The Art Department benefits from two open plan art rooms with facilities for painting, drawing, print making, 3D work and many more materials. Photography is offered at A Level as an option. At A Level the pupils are able to produce coursework continuously through sketchbooks, homework and practical work from the beginning of the course gaining vital marks towards their result. In all units of work we encourage pupils to visit galleries and exhibitions. The School really is a place to capture the imagination and inspire young people. Art clubs and workshops are a part of everyday life and our upper school pupils are regularly found in the Art Department enjoying private study. Arts Week provides the Senior School pupils with the opportunity to engage in different forms of creativity and the week-long events, visits, performances and competitions are a fantastic opportunity for pupils to enjoy and engage with new creative mediums which enrich them academically and socially.
Sixth Form students study Business BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate. In Year 12, students are introduced to the challenges and issues affecting businesses. The course then explores with in-depth analysis the key internal functions of business (people, operations, finance and marketing) and how the management of these functions can assist in improving the effectiveness and performance of a business. In Year 13, strategies for larger businesses are analysed and evaluated in the context of changing internal and external circumstances.
Classical Civilisation is offered at A Level and there is no requirement to have studied the subject at GCSE. Pupils study The World of the Hero focusing on Homer and Virgil, Greek Drama and the Politics of the Late Roman Republic as a part of a two year course.
At Key Stage 5 we currently offer an AQA “A” Level Computer Science course. The course comprises of a written theory paper, a paper that involves programming and a programming project. The programming project can be done in Python, Java, C# or VB.NET.
Students enjoy three purpose built rooms; the Design Studio is equipped with 13 computers running industry standard design software ‘Solidworks’ along with Adobe’s and Microsoft’s creative suite of software; Photoshop, Illustrator, PowerPoint, Word etc and 2D vector software. All computers are linked to the room’s A3 printer. Teachers have the ability to teach wirelessly with their iPads in the Design Studio thanks to the AppleTV connected to the projector. Students also have access to five laptops which are equipped with the same software as the main computers.
The Prototype workshop is equipped with a laser cutter, 3D printer, milling machines, metal and wood turning lathes and forge, along with other machines facilitating work in various materials including wood, metal, plastics, and fibreglass.
Sixth Form students have access to a designated Design Office; a professional and purpose built environment with a library and seven computers, loaded with Solidworks, Adobe’s and Microsoft’s suite as well as 2D drawing software. All computers are connected to the room’s A3 printer as well as to the AppleTV connected to the office’s flat screen TV. A Level students also have access to the department’s laptops whenever required.
Drama is a very popular subject at Ewell Castle with class sizes being small in order to give great attention to each pupil’s creative development. All teaching includes both practical and theory on theatre, practitioners and dramatic techniques. There are many opportunities both in class and extra-curricular to develop ones acting, directing, script-writing and technical skills.
The department offers pupils the opportunity to be in senior school productions, House Drama Competitions, Christmas Cabarets, Drama Reviews and Arts Festivals. In addition, pupils can take LAMDA exams. Those who pursue drama further in GCSE and A Level will be in many more performances. Recent productions include: Shakespeare in Hollywood, by Ken Ludwig, The Ladykillers, by Graham Lineham, Whodunnit by Anthony Shaffer, The Hypochondriac by Molière and Fools by Neil Simon.
All classes are taught by staff who have trained professionally at leading Drama schools including RADA, and with the wealth of teaching knowledge and experience the standards of pupil’s work is very high. The subject is taught from Years 7 to 13, including GCSE and A Level.
A wide range of theatrical genres, periods, practitioners and approaches to the theatre, both Eastern and Western, are studied. Some of the topics we teach are: Circus Skills, Physical theatre, Commedia dell’Arte, Mask Work, Devising, Stanislavski, Artaud, Brecht, Character Study and Visual Storytelling. In addition to in-house productions there are frequent theatre trips to The West end and local theatres. Some highlights of late have been: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime, King Lear, Things I Know to be True, Blood Brothers, Othello, One Man Two Guvnors, The Believers and The Play That Always Goes Wrong.
The ethos in the Drama Department is one of promoting confidence and individual self-expression with a great focus paid to the wellbeing and personal development of each individual student. All the skills taught valuable and transferrable skills that pupils will need for the future.
Economics is offered in the Sixth Form as an A-level course. Groups will typically be six to ten in number and the Edexcel examination specification is followed. The course provides a combination of micro-economic and macro-economic content, drawing on local, national and international contexts, and aims to provoke an interest in economic concepts and theories and their value and limitations in explaining real-world phenomena. Economic students will also develop analytical and quantitative skills, together with qualities and attitudes that will equip them for the challenges, opportunities and responsibilities of adult and working life. The course is structured into four themes: Markets, consumers and firms, the wider economic environment, the global economy and making markets work.
A Level Geography is offered for a two year course and follows the EDEXCEL syllabus. A broad range of skills are developed at both GCSE and A Level. Fieldwork is an integral part of Geography and in addition to local fieldwork and day trips there are residential trips.
For A Level we follow a two year course. Pupils study Italy 1900 – 1945 and England under the Tudors. In Year 13 they write an extended essay on an aspect of British India.
Mathematics is one of the most popular A-Level subjects in the school with Further Mathematics also available. For students aiming at for top universities such as Oxbridge, we provide extra assistance in preparing for the interview. A Level Mathematics students will study two pure and one statistics modules in Lower Sixth. This is repeated in the Upper Sixth, with mechanics replacing statistics to make a total of six modules. Further Mathematicians will study all the modules over the first 12 months, sitting their Mathematics A-Level at the end of the Lower 6th Form. They will then study the Further Mathematics syllabus in the 12 months of the Upper 6th Form.
In the Sixth Form students may opt for A Level Music. We provide a wide range of musical instrument tuition to any student who wishes to learn an instrument at any standard. There are a variety of musical groups which include: Chapel Choir and instrumental groups such as; Concert Band, Percussion Ensemble, Chamber Orchestra, Senior A Capella Choir; Guitar Ensemble; Chamber Ensemble; Big Band; Pop Choir; Percussion Ensemble and Discovery Band. Students are encouraged to organise their own smaller bands and may use the facilities to practise at their own leisure. The Music Department hosts a weekly in-house concert series, an annual large-scale musical production performed at the Epsom Playhouse, an annual Christmas Cabaret at The Bourne Hall and an annual choral and instrumental concert at St Mary's Church as well as several other impressive events through the year. Our bi-annual music tour has seen our Chapel Choir perform at Notre Dame Cathedral Paris and Cologne Cathedral.
We use Edexcel as an examining body. At A-Level pupils benefit enormously from immersing themselves in various aspects of the language and life of the country/countries where the language they are studying is spoken. The full A Level for Spanish and/or French comprises three papers:
Paper 1: Listening, Reading and Translation
1 hour and 50 minutes - 40% of the qualification
Content overview: this paper draws on vocabulary and structures across all four themes. Themes are based on the society and culture of the language being studied.
- Listening and Reading: comprehension questions
- Translation: from Foreign Language to English
Paper 2: Written Response to works and translation
2 hours and 40 minutes - 30% of the qualification
Content overview: this paper draws on the study of two discrete works from the foreign language country.
- Translation: from English to the Foreign Language
- Written Response to works: either two literary texts, or one literary text and one film.
Paper 3: Speaking
Internally conducted, externally assessed.
Total assessment time: between 21 and 23 minutes, which includes a single period of 5 minutes’ formal preparation time - 30% of the qualification
Content overview: students will be assessed on their ability to communicate and interact effectively, summarise and analyse findings, manipulate language and show knowledge and understanding about the culture and society where the language is spoken.
- Task 1: discussion on a theme: students discuss one theme from the specification based on a stimulus containing two different statements.
- Task 2: presentation and discussion on independent research: students present a summary of key findings of the written sources they have used for their research and answer questions on this. They then have a wider discussion on their research.
A Level studies in the Sixth Form use AQA syllabus focusing on Christianity, Philosophy and Ethics. This includes an in depth study of Christian sources of wisdom, views of God, and self along with the examination of a huge range of the world’s greatest thinkers, from Plato and Aristotle to Dawkins and Darwin and much else in between!
A Level Physical Education and Filming Pupil Performances
Pupils looking to pursue their knowledge and learning in Physical Education may choose to study A Level Physical Education through AQA examinations. Class sizes are no larger than 10 enabling both a broad and in depth learning experience. Studying a Science based A Level subject may be a complement to PE but is not compulsory.
A level PE has a practical component which forms part of the non examined assessment. Any pupil choosing to take an A Level in PE will need to provide video footage, showing performances in their chosen sporting activities. The exam board suggest that each pupil has a variety of recordings of each of their chosen activities to ensure that they are able to show themselves performing at the highest level.
Politics is offered in the Sixth Form at A Level. Groups will typically be eight to ten in number and the Edexcel examination specification is followed.
Papers 1 and 2 provide an understanding of how the UK political system works and how it is linked to contemporary political structures and issues in their historical context. We look firstly at how people are involved in politics and democracy through political parties, electoral systems and voting behaviour and the media. Secondly we study how the UK is governed which takes in topics on the constitution, parliament, prime minister and relations between institutions. Both papers focus on the political ideas of nationalism, socialism, liberalism and conservatism. This encourages a critical awareness of the changing nature of politics and the relationships between political ideas, institutions and processes.
In Paper 3 students will explore the US Constitution and federalism, US congress, US presidency, US Supreme Court, democracy and participation and civil rights. Students will study the impact of the US government on the world beyond its borders by comparing and contrasting politics and institutions in the US with those in the UK. This will develop a wider understanding of politics as a discipline, underpinned by the theoretical concepts of comparative politics.
Psychology is offered for study at Advanced Level only. This means potential students need to have achieved at least a grade ‘6’ in GCSE Mathematics and English. A similar grade in GCSE Science subjects will support achieving a good final grade.
Psychology is a science. Students need - at the very least - a foundation of good numeracy and literacy. This because they will be developing a range of deep skills over the two year course - from understanding and thinking critically about scientific theories, to reading and collating written sources, through to analysing and interpreting statistical data. Students learn how to assemble all this into a coherent written argument - in exam conditions.
The first year of the course covers the main schools of thought in the subject collectively called Approaches. They range from the focus on observable phenomena of Behaviourism to the creator of Psychoanalysis, Freud. Students apply this understanding to specific areas including Social Influence, Memory, and Attachment (how babies form relationships with their caregivers).
In the second year, students study three areas in-depth: Relationships, Stress and Aggression. They do this by reading, examining, and evaluating the current research. There is also a strong biological element in the course with the fundamentals of Biopsychology added to the approaches in this year.
Advanced Level Psychology also develops a good understanding of research methods including experimental design and writing a research study. Students have a practical week where they design, complete and write up an experiment. From this, pupils develop their ability with statistical and scientific interpretation.
Overall, Advanced Level Psychology not only provides a good basis for further study in the subject, but also effective analytical and evaluative skills valued in a range of careers from Sports Psychology to Market Research or Business Analysis.
At Key Stage 5 A Levels are offered in Biology, Chemistry and Physics. The department enjoys five designated Science laboratories. Interactive whiteboards and other technologies are available within the department.
KS5 Exam Boards followed at Ewell Castle School are:
Biology OCR A
Chemistry OCR A