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.
GCSE Guide 2016 – 2018 now available here
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.
Our Year 9 curriculum builds on the foundations of our excellent provision across Year 7 and Year 8, allowing students to sample a range of new courses, as well as beginning to specialise in subjects at which they have begun to excel. Students are able to make curriculum choice; therefore, personalising their curriculum, in the following areas in Year 9:
Within the visual and performing arts, students choose two of the following disciplines to study in greater depth:
|“High quality teaching in the school’s subject curriculum is providing firm academic foundations…..before they embark on their Key Stage 4 and post 16 qualifications. The wider skills developed in thematic and enrichment opportunities ensure Archer students approach the wider variety of courses with confidence.” Ofsted, June 2015.|
From a range of GCSE courses which they may study just for the duration of Year 9 or take forward into their Year 10 curriculum. Students make one choice from the following menu of courses:
Our year 9 curriculum choices guide is available here
Years 10 and beyond - 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.
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.