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Year 9 Options

Principal's Introduction - A message from Mr Scott:



Click on the image below to view the Year 9 options booklet:

Click here to see an overview of the Year 9 Options process, including a summary of key dates and other useful information

What is the difference between the EBACC and Open Pathway?   
  • To complete the full EBacc suite of qualifications, students must choose:  
    History GCSE OR Geography GCSE  
    AND French, Polish or Russian GCSE  
    Plus TWO additional subjects chosen from the extensive guided options list. 
  • Students opting for the Open pathway must choose ONE of the following subjects:  
    History GCSE 
    Geography GCSE 
    Computer Science GCSE 
    Triple Science GCSE (replacing Combined Science)  
    French, Polish or Russian 
    Plus THREE additional subjects chosen from the extensive guided options list. 
Can my child choose 2D Art and 3D Art as option choices?    

We do not recommend any student studies both 2D and 3D art. There is a cross over in each subject and studying both would not fulfil the requirement of a broad and balanced suite of qualifications. 

You must take either 2D art or 3D art, you cannot do both as part of your options. However GCSE Photography CAN be taken with one other art-based GCSE. 

Are all of the subjects examined at the end of the course?   

We offer a variety of subjects which have non-examined assessment (NEA) components, as well as examinations. These kind of courses suit students who are worried about having to learn and retain a large amount of content, or who are worried about terminal exams. We would recommend the following subjects to any students who would rather this coursework/exam mix: Art (2D, 3D, Textiles), Sport, Enterprise and Marketing, Music, Construction, Photography, Film, Childcare, Health & Social Care, Hospitality and Catering, DT. There are also subjects like Dance and Drama, which have practical examination which is done prior to the main exam season. 

I don't know what I want to do in the future, so how can I choose my subjects?   

At this stage, it is important whether you know what you want to do in the future or not, to choose subjects you are interested in. You are more likely to be successful in subjects you enjoy, and the higher your GCSE grades, the more 'open doors' you will have to choose from at Post 16. The other thing to keep in mind is that you may change your mind about your career choice over the next couple of years. This is another reason why it is important to choose subjects you enjoy and focus on doing your best throughout Key Stage 4, so that you are not limited with choice at the end of Year 11. 


See the bottom of this page for more advice on choosing your options/pathways.


See each subject below for FAQs specific to that subject. 

Click on the subjects below to hear more about each subject and read student comments.



"I enjoy English because it has open questions that are always up to your own interpretation, and this has helped me develop my own understanding of how the context of a piece of writing greatly effects its story. I also enjoy the creative side of English as I also get to use the methods I've learnt in other stories and create my own story from this. This has helped me develop my own creativity and makes it more enjoyable to do in a test. I feel that the context analysis skill will benefit me in my future education when I have to analyse texts or sources, and that the creative writing skill will allow me to integrate my own bit of creativity into anything in the future."
Owen C, Year 10

For more information on this subject contact Mr Gooda -

Frequently Asked Questions

What's the difference between English Language and English Literature? 

You will have one English class which will cover both English Language and English Literature. 

English Literature is more to do with analysis of other people's work, including prose, poetry and drama. You'll have to read texts and analyse what meaning there is behind it through language techniques.  
English Language has writing elements; creative and persuasive. It also examines how non -fiction and fiction texts are written.  


What skills are required? 

The skills required for English Literature and Language are more or less the same: an ability to read below the surface of a text; identify language techniques; and use the same techniques in your own writing. You will need to build on all of the assessment objectives and skills you have covered in KS3 and start applying those skills in exam conditions. 


What is the workload like? 

The workload at GCSE is quite high, as it's a compulsory subject with four or five lessons a week. You will only be studying a few texts which you will need to read as well as completing weekly revision and vocabulary tasks. 


What topics will be studied? 

In Literature you will study two plays, a novel and a poetry collection. English Language will mainly consist of creative writing and reading, as well as looking at non-fiction texts and the perspective of the author. 


How will it be assessed? 

English Language and Literature will both have exams with the exam board AQA. For literature there are two papers. You will need to answer questions on the texts you've studied and these will be closed book (meaning you can't take the book into the exam, and any quotes you want to use, you'll have to memorise). For Language there are also two papers exploring and comparing how texts are written and creating your own piece of writing. 


