Courses and Entry Requirements

Your choice of course at Post 16 is one of the most important decisions you will make in your life; it can help to determine your university, your career, your future.

Entry Requirements

Post-16 study is demanding and we know how important it is for students to be placed on the right courses.

GENERAL ENTRY REQUIREMENTS

  • All students will need to provide an academic reference from a senior member of staff from the school that they are leaving.
  • Attendance and punctuality will be considered prior to offering students a place.
  • All students must meet the entry requirements stated in the list of courses on offer.

We offer a range of level 3 courses and although there is a general need for five or more grade 5s or equivalent we can only offer a place on a specific subject if you achieve that subject’s entry requirements.

In addition, certain subjects including Maths, Chemistry and Physics require a separate entrance test. Details of these entrance tests can be found when you apply online.

Please note subjects are available in certain option blocks on the timetable. An example of these option blocks can be found here.

Courses

At Greenford, we have an outstanding and wide-ranging curriculum offer – you will find more details and specific entry requirements for individual subjects in the information below.

BTEC Level 3

BTEC Diploma in Business

Level: BTEC Level 3
Awarding Body: Edexcel
Entry Requirements: 5 GCSE grades A-C (or grade 5+ for new GCSEs) OR BTEC Level 2 at Distinction plus GCSE Maths and English Language at level 5+.

It is a requirement to have a minimum of grade 5 in Maths and English Language due to the external assessments. However, we may consider students who have a grade 4 if other entry requirements are met.

Course Description

If you have an interest in business but not yet sure of your exact career direction, the BTEC Business course could be ideal for you. It gives you the opportunity to study a wide variety of business disciplines such as finance, law, marketing, human resource management, business decision methods and the business environment. This exciting course has been designed to prepare individuals for employment and/or career development opportunities. The course investigates different types of business activities, what they are trying to achieve and what others expect of the business. You will also look at managing money and will also investigate setting up a new business and effective customer services.

BTECs are changing and from September 2017 they will include a combination of internal assessment (coursework assignments) and also external assessment (exams and assignment tasks completed under controlled conditions). The internal assessment will be approximately 60%  and the external assessment will be approximately 40%

Course Content

This course allows students to receive specialist work-related qualifications in Business. Students have the opportunity to develop the knowledge, understanding and skills of people in employment and develop key skills in a business context, such as improving performance, problem solving and working with others. Through this course, students can prepare for employment or to progress onto a university course.

Units Taught

  • Exploring Business
  • Developing a Marketing Campaign (externally assessed task)
  • Personal and Business Finance (external assesed-exam)
  • Managing an Event
  • International Business
  • Principles of Management (externally assessed task)
  • Recruitment and Selection Process
  • Investigating Customer Service

Progression Routes

The majority of students have gone on to university to pursue a range of business-related courses including business management, accountancy, finance, law, management and marketing.

Other students have progressed on to apprenticeships in business, accountancy or finance.

BTEC Extended Diploma in Business

Level: BTEC Level 3
Awarding Body: Edexcel
Entry Requirements: 5 GCSE grades A*-C (or grade 5+) including Maths and English Language OR BTEC Level 2 at Distinction plus GCSE Maths and English Language.

Due to the external assessments a minimum of grade 5 in Maths and English Language is required. However, we may consider students with a grade 4 in certain cases if the other entry requirements are met.

Course Description

This course will allow you to get the equivalent of three A Levels in Business Studies. This means your timetable will be purely Business, so a passion for the subject is essential!

If you have an interest in business but not yet sure of your exact career direction, the BTEC Business course could be ideal for you. It gives you the opportunity to study a wide variety of business disciplines such as finance, law, marketing, human resource management, business decision methods and the business environment. This exciting course has been designed to prepare individuals for employment and/or career development opportunities. The course investigates different types of business activities, what they are trying to achieve and what others expect of the business. You will also look at managing money and will also investigate setting up a new business and effective customer services.

BTECs have changed in recent years and from September 2017 include a combination of internal assessment (coursework assignments) and also external assessment (one exam and three assignment tasks completed under controlled conditions).

The internal assessment will be approximately 60% and the external assessment will be approximately 40%.

Course Content

This course allows students to receive specialist work-related qualifications in Business, through classroom and visit based assignments, designed to support the 12 coursework units. Students have the opportunity to develop the knowledge, understanding and skills of people in employment and develop major key skills in a business context, such as improving own performance, problem solving and working with others. Through this course, students can prepare for employment or to progress onto a university course.

Units Taught:

  • Exploring Business
  • Developing a Marketing Campaign (externally assessed task)
  • Personal and Business Finance (externally assessed exam)
  • Managing an Event
  • International Business
  • Principles of Management (externally assessed task)
  • Business Decision Making (externally assessed task)
  • Development planning for a career in business
  • Recruitment and Selection Process
  • Team Building in Business
  • Investigating Customer Service
  • Digital Marketing
  • Investigating Retail Business

Progression Routes

The majority of students go on to university to pursue a range of business related courses including business management, accountancy, finance, law, management and marketing.

Other students have progressed onto apprenticeships in business, accountancy or finance.

BTEC Extended Diploma in Applied Science

Level: BTEC Level 3
Awarding Body: Edexcel
Entry Requirements: 5 GCSEs at grade 5 including Maths, English Language and Science OR Distinction at level 2 BTEC

Course Description

The BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Applied Science has become an ever more rigorous qualification with many universities, employers and apprenticeship suppliers accepting it as an entry qualification equivalent to 3 A-levels. It prepares students for many roles in the science sector, for example as a technician in the areas of a laboratory or industrial science. This qualification can also be used to progress onto Higher Education Institutions to study science related degree courses such as Forensic Science, Biomedical Science, Optometry, Radiography or Nursing to name but a few. The assessment is mainly based on coursework with one Exam and one externally assessed Task in each year. Delivery of the course will be through the use of a mixture of theory and practical work.

Course Content

The course is assessed with a mixture of exams, internally assessed coursework units and externally assessed task based units.

