Curriculum overview for year 11

This is a summary of the curriculum in year 11.  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 11 you can jump to that here.


Year 11 students will see many topics come together this year and they will begin to encounter questions which contain 2 or more different topics, this is why confidence and fluency in the the skills learnt over the previous years is vital to being able to apply them to solve complex problems. Students will encounter some final topics before preparing for their exams, including vectors and reciprocals.  Foundation students will investigate indices and standard form and the students aiming for the higher GCSE will solve direct and inverse proportion problems by building formulae. All students will need to be able to apply any skill to solve problems and reason accurately which will also be worked on throughout the year 


GCSE Study

Students will study a wide range of unseen poetry before revisiting all of the GCSE Literature texts in order to extend and deepen their understanding of the ideas, issues and concepts explored within them.  Techniques to help memorise key quotations are developed alongside the analytic and comparative writing skills needed for both the language and literature exams.  Students will also practise how to write for a variety of forms and purposes including academic essays, descriptive works of fiction and personal rhetoric.  Year 11 students will continue to look at a wide range of fiction and nonfiction extracts from a diverse range of authors in preparation for the unseen element of the language exams.  All students are still encouraged to read widely to ‘breathe in’ good quality writing. 


BIOLOGY: In genetics and reproduction we will discuss DNA, genes and alleles and take a look at how gametes are formed in meiosis. We will explore genetic diagrams to predict inheritance outcomes and look at how selective breeding and genetic engineering can be used to our advantage.  Ecology will investigate distribution and abundance of a species and we will discuss the forces of natural selection in relation to competition and adaptation of species.  Material cycling, population explosion and food security will conclude our ecology topic.

CHEMISTRY: Rates of reaction will apply the particle model to chemical reactions and help you to explain what catalysts and activation energy are.  We will calculate balanced symbol equations and predict reactants and products of chemical reactions as we study chemical equilibrium.  Using Earth’s Resources will analyse data on finite resources and carry out life cycle assessments and the impact of making new materials.

PHYSICS: By measuring wavelength and frequency of waves, you will calculate speed and also understand how Electromagnetic waves can carry information and form images.  We will reflect and refract waves. We will link electromagnets to motors and generators and discuss orbits, satellites, and stars.

Computer Science

Year 11 Computing students will begin the year looking at Computer Networks and the different Security Threats which surround Networks. Students will then study different types of Software and its role in the system, student will explore the different Legal, Ethical and Cultural Issues surrounding computers. Students will then move onto reading and writing Flowcharts and Pseudocode before completing Revision 


In year 11 ICT students will be studying topics linked to their exam. This will begin with the Understanding of digital technologies and their use for personal and professional means. Studies will move onto the Threats to data, this will also look at the use of public and personal networks. The final area of study of year 11 will be Ethical and legal responsibilities relating to the use of computers before completing revision. 


Students complete a study of Elizabethan England, considering the impact of the recent religious upheavals by the Tudor dynasty and the challenges that Elizabeth faced during her reign. Some time is dedicated to a site study which is set annually by the exam board.  

Students will also consolidate their KS4 learning. Topics are re-visited with a focus on the development of the specific exam skills for each topic and the application of knowledge to generate success in their final exams.


We explore Paper 2’s key topics of economic development, focusing on wealth and how this can impact quality of life in contrasting locations. Nigeria and the UK are used as the case studies throughout this year and we link this to our human fieldwork. We finalise our topics with resource management whilst interleaving revision strategies to assist students recall. We recall our Year 10 knowledge on tectonics, weather, Urbanisation, economy and UK landscapes whilst exploring key case studies linking to AQA GCSE. This highlights the inequalities of our global resources and how we can sustainably manage them. Our final focus looks at Paper 3’s pre-release and geographical skills which are embedded across all three papers. Our aim is for all students to leave Geography as a confident global citizen who is passionate about the world around them.

Religious Education

Year 11 GCSE Option students continue their learning journey exploring relationships, sexuality, family and identity. This is carried out primarily with a Theological and Sociological Lens. This then leads onto Human Rights and social justice which incorporates more of a Philosophical approach. We then explore the ways beliefs can shape attitudes to key questions of the 21st Century. This undertaking involves all the skills of all three Lens. The aim is to prepare students for the ever changing world they are stepping closer into and enable them to have religious literacy.

