Subject pathways at SHS

At Stroud High, you will follow a core curriculum taken from our suite of 28 A Level subjects. You will choose 3 A Level subjects pursuing your passions and some of you may opt for a fourth A Level - for example, Further Maths.

What is really exciting here is that you will choose your own pathway and then work alongside specialists in that field who will guide and mentor you on your journey.

Alongside this you'll be able to choose either the Extended Project Qualification, Sports Leader Qualification, a Gold Crest Award or complementary work experience placements and close links associated with your prefered pathway. Excited? You should be!

As part of the broad A Level curriculum you'll also be able to access a Personal Development Programme, Leadership roles and responsibilities with training, take part in our Community Outreach programmes and many other enriching activities and opportunities.

All of you will take part in volunteering because that is part of our commitment to making a difference in the community, other communities and the world!

choose your SHS Pathways
A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

Art & Design: Fine Art

Why Study Art & design: fine art?

The art industry is the third largest income generator in the UK and there are numerous possibilities for art-based careers. Many of our students go on to follow courses in non-related art subjects and take with them transferable skills and a greater aesthetic awareness. 

You will choose from a range of themes, use of media and approaches relevant to Fine Art. The aim of this course is to provide maximum flexibility and will be tailored to meet your particular strengths and interests.

Course details - exam board: AQA

Coursework Portfolio: portfolio of practical work with an emphasis on developing ideas and experimenting with media; you will submit one practical project with final outcomes and a body of supporting work.

Controlled Assessment: you will select one starting point from an exam board question paper; preparatory time to complete practical work, research artists and plan for the final piece (15 hours controlled time).

Personal Investigation: production of one combined unit of written and practical work with a related written study into the work of an artist or designer (3,000 words). Controlled Assessment: you will select one starting point from an exam board question paper; preparatory time to completepractical work, research artists and plan, prepare and realise ideas into a final piece or outcomes (15 hours controlled time).

entry requirements

Grade 6 or above at GCSE level in Art and Design or Design Technology.

Art & Design: Graphic Communication

Why Study Art & design: Graphics?

The art industry is the third largest income generator in the UK and there are numerous possibilities for art-based careers. Many of our students go on to follow courses in non-related art subjects and take with them transferable skills and a greater aesthetic awareness.

You will choose from a range of themes, use of media and approaches relevant to Fine Art. The aim of this course is to provide maximum flexibility and will be tailored to meet your’ particular strengths and interests.

Course details - exam board: AQA

Coursework Portfolio: portfolio of practical work with an emphasis on developing ideas and experimenting with media; you will submit one practical project with final outcomes and a body of supporting work. 

Controlled Assessment: you will select one starting point from an exam board question paper; preparatory time to complete practical work, research artists and plan for the final piece (15 hours controlled time).

Personal Investigation: production of one combined unit of written and practical work with a related written study into the work of an artist or designer (3,000 words). Controlled Assessment: you will select one starting point from an exam board question paper; preparatory time to completepractical work, research artists and plan, prepare and realise ideas into a final piece or outcomes (15 hours controlled time).

entry requirements

Grade 6 or above at GCSE level in Art and Design or Design Technology.

Art & Design: Photography

Why Study Art & design: Photography?

The art industry is the third largest income generator in the UK and there are numerous possibilities for art-based careers. Many of our students go on to follow courses in non-related art subjects and take with them transferable skills and a greater aesthetic awareness.

You will choose from a range of themes, use of media and approaches relevant to Fine Art. The aim of this course is to provide maximum flexibility and will be tailored to meet your’ particular strengths and interests.

Course details - exam board: AQA

Coursework Portfolio: portfolio of practical work using digital photography techniques with an emphasis on developing ideas and experimenting with media; you will submit two practical projects with final outcomes and a body of supporting work and are taught how to use a 35mm film camera and traditional darkroom techniques.

Controlled Assignment: you will select one starting point from an exam board question paper; preparatory time to complete practical work, research photographers and plan for the final piece (15 hours controlled time).

Personal Investigation: production of one combined unit of written and practical work with a related written study into the work of a photographer (3,000 words).

Controlled Test: you will select one starting point from an exam board question paper; preparatory time to complete practical work, research artists and to plan, prepare and realise ideas into a final piece or outcomes (15 hours controlled time).

entry requirements

Grade 6 or above at GCSE level in Art and Design or Design Technology.

Art & Design: Textiles

Why Study Art & design: Textiles?

The Art & Design Textiles course allows you to demonstrate high levels of innovation and creativity. You will learn a wide range of Textile skills refining your understanding of surface pattern and design. You will learn to appreciate the relationship of form and function and working to the constraints of a brief. You will produce practical and folio work following projects in a range of disciplines, for example, fashion design, fashion textiles, costume design, interior design, art textiles and installed textiles. You will understand a variety of textile methods, such as fabric printing and colouring, fabric construction and stitching (appliqué, patchwork, padding, quilting and/or embroidery). You will also learn how ideas, feelings and meanings can be conveyed and interpreted in images and artefacts created in their chosen area of Textile Design.

Over the two years you will produce 2 portfolios and two major made outcomes inspired by different styles and genres which can be used to support applications and interviews for Art-based courses at degree level. There are a huge variety of careers that can follow a textile-based degree, as we live in a world surrounded and encased with textiles, from fashion textiles, to interior textiles to automotive and performance textiles; jobs include, design, buying, textile design assistant, studio assistant, product assistant, fashion adviser, design consultant, merchandiser, print maker and textile technologist.

Testament from former students Sophie Willis and Edie Bainbridge:
This course has allowed us to develop individually whilst soaking up a huge breadth of creativity from other Art Textiles students. We have had the freedom to experiment and the support to develop our skills in applied surfaces and constructed pieces. We were given the opportunity to enter the Young Fashion Designer of the year competition and were both finalists in successive years with our Yr12 and A2 work (Sophie 3rd at AS level 2017, Edie 2nd at A2 level 2018) and have visited the ‘New Designers’ exhibition in London
which was both inspiring and informative for our next steps.’
Edie will go on to study Contour Fashion BA (Hons) at De Montfort and Sophie is currently studying for her Art foundation in Stroud.

Course details - exam board: AQA

This is an exciting and vibrant course delivered through the investigation of the work of Artists and Designers and developed through experimentation of a wide range of media and skills. In the first year you will produce a full portfolio of work and a made outcome. 

Year 13 students produce a folio of work and outcome in the personal assessment worth 60% of the total A level and a 15 hour externally set assignment towards the end of the year making up the remaining 40%. All units are controlled assessment/coursework based; there is no written examination.

entry requirements

Grade 6 or above at GCSE level in any Design Technology or Art & Design subject.

Biology

Why Study Biology?

As David Attenborough said, “It seems to me that the natural world is the greatest source of excitement; the greatest source of visual beauty; the greatest source of intellectual interest. It is the greatest source of so much in life that makes life worth living.”

