KS4 Curriculum


AQA GCSE English Language- Specification code: 8700

Students will draw upon a range of texts as reading stimulus and engage with creative as well as real and relevant contexts. Students will have opportunities to develop higher-order reading and critical thinking skills that encourage genuine enquiry into different topics and themes.

This specification ensures that students read fluently and write effectively. Students will be able to demonstrate a confident control of Standard English and write grammatically correct sentences, deploying figurative language and analysing texts.

GCSE English Language is designed on the basis that students should read and be assessed on high-quality, challenging texts from the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries. Each text studied will represent a substantial piece of writing, making significant demands on students in terms of content, structure and the quality of language. The texts, across a range of genres and types, should support students in developing their own writing by providing effective models. The texts will include literature and extended literary non-fiction, and other writing such as essays, reviews and journalism (both printed and online). Texts that are essentially transient, such as instant news feeds, must not be included. The number and types of texts, and their length, are not prescribed.

GCSE English Literature Specification code: 8702

The specification takes a skills-based approach to the study of English literature that is consistent across the genres.

It offers excellent preparation for AS and A-level English Literature, as well as giving students a grounding in a wide variety of literature that will stay with them for life.

The specification is fully co-teachable with GCSE English Language. Students study both and greatly benefit from the transferable skills learnt across the two subjects.

Shakespeare - Macbeth and the 19th-century novel Jekyll and Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

Modern texts - Blood Brothers/An Inspector Calls and 15 poems following the theme of Conflict


Year 10

  1. Index numbers and standard form
  2. Non-linear sequences
  3. Enlargement and similarity
  4. Bearings
  5. Trigonometry
  6. Equations of parallel lines
  7. Vectors
  8. Surface area and volume
  9. Loci
  10. Probability and Venn Diagrams
  11. Expanding and factorising expressions
  12. Solving equations including simultaneous equations

Year 11

  1. Ratio
  2. Direct and inverse proportion
  3. Arcs and sectors
  4. Misleading graphs and time series
  5. Correlations and line of best fit
  6. Compound units
  7. Review and revision

For the GCSE, we are currently using the Edexcel exam board and students will be entered at either Higher or Foundation Level. There will be three papers, each 1 hour 30 minutes long. A calculator is needed for papers 2 and 3.

The key aims of the mathematics GCSE course are to:

  • Develop fluent knowledge, skills and understanding of mathematical methods and concepts.
  • Acquire, select and apply mathematical techniques to solve problems.
  • Reason mathematically, make deductions and inferences, and draw conclusions.
  • Comprehend, interpret and communicate mathematical information in a variety of forms appropriate to the information and context.


Science is everywhere and plays a role in everything we do. A sound knowledge of science can enhance an individual's ability to make decisions essential for healthy living and to participate constructively in society. In terms of careers, there are a wide and varied range of carers that use science directly and most use science indirectly.

As a science Faculty our key objectives are to provide our students with the opportunity to explore the amazing world around them and to develop enquiring minds. We endeavour to show our students how science is relevant in their everyday lives as well as their academic success, and also for their future careers.

Years 9, 10 and 11
In Key Stage 4 science lessons students will study the 3 separate sciences with specialist members of staff and deepen their knowledge and explore the most interesting corners of the sciences. This is delivered over a three year period, using the AQA exam board specification. The scheme of work builds ideas on the 10 fundamental topics listed below. The students will also often take part in exciting practical science investigation where the students will develop a hands on skills set and learn how to design scientific experiments.

  • Biology - Cells and systems
  • Biology - Interdependence
  • Biology - Genetics and evolution
  • Biology - Microbes and health
  • Chemistry - Types of reaction
  • Chemistry - Quantitative 
  • Chemistry - Physical chemistry
  • Physics - Energy
  • Physics - Forces
  • Physics - Electricity and magnetism


Course Overview:

This is a course in which students will explore a range of media and processes to produce a portfolio of work; containing a sustained project and a selection of further work. This work will represent 60% of the final marks.

In February of Year 11 you will complete an external task, which is set by the exam board. After the preparation period all students will realise their intentions and produce a final outcome in a 10-hour exam. This work will represent 40% of the final marks. Students can expect to learn how to draw, paint, print, sculpt and use a camera.

Areas of study:

  • drawing
  • painting
  • sculpture
  • installation
  • printmaking
  • mixed media

They may explore overlapping areas and combinations of areas.

Assessment requirements:

  • The examination grade is achieved by the assessment of the portfolio that will be completed throughout the course and a final project which will represent 40% of the marks.

Developing skills in:

  • Problem solving, written annotation, cultural understanding, design and aesthetics. Learning organisation skills and how to work independently.

