Key Stage 4

KS4 Overview

Years 9 to 11 are important years in preparing students for external examinations and for further education or apprenticeships.  Having a three year Key Stage 4 allows us to devote appropriate time to maths, English, science and all subjects.  It also ensures that students have a broad choice, being able to select up to 4 options to be studied.  All students follow the core subjects of PE, IT, Religious Studies and Personal Development. Additional elements such as British Values and SMSC are covered within tutor time.

KS4 Subjects:
English, English Literature, Mathematics, Science, Biology, Physics, Chemistry, French, German, Computer Science, History, Geography, Music, ICT, Art, Art Textiles, PE, Photography, Film Studies. Media Studies, Sport, Dance, Health & Social Care and Business Studies

KS4 English

In Year 9, students begin to study their GCSE texts, which include ‘Blood Brothers’, ‘A Christmas Carol’, ‘The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde’ and ‘Romeo and Juliet’. This is quite demanding as they are required to write essays for each text in the exam without the use of the books, therefore we revise the titles throughout Year 10 and Year 11. They practise writing stories and other formats such as letters, reviews, speeches, reports and blogs whilst also improving their spelling, punctuation and grammar.

They are required to complete a Spoken Language task in order to gain their GCSE in English Language and this takes the form of a speech, presentation or group discussion.

KS4 Mathematics

Pupils start GCSE maths in year 9. This is delivered over 3 years following the Edexcel specification

The scheme of work is broken up into two tiers (Higher and Foundation), and then into units and sub-units. The grades available for the Higher Tier are 9- 5 (9 being the highest grade. The foundation tier grades available are 5 - 1(U).

In year 11 pupils are given plenty of opportunity to personalise their studies by attending revision classes after school on a Tuesday night, Saturday school and holiday revision sessions.

Paper homework is set once a week but all pupils have access to online revision tools to help them personalise their study

KS4 Science

In Year 9 students study transition units in biology, chemistry and physics unit which prepares them for their GCSEs. After Christmas, year 9 students begin their GCSEs. Some students will take a Triple Science pathway, receiving six lessons a week. Whereas others will go down the combined Science pathway, receiving four lessons a week and covering biology, chemistry and physics units.

Combined Science students are taught over four lessons a week. They cover biology, physics and chemistry content within their lessons and are assessed at the end of Year 11. Combined science students will gain two qualifications in science, which will is an amalgamation of all three specialisms. Final assessments of combined science will be 100% exam based; practical will take the form of required practicals delivered within lessons.

Students who are directed to the Triple Science pathway complete a GCSE in Biology, Chemistry and Physics. They spend six lessons in Science, receiving two lessons in each subject per week, taught by a specialist teacher. Like combined students, they complete required practicals within their lessons which they will be asked about within the exam.

KS4 Modern Foreign Languages

In year 9, pupils undertake an intensive year of language training in their chosen language in order to ensure that they have the very best range of skills and language competencies to equip them for the new style MFL GCSE.

In years 10 and 11, pupils start the new GCSE specification properly, in which they are taught three main topic areas as well as important cultural reference points for whichever language they are studying. Their skills in spontaneous conversation, role-play tasks, translation into and out of target language are repeatedly practised to equip them with the skills to complete the new 100% final exam specification in MFL.

KS4 Humanities

Geography Curriculum Key Stage 4

In year 9, pupils are introduced to the unit ‘living with the physical environment’. Here they explore natural hazards and how they impact human life. To help develop their knowledge further pupils focus on specific case studies. This helps to locate key hazards and events and raise awareness of how different countries cope with the impact and responses.

In years 10 and 11 pupils are introduced to the unit ‘challenges in the human environment’. Here they explore urban challenges and economic development, focusing on the difference between a rich country such as the UK and an emerging country such as Nigeria. Pupils also develop their Geographical applications that are assessed in their exams. This involves participation in fieldwork and geographical enquiry.

