Curriculum overview for year 10

This is a summary of the curriculum in year 10.  More detail for each subject including curriculum journeys and knowledge organisers can be found in the subject pages.  

At the bottom of this page is an overview of the assessment for year 10 you can jump to that here.


Students in year 10 will go really in depth when learning about ratio and proportion, they will learn how to manipulate skills to solve complex problems and they will even begin to see algebra mix in with these skills. All students will encounter trigonometry this year at varying levels and will also learn how to apply their skills to solve complex problems in 2D and 3D shapes. Multiplicative reasoning will become a large focus without them even realising and they will see it with compound interest, growth, decay, direct proportion and inverse proportion. Quadratics will form a large part of algebra work, whether  its factorising, solving, graphing or rearranging. Students will encounter circles in a new light and will have to use some complex skills to find the area and circumference of and apply circle theorems.


GCSE study

Drawing on all of the knowledge from key stage 3, the year 10 curriculum develops students’ understanding of power and conflict in a range of British Literature.  Starting with the study of the AQA Power and Conflict Poetry Anthology students explore the power of the written word as a tool of expression and a vehicle for change. This is continued with Dickens’ A Christmas Carol and Shakespeare’s Macbeth.  Students will also practice the skills needed for both GCSE English Language papers through a range of fiction and nonfiction materials from the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries.  The spoken language element of the English language GCSE will be completed during year 10. Throughout the year, students are encouraged to engage with a range of linked reading to explore these ideas further and deepen their knowledge. 



Disease and Bioenergetics  will explore the impact of lifestyle and pathogens on animal and plant health.  We will interpret data on non-communicable disease at local, national and global levels and measure the rate of photosynthesis and discuss oxygen debt.  Biological Responses will help you understand how animals and plants control and coordinate their movement and reproduction. Homeostasis is all about balancing conditions inside our bodies so that they may work efficiently.


Chemical reactions and energy changes will teach you how to represent different types of reaction as equations and diagrams, interpret displacement reactions and decide if a reaction involves oxidation or reduction.  We will explain the difference between metals and non-metals in terms of their atomic structures and bonding.


Find out why unstable nuclei change and the difference between fission and fusion in radioactivity.  Forces in action will look at vectors and scalars, resultant forces and speed, velocity and acceleration.  We will calculate weight, explore elasticity and discuss momentum.

Computer Science

Students explore Data Types and Structures and how computers store and manage different types of data in different ways. Arithmetic, Relational and Boolean Operations are used within programs to carry out calculations and decision making with programming. Computational Thinking Inc. Decomposition, Pattern recognition, Abstraction, Algorithm Design. Teach students to think in a logical way to problem solve. Complete a Programming Project 


Students in year 10 ICT will start the year developing their understanding of an User Interface and knowing the different Features of an Interface. This will lead onto the students developing their Project Planning Skills. While creating and reviewing their own user interface students will need to work on their Design Techniques and Creativity Skills.   They will look at different methods of representing and presenting data, they will need to know how to make data interesting. Students will then move onto looking at different ways of Collecting and Using data, this will then lead to the students Manipulating Data for different scenarios by creating effect data models. 


Students begin with a study of the USA 1920-73.   From the booming twenties through to the Great depression, it takes a broadly chronological approach dipping into thematic post war society such as civil rights and politics.

In the second half of the spring term we  focus on the Inter-War years 1919-39. With a strong focus on European politics, it considers the impact of the Versailles settlement and its role in creating the situation where Europe was ripe for war within just twenty years.


Students will build upon their Key Stage 3 knowledge as they begin their AQA GCSE Geography course.  Our focus for year 10 is our first paper ‘Living with the physical environment’ which begins the topic of living world. We explore food chains, interdependence and biomes before focusing on two key biomes; the tropical rainforest and hot deserts. Our case studies explore the Malaysian Rainforest and the Thar Desert, which develops student’s knowledge on adaptations along with methods to evaluate sustainable options to manage these fragile environments.

We continue to learn about natural hazards, where students will learn the mechanics behind plate boundaries and their links to tectonic hazards. We compare similar magnitude earthquakes and the differing impacts upon low income countries and high income countries. This topic then looks at extreme weather events such as tropical storms and heat waves, reducing their effects and the effects of climate change. Finally, we prepare for section C of paper 1; fluvial and coastal processes and their impacts upon the landscape. We visit Walton on the Naze as part of our compulsory fieldwork in Paper 3, along with Essex University to look as sustainability of their campus.

