All girls at Woodford County High School study ten GCSE subjects. These are all examined at the end of Year 11.
GCSE courses are two years in duration, with the exception of the three sciences and mathematics, which are studied over three years at Woodford (in Years 9, 10 & 11). The curriculum is made up of Core Courses (which are the subjects that all students must take) as well as Options Courses (students personalise their own programme by making 4 individual subject choices).
All students study the following subjects to GCSE:
This counts as two GCSE qualifications in English Language and English Literature.
All students will study a range of Mathematical concepts to provide a good understanding and to enable any student to progress to A-level if they wish.
The specification for GCSE Science covers all aspects of Science and will provide a suitable background for any A-Level Science Course. It is anticipated that the majority of Woodford students will take Triple Science although there will be some students who would benefit from taking the Double Award. Science teachers provide guidance to students in making this choice.
Students choose from French, German or Latin (depending on what they have studied to date). Students may take both their languages through to GCSE but cannot start another language at this stage.
A Humanities Subject
Either History or Geography (see below for more information about the ‘English Baccalaureate).
Everyone will continue with Physical Education and Religious Studies, although these Core courses do not lead to a qualification at GCSE.
(Both these subjects are available as GCSE subjects in addition to the Core.)
In Years 10 & 11, additional time is available for Personal, Social and Health Education and Careers Guidance. Throughout Key Stage 4 students are provided with opportunities to develop their skills in Information and Communication Technology through the other subjects that they are studying.
The English Baccalaureate
The Department for Education (DFE) in November 2010 announced the creation of a new “badged” qualification: The English Baccalaureate. The stated intention is that students attaining GCSE grades A* - C in a specified group of subjects will be awarded the English Baccalaureate Certificate.
The specified subjects are as follows:
Sciences (at least 2)
A humanity (either History or Geography)
The Core GCSE Curriculum at Woodford requires all students to study the first 5 subjects as listed (see information on ‘The Core’ above) and for many years the vast majority of students here (over 95%) have also studied at least one humanity. With the creation of the new English Baccalaureate all Year 9 students are now expected to include either History or Geography among their options choices. Where this presents an individual student with real difficulty, she is asked to discuss the issue with the Deputy Head before submitting her options form.
(The Language Choice)
(The Humanity Choice)
Twenty periods of the fortnight are divided between the four option choices. The Options Columns include the Humanity and the Language choice from the core curriculum, then students choose two further options subjects. Most GCSE courses can be continued to A-Level at Woodford, however Food Technology cannot.
The Options Process
Parents and students are invited to attend the Year 9 Parents’ Evening held annually in February. This provides an opportunity for personalised discussion about a student’s potential for GCSE studies with the relevant subject teachers.
Completed Option Choice Forms are submitted in mid-February.
The Options Columns are then built in response to the choices of the year group. The blocks are designed in such a way as to enable the maximum number of people to take the subjects they have chosen.
It will not always be possible to accommodate every student’s preferred combination of subjects. For this reason girls are asked to rank their choices in order of preference. Final allocation to subjects would only be made after discussion with the student(s) concerned.
This year's presentation on GCSE Options can be downloaded here:
Options Talk to Year 9 Parents - Presentation (select 'save' then 'open')
GCSEs are currently in the process of being reformed. The content and grading of the GCSEs your daughter is, or will be, studying will therefore depend upon which year she is currently in.
In summary, this is as follows:
Current Year 9:
To study new GCSEs (graded 9-1) in all subjects.
Current Year 10:
To study new GCSEs (graded 9-1) in all subjects except Classical Civilisation.
Current Year 11:
Studying new GCSEs (graded 9-1) in English and Mathematics and legacy GCSEs (graded A*- G) in all other subjects