Wednesday, 05 January 2011 10:47

Key Stage 4

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Key Stage 4 Curriculum

At Key Stage 4, we strive to ensure that students’ courses are tailored to their own particular interests, strengths and career aspirations. Final choices are made only after a lengthy and rigorous careers programme in Year 10, involving discussions with subject teachers, individual career interviews and meetings with parents.

There are three pathways through GCSE, with the option chosen depending on the talents, interests and ambitions of the student. All three pathways have a core curriculum of English, Maths, Science, Religious Education, Physical Education, Personal Development and Careers. Pathways two and three differ from pathway one in that they provide more structured and timetabled support for students. In addition, the options available in pathways two and three are likely to appeal to students who wish to follow a more work-related programme, or who wish to pursue more vocationally-based courses at Post-16. All our programmes are delivered in the school (with the exception of the ‘GLAD’ programme, which is delivered in conjunction with WELB tutors).


Pathway 1

Pathway 2

Pathway 3


GCSE English

GCSE Maths

GCSE Science *

GCSE Religious Education





+4 GCSE options *



Personal Development






* A student can choose from Single Award or Double Award Science. If a student chooses Double Award Science, he or she will have 3 GCSE options.



GCSE English

GCSE Maths

GCSE Science *

GCSE Religious Education

GCSE Learning for Life & Work



+2 GCSE options



Personal Development



Learning to Learn Programme (AQA Certification)


GCSE English

GCSE Maths

GCSE Science *

GCSE Religious Education (Half Award)

GCSE Occupational Studies (Single Award or Double Award)




Personal Development



Duke of Edinburgh Award

Certificate of Personal Effectiveness

‘GLAD’ award

The subjects offered each year are shown below (please note that timetabling constraints may apply):

Additional Maths

Art and Design

Business Studies

Child Development




English Language

English Literature




Home Economics



Occupational Studies

Physical Education


Technology and Design

Support and Independence:

Students are encouraged to identify and use their preferred learning styles, thereby making best use of their amazing brains. This work is supported by the college Personal Development programme and the work of our Gifted and Talented Co-ordinator. The college provides appropriate levels of support, including:

  • Strong staff-student relationships,

  • Teaching on revision strategies and ways of coping with exam pressure,

  • A year 12 GCSE mentoring programme: see below,

  • A revision programme during the GCSE exam season; again, see below,

  • This provision is balanced with encouragement to students to show independence in their learning, their organisation and their motivation.

Mentoring and Target Setting:

In Year 12, which is a crucial year for GCSE success, students are allocated a staff mentor either on an individual or a group basis. The mentor has a responsibility for monitoring progress, listening to students and advising on strategies for successful study. The individual mentoring process starts with each student and his or her parent(s) being invited to meet with the mentor. At this meeting initial targets are agreed and strategies are developed to meet the targets. These targets will be individual to the student, and are reviewed or changed at regular intervals throughout the year. The review includes feedback from subject teachers on how the student is progressing. Experience has shown that students who avail of the mentoring process will benefit from it.

Coursework and the Revision Programme:

The college has a policy of insisting upon coursework being completed in February of Year 12. This ensures that students are focused on the exams as the summer approaches.

During the exam season, preparation at home is supported by a revision programme which takes place in college. Students are provided with a programme of revision sessions before and during the exams, which are delivered by teachers for all subjects. Students thus have the support of teachers at a time when it is vitally important to them. This programme replaces the traditional notion of study leave with a much more beneficial approach.

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