Key Stage 4 Curriculum Intent

Building on the strong foundations of our Key Stage 3 curriculum, our curriculum at Key Stage 4 is designed to provide students with a broad and rich learning pathway that balances a strong academic core with a wide range of subject choices to meet the needs, interests and future aspirations of each student. Our curriculum provides a wide offer to students and is supported by strong implementation in the classroom from our subject teams.

All students study the core subjects English, Maths, Science as well as PE and PHSE. This is supplemented by the option subjects selected by the individual, some of which are ‘Ebacc subjects’.

We deliver a range of traditional GCSEs as well as a number of vocational courses. We review our curriculum offer regularly to ensure it is relevant and engaging for all our students, and, most importantly, that it prepares our students for life beyond Kingdown School.

In every subject across KS4 we aim for students to receive:

  • Excellent subject knowledge shared through high quality teaching and learning;
  • Lessons delivered with high levels of engagement;
  • Sequenced learning that builds from substantive and disciplinary knowledge, gained at Key Stage 3
  • Knowledge that ‘sticks’ – we interleave and revisit ‘powerful’ knowledge to ensure students remember what they need to so they can apply it quickly and fluently
  • Good quality careers information and guidance for our impartial specialist Careers Advisor.

Core Subjects

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

English – 7-8 hours per fortnight. All students are entered for English Language and English Literature GCSE qualifications.

Maths – 8 lessons per fortnight. All students are entered for GCSE Maths and Statistics.

Science – 10 lessons per fortnight (or 15 if taken as a Triple Science option). All students are entered for Combined Science; or Biology, Chemistry and Physics.

PE – 4 lessons per fortnight. Non-examined unless taken as a GCSE option.

PHSE – 1 lesson per fortnight. Non-examined. A discussion-based approach to key themes from the personal, social and health education curriculum.

Option Subjects

Our students have access to a wide range of additional GCSE and vocational qualifications based on their interests and future aspirations. We place students into one of three pathways (Green, Purple and Red) to help guide them towards studying an appropriate number of GCSEs. Please note that the pathways model is only a guide for individual students: where a student wishes to study according to a different pathway, accommodation can usually be made to suit a particular aspiration or interest in a subject or subjects.

Subject Overviews

You can find more detailed information about what your child will be learning and how they will be assessed in our subject overviews, available here

Next Steps

If you'd like to return to our Curriculum overview, please click here.

If you'd like to look at our Curriculum Intent at Key Stage 3, please click here.