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Religious Education


All students follow schemes of work that are in line with the Bishop’s Directory.  This is based on the catechism of the Catholic Church.  It gives all students an excellent grounding in the sacraments and the teachings of the Catholic faith.  In Year 7 students are taught in form groups.  Then in Years 8 and 9 each half of the year is split into 4 classes, with and average class size of 23.  Additional help is available from the CAST department in the classroom if required.

Students use a variety of textbooks.  The most commonly used are The Way, The Truth and The Life series published by the Catholic Truth Society.

All students should have access to a Bible at home.  Access to quality newspapers will help students with their research and general knowledge of moral issues. Parents can help by taking an interest in the work covered and sharing their own faith experiences with their children.  They can also help by providing good conditions for the completion of homework and assistance with research tasks where appropriate.


At present our Year 11 students follow the AQA GCSE Syllabus A in Religious Studies.  Students study the Unit 5 course on Mark’s Gospel.  The other half of the course is Unit 2 Ethics.  This includes topics such as racism, abortion and wealth & poverty. The examining board is AQA.  Students sit two exams. Each exam lasts for one and a half hours.  The marks from both papers are added together and give the student their overall GCSE grade.

Our Year 10 students are following the new Edexcel GCSE Syllabus A in Religious Studies.  Students will study Catholic Christianity for 50% of the course.  25% is on a second religion and we are taking Judaism.  The final 25% is a course on St Mark’s Gospel.  Students will sit three exams. The Catholic paper lasts 1 hour 45 minutes and the other two papers are 50 minutes each.  The marks from all three papers are added together and give the student their overall GCSE grade.

Students will sit ‘mock’ exams.  These will be based on actual GCSE questions and are designed to give the students a realistic experience of the final exam.  The results of these mocks help to establish the predicted grade for the student and point out areas that they can work on.  Students are given copies of a number of past papers, to read and to practice on and all past papers are in the Shared Area and on Fronter for them to access.

In classes the teachers use a variety of resources, including textbooks designed for our specific course.  Students find it helpful to purchase a small copy of Mark’s Gospel.  These fit into their blazer pockets and can be annotated.  They also save wear and tear on the Mark’s Gospel section of their own Bibles.  Students are encouraged to keep up to date with the news on television and through quality newspapers.  Prior to the exams students are given revision booklets by their R.E. teachers.

Year 11 links:

GCSE Christianity: Ethics  

GCSE  St Mark's Gospel 

Revision booklets, revision videos and MP3s of each chapter of St Mark's Gospel are made available to students.



Religious Studies is an academic discipline which encourages a rigorous study of religion and then applying it to the wider world.  Students will need to adopt an enquiring and critical approach to the study of religion.  They will also be encouraged to reflect on and develop their own values in the light of the study they have done.

The examining board for Year 12 students is Edexcel.  AS students will sit three papers on Philosophy of Religion, Ethics and John's Gospel. Each paper is one hour in duration.  The philosophy course includes the Problem of Evil and the Ontological, Design and Cosmological arguments for the existence of God.  Ethics involves the study of theories such as Utilitarianism and Situation Ethics and applying ethical theories to environmental issues and those concerning war and peace.  In the Gospel unit ,Year 12 students will study a selection of key texts as well as considering the religious background of the time.  

Year 13 students are taking the AQA Religious Studies legacy course.  The A2 course involves two courses and two exams.  Unit 3B is on Philosophy of Religion. The course involves studying the Ontological Argument for the existence of God; the challenges and responses to the issue of Religious Language and the philosophical debates associated with the Problem of Evil.  Unit 4A is on Religion and Human Experience. In this unit students carry out an in-depth study of religious experience. They will be required to study a variety of different definitions and approaches to the issue.  They will then use examples to explain and evaluate the influence that these experiences have had on the religions themselves.  Both of their exams are I hour 30 minutes long.  In addition, some students are sitting one of their AS papers again and those resit papers are 1 hour 15 minutes.




All pupils studying Art at St James’ benefit from project work  that explores a wide range of skills and media to produce work in areas such as ceramics, drawing, painting, printmaking, three-dimensional and written analysis of the work of other artists and designers.

The Department is equipped with three powerful computers, colour printers, scanners and digital cameras to enable students to develop ICT skills in this subject area.

KEY STAGES 4 and 5

Further studies in Art lead to GCSE, AS and A Level qualifications, which can include larger-scale 3D work, figurative, imaginative and abstract painting and digital photography. The work is highly exploratory, critical and the historical study is of a sophisticated level, responding to contemporary thinking in art. Observational drawing of the portrait and figure is taken to a very high level.

A significant number of our A Level students go on to study the subject in higher education by completing an Art Foundation Course at some of  the UK's  top Art colleges before specialising at  Degree Level.

Student's Art work  is displayed around the corridors of the school showcasing to visitors and pupils, the talents of our students.

Students also have the opportunity to work with visiting Artists in Residence. At GCSE and A Level students also make several visits to galleries and museums to influence ideas for coursework. At the end of the course, students’ work is displayed at an exhibition to which Governors,friends, family and the wider school community are encouraged to visit.

Our aim as a department is to nurture the development of imaginative, inventive and independent work at every level


Art Club is run every week after school. This is an opportunity for all pupils to complete project work and receive extra support.

Art Photography

At Key Stage 4 in this course you will study the history of photography and the technical developments made. You will study a variety of themes such, Portraiture, Natural forms, Landscape photography, Photo journalism, Narrative photography, and Reportage. Students will learn how to record ideas, develop and refine techniques using photography as a tool towards a final outcome.  A variety of skills are taught in using digital photography and various types of software, including Photoshop.

Students must be able to show the process of developing their ideas in a visual form such as creating displays, drawing diagrams, presenting their research creatively and showing evidence of knowledge and understanding as well as producing a final product. Students will use a variety of sketchbooks and work-journals to support their research.

Students complete TWO UNITS of work over two years:


Unit 1 Coursework: (60%)

 Students photograph a wide range of natural forms (such as shells, leaves, vegetables) and learn about formal elements such as Tone Texture and Colour.  They use a range of presentation techniques to develop personal responses. The work of different photographers is researched and analysed and all work is evaluated (written analysis).  There is a strong emphasis on the ability to create well-presented displays.

Structures Students study urban photography and research photographers who record the built environment.  Students plan and create a display of photographs in response to their research.

Mock Exam Project: Students prepare a portfolio of photographic work based on the exam topic of the previous year.  This unit has a similar structure to Unit 2, the external exam.


Unit 2 (External Exam): This exam project/sketchbook is similar to the coursework but the themes are dictated by the exam board (there are 7 themes to choose from).  Students spend their ‘exam preparation period’ researching photographers, taking photographs in response to the research and making photographic displays in response to one of the topics.

During the exam days (a total of 10 hours) they create a ‘final piece’.  Unit 2 requires intensive and independent work. 

The ability to complete homework on time, research photographers and write about the work (in detail) is essential for success in this subject.  Students must be enthusiastic about presenting their photographic work and creating displays.

Business Studies


GCSE Business

This is a three year course with two exams at the end of year 11.

Business 1: business activity, marketing and people

This component is worth 80 marks, split into two sections and assesses content from business activity, marketing and human resources. It covers the different types of business, how they promote their products and the employment and training of workers. 

Section A contains multiple choice questions. This section of the component is worth 15 marks.

