North Star Academy

Reshaping the future

Google Classroom Instructions



I would like to welcome back all of our returning and new key stage 4 pupils to a new academic year after what I hope has been a restful break. Years 10 and 11 are very much at the business end of their secondary education and it is essential that they are arriving at school ready to learn and do their best each day. Myself and my staff are passionate about providing the students the very best education we can to help them achieve their personal best. We are also committed pastorally, supporting each and every student ensuring they develop not just academically but as a well-rounded person to give them the platform to go on and achieve after Bristol Gateway.

To help this process we are introducing a new subject to our curriculum called Preparing for Adulthood (PfA). This subject is aimed at providing pupils with careers education, how they can maintain and improve their well-being and health as well as learn about qualities and skills such as leadership, organisation, resilience, initiative and communication.

We also have exciting changes to curriculum with science now being added back to the curriculum for Years 10 and 11 and a new qualification called ASDAN which aims to develop knowledge and skills for learning, work and life.

I believe working collaboratively and building positive relationships between school and home is one of the keys to the success of our students. I am very much looking forward to working with all the parents and carers this year in ensuring students can reach their full potential

Lastly, I would like to congratulate pupils who gained their exam results this summer. Overall there were some very pleasing results with all pupils gaining qualifications to go onto the next stage of their education.

Rob Dickins

Head of Key Stage 4

Mathematics Department

At Bristol Gateway School, we aim to ensure that all pupils develop an enjoyment of maths and gains fluency in the basic areas with mathematical skills that will allow them to succeed in day-to-day life. At the same time, more able pupils are stretched and challenged as they work towards GCSE.  All pupils are encouraged to recognise the importance of maths and work towards a suitable qualification.

Key Stage 4 - Maths

Pupils in KS4 (including able year 9s) follow a 2- or 3-year scheme of learning that leads to a GCSE qualification (Edexcel exam board) which they sit at either Foundation or Higher tier. Pupils are taught subject content which is regularly tested through PiXL papers; these are GCSE style questions that allow practice and application of skills learned.  As in KS3, learning is tracked by staff so that teaching is differentiated to ensure that gaps in knowledge can be targeted and filled.

Pupils who need support in working towards this firstly work towards a Functional Skills Qualification in order to develop their confidence and basic skills. These pupils are enrolled on the BKSB website which allows pupils to work through content at their own level.

In year 11, pupils are encouraged to use past papers and online resources and receive regular homework in preparation for their exams. There are also weekly extra-curricular revision sessions on offer for pupils to receive extra support before sitting their GCSE.

For more information contact:

English Department

Key Stage 4 - English

Specification Name –        GCSE English Language Board –        AQA Code –  8700

Assessment of Course There are two formal examinations worth 100% at the end of the course. AQA has developed two equally-balanced papers, each assessing reading and writing in an integrated way. The first exam is focused on fiction whilst the second explores non-fiction articles. The final grade is awarded for students’ performance in the examinations.

Course Content This English Language specification is designed to inspire and motivate students, providing appropriate stretch and challenge, whilst ensuring that the assessment and texts are accessible to all students. Students will develop the skills they need to read, understand and analyse a wide range of different texts and write clearly.

What will I study on this course? You will explore creative reading and writing and writers’ viewpoints and perspectives. In order to gain accreditation you will be required to complete both papers. 

Where can I receive help? For additional support, Bristol Gateway has extended learning sessions after school and one to one support during the day.

For more information contact:

Art Department

GCSE Art and Design 

A GCSE art and design aims to provide students with a wide range of creative and exciting opportunity to explore areas of interest within art. The course consists of a two-unit specification Unit 1 is a Personal Portfolio,this component is worth 60% of the GCSE. Students will produce a portfolio of work based on coursework from a variety of starting points set by the teacher over a two-year period . Unit 2 an externally Set Assignment, this component is worth 40% of a GCSE. Students will produce preparatory studies and personal outcome based on a theme set by the examiners. 

A GCSE in art and design enables students to develop their ability to actively engage in the learning cycle of art and design.  

Through four Assessment objectives:  

AO1: Develop ideas through investigations, demonstrating critical understanding of sources. 

AO2: Refine work by exploring ideas, selecting and experimenting with appropriate media, materials, techniques and processes.  

AO3: Record ideas, observations and insights relevant to intentions as work progresses. 

AO4: Present a personal and meaningful response that realises intentions and demonstrates understanding of visual language 

Catering Department

Catering Curriculum Intent

We believe that food is a basic requirement of life and should be shared and enjoyed. Catering taught at BGS has been developed to enable pupils to learn how to cook a range of dishes safely and hygienically and to use their knowledge of nutrition to make healthy, tasty food. Students will also learn to consider the factors that affect food choice, food availability and food waste.

We have to following aims for every student in BGS

  • Pupils will develop a love of fresh, home cooked food;
  • Pupils will develop their knowledge and understanding of ingredients;
  • Pupils will develop a knowledge and understanding of healthy eating;
  • Pupils will develop food preparation and cooking techniques;
  • Pupils will be able to use their knowledge to make informed food choices;
  • Pupils will gain an awareness of the social, economic and cultural aspects of food choice.

