Our KS4 Curriculum
At St. Damian’s our first priority is to ensure that the curriculum we offer our pupils promotes the development of Catholic values in each individual. In addition, we encourage all pupils to become responsible, contributing and caring members of society. We are continuing in our efforts to develop a range of courses enable all pupils, regardless of their academic ability, to experience a challenging, broad and balanced curriculum which both implicitly and explicitly prepares them for the world of work.
Year 11 Separate
Modern Languages Choice
GCSE Art & Design
GGCSE Performing Arts
Food Preparation & Nutrition
GCSE Product Design
BTEC Child, Play, Learning & Development
Cambridge Nationals in ICT
Making ‘Informed Choices’
The choices your child makes about what to study at Key Stage 4 are very important and decisions should be made carefully and thoughtfully. Below are some suggestions to help when advising your child.
- Take your time. Important decisions need lots of thinking about.
- Talk to your parents and discuss your ideas with them.
- Find out as much information as you can about the option subjects you are interested in:
- Talk to teachers in charge of the various subjects. Read the hand-outs concerning GCSE courses from your subject teachers.
- Ask your Head of Year, Miss Mullen, for advice.
- Talk to present Year 10 / 11 students who are studying the options you are interested in.
- Look at your past Progress Checks and your subject reports. Think about where your strengths lie. Which subjects are you good at? You are more likely to be successful in these subjects.
Don’t pick a subject just because your friends are opting for it. There is no guarantee that you will be in the same group and it is better in Years 10 and 11 to focus on the subjects you are going to achieve well in.
You must also remember that some of the group sizes may be too large or too small and we may have to ask you to make an alternative choice. It is very important to think carefully about reserve choices.
Websites that might help with your choice:
- The Russell Group represents the top 20 leading universities
- Career Builder
- alec.co.uk CV writing, interview techniques & job searches
- Barnet and Southgate College
- http://businesscasestudies.co.uk/career-info/ the Times 100 Careers Guides which give information on companies and what kinds of jobs are available
Your curriculum must be broad and balanced. The information in our Year 9 Options Booklet explains which subjects are compulsory and which are Options choices. Where you do have choice, there are many factors to consider before you make your decision: what you enjoy; what your strengths are; what the course consists of; what you want to do after Year 11 and in the future. You may not yet know what you want to do as a future career, in which case make choices that keep your options open and be aspirational! Discuss your choices with your family, your tutor and teachers or our careers advisor.
Our annual Options Marketplace gives you the opportunity to talk to staff and older students about their experiences. Consider all the commitments involved in your option choices regarding classwork, homework and examinations.
Some of you will receive individual advice and support about what is more suitable for you and we strongly recommend you act on this advice as this will support you in achieving the success you deserve.
Whilst we will try to ensure that you will study your preferred subjects, you need to be happy with all of the subjects you choose to study, including your reserve choice. We may need to talk to a few of you about your choices:
- if not enough students opt for a certain subject and we have to withdraw the course
- if there is a clash of subjects when we plan the curriculum
- if we feel your choices are not suitable.