We would certainly agree with this in the Stroud High Biology department. From miniscule membrane structures to the intricate details of how we release energy from food, A level Biology will demystify many of the structures and processes that make organisms ‘tick’. You will study a wide range of topics ranging from molecular Biology to ecosystems and microorganisms to mammals. Biology offers the opportunity to examine the background to areas such as GM foods, conservation of species, cloning, vaccines and ‘factory farming’.

The skills acquired in the study of Biology will equip you for a variety of careers, not just in the Health and Clinical professions, but also a huge and diverse range of choice, such as Marine Biologist, Biotechnologist, Zoologist, Research Scientist in medicine or life sciences, Nature conservation officer and Scientific Writer/Reporter.

So Why Biology and Why Us……?!
We are a passionate and experienced team of teachers who want to share our love of biology, and are always on hand to help you. You will be supported by access to weekly drop in sessions, ad hoc teacher help and given the opportunity to be a part of clubs including BioTech and MedVetDent, as well as being given access to a range of recommended science texts in order to broaden your knowledge and support university applications.

Course details - exam board: OCR Syllabus A

The specification is divided into topics, each covering different key concepts of biology. Teaching of practical skills is integrated with the theoretical topics and they are assessed through the written papers: there is no separate practical exam.

Year 12 starts with foundation topics: cell structure; biological molecules; nucleotides and nucleic acids; enzymes; biological membranes; cell division, cell diversity and cellular organisation. Then the course continues to explore topics about exchange and transport and biodiversity, evolution and disease.

In Year 13 you will continue to study two further modules about communications, homeostasis and energy and genetics, evolution and ecosystems.

Practical work is integrated into the lessons and is teacher assessed. You will complete a minimum of 12 assessed practical activities to demonstrate practical competence. Performance is reported separately to the A Level grade.

entry requirements

Grade 7 or above at GCSE level Biology or a double Grade 7, 7 or above in GCSE level Combined Science. If you achieve a Grade 6 at GCSE Biology, a Grade 7 or above at GCSE level Chemistry or Mathematics would be considered as an alternative.

Business Studies

Why Study Business studies?

This subject is of general interest and useful for whatever career path you are going to follow, whether in employment or running your own business. You will develop the necessary knowledge and understanding of the local, national and international environment and the decision-making processes of business. Business Studies is ideal preparation for those students wishing to pursue further study in the field of Business and/or Management, either as a main subject in its own right or in combination with other subjects. 

You should be competent and comfortable dealing with simple mathematical calculations and the interpretation of numbers and percentages. You should possess, or be willing to develop, strong analysis and evaluation skills plus an interest in business.

Course details - exam board: AQA

Examination papers use a variety of assessment styles including multiple choice, short answer, data response, essay and case studies so that students feel more confident and engage with the questions. Real life case studies will be used wherever possible to make it easier for students to relate to and apply their knowledge and skills developed throughout the course.

entry requirements

Minimum of 5 full course GCSEs in separate subjects at Grade 6 or above. You should have achieved a minimum Grade 5 in both English Language and Mathematics.

Chemistry

Why Study Chemistry?

Chemistry is called the central science because all scientists study chemicals at some level. Biochemists and pharmacologists study chemicals that cause and cure diseases. Geologists examine the way chemicals come together to form rocks. Astronomers study the chemical compositions of stars, planets and galaxies. Geneticists study the molecular origins of inheritance.  A Level Chemistry is an excellent base for a university degree in healthcare such as medicine, pharmacy and dentistry as well as the biological sciences, physics, mathematics, pharmacology and analytical chemistry. Chemistry also complements a number of arts subjects.

Why Study Chemistry with us?
We are a very fortunate department in having excellent facilities and highly qualified teachers whose expertise covers organic, inorganic and physical chemistry as well as biochemistry. We adore our subject and hope we can infect you with a passion for Chemistry too!
Extracurricular Chemistry
Why not achieve the Gold Crest Award by joining the Chemistry department’s “Real Science Group”. The group tackles authentic research and experimental work set by a local company. You will also have the opportunity to take part in the prestigious Chemistry Olympiad competition.

Course details - exam board: OCR

This is a linear two year Chemistry course leading to an A-level. Topics include:
Atoms, compounds, molecules and equations
Amount of substance
Acid-base and redox reactions
Electrons, bonding and structure
The period table and periodicity
Group 2 and the halogens
Reaction rates and equilibrium
pH and buffers
Enthalpy, entropy and free energy
Redox and electrode potentials
Transition elements
Organic Chemistry
Polymers
Organic synthesis
Analytical techniques (IR and MS)
Chromatography and spectroscopy (NMR)

How will you be assessed?
You will take 3 written examinations at the end of the course.
To achieve a Practical Endorsement you will be expected through a range of experiments to display your competency in a variety of experimental and investigative skills.

Entry requirements

Grade 7 or above at GCSE level Chemistry or a Grade 77 or above in GCSE Combined Science. If you achieve a Grade 6 at GCSE Chemistry, a Grade 7 or above at GCSE level Mathematics would be considered as an alternative.

Computer Science

Why Study computer science?

From Facebook to running nuclear power stations, software development is at the heart of modern living. With an emphasis on abstract thinking, general problem solving, algorithmic and mathematical reasoning, scientific and engineering-based thinking, Computing opens the door to a wide range of careers and further study, both with universities and colleges, IT companies and those who use computers in industry, commerce, the armed services and government service.

Roles span technical innovation, management, analysis, consultancy, training and research. Employers range fromsmall companies to large multinationals with much scope for work and travel abroad.

Course details - exam board: OCR H446

At the heart of Computer Science lies the notion of computational thinking: a mode of thought that goes well beyond software and hardware, and that provides a framework within which to reason about systems and problems. Learners will develop an ability to analyse, critically evaluate and make decisions. Computer Science is a practical subject where learners can apply the academic principles learned in the classroom to real world systems. The project element is a vital component which is relevant to further education, higher education and the workplace where students can tailor it to suit their own individual needs, choices and aspirations. 

Through this qualification, students can develop an understanding of 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 including writing programs to do so; the ability to articulate the individual (moral), social (ethical), legal and cultural opportunities and risks of digital technology.

entry requirements

Minimum of 5 full course GCSEs in separate subjects at Grade 6 or above. You should have achieved a minimum Grade 5 in both English Language and Mathematics.It is highly recommended that you achieve a Grade 6 or above in Mathematics, have taken GCSE Computer Science and have prior experience with programming in a suitable language such as Python,C++/C#.

Drama & Theatre

Why Study drama & Theatre?

