Here you can find out about the different subjects that are offered to pupils in both Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4.
In KS3, lessons are tailored to the REAL project. In KS4, the core subjects of Maths, English and Science are taught alongside a variety of options.
Have a look at the drop down menus to find more information about the different subjects, and relevant exam specifications.
Art and Design
In Art this term we have been looking at Pop Art, and the Artist who made it so popular. The pupils have produced a range of Lithenstein onomatopoeia explosions. We have work collaboratively to recreate Warhol's famous Campbells soup can. The pupils have also done an abstract pencil sweet studies, where we use a view finder to capture the image, then they enlarged the drawing. We also looked into patterns and the work by Romero Britto. The pupils created a Disney character then used Britto pattern technique apply colour and texture to their work.
BTEC ART & DESIGN LEVEL 1/2 FIRST AWARD
The Edexcel BTEC Level 2 First Award in Art and Design focuses on a range of 2D and 3D creative processes, including drawing, painting, print-making, collage, and sculpture. Students also study the work of other artists to support the development of their own creativity
- Introduction to Specialist Pathways in Art & Design
- Creative Project in Art & Design
- Communicating Ideas in 2D
- Communicating Ideas in 3D
BTEC Entry Level Award in Construction
This course will cover a range of foundation level skills in the construction industry and can lead to employment in the construction industry or a further qualification. You will be introduced to a broad range of trades including painting and decorating, carpentry and joinery, electrical, plastering, plumbing and brickwork.
Units that will be covered;
Producing a Timber product- The aim of this unit is to enable learners to produce a three-dimensional timber product (for example tray, picture frame, mirror frame). Learners will develop the skills needed to manufacture a product in timber and timber sheet materials.
Construction Drawing skills- This unit introduces learners to drawing equipment and techniques. Learners will develop the skills needed to produce basic construction drawings, and will use these skills to produce a typical vertical section.
Developing Brickwork skills- This unit introduces learners to the hand tools, materials and personal protective equipment (PPE) used in bricklaying, and offers them opportunities to develop the skills needed to construct basic brickwork structures.
Developing Carpentry Skills- This unit is designed to introduce learners to the hand tools, materials, personal protective equipment (PPE) and skills used in carpentry. Learners will have the opportunity to produce a carpentry item.
Mr Gornall teaches this subject to our Year 10s and 11s.
In English they will be looking at their 'spoken language' elements of their English Language and Functional Skills qualifications. This will require the pupils to really explore their voice and challenge their confidence; as well as ensuring that they hear one another's opinion.
In English lessons, year 10 and 11 have been looking at SPAG - spelling, punctuation and grammar - and have been practising independent writes and descriptive writing.
GCSE English Language (part of the core curriculum)
Course Type: GCSE
Specification: AQA 8700
About the course: The English Language GCSE offers the opportunity to develop your skills in reading, writing and speaking and listening in an interesting variety of ways and through the study of a wide variety of texts. The course is varied and, and will enable you to develop the critical reading skills you need for other subjects across the curriculum as well as for life in general.
Qualities & Qualifications Needed:
- Skimming and scanning texts
- Inferring meaning
- Writing for a particular purpose – e.g., to persuade, to describe, to entertain
- Confident speaking skills
- Effective listening
During the two-year course you will read a variety of extracts from works of fiction, both old and modern, focusing on the choices writers make when crafting narratives and using these same skills to produce creative writing of your own. In addition, you will study non-fiction writing from different time periods and the different methods writers use to put forward their ideas and perspectives on issues which are important in our everyday lives. Through speaking and listening, you will have the chance to discuss issues which are important to you, and to practice important communication skills which you will use throughout life once you enter employment.
Methods of Teaching and Learning:
Students will learn in a variety of ways including:
- Being involved in whole class discussion of texts and extracts
- Through attempting to emulate and recreate styles and techniques used by a variety of writers when creating their own texts
- Completing exam practice questions and repetition. Students will learn the key components required for each type of question and each exam paper.
- Independently – In both the classroom and with independent study and homework tasks.
Exam and Assessment Details:
Examinations include two papers. Each is worth 50% of your final grade. (160 marks total).
- Paper 1 is 1 hour 45 mins and is worth 80 marks. (40 marks for reading fiction, and 40 marks for Writing to describe or narrate.)
- Paper 2 in 1 hour 45 mins and is worth 80 marks. (40 marks for comparing non-fiction texts, and 40 marks for writing to argue and persuade).
