The GCSE Science courses at Hawthorn are accessible to every pupil, regardless of their ability.

All pupils study the WJEC GCSE Science specification in Year 9 and will follow one of the following courses in Year 10 and 11:

  • GCSE Biology, Chemistry and Physics
  • GCSE Science (Double Award)
  • GCSE Applied Science (Double Award)
  • GCSE Applied Science (Single Award)

Pupils will sit external examinations in Year 10 and 11, dependent on the course they follow.


The skills and knowledge acquired through the various WJEC GCSE Science courses can potentially lead to studying A-Levels in the three subject areas of Biology, Chemistry and Physics or level 3 Medical Science. If you choose to go onto employment or an apprenticeship GCSE Science is a well-respected qualification that is recognised by many employers.

Studying Science post-16 can lead to courses in higher education, or various paths of employment in health care (doctors, pharmacists, dentists, physiotherapists and paramedics etc.), engineering (electrical, mechanical or chemical), vets and veterinary science, food technology and many more.

GCSE Design Technology – Engineering

These qualifications are designed for learners aged 14-16 who wish to develop an appreciation of creativity and innovation to good design practice. Learners are actively engaged in the processes of design and technology helping them to develop into effective and independent learners. They will develop understanding of the key principles of designing and making, leading to the making of a prototype. They will learn to analyses existing products and produce practical solutions to meet customer needs.

The qualifications will allow learners to study:

  • The impact and evaluation of new and emerging technologies
  • Engineering design
  • Modern and smart materials
  • Ecological and social footprint
  • Investigating and analyzing the work of others

Learners will progress through researching and analyzing information, developing design ideas, developing practical skills and understanding the impact of new Technology on engineered products. Skills acquired include drawing techniques, use of engineering equipment, CAD/CAM, communication, problem solving and application of number.

Assessment is through a written examination, accounting for 50% of the qualification and a design and make task accounting for 50% of the qualification.

Following on from this course, learners may progress to level 3 Engineering, Product Design, A Level, apprenticeships and degree courses. Career opportunities include modern apprenticeships in industries such as civil engineering, electronics, cosmetics, and medicine, film and building trades.

Engineering is a growth area and in this current climate, offers excellent opportunities for both males and females.

Level 1 / 2 Award in Construction and Built Environment

These qualifications are designed for learners aged 14-16 who wish to gain an understanding of the Construction Industry. Learning may take place in a range of contexts and provides learners with a broad appreciation of work in the construction industry.

The qualifications will allow learners to develop both practical and academic learning and assessment in the study of how buildings are designed, constructed and maintained. The award is made up of three units:

  • Unit 1 – learners gain the knowledge and understanding to be able to plan how to minimize risk to themselves and others.
  • Unit 2 – Learners interpret technical information and use appropriate skills and techniques to carry out a range of practical tasks.
  • Unit 3 – learners will use knowledge acquired to plan a building project

Assessment is through an on-line examination on Health and Safety and a practical assessment accompanied by a written portfolio.

Following on from this course, learners can progress to further education and apprenticeships.

WJEC Computer Science, ICT and Business Studies

At GCSE the faculty offer a numerous options, GCSE Computer Science, GCSE ICT and GCSE Business Studies.

GCSE Computer Science has been designed to give an understanding of the fundamental concepts of computer science and a broad scope of study opportunities. Computers are widely used in all aspects of business, industry, government, education, leisure and the home. In this technological age, a study of computer science, and particularly how computers are used in the solution of a variety of problems, is essential to learners. Computer science demands both logical discipline and imaginative creativity in the selection and design of algorithms and the writing, testing and debugging of programs.

GCSE ICT will offer learners the chance to learn all about how companies in the information technology (design, media, gaming etc.) work.  It offers you a unique opportunity to identify and solve real problems by designing information and communication systems in a wide range of contexts relating to your personal interests. Information and Communication Technology develops your IT skills, but also your ability to be imaginative, innovative, creative and independent

GCSE Business Studies introduces learners to the business world, empowering them to develop as commercially minded and enterprising individuals. Learners will have the opportunity to develop a wide range of skills, enabling them to use business information critically, to develop arguments, to make justified decisions and to prepare them for further study and career pathways.