Drama and Theatre is for students who wish to increase their practical and theoretical understanding of the theatre and performance. It is suitable if you are interested in a career in the creative arts, wish to study an A level which complements English Literature or indeed if you desire an interesting contrast between your options. The course has a strong practical element but is sufficiently academic to meet higher education requirements. Did you know more than 9,994 students studying at Russell Group Universities since 2012 have an A level in Drama and Theatre?

You will be expected to attend several theatre visits organised by the department as well as in-school workshops with theatre companies/practitioners. Drama and Theatre will suit you if you enjoy a mix of individual skill development and group work. If you are hoping to get into drama school, Drama and Theatre is the most relevant A level subject to take but studying Drama also helps develop key transferable skills useful in any industry, such as creative thinking, negotiation, leadership, and collaboration.

Lucy Cole took A level Drama and Theatre from 2016-2018 and achieved an A*. She is now studying Law at Exeter University. She says: 

Drama and Theatre A Level was critical in my application to study Law atUniversity. One of the fundamental values of A Level Drama is the ability towork in a team and make creative decisions - these are also fundamental skillsthat admissions officers look for in your university application to ensure thatyou will contribute and bring new ideas into the degree and universityenvironment. Often, people are mistaken and believe that drama isn’t seen as‘academic’ and therefore shy away from taking it for A Level. However, whenattending interviews I found that academics were most interested in myexperiences in drama as not many others applying for Law had taken it at sixthform - thus providing me with a unique selling point to delve into how much Ienjoyed drama and also discuss how this A Level has shaped me into becoming the‘ideal’ law applicant. The confidence that I built from doing A Level drama wasalso useful in this situation as I was calm and collected when answeringquestions, almost as though I was on stage performing, and improvisationactivities that I’d done in the classroom at school provided a perfect bridgeto the surprise questions that were thrown at me! Drama A Level was essentialto my application and I may be biased, but I really think it’s the best subjectto take if you want to stand out against other applicants (in a good way ofcourse!).“

Course details - exam board: AQA

Component 1: Practitioners in Practice (practical assessment, weighting 40%)
You will explore practically the work of theatre practitioners and use the skills gained to explore text and create devised theatre. Performance is accompanied by written work to create a Research Report and a Portfolio. The options are to take this component as a performer or a lighting, sound, set or costume designer.

Component 2: Exploring and performing texts (practical assessment, weighting 20%)
You will explore one performance text in its entirety and perform part of the text, applying the relevant skills to communicate the meaning in a performance text to an audience. Performance is accompanied by written work to complete a Concept Pro-Forma. The options are to take this component as a performer or a lighting, sound, set or costume designer.

Component 3: Analysing performance (written exam, weighting 40%)
You will explore practically two performance texts on a chosen theme, and answer questions on them as well as analysing and evaluating live theatre in Paper One. You will interpret and explore practically a performance text considering how to create, develop and direct a performance for an audience in Paper Two.

entry requirements

Grade 6 or above at GCSE level in English Language and English Literature. Experience of theatrical performance or theatre production is recommended.

DT: 3D Product Design
Resistant Materials and Graphic Products

Why Study DT: 3D product design?

Design and Technology courses provide an opportunity for you to develop your own creativity, capability and encourage entrepreneurial skills, to apply knowledge and understanding to a range of technological activities and to develop critical thinking. It allows you to ‘think outside the box’ and provides capability in a variety of life skills.

Students have used the course as a foundation for a variety of higher education courses or career paths. In recent years students have moved on to Art Foundation courses or degree courses in architecture, product design, a wide variety of engineering specialisms, business management and teaching.

Course details - exam board: AQA

Paper 1: Technicalprinciples (30% of A level) 

Paper 2: Designing andmaking principles (20% of A level) NEA (coursework): Practicalapplication of technical principles, designing and making principles (50% of Alevel). This is a substantial single design and make task over 2 years.

entry requirements

Grade 6 or above at GCSE level in a design technology subject.

Economics

Why Study Economics?

Economics is a social science that concerns the fabric of social relations. From the choices available to you on the high street to your career prospects, as well as broad issues such as environmental sustainability and global poverty, an understanding of economic concepts helps us to understand what is happening around us and why. Students with an economics background are employed by the Government, large corporations, charities and research organisations as professional economists. They also enter management in both the private and public sector. Higher education establishments offer a variety of degree courses, from pure Economics to a combination of Economics and many other subjects. Economics forms a major component of many business and accountancy courses and at post-graduate level a qualification in Economics is essential for environmental, social or development studies.

You should be competent and comfortable dealing with mathematical calculations and the interpretation of numbers and percentages. You should possess, or be willing to develop, strong analysis and evaluation skills plus a broader interest in economic issues nationally and globally.

Course details - exam board: Edexcel

The Economics content encourages the students to ‘think as economists’ and develop the
appropriate range of analytical, questioning and reasoning skills to achieve this objective. In addition the qualification will enable learners to develop strong grounding in both microeconomics and macroeconomics, drawing on local, national and global contexts.

entry requirements

Grade 6 or above at GCSE level in mathematics.

English Literature

Come and Study English

I study English because I love how a work of literature exposes the people and the time in which it was written” - (Harriet Bury Year 13)
My task, which I am trying to achieve is, by the power of the written word, to make you hear, to make you feel--it is, before all, to make you see.”  - Joseph Conrad

This is a course that promises to take you on a journey: you will see, hear and feel some of the greatest works of literature written in the English language. You will travel to the late nineteenth century Congo, explore sumptuous India under the British Raj and then dive into the underbelly of Renaissance Venice. You will explore issues, debate controversial themes and discuss contemporary poetic voices, experience experimental twentieth century American drama and delve into the power of Romantic imagination. Having deepened your mastery of the subject, you will then be given the opportunity to navigate to the sunny uplands of an independent coursework project. By then you will have arrived at the prospect of being qualified to appreciate literature with a conceptual framework worthy of undergraduate study.

For this reason, English Literature A level has for some time beenconsidered the gold standard among universities: they recognise how critical thinking skills, independent thought and personal response through the deconstructionof texts are crucial to core academic disciplines.  
English Literature has the power to inspire and transform, excite and disturb, absorb and enrich. Or as Scott Fitzgerald put it: “That is part of the beauty of all literature. You discover that your longings are universal longings, that you're not lonely and isolated from anyone. You belong.

Course details - exam board: Edexcel

We are excited to provide a course for discerning students that is tailor-made to explore texts in challenging, new and exciting ways.

