English GCSE Program
AQA GCSE English Language
Our English program has been designed to inspire and motivate students, providing appropriate stretch and challenge whilst ensuring, as far as possible, that the assessments and texts are accessible to the full range of students. The course will enable students of all abilities to develop the skills they need to read, understand and analyse a wide range of different texts covering the 19th, 20th and 21st century time periods as well as to write clearly, coherently and accurately using a range of vocabulary and sentence structures. Our approach to spoken language (previously speaking and listening) will emphasise the importance of the wider benefits that speaking and listening skills have for students. Students will draw upon a range of texts as reading stimulus and engage with creative as well as real and relevant contexts. Students will have opportunities to develop higher-order reading and critical thinking skills that encourage genuine enquiry into different topics and themes.
AQA GCSE English Literature
English literature GCSE stretches our students academically and enables them to broaden their reading and comprehension skills. Whilst their literacy improves, so does their ability to differentiate meaning between texts, and their ability to infer and deduce information from works of literature improves too. Students study Shakespeare, looking at Romeo and Juliet and learning about rhyming structures and linguistic tools. We then look at a Christmas Carol, where students are encouraged to explore this Dickensian text from differing perspectives. Students then go on to look at a book of fiction in detail, and finish the year with an in depth analysis of a poetry anthology. These texts enable the students to access worlds that they would not have seen before, all the while learning useful skills that will serve them well in their life beyond Education Links.
Functional Skills is also covered through this course through the following exam boards:
OCR Entry Level 1-3
Edexcel Levels 1-2
The Functional Skills component of the course requires students to complete tasks in Reading, Writing and Speaking and Listening.
Cross-curricular links and enrichment
The themes and topics covered within this course link directly to our Wellbeing program. Some topics covered link with Humanities, Drama and Art. Students are also given the opportunity to visit live theatre performances as part of their enrichment program to support their development in literacy.
English Functional Skills Program
The scheme of work developed for English Reading is based on Bram Stokers Dracula adapted by David Culcutt for Oxford classic play scripts.
The play script allows students to act out parts for each character to give them a greater understanding of the emotions and characteristics of each cast member.
Reading of the book gives students the opportunity to understand the style of gothic literature and provide a modern insight using writing styles familiar to them as part of lesson activities. Students can work either in pairs or groups to help with the understanding of plots, themes, character descriptions and ideas.
Students who are reading this play script will be introduced to the Functional Skills examination framework; ranging from Entry 1,2,3 and Level 1.
The scheme of work developed for the lesson discussions as part of the English curriculum will be based on topical events and current affairs that students will have some prior knowledge of. The discussion topics will be based on events that have taken place during the current academic week. Topics will be sourced from all forms of available media and topic briefs will be provided as stimuli for the discussion.
Students will be able to read articles, watch videos, and use pictures/photographs to aid with discussion topics prior to the main activity, to enable further scope for discussion.
Discussions will aid the development of skills required to pass the Speaking & Listening aspects of the Functional Skills Examination framework, at Entry 1, 2 and 3 and Level 1 and 2.
The scheme of work for the writing component of Functional Skills English focuses on developing and enhancing spellings, punctuation, grammar, sentence structure, paragraphing and handwriting with a functional element in accordance with the National Curriculum for Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4. There are also opportunities for creative writing as well as exploring poetry.
Students work towards a Functional Skills assessment ranging from Entry Levels 1, 2, 3 and Level 1 and 2.
Functional Skills at entry level (OCR) and level 1 and 2 (EDEXCEL)
GCSE Foundation and Higher Papers (EDEXCEL)
The course aims to enable students to understand and apply arithmetic and mathematical concepts to everyday scenarios, including, among others, monetary transactions, organization and interpretation of data, measurements of shapes, and use of equations to solve simple problems.
The contents and activities for the course include requirements for functional skills qualifications and cover up to the requirements for GCSE mathematics, subject to individual students’ abilities. At the basic and functional skills level, students are expected to be able to use whole numbers, decimals, fractions and percentages to measure and make observations in a range of practical contexts, use space and shape to record information, and use numerical information from lists, tables, diagrams and simple charts.