Section B includes short, medium and extended response style questions which use stimulus material that draws on real business contexts. This section of the component is worth 65 marks.

Business 2: operations, finance and influences on business

This component is worth 80 marks, split into two sections and assesses content from operations,finance and influences on business. It covers the production of the product, concepts related to profit and sources of finance and what influences the success of a business.

Section A contains multiple choice questions. This section of the component is worth 15 marks.

Section B includes short, medium and extended response-style questions which use stimulus material that draws on real business contexts. This section of the component is worth 65 marks. Synoptic questions are included in section B.

The OCR specification is used. Further details can be found here:


In Business Studies, we strive to enrich our students’ love of the subject through well planned, interactive and innovative lessons across the department so you will be engaged and challenged throughout the course. Business Studies allows students to become confident citizens in a fast-paced and target-driven world. Business Studies introduces students to a range of challenges and issues faced when starting a new business.  They will cover the key areas of finance, marketing, HR and operations as well as looking at everyday businesses and how they relate to the key topics studied throughout the course. 

For full details of the course please click here

The Edexcel Business A level specification can be found here:


OCR Cambridge Technical Diploma in Business Level 2 and Level 3

Our OCR courses offer students a wide opportunity to explore the business environment and understand the challenges and opportunities faced by businesses in the UK. Students will develop understanding of the key concepts in business and will cover areas such as finance, human resources, operations and marketing within a business. 

Additional information regarding these courses, can be accessed here.

Further information, from OCR, for Level 2 can be found here:

Further information, from OCR, for Level 3 can be found here:


Design & Technology

Design & Technology is essentially about providing opportunities for students to develop their capability, through combining their knowledge and designing and making skills in order to create quality products.  The subject also sees the preparation of young people for citizenship in a technological society as it allows them to make judgments of an aesthetic, economic, moral, social, and technical nature. D&T provides excellent opportunities for teamwork.

Design & Technology involves investigations, disassembly and evaluative activities related to products and their applications. Practical tasks take place to develop students’ skills and knowledge related to materials and components; control and systems; quality, and health and safety. The knowledge used in Design & Technology is critical to the sound development of products.

Design & Technology provides opportunities for students to engage in activities that are challenging, relevant and motivating. Through participation in this subject students gain enjoyment, satisfaction and a sense of purpose.



All students (Years 7, 8 and 9) learn to design and make products in the areas of Resistant Materials, Food Technology, and Graphic Products. For further information, please click on the links below.





Students can then have the option to take Food Technology or Product Design as a GCSE course or opt for BTEC Construction (years 10-11). For further details, please click on the relevant link below.

GCSE Product Design

GCSE Food Preparation & Nutrition

BTEC L2 Construction & the Built Environment


Students have the opportunity to develop their skills further through studying Product Design at A-Level. Further details are accessible here




The course in KS 3 combines the studying of drama with the learning of subject specific skills. Students will be given the opportunity to develop their role-play skills, use of language, to use movement and space in a creative context and to work co-operatively as part of a group. They will experience and explore a variety of exciting and thought provoking issues, themes and texts. The development of style, structure and content becomes increasingly complex as students progress.



This new syllabus was introduced last year. As with all GCSE courses, they look quite complicated on the surface. Here is a simple overview which I hope will help you in your decision making. 

The GCSE is broken down into three components.

For component one, which is worth 40% of your GCSE, you work with a small group of students to devise a piece of theatre as a performer. This will be examined by me. You will complete a written portfolio which details your journey in creating this piece of work. Once we have completed the exam I will send your written work and a video of your practical to the exam board for them to moderate the marks I have given you.

In component two, which is worth 20% of your GCSE, you will perform in two extracts from a play. We have a pretty wide choice of plays to choose from and you could perform in a large group or with one other person. This exam which will normally take place in year 11 will be examined by a visiting examiner.

Component three is a written exam and is worth 40%. This exam will take one hour and thirty minutes.  The play the exam is based on is An Inspector Calls which you will know well. The questions are intended to check how much you know about the play from an actor, director and designer’s point of view. All questions expect you to answer from a How and Why point of view.

There are also two questions about a play you have been to see as a drama group. We will go to the theatre twice. The question might look like this: Analyse how stage space was used to engage the audience during the opening moments of the performance.

Everything we do in class will help you prepare for the practical and written components of the examination. Be committed to performing and give your best with energy focus and enthusiasm.

The GCSE text is An Inspector Calls (ISBN-10: 9780435232825)

Further information regarding the GCSE course can be accessed here


AS Level Drama and Theatre Studies is a stand-alone qualification in its own right.  It also contributes to the first 50% towards the full Advanced (A Level) qualification.

The course is designed to allow young people to develop as confident and independent interpreters of drama and theatre.  The course teaches students to respond critically and sensitively to a range of drama texts and to theatre in performance.  Students will assimilate theatrical concepts through practical and analytical exploration of dramatic styles and theatrical methods.  Students will be expected to participate within practical drama and theatre projects, acquiring practical theatrical skills such as acting techniques, voice improvisation, physical theatre, design skills etc.

The A2 course is designed to build upon the skills and understanding students developed during their AS course.  There will be a discernible progression in terms of extending and intensifying your knowledge and experience of theatre.  There will be a greater emphasis on performing from a text and the development of your acting and directional skills.

The A-level set texts are:

  • Jerusalem (ISBN-10: 9781848420502)
  • Our Country's Good (ISBN-10: 0413692302)

To access the AQA specification, please click here



Economics A Level at St James’ is one of the most successful departments in the country having achieved ‘outstanding’ as judged by Alps (A-Level performance systems of Durham University) in each of the last 5 years. Many students continue their interest in the subject by reading Economics at University: the department has a strong performance in enabling students to study at one of the Russell Group Universities.

Economics teaches students how to make sense of the world around them. The course covers a wide range of topics, including ‘supply and demand’, the role of the Government, different market systems, efficiency, game theory, economic growth and the impact of a globalised economy. Both macro- and micro-economics are covered, and the course features a mixture of diagrammatic analysis and evaluation of current economic issues.

There are 4 themes and 3 exam papers

Theme 1: Introduction to markets and market failure

In this theme students will consider how markets work, looking at how supply and demand interact to allocate resources in local, national and international markets.

They will learn how to apply supply and demand analysis to real-world situations and be able to offer explanations of consumer behaviour. This will involve looking at both how consumers act in a rational way to maximise utility and how firms maximise profit, but also why consumers may not behave rationally.

Having investigated how markets work, students will then look at market failure. They will look at the nature and causes of market failure before considering the strengths and weaknesses of possible government intervention to remedy market failures.

This theme will provide a coherent coverage of microeconomic content with students drawing on local, national and global contexts.

Theme 2: The UK economy – performance and policies

Students will be introduced to the aggregate demand/aggregate supply model so that they can use it to analyse changes in real output and the price level.

They will: examine the use of demand-side policies, supply-side policies and direct controls as means of improving an economy's performance; recognise the underlying assumptions; predict the likely impact and effectiveness of such policies; and consider these in an historical context.

Students should consider the different approaches that may be used by policymakers to address macroeconomic issues and be able to identify the criteria for success.

Students should have knowledge of the UK economy in the last 10 years.

