KS3 & 4 Curriculum Offer

Key Stage 3 and 4

At The Whitley AP Academy we are firm in our commitment in providing a broad and balanced curriculum which matches the needs of our diverse cohort of pupils. We are ambitious in our desire to deliver a curriculum which addresses a wide range of local, national and international issues. We also recognise the importance of developing the key skills of our young people so that they can fully access the curriculum, this includes reading, writing, oracy and numeracy, thereby allowing pupils to be fully prepared for the next step in their learning journey.

Our Key Stage 3 curriculum is designed to ensure that pupils are fully prepared either for a return to mainstream education or for the demands of our Key Stage 4 curriculum. The curriculum closely matches the breadth of subjects delivered in mainstream schools, with the exception of Modern Foreign Languages.

Our formal curriculum provides high quality teaching from specialists across the subject range. As a fully inclusive school, our curriculum is designed to meet the needs of all students, whatever their needs. Our wider, informal curriculum focuses on the personal development of our pupils, this includes an engaging and bespoke Form Time programme with five key strands of focus each week. Throughout the school year we also run six themed Safeguarding and Well-being weeks, these are typically based on a key issue which is relevant to the pupils.

Our Key Stage 4 curriculum is an extension of our Sky Stage 3 offer, with the core subjects of English, Maths, Biology, Creative Media, Physical Education, PSHCE and Religious Studies at its centre. In both Years 10 and 11, pupils choose two options subjects which they can complete in a year, with the intention of all pupils completing four vocational based qualifications during the two years. Such an approach allows pupils to have a range of options available to them for their Post-16 journey and allows them to accrue several relevant and worthwhile qualifications.

The informal curriculum in Key Stage 4 focuses on the personal development of our pupils and preparing them life after compulsory education. Careers education is a significant area of focus during Key Stage 4, with the support of our C&K Careers Advisor we are able to deliver a programme which is personalised for each pupil and designed to ensure they have a meaningful destination after Year 11.

Key Stage 3 & 4 Curriculum Statements


The aim of the English programme at The Whitley AP Academy is to equip all pupils with an understanding of the English language to ensure they can communicate their needs, ideas and emotions clearly and coherently to others. Pupils are given the opportunity to explore a wide range of texts which promote equality, cohesion, political awareness and British values.

Through regular writing, pupils are given the opportunity to become expressive, creative and precise in the written word. We are committed to developing pupils’ oracy skills through discussion, debate and presentations. Oracy is taught as a stand-alone lesson throughout KS3 and re-introduced at KS4 as part of the Speaking and Listening GCSE unit. Pupils acquire a wide range of vocabulary and are supported to use standard English confidently through their writing and speech.

The English Language programme is delivered through a variety of sources including whole texts, extracts, articles and videos. Pupils are encouraged to take ownership of their learning and to develop an understanding of how they learn effectively. All pupils are encouraged to explore the English language and to demonstrate their expertise creatively to communicate in different ways.

English Literature

The aim of the English Literature programme at The Whitley AP Academy is to inspire, motivate and challenge pupils whilst studying a range of literature which gives pupils a grounding in literature which will stay with them for life. The texts have not only been chosen to inspire our young readers but also to allow pupils to transition to mainstream as fluidly as possible.  Texts have been chosen to promote social awareness, British values and to develop confidence when reading, writing and speaking.

We aim to improve social mobility for all pupils; to equip pupils with essential life-skills and the best progression to future employment. This includes understanding and demonstrating an awareness of and personal response to their literary heritage.


The Maths curriculum at The Whitley AP Academy is in line with National Curriculum. The course will provide a strong foundation for further academic and vocational study and future employment. Pupils will be signposted to various careers where the use of mathematics is an essential skill. Due to the nature of the provision there has to be an element of flexibility in terms of how the curriculum is delivered. Some pupils may have significant gaps in their knowledge having missed weeks, months or even years of education.

The programme of study will act as a starting point for some pupils but for others it will provide a continuation of learning from mainstream education. The programme is flexible and can teaching may deviate based on a pupil’s individual learning needs in a bid to address gaps and ensure progress. The Maths department at TWAPA prides itself on ensuring children can access Maths in a safe, positive learning environment without fear of failure.


The main aim of the programme of study at The Whitley AP Academy Science is to develop secure scientific knowledge and understanding through practical experience, as well as using real and accessible examples. The pupils will learn a variety of different scientific concepts designed to intrigue, challenge and engage. The learning is put into a real-world context; developed to raise the cultural capital of our pupils using local, as well as world examples.This programme will teach pupils to challenge their own ideas about Science and to reflect on learning as a whole. The programme seeks to raise the profile of Science for the pupils and to help pupils understand the value of Science in their lives and the lives of others.

Flexibility is key to the implementation of the Science programme. Pupils are accepted by the provision throughout the year with significant gaps in their knowledge, often having missed years of education. The programme can be individualised with every lesson having achievable objectives, varying in complexity to accommodate all learners. The curriculum has been tailor made to consider the backgrounds of pupils, previous attitudes towards Science and the varying stages of Scientific knowledge. Pupils will understand that Science is relevant to them and that a greater understanding of the Scientific method will benefit them in their adult lives.

Religious Education (RE)

Our Key Stage 3 Religious Education curriculum aims to develop pupil’s knowledge and understanding of: religion, culture and worldwide issues. Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism and Non-Religious beliefs are the main 6 focuses in this KS3 pathway for Religious Studies. Each religion will be taught per term which will allow the pupils to enquire into differences, identify key facts and events that support each religion along with the beliefs and worship will be identified and analysed.

In KS4 Religious Studies lessons we study the AQA course. This aims to engage pupils into a deeper understanding of religion and draws from the KS3 curriculum by the continuation of their learning journeys, of both knowledge and understanding of: religion, culture and worldwide issues. Christianity and Islam are the main two focuses on this GCSE pathway for Religious Studies.

Each pupil will gain an increased understanding of the different religions, the views and be able to analyse the religions and gain valuable life skills in debate, respect, understanding and tolerance.


Personal, Social, Health, Citizenship Education at The Whitely AP Academy follows the locally agreed syllabus for PSHCE and meets statutory guidelines with the content it covers.  PSHCE education helps pupils to develop the knowledge, skills and attributes they need to manage many of the critical opportunities, challenges and responsibilities they will face as they develop and grow into adulthood over the five-year journey from Year 7 to Year 11.

Lessons will address the health and wellbeing of young people in order to build, develop, strengthen and maintain health and well-being of all young people at our school. The lessons are designed to identify personal qualities, attitudes, skills and achievements and aims to build confidence and self-esteem whilst accepting helpful feedback and showing resilience.

We will help young people develop healthy, nurturing relationships of all kinds, not just intimate relationships, enabling them to know what a healthy relationship looks like and what makes a good friend, a good colleague and a successful marriage or other type of committed relationship. This will help pupils to understand the positive effects that good relationships have on their mental wellbeing, identify when relationships are not right and understand how such situations can be managed.

Employability, teamwork and leadership skills will be covered within this curriculum area as we investigate employability skills including cv writing, career research into chosen sectors of employment, letter writing, interview skills and time management. It complements the career education and the Gatsby benchmarks of giving all pupils independent advice and guidance and every pupil, and their parents, should have access to good quality information about future study options and labour market opportunities. Each pupil will have access to the support of an informed adviser to make best use of available information.

Physical Education (PE)

The purpose of Physical Education at The Whitley AP Academy is to provide pupils with a broad and balanced, inclusive PE curriculum which is national curriculum compatible. This will enable learners to develop their skills in a number of sports and active leisure opportunities. We recognise the importance that PE and sport can have in promoting long-term healthy lifestyles and making a positive impact on physical, mental and social health for our current pupil cohort.

