Curriculum Overview & Pathways

At Admiral Lord Nelson School we are a Rights Respecting School and as such provide a curriculum experience for every student that enables them not only to make progress in their learning and achieve high academic standards but also to enjoy learning for its own sake and to develop the skills and understanding to live safe, healthy and fulfilling lives.

The purpose of our Curriculum is to enable our students to:

  • develop lively, creative, enquiring minds, studying a full range and breadth of subjects and specialising at Key Stage 4
  • acquire knowledge and skills relevant to adult life and a world of rapid and continuous change, following an appropriate pathway to ensure students achieve their very best
  • use language and number effectively
  • develop personal and moral values, respect for shared values and for other cultures, religions and ways of life
  • develop an understanding of the world in which they live
  • appreciate human achievements and aspirations
  • experience success and celebration of their achievements
  • take their place in society as informed, confident and responsible citizens

The ALNS Curriculum addresses statutory requirements within the Curriculum, namely that it:

  • Is broad, balanced, coherent and relevant
  • Is accessible to all students and promotes high expectations
  • Is delivered using a range of appropriate teaching and learning styles
  • Is differentiated so that it provides appropriate challenge and engagement for all
  • Is positively managed and promotes the recognition, monitoring and celebration of achievement
  • Is flexible, so that it continually adapts to the changing needs of our students
  • Reflects and enriches the community that we serve

KS3 Core Curriculum Offer

Our Key Stage Three consists of Year 7 and Year 8.

During Year 8 students make choices on which subjects they study at Key Stage Four.

At Key Stage Three our core curriculum offer is as follows:

Year 7 Year 8
English English
Maths Maths
Science Science
History History
Geography Geography
Religious Education Religious Education
Drama Drama
Dance Dance
Music Music
Physical Education Physical Education
Art Art
Computing Computing
French & German French or German
Textiles Food Technology
Personal Development (Learning to Learn Programme) Personal Development (Learning to Learn Programme)
Resistant Materials

KS4 Core Curriculum Offer

At Key Stage Four our students follow the pathways that best suits them. Our core curriculum offer is:

Subject Number of lessons per fortnight (out of 50 hour-long lessons)
English 8
Maths 8
Science 9
Humanities choice 1 5
Personal Development 1
Aspiring Futures 1
Physical Education 3
Language choice 2 (or Third option subject) 5
First option subject 3 5
Second option subject 3 5

Humanities choice is Geography or History.
Language choice is French or German.
Students choose two optional subjects to study from this list:

  • Graphic Communication GCSE
  • Music Technical Award
  • Art GCSE
  • Dance Technical Award
  • Textiles GCSE
  • Acting Technical Award
  • Materials Technology Award
  • Creative Media Technical Award
  • Food Preparation and Nutrition GCSE
  • Enterprise Technical Award
  • Philosophy Ethics, and Religion GCSE
  • Computer Science GCSE
  • Sociology GCSE
  • Separate Sciences GCSE
  • Psychology GCSE
  • Spanish GCSE
  • Sports Technical Award
  • Geography GCSE
  • Physical Education GCSE
  • History GCSE
  • Information Technology Technical Award

Students embark on one of 3 different learning pathways which take account of their interests, attainment and career aspirations.

The curriculum offer for each pathway is updated annually in the light of our curriculum evaluation (including a review of value for money). It is published in the School Handbook for Staff and Governors and in the Key Stage 4 Curriculum Booklet for Parents and Students in February each year.

KS4 Pathways

The Core curriculum that all students study consists of English, English Literature, Mathematics and Double Science. All these are GCSE subjects. The Core also contains non examined elements such as Personal Development (encompassing citizenship, RE and equalities), Aspiring futures (encompassing enterprise, work related learning, drugs and sex education) and Physical Education.

Students embark on one of 3 different learning pathways which take account of their interests, attainment and career aspirations.

We call these three pathways the Silver, Green and Purple pathways.

