Introduction from the Head of KS4
Key Stage 4 comprises Years 10 and Year 11. During these two years children have taken on the task of attaining their IGCSE certificate which will open doors to Tertiary education, either in Qatar or in overseas institutions.
In consultation with Senior Management and parents, teachers are responsible for preparing classes and subjects appropriate to each child's needs. This process starts toward the end of Year 9 when students apply to study subjects which fulfil some of their requirements for higher education. There are some limitations on the courses offered but each child is placed in their chosen areas of learning.
During Year 10 each child is supported with their studies as this year constitutes one half of the IGCSE course. Year 11 completes the IGCSE course and students take external examinations set by the examination boards.
The general discipline in KS4 includes such things as uniform, attendance, lateness and parent contact when required. Form tutors and lead teachers are responsible for student welfare, examination procedures and Extra Curricular Activities.
It is extremely important that staff and parents work together to achieve the best possible academic outcomes for the child at KS4 level.
What follows is all the IGCSE subjects offered. P.E. is compulsory, but a non-examination subject. English, Mathematics and at least two Science subjects are compulsory. Students study 8 IGCSE subjects in KS4.
Students sit the CIE First Language English award, designed for students for whom English is, or is equal to, their first language. This is an essential award as it carries a great deal of weight with English speaking Universities, avoiding the need to take an extra English proficiency examination.
Students study a variety of texts on a number of levels- whole text, sentence and word level. They look at imagery and subtext as well as content and look to utilise what they learn in their own written work.
Lessons are four times a week, with one lesson being a double period. Homework is set twice a week and includes a vocabulary list.
It should be noted that this is NOT a course designed to teach the language but rather a course that explores how the language is used, looking at implicit and explicit understandings and usages of text. Students who feel they still require lessons in English should look to external tuition wherever possible. All students should practise their English speaking/writing skills on a regular basis; reading regularly, speaking in English at every opportunity, writing a journal and maybe even joining the extra-curricular Creative Writing Club.
English as a Second Language(CIE)
The students are guided through the Cambridge IGCSE English syllabus so that they are able to achieve the best results possible.
They have five periods a week of 50 minutes each and home work is given on a daily basis. This takes the form of assignments and written work which are assessed on an ongoing system to keep track of the student’s progress. We focus on listening, reading and writing skills and exam practice forms the core of most of the work. The lessons cover topics of interest to the students so that they maintain focus and experience an enjoyable learning process as far as English is concerned.
A thorough knowledge of English opens up a world of opportunity as far as further study is concerned as well as opportunities for travel and translating.
We include field trips to some of the local campuses of a number of internationally recognized universities to explore the possibilities in Qatar.
Students in Years 10 and 11 follow the certificated Edexcel Syllabus. Mathematics is a core subject therefore 4 lessons per week are devoted to covering the 2 year course leading to an IGCSE ( International General Certificate of Secondary Education ) at the end of this time. In Year 10 the students are split into 2 groups, those following the Foundation Course where the highest grade attainable is C and those following the Higher grade where they can achieve the maximum of an A*. To ensure success in their final exam numerous Past Papers from previous exams are made available. Lessons are topic based and students are encouraged to work in groups or with a partner. Emphasis is placed on homework and it is the student’s responsibility to complete the weekly assignment. In KS4 they develop skills such as planning, independent thinking, reasoning and questioning.
To enable students to choose the right career we invite representatives from local tertiary institutes to come along and give a talk and advice to our students. The information they receive is about entrance requirements and the courses available. Mathematics equips students with uniquely powerful ways to describe, analyse and change the world. A degree in Mathematics can lead to careers in: Local Government, Finance & Accountancy, Banking and Education.
1) To give students a knowledge and understanding of biological facts, concepts and principles.
2) To develop an appreciation of the significance of biological facts, concepts and principles and the skills needed for their use in new and changing situations.
3) To develop an appreciation of the importance of accurate experimental work in scientific method and reporting.
4) To enable students to form hypotheses and design experiments to test them.
