Our Curriculum

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Our Curriculum

Subject Offerings Rooted in STEAM ( Science, Technology, Engineering, Art & Mathematics) and Creative Learning

Our innovative curriculum prepares students to make the right choices in Year 10. As an inclusive school, Sunmarke offers a wide range of options in Key Stage 4. Through offering GCSE, IGCSE and BTEC courses, we are able accommodate a wide range of learning styles, whilst ensuring the level of challenge is such that all post-16 pathways remain open to students.

GCSE exams are the mainstay of an English education, with most students following this pathway. At Sunmarke we also offer IGCSE exams, the ‘I’ stands for international and means the course has been adapted to suit a more international student body. The difficulty level of GCSE and IGCSE exams are the same, but the content of GCSE exams is more English centred, a good example of this would be in Business Studies where the case studies for a GCSE would be UK companies, which many of our students would not have heard of. This is why we follow the IGCSE pathway for Business Studies, meaning the case studies focus on large multi-national companies all our students would know.

BTEC courses are as challenging as GCSE course but are assessed in a different manner. All BTEC courses are coursework based, with students undertaking assessed units every 12 weeks or so, these are all graded, and the outcome is the sum of these assessments. BTEC courses suit students who prefer to ‘chunk’ their assessments rather than taking one or two summative exams at the end of the course which determine their final outcome.

Compulsory subjects and options choices

All students study the core subjects of English, Mathematics, Science, Arabic, Games and Moral, Social Cultural Studies. In addition to these core subjects, students also select four additional subjects from our extensive list of optional subjects. Each of these subjects is listed below with a brief outline of the course content and the method of assessment.

Students who have been identified as requiring individual support will have their number of subjects reduced to allow for intervention.

Arabic A

What is involved?

In Arabic, students will learn to speak, listen, read, write and communicate effectively in Arabic, as well as develop awareness and understanding of countries and communities where Arabic is spoken.

How will I be assessed?

This Edexcel International GCSE in Arabic (First Language) qualification comprises two external written assessed papers.

  • Paper 1, written examination, 70% of the total International GCSE marks, 2 hours 15 minutes, which includes 10 minutes’ recommended reading time. 70 marks
  • Paper 2, written examination, produce two pieces of continuous writing. Students will Choose two titles from a choice of six 1 hour 30 minutes. 60 marks
  • Grammatical usage which will be tested in Paper 1, Section 3

This course will also be supplemented with Ministry of Education assessments for Arab students.

Arabic B

What does it involve?

Paper 1: Listening and Understanding in Arabic

Students are assessed on their understanding of standard spoken Arabic in a variety of scenarios. Students will need to identify the overall message, key points, details and opinions, deduce meaning from a variety of spoken areas. The paper draws on vocabulary and structures across all themes. And students are presented with recorded scenarios involving one or more speakers in public and social settings, and the resources are authentic.

Paper 2: Speaking in Arabic

Students are assessed on their ability to communicate and interact through speaking in Arabic for different purposes in different settings. They will be assessed on 3 tasks:

  • Task 1: Role play/ -Task 2 Picture-based task/Task 3: Conversation

Paper 3: Reading and Understanding in Arabic

Students are assessed on their understanding of written Arabic across a range of different types of texts. Scenarios in the texts are set either at home or, more frequently , in Arabic –speaking country, allowing students to develop appropriate cultural awareness and understanding. This paper draws on vocabulary and structures across all the themes.

To be ready , there should be a variety of different contexts as appropriate to their age and level of understanding.

Paper 4: Writing in Arabic

The student are assessed on their ability to communicate effectively through writing in Arabic. Students need to:

  • Communicate effectively in writing for a variety purpose across a range of specified contexts.
  • Write short texts using simple sentences and familiar language accurately, make independent, creative and more complex use of words, translate sentences and short texts from English into the assessed language, apply grammatical rules

Art & Design

What does it involve?

Alongside improving your practical expertise, you’ll learn how to:

  • Develop, refine and record your ideas
  • Present a personal response that realises your intentions
  • Improve your creative skills through the effective and safe use of media, materials, techniques, processes and technologies
  • Successfully use visual language and the formal elements eg colour, line, form, shape, tone, texture
  • Use drawing skills for different needs and purposes.