In Year 9 students can pick catering as one of their options in KS4. In KS4 they will work towards the Level 1 or 2 BTEC Level 1 or 2 Award in Food and Cookery or NCFE Level 2 Certificate in Food and Cookery.

BTEC Level 1 or 2 Award in Food and Cooking are Specialist qualifications. About 90% of lesson time is spent cooking. BTEC Specialist qualifications are work-related qualifications available from Entry to Level 3 in a range of sectors. They give learners the knowledge, understanding and skills they need to prepare for employment in a specific occupational area.

The Pearson BTEC Level 1 and Level 2 Awards in Home Cooking Skills have been developed to give learners the opportunity to develop:

  • The knowledge, understanding and confidence to cook meals at home.
  • An understanding of how to economise when planning a meal.
  • An ability to transfer skills learned to different recipes.
  • An ability to inspire others by transferring that knowledge.

NCFE Level 2 Certificate in Food and Cookery is a more academically demanding course. Students will spend 30-40% of their time cooking and 60% of their time learning about food and nutrition in the classroom.

Qualification purpose

This qualification is designed for learners with an interest in food and cookery. It will provide learners with experience of using different cooking skills and methods to enable them to use these within further education or apprenticeships. It will give them a basic understanding of the skills required for a career in food.

This qualification will:

  • focus on an applied study of the food and cookery sector
  • offer breadth and depth of study, incorporating a significant core of knowledge and theoretical content with broad-ranging applicability
  • Provide opportunities to acquire a number of practical and technical skills.

The objective of this qualification is to:

  • prepare and cook using basic skills
  • understand food and its functions in the body and in recipes
  • understand balanced diets and modification of recipes for health
  • plan and produce dishes for a purpose

For more information contact:

ICT Department

The IT curriculum at BGS

The curriculum at Bristol Gateway School is designed around the futures of our learners. It is vitally important for us to mirror society and therefore develop innovative curriculum ideas in order to engage our learners to achieve successful outcomes.

Our computing curriculum at Bristol Gateway School can be divided into 7 inter-related strands.         

Using the internet

The internet is at the core of our lives and therefore it is of paramount importance that our pupils develop the skills in which to use this safely, effectively and appropriately. Our learners will understand the real-world applications of the internet, and the ability to apply this to everyday life and tasks that they may be given in future education and employment.

Using a computer 

The computer is a device that has had a decrease in use over the last few decades due to the development of mobile phone technology. However, having the ability to use a computer still extremely important. For our learners, it is vitally important for us to equip them with, at least, the basic skills in order to competently and independently complete tasks. This reflects our learners next steps in their lives. Pupils will engage with activities in which they will learn the components of computers and also activities in which they will develop their skills when on a computer.

Communicating and Collaborating On-line

We have never been in an era in which having the ability to communicate and collaborate online has been so important in our lives. From being able to message a friend or video call them, to being able to complete projects collaboratively with someone else around the world, we ,at Bristol Gateway School, learn the fundamentals in which this can be achieved both effectively, appropriately and safely.

Creating and Publishing

One of the most important aspects of the curriculum is for our learners to be creative with technology and explore its potential. The curriculum is solely designed around our learner’s futures. Therefore it is fundamental that they are given real-world tasks to complete and explore. From designing a presentation about themselves, to being able to set up a spreadsheet for finances and designing a website for a new business, our learners will explore a broad curriculum with opportunities for them to create and inspire.

Digital Media

In the ever-growing world of technology, it is important for our pupils to develop skills that they can apply to their real-world situations. Therefore, At Bristol Gateway School, we give our learners the opportunity to explore photo manipulation software. This is applicable to all our learner’s lives. Whether our learners are keen on magazines, posters or gaming, this can be applied to all. There are also opportunities for pupils to engage with video editing software.

Modelling and Simulations

Reflecting society is at the heart of the curriculum, being able to demonstrate the key skills that will enable our learners to be successful after Bristol Gateway School is our aim. Throughout the curriculum, our learners will be given tasks, just as they would in real life situations to prepare them for future education and employment.

Using Data

Having the ability to use data effectively is a really difficult skill. Our lives are driven by numbers, and most importantly giving our learners the ability to use software that they may need to use when they leave Bristol Gateway School. The skills they will develop over their time at this school will enable them to competently and confidently apply this to future education, employment and daily life.

For more information contact:

PE Department

Covid-19 Update: Student and Parent Access to PE information can be found via this link 


What will you learn?

Cambridge National in Sport Science helps students appreciate how sport science underpins sport at all levels. You will learn about anatomy, physiology, injury prevention, improving personal fitness through appropriate training and diet, and the role of psychology in improving performance.

How does the course work?

You will study FOUR units. TWO compulsory units, and TWO optional units. The current units offered at Bristol Gateway are;

RO41: Risk of Injury (exam).

This is the only externally examined unit.

RO42: Applying the Principle of Training (coursework).

This unit includes a 6-week gym training program and understanding how your body will adapt to the training.

RO43: Body’s response to Physical Activity (coursework).