Drama Paper 1
Othello: a domestic tragedy where nothing is black or white between the sheets of paper
A Streetcar Named Desire: a one way ticket into the poker game of the human heart

Prose Paper 2
A Passage to India and Heart of Darkness: journey to exotic climes and lose (or find?) yourself in Britain's colonial past

Poetry
The Forward Anthology of Contemporary Poetry: Fresh voices from this generation's greatest poets     
John Keats youthful ardour in an Age of Revolution

Support
“If someone asked why I do English literature at SHS, I would definitely say that it's because of the teachers! All the SHS English teachers are so supportive and go the extra mile to help their students- so much so that I would have been excited to have any of the teachers for my A level. Every lesson feels like something new and I have felt excited for each new topic that we have done, which is something I didn’t foresee before I started!” - (Megan Wheatley, Year 13)

We in the SHS English department are passionately committed to ourstudents and we have an enviable reputation for exciting and innovative ways of exploring texts and supporting scholars to achieve and exceed their personal best; we have a long tradition of inspiring individuals to go beyond A level and to study English further at leading universities. We readily support applicants in other closely-related disciplines including law, journalism and media.

entry requirements

Grade 6 or above at GCSE level English Literature.

Extended Project Qualification

What is the EPQ?

The Extended Project Qualification is a Level 3 programme of study. You complete a research project based on a topic of your choice which for most students is related to one of their A level subjects. If you are intending to go to university, it is a good idea to choose a topic related to future studies.The topic can however be one that you are simply interested in. The EPQ helps to develop a range of extra study skills in preparation for university or work and is highly valued amongst higher educational institutions as it demonstrates dedication to independent learning. 

Some universities reduce their standard offer for students who gain a high EPQ grade (usually Grade A). In 2018 our students received reduced offers from Bath, Leeds, Liverpool, Sheffield, Southampton and East Anglia in lieu of their EPQ projects.

Course Details - exam board: AQA

The project can be in the form of a dissertation, artefact, musical composition, dramatic project, short film, website design or blueprint. All projects include a 1,000 or 5,000 word essay. You must maintain a log book detailing how you carry out your research and resources used. Once you have completed your project, you give a short presentation and assessment is undertaken by your EPQ supervisor. You will be assessed on: management, resources, development and realisation, objective and achievements. Projects are then moderated by the exam board.

The EPQ is worth up 28 UCAS points.

entry requirements

Not applicable.

French

Why Study French?

It is an exciting time for linguists! Highly sought-after linguistic skills will set you apart from others as well as afford you many fantastic opportunities at home and abroad. Have you ever wanted to explore the French Riviera? Have you ever wanted to do charity work in Africa? Or maybe you would like to try traditional poutine in Canada! Your French skills will make these occasions even more gratifying as you make new friends and explore new cultures.

Stroud High School French Department is proud to benefit from a long running exchange with Lycée St Joseph in Ancenis, near Nantes.  As part of the Year 12 course, students are offered the opportunity to take part in this exchange where you will undertake several days of work experience in France as well as enjoying a day trip to a French city. We have had students work in bakeries, clothing shops, restaurants, primary schools a veterinary practice and even a hairdressing salon! We are sure your French partner will also give you an insight into the social side of life too. This is an experience that not only improves your French abilities, but allows you to be fully immersed in French life and culture.

Consider the advantages you will have if you have the ability to speak another language, coupled with a sound understanding of the politics and culture of the country or countries concerned. Not just travel companies, but also business, finance, technology, media, creative and science-based professions are all increasingly looking for graduates who can offer a range of skills including language proficiency.

An increasing number of professions require you to work in a multilingual environment and there are few companies who do not have customers, if not branches, abroad. Just have a look at some higher education prospectuses and you will see how many of them combine science, ICT, engineering, management and business studies with languages. Some of our former students have gone on to study languages at Oxford and Cambridge, as well as other well reputed Universities. Others have decided to spend a year abroad before embarking on their next journey. We are fortunate to have links with our alumni and they are happy to come in and talk to current students about how French A Level has afforded them many great adventures.

Course details - exam board: Eduqas

Component 1: Speaking
Component 2: Listening, reading and translation
Component 3: Critical and analytical response in writing

In Year 12, you will cover the themes of social issues and trends; political, intellectual and artistic culture. It is here that you will widen your knowledge of the life of young people in France and French speaking countries as well as the more renowned festivals, political figures and great artists. 

In Year 13 you will explore the themes of diversity and difference, France from 1940 to 1950 – the Occupation and post-war years. In Year 13 we are now able to discuss in depth and detail the intricacies of French immigration policy as well as delve into the fascinating word of French history.

You will also be working on an Independent Research Project which forms a part of the speaking exam. The project is wholly of your interest. Previous projects have been researched on The Modelling Business in France, Money and the French National Rugby Team as well as the impact of immigration on French Hip Hop. Furthermore, you will also have the opportunity to study works of French literature and French films in detail. Works include the recent films “Intouchables” and “La Haine” as well as the text “No et moi”.

As part of your lesson quota, Stroud High School are proud to be able to offer weekly speaking sessions with the French Language Assistant who will help you to develop your confidence and skill levels in spoken French.

entry requirements

Grade 6 or above at GCSE level French.

Geography

Why Study Geography?

Geography helps to improve a number of valuable learning and life skills such as ICT, communication, numeracy and literacy skills. It teaches you how to handle and organise data and resources and is therefore seen as an excellent subject to study by universities and future employers. Geography is a unique and varied subject as it studies both the physical structure of the Earth as well as the social structure. For this reason it can be taken at university either as a BSc or a BA. It is often available as a joint honours degree, combining with subjects such as development, economics, and environmental and sports sciences. It can lead to subject-linked careers such as town planning, surveying, hydrology, meteorology, environmental sciences and ordnance survey planning; or it can be used as a degree basis for further training in any subject. Geographers gain a huge range of transferable skills that are popular with universities and employers alike.

Russell Group Universities say “Geography is one of the key ‘facilitating’ subjects for entry to degree level”.
Michael Palin: “Geography is a living, breathing subject, constantly adapting itself to change. It is dynamic and relevant. For me geography is a great adventure with a purpose.’ ‘Geography students hold the key to the world’s problems.”

Course details - exam board: AQA

A balance is maintained between Physical and Human Geography with a greater emphasis on the interaction between these and the environment. Core skills are assessed including Graphical, Cartographic, GIS and the application of knowledge within different contexts. Fieldwork is central to the course with a requirement of 4 days off-site fieldwork. You will have 2 days with an overnight stay studying infiltration rates and the second 2 days with an overnight stay observing coastal features and collecting data for your own coursework. This will be on the Gower in Wales. Fieldwork will be assessed through coursework which is worth 20% of the final Geography grade and provides an excellent basis for the exam.

In Year 12 you will study Water and the Carbon Cycle, Changing Places, Coasts and Skills. This will allow you variety and choice when it comes to coursework.

In Year 13 the units are Global Systems and Global Governance, Hazards, Population and the Environment, as well as some additional statistical skills.

So Why Geography and Why Us……?!
Studying Geography at A Level allows you time to immerse yourself in the world and to learn how it works in both a physical and human sense. It is a subject that will match with any other, and allow you to discover your passions. Geography can provide you with the basis of knowledge and skills to change the world! All of us in the department love our subject and hope that we will be able to
develop a lifelong love of it with you too.

entry requirements

Grade 6 or above at GCSE level Geography.