Unit 1 — Personal Portfolio in Art and Design (60% of total GCSE)

Unit 2 — Externally Set Assignment (40% of total GCSE)

How will I be assessed?

During the course you will produce a portfolio (60% of final mark). In Y11 at the start of term 2 you will begin an externally set assignment (40% of final mark). As part of the externally set assignment you will sit a 10 hour (across 2 days) supervised unaided practical exam.

Business

What is involved?

Students apply their knowledge and understanding to different business contexts ranging from small enterprises to large multinationals and businesses operating in local, national and global contexts. Students develop an understanding of how these contexts impact on business behavior.

Students will apply their knowledge and understanding to business decision making including:

  • The interdependent nature of business activity, influences on business, business operations, finance, marketing and human resources, and how these interdependencies underpin business decision making
  • How different business contexts affect business decisions
  • The use and limitation of quantitative and qualitative data in making business decisions

How will I be assessed?

Paper 1: Influences of operations and human resources on business activity (50% of the IGCSE)

Paper 2: Influences of marketing and finance on business activity (50% of the IGCSE)

BTEC Level 2 Business

What does it involve?

Students should be interested in learning about the aspects of the business world around them, how businesses are set up and what makes a great entrepreneur. Through selected modules, students will be given a wider understanding of the large range of Business specialisms.

How will I be assessed?

Students will be assessed through well-defined assignments set from actual criteria, which is 100% coursework based. The assignments will be assessed through internal and external assessments on this 2 year course. The assessments will lead to grading of either Pass, Merit or Distinction, and students will have the opportunity to use differing mediums to demonstrate their creativity. Units 1 – 3 are mandatory and the unit 5 is optional.

Computer Science

What does it involve?

  • Data representation
  • Communication & Internet technologies
  • Hardwork & Software
  • Security
  • Ethics
  • Algorithm design & problem solving
  • Programming
  • Databases

How will I be assessed?

Paper 1: Theory Concepts & Principles of Computer Science Paper 2: Problem Solving & Programming
Knowledge and understanding of the key concepts and principles of computer science. length of exam: 1 hour 45mins.
75 marks
60% weighting.
Knowledge and understanding of Programming concepts. 20 marks are on the pre-release programming task. Length of exam: 1 hour 45mins
50 marks.
40% weighting

Design And Technology: Electronics

What does it involve?

Topics covered in this syllabus are:

  • New and emerging technologies
  • Energy
  • Smart materials
  • Mechanical devices
  • Materials and their properties
  • Professional designers
  • Electronics

How will I be assessed?

At the end of the two year course students will need to be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of their chosen discipline through the completion of the following two:

Component 1: 1 hour and 45 minute examination paper set and marked by Edexcel worth 100 marks which consists of:

  • Section A Core:
  • 40 marks and contains a mixture of different question styles, including open-response, graphical, calculation and extended-open-response questions. There will be 10 marks of calculation questions in Section A. and a subject specific element, all questions are compulsory
  • Section B Electronics:
  • 60 marks and contains a mixture of different question styles, including open-response, graphical, calculation and extended-open-response questions. There will be 5 marks of calculation questions

Component 2: NEA – Non Examined Assessment (Design and Make Contextual challenge)

  • This unit is completed under internally timed controlled conditions.
  • Students must complete a design and make activity. This activity is set by the exam board in the form of a contextual challenge on June 1st of Year 10 and summer homework is necessary.
  • The Design and make contextual challenge is worth 100 marks and 50% of the final grade

Design And Technology: Resistant Materials

What does it involve?

Topics covered in this syllabus are:

  • New and emerging technologies
  • Energy
  • Smart materials
  • Mechanical devices
  • Materials and their properties
  • Professional designers
  • Timbers

How will I be assessed?