This unit is where you will study Anatomy & Physiology and get a real understanding of how the body works, and how it is applied to exercise.

RO45: Nutrition (coursework).

This unit is about learning nutrition and how it can be adapted to improve sporting performance.

Each of the 4 units are worth 60marks. Dependant on your total marks, will depend on what level of award you achieve. This course is GCSE equivalent and grades will be awarded as follows;

  • Level 1 Pass
  • Level 1 Merit
  • Level 1 Distinction
  • Level 2 Pass
  • Level 2 Merit
  • Level 2 Distinction
  • Level 2 Distinction*

What next?

This course will allow continued progression in sport during post-16, either in A-Level PE, BTEC Level 3 PE, or Cambridge Nationals Technical in Sport.

For more information contact:

 Preparing for Adulthood

Key Stage 4 – Preparing for Adulthood:

Course Description: Preparing for adulthood includes Personal, Social, Health education with Careers and Citizenship. The subjects allows pupils to develop the knowledge, skills and attributes they need to keep themselves healthy and safe, and prepare for life and work in modern Britain. It aims to develop skills and knowledge such as resilience, self-esteem, employability, teamwork and critical thinking in the context of learning grouped into three core themes: health and wellbeing, relationships and living in the wider world (including economic wellbeing and careers education).

  • Wellbeing – To support young people to take responsibility for their health and wellbeing, twice a week during tutor time pupils will explore three key areas of their wellbeing: My Mind, My Life, My Health. These three areas are broken down further into four topics which include nutrition, lifestyle, personal growth, mind-set and self-management.
  • LORIC - Education and industry partners, including the CBI and the National Careers Service have produced lists of desirable qualities for the workplace and the 5 attributes - Leadership, Organisation, Resilience, Initiative and Communication - were selected as the most representative skills across all the research. LORIC resources are focused on developing these 5 key attributes using PIXL EDGE.
  • Employability – Providing the learning of career and labour market information, but also (through undertaking activities relating to this field) other elements of the Gatsby Benchmarks. Pupils will learn topics such as skills in the workplace, competitive advantage, CV Writing and future careers opportunities.
  • WEX – During Key Stage 4, all pupils will participate in meaningful encounters with employers in line with Gatsby Benchmark 5. The length and depth of these encounters will depend upon each individual pupil’s needs. Each pupil will complete a log book to foster reflection on their experience as well as keep a record for later use for college and job applications.
  • Orate – Oracy is a key life skill which is often forgotten about. There is a need for an increased focus on speaking and listening skill development, particularly in SEN. Oracy sessions supports the development of verbal and nonverbal communication that will be so crucial for students in later life. Topics include body language, summarising, speaking in turn and elements of a good speaking voice, amongst others.
  • Post 16 – Pupils will be guided through their choosing and application process for their post 16 destination. This will also include visits to open days/evenings at post 16 provisions and transition days once a place has been confirmed.
  • RSE – In line with statutory requirements, relationship and sex education will be taught to Key Stage 4. This will be delivered in term 2 in line with the whole school PSHE long term plan.

For more information contact:

Vocational Studies


ASDAN is an awarding organisation whose curriculum programmes and qualifications help young people develop knowledge and skills for learning, work and life.

The programmes and qualifications are delivered by over 3,000 secondary schools, special schools, colleges, alternative education providers and youth organisations across the UK and in more than 30 countries and territories overseas.

As an school focused on supporting the next generation, we have recognised the need to adapt our offer, innovate and deliver courses that are fit for the future and better serve the contemporary needs of our learners.

The ASDAN vision is to transform life chances through learning by enabling all learners to discover, develop and make full use of their abilities. We do this by promoting personal, social and work-related abilities of learners. We believe that all learners should have the opportunity to discover, develop and make use of their abilities.

Our aim is to:

  • strengthen learners’ academic and vocational education
  • engage and motivate young people
  • prepare learners to access knowledge and skills at work
  • equip students to live well and make good use of their abilities

Throughout key stage 4 (years 10 and 11) students will undertake 4 modules (approximately 20 challenges) and through evidencing their outcomes in a portfolio, will aim to achieve the silver standard of the Personal Development Program.

Challenges are designed to be interesting and fun and will include such activities as orienteering using maps, designing and baking cakes, home management tasks, wildlife studies and motor vehicle maintenance. Field trips and off site activities also include visits to nuclear power plants, water treatment centres and local cultural events.


NCFE Level 1 Certificate in Occupational Studies for the Workplace (601/1088/0)

This qualification is designed for learners in key stage 4 (years 10 and 11). The qualification is intended to be accessible to a wide range of learners of all abilities. Learners can develop a more 'hands on' approach to their learning and gain practical skills, knowledge and understanding in their chosen vocational area(s).

The skills, knowledge and understanding gained may help learners prepare for work through real or simulated work situations and may contribute to preparing them for working life beyond education. The qualification is intended to give learners a solid base from which to further develop their skills and learning.

Students will undertake units in carpentry, bricklaying, motor vehicle mechanics and painting and decorating over a two year period. Skills and knowledge will be gained through construction projects and will involve using tools, machines and equipment under supervision, group work and individual tasks.

For more information contact: