Team members 

Miss Balchin- Head of English

Miss Frearson- Vice Principal

Miss Cronin- Literacy Co-ordinator

Mr Briscoe – Teacher

Mrs Collins- SEN Teacher

Mr Hewitt- Teacher

Ms Shearman- Teacher

Mr Eve- Teacher

Mrs Tuckett- Teacher

Mrs Allsopp- Librarian

Curriculum Overview

The curriculum for English at KS3 aims to develop articulate, confident readers and communicators who are provided with the foundations for an understanding of language: its power to influence change, provoke thought, expose opinion, encourage response and convey meaning. The primary intent for English at Bluecoat Beechdale Academy is to provide a broad and in depth study of culturally rich and important texts for our students that broaden their understanding of the world around them.

Our ultimate at Bluecoat Beechdale is to successfully prepare students for life beyond school and embed the core skills required for any future career, when students leave Beechdale we want them to be:

  • Fluent and critical readers
  • Creative and adaptable writers
  • Confident communicators

Year 7

Students begin their study of English with a transition unit which encourages them to build on their existing knowledge from primary school. They then move on to study ‘War and Conflict’ literature in the form of poetry, non-fiction texts and Michael Morpurgo’s ‘Private Peaceful’ to develop their skills of inference and empathy. They then move on to study a unit which explores ‘Places and Travel’ which aims to build students’ understanding of different cultures, experiences and practices across the globe. Year 7 finish the year with an immersive genre study of the gothic. Students will read the play adaption of ‘Dracula’ and use this as a springboard to study classic 19th century gothic literature.

Year 8

The programme of study in Year 8 begins with the study of the art of rhetoric, students will explore a variety of non-fiction texts based around the use of ethos, logos and pathos and develop an understanding of this form of written and spoken communication. Following this, students will read and analyse how rhetoric has been used in George Orwell’s ‘Animal Farm’ as an example of allegorical literature. They then move on to their genre study which focuses on ‘crime and detective literature’, this unit really tests the students ability to infer and deduce the information to form a confident interpretation of the text. Students then finish the year by studying Shakespeare’s brilliant ‘Romeo and Juliet’; they will read this text in full in order to develop an immersive understanding of Shakespeare and his cautionary tale.

 Year 9

The programme of study in Year 9 begins with their genre study: American Literature. Students will develop an understanding of the influence context can have on a text through the exploration of novel extracts, poetry, non-fiction and songs that influenced American society during a time of conflict and uncertainty; this knowledge with then help develop their reading of John Steinbeck’s ‘Of Mice and Men’. They then move onto an immersive unit based around improving writing skills, students will focus on Dystopian Literature with the aim of creating their own dystopian short story. Year 9 will then study William Shakespeare’s ‘Richard III’ in full in order to practice the skills that will be required of them at GCSE, this play offers an insight into many of the themes students will study at KS4. Year 9 will then finish the year with an introduction to the context of Edwardian England through fiction and non-fiction materials.

Year 10 

AQA English Language

AQA English Literature

In Year 10 students begin their study of English Language and English Literature at GCSE level. We start the year with an introduction to analysing fiction texts as part of the ‘Creative Writing and Reading’ module, students explore a variety of texts through a critical lens and then use their study to inform their creative writing. Following this is the study of J B Priestley’s ‘An Inspector Calls’ where students will grapple with the big ideas of socialism and capitalism and explore how one family can have influence over the lives of so many other people. Next we look at Shakespeare’s ‘Macbeth’ which encourages students to build on their prior learning from KS3 and build on their existing knowledge of Shakespeare’s Kings and their ultimate downfall. Finally, students will explore the Poetry Anthology focusing on the ‘Power and Conflict’ cluster with a brief introduction to Language Paper 2 skills by completing their ‘Spoken Language Assessment’.

Year 11

Students will start Year 11 by completing their 19th Literature study, as a school we focus on Charles Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol’ and encourage students to make connections with the characters and themes they’ve already explored as part of the GCSE. Students then will complete and immersive study of English Language Paper 2 by looking at historical and contemporary non-fiction texts and how viewpoints and perspectives have been shaped and shared through writing. The remainder of Year 11 will be spent revising the various modules in preparation for their summer exams.

Potential careers

Good English skills are essential for all careers, the ability to write well, communicate clearly and read and understand are the basics that employers will expect.

Some careers that English might be particularly helpful include:

Journalist, Writer, Lawyer, Editor, Civil Servant, Acting, Teaching, Human Resources.

Useful links or websites

 GCSE English Language AQA: https://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/english/gcse/english-language-8700

 GCSE English Literature AQA: https://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/english/gcse/english-literature-8702

 BBC Bitesize:

KS3: https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/levels/z4kw2hv

KS4: https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/levels/z98jmp3

Oak National Academy: https://www.thenational.academy/

Project Gutenberg: https://www.gutenberg.org/

Enrichment opportunities:

English offers a wealth of enrichment opportunities:

  • The school library is open every day before and after school, as well as during break and lunchtimes.
  • As part of our partnership with the RSC we have regular workshops during lesson time from page to stage professional artists.

Recent trips we have run in the last two years include:

The Old Vic Theatre: A Christmas Carol

The Nottingham Playhouse Theatre: Skellig

The Royal Shakespeare Company- Macbeth

The National Theatre: Macbeth

Quantum Theatre Company- A Christmas Carol

Theatre Royal Nottingham: Blood Brothers

Theatre Royal Nottingham: National Theatre production of Macbeth


Team Members

Mrs N Haydock – Head of Department

Mr C Brummitt – Teacher

Mr C Hall – Teacher

Miss J Kaur – Teacher

Mr S Tokarski – Teacher

Ms C Wilkinson – Teacher

Mr A Freestone – Assistant Principal

Mrs L Elder – Trust wide Coordinator

General Subject Overview

Our Mathematics curriculum follows a mastery approach that aims for deep and sustainable learning; learning that is rooted in an appreciation of the connectedness of mathematical ideas and based on an understanding of the underlying structures. It emphasises the need to go beyond being able to memorise facts and practise procedures and routines whilst also focusing on the three aims of the National Curriculum: fluency, reasoning and problem solving. Students are encouraged to develop confidence in and a positive attitude towards mathematics and to recognise the importance of mathematics in their own lives and to society. They will also build a strong mathematical foundation for future studies at higher level post-16. The GCSE course in mathematics enables students to acquire, select and apply mathematical techniques to solve problems; reason mathematically, make deductions and inferences and draw conclusions; comprehend, interpret and communicate mathematical information in a variety of forms appropriate to the information and context.

Throughout their time with us, students will also be given the opportunity to engage with various numeracy days and mathematical competitions such as the National Young Mathematicians’ Awards and the UK Mathematics Trust’s Maths Challenges.

Year 7

Number is at the heart of our Year 7 curriculum as this fundamental strand underpins all other areas of their mathematical journey. In Year 7, the curriculum is strongly linked to the KS2 curriculum to enable students to build on their prior learning and connect this to new concepts. Calculator use is discouraged throughout Year 7 to encourage further fluency with the four basic operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. Algebra is used to generalise whenever possible.  Students will spend longer periods of time studying each unit of work to ensure a robust and embedded understanding. Higher attaining students are challenged through depth rather than acceleration onto new content.

Year 8

In Year 8 students build on their knowledge and skills gained from Year 7 and KS2 through learning about how to use bar models to understand proportional relationships. Many more algebraic concepts are introduced to enable links to be established between geometry and algebraic manipulation. Calculator use is encouraged in Year 8 alongside regular opportunities for students to practise their mental Maths when appropriate. Students in Year 8 are also introduced to statistical measures and probability.

