Skip to content ↓

Ridgewood

School

Courses

There are 27 courses available to choose from in the Sixth Form from September 2020.

Courses on offer include a wide range of academic A level and Level 3 vocational courses which can be selected to create an appropriate personalised study programme to suit your needs and future aspirations.

Most students will study three A level subjects over the course of Year 12 and 13, but studying four is possible. Students can choose to access a programme of pure linear A levels or Level 3 vocational courses or they may opt to combine linear A levels with Level 3 vocational qualifications.

Students will be given personalised advice in their one-to-one course placement meeting so they can make the right decisions about their most suitable pathway.

Please note: This page is currently being updated with details of all the courses available for study from 2020. Both the drop downs and the pdf downloads include information for the courses available from 2020.

All courses listed are subject to sufficient student numbers in order to make it possible to run them and courses may need to be withdrawn if the numbers of students wishing to undertake the course mean it is not viable.

Applied Science

Pearson BTEC National Diploma in Applied Science

Why study Applied Science at The Sixth Form at Ridgewood?

  • Explore the fundamental nature of almost everything that we know of. 
  • Study all three sciences in detail; get a deeper understanding of the world around you, and yourself. Start your journey into a world deep beneath the surface of what you can actually see.
  • Study in three specialist post-16 laboratories in Faraday where the majority of teaching takes place, one for each of Biology, Chemistry and Physics. All our labs are highly resourced with practical equipment you will use frequently during your studies.
  • One of our largest departments, the Science team boasts ten teachers and three technicians. Within this team we have highly qualified teachers in all three specialisms. Their backgrounds and expertise cover a wide breadth of areas including engineering, applied chemistry and biological sciences.
  • Former alumni of the science department at Ridgewood have progressed to study medicine, astrophysics, radiography, physics, mathematics, mechanical engineering, chemical engineering, computer science, chemistry, bio-medical science and aeronautical engineering.

What topics will I study in this subject?

Topic

What this means

Unit 1: Principles and applications of science

All scientists and technicians need to understand the core science subjects and principles; these are the topics you will be focusing on during this unit

  • Chemistry: Structure and bonding in science applications
  • Biology: Structure and function of cells
  • Physics: waves and how we use them for communication.

Unit 2: Practical scientific procedures and techniques

In this unit you will continue with the content you have experienced in Unit 1; however, you will focus more or the practical application of this new knowledge. You will do this by undertaking three main experiments, one for each of the specialisms, and produce a report on each

  • Chemistry: Titrations and calorimetry
  • Biology: Chromatograms
  • Physics: Cooling curves.

Unit 3: Science investigation skills

This unit will consist of you planning and carrying out your own investigations based upon a topic presented to you from Edexcel.

Optional module

This optional module will be decided upon based upon the interests of the group. A list of module titles is given below

  • Physiology of human body systems
  • Human regulation and reproduction
  • Biological molecules and metabolic pathways
  • Genetics and genetic engineering
  • Diseases and infections
  • Applications of organic chemistry
  • Applications of inorganic chemistry
  • Electrical circuits and their applications
  • Astronomy and space science

What skills will I need in this subject?

Skill

What this skill involves in this subject

AO1 – recall/ remember facts

Demonstrate knowledge of scientific fact, definitions of terms, and scientific formulae.

Command words: give, label, name, state.

A02 – application of facts

Demonstrate understanding of scientific concepts, procedures, processes and techniques and their application.

Command words: calculate, compare, discuss, draw, explain, state, write.

A03 – Scientific principles and interpreting information

Analyse, interpret and evaluate scientific information to make judgements and reach conclusions.

Command words: calculate, compare, comment, complete, describe, discuss, explain, state.

AO4 – Making connections between scientific principles

Make connections, use and integrate different scientific concepts, procedures, processes or techniques.

Command words: compare, comment, discuss, explain.

What will my lessons involve?

