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For more information on our curriculum please contact us.



English Teaching at The Orchard Centre aims to “promote high standards of Language and Literacy by equipping students with a strong command of the spoken and written language and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment.” ( English programmes of study, 14.05.2014).

English Department Programme of Study

As many of our students transfer to the Centre late in a Key Stage, or, alternatively, because they are taught at more than one establishment, the delivery of the curriculum may be subject to change in order to accommodate the particular needs of individual students.

From September 2018, our KS4 English Curriculum will start in Year 9.  This will give our students the best possible opportunity of achieving both English Language and Literature GCSEs.  Both qualifications are demanding in their own right and students will commence their study of the set Literature texts on entry to Year 9 in preparation for their Literature examination at the end of Year 10.  They will then focus their attentions on English Language in Year 11.


Year 9 & 10 Literature Content

  • Shakespeare

  • Pre-20th Century Novel

  • Post-1914 Drama

  • Poetry Anthology and Unseen Poetic Study

  • Independent reading and class readings of texts

  • Discrete lessons to develop functional English, Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening

  • Exam Skills


Year 11

  • Fiction Texts

  • Non Fiction Texts

  • Spelling, Grammar and Punctuation

  • Speaking and Listening

  • Discrete lessons to develop functional English skills, i.e. Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening.


 Levels of Entry


  • All students are entered for Functional Skills Examinations at appropriate levels.

  • Most students are entered for GCSE English Language and English Literature.



Mathematics is diverse, engaging and essential in equipping students with the right skills to reach their full potential. Through our style of teaching and small groupings we pride ourselves on helping students to reach their full potential whatever their level of ability or aspiration. The aim of all Maths learning and teaching at The Orchard Centre is to ensure that all of the students we teach are able to gain the highest level of qualification that they can during their time with us. Students who attend the Orchard PRU all arrive with an individual set of circumstances and an individual ‘journey’ as far as their Maths education is concerned. This means that we adopt a variety of teaching strategies that are specifically suited to the needs of individual pupils.

Teachers here go to great lengths to relate mathematics to real-life situations, with the use of varied audio visual aids to increase interest and confidence in the subject. Paramount to the ethos of Mathematics teaching at The Orchard Centre is the demonstration to pupils that maths is fun, it’s for everyone and that it can be taught and learnt in an interesting and stimulating manner.

With a desire to improve the use of technology in our math department we have acquired Mathswatch licence so pupils can have access to the Mathswatch website via their own individual username and password. This will enable them to have full access both at home and at school to a range of mathematical activities for revision with audio visual support, to practice real exam questions with instant worked solutions. With an online bank of questions that are automatically marked Mathwatch will provide plenty of opportunity for pupil to work independent and on specific target areas.

Departmental aims include:

  • Fostering a positive attitude towards, and enjoyment of the subject

  • Developing understanding of the basic concepts and deep structures of numbers that can be applied not just to school work but in society as a whole.

  • Enhancing an understanding and recognition of best practice in answering exam questions

  • Imparting the skills necessary to produce a logical and clearly reasoned response to using appropriate mathematical notation accurately.

  • Encouraging creative thinking and confidence building so that pupils can solve standard as well as unusual problems

  • Establishing skills in the analysis of and interpretation of given numerical information using it to draw conclusions, make reasonable evaluations and informed decisions

  • Maximising the mathematical understanding and achievement of every pupil











Courses Offered and Examinations Taken:

The Curriculum-5 year Schemes of Work

All of the courses offered and course materials used closely follow those used in mainstream schools. It is important for us to mirror what is taught in mainstream schools as closely as possible so that any student moving from The Orchard Centre back to mainstream does not lose any time, experience, or methodology which could set their progress back before they start.

As students gradually increase their time in mainstream, their whole learning experience at The Orchard Centre can revolve around their mainstream work. If a student remains with us for an extended period, we will ensure that their learning is monitored and progress is made ready to take similar external exams to those that they would have taken in mainstream.

