Welcome to Year 9
I would like to offer a warm welcome to Year 9. My tutor teams and I are very much looking forward to working with you all, both as individuals, and as part of the wider year group team.
To Year 9, the next few months are vital for you to establish the breadth of understanding that you need to make the jump to Key Stage 3 and GCSEs next academic year. Seize every opportunity, and make the most of all the opportunities that present themselves, both in and out of class.
I urge you all to act as role models to the new Year 7 students; remember, you were in their position not so long ago, and they too need to be nurtured as positive ambassadors for the Academy. Finally, remember to be the best you that you can ever be, and in the words of Winston Churchill, "Never, never, never give up"; if you follow these basic principles you are sure to shine.
Miss S Winfield,
Head of Year 9
Year 9 News
Useful Events and Dates
KS4 Options & Transition
For students transitioning from Year 9 into Year 10 there's a whole lot of information available to help!
Curriculum Information for Key Stage 4, 2016 - 2018
This is a crucial time in your school life; an important crossroads which requires specialist advice and careful consideration to ensure that the right choices are made. It is also an exciting time. Key Stage 4 offers greater choices, bigger challenges and is a time of remarkable change.
As you mature into a young adult, we will support you to achieve your potential and become your best possible self. Our curriculum is designed to inspire and challenge you, whilst also ensuring you develop skills such as team work, reflection, evaluation and study skills. Whether your end goal is university, apprenticeship or employment, we have a long established record of equipping students with the qualities necessary to fulfil their ambitions and make a worthwhile contribution to society.
We are proud of our academy and the reputation it has in preparing students for the future but we are also proud of you. Your attitude to learning, humour and your wonderful spirited outlook on life result in a warm and vibrant atmosphere. Visitors to LCA regularly comment on the friendly community feel we have. Working alongside your parents/ carers, we now look forward to developing your talents further as you embark on this thrilling time in your education.
Mrs L Laming
Students are well prepared for the next stage of their education and for future life.
Ofsted Inspector (School Review December 2014)
Dear Parents and Students
This booklet has been produced to help your son/daughter make some very important choices at this crucial stage of their educational career. This will be the first of many choices that they will have to make during the course of their educational development. Making decisions as to which subjects they take next year provides a fantastic opportunity to take ownership of the learning pathway that they will follow.
Students will need some help and guidance when deciding the most suitable curriculum that will help them achieve their greatest potential. The role which you, play as parents is vital in supporting your child; we ask that you take some time to discuss choices and aspirations with your child. Advice will also come from the academy as well. This will be both formal and informal discussions with your child’s form tutor, subject leaders and also the school’s careers advisor.
To further assist in the decision making process, the ‘Key Stage 4 Curriculum Information Evening’ on Wednesday 24th February 2016 will provide you and your child with the opportunity to speak with all the departments and to discuss the courses they offer. In the weeks following, your son/daughter will be invited to attend a personal interview with a member of the Senior Leadership Team; the academy places great emphasis on ensuring that each of our learners are able to make an informed decision, selecting the best subject choices that they will follow during their Key Stage 4 years.
The core curriculum and optional choices that we offer ensure that all students follow a broad and balanced curriculum with a strong academic core; we are very proud of our curriculum.
Should you require further advice or information, please do not hesitate to contact me at Lincoln Castle Academy via telephone or e-mail via our contact form.
Mrs T Wiles
The choice is yours but your parents and teachers will also be involved in helping you to make informed decisions. Choices made now will affect opportunities later so need to be made with care.
As well as the traditional academic subjects, we also offer a range of applied learning courses which can be fully integrated alongside the academic subjects. We are therefore able to provide a wide range of pathways as well as a variety of assessment methods.
For a few students, who require an element of preparing for work in a learning setting, we will provide an alternative 'Foundation Learning' curriculum strand comprising the core subjects as normal but with a mandatory course in Option A. These students are able to choose from Options B, C and D, and have already been informed that this is appropriate.
How do you choose?
There are three important questions you should ask yourself before making your choices:
What do I want to do after Key Stage 4?
Most Year 9 students have no settled ideas about what they would like to do after leaving school. In this case the best plan is to choose a balanced curriculum from the range of subjects available. This will leave you with plenty of possible careers and higher education opportunities. Read the additional advice regarding the EBAC subjects.
You may already know exactly the career you wish to follow. If so, you should choose the subjects which may be needed as qualifications. Your teachers and careers service will be able to advise and help you. Please remember that although you may change your mind about your future career in the next two years, it is not possible to change subjects part of the way through a two year course.
Most students continuing to 'A' levels and Level 3 BTEC Nationals stay at Lincoln Castle Academy, where we offer a wide range of subjects. The vast majority of these students progress on to Higher Education/University Degree Courses.