Students are also introduced to the use of index notations and symbols in basic algebraic expressions and equations for solving practical problems. The course content also includes the use of co-ordinates, trigonometry, circle geometry, sets, calculations of perimeters, areas and volumes of 2-D and 3-D shapes, as well as transformations and enlargements, construction of angles, rates of change, that is growth and decay; reverse percentages and measures of dispersion and spread.
The Prince’s Trust Achieve programme is uniquely designed to support disengaged young people back into mainstream education to better place them to progress into a positive future. With flexible delivery methods and curriculum content, the programme is ideally suited to meet the needs and interests of young people, building confidence, self-esteem and core skills to prepare them for life beyond school. Every year we work with over 500 schools and centres, enabling over 9,000 young people to progress to a positive future. The programme will tackle the dual challenges of youth disengagement and lack of employability skills by using a flexible delivery method and wide-ranging, relevant curriculum centred around project-based learning.
As part of the programme, you will explore the following:
Personal and social development: By working in small groups, you'll be able to meet new people and make new friends
Life skills: Through fun and interactive sessions, you'll learn how to manage money, be healthy and stay safe
Active citizenship: You'll work as part of a team to make a difference to your local community
Enterprise project: This is a Dragons' Den style challenge. Ready to put your entrepreneurial skills to the test?
Preparation for work: Create a tip-top CV, practice for future interviews and explore your skills and talents
Education Links provides a robust and innovative Careers programme specifically designed to inspire, inform, advise and guide young people who are disengaged from mainstream education. It is common for most schools to have a seasonal careers adviser who comes in to conduct interviews usually to year 11’s when applications for colleges, training or employment are due. As Education Links is more than just a school, we provide a dedicated careers adviser who is available at all times during the entire academic year. Furthermore, our careers adviser is a qualified teacher who delivers career related qualifications. This means all young people from year 7 to 11 have compulsory Career lessons as part of their curriculum. This allows the pupils at Education Links to bond and create a rapport with the dedicated careers adviser and are constantly reminded of their set goals and aspirations. Parents are heavily involved in this process and are encouraged to keep close contact with the careers
adviser through phone, email and meetings. Educations Links also provides parenting support sending reminders of events and interview dates and offering to parents and provide support when attending interviews and events.
Level 1 BTEC Personal and Social Development
Within this line of study our students will explore factors that contribute to a positive sense of self, Personal identity is essential for developing confidence and self-esteem. self-awareness and confidence are extremely important for personal well being and are also sound preparation for employment.
Students will also explore a variety of straightforward problems and apply a range of strategies and procedures for tackling them. Learners will be given the opportunity to choose from a range of given problems or to decide on tackling a problem which affects their school or college or them personally. Learners will explore specific problems and their effects, as well as strategies used to tackle problems. With the intentions of young people being able to manage their own behaviour.
Confident learners are more successful with their studies, have better job-seeking skills and eventually become more valuable employees. There are well established links between personal identity and self-esteem and this unit will enable learners to gain an appreciation of the value of having a positive sense of self and a positive outlook on life.
ICT is delivered to all groups across the curriculum and is one of the main focuses of the Technology lessons. ICT plays a role in most of the Skilled for life units delivered across all sites. This programme is designed to educate students on the basics of PowerPoint, excel and Microsoft word. The aim of the subject is to prepare students for life in the work world. At Education Links we take a creative approach to ICT and therefore many lessons are based around designing things such as logos, web banners and more. The is ensure that students are aware of the full capabilities of the software they have and also to show them some media industry aspects of ICT.
Functional Skills ICT Edexcel
We offer Functional Skills ICT from Entry Level to Level 2.
At each level, students study:
• using ICT
• finding and selecting information
• developing, presenting and communicating information.
The study of Art and Design encourages students to be creative thinkers and skilful practitioners. Students follow the Art and Design National Curriculum (as of 2014/15) The National Curriculum for art and design aims to ensure that all pupils:
• produce creative work, exploring their ideas and recording their experiences
• become proficient in drawing, painting, sculpture and other art, craft and design techniques
• evaluate and analyse creative works using the language of art, craft and design
• know about great artists, craft makers and designers, and understand the historical and cultural development of their art forms.
Pupils are taught to develop their creativity and ideas, and increase proficiency in their execution. They are encouraged to develop a critical understanding of artists, architects and designers, expressing reasoned judgements that can inform their own work.