  • Applied Science is taught by three separate science teachers: a specialist in each of biology, chemistry and physics.
  • Applied Science lessons will contain a variety of different tasks to suit all learners’ needs. Examples of activities in lessons include fact recall quizzes on A01 content, hands-on practicals in order to complete the practical aspects of the course, and paired discussions around higher level thinking. We also focus heavily on teacher-led worked examples and model answers.
  • 75% of the course is coursework and therefore a large proportion of lessons will be completing coursework and practical aspects of the course.
  • We also strive to give you regular written feedback on classwork so that you know exactly how to improve and achieve a better grade.

 What will my independent study involve?

  • A significant factor in your success at post-16 is the quality of your independent study work. Independent study for Applied Science will largely consist of making revision resources and answering questions, and completing coursework.
  • We expect you to spend nine hours over two weeks completing high quality independent study for this course.
  • A portion of your independent study will also consist of conducting research by searching online, in text books or revision guides. This could either involve finding practical methods to conduct in the class or researching content prior to lessons.
  • It is important for you to reflect regularly on your strengths and areas for development and make improvements to these. The most successful Applied Science students are the ones who do this the most by completing additional notes and questions on areas for development.
  • You will also be spending a large proportion of your time completing coursework and redrafting work to hand to your separate biology, chemistry and physics teachers.

How will I be assessed?

Percentage exam assessment: 25%

Percentage coursework assessment: 75%

Assessment

Details of assessment

Unit 1 Assessment

This will be assessed through three 40 minute examinations. Each one will focus on a particular specialism.

It will take place in the summer of year one of the course.

It is worth 25% of your overall grade.

Unit 2 Assessment

A coursework portfolio of practicals will be built up throughout this module and then submitted to the examination board.

This coursework will be built up throughout both years an submitted at the end of your second year.

It is worth 25% of your overall grade.

Unit 3 Assessment

You will be assessed through a piece of timed coursework with an examination component that will be performed in the classroom and then submitted to examination board.

This will be completed in the summer of year one of the course.

It is worth 33% of your overall grade.

Option module Assessment

This piece of coursework is based upon a practical that you will perform in class and then submitted to the examination board.

This coursework will be built up throughout your second year and submitted in summer.

It is worth 17% of your overall grade.

How do I know this is the right course for me?

  • Studying Applied Science is not only interesting and challenging. It also opens up many future career possibilities as it offers an alternative pathway into a career in science.
  • At the end of this course you will receive UCAS points; these can be used at many universities as entry points. However it is important that you check to ensure the university course you wish to apply for accepts UCAS points as some do not.
  • The content follows on from the GCSE science, but the demands and skill level are higher. Therefore you have to be willing to dedicate your time to developing these. 
  • There are many practicals and subsequent lab reports to write; these all contribute to you overall final grade. This is better suited to people who don’t always perform well on written examinations.

Art, Craft and Design

AQA A Level Art, Craft and Design

Why study Art, Craft & Design at The Sixth Form at Ridgewood?

  • The subject knowledge of the staff allows you to unlock your unrealised potential.
  • Access purpose built modern facilities with space to fulfil most students’ ideas, however big they are!
  • You will work with trust in your teachers at every step of your studies.
  • Bespoke one-to-one intervention takes place for every student in every lesson through questioning, coaching and discussion.
  • Your love of the subject is matched by the passion of our staff.

What topics will I study in this subject?

Topic

What this means

Year 12: Bare Bones

 

Minimal

Ten Plus One, Plus Another One

Gluttony

Mock examination

An introductory project covering new and old techniques demonstrating the ‘step up’ to A level.

‘Less is more’, successful use of limited shape colour and pattern. Careful composition and dynamic typography.

Unusual starting points for the generation of a final outcome.

Exploring excess through fine art, photography and digital media.

Mock examination (ten hours) based on the work generated for ‘Gluttony’.

