Key Stage 4 Pathways

Students at Hall Park Academy will be given the opportunity to make choices about their education as they move into Key Stage 4. Along with decisions after Year 11, these choices will play a big part in how successful they are in the future and their route into further education and employment in the years to come.

Curriculum in Key stage 4

The curriculum that students will follow in Key Stage 4 is made up of core subjects and options choices:

  • Core subjects are those that will definitely be a part of the curriculum for a student. However, students will have some choices that can be made within these subjects.
  • Options choices give our students the flexibility to choose particular courses that they wish to study in addition to their core subjects.

All students will continue to study English, Mathematics, Science, Core Religious Studies and have periods of Physical Education (PE). Most students will achieve two GCSE grades for their English studies: ‘English Language’ and ‘English Literature’. If they are successful, students will gain a half GCSE in Religious Studies after Year 10.

Most students will also have a humanities subject (Geography or History) and a language subject (French or German) as part of their core curriculum. This particular combination of subjects - along with the core subjects of English, Maths and Science - has been established as the prestige pathway for students who are considering university as an option after their A-Levels (known as the English Baccalaureate) and so will maximise their chances of success over the coming years. Other students will be directed to make choices from particular subjects to be part of their core curriculum (humanities, languages and sciences). This is because we believe it is important for all students to continue with at least one of these academic subjects in Years 9 to 11.

The remainder of each student’s timetable will comprise of other subjects that they are able to choose themselves, allowing them to focus on particular strengths or areas of interest. For various reasons, some students will be targeted with special options where it is deemed more appropriate for them.

The wider curriculum comprising of personal, social, health and economic education (PSHE) will be delivered in tutor time and at other points throughout the year.

Guidance for students and their parents

Hall Park Academy runs a special Key Stage 4 Pathways Evening in March of the year students are making their choices. The event includes a presentation outlining the Key Stage 4 curriculum, including the core subjects that our students will study and the choices available to them. There is also an opportunity to talk to teachers from the different subjects we offer. A detailed information booklet and subject choices form are given out at this event.

Prior to this, the Year 8 Parents Evening takes place in February. This will be a valuable opportunity that will also help students with their subject choices.

We also deliver a special assembly to our students about the process and they will all be given the opportunity to have a one-to-one discussion with a senior member of staff about their choices. 

Download the KS4 Pathway booklet

This first section of the booklet contains important information about the process and how the choices can be made. The second section gives information about each of the subjects we offer.