Pupils are taught:
• to use a range of techniques to record their observations in sketchbooks, journals and other media as a basis for exploring their ideas
• to use a range of techniques and media, including painting
• to increase their proficiency in the handling of different materials
• to analyse and evaluate their own work, and that of others, in order to strengthen the visual impact or applications of their work
• about the history of art, craft, design and architecture, including periods, styles and major movements from ancient times up to the present day.
Art students also have the possibility of working towards the BTEC Skilled For Life programme.
Vibrant and dynamic, this programme will give you the freedom to explore Art and Design in ways that inspire and bring out the best in you. This programme is part of the AQA GCSE Art Package and students continuously build a portfolio to submit as coursework. This programme focuses on craft and incorporates the use of many materials including cameras, textiles, bricks, wood, card, string, metal and more. Students will develop the skills to explore, create and communicate their own ideas. Students will develop, refine, record, and present ideas through a portfolio and work on a variety of briefs.
You can find out more about the AQA Art GCSE at aqa.org.uk/art-and-design
Students study a play text, performance skills and learn how to collaborate. The ethos of teamwork underpins all that we do, and this is something that is explored and built upon in their Drama lessons. We learn about production elements, looking at how a play is designed, focusing on set, lighting, props and costume. This enables students to have a real appreciation of what goes on behind the scenes of a play. Students also have the opportunity to play games and explore their relationships- how they speak to each other and how they communicate. This enables them to improve upon their interpersonal skills and in turn their employability skills too.
Our P.E curriculum fits within the Skilled for Life framework. We ensure the programme is challenging and enables children to reach their full potential, teaching them both competitive and non-competitive sports. BTEC Level 1 Diploma extends the work-related focus from the Pearson BTEC Level 1 Certificate. There is potential within the qualification to prepare learners for employment in this particular vocational sector and it is suitable for those who have decided that they wish to enter a sporting career. Many sports are delivered across the school including A range of team and individual activities that may be covered include: Football, tennis, badminton, basketball, cricket, rounders, fitness testing, circuit training. These all work toward building teamwork and confidence.
Our Humanities program aims to engage students in the subject of Humanities through the study of History and Geography within AQA unit awards
Develop an interest in the study of history and geography
Acquire knowledge and understanding of the past
Investigate historical events, people and developments
use historical and geographical sources.
Knowledge, skills and understanding
Students will be required to demonstrate knowledge, understanding and application of:
How to use language and dates, and vocabulary and conventions when writing about historical periods and the passing of time
Key features of historical periods: life, beliefs and events
Key concepts in an historical context: causation, change, results and significance
GCSE Food Preparation and Nutrition
The GCSE Science qualification in Food preparation and nutrition equips students with the knowledge, understanding and skills to be able to feed themselves and others better. Students develop cookery skills and the techniques as they explore the basic principles of food science, nutrition, food traditions and food safety. The qualification has expert tips from the chef, Heston Blumenthal which inspires students to be inquisitive, creative and confident cooks.
The qualification is made up of four components:
Section A: Nutrition
Section B: Food (food provenance and food choice)
Section C: Cooking and preparation
Section D: Skills requirements (preparation and cooking techniques)
There is a 1 hour 30 minutes exam at the end of Year 11. The exam carries 50% of the final mark. The remaining 50% is shared between a food investigation task (15%) and the food preparation task 35%.
Certification and Qualifications on offer 2018-2019
(This is not a full list, as we add new qualifications regularly to meet the needs of the learners)
Food Preparation and Nutrition
Functional Skills Subjects
BTEC Skilled for Life Units in:
BTEC Creative Media Production
BTEC Personal and Social Development
BTEC Sport and Active Leisure
BTEC Art and Design
BTEC Travel and Tourism
BTEC Basic Cooking Skills
Bronze Arts Award
The Prince's Trust Achieve Programme
Interpersonal and Self-Management Skills
Participating in Exercise
Planning for Personal Development
Practising Leadership Skills
Preparing for a Healthy Lifestyle
Undertaking an Enterprise Project
AQA Unit Awards
Reaction to the Versailles Treaty
The setting up of the Nazi Party
Invasion of the Ruhr Hypernation
The cause, events, and results of Munich.
Introduction of new currency and German economic recovery.
The lack of support for Nazis from 1924 - 1928