In GSCE (the General Certificate of Secondary Education) years, students in the UK are required to complete the study of 8-11 subjects they choose during two years. It’s safe to say that these subjects they chose sets the direction of their whole life. So how to consider the options? In fact, it all depend on a certain factor. Now let’s hear from the advices from Matt Chomicz, the tutor who’s responsible for designing the curriculum of BE.
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BE: Could you briefly describe the GSCE curriculum?
Matt: one of the things that top schools or prep schools in the UK actually look for is they do actually quite encourage international students coming across. What we’re really looking for is that we’re trying to find somebody that is well-balanced, somebody that isn’t just academic, but also enriched in other areas as well. We want a student that is interested in hobbies, that has a range of extracurricular activities. I’m not trying to say you need to be the best climber, runner or a fantastic musician, but having a different range of abilities is something we definitely encourage.
From a personal experience, I actually did go to a private secondary school. And one thing they were looking for is a range of different things. At that point then, I actually played a lot of computer games, and that was the reason why I was able to get into the school. It wasn’t the fact that I was well ready, that I was well-spoken. It’s because I had an interest, a hobby, I had something that I actually wanted to do, and it’s something I wanted to progress into. I really encourage our Chinese student to make sure you sort of know who you are and know what you like and be able to express them on paper or during the interview.
BE:How to consider GSCE options？
Matt: regards to choose a curriculum, what the student really does need to do is that they need to find their passion quite early. There’s always a big debate as to what sort of curriculum is better. Is it the one that gives breadth, like certain countries do, or is it something that requires to do the depth. One of the things that the UK is looking for is a depth of knowledge. We want the students to really enjoy their subjects. One of the challenges of moving into Year 10 is the fact that quite a lot of the students have already chosen their options in Year 9. In fact the school encourage to run genuinely in Year 9 to seriously think about their options, then come February, March time to decide their options so they actually start their curriculum at the beginning of Year 10.
If any Chinese student is considering moving into the GCSE curriculum, one thing that they should start thinking about is what are the subjects they actually want to study, and they need to make sure when they come to BE, they are open and honest about what they enjoy doing. This enables the study advisor to give a lot more coherent study plan for them and then helps us to tailor the tuition to exactly what they need to enable them to achieve what they possibly can do.
BE: As a tutor in GCSE subjects, could you please introduce about the science subjects?
Matt: one of the things that’s perhaps slightly different with regards to preparing for the exams is the fact that in English education, we always build on the foundation of what we previously learnt. What happens is like this: we start from the primary school, and we might be just having a look at sunlight, or seed growth. Then in key stage 3, we then start to have a look at which fact affects all of these. We start talking about photosynthesis.
When we move into GCSEs, we start having a look at what chemical compounds are involved in photosynthesis, what the carbon cycle is. In fact, the way that GCSE science is that we try to bring everything together to make sure the students have a proper holistic look of what science is as a discipline as opposed to what it potentially could be.
That is one of the things of what we’re designing in BE at the moment, a bespoke curriculum that helps them to get into the school we advise them to go to. We are designing a bespoke curriculum that is based on the national framework guidelines of key stage 3 GCSE. The generic model we use is to make sure that we know that students can access the top 25 six forms eventually. When the study advisor runs the diagnosis, they know exactly which school we suggest, then we are going to be liaising with them, talking about which exam they’re doing, which modules they’re taking and have taken. In that way it means that we at BE convene something progressive to accelerate their studies.
It’s not as if the student has been in China and then has magically appeared in UK. It’s as if they’ve actually had UK education in BE in China and when they move across to the UK, nothing different happened. They are just following the exact same curriculum. That’s one of the best things about BE. We’ve got fantastic relations with the schools over there. All we really want to do is to make sure the students have access progress and achievements.
Matt is an expert of BE in the admission exam of UK boarding school. He has a deep knowledge of Common Entrance, Ukiset, GCSE and GCSE subjects. He will share more real stuff with us about UK boarding school admission exams in the coming future. Please stick around with us.
Senior education expert of BE, the speaker ：
🔷 Graduated from: University of Lancaster
🔷 Once employed by local schools in the UK, responsible for the teaching management and teaching of certain subjects, a good knowledge of UK education system.
🔷 BE tutor, leading the curriculum design
🔷 Students admitted to: Aldro Preparatory School, Bryanston School, Shrewsbury School