BTEC First Award in Business - Year 11

The business world is ever changing and during the duration of this course you will investigate actual businesses and then apply this information to plan how to start a business of your choice.

The course is split into 4 units:

  • Unit 1 Enterprise in the Business World – in this unit you will both investigate actual businesses and plan your own. This is assessed internally through a piece of coursework.
  • Unit 2 Finance for Business – in this unit you will not only learn how businesses are financed but plan the finances of your own business. This is assessed externally through a written exam.
  • Unit 3 Promoting a Brand – in this part of the course you will be investigating how businesses market their products to consumers. You will then apply these principles to your own business. This is assessed internally through a piece of coursework.
  • Unit 4 - Recruitment, Selection and Employment – in this unit you will be investigating all aspects of Human Resources which you will then apply to your chosen business. This will be assessed internally through a piece of coursework.

What sixth form courses can this lead to?

  • Business
  • Economics
  • ICT 

BTEC Tech award in Enterprise – Years 9 & 10

The business world is constantly changing and during the course you will investigate actual businesses and gain an understanding of the various components that are involved in running a successful business.

The course is split into three components

Component 1: Exploring enterprises

During Component 1, learners will: • examine the characteristics of enterprises • explore how market research helps enterprises meet customer needs and understand competitor behaviour • investigate the factors that contribute to the success of an enterprise • develop transferable skills, such as research, and data analysis in order to interpret their findings.

Component 2: Planning for and Pitching an Enterprise Activity

During Component 2, learners will: • explore ideas and plan for a micro-enterprise activity • pitch a micro-enterprise activity • review their own pitch for a micro-enterprise activity • develop their planning and research, presentation, communication and self-reflection skills.

Component 3: Promotion and Finance for Enterprise

During Component 3, learners will: • demonstrate knowledge and understanding of elements of promotion and financial records • interpret and use promotional and financial information in relation to a given enterprise • make connections between different factors influencing a given enterprise • advise and provide recommendations to a given enterprise on ways to improve its performance.

What sixth form courses can this lead to?

  • Business
  • Economics
  • ICT

Computer Science

How we use computers and Information Technology changes daily and we need to harness this change to change the world. GCSE Computing inspires students to engage with future developments in technology with topics ranging from Computer communications and networking to application development. Students will learn how information technology affects their own lives and the impact computers have on society at large. Students will be encouraged to develop an analytical approach to solving problems using computational thinking and a range of software development techniques. The skills gained on the course can be applied to real life scenarios, providing a pathway to higher education and empower them to access some of the most innovative careers.

What's assessed?

Computational thinking, problem solving, code tracing and applied computing as well as theoretical knowledge of computer science from subject content 1–4 above.

How it's assessed:

  • Written exam set in practically based scenarios: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • 80 marks
  • 40% of GCSE


A mix of multiple choice, short answer and longer answer questions assessing a student’s practical problem solving and computational thinking skills.

What's assessed?

Theoretical knowledge from subject content.

How it's assessed:

  • Written exam: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • 80 marks
  • 40% of GCSE


A mix of multiple choice, short answer, longer answer and extended response questions assessing a student’s theoretical knowledge.
What's assessed?

The non-exam assessment (NEA) assesses a student's ability to use the knowledge and skills gained through the course to solve a practical programming problem. Students will be expected to follow a systematic approach to problem solving, consistent with the skills described in Section 8 of the subject content above.

How it's assessed

  • Report: totaling 20 hours of work
  • 80 marks
  • 20% of GCSE


The development of a computer program along with the computer programming code itself which has been designed, written and tested by a student to solve a problem. Students will produce an original report outlining this development.

What sixth form courses can this lead to?

  • Computer Science
  • Economics
  • Politics
  • Science


The course is split into two units that cover Personal Economics and Economic issues. In the first unit it aims to equip candidates with the basic tools of the economist to help them understand their place in and contribution to the local, national and global economy as consumers, workers and citizens. They will be encouraged to investigate a range of contemporary issues, analysing the evidence from different perspectives so as to make reasoned judgements and informed decisions. This is broken into three key sections: Money, Work and The National and Global Economy.

The second unit will further develop students understanding of economic concepts and theories studied in Unit 1. Candidates will apply these to a range of economic issues locally, nationally and globally. In the first section students will consider targets and policies the government may use to achieve its objectives. Students will consider fiscal, monetary and supply side policies within the context of the trade cycle. Candidates will consider the European Union and its effect on the UK Economy. The second section focuses on current economic issues where two topics will be chosen for students to study in depth. One topic will be based on local, UK or EU issues and the other will relate to the global economy. 