Year 13: Personal Project
 

Externally Set Examination

A self-set project spanning five months. Evidence to fulfil the assessment objectives is generated and collated through guidance from staff. This culminates in a final piece or pieces.

Like the GCSE examination, a range of starting points will be presented to you, set by the exam board.  You will select one and investigate ideas, culminating in a 15 hour examination.

What skills will I need in this subject?

Skill

What this skill involves in this subject

Craftsmanship

You should have a good sense of aesthetic (the way things look) coupled with confident technical ability. This and an added willingness to explore new ways of working will help you develop significantly as an art student at Ridgewood.

Independent thought and study

You will often be required to explore practitioners’ work by yourself, continue with ideas and creative work you may have started in your lesson, and show progress in your next lesson. Confidence in your own ideas is paramount.

Time management

 

Art involves a lot of ‘doing’, it is not a subject you can do well in if you simply turn up to the lesson. You will need to balance your other subjects and independent study, so you can ensure you complete the work set for Art to an expected standard.

 What will my lessons involve?

  • Interesting and stimulating briefs to challenge and develop skills.
  • One-to-one discussions to aid idea and portfolio development.
  • Explore overlapping areas of Art, Craft and Design including painting, drawing, sculpture, textiles, surface pattern, print making, interactive media, advertising, packaging design, design for print, illustration, branding and photography.
  • Lessons may involve listening, researching, annotation, discussion (group and individual) as well as creative ‘on task’ activities.

What will my independent study involve?

  • It will involve following next step advice from your teacher and you will be expected to show progress in your next timetabled lesson.
  • You should use the Learning Resource Centre for further reading or research.
  • You can use the Art studio in Faraday to further develop practical work following guidance from your teacher.
  • Your independent study periods will be shared evenly between Art and your other subjects and will be added to your timetable on SIMS.

How will I be assessed?

Percentage exam assessment:  40%

Percentage coursework assessment:  60%

Assessment

Details of assessment

Examination paper in Year 13 is 40%

  • One exam, 15 hours, worth 40% of overall mark
  • An externally set exam is distributed in February of Year 13 and you will have approximately two months to prepare investigations, ideas and experimentations etc. before sitting the 15 hour examination where you will create the final piece. 

How do I know this is the right course for me?

  • A level Art is time consuming, challenging and frustrating but arguably the most rewarding course available. You will work hard but will create some fantastic work and develop as an artist ready for your future pathway.
  • The step up from GCSE is not obvious, but generally you’ll be required to do as much work in one week as you did in two weeks at GCSE. Through guidance, your work will become more mature and sophisticated, but you must be willing to stretch your own understanding of the subject too.
  • Current students enjoy the breadth of opportunities available to them in realising their ideas.
  • You can help your success by spending a little time EVERY day adding to your work, looking on specific websites/image research apps and by DRAWING. This will enrich your knowledge and skills, and ultimately make your work significantly stronger and more mature. 

Biology

AQA A Level Biology

Why study Biology at The Sixth Form at Ridgewood?

  • Studying Biology A level will enable you to look more closely at the biochemistry, genetics and evolution of a range of organisms. Biology literally means ‘the study of life’ and if that’s not important, what is?
  • Being such a broad subject, you’re bound to find a specific area of interest, plus it opens the door to a fantastic range of interesting careers.
  • One of our largest departments, the Science team boasts ten teachers and three technicians. Within this, Biology is our biggest team of specialist teachers. Their interests range from biochemistry to genetics and inheritance, so whatever your passion there will be someone in our team who shares it!
  • We have three specialist post-16 laboratories in Faraday where the majority of teaching takes place, one for each of Biology, Chemistry and Physics.
  • During your studies on the Biology course at Ridgewood, you will get to carry out a variety of practical activities including glucose calibration, heart dissections and gel electrophoresis.
  • Former alumni of the Biology department at Ridgewood have progressed to study medicine, biomedical science, radiography, zoology, pharmacology, biochemistry, neuroscience and dentistry.