Year 9

In Year 9, students are introduced to additional algebraic manipulation, working with polynomials. Following this, students continue their study of coordinate geometry, leading to the application of both in the study of quadratic graphs. Students also spend the time working with more advanced 2D and 3D geometric problems, with focus on angles, construction and congruence before the introduction of Pythagoras’ Theorem and the application of surds. Later, students build on the study of probability in Year 8, with the introduction of Venn Diagrams and Frequency Trees.

Year 10

During Year 10 students build on prior learning from subsequent years to learn about Trigonometry and its applications. Additional algebraic techniques are introduced to provide students with more tools for solving complex problems. Links between circles and triangles are investigated and applied to further coordinate geometry problems. Statistical representations are explored with opportunities for students to analyse data in a variety of ways.

Year 11

Tier decisions are made in Year 11 to ensure that students are thoroughly prepared for their GCSE examination in Mathematics. Higher tier students deepen their existing knowledge and skills by exploring further similarity and congruence, vector geometry and loci problems. Foundation students will have an opportunity to further strength and deepen their understanding and knowledge of the most challenging GCSE concepts including working with quadratics and percentage problems. Following mock examinations, bespoke plans are created to suit the needs of individual classes.

Further Mathematics

Students in Year 10 and 11 are given the opportunity to study Further Mathematics to help the transition of students to Mathematics beyond Year 11. AQA Level 2 Certificate in Further Maths is a unique qualification designed to stretch and challenge high achieving mathematicians who either already have, or are expected to achieve the top grades in GCSE Mathematics or are likely to progress to study A-level Mathematics and possibly Further Mathematics. High-achieving students are introduced to AS topics that will help them develop skills in algebra, geometry, calculus, matrices, trigonometry, functions and graphs.

Potential Careers:

Mathematics can lead into a wide range of careers such as Computer Programming; Financial Analyst; Computer Game Designer; Economist; Architect; Space Scientist; Statistician; Aeronautical Engineer; Product Engineer; Mechanical or Electrical Engineer; Structural Engineer or Accountant.

Useful Links:

AQA Maths GCSE Specification
Bluecoat Maths
Hegarty Maths


Enrichment Opportunities:

We enter some students in the UKMT Maths Challenges. These are national competitions which give our students the opportunity to compete against students of a similar age across the country.


Team Members
Mrs S Afford – Head of Science
Dr E Meredith – Lead Teacher of Science
Dr S Barber – Teacher
Mr S Jayia – Teacher
Miss R Smallwood – Teacher
Ms G Zoeller – Teacher
Miss A List – Teacher

Curriculum Overview

The Science Curriculum at Archway Learning Trust will encourage an enjoyment of Science, promote a natural curiosity and inspire a desire to explore the world around us. Following the National Curriculum principal “to develop a deeper understanding of a range of scientific ideas in Biology, Chemistry and Physics”, students will build on their prior knowledge and form links between this and new concepts. Through topics such as Cells and Respiration, students will make links between structure and function in living organisms. The Particle Model enables students to understand the properties and interactions of matter whilst Energy is the key concept that underpins all of these interactions. There is a strong emphasis on the use of scientific vocabulary in lessons and the use of the scientific method in practical investigations. Students will develop their investigating, data handling, concluding and evaluating skills through a number of opportunities presented each year.

Year 7
During this year, students will have a grounding in Biology through learning about Cells, Respiration, Food and Digestion and the Circulatory System. The building blocks in Chemistry come through looking at the following topics; Particle Model, Developing Theories, Atomic Structure, Elements and Compounds Metals and the Periodic Table. Physics is taught through the fundamental topic of Energy. Throughout this time, students are developing their scientific skills such as drawing and interpreting graphs.

Year 8
Throughout year 8, the content from year 7 is revisited through the use of spaced retrieval activities and links between the topics. Students will be taught Electricity and Magnetism, Forces and Heat Transfers in Physics whilst in Biology the topic of Cells will be taken further with Inheritance and Variation before looking in more detail at Plants as Organisms and Farming. Students’ knowledge of particles will be built upon by looking at Solutions, Reactions and Acids and Bases. As well as increasing knowledge and the application of this, the skills from year 7 are built upon and developed to increase their understanding of the scientific method.

