KS4 Compulsory Curriculum


In compliance with national curriculum requirements, those students who do not choose to study computer science at GCSE level are given the opportunity to study aspects of information technology and computer science at sufficient depth to allow them to progress to higher levels of study or to a professional career.  

The national curriculum states that students at KS4 should be taught to:

  • develop their capability, creativity and knowledge in computer science, digital media and information technology
  • develop and apply their analytic, problem-solving, design, and computational thinking skills
  • understand how changes in technology affect safety, including new ways to protect their online privacy and identity, and how to report a range of concerns


This is achieved through a diverse range of uses and activities which make purposeful and relevant use of technologies, within other subject lessons.

LIFE (PSHE) lessons focus on the safety aspects and reporting of concerns surrounding staying safe online. Further topics explored during LIFE include; cyber bullying, the influence of role models and the media, sexting, attitudes to pornography, revenge porn, the dangers of gambling and issues surrounding radicalisation and extremism, including learning about misogyny and links to other extreme views. Finally, students are encouraged to critically evaluate online content including propaganda, manipulation and misleading information. Internet subcultures are also addressed in LIFE lessons, with students learning the possible dangers of such.  Students are taught about both the short and longer term consequences for failing to stay safe online, for perpetrators and for any possible victims. To protect their online privacy, students discuss the long and short term consequences of sharing intimate images with partners or friends. They also learn about the legal, short and long-term consequences for perpetrators and victims. Pastoral staff lead assemblies and other structured tutor time activities and discussion surrounding many of the issues outline above.  

Within all subjects, students will also use and develop their ICT skills to carry out research, analyse data, produce written reports making use of graphs and charts to visually illustrate and allow analysis of data, skills that will be important at university, in employment or further training and beyond. Mathematics uses software which supports the graphical work of students. 

Most subjects make use of computing to support the setting of homework, exam preparation and revision. Thus helping develop skills required for both GCSE and beyond. Developing and applying analytic, problem-solving, design, and computational thinking skills are part of the GCSE Computer Science course and in addition aspects of these skills are developed within other subjects including Mathematics and Science.  

The school ensures that Pupil Premium students receive a Chromebook to support their learning where needed, as well as providing some families with internet connections at home. Chromebooks are also assigned to all SEND students who require them. 

Analytical and problem solving skills are developed throughout school but in particular the practical scientific subjects, mathematics and computing allow students the opportunity to demonstrate these skills through a mix of challenging activities that require logical thinking and decision making.

Many subjects also use Computing as part of their curriculum access and delivery. Students will develop their knowledge often by using focussed research requiring effective use of the internet.   

We believe that the learning experienced by our students across all subjects is enhanced through the creative and effective use of technology and that these combined experiences do offer all of our students the necessary skills and knowledge required to progress to higher levels of study and onto successful professional careers in the future.

Core Subjects – All students



English In English, students use a variety of internet sources to enhance their studies and are directed to websites and learning platforms as well as being encouraged to develop their independence when using sources. For example, students will need to secure contextual knowledge of their set texts at GCSE; they also use online resources to secure knowledge of the texts. 

Mathematics use software which staff use to demonstrate graphs to students.

The specific software that students use is:

  • Maths Watch
  • Sparx
  • My Maths
  • Blooket
  • Desmos

In Science students use ICT for research purposes, for example, the history of atoms/periodic table, renewable and non-renewable energy. They also use data loggers for pH, temperature probes, light gates, pH meters, voltmeters and ammeters.

Examples of specific software that students use is:

  • Century tech (revision)
  • Educake (revision)
  • BBC Bitesize
  • Kerboodle – linked to textbooks specifically in Science
  • Phet
  • Twinkle
  • Exampro
  • They use virtual labs to teach electrolysis- for example www.labster.com/simulations/electrolysis

Students in PE GCSE use Google Classroom for GCSE coursework, ICT for research for GCSE coursework and You tube to watch training videos for GCSE coursework


Humanities subjects (All students will study at least one History or Geography)




Students develop their Computer skills by completing research and investigations for homework. They also use Seneca, Educake and GSCE Pod.


In Geography students use the following packages to enhance their computer skills:

  • All Microsoft packages
  • Google earth
  • Any digital map package where we can download free.

All search engines for stats & data websites where generally you can download graphs I.E ONS.


Options Subjects




In Art subjects including photography students use the following:

  • Microsoft word and PowerPoint for presenting own work and analysis/evaluation – printed for folders (GCSE Photography and BTEC Art) or researching images for a moodboard
  • Photoshop for editing own photos or artwork (GCSE Photography and BTEC Art)
  • Internet research of artists for inspiration – google to find relevant websites, mainly for homework but occasionally in lessons (GCSE Art, Photography and BTEC Art)
  • Projecting own photos via school network, to then photograph creatively, or to trace in art for outlines when scaling up 

Music students use the following specialist software to enhance their learning:

  • Focus on Sound – Music specific – Database of revision resources and classroom activities
  • Logic Pro X – Music specific  - as part of the Music tech course on Apply Macs
  • Musescore – Music specific – Notation based programme to access music
  • Noteflight
  • Sibelius

Students develop their Computer skills by completing research and investigations for homework. They also use the Microsoft suite of software to feedback work and present ideas.


In Construction, students use the following to enhance their computer skills:

  • Internet research for all coursework
  • Power point and word for coursework
  • Photoshop
  • Computer Aided Design (at times if needed)
Drama In KS4 Drama students use Google Classroom and have access other specialist packages as required for the course

In Hair, students may use Powerpoint and Publisher to produce their portfolios as well as Photoshop packages for images/photographs


In Modern Foreign Languages students use the following programs to enhance both their language skills and their computer skills:

  • Linguascope
  • Duolingo
  • Memrise

In Media the students have access to significant amount of computing which enhances their skills:

  • Photoshop
  • Google Sites in Year 10 and Year 11 for NEA. 
  • We also use Google Classroom regularly to set practical tasks/assignments. 
  • There are also times when we would use iPads/Macs for Filming/Editing using iMovie. 
  • We use the full Google Drive suite for lessons as well as the microsoft office suite. 
  • We use Spotify, Youtube, BBC iPlayer
  • In lessons students will either use Desktop computers or Apps to access the software.
  • Students access relevant websites based around the media course