The intention of this section of the website is to give you a clear picture of the subjects offered at GCSE as well as an indication of other aspects of life in years 10 and 11 at Red House School.
It is normal at Red House for a pupil to study nine or ten subjects at GCSE. The demands of GCSE courses are heavy and to do more than ten subjects can produce an excessive load. The days are gone when an able pupil could just turn up for an exam and do well. There are now time consuming independent study requirements in addition to the examination. Further, it is not really necessary to study more than ten subjects, and there is a real risk that by attempting too many subjects, overall grades may be lowered. Nine or ten subjects at Grade A are more valuable than a larger number of subjects at Grade B when applying to university or college.
In line with all good schools, we expect all pupils to maintain a wide and balanced curriculum at GCSE. This ensures that career options remain very open and a wide range of A level and Advanced vocational careers are accessible.
I must impress upon you that to fit this curriculum into a package of ten subjects is not easy, and some choice is essential and inevitable. It is not possible to do everything!
Every pupil studies English, English Literature, Maths and French. In addition all pupils study Science. A decision is made at the end of Year 10 as to whether pupils should enter the three separate Sciences or enter for Double Award Science which counts as two GCSEs. Advanced level science specifications are written in a way that they may be studied having followed either the Double Award or separate courses at GCSE. Pupils must study a Humanity – History, Geography or Religious Studies. They may of course study more than one of the humanities. However, studying all three would be moving away from the idea of retaining a wide and balanced curriculum that I mentioned earlier. All pupils study French and pupils may choose to continue with German or Spanish as a second language.
In some cases during the two year course it becomes clear that ten subjects is too demanding. In this case we will discuss with a pupil and parents whether it would be best to drop one subject. We do not encourage this and you can be assured that we never require it. It is only done by mutual agreement.
In addition to the package of GCSE subjects all pupils continue to be taught in a number of other important areas. All pupils follow a course in Life Skills, including elements of Careers and Citizenship. Sport continues to be an important part of life at Red House.
Academic and examination work is, of course, central to the life of the School. There is, however, more to life at Red House than examinations. We believe strongly that every pupil should develop interests outside the classroom. This may be through the School’s co-curricular programme or indeed within the wider community. There are many advantages to a pupil having interests and experiences outside school. This involvement contributes to a positive attitude to School and to life and this enhances academic success.
Red House School can claim a remarkable record in helping all pupils to achieve their academic potential. What we value most at the end of the two year course is parents saying that their child has enjoyed school and has done better than they could have hoped in the GCSE examinations.