5) To sustain and develop an enjoyment of, and interest in, the study of living organisms.
6) To enable students to evaluate, in terms of their biological knowledge and understanding, the benefits and drawbacks of scientific and technological developments, including those related to social, environmental and economic issues.
Assessment and progression:
1) Single-tier; two exams; no coursework
2) Grading A*-G
3) Provides a sound foundation for progression to Edexcel GCE Advanced Subsidiary (AS) and Advanced level, and other comparable post-16 qualifications.
Key subject aims:
1) To develop students’ understanding of the unifying patterns and themes of chemistry
2) To further students’ appreciation of the practical nature of chemistry and develop experimental and investigative skills based on correct and safe laboratory techniques
3) To develop an appreciation of the importance to scientific methods of accurate experimental work and reporting
4) To develop students’ ability to form hypotheses and design experiments to test them
5) To develop a logical approach to problem-solving in a wider context
6) To develop an understanding of the widespread importance of chemistry and the way materials are used in the world
7) To show how the work of the chemist has social, industrial, technological, environmental ad economic consequences for the community
8) To prepare students for more advanced courses in chemistry or courses which require them to have a knowledge of chemistry.
Assessment and progression:
1) Single tier. Two exams. No coursework
2) Grading A* to G
3) Provides a sound foundation for progression to Edexcel GCE Advanced Subsidiary and Advanced level Chemistry, and other comparable post-16 qualifications.
Key subject aims:
1) To impart a systematic body of scientific knowledge and the skills needed to apply this in new and changing situations in many domestic, industrial and environmental contexts
2) To foster an appreciation of the practical nature of physics, and develop experimental and investigative skills based on correct and safe laboratory techniques
3) To develop an appreciation of the importance of accurate experimental work and reporting to scientific method
4) To enable students to form hypotheses and design experiments to test them
5) To enable students to evaluate, in terms of their scientific knowledge and understanding, the benefits and drawbacks (including social, environmental and economic) of scientific and technological developments
6) To enable students to select, organise and present information clearly and logically, using appropriate scientific terms and conventions.
1) Single tier. Two exams. No coursework
2) Grading A* to G
3) Provides a sound foundation for progression to Edexcel GCE Advanced Subsidiary
Business Studies (Edexcel)
As students enter Key Stage 4 both they and their parents look for an education which will fit them for their future. There is perhaps no more direct route for this than Business Studies. Aside from its direct relevance to management and entrepreneurship all companies look for candidates who can understand the business side of their operations.
The two year course combines the elements of Production, Marketing, Accounting and Finance, Human Resources and finally Business Activity and the Changing Environment. Classes are introduced to all concepts through studying actual businesses and their activities. Students are given the tools to understand the qualitative and quantitative data presented, and shown how to use them to present coherent, informed judgements. In all areas the role of stakeholders including government is discussed and explained.
There are three teaching periods and one hour of homework per week. The IGCSE Examinations are taken at the end of the second year.
The IGCSE History programme is a 2 year course geared towards preparing students for the Edexcel examinations at the completion of Year 11. Students cover the World Wars as a depth study and also examine the factors which contributed to the 1st World War. A comparison between modern warfare and the warfare used at the turn of the 20th century is also covered.
Though students are taught many facts and findings pertaining to the great wars, students are required to develop their intuitive and interpretative skills, an important life skill and a fundamental ingredient for students to do well in their exams. Through history students are granted an opportunity of gaining a deeper insight and understanding of the world around them and are given a brief glimpse into the souls of the different characters who have helped shaped the world as we know it today.
To quote David C. Mccullough,
"History is a guide to navigation in perilous times. History is who we are and why we are the way we are."
Two years of study in Years 10 and 11 are designed to prepare students for the Edexcel IGCSE Geography examination and this involves three teaching periods each week. Students are expected to spend at least one hour per week completing homework assignments. The subject aims to develop critical thinking, knowledge and understanding of geographical concepts, as well as an appreciation of differing views on a variety of global issues through interesting case studies.
