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RIPON GRAMMAR SCHOOL SIXTH FORM COURSE GUIDE 2017 Helping shape the future since 1555 1
DESIGN AND TECHNOLOGY PRODUCT DESIGN
In the light of national changes to the structure of AS and A level examinations, we, like many schools, are going through a period of review in terms of our curriculum at Sixth Form. Leading universities have made it clear that they value the AS level examinations as an indicator of a student's progress and potential, and will continue to take AS level examination results into account where they are taken. To try to offer our students the best opportunities, and to help them make the best choices, we intend to enter all students for AS level examinations at the end of the Lower 6th as we currently do. Where students choose to drop a subject as they move into the second year, this AS level will be a standalone qualification; for their other subjects the AS level will form the first year of a two year course. Please check specific subject course guides for further information. Lower Sixth courses For the students applying to enter our Sixth Form in September 2017, we will be continuing to offer one year AS courses in four subjects in the Lower Sixth which will be examined at the end of the year and which will lead to AS level qualifications which will be certificated at that stage. This will provide an external check on progress in the Lower Sixth, whilst also providing a qualification which is recognised by universities. Upper Sixth courses As they enter the Upper Sixth students will continue to study three or four subjects from their AS level set, which will lead to A level qualifications. If a subject has been dropped, an AS grade will have been awarded at the end of the Lower Sixth which will be of value to the student. OPTIONS Consultation regarding possible option choice combinations with current Fifth Form students will be used to construct four `option blocks'. Students must choose one AS subject from each option block; these option blocks will be finalised in the second half of the Autumn term. They will then be distributed to current students and published on our website. In the unlikely event that the combination of subjects you would like to choose is not possible please discuss this situation as soon as possible with the Head of Sixth Form, or for students currently at Ripon Grammar School with Mr Auger. If problems with your option choices are identified by us, then we will contact you to discuss the situation. 3
You will need to select four AS subjects to study in the Lower Sixth; some students then continue with all four AS subjects to A2 level, while other students may request to study three A2 subjects or an additional AS subject. It is essential that such requests are discussed fully with subject teachers and the Sixth Form staff to ensure that each student follows a course of study appropriate to their needs and future plans. It is advised that if students wish to continue with the study of both Mathematics and Further Mathematics at A2 level, this should be as part of a `four A2' programme of study. Similarly if students wish to continue with Economics and Business Studies to A2 level, then it should be as part of a `four A2' programme of study. The rationale for this advice is that it is generally inadvisable to have too narrow a range of A2 subjects, as this could restrict option choices at a later stage in education or employment. Before you make any decisions about which subject courses you wish to take it is important to study the information in this guide carefully and to talk to your teachers. Some careers and university degree courses require you to have studied specific subjects in the Sixth Form, so you may need to check these with your Careers Advisor. When you have made your decision you must complete the Sixth Form Application Form and return it to Mrs Griffiths, Sixth Form Co-ordinator, by 6 February 2017. There will be further information available at the Sixth Form Open Evening on 23 January 2017 but please contact Mrs Griffiths on the number or email below if you have any queries relating to the application process or life in the sixth form.
Mr Terry Fell Head of Sixth Form Ripon Grammar School Clotherholme Road Ripon North Yorkshire HG4 2DG
Why choose Art? Creativity is a quality which enables you to stand out from your peers. Art `A' level allows you to explore and develop your creative processes and thoughts. The pupils who have taken the subject at `A' level have gone on to study a wide variety of degrees and art has enhanced their chances of success. The subject allows you to: explore your intellectual, imaginative, creative and intuitive capabilities; investigative, analytical, experimental, practical, technical and expressive skills; gain an aesthetic understanding and critical judgement; enhance independence of mind in developing, refining and communicating your own ideas, and own intentions and your own personal outcomes; develop an interest in, enthusiasm for and enjoyment of art. Possible careers and courses that link to Art Everything that is man-made has been designed: from the building you are in to the clothes that you wear to the cars you drive to the programmes you watch, the career opportunities are endless. The range of art and design career opportunities is vast, including: advertising, architecture, computer aided design, interior design, product and industrial design, fine art, graphic design, television, exhibition design, fashion, conservation and restoration, theatre design, education, textile design and museum work.
Student perspective "Exercise your creative side as well as your academic, by taking this challenging and exciting course. You'll develop ideas, try new techniques and enjoy the experience"
Examination board: Edexcel
Syllabus Code: 9FA0
Course content The AS course The course is a stand-alone course and students will gain UMS points by completing the course The course is weighted 50% coursework and 50% exam We run a residential study visit to Cornwall so students can access and experience the visual elements first hand; the visit is an essential component of the course work, and helps students to experience how artists have responded to the landscape. The range of concepts, techniques, materials and strategies looked at develop knowledge and understanding beyond GCSE level. Students utilise a range of strategies based upon the work of Ben Nicholson and Peter Lanyon and find their own artistic sensitivities and develop own final pieces using personnel themes. We develop work in 2-D, painting and collage etc. and 3-D sculpture in mixed media and clay.
A2 course The A2 course is weighted 60% coursework and 40% exam and there is emphasis placed on a 3000 word essay which is run in conjunction with an annotated sketch book. As art history
is an integral component of the course, we run a study visit to Paris to ensure students are supported with this aspect of the syllabus. Students select artists, pieces and imagery personal to them. Students undertake a structured analysis through a work journal which un-wraps each core visual concept in terms of studies analysis and interpretation. Students carry out visual research relating to their own emerging theme based on arts' seen in the city, from Impressionism to Modernism, Abstraction and Cubism
AS Internally set, assessed by the teacher and externally moderated. This component allows students opportunities to generate and develop ideas, research primary and contextual sources, record practical and written observations, experiment with media and processes, and refine ideas towards producing personal resolved outcome(s). This will require students to address each of the Assessment Objectives Overview of assessment Incorporates three major elements: supporting studies, practical work, and a personal study. Supporting studies and practical work will comprise a portfolio of development work and outcomes based on themes and ideas developed from personal starting points. Incorporates two major elements: preparatory studies and the 8hour period of sustained focus Preparatory studies will comprise a portfolio of practical and written development work based on the Externally Set Assignment. During the 8hour period of sustained focus under examination conditions, students will produce final outcome(s) extending from their preparatory studies in response to the Externally Set Assignment.
A2 Internally set, assessed by the teacher and externally moderated. This component allows students opportunities to generate and develop ideas, research primary and contextual sources, record practical and written observations, experiment with media and processes, and refine ideas towards producing personal resolved outcome(s). This will require students to address each of the Assessment Objectives. Overview of assessment Incorporates three major elements: supporting studies, practical work, and a personal study. Supporting studies and practical work will comprise a portfolio of development work and outcomes based on themes and ideas developed from personal starting points. The personal study will be evidenced through critical written communication showing contextual research and understanding in a minimum 1000 words of continuous prose, which may contain integrated images. The personal study comprises 12% of the total qualification and is marked out of 18. Incorporates two major elements: preparatory studies and the 12hour period of sustained focus. Preparatory studies will comprise a portfolio of practical and written development work based on the Externally Set Assignment. During the12-hour period of sustained focus under examination conditions, students will produce final outcome(s) extending from their preparatory studies in response to the Externally Set Assignment. The Externally Set Assignment is released on 1 February and contains a theme and suggested starting points. Students have from 1 February until the commencement of the final 12hour period of sustained focus to develop preparatory studies. The 12hour period of sustained focus under examination conditions may take place over multiple sessions (a maximum of five, within three consecutive weeks).
Method of Assessment
50% course work 50% exam
60% course work 40% exam
Recommended reading/references/useful links
Why choose Biology? Biology is the scientific study of life. It involves the investigation of living organisms and life processes from the molecular, through cells and individual organisms to populations and whole communities of animals and plants. Possible careers and courses that link to Biology Biology is one of the most popular A Level subjects in the country, attracting students studying a wide range of other subjects. Many of these students enjoy the subject so much they eventually choose a biologically related degree course, including vocational careers such as medicine, dentistry and veterinary science. Others go on to careers in law, computing, accounting or teaching. So, whatever field you will eventually work in, you will find biology a very rewarding and challenging course which will develop many of the skills essential for a successful career.
Student perspective "As an aspiring medic, A Level Biology has developed my research and problem-solving skills whilst also furthering my knowledge of human systems. The course has been interesting and challenging and I have thoroughly enjoyed it." "Studying Biology has given me an insight into the fundamental aspects of human life. The topics are interesting and lessons are engaged."
"The wide range of topics covered in Biology has helped me narrow down which topics I particularly enjoy and want to study at university. It gives you such a broad range of knowledge but also lets you study topics in detail."