Theme 3: Business behaviour and the labour market

This theme examines how the number and size of market participants, and the level of contestability, affect the pricing and nature of competition among firms. Students will consider the size and growth of firms through exploring organic growth, mergers and takeovers. They will look at the reasons for demergers and why some firms tend to remain small.

Students will look at the rational assumption that firms are profit maximisers and then challenge this by looking at alternative business objectives. Revenues, costs and profits are explored before linking these ideas to different market structures.

Students will then be able to analyse and evaluate the pricing and output decisions of firms in different contexts and understand the role of competition in business decision making. Supply and demand analysis is specifically applied to the labour market to see how wages are determined in competitive and non-competitive markets.

At the end of this theme students should be capable of making an appraisal of government intervention aimed at promoting competitive markets.

Theme 4: A global perspective

Students will be expected to understand the significance of globalisation, international trade, the balance of payments and exchange rates. They will examine public finance, macroeconomic policies and the role of the financial sector in a global context. Students will consider the factors influencing the growth and development of emerging and developing countries.

In examining these areas, application, analysis and evaluation of economic models is required as well as an ability to assess policies that might be used to address national and global economic challenges. Students should develop an awareness of trends in the global economy over the last 25 years through wider reading and research so that they can include relevant examples in their analysis and evaluation.

Exam arrangements

There are 3 papers:

Paper 1: Markets and Business Behaviour

Each question is set in a context, drawing on topics from across Themes 1 and 3.

The assessment is 2 hours and comprises 7 questions for 100 marks.

Paper 2: The National and Global Economy

Questions will be drawn from Themes 2 and 4.

The assessment is 2 hours and comprises 7 questions for 100 marks.

Paper 3: Microeconomics and Macroeconomics

Each question is set in a context, drawing on topics from across Themes 1, 2, 3 and 4.

The assessment is 2 hours and comprises 2 questions for 100 marks.



Further information regarding the course, can be accessed here




During Key Stage 3, you will study an exciting and engaging curriculum filled with wonderful opportunities to develop your reading, writing and speaking and listening skills.

You study a wide range of texts to advance your knowledge.  Ranging from traditional texts, such as Shakespeare’s Hamlet and a variety of fascinating poetry, to classic American Literature such as John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men, the curriculum is varied and excitingOne thing we can guarantee is that you won’t be bored.

We also offer you a range of exhilarating and enriching co-curricular activities throughout Key Stage 3 such as regular visits to our Learning Resource Centre, developing your speaking skills through Finding Your Voice and taking part in your very own performance of a Shakespeare play. 



In English lessons, you will be working towards both your English Language and English Literature GCSEs.  The course is made up of exam preparation and speaking and listening activities which will allow you to demonstrate how versatile and wide-ranging your skills in English actually are.

We strive to enrich our students’ love of the subject through well planned, interactive and innovative lessons across the department so you will be engaged and challenged throughout the course.  We study a range of texts - both fiction and non-fiction, traditional and contemporary - whilst aiming to promote our students’ love of language. You will develop your skills in literature through practising literary analysis informed by an understanding of the social, cultural and historical context of our examination texts.  You will also have the opportunity to share your creative abilities in the form of fiction and non-fiction writing, as you prepare for your examination in English Language. 

Links to the AQA English Literature specification can be found here and links to the AQA English Language specification can be found here.

To support revision, we recommend the following websites, YouTube channels and paperback resources:


BBC Bitesize

Mr Bruff’s YouTube Channel

York Notes Study Guides

CGP Study Guides


If you like reading, you’re going to love English at A-level!  For you to be proficient in studying English Literature, you need to read widely.  The syllabi require you to show an understanding of the literary, cultural and historical contexts of Literature and so a breadth of reading experience is crucial to success and, of course, enjoyment!  You will need to draw upon this reading in your responses to your set texts and coursework. Once you begin your A Level course, you will find that you have a lot of independent reading to do, so it is vital that you make the most of the summer holidays to read widely.

For the Literature course, ‘The English Review’, produced by the English and Media Centre, is a useful resource which provides students with invaluable information surrounding the world of literature as well as directly commenting on the set texts studied on the A level course. We have a subscription that we encourage students to read and explore both through the magazine and on-line.

You will also have the opportunity to join us for Sixth form theatre trips and university style lectures which, over the course of the key stage, will typically encompass a wide range of drama from Shakespeare to the contemporary.

You will continue to read widely and independently as you prepare for the coursework modules and you will even be allowed to choose the texts of your own to use for this part of the course.

For further details of A level English Literature, please click here.



Geography is everywhere and our main aim in the department is to hook young people into wanting to ask questions and find out more about the world they live in. We hope that if young people do this then our young people we become more aware of the world they live in and help to make it a better place for us all in the future.​

We are a very strong department who have been together for 6 years. We have developed a clear ethos of team work and sharing ideas as seen throughout our teaching of all key stages. We all have specialist areas and I hope this little extract gives a flavour for each teacher’s specialist areas.

I have specialised in physical Geography, especially at university and sepecially enjoy teaching students about tectonics. I believe this area of Geography helps us develop an awe and wonder about the subject and make me feel the power of nature. I really enjoy teaching how we as humans try to reduce the impacts of all sort of hazards, but especially earthquakes and volcanoes. I also have a passion for understanding about how we learn and try to lead the department to trialling new ideas and hope to keep developing a new and exciting programme of study for all key stages.

Miss Murphy - Head of Geography



This is a very exciting time for GCSE students as we are developing a much more enquiry based programme of study that incorporates fieldwork, physical and human landscapes, across both local and global scales. We will be taking time to get in the field and assess how urban areas are helping and hindering people’s quality of life, while we will be taking a look at how coastal landforms are being managed by humans. Both of which are areas that will continue to be study further in Key Stage 5, giving us a greater transition between Year 11 and 12 from 2016. We want to create an atmosphere where students ask deep questions about their surroundings.   We are looking forward to developing your geographical skills so you can make informed decisions in the future.



Our cohort for 2016 will have an opportunity to delve further into areas of study they are interested in, giving them the much independence in their programme of study. This will be in the form of a piece of coursework that they will write independently. The Sixth Form students will be able to get ready for the demands of university dissertation by enquiring the skills of researching, writing and evaluating. The course offers such a range of Geography, from how volcanoes can be monitored through computer technology to finding out how humans are developing new ways to combat climate change in emerging mega cities. The greatest opportunity in Geography is that’s its an  A level is at the fore front of global issues where we learn about present day date case studies and government initiatives that may not even have been agreed yet. The aim of this programme of study is to develop young adults that want to learn about the human and physical world, so they can informed and make a difference in the future.​



Geography In The News

National Geographic

The Independent - Geography



Geoguessrclick here to access this addictive game.  If you cannot travel the world, why not travel the Internet? GeoGuessr is an, online travel game. It teaches about geography, while visiting places far and wide. The game is easy to play, but nearly impossible to win. Geoguessr uses images from Street View from the technology company, Google. After looking at an image, you guess where the photograph was taken.No matter how much you have travelled, you have not been to as many places as Google Street View. Its cameras have been busy taking photographs around the world.​ Mr Knibb is the current undefeated school Geoguesser champion. Log on, have a practice and feel free to challenge him to a duel-you may even win a prize! 


Government & Politics

Politics  affects everything  we do! The age at which we vote, our membership of the EU, the prices and taxes we pay, how our education is organised, the  efficiency of our tube, train and  bus services in London, how we  combat  terrorism and protect our individual freedom, our ‘special’  relationship with the USA, our role in  peacekeeping  around the globe… and the list could go on!!

