The aim of this booklet is to help parents/carers and students understand how the curriculum operates in Key Stage 4 and to provide information about the range of courses available to individual students. This booklet contains a brief outline of the curriculum, detailed descriptions of all subjects offered, and two copies of the initial preference form, one to be returned to school and one to be retained for reference.
Any student who subsequently needs a replacement form can contact their Learning Manager, alternatively, forms are available from the Parents Area of the school website. Following the Parents Options Evening, the form is used to start the process of working out each student’s curriculum. A copy of this booklet is also available from the web site.
Part A: General Information
In Years 7 and 8 all students study the same subjects of the National Curriculum. In Years 9, 10 and 11 students will prepare for external examinations and the structure of the curriculum is different. Students need to follow a selection of courses which will lead to a successful outcome. The school’s view on this is based on each student’s attainment, effort and aptitude. In very broad outline there are two main routes through the three years of Key Stage 4, but each student’s needs are considered on an individual basis.
Students currently working consistently at Progress Point 3 or higher by the end of the year 8 should follow this curriculum. Many of this group of students entered the school with above average and high scores in the Key Stage 2 National tests.
Students study the core subjects of English, Maths, Science, RE, Computing and additional subjects which would usually be GCSE qualifications. These students have the potential to achieve excellent outcomes, provided they are committed to hard work and maximum effort.
The government believes that schools should offer a broad range of academic subjects to age 16 and is promoting the English Baccalaureate. This is not a new exam but a certificate which will be awarded on the basis of good pass grades in GCSE English, Maths, Sciences, a Language and/or a Humanities subject.
Academic plus Vocational
A more mixed curriculum is suitable for a wide range of students currently working at Progress point 1 or 2 by the end of the year. This route would allow students to keep the academic pathways open to them in the future whilst allowing students to experience vocational learning.
Students would study the core subjects of English, Maths, Science, RE and Computing and additional subjects which could be a mix of GCSE qualifications plus some GSCE equivalent courses such as BTEC’s or Cambridge National course’s or entirely BTEC and Cambridge Nationals courses.
Excellent outcomes can be achieved by these students, provided that they follow advice and guidance as to which courses offer the best chances of success. BTEC courses and Cambridge Nationals have a different approach to testing than traditional GCSE’s, with greater emphasis on ongoing assessment.
All students follow courses in core subjects which are:
For English, Maths and Science students will follow a course of study which leads to appropriate certification for their ability. Higher ability students will follow separate courses.
Compulsory elements of Careers Education, Citizenship and Religious Education will be delivered over Key Stage 4. All students undergo a period of work experience at some time during Key Stage 4, usually during the summer term of Year 10.