History Curriculum KS4

In key stage 4 pupils study Nazi Germany 1918-1945, investigating the problems of the Weimar republic, the reasons why Hitler became Chancellor and consolidated his power as well as life in Nazi Germany. Pupils also complete a controlled assessment on Skipton Castle, looking at the events that influence the creation and development if the castle.

Religious Studies Curriculum KS4

In KS4 pupils explore a variety of ethical issues such as medical science, relationships, and life. Here they have the opportunity to develop their knowledge on key reasons for decisions that others make and justify their actions. Pupils participate in group work and discussions to investigate moral dilemmas and suggest possible outcomes or solutions. 

KS4 Arts

Art Curriculum Key Stage 4

In year 9, pupils undertake workshop style lessons to gain creative skills using a range of media, materials and techniques that they use as part of the design projects in their chosen endorsement of Art, Textiles or Photography. Contextual studies are integral to all projects with pupils looking at a variety of contemporary and historical artists.

In year 10 and 11, pupils have to complete two extended coursework projects, which consist of artist research, ideas and development which lead to creative final outcomes. In year 11 pupils undertake an external assessment which is a project from a series of starting points set by the exam board. Pupils must produce a timed final piece in exam conditions over 10 hours.

Dance Curriculum Key Stage 4

In year 9, students develop their basic technical and expressive skills in a series of practical workshops. They will be assessed at milestone points in their learning on their rehearsal discipline and their personal log which documents their progress.

In year 10 and 11, students complete the Level 2 Btec Performing Arts (dance). The course is based around learning dance in various styles and preparing pieces of repertoire for performance as well as developing their own performances under controlled conditions

Music Curriculum Key Stage 4

In key stage 4 music, most students are working towards gaining a vocational qualification, in which they develop their practical skills, primarily through ensemble performance. Lessons are focused on building on the instrumental skills learned at key stage 3 and learning rehearsals techniques. Students will have the opportunity to take part in performances in and outside of school.

Students also learn about a wide variety of styles of music and have the opportunity to choose one of these styles to study in more detail. 

Students also have the opportunity to study for a GCSE in music, which in addition to the performance and composition elements, includes study of a number of set works in detail. 

KS4 Health & Social Care

In years, 9 and 10 pupils undertake a Level 2 BTEC qualification through a combination of practical experience and written assignments. We actively engage pupils in the processes of Health and Social Care to help them develop as effective and independent learners. We encourage pupils to understand aspects of personal development and the health, social care and early-years sectors through investigation and evaluation of a range of services and organisations; this continues into year 10 and 11 where pupils examine issues that affect the nature and quality of human life including an appreciation of diversity and cultural issues.

The current cohort of year 11 are completing their OCR GCSE in Health and Social Care which includes a controlled assessment that is worth 60% of their overall grade.  The exam is then worth 40% which the pupils will complete in June 2017. 

KS4 Physical Education

In KS4 year 9 options, students complete a preparation year before starting a BTEC L2 in year 10. They are covering the current Edexcel GCSE PE specification focusing on topics such as methods of training, healthy active lifestyles and factors which influence sports participation.

Year 10 students complete the L2 BTEC first award, which is comprised of four units over a two year period. Unit 1 is the only externally assessed component of the qualification, with students completing this within the final term of this academic year. They are also focusing on Unit 2, which is centred around practical sports performance.

Year 11 students study a mixture of Edexcel GCSE PE and the L2 BTEC first award mentioned above. The GCSE course is 60% practical where students are assessed on their sporting ability (In four different sports) and their ability to analyse sporting performance (AOP) and create a personal exercise programme (PEP). The practical moderation day is timetabled for the 26th April. The remaining 40% will be assessed through an exam, testing their knowledge on ten separate units studied throughout the keystage. 

KS4 Personal Development

In KS4 pupils continue to complete one lesson of personal development each week advancing their knowledge from KS3 topics. These topics are explored in more detail and further subjects such as drugs, SRE and radicalisation are covered. There is no assessment within this subject within KS4. Pupils will also have to opportunity to improve their leadership skills, with some pupils being used to organise and lead events for our feeder primary schools.

KS4 IT & Business


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