German

Why Study German?

It is now commonplace for proficiency in languages to be sought among employers. More and more professions require you to work in a multilingual environment and there are few companies who do not have customers, if not branches, abroad. Just have a look at some higher education prospectuses and you will see how many of them combine science, ICT, engineering, management and business studies with languages. Consider the advantages you will have if you have the ability to speak another language, coupled with a sound understanding of the politics and culture of the country or countries concerned. 

Not just travel companies, but also business, finance, technology, media, creative and science-based professions are all increasingly looking for graduates who can offer a range of skills including language proficiency. German is the Smart Choice. Leaving aside the exciting opportunities to live and work in a German-speaking country, the CBI, the UK's premier business lobbying organisation, considers German as one of the most useful foreign language for organisations in the UK.
Careers
Students who have studied this subject have gone on to study Modern Languages at Oxbridge, as well as other subjects including International Relations, Business and Finance, International Law, or German as part of a Joint Honours Degree.

Course details - exam board: AQA

Component 1:  Speaking (30% of the qualification)
Component 2: Listening, Reading and Translation (50% of the qualification)
Component 3: Critical and analytical response in writing (20% of the qualification)

There are four main topics and themes
Aspects of German-speaking society: the changing role of the family, the digital world, new technology, youth culture, music and fashion and TV.

Artistic culture in the German-speaking world: festivals and traditions, art and architecture,
Berlin’s colourful history.

Multiculturalism in German-speaking society: immigration, integration and racism.

Aspects of political life in the German-speaking world: Germany’s role in the E.U.; young people and political issues; the reunification of Germany and its repercussions.

We also recap all grammar points from GCSE as well as introducing more advanced grammar points to help you through your A level studies. We use authentic materials from German media including newspaper and website articles, as well as film and news video clips. Our German assistant will also help you to improve your confidence and ability in spoken German in order to prepare you for the oral exam.

There is also the opportunity to take part in our long-standing German Exchange to Wilhelm-Hausenstein-Gymnasium in Munich in July.

You will also study one film and one literary text. Recent examples include Goodbye Lenin – a black comedy about the fall of communism, The Lives of Others – an Oscar-winning film about the actions of the East German Secret Police. Books have included ‘Der Vorleser’ – The Reader by Bernhard Schlink, and Die Verwandlung (Metamorphosis) by Franz Kafka.

entry requirements

Grade 6 or above at GCSE level German.

History

Why Study History?

Do you have an enquiring, critical or analytical mind? If you've answered yes then History could be a great A-Level for you to study! History is a fascinating subject in its own right – it is about people, so if you find other people interesting, you will find history fascinating. It also helps us make sense of the modern world we live in and has an important contribution to make to life-long learning. It enables you to develop the ability to communicate clearly, synthesise and critically evaluate information – transferable skills which provide an excellent foundation for a number of careers and which are valued by employers. Higher education institutions welcome historians onto History specific/History-related courses as well as degrees in law, journalism and business.

Careers
Many students who study History at A Level use their qualification to progress to a degree in History or a related subject. The types of degree courses, which need or accept history A Level include: Archaeology, Architecture and Anthropology, Classics, History, History of Art, Law, Philosophy, PPE and Politics. A history related degree is useful for many careers. These include, but are not limited to teaching, librarianship, banking and commerce, law, publishing, museums and art galleries and wide variety of social work.

Course details - exam board: OCR

As part of this two-year A-Level OCR History course, you will learn about:

the political, social, economic and cultural changes that affected Britain during the late Georgian to mid-Victorian period;

the development of the United States of America during the nineteenth century;

the history of conflict in the Middle East, from the start of the twentieth century to 2011;

an area of historical debate of your choosing (coursework).

Why should I study History at SHS?
We have over 40 years of experience in delivering A-Level History. All of our History teachers are degree qualified subject specialists. We are greatly experienced in not only the delivery of the OCR course but also in marking exam papers. We use new and innovative approaches to teaching the subject. We are developing a programme of links with university History departments. You will be encouraged to play an active role in the development of History, which might include; running a History Society, planning trips and visits of your choice and inviting guest speakers. We are open to any other ideas that you have.

entry requirements

Grade 6 or above at GCSE level History and Grade 6 or above at GCSE level English Language or English Literature.

Mathematics

Why Study Mathematics?

You may wish to consider the continued study of Mathematics because you enjoy logical thinking, want to find out more about how Mathematics is used in the real world, derive satisfaction from problem solving or wish to delve deeper into the mathematical ideas introduced at GCSE level. Mathematics complements a vast number of other subjects as well as being an important qualification in its own right and is an essential qualification for some career and higher education opportunities. 

A good grade can lead to a wide range of mathematical subjects at higher education and supports scientific and technical subjects which always have a mathematical component. Beyond this, the studying of mathematics will offer you excellent career choices. The reason why so many employers highly value mathematics qualifications is because you will become better at thinking llogically and analytically. Through solving problems you will develop resilience and be able to think creatively and strategically.

Course details - exam board: Edexcel

A Level Mathematics consists of three elements: pure mathematics, statistics and mechanics.

Pure mathematics develops aspects of the subject already met at GCSE, such as quadratic equations, coordinate geometry and trigonometry, while introducing new fields such as calculus and logarithms.

The statistics content combines more sophisticated ways of interpreting and processing data, such as linear regression and standard deviation, with an extension of the fundamentals of probability that were introduced at GCSE. 

Meanwhile mechanics covers the use of the formulae for uniform acceleration, in conjunction with the application of Newton’s laws of motion.

All three aspects are covered in Year 12 before being re-visited in greater depth and complexity in Year 13.

Each year we enter students in the Senior Maths Challenge, Senior Team Challenge and Maths Olympiad, all of which provide opportunities for demonstrating problem solving skills beyond the curriculum. We continuously look for enrichment events that demonstrate the future potential of our subject. In the past, these have included trips to Maths in Action – an inspirational day of mathematics that take you to the cutting edge of fields from statistics, engineering and cyber security to pure mathematics.

entry requirements

Grade 7 or above at GCSE level Mathematics.

Mathematics - Further

Why Study Further Maths?

Strong mathematicians can finish with two A Levels – one in Mathematics and the other
in Further Mathematics. Studying for this additional qualification will allow students to gain greater breadth and depth of knowledge and understanding of the subject. For instance, the study of imaginary numbers will open up a whole new world of numbers which have very important applications in engineering, physics and mathematics. In addition, the ideas introduced in the Mathematics qualification are taken to a much more complex level.

