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Curriculum Overview

The Curriculum at Furze Platt Senior School

The curriculum at Furze Platt consists of the formal, timetabled curriculum which all students participate in, and the supplementary curriculum where students opt to gain extra skills and experiences.

The Formal Curriculum 

Learning at Furze Platt is broken down into three Key Stages – Key Stages 3, 4, and 5. In each of the Key Stages, students spend 25 minutes each day either in assembly, or engaging in tutorial activities. These focus to a large extent on social, moral, spiritual, cultural and religious issues, and help students develop into thinking and active citizens.

The remainder of the formal curriculum consists of subject lessons:

Key Stage 3 - Years 7 and 8 

Here students enjoy a broad and balanced curriculum, which lays the foundation for GCSE study. Students choose their GCSE options in the middle of Year 8.

The table below shows the number of hour-long lessons there are in each subject per fortnight.

If you wish to find more detailed information on individual subjects in Years 7 & 8, then please click on the subject tabs on the left.

Key Stage 4 - Years 9-11 

Here students continue to focus on the core subjects of English, Maths, Science, PE and PSHE, while beginning to specialise in GCSE and other subjects. Religious Education is taught both as a separate GCSE subject, and through our assembly programme, tutorial activities, and collapsed-timetable events. Students are expected to take the full suite of English Baccalaureate subjects (two English qualifications, Maths, Combined or Separate Sciences, at least one foreign language, and at least one out of History and Geography).

The table below shows the number of hour-long lessons there are in each subject per fortnight. 

If you wish to find more detailed information on individual subjects in Years 9-11, then please click on the subject tabs on the left.

Option Subjects  

All subjects are GCSE unless otherwise stated.

Students must take a foreign language and at least one of History or Geography:

Art and Design

Business Studies

Child Development (Cambridge National Level 2)

Computer Science

Construction (BTEC Level 1)

Digital Applications (Edexcel CiDA Level 2)


Food Preparation and Nutrition






Physical Education

Product Design


Key Stage 5 – Years 12 and 13 

Here students choose from one of three pathways, according to their interests, GCSE results, and what they are aiming to do once they leave Sixth Form. The school operates linear A-Levels, examined at the end of Year 13, alongside BTEC and Cambridge National qualifications. AS-Levels are offered in legacy subjects and to supplement A-Levels on the Extended Pathway. Each year several subjects are offered in conjunction with the other Maidenhead Consortium schools.

The table below shows the number of hour-long lessons there are in each subject per fortnight.

If you wish to find more detailed information on individual subjects in Years 12 & 13 then please click on the subject tabs on the left.


Applied Pathway

Students who achieve an Attainment 8 score of at least 4.5 can select from three subjects out of:

Business – Level 3 BTEC

Government and Politics A-Level

IT – Level 3 Cambridge Technical Introductory Diploma

Photography A-Level

Media Studies A-Level

Product Design A-Level

Sport – Level 3 BTEC

Any Applied Pathway student who has not achieved a Grade C in English and Maths takes classes in and resits those subjects.


Academic Pathway

Students who achieve an Attainment 8 score of at least 5.5 can select from three out of the following (all A-Level subjects unless otherwise indicated):

Art, Craft and Design


Business A-Level or Business Level 3 BTEC


Computer Science



English Language and Literature

English Literature


Further Maths



Government and Politics


IT (Level 3 Cambridge Technical Introductory Diploma)


Media Studies




Product Design


Philosophy, Religion and Ethics


Sport (Level 3 BTEC)


Extended Pathway

Students who achieve an Attainment 8 score of at least 6.5 are encouraged to do three subjects from the Academic Pathway plus one of the following:

Extended Project Qualification

English Literature AS-Level

Government and Politics AS-Level

Maths AS-Level

Psychology AS-Level

Personalising the Formal Curriculum 

Learning Support - The Learning Support department provides targeted support and intervention for those students finding difficulty in accessing the curriculum. This includes:

  • Fresh Start reading invention programme;
  • Comprehension support;
  • Maths intervention, through the Paired Maths scheme;
  • English as an Additional Language support;
  • Speech and Language intervention run by specialist teachers;
  • Anxiety and Anger Management support, organised in conjunction with the educational psychologist;

This support and intervention either takes place during tutor time, or students are temporarily withdrawn from subject lessons.

Shine – Students with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) benefit from specialist support from our Shine intervention team. Wherever possible, students are taught in mainstream lessons. Some are withdrawn from a small number of lessons in order to access one-to-one support, to enable them to thrive in the remainder of their curriculum.

Learning Mentors – students who are falling behind in a particular curriculum area may be assigned a Learning Mentor. This may involve academic mentoring during tutorial period or break times. Where necessary, students may be withdrawn from non-examined subjects, in order to spend more time on their examined subjects. Occasionally, Key Stage 4 students are withdrawn from option subjects, in order to spend time working with the Learning Mentors on the remainder of their curriculum.

Alternative Curriculum – students taking Child Development or Construction at Key Stage 4 also take the Duke of Edinburgh qualification, where they learn a skill such as cooking or swimming, a physical activity such as climbing, undertake voluntary work such as mentoring primary students at local schools, plus a two-day walking and camping expedition. In addition, they spend time working on college or apprenticeship applications, and have extra support from our Adviza careers advisor.

The Supplementary Curriculum 

Students at Furze Platt also engage in a significant number of supplementary activities, that take place before school, during tutorial periods, at break times, after school, or during the school holidays. Some of the most significant include:

Sport, including pre-school fitness activities, post-school training and competitive fixtures, and the annual ski trip to Italy. These regularly include netball, hockey, cricket, tennis, basketball, ultimate Frisbee, table tennis, football, rugby, cross country, athletics, rowing and fitness clubs (please see our school clubs schedule for further details of termly activities offered);

Music, including individual peripatetic music lessons, and groups, bands and orchestras that practise and perform throughout the year. These include the Chamber Choir, Girls’ Choir, Lads’ Choir, Theatre Choir, school orchestra, Jazz Band and Community Choir.

Drama, including after-school drama clubs, leading to major performances for all age groups throughout the year;

Science, including a major programme of after-school speakers designed to inspire students into careers in science;

Technology, including the Greenpower club, which builds, tests, operates and races its own racing car;

Business, including a major partnership with John Lewis, which provides internships to Furze Platt students;

Educational visits, including many evening theatre trips, Biology and Geography field visits to the Dorset coast, History visits to the First World War Battlefields and to Auschwitz as part of the Holocaust Educational Trust's programme, Geography visits to Iceland, and Languages visits to France, Germany and Spain, as well as the annual ski trip to Italy;

Opportunities for our very most able, including the Humanities GCSE programme, which is open to those in Years 8 and 9, with students taking the Humanities GCSE at the end of Year 9;

Duke of Edinburgh programme for those on vocational courses at Key Stage 4 (Bronze level), as well as all students in Year 9 (Bronze), Year 10 (Silver) and Year 12 (Gold);

Careers and higher education events, including some Year 9 students visiting Oxford University, all Year 10 students visiting a university, the annual Careers and Higher Education Fair, work experience for some students in Years 10 and 11 and for all students in Year 12, and Adviza careers advice and mentoring for those most in need.