The curriculum offer for each pathway is updated annually in the light of our curriculum evaluation (including a review of value for money). It is published in the School Handbook for Staff and Governors and in the Key Stage 4 Curriculum Booklet for Parents and Students in February each year.

Purple Pathway

Humanities choice:

  • Geography
  • History

Languages choice:

  • French
  • German

Two of the following:

  • Graphic Communication GCSE
  • Music Technical Award
  • Art GCSE
  • Dance Technical Award
  • Textiles GCSE
  • Acting Technical Award
  • Materials Technology Award
  • Creative Media Technical Award
  • Food Preparation and Nutrition GCSE
  • Enterprise Technical Award
  • Philosophy Ethics, and Religion GCSE
  • Computer Science GCSE
  • Sociology GCSE
  • Separate Sciences GCSE
  • Psychology GCSE
  • Spanish GCSE
  • Sports Technical Award
  • Geography GCSE
  • Physical Education GCSE
  • History GCSE
  • Information Technology Technical Award

Green Pathway

Humanities choice:

  • Geography
  • History

Three of the following:

  • Graphic Communication GCSE
  • Music Technical Award
  • Art GCSE
  • Dance Technical Award
  • Textiles GCSE
  • Acting Technical Award
  • Materials Technology Award
  • Creative Media Technical Award
  • Food Preparation and Nutrition GCSE
  • Enterprise Technical Award
  • Philosophy Ethics, and Religion GCSE
  • Computer Science GCSE
  • Sociology GCSE
  • Separate Sciences GCSE
  • Psychology GCSE
  • Spanish GCSE
  • Sports Leadership Technical Award
  • Geography GCSE
  • Physical Education GCSE
  • History GCSE
  • Information Technology Technical Award
  • College Course: Hair and Beauty
  • College Course: Construction

Silver Pathway

Three of the following:

  • Graphic Communication GCSE
  • Music Technical Award
  • Art GCSE
  • Dance Technical Award
  • Textiles GCSE
  • Acting Technical Award
  • Materials Technology Award
  • Creative Media Technical Award
  • Food Preparation and Nutrition GCSE
  • Enterprise Technical Award
  • Philosophy Ethics, and Religion GCSE
  • Computer Science GCSE
  • Sociology GCSE
  • Separate Sciences GCSE
  • Psychology GCSE
  • Spanish GCSE
  • Sports Leadership Technical Award
  • College Course: Hair and Beauty
  • Physical Education GCSE
  • College Course: Construction
  • Information Technology Technical Award

There are curriculum evenings planned throughout the school year to ensure parents and students have all the information they need to make the right choices.

Personal Development

In addition to subject lessons, the Formal Curriculum also comprises a range of planned experiences called Personal Development Days (PD Days). These days are designed to provide learning opportunities where staff and students work together for extended periods of time to develop students’ Personal, Learning and Thinking Skills (PLTS), namely to be:

  • Independent Enquirers
  • Creative Thinkers
  • Reflective Learners
  • Team Workers
  • Self-Managers
  • Effective Participators

PD Days are planned and delivered collaboratively by cross-organisational teams of teaching and support staff. This supports our philosophy that every adult who works at ALNS plays a part in delivering the ALNS Curriculum. PD Days are planned so that they provide learning opportunities that develop knowledge and understanding within the Cross-Curriculum Dimensions below:

  • Identity and Cultural Diversity
  • Healthy Lifestyles
  • Community Participation
  • Creativity and Critical Thinking
  • Enterprise
  • Global Citizenship and Sustainable Development
  • Technology and the Media

Personal, Learning and Thinking Skills are ‘taught’ within Humanities lessons and, like Literacy, Numeracy and ICT skills, are developed and applied across all aspects of the Formal Curriculum. We aim to provide coherence by linking learning on PD Days with learning in other areas of the Formal Curriculum. Off-site visits, International trips and the use of outside ‘experts’ (from our local community and beyond) that enhance and enrich the learning experience for students are a key feature of our PD Days.

Which way now?

You can download the most recent Key Stage 4 options booklets below:

Year 8 | Year 9


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