What is it useful for post-GCSE? 

Passing your English (Language) GCSE is generally a requirement for post-GCSE options (such as sixth form, college and apprenticeships). It is also often a requirement for applying to university. 


What websites are useful for GCSE English? 

Here are links to the exam board websites for all of the qualifications we study. 


 GCSE Bitesize 

A website run by the BBC which goes over key skills and resources for the GCSEs in English Language and English Literature. 


Seneca Learning 

An online, free revision tool which allows students to revise key topics interactively. 


Mr Bruff 

A YouTube channel, run by a former teacher, with videos that cover key topics in the English Language and English Literature GCSE. His website also has revision guides.  






"Maths has been a major element in improving my resilience, as being it being a subject containing singular answers showcased to me the clear potentiality of reaching success, continuously increasing my motivation over the years as my knowledge in Maths broadened. I believe this subject has also developed my ability to quickly adapt to uncomfortable situations when for example I am unable to answer certain questions, demonstrating to me the importance in trying and continuing even in difficulty, which I consider a good mindset to have within other lessons as well as in future higher education where potentially help may be harder to obtain and to recognise the positivity of every situation."
Goda R, Year 11

For more information about this subject contact Mrs Gray -Hannah -

Frequently Asked Questions

What exam board we follow at TCA for GCSE Maths?

Pearson Edexcel.


How many maths papers are there for GCSE Edexcel?

The qualification consists of three equally weighted written examination papers at either Foundation tier or Higher tier. Paper 1 is a non-calculator assessment and a calculator is allowed for Paper 2 and Paper 3.


How are grades awarded in Foundation and higher tier?

In higher paper grades rage from 4-9 abd in foundation paper 1-5. In both tiers, grade 4 is considered as standard pass and grade 5 is strong pass.


How long is a maths GCSE paper and what is the maximum mark in each paper?

Each paper is 1 hour and 30 minutes long, and it will be marked out of 80.


How long is the course?

At TCA, we will start teaching GCSE curriculum in the last term in Yr 9. It will be taught over the 2 years and 1 term, which includes teaching the syllabus and revision for exams.


What equipment students required for Maths lessons?

Basic equipment like, pen, pencil, ruler, eraser plus geometry set and scientific calculator are needed for maths lessons.




"Science is a very broad topic that covers a multitude of things ranging from genetic engineering to the life cycle of stars. Personally, I love science because I ask a lot of questions on why things are the way that they are and, although it doesn't give you every answer, science GCSE explains some of those things and is a great foundation to begin answering some of the more complicated questions you may have. It has taught me skills to help me in my future education like how to analyse and create data, how to explain processes in an organised fashion and lastly how to safely conduct experiments. Overall, I would say that science is a vital subject to learn because it teaches you more about the world and gives you reasons to why some things occur."
Emma P, Year 11

For more information on this subject contact Mrs Raj -

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to use one of my options to study triple Sciences if I want to be able to study Science A-levels in the Sixth Form?

No, but it is strongly encouraged. It is not a requirement to study GCSE Triple Science (Biology, Chemistry and Physics) to study those subjects at A-level, but Separate Sciences provides a stronger foundation for A-level study.


What’s the difference between combined science and triple science?

Triple science is where students study all three sciences and end up with three GCSEs.

Combined Science is where students study all three sciences (Biology, Chemistry and Physics) but end up with two GCSEs.


Is there coursework in science?

There is no longer be a coursework unit in GCSE science. Practical work is still a very important part of the science GCSEs, not only to consolidate learning, but also to develop skills in planning, analysing and evaluating. These practical skills will be assessed as part of the written examinations at the end of the course.


Are there more exams in triple science?

The are 6 exams whether you do triple or combined science, but the triple science exams are longer. Combined science exams are all 1hr 10mins and triple science exams are 1hr 45mins.




"In Year 9, I chose to do both history and geography, and now 2 years later I can say that history has become my favourite subject. People usually think it's boring or more difficult, but history is secretly quite fun. I don't regret taking history because it's more interesting and exciting than I thought, and learning about Elizabeth, America and the Cold War really explains so much about the world we live in today, and with an open mind can be a great and fun lesson if you choose it. Learning about the nuclear weapons helps to understand radiation in science, the cold war explains the political tension we always see on the news, and American history helps us understand many world issues such as racism, feminism etc."
Shannon C, Year 11

For more information about this subject contact Miss R Stebbings -

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there coursework?