Examination board: OCR Module 1 Development of practical skills in biology Module 2 Foundations in biology Module 3 Exchange and transport Module 4 Biodiversity, evolution and disease Module 5 Communication, homeostasis and energy Module 6 Genetics, evolution and ecosystems
Syllabus Code: H020, H420 1.1 Practical skills assessed in a written examination 1.2 Practical skills assessed in the practical endorsement 2.1.1 cell structure
2.1.2 biological molecules
2.1.3 Nucleotides and nucleic acids 2.1.4 Enzymes 2.1.5 Biological membranes 2.1.6 Cell division, cell diversity and cellular organisation 3.1.1 Exchange surfaces 3.1.2 Transport in animals 3.1.3 Transport in plants 4.1.1 Communicable diseases, disease prevention and the immune system 4.2.1 Biodiversity 4.2.2 Classification and evolution 5.1.1 Communication and homeostasis 5.1.2 Excretion as an example of homeostatic control 5.1.3 Neuronal communication 5.1.4 Hormonal communication 5.1.5 Plant and animal responses 5.2.1 Photosynthesis 5.2.2 Respiration 6.1.1 Cellular control 6.1.2 Patterns of inheritance 6.1.3 Manipulating genomes 6.2.1 Cloning and biotechnology 6.3.1 Ecosystems 6.3.2 Populations and sustainability. 7
Method of Assessment All three externally assessed components (0103) contain some synoptic assessment, some extended response questions and some stretch and challenge questions. Stretch and challenge questions are designed to allow the most able learners the opportunity to demonstrate the full extent of their knowledge and skills. Stretch and challenge questions will support the awarding of A* grade at A level, addressing the need for greater differentiation between the most able learners. biological processes
(Component 01) This component is worth 100 marks, is split into two sections and assesses content from teaching modules 1, 2, 3 and 5. Learners answer all the questions. Section A contains multiple choice questions. This section of the paper is worth 15 marks. Section B includes short answer question styles (structured questions, problem solving, calculations, practical) and extended response questions. This section of the paper is worth 85 marks. Biological diversity (Component 02) This component is worth 100 marks, is split into two sections and assesses content from teaching modules 1, 2, 4 and 6. Learners answer all the questions. Section A contains multiple choice questions. This section of the paper is worth 15 marks. Section B includes short answer question styles (structured questions, problem solving, calculations, practical) and extended response questions. This section of the paper is worth 85 marks. Unified biology (Component 03) This component assesses content from across all teaching modules 1 to 6. Learners answer all the questions. This component is worth 70 marks. Question styles include short answer (structured questions, problem solving, calculations, practical) and extended response questions. Recommended reading/references/useful links A wider Reading List
will be provided at the start of the course. A good place to start is reading journals such as Scientific American and Nature, or the works of Nick Lane and Steve Jones. Good libraries have a wealth of titles. 8
BUSINESS Why choose Business? Departments should provide a description of the reasons why students should study this subject. Business is about understanding how businesses are structured and how they make successful decisions in a changing business environment
. We are all affected by the decisions businesses make and in this course we learn how important it is to: control costs and maximise sales; employ the right people; make excellent products; ensure we know our markets and make our customers aware of our products. From the beginning of a business start-up, to the challenges faced by large multinational corporations, this course is applied to the real world today and the products we buy. Possible careers and courses that link to Business Business graduates normally do well in the jobs market. Many go into graduate schemes focused on management. It is quite common for business graduates to go into jobs such as accountancy, marketing / public relations, management consultancy, human resource management
and production management. Student perspective "It is a subject which will help me in whatever I do when I leave school." "Business is a good subject for someone who likes to deal with real situations."
Examination board: AQA
Syllabus Code: AS (7131) A-level (7132)
Course content The AS and A-level courses require students to study: Business in a variety of contexts (e.g. large/small, UK focused/global, service/manufacturing) The importance of the context of business in relation to decision making The competitive environment and the markets in which businesses operate The influences on functional decisions and plans including ethical and environmental issues Factors that determine whether a decision is successful e.g. data quality / the degree of uncertainty How technology is changing the way decisions are made and how businesses compete Non-quantitative and quantitative data in decision making (including the interpretation of index numbers and calculations such as ratios and percentages)
Strategic decision making (A-level only) Students will study: The impact of technology on strategic decision making Corporate Social Responsibility
, ethical and environmental issues on strategic decisions Difficulties in forecasting future trends The importance of assessing feasibility and risk when making strategic decisions The impact on stakeholders of strategic decisions and their response to such decisions
Method of Assessment
Assessment in AS and A-level Business includes questions that allow students to demonstrate their ability to draw
together knowledge, skills and understanding from across the full course of study and provide extended
responses. AS and A-level units are examined in the summer.
AS: For AS Level there are two written papers of 1 hour and thirty minutes. The Paper 1 examination is worth 50%
of the total AS marks and is made up of 10 multiple choice questions, a number of short answer questions and a
data response with further questions. This is marked out of 80. The Paper 2 examination is worth 50% of the total
AS marks and is made up of one compulsory case study consisting of approximately seven questions. This is
marked out of 80.
A-level: For A-level there are three written papers. All three papers are 2 hours long and worth 100 marks each.
All three papers are equally weighted.
Paper 1 has three compulsory sections:
Section A: 15 multiple choice questions (MCQs) worth 15 marks.
Section B: short answer questions worth 35 marks.
Section C: two essay questions (choice of one from two and one from two) each 25 marks.
Paper 2 has three data response compulsory questions worth approximately 33 marks each made up of three or
four part questions.
Paper 3: one compulsory case study and approximately six questions.
Recommended reading/references/useful links AQA A-level Business (textbook) http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects http://www.graduate-jobs.com/degree/business
Why choose Chemistry? Chemistry is a fascinating subject at the heart of life. All life processes, such as respiration and digestion, involve chemical reactions. Most substances that we depend on, such as plastics, alloys, detergents, clothing fibres, solvents, medicines, fertilisers, explosives, etc. have been developed by chemists. The chemical industry is a major part of the UK economy and is the only sector with a balance of payments surplus. With on-going advances in science and technology
, many more highly skilled scientists are needed in this sector. The main reasons for choosing Chemistry are enjoyment of the subject and the ability to do well in it. Many students find that Chemistry becomes far more fascinating and fulfilling at AS/A level. Chemistry is the central science and most pupils who study Physics/Biology also study Chemistry, but many students take Chemistry as their only Science AS/A level. Studying Maths at AS/A level is helpful but by no means essential many of our students who do not do Maths do very well indeed.
Possible careers and courses that link to Chemistry Chemistry is also a very valuable subject for university applications due to its unique combination of numeracy, literacy, theoretical, practical and problem-solving skills. Many university courses have A level Chemistry as a requirement and some of these are shown below. A large number of students go on to study these courses from Ripon Grammar School.
Agricultural Science Anatomy
Biology / Biological Sciences Biotechnology
Animal / Equine Studies Archaeology Biochemistry
Botany / plant science Chemistry Chemical Engineering
Dentistry Environmental Sciences Food science / nutrition Genetics Geology
Horticultural Science Pathology
Material Science / Metallurgy Medicine
Microbiology Natural Sciences
Physiology Veterinary Science
Student perspective "Chemistry is a challenging and rewarding subject. The practicals bring the topic to life. If you found the GCSE course interesting then you will find the A Level course even more so."
Practical work Practical work has much more significance at AS/A level. Many of the questions in the exams will be about practicals you will do. There is also a requirement to complete 12 core practicals to gain a practical endorsement to your A level. We have a very detailed practical course in which a large number of new techniques are taught. Practical work is carried out individually and much of the work ISanalytical in nature, so accuracy and attention to detail are vital.
Examination board: AQA
Syllabus Code: 7405
Course content AS level only AS & A level
Physical Chemistry Atomic structure Amount of substance Bonding Energetics Kinetics Chemical equilibria & Kc Oxidation, reduction & redox Thermodynamics Rate equations Chemical equilibria & Kp Electrochemical cells Acids & bases
Inorganic Chemistry Periodicity Group 2 Group 7 Period 3 elements & oxides Transition metals Reactions of complex ions
Organic Chemistry Introduction to organic Alkanes Halogenoalkanes Alkenes Alcohols Organic analysis Optical isomerism Aldehydes and ketones Carboxylic acids & derivatives Aromatic chemistry Amines Polymers Amino acids, proteins, DNA Organic synthesis NMR spectroscopy Chromatography
AS LEVEL (marks do not count to A level)
Paper Timing Weighting Length
PAPER 1 May/June of L6th 50% 1Ѕ hours Multiple choice, short & long answer on half the topics and practical.
PAPER 2 May/June of L6th 50% 1Ѕ hours Multiple choice, short & long answer on half the topics and practical.
Paper Timing Weighting Length Content
PAPER 1 June of U6th 35% 2 hours Short & long answer on half the topics and practical.
PAPER 2 June of U6th 35% 2 hours Short & long answer on half the topics and practical.
PAPER 3 June of U6th 30% 2 hours Multiple choice, short & long answer on whole course and practical.
You will receive a practical endorsement alongside your A level grade this will be recorded as PASS/FAIL. You will need to complete successfully the core practicals and keep evidence of this in a practical book. This is a common requirement for all Sciences with all exam boards.
Why choose Classical Civilisation?
We study the civilisation, history, culture and mythology of ancient Greece and Rome. On this course we cover a fascinating range of sources from the great epics of Virgil and Homer to the tragic plays of Euripides, Sophocles and the comedies of Aristophanes or the wonderful sculptures of such artists as Polykleitos and Praxiteles. To complete our studies we will study Classical views on love and relationships. If you enjoy challenging but stimulating discussion, reading and writing then this is an ideal subject.
Examination Board OCR
Syllabus Code H008/H408
AS Unit 1 The World of the Hero This is an in-depth study of either Homer's Odysey or Iliad. This is a component focused solely on literature in translation.
Unit 2 Culture and the Arts We will study Greek Theatre. This is a component which will involve the study of visual and material culture
combined with the study of literature.
A Level Unit 1 The World of the Hero This is an in-depth study of either Homer's Odyssey or Iliad and Virgil's Aeneid This is a component focused solely on literature in translation.
