Key Stage 4

Art and Design

In KS4 all creative work is project based with an initial theme for students to work from. Each project is a way of working through an artistic journey, taking an idea from a starting point to a realised outcome. Each project usually covers all four-assessment objectives, so there must be evidence that the pupils can develop ideas through research and investigations and that learners can select and experiment with appropriate resources, materials, processes and techniques. There must be evidence of recording ideas and observations, which might be through drawing, taking photographs, making notes, creating models, or producing design sheets, as well as some sort of realised outcome or final art piece.

Art forms and Projects

• Two-Dimensional: Drawing, Painting, Printmaking and Graphic Design

• Mixed media work

• Photography & Digital Art

• Three-Dimensional: Sculpture & Model Making (Ceramics/Pottery & Textiles where possible)

Projects: Year 10 - Natural Forms & Architectural Forms and Y11 - Image & Identity (Human Forms). In addition to this project in Y11 pupils will also sit the externally set task (Art Exam).


The course itself is divided into two areas for assessment (each area is covered by four main assessment objectives):

• Unit 1: Portfolio of Work. This is all the project-based work that you will produce from the start of Year 9. This is marked out of 80 and carries 60% of the total marks.

• Unit 2: Externally Set Task. This is the examination element of the course and will take place throughout the Spring Term in Year 11. This is also marked out of 80 and carries 40% of the total marks.


Computing - GCSE

From September 2017, all of our GCSE computing students will be studying OCR’s 9-1 Computing course. This involves very specialist learning units on Computer Systems, Computational Thinking, Algorithms and Programming and a Programming Project. The project is 20% of the qualification. The other topics are assessed through 2 examinations. This course satisfies those with a very specialists interest in how computers do what they do for us.

ICT – Cambridge National Cert

This is a course for the user of ICT and is very different to the GCSE Computing. Units cover the basic Office Applications as well as web design. This represents 75% of the course and is assessed through 3 controlled assessments. There is also a short exam based on a pre-release case study about a real business’ use of IT.

Business - Tech Award

There are 2 assignments/controlled assessments focusing developing and exploring business skills in a specific context. Tis covers marketing, people, operations, production, IT, retail, online business and enterprise or “starting your own business”. These controlled assessments make up 60% of the course. There is also an exam which represent 40% of the course and is based in a pre -released case study.

ITQ - Entry Level 1/Level 1

This is the common IT users’ qualification that is used in the world of work by a number of awarding bodies. It involves a number of assignments that require the use of chosen software to solve given problems. It is an open systems course so the user really can solves the problems using whatever fit for purpose method they like.

ECDL Level 2 Cert in IT Applications

This is the widely recognised industry standard “licenses” that provides evidence that the user in this case is proficient at L2 in basic Office Applications and can apply them in a holistic scenario. Most Y11 students study this in a variety of ways that seeks to reward their Office skills built up over up to 10 years of using it. It requires some extra study to sharpen skills with spreadsheets and some of the more complex techniques with Word. All testing (4) for this is online with instant results using an online platform that most students really engage with very well.


Performing Arts - BTEC Level1/2 First Award

Students complete three units:

Unit 1 Dance Skills (internally assessed):

A - Explore and Develop dance skills and review own practice

B - Use Dance skills within rehearsal and performance

Unit 2 Preparation, Performance and Production (internally assessed):

A - take part in the preparations for a live performance

B - demonstrate performance or production skills and techniques in a performance

Unit 3 Individual Showcase (externally assessed):

A - understand the skills required for a progression opportunity within performing Arts

B - present a self-promotional response to a progression opportunity within performing Arts

Dance Leaders - Level 1 Continuous Assessment

Y10 - Develop leadership skills and lead activities that promotes healthy lifestyle.

Using a stimulus to create a dance piece and the relationship of music to dance.

Plan, lead and review a dance activity.


Y10 - Both the AQA GCSE English Language and AQA GCSE English Literature (Specification B) courses are studied by students in Year 10. Over the course of two years, all students complete five formal assessments to include the analysis of First World War poetry, the ever-popular American Classic ‘Of Mice and Men’, a comparative essay focusing upon a Shakespearian text, and the study of a further English Literary Heritage text. Additionally, a range of creative writing assessments, such as monologues and letters, are completed alongside an in-depth spoken language study. This culminates in three final Year 11 exams: one English Language exam that focuses on the analysis and creation of non-fiction texts; an English Literature exam centred around a contemporary British play and novel; a further English Literature exam around the study of a collection of poems from the AQA Anthology.