At the end of the two year course students will need to be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of their chosen discipline through the completion of the following two:

Component 1: 1 hour and 45 minute examination paper set and marked by Edexcel worth 100 marks which consists of:

  • Section A Core:
  • 40 marks and contains a mixture of different question styles, including open- response, graphical, calculation and extended-open-response questions. There will be 10 marks of calculation questions in Section A. and a subject specific element, all questions are compulsory
  • Section B Resistant Materials (Timbers):
  • 60 marks and contains a mixture of different question styles, including open-response, graphical, calculation and extended-open-response questions. There will be 5 marks of calculation question

Component 2: NEA – Non Examined Assessment (Design and Make Contextual challenge)

  • This unit is completed under internally timed controlled conditions.
  • Students must complete a design and make activity. This activity is set by the exam board in the form of a contextual challenge on June 1st of Year 10 and summer homework is necessary
  • The Design and make contextual challenge is worth 100 marks and 50% of the final grade

Drama

What is involved?

The course will engage you through encouraging creativity, with a focus on practical work that reflects twenty-first century Theatre practise. You will develop your practical and analytical skills through the perspectives of a performer, director and designer of Theatre.

How is it assessed?

You will be assessed through three components.

Component 1:

Devising 40% (60 marks)

Creating a devised performance from stimulus. (15 marks)

Analyze and evaluate the devising process and performance (45 marks)

Component 2:

Performance from a text (20%) 48 marks

Perform two key extracts from a performance text.

Component 3:

40% (60 marks) Written examination on one complete performance text and live Theatre Evaluation.

Economics

What does it involve?

The subject content looks at economic activity through the lens of the consumers, producers, and governments. Students will be covering economics in individual countries and the global economy. IGCSE Economics is designed as a two-year course for teaching in international schools such as Sunmarke. As students go through the course they are presented with opportunities to focus on real-world issues. Students should consider and reflect upon moral, ethical and sustainable issues that arise as a result of the impact of economic activity.

How will I be assessed?

Paper 1: Microeconomics & Business Economics Both 1 hour 30 minutes. Both have a 50% weighting of the qualification A mixture of multiple choice, short answer, data-response and open-ended questions
Paper: Macroeconomics & the Global Economy

English Language

What does it involve?

Students will study texts from:

  • The contemporary non-fiction texts from Part 1 of the Pearson Edexcel International GCSE English Anthology.
  • Any two poetry or prose texts from Part 2 of the Pearson Edexcel International GCSE English Anthology.
  • A range of different text types so they can match the style and purpose for a creative piece and for their examination.

How will I be assessed?

Paper 1: Examination

  • The contemporary non-fiction texts from Part 1 of the Pearson Edexcel International GCSE English Anthology. 
  • Weighting 60 % of the IGCSE – 90 marks.
  • Duration of paper – 2 hours 15 mins

Paper 3: Coursework portfolio

  • Weighting 40% of the total IGCSE – 60 marks.

Assignment A: Poetry and prose texts – one 30-mark essay question based on any two poetry or prose texts from Part 2 of the Pearson Edexcel International GCSE English Anthology, including a 6-mark commentary on why these texts were selected.

Assignment B: Imaginative writing – one 30-mark imaginative writing task.

English Literature

What does it involve?

Study texts:

  • Macbeth – William Shakespeare
  • An Inspector Calls – J.B. Priestly
  • Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck
  • A collection of poetry from the Edexcel anthology

How will I be assessed?

Paper 1: Modern Prose and Poetry examination

  • Weighting 60% of the IGCSE – 90 marks
  • Examination paper – 2hrs
  • Examination paper consists of 3 sections: Section A: Unseen Poetry,

Section B: Poetry collection, Section C: Of Mice and Men

Paper 3: Literary Heritage and Modern Drama coursework

  • 40% of the IGCSE – 60 marks.
  • There are two coursework tasks worth 30 marks each.
  • Assignment A: An Inspector Calls, Assignment B: Macbeth

Food Preparation And Nutrition

What does it involve?

Year 10 focuses upon developing students’ knowledge and understanding of the key topics, as outlined below, in readiness to undertake their Non-Exam Assessments in Year 11.

The topics we will study are:

  • Food, nutrition and health
  • Food science
  • Food safety
  • Food choice
  • Food provenance

How will I be assessed?