Religious Education

Year 10 GCSE Option students continue their learning journey using the Theological Lens to gain a wide ranging knowledge of Christian and Muslims beliefs and practices. This will create a solid base from which they will then engage with the Thematic topics. We continue the course using the Philosophical and Theological on the Existence of God. We apply all 3 lens in relation to topics as diverse as humanities environmental conservation, animal rights and euthanasia. Students are expected to apply religious and non-religious ideas in their writings. We finish the year focusing on the ethical complexities and divergent worldviews on arguments for war and reasons for punishment.  

Year 10 World Views (statuory and non-examined) This is a fortnightly lesson which introduces students to concepts and ideas that they would not normally come across in everyday life. For example we begin the course by exploring different concepts of reality. This introduces to philosophers throughout history. The course explores both religious and non-religious beliefs. Students are expected each term to write an extended essay on an open question e.g. what is reality? Discuss.  

Physical Education

In Year 10 PE, students will study a coursework unit, titled “Taking part and improving other participants' sporting performance”.  In this component students will continue to develop skills and techniques in a variety of sports but will specifically focus on one selected sport for their own assessment.  Students will learn the rules and regulations of their selected sport and must practically demonstrate their performance in a range of skills, techniques and tactics in both practice and competitive situations.  Students will learn about the role of different officials in sport and how the officials apply selected rules.  Students will study the components of physical and skill-related fitness.  They will be able to define each component and link these to practical examples to match a scenario provided by the exam board, showing how each component of fitness can impact on performance.  Finally, students will learn how to plan a series of progressive drills for a sports skill within their selected activity and will be able to justify their choice of drills.  This culminates in students leading their drills to a small group to demonstrate their knowledge of the key teaching points.  They will provide both demonstrations of the drills and feedback to the participants to help them to improve their technique.

Students will also begin to study a further coursework unit, titled “Preparing participants to take part in sport and physical activity”.  In this component students will explore different types of sport and physical activity, considering the benefits of participation.  They will investigate the needs of different participants and consider barriers to participation that they may face, along with methods to overcome these.  Students will also learn about different sectors that provide sport and physical activity within the UK.


Students now begin their GCSE. They will be in a class full of ambitious, confident and courageous students. We start the term exploring drama practitioners and learn about their style, history and how to embed their skills into a performance. This then seamlessly takes us through to the first mock exam ( component 1). Students will perform and practice writing a mock portfolio. We finish the year with a live theatre review.

We introduce component 3 and the written paper. Students learn to review and criticise Noughts and Crosses by Dominic Cooke.  As the year progresses students learn to perform a short script from any given play set by the exam board. Students finish the year by completing their comp 1 exam of a performance, portfolio and evaluation.


In Year 10, students will look at three set works throughout the year, exploring them practically and through research tasks. Students will gain a knowledge that underpins effective use of skills, process and attitudes in the sector, such as roles, responsibilities, performance disciplines and styles. They will look into the different roles and responsibilities within the performing arts and take on the role of a dancer, choreographer and experience costume design, directing and producing. All students will get the experience of taking part in at least two performances throughout the year, one of which will be in front of a large audience. 

Food Technology

Food science

Building on skills from year 9 – creating own experiments. Experimenting with ingredients and properties. Cookery skills. Sauce making skills – Pastry making skills – Presentation skills. Enzyme discolouration, Gelatinisation in sauces, dextrinization .


Creation of own dishes – Marriage of ingredients. Modifying recipes to meet customer needs.  Building a portfolio of evidence


Year 10 in GCSE Fine Art is all about learning ‘Advancing Skills’- Pupils advance and translate their skills to suit GCSE style projects. They re-visit subjects such as self-portraits, still life and landscape, perspective, colour theory but in more advanced ways using skills suited to GCSE Fine Art. 

 It begins with Autobiography; a project based on portraiture. Students will look at Lucian Freud and learn to use acrylic paints to make brutally honest portraits in his style, they also learn how to convey identity through art. In Cubism students revisit still life drawing and explore methods of portraying more than a traditional view of an object in their artwork. In the summer term of year 10 students begin preparation for a mock exam based on the theme A Sense of Place; learning how artists have been inspired by the world around them and developing landscape drawing, painting and mixed media skills. They sit the 5 hour mock exam at the end of year 10 and create an artwork inspired by what they have learnt in the project. 