No, there is no coursework. History has two 2-hour exams.




"I'm so glad that I picked geography as one of my GCSE options as it is one of my favourite lessons - they are always engaging and a joy to be a part of. Whether that is in school or even working from home, the geography teachers go out of their way to support you and make sure you understand what you are learning. It is this help and the dynamics of the class - debating subjects and working collaboratively together - that makes geography an excellent option to pick."
Emily R, Year 11

For more information about this subject contact Mr S Titchmarsh -

Frequently Asked Questions

What subject(s) does geography go well with? 
All of them! Geography goes well with Science and Maths, as well as History, languages and Arts. It is very flexible in terms of what it can be combined with both at GCSE and A-level. 


Is there any coursework?
No, GCSE Geography is 100% exam. 


Do we go on any fieldtrips? 
Yes. At the end of Year 10 we go on a day trip to Hunstanton as part of the mandatory fieldwork element of the course. We complete fieldwork on the coast in the morning, and then go to New Hunstanton to complete some in the town centre. 


What careers/jobs will GCSE Geography help with? 
Geography is a versatile subject, and the content and skills we cover go with just about any career. Sectors of employment that geography links particularly well to are law, sciences, business, environment, IT, finance, banking, teaching, engineering, town planning, research etc. 


Is Geography an easy option? 
No. The course content is just as challenging as any other subject.  


What is the highest mark allocation in the exam paper? 
9 +3 SPaG (spelling, punctuation and grammar). 


What exams are there? 
Paper 1: Challenges of the physical environment, 1hr 30 minutes and worth 35%.

Paper 2: Challenges in the human environment, 1hr 30 minutes and worth 35%.

Paper 3: Geographical Applications, 1hr 15 minutes an worth 30%. 




"French is a subject some people shy away from but I find that worrying because with French, it teaches you to be able to think substantially out of the box. It creates and opens a vast amount of opportunities for the type of world we currently live in. Speaking an additional language gives you an edge over any competitor you find yourself against in absolutely any job field."
Sochi A, Year 11

For more information about this subject contact Mrs C Njikang -

Frequently Asked Questions

How many exams are there? 

There are four (4) exams total, one for each skill: Listening, Reading, Writing, Speaking. Each exam makes up 25% of your final grade. 


Is the Speaking exam done in front of the class/other students? 

No. The Speaking exam is done one-to-one with your teacher, so you don’t need to worry about getting nervous in front of others. 


Will I do Foundation or Higher Tier? 

The tier you complete will be decided after many conversations between you and your teacher. Throughout the course you will start to develop a better sense of what your abilities are and what each tier requires so that you can be confident when choosing the tier best for you. 


Will I need French GCSE to become a [job/career]? 

Having an additional language will always benefit your career choice as it sets you apart from other applicants. However, every career path is different so it is important that you do your research beforehand to see if French (or languages) is required to pursue the job you would like for yourself in the future. 


Who can I speak to about whether taking French is a good option for me? 

Please speak with any one of TCA’s French teachers: Mrs C Njikang, Miss C Willows, Mrs C Stokes, or Ms P Kenneally-Forrester. They will be able to give you a more detailed idea of what to expect in the course and will be able to support you in your decision. 





"Computer science is a very good option to choose from because it is challenging, engaging and can also be creative. I picked this course because I didn’t know what to do in the future, but I know that technology will always be improving and developing so this option would open more opportunities in the future for different careers. Also in computer science you’re learning new skills like problem solving, computational thinking and analysing problems to find the best solutions."
Roberta B, Year 11

For more information on this subject contact Dr T Jones -

Frequently Asked Questions

Why choose Computer Science?

Highly desirable skill in the job market:

  • Problem solving
  • Computational thinking / logic
  • Independent learning
  • Links with a vast amount of disciplines
  • Life skills for a technological world

Do I need to have a background in Computer Science to choose it as an option for KS4?

No, you’ll learn everything during the course.


How many exams are there?

There are two externally assessed exam papers, 50% each and a duration of 1.5 hrs.


Which exam board is it?



Is there an A level Computer Science?

Yes - OCR exam board. Transitions seamlessly from GCSE Computer Science.


