Accessibility Tools

Key Stage 4 Curriculum

All Key Stage 4 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

English: Key Stage 4

Contact for further information: Gary Morton/01933 445830


The English curriculum group works with six members of staff across all campuses.  We are committed to improving every student’s enjoyment of English; to help them gain at least one, preferably two GCSEs in our subject and to improve their life chances by giving them the opportunities to improve their reading, writing and use of standard English.

Key Stage 4

At KS4 we follow the AQA English Language (8700) and English Literature (8702) syllabuses. In studying for these two GCSEs, students will experience a range of literature, including novels, poetry and plays from the last 500 years, including Shakespeare, Dickens, Shelley, Blake, Wilfred Owen, Duffy, Dharker and Agard.

The aim is to get as many students as possible both GCSEs, however late exclusions following weeks, perhaps months in isolation and a lack of development of basic literacy at previous schools can make this a difficult task. 

Our hope remains that the students will all reach their potential in English and that some will take their study of the subject further.

Our students at CE Academy view life from a different angle and we firmly believe that we can harness that uniqueness to their advantage.  We have chosen texts such as ‘An Inspector Calls’ that get to the heart of some of the issues in their lives in order that they might engage better and write with originality and flair.

KS4 Literacy

Literacy: Key Stage 4

Contact for further information: Gary Morton 01933 445830


As well as being an umbrella term for students’ abilities to read and write across all campuses, Literacy is taught as a specific subject at the two KS3 campuses, William Knibb and Spring Gardens.

Here it is given a dedicated 40 minute slot at the start of every day except Wednesday, which is reserved for PSHE.

Key Stage 4

At KS4, Literacy is delivered discreetly where there is a direct need (eg a student who cannot decode). Aside from this, it is delivered through the lesson and staff are regularly trained to ensure that lessons and resources are accessible to all students.


Progress is measured in the reduction of the deficit between the young person’s chronological age and their reading age - so that any progress shown must mean that the student’s reading age is increasing faster than their chronological age. Students are retested either every six or twelve months, according to their needs.

RA Data Analysis KS4


Increasingly, a number of young people are being referred to us where English is not their first language.  We use a combination of literary resources – such as Reading Wise in combination with the Etymological programme and resources and guidance from the Bell Foundation to sharpen and improve both their pronunciation and their comprehension of English.  This often takes the form of more rigid grammatical learning to compensate for anomalies between the two languages.  We have invested in novels and graphic novels aimed specifically at EAL learners and we continue to offer support for students with English as an additional language.

EAL students’ names are stored on the CE Literacy database where their needs can be assessed and their linguistic ability can be measured against the 5 point code (A – E), so that staff can be informed and plan accordingly.

GCSE Maths - OCR J560

Maths: Key Stage 4

Contact for further information: Paul Kairis/01604 239733


The mathematics curriculum group believes strongly in the importance of the subject, both to society and to the individual. The economic benefits of a recognised qualification are of increasing value in today’s society and we believe all our pupils should have the opportunity to successfully access the subject.

Key Stage 4

We follow the OCR J560 GCSE course. 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.

Entry in year 10 is appropriate for a very small number of pupils. Entries are made on an individual basis, according to one or more of these considerations:

  • The potential to achieve a minimum of a level 4 that will provide the stimulus to study the subject to a higher level.
  • Concerns that circumstances outside of education that will prevent engagement in year 11.
  • Pupils who need practical experience of the exam system to allow them to more effectively assess their own ability and potential.

A small number of pupils will also sit AQA GCSE Statistics as an extra qualification. This terminal exam allows us to stretch those young people who either sit GCSE Maths a year early or are capable of completing an additional maths-based qualification.

Home based learning

All pupils are provided with access to a paid for selection of on-line resources. We offer support to parents/carers in the process of revision and supporting their child for the exams, where needed. The online facilities that our pupils have access to include: Mathletics, My Maths, GCSE and Seneca Learning.