The A level Government and Politics  course at St James’ is the subject for you if you are interested in  news and current affairs, want to know how our country is run and like to express an informed view on the issues of the day. There is a lot to learn  but your  enthusiasm to develop a deeper understanding  of   political institutions and processes as well as debating  political beliefs will enable you to succeed on this course. 

Exam Board: Edexcel.

The Government and Politics  specification comprises  4 units. In the first year ( AS Level) Units 1 and 2  provide  an understanding  of how the UK political system works and it is linked to  contemporary concerns and events. In the second year we go on to  specialise in US politics.

The government aspect of the course  focuses  specifically on how  countries are run and the ways various  institutions  such as legislatures, executives  and the  judiciary work together within a constitutional framework. Elections, political parties, pressure groups, democracy and  participation    complete the knowledge and understanding  of the concepts and  processes involved.


How will you be examined & assessed?

Edexcel  exams  cover each unit . At the end of the first year there are two  exams (Units 1 & 2). Each paper is  one hour and 20 minutes. Units 3 and 4 are  examined at  the end of the second year with 1 hour and  30 minutes for each exam. 

Regular class assessments  are undertaken  by way of presentations, debates, written work and tests. Homework  can be  expected  at the end of each lesson.

Trips and events

Politics students are encouraged to  get involved in  Barnet’s Youth Parliament and  benefit from other  opportunities such as  the borough’s Democratic  Youth Engagement  Programme  offering  an insight  into   local  politics through  meetings, talks and workshops led  by local politicians and senior officials. Visits to the Houses of Parliament and talks by local MPs are also valuable learning  experiences as part of the course.



As a department, we aim for our students to acquire a love of history - its personalities, events and importance and an understanding of how history shapes the world in which we live. We try to create an enjoyment of learning both inside and outside the classroom.  We want students to develop a sense of identity and of their place in the local, national and world wide community.  We also aim to nurture analytical enquirers who recognise that there are many different perspectives on historical events.



Students develop their skills by studying a range of topics including:

  • Year 7: An introduction to history:  Rome, Medieval Britain and the Crusades and Kings.
  • Year 8: Religious differences in Tudor and Stuart times; Civil War in England and Ireland and Ruling Britain - Who are the British?
  • Year 9: Different Views of the British Empire; causes of the First World War; different views of Michael Collins; how did Hitler gain control? And London during the Second World War. All students have the opportunity to visit the WW1 battlefields in Ypres.

All Year 7 students visit The Tower of London. Year 9 students are given the opportunity to visit the WW1 Battlefields in Belgium, which will help prepare them for their GCSE course.



From September 2016, students choosing History as a GCSE option will follow the Edexcel History course and will study a broad range of topics and periods that will develop their historical skills of source analysis, explanation and critical thinking. There are four key elements to the Edexcel course:


  • A thematic study of Medicine in Britain c. 1250 to present with a case study of the British sector of the Western Front: Injuries, treatment and the trenches.
  • A depth study of Weimar and Nazi Germany, 1918-39 with a specific focus           on historical interpretations
  • A study of Superpower relations and the Cold War, 1941-91
  • A depth study of Early Elizabethan England, 1558-88

All Year 10 students will visit the Science Museum and the Old Operating Theatre in London to enhance their knowledge and understanding of the Medicine in Britain unit.



Studying ‘A’ Level History will allow students to develop empathy and understanding of the actions and achievements of others. ‘A’ Level History teaches you to build up a picture from the evidence that has been left behind and become skilled at asking questions. Students have to be prepared to put their case and argue it well, use evidence to draw conclusions and make judgements and as a result develop a deeper understanding of the past and valuable skills.


AQA Unit 1H: Tsarist and Communist Russia 1855-1964 (40% of A-Level)

The course takes us on a journey from the Emancipation of the Serfs, to the pivotal 1917 Revolution and the subsequent creation and operation of the Soviet state.

AQA Unit 2B: The War of the Roses 1450-1499. (40% of A-Level)

The course begins with the fall of the Lancastrians and then focuses on the Yorkists. We follow the Yorkists through their triumph and demise.        

AQA Unit 3: Coursework: Great Britain and the Irish Question 1801-1921. (20% of A-Level)

Students will produce one essay of 3000-3500 words, in which they will be required to assess how far the lives of Irish Catholics improved during the period.   

ICT & Computing


All students receive one hour of Computing each week for the whole year.  

The curriculum covers:

  • E-safety
  • Components of a computer network
  • The storage and execution of program instructions in a computer
  • The hardware and software components that make up computer systems
  • Programming using graphic and textual environments
  • Presenting information effectively using software
  • Modelling using Spreadsheets
  • Web design
  • Research skills through the use of the internet

Students will develop their computer programming skills using Scratch, Kodu and Python. They will also use a variety of generic software from the Microsoft Office suite and also task-specific programs including Fireworks.  They will learn the basics of how digital systems work and become increasingly independent users of ICT.  They will develop skills that can be used in other subjects as well as outside the school environment.​



ICT – Cambridge Nationals Level 2: Creative iMedia

Creative iMedia is a GCSE level qualification. Students gain skills in media production; pre and post-production. Students will have the opportunity to create a range of interactive media such as an interactive presentation, graphic image, website, video, radio advert and animation.  They develop core knowledge and understanding and apply that knowledge through a range of projects.

Students learn to:

  • Identify the requirements of  a design brief
  • Research ideas and use various sources
  • Use a variety of software packages in response to a brief or scenario
  • Assess their development process
  • Evaluate and review their product



The GCSE Computer Science programme is an increasingly popular qualification amongst students fuelled with aspirations in computational thinking, programming, game design, networking and cyber security.

We follow the Edexcel syllabus, which is aimed at enabling students to:

● understand and apply the fundamental principles and concepts of computer science, including abstraction, decomposition, logic, algorithms, and data representation

● analyse problems in computational terms through practical experience of solving such problems, including designing, writing and debugging programs

● think creatively, innovatively, analytically, logically and critically

● understand the components that make up digital systems and how they communicate with one another and with other systems

● understand the impact of digital technology on the individual and on wider society

● apply mathematical skills relevant to computer science.


The assessment is made up of two externally assessed components, each making up 50% of the grade. Component 1 is a written examination on the principles of computer science and component 2 comprises an application of computational thinking.



OCR Cambridge Technicals in IT Level 3

This qualification was developed in consultation with universities, employers and industry specialists to ensure that students gain the right combination of knowledge, understanding and skills required for the 21st century. This qualification provides a mix of examined units in Year 12 and both examined and project based practical units in Year 13.

In this course students will undertake the following units:

  • Fundamentals of IT
  • Global Information
  • Application Design
  • Project Management
  • Social Media and Digital Marketing


Leisure & Tourism

At Key Stage 4 the Geography Department offers a GCSE Single Award course in Leisure and Tourism.

The Leisure and Tourism industries today represent one of the fastest growing industries and largest employers world wide.

The course will enable students to develop effective, independent learning skills as well as critical and reflective thinking skills.

