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General Studies

Ethos of the Department

The Department aims to provide a holistic approach to the academic development of the Sixth Form body. Students have the opportunity to extend their knowledge, understanding and skills across the academic spectrum at a level beyond GCSE. This provides valuable assistance especially to those students who have specialised in one particular academic discipline (e.g. Science or Humanities subjects) during their A-Level studies.

General Studies aims to engage students in contemporary debates concerning relevant topics associated with different aspects of the syllabus, this might for instance include religious and racial toleration, problems of global warming, genetic engineering or art appreciation. The subject provides an opportunity for structured discussion of such issues and thus helps to extend the capacity for students to develop their critical thinking skills as well as their ability to appreciate differing perspectives and formulate their own opinions based upon informed knowledge and understanding of relevant topics. This process contributes to the whole school objective of developing the moral, spiritual and cultural ethos of the student body.

Finally students are given the opportunity to gain another full A-Level qualification, one that many universities recognise and allow students to use as a part of their entry qualifications. Many other universities recognise the subject as a useful indicator as to the overall academic potential of a student and will look very favourably upon students who are able to offer a strong result in the qualification on Results Day.

Key Facts

  • The Department takes a holistic approach to teaching with staff offering a range of experiences and interests
  • Independent Learning is at the core of General Studies
  • Students regularly use ICT as a tool for research and give presentations to their peers
  • Debate forms a key aspect of the curriculum and students are encouraged to prepare and deliver arguments
  • The Department produces a wide range of regualrly updated teaching and learning resources
  • The Department keeps close links with the LRC which keeps stocks a wide range of contemporary journals