Millais School

In Pursuit of Excellence

Key Stage 4 Curriculum
Key Stage 4 Curriculum

At Millais School pupils learn through the taught curriculum (formal) and through a wide range of extra-curricular activities, tutor time and themed assemblies (informal curriculum). There is a strong emphasis on social, moral and spiritual development in all areas of school life.

Informal Curriculum

Pupils learn about citizenship through participation in school and external clubs or organisations - for example, school councils, Outset work, Duke of Edinburgh Award and Young Enterprise. Participation in such groups helps students learn about key skills and also provides opportunities to use entrepreneurial skills; to develop, make and evaluate products or services and to identify opportunities to be active citizens.

Formal Curriculum

At Millais the formal curriculum operates over a two week timetable of 30 lessons (of 50 minutes) in each week.


Towards the end of KS3 pupils are asked to choose their options for Key Stage 4. An outline of the curriculum the pupils currently choose from is given below.

Compulsory Subjects Optional Subjects
GCSE Subjects Plus a choice of up to 4 full GCSE’s from the following;
English (Lit and Lang) (2GCSEs) Second Foreign Language (Spanish, German, Italian, Chinese)
Mathematics (GCSE) Child Development
Science (2 GCSEs) Computer Science
One modern foreign language (GCSE) Design Technology (Textiles, Food Preparation and Nutrition, Graphics, Product Design)
Non-Exam Music
Physical Education Photography
Computing Art
Personal Development including Citizenship and Religious Education  Dance
  Business and Communication Systems
  Triple Science
  Statistics with Additional Maths
  Non-GCSE courses
  Literacy Support
  Music Technology

In KS4, most subjects are taught in groups which are set by ability.

In certain subjects all pupils sit the same examination papers regardless of their ability and the questions are differentiated to enable all candidates to demonstrate their ability. In other subjects some sections of the examination are common to all students and others may vary according to the ability of the candidates.

At Millais School the pupils are placed in those teaching sets in each subject where the pace of the work and the interpretation of the syllabus will enable them to achieve the highest grade of which they are capable.

Final Grades

Final grades range from 9 (highest) to 1 (lowest) in subjects that have been reformed which is most of them. GCSEs that have not been reformed still use “legacy” grades from A* A B C D E F G and Ungraded in their subjects.

Special Education Needs

The Special Educational Needs curriculum area offers individual advice and support both before option choices are made and throughout Years 10 and 11. Pupils who experience difficulties, either in selecting courses or with a particular subject, are given additional help and support from the Special Educational Needs curriculum area.

Examining Boards
A.Q.A  Assessment and Qualifications Alliance 
O.C.R. Oxford and Cambridge and RSA Examinations 
EDEXCEL Education Excellence - London Examinations 

Homework is a vital part of learning and enhances the KS4 study programme by encouraging good independent learning skills. Each homework is of approximately 45 minutes duration except Modern Languages which is 25 minutes.

Assessments, exams and reports

Parents are informed of their child’s Progress & Commitment to Learning (PCTL) in a report four times a year which shows both the progress made towards individual expectation, how committed the pupil is to their own learning and how they approach their studies. During the Key Stage, each pupil will receive a full report which comments on her progress in more detail. All reports show how a pupil can make improvements to their performance.

Pupil progress is monitored in detail by each subject teacher and progress is continually compared to the expectation of similar pupils with the same prior attainment. This means that our expectations of the pupils always remains very high and we set ourselves, our teaching staff and the pupils high but realistic targets.

There are evenings earlier in the year with form tutors where less formal discussions can take place about progress. Consultation evenings take place later in the year where parents have the opportunity to discuss pupil progress with individual teachers in more detail.  The Year 11 evening is usually a the end of the Autumn Term and the Year 10 one at the end of the Summer Term.

Mock examinations for GCSE courses take place in November of Year 11.

For further information about Key Stage 4 click on the link to the Key Stage 4 curriculum booklet.