Year 10

Unit 1 The Leisure and Tourism Industry

Topic 1.1: The Nature of the Leisure and Tourism Industry

Topic 1.2: Introduction to Business Operations in Leisure and Tourism

Topic 1.3: Factors Influencing Customer Choice

Topic 1.4: Introduction to Destinations, Impacts and Sustainability

Students are introduced to the leisure and tourism industries separately; they are given an overview of the components of each.  Case studies are completed to enhance understanding. Additionally students research a wide range of jobs. An exploration of business operations, including the use of ICT as a business tool and changes within the industry follow.  Students then examine, in detail, the reasons why different customers have different preferences as well as how customers’ differing needs are met.

Finally students are enabled to develop their knowledge of destinations around the world, the impacts of tourism and sustainable development.

Unit 4  Customers and employment in the leisure and tourism industry

In the Summer and the Autumn terms students will, on two separate trips, visit a leisure facility or visitor attraction or tourist destination. Past students enjoyed trips to the RAF Museum, the Chicken Shed Theatre and Stonehenge where, having carried out prior research, they collected data.

Year 11

A Controlled Assessment consisting of four tasks is completed by students. Two tasks directly relate to one visitor attraction, leisure facility or destination. Two further and different tasks are completed, using material relating to a different visitor attraction, leisure facility or destination. Students write individualised reports in controlled conditions for each task.

Topic 4.1: Visitor Attractions, Leisure Facilities and Tourist Destinations

Topic 4.2: Customer Choice

Topic 4.3: Providing Service for Differing Customer Types and Needs

Topic 4.4: Employment Opportunities in Leisure and Tourism


40%   Examination Paper: Unit 1

60%   Controlled Assessment: Unit 4.


In year 12 students may wish to progress to a Travel and Tourism Course.


A dedicated team of Mathematics teachers ensure engaging lessons are delivered to provide students of all abilities with learning opportunities that inspire and challenge. A range of extra curricular activities are also available to enrich the learning experience.


Our program of study has been developed to meet the needs of changes within the National Curriculum. It is delivered in modular form, with between 3 and 4 units being covered each half term. Formal assessments are undertaken to enable effective monitoring of progress.


The department runs a two tier GCSE which gives every student the opportunity of gaining at least the benchmark grade 5. Our current KS4 cohort Years 9 to 11 follows the NEW linear Edexcel GCSE (9-1) course, sitting a three paper examination at the end of year 11.

In studying GCSE Mathematics, students will:

  • Develop fluent knowledge, skills and understanding of mathematical methods and concepts
  • Acquire, select and apply mathematical techniques to solve problems
  • Reason mathematically, make deductions and inferences, and draw conclusions
  • Comprehend, interpret and communicate mathematical information in a variety of forms appropriate to the information and context. 


Both Mathematics and Further Mathematics are offered in the sixth form. Each is a six module course covering a range of pure and applied units. The GCSE is offered to all pupils who are still aiming to reach the benchmark C grade, a pre-requisite for most Further Education courses.​

Media Studies

If you see yourself working in film, television, journalism or advertising then our course offers you a wealth of practical and theoretical knowledge needed to get ahead in your chosen career. The BTEC Creative Digital Media Production qualification is an exciting practical course that is the equivalent of an A-Level or GCSE.

You can take your first step towards a career in the creative industries by studying BTEC Creative Digital Media Production. Media is a challenging and creative industry and it requires people with imagination and enthusiasm as well as practical skills.

Exam Board: Edexcel



BTEC Level 2 TECH Award in Creative Media Production

Lessons will take the form of workshops as well as learning key Media concepts and theories. Practical Media projects will involve both individual and group work. Practical Media projects include workshops on publishing, script writing, storyboarding, filmmaking and editing. Learning is expected to continue outside of the classroom, through independent study, research and practice.

The BTEC Level 2 TECH Award in Creative Digital Media Production is made up of three units:

•Component 1 – Exploring Digital Products (internally assessed – 30% of the qualification)

•Component 2 – Developing Digital Media Production Skills (internally assessed – 30% of the qualification)

•Component 3 – Creating a Media Product in response to a Brief (externally assessed – 40% of the qualification).

Further information



BTEC Creative Digital Media Production

Learners develop an understanding of the Media industry through analysing media

Representations and producing Media portfolios. This is a two year course which involves developing the skills needed to plan and produce film, TV and print texts. Studying for the BTEC in Creative Digital Media Production will enable you to approach your work like a professional in the Media industry, having developed your research, filming, editing and communication skills.


Your work for this course will include the development of a portfolio of work which logs your progress, reflects your research and evaluates the skills you have developed. You will also learn how media products are consumed and how audiences interact with creative Media products. The course comprises of four units of which 3 mandatory and 2 are external:

  • Media Representations exam (Exam onscreen set and marked by Pearson)
  • Pre-Production Portfolio
  • Responding to a Commission (A task set, marked by Pearson and completed under supervised conditions.
  • Film Production

Further information

Modern Foreign Languages


Students follow the National Curriculum, which is divided into four Attainment Targets (skills):

·         Listening  

·         Speaking   

·         Reading   

·         Writing

All carry equal weighting.

The target language (French / Spanish) is introduced from the beginning. No previous knowledge is presumed. All language and grammatical structures are taught in context.

  • In Year 7, half of the cohort is taught French and the other half Spanish. In both languages, they learn how to introduce themselves and ask questions, describe their family and pets, the weather, local area, school, the time and activities. They also learn basic vocabulary such as describing how they are feeling, numbers, dates and colours.
  • In Year 8, students continue to study the language learnt in Year 7. However, the top set students will also learn the other language. Students learn how to describe jobs, activities in the past tense, holidays, the near future tense, school, food, invitations and going to the cinema.
  • In Year 9, students continue to learn the language they started in Year 7 (both languages for the top set students). They learn more about healthy living, how to describe their routine, use the past tense, talk about healthy living and French/Spanish speaking countries.


Students follow the Eduqas/WJEC Syllabus for GCSE French and Spanish.

Weighting are as follows: listening 25%, speaking 25%, reading 25% and writing 25%.

All exams are sat at the end of Year 11 (May/June 2018 for the current Year 10 cohort). The speaking exam will be sat in April 2018. No dictionaries are allowed at any point during the exams.

The language is taught in the following contexts:

Identity and Culture

Local, national, international and globalareas of interest

Current and future study
and employment

Youth Culture

 Self and relationships

 Technology and social media


 Health and fitness

 Entertainment and leisure

Customs and Traditions

 Food and drink

 Festivals and celebrations

Home and Locality

 Local areas of interest

 Transport

French and Spanish speaking countries

 Local and regional

features and


 Holidays and tourism

Global Sustainability

 Environment

 Social issues

Current Study

 School/college life

 School/college studies

World of Work

 Work experience and

part-time jobs

 Skills and personal


Jobs and Future Plans

 Applying for work/study

 Career plans






Students follow the Eduqas/WJEC Syllabus for GCE French and Spanish.

First teaching September 2016 – First award August 2018

The course will introduce you to aspects of the culture of the target language country, a valuable framework for course progression and for acquiring knowledge of key areas to support more advanced study of the foreign language.

Summary of assessment:

Component 1: Speaking

Non-exam assessment: 21-23 minutes (including 5 minutes preparation)

30% of qualification

Task 1

(a) Presentation of independent research project (2 minutes)

(b) Discussion on the content of the research project (9-10 minutes)

Task 2

Discussion based on a stimulus card relating to one of the themes studied (5 minutes preparation time followed by 5-6 minutes discussion)

Learners are not permitted to use dictionaries in any part of the assessment.

