Academic GCSE Study –
First Time and Re Sits

At Rastrick Tutorial and International College we offer a broad range of subjects from GCSE to AS and A2 level. Download our course matrix which indicates which subjects are offered at which level.

Tuition at GCSE and IGSE Level

Tuition is for all subjects.

An assessment is the first step to see what the predicted grade will be at GCSE. A personalised learning programme will follow to include practicals, course work and controlled assessments.

We operate a flexible learning programme, depending on your needs and progress to date. This could be tuition for a single subject, an intensive term’s work for a re take or maybe you want to combine A-level study with upgrading GCSE grades. We can design a course of study and goals to suit your needs so your programme of learning will be unique to you.

First Time GCSEs

Although students normally join Rastrick Tutorial College having already taken GCSE exams, some may wish to take additional subjects or improve existing grades. Most universities require GCSE mathematics and English at grade C or above and there is often a requirement for other subjects, especially for science and language degrees.

In order to begin A-level work, students are expected to have reached a satisfactory standard in GCSE or equivalent examinations. However, in some cases students may take GCSE subjects alongside their A-levels, either for the first time or as retakes in order to satisfy university matriculation requirements.

The majority of those taking GCSE courses at the college are also taking A-levels. It is, however, possible to enrol at the college to take exclusively GCSE subjects. Some students who have started A-level courses without any previous experience in subjects such as Psychology, Economics and Law, may opt to take a GCSE in the subject as part of their preparation for the A-level. This may be a useful strategy, especially on a two-year A-level course.

GCSE subjects are normally taught over one or two years as a first-time course and either for one term or one year as a retake. As with A-levels the choice is restricted for winter examinations, many subjects being unavailable. Most GCSE subjects involve a coursework element as well as a final exam and so sufficient time has to be devoted to preparing this. Students who wish to retake a GCSE subject are normally able to carry forward their coursework grade from the previous year or, if their previous grade was not high enough, they may re-work coursework and submit it again.

Continuous Assessment

As part of your learning and teaching, your progress will be helped by timed tests and mock examinations using past papers.

Course Structure

  • For each GCSE subject, a minimum of three hours per week, for one or two years.The hours session is 55 minutes with a 5 minute break.
  • For students taking science GCSE there will need to be extra time for practical examinations and controlled assessments.
  • For language sStudents there will be additional time allocated for orals.
  • The lessons are in small groups or individuals for one hour. This can be done during the school day, evenings, weekend or holidays.

GCSE Re-sits

Examinations for re-sits take place in November, January and March each year. However, the Boards only offer limited number of subjects at this time. All subjects are offered in May/June each year. We would prefer that a student spent a year on a re-sit and was adequately prepared to take a re-sit especially with practicals and continuous assessment. However, we do offer intensive courses for short term re-sits.

You are able to join the college each year to retake GCSE subjects, either alongside first-time A-level courses or before starting A-levels. It may be necessary to retake one or more GCSE subjects simply to satisfy university matriculation requirements.

For most universities, a minimum of five GCSE passes at grade ‘C’ or above is a mandatory requirement and students should have attained at least this standard before beginning A-levels. For those who need to spend a further period of time re-taking GCSE subjects, a decision needs to be made as to how quickly to retake, which will depend on knowledge and aptitude in the subject, the amount of preparation work required, other work priorities and the availability of winter exam sittings. GCSE coursework is also a factor, as this may be carried forward or re-submitted, but is not transferable to a different examining board.

We are happy to offer advice about GCSE preparation and retake strategies, either by telephone, email or at interview. In most cases one or two subjects may be taken early, in November, with the remainder taken over a full academic year. Where only one or two subjects need to be retaken, to satisfy university requirements, it is normally possible to begin a couple of A-levels and to retake the GCSE subjects alongside these.

Course Structure

  • The standard structure for a GCSE retake course is three hours a week of group tuition week in each subject. Individual tuition is available if required.
  • Students can join us for an intensive 10 week course to prepare for your re-sit at any time during the academic year.
  • For students taking science GCSE there will need to be extra time for practicals and controlled assessments.
  • For language students there will be additional time allocated for orals.

November Re-sits

  • This is a ten week intensive course from the beginning of September
  • Weekly, this is two lessons of 1 hour
  • Teaching is in small groups or through individual tuition

January Re-sits

  • From September, a full term of teaching
  • Weekly, this is two lessons of 1 hour
  • Teaching is in small groups or through individual tuition

March Re-sits

  • From September, a term and a half of teaching
  • Weekly, this is two lessons of 1 hour
  • Teaching is in small groups or through individual tuition

Rastrick Tutorial College Classroom