Year 9
Continuing to build on their prior knowledge, students will cover Cell Biology and Organisation in Biology, Atomic Structure and the Periodic Table, Bonding, Structure and the Properties of Matter in Chemistry as well as Energy and Electricity in Physics. There will be a number of practical investigations which
students complete to support their understanding and to continue to develop their skills.

Years 10 and 11
From the start of year 10, students will either take Triple Science or Combined Science. Both of these qualifications cover Biology, Chemistry and Physics and can lead to further study at A Level and beyond.
In Biology, students will cover Infection and Response, Bioenergetics, Homeostasis and Response, Inheritance, Variation and Evolution. In Chemistry the following is studied Quantitative Chemistry, Chemical and Energy Changes, The Rate and Extent of Chemical Change, Organic Chemistry, Chemical Analysis and Chemistry of the Atmosphere make up the rest of the Chemistry course. Physics comprises of The Particle model, Atomic Structure, Forces, Waves and Magnetism and Electromagnetism.
In addition to the Required Practicals students complete for their assessments, their scientific skills, use of correct terminology and numeracy skills are challenged through other experiments designed to consolidate and extend their knowledge and understanding.

This curriculum will be a solid grounding for a range of apprenticeships, A levels, BTECs, degrees and employment opportunities for students beyond their time at Archway Learning Trust.

Potential Careers:
There are so many careers that use science – doctors, nurses, astrophysics, lab technician, conservationist, dietician, geoscientist, oceanographer to name but a few!

Useful Links:

Enrichment Opportunities
Dr Barber will be running a STEM club which is a powerful and enjoyable way to engage with science, technology and engineering.

Team Members

Miss T Ludlam – Lead Teacher of Geography

Mr T Knox  – Teacher of Geography 

Curriculum Overview


The study of geography stimulates an interest in and a sense of wonder about places. It helps young people make sense of a complex and dynamically changing world. It explains where places are, how places and landscapes are formed, how people and their environment interact, and how a diverse range of economies, societies and environments are interconnected. It builds on students’ own experiences to investigate places at all scales, from the personal to the global.

Key Stage 3

At Bluecoat Beechdale Academy students will start their studies of Geography by exploring the geography of the UK and learning some key geographical skills. Students will then go on to explore the continent of Africa covering a wide range of issues from the megacity of Lagos to flower farms in Kenya. We also look at the topic of Brazil, its development and the Amazon Rainforest.

Following this we take a look at global development, with a particular focus on the countries of Malawi and China. Students will explore global inequalities and the importance of the Sustainable Development Goals. Students will explore the topic of Fantastic Places where they will investigated places from the extremes of Death Valley, the dangerous site of Chernobyl and the heights of Mount Everest. We then move onto the topic of Japan, its ageing population and the threat from natural hazards. Throughout students will learn the skills that will allow them to ‘think like a Geographer’.

Key Stage 4

At Key Stage 4, students work towards their GCSE Geography qualification which is awarded by the Edexcel exam board. Students will learn about the dynamic nature of our planet and the current issues affecting people and the environment today. Students will develop their practical and analytical skills, values, problem solving and decision making abilities through the study of these 3 areas:

Paper 1: Global Geographical Issues (1 hour and 30 minutes, 37.5% of final grade)

  • Hazardous Earth (Climate and Tectonics)
  • Development Dilemmas
  • The Challenges of an Urbanising World

 Paper 2: UK Geographical Issues (1 hour and 30 minutes, 37.5% of final grade)

  • The UK’s Evolving Physical Landscape (Coastal Change & Conflict and River Processes & Pressures)
  • The UK’s Evolving Human Landscape

Students will undertake 2 full days of fieldwork in preparation for Paper 2. One of these will be on a Physical Geography issue (Rivers) and the other will be on a Human Geography issue (Contrasts in the Nottingham urban area).

