SUBJECT READING LIST FOR 2020 ENTRY
IMPORTANT – PLEASE READ THIS FIRST
This is a reading list, for students who have finished their GCSE studies and want to look ahead and familiarise themselves with a few things before they start their courses at the College
This is not a ‘homework list’
This is not a list of ‘things you have to buy’
There won’t be a ‘test’ on your first day
But, if you do want to do some reading and get up and running with your studies next year, the following details might be useful. It’s designed to give you some things to think about, but you don’t have to do all of it. If you have any questions about the material, staff from departments will be happy to discuss with you at our induction or enrolment events.
RECOMMENDED READING INFORMATION (SUBJECTS IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER)
Accounting (A Level) AQA
Look at BBC bitesize https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/examspecs/zv8gvk7: and familiarise yourself with the following topics: Business Ownership, Business Stakeholders, Sources of Finance, Cash and Cashflow, Financial terms and Calculations.
Art (Fine Art) (A Level) WJEC Eduqas
Virtual Art Gallery visits.
We have selected some virtual Art Gallery visits you can look at to help inspire you.
The Courtauld Institute has Impressionist and Post-Impressionist works of art in room 5,6 and 7.https://courtauld.ac.uk/gallery/about/3d-gallery-virtual-tour
Google Arts and Culture has a range of virtual gallery tours. Click on the link, and this will take you to the home page of the gallery. Click on the icon of a figure at the top and it will give you a range of pictures. When you click on a picture and it takes you to the location the picture is hung in. This will allow you to select the bit of the tour that most interests you. You can then do a virtual tour of that part of the gallery.
The Rijksmuseum houses a collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist work as well as traditional still life, portraiture and landscape.
The Musee d’Orsay in Paris has an extensive Impressionist collection.
You could also go to LA and visit the J. Paul Getty Museum by following the link.
Moma, The Museum of Modern Art in New York, has a google link but does not do a virtual tour. It is a good source for modern art.
Here is a list of large and contemporary galleries and museums that have websites. You could find artists and artworks that you like. Also, listed are journals and books that you could look at. It is a long list and they are just suggestions, we do not expect you to have looked at everything, the main thing is to keep drawing and looking.
Galleries, exhibition spaces, permanent exhibitions
Larger galleries and museum spaces, all with permanent exhibitions:
· The Tate Modern- Modern and Contemporary art
· The Tate Britain- British Art
· The Victoria and Albert Museum- Applied arts and design from around the world
· The Design Museum
· The National Gallery- painting
· The National Portrait Gallery- devoted to the art of the portrait
· The Royal Academy
· The British Museum- artefacts from around the world
· The Hayward Gallery
· Courtauld Gallery- devoted to Impressionist Painting
· The Wallace collection
· The Barbican
Contemporary Art Galleries with changing exhibitions:
· The White Cube
· The Saatchi Gallery
· The Lisson Gallery
· The Whitechapel Art Gallery
· The Crafts Council Gallery
· Cork Street Galleries- commercial art galleries on London’s famous Cork Street
· The ICA (Institute of Contemporary Arts)
· Camden Arts Centre
· Serpentine Gallery
· The Photographers' Gallery, 16-18 Ramillies St. London W1F 7LW
· Frith Street Gallery
· Gagosian Gallery
· The Wellcome Institute- changing exhibitions containing arts that have a link to Science
· Modern Painters -brilliant monthly magazine devoted to painting, only interviews with painters and exhibition reviews. www.modernpainters.co.uk
· Crafts Magazine- published every two months by the Crafts Council. For all aspects of the Applied Arts including interviews with Craftspeople, exhibition reviews, competitions to enter, job vacancies etc... www.craftscouncil.org.uk
· The Photographers' Magazine
· Printmaking Today- published by Cello Press, four issues per year www.cello.press. All aspects of
Printmaking covered with interviews, exhibition reviews, competitions etc...
· AN Magazine (Artist’s Newsletter) - www.a-n.co.uk. The artists’ must have magazine. Stimulating and supporting contemporary visual arts practice. Offering lots of major art competitions to enter, job opportunities etc. Website offers lots of publications on how to promote yourself as an artist, how to apply for funding to continue projects etc.
