As an Academy we have the freedom to choose the best curriculum for our very able students and we keep our model under constant review to ensure our students benefit from the best opportunities available.Breadth of opportunityis particularly important to us and this aligns closely with our school vision. For our students to be individuals and have the true opportunity to explore their place in the world, it is vital that the curriculum remains as broad as possible, for as long as possible. We believe passionately in the study of four subjects in Year 12 and in the academic value this brings, even if only three A levels are taken as examination subjects in Year 13. We believe excellent academic outcomes are supported by this approach, rather than by merely focusing on narrow examination content. Likewise, we nurture excellence through supporting each other and focusing on the individual, and reflecting this, our curriculum isstudent-centred.At Key Stage 4 we don’t have option blocks, instead building the timetable around students. This is about knowing, valuing and supporting our students as unique learners. At Pate’s we ‘embrace challenge’ as part of our vision. ‘Academic rigour’is important, and students of our calibre should rightly be challenged by a curriculum that expects them to go deeper and far beyond the National Curriculum. All the subjects we offer are rigorous academic disciplines. 


Students joining us in Year 7 study Art, Computing, Drama, English, French, Geography, German or Mandarin, History, Mathematics, Music, Personal Development (including Life Skills e.g. cookery), Physical Education and Games, Philosophy, Theology and Ethics and Science. As they progress through their first three years, they also have the opportunity to start learning Spanish. On Tuesday afternoons we further enrich our curriculum with a wide range of additional learning activities, from cookery and climbing to yoga and bushcraft! Year 9 is a transition year, when in most subjects students meet some GCSE skills and content. During Year 9 our information, advice and guidance programme helps students to decide which subjects they will choose to study in Years 10 and 11 to GCSE. 


Students take all their external GCSE qualifications at the end of Year 11. All students have a core curriculum of English Literature, English Language, Maths, Chemistry, Biology and Physics. They can then choose four option subjects from the list below, on top of the non-examined subjects of PDC (Personal Development Curriculum), Physical Education, Core RE and Games. Tuesday afternoons and termly Flexible Learning Days provide extra opportunities for enrichment activities and careers advice. 

Art, French, Business Studies, Geography, Music, Computing, German, Physical Education, History, Philosophy, Theology and Ethics, Drama and Spanish. 

Our student-centred system means we give free choice, under the guidance of the pastoral and academic teams, as to which GCSEs a student would like to follow. We then build the curriculum around them. We feel this is the best approach to meet the needs of each individual student in our care. 


The Sixth Form years offer exceptional opportunities for academic progress and self-development. Our curriculum meets all aspects of the Study Programmes for 16-19 year olds, and students’ core academic studies are supplemented by our IAG (Information and Guidance) Programme and a vast array of enrichment and super-curricular activities. Alongside the broad and flexible combination of A level qualifications that we offer, this attracts a large cohort of students to the Sixth Form, both from our own Year 11 and from other schools across the region. 

The majority of our students begin Year 12 on four A Level courses, usually moving onto three in Year 13. A small number of students studying Maths and Further Maths may wish to study 5 subjects, but this is the exception rather than the norm. Many students also elect to complete an EPQ (Extended Project Qualification), an area in which our students have had outstanding success. 


English, Maths, Further Maths, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Art, French, Economics, Geography, Music, Computing, German, Physical Education, Design and Technology, History, Philosophy, Theology and Ethics, Politics, Drama and Spanish. 

The impact of our curriculum is clear to see. Our students achieve the very highest possible outcomes in terms of academic qualifications (attainment and progress), that see them go on to the very best University courses (both in the UK and abroad), and also increasingly to highly competitive Higher Apprenticeship courses. Crucially however, our students also embody the skills and qualities set out in our school vision. These skills are recorded, reflected on and assessed through our Personal Development Curriculum, resulting in the happy, curious, resilient and well-rounded young individuals who are the hallmark of our school. 

Pate’s Curriculum Overview