Curriculum Structure

Key Stage 3 (KS3) now comprises just years 7 and 8, with KS4 being extended to include Years 9, 10 and 11. This change has been made to allow students greater time to study their GCSE or equivalent examination courses, which now start at the beginning of Year 9, thereby improving their chances of success in these subjects.

KS3 provides a more general education for students, with a wide breadth of subjects studied, which may then lead to more specialised study in their KS4 Option subjects. The KS4 curriculum is now completely aligned with the new Progress/Attainment 8 performance framework, which will be the new system of school accountability from 2016, as described below in the KS4 Curriculum Outline.

KS5 offers a mix of A level and vocational courses, with students being able to follow an entirely A level programme, entirely vocational programme, or a combination of both.


Subjects Studied

All students are taught over a 2-week timetable, comprising 58 periods of 50 minutes duration, as follows:


English – 10 (periods)

Mathematics – 10

Science – 6

Humanities (Geography, History) – 5

Languages – 5

Art – 4

Design & Technology – 4

ICT – 4

Performing Arts – 4

Physical Education – 4

Religious Education – 2


In addition all students study PSHCE (Personal, Social, Health, Citizenship Education) through the tutor time programme.




Subjects offered to KS4 students mirror the new Progress/Attainment 8 accountability, which places subjects in to 3 categories or ‘buckets’.


Bucket 1’

Comprises 2 compulsory subjects, as follows:

English (Language & Literature) – 10

Mathematics – 10


‘Bucket 2’

Comprises 3 subjects from:

Science (Triple, Double or Single Award)

Modern Foreign Languages

Computer Science




All must choose a Science, with Triple Award representing 3 choices, Double Science 2 and Single Award 1. All Science pathways are allocated at least 8 periods per fortnight as the first subject in this ‘bucket’, with 6 periods per fortnight for the remaining two choices.


Bucket 3’

Students make 3 choices from the following, with 5 periods per fortnight allocated to each subject:

Art & Design (GCSE)

Business (GCSE and BTEC)

Child Development (BTEC)

Construction (BTEC)

Creative Media (BTEC)

Drama (GCSE)

European Computing Driving Licence (ECDL)

Food Technology (GCSE)

Health & Social Care (BTEC)


Photography (GCSE)

Prince’s Trust

Product Design (GCSE)

Psychology (GCSE)

Religious Education (Full course GCSE)

Sociology (GCSE)

Sport (BTEC)


Other Compulsory Subjects


All students also study:

Religious Education – 2 periods per fortnight

Physical Education – 1 period per fortnight

In addition all students study PSHCE (Personal, Social, Health, Citizenship Education) through the tutor time programme.




Here the majority of courses are level 3 (A level and equivalent) courses, with a minority of level 2 (GCSE equivalent) programmes.

GCSE English Language and Maths are studied by students who have not achieved a C Grade at KS4.


Level 3 Courses

Here students have a free choice of 3 subjects from 4 option blocks, provided they have met the subject entry requirements for each.  A small minority of students, with an A grade average from GCSE studies, are given the opportunity to study 4 subjects. Each option block is allocated 14 periods per two-week timetable period. Subjects offered include:

Applied Law (BTEC)

Applied Science (A level)

Art & Design (A level)

Biology (A level)

Business Studies (BTEC)

Chemistry (A level)

Creative Media (BTEC)

Construction & the Built Environment (BTEC)

English Language (A level)

English Literature (A level)

Health & Social Care (BTEC)

History (A level)

Mathematics (A level)

Physics (A level)

Psychology (A level)

Public Services (BTEC)

Religious Studies (A level)

Sociology (A level)

Sport (BTEC)

Travel & Tourism (BTEC)


Level 2 Courses


Health & Social Care (BTEC)

Travel and Tourism (BTEC)

Business Studies (BTEC)

ICT Functional Skills