“The Andy Warhol Diaries”: Edited by Pat Hackett published by Warner Books
Vitamin P “New Perspectives in Painting”
“This is Modern Art” by Matthew Collings
“Ways of Seeing” by John Berger
“Understanding and Investigating Art” by Rod Taylor published by Hodder and Stoughton
“Dictionary of Subjects and Symbols in Art” by James Hall
“Drawing on the Right side of the Brain” by Betty Edwards
“The Thames and Hudson Dictionary of Art and Artists” by Herbert Read and Nikos Stangos
“The Shock of the New” by Robert Hughes
Art History (A Level)
In the first year, we will take a speedy journey through the entire history of art, focusing specifically on how the human form has been portrayed in works of art. Here are some really useful sources to help you with some background information and to start to think about Art History as a subject:
Oxford Art On-Line is a website arranged like an encyclopaedia of art. It can be accessed if you or a family member has an Essex Library Card. Just enter the digits above the bar code into the box beneath ‘Sign in with your library card’.
Smarthistory.org is entirely free and has an impressive collection of articles on a very wide range of periods in art history. This website also links to khanacademy.org which consists of hundreds of video talks that are mainly on specific works of art but also other creative forms such as design and photography.
E. H. Gombrich’s ‘The Story of Art’ was the first art history book I ever read and this is true of many people. As the title suggests, it turns the history into a tale of the people who made the art and why in a highly readable way.
Andrew Graham-Dixon’s, ‘Art: The Definitive Guide’ is a visually dynamic exploration of the history of art and covers a very wide range of different time periods and art movements and provides loads of interesting snippets of information along the way. You should be able to pick up a copy for about £20. But watch out, it’s heavy!
Biology (A Level) AQA
Biology A-level will give you the skills to make connections and associations with all living things around you. Biology literally means the study of life - and if that’s not important, what is? Being such a broad topic, you’re bound to find a specific area of interest, plus it opens the door to a fantastic range of interesting careers. At first, you may find the jump in demand from GCSE a little daunting, but here are some resources to help you along the way.
There are lots of good podcasts
Good video to introduce topics include;
Business (A Level EDUQAS & Applied AQA)
Business – Applied (Exam board AQA) and A Level (Exam Board Eduqas)
If you have not studied Business before look at BBC bitesize website for GCSE Business https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/examspecs/zv8gvk7 and use these resources to understand some business terminology.
You can read BusinessWeek - Great site for business news and features: http://www.businessweek.com,
Practical start-up advice for businesses. Case studies and practical information. Starting-up; exploiting new ideas; growing your business; types of business. www.businesslink.gov.uk
Masterclass is a magazine produced by Ernst and Young and has some useful material which is more advanced. Masterclass gets inside the heads of exceptional business leaders; it explores their unconventional approaches to business and provides insight into how they have made their businesses grow. http://www.ey.com
Times 100 - The material, which is centred on well-known businesses, has been designed by teachers and written by respected published authors to cover all the key topic areas. Case studies, theory, quizzes, company information links (taking you to specific sections of the featured company Websites), teacher resources, e.g. worksheets. http://www.thetimes100.co.uk.
Also keep up with the news BBC News - A superb resource and one of the best starting points to find resources. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business
If you would like to read a book, here are three that you might like to read
- How I Made It: 40 Successful Entrepreneurs Reveal How They Made Millions - Rachel Bridge - An essential read for anyone that is thinking about starting their own business. Successful Entrepreneurs are interviewed about how the spotted a gap in a market, and developed a USP.
- The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference - Malcolm Gladwell - A very readable and fascinating book, which looks into the reasons products become market leaders.
- The Google Story - David A. Vise - An interesting investigation into the culture at Google, includes insights into the four day working week and soft management styles. The questions is; are these the things that made Google the world’s number one search engine?