Unit 2 Culture and the Arts We will either study Greek Theatre or Greek art. This is a component which will involve the study of visual and material culture combined with the study of literature.
Unit 3 Beliefs and Ideas We will study the topic of Love and Relationships in the Classical World. This is a component which involves the study of an area of Classical thought in combination with either the study of literature in translation or visual/material culture.
Method of Assessment
AS Unit 1 The World of the Hero (H008/11) 1 hour 30 minutes paper 50% of AS total.
Unit 2 Culture and the Arts (H008/21) 1 hour 30 minutes paper 50% of AS total.
A Level Unit 1 The World of the Hero (H408/11) 2 hour 20 minutes paper 40% of A Level Unit 2 Culture and the Arts (H408/21 H408/24) 1 hour 45 minutes paper 30% of A Level Unit 3 Beliefs and Ideas (H408/32) 1 hour 45 minutes paper 30% of A Level Please note that AS grades do not count towards the A Level. Students will take the AS and then convert it into the A Level if they choose to study the second year of the course. In addition these details are subject to further details and changes as specifications are approved and final decisions on courses are made. Please speak to Mr Weston for further details. . 14
Why choose Design Technology? Almost everything we use has been designed, developed and manufactured. The transport we choose, clothes we wear, technology we use, and furniture we select, has all been designed by someone, somewhere. Product Design will continue your journey from GCSE Design Technology towards enhanced and sophisticated products at A level. You will have a creative or technical side and enjoy practical tasks with a variety of materials, you'll enjoy challenging accepted norms, and have a desire to improve products you interact with. You might be a `button presser' or just enjoy `nice things' or question why things are the way they are.
Possible careers and courses that link to Product Design Product design can lead to many career paths such as: Engineering, Architecture, Design, Fashion, Graphic Design, Product Design, Industrial Design, Automotive Design, Aeronautic Design and Interior Design. Product Design prepares you with transferable skills of work ethic, ability to work independently, problem solving, research skills, evaluations methods, communication skills, practical ability, and health and safety awareness.
"I have found Design Technology constantly engaging due to the wide range of materials, techniques and
products used and made, throughout the school" U6 student (2015)
"I like how you can tailor a project to show your own skills" U6 student (2015)
AS Examination board: AQA Design Technology: Product Design Syllabus Code: 7551
AQA Design Technology: Product Design Syllabus Code: 7552
AS Course content
Paper 1 Technical Principles and Additional Specialist Knowledge. 2 hour Exam, 50% of AS.
Core Technical principles: Design Methods and process Materials and processes Tools / techniques and processes Materials Manufacture processes
Design theory / Processes Health and Safety Additional specialist knowledge Finishes
Non-Examined Assessment (NEA), 35 Hours, 50% of AS.
Written or digital design
portfolio and photographic evidence of final prototype. Recommended 35pagesA Level
Paper 1 Core technical principles and core designing and making principles. 2 Hour exam, 25% of A level.
Materials and applications
Requirements of product design
Digital design and manufacture
Efficient use of materials
Health and safety
Manufacture, maintenance and repairIntellectual Property
Enterprise and marketing
Design theorydesign process
Tools techniques and processes Accuracy
Design for manufacture
Paper 2 - Specialist knowledge, technical and designing and making principles. 2 Hour exam, 25% of A level
Industrial / commercial processes
Non-Examined Assessment (NEA), 45 Hours, 50% of AS. Practical application of technical principles, designing and making principles and specialist knowledge
AS Paper 1 AS NEA A Paper 1 A Paper 2 A - NEA
2 hour written paper 50% of AS Controlled Assessment 50%of AS Two hour written paper - 25% of A level Two hour written paper 25% of A level Controlled assessment 50% of A level
Recommended reading/references/useful links
Grand Designs (Channel 4 on demand)
The Design of Everyday things
Youtube :- Think like a designer
100 things every Designer needs to know
Open your eyes and `look'
ECONOMICS Why choose Economics? Although the course requires no previous knowledge, Economics is recognised as a challenging A-level. Students should follow economic developments and think critically about contemporary economic issues. Economics will help you to understand current affairs relating to the economy and some of the forces which act upon us all as consumers, producers and citizens. It will enable you to offer informed comment on economic problems and government economic policies. The course will provide you with a good knowledge of developments in the UK economy and government policies over the past 25 years. Students will develop the knowledge and skills needed to understand and analyse data, think critically about issues and make informed decisions. Students will also develop your quantitative skills and appreciate that, when evaluating arguments, both qualitative and quantitative evidence are important. The course places emphasis on analysing problems and alternative solutions, rather than merely describing them. Our approach to Economics is to apply economic theory to support analysis of current economic problems (for example those listed below). Why is the financial sector so important to the UK economy? What causes financial crises? Is Microsoft a monopoly, and if so, how does this affect us? Should Britain join the euro? Will the euro survive? Why is the Bank of England so worried about inflation and deflation? What is the best way to tackle the budget deficit? Will this lead to higher taxes and less government spending? How can economics help us explain why pollution occurs and what we can do about it? Possible careers and courses that link to economics Economics graduates normally do well in the jobs market. Many economic graduates go into banking and finance. It's quite common for economics graduates to go into jobs such as accountancy, actuarial science, and management consultancy. Nine of the top ten occupations held by economics graduates employed in the UK are business, finance or HR professions, with more than 500 graduates in the top occupation of finance and investment analyst/adviser. However, many economics graduates work in the civil service and as economists for the Bank of England, news agencies or organisations in the non-profit sectors. 17
Student perspective "Hard work, but fun and interesting." "Doing economics has allowed me to get into the university of my choice."
Examination board: AQA
Syllabus Code: 7135
Course content A-level builds on knowledge and skills learned at AS-level. The operation of markets and market failure and the national and international economy Topics include: Price determination in a competitive market and concentrated markets The market mechanism, market failure and government intervention in markets How the macroeconomy works : the circular flow of income and AD/AS analysis Macroeconomic policy: including economic growth; inflation and international trade The measurement of macroeconomic performance and the international economy Financial markets and monetary policy. Fiscal policy and supply-side policies Perfect competition, imperfectly competitive markets and monopoly The labour market and the distribution of income and wealth: poverty and inequality Method of Assessment AS: External examination two written papers (1 hour 30 minutes each) Paper 1: The Operation of Markets and market failure Paper 2: The National Economy in a Global Context A -level: External examination three written papers (all 2 hours) Paper 1: Markets and Market Failure Paper 2: The National and International Economy Paper 3: Economic principles and Issues Recommended reading/references/useful links AQA A-level Economics (textbook) http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects http://www.bankofengland.co.uk/Pages/home http://www.graduate-jobs.com/degree/economics
Why choose English Literature?
English Literature is a rich and varied subject which will allow students to develop a set of extremely valuable and highly transferrable skills while studying a range of challenging, enjoyable texts that will give them a better understanding of themselves, the world and their place in it. The texts themselves draw upon a range of genres and time periods, are all of canonical value and include the best of both English and American literature (including the plays of Tennessee Williams and novels such as Richard Yates' Revolutionary Road).
A Level English classes are dominated by discussion and debate and this helps to develop students' confidence and their communication skills. Teachers will share their own specialist knowledge and insight into texts, but they will also expect students to be ready to explore their own creative interpretations and ideas. This is a subject where we aim to develop independent thinkers and where the voice of each individual student is important. As well as these vital qualities of independence, creativity and intellectual confidence, the subject will also develop some key transferrable skills, such as the skills of analysis, close reading, debate, research and of course the ability to write a finely structured, nuanced literary essay.
Possible careers and courses that link to English Literature English Literature is a highly respected course, perhaps because of the wide range of high level skills it helps to develop, but also because of the level of emotional and intellectual maturity it helps to develop. As such, a good grade in English Literature can open many doors with both employers and university admissions tutors. Courses and careers in law, publishing, journalism, the media, education, advertising, marketing and public relations are popular options, but in truth English graduates can be found in more or less every industry. Careers in the civil service, finance and business would also be career routes where an English degree would be of great value.
Student perspective `It develops skills that will be important throughout life.' `It has remained interesting and exciting throughout A Level.' `It really is so much fun. Everyone always gets really involved in all the discussions.'
Examination board: AQA
Syllabus Code: 7711 / 7712
Course content AS Units (sat at the end of the L6th): Paper 1 Love through the Ages: Shakespeare and Poetry pupils study the theme of `Love through the Ages' through the study of one Shakespeare play and a collection of poetry from the AQA A Level anthology.
