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  • Key Stage 4

    Further details can be found in our Key Stage 4 Curriculum Information booklet at the bottom of this page.  Additional information is available from our Assistant Head Teacher in charge of curriculum, Mrs Bennett, at: hjb@stbernards.southend.sch.uk.

    The Key Stage 4 curriculum is a two-year programme, designed to ensure that all students receive a broad, balanced and relevant educational experience, which fits them for life-long learning in an ever-changing society.  In addition, as a school with a Catholic ethos, we also believe that the spiritual and moral dimension of education is an essential part of personal growth and academic development. 

    Our Key Stage 4 Curriculum is broad so that pupils can experience a range of opportunities across the curriculum; balanced because it is unwise for pupils to narrow down their options before the age of 16; relevant to pupils’ individual needs and to the demands of a rapidly-changing world; and personalised so that the level and type of work are suited to the ability and learning style of each individual pupil.

    In Key Stage 4, pupils have enhanced time for the core subjects of English and Maths. As a faith school, it is right that all pupils follow a GCSE RE course. The time allocated to PE for all students recognises the importance of health and fitness in our lives. Save for a very small group of students who need additional time to focus on the core subjects, all students have the opportunity to become confident in a foreign language.

    Our curriculum offers flexibility and choice within a guided structure. In creating our offer, we are careful to listen to pupil demand and where possible we will add extra classes for popular subjects. Within this framework, which promotes the ‘English Baccalaureate’, pupils usually take ten GCSE qualifications: Religious Education, English Language and Literature, mathematics, science, a modern foreign language and three options subjects.

    A full tutorial programme is offered which focuses on the needs of young adults as they make the transition from the school environment.  Students have regular tutorial time each week covering PSHE topics, as well as preparation for the next stages in their learning journey.

    Many extracurricular activities are available: approximately 90 students undertake the Bronze Duke of Edinburgh award; some students undertake the Arts Leader award; clubs in Art, Dance, Drama, Music, Photography are available, as well as sports teams and revision classes. The library and computer rooms are available at lunchtimes, with study facilities also available before and after the school day.

    ‘It was only with the support of the senior leadership team and my fellow students that I even considered applying to Oxford, and I genuinely don’t believe I would have achieved as much as I have done if it wasn’t for their help, encouragement and confidence in me.’

    — Isabel Aust, Former Head Student