GCSE Science - Cambridge 0653

Science: Key Stage 4

Contact for further information: Gareth Hill/01933 445830


The Science curriculum group is committed to enhancing the scientific skills and knowledge of our young people.  We aim to increase engagement and enjoyment by delivering interesting, hands-on lessons which relate to the world they live in.  By making Science relevant the expectation is that young people invest in the subject and develop more inquiring minds. This in turn boosts confidence and self-esteem.

Key Stage 4

For the last five years we have been following the Cambridge IGCSE course, code 0653. This decision was made following curriculum changes by the Government and the abolition of the combined single-award Science qualification.  Much consideration went into choosing a suitable replacement course and it was decided that it was preferable for our young people to have a combined award rather than a GCSE of only one Science discipline.  The IGCSE is a terminal exam only course available at foundation and higher tiers. There are three exam papers our young people sit; a multiple choice paper, a short answer written paper and a written paper on practical work and enquiry skills.  All young people study Science at KS4.

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.

GCSE History - Edexel

History: Key Stage 4

Contact for further information: Adrian Davy/01536 408976

We are dedicated to providing students with a comprehensive and engaging history curriculum that fosters critical thinking, analytical skills, and a deeper understanding of the world around them. Our History GCSE program, following the Edexcel examination board, offers students the opportunity to delve into key historical events, personalities, and themes that have shaped societies across the globe.

Curriculum Highlights:

1.     Crime and Punishment 1000-present day: From medieval justice to modern penal systems, students will explore the evolution of crime and punishment over the centuries. They will examine the societal, political, and cultural factors that have influenced attitudes towards crime, justice, and punishment throughout history.

2.     Elizabeth I: Dive into the fascinating reign of Queen Elizabeth I and explore the political intrigue, religious upheaval, and cultural flourishing of the Elizabethan era. Students will analyse Elizabeth's leadership, her challenges, and her legacy in shaping England's Golden Age.

3.     The American West: Journey across the vast expanse of the American West and uncover the myths, realities, and conflicts that defined this iconic frontier. Students will examine the experiences of indigenous peoples, settlers, and cowboys, as well as the impact of westward expansion on Native American cultures and the environment.

4.     The Weimar Republic: Delve into the turbulent history of interwar Germany and explore the rise and fall of the Weimar Republic. Students will analyse the political instability, economic hardships, and social upheavals that characterized this pivotal period, leading to the rise of Nazism and the outbreak of World War II.

Through engaging lessons, interactive activities, and thought-provoking discussions, our History GCSE curriculum aims to empower students with a deeper appreciation of the complexities and interconnectedness of historical events and narratives. 

GCSE Art and Design

Art and Design: Key Stage 4

Contact for further information: Helen Jones/01536 408976


The art and design and photography curriculum group is committed to improving young peoples’ understanding, knowledge and skills. The group consists of dedicated and hardworking staff who have a diverse range of specialisms including photography, jewellery making, print making, 3D design, painting, drawing and ceramics. All young people have the opportunity to study art and design at Key Stage 3 and 4 across all campuses unless attending college or other curriculum opportunities. We see art as an important means to helping young people gain confidence, self–esteem and understanding that the process of creating art can be beneficial in improving their attitude towards learning.  We are committed to improving young people’s enjoyment of art as well as encouraging student centred independent learning.  We encourage our young people to explore and develop their own ideas, in turn, building their self-confidence and enabling them to pursue their own interests.

In 2023, CE Academy achieved a Gold Artsmark award and are currently working towards the Platinum Award.

Key Stage 4

At Key Stage 4 young people follow a programme of study following OCR specifications. The theme ‘Environment’ offers all the young people an extremely broad range of subject matter to investigate, research and record. This contributes to them producing coursework which is engaging, vibrant and refined.  The course consists of a coursework portfolio with a final outcome and an externally set exam which is currently 10 hours in duration. Most young people at Key Stage 4 work towards taking Fine Art GCSE.  Students also have the opportunity to study Critical Studies, 3D Design and Photography at GCSE.

