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Our Curriculum

Forest Pathway College provides 2 separate programmes of study:

1. A one year GCSE programme;

2. An entry level programme for students needing to develop their English language skills whilst also studying other subjects like Maths, Science and ICT at entry level or sometimes above.

For a minority of pupils we also offer bespoke study programmes e.g. for students who haven't previously learnt to read or who need a wider range of practical learning to develop their social and employability skills.

The subjects a student will study depends on which class they are in.  This in turn depends primarily on their level of English. The following is a list of subjects offered by class.


Class 1

Class 2

Class 3

Class 4

Citizenship GCSE


Computer Science GCSE (optional)


Creative Arts

English (ESOL/Functional Skills)

English Language GCSE


English Literature GCSE


Geography GCSE (optional)


ICT Functional Skills

Maths Entry Level (Entry Level Certificate/Functional Skills)


Maths GCSE


Modern Foreign Language1 (optional)


PSHE & British Values

Science Entry Level



Science GCSE (double award i.e. 2 GCSEs)



  1. Modern foreign languages (MFL) are not timetabled and are mainly open to pupils who already have some facility in the language and want to demonstrate that by taking an external exam.  We are able to offer advice on what the exam entails and we have access to Rosetta Stone, an on-line language learning programme, that can be used to brush up on basic skills or even learn a new language. Please note that many MFL's involve being able to follow instructions in English and sometimes provide answers in English e.g. translating from the target language into English.  This can mean that if a student has very limited English even if they are fluent in the MFL they may not be able to achieve a high grade at GCSE.
  2. We are not always able to offer conventional sporting activities every week but we endeavour to provide as much physical activity as possible and provide access to sporting activities as often as possible.

Organisation into Classes

Pupils are put into class according to their level of English.

Class 1

Entry Level 3/Level 1 or above

Class 2

Entry Level 2/Entry Level 3

Class 3

Entry Level 1/Entry Level 2

Class 4

Pre-entry/Entry Level 1

Where a level appears against more than one class pupils at the upper end of the level are allocated to the higher class and those at the lower end to the lower class.

Access to GCSE's

Pupils in class 1 can take 6 GCSE's with the option to self-study for a Modern Foreign Language (MFL).  For students who have a particular interest in other subjects e.g. History, Religious Studies etc. there may also be the opportunity to self-study for additional GCSE's under the guidance of our deputy head. However, parents are advised that doing this is a big commitment especially if your child didn’t study the subject in year 10.  The reason we do 6 GCSE's is to try to ensure the children have adequate study time both in school and at home to get the grades they need to move on to college at the highest level possible.  If they get the grades students will be able to access A Levels with 6 GCSE's.

Pupils in class 2 can take 4 GCSE's - Maths, English and Science (2 GCSE's) - with the option to also take the exam in Citizenship.  They also have the option to self-study for a Modern Foreign Language.

Pupils in class 3 have the option to take Maths GCSE and the option to self-study for a Modern Foreign Language.

Pupils in class 4 do not take GCSE's and do not normally have a sufficient level of English to attempt the Modern Foreign Language exams.


Students in class 1 will have the choice to take Geography or Computer Science as one of their GCSE's.

Access to Entry Level Exams and Functional Skills Exams

Entry level exams are available in English (Literacy and ESOL), Maths, ICT and Science.  The functional skills exams in ICT and Literacy are also available at Levels 1 and 2 so pupils can demonstrate their ability at a higher level in these subjects even if they are not taking GCSE.

Pupils in class 1 will take ICT functional skills at the highest level possible. They may also sometimes take functional skills exams in other subjects in addition to their GCSE exams.

Pupils in class 2 will take functional skills exams in ICT and Literacy/ESOL at the highest level possible.  Where a student is very weak in Maths or enters the school very late in the academic year they may also take the Entry Level Certificate in Mathematics or functional skills in Maths.

Pupils in class 3 take entry level exams in Maths, Literacy, ESOL, ICT and Science. Level 1 and 2 exams are also available where appropriate except in Science. Pupils expected to get a grade in Maths equivalent to level 1 or above do not need to take the entry level exam in Maths.

Pupils in class 4 take entry level exams in Maths, Literacy, ESOL and ICT.

All students are also expected to gain a qualification in Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) at the appropriate level.  The levels range from Entry 1 through to Level 2 and the level they take will normally be determined by their level of English.

Entry level exams are qualifications for students not yet ready for GCSE and provide stepping stones to move on to the next level.  Students who obtain Entry Level 3 qualifications whilst at FPC normally go on to study the subject of their choice at college at Level 1.  Students who don’t reach Entry Level 3 will normally be expected to undertake further English language courses when they move on to college. If your child is not doing GCSE's striving to achieve Entry Level 3 is very important for their future studies.