The way in which physical education is designed and taught considers the background of the pupils and attitudes towards sport and physical education. The programme aims to engage, or in some cases, re-engage pupils to create a positive attitude and approach to sports and physical education, striving to build confidence and comprehensive knowledge of sport and physical education for each individual pupil through careful planning and delivery of unit content to address areas for development and advance pupils subject strengths.

Computing – KS3

To engage KS3 pupils in Computing, here at TWAPA we offer an interactive approach to the subject by using Digital Media studies. Pupils will develop computing skills such as: use of the internet and online safety, research skills, and creative techniques by using a range of different software packages. The combination of Computing and Media will help develop pupils’ confidence when using computers and will also help them to develop practical skills such as critical thinking, teamwork and decision-making. Pupils will be more confident using computers in school and will be able to apply their computer skills not only in Computing and Media but in the other subjects that the Academy provides and in their further studies / future employment.

Creative Art – KS3

The Creative Art curriculum at The Whitley AP Academy is an important part of the pupils’ entitlement to a broad and balanced curriculum. Art at TWAPA provides pupils with opportunities to develop and extend skills and give them an opportunity to express their personal interests, thoughts and ideas. By the end of Key Stage 3 we aim for each pupil to explore the creation of creative pieces of work learning and improving methods of drawing, painting, sculpture and other art. They will learn how to critically analyse their own and others work, while learning about the history of art as to have a foundational understand of the main artistic movements.

Design Technology (DT) – KS3

The Design & Technology curriculum at The Whitley AP Academy is delivered through a variety of creative and practical activities. Pupils will be taught the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to engage in the interactive process of designing and making. They will work in a range of domestic, local and industrial contexts while helping the school build wider local relationships.

The programme of study will build pupils’ confidence while helping them recognise their personal strengths and help them use these effectively in tasks not only in DT but in other education settings. The DT programme aims to build other skills such as; being able to work independently and as part of a group, while also respecting others and their own work.

Food Technology – KS3

The Food Technology curriculum is a three-year programme of study which will explore different aspects of ingredients as well as new and familiar dishes, thus preparing our pupils both for the Key Stage Four curriculum and any further studies they wish to pursue in this area, but most importantly, life beyond education.  We feel it is vital that our pupils are able to be self-sufficient when it comes to planning and preparing their own healthy and cost-effective meals.

The weekly lessons taught consist of one lesson which focuses predominantly on the theory aspect of the subject, followed by a subsequent practical lesson where pupils are able to practice and develop cooking skills from the knowledge learnt in the previous lesson.

The start of each new academic year will primarily focus on health and safety in the kitchen, alongside the more practical aspect of preparing and cooking a dish each week. Pupils will gain an insight into where their food comes from, explore the nutritional value of certain foods, plan and make fast, cost-effective and healthy meals and the many different ways this can be achieved. Pupils will also gain an insight into different foods from around the world, exploring different flavours and develop more refined skills such as baking techniques in ‘The Great Whitley Bake-Off’. Pupils will also learn about the different careers they can pursue in the food industry, taking into account career paths such as marketing and nutrition.

As this course progresses, pupils will be given the opportunity to revisit and improve previous skills learnt as each academic year intends to introduce more complexity and detail.  Pupils will progress to become competent, confident chefs in their own right.

Geography – KS3

The Geography Curriculum at The Whitley AP Academy is bespoke to our provision, designed to provide pupils an opportunity to learn and develop their knowledge in relation to different aspects of Geography. Although bespoke, the majority of topics on offer and picked from the National Curriculum, allowing for a realistic and manageable integration into our provision, or reintegration into a mainstream setting. A major consideration with the design of the curriculum, was the cross curricular links with Biology, which is a GCSE subject within the school, maths and other humanities subjects such as PSHCE and History.

Pupils are taught to not only take responsibility for their own learning, but to take responsibility for the world around them through investigating issues to do with pollution, climate change and fossil fuels. The curriculum teaches pupils to respect different cultures and the environment locally, regionally, nationally and globally; developing positive and conscientious young members of society.