What subjects do I enjoy?
Only you know the answer to this. If you like a subject, you usually work hard. Remember, hard work is essential whichever subjects you choose.
What subjects am I good at?
Talk to your teachers and get their advice. Your aim should be to make the most of the courses you have chosen by working as hard as you can. You should consult with your parents and teachers before filling in the form.
What is the English Baccalaureate?
The English Baccalaureate was introduced as a performance measure in the 2010 school performance tables. It is not a qualification in itself. The measure recognises where pupils have secured a C grade or better across a core of academic subjects. English, Maths, Sciences (including Computer Science), Modern Foreign Language (French or Spanish), Humanity (Geography or History).
Why was the English Baccalaureate introduced?
The government introduced this measure because they did not think enough students in schools across the country were being encouraged to take these core “academic” subjects.
“We want to encourage more students to take these core subjects and to bring about greater fairness of opportunity so that all students have the chance to study for the English Baccalaureate.”
Department Of Education
As a school we advise those who can confidently gain a grade C or above in the English Baccalaureate subjects to seriously consider taking a Language and Humanity option in two of the option blocks.
- This award is the government's test measure of rigorous and academic education
- The subjects in the award, along with a number of others, are considered to be “facilitating subjects” when making decisions about University choices after A levels. As a school we want to ensure that you make choices that will keep your options open post-16.
Are the English Baccalaureate subjects compulsory at Lincoln Castle Academy?
- English, Maths and Sciences are compulsory
- French, Spanish, Computer Science, Geography and History are in the option blocks.
Our message to you is that if you can confidently pass these subjects at C grade or higher you should consider taking the package of subjects that form the EBacc.
How will the English Baccalaureate affect my options?
If you intend to take French or Spanish ALONG WITH History or Geography it will not affect you at all – just choose these in the relevant option blocks.
If you do not intend to take one or either of those types of course then you will still have four options available to you to choose non-English Baccalaureate subjects or a mixture of EBacc/Non-EBacc subjects that suit your interests and future plans.
We have an enhanced curriculum offer for your son/daughter for their GCSE Science programmes of study in Years 10 and 11.
Through careful planning and taking advice from the Department for Education (DfE), Her Majesty's Inspectors (HMI) and the Curriculum Advisor for the Association of School and College Leaders, we offer the opportunity for your son / daughter to indicate a preference with respect to two specific GCSE Sciences that they would like to study at GCSE level.
* Some students may continue to study Core and Additional Science – these students are often on the foundation learning tier curriculum programme and will be advised separately.
We are offering GCSE Biology, Chemistry and Physics as separate subjects. The traditional route is to study core and additional GCSE Sciences which covers all three science disciplines. Our enhanced provision of focusing their study on two separate science disciplines has many benefits for the students:
- The opportunity to have an element of choice within the science curriculum, leading to better student engagement
- Deeper knowledge and specialisation in two science subjects rather than more general study in three. Leading to enhanced achievement at GCSE and subsequently at AS/A Level for science study and future success
- More student/teacher contact time per individual science subject therefore more time to learn key concepts and analytical techniques to enhance achievement especially at the higher grades.
Please take some time to read through the additional guidance below, talk to the Science staff and check the last assessment information which has been sent home to inform yourself and your son / daughter so that they can indicate the right preference for them.
GCSE Biology helps students get a good understanding of the world of living things, from how a basic cell works to the complexities of an ecosystem. You should have an interest in genetics and ecology as well as an understanding of the effects of Biology on society.Study of this could lead to careers in:
- Nursing / Midwifery
- Veterinary Science
GCSE Chemistry gives students the opportunity to gain a good understanding of:
- the nature of substances and how they react together
- how Chemistry is used in business and industry
- how our use of raw materials in fuels and manufacturing can affect the global and local environment.
GCSE Physics offers students the chance to gain a good understanding of the use and transfer of energy waves, radiation and space the application of Physics where an interest and sound ability to understand and apply mathematics is vital.Study of this could lead to careers in:
- Armed Forces Trades
What are they?
The qualification mainly involves studying the theory of a subject combined with some investigative work. They are usually studied full-time taking two years to complete. Short courses are also available.
GCSEs are at levels 1 and 2 on the National Qualifications Framework, depending on the grade you get. GCSEs are highly valued by further education and employers. They are the first step in providing access to a range of careers or further study, such as A levels or Level 3 BTEC. GCSEs have been used as a benchmark to judge student ability for more than 25 years.
How are GCSEs graded?
GCSEs are graded 9-1 in most subjects *, although some papers are tiered according to ability and so don't target the full grade range.
* GCSEs in Business, Design & Technology, Engineering & Media have not had their specifications updated yet and are still graded A*-G.
How will I be assessed?