 Paper 3: People and Environmental Issues (1 hour and 15 minutes, 25% of final grade)

  • People and the Biosphere
  • Forests under Threat
  • Consuming Energy Resources

Useful Links

BBC Bitesize

Edexcel Geography


Time for Geography

Enrichment Opportunities

  • KS3 fieldwork
  • Year 10 river fieldwork
  • Year 11 urban fieldwork
  • Humanities Film Club
  • Young Geographer of the Year projects


Team Members

Mr C Peach – Head of Humanities

Mr R Williams – Teacher

Mr Mudd – Teacher

General Subject Overview

Our aim as a History department is to imbue a love of History into our pupils. As such the factual content, or historical narrative, plays a large part in the planning of our lessons both individually and across schemes of work. It is these stories that can act as a ‘hook’ that draw the pupils in and lead to a lifelong love of our subject. Another intended result of this is a knowledge rich curriculum that ensures meaningful learning for all pupils.

Yet History is not a mere recounting of events in chronological order. The term is derived from the Ancient Greek historia or inquiry. As such, from the beginning of year 7 until pupils leave in year 11 historical skills of analysis, source enquiry, interpretation, causation and evaluation are being developed. These are sequenced to ensure that skills build from year to year.

Key Stage 3

Year 7

In Year 7 students will begin to learn about the skills needed to be a successful historian, but with a strong focus on deep knowledge and understanding.  The year begins with a study of the ‘empty grave’ at Sutton Hoo. This is to provide a chronological link between the end of the Roman Empire and the early Medieval period. Students will then learn about the Battle of Hastings and the impact of the Normans, what life was like in Medieval Britain including the Black Death and Peasant’s Revolt. However, to broaden the scope of the History studied in Year 7 pupils will also study the ‘Islamic World’ in the middle ages learning about great cities such as Baghdad and important figures like Saladin. We then return to British history with a focus on the religious changes in Tudor Britain from Henry VIII to Elizabeth I. However, we also take the opportunity here to reflect upon the beginnings of an English empire at this time and the role that migrants were playing in England as early as the 16th Century. The year ends by investigating the causes and effects of the English Civil War with a trip to the Civil War Centre in July!

Year 8

In Year 8, students will build on their skillsets and deep knowledge gained in Year 7 by studying modern history. We investigate the causes of the Industrial Revolution as well as the huge social upheaval this event caused. We even take a look at the changes that occurred in Nottingham. In the autumn term we take a trip to Blists Hill Victorian Town to enrich pupil understanding of this most significant event! This then leads into a study of 20th Century History. Pupils will look in-depth at some of the major battles, and the lives of those that lived through World War One. We even introduce the idea of the zeitgeist and how it influences people’s opinions of the past. Women gaining the vote is also taught including the role of suffragettes and Emily Davison’s famous sacrifice! From then, students will consider the differences between democracies and dictatorships through a study of Hitler’s Germany, the turning points of the Second World War. We then study one of the most important events in history the Holocaust. The year ends by studying the Civil Rights Movement in the USA and assessing whether the lives of African-Americans have improved over the past 60 years.

Year 9

At the start of Year 9, students will continue their study of the Key Stage 3 curriculum through a wider world depth study on the Cold War. This topic ends with the emotive scenes of the collapse of the Berlin Wall, one of the defining events of modern history.

Key Stage 4

At Key Stage 4, students work towards their GCSE History qualification, which is awarded by the AQA exam board. Students sit two exams at the end of Year 11, which make up 100% of their GCSE grade (9-1). Students will study 4 different units:

  • Paper 1: Understanding the Modern World (1 hour 45 minutes, 50% of final grade)
    • Conflict and Tension, 1894-1918
    • America 1920-1973: Opportunity and Inequality
  • Paper 2: Shaping the Nation (1 hour 45 minutes, 50% of final grade)
    • Britain: Migration, Empires and the People, c.790- Present Day
    • Norman England, c1066-c1100, including the Historic Environment study.