The Department follows the Edexcel syllabus for pupils aiming to gain a GCSE qualification and offers entry level qualifications as well as functional skills mathematics up to level two.

Our 5 year Schemes of Work are matched to Edexcel KS3 Maths Progress and then the Edexcel GCSE (9-1) Mathematics resources.

The Schemes of Work follow the Edexcel route of a 2 year KS3 and a 3 year GCSE. Years 9, 10 and 11 students are following the new Edexcel 3 year GCSE Scheme of Work programme of study. The low attainer Scheme of Work leads into Foundation GCSE, middle attainer into Foundation or Higher and higher attainer, Higher tier only.


Functional Skills Level 1 Curriculum Overview

Functional skills qualifications in mathematics assess three interrelated process skills:

  1. Representing- selecting the mathematics and information to model a situation

  2. Analysing-processing and using mathematics

  3. Interpreting-interpreting and communicating the results of the analysis

Functional skills qualifications in mathematics are available at Entry 1, Entry 2, Entry 3, level 1 and level 2. The criteria for these qualifications specify the requirements in terms of skill standards and coverage and range at each level. At each level of the qualification, these subsume the previous level’s skill standards and the indicative coverage and range, supporting a progression.
























The KS3 programme of study begins by building on the skills learnt in primary school.  Essential number work is taught with particular emphasis on ‘smart’ ways to solve problems.  Familiarity and confidence with number lays the foundation for the other aspects of math including shape, space and measure, data handling, algebra and probability.

Students in Year 7 generally have a wide range of starting points in terms of the math content they have studied and the academic levels they have reached.  Planning for lessons has to take account of this and so each topic is differentiated to take account of the differing starting levels.


Topics for Key Stage 3:


  • Place value of numbers and decimals.

  • Rounding

  • Indices, powers and roots.

  • Factors, multiples and primes.

  • Sequences

  • The four rules of number

  • Fractions, decimals and percentages

  • Metric and imperial measures

  • Order of operations

  • Sequences

Shape, Space and Measure

  • Angles and proofs.

  • Constructing triangles.

  • Special quadrilaterals.

  • Angles in polygons.

  • Area and perimeter

  • Volume

  • Transformations

  • 2D and 3D shapes and their properties

  • Nets

  • Co-ordinates

  • Constructions and Loci

  • Pythagoras’ Theorem

  • Similar Shapes



  • It all adds up to 1

  • Chances in probability

  • Experimental probability

  • What are your chances?

Handling Data

  • Collecting data

  • Interpreting data

  • Presenting data

  • Frequency tables

  • Reading and interpreting graphs



  • Functions and mapping

  • Distance-Time graphs

  • Using letters to communicate

  • Understanding brackets

  • Developing and using formulae

  • Constructing equations

  • Solving equations

  • Graphs

  • Equations




We want our students to become future scientists and engineers who enjoy and value the learning opportunities provided for them here at The Orchard Centre.


“A high-quality science education provides the foundations for understanding the world through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics. Science has changed our lives and is vital to the world’s future prosperity, and all pupils should be taught essential aspects of the knowledge, methods, processes and uses of science. Through building up a body of key foundational knowledge and concepts, pupils should be encouraged to recognise the power of rational explanation and develop a sense of excitement and curiosity about natural phenomena. They should be encouraged to understand how science can be used to explain what is occurring, predict how things will behave, and analyse causes.”








Our science curriculum is broad, balanced and relevant to the needs of all our students.  We offer a range of progression routes which enable students to close the gap between an interrupted educational career and their mainstream goal. The curriculum not only develops students’ knowledge and understanding in a range of science topic areas, it enables them to develop the skills required to become more independent, creative and innovative learners in order to make other links between their subject knowledge.



GCSE Combined Science: Trilogy

This qualification is linear which means that students will sit all their exams at the end of the course.

