Before the end of Form 3, pupils will choose 10 subjects which will form their GCSE teaching timetable in Forms 4 and 5.
All pupils will study:
- English Language
- English Literature
- Religious Studies
- One, Two or Three Science subjects from Biology, Chemistry and Physics
- At least one language from French, German, Russian, Spanish or Latin
Pupils will then have a choice from a very wide selection of subjects to bring them up to a total of 10 GCSE subjects. This choice includes: Art, Business Studies, Digital Technology (Multimedia or Programming), Drama, Economics, Food and Nutrition, Further Mathematics, Geography, Government and Politics, History, Moving Image Arts, Music, PE, Physics and Technology and Design. All pupils will continue to have classes in Physical Education and Games.
One, Two or Three Science subjects from Biology, Chemistry and Physics
At least one from French, German, Russian, Spanish or Latin
Pupils will then have a choice from a very wide selection of subjects to bring them up to a total of 10 GCSE subjects. This choice includes subjects which they have studied before such as Art, History, Geography and Food and Nutrition but also includes new subjects to the pupils such as Business Studies, Economics and Moving Image Arts. All pupils will continue to have classes in Physical Education and Games.
Art & Design
GCSE Art and Design develops students’ understanding of how meanings, ideas and intentions can be communicated through visual and tactile language. Students learn how to use different media and technologies to realise their intentions.
They develop their understanding of the creative and cultural industries, and refine their work through experimentation. This places an emphasis on drawing, and on understanding and applying the design process. It encourages students to engage with the creative and cultural industries, and offers a broad and flexible content, allowing students to pursue a range of creative pathways.
Towards the end of Form 5 pupils provide an exhbition of their work for a visiting moderator and families and friends are also invited to celebrate the work of the students.
Biology at Methodist College is very ‘hands-on’, students enjoy practical-based study in our well-resourced laboratories. Our experienced staff aim to development and enjoyment and interest in Biology.
GCSE Biology provides a broad, coherent and practical course that develops confidence in, and a positive view of, science. It encourages students to appreciate the value of science in their lives and in the wider world around them. It also gives students opportunities to apply their knowledge and understanding of the nature of science and the scientific process.
Practical science is a key part of this course, with students carrying out nine prescribed practicals during the course. GCSE science specifications are the only ones to directly examine practical work, a core element of the subject.
The Business Studies department uses a range of approaches including analysing events in the news, discussions and debates on policy, speakers from local universities, businesses, brainstorming, internet research and group work. Widespread use is made of ICT for research, presentation and calculations.
Business Studies continues to be one of the most popular university and career pathways for students leaving Methodist College. It provides students with an excellent broad based preparation for careers and degrees in management, accountancy, product development, marketing, investment banking, international business, finance, actuary, retail or simply running your own business. Throughout the course, students will experience guest speakers and the opportunity to visit businesses.
At Methodist College we are passionate about Chemistry. We have a team of ten teachers who foster an enjoyment and interest in learning about Chemistry through 'hands-on' practical lessons.
GCSE Chemistry develops students’ knowledge and understanding of the material world and the effects of chemistry on society. Pupils learn about organic chemistry, quantitative chemistry and electrochemistry. They apply their understanding of the scientific process in the laboratory and develop their observational and problem-solving skills.
Practical science is a key part of this specification, with students carrying out nine prescribed practicals during the course. GCSE science specifications are the only ones to directly examine practical work, a core element of the subject.
GCSE Digital Technology is unique in the UK. Pupils choose either Route A: Multimedia or Route B: Programming. Based on this, the qualification they achieve is either GCSE Digital Technology (Multimedia) or GCSE Digital Technology (Programming).
Pupils acquire and apply knowledge and understanding of digital technology in a variety of contexts. They also develop creative and practical digital technology skills, either using a range of generic software or in an object-oriented environment. They explore the legal, social, economic, ethical and environmental impact of digital technology. This qualification also helps them to develop transferable skills such as creative problem-solving and teamwork.
Studying drama enables pupils to develop their communication skills, builds their confidence and encourages teamwork.
During their time in class, pupils will build their confidence, expertise and knowledge of theatre practices as they will be guided through an exciting range of topics and develop their own peformance skills.
Pupils make use of our recently refurbished fully operational Drama Studio for both rehearsal and public performance. GCSE pupils also get to visit professional theatre productions which enhances their knowledge and understanding.
GCSE pupils also have the opportunity to take part in the Senior production each year, a highlight of the Methodist College calendar!
GCSE Economics engages students in contemporary economic issues in local, national and global contexts. The course emphasises financial capability and the global economy. The Economics Department at Methodist College uses a range of approaches including analysing events in the news, discussions and debates on policy, speakers from local universities, businesses, brainstorming, internet research and group work.