Year 10 in GCSE Photography is all about learning ‘Advancing Skills’- Pupils advance and translate their previous skills from Art to suit Photography. They re-visit subjects such as self-portraits, perspective and colour theory but in more advanced ways using skills suited to their chosen subject. 

GCSE Photography begins with a Basic Skills Portfolio including an Introduction to Photography, Composing a Photograph and Colour Theory. This is followed by Abstraction; exploring methods used to create non-objective images. Pupils will experiment with extreme macro images and capture movement using long exposure. Students are encouraged to take creative risks, experiment more with their images and develop original methods of presenting photographic pieces. In the summer term of year 10 students begin preparation for a mock exam based on the theme of Identity; pupils experiment with hand rendering methods over photographs inspired by Rankin’s Destroy project. They also learn how to take self-portraits, beyond the selfie. They sit the 5 hour mock exam at the end of year 10 using what they have learnt in the project to create a photographic piece. 

3D Design

While studying 3D Design students are able to advance the skills they have learnt in Key Stage 3 Art and translate them into three dimensional outcomes. In year 10 they begin by exploring The Human using construction sculpture methods to represent the human figure such as wire, mod-roc and cardboard, taking inspiration from Giacometti and Gabo. In their second project, Body Adornment, they will be inspired by many cultures to create masks, jewellery and other items from paper, found objects and discarded items. Finally, pupils will study a mock exam project based on a previous externally set theme. They will use 10 weeks prior to their mock exam to prepare a sculpture idea based on this theme and then have a 5 hour assessment to create the planned piece.  


During year ten pupils deepen their composition, listening and performance skills ready to complete coursework in Year 11.  We look at many of the topics and knowledge gained in KS3 and explore these in more depth.  We explore the key musical features of different musical contexts, devices and elements.  We examine the set works and understand the compositional techniques used.  We also look at music theory in more depth, covering aspects such as keys, modulation, intervals and harmony.  We cover the knowledge content of the GCSE course in this foundation year and apply our learning through composition or performance.  Students begin to consider their composition and performance options for Year 11.

Design and Technology & Engineering

The Design and Technology Department offers courses in Engineering and Design & Technology at GCSE level.  Design & Technology is a GCSE subject.  Engineering is a Level 1 / 2 award, which is equivalent to a GCSE.

Engineering:  In Engineering students learn and investigate materials and tools used in the manufacture of products.  They learn through practical tasks, followed by relevant theory.  Students make a variety of projects in Year 10 to improve their practical skills, mostly metalwork, but also wood and plastic projects.

Technical Drawing skills are practiced by hand and using Computer Aided Design (CAD), student must be able to read a Technical Drawing to pass the course.


Design & Technology:  

Year 10 is around 50% practical tasks and 50% theory.

Students will complete projects in Wood, metal and plastics using a wide variety of skills, machinery and tools.

During Year 10 students work on a variety of short projects needed to create a thorough understanding of materials and manufacturing techniques which are needed for the exam in Year 11 and also to enable them to have the skills needed for the coursework section in Year 11.

Year 10 French

GCSE Study - Year 1

Students embark on their GCSE studies and build upon previously learned Key Stage 3 knowledge. Through the topic of holidays, students describe what they would do on an ideal holiday, learn to book and review hotel accommodation, learn to deal with a range of transactional scenarios, including how to order a meal in a restaurant, complain about problems and purchase souvenirs. Students then study school subjects, school rules and are given the opportunity to compare UK and French-speaking schools, which increases their cultural awareness. Learning about lifestyle choices then leads students towards thinking about their personal future plans, such as career choices, job applications and interviews. Across all these topics, students become more confident with a range of more complex grammatical structures and a wider vocabulary.

Year 10 German

GCSE Study - Year 1


The main focus of the first two terms in Year 10 is travel and tourism, at home and abroad. Students learn to cope with a range of transactional scenarios relating to holidays, such as booking travel and hotel accommodation, discussing and reporting problems and ordering food in a restaurant. They then look at different types of holiday and discussing their holiday plans before describing the advantages and disadvantages of where people live and what they would do to improve their region. In the final term, the focus shifts to future plans and ambitions where students contemplate career choices, job applications and interviews. They also consider the benefits of language learning for a brighter future.

