The aims of the GCSE programme at Newcastle School for Boys are:
- to build on boys’ prior knowledge and understanding
- to maximise individual boys’ grades across all of their subjects
- to prepare them for Sixth Form study and beyond
The subjects are:
- Art and Design for Key Stage 4
- Business Studies for Key Stage 4
- Design Technology for Key Stage 4
- English for Key Stage 4
- Geography AQA B for Key Stage 4
- History for Key Stage 4
- ICT for Key Stage 4
- Mathematics for Key Stage 4
- Modern Foreign Languages for Key Stage 4
- Music Key Stage 4
- PE for Key Stage 4
- PSHE for Key Stage 4
- RS for Key Stage 4
- Science for Key Stage 4
It is expected that most boys will study a core of English, English Literature, Mathematics and Science (made up of either three individual GCSEs in Biology, Chemistry and Physics or, of Science and Additional Science as two GCSEs). In addition to this core, most boys will study four optional GCSE subjects taken from:
|Art and Design||ICT|
|Design & Technology (Resistant Materials)||Physical Education|
Grades are awarded for each subject on a scale ranging from A* to G although it is expected that the vast majority of boys will achieve a C grade or better in all subjects. The detail of the method of assessment obviously varies from subject to subject and the detail for each subject is outlined in this booklet. Typically, it will comprise of a combination of coursework/controlled assessment and examination papers. The weekly lesson (40 minutes) allocation for each subject is shown below:
|Option Subjects||4 x 4 = 16|
Additionally, boys are expected to complete typically two 40 minute homeworks per week in each subject. This comprises a minimum daily private study time of two hours. However, it should also be noted that the completion of coursework and preparation for controlled assessment does not always fit entirely into these allocations. The School seeks to create the best possible balance of the workload for boys. However, boys also need to take responsibility for the management of their workload and raise any concerns with their Form Tutor or subject teacher at the earliest possible stage. Lessons, homeworks, coursework and controlled assessment tasks are planned with boys’ learning needs in mind and seeking at all times to maximise grade opportunities. The School also seeks to provide the appropriate support in lessons and in examinations for those boys who may require additional support via the Support for Learning team and also to stretch our most able boys towards the very highest possible grades and attainment.
Success at GCSE is determined by a number of factors. One of the key determinants of success is boys’ effort. There is a high correlation between boys’ effort, as measured by our effort grades, and GCSE final grades.
Additionally, boys need to gain thorough subject knowledge and understanding as well as being well-organised. Balancing the demands of up to 10 different GCSE subjects and their various requirements around examinations (both modular and terminal), coursework, controlled assessments and ongoing study is no small challenge. It is important, for example, that when pupils are preparing for modular examination papers, they do not take their eye off other subjects.
Whilst it is important that boys meet published deadlines, it is also quite difficult to publish all future deadlines over a two year period with absolute finality. Naturally, some teaching groups progress faster or slower than others and we reserve the right to vary or alter deadlines for good educational reasons but will do our best to keep the boys and parents fully informed of any such changes giving them as much notice as possible.
Additionally, your attention is drawn to the notice on the inside back cover of this booklet regarding plagiarism.