Useful Links:

AQA History GCSE

BBC Bitesize

JohnDClare History

Mr Allsop History

Enrichment Opportunities

Year 7 Civil War Centre trip

Year 8 Blists Hill Victorian Town trip

Year 8 Holocaust Memorial Centre trip

Year 11 Royal Armouries (Leeds) Trip

Modern Foreign Languages

Team Members

Miss L Holt – Lead Teacher of Modern Foreign Languages

Miss H Johnson – Teacher of Modern Foreign Languages

Curriculum Overview

The limits of my language are the limits of my universe’ – Ludwig Wittgenstein

Students will study Spanish, which over 400 million people speak worldwide, during their time at Bluecoat Beechdale Academy. From the very beginning, students will develop their skills in four main areas: listening, reading, speaking and writing.

Key Stage 3

Students will initially learn the basics including numbers, colours and school subjects before progressing from word to sentence level and developing the ability to express and explain opinions and use different tenses. Students will also come into contact with several literary Spanish texts, in order to develop their comprehension and analytical skills. Students will sit two CAF assessments each year (based on reading, listening and writing) and they will complete a piece of assessed writing each half term. Speaking will also be informally assessed throughout the year.

Useful Links:

BBC Bitesize

Key Stage 4

At GCSE, students will build on their basic knowledge and will apply it towards the GCSE specification. They will further develop each of the four skill areas and will practice regularly in lesson and at home. The GCSE content in Spanish is split into three themes:

  • Identity and Culture
  • Local, national, international and global areas of interest
  • Current and future study and employment

Potential Careers

 Knowledge of languages is considered very important as we now all live and work in a truly global environment. A GCSE course in Spanish may be used as a key skill for job applications, to stand apart from the competition, or as an entry requirement for an ever growing number of universities. In addition, Spanish is one of the first languages of many countries around the world. Communication skills in languages are also essential in the world of business. The significance of qualifications in languages cannot be overstated.

 Useful Links:

AQA French

AQA Spanish

Enrichment Opportunities

European Week of Languages A celebration of languages spoken around the world and by our students here at Bluecoat Beechdale. Includes trying traditional foods from around the world, peer teaching of other languages, quizzes and more.

Spanish Spelling Bee Two of our students recently got through to the National Final, which is a great achievement!

Spanish Translation Bee How many phrases do you think you would be able to translate from English to Spanish in 60 seconds? Are you ready for the challenge?

Spanish Play A play performed by native speakers of Spanish.

Team Members

Miss R Peabody – Head of Vocational Studies

Mr David Halcarz – Teacher of Computer Science

Mr Damian Hall – Teacher of Computer Science 

Curriculum Overview

Computing has deep links with mathematics, science and design and technology and provides insights into both natural and artificial systems. Our curriculum aims to provide all learners with a high-quality computing education, equipping learners with the ability to use computational thinking and creativity to understand and change the world. The curriculum reflects high expectations, acknowledging our more able learners, while ensuring it is inclusive and providing the appropriate levels of support. The curriculum has been designed to include experiences of Computer Science, Digital Literacy, Information Technology and the Digital Media aspects of Computing, ensuring learners are prepared for their next steps, if they choose to opt for these subjects at Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5, to progress to higher levels of study or to a professional career and for the future workplace as active participants in a digital world.

Key Stage 3

All pupils receive one lesson of Computing per week, where the curriculum is based around three key strands:

  • Computational Thinking
  • Computer Systems
  • Digital Literacy

Pupils will work towards completing these strands through a range of different topics that will allow them to progress into Key Stage 4 with the knowledge, understanding and skills to achieve the highest possible grade by the end of Year 11.

Topics covered in Key Stage 3

Digital Citizenship – looking at the impacts the digital world has on people’s lives and how pupils can protect themselves from online dangers, including:

  • Emailing
  • Computer Crime

Algorithms – pupils will experience new ways of thinking to solve a problem through a range of different activities.

