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Broad, Balanced & Relevant

Our Curriculum 

At Altrincham College, we pride ourselves on providing our students with a curriculum which is broad, deep, balanced and relevant to each of our learners.

The curriculum on offer is flexible enough to allow individuals to follow their own bespoke programmes of study so that they can achieve the best possible outcome when they leave us. We have also ensured that an array of extra-curricular activities are on offer to enrich and supplement the main curriculum.

KS3 Curriculum Overview

The Altrincham College curriculum is organised into a two-week timetable fifty hour-long lessons, offering a broad and balanced curriculum at Key Stage 3.

This gives students the opportunity to achieve their full potential, and make as much progress as possible.

The following subjects are taught across each year of the key stage:

English Mathematics Science Geography
History ICT PE/Sport RE
Art Music Drama PSHE
MFL* Technology*
*MFL – The French and Spanish programmes rotate on an annual basis.
*Technology – includes Food and Textiles

Students are initially placed in mixed ability form groups, with ability setting for Maths introduced after the first half term in Year 7. 

As students move through the school, setting becomes the norm enabling them to be set challenging and extending work; in line with their academic potential.

*PE, PSHE and Technology continue to be taught in mixed ability groups.

Teaching group sizes are usually no more than 30 in Year 7, and Year 8 and 23 from Year 9 on wards.

     No. of periods
Key Stage 3 Subjects Yr 7 Yr 8 Yr 9
English 7 8 8
Maths 8 8 8
Science 5 5 8
PE 4 4 3
MFL 4 4 3
Geography 4 4 3.5
History 4 4 3.5
PSHE 1 1 1
RE 1 1 1
Technology 3 3 3
ICT 2 2 2
Art 2 2 2
Drama 2 2 2
Music 2 2 2
Literacy 1 - -






KS4 Curriculum Overview

The curriculum is organised into a two-week timetable of fifty hour-long lessons.

At Key Stage 4 students are guided to follow one of 3 curriculum pathways, enabling students of all abilities, aptitudes and interests to achieve and be highly successful.

For each pathway, students will follow both a core compulsory curriculum, as well as selecting 3 or 4 options from a wide range of subjects (depending on their chosen pathway).

PATHWAY 1 An academic GCSE route leading to the English Baccalaureate, where some students are guided to take this option. 
PATHWAY 2 An academic GCSE route where the English Baccalaureate is optional.
PATHWAY 3 Combines academic GCSEs with a limited number of vocational courses. Students can still follow the English Baccalaureate.

All pathways are designed to enable students to achieve nine or more GCSEs at grades 9-1 (this system replaces the old grading system of A*-G) GCSE passes or equivalent.

Students have the opportunity to select courses directly suited to their interests and aspirations which, in turn, promotes high standards of achievement and engagement.


Key Stage 4 Compulsory Curriculum:   

English English Literature Maths Science
PE/Sport PSHE/Careers/RE

Key Stage 4 option subjects include:                     

GCSE Art & Design GCSE Art Graphics GCSE Art Textiles
GCSE Business Studies BTEC Music Technology GCSE Child Development
GCSE Computer Science GCSE Drama GCSE Food Preparation & Nutrition
GCSE French/Spanish GCSE Further Additional Science GCSE Geography
GCSE History NCFE Business & Enterprise BTEC Creative Digital Media
GCSE Music GCSE PE Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award
GCSE RE GCSE Citizenship

Subject Timetable - Allocations:

     No. of periods
Key Stage 4 Subjects Pathway 1 Pathway 2 Pathway 3
English 8 8 8
Maths 8 8 8
Science 10 10 10
Sport 2 2 2
History/Geography 6 6 6
Options 16 16 16
Total 50 50 50

Key Stage 5:

In 2011, the school secured funding for a new £6 million Sixth Form Centre which serves both our own and external students. Initially, student numbers were low (35 in the first Year 12 cohort) but year on year we have increased our Sixth Form intake, culminating in our higher number on roll in the current Year 12: eighty students in September 2019.

The curriculum offer is bespoke and designed around individual student’s skills, interests and progression routes. Creative planning, by experienced Senior Leaders responsible for designing the timetable, enables the majority of students to study all of their chosen subjects.

The programme of study is very unique to Altrincham College and offers students different pathways:

Pathway 1 Pathway 2 Pathway 3
3 A Levels BTEC Level 3 (Equivalent of 3 A Levels) Combination of A Levels & BTEC Vocationsl Courses

Each A Level or single BTEC qualification has a time allocation of ten hours over a two week timetable.

A Level Vocational Courses
Maths Media Studies (1 A Level equivalent)
English Language Media Studies (3 A Level equivalent)
English Literature Art & Design (1 A Level equivalent)
Biology Fashion & Clothing (2 A Level equivalent)
Chemistry Sport (1 A Level equivalent)
Physics Sport (2 A Level equivalent)
Business Studies Business Studies
French or Spanish  

Core Maths is offered in addition to the above course and is equivalent to 1 AS Level.

Underpinning the academic learning is a structured enrichment programme of study that covers a wide variety of topics relevant to a students' current studies and to preparing them for university or the "world of work".