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The Charter School

North Dulwich

Course Descriptions


During Year 11 learners use a range of approaches to record observations, experiences and ideas.  They learn to explore and review their ideas, to consider possible solutions and to review and modify their work as it progresses.

The course explores a range of materials, equipment and processes, and develops learners understanding of other peoples work.  Coursework is 60% of the final GCSE grade. Learners begin preparing for the practical exam in the spring term by spending 8-10 weeks researching and planning a final outcome. Keeping a sketchbook for both coursework and exam units is compulsory.

Art & Design

In Year 11 students extend their creative, imaginative and practical skills to enable them to communicate and express their experiences, ideas and insights, in relation to specified design briefs.  They learn to use primary and secondary observation and research techniques, and to investigate the roles of the client, target audience and deadlines in the creative industries. By exploring a wide range of 2D and 3D Art and Design and Photography techniques and processes, examining the work of practitioners in both historical and contemporary society, students apply their findings to their own ideas and designs. Keeping a sketchbook during Year 11 is compulsory.  It is used to document progress and development, and will be assessed as part of each project.

Business BTEC

This course is the equivalent to 2 GCSE’s grade A – C and is assessed by 100% coursework.  To date learners should have completed 3 out of 5 assignments with the last two units being completed in year 11.  The current unit 16 is due for submission on Friday 25 January.  We will then be completing the final unit, unit 8, and this will be due for submission on Thursday 28 March.  This course is great for developing learners’ ability to work to deadlines, research skills and team working.


Pupils are studying for the short course GCSE in Citizenship Studies. In Year 10 pupils completed Unit 2, a practical coursework project investigating the role of charities in resolving social issues. This accounts for 60% of their final grade. Students are currently finishing the curriculum for Unit 1, exploring citizenship issues in Britain and the world today.  This is assessed by exam in the summer. In Year 11 we cover: global governance including the European Union, the Commonwealth and also the United Nations; the role of the Media in society; the Law and Criminal Justice System. Students will start recapping Unit 1 after the Easter Holidays, ready for  a 1 hour exam on Friday 17 May at 4pm. (It is essential that students revise effectively over the Easter Holidays to support revision in class.)

Design & Technology

Product Design

Learners on this course have been working towards the following assessment objectives:

Controlled assessment (60% of grade) - This is to be internally assessed and externally moderated.  The work will consist of practical work towards making a high quality finished product, research and investigation, analysis, generating the design criteria, design development, modelling and testing, evidence of industrial practice and evaluation as well as use of ICT.

Written Paper (40% of grade) – A two hour exam with questions that test the application of knowledge and understanding, materials, processes, techniques, and the evaluation of commercial products and practice.  All learners are entered for the same exam paper.


During Year 11 learners complete their second unit of coursework and the practical exam.

Unit 2 Exploring Play Texts (30% grade)

This year learners studied the play ‘Blood Brothers’ by Willy Russell and explored this through a variety of different practical workshops. The learners were assessed on their involvement, understanding and group work by the teacher.

Learners produce a portfolio of written evidence to support their practical work in controlled conditions including a live theatre review.

Unit 3 Drama Performance. (40% of grade)

An external examiner assesses learners on their performance in an extract from a play combined with their own orginal material devised drama. The results from all 3 units are amalgamated to give the final grade and sent to the school in August.


Leaners have now completed their GCSE in Business Studies by recently submitting their controlled assessment.  Learners are currently preparing for their Unit 11 - GCSE in Economics that will take place on Tuesday 29 January.  The exam is worth 50% of their GCSE in Economics and learners will then complete Unit 12 – which is the other 50% of the Economics qualification and examined on 3rd June.


In GCSE English and English Literature learners complete controlled assessments in speaking and listening, response to literature and media texts, and original writing.  Controlled assessments are worth 40% of the final grade in English and 30% in Literature.

In addition learners are prepared for examinations in the following areas: understanding and responding to non-fiction texts; writing to argue, persuade and advise; writing to inform, explain and describe; analysis of poetry; analysis of a 20th Century prose text.

Learners receive 2 GCSE qualifications.


BTEC Engineering Extended Certificate.

This is a practical and theoretical engineering course comprising modules done in classroom and workshop.  Units are internally assessed and externally moderated.  This is a work-related qualification ideal for progression to further specialist training or work.  Units studied on this course are:

Unit 1     Working safely and effectively in engineering

Unit 2     Interpreting and using engineering information

Unit 17    Fabrication techniques and sheet metal

Unit 19    Electronic circuit construction


Learners continue learning to understand, speak, read and write in French.  They are more confident using sounds, written forms and grammar, and use this knowledge with increasing competence to express themselves in group work, conversations and writing.  They improve their understanding of French by listening to speech and talking about a range of different subjects.  They produce two pieces of Controlled Assessment – speaking - referring to past, present and future events.  They do more independent research and have access to podcasts from the VLE to improve exam skills.  Topics studied in Year 11 include: Past holidays, Home, the Media, Food, Travelling in a French speaking country, Protecting the environment.