Although the subject content covers all three disciplines (Biology, Chemistry and Physics), the qualification is a double award and therefore is equivalent to two GCSEs. There are six exam papers: two Biology, two Chemistry and two Physics.  Each of the papers will assess knowledge and understanding from distinct topic areas and carries 70 raw marks, equivalent to 16.7% of the overall GCSE. Each written examination is 1 hour and 15 minutes in duration, including multiple choice, structured, closed short answer, and open response questions.

It is advisable to purchase suitable revision guides for your child. We recommend the Oxford publications, which follow the textbooks that we use in centre.

– AQA Chemistry for GCSE Combined Science: Trilogy Revision Guide by Sue Orwin (Author), Lawrie Ryan (Series Editor)

– AQA Biology for GCSE Combined Science: Trilogy Revision Guide by Niva Miles and Lawrie Ryan

– AQA Physics for GCSE Combined Science: Trilogy Revision Guide by Pauline Anning and Lawrie Ryan


Areas of Study

The Biology topics covered are; Cell biology, Organisation, Infection and response, Bioenergetics, Homeostasis and response, Inheritance, variation and evolution and Ecology.

The Chemistry topics covered are; Atomic structure and the periodic table, Bonding, structure, and the properties of matter, Quantitative chemistry, Chemical changes, Energy changes, The rate and extent of chemical change, Organic chemistry, Chemical analysis, Chemistry of the atmosphere and Using resources.

The Physics topics covered are; Energy, Electricity, Particle model of matter, Atomic structure, Forces, Waves and Magnetism and electromagnetism.


Required Practicals

There are three interconnected, but separate reasons for carrying out or observing demonstrations of practical work in schools. These reasons are; to support and consolidate scientific concepts (knowledge and understanding). To develop investigative skills and to build and master practical skills. Through practical work we are able to make sense of new information and observations, and provide insights into the development of scientific thinking.  By focusing on the reasons for carrying out a particular practical, teachers will help their students understand the subject better, to develop the skills of a scientist and to master the manipulative skills required for further study or jobs in STEM subjects.




"Art is the desire of a person to express themselves, to record the reactions of their personality to the world they live in."  – Amy Lowell



Students have the opportunity to choose an option subject to study in year 10 and 11.

Art & Design is one of these options.

We are currently running AQA GCSE Art, Craft & Design course over the 2 years of Key Stage 4 for the full course. This consists of:



  • This is developed throughout the course in response to a subject or theme showing,through their sketchbooks, the journey from initial thoughts and ideas, through experimentation and research to 1 or more final piece of Art work. This will give students the opportunity to demonstrative their creative abilities through a wide range of techniques and processes.


  • This can take any form in the form of a 1 or more mini projects and is aimed at enhancing their portfolio.

















  • In January of Year 11 Students receive an Exam paper with a choice of 7 different starting points and will be given time to make a response to 1 of these titles and make preparations to produce a piece of Art work within 10 hours of supervised time under exam conditions during April and May of the Year.


Food Technology


Enabling students to develop a wide range of practical skills and build a foundation of knowledge to encourage healthy attitudes towards food.







Year 10 and 11

Food Preparation and Nutrition GCSE –  Eduqas

This course equips learners with the knowledge, understanding and skills required to cook and apply the principles of food science, nutrition and healthy eating. It encourages learners to cook, enables them to make informed decisions about food and nutrition and allows them to acquire knowledge in order to be able to feed themselves and others affordably and nutritiously, now and later in life.

The areas of content are

  • Food commodities

  • Principles of Nutrition

  • Diet and good health

  • The science of food

  • Where food comes from

  • Cooking and food preparation


The assessment of the course is completed in two parts

  1. A written examination of 1 hour 45 minutes

  2. 50% of the qualification

  3. Two practical assignments Assessment 1. The Food Investigation Assessment – 8 hours

  4. Pupils cook each week and need to provide their own ingredients and suitable containers to take their dishes home.

  5. Assessment 2. The Food Preparation Assessment – 12 hours

  6. 50% of the qualification.

BTEC Home Cooking Skills, a more practical based course, may be offered to students when appropriate.