Component 2: Listening, Reading and Translation

Written examination: 2 hours 30 minutes

50% of qualification

Section A: Listening

Section B: Reading

Section C: Translation – from target language into English and English into target language.

Learners are not permitted to use dictionaries in any part of the assessment.

Component 3: Critical and analytical response in writing (closed-book)

Written examination: 2 hours

20% of qualification

Two essays – one based on a literary work and the second on an additional literary work or film from the prescribed list.

Learners are not permitted to use dictionaries or texts in any part of the assessment.

Information on the themes can be found in the specifications below.



Music is the manifestation of the human spirit, similar to language. Its greatest practitioners have conveyed to mankind things not possible to say in any other language. If we do not want these things to remain dead treasures, we must do our utmost to make the greatest possible number of people understand their idiom.

                                                                            Zoltan Kodaly

Music has always been a vital part of the traditional ceremonies and festivities of the world’s cultures. Music is a cultural keystone, giving us insight into societies that differ from one another in significant ways. Studying music rigorously and comprehensively, we learn an eloquent language, or languages, of human expression. We discover and define the aspects of music that we seem to understand immediately—in intuitive and personal ways. We learn, too, that our understanding of music is limited by our knowledge of its cultures of origin. Both our intuitive and our learned understandings of music deepen with the formal study of its history and practice.

In addition to providing a means of studying and experiencing the world’s cultures, music education at St James’ fosters and enables participation in musical expression. It gives voice to our fundamental needs for beauty and self-expression.

The music curriculum at St James’ equips our students a strong foundation in music history and in the knowledge and technical skills of musical performance.

Our music curriculum aims to increase the understanding and personal commitment required for students to sustain meaningful, lifelong relationships with music—as appreciators, or as non-professional and professional musicians.


The curriculum includes:

• Understanding of the components of artistic performance

• Understanding elements of music, such as melody, harmony, rhythm, and pitch

• Listening to and participating in music as audience members and learning to

make informed choices about music and musical performances

• Create an understanding of the roles and significance of music in

various cultures and historical periods

• Utilizing musical knowledge and skills in the work and/or avocations of life

We explore various musical styles such as Blues, Indian music, pop music, graphic scores,musicals and African music.


Exam Board: OCR

The music curriculum for KS4 include:

• Further understanding of the components of solo as well as ensemble artistic performance

• Further understanding and creative use of elements of music, such as melody, harmony, texture, timbre, rhythm, dynamics and pitch as they are used in musical composition, analysis, and performance

• Listening to and analysing peers’ performances

• Create a deeper understanding of the roles and significance of music in a number of various cultures and historical periods ranging from 1600s to modern day.

The KS4 music curriculum studies include; British folk music, disco, pop ballad, tango, waltz, Irish music, salsa, DJ techniques, music technology, music theory, harmony and composition.

For more information on OCR GCSE Music and a breakdown of the whole specification including a course summary please click here.

Extra-Curricular Activities

These include:

  • Choir
  • Samba
  • Ukulele
  • GCSE Theory Club


Physical Education

PE at St James' develops students’ competence and confidence to take part in a range of physical activities that become a central part of their lives, both in and out of school.

Our high-quality PE curriculum enables all pupils to enjoy and succeed in many kinds of physical activity. They develop a wide range of skills and the ability to use tactics, strategies and compositional ideas to perform successfully. When they are performing, they think about what they are doing, analyse the situation and make decisions. They also reflect on their own and others’ performances and find ways to improve them. As a result, they develop the confidence to take part in different physical activities and learn about the value of healthy, active lifestyles. Discovering what they like to do, what their aptitudes are at school, and how and where to get involved in physical activity helps them make informed choices about lifelong physical activity.

PE helps students to develop personally and socially. They work as individuals, in groups and in teams, developing concepts of fairness and of personal and social responsibility. They take on different roles and responsibilities, including leadership, coaching and officiating. Through the range of experiences that PE offers, they learn how to be effective in competitive, creative and challenging situations.

Students not opting for PE at Keys Stages 4 and 5 will still have the opportunity to take part in PE activities during their core lessons.

Key Stage 3

For details of PE at Key Stage 3, please click here

For details of PE kit requirements, click here

Examination PE

Years 10 & 11 GCSE

Current Year 10 and 11 students studying GCSE PE are following the AQA specification.

AQA state they have ‘worked closely with teachers and the Youth Sport Trust to develop a new specification with topics that will help all students to develop a well-rounded skill set and progress to further studies. The activity list and the practical weighting will be the same across all exam boards, but we’ve worked hard to ensure that our new specification is engaging and our assessment clearer’.

With this in mind the department made the decision to move to AQA and we firmly believe it is an exciting time to study Physical Education at St James’

Further information can be accessed here.


Years 12 & 13 A-Level

This new A-Level qualification is linear. Linear means that students will sit all their exams and submit all their non-exam assessment at the end of the course in Year 13.

Again the department has taken this opportunity to move to the AQA specification as we believe this offers the most exciting and challenging content.

Students will study the following areas in depth throughout the two years of the course;

Factors affecting participation in physical activity and sport

Factors affecting optimal performance in physical activity and sport

These two headings cover a wide range of topics including:

1. Applied anatomy and physiology

2. Skill acquisition

3. Sport and society

4. Exercise physiology

5. Biomechanical movement

6. Sport psychology

7. Sport and society and the role of technology in physical activity and sport

The department feels that this course offers real depth of understanding across a diverse range of topics.

Additional information can be found here.


Cambridge Technicals - Sport Level 2 Certificate

This qualification is designed for students aged 16-19 years old wanting to specialise in the wider contexts of coaching skills, techniques, tactics, anatomy and physiology.

Optional units include nutrition for sport, marketing, sports therapy, leadership in sport, sport as a business, fitness testing and practical participation. They’re ideal for the workplace due to the combination of transferable theoretical and practical skills. This qualification will also enable students to develop other skills such as critical thinking, communication, leadership, and motivating others.

Look here for more details on this course.

Year 12 Community Sports Leader (CSL2)

As part of the new Sixth form enrichment the department has reintroduced the Community Sports Leader (CSL2) award.

This award is a nationally recognised qualification that enables successful learners to lead safe, purposeful and enjoyable sport/physical activity, under indirect supervision.

We feel this award will allow our young adults to become active members of the wider community whilst developing some useful, transferable skills.

To find out more click here:


For the most up to date sporting fixtures and results, click here to access the PE Department's twitter account



If you are fascinated by the idea of understanding the brain - if you want to grasp the complexities of human behaviour - A level Psychology is for you. It is about trying to understand why people think, feel and behave the way they do. Psychologists ask a diverse range of questions such as:

What is personality? How does memory function? How do we learn? How are attitudes formed?

Psychology has become one of the fastest growing subjects in schools. It studies the most fascinating of all areas – human behaviour and experience.

Course Content

Paper 1: Introductory topics in Psychology

For the topic of social influence, students will learn to what extent humans will conform with or obey those around them and why this occurs. For the topic of memory, students will study models concerning how the human memory system operates and will look at several theories of forgetting. For the topic of attachment, students will study infant-caregiver interactions and look at how early relationships develop in humans and animals. Finally, for the topic of psychopathology, students will study explanations of phobias, depression and OCD. They will also learn about treatment techniques for these conditions.