There are two Non-Exam Assessments (NEA) which are completed in year 11. The first, NEA1, is a food investigation task focusing on the Food Science topic, particularly nutrition and functions of ingredients. It is a written report (1,500-2,000 words) including photographic evidence of practical experiments. NEA1 is worth 15% of the overall grade. The second, NEA2, is a food preparation task focusing on practical skills as well as food safety, food choice and food provenance topics. Students will prepare, cook and present several dishes, to demonstrate complex cooking skills, before preparing a final menu of three dishes, which will be cooked within a three hour practical exam. The three dishes are presented in a ‘MasterChef’ style where they are assessed by the teachers and the class. NEA2 is worth 35% of the overall grade.

The written exam at the end of year 11 encompasses the five topics identified above. The exam consists of 20 multiple choice questions and five extended writing questions, each with a number of sub questions. Students will have 1 hour 45minutes to complete the exam and it is worth 50% of the overall grade.

French

What is involved?

Students of our GCSE in French will learn to speak, listen, read, write and communicate effectively in French, as well as develop awareness and understanding of countries and communities where French is spoken.

How will I be assessed?

Unit 1: Listening and Understanding in French (25%)

Students will be tested on their ability to understand spoken French. Testing is through a variety of tasks which require a response, written or non-verbal, to demonstrate understanding.

Unit 2: Speaking in French (25%)

Students must demonstrate the ability to use the French language for different purposes and in different settings and will be assessed in one final exam where they will have to respond to unseen questions, take part in role plays, respond to a stimulus and give a presentation.

Unit 3: Reading and Understanding in French (25%)

This unit draws on vocabulary and structures from across the three specified common topic areas. Students will be tested on their ability to understand written French. Testing is through a variety of tasks which require a response, written or non-verbal, to demonstrate understanding as well as translation tasks.

Unit 4: Writing in French (25%)

The student must complete two separate writing tasks as well as a translation task in the final exam. The writing tasks are taken from the three main themes of the specifications.

Geography

What does it involve?

Students will study four interesting and challenging areas of study;

  • Living with the Physical Environment
  • Challenges in the Human Environment
  • Geographical Applications
  • Geographical Skills

How will I be assessed?

Paper 1 Living with the Physical Environment. Written paper –
1 hour 30 minutes, 88 marks, 35% of GCSE.
Paper 2 Challenges in the Human Enivronment. Written paper –
1 hour 30 minutes, 88 marks, 35% of GCSE.
Paper 3 Geographical Applications. Written paper –
1 hour 15 minutes, 76 marks, 30% of GCSE.

History

What does it involve?

Students will study four interesting and diverse topics in the form of Depth, Thematic and Period studies;

  • British Thematic Study and Historic Enviroment: Medicine c. 1250 – Present
  • Period Study: Super power Relations and the Cold war, 1941 – 91
  • British Depth Study Early Elizabeth England 1558 – 88
  • Modern Depth Study: Weimas and Nazi Germany 1918 – 39

How will I be assessed?

Paper 1 30% Medicine
Paper 2 40% Elizabeth & Cold War
Paper 3 30% Weimar and Nazi Germany

ICT

What does it involve?

There will be 6 topics to undertake over a 2 year programme. These are:

  1. Digital Devices
  2. Connectivity
  3. Operating Online
  4. Online Goods and Services
  5. Applying Information and Communication Technology
  6. Software Skills – Office applications such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint and

Access, as well as Web Development and Graphics software

How will I be assessed?

Paper 1 Written Exam 1 hour 30 min 50%
Paper 2 Practical Exams (in an ICT labs using PCs) 3 hours 50%

BTEC Level 2 Information Technology

What does it involve?

You will complete the following 4 units.

  • Communicating in the IT industry – using IT tools to communicate and exchange information.

You will also look at the impacts of IT on individuals, communities and society.

  • Working in the IT industry – develops your knowledge of the available job roles involving

professional IT and the characteristics employers demand in the IT industry.

  • Website Development – develop your skills and knowledge of how websites function. You will then design and create a multiple page website.
  • Computer Graphics – discuss the hardware and software to generate and manipulate computer generated images. You will then produce computer graphics using graphic software.

How will I be assessed?

