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GCSE Curriculum


The course covers observing & Recording; Artist & Cultural Investigations; Developing & Refining Ideas; Creating a Final Piece/Response.  Coursework makes up 60% of the final grade, whereas the Externally Set Assignment (a project set by the exam board) makes up 40% of the final grade.

Business Studies

The course covers two core themes delivered over two years.

Theme 1 - Investigating a Small Business

Theme 2 - Building a Business 

Theme 1 looks at all aspects of a small business.  You will learn about Enterprise and the different Businesses that exist.  You will develop the ability to spot an opportunity and how to put a business idea into practise.  You will look at how to make a business effective and what will influence success and failure. 

Theme 2 provides the opportunity to understand how businesses grow, how to market and advertise and how to make effective business decisions.  You will learn about the finances in business and the human resources required to run a business.

Computer Science

The course is made up of 3 core components and delivered over two years.

Component 1 - The Principles of Computer Science.

Written examination:  1 hour and 40 minutes.

50% of the qualification and 80 marks covering the following areas: 

  • What algorithms are, what they are used for and how they work. Developing the ability to interpret, amend and create algorithms.
  • Writing program code.
  • Understanding binary representation, data representation, data storage and compression, encryption and databases.
  • Understanding of components of computer systems; learning how to construct truth tables, produce logic statements and read and interpret pseudo-code.
  • Understanding of computer networks, the internet and worldwide web.
  • Awareness of emerging trends in computing technologies, the impact of computing on individuals, society and the environment, including ethical, legal and ownership issues. 

Component 2 - Application of Computational Thinking

Written examination based on a scenario: 2 hours

50% of the qualification and 80 marks. 

This unit covers the same areas as Component 1, the focus is on encouraging the development of practical computing skills so that students can apply them to a given context. 

Component 3 - Non examined practical controlled assessment: 20 hours. 

Students will develop a computer programme.  The content for this component will draw on: 

  • Algorithms, decomposition and abstraction
  • Design, write, test and refine a program
  • Data 

Curriculum Access

Students with identified additional needs, may be invited to undertake Curriculum Access course, in the place of a GCSE Subject.  Curriculum Access is run by a Lead Teaching Assistant and is overseen by the school's SENCO.  Its objective is to reduce the pressure on those students who may struggle with a full quota of GCSEs.  it allows extra time for homework and revision, as well as the consolidation of knowledge and skills acquired in lessons.

Design and Technology

Print production techniques; Health and safety and consumer issues; CAD/CAM; Scales of production; Materials; Tools and equipment; Designer influences; Jigs, formers and moulds; Designing for different markets; The environment and sustainability; Drawing techniques; Packaging; Human factors; Quality assurance; Research and product analysis.


Year 10

Component 1: Understanding Drama: Revisiting key skills; understanding roles and responsibilities within the theatre; understanding different stage positions and configurations and study of the set text, Blood Brothers; practitioner study on Stanislavski, Brecht and Boal.  Preparation for Component 2: Devising drama.

Year 11

Component 2: Devising Drama assessment (performance and devising log); Component 3: Texts in Practice assessment (performance of scripted texts); response to live theatre (including a trip to the theatre); revision for Component 1 exam.


Year 10 – Jekyll & Hyde; Poetry; Exploring Creative Reading/Writing; Macbeth.

Year 11 – Writers’ Viewpoints and Perspectives; Lord of the Flies; Poetry.

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Nutrition, food, cooking and preparation and skills.  

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At Key stage 4, students follow the OCR A Geography GCSE specification, and are assessed at the end of year 11 with 3 separate exams. Throughout the two year course students are teacher assessed formally at the end of each unit of study with 2 mock examinations (summer of year 10 and Christmas of year 11).
Year 10: living in the UK today and physical investigation (landscapes of the UK, people of the UK, UK environmental challenges)
Year 11: The world around us and human investigation (ecosystems of the planet, people of the planet, environmental threats to our planet)


Year 10:
Units covered: American West 1835-1895; Early Elizabethan England 1558-1588; Medicine in Britain 1250-present day.
Assessments: End of unit American West test; End of unit Early Elizabethan test; Paper 2 mock (American West and Elizabeth).

Year 11:
Units covered: British Sector of the Western Front 1914-1918: injuries, treatment and the trenches; The USA 1954-1975: conflict at home and abroad.
Assessments: Paper 1 mock (Medicine and trenches); Paper 3 mock (USA home and abroad)

GCSE resources – Here is a link to the textbooks and revision material that can be purchased. We use the Pearson textbooks for each unit taught.


Number; Algebra; Ratio, Proportion & Rates of Change; Geometry & Measure; Statistics & Probability.

