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Key Stage 4 Curriculum

All KS4 campuses offer English, Maths, Science, Art, Critical Studies, History PACC/RSHE and Cookery. Pupils have an individual timetable which can also include vocational courses (internal and/or external).

GCSE English Language - AQA

The AQA English Language syllabus focuses on comprehension, using unseen prose (both fiction and nonfiction) from the 19 th Century onwards. There are also two opportunities for the pupils to express themselves through original writing.

GCSE English Literature

  • 'Romeo & Juliet' by William Shakespeare
  • 'A Christmas Carol' by Charles Dickens
  • 'An Inspector Calls' by J.B. Priestley
  • 'Power & Conflict' - poetry from the 18th Century to the present day

KS4 Literacy

At Key Stage 4, there is no formal delivery of the Literacy curriculum but all interventions are available and can be delivered by teachers or support staff where pupils are struggling to keep up with the GCSE curriculum.

Pupils at KS4 whose reading age has been proven to be below 10 years old or whose literacy is showing up as a concern to get a literacy plan that is available online.

GCSE Maths - OCR J560

This is a terminal exam only course available at foundation and higher tiers. All young people study the subject in years 10 and 11 with the expectation of being entered for accreditation by the end of year 11.

GCSE Science - Cambridge 0653

A combined award rather than a GCSE of only one Science discipline suits the needs of CE pupils and meets Ofsted’s Intent strand of the framework, which states that learners should study a full curriculum. The IGCSE is a  terminal exam only course available at foundation and higher tiers. There are three exam papers; a multiple choice, a short answer written paper and a written paper on practical work and enquiry skills. All young people study Science at Key Stage 4.

By following this scheme it is hoped that young people will:

  • better understand the technological world, with an informed interest in scientific matters
  • recognise the usefulness (and limitations) of scientific method, and how to apply this to other disciplines and in everyday life
  • develop relevant attitudes, such as a concern for accuracy and precision, objectivity, integrity, enquiry, initiative and inventiveness
  • develop an interest in, and care for the environment
  • better understand the influence and limitations placed on scientific study by society, economy, technology, ethics, the community and the environment
  • develop an understanding of the scientific skills essential for both further study and everyday life

The Arts

Pupils have the opportunity to study several specification titles from OCR’s GCSE Art and Design suite. Each GCSE course consists of two components 1. Portfolio (60%) and 2. Externally set task (40%). The external exam is 10 hours in duration and takes place in campuses over 2 days.


GCSE Art and Design - Fine Art

GCSE Art and Design - Fine Art

CE pupils use the theme ‘Environment’ as a starting point for their coursework portfolio which offers an extremely broad range of subject matter to investigate, research and record. Most young people at Key Stage 4 work towards taking Fine Art GCSE.

GCSE Art and Design - Photography

GCSE Art and Design - Photography

We have two photography studios and darkroom facilities at Forest Gate and Cromwell. The GCSE is offered to small groups of Year 11 pupils from across the county. Each group is timetabled for half a day.

GCSE Art and Design - Critical Studies

GCSE Art and Design - Critical Studies

The topic of ‘Shoes’ is an ideal subject matter where pupils develop their analytical skills looking at the local history of Northamptonshire and a range of designers and artists within the shoe industry and beyond.

GCSE Art and Design – 3D Art

GCSE Art and Design – 3D Art

We have two DT workshops in Cromwell and London Road where 3D art is offered to Yr11 pupils. Pupils have the opportunity to use a range of machines, tools and materials to develop ideas into 3D products or art pieces.


GCSE History – AQA 8145

This course comprises of the following elements:

  • One period study
  • One thematic study
  • One wider world depth study
  • One British Depth study including the historic environment.

The external assessment is linear and young people sit two papers at the end of the course:

Paper 1 - Understand the Modern World

  • Section A Period Studies; (AB) Germany 1890 – 1945: Democracy and Dictatorship. Section
  • B Wider Depth Study; (BB) Conflict and tension: The interwar years 1918 – 1939.

Paper 2 - Shaping the Nation

  • Section A Thematic Study; (AA) Britain: Health and the people c1000 to the present day
  • Section B British Depth study; (BA) Norman England c1066 – c1100

GCSE Citizenship

This is a relatively new GCSE at CE and is currently delivered in two campuses. This course helps pupils develop a practical understanding of what it means to be a citizen today. Pupils learn about politics in the UK including  democracy, voting and elections, rights and responsibilities, the law, diversity and the UK’s relationship with the wider world. Pupils take part in a real life practical activity that addresses a particular issue and concern.

KS4 Cookery

Pupils have the opportunity to learn how to cook dishes that are healthy, low budget and can be completed in a lesson of 1 hour and 10 mins. They will develop a range of useful life skills which will help them in adulthood. Each week is themed and can range from cooking dishes from a range of cultures to learning about pastry. Pupils develop their kitchen skills (chopping, preparing, and hygiene) and learn about different dietary needs including gluten free food and vegan and vegetarian options. Year 11 pupils will complete a Level 2 Food Hygiene Certificate which will support employment in the hospitality sector.

All dishes are shared out at breaks for pupils and staff to taste and enjoy which not only celebrates achievements but improves and develops social skills at eating times. All pupils are encouraged to sit and eat at a table  together.


PACC is an acronym, standing for PSHE (Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education) Activities, Careers and Citizenship. The topics covered in PACC education aim to help young people stay healthy, safe and prepared for life and work. We consider PACC to be a vital opportunity to engage pupils in these aspects of their education. To this end an entire half a day is dedicated to its delivery across all campuses. All staff play an equal role in its delivery in order to promote its importance and to form part of a broad and balanced curriculum.

The KS4 curriculum covers a range of topics including drugs and alcohol education, mental health, healthy and unhealthy relationships, sex and anatomy, consent, pornography and gender identity and careers. KS4 pupils may also engage in a period of work experience if appropriate.


Contact Us

County Office: Cromwell Campus, Poole Street, Northampton, NN1 3EX
General Enquires: 01604 239 734

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