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General Studies A Level at Calday Grange Grammar School

Course description

General Studies is studied by all 6th form students at Calday. This subject provides a rounded education and encourages students to develop analytical and critical thinking skills.

Course content

Students must attend 3 compulsory lessons per week, one lesson per taught unit. The course content debates issues surrounding science and technology, society, politics and beliefs, morality, crime and punishment, human behaviour, philosophy, the arts and the media.

Students follow Edexcel's specification for both AS and A2 (8206), all examinations leading to both qualifications are taken at the end of the upper sixth year.

Students may draw upon knowledge developed in their other GCE subjects and demonstrate their understanding of contemporary issues. General studies encourages students to enquire and to test assumptions, it offers students the chance to gain a broader picture of the world and to connect ideas and information from different disciplines.

Entry requirements

There are no formal entry requirements as all students are expected to complete the course and gain the qualification, the very nature of the subject lends itself to students from a range of prior learning experiences. Students are however expected to have an interest in current affairs and are encouraged to become involved in debate. The ability to communicate coherently and concisely and an ability to weigh up complex issues are desirable skills.











Change & Progress

World changes, new ideas, inventions, social attitudes, measuring change

Short assessments in class and then an examination at the end of the course consisting of data response, short factual questions, analysis and extended writing, choice of essay questions

Taught in U6

Exam in U6

1 1/2 hour examination




Beliefs, Values & Responsibility

Religious beliefs, moral responsibilities, right and wrong, human behaviour, the value of art

Taught in U6

Exam in U6

1 1/2 hour examination



Future opportunities

The course provides opportunity for areas of study which complement existing subjects, often encouraging wider perspectives on specialized areas. It facilitates the exchange of views and experiences between students with different specialisms who might not otherwise have the opportunity to work together. This brings a creative mix at a critical point in a student's educational development and may lead to interest in a new skill or the ability to sustain an existing one, for example the continued study of a language. The examination of such a wide range of subjects may also lead to an extended interest in a topic for study in higher education.

Through commitment to the General Studies academic program, students develop an awareness of perennial and contemporary issues, enhancing their communicative skills and aiding coherence and clarity, thus providing an increase in individual confidence.

General Studies is excellent preparation for both employment and higher education, where a range of problems and conflicting perspectives have to be considered and reconciled. Through engagement in the subject, students should develop highly-valued study and communication skills.

The AS and A2 qualification demonstrates to employers and others that students have received a well-rounded education and that they are not merely competent in one area of study. This qualification can provide students with extra points towards university entry and is regarded by others as a strong indicator of a student's general breadth of knowledge and higher level thinking ability as it provides opportunity for the assessment of all six key skills.

A high grade in the subject shows that students understand and respect different viewpoints, and have an appreciation of the major issues and debates of our time.

Further information

All students have more than one teacher for this subject and as far as possible, teachers are subject specialists. This subject is taught, assessed and monitored in the same way as all other GCE'S. Students will be given summative 'assessment tasks' throughout the course of the two years as topics are completed in order to monitor progress. These tasks may consist of multiple choice comprehensions, essay style questions or a formal presentation / observed debate. Assessment criteria is shared with students prior to the task and results are fed back to students as percentages and grades. These assessments are used to provide students with constructive and formative verbal or written feedback to assist them in understanding how they can improve. Classroom based assessment grades are also used by HOD to inform reporting, exam board estimations and UCAS references.

Students will sit all 4 examinations (AS units 1&2 and A2 units 3&4) at the end of the 2 year course and upon successful completion, student will be awarded both the AS and A2 qualification. The assessment objectives are as follows, students must show that they can:

  • Demonstrate relevant knowledge and understanding applied to a range of issues, using skill from different disciplines
  • Marshall evidence and draw conclusions and integrate information, data, concepts and opinions
  • Demonstrate understanding of different types of knowledge, appreciate their strengths and limitations
  • Communicate clearly and accurately in a concise and logical and relevant way

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Calday Grange Grammar School directly.

Last updated date: 20 May 2014
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 2 years