Around the mock examinations, the pupils have completed their learning on 'An Inspector Calls'. They have investigated the themes of greed, age and gender, as well as social responsibility. This allowed them to make links with previous GCSE texts such as 'A Christmas Carol.' These links have allowed them to deepen their understanding of building context into their responses. After the Christmas break, the class will be beginning new units within their GCSE subjects.
Mrs Wyles teaches year 11 English Literature. Have a look at the Bitesize website for some useful information on the key themes: https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize...
In year 10, we will begin our new school year by looking at Charles Dickens' 'A Christmas Carol' and we will be exploring the key themes of greed, class, Christmas Spirit and family, and we will be looking into the historical context of the book, where we will learn about life during the Victorian era and how it differs to today's society.
Mr Mills and Miss McDougall teach year 10 English. Have a look at the Bitesize website for some useful information on key themes: https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize...
GCSE English Literature (part of the core curriculum)
Course Type: GCSE
Specification: AQA 8702
About the Course:
The English Literature GCSE offers the opportunity to develop your skills in reading and studying a wide range of literary texts from different periods. The range of texts include work by older authors such as Shakespeare and Conan Doyle, as well as modern texts such as Blood Brothers and An Inspector Calls. In addition, you will study an Anthology of poems from different periods and cultures, and have the opportunity to relate the texts you read to your own experiences.
Qualities and Qualifications Needed:
- Discussion skills
- Inferring meaning
- Skimming and scanning texts
- Essay writing
During the two-year course you will study a Shakespeare text (Macbeth), a 19th century novel (Jekyll and Hyde or A Christmas Carol), a modern text (An Inspector Calls or Blood Brothers), and an Anthology of Poems and unseen poetry.
Methods of Teaching and Learning:
Students will learn in a variety of ways including:
- Collaboratively, in pairs and groups
- Independently, including completing reading and research
- Through discussion, as a whole class and in smaller groups
- Homework tasks and practice exam questions
Exam and Assessment Details:
Examinations include two papers. Total marks available are 160. Paper 1 is worth 64, and paper 2 is worth 96.
- Paper 1 is 1 hour 45mins and is worth 64 marks. (34 marks for Shakespeare, and 30 marks for 19th century Prose.)
- Paper 2 is 2 hours 15 mins and is worth 96 marks. (34 marks for Modern Text, 30 marks for Anthology Poetry and 32 marks for Unseen Poetry)
Alongside the core subjects of Maths, English and Science, and the subjects available as Options, KS4 also engage in Extended Study, where they undertake a BTEC portfolio to help them with real life problems and applications to further education, post-16.
The study of History at Key Stage 4 encourages pupils to think critically. Our young Historians will have the chance to examine various sources and make judgments on what they tell us about key events. They will study different historical views and by looking at the evidence they will form their own opinions. The pupils are encouraged to question things asking themselves why certain historical events are portrayed in a given way. These are key life skills that our pupils can use throughout their lives.
This term the Year 10 historians continue to study the rise of Hitler and the impact this had on Germany. They have also been looking at the holocaust. They will continue to study this until the summer term.
The year 11 Historians have completed their study of Nazi Germany and have moved onto looking at Crime and Punishment in England from 1000 until the present day. They are looking at how crimes have changed and how societies ideas of punishment have changed.
Mrs Wyles teaches year 11 and Miss Mills teaches year 10.
BTEC Entry Level Award in Food
We have been making good progress with working independently to follow a recipe for a variety of different dishes. Most recently we have made leek and potato soup, chocolate brownies and crispy tuna pasta bake.
Mr Mills teaches this subject in both year 10 and 11.
The year 10s will be exploring topics such as finding the nth term, circle formula, ratio and proportion, plans and elevations, reciprocals and probability. With a whole school focus on problem solving, the students will be exploring how Maths is used in everyday life and tackling real-life problems justifying their reasoning.
This term, Year 11 are continuing with our GCSE topics. This year, we will be completing Functional Skills Level 1 whilst working towards our GCSE Mathematics exams at the end of the year. We have three Mathematics papers (2 calculator, 1 non-calculator) to prepare for. So far this term we have been revising:
- Pythagoras’ Theorem
- Trigonometry (SOHCAHTOA!)
All pupils have been provided with a list of topics they need to understand for Mathematics, which details what they need to know for the three exams in May. Please note that any topic can turn up on any of the three exam papers, so pupils need to bear this in mind when revising.