In Applied Business the exam board is AQA. The specification can be found here: https://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/business/applied-general/business
In Business A level the exam board is Eduqas. The specification can be found here: https://www.eduqas.co.uk/qualifications/business/as-a-level/eduqas-a-business-spec-from-2015.pdf
Chemistry (A Level) OCR
Two CGP revision guides we recommend are
For interesting videos to inspire you go on the Nottingham university web site
We suggest you continue to practise GCSE papers, as the content is quite challenging. Concentrate on learning the formulae of ions and how to write ionic formula, practise balancing chemical equations and check how to calculate moles of substances.
Read up on structure and bonding and ensure you know the difference between an atom, a molecule and an ion. Make sure you can link the type of bonding to the properties a substance has.
Check you understand the structure of an atom. Read up on the history of the discovery of the nucleus and subatomic particles. Brian Cox has good videos on this on you tube.
Watch some videos on you tube about how to do a titration. Read up on ionisation energy and how it explains the increased reactivity of the group 1 metals.
Make sure you understand the difference between significant figures and decimal places in calculations.
Classical Civilisation (A Level) OCR
You should prepare for the Classical Civilisation course by reading the relevant parts of Homer’s Iliad. The text is divided into 24 chapters known as ‘books’: you should aim to read as many of the 13 ‘books’ which we will study in class (1, 3, 4, 6, 9, 10, 16, 17, 18, 19, 22 ,23, 24) as you can.
The Iliad is the earliest work in Western literature and provides the original account of the legendary Trojan War, a gruelling conflict in which Zeus and the other gods take a great personal interest. Its central theme is the wrath of Achilles, the mightiest of all Greek warriors, whose quarrel with his commander early in the story has the most terrible consequences. Because the version of the text we will use in class is Rieu’s (not Hammond’s) Penguin translation, it would be a good idea to obtain and use a copy of this to do the preparatory reading. It has a good introduction which you may find helpful.
If you wish to do some preparation for the Religion side of the course, you are advised to buy and read R. Garland’s Religion and the Greeks (1998), which is an accessible introduction to the subject.
Computer Science (A Level) OCR
Criminology (Applied Cert./Diploma) WJEC
It would be useful for students to start researching the law regarding different types of crime, particularly domestic abuse, hate crime, honour crime and white-collar crime. There are student activities available here https://criminology.uk.net/book-one-activities/ Those for Unit 1 would be particularly useful.
Dance (A Level) AQA
To provide CONTEXT for students wanting to study A Level Dance, students can prepare by researching/reading around the following topics:
American Modern Dance – Martha Graham/Merce Cunningham
American New Dance – Judson Church Group/ Contact Improvisation
British Contemporary Dance – London School Contemporary Dance Company/ Rambert Dance Company
British Dance from 2000 to Now – independent practitioners linked to this era (Wayne McGregor/Botis Seva/Akram Khan/Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui/Hofesh Shechter) - refer to Sadlers Wells web site
Reading can also be purchased from:
Additionally, students should be watching dance from any of the practitioners linked to the topics above.
Drama & Theatre (A Level) OCR
A good place to start is to watch some theatre – lots of places are streaming free productions and we would recommend The National Theatre you tube channel that is going to be streaming a different production every week, for free starting on Thursday 2nd April.
You could also start finding out about “King Lear “which will be our first set text that we study. There are lots of online resources that would give you the background to the play and also information about Shakespeare and Elizabethan/Jacobean theatre. If you have a copy of the text at home then by all means have a read. If you want to buy a copy please buy the Oxford Schools edition ISBN978-0-19-839222-4
Economics (A Level) WJEC Eduqas
A Level Economics provides the student with a set of tools (way of thinking) that they can use to analyse all kinds of situations and events in the modern world.
Freakonomics and Superfreakonomics by Stephen J Dubner & Steven D Levitt are an excellent layperson’s introduction into how to think like an economist.
In addition, Tim Hartford has a regular Radio 4 programme/podcast called 50 Things That Made The Modern Economy (https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p04b1g3c/episodes/downloads) that can be subscribed to on BBC Sounds; he has also written a series of books titled The Undercover Economist, that illustrate just how relevant and crucial the study of economics is in understanding the cause and effect of events - from the profound and global to the regular and everyday.
Talking to My Daughter: A Brief History of Capitalism by Yanis Varoufakis is an excellent study of the causes and effects of the last global crisis – the financial crisis of 2006-09 that lead to the Great Recession.