Religious Education at The Orchard Centre is designed to provoke challenging questions about the ultimate meaning and purpose of life, beliefs about God, the self and the nature of reality, issues of right and wrong and what it means to be human.

It offers opportunities for personal reflection and spiritual development. It enhances students’ awareness and understanding of religions and beliefs, teachings, practices and forms of expression, as well as of the influence of religion on individuals, families, communities and cultures.

RE has an important role in preparing young people

for adult life, employment and lifelong learning.

It enables students to develop respect for

and sensitivity to others, in particular those

whose faiths and beliefs are different from their own.

It promotes discernment and enables students to combat prejudice.











At KS4, Year 11 students follow the AQA GCSE in Religious Studies (Specification A), studying units on: 

  • Christianity

  • Sikhism 

  • Relationships and families

  • Religion and life 

  • Religion, crime and punishment 

  • Religion, human rights and social justice.

Year 10 students work towards a Level 1/2 BTEC Award in Travel and Tourism, studying units on: 

  • The UK travel and tourism sector 

  • UK travel and tourism destinations 

  • The travel and tourism customer experience 

  • International travel and tourism destinations 




PSHE is personal, social, health and economic education and is an important and necessary part of all students’ education. It is a non-statutory subject and is flexible to meet the needs of students. A key aspect is to equip students with a sound understanding of risk and with the knowledge and skills necessary to make safe and informed decisions.


At Key Stage 4 students will take a course dependent upon their academic ability. 

​GCSE level students will follow the AQA 5800 Course in Personal and Social Education at either Level 1 or Level 2.  Level 2 is equivalent to a higher level GCSE 9-4 (old A-C grades) and  Level 1 is equivalent to 3-1 (old GCSE grades D-G). This course is also available at Entry Level 1,2 and 3 for students not able to study at GCSE level.



At The Orchard Centre we aim to deliver an enjoyable and fun curriculum across all year groups regardless of ability, age or gender. This allows us to present a broad range of activities to target key processes and concepts. The National Curriculum determines what the PE department should cover inclusive of the following key processes and concepts:






Key concepts

  • Competence

  • Performance

  • Creativity

  • Healthy, active lifestyles

Key Processes

  • Developing skills in physical activity

  • Making and applying decisions

  • Developing physical and mental capacity

  • Evaluating and improving

  • Making informed choices about healthy, active lifestyles


Examination Courses (including Examination Boards and Levels of Entry)


​In key stage 4 students can follow the OCR Sport Studies at Level 1 and Level 2.

Find out more about our Sport curriculum here.


Outdoor Learning

Outdoor Learning

Outdoor Learning


At Key Stage 4 there are two pathways for outdoor learning to meet student’s needs, abilities and option timetable requirements. Some students will complete the Duke of Edinburgh Award and others will complete a number of AQA Award Units. The skills and knowledge gained during Key Stage 3 will set students in good stead for either route.



AQA Unit Awards

The Unit Award Scheme (UAS) is a unique recording of achievement scheme, rather than a qualification.  It offers learners the opportunity to have their achievements formally recognised with a certificate each time a short unit of learning is successfully completed.


There are no limits on:

  • what can be accredited, as long as it is worthwhile and meaningful for the learner

  • who can achieve, in terms of age or ability

  • how long it takes to achieve or when this takes place

  • how learning can be evidenced.


Flexibility is key with the UAS and over the course of Key Stage 4 learners will have the opportunity to complete several units based on outdoor learning dependent on their ability and interests.



Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award


There are four sections to complete at Bronze level. They involve helping the community/environment, becoming fitter, developing new skills and planning, training for and completing an expedition.


Any young person can do their DofE Award – regardless of ability, gender or background. Achieving an Award isn’t a competition or about being first. It’s all about setting personal challenges and pushing personal boundaries.


Through our DofE programme young people have fun, make friends, improve their self-esteem and build confidence. They gain essential skills and attributes for work and life such as resilience, problem-solving, team-working, communication and drive, enhancing CVs and uni and job applications.


Find out more at:

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