The following links are useful for maths revision:
GCSE Maths revision - https://mathsmadeeasy.co.uk/gcse-maths-revision/
BBC Bitesize GCSE Maths - https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/subjects/z38pycw
Maths revision video (an example of the many available!) - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dYPwEyeyPLA
Pupils are taught a variety of different topics over the course of their KS4 career. These include:
- Number - such as ordering negative/positive numbers, applying the four operations (add, subtract, multiply, divide), inverse operations and prime numbers/factors
- Algebra - such as algebraic expressions, collecting like terms, solving equations, solving simultaneous equations and line graphs
- Ratio, proportion and rates change - such as ratio in context, percentages and direct and inverse proportion
- Geometry and measure - such as angles, lines and polygons, 2D and 3D shapes, circles, sectors and arcs and Pythagoras theorem
- Statistics - such as collecting, representing and analysing data
- Problem solving - such as solving number, geometrical, algebraic and statistical problems
Both year 10 and 11 cohorts have been studying the events leading up to and the reasons behind the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, in the term before Easter. They have understood that Jesus sacrificed himself for his people and his people (The Jews) turned against him.
Jesus was put to death, by a reluctant Pontius Pilot, on the cross, where he died and then was placed in a tomb to be at rest. On Good Friday, three women prepared Jesus’ body for burial, when they returned on Easter Sunday, Jesus was not to be seen as the resurrection had taken place.
The GCSE groups have looked at different media in their research of the Easter story and have made visual representations of the ‘how?’, ‘what?’, and ‘who?’ in an aid to remember the specifics of the story.
This has been a very enjoyable term of work as it was very appropriate with the upcoming Christian festival.
Previously in Religious Studies, we have been tying together our ethical and theological intelligence to discuss the implications on modern day life issues, such as; divorce and remarriage, family planning and contraception and homosexuality and heterosexuality.
The pupils have used their knowledge of Christianity and Islam to inform their thinking, they have also used evidence from the Qur’an and the Bible in their discussions.
Miss Brown teaches Year 10 and 11 RS.
Performing Arts is an award, which explores different aspects of performance. Time is spent and discussing what different kinds of performance there are, and what job roles could be available. We explore the industry itself, by visiting performances spaces, talking to actors and understanding what goes on behind the scenes, (it turns out the lights don’t choreograph themselves!). We also, of course, get to spend time performing! Students have opportunities to create, advertise and perform their own pieces of drama. When students feel more confident they have the opportunity to support and lead workshops for younger students to enhance the drama within the school and promote confidence and leadership skills.
It is a BTEC, points-based award, so there are several ‘core’ modules which we have to complete, then others will be selected based on the abilities of the group, for example if someone can play an instrument, we could complete that module. The award is granted as long as the student completes the core modules and enough other modules to make up the points for that grade. Students have the opportunity to work to a higher award too!
It is a BTEC style award, which means that we complete work and then check that each bit is covered thoroughly, if there are bits missing we can go back and ensure students have the knowledge to complete them. The Performance Arts award is assessed through a variety of methods; diary entries; videos of rehearsals; teacher logs and written work – all of which the student is supported through.
This term students will be confirming their knowledge of performance and non-performance roles that are necessary to create a performance. They will be taking part in some socially distanced acting activities and thinking about a performance they will begin to put together over the coming year.
See our latest blog post about the trip our Performing Arts students took to the Theatre Royal last term.
Miss Burrow teaches KS4 Performing Arts.
GCSE Physical Education
Athena school students that take the option to study GCSE PE at Year 10 or Year 11 will follow the AQA examining board syllabus. The GCSE PE course requires students to take part in a vast range of sports and they will be assessed in those sports based on their skills in isolation and then the ability to utilise those skills within a performance. It is possible for students to be assessed on sports that they take part in outside of school hours with community clubs but video or performance data will be required as evidence for the examination board (for more information visit www.aqa.org.uk).
Students are also expected to complete an observation analysis task under exam conditions in which they need to evaluate their own performance or that of one of their peers, this plus their practical assessments make up the coursework element of the GCSE PE course.
What will you study?
The theory aspect of the course is based around topics such as –
- Health and Fitness and Training
- Applied Anatomy and Physiology
- Movement analysis
- Education and school
- Cultural and social factors
- Media, sponsorship, and technology in sport
The practical element will be assessed on their ability to perform in 3 different activities as well as their ability to evaluate their performances. This will include games activities, athletic activities, fitness activities and gymnastic activities. It is strongly advised that you are playing or taking part in at least one sport outside of school and performing regularly at a high level.