History – KS3

The History curriculum at The Whitley AP Academy provides KS3 pupils with a broad and bespoke History curriculum that enables learners to develop and learn different areas of History which will impact their day to day life. One of the main foci of the History curriculum is to expose pupils to specific events, cultural experiences that has shaped the world that we live in. The pupils follow the development of Britain from the Roman ages through to events that happen in modern history, providing context to texts that they study on the English Literature course in the process.

The Humanities department at TWAPA pride ourselves on developing inquisitive and reflective young minds, who are encouraged to analyse situations and view history from different viewpoints, whilst evaluating the cultural and historical impact on modern society.

Creative Media Production – KS4

The KS4 computing component at TWAPA will be delivered through our Creative Media Curriculum. KS4 pupils will learn how information can be presented to meet different purposes and audience needs by studying Creative Media Production, this course will enable pupils to apply their previous computing knowledge and gain new creative and critical skills.  All projects are designed to ensure that pupils are developing their confidence when using a variety of equipment / software packages. The units of study will help students to work independently and as part of a team, preparing them for further education and employment.

Construction – KS4

The Construction curriculum option ensures that the pupils engage in learning which is relevant to them and their interests while providing opportunities to develop a range of skills and techniques, personal skills and attributes essential for successful performance in working life.

Throughout the programme of study, the pupils’ communication skills will be improved, and they will learn to work individually and as part as a team. The pupils will learn / improve on skills already gained and be able to ask questions to extend their understanding and knowledge of the construction industry. They will develop support skills and nurturing skills towards their peers and younger pupils and also organisational skills to support their learning. On gaining this BTEC qualification pupils can progress onto the relevant course in further education.

Hospitality and Catering – KS4

The aim of the Hospitality and Catering curriculum at The Whitley AP Academy is to provide opportunities for pupils to learn to cook and apply the principles of health and nutrition. The course is a BTEC qualification and is based on the proposition that being able to cook is an essential life skill which empowers people to make changes that have benefits to long term wellbeing of self and family.

Within Hospitality and Catering lessons we are encouraging learners to develop the knowledge, understanding and confidence to cook meals at home. Pupils are gaining a good understanding of how to economise when planning a meal and develop the ability to transfer skills learned to different recipes. In this way the pupils will inspire others by transferring that knowledge, whilst at the same time gaining the confidence to cook. The course will also develop pupil awareness of global issues such as food safety and insecurity and look at changing food habits and choices.

Public Services – KS4

The course will provide pupils with an inclusive Public Services qualification enabling learners to gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of the requirements for employment in the public service sector through identification of personal strengths and areas for improvement, developing work skills and culture capital needed for active citizenship in modern society and successful performance in working life.

Particularly relevant to The Whitley AP Academy is enabling the most disadvantaged pupils, the opportunity to develop their knowledge and cultural capital they need to succeed in life. Alongside the academic progress the pupils will make, the course will also aim to teach them personal skills such as resilience and the ability to reflect on their own learning. The programme aims to engage, or in some cases, re-engage pupils to create a positive learning environment to develop their knowledge in public services. This qualification will enable provide pupils with the opportunity to progress to related general and / or vocational qualifications, as well as opportunities to progress to employment in a particular vocational sector.

Sport and Active Leisure – KS4 

The course will provide pupils with an inclusive BTEC Sports qualification enabling learners to gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of the requirements for sporting participation, identification of personal strengths and areas for improvement, developing work skills and culture capital needed for active citizenship in modern society.

Particularly relevant to The Whitley AP Academy is enabling the most disadvantaged pupils, the opportunity to develop their knowledge and cultural capital they need to succeed in life. Alongside the academic progress the pupils will make, the course will also aim to teach them personal skills such as resilience and the ability to reflect on their own learning. The purpose of this programme of study is to give pupils confidence in their sporting abilities enabling them to confidently apply skills and qualities which can be attained through sporting participation in adult life. The programme aims to engage, or in some cases, re-engage pupils to create a positive learning environment to participate in sport and active leisure. This qualification will enable provide pupils with the opportunity to access further and higher educational opportunities in sport and leisure.

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