What resources can I access for extra learning material?

All resources are online (digital workbooks and learning resources), via Office 365.
Videos can also be found at:

The following are good resources for learning to code:

Books/resources provided to students at the beginning of the course:

  • Learning to programme in Python
  • Revision guide
  • Flash cards

What equipment do I need?

- Lessons take place in a computer lab

- Having a home computer/laptop is beneficial  (please contact head of department with any concerns).

- All homework is online




"Doing 2D Art as a GCSE has really helped me open my eyes about all the different amazing artists out there that I'd never heard of before and it's really helped me to understand all their different artistic techniques. 2D Art is engaging and hands on; it'll make you work harder than you ever have before but you'll feel so accomplished! I've learned a variety of different skills and methods and been able to use many different media I've never used before (e.g. prints) in my artwork. For me, I've always been drawing and painting since I was little and always enjoyed art, and jobs that revolve around it really interest me! If you enjoy art and want to expand your artistic ability and push yourself, definitely choose 2D Art for your GCSEs!"
Holly C, Year 11

For more information about this subject contact Mrs S Loosemore –

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I take two Art based subjects? 

You must take either Art, 3D Art or Textiles separately, you cannot take two of these three subjects as part of your options, however GCSE Photography CAN be taken with one other art based GCSE. 


What equipment will I need for 3D/2D Art/Textiles? 

It would be good to have set of pencil crayons and watercolours at home to use when doing homework. You will be given a sketchbook to work in. All other specific equipment will be provided.   


What website/resources can I access for extra material/support? 

GCSE Art and Design Bitesize is a very good website that offers a lot of information for  Art and Design courses. 




"I picked childcare as one of my options because it is a gateway qualification. It is an enjoyable subject and it opens up many different paths as it gives you an insight and understanding of children. The qualification can offer you the skills to become a child support work, go into child psychology or even a teacher. With this course the outcomes don’t have a limit in the child sector. However, if you do not pursue a career in childcare it will broaden your knowledge if you choose to have children of your own." 
Louise M, Year 10


For more information on this subject contact Miss L Heasell –

Frequently Asked Questions

What does this course cover?

The Level 2 Technical Award in Child Development and Care provides learners with the opportunity to gain a vocational qualification that gives a basic introduction to the sector.


How am I assessed and graded?

This qualification consists of 3 units, one examined unit and two coursework:

• Unit 1 and unit 2 graded A*– D, assessed by an externally set, internally marked assessment task. 
• Unit 3 graded A*-D, assessed by an externally set and externally marked synoptic scenario based short answer examination (component TACDC).


Will I use a computer a lot for this course?

Yes, for the coursework units, your work will be typed up and use Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and Forms, but students are guided in using these programmes if they are unsure.


What website/resources can I access for extra material/support?

There is a textbook which accompanies the course that you will have access to and the NCFE website, more resources and websites will be shared with you on the course and all lesson linked resources will be available via Teams.




For more information about this subject contact Miss R O’Dell - 



"I enjoy construction because overall it consists of lots of practical work and is hands-on. I also believe that construction opens up many future opportunities as it covers a large area of work."
George B, Year 11

For more information about this subject contact Mr S Aspland -

Frequently Asked Questions

How will you learn? 

You will have a mix of written assignments about 30% and about 70% practical workshop assignments to complete. You will have access to computer rooms for written assignments.


Is there any work experience? 

Yes, you have the chance to take part in real outside work.


How will you be assessed, is there much written work, and will there be practical work in the workshop?

Most time is spent in the workshop completing joinery, bricklaying, plumbing and electrics projects, with two written assignments within each project.

Do I need any other specific equipment?
You will need drawing equipment, pencils, eraser kit and ruler. Working in the workshop can be a health and safety risk, so we do ask you to provide hard books and overalls although this is not compulsory. 



"Dance allows me to de-stress and have fun so I knew I wanted to do it as one of my GCSE options. You’ll find you can gain a lot of skills from it and the main skill I gained was confidence. Dance really allows me to be myself and express myself. It developed my creative thinking and allowed me to work in a team. I also found it beneficial physically as it encouraged me to lead a healthy lifestyle. Resilience is also a great skill to take from dance. The GCSE Dance curriculum is so interesting and you will learn a lot from it, so I would definitely recommend it. Remember to pick something that you enjoy doing."
Past GCSE dance student

For more information on this subject contact Mrs L Tarsitano

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need previous experience of Dance?  

