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GCSEs

Cardiff Sixth Form College provides a unique opportunity for younger students, many of whom aspire to progress onto the award winning Sixth Form, to be able to take advantage of the inspirational teaching, excellent career development and modern boarding environment at the top school in the UK.

An excellent platform for moving onto the next level and a solid foundation for continuing their studies, these two courses, one and two year GCSEs, give students the opportunity to study between six and nine key academic subjects as well as improve their English proficiency in small class sizes with intensive teaching.

Taught by the existing Cardiff Sixth Form staff, all students will also participate fully in sport, cultural activities, a super-curricular programme, academic enrichment opportunities and everyday College life, alongside the A Level students.

One Year GCSES

The one year GCSE course will be particularly useful for international students, many of whom do not take a formal examination at this stage, who wish to follow an A Level programme and subsequently hope to study at a top UK or US university. It is a stand-alone qualification, the results of which are also taken into account in the entry process for top university courses.

  • Age: 15-16 at time of enrolment
  • Course length: 1 year
  • Course start: September
  • Entry requirements: Successful performance in college entry tests (English, Maths) plus GL assessment
  • English Language requirement: IELTS 5.5
  • Other requirements: School report and passport

Subjects

Students will study six GCSE subjects depending on their ability and English language proficiency.

  • Maths
  • English (first or second language)
  • Physics
  • Biology
  • Chemistry

Students will also study one of the humanities taken from History, Geography, Economics, French, German or Art plus the option to take a GCSE in their own language. In addition, the GCSE curriculum will include:

PHSEE – non-examined tutorials covering personal, social, health, economic education and citizenship, Physical Education.

Art & Design

Course Summary

This International GCSE qualification has been designed to raise awareness of the purposes, intentions and functions of art, craft and design. Students develop knowledge, understanding and skills within their chosen endorsed title specialism when completing their Personal Portfolio.

Specification Content

Component 1: Personal Portfolio

Content summary

Students must work within one of the following endorsed titles: Fine Art; Graphic Communication; Photography; Textile Design; Three-dimensional Design.

Students create a personal portfolio of work that demonstrates the knowledge, understanding and skills for the selected endorsed titles.

Assessment

Students must submit: Three sheets of supporting studies (maximum size A2 for each sheet) and one sheet of final outcome/s

All work is internally set and is externally marked using the assessment grid.

Component 2: Externally-set Assignment

Content summary

Students must continue to work in the same endorsed title as they did for the Personal Portfolio. For example, if a student chooses Fine Art for component one, then they must continue with Fine Art for component two.

Students must present personal response(s) to an externally set broad-based thematic starting point, set by Pearson in the Externally Set Assignment.

Assessment

Students must submit: Three sheets of supporting studies (maximum size A2 for each sheet) and one sheet of final outcome/s

Why is art and design a good option to study at IGCSE level?

The qualification enables students to:

  • Actively engage in the creative process of art, craft and design in order to develop as effective and independent learners, and as critical and reflective thinkers with enquiring minds
  • Develop creative, imaginative and intuitive capabilities when exploring and making images, artefacts and products
  • Become confident in taking risks and learn from experience when exploring and experimenting with ideas, processes, media, materials and techniques
  • Develop critical understanding through investigative, analytical, experimental, practical, technical and expressive skills
  • Develop and refine ideas and proposals, personal outcomes or solutions with increasing independence
  • Acquire and develop technical skills through working with a broad range of media, materials, techniques, processes and technologies with purpose and intent
  • Develop knowledge and understanding of art, craft and design in historical and contemporary contexts, societies and cultures
  • Develop an awareness of the different roles and individual work practices evident in the production of art, craft and design in the creative and cultural industries
  • Develop an awareness of the purposes, intentions and functions of art, craft and design in a variety
    of contexts and as appropriate to students’ own work
  • Demonstrate safe working practices in art, craft and design

Biology

Course Summary

The Pearson Edexcel International GCSE in Biology comprises two externally-assessed papers:

  • Biology Paper 1
  • Biology Paper 2

You will study living things across both the plant and animal kingdoms. You will also take a broader perspective, examining ecology, the environment, and biological resources.

