GCSE

Mathematics

Grade 10

The IGCSE Mathematics course starts in Grade 9 and continues over a 3 year period.  The course content will be delivered using book 1 and book 2 as provided by EDEXCEL for IGCSE Mathematics.  At VES we have end of topic tests to check a student’s understanding and offer further guidance where necessary throughout the academic year.  At the end of each unit there is a revision and exam practice section for students to help them prepare for the upcoming topic test. Starred exercises work towards grades 6 to 9 in the text books.  Book 2 will cover the Higher Tier content of the subject but it’s important that students continue to study and revise the course content from book 1. The main whole school summative assessments take place at the end of term 1 and term 3.  However, in Mathematics we also test at the end of term 2. These tests will be based on what they have learned to that point. Classes are setted based on the result of these tests alongside a variety of different factors including effort, behaviour, punctuality etc.  All tests in Grade 10 are calculator tests. The students should also have a geometry set but will be given notice of when this is required for class work. For further information and details regarding the full IGCSE curriculum see the attached specification.

Term 1

Use a calculator, estimate answers, work with upper and lower bounds.

Expand linear products, factorise quadratic expressions and solve quadratic equations including worded questions.

Represent and interpret graphs of inequalities, find equations of lines perpendicular to a given line, and find the mid-point and length of a line.

Describe transformations and carry out translations, reflections, rotations, and enlargements on the coordinate plane.

Estimate and find probabilities from experimental data and theoretical situations.

BOOK 2

Recognize and use direct and inverse proportion and use index laws to simplify numerical expressions involving negative and fractional indices.

Write and use formulae to solve problems involving direct and inverse proportion and use index notation involving fractional, negative and zero powers.

Find general formula, determine if a number is a term and find the sum of arithmetic sequences.

Term 2

Understand and use the alternate segment theorem and internal and intersecting chord properties in circles.

Use venn diagrams to represent and solve problems involving sets.

Convert recurring decimals to fractions and use a calculator for more complex calculations.

Solve quadratic equations by factorisation, completing the square, and quadratic formula.

Recognise and draw graphs of cubic and reciprical functions.

Calculate area, circumference, arc length, sector area, surface area, and volume of circles, prisms, and similar shapes.

Use venn diagrams to calculate probability.

Term 3

Convert between metric units of area, volume, speed, and solve problems involving compound measures, including density and pressure.

Use function notation, find the domain and range of a function, find inverse and composite functions.

Use graphs to solve quadratic equations, cubic equations, and simultaneous equations with one linear and one non-linear equation.

Understand and use vector notation, calculate using vectors and represent solutions graphically, and apply vector methods for simple geometric proofs.

Determine if events are mutually exclusive, independent, or dependent and find probabilities using tree diagrams and two-way tables.

Grade 11

The IGCSE Mathematics course starts in Grade 9 and continues over a 3 year period.  The course content will be delivered using book 1 and book 2 as provided by EDEXCEL for IGCSE Mathematics.  At VES we have end of topic tests to check a student’s understanding and offer further guidance where necessary throughout the academic year.  At the end of each unit there is a revision and exam practice section for students to help them prepare for the upcoming topic test. Starred exercises work towards grades 6 to 9 in the text books.  Book 2 will cover the Higher Tier content of the subject but it’s important that students continue to study and revise the course content from book 1. In Grade 11 the students have 6 lessons per week with one lesson being specifically dedicated to the revision of book 1.  During these lessons they will be practicing past papers to help them best prepare for their external exam at the end of grade 11. In addition, they will sit a Pre-Public Exam to replicate the external exam as close as possible. The students should treat these exams seriously to be able to identify their strengths and weaknesses.  Also, the result of these internal exams could have an impact on their promotion to Grade 12 at VES. These tests will be based on the full curriculum content. Classes are setted based on the result of these tests alongside a variety of different factors including effort, behaviour, punctuality etc. All tests in Grade 11 are calculator tests.  The students should also have a geometry set but will be given notice of when this is required for class work. For further information and details regarding the full IGCSE curriculum see the attached specification.