No, as long as you have an interest and commitment to learning, there is no need for previous experience. Of course, it is helpful, and if you are considering taking GCSE Dance, now is a good time to try and get involved in some online classes to get ahead of the game!  


What do I need to wear for GCSE Dance? 

You need to wear your TCA PE kit, and I would advise black/ navy leggings. We work in bare feet, so there is no need to buy any specialists footwear. You will also need to remove jewellery and tie your hair back.  


Do I have to write? 

Yes! This is a GCSE Subject. You will need to evaluate your own practice, as well as your peers. You will need to answer exam style questions, including extended questions. You will be supported in how to apply your literacy skills in dance, and the great thing is, as long as you back up your ideas with examples, your opinion can never be wrong!  


How much practical work will I do?  

The majority of lessons are practical, so be prepared to get fit! This course is for people who are active, or who want to be more active. 




"When choosing my options, Design Technology was my subject of choice due to my experience and enjoyment of the subject since Year 7. The decision was based on the variety of aspects - DT involves creativity, designing your own product, and develops skills useful in everyday life. Some of the skills I have developed include creativity when it comes to designing your very own product, and working independently and in a team. They are all life skills. DT involves both practical work and theory which is made up of research, evaluation, and initial ideas before progressing and making your product."
Elliott H, Year 11

For more information about this subject contact Mrs H. Cornwell –

Frequently Asked Questions
If I choose DT at GCSE, will I be doing practical work in every DT lesson?
All of the DT subjects consist of researching, designing, making and evaluating activities so you will not spend all your time on practical skills. In addition to your Controlled Assessment, your teacher will help you to build up a body of subject knowledge and understanding in preparation for the written examination you will sit in Year 11.
What subjects should I do at GCSE to be able to do product design A level?
Ideally, GCSE DT, although students who have done Engineering can also do well.
How much coursework is there?
50% of the final GCSE grade will be from controlled assessment which is a combination of theory, design and practical work. 
I didn’t do very well in DT in Y9, but I want to study DT at GCSE. Will this be a problem?
No, this is not a problem, however you will need to enjoy the subject and be committed to complete both coursework and theory to support the written end of Year 11 exam which is worth 50% of your final grade. The GCSE courses are introduced in Year 10 and all pupils will be guided through the syllabus. You will find yourself familiar with the design process that is applied to the designing and making of products and see that it is common to all DT subjects. You can develop your skills through focused lessons in KS4.



"Drama helped me build my confidence and my ability to speak to new people, especially those who I wouldn't have usually spoken to before the course. The course was filled with lots of emotion, there were challenging yet fun times and happy times created with new friends. There is a large amount of written work but it is definitely worth it in the long run!"
Past GCSE Drama student

For more information about this subject contact Mr M Clay –

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it all performance assessed?

No, there is a combination of theory and practical work with a written exam at the end.


How will we write about live theatre if the theatres are closed?

Although we will be visiting the theatre as soon as possible the school has bought Digital Theatre+ which includes lots of live streamed performances we can use for the live theatre element of the course.


I am a really nervous performer and I get stage fright, how can I do drama?

The work we do in drama teaches you to overcome your fear of public speaking and helps you overcome nerves.


I don’t want to be an actor, why should I do drama?

When a college or employer sees Drama on a CV or application form they know that this student is a confident, creative, outgoing person who works well as part of a team but can also work independently.




“I chose Business as one of my core subjects because I felt it would benefit me in the future with my vision to have my own business as a freelance make-up artist. The course has enabled me to develop a varied amount of skills, including designing a product, branding and marketing. This course has helped to give me a vision of how I can develop my business in the future with the skills and topics I have learnt. I would recommend this course to anyone who wants to develop their own business or just has an interest in this subject. It is very enjoyable and the teachers are very supportive and helpful.”
Poppy S, Year 11

For more information on this subject contact Miss I Robinson -

Frequency Asked Questions

Does Business have an exam?

Yes, the course has one unit which assessed by an exam which also has a re-sit opportunity.  This is the unit we start with and is worth 50% of your grade so it is very important.


How many coursework units are there?

