GCSE Specialisms Information
Our objective is to provide a broad and balanced curriculum to stimulate and challenge all students to gain the knowledge, skills and understanding needed to open doors for them in the future in terms of further study, employment, and a lifelong love of learning. Most students will follow courses that will lead to nine GCSE or GCSE equivalent qualifications.
We have developed a curriculum to meet the needs of the full range of student interests and abilities and provide a range of appropriate accreditation, including vocational programmes to complement GCSE courses. Details of all courses offered at Alderman White are contained in this booklet. All our qualifications are approved by the Department for Education and recognised by colleges, universities, and employers.
We will provide you and your son/daughter with advice on which route we think is most suitable for them to follow and you will be able to discuss this with the Year 9 Team and Senior Leaders at a Specialism focused consultation in January. You will also find subject specific information presentations on the website, delivered by specialist staff from our school.
As you are probably aware, new GCSE specifications have been introduced over the last few years and these have now replaced the legacy GCSEs in all subjects. These courses typically involve little or no coursework and in most cases more exams taken at the end of the course. In addition, the new GCSE specifications are graded 9-1. Nationally the GCSE grading system has changed; the old system of grades, A*-G, has been replaced by a new grading system of 9-1 (with 9 being the highest).
Only Maths, Languages and Science now have tiered exam papers (Higher is Grade 9-4 and Foundation is Grade 5-1); decisions about which tier students should enter do not need to be taken until the Spring term of Year 11.
As part of our commitment to a broad and balanced curriculum, we expect all students who aspire to go on to Higher Education to take the full “EBacc”. This includes at least one Humanities and Language GCSE as well as English Literature and Language, Maths and Science (Combined or Triple). Whilst the “EBacc” is primarily an accountability measure for schools and is not an award or qualification for students, we recognise the value of studying the subjects included within this measure which are highly valued by Russell Group universities and employers. Please note that RE is not included as a Humanities subject in the DfE’s EBacc school accountability measure. However, as it is well regarded by universities, we offer it as a Humanities specialism, alongside History and Geography. The curriculum we offer allows students to take the full EBacc and choose one (if they opt for Triple Science) or two additional subjects. Whilst we expect all students on the blue pathway to take at least one Humanities and one Language as part of their four specialism subjects, students on the green or purple pathway may also opt to do this.
I hope you find the attached guide helpful and also hope that you find the process of information sharing useful.
Please enjoy the video presentations put together by each department below, and don't hesitate to contact us with any queries.
Mrs A Mellors