Key Stage 4 Curriculum

Our curriculum at Key Stage 4 is designed to provide students with a range of high quality learning pathways that balance a strong academic core with a wide range of subject choices to meet the needs, interests and future aspirations of each student.

We believe that our curriculum provides a diverse offer to students, that delivers strong teaching and learning across the core subjects of English, Maths, Science, PE and PSHE as well as the option subjects selected by the individual.

To achieve this we deliver a range of traditional GCSEs as well as a number of vocational (applied) courses. We review our curriculum offer annually to ensure it is relevant, engaging for all our students and – most importantly – prepares our students for life beyond Kingdown.

In every subject across Key Stage 4 we aim for students to receive:

  • Expert subject knowledge shared through high quality teaching and learning
  • Lessons delivered with high levels of engagement
  • Sequenced learning that builds from knowledge and concepts gained at Key Stage 3
  • The highest quality of careers information and guidance

Core Subjects

The core curriculum consists of English, Maths, Science, PE and PSHE.

  • English – 7 / 8 hours per fortnight. All students entered for English Language and English Literature qualifications. From September 2022, students will either have 8 / 9 lessons of English.
  • Maths – 8 lessons per fortnight. All students entered for Maths, and either Statistics or Further Maths. From September 2022, Statistics and Further Maths will be moved in to an Option only subject. From September 2022, students will either have 7 / 8 lessons of English. 
  • Science – 10 lessons per fortnight (or 15 if taken as Triple Science option). All students entered for Combined Science or Biology, Chemistry and Physics.
  • PE – 4 lessons per fortnight. Non-examined.
  • PSHE – 1 lesson per fortnight. Non-examined. A discussion-based approach to key themes from the personal, social and health education curriculum.

Option Subjects

Students have access to a wide range of additional GCSE or vocational qualifications based on their interests and future aspirations.

We place students into either the Red or Purple routeway to help guide students towards studying an appropriate number of GCSEs.

Please note that the routeways model is a guide only for individual students; where a student wishes to study according to a different routeway, accommodation can usually be made to suit a particular aspiration or interest in a subject.

The latest options pathway model is available here.

Pupil Development

Alongside the taught curriculum we strive to promote and develop students’ character, confidence and resilience. A wide range of extra-curricular activities both sporting and academic are available, including arts and crafts, the environment group, public speaking and gardening, to accompany an extensive range of sports clubs and supported study sessions. A list of available activities is shared at the beginning of each term.

To support students in preparing for life beyond Kingdown, our dedicated Careers Advisor provides expert advice, work experience opportunities and a wide range of visitors from local and national organisations to talk to our students about their future.

Subject Information

Please find below information booklets about our curriculum for each year group. If you would like any further information, please visit our staff contacts page and contact the Head of Subject.

Year 10 and 11

The Key Stage 4 Prospectus for September 2021 is available here.

Who to contact

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