S4 Curricular bulletin Aug10


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S4 Curricular bulletin Aug10

  1. 1. Kilwinning Academy S4 News August 2010 Welcome to our S4 Curriculum Bulletin In our recent visit by school inspectors we were praised for our effective partnership working. In the report it was noted that parents were asking for more information about how to improve the education of their youngsters and how to provide more homework support. We are taking steps to raise attainment in partnership with parents by promoting more active learning. We hope that this publication is helpful to parents and students as they work towards certificate exams. Our exams last May delivered a good set of results for many of our Standard Grade students. 89% achieved 5 Standard Grade passes or more. It is our constant desire to drive up the level of results and our Headteacher, Mr Armstrong, has met with all Principal Teachers to discuss ways of achieving this. We have used CATs (Cognitive Abilities Test) in S1 and S2 to indicate how we should expect candidates to perform in their exams in S4 and experience has shown that these have proved quite reliable. We now intend to set more accurate targets, using CAT results, to help motivate pupils. Targets will be discussed with pupils and shared with parents. We will also be continuing to track pupils’ p e r f o r m a n c e a g a i n s t expectations. Pupils will be helped to close any gaps through comments and advice. Clearly, it is important for pupils to accept some responsibility for their own learning and improvement by acting on their teachers’ advice. Maths Each pupil has a Homework Booklet containing Homework Exercises for each topic/chapter covered. These exercises should be completed in pupils’ homework jotters and are the minimum homework requirement. Each pupil also has a notes jotter. The introduction of each topic includes a written note of explanation and worked examples which each pupil should have copied into his or her jotter. 1
  2. 2. English Pupils who will be sitting the Standard Grade exam in 2 0 1 0 a r e working on a folio of Writing and Reading answers at present. Five pieces of their best work will be sent for external marking in the New Year. Pupils will have the opportunity to redraft and improve existing work. Pupils who have already completed the Standard Grade course will be working on the component units of the Intermediate level course this session. Where appropriate they may also be working at Higher level. French Standard Grade: • Preparing for Shopping Topic Test • Starting Restaurant Topic Evidence required for the completion of these topics: Oral exam and written folio piece. Both these tests are internal assessments set by SQA and count towards the overall Grade therefore it is crucial that pupils work to their maximum potential. Pupils also have homework booklets on each topic, the deadlines for completion being set by their class teacher, according to pace. Intermediate 2: • NAB exams in Listening and Reading to be completed. These are crucial, as pupils cannot be entered for the exam in May until they have achieved passes in these Units. • The Personal Communication NAB will also be done by Christmas. Again, this is a crucial element to the exam and must be passed before entry to the exam in May. • Redrafts of the written element of the exam will be completed and this can be learned off by heart for the exam. Don’t waste this opportunity! Art & Design The next two months will see our students a t a l l l e v e l s continuing to work on their expressive units in class and preparing for their 5 hour, Expressive Practical Prelim. The deadline for completion of their expressive unit is the Christmas Holidays, and students should be nearing completion of their work for the research and investigation stage of this unit. Development studies are also underway, with students trying out different compositional ideas and experimenting with a range of media. They may be asked to complete some of this work at home. S4 Art and Design students will also sit a Design Critical prelim which they are currently preparing for in class. They will be expected to discuss the work of 2 designers in this exam. Computing Studies Classes are n o w w e l l through the course and are c u r r e n t l y working on two main areas: knowledge and understanding of the use of computers in industrial and commercial activities and the completion of their practical abilities folders. Assessment of the knowledge and understanding aspect is covered by two multiple choice tests; one prior to the October break and one after. The Computing department will issue interim reports giving the results of these tests prior to prelim exemption. The current practical work should be complete prior to the Christmas break and will be the final element of each pupil’s practical folio. This means that the practical ability grade (PA) in the prelim report will be an accurate measure of the grade passed onto the exam board. In the build up to the prelims, classes will have weekly homework based on past papers. Accounting & Finance and Administration The class is currently working hard to complete the theoretical aspects of the course so that the prelim exam that they sit in November/December will be complete and not have sections omitted. In order to prepare fully for the