  • Scratch
  • Python
  • Flowol

Understanding Computers – looking at how a computer actually works from the inside.

  • Input / Output / Storage including cloud based
  • Storage – Primary & Secondary
  • Components – CPU, RAM & ROM, HDD etc.

Data Representation – exploring the methods used by computers to represent numerical, graphical, audio and textual information.

Image Manipulation – explore how images are used in the media and develop skills in creating, editing and presenting digital images.

Developing Programs – helping pupils to further understand how programs are developed and used in today’s society.

Key Stage 4

In Key Stage 4 we have a range of qualifications for all pupils to be able to achieve outcomes that brings together everything they have learnt in Key Stage 3 in a way that is relevant for the career they wish to pursue.

OCR Computer Science GCSE 9-1 (J277)

This qualification will build on the knowledge, understanding and skills established through the Computer Science elements of the Key Stage 3 programme of study. GCSE Computer Science is engaging and practical, encouraging creativity and problem solving. It encourages students to develop their understanding and application of the core concepts in computer science. Students also analyse problems in computational terms and devise creative solutions by designing, writing, testing and evaluating programs.

Unit 1: Computer Systems (Examination – 50%)

  • Systems architecture
  • Memory and storage
  • Computer networks, connections and protocols
  • Network security
  • Systems software
  • Ethical, legal, cultural and environmental impacts of digital technology

Unit 2: Computational Thinking, Algorithms and Programming (Examination – 50%)

2.1 Algorithms

2.2 Programming fundamentals

2.3  Producing robust programs

2.4  Boolean logic

2.5 Programming languages and Integrated Development Environments

Each unit is assessed in two, 80 mark exam papers, 1h30 exam papers taken in year 11.

Further study Opportunities

A Level Computer Science (Academic route) (Link: https://www.bluecoatsixthform.co.uk/courses/a-level-computer-science/)

Level 2 BTEC Cambridge Technicals in IT

(Link: https://www.bluecoatsixthform.co.uk/courses/level-2-cambridge-technicals-in-it/)

Level 3 BTEC Cambridge Technicals (Vocational route)

(Link: https://www.bluecoatsixthform.co.uk/courses/level-3-cambridge-technicals-in-it/)

Level 3 BTEC Creative Media Production (Vocational route)

(Link: https://www.bluecoatsixthform.co.uk/courses/level-3-btec-creative-media-production/)

(Vocational route) – 6th Form / College

BSc Computer Science Degree – University

Other College and University course in related fields, such as Networking, System Administration, Microsoft Certifications.

Potential careers

  • Application Analyst.
  • Applications Developer.
  • Cyber Security Analyst.
  • Data Analyst.
  • Database Administrator.
  • Forensic Computer Analyst.
  • Games Developer & many more

Useful Links:

OCR Computer Science 9-1


Enrichment Opportunities 

Lunchtime Computer Science club for Year 10 & Year 11.

Coding Club / Girls Who Code and Crypto Club (code breaking).

Physical Education

Team Members

Miss Knott – Teacher

Mr Scragg – Teacher

Mrs Taylor – Teacher

Mr Molloson – Teacher

Miss Mackay – Teacher

General subject overview

Physical Education is delivered at Bluecoat Beechdale Academy to help individuals develop into well rounded citizens through the medium of sport. PE lessons are driven by our 5 PE Core Values which are Sportsmanship / Communication / Leadership / Teamwork and Fitness and Healthy Lifestyles.  These core values provide the foundation for all of our lessons allowing our students to perform and challenge themselves both mentally and physically. We believe that by offering a rich variety of different sports across the academic year our students have the opportunity to achieve at a variety of personal and sporting skills. Students are assessed each term based on our PE Gold / Silver / Bronze method of monitoring progress. This enables the students to know how well they are currently performing and what they need to do to improve. PE promotes high expectations by instilling a sense of belonging and self-belief. We encourage students to appreciate the importance of exercise and its role in maintaining an active and healthy lifestyle. It is our aim in Physical Education to promote a competitive environment which encourages desirable personal qualities and promotes lifelong skills.