Employers place a high value on the quantitative, analytical and problem-solving skills gained by those who study Economics as well as the emphasis on effective communication. Economics provides an understanding of how the world works. Pupils become more informed citizens who are better equipped for the future workforce.
English Lanuage and English Literature
GCSE English Language encourages students to explore and respond, both imaginatively and critically, to a variety of texts. Pupils use reading to improve their writing and spoken language skills. They also enhance their understanding of how language variations relate to identity and cultural diversity.
GCSE English Literature encourages pupils to be enthusiastic, independent, imaginative, critical and analytical readers. We aim to increase pupils enjoyment of reading, helping to nurture a lifelong love of literature. Pupils will deepen their knowledge and understanding of a range of poetry, prose and drama. Taking the time to read carefully, independently and widely will better equip our pupils to think for themselves. Additionally, our pupils learn how to express themselves in an appropriate style and register.
GCSE French specification develops students’ enthusiasm for the language while increasing their confidence in the four key skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing. Our aim is to make the study of French an enjoyable experience and to develop an awareness of the French language while encouraging an imaginative, practical and creative approach to it.
Three contexts for learning provide plenty of variety and scope for investigating, understanding, describing, discussing and giving opinions. The contexts are:
- identity, lifestyle and culture
- local, national, international and global areas of interest
- school life, studies and the world of work.
Food & Nutrition
Food & Nutrition is a highly relevant, vibrant subject offered to pupils at GCSE. Pupils have regular experience of practical activities in which they are encouraged to develop a range of skills, including food preparation skills, organisational skills, problem solving abilities, working as part of a team and time management.
Independent learning is important; the emphasis is on investigation, acquiring new concepts and community ideas both in written and oral form. By using a variety of teaching and learning strategies pupils engage with key issues in a meaningful way. Food & Nutrition provides pupils with opportunities to explore real issues relevant to real-life contexts. These experiences lead to the development of a wide range of transferable skills.
GCSE Further Mathematics encourages students to extend their mathematical skills, knowledge and understanding. It gives them opportunities to select and apply mathematical techniques and methods to everyday situations. Pupils design mathematical models that allow them to use problem-solving strategies and apply a broad range of mathematics to different situations.
The Mathematics Department at Methodist College is proud of its reputation in the delivery of Further Mathematics. The staff are committed to supporting pupils to fulfil their academic potential.
Geography at Methodist College provides pupils with a wide range of skills, experiences and knowledge which reflect the breadth and changing nature of Geography. GCSE Geography is topical and relevant and includes Physical - understanding our natural world, and Human Geography - living in our world.
At Methody we believe that fieldwork is an essential and practical method of stimulating a sense of wonder in our environment. The everyday use of ICT in our teaching is strong and vital; helping to provide structure, support and stimulus to learning in the classroom. Pupils also have the opportunity to travel to the French Alps on a field trip in Form 4 to study a range of physical and human features.
Culturally and commercially German is one of the world's most important languages, it is the mother tongue of more Europeans than any other language, and is the first language of some 90 million people in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Luxembourg and Northern Italy, and is spoken in many other countries of Central and Eastern Europe.
GCSE German develops students’ enthusiasm for the language while increasing their confidence in the four key skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing. By studying German pupils will improve their communication skills and their ability to connect with others.
Government and Politics
GCSE Government and Politics focuses on democracy and international politics in action. Pupils develop their understanding of the political world at home and abroad. Pupils consider different political parties’ policies, citizens’ rights and responsibilities, and the role of the media.
Pupils gain insight into the political process and how government decisions affect us. At the same time students develop skills useful in any context, from analysing data and problem-solving to taking part in debates and justifying their views. Pupils who study this may be interested in careers in government, law, business, finance, research, journalism, the media, the charity sector, political research, political campaigning or public service.
History at GCSE level provides an opportunity to develop the skills which have been taught in Junior School. The department comprises of seven highly experienced teachers who possess an infectious enthusiasm for history.
GCSE History provides opportunities to study, America 1920-1933, International Relations including the Cold War 1945-2003 and Changing Relations: Northern Ireland, Ireland and Great Britain 1920-1949. Pupils consider the relevance of the past and gain a deeper understanding of the present.
History is a popular GCSE subject and the excellent results achieved by the pupils demonstrate the hard work and genuine interest that many of them have.
The two areas of study are Myth and Religion and Roman City Life. Both topics promote the evaluation of sources.
Pupils continue their study of the Latin language, explore some Roman writers as set texts. A wide range of GCSE-specific textbooks are used.
Learning for Life & Work
GCSE Learning for Life and Work engages students to explore social, personal, economic and employment issues. Topics include diversity and inclusion, social responsibility, human rights and entrepreneurship. This subject helps students to understand the connections between local, national and global issues. They develop confidence in thinking independently by critically challenging accepted views and assumptions. They also make informed decisions and take appropriate action.