Clearly this ‘double’ qualification is an extremely powerful one for those strong enough mathematically to study it. Although it is rarely a stated requirement for entry to courses in higher education it is highly recommended that students have studied it if they intend to study Mathematics, Engineering or certain scientific courses at some universities. Indeed, some students may find themselves at a disadvantage if they apply for such courses without having studied Further Mathematics at A level. Students are advised to speak to a member of the Mathematics department or do some university course research to determine if this is the case..

Course details - exam board: Edexcel

entry requirements

Grade 8 or above at GCSE level Mathematics.

Music

Why Study Music?

Are you passionate about music? Are you eager to find out how you can improve your performing skills? Are you interested in how the musical elements are used to create compositions? If your answer is yes, then Music is the subject for you. Music opens up the world of performance and composition opportunities both at school and in county groups. You will be given the opportunity to perform in a diverse range of ensembles and to take part in all the concerts, musicals and trips on offer in this vibrant department.

A level Music is aimed at students who wish to:-

develop both their performance and composition skills plus develop their understanding of music;

study music or a combined arts subject in higher education and pursue a vocation in music and/or the arts;

broaden their experience and deepen their understanding of both live and recorded music as part of lifelong learning.

This course can lead to the study for a BMus or BA in Music or a combined arts course. If you are a particularly gifted instrumentalist or singer (Grade 8+) you could apply for a performing course at one of the conservatoires of music such as The Royal Academy of Music or The Guildhall School of Music. In addition studying music also demonstrates dedication and commitment, as well as numerous other transferable skills and qualities looked for by non-music subjects beyond Sixth Form if you choose not to study it further.

Course details - exam board: WJEC Eduqas

Further information can be found at www.eduqas.co.uk/qualifications/music/as-a-level.
The course will broadly consist of the following components.

Component 1: Performing (35%) - Solo and/or ensemble performing as an instrumentalist or vocalist. A minimum of ten minutes of performance in total is required (no more than twelve minutes). This component is externally marked.

Component 2: Composing (25%) - Composition 1: Composition to a brief set by the exam board. Composition 2: Free composition. The combined submission must total a minimum of four and a half minutes and must not exceed six minutes. This component is externally marked.

Component 3:  Appraising music (40%) - The examination will test your listening skills, analysis skills and contextual understanding of the music you study.  You will be required to study works/scores from the Western classical tradition, plus music from two further Areas of Study, selected from Rock and Pop, Musical Theatre, Jazz and Into the Twentieth Century. You will be required to listen attentively to unfamiliar music from all the named artists/composers in their selected areas of study to identify and accurately describe musical elementsand use the correct musical language associated with each genre.

entry requirements

Grade 6 or above at GCSE level Music. You should be able to read music notation fluently (both treble and bass clefs) plus have an understanding of basic harmony. You will be required to undertake a music notation test and are expected to have achieved a level of performing on one instrument/voice to a standard equivalent to a good pass at ABRSM Grade 5.

Music Technology

Why Study Music Technology?

Music Technology is aimed at students who wish to develop their skills and understanding in music sequencing and music recording techniques and students wishing to study music, music technology, popular music or a combined arts subject in higher education. It can lead to the study of the subject at degree level and there are a growing number of such courses available at higher education level. 

It is ideal preparation if you wish to pursue a vocation in music technology, broadcasting and/or the arts and who wish to complete a complementary subject within their Sixth Form programme of study.

Course details - exam board: Edexcel

Component 1: Recording (Externally assessed, 20% of the qualification)
Content overview: Production tools and techniques to capture, edit, process and mix an audio recording.

Component 2: Technology-based composition (Externally assessed, 20% of the qualification)
Content overview: Creating, editing, manipulating and structuring sounds to produce a technology-based composition.

Component 3: Listening and analysis (Written examination 1hour 30 mins long 25% of the qualification)
Content: Knowledge and understanding of recording and production techniques and principles, in the context of a series of unfamiliar commercial recordings supplied by the examination board.

Component 4: Producing and analysing (Written/practical examination 2 hours 15 mins long 35% of the qualification)

Content: Knowledge and understanding of editing, mixing and production techniques, to be applied to unfamiliar materials provided by the examination board in the examination.

entry requirements

Minimum of 5 full course GCSEs in separate subjects at Grade 6 or above. You should have achieved a minimum Grade 5 in both English Language and Mathematics. It is a requirement that you are able to read music notation fluently (both treble and bass clef).

Philosophy, Ethics & Belief

Why Study Philosophy, Ethics & Belief?

If you are considering Philosophy and Ethics just because it is a ‘facilitating subject’, then you are only half way there. It is one of key subjects that universities are excited to see on applications because of the range of skills it requires of you, but you also have to want to engage, learn, critique, read, explore, debate, discuss and LOVE the process of philosophical and ethical enquiry. If that’s the case, then doing a subject that is much sought-after by admissions officers is just a bonus!

Students have taken this subject for many reasons over the years but these are some of the key themes that repeat across each cohort: challenge; interest; free thinking, PPE; independence of thought; grey areas; solutions; critique; logic; reasoning; scholarship; depth ; breadth; belief; faith; systems of practice; argument; debate.

Take a look at some of the topic areas we study and think for a moment about the many possible lines of discussion and enquiry; you will join the great philosophers - journey with them, debate with them... Socrates, Kant, Hume, Siddhartha Gautama, Nietzsche, Arendt, De Beauvoir, Dawkins, Krauss to mention but a few. We deal with the unknown in Philosophy & Ethics, and your contributions could hold their own against the greats.

Course details - exam board: Edexcel

Component 1: Philosophy
Across the two years you will address some of the key philosophical questions that have challenged some of history’s greatest minds. You will consider if it is ever possible to argue for the existence of a deity, and what evidence may count for or against this. Exploring the application of human language to the transcendent, and the ever-present possibility of life after death will feature, too. You can also debate to a possible outcome in the tussle between religion and science.

Component 2: Ethics
The modern world is consumed by Ethics at present, whether it is in a political guise, a question of distribution of wealth, services and produce, or the simple and yet most complicated question of whether we should ever go to war. This component offers you various theories and scholars to offer possible solutions, though ultimately, you will have to make decisions based on the evidence you choose as worthy.

Component 3: Belief-Buddhism
This is quite adifferent yet utterly engaging unit. At first glance it could be taken as astraight-forward study of a faith, and yet Buddhism is much more of a beliefsystem or philosophy. This approach therefore takes you back into the criticaland analytical approach that we look for in our other two components. TheBuddha offered a solution to human suffering, and our task is to see if it hasworked in both its initial offering and its modern form. This unit demands ofyou but it offers an enormous amount in return.

Extra Elements: Visits and Visitors, plus Support
Each year we take part in the Cheltenham Ladies College Philosophy Conference with past speakers including Peter Singer, Anthony Flew, Julian Baggini and Baroness Warnock. We will also be welcoming visitors to support us in our learning within study time. We have a significant programme of support in terms of time, resources and teacher expertise.

entry requirements

Grade 6 or above at GCSE level in RE or a similar subject, such as History. You do not need to have taken RE as a GCSE.