What topics will I study in this subject?

Topic

What this means

Biological molecules

Explore the fundamental building blocks of organisms – the molecules of which their cells are composed.

Cells

Cells are the fundamental unit of life. Cells have certain basic features and yet show remarkable diversity in both structure and function. Within this module you will discuss the structure of the plasma membrane and the passage of substances across it by passive and active transport.

Organism exchange substances with their environment

All cells and organisms exchange material between themselves and their environment. In this unit you will discuss single celled organisms, insects, plants and mammals.

Genetic information and variation

Look at DNA, mRNA and tRNA. You will discuss how each molecule is used in protein synthesis and will also focus on the diverse range of species and how to classify different organisms.

Energy transfers in and between organisms

Organisms require a constant input of energy to maintain their highly ordered structures and systems. Within this module you will discuss how ATP is produced in photosynthesis and respiration. You also discuss nutrient cycles and how nitrogen and phosphorus are recycled.

Organisms respond to changes in their environments

There are two forms of coordination in most multicellular animals – nervous and hormonal. Within this module you will look at both in detail to explain how drugs and diseases affect the nervous and hormonal system.

Genetics, populations, evolution and ecosystems

Individuals of a species share the same genes but usually have different combinations of alleles of these genes. An individual inherits alleles from their parent or parents; this process is universal. However, the way in which the alleles interact to produce new characteristics of the new individual depends on the type of inheritance involved. Within this module you will investigate different methods of inheritance, genetic diagrams, natural selection and disease.

The control of gene expression

At a cellular level, control of metabolic activities is achieved by regulating which genes of the genome are transcribed and translated, and when this takes place. Within this module you will discuss how the environment has an effect on our genome as well as how cancer is caused and regulated.

What skills will I need in this subject?

Skill

What this skill involves in this subject

AO1 –Recall/ remember facts

You should be able to recall and remember knowledge and understanding taught in lessons of scientific ideas, processes, techniques and procedures. For example, you may be asked to describe the sequence of a scientific process or describe a method that could be used to obtain reliable results.

A02 – Application of knowledge

Apply knowledge and understanding of scientific ideas, processes, techniques and procedures. This may be when discussing a theory, in a practical context or when handling both qualitative and quantitative data. This assessment objective often asks you to apply your knowledge and understanding of a topic to an unfamiliar scenario.

A03 – Scientific principles

Analyse, interpret and evaluate scientific information, ideas and evidence. This assessment objective assesses whether you can use scientific principles to form conclusions and judgements using information that is given or may need to be processed. You may also need to adapt methods for practical investigations to acquire more reliable results.

What will my lessons involve?

Biology lessons at Ridgewood will contain a variety of different tasks to suit all learners’ needs. Examples of activities you will undertake include:

  • Fact recall quizzes
  • Hands on practical activities
  • Paired discussions
  • Group work
  • Research tasks
  • Teacher-led worked examples
  • Teacher-led lecture style delivery of content
  • Exam question practice and guidance through this
  • Opportunity to ask questions.

We also strive to give you regular written feedback on classwork so that you know exactly how to improve and achieve a better grade.

What will my independent study involve?

For every hour you spend in a Biology lesson, one hour of independent study is expected. This may take the form of:

  • Cornell notes
  • Flash cards
  • Exam questions
  • Essay prep
  • Retrieval grids
  • Researching practical activities
  • Researching content prior to the lesson it is to be taught
  • Responding to your teacher’s marking and feedback.

You are expected to complete extra reading to help support your writing of the essay in Paper 3.

How will I be assessed?

Percentage exam assessment: 100%

Percentage coursework assessment: 0%

Assessment

Details of assessment

Paper 1

Any content from topics 1-4, including relevant practical skills. It is a written exam worth 91 marks. 76 marks are gained from a mixture of long and short answer questions, 15 marks are gained from extended response questions.