Business Studies

Students will commence Component 1 - Exploring Enterprise, which is broken into three distinct assignments. Here they will be able to identify a different business types, such as sole traders, partnerships and corporations and will develop skills that will enable them to explain how they work and their associated benefits and drawbacks. They will also learn about other business characteristics including how business size is measured, location as well as the difference between products and services. The students will choose two local enterprises and for their first assignment will analyse these types of business characteristics.

Assignment 2 is based around the concept of market research and the different types, these being primary and secondary along with quantitative and qualitative data. Students will consider how market research is used in order to improve business profitability and efficiency and will apply their learning to their two chosen businesses.

Assignment 3 will follow the same two chosen businesses but will consider how both internal and external factors, whether these be political, economic etc. will impact on the success of these businesses. This will also include conducting two types of situational analysis on one of their chosen businesses, these being a SWOT analysis and a PEST analysis.

Students will commence the exam unit, this being Component 3 - Promotion and Finance for Enterprise.

Here the students will consider the different aspects of the promotional mix, such as sales promotions and public relations, will consider the different types of each, including their associated advantages and disadvantages of each. This theme will continue with looking at different types of market, such as B2B and B2C as well as Market Segmentation, including Demographic, Geographic, Psychographic and behavioural segmentation methods. This theory will be taught through case study and learning will be applied to different enterprise contexts.

Moving on from promotion, the students will develop skills in finance. This will include learning about the different sources of finance, methods of payment as well as being introduced to the concept of accounting, such as through Statements of Financial position and Statements of Comprehensive Income as well as Cash Flow Forecasting. In addition the students will be introduced to the concept of Break Even, how to calculate this and how to construct and analyse Break Even charts. Finally the students will consider how businesses can improve their financial position and the different types of action that can be taken. Again this learning will be applied through case study and practice exam questions.


BTEC Award in Creative Media Production

After spending some time gaining an overview of the media industry, students will refine their knowledge and skills through a series of two coursework modules and will begin preparations for one timed exam piece. Subjects studied will include the film, music, TV and advertising industries. Students will use set briefs to develop their own pieces of media and will follow the pre-production, production and post-production processes. 

Child Development

Students will study the physical, intellectual and social developmental norms from birth to five years. They will look at the benefits of learning through play and will work with an individual child (from birth to five years) and their family to plan some different play activities for a chosen developmental area with their chosen child.  They will then carry out and evaluate their different play activities for the chosen developmental area with their child. 

Students will study the process of reproduction and the roles and responsibilities of parenthood. They will look at standard and specialised antenatal care and how a family prepares for the birth of a child. They will also study how postnatal care is delivered including the postnatal checks of the mother and postnatal provision and conditions for development for the child. They will learn how to recognise, manage and prevent childhood illnesses at home and when children have to go into hospital. They will also learn about child safety in the home and outside. 

Health & Social Care

Students will study the effect of life events on how we develop as individuals throughout life. They will investigate how on our journey through the stages of life, we experience many life changing events and are influenced by many factors that affect growth and development. In this unit they will learn about life stages and the factors that affect them. Students will understand expected and unexpected life events and the impact they will have on physical, social / emotional and socio-economic aspects in an individual’s life. Students will research the service providers and practitioners or professionals that can support individuals, recommend support and justify how this will meet the needs of a specific individual. This coursework unit will be submitted in May of year 10. 

For the rest of year 10, students will then start to develop their knowledge for the exam unit including the importance of personalised care and excellent communication. They will learn about creating a safe and hygienic environment which is essential for the health and well-being of vulnerable individuals requiring care in a health and social care setting. They will also learn about the importance of the rights of service users, person-centred values and how to apply them. Students will also learn about the importance of effective communication skills and how to apply them respectfully when providing care and support for service users in health and social care settings and the procedures and measures used to protect individuals such as safeguarding, hygiene and security. 


Autumn Term

PSHE in Year 10 has started with marriage, partnership and rights and has gone on to look at safe sex, as well as pregnancy and choices, as well as parenting.  Year 10 will go on to examine the stages of romantic relationships as well as the impact of separation and loss in relationships. Year 10 will also look at mental health, specifically unhealthy coping strategies, warning signs and triggers, as well as stress, anxiety and depression and how to support those around us who are struggling. Finally, Year 10 will look at how to develop self esteem and confidence.