The four externally assessed units include:

  • Principles and Applications of Science
  • Science Investigation Skills
  • Principles and Applications of Science II
  • Contemporary Issues in Science

Three core coursework based units:

  • Practical Scientific Procedures and Techniques
  • Laboratory Techniques and their Application
  • Investigative Project

Together with 6 other subject specific coursework units from:

  • Physiology of Human Body Systems
  • Human Regulation and Reproduction
  • Biological Molecules and Metabolic Pathways
  • Genetics and Genetic Engineering
  • Diseases and Infections
  • Applications of Inorganic Chemistry
  • Applications of Organic Chemistry
  • Electrical Circuits and their Application
  • Astronomy and Space Science
  • Microbiology and Microbiological Techniques
  • Industrial Chemical Reactions
  • Practical Chemical Analysis
  • Biomedical Science
  • Medical Physics Applications
  • Materials Science
  • Forensic Evidence, Collection and Analysis
  • Cryogenics and Vacuum Technology
  • Forensic Fire Investigation
  • Forensic Traffic Accident Investigation

The BTEC Nationals in Applied Science are a suite of qualifications that reflect aspects of employment within science organisations or organisations that use science and enable learners to develop practical scientific skills. These qualifications will appeal to learners who prefer portfolio-based assessment covering a variety of scientific investigations. During the course students will develop key skills in communication, numeracy and ICT, as well as time-management and organisation. This provides invaluable experience for students who go onto full-time work, as well as university or apprenticeships.

Progression Routes

The BTEC Nationals in Applied Science could lead to many different opportunities in education and employment including:

  • An increasing number of University Degree courses
  • University Foundation courses based in science
  • Apprenticeship courses
  • Nursing and Midwifery

Work in Science based industry could include:

  • Working as a quality control technician/analyst, where the employee works in a production plant laboratory carrying out analytical tests using modern instrumentation, ICT and data interpretation
  • Working in a hospital as a medical physics technician supporting the use of X-ray and other imaging/scanning equipment
  • Working in a research laboratory in the development of new drugs. Managing projects that include setting up apparatus, measuring and handling chemical substances, following procedures, carrying out observations and measurements, separating and analysing products
  • Working in the chemical industry, involved with testing materials
  • Working with the forensic science service or using their analytical skills in the chemistry industry
  • Working in chemical companies developing fertilisers and other plant feeds
  • Working for a scientific magazine or journal, editing and proofreading articles on issues such as applications and implications of new scientific discoveries and developments
  • Working in a biotechnology laboratory carrying out fermentation and purification processes.

BTEC Level 3 Extended Certificate in Sport

Level: BTEC Level 3
Awarding Body: Edexcel
Entry Requirements: 5 A*-Cs at GCSE (C/5 in Science and 4/5 in Maths and English Language)

Course Description

BTEC National Subsidiary Diploma in Sport will give you an insight into how the body systems work and how they are influential in sports performances. You will study units on how nutrition is imperative for athletes and investigate the key concept surrounding energy intake and expenditure. This is a coursework and exam-based subject that incorporates sessions in and outside of the classroom. BTEC National Award in Sport provides a sound framework for further education in numerous fields not only sporting avenues.

Course Content

Sport is an important part of our lives and the BTEC National focuses on a variety of areas.

  • Unit 1: Anatomy and Physiology – 120 Units – Exam based
  • Unit 2: Fitness Training and Programming for Health, Sport and Well-Being – 120 Units – Exam based
  • Unit 3: Professional Development in the Sports Industry – 60 Units – Coursework
  • Unit 6: Sports Psychology – 60 Units - Coursework

Progression Routes

The qualification carries UCAS points and is recognised by higher education providers as contributing to meeting admission requirements for many courses if taken alongside other qualifications as part of a two-year programme of study. It combines well with a large number of subjects and supports entry to higher education courses in a very wide range of disciplines (depending on the subjects taken alongside).

Many students go on to study Sports Science degree courses, either as a single or a joint course.

For learners who wish to study an aspect of sport in higher education, opportunities include:

  • BA (Hons) in Sport Studies and Business, if taken alongside A Levels/BTEC in Business or Maths
  • BSC (Hons) in Sport Psychology, if taken alongside A Level in Psychology
  • BA (Hons) in Sports Education
  • BA (Hons) in Sport and Exercise Science, if taken alongside a Science.
  • BSc (Hons) in Physiotherapy

Cambridge Technicals in IT

Level: Level 3
Awarding Body: OCR (Cambridge Technicals)
Entry Requirements: 5 GCSE grades A-C (or grade 5+ for new GCSEs) including Maths and English Language.

It is a requirement to have a minimum of grade 5 in Maths and English Language (or grade C) due to the external assessments. However, we may consider students who have a grade 4 if other entry requirements are met.

This qualification is the same size as one A Level so you will have the flexibility to achieve other qualifications alongside it such as: Business Studies, Media Studies, Applied Science or Product Design.

Course Description

The course provides students with the opportunity through applied learning to develop the core specialist knowledge, skills and understanding required in the IT sector.

There are three mandatory units. These are: The Fundamentals of IT, Global information and Cyber security. The first two mandatory units provide you with an insight into the IT sector as you investigate the pace of technological change, IT infrastructure, the flow of information on a global scale and important legal and security considerations. The third mandatory unit reflects on important developments in the sector around information security. It requires you to consider how data should be protected and the response of the IT sector to emerging threats such as cyber terrorism. You must then take two of the four optional units.

The optional units include Project management, Product development, Systems analysis and design and the Internet of Everything. All units will help you develop transferrable skills such as communication and problem solving.

The optional units encourage the development of time management, research and analytical skills as well as emphasising the need for good written and verbal communication skills.

The internal assessment will be approximately 35% and the external assessment will be approximately 65%.

Course Content

What does this qualification cover?

You’ll take five units to achieve this qualification. Through this course, students can prepare for employment or to progress onto a university course.

Units Taught:

  • Fundamentals of IT (externally assessed)
  • Global Information (externally assessed)
  • Cyber Security (externally assessed)
  • Project Management (internally assessed)
  • Internet of Everything (internally assessed)

Progression Routes

Designed in collaboration with experts spanning the breadth of the sector, the Cambridge Technicals in IT focuses on the skills, knowledge and understanding that today’s universities and employers demand. Students will apply their practical skills and knowledge in preparation for further study, Higher Education or the workplace.

