Aims of Key Stage 4

The transition from Key Stage 3 to Key Stage 4 is one of the most important steps in a student’ s school career. At the end of Year 11 students will obtain results measured against national standards that will determine their future pathway. The curriculum they follow and the subjects they choose are therefore vital in ensuring that they are as successful as they can be.

At Kingdown School, we have a very varied curriculum model that meets the needs of learners of all abilities. 

High quality teaching when combined with hard work, allows students to achieve their potential and move successfully into the next phase of their education.

Learning at Key Stage 4

We want all Kingdown students to be happy, successful learners who are engaged and motivated by the curriculum provided. Effective learning is therefore the most important purpose of the school and we aim to provide:

  • Learning environments which are safe, challenging and stimulating.
  • Courses which encourage students to take responsibility for their own learning.
  • Courses which foster an enthusiasm for learning through a variety of teaching and learning styles.
  • Courses which nurture intellectual curiosity, independent, creative and imaginative thinking.
  • Learning in a range of contexts both in and out of school involving the wider community at every opportunity.

The Curriculum

All students will be put into one of three coloured routeways, based on their attainment at KS3. The colours are Red Aspire, Red, Purple and Green.

These routeways determine the number of GCSE or equivalent qualifications that students will obtain and, in some cases, the combination of subjects that they can choose.

More about the routeways and the choice of subjects are available here.

The Core Curriculum

All students will study and obtain qualifications in the core subjects:

  • English (2 GCSEs – English Language and English Literature*)
  • Mathematics (2 GCSEs – Maths and Statistics* or Maths and Further Maths)
  • Science (2 GCSEs – Double Award Science))

* Note that English Literature and Statistics GCSEs are not always taken at the end of Year 11

These subjects will be studied for 60% of a student’s timetable. More information on the content of these subjects can be found in the individual subject sections.

It is absolutely essential that students achieve the best possible grade in English and Maths; entrance onto many sixth form courses requires a grade 5+ in these subjects.

It is absolutely essential that students achieve the best possible grades in English and Maths, as many courses post 16 require a specific grade in both subjects.

The option subjects

The remaining time of a student’s timetable will be spent on option subjects. Students will choose a variety of subjects depending on their routeway. These may be academic subjects, vocational subjects or a combination of the two.  Students will be encouraged to choose courses that are appropriate to their individual abilities, aptitudes and career plans. More information on each individual subject is available in the subject section.

To ensure all students receive a broad and balanced curriculum, students in Red and Purple Routes must opt for at least one of the following subjects within their curriculum choices: French / Spanish / the Separate Sciences / Geography / History. Students in Red Aspire must chose both a Foreign Language and a Humanities subject.

Who to contact

If you have any questions about Key Stage 4, please contact Mr Hillier, Deputy Headteacher, Head of Key Stage 4