Finally, if you are looking for a more prosaic read then we cover the EDUQAS specification, and the best text book is Economics 6th Ed by Alain Anderton; it covers the key principles and theories that we will study for both microeconomics and macroeconomics.
Electronics (A Level) WJEC Eduqas
Start by finding out more about studying electronics and why it is useful, check out the UK Electronics Skills Foundation and turn on to electronics. https://www.ukesf.org/schools/ https://www.turnontoelectronics.org/
The most important thing for studying Electronics is to make sure you know the basic rules for circuits such as Ohm’s Law and the differences between parallel and series circuits which you covered at GCSE. A good starting point to check this out is BBC Bitesize which you probably used when revising. https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/topics/z9gdhv4 - the first part of the course will go through these core concepts.
The link to the textbook you will be using is https://resources.eduqas.co.uk/Pages/ResourceSingle.aspx?rIid=937
You can read the first chapter on core concepts.
English Language & Literature (A Level) OCR
English Language (A Level) AQA
English Literature (A Level) AQA
Reading is an excellent preparation for any English A-Level class. You should aim to read both fiction and non-fiction, for example reading a variety of newspapers and magazines as well as novels. Look for texts that are outside your usual reading, but also look for texts that sound interesting. There are plenty of fiction and non-fiction texts out there. With a little browsing through a library, a bookshop or online you will find hundreds of suitable books. You could also look for lists of winners or nominees of the Booker Prize, Orange Prize or Costa Book Award, or find a list of the 100 greatest novels. All books on the subject or general reading lists are suitable preparation for all English subjects.
Andrea Ashworth, Once in a House on Fire
Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice
Truman Capote, In Cold Blood
Tracy Chevalier, Girl with a Pearl Earing
Sebastian Faulks Engleby
Jonathan Safran Foer, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
Graham Greene, Brighton Rock
Mark Haddon The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Joseph Heller, Catch 22
Ken Kesey, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
Harper Lee To Kill a Mockingbird
Primo Levi, If This is a Man
Andrea Levy, Small Island
Ian McEwan, Enduring Love
David Mitchell, Black Swan Green
Rick Moody, The Ice Storm
Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye
Haruki Murakami, Norwegian Wood
Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar
Annie Proulx, The Shipping News
Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things
Mary Shelley, Frankenstein
Lionel Shriver, We Need to Talk about Kevin
William Styron, Sophie’s Choice
Patrick Suskind, Perfume
Donna Tartt, A Secret History
Rose Tremain, The Road Home
Sarah Water, The Little Stranger
Jeanette Winterson, Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit
Tim Winton, Breath
Specific English Language texts:
Mother Tongue by Bill Bryson
The English Language by David Crystal
Language Myths edited by Laurie Bauer and Peter Trudgill
Environmental Science (A Level) AQA
The A-Level Environmental Science course has an over-riding message of sustainability, focusing our relationship with the environment in areas such as fishing, farming and forestry. You can get a real sense of these issues by reading the ‘Environment’ sections of the Guardian. Similarly, the Washington Post and Reuters cover lots of environmental issues.
The book “Silent Spring” by Rachel Carson offers an excellent appreciation of the impact mankind is having through food production systems. Similarly, ‘Gaia Hypothesis’ by James Lovelock provides a good insight into systems thinking and offers a great starting point for the Environmental Science course.
Film Studies (A Level) WJEC Eduqas
We study the EDUQAS specification. There are relevant textbooks which can be found here:
https://www.illuminatepublishing.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=19&products_id=156&zenid=o4gtvk70dfoa63mhk0h5r4am00 (with sample pages available) and :
The course focuses on a range of films from Hollywood, British national cinema, European and global films as well as silent, experimental and documentary forms. Each area is studied through a variety of approaches such as visual style, production contexts and representation as well as theories of authorship and spectatorship. There are a range of useful resources online which discuss these approaches, such as: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJKLIcSts_4XpVbORwzLZVw/videos and
Podcasts such as The Film Programme also provide interesting coverage of a wide range of film and film makers https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006r5jt
Being familiar with a range of films from different periods and styles would be a great foundation for the A Level – perhaps watching films from classic Hollywood and films not in the English language (you could look at recent nominations for the Oscar for best ‘foreign’ films for suggestions for accessible films).
