilting, plus traditional stitch work. Photography and ICT programs will also be employed to expand pupil’s knowledge and development of ideas.
Throughout the course, pupils will be encouraged to experiment and present their work in a variety of formats and to fully explore all the possibilities open to them. Pupils will develop a range of techniques necessary to fulfil the coursework and exam criteria, through their understanding of 2 and 3 dimensional textiles. Pupils will be able to study and take inspiration from a wide variety of practising textile artists and designers, applying the knowledge learnt from these sources back into their own work. Pupils are also advised to attend life drawing sessions to enhance their understanding and to consider the curriculum enrichment annual European trip if they chose.
COURSEWORK Portfolio (01) 120 marks (60%)
This unit is a non-exam assessment (internally assessed and externally moderated)
Candidates are required to submit a portfolio of practical work with written analysis and annotation. This can include a mixture of the areas of study outlined above, or candidates can focus on one area. e.g. 2D or 3D. Candidates will produce a portfolio of practical work showing their personal response to starting briefs and stimuli.
Coursework is split into major projects from which your best work is presented for final assessment. The topics can vary from year to year. Examples of previous projects include:
Stitched portraits- 2 dimensional stitched portraits exploring drawing, layering, fabric manipulation, transfer printing, carbon transfer printing, hand and machine sewing.
Punk- 3 dimensional garment construction and pattern cutting, embellishment, fabric manipulation and tailoring. Photographic fashion shoot.
Externally set task (02) 80 marks 10 hours (40%)
Preparation commences in January of Year 11.
The Exam Board OCR sets a wide choice of stimulus questions well in advance to allow meaningful preparation. Early in the main examination period candidates spend 10 hours, spread over two days to put their ideas into final execution.