GCSE Geography learners have increased their knowledge and understanding of places, environments and people.  The two units studied in year 11 include ‘similarities and differences’ and ‘Issues in our fast changing world’.  They have developed their ability to analyse their personal geographies thorough investigations into ‘their place’, linking geographical factors such as people, migration, climates and economies.  Year 11 have been comparing the similarities and differences between their place and non-UK places; such as Brazil and India.  They have studied different perceptions of each place, theories and the significance and effects different attitudes of those involved in the decision making processes linked to development, urban reform, rejuvenation and urban sustainability.  ‘Issues in our fast changing world’ allow learners to develop and apply knowledge and understanding of current issues of global importance.  The aim of the unit is to give learners the opportunity to examine and reflect upon topical global issues.  Enabling them to engage actively in the process of geography, think like geographers and develop their responsibilities as global citizens.  The topic areas are: Population change; Consuming Resources, Changing cities, Trade, aid and superpowers; The challenge of planning (urban, transport, food, water, leisure).

Health & Social Care

In the BTEC Level 2 Extended Certificate in Health and Social Care a wide range of Health and Social Care related subjects are studied.  For instance, you will learn about the different physical, social and emotional needs individuals have and how to meet these needs; how to communicate with a wide variety of people from all cultures and the aspects of diet which lead to good health.  A valuable aspect of this course is the work experience; this will take place during your year 10 work experience week, with a variety of local health and care providers.  It is a course that is recognised and respected by employers and professional institutions.


Learners have completed 50% of the GCSE course in Year 10 on an examined unit, International Relations 1900-39 and Controlled Assessment, the Impact of War on Britain.  During Module 1 and Module 2 in Year 11 the History learners have been working on another examined unit, Germany 1918-1939 which is worth 25% of their final grade.  This unit will be examined in June 2013. Now completed, learners are focused on their final unit, America a Divided Union 1945-1970, which involves the study of the early part of the Cold War, Black Civil Rights and Protest Movements in the United States.  The learners will sit both these examined units in June in two separate exam papers.


Learners are currently working towards the GCSE in Information Communication Technology.  The qualification requires the completion of four units.  Two of these were completed in Year 10.  Unit 1 - ICT in Today's World and Unit 3 - ICT in Context are assessed via a formal written examination, and each is worth 20% of the qualification.  Units 2 and 4 are Controlled Assessment units, requiring the completion of a 20-hour practical ICT project independently under teacher supervision, and are each worth 30% of the qualification.  Units 1 and 2 make up the Short Course GCSE, and some learners will only complete these two units.

ICT - OCR Nationals

Learners are currently working towards the Level 2 First Award in ICT, which is worth the equivalent of a single A-C grade GCSE and requires the completion of three full coursework units to pass standard.  Learners were expected to complete two of these during Year 10, and complete the third in Year 11.  Learners are currently nearing completion of the final unit, ICT Skills for Business, which requires learners to undertake a number of tasks in a real-life setting using the main office applications as well skills in Internet searching and email.  Each unit is 100% coursework and assessed by a portfolio of evidence.  Learners are provided with assessment grids which show how to get Pass, Merit or Distinction grades, and are expected to be completing a large portion of their coursework independently outside lessons.


In Mathematics we follow the OCR Board. Learners in the yellow and Green pathway take the Linked Pair Pilot which gives two GCSE’s in Mathematics by the end of Year 11.  The two GCSE’s are Methods in Mathematics which covers the core skills and Applications of Mathematics which looks at ‘real life’ Mathematics.  There are two exams for each GCSE worth 40% and 60% respectively of the final grade and these are split between Year 10 and 11.  Both GCSE’s cover the following areas; number, algebra, space and shape and data handling.  There are two tiers of entry for the final examination, Higher and Foundation. Learners were placed in sets based on their ability and will take the level of entry appropriate to them.

Learners in the blue pathway take a unitised course.  They are also tested on number, algebra, shape and space, and data handling but it is split into three units over the two years.  In Year 10 Unit A is taken – worth 25% and in Year 11 Units B and C are taken worth 25% and 50% respectively.

Media Studies

The course is designed to enable learners to develop a critical understanding of the role of the mass media in society.

Year 11 builds on the work done in Year 10 but with the focus more on the final exam topic.  The key concepts (Media Language; Representation; Audience and Institutions) are studied through aspects of the mass media e.g. Film; Television; the Music Industry; Magazines and newspapers and Advertising.  There is an emphasis on evaluation and analysis of texts and of the practical work produced at this stage of the course.

Learners are required to undertake a practical production together with a supporting account of 800-1000 words alongside completing 2 other assignments.  This portfolio represents 60% of the total with the Controlled Test accounting for the other 40%.


