Pathways at Key Stage 4

In Key Stage 4, pupils have enhanced time for the core subjects of English and Maths. As a Catholic school, it is a priority that all pupils study GCSE RE. The time for PE is accredited through the OCR National Certificate in Sports Studies and Sports Science and this recognises the importance of health and fitness in our lives. All pupils study Science.

Our curriculum offers flexibility and choice within a guided structure. In response to government curriculum changes, the options are more varied and increased in number than in previous years. Within this framework, which can accommodate the ‘English Baccalaureate’, pupils can take between ten and twelve GCSEs according to their abilities. Predominantly our level 2 courses are GCSE. We have the same academic, technical or vocational ambitions for all learners, and offer a small number of other level 2 Qualifications; BTEC Diplomas, Cambridge National and OCR National Certificates and Technical Awards for those who find this assessment pathway more accessible.

In an increasingly competitive market place it is important that the options process is taken seriously to ensure that pupils select a combination of subjects that keep  their future options open, and that they are not disadvantaged relative to students in other Schools.  We have three Pathways to ensure  pupils follow a curriculum which will lead to them fulfilling their academic potential and pursuing suitable progression routes.

Burgundy Pathway

If pupils follow the Burgundy pathway they will study the full allocation of English Baccalaureate subjects of English Language and Literature, Maths, Science, a Humanity subject (either Geography or History) and a Modern Foreign Language (either French or Spanish).  They will also study Religious Education and Physical Education (either Sports Studies or Sports Science).   These subjects are highlighted as desirable from the best universities and the business community. They will then have two further option subjects to choose.

Blue Pathway

This combination of subjects provides a broad and balanced curriculum and ensures that no future opportunity is closed to pupils.  Pupils who are successful with this combination will ensure they are competitive in all further education and employment scenarios.   The Blue pathway involves studying English Language and Literature, Maths, Science, a Humanity subject (either Geography or History), Religious Education and Physical Education (either Sports Studies or Sports Science).  They will then have three further option subjects to choose from the list of GCSE and Vocational subjects offered.

Yellow Pathway

The Yellow pathway provides pupils with an opportunity to study technical qualifications alongside their core academic curriculum.  This combination of subjects provides them with an opportunity to study qualifications within a vocational setting.  These subjects will support their journey into further vocational education or Level 2/3 apprenticeships.  The Yellow pathway involves studying English Language and Literature, Maths, Science, Religious Education and Physical Education (either Sports Studies or Sports Science).  Pupils will then have four option subjects to choose from, focusing on some of the vocational qualifications offered.

Further Support and Guidance

To support pupils with the Options process we have organised a Year 9 Options Focus Afternoon which will be held on Wednesday 17th March from 1.30pm-3.10pm. If we have returned to school by this point the session will be delivered in school. However, if we are still working from home the session will be delivered on google classroom and parents are very welcome to join the session.   This is a really important date in the school calendar. It is vital that pupils attend the session as places on some courses are limited. 

The event will help pupils to choose the subjects that they will be studying for the next two years (Key Stage 4). They will be working towards examinations, from which important decisions will be made about their future.  During the afternoon pupils will be provided with lots of information about the various subjects offered, and our guided pathways. This will enable them to make an informed decision about what combination of subjects will be right for them, and how to complete the Options choices application.  

Individual pupil guidance meetings will take place in the weeks following the Year 9 Options Focus Afternoon. The deadline for options choices will be Monday 12th April 2021.