Year 11 World Views (statutory 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 morality and this introduces students to thinkers like Bentham, John Stuart Mill and Kant. It gives students an opportunity for discussion and debate. The aim of the course is to ensure that when students reach the end of their time at the Colne they are able to engage in the sharing of ideas on a level, which shows a knowledge and understanding that there is not one type of Muslim, Christian, atheist etc. That there is a multiplicity of beliefs within every tradition.  This should equip them as they go out from here with a deeper awareness and ability to communicate with respect and religious literacy. 

Physical Education

In Year 11 PE, students will complete the remaining two coursework units, titled Leading Sports Activities and Applying the Principles of Personal Training.  Students will build their knowledge of the attributes associated with successful sports leadership and will undertake the planning, leading and reviewing of a sports activity session in a chosen sport.  The second coursework unit requires students to design, implement and review a self-designed personal fitness training programme.  Alongside this students will learn about the musculoskeletal and cardiorespiratory systems and the effects of exercise on the body during training.  Students will continue to take part in a range of sports during practical lessons and will appreciate the importance of lifelong participation.


The final year needs to be taught with care, flair and passion. Students return from the summer holidays in controlled assessment conditions for their comp 1 devising exam. This includes, a devised performance, portfolio work and a written evaluation. Students will protect their information from Hard to Swallow by Mark Wheeler with revision lessons and example exam questions. This will be thread throughout the year finishing in a scripted performance to an examiner.


In Year 11, students will start by developing their performing arts skills and techniques through the reproduction of dance repertoire. Students will study one professional work in depth and experience working as a performer, where they will develop technical, practical and interpretive skills through the rehearsals and performance process. Throughout their development, students will review their own process and consider how to make improvements to their practice. After this, students will be given the opportunity to work as part of a group to create a workshop performance in response to a given brief and stimulus. Working as part of a group, students will develop their ideas for a workshop performance and apply skills and techniques to communicate their creative intentions to the audience. All students will get the experience of taking part in at least one performance throughout the year. 

Food Technology

Mock Exam

Based on previous year’s externally set theme. Theory covers all aspects of food science, carbon footprint and food miles.

Practical Mock exam

Practice of dishes  - Recipe trials – experimenting with flavours. Nutritional analysis of recipes, Dovetailed time plan for three hour practical exam. Modifying recipes to meet customer needs.

Externally Set Assignment

A theme set by our exam board. Planning, preparation, and creating three dishes linked to the theme. Building a portfolio of evidence


Year 11 in GCSE Fine Art is all about learning ‘Embedding Skills’- students need to show that prior learning is embedded in final coursework and exam projects. They are able to apply skills and knowledge with independence and increasing individuality. 

From September students work on their major project Expressionism; pupils develop mark-making skills and expressive painting skills learning to become more confident with brushstrokes. Finally, the Externally Set Assignment; a theme set by the exam board, students have 10 weeks to prepare a project and final idea, then 10 hours in exam conditions to create their piece. 


Year 11 in Photography is all about learning ‘Embedding Skills’- students need to show that prior learning is embedded in final coursework and exam projects. They are able to apply skills and knowledge with independence and increasing individuality. 

From September students work on a major project Pop Photography; a project that explores the influence of Pop Art on Photography. Students study the work of Andy Warhol- recognising how people, objects, repetition and colour can convey the appeal of popular culture. They also look at Robert Rauschenberg and start to incorporate found objects and hand rendering to create layered images that reflect their opinions on current issues. Finally, the Externally Set Assignment; a theme set by the exam board, students have 10 weeks to prepare a project and final idea, then 10 hours in exam conditions to create their piece. Previous themes have included Reflections, Fragments and Past, Present and Future. 

3D Design

Year 11 in GCSE 3D Design is all about learning ‘Embedding Skills’- students need to show that prior learning is embedded in final coursework and exam projects. They are able to apply skills and knowledge with independence and increasing individuality. 

In year 11 3D Design pupils will embed the skills learnt in year 10 in two final projects- Nature and Man-made, which is a ceramics project and then the externally set assignment. The theme is set by our exam board. Pupils have 12 school weeks to prepare an idea inspired by the theme set and then a 10 hour exam to create the piece. 


GCSE Study

The Present, Past and Future Tenses (e.g. ‘escucho la música’, ‘escuché la música’, ‘voy a escuchar la música’) are further developed with the inclusion of the Conditional Tense. Complex structured sentences are actively encouraged within all four disciplines, using connectives, intensifiers, idioms and uncommon language, to assist Spanish comprehension and writing in becoming more fluid (e.g. ‘¡Qué rollo!’/ ‘Vale la pena’). Extended speaking answers are practised to ensure that pronunciation is accurate, and also that translation skills are further progressed through the use of equivalent expressions (e.g. ‘se debería…’/’hay que…’). 


