Key Stage 4


Download the Curricular Pathway in PDF format

The School Day 

8.30 – 9.00 – Transport and breakfast club

9.00 – 9.15 – Tutor time and check-in

9.15 – 10.00 – Lesson 1

10.00 – 10.45 – Lesson 2

10.45 – 11.00 – Break

11.00 -11.45 – Lesson 3

11.45-12.30- Lesson 4

12.30 – 1.00 – Lunch

1.00 – 2.00 – Lesson 5

2.00 – 2.30 – Tutor

2.30-Transport home

Friday- pupil transport at 12.45



Curriculum/Vocational Areas


The pupils study a B/TEC course called Construction in the Built Environment. This includes a design unit and a maths and science unit. They also study four practical units, these are Painting and Decorating, plumbing, joinery and an Electrical unit.

This year the department has expanded and in September pupils will be able to complete a qualification in motor vehicle studies. Some pupils have already had taster sessions for this and the feedback has been good with pupils enjoying learning new practical skills.



Sport and Leisure

Students who join us in Year 10 work towards achieving a BTEC Level 1 in Sport this is delivered through a partnership with Blackburn Rovers FC. In Year 11 students then go on to work towards achieving a Level 2 OCR Cambridge National in Sport Science. Students will study towards an exam unit reducing the risk of sport injuries’ that is usually taken in January. Students will learn about the following:

  • the different factors that influence injury
  • understand how warm ups and cool downs can help prevent injury
  • know how to respond to sport injuries
  • know how to respond to common medical conditions

The second unit ‘Applying the principles of training’ is assignment based and students will learn about the following:

  • The principles of training in a sporting context
  • how training methods target different fitness components
  • Be able to conduct fitness tests
  • Be able to develop fitness training programmes.

Alongside their day of study, students have an Outdoor Education day where many fun activities are experienced (see the outdoor education page for more information!)

Throughout the year there are many sport related educational visits that take place, for example visiting Manchester United’s Football ground Old Trafford and The National Centre for Cycling in Manchester to name a few.

Choosing Sport and Leisure at The Heights allows for a lot of job opportunities in sport for example sport coaching, physiotherapy, teaching, and sport journalism. In the past we had students who have gone on to join the armed services and to study Sport at college and have been successful in their chosen paths.

The Sport and Leisure teaching team is made up of the following staff:

Laura Carmichael

Dan Topham

If you would like further information about Sport & Leisure at The Heights then please contact the school and ask for Laura or Dan.



GCSE Science

During year 10 and 11 students will study GCSE Environmental and Land Based Sciences if they decide to study science at key stage 4.

Course Overview

Environmental and Land Based Sciences is an introduction to science that relates to the environment and the commercial use of land. This course best suits the vocational learner who is looking to explore the skills needed for work in these sectors.

This GCSE science course takes a hands on approach to learning. It is a great foundation for students to progress to more advanced studies and science related careers. This course is well regarded for its proven work related teaching approach to science.


Unit B681: Management of the National Environment:


  1. Environmental issues.
  2. Relationship of the soil to the animals and plants it supports.
  3. Human activities and energy requirements and the effects on the environment.
  1. Traditional and alternative food production.

Unit B682: Plant Cultivation and Small Animal Care

  1. Issues relating to the care and maintenance of plants in the home, the garden and at school.
  2. Issues relating to the care and maintenance of animals in the home, the garden and at school.

Unit B684: Environmental and Land-Based Science Controlled Assessment portfolio

Element 1: Practical Scientific Skills presented as an annotated photo diary            with a critical reflection. 4 set tasks.

Element 2: Scientific Investigation based on one or more of the topics studied within the selected units.

Element 3: work related report.


Exam board: OCR

Offered in Foundation and Higher Tiers

Unit B681: 1 hour test paper (20%)

Unit B682: 1 hour test paper (20%)

Unit B684: Candidates compile a portfolio (60%):

Element 1: Practical skills tasks

Element 2: Investigative project

Element 3: Work related activity/enterprise


The qualification can lead to a variety of opportunities and can be used to gain entry onto agricultural, forestry and game keeping apprenticeships. This qualification can also help students to gain entry onto A – level and vocational courses if they decide to carry on their studies post 16.

