In response to the government’s GCSE reforms for “more academically challenging and knowledge based” qualifications and the increased level of demand of the new GCSE courses, in particular English and mathematics, the KS4 curriculum at Pensby High School was changed with effect from September 2016. In order to adequately prepare students for the increased rigour of the new GCSE courses it was necessary to increase curriculum time for the delivery of English and mathematics so we moved from 4 GCSE options to 3 options. This released 5 hours of curriculum time. This has enabled us to increase the curriculum time for both English and mathematics from 6 hours per fortnight to 8 hours per fortnight. We have also increased the curriculum time for combined science from 10 hours to 11 hours and for separate sciences from 15 hours to 16 hours. The extra hour is being using to teach ‘Maths for Science’, a course focusing on mathematical skills required for the science curriculum (30% of marks on physics examinations, 20% on chemistry examinations and 10% on biology examinations).

The delivery of ICT is being addressed through all curriculum areas. The use of ICT significantly enhances teaching and learning in other subjects by enabling rapid access to knowledge, information and experiences from a wide range of sources. The use of ICT throughout the curriculum encourages critical thinking, imagination and creativity, problem solving, initiative and independence, teamwork and reflection. We have increased the curriculum time available to core PE in order to ensure that we provide opportunities for our students to become physically confident in a way which supports their health and fitness. Opportunities to compete in sport and other activities build character and help to embed values such as fairness and respect.