Term 1

Carry out calculations involving money, converting currencies and real-life problems involving percentages and money.

Solve simultaneous equations including quadratics or circles, and prove a result using algebra.

Understand the relationshop between transforming a graph and the change in its function form and find the gradient of a tangent at a point.

Use Pythagoras' Theorem or trigonometry to solve problems in 3D.

Draw and interpret histograms.

Understand the difference between rational and irrational numbers, simplify or expand expressions involving surds, and rationalise the denominator of a fraction.

Term 2

Simplify, add/subtract, multiply/divide, or solve complex algebraic fractions.

Differentiate integer powers of x to find the gradient of a tangent at a point, find co-ordinates of maximum and minimum points on a curve, and apply calculus to real-life problems.

Recognise, plot and draw the graphs of the trigonometric functions sine, cosine, and tangent; use sine and cosine rules, and work out area of a triangle using trigonometry.

Draw and use more complex tree diagrams.

Exam Preparation

Science

Teaching in the sciences in key stage 4 continues with the process of building upon and deepening scientific knowledge and the understanding of ideas developed in earlier key stages in the subject disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics. Curricula at key stage 4 comprise approximately equal proportions of biology, chemistry and physics. The relevant mathematical skills required are covered in the programme of study for mathematics and should be embedded in the science context. The specification followed is by PEARSON EDEXCEL IGCSE. The Pearson Edexcel International GCSE (9–1) qualifications are comparable to the UK GCSE, with appropriate international content and assessment that will enable successful progression for learners. 

For some students, studying the sciences in key stage 4 provides the platform for more advanced studies, establishing the basis for a wide range of careers. For others, it will be their last formal study of subjects that provide the foundations for understanding the natural world and will enhance their lives in an increasingly technological society.

Aims: These key ideas of science education in this key stage include:

  • the use of conceptual models and theories to make sense of the observed diversity of natural phenomena
  • the assumption that every effect has one or more cause
  • that change is driven by interactions between different objects and systems
  • that many such interactions occur over a distance and over time
  • that science progresses through a cycle of hypothesis, practical experimentation, observation, theory development and review
  • that quantitative analysis is a central element both of many theories and of scientific methods of inquiry

Geography

Geography engages students and gives them opportunities to gain skills that will support progression to further study and to enhance their educational or employment prospects. This qualification enables students to explore the world, the challenges it faces and their own place in it, and to help prepare them to succeed in their chosen pathway. Students work towards a two-paper assessment –this  new, 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. 

The content in both Paper 1: Physical geography and Paper 2: Human geography is engaging and accessible for all students. The material is appropriate and relevant for progression, building understanding and awareness of a range of geographical concepts and skills, including fieldwork. 

The design of the revised International GCSE aims to extend students’ knowledge by broadening and deepening skills. For example, students will: 

  • develop and apply a holistic range of knowledge and understanding of geographical concepts and skills, including fieldwork 
  • present and analyse data, draw conclusions and evaluate information from different sources 
  • develop awareness of global issues and challenges and that, in moving towards a sustainable future, people have different views and attitudes to the environment.

Students study a range of topics for GCSE for which the foundation is built throughout key stage 3. Many topics are repeated and developed on such as: the coast, hazards, urbanisation and economic activity.  

The assessment is broken down as follows: 

Assessment paper 1:

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. 

Assessment paper 2: 

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.

History

GCSE History Assessment

Paper 1- Depth Studies- 50% of the total International GCSE raw marks.

  • Students are assessed through an examination based on their selected depth studies. 
  • Students answer two questions, one on each of the depth studies they have covered
  • There are 60 marks available in total.
  • The assessment duration is 1 hour and 30 minutes. 

Paper 2- Investigation and Breadth Studies- 50% of the total International GCSE raw marks.

  • Students are assessed through an examination based on their historical investigation and breadth study in change. 
  • Students answer two questions, one on their historical investigation  and one on their breadth study in change. 
  • There are 60 marks available in total.
  • The assessment duration is 1 hour and 30 minutes. 

