Our Key Stage 4 curriculum is based on a guided options process. We have two pathway options for students to study a range of subjects that will ensure they are equipped for the next stage of their educational journey. The higher pathway students will study the full EBacc suite of subjects alongside one chosen option. Our second pathway strongly recommends studying the full EBacc suite of subjects alongside two chosen options.

We believe at the heart of an effective Key Stage 4 curriculum is a strong academic core: the EBacc. The government’s response to its EBacc consultation, published in July 2017, confirmed that the large majority of pupils should be expected to study the EBacc. It is therefore the government’s ambition that 75% of Year 10 pupils in state-funded mainstream schools should be starting to study EBacc GCSE courses nationally by 2022 (taking their examinations in 2024), rising to 90% by 2025 (taking their examinations in 2027). Cumbria Education Trust intend their schools to work towards the government’s ambition, taking account of different students and their different starting points. All schools within CET will guide students whose prior attainment suggests they will be successful in the EBacc towards this pathway. As a minimum it is expected that all CET schools work towards a similar proportion of students studying the EBacc to the national average.

The Arts (comprising Art and Design, Music, Dance, Drama and Media Arts), Design and Technology, the Humanities (comprising Geography and History) and Modern Foreign Languages are not compulsory national curriculum subjects after the age of 14, but all pupils in maintained schools have a statutory entitlement to be able to study a subject in each of those four areas.

The statutory requirements in relation to the entitlement areas are:

  • Schools must provide access to a minimum of one course in each of the four entitlement areas
  • Schools must provide the opportunity for pupils to take a course in all four areas, should they wish to do so
  • A course that meets the entitlement requirements must give pupils the opportunity to obtain an approved qualification.

It is CET’s intention that all students will have access to at least one course in each of the four entitlement areas.

Typically, a student’s core diet at Key Stage 4 will consist of:

  • English (Language and Literature)
  • Mathematics
  • Science (Trilogy or Triple Science)
  • Personal Development (including Citizenship and CEIAG)
  • Physical Education

Provision for Triple Science should be made where appropriate and students are provided with additional time to study all three Sciences.


Please visit the KS4 Options Page for details of courses offered.