Our two-year Key Stage 4 curriculum builds upon the rich literacy, numeracy and thinking skills our students acquire at Key Stage 3.
The curriculum at Key Stage 4 is broad and balanced, with a strong focus on the EBacc subjects of English, Maths, Science, Humanities and Modern Foreign Languages.
All students at Key Stage 4 study English Literature, English Language, Maths and Science, as well as PRE and PSHE. Students also select 4 GCSE options from the following subjects: GCSE Art, GCSE Business, GCSE Computer Science, GCSE Design and Technology, Child Development BTEC, GCSE Drama, GCSE French, GCSE Further Maths, GCSE Geography, GCSE German, GCSE History, Information Technology BTEC, GCSE Media Studies, GCSE Music, GCSE Physical Education, GCSE Religious Studies, GCSE Separate Science, GCSE Spanish and GCSE Textiles. At Orleans Park we encourage all students to select a humanity and a modern foreign language as two of their GCSE options, and do not limit students to one modern foreign language or humanity.
In designing this curriculum, we recognise the importance of preparing our students to become successful students, responsible citizens, and confident individuals.
At the heart of our quality first teaching is differentiation, assessment and feedback. Teachers regularly review the curriculum to build on retrieval practice and the deepening of student knowledge and skills. All students follow Learning Journeys for each module of work which accumulate in summative assessments and a deep marked formative assessment marked in accordance with GCSE marking and assessment criteria. Students also sit three sets of trial GCSE examinations throughout Key Stage 4, in order to hone their examination technique and to ‘put into practice’ their learning of GCSE content.
Interwoven into our Key Stage 4 curriculum offer is a careers focus, where students have the opportunity to explore different careers in depth throughout the Key Stage and importantly, make links between these careers and the GCSE subjects that they are studying. There is also a wide range of extracurricular activities and trips to support their learning, and ensure all students are responsible citizens and actively engage in our community positively.
The impact of our well planned and sequenced curriculum ensures that at the end of Key Stage 4, all students have become confident learners and have developed a deep understanding of the subjects that they have chosen to study at GCSE. This enables them to make a smooth transition to post-16 programmes of study. Through becoming confident and expert learners, students at the end of the Key Stage 4 curriculum achieve a set of GCSE results which will enable them to progress to their post-16 destination/pathway of choice.
A fundamental aspect of the Key Stage 4 curriculum at Orleans Park is ensuring that students are well-informed of the different post-16 pathways that are available to them via the Baker Clause. This is not just delivered via departments and in lessons, but also (and not limited to) the PSHE curriculum, during tutor time and specific ‘careers within the curriculum’ weeks, careers days, Unifrog, external speakers from colleges and apprenticeships, and the school’s careers advisor.
The school’s careers adviser meets individually for an hour with every student, to create an action plan for their post-16 applications, and students that require further support work more closely alongside the school’s careers adviser to ensure that they find an appropriate post-16 course and destination.
At the end of the Key Stage 4 curriculum all students should be confident with the post-16 courses and destinations that they have applied for, due to the level of support and guidance they receive during Years 10 and 11.