The curriculum at William de Ferrers School is the key to achieving our schools vision, values and beliefs. In Key Stage 3, we aim to ensure that pupils are provided with a first-class forward-thinking education that prepares them fully for the challenges of Key Stage 4 and beyond.

Please follow this link to the school curriculum intent document.

Key Stage 3 Curriculum

We aim to provide our students with the knowledge, skills and vocabulary which raise self-confidence and encourage independence of mind. We want our students to be able to formulate reasoned judgements and opinions and be able to engage in debate and conversation. Learning at William de Ferrers is academically challenging and provides opportunities to develop creativity and individuality. Every opportunity is taken to ensure that students are able to explore what it means to be a citizen of a global community, as well as understanding modern British values.

The Key Stage 3 curriculum provides the foundations for high levels of literacy, an extensive knowledge base and mastery of skills. The curriculum has been carefully researched and planned by subject specialists to incorporate the essential content and skills needed for success in each curricular area. The curriculum builds on prior learning at primary school and prepares students for the rigorous demands of the new GCSEs. It is essential that each student enjoys a rich and varied learning experience. Subjects are delivered in a coherent manner and build upon previous learning, to ensure that pupils understand not only what they are learning but why.

Within Key Stage 3, mathematics is taught in ability groups from year 7 until year 9 and English is taught in ability groups from year 8 until year 9. These groups are determined by the results of Key Stage 2 assessment and internal assessment mechanisms. For the remainder of the curriculum in year 7, pupils are taught in mixed-ability groups. In physical education, boys and girls are taught separately and in broad ability groups.

Moving into years 8 and 9, students are ability grouped for mathematics, English and PE (these groups are more finely grouped by ability than in year 7) but, also in science. Students in year 9 begin their GCSE studies in the final summer term of each academic year. Students select their optional subjects for study at Key Stage 4 in the early spring of Year 9.

If you would like to find out more about the school Key Stage 3 curriculum please contact the key stage 3 lead Mr A Johns:

Key Stage 4 Curriculum
In years 10 and 11 students study subjects which lead to national examinations, mostly GSCE but also some BTEC and vocational qualifications. In many subjects pupils are grouped by academic ability, but some are taught in mixed-ability groups. The core curriculum at Key Stage 4 is as follows:
It is compulsory for all pupils to study particular subjects throughout Years 10 and 11 – this is called the Compulsory Curriculum which is outlined below.
Subject Number of lessons per fortnight
GCSE Mathematics 8 lessons

GCSE English Language

GCSE English Literature 

8 lessons

GCSE Combined Science - Support Group 

GCSE Separate Science 

8 lessons 

additional 6 lessons

Personal, Social and health Education (PSHE) 90 mins
Physical Education  2 lessons 
Pupils are able to select a maximum of four additional subjects that they can study during Year 10 and 11; these complete each pupil’s personalised curriculum. These are called the Options Choice Subjects. Each Option Choice Subject is studied in six lessons per fortnight.
Students will be given individualised pathway option sheets which are split into three separate pathways:
1) EBACC pathway
2) Seperate Science Pathway
3) Open Pathway
4) Alternative Provision Pathway (selected students only)
EBACC Pathway
Students need to select from one of:
1) Geography or History
2) French or Spanish
3) Open choice from all remaining subjects

Open Pathway

The option subjects available are:

GCSE Subjects   Level 1, 2 and Vocational Subjects 
Fine Art French   BTEC Sport


Business Studies

Design and Technology - Product Design   
BTEC Health and Social Care 

Religious Education

Computer Science


Food Preparation and Nutrition 

  Multi Skills Construction




Physical Education 

   Graphic Design  
Seperate Science Support Studies    Engineering 


    Creative Media
      Child Development
      Hospitality and Catering

Before making choices from the above options subjects it is recommended that you refer to the detailed subject information that is available in the options booklet which explains the content and assessment arrangements for each of the qualifications identified above.

There is a detailed programme of consultation prior to the selection of subjects to assist students and their parents in making appropriate choices, there is a small number of pupils who may be offered the choice of following a programme of Alternative Education at Key Stage 4.
Key Stage 5 Curriculum

William de Ferrers Sixth Form offers a wide range of Key Stage 5 Curriculum A Level subjects and Level 3 BTEC courses / Vocational courses which are equivalent to A Levels. These BTEC courses can be taken as a single award (worth 1 A Level) or a double award (worth 2 A Levels). An A Level is a General Certificate of Education (GCE) qualification designed around an individual subject which is usually assessed predominantly by examinations.  

A BTEC of a vocational subject is a vocationally based qualification that is also recognised by universities and employers.

In addition to these academic qualifications, students also have the option to take a number of enrichment options, the details of which can also be found in the sixth form course guide.

Please contact Mr Russell, Director of Studies for the Upper School by using this email link for further information.

Please use this link for instructions on how to apply on line for Year 12.

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