Key Stage 4

11 BCSWhat curriculum do Key Stage 4 students experience?

Our commitment to a broad and balanced curriculum continues into Years 10 and 11. Students have the opportunity, however, to optimise their talents and select courses that reflect their specialisms and interests.

During Year 9 we work with parents and students to select a personalised programme for each student in Years 10 and 11. We regard this process as very important as students respond well to a more individualized, challenging and engaging curriculum that enables them to achieve of their best. For more details on the Key Stage 4 course choice process click here to take you to the section on How do we provide students with information, advice and guidance about course choices and careers?

As a ‘high performing school’ we gained a second specialism in ‘applied learning’ from September 2009. Aimed across the age and ability range the greatest impact has been at Key Stage 4 offering additional courses to students.

The majority of the courses lead to public examinations, mostly at GCSE level. A few may be certificated by the examination boards for shorter modules of work. Parents may be interested in clicking on the following image for more details on the different types of qualification that students can take and the “levels” that they operate at.


Full details of the curriculum are provided in the ‘Year 10 courses booklet’ (click here to download the current edition), which is made available in the Spring Term.

The number of GCSE subjects taken varies from one student to another although the majority currently take 9 full GCSEs.

All our courses in Key Stage 4 are grouped under Curriculum Organisers. The link of the courses between these Organisers, the Core Courses all students have to study at Key Stage 4 and the Individual Programme Courses is shown below.

Curriculum OrganisersCore Courses – all students study these coursesIndividual Programme Courses – students can select up to four of these courses
Individual DevelopmentPE, Wider Curriculum

  • statutory RE
  • BTEC WorkSkills
Art and Design Art and Design: 3D Art Graphic Communication Photography Drama Music Music (Technology) Dance GCSE PE BTEC PE and Sport RS (1 year – Year 10)Sociology (1 year – Year 11)
Global CommunitiesGeography History Business Studies BACS
MultiliteraciesEnglish Language and English LiteratureMathematicsFrench German Spanish Media Studies Statistics ICT
Empiric EnquiryScience: either Route 1: Separate sciences (physics, chemistry and biology) – takes up one of the four option choicesRoute 2: core GCSE science in Year 10 and science ‘options’ in Year 11 Food TechnologyProduct Design Resistant Materials Textiles Systems and Control Child Development

Through our membership of the Cheshire East 14-19 Partnership North we are also able to offer a range of more specialised and personalised programmes to individual students.

All students develop an understanding of the work related curriculum in areas of the curriculum and during work experience over a week in the summer term in Year 10. Increasingly students are involved in business enterprise activities through both the PHSCE and Xtra Programmes.

Curriculum Digests – Key Stage 4

For students in Key Stage 4 the Curriculum Digests take on a different name and format.

Titled Year 10 Courses and published every spring for students in Year 9 these booklets contain the following information, advice and guidance:

Helping your child prepare for KS4 and beyond

  • How to make good choices – key messages for students
  • Connexions Service – providing Careers Information and Advice
  • KS4 Course Choice Timetable
  • Guidance and support – a note for parents
  • Parents & Carers – ex.1 – preparing for the future
  • Parents & Carers – ex.2 – getting support
  • Parents & Carers – ex.3 – tips on how to help your child choose
  • Parents & Carers – ex.4 – money matters


In addition, each Key Stage 4 course has a section outlining:

  • Introduction to the course – what examination specification will be followed?
  • Course description – what knowledge and skills will students be learning?
  • Assessment – what tasks will the students have to do to achieve the qualification?
  • Homework – what commitment will students have to make outside of lessons?
  • What websites do we recommend?

Please click here to download the current edition of the Year 10 Courses booklet: Year 10