Achievement of this qualification can support students to go on and study relevant IT degrees in a Higher Education institution such as: Computing and IT, Computing Science, Software Developments, Software Engineering, ICT and Computer Networks or Business Information Systems.

This course would also allow you to tailor your learning to a specific area in the IT sector, to prepare you for employment or to move onto an apprenticeship programme in that area.

Level 3 btec Extended Diploma in Health & Social Care

Level: BTEC Level 3
Awarding Body: AQA
Entry Requirements: 5 GCSEs at Grade A-C (or grade 5+). Grade 4/5+ in English Language is essential. Grade 4/5+ in Maths is an advantage.

Course Description

The course is for those who have an interest in health, early years care and education, social care and issues affecting the care sector. It is particularly suitable for those who have decided that they wish to enter a particular area of work, such as nursing, teaching, social work and other related professions.

Course Content

The course is a broad-based vocational qualification designed to allow flexible progression routes, moving on to advanced level studies or further training and/or employment. The course is assessed through exams and coursework. There are a range of mandatory units, as well as optional units of study.

Units include: Building positive relationships in Health and Social Care, Equality and Diversity and Rights in Health and Social Care, Anatomy and Physiology for Health and Social Care, Health and Safety, Nutrition for Health.

Progression Routes

Successful candidates can progress on to degree-related courses such as nursing, social work or health, social care or early years related apprenticeships.

A-Level Courses

Biology

Level: GCE A Level
Awarding Body: OCR
Entry Requirements: An overall average GCSE point score of at least 5.5 including:

  • A minimum of 6-6 in Science (Combined Science or triple)
  • A minimum of 6 in Maths
  • An average of 6 in English, with a minimum of a 5 in Language or Literature (e.g.: Language=5, Literature=7 is ok; but Language=4 and Literature=8 is not)

Course Description

Your studies in A Level Biology will develop your interest in, and enthusiasm for biology. You will appreciate how society makes decisions about scientific issues and how the sciences contribute to the success of the economy and society.

Course Content

Year 1 / Year 12

  • Module 1: Development of Practical Skills in Biology
  • Module 2: Foundations in Biology
  • Module 3: Exchange and Transport
  • Module 4: Biodiversity, Evolution and Disease

Year 2 / Year 13

  • Module 5: Communication and Homeostasis
  • Module 6: Genetics, Evolution and Ecosystems

Progression Routes

Biology can be used to gain entry to a variety of university courses, including degrees in the medical field (medicine, biomedical sciences, dentistry, pharmacy, pharmacology) cellular biology, (genetics, microbiology, biochemistry) and environmental sciences.

Business Studies

Level: GCE A Level
Awarding Body: Edexcel
Entry Requirements: Entry requirements for A level Business are 6 in English Language and 6 in Maths (desirable, we will consider 5 if a 6 is achieved in English or Maths)

Course Description

The aim of the course is to analyse how businesses operate, outline the problems businesses face and recommend how businesses can overcome these problems. An understanding of key business concepts and theories underpins all the work that is done at A Level.

Course Content

3 Papers in total:

Paper 1 (Themes 1 and 4): Marketing, People and Global Business

  • Total marks: 100 marks.
  • Weighting: 35%
  • Exam time: 2 hours
  • There are 2 sections A and B and ALL questions must be answered and are based on stimulus material.

Paper 2 (Themes 2 and 4): Business Activities, Decisions and Strategy

  • Total marks: 100 marks.
  • Weighting: 35%
  • Exam time: 2 hours
  • There are 2 sections A and B and ALL questions must be answered and are based on stimulus material.

Paper 3: Investigating Business in a Competitive Environment

  • Total marks: 100 marks.
  • Weighting: 30%
  • Exam time: 2 hours
  • Pre-release case study of broad context will be issued in November of the previous year with questions drawn from all themes

Progression Routes

The full A Level in Business Studies is a useful introduction to study a variety of courses at university.

A very large number of Greenford students go on to study Business or related subjects at degree level.

chemistry

Level: GCE A Level
Awarding Body: OCR
Entry Requirements: A minimum of grade 6 in all of the following subjects: GCSE English Language, English Literature, Maths, Biology, Chemistry, Physics or 6-6 in GCSE Combined Science and a pass in the Chemistry Entrance Exam.

Course Description

Chemistry will teach students about the world around them, from tiny electrons to the chemistry of manufacturing on an industrial scale. Pupils will need strong mathematical skills which will be used to calculate values, predict the outcome of reactions and represent quantities which we cannot physically see in order to explain the real world properties of materials based on their interactions at an atomic level.

Chemistry students will follow the OCR Chemistry A specification. The first term will introduce pupils to a more developed model of the atom than they have studied at GCSE level. This will enable them to understand bonding and explain the patterns and trends in the properties of elements within the periodic table. Students will then move on to study more complex situations and ideas which build upon the basics learnt in the first unit. Throughout the year students will be required to carry out practical tasks which will allow them to evaluate their methods and the risks involved, to record data to appropriate levels of precision and interpret the data they record.

Course Content

Year 12                               

  • Module 1: Development of Practical skills in chemistry
  • Module 2: Foundations in chemistry   
  • Module 3: Periodic table and energy
  • Module 4: Core organic chemistry

Year 13

  • Module 1: Development of Practical skills in chemistry
  • Module 5: Physical chemistry and transition elements
  • Module 6: Organic chemistry and analysis

Assessment overview

As a two year course, all content will be assessed at the end of year 13. Module 1 (Development of Practical skills in chemistry) will be assessed internally throughout the two years.

Paper 1: Periodic table, elements and physical chemistry
37% of total A Level

Paper 2: Synthesis and analytical techniques
37% of total A Level

Paper 3: Unified chemistry
26% of total A Level

Progression Routes

Almost all science courses will require knowledge from at least AS Chemistry.