There are 2 units of coursework and they follow on from the examined unit.  Each of the two units are worth 25% of your overall grade.


How am I graded?

Pass, Merit or Distinction (Distinction is the highest).


Will I use a computer a lot for this course?

Yes, for the coursework units, your work will be typed up and use Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and Forms, but students are guided in using these programmes if they are unsure.


What website/resources can I access for extra material/support?

Tutor2u and BBC Bitesize for Business are informative and easy to use websites, but all lesson linked resources are uploaded to Teams.  There is a textbook that we use for the course and a specific book used to support in the exam unit.




"Film Studies by any means is not an easy subject but that does not mean it's boring. My past few months of doing Film Studies has been really enjoyable and it will undoubtedly remain like that for the upcoming year. If you enjoy English and movies, this subject is for you. Film Studies has managed to capture my interest in the writing, shooting and making of movies all round the world."
Gvido M, Year 10

For more information about this subject contact Mr I Gooda -

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the exam/coursework makeup of film studies?

Two exams worth 70% (an even 35% each) and an NEA (coursework) element graded at 30%.


What exam board is Film Studies with?



Is there a textbook?

Yes.  It's not a mandatory purchase but it does provide extra depth to your student's study. It is available at Amazon and other web-based bookstores.  


What films will my student study?

In order - Rear Window (1954), Witness (1985), Little Miss Sunshine (2006), Skyfall (2012), Slumdog Millionaire (2008), Let The Right One In (2008).


Is Film Studies a soft or easy subject?

Not at all.  In fact, its deep analytical framework and extended writing requirements means that Film Studies shares more in common with English literature than any other subject.  Moreover, studying Film Studies is a great way for a student to develop their analytical skills for English literature and creative writing skills for English language.




"I picked Hospitality and Catering not knowing much about the subject but as time went on I couldn't be happier with this option! I discovered that it is an amazing subject to pick as you can choose from a wide range of careers after finishing this course; I would recommend it if you would like a wide range of careers waiting for you in the future. Also, I have made great friends and this subject teaches you many skills that are necessary for everyday life, so it is extremely useful. It's one of my favourite lessons. To conclude, the subject consists of some practical lessons as well as theory, which is great because you will never get bored, I would most definitely recommend this subject."
Vanessa B, Year 11

For more information on this subject contact Mrs J Tjurina -

Frequently Asked Questions
Why choose Level 1/2 in Hospitality and Catering? 
According to the British Hospitality Association, hospitality and catering is Britain’s fourth largest industry and accounts for around 10% of the total workforce. Since 2010, over 25% of all new jobs have been within the hospitality and catering sector with the majority of new roles falling within the 18-24 age groups. The ability to plan, prepare and present food is an essential skill within the hospitality and catering industry. The WJEC Vocational Award in Hospitality and Catering equips you with theoretical knowledge about the industry as well as enabling you to develop practical skills in planning, preparing and cooking a variety of dishes.

What will I study? 

Unit 1: Hospitality and catering industry: You will focus on learning about different types of providers, legislation, food safety and the roles and responsibilities within the sector. 

Unit 2: Hospitality and catering in action: You will develop practical skills for planning, preparing, cooking and presenting nutritional dishes to meet specific client’s needs.


What skills will I develop? 

You will develop some food preparation and cooking skills as well as transferable skills of problem solving, organisation and time management, planning and communication.


Careers with Level 1/2 in Hospitality and Catering 

After completing the WJEC Vocational Award in Hospitality and Catering you may be interested in progressing to other qualifications relevant to working in the sector, such as: WJEC Level 3 Applied Certificate/Diploma in Food Science and Nutrition Level 2/Level 3 Diplomas in Hospitality and Catering Level 2/Level 3 Diplomas in Professional Cooking Level 3 Diploma in Hospitality and Tourism Management.




"Health and Social Care is such a useful course. In the future, I wish to pursue a carer within social work and knowing about the health and social care services and their jobs, what they are trained to do, early development and development over the life stages and factors that change an individuals life, will help guide me along that career path. The course consists of general knowledge and has helped me understand in more depth why and what happens during life, but also the support people can get. It is such an engaging course with the chance to discuss with peers and have fun whilst learning." 
Holly L, Year 11

For more information on this subject contact Miss A Anderson –

Frequently Asked Questions

How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed in two different ways.  Components 1 and 2 are assessed through internal assessment (coursework) Your teacher will mark your assignment and give you a grade.  Your third assessment (for component 3) will be an external assessment.  This is an exam which will be set and marked by BTEC. The exam will bring together what you have learnt from components 1 and 2 and there will be an opportunity to re-sit this exam.