The texts are assessed in a 1 hour 30 minute closed book examination at the end of the L6th. Worth 50% of the AS course. Example texts: The Taming of the Shrew and the AQA Anthology of Modern Love Poetry Paper 2 Love through the Ages: Prose pupils study two novels and various unseen prose extracts in preparation for a 1 hour 30 minute open book examination. Pupils are required to compare the presentation of aspects of love in their two texts. Worth 50% of the AS course. Example texts: Wuthering Heights and A Room with a View. A Level Units (sat at the end of the U6th): Paper 1 Love through the Ages pupils explore further the Shakespeare play, poetry and one of the novels studied at AS in preparation for a 3 hour examination that will also require them to respond to two unseen poems. This is worth 40% of the A Level grade. The examination is open book except for the section on Shakespeare. Example texts: The Taming of the Shrew, Wuthering Heights and the AQA Anthology of Modern Love Poetry. Paper 2 Texts in Shared Contexts Modern Times Literature from 1945 to the present day pupils study one play, one novel and one collection of poetry from the list of set texts. These are assessed in a 2 hour 30 minute open book examination which will also require them to respond to an unseen prose extract. This is worth 40% of the A Level grade. Example texts: Carol Ann Duffy's `Feminine Gospels', Richard Yates' `Revolutionary Road' and Tennessee Williams' 'A Street Car Named Desire'. Non-Examined Assessment Independent Critical Study Pupils must study two texts, one of which must have been written before 1900. They must produce a comparative essay of 2500 words on these texts. Texts on this part of the course are studied with greater independence and pupils are given some degree of choice in selecting their texts. The finished essay is worth 20% of the final A Level grade. Example texts: Pride and Prejudice and Brick Lane. Method of Assessment AS: - 2 examinations, each of 1 hour 30 minutes and each contributing 50% of the AS marks. One of the examinations is closed book, the other is open book. A Level: - 2 examinations, one 3 hour examination which revisits some texts from the AS course and one further examination of 1 hour and 30 minutes. For the most part these examinations are open book, but there are some unseen elements. 20% of the examination is by a 2500 word coursework essay comparing two texts, students will get guidance and support from teachers with the completion of this. Recommended reading/references/useful links http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/english/as-and-a-level/english-literature-a-7711-7712 20
Why choose French? French is not just one of the world's top ten most spoken languages; it is the language of our closest neighbours and one of the official languages of organisations such as the UN and EU. The French A level course equips students to communicate at a high level with native speakers, not only on themes that affect them directly, but regarding issues such as social justice, the environment, democracy, and francophone music. An exciting element of the new curriculum is the chance to study a French film or a literary text at both AS and A2.
Possible careers and courses that link to French Having an A-level in French is very well-regarded by universities, even for students going on to study nonlinguistic courses, due to the range of disciplines entailed. The ability to teach French is also valued highly by Primary schools, while the UK's secondary schools face a potential shortage of language teachers in the future. A knowledge of French can open doors in the world of business and politics like almost no other language can. For this reason, graduates who have language skills stand a higher chance of getting jobs than those without.
Student perspective "...more demanding than GCSE... a lot more focus on French culture and literature, which is very interesting." "The French exchange is a great opportunity to improve French skills" "We found the teaching very enthusiastic."
Examination board: AQA
Syllabus Code: 7652
Topic areas at AS: The changing nature of family The `cyber-society' The place of voluntary work A culture proud of its heritage Contemporary francophone music Cinema: the 7th art form Literary set texts Moliиre: Le Tartuffe Voltaire: Candide Maupassant: Boule de suif et autres contes de la guerre Camus : l'йtranger Sagan : Bonjour tristesse Etcherelli : Йlise ou la vraie vie Joffo : Un sac de billes Guйne : Kiffe kiffe demain Grimbert : Un secret De Vigan : No et moi
Topic areas at A level: Positive features of a diverse society Life for the marginalised How criminals are treated Teenagers, the right to vote and political commitment Demonstrations, strikes who holds the power? Politics and immigration Films Au revoir les enfants La Haine L'auberge espagnole Un long dimanche de fianзailles Entre les murs Les 400 coups
Recommended reading/references/useful links: www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/languages/as-and-a-level Method of Assessment AS paper 1 is `receptive' skills (e.g. comprehension) . 1 hour 45 minutes. 40% of AS - Listening - Reading - Translation into English - All questions in target language are answered either with non-verbal responses or in the target language AS paper 2 is `productive' skills (e.g. writing in the target language). 1 hour 15 minutes. 30% of AS - Translation into target language - An essay on either a book or a film that has been studied that year - The essay will be `scaffolded' with some suggested bullet-points, thus helping the students with their analytical process - The essay is therefore above all an exercise in critical response AS paper 3 is a speaking exam. 12-14 minutes. 30% of AS - Discussion of 2 stimulus cards, which will each cover a sub-theme of the As topics `Aspects of French/Spanish/ Hispanic-speaking society' and `Artistic culture in French/ German/ Hispanic speaking society' - Students are able to study the card for 15 minutes prior to the assessment beginning A level paper 1. 2 hours 30 minutes. 40% of A level - Listening - Reading - Translation into English - Translation into target language (with a short accompanying passage on the same topic area to provide support) A level paper 2. 2 hours. 30% of A level - 2 essays one on a film and one on a text, or two on a texts - Requirement to answer both analytically and critically - Grammar is assessed A level paper 3 is a speaking exam. 16-18 minutes. 30% of A level - Exam starts with student receiving stimulus card relating to one of the four subthemes studied. Only 5 minutes preparation allowed on this - Discussion of the issue on the stimulus card - Student speaks on individual research project (must not be the same as the studied text/ film) 22
Why choose Further mathematics? Further mathematics is for those students who have a natural affinity and love for mathematics. The course broadens students' exposure to a variety of areas of mathematics by introducing new concepts as diverse as complex numbers and decision mathematics. The course encourages students to apply new methods and techniques in a range of different contexts and as a result they will broaden their mathematical experience.
Possible careers and courses that link to Further Mathematics Further mathematics is useful for students who plan to study mathematics, or another subject with high mathematical content (including engineering and Computer Science
), at one of the best universities.
Student perspective "It doesn't feel like you have too much maths in the week! All the lessons are very different and require different skills." "Further maths makes normal maths far easier in comparison and the maths skills learnt in further maths are so broad that they can be applied in many subjects." "I would recommend anyone who truly enjoys learning and especially taking and enjoying the sciences to seriously consider doing further maths."
Examination board: OCR
Syllabus Code: AS: H235
The new AS begins in September 2017 and at the time of writing specifications are still in their draft form. Therefore, there could be a change to the information.
Course content For AS, students cover the following modules: Pure 1 roots of polynomial equations, complex numbers and matrices, vectors. Statistics permutations and combinations, probability distribution
, chi-squared tests, correlation, Linear regression
. Mechanics dimension analysis, work/energy/power/momentum, centre of mass. .
In A2 (end of L6 and U6) students study: Pure polar co-ordinates, hyperbolic functions, differentiation, volume of revolution, summation of series, modelling, integration and numerical methods. Pure differential equations, vectors, complex numbers. Mechanics motion in a circle, further dynamics and kinetics, rigid bodies Statistics continuous random variables, linear combinations of random variables, hypothesis testing and confidence intervals.
Method of Assessment
Three papers of seventy minutes
Four papers of one and a half hours.
N.B. There is no coursework.
Recommended reading/references/useful links The SharePoint page for mathematics includes a link to a reading list (click on `Reading List' at the top of the maths homepage) where a full and up-to-date list can be found.
In addition, interesting books to read include: 1089 and All That: A Journey into Mathematics - David Acheson Fermat's Last Theorem - Simon Singh Any book by Ian Stewart.
Why choose Geography?
Geography is all about exploring the dynamic and changing world around us.
It gives students the opportunity to learn about diverse landscape,
understand threats to these environments and try to find solutions to
manage global issues.
Possible careers and courses that link to geography Cartographer Commercial/residential surveyor Environmental consultant Geographical information systems
officer Planning and development surveyor Secondary school teacher Town planner
International aid/development worker Landscape architect Logistics and distribution manager Market researcher Nature conservation officer Tourism officer Transport planner
Course details Examination board: Edexcel
Syllabus Code: AS: 8GEO A2: 9GEO
Course content Unit Physical Landscapes Dynamic Landscapes ·
Content Tectonic Processes and Hazards Landscape Systems, Processes and Change Coastal Landscapes and Change Globalisation Shaping Places Regenerating Places
Assessment Paper 1 1 hour 45 minutes 90 marks/ 50% of qualification Paper 2 1 hour 45 minutes 90 marks/ 50% of qualification
Note: 2 days of fieldwork must take place and this will be assessed in section C on both examinations
Unit Physical Landscapes Dynamic Landscapes Synoptic Paper Coursework Independent Investigation
All of the content of the AS Level plus: The Water Cycle and Water Insecurity The Carbon Cycle and Energy Insecurity
Paper 1 2 hours and 15 minutes 105 marks / 30% of qualification
All of the content of the AS Level plus: Superpowers Global Development and Connections Sub topic - Health, Human rights and intervention or Migration, Identify and Sovereignty .
Paper 2 2 hours and 15 minutes 105 marks /30% of qualification
Synoptic Paper on paper, actions and futures Paper 3 - 2 hours and 15
on a geographical issue in connection with the minutes
core unis of study
70 marks / 20% of qualificatio
Coursework Independent Investigation based
around the 4 fieldwork days on offer to
70 marks / 20% of
students across the two years of study.
Students will be supported to come up with a
research title and then will complete this
Method of Assessment AS: 100% examinations mixture of short and long responses ranging from multiple choice to 18 marks per question. A Level: 100% examinations mixture of short and long questions ranging from multiple choice to 18 marks plus the extended independent investigation. AS marks do contribute to A level.
Recommended reading/references/useful links www.bbc.co.uk current global issues www.theeconomist.com global economic issues
Why choose German? A higher qualification will be a useful skill for the future, allowing students to develop their communication skills, learn more about German-speaking cultures, widen their general knowledge and increase possible job opportunities in the future.
Possible careers and courses that link to German German is a highly respected subject qualification when applying for any course at university. Those who go on to study German hold a niche language, which has far fewer UK graduates than Spanish or French. As a result, where language abilities are required (in business, politics, translation or journalism, for example), German speakers are very highly valued.
Student perspective "You are taught in friendly groups and you do lots of interesting activities" "German is brilliant: it is very interesting and also fun at the same time" "German is not easy, but it's a fun language to learn and lessons are always entertaining".
