All students are placed into one of four coloured routeways based on their attainment at Key Stage 3. The colours are red, purple, green and blue. These routeways determine the number of GCSE or equivalent qualifications that students will obtain and also the combination of subjects that they can choose.

Key Stage 4 Curriculum

We believe very strongly that one of the core purposes of secondary school is to equip all students with the highest standards of literacy and numeracy, which are developed throughout the curriculum. These key skills enable Kingdown students to successfully progress at the age of 16 to Sixth Form study, to a vocational course at another provider, or into an apprenticeship or job with training. Therefore, the Key Stage 4 curriculum at Kingdown School is designed to provide a rigorous academic core for all students, alongside a range of curriculum options which enable students to specialise in the subjects they enjoy the most.

We organise our curriculum into two halves:

The Core Curriculum (approx. 60% curriculum time)

  • English – all students study English Language and English Literature GCSE. English Literature GCSE is taken in Year 10.
  • Maths – all students study Maths GCSE; many students also take GCSE statistics, or Additional Maths (also known as Further Maths). Statistics GCSE is taken in Year 10.
  • Science – all students study either double award Science (leading to 2 GCSEs), or the separate sciences (leading to separate GCSEs in Biology, Chemistry and Physics)
  • PSHE – non-examined. Students take a discussion-based approach to key themes from the personal, social and health education curriculum.

The Optional Curriculum (approx. 40% curriculum time)

Alongside the core curriculum, students can opt in to study for 3 or 4 additional subjects. To help guide students’ choices appropriately, students are classified into one of four ‘routeways’:

Red Route – our most academic routeway. Students select 4 single options from a choice of around 20 available subjects.

Purple Route – our most flexible routeway. Students select either 3 or 4 options from the available subjects. Students opting for 3 options select one ‘double option’, which is given extended curriculum time.

Green Route – our routeway which offers a number of vocational options. Students select 3 options from the subjects available, which place an emphasis on work-related and more hands-on learning.

Blue Route – our routeway for students who benefit from working in a smaller group environment. Options and curriculum time in different subject areas are varied according to the needs of the individual, with a key focus on cross-curricular literacy and numeracy.

For further details on the subjects offered within our curriculum model, please refer to our Key Stage 4 Option Pathways (internal link)

Key Stage 4 Curriculum Model for 2017-19

To help students through the options process, we have developed four coloured ‘routeways’ which dictate the number of GCSEs a student takes at Key Stage 4. Our experience has shown that it is better for some students to attempt fewer GCSEs, and be more successful in these, than to attempt many GCSEs and not meet their potential in all subject areas.

The four routeways are Red, Purple, Green and Blue:

  • Red route – this is our most academic routeway. Students are expected to pick four GCSE options, leading to a total of 10 GCSEs by the end of Year 11.
  • Purple route – these students will complete 9 or 10 GCSEs. We encourage purple route students to pick one ‘extended’ option – this is a GCSE course which is taught over double time. This reduces the homework burden on students in this option, freeing up more time at home for students to concentrate on other subject areas.
  • Green route – this is a largely vocational routeway, leading to a total of 9 GCSEs by the end of Year 11. Students will pick two extended options, plus one from Geography, History or French.
  • Blue route – students following the blue route follow an adapted curriculum to best suit their learning needs. This includes aspects of work related learning, and work experience for some. Students will complete 7 to 9 GCSEs across Key Stage 4.

Where our routeways system does not suit a student’s learning needs, the curriculum can often be adapted to suit. We know that students’ success comes from getting ‘the right student on the right course’. Please discuss your child’s individual needs with Mr Murray (Assistant Headteacher) if required.

Who to contact

If you have any questions about the Key Stage 4 curriculum model, please contact:

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