Specification Content

Biology Paper 1

  • 110 marks
  • 61.1% of the total International GCSE

The paper is assessed through a 2-hour written examination paper set and marked by Pearson. There will be a mixture of different question styles, including multiple-choice questions, short-answer questions, calculations and extended open-response questions.

Questions may come from any topic area across the specification. 1 The nature and variety of living organisms 2 Structures and functions in living organisms 3 Reproduction and inheritance 4 Ecology and the environment 5 Use of biological resources.

Biology Paper 2

  • 70 marks
  • 38.9 % of the total International GCSE

The paper is assessed through a 1-hour and 15-minute written examination paper set and marked by Pearson. There will be a mixture of different question styles, including multiple-choice questions, short-answer questions, calculations and extended open-response questions.

Questions may come from any topic area across the specification. 1 The nature and variety of living organisms 2 Structures and functions in living organisms 3 Reproduction and inheritance 4 Ecology and the environment 5 Use of biological resources.

Knowledge and skills you will develop on the course

The qualification enables students to:

  • Learn about unifying patterns and themes in biology and use them in new and changing situations
  • Evaluate biological information, making judgements based on this information
  • Appreciate the practical nature of biology, developing experimental and investigative skills based on correct and safe laboratory techniques
  • Analyse, interpret and evaluate data and experimental methods, drawing conclusions that are consistent with evidence from experimental activities and suggesting possible improvements and further investigations
  • Select, organise, and present relevant information clearly and logically using appropriate vocabulary, definitions, and conventions
  • Develop a logical approach to problem solving in a wider context
  • Prepare for more advanced courses in biology and for other courses that require knowledge of biology

Chemistry

Course Summary

The The Pearson Edexcel International GCSE in Chemistry comprises two externally-assessed papers:

  • Chemistry Paper 1
  • Chemistry Paper 2

Chemistry is the study of the structure, behaviour, and properties of matter, and of the elements of the Earth and its atmosphere. Chemistry helps us to think logically about the world around us. Chemistry is the study of the composition, behaviour and properties of matter, and of the elements of the Earth and its atmosphere.

Specification Content

Chemistry Paper 1

  • 110 marks
  • 61.1% of the total International GCSE

The paper is assessed through a 2-hour written examination paper set and marked by Pearson. There will be a mixture of different question styles, including multiple-choice questions, short-answer questions, calculations and extended open-response questions.

Questions may come from any topic area across the specification: 1 Principles of chemistry 2 Inorganic chemistry 3 Physical chemistry 4 Organic chemistry.

Chemistry Paper 2

  • 70 marks
  • 38.9% of the total International GCSE

The paper is assessed through a 1-hour and 15-minute written examination paper set and marked by Pearson. There will be a mixture of different question styles, including multiple-choice questions, short-answer questions, calculations and extended open-response questions.

Questions may come from any topic area across the specification: 1 Principles of chemistry 2 Inorganic chemistry 3 Physical chemistry 4 Organic chemistry.

Knowledge and skills you will develop on the course

The qualification enables students to:

  • Learn about unifying patterns and themes in chemistry and use them in new and changing situations
  • Evaluate chemical information, making judgements on the basis of this information
  • Appreciate the practical nature of chemistry, developing experimental and investigative skills based on correct and safe laboratory techniques
  • Analyse, interpret and evaluate data and experimental methods, drawing conclusions that are consistent with evidence from experimental activities and suggesting possible improvements and further investigations
  • Select, organise, and present relevant information clearly and logically using appropriate vocabulary, definitions, and conventions
  • Develop a logical approach to problem solving in a wider context
  • Prepare for more advanced courses in chemistry and for other courses that require knowledge of chemistry

Economics

Course Summary

The course is designed to give students a sound understanding of economics, and the ability to use knowledge, skills and understanding appropriately in the context of individual countries and the global economy.

Specification Content

Paper 1: Microeconomics and Business Economics

  • 50% of the total International GCSE Examination of 1 hour 30 minutes, consisting of four compulsory questions, each worth 20 marks. The sub questions are a mixture of multiple-choice, short-answer, data response and open-ended questions.

