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Key Stage 4

Our Key Stage 4 curriculum is deliberately flexible, with a staggered approach to specialisation which allows students to benefit from a broad and balanced curriculum, whilst beginning to focus more strongly on their academic interests and passions.

Year 9 - Breadth and the beginnings of choice

All students begin their GCSE courses for the core subjects of English Language and Literature, Mathematics and Science in Year 9. We believe that studying for these important exams across three years enables our students to develop a greater depth of understanding as well as increasing the likelihood that they will achieve the top grades.

All students also study Computer Science, History, Geography, PE and PSHE/Citizenship in Year 9. In addition to these compulsory subjects, students are able to choose a number of other subjects to study during this year which they may then choose to pursue to GCSE level and beyond. Choices include:

  • Any two of: Art, Design & Technology, Dance, Drama, Music
  • Classics
  • Computer Programming
  • Food Technology
  • French
  • Graphics
 
  • Italian
  • Latin
  • Spanish
  • Philosophy & Ethics
  • Photography
  • PE
  • Psychology

Years 10 and 11 - Depth of study and specialisation

From Year 10, our students are offered a wider choice of additional courses from which to build their GCSE portfolio. We work closely with each student to ensure that the choices they are making support their aims and ambitions for Key Stage 5 and beyond. We encourage and support our students in achieving good GCSE grades for the subjects that will allow them to qualify for the English Baccalaureate. We also offer some subjects with more advanced material than GCSE as a result of our three-year approach to the Key Stage 4 curriculum. Additionally, we offer a select number of BTEC and vocational courses to supplement our GCSE options for students for whom this is appropriate.

All students study English Language and Literature, Mathematics, Science, PE and PSHE/Citizenship in Year 10 and Year 11. Depending on the pathway they have chosen, students then choose further courses from the following list.

 

  • Art & Design
  • Classics
  • Computer Science
  • Dance
  • Drama
  • Economics
  • French
  • Geography
  • History
  • Italian
  • Latin
  • Mandarin
  • Music
  • Philosophy & Ethics
  • Photography
  • Psychology
  • Resistant Materials
  • Sociology
  • Spanish
  • Textiles

 

Key Stage 4 extended project

From Year 9 onwards, our students work on an extended project, which builds on their experience of Thematic Learning in Key Stage 3 and secures the independent learning skills needed for Key Stage 5. The project is completed in a series of stages throughout Key Stage 4, culminating in assessment through a range of media such as formal presentations, productions and written reports. It also forms part of our plans for Key Stage 5, at which point, with some further development, it would be accredited as an AS level.

 

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