Potential Careers Include:

  • Medicine, dentistry, veterinary sciences (Chemistry A Level is a must for these courses)
  • Nursing, physiotherapy, optometry, psychiatry
  • Chemical engineering
  • Pharmaceuticals, lab work
  • Biochemistry or Natural sciences
  • Teaching
  • Forensic science
  • Food industries
  • Sports science
  • Nuclear industry
  • Environmental science

computer Science

Level: GCE A Level
Awarding Body: AQA
Entry Requirements: The entry grades for A Level Computer Science are 6 in English Language and 6 in Maths. GCSE Computing/Computer Science would be an advantage.

Course Description

Computer Science is an academic subject where students can apply theoretical principles in solving practical and real-world problems. It is an intensely creative subject that combines innovation and imagination, and can look at the natural world through a digital prism. The aims of this qualification are to enable learners to develop:

  • An understanding and ability to apply the fundamental principles and concepts of computer science, including: abstraction, decomposition, logic, algorithms and data representation
  • The ability to analyse problems in computational terms through practical experience of solving such problems by developing program
  • The capacity to think creatively, innovatively, analytically, logically and critically
  • The capacity to see relationships between different aspects of computer science
  • Mathematical skills.

Course Content

Paper 1

What's assessed: this paper tests a student's ability to program, as well as their theoretical knowledge of Computer Science from subject content 10-13 above and the skills required from section 22 above.

Assessment

  • On-screen exam: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • 40% of A-level

Questions

Students answer a series of short questions and write/adapt/extend programs in an Electronic Answer Document provided by us.

We will issue Preliminary Material, a Skeleton Program (available in each of the Programming Languages) and, where appropriate, test data, for use in the exam.

Paper 2

What's assessed: this paper tests a student's ability to answer questions from subject content 14-21 above.

Assessment

  • Written exam: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • 40% of A-level

Questions

Compulsory short-answer and extended-answer questions.

Non-exam Assessment

What's assessed: the non-exam assessment assesses a student's ability to use the knowledge and skills gained through the course to solve or investigate a practical problem. Students will be expected to follow a systematic approach to problem solving, as shown in section 22 above.

Assessment

  • 75 marks
  • 20% of A-level

Progression Routes

Computer Science provides a good foundation for careers in Engineering, Software development, Robotics, Data Science, Finance, Cyber Security and many others including medical sciences.

Economics

Level: GCE A Level
Awarding Body: OCR
Entry Requirements: Students should have achieved at least a grade 6 in Maths and English Language.

Course Description

Economics uses theories and evidence to explain current and past economic issues. It also discusses the policy options a government has to solve economic problems. The course provides an overview of the economy and the important institutions within it.

The course covers topics such as Unemployment, Inflation, Economic Growth, The Minimum Wage, International Trade, Globalisation and Monopoly Power. It also analyses the economic decisions faced by businesses and individuals.

Course Content

A Level Economics is divided into two sections.

Microeconomics: in these lessons you will consider the behaviour of individuals, households and firms and their roles within an economy.

Macreconomis: in these lessons you will study the entire economy including variables such as unemployment and inflation and the role of government.

The course is assessed with three exams. One focuses on microeconomics, one focuses on macroeconomics and one that combines micro and macro.

Progression Routes

The full A Level in Economics is a strong foundation to study any course at university. A large and growing number of students continue to study Economics at university.

English Literature

Level: GCE A Level
Awarding Body: Edexcel
Entry Requirements: Enrolment onto this course requires a 6 in both GCSE English Language and English Literature. Students should also have at least three additional GCSEs at a 6 or above.

Course Description

If you enjoyed your English Literature GCSE, this course is a good excuse to read to your heart's content!

English Literature A Level offers students the opportunity to discuss and debate key themes, characters and ideas in classic literary works. This course includes some pre-twentieth century literature as well as more modern texts. Students will be required to think critically about what they have looked at, and to develop skills in evaluating texts. These are all extremely transferable skills, which makes English Literature highly regarded by universities and colleges and the perfect complement to other analytical subjects at A Level.

Course Content

English Literature involves the study of poetry, prose and drama from a range of periods. Texts currently being studied include: A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams; Othello by Shakespeare, The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde, Beloved by Toni Morrison and poetry by John Keats. Students sit three exams worth in total 80% of their grade and write one coursework essay that makes up 20% of the final grade with the opportunity to write about texts of their own choice. Lessons are based on discussion to develop analytical skills, with wider reading strongly encouraged. We also offer theatre visits and the opportunity to work with the National Theatre on your own, one-act play.

Progression Routes

Required for a degree in English. Useful for any degree subject requiring research, analytical and essay writing skills. Also useful for medicine and other science subjects where written analysis is needed.

Extended Project Qualification

Level: GCE A Level
Awarding Body: AQA
Entry Requirements: You will be invited to complete this by November of Year 13.

Course Description

Learners have a significant input into the choice and design of their extended project and take responsibility either for an individual task or for a defined task within a group project. The project will allow students to develop and improve their own learning and performance as critical, reflective and independent learners. Alongside developing and applying decision making and, where appropriate, problem solving skills. The project is also designed to extend planning, research, critical thinking, analysis, synthesis, evaluation and presentation skills. The Extended Project is highly regarded by all universities and therefore can help to support student aspirations for higher education and career development.

Course Content

How is it Taught?

This is an independent piece of research. You will meet with a member of staff (supervisor) on a regular basis in order to discuss your progress. The purpose of working closely with a mentor is to offer guidance and support. They may also offer invaluable advice as regards the tools to effectively manage a project of this nature. However there is a limited taught element to the qualification. The project can take many forms including:

  • A piece of extended writing consisting of 5000 words
  • A media production
  • Organising an event
  • Producing an artefact (such as a piece of artwork or a portfolio of photographs)
  • A group activity, whereby each member of the group is given a specific role
  • Where the product involves the production of an artefact or something similar, a 1000 word piece of writing still needs to be included

Progression Routes

The qualification is an AS level. However, students can gain an A* which is not usually the case with AS qualifications. All universities recognise the qualification, with some offering lower entry grades if students achieve a certain level.