60% of the final marks – written paper (Two 1 hour 15 minute exams) based around ’The human and movement in physical activity and sport’ and ‘Social-cultural influences and well-being in physical activity and sport’.
40% of the final marks – controlled assessment. Students will be assessed on their practical performance in three different sports. Students will also completed an analysis and evaluation of performance to bring about improvement in one activity.
The content of this GCSE Physical Education specification is designed to enable students to develop an understanding of how the body work and the science behind the athlete. In addition to the importance of leading an active lifestyle and the knowledge of how sport can be used as a vehicle for social change. The course provides a route to further study in Further Education awards, such as A levels and Level 3 BTEC Sports and Sport Science, and to Higher Education in PE as well as to related career opportunities.
Prince's Trust is undertaken in KS4.
Princes Trust- the Achieve Programme
Our Achieve programme provides an opportunity for the pupils to try out new activities, boost their confidence and gain a recognised Prince's Trust qualification.
Our Achieve programme is delivered as clubs in your school or centre. As part of the programme, you will explore the following:
- Personal and social development: By working in small groups, they will be able to meet new people and make new friends
- Life skills: Through fun and interactive sessions, they will learn how to manage money, be healthy and stay safe
- Active citizenship: they will work as part of a team to make a difference to your local community
- Enterprise project: This is a Dragons' Den style challenge. Ready to put your entrepreneurial skills to the test?
- Preparation for work: Create a tip-top CV, practice for future interviews and explore your skills and talents
For our school fair, we have started drafting letters to send out to businesses, both local and mainstream, in the hopes that they will offer up some prizes for our raffle and tombola. We are finalising plans for what we hope will be a very successful fair. We have also been looking at the importance of E-Safety, and looking at the pros and cons of using the internet, and the potential dangers associated with it.
Mrs Wyles teaches Prince's Trust to Year 11 and Miss Mills teaches Year 10.
At Athena Secondary School we aim to provide a creative, inclusive, challenging and real-world curriculum that inspires future thinkers, innovators and problem solvers in an immersive environment that stimulates and supports high quality learning. We believe in making all learning purposeful and meaningful and in order to achieve this our 3-year rolling cycle at KS3 is planned around REAL projects.
R = Rigorous
E = Engaging
A = Authentic
L = Learning
Our cycle are available for you to view by downloading the following diagrams:
The key features of a REAL project:
- The project idea is generated from the teachers and/or students interests and passions
- Has an 'essential' open-ended question
- Has a real-world, real-life outcome
- Is tuned and tested by other teachers for rigour and clarity before it is taught
- Requires students to produce multiple drafts of their work
- Involves structured adult/peer/expert critique
- Culminates in a final exhibition to an authentic audience
REAL projects allow teachers to create lessons and activities around a single complex enquiry that leads to a high quality end product that is exhibited to an authentic audience. Projects are rigorously designed and planned to cover all aspects of the national curriculum whilst at the same time providing a rich, real life learning experience. This way of learning allows our students to develop their own self-confidence and creativity, as well as develop skills that prepare them for a world outside of school.
To find out more about REAL projects visit www.real-projects.org or please get in touch – our details are on the contact page.
Our KS3 REAL Project teachers are Miss Allard, Mrs Logan, Miss Small, Miss Senior, Mr Stanney, Mr Swinburne and Mr Arnold.
Within their citizenship lessons year 11 have been learning about: modern day Parliament, who our local MP is, as well as who and what exactly The Cabinet and back benchers are. The pupils have also reasoned with what their priorities are, to be able to put together what would be in their own manifesto if they were to run for election.
Year 11 have deepened their understanding of democracy in the modern world as well as its origins in Greece.
Students study the following qualifications concurrently:
Combined Science GCSE (Y10 T1-6, Y11 1-5)
Entry Level Science (Y10 T1-6) & Entry Level Further Science (Y10 T6, Y11 T1-4)
At present, all three qualifications are through Edexcel. Combined science is the equivalent of two GCSEs in science, whilst studying all three subjects in less depth that separate sciences. I have included the Bitesize links for each topic in the table below.
The students have to complete 18 core practicals to get their GCSE qualification. These will be spread across the two years and three subjects:
Practical skills https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/topics/z2nvv9q
Please click the link below to access our Science curriculum.
Miss Pritchard is our KS4 Science teacher.