I hope that you and your family have enjoyed the summer break. I wanted to write to you to update you on our offer for our Year 10 students, particularly focusing on the English Baccalaureate (EBacc). As you are aware from our previous consultation, the EBacc is a set of subjects at GCSE that keeps young people’s options open for further study and future careers. The EBacc consists of:
• English Language and Literature
• At least two sciences (Double Award, Triple Science, Computer Science)
• Geography or History
To count towards the English part of the EBacc, pupils need to take both English literature and English language GCSE exams.
Pupils need to take one of the following options:
• GCSE combined science – pupils take 2 GCSEs that cover the 3 main sciences, biology, chemistry and physics
• 3 single sciences at GCSE – pupils choose 3 subjects from biology, chemistry, physics and computer science
Taking any ancient or modern foreign language GCSE counts towards the languages part of the EBacc.
To count towards the EBacc measure, qualifications must be included in the approved list of the qualifications that the Department for Education publish each year.
Impact of studying the EBacc combination of subjects
The EBacc is made up of the subjects which are considered essential to many degrees and opens up many more routes into higher and further education, whether this be undergraduate degree courses, apprenticeship degrees and apprenticeships or even the world of work. Research shows that a pupil’s socio-economic background impacts the subjects they choose at GCSE, and that this determines their opportunities beyond school.
A study by the University College London’s Institute of Education shows that studying subjects included in the EBacc provides students with greater opportunities in further education and increases the likelihood that a pupil will stay on in full-time education. The Sutton Trust’s research reveals that studying the EBacc can help improve a young person’s performance in English and Maths.
The government’s ambition is to see 75% of pupils studying the EBacc subject combination at GCSE by 2022, and 90% by 2025.
Our Trust, the Shireland Collegiate Academy Trust, discussed the Ebacc qualifications with Trustees, Governors, Principals and senior leaders and we have agreed that from September our pupils will study GCSE German during two of their form tutor sessions each week. This is an excellent opportunity to gain an extra GCSE qualification alongside the core subjects of English, Mathematics, Science, Product Design and students’ chosen three option subjects.
I would also like to highlight the fact that we have chosen to deliver languages in this way so as not to limit student options choices as would otherwise be the case. This therefore allows them to have the full range of options and still manage to complete the Ebacc. The World Languages teachers have thoroughly planned and prepared the work for these sessions and weekly independent tasks will also be set for the pupils to
complete during the academic year. These weekly sessions will also be supplemented with some immersive learning experiences during our focus days.
The Academy appreciate that some Year 10 students will be learning a new language for the first time, and we want to reassure families that all students will have adequate support throughout their learning
If you have any queries in relation to this, please do not hesitate to contact us on [email protected]
Mr D Irish