Content summary

  • The market system
  • The economic problem
  • Economic assumptions
  • Demand, supply and market equilibrium
  • Elasticity
  • The mixed economy
  • Externalities Business economics
  • Production
  • Productivity and division of labour
  • Business costs, revenues and profit
  • Business competition
  • The labour market
  • Government intervention

Paper 2: Macroeconomics and the Global Economy

50% of the total International GCSE Examination of 1 hour 30 minutes, consisting of four compulsory questions, each worth 20 marks. The sub questions are a mixture of multiple-choice, short-answer, data response and open-ended questions.

Content summary

  • Government and the economy
  • Macroeconomic objectives
  • Government policies
  • Relationships between objectives and policies
  • The global economy
  • Globalisation
  • International trade
  • Exchange rates

Why is economics a good option to study at IGCSE level?

The qualification enables students to:

  • Develop an understanding of economic concepts and apply these concepts to real-life situations
  • Calculate, interpret, and evaluate economic data to make reasoned arguments and informed judgements
  • Develop an awareness of economic change and its impact on developing and developed economies
  • Understand economic issues, problems and possible solutions that affect mixed economies
  • Participate effectively in society as citizens, producers, and consumers
  • Be effectively prepared for AS / A Level economics courses

English

Course Summary

The Pearson Edexcel International GCSE in English Language (Specification A) is a linear qualification. It features a relevant, updated and engaging selection of texts ranging from British heritage to modern international.

Specification Content

Paper 1: Non-fiction Texts and Transactional Writing

  • 90 marks
  • 60% of the total International GCSE

Examination of 2 hours 15 minutes. Section A: Reading – a mixture of short- and long-answer questions related to a nonfiction text from Part 1 of the Pearson Edexcel International GCSE English Anthology and one previously unseen extract. Total of 45 marks. Section B: Transactional Writing – one 45-mark writing task, from a choice of two involving a given audience, form or purpose.

Component 3: Poetry and Prose Texts and Imaginative Writing

  • 40% of the total International GCSE

Internally assessed – Assignment A: Poetry and prose texts – one 30-mark essay question based on any two poetry or prose texts from Part 2 of the Pearson Edexcel International GCSE English Anthology, including a 6-mark commentary on why these texts were selected. Assignment B: Imaginative writing – one 30-mark imaginative writing task.

Spoken language endorsement

The spoken language presentation may take a variety of forms, including: a) A speech or talk by a student, followed by questions from the audience. b) a formal debate or dialogue, such as an interview where the student is able to prepare extended responses to questions or prompts, which have been shared in advance, followed by questions from the audience. In all cases, the presentation should be prepared and last no longer than 10 minutes.

There are no marks for the spoken language endorsement. However, a grade will be awarded (Not Classified, Pass, Merit or Distinction). Students’ grades will appear on their certificates.

Knowledge and skills you will develop on the course

The qualification enables students to:

  • Read a wide range of texts fluently and with good understanding
  • Read critically and use knowledge gained from wide reading to inform and improve their own writing
  • Write effectively and coherently using Standard English appropriately
  • Use grammar correctly, punctuate and spell accurately
  • Acquire and apply a wide vocabulary alongside knowledge and understanding of grammatical terminology, and linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language
  • Listen to and understand spoken language, and use spoken Standard English effectively

French

Course Summary

Students will communicate formally and informally in a range of contexts, and to understand a wide range of texts and styles. The aim of the qualification is to test French language competence through realistic and contextualised tasks.

Specification Content

Paper 1: Listening

  • 40 marks
  • 25% of the total International GCSE

Assessment is through a 30-minute examination paper set and marked by Pearson, plus five minutes’ reading time.

Content summary

This paper assesses listening skills across five topic areas:

  • Home and abroad
  • Education and employment
  • Personal life and relationships
  • The world around us
  • Social activities, fitness, and health

Paper 2: Reading and Writing

Assessment is through a 1-hour and 45-minute examination paper set and marked by Pearson.