Paper 1 is worth 35% of your overall A level grade. This exam is two hours long.

Paper 2

Any content from topics 5-8, including relevant practical skills. It is a written exam worth 91 marks. 76 marks are gained from a mixture of long and short answer questions, 15 marks are gained from comprehension questions.

Paper 2 is worth 35% of your overall A level grade. This exam is two hours long.

Paper 3

Any content from topics 1-8, including relevant practical skills. It is a written exam worth 78 marks. 38 marks are gained from structured questions, including practical techniques; 15 marks are gained from critical analysis of given experimental data; 25 marks are gained from one essay from a choice of two titles.

Paper 3 is worth 30% of your overall A level grade. This exam is two hours long.

How do I know this is the right course for me?

  • A level Biology is a challenging and enjoyable A level. The demands of the course are high and the progression from GCSE to A level is very difficult. However, those students who are motivated and determined relish this opportunity and have achieved their full potential.
  • Courses which work well with Biology include Maths, Chemistry, Physics, Psychology and Sociology.
  • Current students say:
  • “A level Biology is interesting, but it is much more difficult than GCSE. Lots of people find it easier at GCSE and therefore choose to take it but you need to invest time in it to do well”
  • “A level Biology opens up so many doors to different careers”
  • “If I could re-do Year 12, I would tell myself to be more organised and use my independent study time more wisely, then I would have found my exams in summer more manageable”

Business

OCR Cambridge Technicals Level 3 Extended Certificate in Business

Why study Business at The Sixth Form at Ridgewood?

What topics will I study in this subject?

Topic

What this means

Unit 1 – The Business Environment

 

In this unit you will develop an understanding of how and why businesses operate in the way they do. You will look at a range of different types of business structures, ownership of a business and its objectives, different functions within a business, legal, financial, ethical and other resource constraints. You will explore ways in which businesses respond to changes in their economic, social and technological environment and you will learn how to assess business performance.

Unit 2 – Working in Business

This unit will cover the skills and understanding needed to work effectively within a business environment. This includes arranging meetings, working with business documents, making payments, prioritising business activities and communicating with stakeholders. These are tasks that are common to almost all job roles.

Unit 4 – Customers and Communication

In this unit you will learn the purpose, methods and importance of communication in business and the appropriateness of different forms of communication for different situations and different groups of customers.

Unit 5 – Marketing and Market Research

In this unit you will gain an in-depth understanding of primary and secondary market research methods used to inform marketing decision-making and the constraints on marketing activities.

Unit 19 – International Business

In this unit, you will gain an understanding of key decisions that businesses must make when deciding whether to operate internationally. This unit will provide you with practical experience which will be valuable should you wish to undertake further study in this area or follow a career in a business.

What skills will I need in this subject?

Skill

What this skill involves in this subject

Research

Throughout the two year course you will be expected to conduct your own independent research into businesses and how they work.

Timekeeping

You will complete three coursework units, so you need to be able to use your time well and meet deadlines.

Business awareness

You will need to keep up to date with business news and be able to implement it within your work to show thorough understanding of how businesses work in the modern day.

Communication

This covers verbal and written communication, and listening. It's about being clear, concise and focused; being able to tailor your message for the audience and listening to the views of others as you will have to present information clearly throughout your course.

What will my lessons involve?

  • During both years of the course your lessons will be split 50-50 between being focused on the exam units and the coursework units.
  • You will be tested in mock exams throughout the year to prepare you for these.
  • Most exam lessons involve explanation and discussion of a new concept, followed by further research of the topic and real world uses and applications, then practice questions on that concept.
  • During coursework lessons, you will be introduced to a new topic and problem and then a number of your lessons will be for you to independently work on your coursework units with guidance from your teachers.

What will my independent study involve?

  • You will be given regular work to do; this could involve research of an area or a new topic, or practice questions or mini projects.
  • You will need to spend considerable time checking over your notes to ensure you understand the content.
  • During both years you will need to spend most of your time working on your coursework.
  • Finally, you will need to spend time doing exam practice and getting familiar with the mark schemes and questions.