The course is fully assessed through coursework (100%) and there is no examination. You will be assessed by completing set tasks for each unit, if you meet the criteria you will be awarded a grade for each unit. Each task may assess your knowledge in a variety of ways, such as: reports, presentation, blogs, vlogs, graphic products using range of software, a website using web editing software and practical tasks. Some units have a variety of ways in which you are assessed and others may have only one way.

The BTEC Level 2 IT is graded at Pass, Merit, Distinction or Distinction*. The overall number of points you achieve determines your overall grade.

Mathematics

What does it involve?

The course is split into four mathematical areas, each of which contributes towards the final award.

  • Number
  • Algebra
  • Geometry
  • Statistic

How will I be assessed?

  • IGCSE Mathematics is entirely assessed by written examination.
  • The written examination will consist of two papers which are each worth one half of the final mark.
  • Both papers are worth 50% each and are 2 hours each. Each exam is worth 100 marks. Both papers allow the use of a calculator.
  • The papers can be taken at Higher Tier (Grades 9-3) or Foundation Tier (Grades 5-1).
  • Students will be entered at the school’s discretion for the most appropriate tier for their ability

Media Studies

What does it involve?

In media, you will get the opportunity to study a wide range of products, from magazines, TV shows, films, advertisements and social media. You will explore your creativity through planning, designing and producing magazine covers.

Alongside this you will also engage with theory, analysing various different media texts in preparation for your exam.

How will I be assessed?

You are assessed through two written papers. Each worth 35% of your GCSE. You will then also produce a media product as coursework which is 30% of your GCSE.

BTEC Creative Media Production

What does it involve?

Within Creative Media you will have the opportunity to investigate a wide range of media products such as podcasts, films, advertisements, and magazines. During each unit you will:

  • Develop research skills into production processes and understanding your audiences
  • Analyse existing products to understand how producers communicate meaning within a product Develop technical skills and produce media products for an intended audience
  • Self-evaluate your progression and the quality of your product

How will I be assessed?

You will work in groups and independently across two years to complete 4 units:

  • Digital Video Production
  • Audio Podcast Production
  • Advertising Production
  • Pearson set Assignment- announced each year.

For each unit you will be assessed across the set learning aims (A Research, B Developing your ideas and C Producing final outcomes) using the criteria of Pass, Merit and Distinction (being the highest available grade). The BTEC L2 is 100% coursework.

Music

What does it involve?

Along with regular musical instrument rehearsals and composition projects, you will have the opportunity to study popular music, music for film and western classical music.

How will I be assessed?

This course is split into three components.

Understanding music Performance Composition.

At the end of the 2 year course, there will be a one and a half hour listening paper to be completed, analyzing music you have studied. You will be required to prepare two pieces of music for performance on any musical instrument of your choice. You will also prepare two compositions for your final assessment.

Physical Education

What does it involve?

Subject content:

  1. Applied anatomy and physiology
  2. Movement analysis
  3. Physical training
  4. Use of data
  5. Sports psychology
  6. Socio-cultural influences
  7. Health, fitness and well-being
  8. Practical performance in sport

How will I be assessed?

Paper 1: (1 hour 15 minutes) 30% The human body and movement in physical activity and sport

Paper 2: (1 hour 15 minutes) 30% Socio-cultural and well-being in physical activity and sport

Non-exam assessment: 40% Practical performance in three physical activities as a performer (30%) Analysis of performance and evaluation to bring about improvement written coursework (10%)

Psychology

How will I be assessed?

Subject content and assessment:

This is a linear course and all examinations are sat at the end of the two years. Two written papers (100 marks) – 50 % each of GCSE. Each exam is 1 hour and 45 minutes. Each exam covers 4 sections and will include multiple choice, short answer and extended essay questions (25 marks)

How will I be assessed?

Paper 1 (50%) – Cognition and Behaviour Paper 2 (50%) – Social context and behaviour
1. Memory
2. Perception
3. Development
4. Research methods
1. Social influence
2. Language, thought and communication
3. Brain and neuropsychology
4. Psychological Problems

Science – Double Award (Trilogy)

What does it involve?

You will study biology, chemistry and physics content and develop transferable practical skills.