  • The total number of marks for the paper is 80, with 40 marks for reading and 40 marks for writing
  • 50% of the total International GCSE

Content summary

This paper assesses reading and writing skills in separate sections across five topic areas:

  • Home and abroad
  • Education and employment
  • Personal life and relationships
  • The world around us
  • Social activities, fitness, and health

Paper 3: Speaking

  • 40 marks
  • Total assessment time is 8-10 minutes

Content summary

This paper assesses speaking skills across five topic areas. The examination is made up of three tasks. Students will present and answer questions on a picture. They will also discuss two different topics, chosen at random by Pearson from the following:

  • Home and abroad
  • Education and employment
  • Personal life and relationships
  • The world around us
  • Social activities, fitness, and health

Why is French a good option to study at IGCSE level?

The qualification enables students to:

  • Understand and use written forms of the target language, in a range of familiar and practical contexts, and for a variety of purposes
  • Understand and use spoken forms of the target language, in a range of familiar and practical contexts, and for a variety of purposes
  • Communicate effectively in the target language through the written word, using a range of vocabulary and structures
  • Communicate effectively in the target language through speaking, using a range of vocabulary and structures
  • Develop a knowledge and understanding of the target language grammar and its practical application
  • Develop a knowledge and understanding of countries and communities where the target language is spoken
  • Develop positive attitudes towards modern foreign language learning

Geography

Course Summary

A two-paper model allows students to focus on physical and human geography. The qualification will test knowledge and understanding, as well as analytical, evaluation and fieldwork skills in both papers.

Specification Content

Paper 1: Physical geography

  • 70 marks
  • 40% of the total International GCSE

Examination of 1 hour and 10 minutes, consisting of two sections. The questions are a mixture of multiple-choice, short-answer, data- response, and open-ended questions. Section A: Candidates choose two out of three questions on: river environments, coastal environments, hazardous environments. Section B: Candidates choose one out of three fieldwork-related questions on: river environments, coastal environments, hazardous environments.

Paper 2: Human geography

  • 105 marks
  • 60% of the total International GCSE

Examination of 1 hour and 45 minutes, consisting of three sections. The questions are a mixture of multiple-choice, short-answer, data-response, and open-ended questions. Section A: Candidates choose two out of three questions on: economic activity and energy, rural environments, urban environments. Section B: Candidates choose one out of three fieldwork-related questions on: economic activity and energy, rural environments, urban environments. Section C: Candidates choose one out of three questions on: fragile environments and climate change, globalisation and migration, development, and human welfare.

Why is Geography a good option to study at IGCSE level?

The qualification enables students to

  • Actively engage in the process of geographical enquiry to develop as effective and independent learners, and as critical and reflective thinkers with enquiring minds
  • Develop their knowledge and understanding of geographical concepts and appreciate the relevance of these concepts to our changing world
  • Appreciate that people have different views of, and attitudes to, the world, its environments, and its issues
  • Undertake geographical investigations that include both primary and secondary data collection, presentation, and analysis, drawing conclusions, and evaluating the whole geographical investigation
  • Develop their awareness of global issues and recognise the challenges of moving towards a sustainable future

German

Course Summary

Students will communicate formally and informally in a range of contexts, and to understand a wide range of texts and styles. The aim of the qualification is to test German language competence through realistic and contextualised tasks.

Specification Content

Paper 1: Listening

  • 40 marks
  • 25% of the total International GCSE

Assessment is through a 30-minute examination paper set and marked by Pearson, plus five minutes’ reading time.

Content summary

This paper assesses listening skills across five topic areas:

  • Home and abroad
  • Education and employment
  • Personal life and relationships
  • The world around us
  • Social activities, fitness, and health

Paper 2: Reading and Writing

Assessment is through a 1-hour and 45-minute examination paper set and marked by Pearson.