Examination board: AQA
Syllabus Code: AS LEVEL 7661
A LEVEL 7662
Students will continue to develop their speaking, listening, reading and writing skills through the study of a wide
range of topics connected with German-speaking life and culture, young people, the digital world and the family,
as well as cultural life in Berlin, art and architecture, festivals and traditions, integration and racism. Students will
also study a work of modern German literature or a German film.
Topic areas at AS The changing state of the family The digital world Youth culture: fashion and trends, music, television Festivals and traditions Art and architecture Cultural life in Berlin, past and present Possible Literary set texts: Bцll: Die verlorene Ehre der Katharina Blum Brecht: Mutter Courage und ihre Kinder Dьrrenmatt: Der Besuch der alten Dame Frisch: Andorra Heine: Gedichte Buch der Lieder Hensel: Zonenkinder Kafka: Die Verwandlung Kaminer: Russendisko Lenz: Fundbьro Schlink: Der Vorleser
Topic areas at A2 Immigration Integration Racism German and the European Union Politics and Youth German Re-unification and its consequences Possible films: Good bye, Lenin! Das Leben der Anderen Die fetten Jahre sind vorbei Almanya Willkommen in Deutschland Sophie Scholl, Die letzten Tage Lola rennt 27
Recommended reading/references/useful links www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/languages/as-and-a-level Method of Assessment AS paper 1 is `receptive' skills (e.g. comprehension) . 1 hour 45 minutes. 40% of AS - Listening - Reading - Translation into English - All questions in target language are answered either with non-verbal responses or in the target language AS paper 2 is `productive' skills (e.g. writing in the target language). 1 hour 15 minutes. 30% of AS - Translation into target language - An essay on either a book or a film that has been studied that year - The essay will be `scaffolded' with some suggested bullet-points, thus helping the students with their analytical process - The essay is therefore above all an exercise in critical response AS paper 3 is a speaking exam. 12-14 minutes. 30% of AS - Discussion of 2 stimulus cards, which will each cover a sub-theme of the AS topics `Aspects of French/German/ Spanish-speaking society' and `Artistic culture in French/ German/ Spanishspeaking society' - Students are able to study the card for 15 minutes prior to the assessment beginning A level paper 1. 2 hours 30 minutes. 40% of A level - Listening - Reading - Translation into English - Translation into target language (with a short accompanying passage on the same topic area to provide support) A level paper 2. 2 hours. 30% of A level - 2 essays one on a film and one on a text, or two on a texts - Requirement to answer both analytically and critically - Grammar is assessed A level paper 3 is a speaking exam. 16-18 minutes. 30% of A level - Exam starts with student receiving stimulus card relating to one of the four subthemes studied. Only 5 minutes preparation allowed on this - Discussion of the issue on the stimulus card 28
HISTORY Why choose history? A Level history affords students the opportunity to broaden their understanding of the past through an examination of some truly fascinating topics. The British history unit allows students to develop an understanding of parliamentary democracy in Britain through the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, examining the impact of some of our most famous politicians including Disraeli, Gladstone, Asquith, Lloyd-George, Churchill and Atlee. Students will assess the impact of both world wars and the changing face of British Politics
. The Cold War unit allows students to examine the fascinating 1945-1991 period in great detail from the post-war consensus to the development of the hydrogen bomb and the eventual fall of Communist regimes in Europe. Students assess the impact of the Korean War, Vietnam War
, Sino-Soviet relations and many more areas. With a clear link to present day concerns, the Cold War remains one of the most important topics covered in modern history. The third unit is a coursework unit and entails an examination of German history
from Napoleonic control through to the end of the Second World War. Possible careers and courses that link to history: Careers include but are not limited to: The Civil Service including the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, law, research, archival work, academic posts, and teaching. Student perspective "I am glad that I chose to do history at RGS. I feel supported by my teachers and love the fact that what we are studying has so much relevance to today's politics from the recent coalition government to suspected Russian involvement in Ukraine." (current Lower Sixth student) "I love the fact that we are given access to undergraduate-level texts and can discuss issues that really do matter to us all. History allows us to have a great understanding of the world and politics." (current Upper Sixth student) "I really did enjoy history at A level, especially the trip to Berlin. It gave me an opportunity to visualise developments in German history that we had covered in lessons. "(Former Upper Sixth student) 29
Examination board: AQA
Syllabus Code: 7041 (AS) 7042 (A2)
Unit content for British History This option allows students to study in breadth issues of change, continuity, cause and consequence in this period through the following key questions: How did democracy and political organisations develop in Britain? How important were ideas and ideologies? How and with what effects did the economy develop? How and with what effects did society and social policy develop? How and why did Britain's relationship with Ireland change? How important was the role of key individuals and groups and how were they affected by developments? Timescale: You will study from Gladstone and Disraeli to the Labour election victory of 1964 Unit content for World History: This option provides for the study in depth of the evolving course of international relations during an era of tension between communist and capitalist powers which threatened nuclear Armageddon. It explores concepts such as communism and anti-communism, aggression and dйtente and also encourages students to reflect on the power of modern military technology, what hastens confrontation and what forces promote peace in the modern world. How did the Cold War start? Why was Berlin such an important city during the period? How did the Cold War turn hot in Asia? How close was the world to Armageddon during the Cuban Missile Crisis? Why was there a period of dйtente? Why did Communism collapse in Eastern Europe? Timescale: You will study from the Yalta agreements to the collapse of Communism in the USSR in 1991 Unit content for Unit 3: Coursework: A personal study based on a topic of student's choice. This should take the form of a question in the context of approximately 100 years. Our research topic is German history and a list of appropriate questions will be given to you. You will examine the changing nature of the German state from preunification Germany to the Weimar and Nazi periods.
Method of Assessment AS: Two examinations at the end of AS level (1hr30mins) including source and non-source questions A Level: Two examinations at the end of A level (2hr30mins) including source and non-source questions
Important Note: This qualification is being withdrawn from 2018. Any students opting to study ICT in Lower Sixth will be expected to complete the full A2 in one year. There may be an additional resit in 2019 [legacy]. Please ensure you contact the IT teacher if you are considering this option.
Why choose I.C.T? ICT is one of those great subjects that allows you maximise on your own strengths. If you turn out to have a really technical interest in ICT, you could work for a bank or corporation helping to design systems which transfer information from a database to a terminal. But if you're more interested in the user interface, you could work in advertising or for a handset manufacturer. Information is everywhere, so ICT is a sound career move.
Possible careers and courses that link to ICT There is a vast array of career opportunities in this subject. Many of our students go on to study Computer Science at university or take a different career path by undertaking apprenticeships. In recent years this has involved one student was recruited by Barclays Bank onto their fast-track apprenticeship and sponsored degree programme whilst another student is now working for HSBC in their banking security section and was recently awarded employee of the year. In recent months a student has applied to work at GCHQ and MI5 on their Higher Apprenticeship programmes.
Student perspective U6 student : `ICT lessons have inspired me to pursue a career in game programming. Throughout my ICT lessons I am constantly analysing new technology and the implications it has on the whole of society'. U6 student : `ICT is becoming an increasingly important part of both everyday life and the professional environment and therefore having good ICT skills is essential for whatever career you choose to pursue'.
Examination board: AQA
Syllabus Code: 2520
Course content In the first year you'll study two `big picture' themes. First there's `Practical problem solving', which introduces you to the various hardware and software technologies used in ICT, and how you can apply them to different applications in real life.
The second theme is `Living in the digital world', which gives you a solid grounding in ICT areas like transferring data, backups and the interface between people and ICT systems. In the second year you'll build on that strong foundation with another two study themes. In the first theme, `The use of ICT in the digital world', you'll cover technology developments, how to manage ICT projects, and the use of ICT solutions within organisations. In the second theme, `Practical issues', you'll get hands-on experience by conceiving, designing and implementing a real ICT-related system. In addition to this, you will have the opportunity to visit national companies to see how ICT is used to solve complex issues as well lectures from guest speakers, visits to local universities and the National Museum of Computing. Method of Assessment AS/A Level: For the AS examination you will sit two papers, one on each of the themes you have studied. Each paper accounts for 50% of your marks. A pass is recognised with an AS level. For the A2 examination you will have just one paper to sit. This lasts for two hours and accounts for 60% of your marks. The other 40% is based on your practical project. Recommended reading/references/useful links The Sky Academy - https://www.skyacademy.com The National Museum of Computing- http://www.tnmoc.org AQA - http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/ict-and-computer-science Teach-ICT- http://www.teach-ict.com/asa2home.htm York University's Computer Science Department- https://www.cs.york.ac.uk York University's Public Lectures- https://www.york.ac.uk/news-and-events/events/public-lectures Teesside University's School of Computing- http://www.tees.ac.uk/schools/scm Newcastle University `s School of Computing Science: http://www.ncl.ac.uk/computing 32
Why choose mathematics? Mathematics is a great subject for making you think as well as providing you with plenty of personal challenge that will allow your character to grow. The opportunities to explore different approaches to a range of problems are evident throughout the course and the strategies that students develop will have many benefits to their learning in other areas: finding the right answer can be a highly rewarding and enjoyable experience.
Mathematics can be studied with any combination of subjects to enhance a student's learning experience and it is highly regarded by universities and employers alike it is the most popular A Level in the country. In addition, mathematics is one of the few subjects comfortable working with words, numbers, diagrams, tables, graphs and equations it is great training in communication.
