Key Stage 4 Years 10 & 11

KS4 Curriculum Statement

The Key Stage 4 curriculum is built upon the solid foundation laid at Key Stage 3. By the commencement of KS4, the students at Hall Cross are accustomed to enjoying excellence every day – the KS4 model is a continuum of this experience with a focus on the next step of their learning journey. The initial phase of the KS4 experience is a robust programme of transition beginning in the summer term of year 9. As a split-site school, this is the first time many students will have had the opportunity to engage in activities at the upper campus. This transition allows students to return in September accustomed to their new surroundings and ready to ‘hit the ground running’ on their KS4 journey.

As with KS3, the KS4 curriculum intent is encapsulated in the following overarching aims:

  • Provide students with an immersive, engaging experience and develop inquisitive minds.
  • Provide a curriculum that is accessible to all.
  • Provide opportunities for students to explore experiences beyond the classroom.
  • Develop a preparedness for future pathways.
  • Provide students with an immersive, engaging experience and develop inquisitive minds

    We believe strongly in our mission statement to ensure that every child is in a position to enjoy excellence every day. To that end, we offer a broad suite of subjects at KS4 (currently 20 course options) – driven by providing a challenging and enriching experience for students, not performance tables. The Ebacc. suite of subjects is offered through a number of combinations in GCSE options, but students are not obliged to follow this. It is our firm belief that students excel when given autonomy over their chosen pathway at KS4 – studying a suite of subjects that interest, motivate and challenge them to achieve their potential. This is achieved through a robust GCSE options programme with all students having a one to one meeting with a member of SLT as part of their options process.

    Our program of study at KS4 builds strongly on the experience of KS3. Departmental learning journeys reflect the holistic nature of our curriculum plan with sequencing paramount to ensuring a well balanced, knowledge rich, immersive experience. The KS3 program develops a platform for KS4 programs of study to explore deeper learning in subjects that are able to be continued into year 10, whilst also developing key transferable skills required to make the transition into other subject areas that have not previously been experienced within KS3 provision.

    Our commitment to experiential, lifelong learning is evident through the timetabling of the ‘Life’ curriculum for one hour each week, covering all the key content for our PSHCE provision throughout KS4. This important aspect of our curriculum offer builds on the strong KS3 provision and is planned and delivered by a core group of specialist teachers to ensure high quality, engaging experiences in an age appropriate manner, as befits the content.

    Underpinning our shared Academy ethos/values is our commitment to the CARE agenda (Community, Aspiration, Respect and Equality). The CARE agenda represents our keystone values which we want to instil and promote in our school community. Through a process of form time activities, themed/structured assemblies, linked curriculum design and modelled behaviours we aim to educate and promote these desired holistic values. Considered themes and activities have been woven into pastoral and curriculum planning throughout the academic year. These themes will focus on local, national and international issues. Included themes are; Environment & Climate challenge, Black History Month, Pride and many more. Our intention is to develop well rounded ‘global citizens’ who are deeply rooted in a value system which invests in building morally and ethically driven young people.

    The structure of the KS4 provision is outlined below

    Year 10 and 11
    English 4 hours
    Maths 4 hours
    Science(Triple) 6 hours
    Life(PSHCE,careers,SRE) 1 hour
    Physical Education(core) 1 hour
    Option 1 3 hours
    Option 2 3 hours
    Option 3 3 hours

    Provide a curriculum that is accessible to all

    Ensuring that all students have the opportunity to achieve their full potential is sewn into the fabric of the Hall Cross ethos. This is recognised through our approach to KS4 options with the autonomy students have to pursue their interests – a key factor in ensuring students are engaged, and have a sense of independence and can take ownership of their educational journey. The robust nature of assessment and data recording at KS3, coupled with appropriate baselining at KS4, means there is a thorough understanding of prior attainment and starting points when students enter KS4. Our primary focus is to provide an experience in which all students can achieve their potential through quality first teaching in their everyday classroom provision. This is supported through the delivery of bespoke interventions, where appropriate, through a variety of means – literacy and numeracy catch-up sessions, a continuation of the ‘Let’s think in English’ program begun at KS3, an extensive program of directed and optional revision sessions across all subjects throughout the year and personalised learning interventions delivered through our bespoke Period 6 provision.

    At Hall Cross, we pride ourselves on our commitment to delivering a personalised curriculum in order to allow all to achieve. To this end, we offer selected students at KS4 the opportunity to study the ASDAN qualification in order to develop essential life skills whilst also receiving a nationally accredited qualification to help with transition into future pathways. There is a strong link with Doncaster College to deliver an enhanced transition for students who take the decision to move into the next phase of their education in that setting as well as significant links with established local employers to provide work experience for selected students who may be moving into apprenticeships and other work based learning post 16.