GCSEs are often assessed by a combination of exams and controlled assessment, or sometimes examination only. You will take all of your exams at the end of your course. Controlled assessments are taken throughout the course.
What are controlled assessments?
Controlled assessments used to be called coursework and can include research, essays, projects, investigations, artwork, fieldwork, experiments or other practicals. Elements of the work is completed in controlled “exam type” conditions.
High Value Vocational Qualifications
What are they?
Only those applied learning qualifications that have been judged to have a high value for 14- to 16- year-olds will be recognised in the Key Stage 4 performance tables for schools.
At Lincoln Castle Academy we have made a commitment to Students and Parents to provide only those applied learning qualifications which achieve the 'high value' status awarded by the Government.
The qualifications we offer are the equivalent of one GCSE and are graded as equivalent, high quality and rigorous, and provide the majority of pupils with access to a range of study and employment opportunities. Each high-value qualification will count as equivalent to one GCSE. There is an examination in each BTEC qualification.
- Hairdressing –is a City & Guilds course at Level 2 recognised by the hairdressing profession HABIA
- Public Services – is a course recognised as equivalent to 1 GCSE and endorsed by the Military Cadet Forces
- Workskills – is a course recognised as equivalent to 1 GCSE at Level 2 and prepares students for the world of work
Lincoln Castle Academy ensures that impartial careers advice and guidance is available to all its students. It is differentiated to meet individual need and is provided by a range of staff including, tutors, teachers, careers and personal mentors.
Students' receive careers education in each year group which enables them to become self aware as well as opportunity aware. They receive advice on how to choose courses, work placements, make decisions regarding future career paths and how to achieve their personal goals.
In order for them to decide what to study in years 10 & 11 they need to start by asking themselves what they enjoy doing and what they are good at. They need to think about:
- What they are interested in: it could be other cultures and languages, writing projects, helping people, being outdoors or designing things.
- What types of activity they enjoy the most – working things out and thinking them through, practical activities or artistic options like painting, drawing or performing music.
- What are they like at home, as well as in school – what skills have they developed following outside interests?
The Careers Co-ordinator with the support of a Careers Advisor are here to help support students in making the right decisions. They offer information, advice and guidance and practical help when choosing courses.
The academy offers a full range of careers information & computer aided guidance packages. These resources are regularly maintained and up dated to ensure that students have access to good quality information. Students receive planned lessons on how to use these packages and how to research information they may require in order for them to aspire to and achieve the best possible careers suited to them.
The academy currently holds the Career Mark Award for its excellence in Careers Education Information & Guidance.
These are external websites, over which Lincoln Castle Academy has no control. The links open into new windows.
The Core Curriculum
The curriculum offer for your son/daughter for their KS4 education is both broad and balanced. The curriculum diagram below shows which subjects students will study in Year 10 and 11.
There are core subjects which everyone will take: Maths; English Language and Literature; Science; Business with ICT; Personal, Health and Moral Education Studies and PE.
For those students currently in top set science and achieving at the highest level there is the opportunity to select triple sciences: separate GCSEs in Biology, Chemistry and Physics. In Option Block D Science must be chosen. If a student wishes to pursue an A level in any science in the 6th form then the depth of study gained from choosing GCSE triple sciences at KS4 is essential.
|Maths||English Language &
(Combined Science or Triple Sciences)
|Core Business with ICT||Core PE & PHME|
3 or 4 choices (there is a foundation course in workskills which is compulsory
for some students and is already selected on their option form)
|Option A||Option B||Option C||Option D|
|History (GCSE)||Food Technology (GCSE)||French (GCSE)||Health & Social Care (V)|
|Geography (GCSE)||Textiles (GCSE)||Spanish (GCSE)||Travel & Tourism (V)|
|Computing (GCSE)||Engineering (GCSE)||Geography (GCSE)||Hairdressing (V)|
|Religious Studies (GCSE)||Art (GCSE)||Sports Studies (GCSE)||Public Services (V)|
|* Workskills (V)||Resistant Materials (GCSE)||Media (GCSE)||Photography (GCSE)|
|History (GCSE)||Drama (GCSE)||Triple Science (GCSE)|
|Media (GCSE)||Music (GCSE)|
* Workskills will be mandatory for foundation learning tier students – these students will be spoken to before the curriculum evening
Option D is purposely designed to be a more creative block where students can select something new to study. Students wishing to study triple science must chose it in this block. Subjects in this block are timetabled for 2 lessons per week.
Year 9 Letters
Letter, Year 9
Important letter to parents / carers concerning requesting a Leave of Absence (i.e. absence from school during term time).
Please read this letter before booking holidays or other absences. If you have any questions please do contact the school for advice. An absence request form is included, on page 2.
Year 9 Curriculum
Our Ethos and Values
At Lincoln Castle Academy, we value: