Curriculum - Key Stage 4

Key Stage 4 (Years 9, 10 and 11)

In Year 9, learners follow one of three pathways which allow them to refine the subjects that they continue to study based on their abilities and their aspirations. All learners study GCSEs in English Language, English Literature, Maths, Science and either History or Geography.  The E-Bacc. Pathway (approximately one third of learners follow this pathway) contains GCSE courses only with an opportunity to take an additional Science GCSE and an additional qualification in Maths. The Dual Pathway contains a mixture of GCSE and BTEC courses. In addition, a very small number of learners study a reduced more personalised curriculum with some alternative courses.

The anticipated Key Stage 4 curriculum for 2020 is shown below. We review the curriculum provision every year to ensure that the curriculum offered meets the needs of the learners in that particular year group. Learners take the following subjects:

 

Compulsory Core Subjects at Key Stage 4
  • GCSE English Language

  • GCSE English Literature

  • GCSE Maths

  • Two or three GCSEs in Science – two GCSEs in Science or three separate GCSEs in Science

  • GCSE Religious Studies

  • Core PE

  • Learning for Life

Optional Guided Choices at Key Stage 4

Guided Choices are completed at the end of Year 8 supported by information, advice and guidance taught through the Learning for Life programme. Learners make 3 choices.

  • GCSE Art and Design                 

  • BTEC Business Studies

  • GCSE Computing

  • BTEC Dance

  • BTEC Drama

  • BTEC Engineering

  • GCSE Food Preparation & Nutrition

  • GCSE French

  • GCSE Geography

  • BTEC Health & Social Care

  • GCSE History

  • Cambridge Nationals in ICT

  • BTEC Media

  • GCSE Media

  • GCSE Music

  • GCSE PE

  • GCSE Spanish

  • BTEC Sport

The English-Baccalaureate Pathway

The English-Baccalaureate Pathway is for our most able learners who are capable of achieving the top grades at GCSE.  These learners are most likely to progress to take A-levels at the end of Year 11 and then go on to the research-intensive Russell Group Universities.  Green subjects go towards the English-Baccalaureate. Learners on this pathway do three separate science GCSEs.

The Dual Pathway

The Dual Pathway offers a range of subjects from academic GCSE courses to applied BTEC courses.  This gives learners a range of options at the end of Year 11 such as a Sixth Form College like our own Birchwood College, a Further Education College like Warrington Collegiate or an apprenticeship course.  Learners on this pathway complete the science trilogy (i.e. they study all three sciences) which then gives them two science GCSEs. 

The Applied Pathway

The Applied Pathway offers a range of subjects from academic GCSE courses to applied BTEC courses.  This gives learners a range of options at the end of Year 11 such as a Sixth Form College like our own Birchwood College, a Further Education College like Warrington Collegiate or an apprenticeship course.  Learners on this pathway complete the science trilogy (i.e. they study all three sciences) which then gives them either one or two science GCSEs. 

Employer and Higher Education Links

As part of their wider curriculum learners who follow any of the above pathways have access to the following professionals and organisations:
 

  • Mrs R Morris – Independent Careers Adviser

  • Higher Horizons+ -  a collaboration of 10 universities and colleges offering support and advice to learners through a range of activities

  • Manchester Growth Company – linking local employers with schools

  • Be Inspired Project – linking local employers with schools

  • Warrington Wolves Partnership

  • Warrington & Vale Royal College

  • Interserve Training – preparation for work and apprenticeships

  • HOBY Leadership Conference (Year 10)

  • Art Residential (Year 10)

  • University residentials  (Year 10 and 12)

  • Skills North West Careers Event

  • Birchwood Apprenticeship Fair

  • Mock interviews with a range of local employers

  • STEM events

  • Air Cadets

  • Armed Forces

  • National Enterprise Challenge (Year 10)

  • National Citizen Service (NCS

 

The TAG (Talented, Ambitious and Gifted) Programme

At BCHS we are ambitious for all our learners to reach their full potential. The TAG programme is for our most-able learners and it allows all learners to embrace the aspirational culture at BCHS through a range of after-school clubs and leadership opportunities. These range from the UKMT Maths Challenge, Youth Speak competition, STEM Club, the Hoby Leadership experience, the Duke of Edinburgh programme, BBC New Report as well as Oxford and Cambridge University visits. All learners in every year group are given the opportunity to take part in day trips or residential to at least one university each year. There are also outside speakers from university and industry that visit the school. 

 

Form Groups and Pastoral Care

Learners are placed in mixed ability form groups with a dedicated Form Tutor who will usually be with them for their five years in school. The Form Tutor is the first point of contact for parents and carers. At BCHS we believe there should be a strong relationship between the Form Tutor, the learner and their parents/carers built on good communication and mutual respect. There is a Year Team Leader to oversee the progress and pastoral care of every learner in their year group.

 

Learning for Life Curriculum

The Learning for Life curriculum, taught by Form Tutors, ensures learners study relevant and current topics including careers, health, relationships, financial management and personal safety.

 

Extra-Curricular Curriculum

Every day there is an extensive extra-curricular programme on offer before or after school which changes every term dependent on the needs of the learners and any requests from the learners. Information on this year’s provision is on our school website. Examples of some of our activities are listed below:

Homework Club (every day before and after school), Maths Club, Media Club, Computer Club, KODU KLUB 3D Games Creation, Design & Build Club, Violent Volcanoes and Horrible Hazards (Geography Club) History Club, MFL Linguastars (French & Spanish), Pop Choir, Breakfast Club including Table Tennis and Chess, Dance Club, Art Club, Basketball, Handball, Netball, Boys’ Football, Girls’ Football, Gymnastics, Volleyball, Rugby, Cricket, Form Delegates, Rotary Club Youth Speak, STEM Club, School Council, Revision Classes for KS4 in most subjects.