Years 9 - 11 Curriculum

KS4 GCSE Curricular


Years 9 - 11 Curriculum

In recognition of the strong progress made by pupils at The Westgate throughout Key Stage 3, we begin our Key Stage 4 curriculum from Year 9. Careful planning of the timetable and options process allows us to increase the range of subjects from which pupils can choose for Year 9, before making a gradual reduction in the number of subjects taken in Year 10 according to the individual’s strengths, interests and in consultation with parents and pupils.

The Year 9 curriculum is characterised by broader opportunities for pupils to experience new subjects such as Photography, Media Studies and Sculpture as discrete option subjects. Meanwhile, the great majority of pupils will continue their learning in Humanities, MFL and Arts subjects to ensure a broad and balanced curriculum is experienced.

Where appropriate, some subjects will begin teaching some of the GCSE specification content during Year 9, using the opportunity to broaden pupils’ experiences of the subject matter and therefore, enabling a richer learning experience. This is the case for example in Year 9 English where pupils undertake an extended study for ‘Macbeth’ (a GCSE text) having already read at least two other Shakespeare plays in Years 7 and 8.

By the end of Year 9, pupils will have a second opportunity to focus their learning as they choose their subjects for examination entry. Again, we expect all pupils to continue with a Modern Foreign Language and we strongly encourage pupils to consider a subject in Humanities because alongside a range of other subject disciplines, qualifications in these disciplines are a sound foundation for post-16 learning. The school takes a varied approach to the organisation of teaching groups to ensure that the challenges of learning in different disciplines are effectively met.

Throughout Years 9 to 11, Maths and Science will focus on the GCSE syllabi and a choice of either Double or Triple Sciences. Pupils who are achieving highly in Maths will have the opportunity to achieve greater depth in their learning with aspects of statistics included in the schemes of work. Nearly all pupils will take GCSE English and Literature in our school as part of their core provision. Where pupils have particular interests in Music or sport for example, the school provides ample opportunities for them to pursue their interests even if not taken as an examination subject. We actively promote these opportunities in our school and are keen to celebrate the achievements of our pupils in their participation of these additional learning opportunities. Our thriving extra-curricular music and sports programmes in which a great majority of pupils participate, are a key part of the all-through school provision, facilitating rich learning opportunities where younger and older pupils are working in partnership and learning together.

View the list of GCSE courses and their curriculum.