Welcome to the Religious Studies Department

Departmental Courses
  • GCSE Religious Studies  (AQA)
  • GCE Religious Studies  (AQA)

Welcome to our Ethics & Philosophy department. Our courses address different religious and non-religious responses to ethical issues

The aim of this subject is to enable students to relate to people of different beliefs and none, so that they can better understand a diversity of attitudes and lifestyles. From these studies, students are encouraged to reflect on their own understanding, beliefs and opinions.

Year 7 and 8 students study Beliefs & Values, focusing on the big questions of life and how students can respond to them. Students receive two one-hour lessons per fortnight for this.

Units of work include the following themes:

  • Journeys (including the study of Buddhism),
  • Leadership (a study of Christianity),
  • Religion & Art (a study of a number of religions)
  • Death and the Afterlife (a study of Christianity and Islam).

There also 2 units of work that introduce students to Christianity and Islam; these are the religions that will be studied in Key Stage 4.

Students are encouraged to self-evaluate and to assess each other’s work on an on-going basis. At the end of each unit, all students in the year group are formally assessed either through project work, oral work or extended writing; the teacher marks this work following National Curriculum levels.

As a core subject all students follow the full GCSE course with an impressive record of achievements. Examinations test student ability to understand religious views and respond to them, considering reasoning behind alternative views. The new AQA Specification A course will be taught starting September 2016. This will include a study of Christianity and Islam in one exam paper. In the second paper students study a variety of ethical issues including War & Peace, Crime and Punishment and animal testing.

GCE Art & Design (Fine Art) (AQA)

The popular Fine Art course at Poole High School aims to enable students to develop their ideas and helps them to learn the practical skills they need to turn them into outcomes. During the course, students learn to express themselves in a range of 2 and 3 dimensional materials and to respond to the work of artists and craftspeople in ways which enrich their understanding

Why study A-Level Art?
By studying A level Art at Poole High School you will be able to extend your skills in traditional 2 and 3 dimensional art and craft as well as learning how to use digital techniques to create imagery. You will learn about the history of art as well as gaining a greater understanding of the work of contemporary artists and craftspeople. On this course will learn how to develop and explore your ideas through observations of the world around you, experiment with a range of techniques and materials and respond to the work of others. A level Art will deepen your appreciation of the visual world and your ability to respond to it in a creative way.

Topics include:
Unit 1: Portfolio of Work. This will include a range of personal work that has been carried out in response to a given theme. It will include first hand observations (drawings and photographs), material experiments and responses to the work of other artists. It will also include final outcomes which are the culmination of the skills, knowledge and understanding gained on the course.

Unit 2: Externally Set Assignment. This is a unit that is based around a choice of topics that have been set by the exam board. After a period of preparation time, the students are given 10 hours supervised time to produce personal creative outcome to their chosen starting point.

Year 1
The first year of the course is foundational and students learn to explore the formal elements of visual art in greater depth. They will also gain a stronger understanding of the ways in which artists draw upon the history of art and the work of contemporary artists for inspiration. During the first year we encourage our students to question their assumptions about what art can be and to challenge their current ways of working in order to move beyond their comfort zone and develop new skills and approaches.

Year 2
During the second year of the course, students are asked to choose a subject that will form the basis of their ‘Personal Investigation’. This unit challenges students to research, plan and manage their own coursework project and is a stepping stone to the skills required for higher education. The outcomes will include a 1000 to 3000 word written component and original artwork that shows the student’s response to their chosen theme. The work in the second year of the A level should include the application of the skills, knowledge and understanding that were gained in the first year. The course ends with a 15 hour practical exam (conducted over 3 school days) that the students prepared for over a number of weeks.

Assessment Method
The final grade is based on the student’s coursework (usually based upon the portfolio produced in year 2) which is worth 60% and the externally set assignment (15 hour exam) which is worth 40% of the overall grade.

Future Opportunities and Careers
The creative industries contributed a record £91.8bn to the UK economy in 2016, which was more than twice the growth rate for the rest of the nation’s industries (source: CIC-Creative Industries Council). Many of our students progress onto a Foundation Course at the Arts University Bournemouth before studying a visual arts degree. Former students have gone on to work as artists, teachers, animators and social entrepreneurs.

 

GCE Art & Design (Photography) (AQA)

You will learn about the history of photography and the ways in which this art form has contributed to our visual culture. On this course you will learn how to develop and explore your ideas through observations of the world around you, experiment with a range of techniques and processes and respond to the work of others. This very popular course will deepen your appreciation of the visual world and help you to achieve the technical skills to respond to it in a creative way.
 
Year 1
Unit 1 (AS) Portfolio of Work. This will include a range of personal work that will be carried out in response to a theme that will be set by the school. Towards the end of the course, the student will select a representative body of work that demonstrates the knowledge, skills and understanding that they have acquired during this foundational stage of their studies.
Unit 2 (AS) Externally Set Assignment. In this unit the students will choose from one of 5 starting points from a paper published by AQA. After a period of preparation time, the students are given 10 hours supervised time to produce a personal and creative photographic outcome to their chosen question. As most students are expected to continue on the course to the second year, the year 12 exam unit is used for skills development and exam practice only and does not contribute to the students A level grade.

 

Year 2
Unit 3 Personal Investigation. This unit is an opportunity for the student to carry out their own research into an area of photography that is of interest to them leading to a practical personal response. This unit also involves the production of a written submission of between 1000 and 3000 words that clarifies the theme of the investigation, demonstrates the candidate’s critical and contextual understanding of their chosen topic and records the conclusions to their enquiry.

Unit 4 Externally Set Assignment. This is similar to unit 2 at AS but this time there are 8 starting points and the supervised time in which the candidates produce their final response is 15 hours.

Assessment Method

The final grade is based on the student’s coursework (usually based upon the portfolio produced in year 2) which is worth 60% and the externally set assignment (15 hour exam) which is worth 40% of the overall grade.

Future Opportunities and Careers

Many of the students who study A level Photography at Poole High School go on to study the subject at degree level. There are opportunities within higher education to specialise in such disciplines as documentary, food, commercial photography and photojournalism. Many of our former students have worked in photography upon graduation in areas that include freelance photography, marketing and commercial photography.