The UK is one of the leading agricultural nations in terms of food output per hectare of land and also in its use of technology and science to increase food production. The world is growing and food production will continue to be the most important aspect of a countries development. We will always need farmers and growers and you could be one of them.



Careers Education Information Advice and Guidance

The Pupils at The Heights have access to impartial IAG by the Careers Education Information Advice and Guidance Coordinator, who has over 20 years of experience of delivering CEIAG to post 16 students.

The IAG is given via group activity and one to ones. Pupils complete a career plan and are then given assistance on how to complete their application forms for college or Training Providers. Pupils are then given training on how to plan and prepare you for an interview and the CEIAG Coordinator will accompany anyone on  their interview.

Assistance is also given in the drawing up of a CV.

Pupils are given access to employers through the local Business Hive network where local employer visits take place. Outside agencies e.g. Colleges, Training Providers, the Army etc carry out career presentations during assemblies.

Live links with employers like Balfour Beatty also take place so pupils can experience the world of work for a large employer.

Once pupils leave The Heights at the end of year 11 they can always make appointments to see the CEIAG Coordinator for further assistance with their CV’s or college applications.

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This is an optional subject which is accredited from the British Computer Society, we have run this for the first time this year and have had six excellent passes giving the student a valuable ICT qualification.   The qualification is based around four units, Microsoft Word, Excel, and Power-point and then a unit which uses the skills learnt in the previous units.  ECDL stands for European Computer Driving Licence and is recognised in industry and colleges as an excellent qualification.



Functional Skills ICT

This qualification is for all year 11’s and is a basic ICT qualification at level 1 but there is the opportunity to take it to level 2.  The qualification is used in most apprenticeships in the UK.  The qualification teaches the basics of Word, Power-point, Excel, internet and email.  The qualification makes sure our students leave school with the basic knowledge of computing which is now used in practically every occupation and will also benefit anyone taking college courses when they leave school.



Outdoor Education

Outdoor Education is part of the Sport and Leisure programme at The Heights.

Students that take part in Outdoor Education get to experience the following activities and have the chance to achieve the following qualifications:

  • Mountain Biking- Level 1, 2, 3 Award & Bronze, Silver, Gold Certificate.
  • Orienteering/Mountain Bike Orienteering- BSOA Explorer challenge: Acorn, Tree, Copse, Wood & Forest Awards.
  • Hill & Mountain Walking
  • Ghyll Scrambling
  • Canoeing- Paddlesport awards
  • Rock Climbing
  • Indoor Climbing- NICAS award Level 1& 2 (This takes place across various climbing venues in the Northwest)
  • Archery
  • Caving- Whitescar Caves/Ingleton waterfalls/Malham Cove/Pen-y-Ghent
  • Geocahching
  • Bush/Camp craft
  • Golf
  • Skiing
  • Swimming
  • Residentials
  • Duke of Edinburgh (Bronze & Silver awards)

Also, students learning is enriched through various educational visits to museums and local areas of importance across the Northwest.

Outdoor Education has many benefits to our students, in particular it allows students to:

  • Develop self-esteem, take personal responsibility, co-operate with and respect the needs of others;
  • Extend their personal horizons through greater appreciation and understanding of the world and its peoples around them;
  • understand the need for sustainable relationships between people and their environment;
  • Enhance practical problem solving and team work skills.
  • Promote a positive and knowledgeable response towards personal health and wellbeing.

Students who are not in the Sport & Leisure vocational area still have the opportunity to experience outdoor education during Fridays Citizenship timetable.

Residentials and the Duke of Edinburgh scheme are also open to all students who attend The Heights and these courses run throughout the academic year.

The Outdoor Team consists of the followings staff members:

Dave Stafford – Lead Outdoor Education Instructor

Paul Normanton- Outdoor Education SSA

Adam Hayden- Outdoor Education Instructor

If you would like any more information on Outdoor Education at The Heights then please contact the school and ask for Dave Stafford the Lead Outdoor Education Instructor.




At The Heights we offer a range of courses tailored to suit individual needs, from Entry Level Functional Skills to GCSE English Language and Literature.

