Towards the end of Year 9, students undertake one of the most important and exciting phases of their education – the Pathways process. The Pathway that you follow will help shape your future, both in education and your career.

Each year in March/April, we produce our Year 9 Pathway Guide which explains the Key Stage 4 ‘options process’ at Westbourne Academy. In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic meant we were unable to host our usual Year 9 Pathway evening in school. Instead we produced a digital guide which contained click-through videos by subject leaders. You can view the 2020 Pathway Guide here.

The government, universities and employers are placing a greater focus on English, Maths, Science, History, Geography and Languages. This suite of subjects is called the English Baccalaureate (EBacc). Students wishing to study A levels and go on to university should aim to achieve the ‘gold standard’ – a good pass in English, Maths, two Sciences, History or Geography and a Language. Computer Science can count as one of your sciences.

All students have to stay in education until they are 18; this can be sixth form, college, an apprenticeship or employment with education. Alongside this is the need for all students to achieve a good pass in English and Maths before they leave education at the age of 18.

Key Stage 4 Curriculum

The Key Stage 4 curriculum is made up of two components, ‘Core’ and ‘Choices’. The Core is what all students have to study. Choices is where students can choose which subjects they will study within their designated Pathway.

The Core consists of English, Maths, Combined Science, Physical Education and Personal, Social and Health Education. As part of the KS4 Enrichment (PSHE) programme, all students will study ‘Personal Finance’ and ‘Managing Money’, as part of their weekly PSHE lessons. For those who show a financial competency throughout the course and gain the required amount of credit in Year 10, there will also be the option to complete a ‘Certificated Award’ (GCSE equivalent) in Year 11. 

The Choices component consists of up to 4 subjects of your choosing from within a Pathway. It is essential that students make use of every piece of advice and guidance given to them, enabling them to make the most appropriate choices within their Pathway.

What is a Pathway and why will it been assigned to me?

We place students onto one of three Pathways. We use primary school and Key Stage 3 performance data to work out which Pathway is best for each student.

Students must choose from within the Pathway assigned to them based on their strengths and interests.

We do our best to assign students with their preferred subject choices. Unfortunately, due to the popularity of some subjects, it is sometimes necessary to assign a reserve choice.