The Lower School (Years 9 & 11)

Our Pioneering “GCSE+” Approach

Our approach to GCSE study is one which aims at ensuring pupils benefit from a wide range of choices and options when it comes to GCSE courses. Personalised learning goes to the heart of academic study and pupils tend to do best when given some ownership over which study pathway is the right one for them. We believe that playing a role in creating your own tailored study programme is more likely to lead to greater engagement with study in the all-important GCSE years.

 As such, following on from the success of the A Level+ model at A Level, Badminton has been pioneering a new approach since September 2022, known as ‘GCSE+’. This model requires all pupils to do Maths, English and two Sciences of their choice as a standard. Pupils then choose an additional four ‘options’ subject choices and we ask that one of these be a language (Chinese, French, German, Latin or Spanish) unless the pupil has no prior language experience.

 For many pupils this process would involve selecting a third Science, plus 3 other ‘options’ from the full GCSE range.

 However, there may be pupils who feel they only want to do 2 Sciences so they will choose the two Sciences they wish to do and then choose 4 ‘options’ offerings. This flexibility with GCSE options is more likely to lead to a more fulfilling two years of study.

Badminton education has shaped my work ethic. We worked so hard but we were also conscious of the importance of having a balanced lifestyle.

Justine Hung, Old Badmintonian

Once pupils have chosen their core curriculum subjects, they will then be asked to choose a ‘plus’ options course to complement their mainstream curriculum. Think of the plus option as a weighty extra course which goes alongside the core GCSE offering.

 Pupils should see this as a chance to do something a little bit different or outside of the core offering to develop key transferable skills of, for example, independent research or a chance to embrace some creativity.

 The plus options offered for September 2022 are the following: HPQ, IGCSE Enterprise, IGCSE Global Perspective, GCSE Dance, GCSE Stats, ICDL, JACR Classical Greek. Although we ask that pupils choose a plus option, these are not mandatory and a pupil may opt out if they feel they already have a weighty commitment to something else either inside or outside of school. Pupils should discuss this with their Tutor if they are unsure.

 When making choices, whilst pupils should look to do subjects they enjoy and are likely to do well in, pupils should also think about how subject choices may affect future pathways. Whilst we ask all pupils to choose a language (unless no prior language experience), pupils should also keep in mind future A Level and Higher Education choices. For example, although medicine A Level requirements can vary slightly from university to university, we believe that aspiring Medics, Vets and Engineers would be wise to opt for all three sciences. In addition, it would be worth keeping in mind that university courses in these subjects can also sometimes look for grade 8 or above at GCSE.

 Whilst this website is mainly geared up to making informed A Level choices, pupils and parents may wish to use it to help frame and inform their GCSE choices: Informed Choices

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This evening Schola are at @BGSBristol rehearsing with pupils from many schools from across Bristol, in preparation for @BeaconLearning_ Gala Concert. A lot of repertoire to work through, but will sound incredible by the time the concert happens in April I'm sure! #BSBmusic

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