How am I graded?

Pass, Merit or Distinction (Distinction is the highest).


Will I use a computer a lot for this course?

Yes, for the coursework units, your work will be typed up and use Microsoft Word, but students are guided in using these programmes if they are unsure.


What website/resources can I access for extra material/support?

There is a textbook that we use for the course and a specific book used to support in the exam unit. The BTEC website also has useful information and other resources, and websites will be shared with you during the course.  Everything linked to the lessons and your assignments will also be available to you via Teams.




"The subject breathes discipline, though it isn't so strenuous that it's unenjoyable. For students who wish to be accomplished musicians, or even to develop a solidified work ethic, music GCSE is the best way forward. You'll be working hard and playing hard, and with the correct mindset, you will surely get where you need to go should you pick this incredible subject."
Joseph T, Year 11

For more information about this subject contact Mr T McCoy -

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to be able to play and instrument?

You will need some basic knowledge of the keyboard to be able to access the use of SoundTrap and GarageBand.  All of the basics have been covered in years 7-9 e.g. Chords, melody, rhythm, basslines.


Do I need to perform in front of the class?

If you chose the performing unit you will need to do some small performances throughout the year to show your progress. You will have the opportunity to perform in front f an audience either in real life or online.


How am I assessed?

Three Units are internally assessed, this means that you will be completing coursework either independently or whilst working in a group. Most evidence collected will consist of photographs and video/audio evidence. Unit 1 is an external exam meaning it will take place with the other exams in the sports hall, this is sent away to the exam boards to be marked.




"Philosophy and Ethics will broaden your knowledge of our world and explain why people think how they do. Furthermore, it will develop your debating, evaluating, and analysing skills. Each lesson is like a group discussion where no answer is wrong. Honestly, I love how creative one can be when answering the exam questions, as there is no right or wrong answer. The teachers are so friendly and approachable and will help if asked. I personally picked this subject as I would like to study some form of humanities when I'm older and this course will mature my understanding and advance my essay skills."
Sofia R, Year 10

For more information about this subject contact Mr S Titchmarsh -

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do we have to study RE?

Schools are required to teach a programme of religious studies according to local and national guidelines.  The provision of Religious Education is compulsory in all state-funded schools, but it is not compulsory for any children to take the subject.


Why is RE important?

RE gives students valuable insights into the diverse beliefs and opinions held by people today.

It is relevant for all children, whatever their religion or beliefs. It helps with their own personal development and supports an understanding of the spiritual, moral, social and cultural questions that surface again and again in their lives.

RE also shows how religion influences individuals, families, communities and cultures and encourages reflection on issues of justice and truth. RE provokes questions about the meaning of life and prepares children for adult life.


What do students learn in Philosophy lessons?

Students learn religious beliefs and how people show their beliefs in their daily lives.  Students also learn ethical and moral issues that people face everyday. This helps young people to make sense of right and wrong and to develop tolerance and respect for other people's beliefs to become better informed citizens.


How is RE taught?

We teach RE through learning aids like pictures and photographs, the use of texts books, religious scriptures and artefacts, visits to places of worship, visitors coming to school to share their knowledge and displays. Students get the opportunity to debate discuss and work in groups to discuss topical issues.


How is RE assessed? Is there a coursework?

There is no coursework in RE. Students are assessed at the end of each unit of study. At the GCSE at the end of Year 11 students write two sets of papers. Paper 1 is on the beliefs, teachings and practices of the two chosen religions of Islam and Christianity and Paper 2 is about the four themes: Families and Relationship, Religion and Life, Peace and Conflict and Crime and Punishment.




"The reason why I chose photography is that I really enjoy taking pictures and I've learnt how to view everyday objects from different point of views, which makes the objects seems more interesting then they actually are. The skills that it has helped me to develop include taking pictures from different angles; e.g birds-eye shot, super close-up shot and so on. Also it's helped me learn how to use contrast on different types of images, as every image needs a different type of contrast. If you pick photography you also learn how to use Photoshop, learning how to change colours, place objects in different places and so much more. There's plenty of different types of photography jobs, some you'd be able to travel for (e.g weddings, festivals)."
Oresta G, Year 10

For more information on this subject contact Mr J Birch –

Frequently Asked Questions

Will I need my own camera for GCSE Photography? 