Photography is taught in small groups at the Cromwell Campus in Northampton and Forest Gate in Corby. Students are able to experiment with a range of digital and darkroom techniques in a studio situation.

Critical Studies is taught in all Key Stage 4 Campuses and the coursework focuses on the local shoe manufacturing industry.

Key Stage 4 students have the opportunity to visit exhibitions and the Shoe Museum in Northampton throughout their course and use this in their coursework projects.

Students’ work is celebrated in our annual art exhibition held at Delapre Abbey in Northampton, where students and their families are encouraged to attend.

GCSE Art and Design – 3D Design

3D Design: Key Stage 4

Contact for further information: Helen Jones/01536 408976

We have extended our offer of arts courses to include GCSE 3D Design.

This is available at our London Road (Kettering) and Cromwell (Northampton) campuses.

Pupils explore and develop research and analytical skills which can be transferred and used in a range of industries. Pupils look at designed objects, sculpture and installations and the work of artists and crafts people, analysing their practice to produce their own outcome.

The OCR course is made up of two components:

  • 01: Portfolio 60%
  • 02: Externally set task 40%

Pupils create a portfolio demonstrating research, exploration of media and techniques and 3D skills. Students use a range of equipment including band saws, lase cutters and vacuum former.

Similar to GCSE Fine Art and Photography pupils then produce a final piece as part of their portfolio which brings together all the skills and techniques they have learnt. All pupils will take a ten-hour practical exam, sat over two days.

GCSE Art and Design - Critical and Contextual Studies

Critical and Contextual Studies: Key Stage 4

Contact for further information: Helen Jones/01536 408976

We have extended our offer of arts courses to include GCSE Critical and Contextual Studies. This is available at all KS4 campuses.

Pupils explore and develop research and analytical skills which can be transferred and used in a range of industries. Pupils look at designed objects and interpret the work of artists, crafts people and designers taking into account the context (eg historical, cultural, social, economic or political) and how this may influence the design.

The OCR course is made up of two components:

  • 01: Portfolio 60%
  • 02: Externally set task 40%

Pupils create a portfolio demonstrating research, exploration of media and techniques and drawing skills. This is based on the local shoe industry and students are encouraged to make their own shoe at the end of the project.

Similar to GCSE Fine Art and Photography pupils then produce a final piece as part of their portfolio which brings together all the skills and techniques they have learnt. All pupils will take a ten-hour practical exam, sat over two days.

GCSE Photography

Photography: Key Stage 4

Contact for further information: Helen Jones/01536 408976

GCSE Photography is offered to young people from all Key Stage 4 campuses and is based at the Cromwell Campus in Northampton and at Forest Gate Campus in Corby.  The young people are taught in small, mixed ability groups sometimes with designated support.

The GCSE qualification involves contextual research into photographers and artists, producing work inspired by those practitioners and development of their own ideas as they experience various new techniques. The theme of ‘Environment’ is explored through photography. Projects are tailored to the young person’s skills, interests and ambitions.  Skills and techniques learnt are refined to produce a final piece for the coursework element of the qualification.  Each week young people are given tutorials where the quality and quantity of their work is monitored and plans for the next week's work is agreed. 

Young people’s responses to each project, supported by contextual research, is presented in a sketchbook which documents and records a creative journey from start to finish. This is known as the ‘Coursework Portfolio’. Upon completion of the coursework portfolio, young people then prepare for the ‘Controlled Assignment’ (exam), which is externally set by the OCR exam board. Young people have access to the exam paper prior to the exam to enable them to create their own response and a body of preparation work before they sit the 10 hour exam, split over 2 days.

Assessment: Coursework Portfolio 60%; Controlled Assignment 40%


PACC: Key Stage 4

Contact for further information: Cathy Ralph/01604239734


PACC is an acronym, standing for PSHE (Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education) Activities, Careers and Citizenship. Most of PSHE education became statutory in September 2020 under the Children and Social Work Act.

