Core Curriculum

English Language & English Literature

Over the course of Years 10 and 11 students prepare for two separate GCSEs in English Language and English Literature with the AQA exam board. The curriculum is interleaved meaning that students study both courses simultaneously. 

For English Literature, the set texts are: Romeo and Juliet, An Inspector Calls, A Christmas Carol and a Poetry anthology - Power and Conflict. There are two exams at the end of Year 11: Paper 1 (1 hour 45 minutes) and Paper 2 (2 hours 15 minutes). Students are assessed on their ability to infer and analyse language and their knowledge of the context of the text.


For English Language students study a range of extracts, both fiction and non-fiction, as well as developing their creative and transactional writing. There are two exams at the end of Year 11 (both 1 hour 45 minutes).  Students also complete a speaking assessment.  This does not contribute to their English Language overall grade but students are awarded a pass, merit or distinction.


Both courses are rich and diverse and hopefully will develop and nurture in students a love for reading and the joys of the English language.


All students have the opportunity to study GCSE Mathematics.  The GCSE course extends the mastery principle of the KS3 curriculum by allowing students to master skills before applying them to a range of contexts. There are five assessment objectives:  Number, Ratio, Proportion & Rates of Change, Algebra, Geometry & Measure and Statistics & Probability.

There are three exam papers - two calculator and one non-calculator - all of which are equally weighted.  Students are entered for either the Foundation or the Higher tier exam. Foundation Level enables students to achieve Grades 1 to 5 and Higher Level enables them to achieve Grades 4-9.

Modern Foreign Languages

Most students will continue to study one modern foreign language in curriculum time and for those who wish to study two or more languages, GCSE French, German and Spanish are available.  A small number of students could start GCSE Italian in curriculum time, subject to teacher approval.


All students will study combined Science (Biology, Chemistry and Physics) for at least 17% of their curriculum time.  Separate Sciences are offered to students who have a KS4 target of 6 or above or who have a target of 5 but are predicted by their teacher to exceed this.

Physical Education


The aim of Physical Education is to encourage students to acquire the competence and confidence to enjoy and get involved in exercise and develop a life-long interest in physical activity through participation. Through the PE option programme students will be able to select a range of activities to study throughout Key Stage 4.



Our PSHE lessons follow the Jigsaw programme which is centred on providing the knowledge and skills young people need to lead happy, healthy and safe lives as they move through secondary school and beyond.  The approach uses mindfulness as a core principle and is very much geared towards ensuring our young people grow in confidence and resilience, leading to positive mental health – critical in an ever-changing 21st century world.


Careers Education & Guidance


Building upon the Career Education, Information and Guidance students routinely receive from Year 7 upwards, Years 10 and 11 students become more actively involved in making decisions about their future pathways. This is facilitated through the Personal Development Programme and includes opportunities to meet representatives from local Further Education providers and from the world of work.  By the end of Year 11, all students will have been offered the opportunity to receive career information from our Career South West school advisor, who is specifically qualified to provide detailed guidance. 




All students will have the opportunity to use ICT through Key Stage 4 within individual subject areas.  Students will also be encouraged to use IT as part of their personal  programmes of study.  Use of the school network is available for research and revision at lunchtime and after school.