Key Stage 4 curriculum

“Studio West delivers a unique curriculum which is creative, scientific, technological, enterprising and occupational.”

We provide our students with the skills needed to progress to employment, apprenticeships and further or higher education according to their individual abilities, aptitudes and ambitions.


Our Curriculum Model

Our curriculum model displayed as 7 elements.

Project Based Learning

Project Based Learning is a student-centred approach that involves a dynamic classroom method in which students acquire a deeper knowledge through active exploration of real world challenges and problems.


Students learn about a subject by working for an extended period of time to investigate and respond to a complex question, challenge of problem.


​It is a style of active learning and inquiry-based learning.​


Work Placement

Students receive approximately 3 months of work experience during the KS4 programme.


Employers are central to the Studio School experience for students and take an active part in the students' learning. Employers advise on the curriculum content, setting and assessing project work, facilitating visits to their organisations and providing guest speakers and business mentors who share their expertise with the students and assist them in making decisions regarding appropriate career pathways.


Health & Wellbeing

Studio West ensures that all KS4 learners undertake 2-3 hours per week of fitness or recreational sport activities as part of a culture to promote a healthy lifestyle mapped to the National Curriculum programme of study.


Studio West provides a wide range of sport and fitness activities using the high quality facilities available on site.


Information, Advice & Guidance

Through a variety of opportunities including talks from our business partners, one-to-one interviews and interaction with colleagues, universities and employers, out students are able to set and work towards clear goals for their future.


Students are offered advice and given inspiration in each curriculum area as well as during PSHE sessions with the tutorial programme. This enables students to learn and explore all the different options available to them both within and beyond Studio West.


Spiritual, Moral, Social, Cultural values

During the weekly tutorial session students learn about:


  • Rights and Responsibilities

  • ​British Values

  • ​Environmental and Medical Issues

  • ​Peace and Conflict

  • ​Crime and Punishment


​During the assemblies we also look at:


  • ​​Believing in God

  • ​Matters of Life and Death

  • ​Marriage and Family life

  • ​Community Cohesion

  • CREATE Skills

​​All students are assessed on the CREATE framework which is unique to Studio Schools. They equip young people with the transferable skills they need for life and work.

​These skills comprise a wide range of employability and life skills:

  • ​Communication

  • ​Relating to Others

  • ​Enterprise

  • ​Applied Skills

  • Thinking Skills

  • Emotional Intelligence


Core Subjects

All subjects follow a strong compulsory core curriculum comprising:


  • GCSE Computer Science

  • GCSE English Language

  • GCSE English Literature

  • GCSE Mathematics​


Students also follow a tailored programme of GCSE Science based on aptitude.

Academic Breadth

Students are able to take a further suite of GCSE qualifications from a range of possible choices depending on ability.

These currently include:

  • GCSE Art & Design

  • GCSE Geography

  • GCSE Music

  • GCSE Photography

  • GCSE Product Design

  • GCSE Spanish

Occupational Breadth

All students study BTEC Level 2 First Award in Business and the TLM which is the benchmark for digital literacy in educational systems around the world.


Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award Scheme

As students embark upon KS4, as part of the curriculum we offer all students the opportunity to take part in the Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award.


The Duke Of Edinburgh Award is the world's leading youth achievement award and is highly valued by colleges, universities and future employers


Curriculum Time

We operate an 08:30 to 15:15 working day with year round opening.

A two week timetable maximises curriculum time which means that the first week (A) of the timetable is different to the second week (B).

Monday to Thursday of each week is divided into 6 x 1 hour sessions, Friday is slightly different with 5 x 1 hour sessions, giving a timetable cycle of 58 periods.

  • Registration: 08:30 to 08:40

  • Lesson 1: 08:40 to 09:30

  • Lesson 2: 09:30 to 10:30

  • Morning break: 10:30 to 10:45

  • Lesson 3: 10:45 to 11:45

  • Lunch: 11:45 to 12:15

  • Lesson 4: 12:15 to 13:15

  • Lesson 5: 13:15 to 14:15

  • Lesson 6: 14:15 to 15:15

Courses we offer



Our vision is to develop a learning environment which ensures employment opportunities are aligned to progression routes through the Studio West curriculum programme.


Our approach offers seamless pathways at Pre 16 and Post 16 providing for all levels of learning. We provide clear progression routes into Higher Education and therefore our partner university (Northumbria) provide pathways to foundation and undergraduate degree programmes for Studio West students.


We demonstrate how 11-19 can be a coherent phase of learning for full time students looking for continuous pathways into employment, further or higher education at different entry levels.

Tutorial Programme

In Year 9 to 13 our students have a 10 minute tutorial session each day and a further 2 x 1 hour sessions per fortnight for PSHE, SMS and IAG.


The themes and issues within the tutorial programme are triangulated through a comprehensive programme of weekly assemblies.


Year 9 and identified students in Year 10 have an additional period for silent reading as part of our literacy/word rich programme.


Pastoral Support at Studio West

We pride ourselves on the support delivered by our Personal Coach Team which is led by Miss Thompson. The team give help and support to students as well as providing information, advice and guidance. We always work in close partnership with Learning Coaches, parents/carers and community projects and services.


Our aim is to identify any concerns or issues at the earliest possible opportunity and remove any barriers to learning which may be preventing our students from reaching their potential. We pride ourselves in knowing our young people well and working alongside the teaching and support staff we aim to develop positive relationships with them and their families. We believe in “parents as partners” and will strive to maintain a co-operative relationship with them. We respond as quickly as possible to any issues and ensure that difficulties are discussed and resolved in the best possible way.


The Personal Coach team includes the school’s SENCO, Attendance Officer, and School Nurse. Offers help and support in the following areas:


  • Behaviour support/management

  • Emotional help

  • Academic support (including intervention work, extended work experience specialised timetables and programmes)

  • Restorative Approaches

  • Peer mediation

  • Links to specialist external agencies when needed

  • Motivational groups

  • Achieve 3000 – Literacy support programme

  • Reading group

  • Interventions for handwriting and reading


Project Based Learning

Enquiry and enterprise-based projects are at the heart of the learning and form between 8 to 28% of the timetable for Post 16 learners depending on their individual needs and abilities and over 50% of the curriculum time for Pre 16 learners.

Projects at Post 16 bring to life the core subjects and students' occupational choices, developed with the work placement providers to maximise and embed learning opportunities.


At Pre 16 students get the opportunity to work individually, in small groups or in teams as the projects are developed by local employers, subject specialists, local community groups and other organisations. The projects are planned, structured, differentiated, promoting practical, multi-disciplinary collaborative outcomes, which consider issues relevant to our community.

Dress Code

Students are expected to dress smartly as they are working towards apprenticeships, higher education or work. All students are expected to wear branded Studio West casual business wear at all times. It is the outward face we present to the community, and we expect students to wear sensible and appropriate dress without fashion accessories – this includes hairstyle and footwear.


Those who do not follow the correct dress code will be sent home after a telephone call has been made to a parent/carer.​

Busiess dress reminder fo KS4 students. Students are expected to wear business dress at all times when in Studio West or when representing the school elsewhere.


High rates of attendance are central to the core mission of achieving high standards and maximising student outcomes. Attendance is a key variable in securing the high standards that Studio West aspires to.