No, TCA will provide all the equipment you will need - cameras, lighting etc, but if you have you own you are welcome to use it.  


What website/resources can I access for extra material/support? 

GCSE Art and Design Bitesize is a very good website that offers a lot of information for  Art and Design courses. 








"Ever since taking sport in Year 10, it has opened my eyes to so many different career paths in sport that I would not have thought about, such as sports coaching. It has allowed me to see the bigger picture surrounding sport and give me the skills required to take on and tackle every single one of them. The course allows you to become a leader in sport."
Connor L, Year 11

For more information about this subject contact Miss A Anderson –

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I choose between Sport (OCR Cambridge National) or PE (GCSE)?

Mr Hooper will decide on what qualification is suitable on an individual basis.




"3D art has helped me to develop traits such as patience, it is a subject in which you are constantly evolving your ideas and taking time to consider where your topic could go next. By choosing 3D art you will have the opportunity to explore a range of techniques. At the end of your project you get the reward of constructing your ideas and plans in a 3D way. Accuracy is one of the properties that 3D concept can offer creative minds, this characteristic will be reflected in your other lessons and even outside of the classroom, you will begin to make deeper analyses and links. 3D art links closely to any designing jobs, you will be equipped with the techniques of modelling, designing, and making aesthetic products. 3D art is appealing as it is more like reality than 2D art."
Gabriella H, Year 11

For more information on this subject contact Mrs S Loosemore -

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I take two Art based subjects? 

You must take either Art, 3D Art or Textiles separately, you cannot take two of these three subjects as part of your options, however GCSE Photography CAN be taken with one other art based GCSE. 


What equipment will I need for 3D/2D Art/Textiles? 

It would be good to have set of pencil crayons and watercolours at home to use when doing homework. You will be given a sketchbook to work in. All other specific equipment will be provided.   


What website/resources can I access for extra material/support? 

GCSE Art and Design Bitesize is a very good website that offers a lot of information for  Art and Design courses. 


Students can start by accessing New Kudos, a careers programme that the Academy subscribes to. It enables students to search for careers inspiration by looking at subjects they enjoy, searching a particular field, for example animal care or medicine. It is also for those who are still not really sure what career they are interested in, as they are able to answer a series of questions which then enables the student to identify their skills to assist in planning for the future. 

Visit, and click on New Kudos. The student then enters their username and password  that they that they received in school. If you cannot remember these please email your tutor.

Looking at potential career paths and the qualifications needed should help students select their options; however, if they are still unsure it is wise to keep a balanced approach and pick subjects they enjoy.

What will your future look like? 

You will be making some important decisions over the next few weeks as you consider your next steps. The staff are here to help students make the right choices and we would advise students to think very carefully before coming to any final decision.

Below are some stories from previous years of Year 11 students on results day:

  • Edward Phoon was awarded three 9s, three 8s, a 7 and a 6. Two of Edward’s grade 9s were in English language and English literature and he has hopes of becoming an author in the future.
  • Anna Ivaskevica achieved six 9s and two 8s, stayed on at Sixth Form and went on to be the first student from TCA to gain a place at the University of Cambridge.
  • Aaron Malkin achieved four grade 9s, four grade 8s and a 7. He went on to do A levels in maths, further maths and geography.
  • Bailey Cordell was awarded grade 9s in biology, chemistry, maths and physics as well as an 8 and a 7. She is hoping to pursue a career in law.
  • Danny Grieve, a talented rugby player who played for Northampton Saints under-18s, was delighted to achieve the grades he needed to go on to college to combine his studies with rugby training and development.
  • Erin Godfrey opened her results to discover she'd achieved four 7s in maths, fine art, English literature and English language and 2 6s. She returned for sixth form and would like to go on to university to study an environmental subject.
  • Jasmin Tura achieved a 7 in maths, along with three 6s in English literature, biology and chemistry and three 5s in history, physics and French. She stayed on at TCA to do A Levels in biology, maths and psychology.