prelim examination homework, based on past papers, is being issued regularly and pupils should find that this, if completed well, prepares them for any questions that they will face in the prelim or the real exam in May. The p r a c t i c a l element of the assessment will be done after Christmas. Home Economics Home Economics (F/G/C): Preparation for prelim examinations (written and practical) is beginning. Pupils have study notes in their class folders and jotters, which will help them prepare for written examinations. Practical prelim examinations will be published 2 weeks prior to the examination. Pupils should be encouraged to practice skills and timing at home. All pupils have been given the opportunity to purchase text books for their own use. Class text books are available for reference in school only. Hospitality (Intermediate 1): All pupils are in the process of completing the final unit of work: ‘Organisation of Practical Skills’. Assessment for this will take place b e f o r e t h e Christmas Break. Practical prelim examinations will take place in November/December. Pupils will require to prepare a 2 course meal within 1.5 hours. This will be published 2 weeks prior to the examination. Pupils should be encouraged to practice at home to improve their practical skills. Using a homework diary regularly helps with study planning and can be useful to keep a record of achievements! 2
  3. 3. Religious Studies The next few weeks will see us getting Investigation drafts on their way to completion. This involves ongoing research into personally selected topic. It is worth 33% of the total grade. First draft due end November, final report due end January. All pupils following S Grade RS have folders and instructions. Materials are available for borrowing as required. A letter will be sent home explaining this in detail. Please sign and return the tear off slip. In Issues of Morality the nature of morality is explored, considering what makes an action right or wrong and whether morality depends on religious authority, tradition, custom, self-interest, or its impact on others. We will look at general principles and values from Christianity and Islam. There will also be a closer examination of specific moral issues and religious responses arising from: • sexual morality: freedom and responsibility in relationships between sexes, • the taking of life: • war, • abortion, • euthanasia. All pupils will develop evaluation skills thinking through different opinions on moral issues, weighing up the evidence and drawing conclusions. Please see the revision advice on page 4! Biology Standard Grade Biology pupils are working on the fourth topic of their course, The Biosphere. Each pupil has a yellow homework Study Guide, containing the homework exercises for the Topic. These are set at roughly fortnightly intervals. Pupils have notes, summary booklets and summary pages of the study guide to help with completion. Intermediate 1 Biology pupils are working on the unit, ‘Growing Planet’. Homework is set about fortnightly in the form of write on sheets. All pupils should be spending time on general revision of notes etc. for forthcoming prelims. Useful revision techniques include mind mapping, making their own flash cards, constructing and labelling diagrams, working on examples from past papers or revision books or even discussing Biology terms with friends and family. Just reading or copying from notes is rarely effective. The BBC Bitesize Revision materials available on the internet (http://www.bbc.co.uk/scotland/ bitesize/) are an excellent aid to revision for Standard Grade pupils. Pupils will be working on techniques and investigations which are compulsory if they are to achieve an award in their final exam. Good attendance is particularly important at this time to avoid missing any of these practical assessments. Chemistry S Grade pupils are working towards completing topics 8 to 11 in time for the Prelim examination. Each pupil has been issued with a cd rom containing a full set of revision materials and homework exercises for the complete Standard Grade course, also available on the school website. Int 1 Chemistry pupils are working on the final two sections of Unit 2, Fuels and Plastics. All pupils have revision notes in their class jotters and they shouls take these home for revision. Homework exercises are set in the form of write on sheets. Each pupil now has a revision and homework cd rom for the complete Intermediate 1 and Access 3 courses. These are a valuable tool which will ensure that any gaps in notes that have arisen due to absence can be addressed and pupils can make sure that they revise thoroughly. As Prelims approach, pupils should be revising past topics. Many revision techniques have been demonstrated and pupils should be using a variety of strategies to revise. Past papers are a good source of questions to improve exam technique and there are a number of websites for Chemistry revision. Among the best are BBC Bitesize Revision at www.bbc.co.uk/education/bitesize and www.evans2chemweb.co.uk Physics T h e T r a n s p o r t t o p i c i s a l m o s t complete and pupils are due another end of topic test as well as preparing for prelims. Other topics include studies in Energy and Electronics as well as a look at Space Physics. Pupils will also soon have started a complete course revision programme (extra homework!) Technical C r a f t a n d Design: Pupils should have completed their Design folios by the October Holidays. They have now begun working on Final Projects . They will also be studying for the knowledge and understanding exam. Some work for this will be given as homework. Graphic Communication: Pupils should be working on units 4 - 8. this term folio work will be mostly computer based using D.T.P., C.A.D. and C.A.G. Pupils will also be studying for their knowledge and interpretation exam in class and some of this work will be backed up with homework assignments. Leckie and Leckie have published course notes for both Craft and Design and Graphic Communication. These provide excellent support and give pupils the opportunity to practice skills and work on knowledge at home. They are available in most good bookshops and online. Keep track of important assessment dates with a calendar - check exam dates at www.sqa.org.uk 3
  4. 4. Geography We are currently completing the Settlement unit and assessment. After the assessment is completed and returned the pupils will undertake a target setting exercise with their teacher. They will have two targets agreed with their teacher to work on up until prelims in November. A review of these targets will take place after that time. All classes will next be working on the Natural Regions part of the course which includes looking at 4 different regions in the world and environmental issues in these areas. All classes will be given regular homework to be completed in their homework jotter on this topic. History Preparations for the prelim exam will start soon. The first 3 topics of Unit 1c, Changing Life in Scotland and Britain, must be covered in class prior to the exam: Population, Health and Housing. Staff will be emphasising to pupils that revision should be well underway. The first two units of study: Unit 2b – Britain at War and Unit 3d – Nazi Germany should also be revised by pupils. The department would encourage pupils to attend the inquisitor club which provides History quizzes related to factual revision. For more information see Ms McLean room A1. PE STUDIES Standard Grade PE pupils have been making the best of our wonderful end of summer weather (!) and have just finished their outdoor block comprising of football and hockey. They covered tactics and strategies within a game context. The next block moves indoors with Mr Adam’s boys on Basketball, Mrs Lamont’s girls on Badminton and Miss Lyall’s boys on Fitness. The 4th year SGPE pupils now have two practical classes a week and one theory classroom lesson with serious preparation beginning for the PE prelim in November. Music Standard Grade: • All pupils study 2 instruments (Solo 1 – performed to an external examiner in early March 2010. • Solo 2 – recorded in class and internally assessed). • All pupils to complete their own composition. • All pupils to undertake a listening paper during SQA exam diet. Targets to be achieved before Christmas: • Pupils should record their Solo instrument • Completion of i n d i v i d u a l compositions Intermediate 2: As above except that both instruments are performed to the external examiner in early March 2010 and content and format of listening paper is different. Targets to be achieved before Christmas: • Completion of individual compositions • Instrumental programmes chosen, approved and at an appropriate stage of performance. Although the priority is on the above targets, the Listening and Solo 1 element will still be ongoing in class. It is still expected that pupils continue revising the Listening concepts at home. A very useful website is www.ltscotland.org.uk. This site provides excellent material supporting all the Listening concepts covered in the course. Where home practice facilities are not available the music department is at students’ disposal at interval, lunchtime and after school. Revision I n t e n s i v e preparation for prelims should start soon. U s i n g a l l p e r s o n a l l y produced notes and/ or those produced by the staff, pupils must spend time committing all topics covered to memory. The time this takes varies for each pupil - this will be in addition to normal homework! Examples of how to streamline information into manageable personal notes for study have been issued by many departments. Pupils are expected to spend time each week working through all handouts supplied by departments to produce their own. Parents can check this by asking to see these for each topic. Some parents find it helpful to keep a record of revision progress. Pupils should be memorising their notes for ‘bite-size’ tests on mental revision and exam answers set by class teachers. Parents can test this by asking for an explanation of these notes from memory - tick each point they mention. Further revision of missed items will improve success. Supported study sessions will be offered soon - pupils can benefit from additional study hints and advice after school. Mrs Cruickshank will be distributing sign-up forms soon. Important Dates • Prelims begin November • S4 Parents Evening January • SQA Exams begin April Contacting school KilwinningAcademy, Dalry Road, Kilwinning KA13 7HD 01294 551316 contactus@kilwinning.n-ayrshire.sch.uk www.kilwinning-academy.co.uk Teachers are always happy to help students who have been absent to catch up with missed work 4