Fine Art

Level: GCE A Level
Awarding Body: Edexcel
Entry Requirements: A minimum of 5 GCSEs to include GCSE Art at grade 6 or above. GCSE English Language at grade 6 or above would be an advantage. Special consideration may be given for those with a suitable art portfolio.

Course Description

The A Level Art and Design course is divided into two components over two years. We aim to give students a wide range of experiences and opportunities, and are keen to encourage the development of strong personal qualities in each student's artwork and chosen media.

Course Content

This is a linear course that is taught over two years, that comprise of two assessable components starting from February in the first year.

Component 0 - Not assessable

This component gives students a chance to work at a higher level than they are used to, without the burden of assessments. They will be taught the structure of the course and how to write critically and analytically about artists and photographers that they will use to inspire their work. In conjunction with the research aspect of the course students will also be taught a wide variety of skills using different art materials that will help them express complex ideas in their work.

Component 1: 60%

This component starts in February and continues to January the following year. 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 outcomes. It is supported with gallery trips and drawing/photography days in London.

Students write a 3,000 word essay that includes images, citations and a bibliography worth 12% of their final grade. The essay is supported by scrap books of articles, photocopies from books etc.

A body of work (a number of final pieces) is submitted, supported by an Art Book that records their ideas in a visual and written format in January.

Component 2: 40%

This component starts in February of the second year and finishes in May.

This is an assignment externally set by Edexcel. Final practical exam of 15 hours is supported by a number of weeks’ preparation.

Progression Routes

This course is a great platform for a variety of courses that can lead to jobs in the Arts, one of the most lucrative industries in the country.

French

Level: GCE A Level
Awarding Body: Edexcel
Entry Requirements: Grade 6 or above in French. Grade 6 or above in English

Course Description

Students will learn to discuss a range of topics in the language they are studying. These will include Social Issues and Trends and Political and Artistic Culture as well as an in-depth study of a book and a film. Students will have access to a wide-range of authentic materials such as video, online resources, newspapers and magazines and have the opportunity to take part in weekly conversation sessions with a Foreign Language Assistant.

Course Content

A Level French is a two-year linear course with exams at the end of Year 13. The AS course is one year.

  • Paper 1: Listening, Reading & Translation (40%)
  • Paper 2: Written response to works and translation (30%)
  • Paper 3: Speaking (30%)

The main focus is on developing the knowledge and skills acquired at GCSE, encouraging accuracy through a solid understanding of grammar and gaining a useful insight into the culture of the target language country. Speaking skills are developed in lessons and in sessions with the language assistant. Through the topics studied, students will get the opportunity to reflect on various aspects of contemporary society including the changing role of the family, equal rights, life for the marginalised, cultural heritage, politics and immigration. All students will be given the chance to take part in a week's work experience in a country where the language is spoken.

Progression Routes

By choosing to study a foreign language at A-Level, you immediately enhance your UCAS and employment prospects. It is an extremely flexible subject which combines well with both Arts, Sciences and Business based subjects. Most universities offer courses that allow you to combine the study of a language alongside a wide variety of other subjects and most of these courses will offer the opportunity for a year abroad studying or working. In its guidance to applicants, Russell Group universities recommend languages as a 'facilitating' subject at A Level because choosing languages "leaves open a wide range of options for university studies".

Further Mathematics

Level: GCE A Level
Awarding Body: Edexcel
Entry Requirements: Grade 8 at GCSE Mathematics and a strong pass on the entrance test. Students with grade 7 will be interviewed to check they are suitable. A Level Mathematics must also be chosen.

Course Description

Further Mathematics will give you the opportunity to study all of the modules in A Level Maths, covering a broad range which includes mechanics – the laws of force and motion; statistics – how are events related and what can we predict from this; decision maths – can we design algorithms to make certain decisions? All of the areas of maths will be extended further giving you a breadth and depth of mathematical knowledge preparing you for further study in maths or a related field.

Course Content

  • Year 12: A Level Mathematics (an A Level in one year) along with some Further Maths content.
  • Year 13: Further Pure 1, Further Pure 2, Further Mechanics 1, Further Statistics 1.

What are the modules?

Further Pure 1 and Further Pure 2 are Pure Mathematics modules – developing some ideas from Pure but introducing a few new ones. You will meet imaginary and complex numbers; find out new coordinate systems; learn new geometries and learn about the concept at the very heart of modern mathematics: Proof.

Progression Routes

Anywhere. You will display a capacity for ordered, logical reasoning which is highly transferable. Universities complain that it is hard to tell a very good Mathematician from an excellent one since they both achieve Grade A at A Level. The answer? Further Maths. A top university says that Further Mathematics A Level is ‘essential’ or ‘recommended’ for students applying for many degree courses. Many top universities will not accept students on Mathematical courses without A Level Further Mathematics.

Geography

Level: GCE A Level
Awarding Body: AQA
Entry Requirements: grade 5 in English Language; grade 5 in Maths; grade C or 5 in Geography.

Course Description

Geography will give you an understanding of the physical and human environments that surround us. It looks at the interdependent relationship between these different elements and the increasing role that people are playing in changing these delicate balances.

Course Content

Year 1

The course has four units, these consist of two physical and two human units. The physical section includes rivers and flood management and environments. The human aspect involves studying populations, urban settlement and energy. There is a coursework aspect of the course which involves students doing research projects and fieldwork. Assessment is via written examinations.

Year 2

Allows for students to study both Physical and Human Geography in much more detail. Topics include plate tectonics and associated hazards, weather and climate, ecosystems: change and challenge, World cities, Development and globalisation, contemporary conflicts and challenges. There is also a substantial personal investigative study, which along with written examinations contributes to the final assessment.

Progression Routes

Geography graduates entering employment are highly represented in the commercial, industrial and public sector management categories. They are also well represented in business and financial professions and in marketing, sales and advertising.

Unemployment rates for Geography graduates are one of the lowest within the social science sector.

Geographers go on to be successful in the following areas: environmental agencies, health and education, accountancy, IT, Quantity Surveyors and local government (planning, housing and transport).

Government & Politics

Level: GCE A Level
Awarding Body: Edexcel
Entry Requirements: To study this course you will need a grade B/6 in History or an Equivalent Humanities GCSE, and a 6 in both English Language and Literature.