Y11 - Year 11 students are nearing the end of their AQA English GCSE course, having completed reading controlled assessments on First World War Poetry from Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon, Shakespeare’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’ and John Steinbeck’s ‘Of Mice and Men.’ Furthermore, two creative writing pieces have been studied through the production of a monologue and a letter inspired by a text they have read during Y10. The final part of this year sees students engage in opportunities to re-sit the aforementioned assessments, in order to maximise their progress, and to prepare for their GCSE English exam. Exam revision is centred on analysing a range of non-fiction texts, interpreting writers’ intentions and explaining how both language and presentational features affect the audience. In revision lessons, literacy skills are honed in preparation for the writing section of the exam; students are tested on their ability to create their own non-fiction texts such as articles, letters and persuasive speeches. All Year 11 students have the opportunity to attend after-school revision sessions, each Wednesday, in order to supplement their learning in class.

Food Technology

Y10 GCSE - Students build on the skills gained in KS3 through a series of design and make projects to prepare them for Y10/11. Practical skills are refined through a series of practical activities. Theory based knowledge surrounding nutritional properties, sources and functions are taught and used to design ad develop products.

Y10/Y11 GCSE - Students undertake a Non-Examination Assessment (NEA) in the second half of Y10 and into Y11, followed by a 2000 word Food Science Investigation report. The NEA accounts for 50% of students GCSE. Students will work to set design briefs and produce a design portfolio. Students will also create a 3 course meal suitable for a specific target market. This will be a practical examination.



Edexcel B (4 units; 3 exams)

25% CA / 75 % exam

Controlled Assessment

Y11 – Autumn/Spring

Based on fieldwork conducted in North Wales


  • Unit 1 Dynamic Planet (physical geography), studied in Y10. 1.25hr exam
  • Unit 2 People and the Planet (human geography), studied in Y11. 1.25hr exam
  • Unit 3 Decision making paper. 1.5hr exam

Health & Social Care

BTEC Level 1/2: Health and Social Care First Award

Why study BTEC Health and Social Care?

  • Inspire and enthuse learners to consider a career in the health and social care sector, or in a related sector where knowledge of health and social care will be of use, such as early years.
  • Give learners the opportunity to gain a broad understanding and knowledge of, and skills in, the health and social care sector, e.g. the underpinning care values and an understanding of the different life stages that individuals go through.
  • Studying BTECs are vocationally related qualifications, where learners develop knowledge and understanding by applying their learning and skills in a work-related context.
  • Health and Social Care gives students a wide range of skills; allowing the opportunity for students to develop their knowledge through written assignments as well as practical demonstrations.

What will I study?

  • This qualification is taught over 120 guided learning hours (GLH) - equivalent in teaching time to one GCSE.
  • Learners must complete the two core units, and a choice of optional units to reach a total of 120 GLH.

How will I be assessed?

One external unit assessed (exam) and three internally assessed assignments.

External assessed unit:

Human Lifespan Development (core unit) 25 per cent of the qualification

Internally assessed units:

Health and Social Care Values (core unit)

Effective Communication in Health and Social Care

The impact of Nutrition on Health and Wellbeing

There is a single tiered assessment covering grades A*–G to cater for students of all abilities.

What skills will I need?

To complete this course over two years you will need you be:

  • Team worker
  • Self-manager
  • Independent enquirer
  • Creative thinker (able to think outside of the box)
  • Reflective learner
  • Effective participator


GCSE - students who chose to study History in Y9 will undertake a three year study programme which starts in year nine with module two- Germany 1918-45. This is followed by module 3 'The Transformation of Surgery', module 4 (controlled assessment) 'Britain 1951-79' and finally module 1 'The Changing Nature of Warfare'.


Y10 - The curriculum in year 10 is designed to enable students to revise year 9 content but also to build on previous knowledge. Students generally have a mock or trial exams each half term. This enables class teachers to support and revise any topics with which students have any misconceptions.

Real life and functional maths questions, where students have to solve maths problems are build into the curriculum and deepen student knowledge and understanding, leading to a rich and engaging curriculum.

Y11 - All students study GCSE Mathematics in Y11. Students either sit the higher or foundation tier paper with Edexcel examing board.