Food Science & Nutrition (Applied Gen. Cert/Extended Cert. WJEC
To help with your preparation for your Food Science and Nutrition course starting in September, there are a few online training courses which will be useful. As well as these courses the British Nutrition Foundation website provides interesting articles and webinars relating to Food and Nutrition.
French (A Level) AQA
See Modern Languages
Geography (A Level) OCR
The A-Level Geography course has a contemporary feel, which includes lots of real-life examples. Key areas of study include climate change, migration, political and economic geography and hazardous earth. You could get a real sense of global issues by reading the ‘Development’ and ‘Environment’ sections of the Guardian. Similarly, the Washington Post and Reuters cover lots political geography issues.
The book “Prisoners of Geography” by Tim Marshall offers an excellent context for the current world (in particular, issues in the Middle East and under-development in Africa). Similarly, ‘Peoplequake’ by Fred Pearce provides a good insight into mass migration, ageing nations and the future of global population.
Geology (Earth Science) (A Level) OCR
Geology is the study of the Earth – how it works and its 4.5 billion-year history. Geologists study some of society’s most important problems, such as energy, water, and mineral resources; the environment; climate change; and natural hazards like landslides, volcanoes, earthquakes, and floods; materials on all scales; planets, continents, countries, cliffs and atoms. There is currently a shortage of well-trained geoscientists and the demand is growing. If you like science, care about the earth, are fascinated by the natural world, like working outdoors and learning about the natural formations you see in the world, consider geology. These websites provide some useful ideas about what you can do with a degree in Geology.
This textbook gives an interesting insight into the Geology A-Level and is well worth a read.
German (A Level) AQA
See Modern Languages
Graphic Design (Communications) (A Level)
Recommended book – for beginners:
GO:A Kidd's Guide to Graphic Design by Chip Kidd
– the most comprehensive (and probably best) design website on the internet
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLYfCBK8IplO4E2sXtdKMVpKJZRBEoMvpn (45 episodes!)
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLBMOtC0-L_ann5Ny24QrozdO_wsf9hYrI - Good professional introduction from the American PBS channel)
Health & Social Care (Applied General Cert./Extended Cert) PEARSON
In Health and Social Care, we spend much of the course considering the help given by professionals and how this supports individuals with varying needs; therefore the best preparation for this course is to familiarise yourself with the role of different professionals, and there are many TV programmes that can assist this. (Take care though! - some of these can be quite uncomfortable to watch and are not compulsory viewing).
The following are suggestions of relevant and interesting programmes:
The following two documentaries are potentially upsetting, so please don’t watch if you’re not comfortable with discussions of neglect and abuse
The final two look at the effects of poverty on Health
History (Early Modern) (A Level) AQA
Hello prospective Early Modern History students! We’ve made some changes to what we teach from next year and thought the following materials would give you a taste of what’s to come and get you preparing for next year. If you like reading books, we’d recommend some historical fiction to give a sense of the early modern period. Anything by Philippa Gregory – particularly The White Queen and The Red Queen; or if you want something more serious, Lancaster And York: The Wars of the Roses by Alison Weir, would be a great place to start.
History (Medieval) (A level) AQA
Hello prospective Medieval History students! We’ve made some changes to what we teach from next year and thought the following materials would give you a taste of what’s to come and get you preparing for next year. If you like reading books, we’d recommend some historical fiction to give a sense of the Medieval and Military period. Anything by Simon Scarrow, Con Iggulden, Bernard Cornwell (try to keep it historical, not Game of Thrones fantastical); or if you want something more serious, anything by Jonathan Phillips and Thomas Asbridge for the Crusades, or Marc Morris for the Normans, would be a great place to start. There are a lot of really good documentaries on World War One and World War Two on the internet.
History (Modern) (A Level) AQA
Hello prospective Modern History students! We’ve made some changes to what we teach from next year and thought the following materials would give you a taste of what’s to come and get you preparing for next year.
