KS4 Curriculum

Key Stage 4 Transition Evening Follow-up

Many thanks to the 200+ parents who attended this meeting on Tuesday 11th July. Your obvious commitment to helping your children is the most important support they will receive. We have read the impressive range of ‘barriers to success’ that you identified. These ranged from the more obvious - social media, parties, exam stress etc. through to the more individual: ‘Love Island’ and ‘thick parents’ being interesting ones! 

From personal experience,  a book about teenage behaviour that some parents may find useful is: Get out of my life by Tony Wolf and Suzanne Franks  

Please negotiate for and encourage the following in September:

  • A positive and inquisitive attitude – these are amazing subjects taught by passionate teachers. Discuss their subjects with them – ask them to teach you.
  • A healthy lifestyle – sensible bed times (without phones) good breakfasts and regular physical activities.
  • Clear homework routines and an organised bag and work space.
  • A robust attitude to attendance.  If in doubt – always come to school. Aim for 100%.
  • Sensible and safe social lives. In the past, the school has had to deal with the fall-out from large unmanaged parties, mixed sleep-overs, students without sensible curfews etc. Teenagers will often say that “all their friends are allowed to do something”. This is rarely true.
  • A supportive attitude towards school rules. Encourage your children to see the reasoning behind rules associated with uniform, behaviour, punctuality etc. We aim to ensure the safety and happiness of students from many different backgrounds. All the school rules are designed to help this happen.

The information from the Key Stage 4 Evening can be found below:

Key Stage 4 transition - English presentation pdfpdf pptxpptx
Key Stage 4 transition - Maths presentation pdfpdf pptxpptx
Key Stage 4 transition - Science presentation pdfpdf pptxpptx
Key Stage 4 transition - Wellbeing presentation pdfpdf pptxpptx
Key Stage 4 transition - Access Arrangements pdfpdf pptxpptx


Careers Education at Alexandra Park School


  Year 7 Year 8 Year 9 Year 10 Year 11 Year 12 Year 13
Citizenship lesson on the labour market and careers          
Careers Assemblies    
Careers Related lesson during National Careers Week
Careers Advisors at Student Progress Days
Register and use fasttomato.com          
Information from fasttomato.com shared with parents          
One to one career coaching for those making subject choices          
Careers Fair      
Open Evening for Subject choices          
Information on post-school options    
Opportunities to attend university open days        
Opportunities for Work Experience          
Opportunities to take part in Enterprise activities            
Opportunity to access mentoring for medical careers          
Register and use ULAS.co.uk          
Parental Access to ULAS.co.uk          
Focus / Activities

All students will have access to assemblies on the subject of careers advice and subject choices. Throughout the year, and at subject teachers’ discretion, parents and alumni will be invited into the classrooms to hold sessions on careers in specific industries.   Work Related Learning is also delivered across the curriculum and there is a specific focus on preparing for future education and employment in citizenship lessons.

Key Stage 3

In addition to the above students in Year 8 will take part in a careers themed day and in Year 9 students have the opportunity to attend a careers fair in school.  The Year 9 Options process includes an evening for parents, a separate assembly for students and all students have an individual guidance appointment with an independent careers adviser.  Students will also have the opportunity to take part in careers themed educational visits.

Key Stage 4

All Year 11 students will have a personal interview with a careers advisor.  There is also a careers guidance ‘clinic’ focussing on interviews for Year 11 students (which is available to students in Year 10 too).  Students in Years 10 and 11 have access to work experience placements where appropriate. 

In addition, we hold a Sixth Form Open Evening for students and parents to prepare student for post-16 progression.  All students in Year 11 receive two personal Information, Advice and Guidance Appointments with senior staff and the sixth form team to discuss their options for post-16 study.

Key Stage 5

In Years 12 and 13 numerous opportunities are promoted for students to gain knowledge and experience of a wide range of specific careers.  In addition to events outside school, speakers and representatives from varied employment areas are invited into school to present to and meet with students.   All students in Year 12 will have a personal interview with a careers advisor and all students are encouraged and supported to arrange and attend work experience placements.  