Physical Education

Why Study Physical Education?

Are you passionate about sport? Are driven to find out how you can improve your performance? Are you interested in how our bodies push themselves to their physical peak? Are you keen to understand what gives Olympic champions the psychological edge over their competitors? Are you intrigued by why sport is a national obsession, dominating the media and impacting the health of our nation? If the answer is yes, then Physical Education is the subject for you.

Physical Education opens up the world of sport. With the chance to perform or coach a sport, you will receive a well-rounded and full introduction to the world of Physical Education, sport and sports science from which to build on to move into higher education, employment or further training. Physical Education develops skills for a modern world. You will develop a range of practical skills such as dealing with pressure, decision making, analysing and evaluating live performance.

Course details - exam board: AQA

The course is extremely diverse, it allows you to explore and enhance your own sporting ability, but also bridges the academic divide between the arts and sciences. We follow the AQA Specification.

Topics covered in the theoretical part of the course include:

applied anatomy and physiology
skill acquisition
sport and society
exercise physiology
biomechanical movement
sport psychology
the role of technology in physical activity and sport

These components are assessed through two examinations. There is also a practical element to the qualification worth 30% of the final A level grade. You will be assessed as a performer or coach in the full-sided version of one activity and then give a written/verbal analysis of performance.

Scholarship
At Stroud High Sixth Form, you need to be a logical thinker and open to new ways of thinking about sport, exercise, fitness and relevant topics. You should be willing to read from a wide range of sources, including websites, journals, books and newspapers to keep up to date with current issues in sporting news and developments. Physical Education can be combined with most other A Level subjects, depending upon your career aspirations. Those wishing to be teachers often choose Geography. For a sporting or leisure industry career Psychology or Business Studies work well.

entry requirements

Minimum of 5 full course GCSEs in separate subjects at Grade 6 or above. You should have achieved a minimum Grade 5 in both English Language and Mathematics. It is recommended that you should also have achieved a Grade 6 or above in GCSE Physical Education and a Grade 5 or above GCSE Science (double award or separate sciences).

Physics

Why Study Physics?

Physics is the most fundamental of the sciences, with its ultimate goal being to understand any and all aspects of our universe, from the apparently simple (e.g. the motion of a dropped object) to the highly complex (e.g. the search for the Higgs Boson at CERN). This course is for those who want to know just how and why the natural world works as it does, and covers a wide range of Physics topics from the tiniest scale of sub-atomic particles to the evolution of the cosmos. It aims to develop an interest and enthusiasm for the subject along with the full skill-set needed to be successful within it (practicing Physics requires a high level of mathematical, communication and thinking skills).

Physics is also at the heart of engineering with applications ranging from spacecraft design, motor sport, renewable energy infrastructures and civil engineering to the nuclear and gas/oil power industries. There are many branches of research within Physics from the search for clean energy from nuclear fusion to the search for answers on dark matter. You may also consider taking your studies further with medical Physics – a discipline where many exciting new developments are taking place. You will find it beneficial to study A level Mathematics alongside A level Physics.

Course details - exam board: OCR Syllabus A

The specification is divided into topics each covering key content of skills and understanding of Physics. The course follows on from your GCSE course but to a higher level. The practical skills element of the course is assessed within topics with the key practical knowledge being assessed in the terminal paper.

Year 12
The course will starts with foundation ideas on a range of skills and understanding. The course then follows three branches of Physics with one branch on mechanics, another branch on electricity and the last one on waves which ultimately ends with quantum Physics. This particular topic is very interesting because you will encounter Einstein’s photoelectric equation which led to him being awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics prize in 1921.

Year 13
The second year starts with thermal Physics and continues with more mechanical aspects in
preparation for work on ideas linked to the cosmology. The last topic is very interesting as we will learn about Kepler’s law linked to planetary motion along with a study of the life cycle of stars including such ideas as electron degeneracy pressure and the Chandrasekhar limit. Of course we will also cover the Big Bang theory that includes the evidence for it. In addition to this the electricity topic is continued with topics on capacitors, electric fields and electromagnetism. The additional topics that bring in a huge number of other topics are radioactivity, particle Physics and medical Physics.

Why study Physics at SHS?
You will find a very dedicated set of Physics teachers who are enthusiastic about their subject
and want to help you develop so that you can achieve the grade you want. There are many
opportunities to stretch yourself in Physics.

We provide extra-curricular activities that are very special because of our links with professionals in the fields of Physics and engineering. These activities range from engineering projects to Physics projects about galaxies. Due to the expertise and links, you could decide on your own project brief. All the projects are entered for the nationally recognised BA Gold Crest award so this will be extremely valuable when applying for courses or apprenticeships.

We also organise and support students completing the highly regarded Physics Olympiad exam. This particular challenge is an excellent opportunity to practice your understanding of Physics at the high end.

entry requirements

Grade 7 or above at GCSE level Physics or a Grade 77 in GCSE level Combined Science. It is recommended that students should also have achieved a Grade 7 or above at GCSE level Maths.

Politics and Government

Why Study Politics and Government?

While Politics is undoubtedly the best way for a young person to get to grips with major domestic and global events, it is also well respected by top universities and requires both historical depth and for students to study in real time and be up to the minute.  Over the coming years the way in which the UK is governed will change significantly and studying Politics will give you a unique opportunity to understand the implications of recent events.  Studying Politics is particularly useful for those going on to study any of the humanities or social sciences, and the analytical and communication skills acquired are transferable to careers in journalism, publishing, law, the civil service, pressure groups, political consultancy, education or business.

Previous students have gone on to write for the Economist, edit the Huffington Post, they are barristers, financial consultants in the City of London, advisors (for example, to John Prescott), one former student is a Member of the European Parliament, and others are research assistants to leading politicians and lobbyists. 

The Stroud High Politics department is highly experienced in both the teaching and external examining of the subject and offer all the students the best possible guidance and instruction in their Politics A level.

Course details - exam board: AQA

The British element of the course involves the study of electoral systems; voting behaviour; political parties; pressure groups; the British Constitution, judiciary and rights; parliament; the prime minister, cabinet and civil service; regional assemblies and the European Union.

In Year 13 you will also study US Government and Politics. Topics include US electoral process; US political parties; US voting behaviour; US pressure groups; the US constitutional framework; the US legislature: the US executive; and the US Supreme Court.

You will also study and be examined on Political Ideologies including conservatism, socialism, liberalism and feminism.

Extra Elements: Visits and Visitors, plus Support
The Stroud High Politics department offers a number of enrichment opportunities. In 2018 the EU education department ran a seminar on the mechanics of Brexit and we also had a visit from Lord Tyler as part of the Peers in Schools programme.