A serious read is Barry Coward’s The Stuart Age https://www.amazon.co.uk/Stuart-Age-England-1603-1714/dp/1405859164
but there are shorter, lighter things you can read on the early Stuarts such as https://www.historyextra.com/period/stuart/has-history-been-unfair-to-charles-i/ or https://www.historyextra.com/period/stuart/facts-about-stuarts-royals-mary-queen-scots-witchcraft/.
There is also a great series about Charles I on the IPlayer.
For German history, there are loads of great books, films and documentaries – seek them out! You could listen to this podcast on the rise of Hitler: https://www.historyextra.com/period/second-world-war/rise-hitler-power-nazi-germany-world-war-two-how-did-he-podcast/ or read Modern Germany by Martin Kitchen.
Information Technology (Applied Gen. Cert./Extended Cert). PEARSON
In the second part of the first year we look at the effective use of social media in business. Learners need to research and report on a number of key areas. Understanding these areas from a business perspective is a little different than from the 'client' or 'consumer' perspective that we all experience on a daily basis. Some of the areas to consider are: brand identity, engaging with customers and customer care.
- Brand identity includes the ethical standpoint of a company, the company history and it's global impact. How does a company promote and inform it's customers about these issues?
- Engaging with customers can be with product details, or an interesting image, but how do you make someone follow you and visit your page regularly? Quizzes, polls, posting consumer images of products, shout outs, freebies are just some of the methods employed by social savvy companies. What makes you go back to a company's social media page? Can you find any more good methods of engaging with customers?
- Customer Service is a huge concern for online companies, much of their reputation relies on reviews and customer satisfaction. Customer service online is very much under scrutiny, can you list all of the tips and good practice required for a truly award winning online customer service platform?
There is a vast amount of information about these issues online, try searching 'Hootsuite' and 'Sproutsocial' as a starting point for your research!
Italian (A Level) PEARSON
See Modern Languages
Law (A Level) WJEC Eduqas
Law (Applied) (Applied Gen. Cert./Extended Cert.) PEARSON
When you come to study law we don’t expect you to have any detailed advance knowledge. Good reading and writing skills generally are useful, so keep up with reading anything you enjoy.
Both courses start by looking at the English Legal System. A textbook is available - https://www.illuminatepublishing.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=168
But there has been quite a bit of interesting legal stuff going on recently… You could find out some more about the judgment of the Supreme Court on proroguing parliament. Visit the Supreme Court’s website www.supremecourt.uk - click on “decided cases” and then the case R (on the application of Millar) v The Prime Minister – Judgment date 24th September 2019. You can read the summary or watch the summary judgment delivered by Lady Hale.
You can also investigate some more about the about the Supreme Court to find out more about the court and it’s role by exploring their website.
Mathematics and Further Maths (A Level) OCR
All Mathematics subjects – The most important thing is to be fully competent in the GCSE Maths syllabus. So, continue to work through past papers and learn all the material. Once this is done, then possible websites would be:
For Maths: https://amsp.org.uk/students/gcse/more-maths and https://cttc.staffs.sch.uk/Maths%20-%20bridging%20task.pdf
For Stats: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006qshd and https://www.gapminder.org/videos/the-joy-of-stats/
Media Studies (A Level) WJEC EDUQAS
We study the EDUQAS specification. There are a range of textbooks which can be found here: https://www.illuminatepublishing.com/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=11&zenid=7a2gd73b58jboalr3acs5o0q13 and there are a number of sample pages that can be read in each.
They also have a list of references and further reading : https://www.illuminatepublishing.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=11&products_id=130&zenid=om5blrbheqpuj27a92smdpcpl3
The course requires knowledge of a range of complex theories, a number of these are explained on YouTube channels such as The Media Insider https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q3j_KGwx2z4 and Mrs Fisher https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCUKrxp4BcJrGLzmqAhCjASg.
Familiarity with a wide range of media forms is important – these include newspapers, magazines, videogames, television crime drama, advertising, film marketing, online, music video and radio. Listening to podcasts such as The Media Show https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00dv9hq/episodes/downloads would be very useful.