Course Description

Government and Politics offers students a dynamic A Level course which is a highly regarded qualification to study a degree in Law, any Social Science or related Humanities degree. The Year 1 course focuses on the way in which British democracy has evolved, how the country is governed and ways in which the rights of citizens are preserved. Students develop an awareness of the political issues that have shaped modern Britain and the current affairs that influence the present political debates including protests against tuition fees and the decisions of the Coalition. The course offers trips to the House of Commons and regularly invites guest speakers to the school. The Year 2 course looks at the US political system, how Presidents are elected and key political issues that are important to the US and the wider world. There is no coursework. The A Level is made up of four units tested over both years.

Course Content

At Year 1 Students study representation in the UK, governing the UK and the changing UK political system. This will involve looking at British Political Parties and pressure groups, in particular their origins and impact. This is followed by examining the ideas of democracy, voting patterns and behaviour as well as different systems of electing representatives of the people and the impact on the European Union on UK politics. The Year 2 allows students to study US government and politics with an opportunity of comparing the US political system with the UK political system.

Progression Routes

Government and Politics students are able to develop a critical awareness of contemporary issues and their historical origins. Students will develop an ability to discuss and debate issues using a broad philosophical and ethical base that will be much valued in their future careers as Managers, Lawyers, Doctors, Accountants, Civil Servants, Teachers and other professions.

History

Level: GCE A Level
Awarding Body: Edexcel
Entry Requirements: To study History at A Level we would be looking for a grade B/6 in History at GCSE, and also a 6 in both English Language and English Literature.

Course Description

A Level History is about mastering historical skills. The skills of analysis, source interrogation and essay writing. At Year 1 students will complete two exam based units. Unit 1 is on the War of the Roses and Unit 2 on Henry VIII. At Year 2 there are two further units, one examined and one coursework. Unit 3 is on Superpower Relations 1945-1990 (The Cold War). Unit 4 is a piece of independent coursework on The Making of Modern Russia. Both Units 1 and 2 at Year 1 and 3 and 4 Year 2 are intended to compliment and support one another whilst the split between Early Modern and Modern History provides a breadth of historical study that is good preparation for University.

Course Content

Unit 1: Topics A6 and A7 The War of the Roses and Henry VII: From 1450 to 1509 England experienced a series of battles for the English Crown. In just 35 years England had 4 kings, 2 of whom reigned twice! Students must investigate why these wars began how the different kings reigned an what ultimately caused the Tudors to triumphant. For this exam based unit students are required to write two essays I for each topic. They have 1 hour 20 minutes to write their essays where they must reach a historical judgement.

Unit 2: Topic A1 Henry VIII Authority, nation and religion 1509-1540. In this source based unit students must interrogate contemporary sources alongside modern historian views to come to a judgement about the kingship of Henry VIII. Students will investigate the whole of Henry's reign from his foreign policy to his 'Reformation' of the English Church. Students in a 1 hour 20 minute exam must answer two questions. The first question requires the students to analyse 3 sources the other requires an essay analysing sources and integrating students’ knowledge to come to a historical judgement.

This year builds on the historical skills that students have developed in Year 12 and prepares the students for university level study.

Unit 3: An examined unit and demands a combination of source analysis and students’ own knowledge to analyse an historical controversy, in this case the issue of "Why did the Cold War develop in 1945?" and "How did the relationship between the Superpowers change in the years 1945-1990?". This unit is highly relevant to the world we live in today. Through studying this period students will gain an understanding of how the Cold War shaped current international relations.

Unit 4: A coursework module, allowing students to investigate ‘The Making of Modern Russia, 1856 – 1964’ and carry out detailed historical research on an area of their choosing within the time period. This unit brings together all the students historical skills and requires in-depth knowledge and well developed analytical skills.

Progression Routes

Students can go to university with an A Level in History. History is good preparation for jobs including Law, Journalism, Banking, The Civil Service, Business, Accounting and Teaching. History is highly valued by universities, in particular by the Russell Group. It is viewed as a traditional and academically rigorous course that provides students with a wide range of transferrable skills.

Mathematics

Level: GCE A Level
Awarding Body: Edexcel
Entry Requirements: Grade 6 at GCSE Mathematics, as well as grade 5 in English Language and Science. Students must also pass the GHS Mathematics entry test which takes place in the summer term.

Course Description

A Level Mathematics will extend and deepen your knowledge of various areas of Mathematics, some of which you will have covered at GCSE, and some of which will be brand new. Some areas you will have the opportunity to study are finding the gradients of curves and areas under curves- possibly one of the most important discoveries in mathematics of the last millennia; motion and forces - why do things move the way they do? How do we know a bridge won’t fall down? Probability and statistics - how do we know if two things have a relationship or not?

Course Content

  • Year 12: Pure, Mechanics and Statistics
  • Year 13: Pure, Mechanics and Statistics

What Are The Modules?

  • C1-C4 are Pure Mathematics modules – you will learn three new trigonometric functions, a new way to measure angles and how to add up the first 1000 numbers really quickly.
  • M1-M2 are Mechanics modules – you will learn about the mathematics of motion. Why and how do objects move? What happens before and after a collision?
  • S1-S2 are Statistics modules – you will learn how to manipulate data. Developing ideas introduced at GCSE.

Progression Routes

Anywhere. You will display a capacity for ordered, logical reasoning which is highly transferable. A top university says that Mathematics A Level is ‘essential’ or ‘recommended’ for students applying for degree courses in: Chemistry, Biological Sciences, Computer Science, Biochemistry, Earth Science, Engineering, Economics, Experimental Psychology, Modern History and Economics, Materials Science, Mathematics, Medicine and Physics.

Media Studies

Level: GCE A Level
Awarding Body: AQA
Entry Requirements: Five GCSE grades 6-9. Grade 6+ in GCSE Media Studies; a grade 6-9 in English Language is required if Media Studies not taken at GCSE.

Course Description

This exciting new course is designed to engage students with the ever-changing media landscape and how we use the media to communicate ideas about our world.

