• "The positive environment in the classroom generates openness and confidence." -OFSTED 2014
Year 9, 10 and 11 Curriculum

Following their choices at the end of Year 8, students begin Year 9 completing the GCSE and BTEC qualifications they have selected, alongside a core curriculum based around the EBacc. As students progress towards Year 11, the focus moves increasingly from knowledge to the skills of assessment and evaluation which enable students to access the new, more challenging GCSE assessments. Students complete the content of the GCSE courses started in Year 7, and as Year 11 approaches, the focus on higher order thinking skills and preparation for final exams become increasingly significant.

Students are supported in all years through 'The Knowledge' booklets which guide students through what they need to know in order to be prepared for exams. In addition to this, resources are made available on our Moodle Virtual Learning Environment, and study facilities are available every day alongside extra teaching sessions made available to students in Years 10 and 11.

Aiming High, Achieving Excellence

Hertswood students have achieved a great deal in recent years. Current year 13 students have been offered places at:

  • Oxford
  • Cambridge
  • London School of Economics
  • Imperial College London
  • University College London

These are the top 5 universities in the UK and for the first time three students have been offered places to study medicine and dentistry. All this is a result of the opportunities these students have taken since they started at Hertswood in year 7, the choices they made at the different stages of their education and hard work.

Making Choices in Year 9

Year 9 choices are one of the most important stages on the path to success in whichever field you hope to excel in the future.

Things are changing in education nationally. Students starting year 9 in September will be graded using a new national system where a grade 5 will be a pass at GCSE. Therefore it is vital that students achieve this minimum standard in maths and English as well as in as many other subjects as possible. Students wanting to continue to the top universities will need to focus on gaining the higher grades.

As well as this the curriculum is changing nationally. Students at Hertswood like those in schools across England will be following courses leading to the English Baccalaureate. This includes the following subjects:

  • Maths
  • English
  • Science
  • Geography or History
  • Modern Foreign Languages

At Hertswood we are committed to ensuring that students leave school with the same qualifications at the same standards that students from other schools have. This means that the life chances of Hertswood students are at least as good if not better than other students.

Opportunities for 16

For those students who continue to college or apprenticeships the basic requirements for all courses is maths and English GCSE grade 5. We continue to work with all students to achieve these outcomes create opportunities in these areas. In recent years students have taken up college courses and apprenticeships in:

  • Accountancy (with Ernst and Young)
  • Child care
  • Plumbing
  • Electrical
  • Motor Mechanics
  • Civil Engineering

Choices Subjects

The range of choices available in our curriculum remains broad. As well as the core subjects, students will be able to follow BTEC (vocational) and GCSE courses. There are opportunities in the visual and performing arts, design technology and a variety of new subjects like business and psychology. Whichever direction you would like to take in future there are appropriate subjects for you, if you are not sure which is right for you please ask.

Curriculum Structure

All students will study the core subjects of English (Literature and Language), Mathematics, Double or Triple Science and Core PE. In addition to this you will have some decisions to make:

  1. French or Spanish (based on what you have studied in years 7 and 8)
  2. Geography or History (based on your achievement in years 7 and 8 in these subjects)
  3. Citizenship, Health and Social Care or Philosophy, Religion and Ethics
  4. 2 choices from the following:


  • Art
  • Product Design
  • Textiles
  • Business Studies
  • Dance
  • Drama
  • Food Technology
  • ICT
  • Music
  • Photography
  • Psychology
  • Sociology
  • Sports Studies


Year 9 choices is a very important process. We hope that you will find all the information you need in this booklet and on the choices evening. If you have any further questions relating to career choices, academic expectations for sixth form or university or special needs provision please feel free to contact any of the following members of staff:

  • David O'Brien (Head of Year 8)
  • Carey McFerran (Head of Sixth Form)
  • Beatrice Adamson (Head of Inclusion)

Curriculum structure for Years 9-11 from September 2016.

BLOCK English Maths Science EBACC1 EBACC2 Citizenship/ Philosophy Choice 1 Choice 2 PE
OPTIONS     Additional Science, Triple Science Geography, History French, Spanish Citizenship, Philosophy and Ethics, Health and Social Care (BTEC) Art / Product Design / Textiles, Business Studies (BTEC), Dance, Drama, Food Technology, Geography, History, ICT (BTEC), Music, Photography, Psychology, Sociology, Sports Studies  
LESSONS 5 4 4 2 2 2 2 2 2

Curriculum structure for Years 9-11 from September 2015.

BLOCK 1 2 3 4 5 6, 7, 8 9
OPTIONS Maths English Double Science Double Science Choose one of: Geography, History, French, Spanish, Computer Science Choose three of: Art, Business Studies, Computer Science / ICT, Dance, Drama Citizenship

If you would like to know more about our curriculum, please contact the school office and ask for the Deputy Headteacher for Curriculum.