Pupils have the opportunity to develop transferable skills such as creative thinking, analytical problem solving and effective teamwork.
GCSE Mathematics encourages students to develop fluent knowledge, skills and understanding in applying mathematical methods and concepts. It enables pupils to reason mathematically, draw conclusions and make deductions and inferences. Pupils learn how to comprehend, interpret and communicate mathematical information in a variety of appropriate forms.
Mathematics is fundamental to life in the sense that its unique language and forms of notation help us to calculate, estimate and problem solve. It also informs many of the choices and decisions we make about real life issues and challenges and the actions we subsequently take.
Our staff are committed to supporting pupils of all abilities and enabling all pupils to fulfil their academic potential.
Moving Image Arts
Moving Image Arts is an extremely popular GCSE which allows pupils to study films and film making through the process of creating their own short film or animation, as well as learning about film language and theory.
Pupils have access to a full suite of Apple Mac computers, allowing our students to gain knowledge and hands on experience with industry level technologies, therefore equipping them with all the necessary skills they need to study the subject beyond school level.
The GCSE course focuses on developing five core film-making skills – storyboarding, camera, editing, post-production sound and animation. Pupils acquire a range of skills on this course such as leading and working with teams and managing resources and creative processes independently, with initiative and creative enterprise.
Music is a vital part of Methodist College life, the central philosophy has always been to involve as many individuals as possible, in as many areas as may be provided, to the highest standard attainable.
The musical life of the College may be viewed as two parallel paths - curricular activities and co-curricular pursuits. In Middle School pupils will progress their skills, which include Listening, Composing, Performing and Appraising.
Pupils can also take part in our vast amount of performing groups including: Girls’ Choir, Chapel Choir, The Band, Irish Traditional Group, Senior Orchestra and Jazz Band.
At Methodist College we promote the physical, personal and social well being of all pupils, irrespective of ability, by offering a challenging and enjoyable practical experience through a balanced, progressive and relevant activity-based programme.
GCSE Physical Education offers opportunities to develop a healthy, active lifestyle and explore a range of physical activities. It inspires, motivates and challenges students and enables them to make informed decisions about further learning opportunities and career pathways. Pupils explore health, the active leisure industry, physical fitness, activities and sports through academic and physical challenges.
At Methodist College we aim to stimulate curiosity, interest and enjoyment in Physics.
GCSE Physics specification encourages students to appreciate the value of physics in their lives and in the world around them. The specification helps students to develop confidence in exploring hypotheses, evidence, theories and explanations. Practical science is a key focus, with the specification listing nine prescribed practicals that pupils must carry out during the course.
Middle School pupils benefit from an exciting curriculum that explores topics such as Motion, Force, Moments, Energy, Density, Kinetic Theory, Radioactivity, Nuclear Fission and Fusion, Waves, Light, Electricity, Magnetism, Electromagnetism and Space Physics.
Religious Education is taught to every pupil in the College through independent research, projects, discussions, developing analytical skills, use of ICT and reflective thought on key issues.
In Religious Education we aim to help pupils:
- Think for themselves, giving reasons and opinions on moral and religious issues;
- Explore matters of religious belief, including areas which people of religion disagree;
- Gain knowledge of the Bible stories. Centring on the life and teachings of Christ;
- Understand the beliefs and practices of religious traditions other than their own in an open-minded and tolerant way;
GCSE Religious Studies encourages pupils to develop an enquiring, critical and reflective approach. They explore religions and beliefs, reflecting on and responding personally to fundamental questions.
At Methodist College pupils get a truly unique experience as we are the only school in Northern Ireland to offer Russian to its pupils.
The Russian Department is responsible for the teaching of Russian from Form Two upwards. Through the study of Russian, pupils are taught listening, speaking, reading comprehension and writing skills.
Emphasis is placed on a thorough knowledge of grammar and vocabulary. Source based and analytical essay writing skills are fostered at all levels, providing pupils with a range of vital skills.
Spanish is spoken by at least an estimated 350 million people around the world and is currently the forth most commonly spoken language worldwide. Only Mandarin, English and Hindi have more speakers. Spanish is an official language on four continents and is the mother tongue in 21 countries. The sheer number of Spanish speakers and their rate of growth makes learning Spanish a smart choice.
GCSE Spanish specification develops pupils enthusiasm for the language while increasing their confidence in the four key skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing.
Technology & Design
GCSE Technology and Design encourages students to be innovative and prepared to take design risks. Our Technology and Design staff ensure an enjoyable and interesting learning experience.
Pupils explore the creative, engineering and manufacturing industries, as well as the importance of high quality technology and design.
The main areas covered are Control, Mechanisms, Materials, Pneumatics, Processes, Computer Control, Energy and Specialist Option – Electronics.