Key Stage 4 curriculum

Key Stage 4 Overview

Setting and resources

At Walton Hall our Key Stage 4 provision is located in a discreet area of the school – the Coach Houses.  This supports the students to develop increasing levels of independence and a key stage identity. The area is situated adjacent to many of our vocational resources such as the farm, horticultural and motor vehicle department. For our students with more complex needs, a personalised sensory curriculum is supported by a sensory room and bespoke recreation area. When students enter Key Stage 4, their curriculum opportunities widen to include further vocational options.


Groupings vary year on year to meet the changing cohorts of students as they progress through the academy. Currently, year 10 and 11 have pastoral bases but are ability set for the core subjects of English, maths and science. Students with more complex needs are in a small cross year pastoral group with a very high staffing ratio to facilitate their learning needs.

Core curriculum offer

For maths and English, students follow a range of accreditation and courses depending on age and ability. Some of the course followed in these subjects include Pearson Functional Skills Curriculum across all levels of ability from Entry Level 1 to Level 2 where appropriate, Step up to English (for Entry Level 1 – 3) and where appropriate GCSE courses ensuring challenge for the most able. . Examinations for these subjects are held under controlled conditions with windows of opportunity for assessment throughout the year.

In science, students are ability set and study either BTEC Applied Science at Level 1 or Entry Level Certificate.  Science work is modular and students have use of a fully equipped science laboratory in addition to extensive resources readily available in the grounds of the academy.

In ICT, students access Functional Skills at a level appropriate to their ability.  In addition to these core curriculum elements, students study humanities; PFA Growth, Employment and Independence and physical education. These courses are delivered to pastoral groups.

Students with more complex needs complete units in Personal Progress, in addition to intensive interaction, sensory therapy and a range of additional enrichment activities. Their curriculum is focussed around communication and strives to develop independence using a personal pathways route.

Learning across the whole key stage works specifically to meet all areas of need identified in student Education, Health and Care Plans.

Vocational options

In Key Stage 4, we aim to prepare our students for transition both within school and into adult life. Our curriculum offer includes the equivalent of almost 1 day per week on vocational studies. Students can select two options from a wide range of courses. For full details of these courses and levels, please see the current offer in the key stage 4 options booklet.

Examples of courses on offer include: BTEC Land Based Studies in small animal care and horticulture; WJEC  Motor Vehicle Technology (Safe Road Control and Rules of the road); BTEC Performance Arts; BTEC Creative Media Production; BTEC Art and Design; Duke of Edinburgh; NCFE Radio and Cookery.

Vocational offers change annually and are based on student choice and staff expertise.

Where appropriate completion of off-site work experience is offered for year 11 students who complete a 1 week placement at the end of the academic year.

To view our Key Stage 4 Vocational Options booklet, please click here

Additional information and enrichment activities

In KS4 we provide a broad and balanced curriculum that is student centred, holistic and develops the whole child. Emotional wellbeing is of utmost importance and students have the opportunity to access therapeutic sessions such as small group or 1:1 sessions with our welfare support officer, behaviour manager or our school counsellor.

Enrichment opportunities are scheduled throughout the year, these include a themed arts week, the Tall Ship Expedition, educational visits, and various activity days (e.g. Water world, fly -fishing, student conferences etc).

Citizenship, student voice and British values

KS4 students play an active role in the school council. They develop key skills in citizenship and British values through the PFA and humanities programmes of study. These courses supported by the ethos and values of the academy and academy sponsor, encourage the students to be positive contributors to the local and wider community and society as a whole.