Course Content

Media Studies is a very popular option at A Level and attracts well-motivated students who are interested in the mass media - film, television, advertising, the press and the internet/digital communications. The course aims to develop media literacy and students' capacity to communicate this understanding via media technology and in the written form. There is an introductory module outlining the theoretical framework of Media Studies and teaching media textual analysis skills.

The exam and coursework topics encourage students to engage with relevant media issues and debates as well as media products of cultural and historical significance. Students will also gain an excellent understanding of theoretical perspectives in media and cultural studies that will provide the perfect platform for future study at degree level.

Method of Assessment

Exams (70%): There are two examinations at the end of the course, both two hours and both worth 35% of the overall A Level. Both exams focus on the Close Study Products (CSPs) that make up the course. These are essentially set texts and collectively meet the subject content requirements covering the nine different media forms, historical contexts and products for an international audience.

Coursework (30%): Students will create one cross-media production in the second year of the course. The annually changing briefs will give students the opportunity to create bold and innovative work using the latest in media technology.

Progression Routes

Knowledge of the media is increasingly valued and an important aspect of work in most institutions in our information-led society. This course will also help develop research and communication skills and provides the building blocks essential for any university course. The dual nature of A Level Media encompasses both practical and academic skills and means former students have progressed to theoretical degrees such as Film Studies and Literature at the University of St Andrews and practical filmmaking courses at UAL and Ravensbourne Film School.

Media Studies naturally leads to careers in the creative industries such as film and TV production, journalism, marketing, advertising or public relations. However, an awareness of how the world of media works will undoubtedly support other careers such as social work, law, medicine and education. By knowing how the media operates in our society, future generations will be able to decode messages more skilfully and engage with topics that are compelling aspects of tomorrow’s world.

Philosophy, Ethics & Religion

Level: GCE A Level
Awarding Body: AQA
Entry Requirements: Grade 5 or above in GCSE English Language (essential). Grade 5 or above (C Grade or above) in a Humanities subject (e.g. RE, History, Geography) at GCSE (preferable).

Course Description

The course is a thought provoking subject and will enable students to develop insights into areas of knowledge, belief and thought central to an understanding of the modern world. Through a study of philosophy, ethics and Christianity, students will be equipped with a range of knowledge and skills which will help them to make sense of contemporary events and issues. Students will also gain critical and evaluative skills sought after by higher education institutions and employers.

Course Content

Unit 1: Philosophy of religion and ethics (50% of A Level)

Section A: Philosophy of Religion

  • Arguments for the Existence of God
  • Evil and Suffering
  • Religious Experience
  • Religious Language
  • Miracles
  • Self and Life after Death

Section B: Ethics and Religion

  • Ethical Theories
  • Issues of Human Life and Death
  • Issues of Animal Life and Death
  • Introduction to Meta Ethics
  • Free Will and Moral Responsibility
  • Conscience
  • Bentham and Kant

Unit 2: Study of religion and dialogues – Christianity (50% of A Level)

Section A: Study of Religion (Christianity)

  • Sources of Wisdom and Authority
  • God/Gods/Ultimate Reality
  • Self, Death and the Afterlife
  • Good Conduct and Key Moral Principles
  • Expression of Religious Identity
  • Religion, Gender and Sexuality
  • Religion and Science
  • Religion and Secularisation
  • Religion and Religious Pluralism

Section B: The dialogue between Philosophy of Religion and Religion.

  • How religion is influenced by, and has an influence on philosophy of religion in relation to the issues studied.

Section C: The dialogue between Ethical Studies and Religion.

  • How religion is influenced by, and has an influence on ethical studies in relation to the issues studied.

Physics

Level: GCE A Level
Awarding Body: AQA
Entry Requirements: Grade 6 in GCSE Maths* and Grade 6-6 in Combined Science or Grade 6 in separate science (Physics).

*All students applying for Year 12 Physics must also be accepted onto the A Level Mathematics course at Greenford; please see their entry requirements.

Students must also pass the GHS Year 12 Physics entry test. (Basic GCSE Level knowledge and skills check)

Course Description

The A Level Physics course covers a range of key concepts in Physics, including particle physics, electricity, mechanics, waves, materials and fields. In Year 2 there is also the option of taking a unit in astrophysics. Approximately 50% of the course is based on mathematics, whilst the other 50% describes the ways in which this mathematics can be applied to real life situations. It is therefore essential that students take A Level Mathematics if they wish to study Physics.

Course Content

The aims of these specifications are to encourage candidates to:

  • Develop an aptitude for problem solving, including developing an interest in further study and careers in Physics.
  • The journey of theory to discovery in the world of physics and the on-going search for new particles.
  • Develop essential knowledge and understanding of Newtonian mechanics to apply knowledge in a myriad of different contexts.
  • These are the core topics in each year, with the final three examination papers at the end of Year 13. Twelve required practicals will be carried out over the two years to ensure students are supported to gain a pass in the practical endorsement.

Year 12

  • Particles, Electricity and Quantum Phenomena
  • Mechanics, Materials and Waves

Year 13

  • Fields and Further Mechanics
  • Nuclear and Thermal Physics and Astrophysics

Progression Routes

This course will prepare students to progress into higher education, to follow any courses in the world of Engineering, one of the other sciences or related subjects, or to enter employment where a knowledge of Physics would be useful. Physics is one of the most sought after A levels by universities and employers, it opens many doors and closes none.

Product Design

Level: GCE A Level
Awarding Body: Edexcel
Entry Requirements: Grade 5+ in English Language, Maths and Science GCSEs. Must have GCSE Design and Technology Resistant Materials or Graphics with a minimum grade 6.

Course Description

Equipping students with design skills for the future: Students will be able to recognise design needs and develop an understanding of how current global issues, including integrating technology, impacts on today’s world.

Encourages creativity and innovation: At A Level students will have the confidence to innovate and produce creative design solutions as they develop their own design brief with a client/end user.