Year 11 pupils are working to complete their final Solo and Ensemble/Duet performances, plus complete two compositions, each from a different one of the four Areas of Study.  Most of the Year 11 cohort achieved Grade C+ in the written listening and appraising exam in Year 10; those who did not are attending intervention sessions this term to re-sit in May 2013.

The Solo and Ensemble Performance Controlled Assessment examinations generate 90 UMS points which is 30% of the final mark.  Two compositions generate 90 UMS points, 30% of the final grade, and are worked on under Controlled Assessment conditions.  A score and a recording has to be produced for each, along with a written account of their ideas for each composition.  The UMS marks from all 3 areas, (composing, performing and the summer Listening Exam), are amalgamated to generate the predictive grade for Y11 work.

Physical Education

Blue and Green Pathways

GCSE P.E. 60% practical and 40% theoretical.

All learners follow practical modules in: Football, Basketball, Badminton, Indoor Rowing, Fitness and Rounder’s.  Learners are required to follow an observation and analysis programme.

The theoretical written examination is based on Knowledge and Understanding for the Active Participant.  This includes questions on decisions on a healthy active lifestyle, opportunities and pathways for healthy active lifestyles, principles of training, diet, nutrition, hygiene, anatomy and physiology specifically related to sport.  Learners will also be required to complete scenarios related to their exams.  Some learners will study the Full Course/Double Award GCSE PE and will do the exam in the summer term.


Yellow Pathway

During this year learners have been assessed on their effort in Basketball, Fitness, Dance, Table Tennis and Football.  Emphasis is placed on an individual’s level of skill acquisition in both a practice and competitive situations, on top of developing a fundamental knowledge an understanding of the respective sports.  During the Spring and Summer Terms, learners will experience sports such as Cricket, Athletics, Circuit Training and Rounders.  Learners are encouraged to work independently and collaboratively to enhance traits of teamwork and communication throughout the programme.

Religious Studies

Green Pathway

Learners start the year on a unit called ‘Religion and Community Cohesion’ where they study issues such as racism, sexism and homophobia.  They learn about a range of views on these topics and the reasons for them, including Christian and Muslim views.  They are also expected to be able to give good reasons for their own opinion.  Once that is completed, learners will be exploring how some of the issues they have been learning about throughout the GCSE are presented in the media.  The year will finish with some intensive revision and exam practice.


Blue Pathway

In their RE lessons this year learners are working on two additional units for their ICT qualification whilst at the same time exploring issues from religion and ethics.  In the first term they were creating a podcast about either abortion or euthanasia.  During the second term they will be choosing a religious or moral issue and using desktop publishing skills to create a magazine about it.  If both of these units are completed successfully and they pass their core ICT units they will receive an additional qualification that is the equivalent to a GCSE.


Triple Science – Class 11tu/Sc1

Learners are following the Triple Science Qualification and have completed the main modules and are working through the additional extension work in Physics, Chemistry and Biology.  In Physics they have studied the Earth in Space and how we have explored the universe. In Biology they will be studying the structure and function of the organ systems in the body plus how the immune system protects us from infection.  In chemistry they will be studying organic chemistry and its reactions and how the chemical industry manufactures chemicals in an environmentally friendly way.  The learners complete a single piece of controlled assessment for each subject which is 25% of each GCSE grade.


Additional Science - Classes 11tu/Sc2, 11xyz/Sc1, 11xyz/Sc2

Learners follow Additional Science course.

The Additional Science course is a concept-led course developed to meet the needs of learners seeking a deeper understanding of basic scientific ideas.  The course focuses on scientific explanations and models and gives learners an insight into how scientists develop scientific understanding of ourselves and the world we inhabit.  The course comprises 3 modular exams worth 75% and controlled assessment worth 25%


Applied Science BTEC – Classes 11xyz/Sc3, 11xyz/Sc4, 11vw/Sc1 and 11vw/Sc2

This qualification gives learners the opportunity to learn about the concepts in chemistry such as hydrocarbons, endothermic/exothermic reactions and how elements bond together.  In biology they study about ecosystems and sustainability and how we can protect the habitats of animals and plants.  In physics they study electricity and forces and different types of energy.  They complete 16 assignments and have to pass all of them in order to gain the BTEC qualification.  This is equivalent to two GCSE’s grades.


Learners continue learning to understand, speak, read and write in Spanish.  They are more confident using sounds, written forms and grammar, and use this knowledge with increasing competence to express themselves in group work, conversations and writing.  They improve their understanding of Spanish by listening to speech and talking about a range of different subjects.  They produce two pieces of Controlled Assessment – speaking - referring to past, present and future events.  They do more independent research and have access to podcasts from the VLE to improve exam skills.  Topics studied in Year 11 include: Past holidays, Home, the Media, Food, Travelling in a Spanish speaking country, Protecting the environment.