Students are assessed throughout the school year through teacher assessment and trial exams.

The Y11 curriculum also provide students the opportunity of studying and sitting Entry level Maths to build their confidence prior to sitting their GCSE exam.


Y10/ Y11 - In both years pupils complete a written and spoken piece of Controlled Assessment. In Y10 the Controlled Assessment topics are Media & Leisure and then Holidays. In Y11 the Controlled Assessment topics are Homelessness and the Environment.


Music Technology - NCFE

Students will complete four units using computer programs such as Reason, Garageband and Cool Edit.

Unit 1 Set up and operate a digital audio workstation. A portfolio of evidence is created and assessed internally

Unit 2 Create music using a digital audio workstation. A portfolio of evidence is created and assessed externally.

Students can choose there other two units from a range of options, all of which are assessed internally. These options include; producing dance music, sound design, microphone techniques in music production, location sound recording and live sound recording.

Music - GCSE

Students will study four areas of study; My Music, Shared Music, Dance Music and Descriptive Music.

They complete controlled assessment work which includes a solo performance, an ensemble performance, composing a piece of music for the instrument they play and composing either a piece of dance music or a piece of descriptive music.

In addition, there are two external exams; the Creative Task and a Listening Test.

Performing Arts - BTEC Level1/2 First Award

Unit 1 Music Performance Skills (internally assessed):

A explore and develop music performances skills and review own practice

B use own music performance skills within rehearsal and performance

Unit 2 Preparation, Performance and Production (internally assessed):

A take part in the preparations for a live performance

B demonstrate performance or production skills and techniques in a performance

Unit 3 Individual Showcase (externally assessed):

A understand the skills required for a progression opportunity within performing Arts

B present a self-promotional response to a progression opportunity within performing Arts

Physical Education

Y10 - cover a variety of activities on a half termly rotation.

In Year 10 Dance is offered as part of the programme of activities, including Dance Leaders Award.

Y11 - the PE Faculty runs a very successful options programme whereby students have the opportunity to experience sports and activities outside of school including swimming, local sports centre Gym, Bowling and Ice Skating.

The Faculty offers the following courses as part of the Sport Studies option. Students follow the course that is most appropriate for them:

Edexcel GCSE PE

L1/2 Cambridge National Sport Studies

Entry Level PE

Sports Leader Award is offered after school to a cohort of Y9/Y10 students

PSCHE - Personal, Social, Citizenship and Health Education

Y10/Y11 GCSE - The personal development and well-being of each and every student in Firth Park Academy is at the heart of all we do here at Firth Park, and our PSCHE lessons strive to engender knowledge and understanding of student’s self-awareness of their place in the local community and wider society – the key role they can play as responsible and respectful citizens of the UK and in the World.

All students are educated in the 3 key areas of development across both key stages via discrete lessons and through Additional Learning Days where outside agencies/experts visit our Academy to deliver talks to cohorts of students within the following areas:

· Health and Well-being

· Sex and Relationships Education

· Living in the Wider World

Religious Studies

Y10/Y11 GCSE - Religious Education gives students the opportunity to adopt an enquiring, critical and reflective approach to the study of religion. Students explore religions and beliefs, reflect on fundamental questions, engage with them intellectually and respond personally. The course aims to enhance their spiritual and moral development, and contribute to their health and wellbeing, alongside focussing on the personal, social and cultural development of students, their understanding of different cultures locally, nationally and in the wider world, and teach young people how to contribute to social and community cohesion.

Themes covered include:

Matters of Life and Death - Belief in God - Community Cohesion - Family Life - War and Peace - Crime and Punishment - Religion and the Environment - Religion and social responsibility - Religion and Medical Issues

Resistant Materials

Y10 GCSE - Students build on the skills gained in KS3 through a series of design and make projects to prepare them for Y10/11. 2D and 3D CAD software is used to develop and model ideas. Modern manufacturing techniques such as Laser Cutting are used to produce final outcomes. Projects include Desk Tidy, Clocks and Children’s Toys.

Y10/Y11 GCSE - Students undertake a Controlled Assessment (CA) in the second half of Y10 and into Y11. The CA accounts for 60% of students GCSE. Students work to set design and make briefs including storage units, gadget tidy and mobile phone docking station. The remaining 40% is gained through an exam at the end of Y11. Students prepare for the exam through a combination of theory and practical exercises.