The aim of this brief is to outline the curriculum which boys take at Radley in their Remove and Fifth Forms (years 10 and 11 in National Curriculum terms).
That curriculum consists firstly of a Core of compulsory subjects — English, Maths, French and Dual Award Science — which are examined, as well as a course in Religious Studies in the Removes, which all boys attend but which does not lead to public examinations. Boys in the top sets are prepared for both English Language and English Literature GCSEs; boys in the lower sets benefit from a focus in the timetable allocation to attain high grades in just English Language. Some boys are entered early for one or more of these core subjects; for example, in Maths boys in higher sets take IGCSE (International GCSE) in the Remove year. In practice this policy ensures that the more able boys can be stretched beyond the scope of the GCSE syllabuses.
In addition, there is a selection of Option subjects, each of which is taken to GCSE or IGCSE. In choosing a combination of Options, certain advice might be borne in mind. It is, educationally speaking, desirable to study a humanity, History or Geography; to pursue a second language (either for practical use or in the case of a classical language, to learn about the mechanics of language so that future learning is made easier); and — where there is an aptitude — to pursue a practical or artistic subject (Design and Technology, Art, Theatre Studies or Music). However, it is distinctly possible that a boy may have a particular leaning. The Option Block system thus permits the choice of subjects to satisfy those with special inclinations, allowing Greek and Latin, German and Spanish, Art and Design. For the all-rounder, choosing four options can be an agonising matter, and discussions with appropriate Heads of Department, current Form Master and Tutor will be important. Each year a number of boys find it difficult to give up subjects they have enjoyed in the Shells, and so a while ago we extended the number of options from three to four.
As in the Shells, we timetable the Removes and Fifths over a 48 period, 8 day cycle.
- English 6
- Maths 6
- Religious Studies 1
- French 5
- Biology 4
- Chemistry 4
- Physics 4
- Option 1 5
- Option 2 5, 4 in fifth form
- Option 3 4
- Option 4 4, 5 in fifth form
Below you will find Radley’s block system for optional GCSE subjects. Following a GCSE option choices meeting for boys at the beginning of the summer term, we ask them to submit provisional GCSE option choices which are then reviewed by heads of departments, tutors and subject teachers ahead of the Shell parents’ meeting at which each boy’s option choices are formally discussed. The blocks are fixed and one option only should be made from each block.
We regret that, in a few cases, preferred combinations will not be possible. In schools where there is individualised timetabling (no option blocks), there tend to be very mixed ability sets. In many cases, we believe this is detrimental to boys.
|Radley’s block system
Spanish (3rd MFL only)
Boys should choose their second modern language in block 1 where they have five periods a cycle. Only if they choose to do a second and third modern language should they choose Spanish in block 3. Boys may opt to do either Design course, but they may not do both. Due to Health and Safety policy, Design is limited to 24 boys in each of blocks 2 and 4. Due to timetabling requirements, Geography is subject to a maximum of two sets in block 2, but there is no limit on numbers in block 3.