Possible careers and courses that link to mathematics Mathematics is necessary for most careers in engineering, finance and science but it is highly regarded by any university for any course.
Student perspective "Very challenging subject from which you gain a lot of reward from for your efforts. It takes time to understand but after a while it comes together." "A very interesting subject but be prepared for the step up in both difficulty and workload." "Maths can be hard but the sense of achievement you get when your answer to a tough question is right is unbelievable." "The jump from GCSE to A level was surprising but I have enjoyed maths as it has been challenging and rewarding." "Really challenging but the most satisfying A level because you can usually tell/work out if you've done it right. Statistics is a really good bit of the course to get easy marks on so try not to hate it!" "A level maths is my favourite subject because it is challenging yet very enjoyable."
Examination board: OCR
Syllabus Code: AS: H230
The new AS begins in September 2017 and at the time of writing specifications are still in their draft form. Therefore, there could be a change to the information.
Course content For AS, students cover the following modules: Pure - indices and surds, polynomials, coordinate geometry and graphs and differentiation, logarithms, integration, trigonometry, binomial theorem, proof, vectors in 2-D, modelling.. Statistics - probability, representation of data, discreet probability distributions, correlation/regression, sampling, hypothesis testing, study of large data sets Mechanics equations of motion, kinetics, Newton's Laws. In A2 (end of L6 and U6) students study: Pure trigonometry, functions, differentiation, integration and numerical methods, sequences, algebra and graphs, differentiation, integrations, vectors in 3-D and first order differential equations. Mechanics force as a vector, equilibrium of a particle, Newton's laws of motion, functional forces. Statistics normal distribution, hypothesis testing, conditional probability. Method of Assessment AS: two papers of one and a half hours. A Level: three papers of two hours. N.B. There is no coursework. Recommended reading/references/useful links The SharePoint page for mathematics includes a link to a reading list (click on `Reading List' at the top of the maths homepage) where a full and up-to-date list can be found. In addition, interesting books to read include: 1089 and All That: A Journey into Mathematics - David Acheson Fermat's Last Theorem - Simon Singh Any book by Ian Stewart. 34
Why choose Music? A level music is a highly academic subject that develops skills in analysis, logic and source evaluation. That being said, it is a highly creative subject allowing students to discover and develop new ways of expressing a range of emotion through composition and performance. It develops confidence in their own ability and encourages them to assert their own authority in their research. The skills acquired in A level music equip the student not only for studying music at university but many other subjects at degree level.
Possible careers and courses that directly link to Music:
Academia Arts Admin
Student perspective Music has always been a passion of mine and studying it at A level has let me explore this diverse subject further. The A level works well for musicians who have the ability in performance and composition. The A2 level course gives more flexibility to candidates, enabling them to choose an area of study appropriate to their interests. Music offers a diverse set of study options at university and is highly valued by employers.
Examination board: OCR Syllabus Code: H143 (AS) H543 (A2)
Course content AS Performance 30% (Externally Assessed) A six minute recital performed on your main instrument and assessed by an external examiner
Composition 30% (Externally Assessed) Two compositions: One composed to a brief set by the exam board and another composed to a brief set by the student
Listening and Analysis Exam 40% (Externally Assessed) Students analyse music from three Areas of Study: 1. Music of the Classical Era 2. Popular Song: Jazz, Blues, Swing and Big Band 3. And one other area of study form a choice of: Instrumental Jazz Religious Music Programme Music Innovations in 20th century Music The exam will assess your knowledge of the music and the developments in areas of Harmony, Tonality and Instrumental technique across all works covered.
A2 OCR has refined the way in which the A2 level can be assessed. Students follow one of two pathways depending on their strengths; Performance or Composition
Composition Pathway Performance 25% Six minute recital Composition 35% Compositions totalling eight minutes Listening and Analysis 40%
Performance Pathway Performance 35% 10 minute recital Composition 25% Compositions totalling 4 minutes Listening and Analysis 40%
Students continue studying prescribed works set out in the AS year.
Other Information It is essential that A-level music students take an active role in the extra-curricular life of the music department; it is important that students immerse themselves in ensemble performance in order to complement their studies of such music and prepare them for assessed performance. There are opportunities for Sixth Form students to develop skills in leading and directing ensembles according to their instrumental experience. A level music students will make regular trips to concerts and productions to support their learning.
Useful Links http://www.ocr.org.uk/qualifications/by-subject/music/
Why choose Music Technology? Music Technology is a multi-disciplinary subject and offers a whole new pathway into the music industry. Many top universities are now offering courses in sound technology, acoustics, music production, and performance. The course is largely practical but requires an in depth study of sound technology as well as features of popular music
Possible careers and courses that directly link to Music:
Radio Engineering Arts Admin Theatre Technician
"Music Technology is a subject unlike any other. The freedom to combine performing arts
, science and technology is a combination which can't be found anywhere else. The practical aspect to the course is really vital for anyone looking to study the subject at a higher level, with differing creative and analytical tasks making up the coursework element. The subject is underpinned by the theory of Music Technology and studying how music works. Although challenging and sometimes time-consuming, this is definitely one of the most rewarding and enjoyable subjects to study at A-level. There are also lots of opportunities to get involved with Music Technology on an extra-curricular level, which really helps you to get the best out of studying such a brilliant subject." U6 2015
Examination board: Edexcel
Syllabus Code: AS: 8MTO A2: 9MT0
COURSE CONTENT: AS (8MT0) There are two pieces of coursework to complete in the year: 1. A Recording of a commercial track recommended by exam board Students produce a multi-track recording of a piece lasting between 2 and 2.5 minutes. The recording will demonstrate competent use of a range of microphones on various instruments and confident use of editing software and editing processes.
2. A Composition using samples provided by exam board Students create a composition in any style using the samples given by the exam board. This composition would demonstrate the candidates skill in sound editing and manipulation, controlling midi data and crafting a coherent musical structure
Examination There are two examinations:
1. Listening and Analysing Students listen to extracts from a variety of popular music styles and answer questions on production and recording techniques. For example: use of reverb, instrumental techniques, equalisation, and compression. Students will be able to compare different styles of music and the different studio techniques used in creating these landmark recordings 2. Producing and Analysing Students will assemble a piece of music from recorded and midi extracts carrying out editing and production tasks along the way culminating in finalised mix down. A2(9MT0) Coursework The coursework tasks are similar to those at AS but greater detail is expected: Recording students record a recommended song requiring a much wider variety of instruments to be recorded. This includes the challenge of recording a drum kit. Composition Students respond to one of three briefs set by the exam board; - A composition to accompany a film. - A sample based composition. - A composition in response to a piece of text. Examinations Students will sit two examinations: Listening and Analysing and Producing and Analysing Both these exams build further on what students learned in the first year of study, however, extended responses are required in discussing production techniques, music technology theory and recording techniques. Other Information It is essential that A-level music students take an active role in the extra-curricular life of the music department; it is important that students immerse themselves in ensemble performance in order to complement their studies of such music and prepare them for assessed performance. There are opportunities for Sixth Form students to develop skills in leading and directing ensembles according to their instrumental experience. A level music students will make regular trips to concerts and productions to support their learning. Useful Links: http://qualifications.pearson.com/en/qualifications/edexcel-a-levels/music-technology-2008.html 38
Why choose Physical Education? Studying A Level Physical Education will give you an insight into the world of sports performance. The combination of physical performance and academic challenge provides an exciting and stimulating opportunity for students. Have you ever wondered... Why some people can run faster than others? How your personality affects your performance? Why people take drugs? How technology can help you? What the physiological effects of playing sport are on your body? How force and motion act on the body and how they can be used in physical activity to our advantage? How the media and big business influence sport? How sport has evolved into its present day format? The impact politics has on sport and major games? Possible careers and courses that link to Physical Education Physiotherapy Sports Journalism Sports Psychologist PE teaching Sports coaching / performance analyser Sports science courses / Sports Development / Management courses
Course details Examination board: OCR
Syllabus Code: H155, H555
H155 (AS) includes three components: Component 1 & 2: Externally examined units. Component 1: Physiological factors affecting performance: Applied anatomy and physiology, exercise physiology
, biomechanics, including technology in sport.
Component 2: Psychological and socio-cultural themes in physical education: Skill acquisition, sports psychology, sport and society.
Component 3: Performance in physical activity (non-examined unit): Performers are internally assessed in one practical activity (either performing or coaching). Learners will also be assessed in the Evaluation and Analysis of Performance for improvement H555 A Level in Physical Education Learners will take all components (01, 02, 03 & 04) to be awarded the OCR A Level in Physical Education. Component 1: Physiological factors affecting performance: applied anatomy & physiology, exercise physiology, biomechanics Component 2: psychological factors
affecting performance: skill acquisition, sports psychology Component 3: Socio-cultural issues in physical activity and sports: sport and society, contemporary issues in physical activity and sport. Component 4: This is a coursework unit. Students are assessed in their chosen sport (either performing or coaching). Learners will also be assessed in the Evaluation & Analysis of Performance for Improvement (oral response). Method of Assessment AS Level in Physical Education: Two 1 hour and 15 minute externally assessed written papers (component 1, 35% of total AS level, component 2, 35% of total AS level). A Non-Exam Assessment: one practical performance, as performer or coach and one synoptic interview (30% of total AS level). A Level in Physical Education: Three externally assessed written papers: Component 1 (30%): 2 hour written paper, component 2 (20%): 1 hour written paper, component 3 (20%): 1 hour written paper. A Non-Exam Assessment: one practical performance, as performer or coach and one synoptic interview (30% of total A level) Recommended reading/references/useful links PE Review, My PE Exam , OCR PE Physical Education http://www.brianmac.co.uk/psych.htm http://www.ausport.gov.au/ais/sssm/psychology http://www.ocr.org.uk/ 40
Why choose physics? Physics is unique. No other subject allows you to gain such a deep understanding of the way the world works. You will learn how both the ordinary and extraordinary can be explained with ideas that are profound, imaginative and beautifully simple. Physics will give you the ability to communicate complex ideas, a hunger to make sense of patterns, the capacity to look past the superficial, and fluency with mathematics that will allow you to make predictions and solve problems.
