Mary astell academy 13
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Key Stage Four Curriculum

Ambition and achievement underpin the intent and implementation of our key stage four curriculum.

All key stage four pupils, as they progress through the stage, are prepared by subject teachers to take examinations from a wide range of GCSEs, ELCs, vocational qualifications, Functional Skills and Unit awards. This range ensures all pupils can access appropriate qualifications which appropriately challenge and permit achievements which stretch their abilities. All pupils study English, mathematics, science and IT as core disciplines.

Optional subjects including academic foundation subjects, LiBF courses, sports leaders, hair & beauty courses, food & catering, construction and uniformed services are taught through the KS4 pathways programme. The key stage four curriculum is designed to support the development of knowledge and skills leading to a broad range of qualifications which will provide access to multiple post-sixteen destination choices whether in further education, apprenticeships or employment.

Subject Taught

Timetable Allocation











Food Technology


Personal Development (P.S.H.E.)


Character Education


Due to the differing times in the school year pupils join our academy, qualification accreditation opportunities are held all year round and pupils are presented with the ability to progressively build their suite of qualifications.

Personal Development Curriculum

Across both key stages three and four, Mary Astell Academy is committed to the well-being, pastoral and personal development of all its pupils. This manifests itself both inside and beyond the classroom. Our Personal Development curriculum delivers the statutory requirements, and extends to include issues and topics that have a direct impact upon the lives of our pupils, seeking to empower them to make the best informed choices. Beyond the classroom, our pastoral team work closely with pupils to identify opportunities for intervention and additional inclusion, counselling and therapies, resilience and independence training and a proactive pupil voice.

Lesson Sequence

Theme & Topic (KS3/KS4)

Autumn Term


What is PSHE / Working Together


What is puberty / Successful Relationships


Mensural Wellbeing / Parenting & Family Life


Personal Hygiene / Exploitation & Abuse


Feelings / Help & Support


Friendships / Sex & Sexuality


Types of Relationships / Consent


Healthy Relationships / Sexual Relations


Communication / Sexual Health


Commitment / Pregnancy Choices


Abuse / Pornography

Spring Term


Sexual Choices / Drugs


Pornography & Sexting / Alcohol


Sex and the Law / Addiction & Dependency


Conception & pregnancy / Emotional Wellbeing


Contraception / Dealing with Stress


S.T.I’s / Pressures & Influences


Alcohol & Tobacco / Facing Challenges


Drugs / Work Life Balance


Drug Taking & Impact / Bereavement

Summer Term


Emotional Wellbeing / Influences on Health


Mental Health / Being Active


Resilience / Being Health Aware


Managing Feelings / Risk & Safety


Loss & Bereavement / The Teenage Brain


Look after Yourself / Rights & Responsibilities


Support Services / Online Safety


Healthy Lifestyles / Social Media


Healthy Eating / Gangs & Knife Crime


Exercise / Street Safety

Character Education

Preparing our students for the wider world through strengthening their inter-personal skills and interactions is a vital aspect of the education we offer. To augment the character building activities pupils experience within our academy, day to day, we schedule a wide range of enrichment and extra-curricular opportunities. Onsite, activities such as baking and cooking, sports leadership and hair and beauty classes show our pupils different ways of interaction with their peers and teachers, alongside developing skills that they may choose to use in future professional lives.

Offsite, we have purposefully created a wide network of partners and agencies to help us offer vocational and learning experiences which our pupils may otherwise not have had the opportunity to access. These place pupils in unfamiliar environments and situations, having to meet and form relationships with new people, and engage with challenging tasks. Examples include; experience of working with animal welfare and husbandry, the Royal Fusiliers and the Newcastle Eagles leads to character development and self-confidence to meet new challenges.

Careers Education/ Post Sixteen Destinations

Before our pupils leave us in Year Eleven, we ensure they have had access to a wealth of careers information, advice and guidance. This personalised service is provided by experts, professionals and advisors who assist and best prepare our pupils to make decisions about their next steps towards future career pathways.

Engagement in this programme often begins in the family setting, with our trained career professionals working with parents and carers to establish a relationship and build a picture of how best to support and advise each pupil. Encounters and experiences with those in industry, trades and further education are arranged which fosters real world encounters and deeper awareness to be established.

Progression monitoring contacts are maintained after a pupil’s time with us to provide continuing support and sustained tenure.

Careers Education at Mary Astell Academy

• SMART         • Pupil-Centred

• Progressive       • Evidence-based


Year Seven “I Am”


Year Eight “I Can”


Year Nine “I Choose”


Identify their strengths and how these relate to employability characteristics

Explore the type of learner they are

Identify their personal support network

Describe what LMI is and how it helps selecting GCSE options


Year Ten “I Will”

Describe what they know about a working environment

Review and reflect on previous key transition periods

Show confidence in interviewing techniques

Understanding of their key skills and know how to apply them


Year Eleven “I Am”

Explain the reasons behind their choice of post-16 pathway based on knowledge of themselves and LMI

Understanding of the full range of local Post 16 pathways

Recognise their key skills which make them employable

Identify and call on their personal network

British Values

Across all Prosper Learning Trust settings motivations and intentions are underpinned by fundamental British values. Our programmes ensure that all our pupils develop their understanding of the wider world as well as academic skills and knowledge. We have created a Personal Development (PD) curriculum, fulfilling key statutory needs and those that our pupil’s face in their own lives. PD is delivered through a combination of teacher led lessons, specialist input from external providers and drop down events.

Cultural Capital

We are committed to ensuring that our ambitious and diverse curriculum offers students as broad an experience as possible. Cultural capital is the accumulation of knowledge, skills, behaviours and experiences that our pupils can draw upon, both in school and in the wider world. Our goal is for all to be able to demonstrate their cultural awareness and knowledge. We believe that cultural capital forms part of key skills which pupils will draw upon to be successful in their chosen careers and wider society.

Cultural capital gives our pupils influence and confidence – it can help them to become socially mobile.

Cultural capital is developed across the full breadth of our curriculum offer, inside and beyond the classroom. An outline of these can be seen below:

  1. A diverse and varied personal development curriculum
  2. A school wide literacy programme that promotes a wide range of texts, authors and perspectives.
  3. A humanities curriculum that promotes local, national and worldwide historical awareness.
  4. Restaurant, cinema and theatre trips to broaden experiences.
  5. A diverse and challenging character curriculum.
  6. An engaged and considered pupil voice.