KS4 Curriculum






A strong curriculum in English is central to the ability for students to access all other subjects. English allows students to develop their written and verbal communication skills and therefore their ability to function in the world. English at College Central needs to cover a two-fold position: developing functional English through increasing literacy levels; reading, writing and communication, and developing knowledge of the world through reading a range of literature.


At Key Stage 4 students in Year 10 will undertake Level 1 Functional Skills examinations before embarking on the current GCSE specification. Year 11 students will also be entered for Level 1 FS in order to ensure they acquire the necessary skills to prepare them for success in their GCSE examination. English Literature will be offered to those students demonstrating an aptitude for English Language in KS4.


English underpins all other subjects offered at College Central. Reading, writing and communication are essential to all other subjects with foci being used cross-curriculum. Students often arrive at College Central with lower than chronological age literacy skills, a programme of intervention would be beneficial for some students in addition to their timetabled English lessons. Extending opportunities for reading, writing and communication in all subjects would also have a beneficial effect for all students.


KS4 Programme of Study

Term 1

Term 2

Term 3

Term 4

Term 5

Term 6

Wealth and Poverty

Prejudice and Discrimination

War and Peace

Planet Earth

Crime and Punishment

Matters of Life and Death



Mathematics is not just about numbers and how to use them, it also nurtures certain qualities that are important in everyday life including the power of reasoning, creativity, abstract or spatial thinking, critical thinking, problem solving ability and even effective communication skills. If we did not have any mathematical ability we would not be able to become an effective cook, or farmer, carpenter or mechanic, a shop keeper or a doctor, an engineer or a scientist, a musician or a magician, everyone needs mathematics in their day-to-day life.


Level 1 –  Award in Number and Measure and / or Award in Statistics.


This is an externally assessed qualification which is a stepping stone to GCSE Mathematics which will be available from January 2018.  This will give the students a qualification in mathematics which they will be able to present to further their career pathway.

Mathematics GCSE is a highly versatile, important qualification and fundamental to a number of careers. A good pass in mathematics is a requirement for all college courses and apprenticeships and students will have to retake their GCSE mathematics alongside post 16 courses if they do not achieve a “standard pass”. There are a number of career pathways including engineering, accountancy, IT, business and medicine. Sound mathematical skills are necessary in vocational study and apprenticeships including construction, engineering, motor vehicle and retail.

The units covered within the subject

There are 6 main topics that the students undertake these being:

  1. Number
    1. Structure and calculations
    2. Fractions, decimals and Percentages
    3. Measures and Accuracy
  2. Algebra
    1. Notation, Vocabulary and manipulation
    2. Graphs
    3. Solving equations and inequalities
  3. Ration, Proportion and rates of change
  4. Geometry and measures
    1. Properties and Construction
    2. Measuration and calculations
    3. Vectors
  5. Probability
  6. Statistics


The principal focus of science teaching at College Central is to develop a deeper understanding of a range of scientific ideas in the subject disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics. Students are encouraged to see the connections between these subject areas and become aware of some of the big ideas underpinning scientific knowledge and understanding.

Areas covered within science at KS4  include; Cells, Classification, Infection, Plant Chemistry, Horticulture, Ecology, Human Biology, Chemical Reactions, Genetics, Pollution, Thinking Scientifically, Interdependence, Particles, Forces and Energy.


Science is vital to the world’s future prosperity and all students at College Central are taught essential aspects of the knowledge, methods, processes and uses of science. They are supported to explore historical achievements in science and to consider the complex and diverse phenomena of the natural world and future possibilities.


In Key Stage 4, learning in Science continues, building upon and deepening scientific knowledge and the understanding of ideas developed in earlier key stages. All students entering KS4 will engage in or work towards a Level 2 Qualification in Science either; single, double or triple GCSE, BTEC, NCFE V Cert or RHS Horticulture / Land based  Level qualifications.


For some students, studying science in Key Stage 4 provides a motivating and engaging access to learning pathway where the focus is on developing; trust, confidence, security, literacy, numeracy, independent thinking skills, learning organisation and resilience through studying biology and the natural world. Others may benefit from a vocational pathway leading towards attainment of industry specific qualifications, employability skills and additional points for progression into further education and training. For more academic students studying science at Key Stage 4 provides a platform for more advanced studies, leading towards attainment of science qualifications required for progression into Level 3 science courses at college, higher apprenticeship / internship training and for additional points for progression into further education.


Success and accreditation at Key Stage 4 establishes the basis for a wide range of career options including; engineering, agriculture, horticulture, hairdressing, nursing and catering.

Digital literacy

Digital Literacy is of paramount importance in the modern world, for every day interactions and for all workplaces. As well as  word processing, accounting and presentation skills for office based jobs using tools such as Microsoft Word Power Point and Excel, young adults now need to know in far greater depth how hardware (computers, mobile phones, scanners etc.) work and how these are integrated into the technologies around us such as cars, payment devices and SAT NAVs. The programming of applications, games, robots etc. is also a key part of Digital Literacy in work and schools now, as is the use of Computer Aided Design and Manufacturing software (CADs/CAMs) common in industries such as construction and music production.   

Year 10 and 11 students will study the Level 2 Certificate in Open Systems and Enterprise. The course is designed to prepare students for the complex interactions with technology that they will need to make in the work place of the 21st Century. The course is assessed via coursework projects with one exam which is multiple choice for Level 1 entrants and requires extended answers for Level 2 entrants. There will be an opportunity to resit the exam. Students will be able to focus on the use of IT in specific business sectors (i.e. Media, Design and Technology) and can tailor their work to suit their needs, interests and planned career paths.

The course covers the following areas:

  • Video, audio and imaging software;
  • The internet and communications;
  • Programming;
  • Digital design and graphics;
  • Architecture and engineering construction;
  • IT Security


Physical Education

Physical Education in KS4 has two elements; core and optional. The aim of core Physical Education is to inspire our young people to participate in physical activity in their own time and to educate them about how to lead healthy lifestyles. The optional aspect of Physical education is for the young people that wish to gain a qualification in sport and may wish to work in sport when they are older.

Depending on the students’ ability, there are three different qualifications that they can work towards. NCFE level 2 Certificate in Health and Fitness, NCFE level 1 Certificate in Health and Fitness and the YMCA Awards level 1 in fitness and physical activity. In these qualifications students will cover the following units; Understanding a Healthy Lifestyle; Understanding a Personal Fitness Programme; Planning an Exercise Session; Introduction to Health, Fitness and Exercise; Understanding the fitness industry.

Once the young people have achieved these qualifications it will allow them to progress onto a level 2 or 3 sport qualifications at college. For students that wish to progress onto work these qualifications will act as a stepping stone to a gym instructor qualification or personal trainer qualification which will allow them to work in a gym or leisure centre. For the students that would like to progress to higher education these qualifications will prepare them for courses such as sports science and strength and conditioning courses after which they could work with sports teams and elite athletes.