Stroud High is the only Gloucestershire school to participate in the Euroscola programme where students spend a day debating at the European Parliament in Strasbourg; we have done this annually and will continue to do so for as long as the UK is invited. 

In Year 13 you will visit the Houses of Parliament and the Supreme Court. All trips are subsidised by the institutions we visit, so they operate at minimal cost to students. Stroud High Politics department also supports the debating teams; we coach a European Youth Parliament team every year and Stroud High won the national competition in 2018!

entry requirements

Minimum of 5 full course GCSEs in separate subjects at Grade 6 or above. You should have achieved a minimum Grade 5 in both English Language and Mathematics.

Psychology

Why Study Psychology?

Psychology offers the ability to understand moral, ethical, social and cultural issues. It is about you, the people around you and differences that exist in different people which will benefit you personally, socially and in any job that requires you to interact with or understand other people. Psychology offers maximum opportunity to acquire and develop the new ‘Key Skills’ of communication, application of number, information, technology, working with others, improving own learning and performance and problem solving. 

There are a number of employment opportunities in clinical psychology, industrial or occupational psychology as well as many personal benefits to be gained from studying Psychology. There are many other jobs where Psychology is indirectly used such as nursing, social work, teaching and business. Students who have studied Psychology have gone on to continue studying Psychology, Criminology and Social Science.

Course details - exam board: AQA

Introductory Topics in Psychology: memory (remembering, forgetting and eye witness testimony); attachment (how bonds are formed and their impact on later life); and social influence (conformity, obedience & independent behaviour).

Psychology in Context: psychopathology and treatment (phobias, depression and OCD); approaches to psychology; biopsychology; and research methods.

Issues and Options in Psychology: relationships (the process of romantic relationships and modern day relationships such as those over social media), schizophrenia (diagnosis and treatment); and forensic psychology (offender profiling and dealing with offenders).

Students sit three written papers covering the content from introductory topics in Psychology and Psychology in context and issues and options in Psychology.

entry requirements

Minimum of 5 full course GCSEs in separate subjects at Grade 6 or above. You should have achieved a minimum Grade 5 in both English Language and Mathematics.

Sociology

Why Study Sociology?

Sociology is the study of society, people and their behaviour. You will be encouraged to look beyond the obvious and to examine the patterns and relationships that shape both our society and the individuals within it. Sociology is a rigorous academic subject that complements a range of other subjects through its development of analytical and evaluative skills. 

Critical thinking skills learnt in Sociology provide excellent preparation for university and for career paths such as law, the police, criminology and journalism. Developing an awareness of different groups of people in society and their needs is also invaluable for professions in education, marketing, medicine and social work.

Course details - exam board: AQA

Year 1: you begin by gaining an understanding of what Sociology is. You will consider how norms and values shape us and how factors such as class, gender and ethnicity impact on our lives. This leads into families and households where you will consider changing family patterns, gender roles within the family, the social construction of childhood and demographic trends in the UK.

There is also a critical analysis of government policy change and the impact on families. You will begin to apply sociological theory in your writing including Marxism, feminism, postmodernism and functionalism.

Next you explore the role and functions of the education system considering the impact of educational policies and the differential educational achievement of social groups by class, gender and ethnicity. We also look at processes within schools, with particular reference to teacher/pupil relationships, pupil identities and subcultures.

There is also a critical analysis of government policy change and the impact on schools and pupils. You will continue to apply the main sociological theories in your writing.

Finally we look at research methods where you will gain an understanding of the methods sociologists use to gain evidence and test their theories about society. Research methods are then applied to topics within education to prepare for a methods in context question.

Year 2: you will study beliefs in society, examining the role religion has today, considering topical issues such as secularisation, fundamentalism, the rise of cults and sects and the impact of globalisation and science on beliefs. 

You will also study crime and deviance exploring the causes of crime; social distribution of crime by age, class, gender and ethnicity; media and crime; human rights crimes; green crime and crime control, prevention and punishment. 

Finally, you will consolidate and build on your understanding of sociological theory by exploring theories such as Marxism, feminism, and postmodernism. You also return to studying research methods and evaluate the use of quantitative and qualitative research methods engaging in a positivist vs. interpretivist debate.

entry requirements

Minimum of 5 full course GCSEs in separate subjects at Grade 6 or above. You should have achieved a minimum Grade 5 in both English Language and Mathematics.

Spanish

Why Study Spanish?

It is now commonplace for proficiency in Spanish to be sought among employers. More and more professions require you to work in a multilingual environment and there are few companies who do not have customers, if not branches, abroad. Just have a look at some higher education prospectuses and you will see how many of them combine science, ICT, engineering, management and business studies with Spanish. Consider the advantages you will have if you have the ability to speak another language, coupled with a sound understanding of the politics and culture of the country or countries concerned. 

Not just travel companies, but also business, finance, technology, media, creative and science-based professions are all increasingly looking for graduates who can offer a range of skills including language proficiency. You will develop your ability to write fluently and accurately in Spanish for a range of different purposes and increase your understanding of grammar and how the language fits together and acquire important personal research and study skills through topic and project work.

Course details - exam board: AQA

Component 1: Listening, reading and translation
Component 2: Written response to works and translation
Component 3: Speaking
Topics and Themes

The course covers everything from traditional and modern values (family and relationships) and
sexual equality (the world of work, rights, LGBT rights) to the influence of idols (musicians, TV stars and models), regional identity in Spain (food, customs, beliefs) and cultural heritage (Spain and South America). You will also have the opportunity to study a film in Year 12/13 and a book in Year 13.

Opportunities at SHS
Work Shadowing
Stroud High School has a successful work experience programme and links with schools in Albacete. As part of the Year 12 course you will are offered the opportunity to take part in a homestay where you will undertake several days of work experience in Spain as well as stay with a host family linked to one of our partner schools.

European translating competition
We always enter a team into the prestigious European ‘Juvenes Translatores’ competition held in November each year, giving you the chance to demonstrate your excellent translation skills.
Spanish lectures

Here at Stroud High, we host the annual Association for Language Learning MFL lectures in November, giving you the opportunity to attend university style lectures by native speakers on a variety of A-level topics.

Spanish film club
A weekly club for the older students at SHS, who are interested in Spanish film and immersion in Spanish culture.

FLA sessions
Weekly sessions with our Foreign Language assistantprovide the opportunities for additional speaking practice and exam preparation.

Oxbridge support programme
We have strong links with ex-students who support the MFL language students via advice and talks, in addition to specifically designed mentoring, for those keen on studying at Oxford or Cambridge.

External courses
We will also keep you posted on external courses, and encourage to you undertake for example ‘Mooc’, which are online university-level courses.

entry requirements

Grade 6 or above at GCSE level Spanish.

Curriculum Pathways

Curriculum Pathways

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