The design of the revised International GCSE aims to extend learners’ knowledge and understanding by broadening and deepening skills, for example learners: 

Develop the ability to: 

  • explain, analyse and make judgements about historical events and periods studied using second order historical concepts 
  • use a range of source material to comprehend, interpret and cross- refer sources 
  • analyse and evaluate historical interpretations in the context of historical events studied.

Business

The Pearson Edexcel International GCSE in Business is designed as a two-year course. 

As students’ progress through the course they are introduced to new ideas and concepts while continuing to use and reinforce previously learned concepts and skills. 

Section 1: introduces the nature and types of business in an economy. Students will be encouraged to examine the interaction between businesses and the environment in which they operate.

Sections 2–5: focuses on the main functional areas of business administration, finance, marketing and operations.

While the five sections of content are listed as discrete topics, it is important for students to   recognize that, because business is dynamic, these five areas interrelate.  

The content and assessment approach for this qualification has been designed to meet students’ needs in the following ways:

Two-paper assessment – a new, two-paper model gives students better opportunities to focus on real-life business scenarios covering small and large businesses. We will test knowledge, understanding, analytical and evaluation skills around five sections: Business Activity and Influences on Business, People in Business, Business Finance, Marketing and Business Operations.

 The content in both paper 1: Investigating small businesses and

 paper 2: Investigating large businesses, is engaging and accessible for all students. 

The content is appropriate and relevant for progression. It is appropriate for international students, building understanding and awareness of business concepts and applying them to real-life scenarios. The content develops students’ ability to participate effectively in global society as citizens, producers and consumers.

The design of the revised International GCSE aims to extend students’ knowledge by broadening and deepening skills, for example students will develop the ability to: 

  • read sources to interpret and evaluate business information 
  • write extended responses 
  • respond appropriately to a range of question types, including multiple-choice, short-answer, data-response and open-ended questions 
  • develop an understanding of business concepts and apply these concepts to real-life situations.

Psychology

Psychology engages students as they explore human behaviour, get an understanding of themselves and others, and gain skills that will support progression to further study of psychology and a wide range of other subjects. 

The GCSE psychology course, studied throughout years 10 and 11, consists of 6 compulsory topics and 2 optional topics. 

The Compulsory topics studied include: Development; Memory; Psychological problems; The Brain and Neuropsychology; Social Influence and Research Methods.

 Two optional topics will then be studied from the following topics: Criminal Psychology; The self; Perception or Sleep and dreaming. Students will explore these topics by studying and evaluating established theories relating to the topic areas. 

Evaluating the research evidence supporting these theories is also a key part of the course. Each topic contains two compulsory research studies which students must be able to describe and evaluate in detail.

French

The Pearson Edexcel International GCSE in French is a linear qualification, part of a suite of International GCSE qualifications offered by Pearson. All three units are externally assessed and must be taken at the end of the course of study in Y11, during the June examination series.

The course offers a foundation for students wishing to progress to further study of French:

  • Listening skills are assessed separately in Paper 1.
  • Reading and writing skills are tested in separate exercises in Paper 2. 
  • Speaking communication skills are assessed separately in Paper 3. 

For the purposes of communication, contexts and settings will be those that students are likely to encounter. Skills will be assessed across five topic areas:

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

The aims and objectives of this qualification are to enable students to develop: 

  • understanding and use of written forms of the target language, in a range of familiar and practical contexts, and for a variety of purposes
  • understanding and use of the spoken forms of the target language, in a range of familiar and practical contexts, and for a variety of purposes 
  • the ability to communicate effectively in the target language through the written word, using a range of vocabulary and structures
  • the ability to communicate effectively in the target language through speaking, using a range of vocabulary and structures
  • a knowledge and understanding of the target language grammar and its practical application 
  • a knowledge and understanding of countries and communities where the target language is spoken
  • positive attitudes towards modern foreign language learning
  • a suitable foundation for further study of the target language, or another language.