    Differentiation, scaffolding and appropriate challenge are key to securing positive outcomes for all learners. This belief is what underpins our curriculum offer, and forms an integral part of our quality assurance of teaching and learning across departments. Strong and significantly strong teaching across all curriculum areas must evidence how ‘scaffolding and differentiation support all in achieving success criteria’ and how ‘data is used expertly to meet the needs of all learners’. As a result, there is a maintained focus on standards in this regard to ensure that all students have an equal chance to reach their potential in every subject area, every lesson. The needs of every student are robustly assessed in relation to exam considerations with close collaboration between the SENDCO and each department to ensure all students have the necessary support to maximise outcomes. Pupil Premium funding is utilised to ensure students within this cohort have the best chance possible of achieving their potential on their journey through Hall Cross.

    Provide opportunities for students to explore experiences beyond the classroom

    A plethora of opportunities exist for students to immerse themselves in enriching experiences through our ‘super’ curriculum offer. Here students have the opportunity to engage in enriching experiences to support their personal as well as academic development.

    Our rich history of sporting excellence continues not only in extra-curricular clubs and fixtures in the locale, but also in opportunities to experience national and international competition. In recent years, tours have taken place to Bath, Loughborough, Italy and Chicago across a number of sporting disciplines, contributing to the cultural capital our students experience.

    Creative arts are part of the DNA of the academy. Engagement in the extra-curricular offer is extensive and provides students with opportunities to perform not only in whole school productions but engage in performances and showcases across the community and further afield. The ICA perform initiative aims to formalise the outstanding array and quality of performing arts on offer at Hall Cross – providing an enhanced entitlement for students and broadens the curriculum experience in and around the normal school day. There are also extensive links with universities, theatres and inspirational tutorials with established performers to further whet the appetite for potential future pathways in the arts.

    Other immersive experiences for our KS4 program of study include fieldwork opportunities in geography; a war graves and Auschwitz visit within history; an opportunity to experience the large hadron collider at Lucerne within the science department; significant engagement with local and national galleries within art and photography; a program of live productions and streamed productions of key plays and Shakespeare texts in English, and an increased emphasis upon STEM activities working with local post 18 educational providers (Sheffield University & York University). In Addition to this, we have a strong tradition in our Duke of Edinburgh offer with previous gold award expeditions including students visiting a village in Malawi to help build new homes for local people. We believe this breadth of experience enriches the curriculum offer for students and brings their courses to life – allowing active engagement with aspects of specification content leading not just to higher outcomes, but an opportunity to open up thoughts and discussions on future pathways beyond KS4

    Develop a preparedness for future pathways

    Throughout KS4 students are supported by a dedicated Careers Advisor and have access to multiple ‘drop down’ days dedicated to next step opportunities. This includes attendance at the Doncaster Opportunities Careers Fair and the Y10 Employability Day in collaboration with Doncaster Business Chamber. Identified pupil premium students will also continue with the Shine Project. In Y11, all students will attend the Next Steps Conference which is designed to educate students pertaining to opportunities in post 16 provision. All Y11 students will have at least one careers interview and year round support with post 16 applications.

    We are rightly proud of the opportunities we are able to offer our students through strong links with the following:

  • Sheffield University
  • Hull University
  • Doncaster Business Chamber
  • Club Doncaster(keepmoat)
  • Doncaster Royal Infirmary & NHS Trust(Foundation School in Health status)
  • York University
  • Doncaster Opportunities Area
  • Doncaster College
  • Doncaster Rail College
  • In Summary

    The KS4 journey is one of the most significant in education. We pride ourselves on our commitment to place the student firmly at the centre of our provision. A comprehensive options process with one to one meetings for every student underpins our commitment to ensure all students are supported in this important step in their education. Provision at KS4 is immersive, engaging and gives the opportunity for all students to truly enjoy excellence every day. Our school context drives the necessity for our curriculum offer to be inclusive for all key groups with the intention of ensuring all students have the opportunity to achieve their potential, both academically and as well rounded individuals in society. We recognise our role in broadening horizons within our community and embrace the challenges this can sometimes provide by offering a curriculum that is generating a continued upward trajectory in results over recent years. The governing body, school leaders and each department head responsible for the delivery at KS4 continually review and evaluate provision for all stakeholders to ensure our KS4 program is delivering outstanding experiences for all learners at this vital stage of their education.