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Curriculum KS4 Options

KS4 within The Cottesloe School Curriculum

A robust and rigorous core curriculum, enriched with additional 
personalisation that is progressive, deep and knowledge-rich, developing
skills to create well-rounded, resilient, confident young adults

As students move from KS3 into KS4, they will continue to study a set of key subjects largely built around the English Baccalaureate (English, Maths, Science, History or Geography and/or a Language).  This is enriched and balanced by core PE and PSHCE, as well as the opportunity to study two or three additional subjects. 

Our aim is simple; we want to ensure that every student enjoys a successful learning journey at The Cottesloe School, during which they develop a robust understanding of core academic subjects, whilst also enjoying the opportunity to personalise their experience through additional deep learning in studying their option subjects.  Ultimately we want every student to leave The Cottesloe School as a well-qualified young adult who, through thorough preparation, focussed on challenging aspirations, has achieved success and is ready to move onto the next part of their learning journey.

Education at all levels has undergone considerable change and renewal in the last few years. All KS4 qualifications (Level 2) have now been reformed and are more demanding in content than the old ‘legacy’ qualifications. They have been designed so students take all of their exams at the end of the course (usually Year 11) while non-exam assessment is removed or reduced in the majority of GCSEs and equivalent technical awards such as OCR Cambridge Nationals and Pearson BTECs. In essence, all KS4 qualifications are challenging to better prepare students for further academic or vocational study, or for the workplace through an apprenticeship. 

Supporting students to select appropriate options, we redesigned our KS4 curriculum, with three pathways that determine the number and style of Level 2 qualifications a student takes at Key Stage 4. Our experience has shown that it is better for some students to attempt fewer Level 2 subjects and be more successful in these, than to attempt many subjects and not meet their potential in all subject areas. In order to best meet the needs of students, the three pathways are differentiated in response to each student’s level of entry.  For example, every academically able student will be challenged to study three Sciences and a Language while those with more modest KS2 grades might study an alternative subject instead of a Language.

The three pathways are Blue, Purple and Green:

Where our pathway system does not suit a student’s learning needs, the curriculum can often be adapted to suit. We know that students’ success comes from getting ‘the right student on the right course’.  Please discuss your child’s individual needs with Mrs Baldwin (Deputy Headteacher - Curriculum) or Ms Hibbert (SENDCO).