At BBA we offer a broad and balanced curriculum that allows all pupils the opportunity to develop their own interests and expertise. Our curriculum allows all pupils to become:

  • successful learners who enjoy studying and achieve the qualifications that will allow them to progress to the next stage in their education
  • aware of topical issues that affect them and others within society
  • tolerant and accepting of all members of their community and beyond including celebrating cultural diversity
  • confident in working independently or as in a team with the ability to lead others
  • responsible citizens who make a positive contribution to society
  • able to understand the importance of health and safety in each stage of their lives

We operate a one week timetable with 5 lessons that are 1 hour in length. In addition there are enrichment opportunities after school each day ranging from academic support to broader interests like sport, the arts and the Duke of Edinburgh scheme.

The curriculum that we offer at Bluecoat Beechdale Academy reflects its learners; it is diverse, vibrant and driven by a desire for success. It equips our students with the necessary knowledge, skills and confidence to succeed throughout their time at the Academy and excel in the next steps in their educational journey, be that at the Sixth Form, college, university, apprenticeship or employment.

We operate a 2 year key stage 3 (Years 7 & 8) and a 3 year key stage 4 (Years 9 – 11) meaning that pupils make their option choices in Year 8. We believe that this gives pupils more time to develop the skills necessary to be successful in their courses. Pupils get to choose from a variety of academic and vocational courses and all receive detailed individual advice and guidance to ensure that they choose the right options for them.

At the start of Year 9, students personalise their curriculum by choosing options which include a wide range of GCSE and Vocational courses. Assessment in these courses takes place in a variety of forms including assignments during the course and public examinations at the end of Key Stage 4. All subjects and qualifications are carefully selected to provide the best possible range of opportunities for our students and provide a platform for continued study after they leave us.

All pupils in each year group also receive 1 period of PSHE each week delivered by their form tutor. This is on a rolling program and so takes the place of a different period each week. The PSHE program has a variety of strands which are delivered to every year group and these include: British Values and Citizenship, Sex and Relationships; Careers; Health and Wellbeing; Drugs Education; Learning to Learn. Further details and timings can be found on the PSHE webpage.

KS3 (Years 7 & 8)

At KS3 the majority of pupils follow the same curriculum. In all subjects pupils will be taught in tutor groups and, in Year 7, often in their tutor room, minimising the need for movement around the school site. The time allocated for each subject is as follows:

English5 periods
Maths4 periods
Science3 periods
Humanities3 periods
MFL2 periods
Technology2 periods
PE2 periods
IT1 period
Music1 period
Drama1 period
Total24 periods

KS4 (Years 9 – 11)

At key stage 4 pupils follow a core curriculum of English (Language and Literature), Mathematics, Science, an EBACC option (Geography, History or Modern Foreign Language) and core PE. In addition pupils also choose a 2 further options from the following: a second EBACC option (Geography, History or Modern Foreign Language), Art & Design, Drama, Computer Science, Food Preparation and Nutrition, Music, Design & Technology, Sport, IT, Childcare, Hairdressing and Business Studies. Further details on all courses can be found below and on the individual subject webpages.

The lessons are allocated as follows:

English4 periods
Maths4 periods
Science5 periods
PE2 periods
Option 1 (Ebacc)3 periods
Option 23 periods
Option 33 periods
Total24 periods

Core Curriculum

The core curriculum consists of GCSEs in English Language, English Literature, Mathematics, Science (either double award or single sciences) and an Ebacc qualification (Geography, History or a Modern Foreign Language). All students will initially study the same content for Science, which will lead to two GCSE qualifications. During Year 9 those who have shown an aptitude for the subject will be study the subject in more depth and achieve an extra GCSE. This means that, if successful, a pupil will leave with minimum of 6 GCSEs or equivalent qualifications just from the core curriculum and those with an aptitude for Science will leave with 7.

CourseExam Board
English LanguageAQA
English LiteratureEdexcel
Combined ScienceOCR
Biology, Chemistry, PhysicsOCR

New GCSE Equivalent Qualification for all students:

From January 2019 we are going to deliver OCR Sport Science to all Year 9 students in order to get all BBA students a 9th GCSE-equivalent qualification. OCR Sport Science can be delivered with minimum impact on current practical PE lessons however elements of the course will need to be delivered in the classroom. Students will have to produce coursework that will be collected in each week and used to create a bank of work for the qualification.

We also hope that our decision to elevate the status of Core PE will go some way to address concerns around health, wellbeing and indeed childhood obesity in Nottingham. The House of Commons Library Briefing Paper Number 3336, 20 March 2018 entitled ‘Obesity Statistics’  states that “Children living in deprived areas are more likely to be overweight and obese than those in less deprived areas”. Sadly, the same briefing states that obesity rates among children aged 10-11 have risen in the most deprived areas in the last decade. Nottingham ranks 4th out of 326 districts (down from 10th in 2010) in England of Income Deprivation Affecting Children (IDACI), with Nottingham the most deprived of all of the core cities, including Manchester and Liverpool.

Obesity Statistics

Nottingham City – Income Deprivation Affecting Children

Nottingham City – Obesity Levels


All pupils study 3 options subjects in Key Stage 4, one of which has to be an Ebacc qualification. The only requirement we have is that all pupils choose one of Geography, History or a Modern Foreign Language to study at GCSE. They may of course choose more than one of these and those thinking of going to university are advised to seriously consider doing so. Beyond this, we believe in giving students a free choice but with the following in mind; this is the first step on the road and it is important that all children choose subjects that will provide them with the best opportunities for their future. For some pupils it will be more suitable to study a vocational qualification, which can lead more directly to a career in that area.

The list below shows all of the subjects that we currently offer and the examination boards:

CourseExamination Board
GCSE GeographyEdexcel
GCSE Computer ScienceOCR
Btec ArtEdexcel
Btec Business StudiesEdexcel
NCFE Child Development and CareNCFE
GCSE Design and TechnologyAQA
Btec Digital Information TechnologyEdexcel
NCFE Food and CookeryNCFE
VTCT Hairdressing and Beauty TherapyVTCT
Btec Health and Social CareEdexcel
Btec Performing ArtsEdexcel
Btec SportEdexcel
CourseExamination Board

If you would like more information about the curriculum please contact our Assistant Principal Mr A Freestone on afreestone@bluecoatbeechdale.uk.com

Contact Us

Bluecoat Beechdale Academy
Harvey Rd
NG8 3GP (for Sat Nav purposes please use: NG8 3BB)

E-mail: admin@bluecoatbeechdale.uk.com
Tel: 0115 913 5211

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