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Optional GCSE Subjects


Art, craft and design embody some of the highest forms of human creativity. A high-quality art and design education should engage, inspire and challenge pupils, equipping them with the knowledge and skills to experiment invent and create their own works of art, craft and design. As pupils progress, they should be able to think critically and develop a more rigorous understanding of art and design. They should also know how art and design both reflect and shape our history, and contribute to the culture, creativity and wealth of our nation.

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Business is a popular GCSE option at Cottenham Village College. Throughout the year, GCSE students will learn about how the world of business works and its relevance to almost every aspect of modern society. The topics studied within the subject affect everyone at some point in their lives. We discuss and cover personal business issues such as how you could raise money to start your own business.

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Computing GCSE

Computing is about understanding computers and computer systems. Every day we are using computer systems; modern civilisation would not function without it. Computer systems control airplanes, our health service, cars, coffee makers, washing machines, tax systems, the internet, microwave cookers, mobile phone networks, laptops, desktops, alarms, central heating, remote control television, traffic light systems and more.  To comprehend our place in the digital world, we must understand that it is the human that is clever – not the machine.

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Drama GCSE

We follow the Edexcel Drama GCSE which is outlined in our Options booklet.

Ways in which you can support:

Any involvement in Drama outside of school is beneficial and many of our students are involved in range of Drama groups in and around Cambridge.

Theatre Trips:

Any visit to watch Drama is beneficial, whether it be amateur or professional.

In particular, The Junction, at “”, offers a range of theatre experiences, including visits from innovative companies that use some of the strategies which we try to incorporate in our curriculum.

Dance GCSE

Students will undertake a range of practical projects to prepare them for their final assessment pieces.  These will take the form of both choreography and performance projects and students will now be expected to choreograph for each other as well as for themselves.  In performance pieces students will be encouraged to develop their performance skills, both technically, artistically and aspects such as the intention of the piece will become integral to developing a good performance.

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Geography GCSE

Geography is the study of the earth’s landscapes, peoples, places and environments. It is, quite simply, about the world in which we live. Geography at Cottenham stimulates an interest in, and a sense of wonder about, places. It engages students to think about our changing world, how people and the environment interact, where places are, how places and landscapes are formed and, perhaps most importantly today, helps young people make sense of the complex interactions between economic, social and environmental factors prevalent in our world.

Graphics GCSE

Graphics provides pupils with the opportunity to demonstrate their graphical and technical design skills. It is studied within the Graphics studio and has a focus on modelling and constructing design ideas in three-dimensional forms. Pupils  achieve this by working with a range of graphical based materials including card, modelling board, polystyrene sheet, smart and recycled materials. During the course, pupils cover formal/technical-drawing skills, computer aided design, illustration and 3D modelling skills and techniques.

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History GCSE

History is the study of the human past. It fascinates and it shocks; is causes joy and sadness in all those who study it. Yet there can be no doubt that it is inescapable, confronting us in the twenty-first century at every turn. A politician’s speech, a quiet road-side memorial or a great-grandfather’s old journal: all of these present us with historical challenges. To comprehend our place in the world today, we must understand that we are always ‘walking backwards into tomorrow’, never knowing what lies ahead, but always in the knowledge of that which went before. This is what history is all about.

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Latin GCSE

Latin forms the basis, not only of English, but also of other modern European languages, such as French and Spanish.  Studying Latin helps students to a greater understanding of other languages, especially their grammar and spelling.The study of Latin not only provides intellectual challenge but it also provides insights into ancient culture and history.

At Cottenham, we follow the OCR Specification J281, which combines the study of both Latin language and literature. Students follow the Cambridge Latin Course.

Modern Languages (French/German/Spanish) GCSE

This page will be updated soon

Music GCSE

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If students opt to take PE or Dance as a qualification they could do one of the following:

OCR GCSE Physical Education

1.  Component 1: Physical factors affecting Performance (30%)

  • 1 hour multiple choice and structured questions. Exam taken in June of year 11.

2. Component 2 – Sociocultural Issues & Sports Psychology (30%)

  • 1 hour multiple choice and structured questions. Exam taken in June of year 11.

3. Component 3 –  Performance in Physical Education (40%)

  • Performance in 3 different sports
  • Analysing performance focused on skill piece of coursework
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Product Design GCSE

GCSE Product Design encompasses all the key components of Design and Technology. There are no material constraints. Pupils have the opportunity to design, model and manufacture products from one or a combination of materials based on testing and experimentation. Pupils have the opportunity to pursue creative outcomes, solve genuine design problems, improve people’s lifestyles and improve existing products as part of their studies. At the end of the course, pupils showcase their work at the annual DT coursework exhibition.

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Although there is currently no GCSE RPE class the course that is currently offered is OCR’s Religious Studies B: Philosophy and Applied Ethics (J621)

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