A Level Spanish AQA
There are some excellent ways of keeping your Spanish/French/ Italian, German up over the next few months. It would be good to practise grammar - there are many websites which do this. It would be useful also to read and improve your vocabulary eg BBCmundo/www.20minutes.fr - this is very challenging but excellent preparation for A level and good for general knowledge. Note down vocabulary, aim for half a dozen words per article. In terms of listening, there is a great variety of foreign programmes on Netflix, Amazon, Channel 4 etc.
Examples of websites:
bbcmundo for Spanish
www.20minutes.fr for French;
ews4kids.de – is a German news website aimed at 12 year olds -so the news stories are simplified
easygerman – is a youtube channel – which has lots of interviews (sub-titled) with Germans on the streets and is really good and accessible.
Music (A Level) PEARSON
The most important skill to have before starting the A level Music course is the ability to read music notation. ‘The AB Guide to Music Theory Volume 1’ covers grades 1 – 5, with 5 being the expected level when starting the course.
If you have already completed your grade 5 music theory, then ‘The AB Guide to Music Theory Volume 2’, covering grades 6 – 8, is worth a read.
There are also many free online resources to help with music theory, including an open university course, titled ‘An Introduction to Music Theory’. There is also a free online course from Coursera titled ‘Fundamentals of Music Theory’. These are just a very small selection of resources which are available to improve your music theory knowledge.
Music Technology (A Level) PEARSON
Music Technology is predominantly a practical course, but there is a lot of knowledge which is needed to help with the practical work and which is vital for the two exams. The ‘AS and A Level Music Technology Guide: New Specification from 2017’ by Daniel Plewinski is a coursebook written by the head of subject at the Sixth Form College and is a nationally used resource for the A level. All of the text in black is needed for the first year of the course and is a good place to start. Other resources are also available, such as ‘Edexcel AS and A Level Music Technology Study Guide’ by Tim Hallas.
Performing Arts (Applied Gen. Cert./Extended Cert.) PEARSON
Any research that could be done on our practitioners and or styles, including George Gershwin, Rodgers and Hammerstein, Stephen Sondheim; Greek Theatre, Brecht, John Godber, Bob Fosse, DV8, physical theatre, Matthew Bourne, Steven Berkoff, Frantic Assembly etc.
Philosophy (A Level) AQA
Here is what the Philosophy teaching team suggest doing in order to prepare for the subject at the Sixth Form College.
Finding out about the course
AQA run A-Level Philosophy and their website is https://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/philosophy/as-and-a-level/philosophy-7172 . You could have a quick look at what is on the syllabus.
Doing some Philosophy
In terms of doing some actual Philosophy there are a couple of really useful things you could try:
Firstly, https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL8dPuuaLjXtNgK6MZucdYldNkMybYIHKR is a great playlist of short videos. You could find out what Philosophy involves, Philosophy terminology and look into some topics that interest you. Please note: there are 47 videos and we absolutely do not expect you to watch them all!
Secondly, the Open University run a free introduction to Philosophy course https://www.open.edu/openlearn/history-the-arts/philosophy/introducing-philosophy/content-section-0?active-tab=description-tab . It’s short, it won’t cost you anything and you even get a statement of participation for doing it!
Photography (A Level) AQA
Prospective Photography students could start taking photos using your phones or DSLRs on the theme of Pattern and Texture as well as familiarizing yourself with a number of websites:
https://www.magnumphotos.com/photographers/ - look up different themes (including Pattern and/or Texture)
Physics (A Level) OCR
Physics is happening all the time with new things being discovered and discussed every day. The best preparation for the A level Physics course is to find out about the exciting things happening right now. Some websites worth visiting include
The magazine of the Institute of Physics – cutting edge reports.
Reports and articles on a wide range of scientific and mathematical areas.
Articles on a range of science topics
A good science news site.
Site with a lot of physics questions over a wide range of difficulties.
If you are into books, Brian Cox’s books “Wonders of the Universe” and “The Forces of Nature” are good to read as well as Stephen Hawking’s “The Grand Design”.
There are many good videos about Physics on youtube, sites like Veritasium are good at explaining things and for a bit of fun watch Brainiac.
