IGCSE Course Descriptions Guide 2015-2017

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THE BRITISH INTERNATIONALSCHOOL BratislavaA NORD ANGLIA EDUCATION SCHOOLIGCSE Course DescriptionsGuide 2015-2017www.bis.sk

Key Stage 4 & IGCSEWelcome to Key Stage 4. Years 10 and 11 arecalled ‘Key Stage 4’ in the English and Welshsystem. Students here study examinationscalled IGCSEs - International General Certificateof Secondary Education – run by the Universityof Cambridge. IGCSEs are recognised worldwide as a major educational qualification forthis age range.In addition, students will continue to take nonexamined courses: Physical Education Enrichment Programme Life SkillsSo, in fact, students are being asked tomake four IGCSE option choices from arange of subjects available which are:Students entering year 10 will be beginning avery important phase of their education. Theywill have to make significant choices about thecourses that they study, probably for the firsttime. This guide helps students to make aninformed choice of the subjects that they studyin years 10 and 11. These choices may wellinfluence and shape what they go on to studyat IB and at university. Although students are being asked to makesome choices for the next two years, someof what they will study is compulsory atexamination level: Art and DesignBusiness StudiesEconomics (tbc)FrenchGeographyGermanHistoryMusicSpanishSport Science (IGCSE PhysicalEducation)We expect students to be studying for a fullrange of IGCSE subjects. However, somestudents may be better suited to a reducedprogramme of IGCSEs and they will receivesome extra language and/or learning supportto help them cope with the demands of theseexamination courses. SEN/EAL staff will talkwith students and parents in these cases.Mathematics: InternationalMathematics and, for some, AdditionalMathematicsScience: Biology, Chemistry & PhysicsEnglish Language and LiteratureSlovak ( compulsory for Slovakstudents)How should students choose?We cannot – and would not want to – choose forthem. We would strongly urge parents to takethe same line. These are their choices. They3

should, however, listen to advice and guidanceso that they make an informed decision aboutwhat to study. ordinator) or myself if you have any queriesabout the next two years, or subject teachers ifyou would like to discuss their courses in moredetail.Students consider subjects whichthey already enjoy. There aretwo years of study involved with eachoption leading to examinations.Students should play to their strengths.Students should consider the promiseof studying something new likeSpanish and Business.Students need to think now aboutwhat they might like to study for the IBDiploma. Please look at the current IBbooklets on the school’s website.Students should even think ahead tothe future – to what they might studyafter school at college & university.Students should be aware of whatdoors close by not choosing certainsubjects.All this involves talking with, andlistening to, teachers, others studentsand family.I hope Year 9s enjoy making these choices whilethey think about an exciting future in years tocome.Karen Eastwood,Head of SecondaryAutumn 2014What next?Students in Year 9 will receive information andadvice. Then, there is the options presentationin Term1 on Wednesday 19th November at6:00pm for both students and parents.The presentation takes place at the same timeas the consultation evening so there is a chanceto talk with subject teachers first about IGCSE.This is not the only opportunity to do this andsubject teachers will be available to talk toparents and students throughout the optionsprocess.Do also have a look at the appendix in the backof this booklet which contains informationwhich we hope you will find useful.Feel free to contact Ms Mably (Key Stage 4 Co-45

