Environmental and Land Based Science at Abbotsholme

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ELBS at Key Stage Four (Years 10 and 11: GCSE)

Environmental and Land Based Science (ELBS) is offered as a subject at GCSE level. This is a full science option, additional and equal to the other sciences on offer. The objective of the course is for pupils to gain an understanding of basic core principles of science through environmental scenarios. There are two units, Management of the Natural Environment and Horticulture and Livestock Husbandry. The course relies heavily on pupils learning through hands on practical experience and therefore, approximately fifty percent of the time is spent carrying out practical work. This will include:

  • monitoring and maintenance of habitats on the school estate
  • work in the school greenhouse and on the allotments
  • handling and caring for farm livestock
  • laboratory work

There are two exams worth 20% of the marks each, the other 60% of the marks are awarded for course work carried out under controlled assessment conditions. This course is recognised by veterinary colleges as a valuable additional science subject. For entry to Agricultural college it is recognised as a full science GCSE especially important if pupils are finding pure sciences difficult. Most importantly, it provides understanding of Environmental issues in the news today and part of your childs future.

BTEC Agriculture at Sixth Form

In the sixth form Abbotsholme school is unique in offering a suite of Level 3 BTEC qualifications in Agriculture. These are vocational qualifications equivalent to either an AS level (Certificate), full A level (Subsidiary Diploma) or two A levels (Diploma) in size. Pupils are required to work on the school farm and estate and in the case of the Diploma also have to gain work experience in the holidays. Pupils are able to make full use of the beautiful estate at Abbotsholme working alongside both teachers and estate staff throughout the seasons. Tasks are wide ranging and include:

  • dehorning cattle
  • bottle feeding lambs
  • woodland maintenance
  • tractor driving

The studying is entirely case study based, pupils analyse and research what they have done and why they have done it. For many this is a very successful learning strategy and means that alongside their qualification they can also demonstrate a significant number of hours of work experience. These qualifications also earn the same number of UCAS points as the equivalent A level counter part for the purpose of university entrance. BTEC qualifications are fully recognised by all British universities and further education colleges.

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