Finally if you want to get more familiar with the A level Physics course a good starting point is https://www.alevelphysicsonline.com/ocr-spec-b.
Politics (A Leve) PEARSON
In Politics, you will be studying the nature of UK Politics and how the UK Government works, as well as political ideologies and Global Politics. Details of the specification can be found here https://qualifications.pearson.com/content/dam/pdf/A%20Level/Politics/2017/Specification%20and%20sample%20assessments/A-level-Politics-Specification.pdf
Politics is very contemporary, so following the news and current affairs is crucial to doing well in this subject. Certainly, following the BBC News especially Politics will be useful https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/politics as well as the https://www.theguardian.com/uk. These are free but subscriptions are required for some other newspapers
In UK government, what you are trying to understand is the relationships between the different branches of government, namely Parliament, Government and the Judiciary. Trying to see where power lies.
In UK Politics, you are looking at how people engage with our democracy through political parties, pressure groups and voting.
There is a textbook that we use but it is quite expensive to buy. https://www.pearsonschoolsandfecolleges.co.uk/secondary/SocialScience/GovernmentPolitics/EdexcelASAlevelPolitics2017/ISBN/Student-Books/EdexcelGCEPoliticsASandAlevelStudentBookAccessCode.aspx. We try and offer this book as an e-textbook to all students studying Politics at the College.
Any wider reading about Political themes is also recommended from novels, to autobiographies to classic political texts are all valid.
Product Design (A Level)
Watching the ‘how it’s made’ videos on YouTube is really useful, also the repair shop on BBC I player gives a good insight into making techniques.
Psychology (A Level) AQA
If you would like to do some work to prepare for your Psychology A level here are a few suggestions:
Novels: “The Shock of the Fall” by Nathan Filler, “One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest” by Ken Kesey. Anything by Oliver Sachs.
BBC Iplayer: Stacey Dooley “On the Psych Ward”, Louis Theroux “Talking to Anorexia”, “A Different Brain”, “Transgender Kids”.
Websites: Tutor2you. Simply Psychology
Textbook: “AQA Psychology for A Level Year 1 & AS” - Student Book
by Cara Flanagan.
Religious Studies (A Level) WJEC EDUQAS
On the Philosophy and Ethics side of the course it would be useful to think about the Design Argument for the existence of God. You may be familiar with the version put forward by William Paley. See if you can find details about it online. Can you find any other versions of these ‘design arguments’ online?
We cover the EDUQAS specification, with Christianity as our chosen focus. There is a textbook, which can be found here: https://www.illuminatepublishing.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=14&products_id=114 and there are a number of sample pages you could read.
On the Christianity side of the course, it is helpful if you ensure that you are familiar with the key events in the life of Jesus, and this can be done in a number of ways, including films and books.
Sociology (A Level) AQA
Sociology involves the study of modern British society and as such there is a great deal of benefit in terms of looking at media websites, such as the BBC and Guardian. Look at their websites and in particular pages such as:
There are also some films worth looking at:
- Lion (film, on Netflix)
- Straight Outta Compton [On Netflix]
Books to read :
- Dead White Men and Other Important People: Sociology's Big Ideas
By Ralph Fevre. It’s a sociology novel
- There are lots of A Level textbooks available via Amazon, e.g. written by authors such as Ken Browne and Rob Webb- we use the AQA Syllabus.
Spanish (A Level) AQA
See Modern Languages
Sport & Physical Education (A Level) AQA
Sport (Applied) Applied General Cert/Extended Cert.) PEARSON
Read information on the following Anatomy & Physiology topics and make notes/revision summary.
- Main structures of the heart e.g. Aorta, Right & Left ventricles, Cardiac Conduction System, The function and structure of Arteries, Capillaries & Veins.
- Major muscles of the body and the characteristics and functions of Fast Twitch & Slow Twitch muscle fibres.
- Major bones of the body and the following joint actions; Flexion, Extension, Plantar flexion, Dorsi-flexion, Abduction & Adduction.
Textiles (A Level) AQA
Textiles recommended websites to view:
https://museum.gwu.edu/collections Textile Museum