Key Stage 4 Curriculum

Our Key Stage 3, 4 and 5 curricula are exceptionally varied for a small school as we firmly believe in providing a range of opportunities for our young people, allowing them to explore their creativity, become independent lifelong learners and leave school having developed key skills for employability.

Our overarching curriculum model meets the needs of our local area and is enriched with STEM and extra-curricular activities preparing the young people of Millom and surrounding areas for work in design, manufacturing, engineering and project management. Our curriculum also prepares students for success in a variety of progression pathways, including apprenticeships, further and higher education and technical routes.

Millom School recognises the importance of allowing students to explore creative subjects so we have invested in offering subjects like music and drama at Key Stage 4 as well as Key Stage 3. We have also recognised the importance of pupil choice at Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5, and as such, we have developed a large range of vocational and academic courses to ensure that our students continue on an appropriate progression plan.

The curriculum structure from year 7 right through to year 13 supports the school’s vision and core values, in particular, preparing skills for life, developing talents and pursuing interests, demonstrating employability skills and developing teamwork and leadership. This is captured by the school’s Millom Learner attributes and the Learning Journey, which were developed by the leadership team in consultation with staff and the Student Leadership Council. The Learning Journey is a roadmap showing opportunities for learners to develop the Millom Learner as well as employability skills and knowledge of careers options and progression pathways, cultural capital, their understanding of spiritual, moral and social issues and their understanding of fundamental British Values.

Our teachers deliver the curriculum at each Key Stage in a variety of ways to maximise the engagement of learners. This may involve hands on activities, practical work where appropriate, group work, use of IT, presentations and written tasks. The progress of pupils at each Key Stage is tracked against prior attainment – Key Stage 2 results for pupils in Key Stage 3 and 4 and attainment at Key Stage 4 for those pupils in Key Stage 5. Pupils are informed of their targets and assessments are tracked against target. Pupils are given specific advice and guidance to meet or exceed targets. Form tutors and Directors of Learning and Standards track the pupils’ overall performance including attitude to learning, behaviour, attendance, enrichment and contribution to the school community.

Our students participate in PE and Games throughout Key Stage 3 and 4 as we recognise the importance of developing a healthy lifestyle and allowing students time to develop a stronger ‘work-life balance’. Students study Art, Music, Technology and Drama at Key Stage 3 to allow them to investigate and explore their creativity, which they may choose to follow further at Key Stage 4 and 5. We have included personal development within our curriculum model for each Key Stage to promote the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of all students, including British Values, as well as to meet the statutory requirements of relationships and sex education.

Teachers assess pupils’ progress in Key Stage 3 using criteria that have been developed from the GCSE and vocational programmes at Key Stage 4 and 5 to ensure that pupils are developing skills, knowledge and understanding that will set them in good stead should they study that subject further. Key Stage 4 programmes do not start until Year 10 to ensure that the Key Stage 3 curriculum is as broad and balanced as possible and to ensure that students are mature enough to make informed choices during the options process.

The subject content in all areas is effectively sequenced to promote incremental knowledge acquisition and embeds key skills such as revision techniques to facilitate the transition to Key Stage 4.

Key Stage 4

Pupils in Key Stages 4 have 30 lessons per week of 50-minutes duration. In Year 9 students choose their options for Key Stage 4. Students are encouraged to take a range of subjects to maximise their progression choices at Post-16, this includes science and humanities. The English Baccalaureate is promoted as a pathway allowing progression to appropriate Post-16 choices and university beyond that. We currently do not require students to study a language at GCSE, however, the option of GCSE French is available should pupils wish to choose this and the importance of studying a language at GCSE is emphasised as part of the Year 9 options process. Students are encouraged to opt for subjects they are interested in or have a particular talent for, or subjects that will allow them to access their chosen progression route.

Currently all students are required to take the following subjects:

  • English Language and English Literature
  • Mathematics
  • Combined Science – 2 GCSEs (or Triple Science, which is three GCSEs)
  • Personal Development (including personal, social and health education and religious education) – non-examined
  • Games – non-examined

Students also have a choice of up to 3 option subjects from the following:

  • Triple Science
  • Art / Art Photography
  • Performing Arts (BTEC)
  • Sport (BTEC)
  • Media
  • Music
  • Design and Technology
  • Hospitality and Catering (Level 1/2 Award)
  • Information Technology (Technical Award)
  • Computer Science
  • Health and Social Care (BTEC)
  • French
  • History
  • Geography
  • Asdan Certificate of Personal Effectiveness

Students opting to take GCSE Combined Science (equivalent to two GCSEs) are asked to also choose at least one from GCSE Geography, History, French or Computer Science.

To find out more about our curriculum at Key Stage 4 please view the subject links and download our subject road maps and rationales. Or you can download our KS4 Options Booklet available via the link below.

Key Stage 4 - Subject Information Booklet (Optional and Compulsory Subjects)