How will I be assessed?

Percentage exam assessment: 50%

Percentage coursework assessment: 50%

Assessment

Details of assessment

Unit 1 – The Business Environment

Exam – Two hours (90 marks) – 33% of overall mark

Section A: Multiple choice on any aspect of the unit (20 marks)

Section B: 4 – 6 mark questions about businesses you have researched (20 marks)

Section C: Extended, evaluative writing questions (50 marks)

Unit 4 – Customers and Communication

Coursework – 17% of overall mark

10 Pass tasks, 4 Merit tasks, 2 Distinction tasks

Unit 2 – Working in Business

Exam – 1 hour 30 minutes (60 marks) – 17% of overall mark

Four questions based around a case study and a given scenario. This will include one extended, evaluative writing question.

Unit 5 – Marketing and Market Research

Coursework – 17% of overall mark

8 Pass tasks, 3 Merit tasks, 2 Distinction tasks

Unit 19 – International Business

Coursework – 17% of overall mark

9 Pass tasks, 3 Merit tasks, 2 Distinction tasks

How do I know this is the right course for me?

  • If you are considering this course, you will need to be able to write extended, evaluative pieces of writing.
  • In addition to this, you will also need to be able to learn a vast amount of business terminology and be able to apply mathematical formula to analyse business performance.
  • If you have previously studied Business, you will have a good idea of what you can expect on this course. 

Chemistry

AQA A Level Chemistry

Why study Chemistry at The Sixth Form at Ridgewood?

  • A level Chemistry attempts to answer the big question ‘What is the world made of?’ and it’s the search for this answer that makes this subject so fascinating.
  • From investigating how one substance can be changed drastically into another, to researching a new wonder drug to save millions of lives, the opportunities that chemistry provides are endless.
  • One of our largest departments, the Science team boasts ten teachers and three technicians. Within this team we have three highly qualified specialist Chemistry teachers, whose passion and expertise for their subject is contagious.
  • We have three specialist post-16 laboratories in Faraday where the majority of teaching takes place, one for each of Biology, Chemistry and Physics.
  • Since the A level reform we have highly resourced the practical aspect of the course, and we have equipment in school to complete a wealth of hands-on practicals including making aspirin!
  • Former alumni of the Chemistry department at Ridgewood have progressed to study medicine, dentistry, chemistry, biomedical science, pharmacology, biochemistry, engineering, mathematics, chemical engineering and law.

What topics will I study in this subject?

Topic

What this means

Organic Chemistry

You will explore the properties and reactions of different groups of chemicals, learning how to name, draw and show the reactions they undergo using IUPAC notation. You will study in depth common organic molecules and the interconversions between these; for example, you will study how anti-cancer drugs work and how aspirin is synthesised. Spectroscopic techniques used to identify these different molecules are covered in theoretical and practical contexts. This will culminate in several Required Practical activities where you will research, plan and execute investigations to demonstrate the concepts covered and your new knowledge.

Physical Chemistry

You will study a range of physical properties of chemicals such as atomic structure and the nature of different chemical bonds. This module also contains most of the calculations on the course including amount of substance calculations where you will learn how to calculate the mass, volume, concentration, pressure and amount in moles of different chemical reactions. The industrial applications of rates of reaction and chemical equilibrium are explored in detail as well as more complex thermodynamic considerations. Physical Chemistry contains 6 of the 12 required practicals but the skills and calculations you learn during this module will link to just about every other chemistry topic!

Inorganic Chemistry

You will explore the properties and trends of group 2, group 7 and period 3 of the periodic table. As well as this you will investigate the transition metals in more detail. You will carry out experiments to explore the reactions of transition metal ions with simple compounds to form coloured complexes and explain the origins of this colour. You will also explain how and why transition metals are used as catalysts in chemical reactions.