Possible careers and courses that link to physics Physics leads on to a very wide range of courses and careers. These include astrophysics, banking, computer programming, electronics, energy industries, engineering, geophysics, law, medical physics, meteorology, research, teaching, science journalism and the space industry to name but a few.
Student perspective "There are less facts to learn in physics than in most other subjects, but more concepts to understand. This makes it easier if you do understand the concepts but harder if you do not."
AS course (Lower Sixth)
Syllabus Code: AS: 8PH0 A2: 9PH0
Core Physics 1: Core Physics 2:
This unit leads on from your GCSE studies. You will learn about motion, forces, energy, power, flow of liquids, viscosity and properties of materials. You will learn about waves including standing waves, refraction, polarisation, diffraction and the nature of light. You will also learn about electric circuits, resistivity, thermistors, emf and internal resistance.
A level course (Upper Sixth)
Physics on the move
You will learn about momentum, circular motion, electric and magnetic fields, evidence for a nuclear atom, particle accelerators, particle detectors and different types of sub-atomic particles.
Physics from creation to collapse
You will learn about thermal energy, radioactive decay, simple harmonic motion, resonance, gravitation, the life cycle of stars, fission, fusion and the fate of the universe.
While studying these units you will develop practical skills that include planning experiments, collecting data, analysing experimental results and making conclusions. You will also gain an appreciation of how scientific models are developed and evolve, the applications and implications of science, the benefits and risks that science brings, and the ways in which society uses science to make decisions. 41
Method of Assessment
AS LEVEL (marks do not count to A level)
Paper Timing Weighting Length Style
PAPER 1 May/June of L6th 50% 1Ѕ hours Multiple choice, short & long answer on half the topics and practical.
PAPER 2 May/June of L6th 50% 1Ѕ hours Multiple choice, short & long answer on half the topics and practical.
Paper Timing Weighting Length Content
PAPER 1 June of U6th 30% 1 ѕ hours Short & long answer on half the topics and practicals.
PAPER 2 June of U6th 30% 1 ѕ hours Short & long answer on half the topics and practicals.
PAPER 3 June of U6th 40% 2 Ѕ hours Multiple choice, short & long answer on whole course and practicals.
You will receive a practical endorsement alongside your A level grade this will be recorded as PASS/FAIL. You will need to complete successfully the 16 core practicals and keep evidence of this in a practical book.
Recommended reading/references/useful links visit the Edexcel website, http://qualifications.pearson.com/en/qualifications/edexcel-a-levels/physics2015.html to obtain a copy of the Edexcel GCE in Physics specification. visit http://www.iop.org/careers/i-am-at-school-college/index.html for information on careers in physics. discuss the suitability of studying this subject with your Physics teacher. read through your GCSE physics notes and make sure you understand them. read "A Briefer History of Time" by Stephen Hawking a physics book with only 1 equation in!
PSYCHOLOGY Why choose Psychology? Psychology is the scientific study of the human mind; hence we aim to give students an insight into the explanations underlying a diverse range of human behaviours and cognitive processes. Possible careers and courses that link to Psychology There are a vast variety of careers accessible after further study Clinical, Occupational, Forensic, Health, Education, Lecturing, Counselling and Sports Psychology. A first degree in Psychology offers a myriad of possibilities from Health Care through to Advertising.
Examination board: AQA
Syllabus Code: 7181/7182
Course content Paper One: Introductory Topics in Psychology Memory this aspect of the course explores the main models of memory organisation, attempting to answer questions such as `Why do we forget?' and `How reliable are eyewitnesses' testimonies?' Attachment here we focus on the lasting impact of early childhood experience and the long-term social and emotional consequences of failing to form robust attachments in infancy. We explore the degree to which positive parenting impacts on the ability to form confident adult relationships. Psychopathology in this topic we examine the nature of mental illness in society and students will assess a range of psychological approaches. These diverse perspectives attempt to explain the origins of various mental illnesses, including phobias and depression. We also consider a wide range of different therapeutic interventions, all of which endeavour to improve mental health. Social Influence here we investigate explanations for conformity and obedience in society and how some individuals manage to remain independent despite significant pressure to obey or conform. We discuss the reasons why minority groups impact on the behaviour of the majority, and how this pressure can ultimately lead to social change.
Paper Two: Psychology in Context Approaches in Psychology- we look at the origins of Psychology and its development as a Science. We examine the assumptions of the five key approaches in Psychology, which all seek to explain human behaviour from radically different standpoints. The approaches include Learning theory, Psychodynamic and Humanistic Psychology Biopsychology- here the focus is on understanding detailed physiological processes controlled by the brain and attendant nervous system, the structure and function of neurons, and the mechanisms involved in synaptic transmission. We also explore sophisticated ways of studying the brain: scanning techniques, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI); electroencephalogram (EEGs) and eventrelated potentials (ERPs) Research methods throughout the course students will assess the strengths and limitations of a range of different types of research methods, ranging from carefully controlled Laboratory experiments
to free-running natural observations. As the course progresses students will learn how to summarise data using a range of graphical techniques, including scatter graphs and histograms and how to interpret and analyse statistical findings using inferential tests. Paper 3: Issues and Options in Psychology You will develop knowledge, understanding and skills of analysis in relation to three topics from a range of options which include: Relationships, Gender, Schizophrenia, Stress, Aggression, Cognition and Addiction Throughout this paper we examine the impact of environmental factors and biological predispositions, culture and gender in determining and controlling behaviour. Method of Assessment Terminal examination papers, consisting of multiple choice, short answers and extended writing AS: 2 written papers, each 1 hour 30 minutes. A Level: 3 written papers, each 2 hours. Useful links www.aqa.org.uk www.bps.org.uk 44
RELIGIOUS STUDIES Why choose Religious Studies? At some point in our lives we are confronted with ultimate questions such as, `Is there a God?' `Where did the universe come from?' `Is there a life after death?' `How do I know what is right or wrong?' `Is there a purpose to life?' `Are we alone in the universe?' Reflecting on such questions is one of the things which make us human. Religious Studies is a unique subject which provides you with an opportunity to explore such questions in depth through philosophy, religion and ethics. As such it involves thinking deeply, analysing and evaluating thought systems, religions, values and concepts and the chance to develop your own worldview. The subject's key skills are clear and coherent communication, the ability to understand and represent other people's points of view, the ability to present persuasive arguments and the skill of reading, analysing and synthesizing information, ideas and different types of literature. The subject can be combined with any other AS/A2 level and is a useful qualification for a wide variety of university degree subjects, including economics, English, geography, history, law, medicine, philosophy, politics, psychology, sociology and theology. Possible careers and courses that link to Religious Studies The skills involved in religious studies are relevant in any career which requires clear thinking, careful analysis, balanced evaluation, Effective Communication
and good presentation of ideas, e.g.: law, journalism, radio and television, police, social services, politics and public administration, teaching, the health service, working with children, tourism and advertising. Student perspective "I enjoy RE because it gives me the opportunity to think about some of the really big issues in life. It certainly stretches your mind." "RE gives you the chance to study some great thinkers and to discuss their ideas." "RE helps you to think and critically evaluate your own beliefs and those of others. It makes you think for yourself and not just accept what other people tell you." "It's interesting, challenging and different from my other subjects." "RE has helped me to become a more confident and broad minded person." Course details: Examination board: OCR Syllabus Code: H173 (AS level); H573 (A level) http://www.ocr.org.uk/qualifications/as-a-level-gce-religious-studies-h173-h573-from-2016/ 45
Course Content AS Level there are three modules: 1. Philosophy of Religion
The philosophy of Plato, Aristotle and Descartes with particular reference to existential reality and what it means to be human the mind, body and soul debate. Arguments about the existence of God Aquinas, Paley, Hume, Anselm and Kant. religious experiences
, eg: mysticism, conversion is God just a figment of our imagination? The problem of evil and suffering how can an omnipotent, omnibenevolent God exist in the face of so much suffering in the world? Augustine, Irenaeus, Hick. 2. Religion and Ethics Aristotle and Aquinas' natural law theory; Fletcher's situation ethics; Kant's deontological ethics; Utilitarianism Bentham and Mill. These theories are applied to euthanasia and business ethics. 3. Buddhism The life of the Buddha and the religious, cultural and socio-economic background to the emergence of Buddhism in India. The central concepts of Buddhism such as the three marks of existence, the four noble truths, the eightfold path and the three refuges, samsara, nirvana and the practice of meditation. Method of Assessment There are three examinations, each lasting 1 hour 15 minutes one for each of the three modules. There are two assessment objectives: AO1 - Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of religion and belief, including: · religious, philosophical and/or ethical thought and teaching · influence of beliefs, teachings and practices on individuals, communities and societies · cause and significance of similarities and differences in belief, teaching and practice · approaches to the study of religion and belief AO2 - Analyse and evaluate aspects of, and approaches to, religion and belief, including their significance, influence and study. Each assessment objective is given equal weighting in the examination: 50% each. 46
Why choose Spanish? Alongside English, and Arabic, Spanish is one of the great `world' languages. It is spoken by hundreds of millions across not only Spain, but the South and North American continents. The Spanish language allows the speaker to embark on the most remarkable and unexpected physical, intellectual and cultural adventures. Added to that, this sonorous language is a joy to study merely for the linguistic qualities it possesses. The Spanish A level course takes students to a very high level, equipping them for such adventures, possibly for studying abroad, and certainly for lively debate the staple of any good Spanish conversation!