·         Stanford prison experiment poster

·         Selective attention clip

·         Harlow’s monkeys

Paper 2: Psychology in context

The first sections of this examination focus on different approaches to the study of the mind and behaviour. Students will learn about behaviourism, social learning theory, cognitive psychology, psychoanalytic theory, humanistic psychology and biopsychology. In this topic, students are introduced to the work of many famous psychologists, including Pavlov, Skinner, Watson, Bandura, Freud, Rogers and Maslow. A large emphasis is placed on biopsychology, and students will gain an understanding of neuroanatomy, basic biochemistry underlying behaviour, and behavioural genetics.

This paper also assesses students’ understanding of research methods. Students will learn how psychologists conduct different types of research and consider the problems they encounter in doing so. They will study issues of reliability and validity, and through this approach to research they will consider the scientific nature of psychological enquiry.

·        Big bang

Paper 3:

The beginning part of this exam looks at the issues and debates surrounding psychology. These include; gender bias, cultural bias, free will, determinism, the nature-nurture debate, holism, reduction and ethical implications on research and theories. 

The options that students will study in A-level psychology are; gender, schizophrenia and forensic psychology. In the gender topic students will learn about the differences between sex and gender, the role of chromosomes and hormones and also apply the different approaches and theories to gender. In the schizophrenia topic students will study the classification of schizophrenia, the different approaches and the effectiveness of different therapies in treatment. For the aggression topic, students will look at different explanations of aggression including the roles of hormones, social influences and media influences.

Examination Arrangements

Each paper is 2 hours long with 96 possible marks worth 33.3% of the A-level. It is comprised of multiple choice, short answer and extended writing.

Paper 1: Introductory topics in psychology

Paper 2: Psychology in context

Paper 3: Issues and options in psychology 


“The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious—the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. “          Albert Einstein

At St James’ we strive to deliver a high-quality science education which provides the foundations for unlocking the mysteries of the universe through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics.

Science has led to major changes in society and underpins much of modern living.  It is essential to sustainable global prosperity and all pupils need to learn key aspects of the knowledge, methods, processes and uses of science.

Our teaching programme builds up a foundational body of knowledge and concepts which encourages students to develop a sense of wonder and curiosity about naturally occurring phenomena and realise the importance of rational explanation.



The Science department have created an exciting and engaging program of study which has been developed to meet the needs of recent changes within the National Curriculum. This includes an array of practicals to embed the scientific skills which are required throughout KS4 and KS5.

Our schemes of work are delivered in modular form. The programme has been arranged so that the study of biology, chemistry and physics is rotated.

During Key Stage 3 student progress is assessed formally with end of topic key assessments and regular landmark assessments throughout the year.  Using results from the assessments and key stage 2 prior attainment data judgements are made to direct students to the separate sciences or combined science at key stage 4.

Once a week, after school, we also offer STEM Club, to enhance the science experience with topics not covered by the curriculum. This includes activities such as dissection, making fossils, designing space craft and learning about life on the International Space Station.  Additionally, there are a range of supplementary STEM activities each year including exhibitions, museum visits, visiting speakers and opportunities to take part in the science leadership programme.

Year 7 Programme of Study

Autumn Term

Working in a Lab  (Safety and the bunsen burner)
Cells tissues and organs (Microscopes, animal and plant cells, organs and technology)

Elements, Atoms and Compounds

Particles and Behaviour (Particle model, states of matter, melting, freezing and boiling, diffusion and gas pressure)

Forces (Squashing and stretching, drag and friction, contact and non contact forces, balanced and unbalanced forces)


Spring Term

Structure and Function of Body Systems (Gas exchange, breathing, skeleton, movement - joints and muscles)

Sound (Waves, sound and energy transfer, loudness and pitch, detecting sound and echoes and ultrasound)

Chemical Reactions (Word equations, burning fuels, thermal decomposition, conservation of mass, exothermic and endothermic reactions)


Summer Term

Acids and Alkalis (Acids, alkalis, indicators and pH, neutralisation and making salts)

Body Systems and Reproduction

Space (The night sky, the solar system, the earth and the moon)

Light (Reflection, refraction, the eye and the camera, and colour)



Year 8 Programme of Study

Autumn Term

Health and Lifestyle (nutrients, food tests, unhealthy diet, digestive system, bacteria and enzymes, drugs, alcohol and smoking)

Energy (food and fuels, energy and temperature, energy transfers, energy resources, power, work and machines)

Separation techniques (mixtures, solutions, solubility, filtration, evaporation, distillation and chromatography)


Spring Term

Adaptation and Inheritance (competition and adaptation, adapting to change, variation, continuous and discontinuous variation, inheritance, natural selection and extinction)

Electricity and magnetism (charging up, circuits and current, potential difference, series and parallel circuits, resistance, magnets and electromagnets)

The Earth (the earth and its atmosphere, the carbon cycle, climate change and recycling)

Summer Term

Motion and pressure  (speed, motion graphs, pressure in gases, liquids and solids and turning forces)

Ecosystems (photosynthesis, leaves, plant minerals, chemosynthesis, aerobic respiration, anaerobic respiration, food chains and webs, disruption to food chains and ecosystems



In Year 9 students build on the work from Key Stage 3 and begin the challenge of studying GCSE Science.   The course followed by the majority of students is GCSE Combined Science trilogy which is a double award.  There is an option for high performing students to study  GCSE biology, chemistry and physics as separate sciences.

We use the AQA specification (see AQA website for more details).  

The course is set up as a rolling programme which encompasses biology, chemistry and physics whilst embedding “Working scientifically” and the required practicals within each discipline. 

To facilitate challenge, the students are grouped according to ability. 

Student progress is assessed formally by regular key assessments and landmark assessments. 



There is an emphasis on formative assessment. Teachers provide effective, relevant and timely feedback to students, both orally and in writing. Our marking policy is purposeful valuing pupils’ learning, helping to diagnose areas for development or next steps, and evaluating how well the learner has understood the task. It starts a process of creating a dialogue with the learner, through which feedback is exchanged and questions asked; the learner is actively involved in the process.

Science - Key Stage 5


At St. James’ we run an exciting and challenging Biology course which gives students opportunities to extend their knowledge and love of Biology. The course aims to give Sixth Formers a solid foundation in Biology as well as helping students to expand crucial problem-solving, investigative and numerical skills. Additionally, we offer extra-curricular opportunities to expand on the learning done in lesson, for example an expert led, field trip to Epping Forrest, giving students the chance to carry out their own primary research.

Why choose Biology?

Biology is a subject which opens up a huge and varied set of doors, whether the subject is taken at A-Level or carried on beyond. Some of the more common careers that involve health and clinical professions, such as medicine, nursing, biochemistry, biomedical science, zoology, marine biology, dentistry or forensic science. It will also equip you for careers in developing consumer products, teaching, science writing, software development, research and many more

What skills will you develop?

Biology will help you develop a critical awareness of current social and environmental and an understanding and respect of all living things; analytical, evaluative and synoptic skills; practical skills, including the ability to plan and manipulate data.

Subjects that you can study alongside Biology

Biology will help in your study of other sciences and technical subjects including: Chemistry, Human Biology, Geography and Psychology. 

