Information for students choosing their GCSE options
This booklet contains all the information you need to make informed choices about which subjects to chose, as well as the general options process.
Aims of the Curriculum
Canons High School is committed to providing a broad, balanced and challenging curriculum for all students in all key stages. Our aim is to ensure that every student studies the full range of national curriculum subjects throughout key stage 3, in order to ensure that they begin key stage 4 and later move into key stage 5 with the strong knowledge, appropriate skills and deep understanding in all their subjects that will allow them to flourish in their chosen options and in English, Maths and Science. Our curriculum model allows us to prepare students effectively to engage with the increased content and difficulty of terminal examinations at key stage 4 and 5. We aim for challenge and excellence for all and are committed to ensuring that all students can choose from and access a wide range of courses, enjoy their studies and achieve success.
We aim for all students to acquire detailed knowledge and skills and students are supported through effective teaching practices to remember what they have been taught long-term. As a result of excellent and effective teaching for all, students cumulatively know more, can do more and remember more as they progress across the curriculum in each subject In order to ensure that each student is challenged and supported effectively, from September 2020 we increased the learning time for all students in all key stages. We are determined that every student will leave Canons at the age of 16 or 18 with the strongest possible outcomes that will allow each to transition successfully to the next stage of education, training or employment. We feel sure that our curriculum model will be instrumental in achieving this aim.
Key Stage 3 Curriculum - overviewIn Years 7, 8 and 9 we provide a rich, broad curriculum which focuses on subject mastery to give all our students the knowledge they need to progress into key stage 4 and beyond and the cultural capital to prepare them to succeed in life. All students study all the national curriculum subjects for three years.
Our Key Stage 3 curriculum consists of the following subjects:
- English - Science - Geography - Design & Technology
- Mathematics - PE - History - Computer Science
- Art - Music - Drama - Media Studies
- Religious Studies - PSHE - Languages (a choice of French, Italian or Spanish)
At Key Stage 3, students are taught in tutor groups. We ensure our teaching is focused on challenging all students to achieve excellence and on ensuring we meet the needs of each individual student, whatever their ability or stage of development. Our curriculum maps give full details of the content of each subject.
Key Stage 4 Curriculum - overview1. All students will take examinations in English Language, English Literature, Maths and Combined Science (5 GCSEs). In addition, every student will opt to take four subjects from a wide range of choices.
2. English Baccalaureate: We aspire to all our students choosing to take the English Baccalaureate (EBacc): English Language and Literature, Mathematics, Combined Science, a language and History or Geography in addition to other choices. All students will be able to opt for the EBacc subjects, though we will not insist they do so if they have good reasons for choosing other subjects.
However, all students must take at least one of the followingFrench - Geography - History - Italian - Spanish
subjects in addition to three other free-choice options:
3. Triple Science, where students gain separate qualifications in Biology, Chemistry and Physics, is in the options choices.
Any student may opt for separate sciences, regardless of prior attainment, if they are interested in studying science further.
4. There is an additional broad range of subjects from which students may choose according to their aptitudes and aspirations (21 choices in 2022-23.) We will ensure that, where possible, all students have the opportunity to study their preferred courses and they are provided with the necessary information and guidance that will enable them to make these important choices.
How will the subjects be taught and examined?
Core subjects: GCSE English, English Literature, Mathematics and Combined Science (Double Award) will be taught over the two years of key stage 4. There will be examinations in each of these subjects at the end of Year 11. All students also take core PE and PSHRE, which are non-examined compulsory courses.
Optional subjects: The four options subjects will be taught over the two years of key stage 4 and will be examined at the end of Year 11.
Time allocated per week for each subject: English, Maths & Science 5x 50 minutes each Four options at 4 x 50 minutes each PSHRE, PE & Pastoral/tutorial – 3 x 50 minutes each
In total students will take 9 GCSEs/BTECs.