Students who take geography are given the opportunity to apply their learning to the real world through out-of- classroom activities and the classes will be involved in at least one practical fieldwork activity in the local area.
Topics such as river environments, hazardous environments, economic activity, natural ecosystems, urban environments, fragile environments, development and globalisation are studied throughout the IGCSE course.
Success in IGCSE Geography could be a good starting point for careers in Architecture, Civil Engineering, and Surveying as well as in Tourism and Recreation.
In KS4, students are taught Arabic four times a week in year 10 and year 11. Homework is given three times a week. The IGCSE is an intensive two year course and students must be fluent or native to take this course. We are currently teaching the Cambridge syllabus which consists of two exam papers: reading comprehension and writing. Students are introduced to different type of texts such as: reports, poetry, narrative stories, and summaries. They focus on grammar rules to reinforce their writing skills.
An excursion or a trip will be organised in KS4 to a Newspaper Agency to practice their report writing abilities.
Year 10 & have 3 ICT lessons each week. Students follow the prescribed course, as laid out by the CIE IGCSE syllabus. The curriculum content is set out in eight interrelated sections. The sections are as follows:
1) Types & Components of computer systems
2) Input and Output Devices
3) Storage Devices and media
4) Computer Networks
5) Data Types
6) The Effects of using ICT
7) The ways in which ICT is used
8) Systems Analysis & Design
Art and Design (CIE)
The Art and Design International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) course is designed as a two year course for examination at age 16 – plus. Students are provided with a broad framework of Art and Design and encouraged to explore traditional and contemporary art forms, produce a variety of creative responses through a range of materials, processes and techniques.
The syllabus covers four components; Observational/Interpretive, Design, Critical and Historical and Coursework assignments. Each of these areas promotes identifying and researching independently, relevant exploration of materials, documenting and evaluating ideas, showing knowledge of Art and Design from other cultures or history and development towards a final outcome.
Students take four periods of Art and Design a week throughout Years 10 and 11 and employ methods including drawing, graphic media, printmaking, painting, 3-D construction and ICT. Homework is an integral part of the course and trips are taken when relevant to the topics studied. Art and Design IGCSE can be a gateway to employment such as Graphic Design, Fashion Design, Teaching and Animation.
Design Technology (CIE)
Design and Technology at KS4 follows the Cambridge course 0445. There are different options of how to run that course and at Newton International School we are presently running the Resistant Materials option.
In this option all students learn the importance of the design process, how best to solve any problems and how to communicate their designs. They must fully understand all the associated theory of all the tools, materials and processes used and produce well made products.
In Year 11 the students have a major project worth 50% of their final IGCSE in D+T. At the end of the year there are two theory exams, one on design and one on the resistant materials theory.
The possible job opportunities from this course are all the Engineering subjects such as: Mechanical Engineering and Civil Engineering .
PE / Life Skills (Non-Examination Subject)
Key Stage 4 continues on from Key Stage 3 with the PE curriculum with the following sports being taught, football, rugby, basketball, volleyball, athletics badminton and swimming. KS4 are also undertaking regular fitness testing throughout the year with all results being recorded for the benefit of the students. Aside from the practical lessons, KS4 are also taking part in theory lessons throughout the year. In these theory classes the students will look at the functions and structure of the muscles and the skeleton as well as the benefits of healthy eating and regular exercise and the introduction of life skills for the students as well.
KS4 work to the National Curriculum for PE (2007) in their practical and theory lessons. All students take part in 2 PE lessons per week which are split into 1 practical session and 1 theory session. Practical lessons are split into three main parts. The lessons begin with a warm up and stretch for all students, followed by the lesson objectives. Students are also expected to take the rest of the class through the stretching part of the lesson each week. The students then give demonstrations of specific skills relating to the lesson and are then be given a chance to put the practical demonstrations into play during a game situation at the end of the lesson.
All students are given the opportunity to take part in sports within the ECA (Extra Curricular Activities) programme after school throughout all three terms. From these, students are also chosen to represent Newton School in sporting competitions throughout Qatar involving a number of different schools.