During Key Stage 4 the main concepts that structure the curriculum include:

  • Money
  • Work
  • The National and Global Economy
  • Managing the Economy
  • Current Economic Issues 

What sixth form courses can this lead to?

  • Economics
  • Politics
  • Business Studies


AQA GCSE Food Preparation and Nutrition

This new course in Food Preparation and Nutrition offers students a new and exciting approach to the world of cookery. Not only does it develop students’ practical skills but ensures their understanding of nutrition.

The course covers five main topic areas:

  • Food, nutrition and health
  • Food science
  • Food safety
  • Food choice
  • Food provenance

Assessments all take place in Year 11 of the course:

  • NEA 1 (Non-examined assessment); Food Investigation
  • NEA 2 (Non-examined assessment); Food Preparation Assessment
  • Written exam; all the theoretical knowledge of all five topic areas

Upon completion of this course, students will be qualified to go on to further study, or embark on an apprenticeship or full time career in the catering or food industries. Local colleges offer exiting opportunities for further study. See here for yourself: http://www.sussexcoast.ac.uk/courses.html. This course also lays the foundation for university study in the field of Food Technologists, Food Science, Dieticians and many more.

WJEC L1/L2 Award Hospitality and Catering

This course is offered to students who want to learn about this vocational sector and is suitable as a foundation to further study. There are two units of study; The Hospitality and Catering Industry and Hospitality and Catering in Action.

The course covers a range of topics relevant to the industry and offers a broad introduction to the vocational sector in a way that is purposeful and develops a range of transferable skills:

  • The environment in which hospitality and catering providers operate
  • How hospitality and catering provisions operate
  • How hospitality and catering provision meets health and requirements
  • Know how food can cause ill health
  • Propose a hospitality and catering provision to meet specific requirements
  • Plan, prepare and cook safely a wide range of nutritional dishes
  • Personal hygiene and food safety
  • Special dietary needs

There are two assessments:

  • Unit 1; portfolio of evidence (plan, prepare and cook dishes)
  • Unit 2; external written exam which underpins knowledge of all topic areas

This course is suitable for students who wish to go into the hospitality and catering industry and employment can range from waiting staff, catering assistants to chefs, hotel, bar managers and food technologist for supermarket chains. Many of our students go on to further their career in catering. Local colleges offer several suitable courses; such as Diploma in Culinary Skills and Hospitality at Level 2 and Professional Cookery at Level 3, and even Professional Patisserie and Confectionary. These are on a few so why not take a here to see for yourself what opportunities there are on offer post KS4 http://www.sussexcoast.ac.uk/courses.html.


Geography Specification AQA

In Years 9, 10 and 11 we study the following units:

  • Living with the physical environment (tectonic hazards, weather hazards, climate change, and the physical geography of the UK, rivers, coasts and ecosystems)
  • Challenges in the human environment (population and urbanisation, the economic world – development with a focus on the UK and Nigeria, the challenge of resource management – with a focus on water and energy supply)

We also go on a fieldwork exercise and study skills in preparation for and exam during Year 10.

Geography GCSE leads on to a number of courses at A level and has very strong links with Mathematics, Science and English along with a number of other A level courses.


At Ark William Parker Academy we follow the AQA specification. This qualification helps put the student on the path to becoming a history specialist by giving them the necessary skills.  This qualification consists of two equally weighted papers: Paper 1: “Understanding the Modern World” and Paper 2: “Shaping the Nation”.

The History department at Ark William Parker believes in challenging, engaging, academic work. We select topics and design lessons with the goal of inspiring and motivating our students as well as providing them with a rigorous education that will serve them well through GCSE, Key Stage 5 and beyond.

GCSE History (AQA Exam Board)

Paper 1: Understanding the Modern World

  • Britain: Health and the people c1000- to the present day
  • Conflict and Tension 1918-39
  • Germany: Democracy and Dictatorship

Paper 2: Shaping the Nation

  • Norman England c1066-1100


Music is available as an option subject at Key Stage 4 using the Edexcel Specification. The GCSE gives students the opportunity to develop skills in ensemble/individual work, as well as broadening their musical vocabulary. The Music GCSE focuses on performing, composing and listening preparing students for the study of Music at A-level or BTEC. GCSE music looks at a wide range of musical styles and genres (Rock, Indian, African, Blues, Classical, etc.). Throughout the course students will be performing/composing using many different instruments, as well as professional studio quality equipment (iMac’s, Logic, in house recording studio, Sibelius etc.).

Photography - GCSE

Areas of study can include:

  • Portraiture
  • Location photography
  • Studio photography
  • Experimental imagery
  • Installation
  • Documentary photography
  • Photo-journalism
  • Moving image: film, video and animation
  • Fashion photography.
  • They may explore overlapping areas and combinations of areas.
  • Students must develop and apply the knowledge, understanding and skills to realise personal intentions relevant to photography and their selected area(s) of study.

