Message from the Head of GCSE

Dear Parents and Guardians,

Welcome to the 2 Year GCSE department! You will find information here about our GCSE programme and the various subjects offered. Take a look around and find out about what Buckswood has to offer. I recommend that you come down to the school to visit and really get a feel for the Buckswood experience.
Students aged 14-16 at Buckswood will be studying for their GCSE (General Certificate of Secondary Education) examinations.

All students in the GCSE department must take certain core subjects in addition to being able to select from a choice of options. We offer 3 programmes at GCSE for students, depending upon their particular needs. The traditional programme of study involves two years of classes in 8 subjects, culminating in a series of public examinations at the end of this time period. This is recommended for UK students and those international students with a good command of the English language. For international students who need some support with improving their language skills, we offer a one year programme of intensive English, followed by a one year programme of GCSE study, resulting in 6 GCSE awards. Students who come from overseas who are aged 15 or older and wish to get their GCSE awards are offered to enrol in our one year intensive GCSE programme, with the same result of 6 GCSE awards.

Mandatory subjects for all students are English, Mathematics and Combined Science. For those on the two year programme of study, students must also select from either Geography or History and French or Spanish (if a UK student or International student who wishes to learn another language if extra English is desired instead, they may do this for 1 year and then take an ICT qualification in the second year). 3 further subjects must be
selected from a list of options ­ among these are Business Studies, Art, Religious Studies, Additional Science, Graphics, drama, ICT, Global Citizenship, Music, Media Studies, Mandarin and Physical Education. Students on the intensive one year GCSE course must take English, Mathematics, Combined Science, Business Studies and Geography. International students will also take lessons in their own language and earn a qualification of GCSE or higher.

It is not all academic work however. We have a vibrant sporting programme, with teams in rugby, football, hockey, netball, cricket, basketball, golf and tennis that play regular fixtures with other schools in the local area. If sport is not your thing, then there are plenty of other things to do as well. Weekends are packed with trips and activities ranging from clay pigeon shooting to shopping in London and there are a wide range of trips that go throughout the school year to places of interest within the UK and all around the world. GCSE students have the opportunity to visit our sister schools in Hong Kong and Tbilisi, Georgia as well. There are themed dinners throughout the year where students explore the food of different countries and learn more about their cultures. Being part of an international community, our students make friends from all over the world and develop the skills they need to become truly global citizens. It is the goal of the GCSE department to produce confident, reliable and interesting individuals, with a solid base of knowledge and a life-long love of learning. We aim to give our students the tools they need to make their way in the world and succeed at whatever their next step in life may be.
I look forward to seeing you at school soon!

Mr Kevin Samson