  • The total number of marks for the paper is 80, with 40 marks for reading and 40 marks for writing
  • 50% of the total International GCSE

Content summary

This paper assesses reading and writing skills in separate sections across five topic areas

  • Home and abroad
  • Education and employment
  • Personal life and relationships
  • The world around us
  • Social activities, fitness, and health

Paper 3: Speaking

  • 40 marks
  • Total assessment time is 8-10 minutes

Content summary

This paper assesses speaking skills across five topic areas. The examination is made up of three tasks. Students will present and answer questions on a picture. They will also discuss two different topics, chosen at random by Pearson from the following:

  • Home and abroad
  • Education and employment
  • Personal life and relationships
  • The world around us
  • Social activities, fitness, and health

Why is German a good option to study at IGCSE level?

The qualification enables students to:

  • Understand and use written forms of the target language, in a range of familiar and practical contexts, and for a variety of purposes
  • Understand and use the spoken forms of the target language, in a range of familiar and practical contexts, and for a variety of purposes > to communicate effectively in the target language through the written word, using a range of vocabulary and structures
  • To communicate effectively in the target language through speaking, using a range of vocabulary and structures
  • Develop a knowledge and understanding of the target language grammar and its practical application
  • Develop a knowledge and understanding of countries and communities where the target language is spoken
  • Develop positive attitudes towards modern foreign language learning

History

Course Summary

The Pearson Edexcel International GCSE in History consists of two mandatory papers. It is a linear qualification and all papers must be taken at the end of the course of study.

Specification Content

Paper 1: Depth Studies

  • 60 marks
  • 50% of the total International GCSE

Assessment is through a 1 hour 30-minute examination paper set and marked by Pearson.

Content summary

Students will study the following:

  • 60 marks
  • 50% of the total International GCSE

Assessment is through a 1 hour 30-minute examination paper set and marked by Pearson.

Content summary

Students will study the following:

  • Germany: development of dictatorship, 1918–45
  • A world divided: superpower relations, 1943–72

Paper 2: Investigation and Breadth Studies

  • 60 marks
  • 50% of the total International GCSE

Assessment is through a 1 hour 30-minute examination paper set and marked by Pearson.

Content summary

Students will study the following:

  • The origins and course of the First World War, 1905–18
  • Changes in medicine, c1848–c1948

Why is History a good option to study at IGCSE level?

The qualification enables students to:

  • Develop and extend their knowledge and understanding of specified key events, periods, and societies in history, and of the wide diversity of human experience
  • Engage in historical enquiry to develop as independent learners and as critical and reflective thinkers develop the ability to ask relevant questions about the past, to investigate issues critically and to make valid historical claims by using a range of sources in their historical context
  • Develop an awareness that different people, events, and developments have been accorded historical significance and how and why different interpretations have been constructed about them
  • Organise and communicate their historical knowledge and understanding in different ways and
    reach substantiated conclusions

Mathematics

Course Summary

The Pearson Edexcel International GCSE in Mathematics (Specification A) is a linear qualification. The content is relevant, engaging and up to date. The course provides a solid basis for students wishing to progress to AS and Advanced GCE Level, or equivalent qualifications.

Specification Content

Students will complete two examination papers in June 2021. Each paper is 50% of the total International GCSE. Students will be required to demonstrate application and understanding of the following:

  • Number – Use numerical skills in a purely mathematical way and in real-life situations
  • Algebra – 1 Use letters as equivalent to numbers and as variables 2 Understand the distinction
    between expressions, equations and formulae 3 Use algebra to set up and solve problems 4 Demonstrate manipulative skills 5 Construct and use graphs
  • Geometry – 1 Use properties of angles 2 Understand a range of transformations 3 Work within
    the metric system 4 Understand ideas of space and shape 5 Use ruler, compasses and protractor
    appropriately
  • Statistics – 1 Understand basic ideas of statistical averages 2 Use a range of statistical techniques 3
    Use basic ideas of probability

Assessment

Each paper is assessed through a 2-hour examination set and marked by Pearson. The total number of marks for each paper is 100.