Physical Education - Years 9, 10 and 11

Students can opt to one of two choices;

1. GCSE PE – OCR Exam Board


60% of the overall grade is assessed through an examination at the end of Year 11. There are two different exam papers, both lasting 75 minutes. The examination is based on;

Component 1 - Fitness and Body Systems - 36% of the qualification.

  • Topic 1: Applied anatomy and physiology
  • Topic 2: Movement analysis
  • Topic 3: Physical training
  • Topic 4: Use of data

Component 2 - Health and Performance - 24% of the qualification.

  • Topic 1: Health, fitness and well-being
  • Topic 2: Sport psychology
  • Topic 3: Socio-cultural influences
  • Topic 4: Use of data

Coursework/Controlled Assessment:

30% of the overall grade is assessed through student’s ability to perform in 3 different sports, one must be an individual activity, one must be a team activity and the third is a free choice. This is done throughout the duration of Year 10 and 11 during practical lessons. 10% of the overall grade is a written piece of coursework completed in class.

2. BTEC Level 2 in Sport Award - Edexcel Exam Board

Examination: The Fitness for Sport and Exercise unit is externally assessed using an onscreen test. Edexcel sets and marks the test. It lasts for one hour and has 50 marks.

Coursework/Controlled Assessment: Unit 2, 4 and 6 are assessed completely through coursework. These are assessed by the class teacher and then internally verified before a selection of work is sent to an external moderator.

  • Unit 1 Fitness for Sport and Exercise
  • Unit 2 Practical Sports Performance
  • Unit 4 The Sports Performer in Action
  • Unit 6 Leading Sports Activities

Recreational Physical Education - Key Stage 4

The overriding aim of the Physical Education curriculum is to educate students by providing a wide variety of different practical experiences. The Department seeks to develop the individual student’s opportunity to participate in range of different sports and activities, improve and develop their physical competency and skills, general fitness and understanding of how to lead a healthy and active lifestyle. By providing a broad and balanced curricular and extensive extra-curricular programme, we hope to encourage the students to become lifelong participants in sport and physical activity, whilst developing independent thinkers who are confident young people.

  • Year 10: Students will participate in a variety of activities including football, badmintion, table tennis, basketball, fitness, American football, golf, striking & fielding, rounders and cricket.
  • Year 11: Students will participate in a variety of activities including football, badmintion, basketball, fitness, American football, golf, striking & fielding, rounders and cricket.


GCSE Spanish with Edexcel (Year 9-11)

The Pearson Edexcel Level 1/Level 2 GCSE (9-1) in Spanish consists of four externally examined papers based on the following skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing.

Questions across all four language skills are set in common contexts, addressing a range of relevant contemporary and cultural themes. They are organised into five themes, each broken down into topics and sub-topics.

The five themes are:

  • Identity and culture
  • Local area, holiday and travel
  • School
  • Future aspirations, study and work
  • International and global dimension.

All themes and topics must be studied in the context of both the students’ home country and that of countries and communities where Spanish is spoken.

What sixth form courses can this lead to?

This GCSE leads to AS and A Level in Spanish but many of the skills required to study for GCSE Spanish are transferrable and will be useful to help the study of other subjects at KS5.


Sociology is a fascinating subject that investigates the ways in which social life is organised, structured and experienced. We define sociology as a way of thinking. You will find that our GCSE course makes you look at the world in new ways. Colleges and universities value students who are able to think critically and analytically; students who are able to think in a different way. Studying sociology is a transformative experience as it changes the way you think about yourself and the world around you. This enables you to become an informed, responsible, ethically-sensitive citizen.

You will reflect on personal experiences and develop skills that will enhance your ability to participate more effectively in adult life. You will build upon an understanding of basic sociological ideas such as culture, norms, values, status, role and socialisation and learn to tackle issues, such as why we live in families, and why there are such differences between the rich and poor.

You will develop the ability to interpret and analyse information presented in various ways, and learn to evaluate arguments, theories, values and ideologies. You will learn to organise and present a critical argument with relevance, clarity and coherence.

The skills you will gain:

  • How to use evidence to support your arguments
  • How to investigate facts and use deduction
  • How to put over your point of view fluently
  • How to work as a team to achieve results
  • How to take responsibility for your own learning.

Exam board: AQA

Course content:

  • Unit 1: Studying society; Education; Families.
  • Written paper
  • Unit 2: Crime and Deviance; Mass media; Power; Social inequality
  • Written paper

Course Length:

  • 3 years. Students start studying in Year 9 and will be externally assessed at the end of Year 11.