North Star Academy


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


Year 10 & 11 – PSHE

Course Description: PSHE includes Personal, Social, Health education with Careers and Citizenship. The course references Religious studies through our SMSC programme and PSHE focus. At Key Stage 4, pupils build on the skills, attitudes, values, knowledge and understanding they have acquired and developed during Years 7, 8 and 9. PSHE 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 such as resilience, self-esteem, risk-management, 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 aspects of careers education).

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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 the PiXL Maths App and receive regular homework in preparation for their exams. There are also weekly extra-curricular revision sessions for pupils to receive extra support before sitting their GCSE.

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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.

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Key stage 4 – Art

Specification: Name –        Art & Design Board –        AQA Code –         8201

Assessment of Course Portfolio – 60% of total marks 10 hour exam – 40% of total marks

Course Content You will have the opportunity to explore a number of different ideas and materials as you follow set themes. It is expected that you will develop the skills and processes that you have already tried in earlier years in KS3 as well as trying out new, exciting ideas and developing these with new materials and techniques.

Most of the course is taken up with developing your coursework portfolio. This allows you to explore interests in the subject and experiment with a wide range of art processes and materials, creating exciting and individual responses. You will also link your practical work with the study or artists, designers and craftspeople.

You will produce a portfolio selected from work undertaken during the course. This unit is worth 60% of your total marks. You will be required to produce a personal response from one starting point provided within the exam paper. This consists of a period of preparatory time and a 10 hour exam. Papers will be issued to you from 1 January in the year of your examination. This is worth 40% of your total marks.


NCFE Level 2 Certificate in Food and Cookery

The NCFE Level 2 Certificate in Food and Cookery is a Technical Awards and the vocational equivalent of GCSE qualifications. It is aimed at 14-16 year olds studying their Key Stage 4 curriculum who are interested in any aspect of food and cookery and in the context of cooking for health.

The qualification focuses on an applied study of the food and cookery sector and learners will gain a broad understanding and knowledge of working in the sector. The qualifications have been designed to sit alongside the requirements of core GCSE subjects and are appropriate for learners who are motivated and challenged by learning through hands-on experiences and through content which is concrete and related directly to those experiences.

This Level 2 qualification is appropriate for learners who are looking to develop a significant core of knowledge and understanding and apply that knowledge in preparing and producing dishes.

The award is assessed through a combination of coursework and exam.

Pearson BTEC Level 2 Award in Home Cooking Skills

Learners will develop their cooking skills by exploring recipes for nutritious meals. Each recipe is underpinned with knowledge about planning and sourcing food, hygiene and food safety. How to cook different elements of a meal to serve them at the same time are considered. The importance of presenting food well and how this contributes to its enjoyment is reflected on in this Award. Ways to economise when shopping for ingredients and cooking meals at home are significant aspects of this Award.

Learners will demonstrate their skills by selecting recipes for a nutritious two course meal and following the recipes to prepare, cook and present the meal. This Award aims to give learners the skills and confidence to enjoy cooking meals at home, to apply skills to new recipes to continue cooking for themselves and their families and to inspire others.

This Award is assessed by coursework and a final practical assessment. The Award is equivalent to half a GCSE.

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Information and Communications Technology has become an integral part of our everyday lives and is becoming more so as our smart phones, tablets and computers gain additional features. We can now have internet connected devices in our homes which enable us to control our home heating, lighting and appliances from anywhere in the world.  Understanding this technology and being able to make the most of the benefits it brings is becoming essential.  This need for skills and understanding also applies to virtually every workplace and further education course and for these reasons it is important to provide a comprehensive and robust ICT curriculum in school.

Key Stage 4 - ICT

In years 10 and 11, we follow the TLM IT User Skills level 1 and level 2 courses.

These courses are unit based and build upon the work done in KS3. Students complete projects in a range of units, some of which can be chosen to suit individual interests and abilities.  Each project has a specific and detailed range of performance criteria through which we ensure that every student develops a secure range of skills and understanding and is able to apply them in realistic scenarios.

After completion of the coursework projects at each level, there is an online examination which tests the students’ knowledge and understanding of how technology improves productivity and impacts on society.

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This GCSE in Physical Education will equip students with the knowledge, understanding, skills and values they need to be able to develop and maintain their performance in physical activities. Students will also gain understanding of how physical activities benefit health, fitness and well-being. Qualification aims and objectives The aims and objectives of this qualification are to enable students to:

  • develop theoretical knowledge and understanding of the factors that underpin physical activity and sport and use this knowledge and understanding to improve performance
  • understand how the physiological and psychological state affects performance in physical activity and sport
  • perform effectively in different physical activities by developing skills and techniques and selecting and using tactics, strategies and/or compositional ideas
  • develop their ability to analyse and evaluate to improve performance in physical activity and sport
  • understand the contribution that physical activity and sport make to health, fitness and well-being
  • understand the key socio-cultural influences that can affect people’s involvement in physical activity and sport.