Knowledge and skills you will develop on the course

The qualification enables students to:

  • Acquire a foundation of mathematical skills for further study in the subject or related areas Enjoy using and applying
  • Mathematical techniques and concepts, and become confident in using mathematics to solve problems
  • Appreciate the importance of mathematics in society, employment and study

Physics

Course Summary

The Pearson Edexcel International GCSE in Physics comprises two externally-assessed papers:

  • Physics Paper 1
  • Physics Paper 2

You will study the practical nature of physics, alongside the theoretical, learning to form hypotheses and conduct experiments. You will learn to evaluate, in terms of scientific knowledge, the merits and drawbacks of scientific and technological developments.

Specification Content

Physics Paper 1

  • 110 marks
  • 61.1% of the total International GCSE

The paper is assessed through a 2-hour written examination paper set and marked by Pearson. There will be a mixture of different question styles, including multiple-choice questions, short-answer questions, calculations and extended open-response questions.

Questions may come from any topic area across the specification: 1 Forces and motion 2 Electricity 3 Waves 4 Energy resources and energy transfers 5 Solids, liquids, and gases 6 Magnetism and electromagnetism 7 Radioactivity and particles 8 Astrophysics.

Physics Paper 2

  • 70 marks
  • 38.9 % of the total International GCSE

The paper is assessed through a 1-hour and 15-minute written examination paper set and marked by Pearson. There will be a mixture of different question styles, including multiple-choice questions, short-answer questions, calculations and extended open-response questions.

Questions may come from any topic area across the specification: 1 Forces and motion 2 Electricity 3 Waves 4 Energy resources and energy transfers 5 Solids, liquids, and gases 6 Magnetism and electromagnetism 7 Radioactivity and particles 8 Astrophysics.

Knowledge and skills you will develop on the course

The qualification enables students to:

  • Learn about unifying patterns and themes in physics and use them in new and changing situations
  • Evaluate physical information, making judgements based on this information
  • Appreciate the practical nature of physics, developing experimental and investigative skills based on correct and safe laboratory techniques
  • Analyse, interpret and evaluate data and experimental methods, drawing conclusions that are consistent with evidence from experimental activities and suggesting possible improvements and further investigations
  • Select, organise, and present relevant information clearly and logically using appropriate vocabulary, definitions, and conventions
  • Develop a logical approach to problem solving in a wider context
  • Prepare for more advanced courses in physics and for other courses that require knowledge of physics

Two Year GCSES

From September 2022, the college will also be offering a two-year GCSE course where students study nine subjects over the two year period. All students will study Maths, English Language and Literature, three sciences, their own language or French or German plus three options taken from Geography, History, Business Studies, Computer Science and Art.

  • Age: 14-16 at time of enrolment
  • Course length: 2 years
  • Course start: September 2022
  • Entry requirements: Successful performance in college entry tests (English, Maths) plus GL assessment
  • English Language requirement: IELTS 5.0
  • Other requirements: School report and passport

Please go to the Apply Online button to apply for a place.

A newly-refurbished wing of our Shand boarding house, designed specifically for under 16 students, will give every student a single or twin bedroom, communal common room and kitchens. The House is fully supervised by House Parents and Assistants, who will look after the student’s pastoral needs, provide a mentoring programme and supervise homework.

The College offers a wide range of competitions, trips, events, clubs and activities which range from the College’s popular GLEE club, art club, to football and netball teams. Students can have a membership of the JD gym with badminton courts, tennis courts, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, squash courts, range of fitness classes, personal training and café and internet zone. All students will be part of a House and take part in House events such as house debating, house sport and house music.

For those wanting to take part in the Duke of Edinburgh programme training will take place during weekends and after school and for musical students we provide a college music room where students practice and make music together as well as the opportunity for private music lessons.

All students who want to continue to do their A Levels at Cardiff Sixth Form will be expected to meet the standard A Level entrance requirements for progression. However, Dukes Education, which owns Cardiff Sixth Form, also owns three further top quality Colleges: Rochester Independent College; Earlscliffe and Fine Arts College where, should they not meet the high entry requirements for Cardiff, students will be offered a place at one of the other colleges. All the Dukes Education Colleges operate under one Tier 4 licence.

Cardiff 6th Form College 12th Sept 2017