IGCSE Compulsory Subjects2014 – 2016English FacultyEnglish Language and Literaturesources; to recognise and appreciate themesand attitudes and the ways in which writersachieve their effects;develop the ability to construct andconvey meaning in written language, matchingstyle to audience and purpose.The aim of the English Department at BISB isto provide each student with the opportunityand support required to complete the IBDP;either the A1 Language and Literature course,or English B.Details of what the course involvesAt Core and Extended levels studentswill learn how to understand and collate explicitand implicit meanings from a range of texts.They will also gain experience ofselecting, evaluating and analysing material forspecific purposes.To help develop writing skills, they willlearn how to write for a range of audiences andpurposes.To further this ambition, we have extended thescope and nature of our teaching and learningat KS3 and IGCSE levels so all our studentsgain experience of responding to literature. Weare working toward the point where virtuallyall our students will be entered for FirstLanguage English and English Literature IGCSEexaminations.While this is the vision, we accept that manystudents will continue to require languagesupport in a variety of ways, includingwithdrawal and in-class assistance. Some ofour students will continue to be offered theopportunity to prepare for the English as aSecond Language IGCSE examination.How the course will be assessedReadingStudents will take a final Reading examinationin Year 11 which will test their understandingof two unseen passages, their ability to selectspecific information in the form of a summaryand to demonstrate an awareness of howwriters use language to create an effect.Students wishing to study either the A1Language and Literature, or English B coursefor the IB Diploma at either Standard or Higherlevel, will be expected to achieve at least a Bgrade at IGCSE.WritingWriting is assessed by an end of courseexamination in which students will demonstratean ability to communicate clearly, organiseideas and arguments and to use StandardEnglish accurately and effectively for differentpurposes. There is also the opportunity for‘creative’ writing in this paper.IGCSE First Language EnglishAims of the CourseThis course aims to allow students to:develop their understanding of thespoken word and the capacity to participateeffectively in a variety of speaking and listeningactivities;develop the ability to read, understandand respond to material from a variety ofEnglish LiteratureAims of the CourseThis course aims to encourage students to:enjoy the experience of reading6literature;understand and respond to literary textsin different forms and from different periodsand cultures;communicate an informed personalresponse appropriately and effectively;appreciate different ways in whichwriters achieve their effects;experience literature’s contribution toaesthetic, imaginative and intellectual growth;explore the contribution of literature toan understanding of areas of human concern.IGCSE English as a Second Language(Core and Extended)There are two levels of this two year course:Core and Extended. This syllabus assesses thereceptive skills of Reading and Listening, andthe productive skills of Writing and Speaking.By gaining a Grade C in this subject manyBritish Universities accept this qualification assuitable proof of competency in English for thepurposes of undergraduate study.Details of what the course involvesStudents will study in detail three orfour texts each from the three main genres ofpoetry, prose and drama.They will develop the ability to respondsensitively to these texts and explore howwriters employ vocabulary and structurelanguage to shape meaningThey will gain practice in communicatingtheir personal response to a range of texts anddevelop the ability to do so in a coherent andstructured manner.Aims of the CourseReadingTo read a wide variety of texts frombrochures and reports to public notices andadvertisements and demonstrate the ability toextract relevant information from them.To scan for particular information,organise the relevant information and presentit in a logical manner or prescribed format.How the course will be assessedThere will be two or three final literatureexaminations depending on the decision ofindividual teachers. The first option has twoexamination papers when students answerfour questions on the poetry, prose and dramatexts studied during the course. The secondoption has three examination papers whenstudents answer questions on three set textsfrom the main genres and one paper wherethey respond to an unseen passage or poem.WritingTo carry out writing tasks, such asform filling, article writing, report writing andletter writing using both formal and informalregisters.To make notes and write summaries ona variety of topics.ListeningTo understand specific details,information and semi-formal announcements,e.g. news, weather, travel and in interviews,dialogues and telephone conversationsTo demonstrate general comprehensionand take notes from material heard.The texts for examination are chosen from achanging list of set texts which include thefollowing in 2016: An Inspector Calls, TheTempest, Silas Marner, Songs of Ourselves (theCambridge Poetry Anthology) and Stories ofOurselves (the Cambridge Anthology of ShortStories).SpeakingTo speak clearly, confidently andcompetently on a range of topics within7

a defined range such as past and presentschooling, future plans or current affairsHow the Course Will be AssessedReading and Writing:at Core level (eligible for grades C-G) onepaper of 1hour 30 minutes. At Extended level(eligible for grades A*- E) one paper of 2hoursListening:an examination lasting 30-40 minutesat Core level and 45 minutes at extended level.Oral(optional) one examination of at least10 minutes; at both levels this is separatelyendorsed.What Opportunities are there to take thissubject further in Year 12 and 13?Successful completion of any of the abovecourses with at least a grade B would allow thestudent to apply for one of the English coursesoffered at IBDP.89

IGCSE Compulsory Subjects2014 – 2016Mathematics FacultyMathematics FacultyIGCSE International Mathematics (CIE 0607)and a third paper with an investigation (theExtended curriculum also includes a modellingquestion on this paper).IGCSE International Mathematics is acompulsory two-year course which isdifferentiated to meet students’ needs, andstudents will be taught in sets. By the end ofYear 10, students will decide, in consultationwith their teachers, which course of studyis most appropriate for them to continuewith, Core (grades C-G) or Extended (gradesA*-E), although some may begin Year 10in the Core set if there is enough demand.Strong mathematicians may be offeredthe opportunity to complete the Extendedcurriculum and then continue with the IGCSEAdditional Mathematics course, both of whichwill be examined at the end of Year 11.CalculatorAll students are required to purchase a graphicdisplay calculator (GDC). The GDC is animportant learning tool which students willacquire proficiency with during this course,and which will be used extensively in IBMathematics and Science courses. A GDC isrequired for the second and third examinationpapers. The department recommends theTexas Instruments’ TI-Nspire CX (not theCAS version). Students may purchase adifferent calculator, but must check with thedepartment first that it is approved for use inexaminations.Aims of the courseThe aim of this course is to help studentsacquire knowledge and skills which they willneed for further study and in their adult lives.It has been designed specifically to preparestudents for Mathematics in the IB DiplomaProgramme.IGCSE Additional Mathematics (CIE 0606)IGCSE Additional Mathematics is a challengingcourse with possible grades A*-E whichintroduces students to some of the conceptsthey will study at IB. Students will need todedicate a lot of time to practice in order tobe successful on the Additional Mathematicsexamination, which is why this course is forstudents who are diligent and truly enjoy,appreciate and excel in Mathematics.Details of what the course involvesThe course includes the following contentareas:Number GeometryAlgebra TrigonometryFunctions ProbabilityTransformations StatisticsMensurationThe top sets in Year 10 will begin by studyingthe International Mathematics (0607) andAdditional Mathematics (0606) curriculaconcurrently with the aim of sitting bothexaminations at the end of Year 11. However,the Additional Mathematics course isextremely demanding, and students maybe advised at the end of Year 10 or after themock examinations in January of Year 11 to sitonly the Extended (0607) examination. EvenHow the course will be assessedThe course is assessed entirely by three finalexamination papers: a non-calculator paperwith short-response questions, a calculatorpaper with extended-response questions,10so, these students will have studied somemore advanced mathematical concepts andengaged in more difficult problem-solvingtasks and will have benefitted from theirexposure to what this course has to offer,better preparing them for IB Mathematics.syllabus.CalculatorStudents may use a GDC throughout thecourse, but only a scientific calculator willbe allowed on the examination papers. Theymay borrow a school scientific calculator justfor the examination, but it is recommendedthat they purchase their own natural displayscientific calculator which they can familiarisethemselves with during the final terms of thecourse.Aims of the CourseThe aim of the course is to help studentssolidify their skills, particularly algebraicmanipulation, and their ability to recognisethe appropriate mathematical procedurefor a given situation. This will enable themto become efficient problem-solvers. Theywill also become aware that creativity andperseverance are essential to successfulproblem solving and will develop confidencein their abilities to tackle new and challengingproblems. It is hoped that they will also gaina greater appreciation of the beauty, powerand usefulness of mathematics. This courseis excellent preparation for IB Mathematics atStandard or Higher Level.What opportunities are there to take thissubject further in Year 12 and 13 ?Mathematics is a compulsory componentof the IB Diploma. As such, there are threeoptions available at IB depending on theinterest and ability of the student:Standard level – Mathematical Studies orMathematics SLHigher level – Mathematics HLDetails of what the course involvesThe course includes the following contentareas:Polynomial functions and equationsExponential and logarithmic functions andequationsTrigonometric functions and equationsTransformations of graphsVectors in two dimensionsPermutations and combinationsMatricesBinomial expansionDifferentiation and integrationWhat are the entrance requirements for the IBDiploma?The department recommends the followinggrades at IGCSE for entrance into the IBMathematics courses:minimum grades A at IGCSE (0607) and C inAdditional Maths (0606) for Mathematics HLminimum grade A at IGCSE for Mathematics SLminimum grade C at IGCSE for MathematicalStudies SLHow the course will be assessedThe course is assessed entirely by two 2-hourfinal examination papers. The exam tests astudent’s ability to solve multi-step problems,often involving several different techniquesand incorporating various areas of the11

IGCSE Compulsory Subjects2014 – 2016Science FacultyInheritanceEcology and human impact on theenvironmentYear 10 students are expected to take an IGCSEcourse in each of the three sciences listedbelow as part of the compulsory curriculum.Exceptions may be made in the case ofstudents who join the School part way throughKey Stage 4.4.to develop attitudes relevant to Biologysuch as:h.concern for accuracy and tivem.inventivenessIGCSE BiologyAims of the courseThe aims of the syllabus, listed below, are thesame for all students. They are not listed inorder of priority.1.to provide a worthwhile educationalexperience for all students, through welldesigned studies of experimental and practicalscience, whether or not they go on to studyscience beyond this level5.to stimulate interest in, and care for,the environment6.to promote an awareness that:n.scientific theories and methods havedeveloped, and continue to do so, as a resultof the co-operative activities of groups andindividualso.the study and practice of science issubject to social, economic, technological,ethical and cultural influences and limitationsp.the applications of science maybe both beneficial and detrimental tothe individual, the community and theenvironmentq.science transcends nationalboundaries and that the language of science,correctly and rigorously applied, is universal2.to enable students to acquire sufficientunderstanding and knowledge to:a.become confident citizens in atechnological world, to take or develop aninformed interest in scientific mattersb.recognise the usefulness, andlimitations, of scientific method and toappreciate its applicability in other disciplinesand in everyday lifec.be suitably prepared for studiesbeyond the IGCSE in pure sciences, in appliedsciences or in science-dependent vocationalcoursesDetails of what the course involvesCharacteristics of living organismsClassification and diversity of livingorganismsCell structure and organisationMovement in and out of cellsNutrition in plants and animalsTransport in plants and animalsRespiration and breathingExcretion in humansCoordination and responseReproduction in plantsReproduction in humans3.to develop abilities and skills that:d.are relevant to the study and practiceof biologye.are useful in everyday lifef.encourage efficient and safe practiceg.encourage effective communication12How the course will be assessedThe progress and development of the skillswill be assessed internally by tests, practicalassignments, problem solving tasks andprojects.All candidates must enter for three papers intheir final exam – Multiple choice questionpaper (30% of the final mark), Theory paper(50% of the final mark) and Alternative topractical paper (20% of the final mark).What opportunities are there to take thissubject further in Year 12 and 13 ?After completing IGCSE Biology or IGCSECoordinated Science course, students canstudy Biology either at Higher Level orStandard Level in the IB diploma programmeoffered at the school.What are the entrance requirements for the IBDiploma?Minimum B grade from IGCSE is required tostudy either Higher Level or Standard LevelBiology.Details of educational visitsEducational visits are under review at present.13

IGCSE Compulsory Subjects2014 – 2016IGCSE Chemistryless.Aims of the courseAll students doing IGCSE Chemistry havethe opportunity to acquire the thoroughknowledge and understanding of keyprinciples and their applications of thesubject. The course will set out:During the course candidates haveopportunity to develop their subjecttheoretical knowledge and investigative skills.The Chemistry course consists of the followingtopics:Particulate nature of matter; Experimentaltechniques; atoms, elements and compounds;bonding and structure; mole concept andstoichiometry; Electrochemistry; Energychanges; rate of reactions; Acids, bases andsalts; the periodic table; metals, air andwater; sulphur and carbonates and OrganicChemistry.1.to provide a worthwhile educationalexperience for all candidates, through welldesigned studies of experimental and practicalscience, whether or not they go on to studyChemistry beyond IGCSE;2.to enable candidates to acquiresufficient understanding and knowledge tobecome confident citizens in a technologicalworld, able to take an informed interest inscientific matters;3.to develop abilities and skills thatare relevant to the study of Chemistryand useful in everyday lifeencourage safe and efficient practice.4.to stimulate interest in environmentand caring for it; and5.to promote an awareness thatscientific theories and methods havedeveloped, and continue to do so, as a resultof co-operative activities of groups andindividuals

Second Language IGCSE examination. Students wishing to study either the A1 Language and Literature, or English B course for the IB Diploma at either Standard or Higher level, will be expected to achieve at least a B grade at IGCSE. IGCSE First Language English

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