What skills will I need in this subject?

Skill

What this skill involves in this subject

AO1 – Recall/ remember facts

You should be able to recall and remember knowledge and understanding taught in lessons of scientific ideas, processes, techniques and procedures. For example, you may be asked to describe the sequence of a scientific process or describe method that could be used to obtain reliable results.

A02 – Application of knowledge

Apply knowledge and understanding of scientific ideas, processes, techniques and procedures. This may be when discussing a theory, in a practical context or when handling both qualitative and quantitative data. This assessment objective often asks you to apply your knowledge and understanding of a topic to an unfamiliar scenario.

A03 – Scientific principles

Analyse, interpret and evaluate scientific information, ideas and evidence. This assessment objective assesses whether you can use scientific principles to form conclusions and judgements using information that is given or may need to be processed. You may also need to adapt methods for practical investigations to acquire more reliable results.

What will my lessons involve?

  • Your lessons will include a variety of different tasks to suit all learners. However, since this course contains a lot of content, some of the lessons will be traditional teacher-led lecture style lessons, followed by application of the content.
  • In all lessons there will be the opportunity to reflect on your knowledge and understanding either individually, with the help of a peer, or in response to teacher feedback.
  • The course contains a stand-alone practical qualification so there will be lots of opportunities to conduct hands-on practical activities.
  • Since this is a linear course with three exams at the end of it, retrieval practice in the form of fact recall quizzes will be completed regularly to help your retention of knowledge.
  • Teacher-led worked examples and guidance on exam technique will be embedded into lessons to help you achieve the best grade possible.
  • We know most students learn best by having the opportunity to discuss learning either with peers or with a teacher, so there will be regular opportunities to ask questions and work in groups.

What will my independent study involve?

  •  A significant factor in your success at A level is the quality of your independent study work. This will largely consist of making revision resources and answering questions.
  • We expect you to spend nine hours over two weeks completing high quality independent study for this course.
  • By the end of the course our top achieving students will have completed past exam questions several times.
  • A portion of your independent study will also consist of conducting research by searching online, in text books or revision guides. This could be either finding practical methods to conduct in class or researching content prior to lessons.
  • As this is a linear course, retrieval practice is essential to achieve the best grades. This involves testing yourself on prior learning frequently and revisiting previous topics.
  • It is important for you to regularly reflect on your strengths and areas for development and make improvements to these. The most successful students are the ones who do this the most by completing additional notes and questions on areas for development. Practice makes perfect! 

How will I be assessed?

Percentage exam assessment: 100%

Percentage coursework assessment: 0%

Assessment

Details of assessment

Paper 1

Two hour written exam based around physical and inorganic chemistry. This involves answering traditional long and short style questions.

It is worth 105 marks and counts for 35% of your A level.

Paper 2

Two hour written exam based around physical and organic chemistry. This involves answering traditional long and short style questions.

It is worth 105 marks and counts for 35% of your A level.

Paper 3

Two hour written exam that assesses any content and has a large focus on practical skills. This is worth 90 marks and 30% of your A level.

It includes 40 marks from question focusing on practical techniques, 20 marks from questions testing knowledge from across the specification, and 30 marks from multiple choice questions.

How do I know this is the right course for me?

  • Studying A level Chemistry is not only interesting and challenging. It also opens up many future career possibilities as it contains strong links with the other sciences, maths and engineering.
  • The content follows on nicely from the GCSE Chemistry course but the demands and skill level are a lot higher, therefore you have to be willing to dedicate your time to developing these. 
  • There are a lot more calculations required in A level Chemistry in comparison to GCSE so you must enjoy solving numerical problems and algebraic rearrangements.

What our students say:

  • “At GCSE you are taught about chemical reactions that these reactants make these products. During A level you learn why this happens. This is what I find the most fascinating about the course.”
  • “I found the demands of the course hard to cope with at first because it is quite different from GCSE, but the teachers are really supportive and helped me to structure my independent study time more effectively so that I could progress.”

