What is included in the Key Stage 4 curriculum?

In Key Stage 4 the core curriculum accounts for 60% of curriculum time and the technical curriculum accounts for 40%. In Key Stage 4, the curriculum is weighted towards a core programme of learning.

Students will build a solid foundation of knowledge and skills leading to GCSE qualifications.

The curriculum will be designed to make sure that all students (with the exception of those for whom a smaller programme is more appropriate) take eight eligible qualifications for the Progress 8 performance measure.


Core Subjects

All students will learn the Core curriculum subjects of English Language and Literature, Mathematics, Double Science, Computer Science and Physical Education. All students will have access to CPD, which comprises Religious Education alongside Personal, Social, Health and Economic education. All students will complete engineering courses in line with the UTC’s specialism, beginning with BTEC Engineering at Level 2 in Year 10, supplemented with additional courses in Year 11. Core learning will not take place in isolation but will increasingly be integrated with technical learning and set in the context of engineering in the building and/or health sectors. Unusually for a school, students will be given opportunities to sit professional qualifications normally reserved for adults in employment, including Microsoft Office, Adobe and Autodesk qualifications.

  • English Language
  • English Literature
  • Mathematics
  • Core and Additional Science
  • Computer Science
  • PE & Sport
  • Continuous Professional Development
  • BTEC Certificate in Engineering


GCSE Options

The curriculum has been designed to offer a broad, balanced education focused around technical subjects and the development of employability skills. Unlike most traditional schools, students will not have access to a wide range of optional subjects initially. Rather, the curriculum offers a pathway into further technical education with the development of academic and practical skills which will benefit students as they progress towards university, employment or training.

Students will not be taught modern foreign languages as part of their timetabled curriculum. However the UTC will offer language courses as part of the enrichment programme, and many students will community languages will be supported to access GCSEs.

All students at the UTC will sit at least eight GCSE or equivalent qualifications, ensuring they are able to meet the entry criteria for 6th form provision both at the UTC and elsewhere. All students will complete sufficient qualifications to be able to achieve positive outcomes in the new Attainment 8 and Progress 8 performance measures.

BTEC Courses

High-quality vocational courses are central to the curriculum offer at South Bank Engineering UTC. At Key Stage 4, all students will follow at least one of the high-status BTEC courses. Designed to meet the needs of employers, BTEC qualifications are work-related qualifications for learners taking their first steps into employment, progressing through their careers or planning to enter university.

Students will spend significant curriculum time in Year 10 completing work on their BTEC Extended Certificate in Engineering. This hands-on course will give our learners opportunities to develop their knowledge, skills and understanding of engineering. Students will use a range of practical equipment and have access to our employers through this course, which is a GCSE equivalent course equal to thee GCSEs. Students will use ICT including CAD (Computer-Aided Design) to enhance their studies.

In addition to the BTEC Extended Certificate, our learners will benefit from additional courses into Year 11. These will include highly engaging, specialist courses such as TLM Smart Product Design, equivalent to one further GCSE.



Our UTC recognises the importance of PE, Sport and Health within the curriculum. These will not be taught in isolation but will be related to the UTC’s specialism wherever possible. Students will be encouraged not only to learn about healthy living and healthy lifestyles but also to adopt these within their own lives. This will include both physical exercise within sport and PE at Key Stage 4 and will also embrace the development of positive approaches to emotional and mental health and wellbeing, including an appropriate worklife balance and developing personal interests through the enrichment programme.