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Year 10 – Genre: horror, film posters and film trailers, research, planning, production and evaluation of comic.

Year 11 – Exam topic preparation (which changes every year), TV Crime Drama, theories of audience and organisations, marketing and advertising.

Modern Foreign Languages

Over the two years students will study:

Theme 1: Identity and culture: Me, my family and friends, technology in everyday life, free-time activities, customs and festivals in French-speaking countries/communities.

Theme 2: Local, national, international and global areas of interest: Home, town, local area and region, social issues, global issues, travel and tourism.

Theme 3: Current and future study and employment: My studies, life at school/college, education post-16, jobs, career choices and ambitions.

Examinations take place at the end of Year 11, although the Oral exam takes place in the Spring of Year 11.  Students will have regular GCSE style assessments throughout the course to prepare them for the final exams.

Assessment Structure:

Students are assessed in 4 skill areas; Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing, each of which makes up 25% of the final grade. Students will be entered for either the Foundation (grades 1-5) or Higher Tier (grades 4-9) in all four skills.  The Year 10 exams and Year 11 Mocks are used to decide which Tier students should enter for.


French - Viva GCSE for AQA

German - Stimmt for AQA

Spanish - Studio for AQA

Students are provided with a vocab booklet at the start of the course, which they keep and use to learn vocabulary throughout Years 10 and 11.  From September 2019 students will also be given their own grammar books.  they can write in these books and use them to practise the structures necessary for success in the new GCSE course.


Year 10 study 'Release' by Afro Celt Sound System', Defying Gravity by Stephen Swartz; Star Wars theme by John Williams; Killer Queen by Queen and Beethoven's Pathetique Sonata.

Year 11 study 'Samba el Preludio' by Esperanza Spalding' Bach's 5th Brandenburg Concerto and music for a while by Henry Purcell.

60% of the GCSE music is practical, 30% on performance and 30% on composition.

Core PE

Year 10 – Football; Netball; Basketball; Badminton; Volleyball; Hockey; Table Tennis; Exercise Activities; Rounders; Athletics and Tennis.  

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Year 11 – Football; Hockey; Netball; Basketball; Badminton; Exercise Activities; Volleyball; Rounders and Softball.  

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Theory areas covered at GCSE level are Anatomy and Physiology, movement analysis, physical training, health, fitness, well-being, sport psychology and socio-cultural influences.  Pupils also study practical areas in more depth and these include Football; Netball; Basketball; Hockey; Swimming; Athletics. Pupils will also design a Personal Exercise Plan which they will complete using different training methods.

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PSD (Personal, Social Development)

Year 10 – Finance; Citizenship; Anti bullying; SRE; Drugs education; Revision skills; Work experience; Enterprise

Year 11 – Healthy living; Finance; Employability (in conjunction with the Mock Interviews and Post 16 choices) ; SRE; Drugs education; Revision skills; Anti bullying


Year 10

Autumn Term - Beliefs and practices in Hinduism, Assessment 1.
Spring Term - Relationships and families –Christianity Peace and Conflict, Assessment 2.
Summer Term - Beliefs and Practices in Christianity, Assessment 3.

Year 11

Autumn Term - The existence of God/ultimate reality, Assessment 1.

Spring Term - Dialogue within and between religions and non-religious beliefs, Assessment 2.
Summer Term - Revision, Assessment 3.


Year 10 Combined Science and Triple (Triple topics may include additional content)

Students will cover all the Biology, Chemistry and Physics topics for Paper 1. These include: Infection and Response, Bioenergetics, Homeostasis and Response, Quantitative Chemistry, Chemical CHanges, Energy Changes, Rate of Chemical CHange, Electricity, Particle Model, Atomic Structure and Forces.

Year 11 Combined Science and Triple (Triple topics may include additional content) 

Inheritance, Variation and Evolution, Ecology, Organic Chemistry, Chemical Analysis, Chemistry of the Atmosphere, Using Resources, Waves, Magnetism and Electromagnetism.

Our schools

Clarion Academy Trust is a multi-academy and primary school Trust in South Norfolk. We aspire to excellence in all aspects of our practice. Mutual support, collaboration and challenge are key to our success. Raising standards for teaching and learning is at the core of all we do; providing students, pupils and staff with the opportunity to thrive, flourish and excel. This is a common vision for all our academies, no matter what their setting, context or circumstances.

Our schools

Clarion Academy Trust is a multi-academy and primary school Trust in South Norfolk. We aspire to excellence in all aspects of our practice. Mutual support, collaboration and challenge are key to our success. Raising standards for teaching and learning is at the core of all we do; providing students, pupils and staff with the opportunity to thrive, flourish and excel. This is a common vision for all our academies, no matter what their setting, context or circumstances.