GCSE Study

Present, Past, Future and Conditional Tenses continue to be used, with increased emphasis on complex structured sentences, using high frequency words, connectives, intensifiers, idioms and uncommon language. The use of questioning and giving opinions and justifications is actively encouraged, to help create extended sentences, thus enabling students to effectively express themselves through listening, reading, writing and speaking in the French language. Translating skills focus towards a literary text, such as a newspaper article in French, which may or may not be within the realms of the related vocabulary topic, allowing students to further extend their vocabulary and grammar skills within their language learning.

Design and Technology & Engineering

Engineering:  The course is around 50% practical work and 50% theory and written coursework. 

There are two parts to the written coursework, called Unit 1 and Unit 2.  This coursework makes up the majority of the marks for the course and consists of practical tasks, written up along with the theory of what the student’s method and research into the tools and materials they are using.

Unit 3 is a written exam and includes the theory of Engineering, materials, tools and how they are used to manufacture products.  It includes elements on Sustainable Design and modern materials and methods including CAD/CAM.

Mathematics -  Practical mathematics skills are an essential part of the Engineering course.  In the written exam students are given real life questions, like working out the volume of a piece of metal needed to make a sign.  Understanding who to calculate the scale of a drawing is needed.

Design & Technology:  The course consists of one large piece of coursework and an exam in Year 11.

Coursework:  Students investigate Designers and analyse products, materials and their manufacture.  Students are taught how to design and make their own products, following a design brief.  Students complete research and gather data before undertaking their own design during Year 11 to produce a comprehensive coursework project.  Students then decide on a single project in Year 11 which they then prototype and build, producing the coursework to back-up their design work.

Exam:  The written exam requires a large avout of subject information on how products are designed and manufactured.  The theory which is worked on practically and with research in Year 10 makes up a large part of this learning.  Students need a thorough understanding of design, materials and manufacture to pass the exam. 


In Year 11, students consolidate their learning in Year 10 and begin to revise and apply their knowledge to exam style questions.  They will test their knowledge in mock listening exams during the year.  Students will also complete two compositions; one of their own choice, and one set to a brief given by the exam board.  They will practise with other students to perform as an ensemble and will present their final performance as a soloist.

Business Studies

Students will commence their final coursework assignment, this being Component 2 - Planning for and Running an Enterprise. This will involve introducing students to the concept of business planning.

Assignment 1 will encourage the students to research three viable business ideas, considering their associated benefits and drawbacks. They will then select one of these ideas and develop it into a full blown business plan, which will require the undertaking of market research in terms of developing the associated functional areas of their marketing mix, production/operations, finance and HR. This business plan will be written as a comprehensive report, divided into multiple sections, reviewing the research completed and turning their findings into a plan of action.

Assignment 2 and 3 are inextricably linked in that they will need to produce a ‘Dragon’s Den’ style pitch based upon their plan of action as set out in their business plan. To support this they will need to produce an appropriate presentation summary, be prepared to answer a variety of questions based upon their work and will have the option of providing samples of their work and related promotional material. Assignment 3 will follow on from this and will be a comprehensive review of their pitch in terms of what went well and what they could improve upon, thinking about their presentation style, interpersonal skills and props etc.

Finally, students will have an opportunity to retake their component 3 exam if they so wish. This will include revision material and lessons closer to the time of the final take. Students will also have an opportunity towards the end of their course to make any final adjustments to both coursework components before final submission and sampling.

Child Development

Year 11 students will learn about the key factors when choosing equipment (to include sleeping equipment, feeding equipment and travel equipment) for babies from birth to 12 months. They will also look at choosing the same equipment for children from one to five years. They will study the nutritional guidelines and requirements for children from birth to five years old and will then investigate and develop feeding solutions for children from birth to five years. This includes a practical where they will choose a child to prepare food for or a baby to prepare a bottle for. This will be completed under observation. 

Health & Social Care

Students will look at how to assess scenes of accidents within the first aid unit. They will learn a variety of first aid procedures for a range of injuries. They will be required to demonstrate all first aid procedures in a simulated situation and will then evaluate their own performance. Students should also complete a Basic First Aid certificate, a Paediatric First Aid certificate and an AED certificate as enrichment during year 11.

Assessment plan for year 11

This is the assessment plan for all subjects in year 11.  Students will be notified by their teacher in advance of any assessment.  Assessment grades will be used to inform school reports.  The curriculum overview for the year can be found below.

Year 11 plan.pdf