Course Content

Component 1: Principles of Design and Technology (Paper code: 9DT0/01)

Written examination: 2 hours 30 minutes 50% of the qualification 120 marks

Assessment Overview

The paper includes calculations, short-open and open-response questions. as well as extended-writing questions focused on:

  • Analysis and evaluation of design decisions and outcomes, against a technical principle, for prototypes made by others
  • Analysis and evaluation of wider issues in design technology, including social, moral, ethical and environmental impacts.

Component 2: Independent Design and Make Project (Paper code: 9DT0/02)

Non-examined assessment 50% of the qualification 120 marks

Assessment Overview

  • The investigation report is internally assessed and externally moderated.
  • Students will produce a substantial design, make and evaluate project which consists of a portfolio and a prototype

Progression Routes

Students can continue on to a design degree or HND courses such as Product Design, Graphic Design, Interior Design, Design Management and Architecture.

Some students may choose to progress onto a one year Art & Design foundation course locally to assist them in choosing the right degree course for them. Foundation courses are broad and varied and range from graphic design to product design, fashion & textiles and illustration, ceramics and photography.

Psychology

Level: GCE A Level
Awarding Body: AQA
Entry Requirements: five GCSEs grade 5+ to include a grade 6 in additional science and grade 6 in GCSE English language and Maths.

Course Description

Psychology A Level at Greenford High School has been designed to provide a broad introduction to the scope and nature of Psychology as a science.

We follow the AQA (A) exam board. The emphasis is on applying knowledge and understanding rather than just acquiring knowledge, thereby developing analysis, evaluation and critical thinking skills. It is therefore essential that you are confident with science based subjects, as well as English language to help you with extended pieces of writing. As research methods is a large part of A Level Psychology you also need be competent and confident in Mathematics.

As the A Level is linear you will be studying Psychology over two years and sit your final exams at the end of the two years. In years 12 and 13 there are a range of topic-based options which bring together explanations from different approaches and engage students in issues and debates in contemporary psychology. These include topics such as Memory, Attachment, Aggression and Schizophrenia. At the end of year 12 you will sit examinations to ensure you are able to progress into year 13.

Course Content

This linear two year course offers a broad introduction to the scope and nature of psychology as a science.

When you study Psychology at GHS the emphasis is on applying knowledge and understanding rather than just acquiring knowledge. This will develop your skills of analysis, evaluation and critical thinking. In year 12, the specification offers a broad range of topics, including memory, attachment, research methods, approaches, biopsychology, social influence, and abnormality.

In year 13, there are a range of topic-based options which bring together explanations from different approaches to psychology and engage students in issues and debates in contemporary psychology. If you progress on to year 13 you will study topics including relationships, aggression, as well as issue and debates, schizophrenia and research methods.

Psychology can be successfully combined with most other subjects.

Progression Routes

In addition to the obvious progression on to degree courses in Psychology, a good A Level grade in this subject will be accepted as part of the qualification for the vast majority of degree courses.

Universities and employers view qualifications in psychology very favourably as this indicates good communication skills and confidence, which are important to any career.

Sociology

Level: GCE A Level
Awarding Body: AQA
Entry Requirements: Students wishing to study A Level Sociology will need to meet our strict entry requirements of a grade 5/6 in both English Language and a B/6 in a Humanities subject such as RE, History, Geography and Sociology.

Course Description

A Level Sociology is a fascinating way to understand the world around you and your place within it! As a student of Sociology, you will begin to develop a critical approach and will always ask questions based on the evidence presented to you. Sociology also allows you the opportunity to explore significant social theories such as Marxism, Feminism, Functionalism and Post-modernism and will use these ideas to debate the reality of the social world. Key Sociological questions that you will focus on in your studies include:

  • Do you need two parents to properly raise a child?
  • Should same-sex couples be allowed to adopt?
  • How does immigration influence the family?
  • Is there still a class divide in education?
  • Can we trust the crime statistics or is there bias in the criminal justice system?

Through your study of Sociology you will learn to:

  • Argue effectively, based on evidence
  • Communicate a point using key concepts
  • Evaluate a particular theory or point of view
  • Analyse and interpret data
  • Conduct research into a social issue

Course Content

1st Year A Level

  • Education with Methods in Context (Unit 1)
  • Families and Households (Unit 2)
  • Research Methods (Units 1 and 3)

2nd Year A Level

  • Sociological Theories and Methods (Units 1 and 3)
  • Mass Media (Unit 2)
  • Crime and Deviance (Unit 3) 

Progression Routes

There are many degrees and careers open to students of Sociology including social science degrees; law; journalism; criminology; management and administration; leisure, travel and tourism; education, professional and social services; business and finance.

Spanish

Level: GCE A Level
Awarding Body: Edexcel
Entry Requirements: Grade 6 or above in Spanish. Grade 6 or above in English.

Course Description

Students will learn to discuss a range of topics in the language they are studying. These will include Social Issues and Trends, Political and Artistic Culture as well as an in depth study of a film and a book. Students will have access to a wide-range of authentic materials such as video, online resources, newspapers and magazines and have the opportunity to take part in weekly conversation sessions with a Foreign Language Assistant.

Course Content

A Level Spanish is a two year linear course with exams at the end of Year 13. The AS course is one year.

  • Paper 1: Listening, Reading & Translation (40%)
  • Paper 2: Written response to works and translation (30%)
  • Paper 3: Speaking (30%)

The main focus is on developing the knowledge and skills acquired at GCSE, encouraging accuracy through a solid understanding of grammar and gaining a useful insight into the culture of the target language country. Speaking skills are developed in lessons and in sessions with the language assistant. Through the topics studied, students will get the opportunity to reflect on various aspects of contemporary society including the changing role of the family, equal rights, life for the marginalised, cultural heritage, politics and immigration. All students will be given the chance to take part in a week's work experience in a country where the language is spoken.

Progression Routes

By choosing to study a foreign language at A Level, you immediately enhance your UCAS and employment prospects. It is an extremely flexible subject which combines well with both Arts, Sciences and Business based subjects. Most universities offer courses that allow you to combine the study of a language alongside a wide variety of other subjects and most of these courses will offer the opportunity for a year abroad studying or working. In its guidance to applicants, Russell Group universities recommend languages as a 'facilitating' subject at A Level because choosing languages "leaves open a wide range of options for university studies".