All students study literacy and comprehension skills and writing for a variety of purposes. Students also have the opportunity to read a range of texts and to develop a love of reading for pleasure. In addition, students learn to develop a range of speaking and listening skills which are crucial to their future progress.

In GCSE English Literature, students study the AQA syllabus, including a range of poetry, a 19th century novel, a Shakespeare play and a modern drama text. GCSE English Language students also study the AQA syllabus – analysing, evaluating and producing a variety of fiction and non-fiction texts.

Students progress is assessed by teaching staff throughout the year and all courses culminate in external examinations.




The purpose of mathematics at The Heights Free School is to develop:

–       a positive attitude towards mathematics and an awareness of the relevance of mathematics in the real world

–       an ability to solve problems, to reason, to think logically and to work systematically and accurately.

–       initiative and an ability to work both independently and in cooperation with others

–        an ability to use and apply mathematics across the curriculum and in real life

Breadth of study

At The Heights Free School we deliver both Maths Functional Skills up to Level 2 and GCSE Maths. Learners are placed onto the correct programme of study depending on a number of factors:

–       BKSB initial assessment

–       GCSE Baseline test results

–       Teacher feedback

Through careful planning and preparation we aim to ensure that throughout The Heights Free School children are given opportunities for:

–       practical activities

-mathematical games

–       problem solving

–       individual, group and whole class discussions and activities – open and closed tasks.

We believe that maths lessons should include short, interactive activities and a range of tasks to engage and promote learning.




Music is all around us. It has the power to transform young people’s lives, to build confidence, self- esteem and enjoyment. From picking up an instrument at school, to learning how to mix music on a computer; from jamming with friends in a homemade band to performing in an orchestra; the opportunities to make music from the conventional to the unconventional can open up a world of expression and creativity and can lead to a huge variety of different employment opportunities.

BTEC Music helps you to understand how the music industry works. It covers the business side, promotion, performing, composing, production, sound engineering, studio recording and live sound. There are many opportunities to use music technology including sequencing, sampling, recording, mixing, editing and engineering.

You will learn about all aspects of the creation of a music product, from selling tickets to a live concert, understanding the health and safety aspects, to producing a CD/playlist and marketing it.

BTEC music is viewed as a more practical course than GCSE music, but it still involves written work. Neither should be seen as an easy option.


The course has core and optional specialist units. Learners must complete the two core units, and a choice of optional specialist units.

The BTEC First Award in music has units that are assessed in school (internally) and a unit that Edexcel sets and marks (externally).

Edexcel BTEC Level 1/Level 2 First Award in Music Core units

  1. The Music Industry (External exam – 60 minutes)
  2. Managing a Music Product (Internal)
  3. Introducing Live Sound
  4. Introducing Music Composition
  5. Introducing Music Performance
  6. Introducing Music Recording
  7. Introducing Music Sequencing

Career and Learning Progression

(What will I be able to do after this course?)

BTEC Music is a good preparation for further musical study and a solid foundation for the A Level in Music Technology as well as BTEC National Diplomas (in Music, Popular Music and Music Technology) and other qualifications in Performing Arts. You may wish to take a BTEC in Music for its own sake, perhaps to form the basis of a future interest. Alternatively, you may wish to go into a job where it is useful to have had experience of music or where you will need to use some of the skills developed during this course. These might include careers in the music industry, producing, sound engineering, publishing, entertainment, journalism, media, advertising, teaching, community music or any job which involves communication and expressive skills.



Hair & Beauty

At The Heights pupils study VTCT Level 2 Certificate in Hairdressing and Beauty Therapy (VRQ). This course gives them the opportunity to:

  • Develop a broad and comprehensive understanding of the hair and beauty sector
  • Develop knowledge which spans the entire vocational sector and related industries
  • Develop academic study and transferable skills that will support progression within the hair and beauty sector and more broadly

Hairdressing and beauty therapy has been and remains an extremely popular vocational area that many young people are enthused by and aspire to. The aim of this qualification is to use the hair and beauty sector as a vehicle to develop learners more broadly, so they are prepared and equipped with the knowledge, understanding and skills to pursue a career in any context.Skills learned include:

  • Facials
  • Manicure
  • Make up
  • Shampooing
  • Blow drying and styling