For more details regarding the course content, please click here



At St. James’ the Chemistry teachers are inspired to engage and develop their students’ passion for chemistry and pave the way for further study and careers in science and non- science fields. We do this by using a wide range of teaching and learning strategies to nurture the love for learning in our students. Students are also given the opportunity to attend Chemistry conferences and engage with cutting –edge science.

Why choose chemistry?

Chemistry is a great choice of subject for people who want a career in health and clinical professions, such as medicine, nursing, biochemistry, dentistry or forensic science. It will also equip you for careers in developing consumer products, metallurgy (studying how metals behave), space exploration, developing perfumes and cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, energy, teaching, science writing, software development, research and many more.

What skills will you develop?

Chemistry helps you to develop research, problem solving and analytical skills. It helps you challenge ideas, both your own and that of others, and demonstrate how you work things out through logic and step-by-step reasoning.  In addition, studying chemistry enables you develop teamwork and communication skills.

Subjects that you can study alongside Chemistry

Chemistry will help in your study of other sciences and technical subjects including: Maths, Physics, Biology, IT, Psychology, Economics and Geography. If you study it alongside a Modern Language, such as French, or an essay subject like History or English Language & Literature at A-level, you will have even more options for courses and careers.

For more details regarding this course can be accessed here.



At St. James’, we run an exciting and challenging Physics course which gives students opportunities to extend their knowledge and love of physics. The course aims to give Sixth Formers a solid foundation in physics as well as help students expand crucial problem-solving and logic skills. Additionally, we offer extra-curricular opportunities to expand on the learning done in lesson, for example a trip to the Large Hadron Collider in CERN Geneva, giving students the chance to walk through the most cutting-edge physics research facility in the world.

Why choose Physics?

Physics is a subject which opens up a huge and varied set of doors, whether the subject is taken at A-Level or carried on beyond. Some of the more common careers that involve physics are theoretical and experimental fields of physics and engineering, energy engineering, transport, environmental and climate science, space exploration, mathematical modelling, finance, education and many more.

Click here to access a useful website for careers ideas relating to Physics

What skills will you develop?

Physics helps you to develop problem solving, analyticallogic and mathematical skills. It helps you challenge ideas, both your own and that of others, and demonstrate how you work things out through logic and step-by-step reasoning.  In addition, studying physics enables you develop teamwork and communication skills.

Subjects that you can study alongside Physics

Physics will help in your study of other sciences and technical subjects including: Maths and Further Maths, Chemistry, Biology, IT, Economics and Geography. If you study it alongside a Modern Language, such as French, or an essay subject like History or English language and literature at A-level, you will have even more options for courses and careers.

To study Physics beyond A-Level, you must also have a Maths A-Level for most courses.

For further details, please click here



Study Sociology and open yourself up to a journey of discovery which challenges your assumptions about the world and compels you to question everything. Be prepared to look at the world in new ways leaving you impassioned and wanting to learn more.

Today, Sociology is one of the most popular subjects. This is in part because we live in a world where societies have changed so much over time, and are continuing to do so at a rapid pace, and also because individuals today have a heightened awareness of the underlying social forces which propel societies and in turn affect the actions and behaviours of us all.

Do you ever wonder why girls achieve higher than boys at school yet are still considered one of the most disadvantaged groups in society? Is it because girls are taught that technical subjects like Maths and Science are for boys? Is it because despite their high educational success the opportunities available for women post school are not only reduced but also unequal to those of their male counterparts? Could it be both? Or even something much more profound like the class structure of the UK? You may think that class structures don’t segregate societies anymore. Are you sure? Have you considered the role of the mainstream media in redirecting our attentions from major social, cultural and political issues by encouraging us to focus on the latest drama on The Bachelor or the controversial names of the latest Kardashian-West baby? What could the real agenda be?

Sociology focuses your attention on analysing the social organisation of society inviting you to delve into behaviour patterns, interactions and relations between members of society. Unearth how institutions like the church and governments influence the development of social norms and in turn individuals. Explore the theories of family, education, religion and crime and deviance letting them lead you to a deeper understanding of issues in order to identify them as problems and bring about social reform. This very study helps us become objective and widens our knowledge about the world enriching us as human beings.

Why wait? Start today by looking at the, or on Google, Facebook or Twitter.


Course Content

The course is divided into four topics which will be tested over three exams.

Education with Theory and Methods

This unit looks at the role and purpose of education in contemporary society. It looks at relationships and processes within schools and the significance of education policy. Questions students will consider include; why do girls achieve higher than boys at school? Are school subjects gender stereotyped? Are opportunities available for women post-school equal to those available for their male counterparts?

Topics in Sociology: Families and Households

This unit looks at the relationship of the family to the social structure and social change. It looks at changing patterns of marriage, cohabitation and divorce as well as the nature and extent of changes to gender roles in the household. The unit ends with an in-depth look at the changing nature of childhood. Students will also look at sociological research methods and their strengths and weaknesses.

Topics in Sociology: Beliefs in Society

In this unit students are asked to question their understanding of religiosity including; belief in a supernatural God, attendance at church, definitions of religion, fundamentalism and secularisation. Students explore stereotypical notions of concepts and the effects these views have on interactions between different people in society. Questions they will consider include; is secularisation occurring? What effect does globalisation have on religion and fundamentalism?

Crime and Deviance with Theory and Methods

Linked strongly with current media and statistics students evaluate theories of crime including; why crime occurs, methods of prevention and who commits the most crime. By this stage students are expected to be able to put forward well-structured arguments on the complex relationship between theory and empirical evidence on topics.

Examination Arrangements

Each examination is 2 hours long with maximum value of 80 marks worth 33.3% of the A-level.

Paper 1: Education with Theory and Methods

Paper 2: Topics in Sociology (Families and Households, Beliefs in Society)

Paper 3: Crime and Deviance with Theory and Methods

Media Studies

Key Stage 4

BTEC Level 2 First Certificate in Creative Digital Media Production

The BTEC First in Creative Media Production course concentrates on:


  • Education and training for those who work or who are intending to work in the digital creative media industry, including entry level work as assistant web designers, editorial assistants, junior photographers, assistant game designers, production assistants.
  • Providing opportunities for learners to gain a nationally recognised vocationally specific qualification to enter employment in the digital creative media sector or to progress to higher education vocational qualifications such as the Level 3 BTEC Certificate in Creative Media.


Course Content


The course is split into four units:


  • 25% Examination Based: Unit 1: Digital Media Sectors and Audiences- 1 hour exam.
  • Unit 2: Planning and Pitching a Digital Media Product
  • Unit 3: Digital Publishing Production
  • Unit 4: Digital Moving Image Production


Key Stage 5

BTEC Level 3 National Certificate in Creative Digital Media Production

The qualification provides a coherent introduction to the study of creative digital media production at this level. Learners develop an understanding of the media industry through analysing media representations and pitching and producing media projects. It is designed for post-16 learners who aim to progress to higher education and ultimately to employment, possibly in the media industries, as part of a programme of study alongside other BTEC Nationals or A levels.

Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate in Creative Digital Media Production Mandatory units. There are 3 mandatory units, 1 internal and 2 external. Units include film and video production, web design, digital publishing and a Media representation exam.

Key Concepts: Creative Media Production uses four major concepts, which form the basis of the subject content.


•           Media Language: forms and conventions

•           Institutions

•           Audience

•           Representation