GCSEs

GCSEs represent the first step on the pathway towards a UK university. Padworth College’s GCSE programme is taught over periods of one and two years, commencing in September.

Two Year I/GCSE Course

Number of Subjects

Students study the standard curriculum, incorporating up to 10 different subjects.

Compulsory subjects are English Language, English Literature (native English speakers), Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry and Physics.

Optional subjects include English as a Second Language, Art, French, Geography, History, ICT and Music.

English Requirement

Minimum of CEFR Level B1 (IELTS 4.5)

A student’s English proficiency can be judged through sitting the Password English language test that forms part of the admissions process at Padworth, or through sitting the IELTS test.

Students who are at IELTS 4.0 can join the College’s full-time Pre-Sessional Programme in September, January or April (for three, two or one term respectively), prior to securing guaranteed entry into the Two Year GCSE Course the following September.

Academic Requirement

The minimum entry requirement is 5 passes at a school level equivalent to Year 9 in the UK. Our admissions team will be more than happy to provide advance on the equivalence of international qualifications.

Age Requirement

The normal expected age of entry onto the course is 14-15 years.

Students aged between 14-15 on the first day of the academic year (taken as 1 September) are classed as ‘Compulsory School Age’. Such students receive a higher level of supervision at Padworth for the duration of the academic year.

1 Year I/GCSE Programme

Number of Subjects

Students study up to 6 IGCSE subjects from: English as a First Language or English as a Second Language, Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Art, Business Studies, ICT (not examined), Music (not examined) and PSHE (not examined). Own Language IGCSE is also available.

English Requirement

Minimum of CEFR Level B2 (IELTS 5.5)

A student’s English proficiency can be judged through sitting the Password English language test that forms part of the admissions process at Padworth, or through sitting the IELTS test.

Students who are at IELTS 4.5 can join the College’s full-time Pre-Sessional Programme in September, January or April (for three, two or one term respectively), prior to securing guaranteed entry into the 1 Year IGCSE Programme the following September.

Academic Requirement

The minimum entry requirement is 5 passes at a school level equivalent to Year 10 in the UK. Our admissions team will be more than happy to provide advance on the equivalence of international qualifications.

Age Requirement

The normal expected age of entry at the start of the course is 15-16 years.

Students who are not 16 on the first day of the academic year (taken as 1 September) are classed as ‘Compulsory School Age’. Such students receive a higher level of supervision at Padworth for the duration of the academic year.

Subjects Available

Art and Design

Art and Design

GCSE Art and Design features a wide range of titles including Art, Craft and Design, Fine Art, Graphic Communication and Textile Design.  There is some flexibility to tailor the specific content offered.

The qualification is designed to inspire and bring out the best in students, whilst equipping them with the skills to continue the subject with confidence at A Level

Biology

Biology

The core content follows a coherent and logical story through biology, with ten required practical activities linked to core content to help develop understanding through hands-on experience.

Subjects to be studied include: Cell Biology; Organisation; Infection and Response; Bioenergetics; Homeostasis and Response; Inheritance, Variation and Evolution; Ecology; and Key Ideas.

Business Studies

Business Studies

Students will be given the opportunity to explore real business issues and how businesses work. They will consider the practical application of business concepts and will have the opportunities to explore theories and concepts in the most relevant way, through the context of events in the business and economic world.

Areas to be studied include: Business in the Real World; Influences on Business; Business Operations; Human Resources; Marketing; and Finance.

Chemistry

Chemistry

In GCSE Chemistry, students will be able to indulge their interest and enthusiasm for the discipline by doing some real time practical chemistry which is sometimes exotic and stimulating, but relates to real life problems and life in general. This will be executed as part of the Salter’s Chemistry Club.