How will I be assessed?

6 x 1hr 15mins exams:

Biology paper 1 & 2

Chemistry paper 1 & 2

Physics paper 1 & 2

Science – Triple Award

What does it involve?

You will have extra science lessons in one of the option blocks and will study additional biology, chemistry and physics content and develop transferable practical skills. You will gain three separate GCSE qualifications in biology, chemistry and physics.

How will I be assessed? (6 exams – 1hr 45mins each)

GCSE biology – paper 1 & paper 2 (1hr 45mins each)

GCSE chemistry – paper 1 & paper 2 (1hr 45mins each)

GCSE physics – paper 1 & paper 2 (1hr 45mins each)

Sociology

What does it involve?

Year 1 Year 2
Topic 1: Families and Households
Topic 2: Education
Topic 3: Research Methods

Topic 4: Crime and Deviance
Topic 5: Social Stratification

Topic 6: Socialogical Theory and Methods

How will I be assessed?

This is over two papers at the end of the two year course. Each paper is worth 50% of the GCSE and involves a one hour 45 minutes written examination (100 marks)

Paper 1: The sociology of families and education

Paper 2: The sociology of crime and deviance and social stratification

Spanish

What is involved?

Students of our GCSE in Spanish will learn to speak, listen, read, write and communicate effectively in Spanish, as well as develop awareness and understanding of countries and communities where Spanish is spoken.

How will I be assessed?

Unit 1: Listening and Understanding in Spanish (25%)

Students will be tested on their ability to understand spoken Spanish. Testing is through a variety of tasks which require a response, written or non-verbal, to demonstrate understanding.

Unit 2: Speaking in Spanish (25%)

Students must demonstrate the ability to use the Spanish language for different purposes and in different settings and will be assessed in one final exam where they will have to respond to unseen questions, take part in role plays, respond to a stimulus and give a presentation.

Unit 3: Reading and Understanding in Spanish (25%)

This unit draws on vocabulary and structures from across the three specified common topic areas. Students will be tested on their ability to understand written Spanish. Testing is through a variety of tasks which require a response, written or non-verbal, to demonstrate understanding as well as translation tasks.

Unit 4: Writing in Spanish (25%)

The student must complete two separate writing tasks as well as a translation task in the final exam. The writing tasks are taken from the three main themes of the specifications

Ministry Of Education KS4 Islamic A & B

The Department’s Islamic Education Syllabus

Sunmarke Islamic Education Syllabus is based on UAE recommended Curriculum of study and aims to develop in learners the following:

  • An understanding of the concepts of commitment (Islam) and faith (Imaan) in a religious tradition.
  • An awareness of how spiritual and moral issues (Ihsaan) permeate life experiences and the manner in which those may relate to students’ own lives.
  • A respect for the diverse range of religious and cultural traditions in the UAE and the wider world.
  • A range of investigative, critical and moral thinking skills to enable them to make informed choices and decisions.

Internal Assessment

All students partake in a range of end of unit assessments covering: the meaning of Faith, Biographies of the Prophets and Muslim historical figures, Matters of daily ritual worship (Prayer, Charity, Fasting and Hajj), Islamic Ethics and Values and Quran Studies.

ASDAN – Towards Independence

What does it involve?

ASDAN is a portfolio based programme where students, over a decided amount of time, engage in learning that may take them out of the classroom applying their learning to the real world. Students may find themselves taking charge of their own learning by devising a plan or project that best aligns with their strengths and interests. In the first few weeks of school, the students and the teacher may work collaboratively to find the best ASDAN pathway to enhance the skills the students already have, as well as challenge them in areas where they are hoping to develop.

Examples of the units covered could be:

  • Health and fitness
  • Using computer technology
  • Finance

How will I be assessed?

As ASDAN is portfolio based, at the end of the year, the portfolios get moderated internally or externally to ensure that there is evidence of learning and mastery. Students may use a variety of modems to demonstrate learning such as pictures, videos, worksheets or graphs.

If evidence is insufficient to pass, students will have the opportunity to provide or redo a module.

View our Options & Information Booklet for full details on the GCSE and BTEC core subjects and option blocks.