Computer Science

OCR A Level Computer Science

Why study Computer Science at The Sixth Form at Ridgewood?

  • A level Computer Science is rapidly becoming one of the most sought after qualifications in the world, and proves hugely popular with the best universities across the globe.
  • Studying it at Ridgewood Sixth Form will provide you with the very best foundations for the beginning of your computer science journey, whether that’s to progress to university, or jump straight into a career.
  • At Ridgewood, we strive to ensure you will enjoy each and every lesson in Computing.
  • A particular strength of the course at Ridgewood is the wealth of subject knowledge your teachers possess.
  • With a team of highly qualified staff who teach parts of the course matching their speciality areas, you will receive outstanding tuition across all aspects of the course.

What topics will I study in this subject?

Topic

What this means

Unit 1 Computer Systems

This unit contains the most content and mainly looks at hardware and software.

The topic also looks at different data types, data structures and algorithms, and legal, moral, cultural and ethical issues related to computers.

Unit 2 Algorithms and Programming

This unit is mainly about programming. It involves learning the different types of computational thinking and problem-solving methods and gives you an introduction into programming and learning and using algorithms to solve problems.

Unit 3 Programming Project

You will choose a computing problem to work through. You will analyse the possible solutions to the problem, design a solution, develop a solution and then evaluate your work.

What skills will I need in this subject?

Skill

What this skill involves in this subject

Problem solving

This could involve breaking down a complex problem into smaller problems or working out which algorithm to use to solve a problem.

Programming

You will be encouraged to learn new programming languages as well as engaging with your coding skills to undertake real world challenges to fully prepare you for the exams as well as industry careers.

Evaluation

You will need to see both sides of an argument and be able to suggest reasons why something might not happen the way it should.

What will my lessons involve?

  • Half of lesson time will be focused on the two exam units. You will be tested in mock exams throughout the year to prepare you for these.
  • During Year 13, a number of your lessons will be for you to work independently on your programming project.
  • Most lessons involve explanation and discussion of a new concept, followed by practice questions on that concept.
  • You will have lessons during Year 12 where you will be taught programming languages and more lessons practising these skills.

What will my independent study involve?

  • You will be given regular work to do; this could involve researching an area or a new topic, or practice questions or mini projects
  • You will need to spend considerable time checking over your notes to ensure you understand the content.
  • During Year 13, you will need to spend most of your time working on your programing project. This will mostly be completed out of lesson, including the writing up of the four sections.
  • Finally, you will need to spend time doing exam practice and becoming familiar with the mark schemes and questions.

How will I be assessed?

Percentage exam assessment: 80%

Percentage coursework assessment: 20%

Assessment

Details of assessment

Paper 1

 

2 hour 30 minute exam, 140 marks, 40% of overall mark

Computer Systems

Mostly short answer questions with some longer 9 and 12 mark questions

Paper 2

2 hour 30 minute exam, 140 marks, 40% of overall mark

Algorithms and programming

Mostly short answer questions with some longer 9 mark questions

Programming Project

Coursework, 70 marks, 20% of the exam

Students will be expected to analyse a problem (10 marks), and design (15 marks), develop and test (25 marks), and evaluate and document (20 marks) a program. The program must be to solve it written in a suitable programming language.

How do I know this is the right course for me?

  • If you have previously studied Computer Science, you will have a good idea of what you can expect at A level.
  • The Computer Science A level is streamlined to directly develop what you have covered in Computer Science at GCSE.
  • We will start by refreshing your knowledge of the basics of the GCSE content and ensuring you are confident, before delving deeper to cover the A level specification.
  • If you are interested in programming or learning how to program, this course will be for you.
  • If you enjoyed Computer Science at GCSE, and have an interest in developing your knowledge and understanding further, then A level Computer Science is absolutely for you.