English Language

English Language

English Language is a foundational GCSE on which A Level and university courses build. It teaches the power to communicate clearly with precision. It enables the student to think critically; to write creatively and to evaluate analytically. Students explore a challenging anthology of non-fiction which covers such topics as dyslexia, mental health and the importance of self-reliance. Ten poems and short stories are also studied: from Keats to Wilfred Owen; and Maupassant to Susan Hill; giving students the opportunity to experience a wide variety of differing ideas and perspectives. Creative writing and essay writing are also taught so that students can put what they have learned into practice and grow in their written expression.

English Literature

English Literature

In this course, students have the marvellous opportunity to study two tragedies, one modern by Arthur Miller, ‘A view from the Bridge’ which explores what pressure is needed to make an ordinary, well respected man forsake all he knows to be true; and one, more traditional, by Shakespeare, ‘Macbeth’ which explores the power of temptation to overthrow all our good intentions. Student responses to both plays are examined through coursework. The hugely influential and transformative novel, ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ is also studied for this GCSE and an anthology of poetry representing a wide variety of differing poets and poems. Students will learn to evaluate how language creates meaning and explore how major literary works have been both influenced by, and also been a means of influencing, the social, historical and political climate in which they were written.

French

French

Students will be tested in listening, reading, speaking and writing and will develop transferable skills relevant to further study and the world of work.  The range of topics within the specification aims to inspire students who are interested in French culture and French speaking countries.

Geography

Geography

Students will actively engage in the process of geographical enquiry to develop as effective and independent learners, and as critical and reflective thinkers with enquiring minds. Students will undertake, under supervision fieldwork. During the course they will develop knowledge and understanding of geographical concepts and appreciate the relevance of these concepts to our changing world. The topics studied are river environments, hazardous environments, economic activity and energy, urban environments and development and human welfare.

History

History

Students will acquire knowledge and understanding of interesting and important periods of history, reflecting upon significance, critically examining sources and developing an awareness of different interpretations. In other words, students will learn what has happened, explore explanations of why things happened, be able to discuss both the significance of events and individuals and be able to deploy evidence to support their own explanations and interpretations. The units studied are as follows:

  • Germany: Development of Dictatorship, 1918–45.
  • A Divided Union: Civil Rights in the USA, 1945–74.
  • Russia and the Soviet Union, 1905–24.
  • Changes in Medicine, c.1848 – c.1948.

ICT

ICT

The course will explore how digital technology impacts on the lives of individuals, organisations and society. You will learn about current and emerging digital technologies and the issues raised by their use in a range of contexts by individuals and organisations. You will be able to develop awareness of the risks that are inherent in using ICT and the features of safe, secure and responsible practice. You will have the opportunity to broaden and enhance your ICT skills and capability, working with a range of digital tools and techniques to produce effective ICT solutions in a range of contexts. You will learn how to reflect critically on your own and others’ use of ICT and how to adopt safe, secure and responsible practice.

Mathematics

Mathematics

In I/GCSE Maths, students will be provided with the essential numeracy skills to be applied not only in most of their future studies, but also in their daily life.

The scope of the subject is wide and it is present in most of the I/GCSE subjects across the board like Physics, Chemistry, Biology or Business, so its command is key to success in building a holistic understanding of all the subjects that will shape the overall knowledge of the student as an individual.

Music

Music

In GCSE Music (Edexcel) students will work on two performance projects (solo and ensemble) and two composition projects (free and brief). In addition, through studying eight set works, they will learn music history, music theory, and compositional and performance techniques of a variety of genres.

Physics

Physics

GCSE Physics covers a number of topics including forces, waves, radioactivity, electricity and magnetism.

You will learn how to apply maths to real-world problems and explore new areas such as particle physics, quantum mechanics, cosmology and medical physics. Perhaps more importantly, you will develop skills that can be transferred to just about any other area of work, from setting up a business to saving the planet. Even if you don’t go on to become a physicist, learning to think like one will help you get to the root of any problem and draw connections that aren’t obvious to others. Physics won’t give you all the answers, but it will teach you how to ask the right questions!