The Act introduced compulsory Relationships, Sex and Health Education in secondary schools. This statutory content – now referred to as ‘RSHE ’– covers the majority of PSHE education. Citizenship is also covered by statutory programmes of study in the National Curriculum; citizenship education develops knowledge, skills and understanding that pupils need to play a full part in democratic society, as active and informed citizens. Though not yet statutory, we still cover important non-statutory content about careers and economic wellbeing. Both our KS3 and KS4 curriculums incorporate all areas of these statutory and non-statutory subject areas.

An entire half a day is dedicated to the delivery of PACC across all campuses. All staff play an equal role in its delivery, preparation and planning in order to promote its importance and to form part of a broad and balanced curriculum.

PACC is also an ideal way to tackle any issues that arise within campuses. For example, if it is noted that there are some relationship issues between pupils, then the PACC team can deliver sessions that focus on developing positive relationships and friendships. An aim of the PACC curriculum is to prepare our young people for life beyond school in a manner that cannot be achieved within the constraints of an accredited course with GCSE objectives. However, the delivery of many of these topics is supported and reinforced on an informal basis throughout the school day.  Many opportunities arise within lessons and unstructured times to continue discussions generated earlier and incorporate them into a wider appreciation of their education.



1. Families

● Long term commitments

● Legal status of marriage

● Parenting

● Unsafe relationships

2. Respectful Relationships

● Respecting difference

● Stereotypes

● Assault

● Stalking

● Controlling behaviour

● Public sexual harassment

● Online sexual harassment

● Protected characteristics

3. Online and Media

● Cyberbullying

● Digital citizenship

● Digital footprint

● Keeping data safe

● Porn and the law

● Online relationships

● Cyber flashing

● Managing online issues

4. Being Safe

● Everyday Consent

● Abuse

● Rape Culture

● What kind of man…

● Image based abuse

● Assault

● Grooming

● Grooming case studies

● Honour based violence

● Forced marriage


● Radicalisation

5. Intimate and Sexual Relationships

●  Relationships

●  Managing conflict in relationships

● Diversity of intimate relationships

● Addressing relationship abuse

● Female anatomy

● Male anatomy

● Sex Myths

● Pleasure and Intimacy

● Consent

● Communicating consent

● Consent and the law

● Pressure, persuasion and consent

● Sexual pressure

● Having sex for the first time

● Delaying intimacy in relationships

● Ending relationships

● STIs

● STIs 2

● Fertility

● Menopause

● Contraception

● Condoms

● Condom excuses

● Emergency Contraception

● Pregnancy

● Pregnancy and childbirth

● Pregnancy choices

●  Miscarriage and stillbirth

6. Mental Wellbeing

● Feelings

● Emotional awareness

● Emotional wellbeing

● Positive wellbeing

7. Internet Safety and Harms

● Body image

● Social media v reality (CR)

● Gambling

● Advertising/influencers

8. Physical Health and Fitness

● What is a healthy lifestyle?

● Weight etc.

● Risks of an inactive lifestyle/ Benefits of an active lifestyle

● Blood and organ donation

9. Healthy Eating

●  Healthy diet

● Eating on a budget

● Food labels/ingredients  

● Poor diet and health risks  

10. Drugs, Alcohol and Tobacco

● Substance Use

● Health risks of illegal drugs

● Managing Influence

● Seeking Support

● Drugs and travelling abroad

● Prescription drugs

● County Lines

● Alcohol

● Drink and drugs driving

● Tobacco

● Vaping

● Boundaries

11. Health and Prevention

● Personal hygiene

● Bacteria/antibiotics

● Dental health

● Immune system/immunisation

● Sleep

● Testicular cancer

● Breast cancer

● Self-examination and screening

12. Basic First Aid

● Basic life support

● Bleeding and shock

● Bone and muscle injury

● Chest pain

● Choking

Contact Us

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

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