Possible careers and courses that link to Spanish Spanish has long been associated with tourism, but there are many other sectors (for example Food, Energy and Construction) where a knowledge of Spanish often enables employees to be promoted to interesting and better paid positions more easily. Translation and interpreting offers some graduates opportunities, while the likely shortfall in Primary and Secondary language teachers in the UK will also provide many openings for future Spanish students.
Student perspective "The topics, particularly the cultural topics at A2, are very interesting and enjoyable." "The highlight of AS Spanish was the trip to Madrid, which as well as giving me the opportunity to practise the language, provided me with an opportunity to see some interesting Spanish culture."
Examination board: AQA
Syllabus Code: 7691 (AS) and 7692 (A level)
Topic areas at AS Modern and traditional values Cyberspace Equal Rights
Modern day idols Spanish regional identity Cultural heritage or cultural landscape Literary set texts Garcнa Mбrquez: Crуnica de una muerte anunciada Esquivel: Como agua para chocolate
Lorca: La Casa de Bernarda Alba Zafуn: La sombra del viento Allende: La casa de los espнritus Sender: Rйquiem por un campesino espaсol Bйcquer: Rimas y leyendas Fernбn-Gуmez: Las bicicletas son para el verano Rivas: El lбpiz del carpintero Garcнa Mбrquez: El coronel no tiene quien le escriba
Topic areas at A2 Immigration Racism Integration Todays' youth, tomorrow's citizens Monarchies, republics and dictatorships Popular movements Films Volver El laberinto del fauno Ocho apellidos vascos Marнa, llena eres de gracia El bola Las 13 rosas
Method of Assessment AS paper 1 is `receptive' skills (e.g. comprehension) . 1 hour 45 minutes. 40% of AS - Listening - Reading - Translation into English - All questions in target language are answered either with non-verbal responses or in the target language AS paper 2 is `productive' skills (e.g. writing in the target language). 1 hour 15 minutes. 30% of AS - Translation into target language - An essay on either a book or a film that has been studied that year - The essay will be `scaffolded' with some suggested bullet-points, thus helping the students with their analytical process - The essay is therefore above all an exercise in critical response AS paper 3 is a speaking exam. 12-14 minutes. 30% of AS - Discussion of 2 stimulus cards, which will each cover a sub-theme of the As topics `Aspects of French/Spanish/ Hispanic-speaking society' and `Artistic culture in French/ German/ Hispanic speaking society' - Students are able to study the card for 15 minutes prior to the assessment beginning A level paper 1. 2 hours 30 minutes. 40% of A level - Listening - Reading - Translation into English - Translation into target language (with a short accompanying passage on the same topic area to provide support) A level paper 2. 2 hours. 30% of A level - 2 essays one on a film and one on a text, or two on a texts - Requirement to answer both analytically and critically - Grammar is assessed A level paper 3 is a speaking exam. 16-18 minutes. 30% of A level - Exam starts with student receiving stimulus card relating to one of the four subthemes studied. Only 5 minutes preparation allowed on this - Discussion of the issue on the stimulus card - Student speaks on individual research project (must not be the same as the studied text/ film) Recommended reading/references/useful links www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/languages/as-and-a-level 48
Enrichment and Other Qualifications Enrichment As part of the 6th form programme of study, each student takes part in a programme of enrichment activities during the course of both Lower and Upper 6th years. Wednesday afternoons extra-curricular enrichment On Wednesday afternoons this session is intended to offer the opportunity to "take a break" from studies, and to engage in extra-curricular and recreational activities
, ranging from sport or music, to art or the Young Enterprise and Prince's Trust projects. There is also the opportunity to undertake voluntary work in a number of areas in the local community
. (This is particularly useful for those seeking to undertake university courses in medicine, veterinary medicine or teaching, for whom work experience is particularly important, but it is also a very rewarding way to meet people, to learn new skills, and to give something back to the community around you.) Students may opt for an activity from a broad range of options, and can then change options, if they so choose, each term. Friday mornings - academic enrichment Friday sessions are given over to a more academic focus. We arrange a wide programme of presentations and visiting speakers on topics relevant to 6th form students during the year. Such presentations range from information about universities, apprenticeships and gap years, to workshops on driving awareness, sexual health, assertiveness and dealing effectively with pressure. Alongside these presentations we run an extensive programme of post-school choices workshops which will provide you with a wealth of information on the options open to you beyond school, and support in successfully making these choices, as well as a carousel of skill-based sessions on topics such as interview technique, debating, current affairs etc. Later in the year there are opportunities to set up or join student-run societies (such as the Medic Society, the Law Society, the Literary Society, the Amnesty International Society, the Economics Society and the Languages Society) or to set up dedicated study-groups. We also offer optional opportunities to undertake the EPQ project during these sessions (details provided in the next section.) 49
Extended Project Qualification (EPQ)
The EPQ is a qualification that offers the opportunity to gain up to an A* grade. It is an option available to all students, and is taken up after the AS level examinations and over the summer holidays that follow. It is a wonderful opportunity for students to engage in research and reading beyond the bounds of the curriculum, and to investigate a topic or theme of particular interest to them; the choice of options is boundless. The project itself involves the completion of a 5000 word essay (or the completion of an artifact alongside a 1000 word commentary) followed by a presentation to an invited audience. The submission of a detailed logbook recording the student's progress and reflections during the project is also an essential requirement of this qualification. The project is independent in that it is not taught, so the students themselves take responsibility for the management, timing and completion of the project. However each student has a supervisor to offer advice and support, and there are a number of formal sessions delivered to all candidates on study skills, research, referencing etc. to support the project. Universities place great value on the EPQ, since it demonstrates a range of undergraduate-level skills and experience, whilst demonstrating also the student's interest in their subject, and their ability to be self-motivated and independent learners.
METHOD OF ASSESSMENT:
The completed project will comprise:
An essay of up to 5000 words, or an artefact accompanied by a 1000 word commentary.
A completed Production Logbook and Assessment Record
The project, logbook and presentation will be assessed by the student's supervisor using the following assessment
objectives and mark weighting:
AO1 Identify, design, plan, and carry out a project, applying a range of skills, strategies and methods to achieve 20%
Research, critically select, organise and use information, and select and use a range of resources. Analyse data apply relevantly and demonstrate understanding of any links, connections and complexities of the
Develop and Realise
AO3 Select and use a range of skills, including, where appropriate, new technologies and problem-solving, to
take decisions critically and achieve planned outcomes.
Evaluate all aspects of the extended project, including outcomes in relation to stated objectives and own learning and performance. Select and use a range of communication skills and media to present
evidenced outcomes and conclusions in an appropriate format.
The assessed project will be moderated within school by the EPQ co-ordinator, and then the school's marks will be sampled and moderated by the examination board to confirm the marks. 50
RGS 6th Form Careers Programme All students undertake the 6th form careers programme which is designed to cover the full range of career and educational opportunities.
Our aims are to:
Equip students with the knowledge, skills and attributes you need to make informed decisions about your learning through a relevant programme of careers education Support students with personalised impartial information, advice and guidance to help you build up the confidence to take charge of your career development
and manage your own progression through learning and work; Inspire students to consider a broad and ambitious range of options and to move on to achieve your full potential.
"Research widely and be open minded" U6 student (2015)
"Start as early as possible and use the websites provided by the careers advisers" U6 student (2014)
"Talk to professionals in the field of work that interests you" U6 student (2015)
Our programme of career and work related learning covers the full range of post 18 options delivered through a
combination of events, information, activities and classroom learning including:
CV Preparation Work Experience Career Planning Careers Evening Personal Statements UCAS Convention External speakers from business, education and other organisations
Practice Interviews Mock Medical Mini Interviews Careers Notices Volunteering Careers Club Higher Education Evening University Admissions Tests University Visits
Careers Advice and Guidance Impartial careers advice and guidance from professionally qualified staff is offered together with face-to-face support from a range of external sources including independent careers advisers, employers, former students and university representatives. Method of Assessment Feedback and individual discussion are an important part of the careers programme. There is no formal assessment and it is up to each student to make the most of the information, advice and guidance which is available to you in order to explore and prepare for future opportunities that suit your individual talents, interests and aspirations. Recommended Resources: Our well-resourced careers library is open daily from 8.30am-4.30pm. Students can drop in during free periods, lunchtime, break or after school to browse our books and prospectuses, speak to careers staff or arrange an individual careers guidance appointment. Our website www.ripongrammar.co.uk/academic/careers is intended to be a starting point to research all your post 18 options. This contains sections on higher education, school leaver employment, study abroad, gap years and work experience as well as links to a wide range of other recommended on-line careers resources. The 6th form careers section of Sharepoint includes a good variety of resources relating to university and employment applications including details of high quality school leaver employment opportunities