Once AS examinations have been completed (in June of Year 12) the enrichment programme focusses almost entirely upon preparing for progression with a particular (but not exclusive) focus upon university applications.  Support includes a Higher Education Evening for parents, visits to universities and the opportunity to attend briefings / Q&A sessions with Admissions Tutors and subject experts from City University, KCL, LSE and Oxbridge and UCL which are arranged in school.  Many students also participate in preparatory programmes organised by top universities for specific subject areas for example LSE Choice Pathways to Law, Target Medicine and The Brilliant Club.


General careers advice, including support for choosing a career, writing a CV and completing job applications.

http://www.plotr.co.uk/ A careers game / quiz which helps students explore different careers and options:
http://www.prospects.ac.uk/careers.htm An excellent hub for all sorts of careers advice and guidance
https://www.ulas.co.uk/ A site which builds employability skills and offers opportunities for work experience
https://university.which.co.uk/ A good starting point for anyone thinking of going to university
http://www.notgoingtouni.co.uk A good starting point for anyone thinking of not going to university
https://www.barclayslifeskills.com/about/ A useful resource for developing employability skills such as CV writing and interview technique

Work Experience and volunteering




University Applications


Gap Years


Year in Industry / Headstart



Skills London 2016

Dear Parents and Carers,

I'm sure you are already starting to discuss your children's ideas for their GCSE options.  They do not need to make their choices until March 2017, but they should be thinking carefully from now onwards.

I want to draw your atention to a completely free event at The ExCel Centre that you and your children may find useful.

Skills London 2016 is London's biggest jobs and careers event for young people and takes place at ExCel London 9-10 December 2016.  Aimed at 15-24 year olds, this two day event will provide youngpeople and their families with a rare chance to discover careers through interactive, inspirational activities and demonstrations, and help young people visually bridge the gap between what they enjoy doing and what they could potentially do as a career.

You can find more information on their website:


Best wishes,

Crispin Bonham-Carter
Director of Studies Year 9


Curriculum Changes - GCSE

New GCSEs from 2015/16

As part of the government’s education reforms, GCSE courses will start to change from September 2015.  In the first year, only English and maths GCSE will be changing.  In subsequent years more subjects will be reformed.

The main principles of the reform are as follows:

  • ‘New’ GCSEs will follow a linear structure – all exams will be taken in the summer of Year 11.  Resits will not be available (apart from in November for students in Y12 or above).
  • Coursework will be removed from almost all subjects, including English in the first year of reform.  Assessment will be conducted by external examiners as much as possible (some subjects in later phases of reform, such as geography and the sciences will retain a fieldwork or practical element).
  • ‘New’ GCSEs will be graded using numbers rather than letters – the diagram below shows how this is currently intended to work.
  • Tiered examinations (i.e. availability of foundation and higher level) will not generally be available.  In the first phase of reform tiers have been removed from English, but kept in maths (where the foundation tier will offer the opportunity for students to achieve  grades 1-4, and the higher tier will access grades 5 –9).

There will also be content changes in many subjects, for example the requirement that all students study a nineteenth century novel in English, and other assessment changes such as a greater focus on spelling, punctuation and grammar in the awarding of marks.  Further details of changes in individual subjects are included in our Curriculum Guide as soon as they are available.

Current intentions for new GCSE grading structure

9 to 1 gcse

Timescale for GCSE reform 2015-2019

1Phase 1 (from Sept 2015) - English and Maths

2Phase 2 (from Sept 2016) - Art, Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Drama, French, Geography, History, MFL, Music, PE, Physics, RS, Science, Spanish

3Phase 3 (from Sept 2017) - Business, Classics, DT, Mandarin, Media, Turkish / All others

GCSE curriculum change guidance

Department for Education Guide to new GCSE grading (9-1)