Key Stage 3

In Key Stage 3 students are given the opportunity to learn about at least 6 different sports throughout the academic year. Whilst practicing new skills and tactics the students are also introduced to the scoring systems, rules, regulations and responsibilities of each of the officials in order to play the sports being delivered.

We also deliver sporting themes throughout KS3 in order to prepare our students for the transition into Key Stage 4. This includes using subject specific terminology and key words so that we can then build on this knowledge as the students begin their vocational Sport qualification in Key Stage 4.


Key Stage 4

We believe that educating students in how to lead a healthy and active lifestyle is vitally important for their futures. Therefore in Key Stage 4 all of our students have the option to study for a vocational Sport, Activity and Fitness qualification. This course is assessed both internally in the form of coursework and externally by a written examination. This means that every student will be given the opportunity to explore the world of sport through the units of work we have chosen to deliver. The course consists of 3 units which are:


Unit 1 – Understanding the body and the supporting technology for sport and activity

  • investigate the impact of sport and activity on body systems
  • explore common injuries in sport and activity and methods of rehabilitation
  • understand how technological advances have impacted sport and activity.

Unit 2 – The principles of training, nutrition and psychology for sport and activity

  • investigate how training can improve fitness for sport and activity
  • explore how a healthy diet, macro and micronutrients, and hydration are beneficial for sport and activity
  • understand how psychological factors such as motivation, self-confidence and anxiety can influence participation in sport and activity

Unit 3 – Applying the principles of sport and activity

  • understand the fundamentals of sport and activity leadership
  • plan activity sessions for target groups
  • understand how to plan for health, fitness and diet.


Potential Careers:

Being fit and healthy obviously is its own reward but gaining a good qualification in sport can be a valuable stepping stone on to potential career choices. These are wide ranging and depend upon the students areas of interest. There are obvious sporting examples ranging from coaches and fitness instructors to physiotherapists and sports commentators and analysts. The units that we cover offer our students an insight into the world of sport from which they can explore different topics whilst producing high quality work.

In Key Stage 4 students also develop their practical skills from Key Stage 3 in more game based activities. This extra time focused on sports matches allows the students to engross themselves in how to achieve success whilst keeping fit and having fun. The students will also be given more responsibility in the lessons ranging from running their own warm ups to organising tournaments in a given sport. This is all incorporated into making the sure the students’ progress in their understanding and application of the 5 PE Core Values. We offer a wide range of sports that are driven by our students’ needs and abilities. Where possible we also offer seasonal sports to coincide with the sports leagues in this country. An example of this would be football in the winter and athletics in the summer.


Useful Links:

In addition we have a number of teams that compete in a variety of sports against other schools and enrichment clubs available to our students throughout the year. These help to enhance the sporting journey of our students whilst at BBA and also gives them the opportunity to really improve on their own performance in a sport they have chosen and enjoy. As a PE Department we also provide the students with useful links and information on local clubs if they want to pursue playing for a sports team outside of school. Our notice board with all this information on is easily accessible to the students and it gives contact details of sports clubs in the local area.



Sport, Activity and Fitness | BTEC Tech Award | Pearson qualifications

Information for students and teachers of our BTEC Tech Awards in Sport, Activity and Fitness, including key documents and the latest news.




Enrichment Opportunities

Our PE department works closely alongside with the School Enrichment Coordinator to provide sporting trips that are accessible to all of our students. Again these are varied and run throughout the year which cater for a lot of the students’ interests. As an example over the years we have run trips to watch England, Notts County and Manchester United in football fixtures and the Harlem Globetrotters in basketball.

Team Members

Mr M Jackson – Head of Design and Technology and Art

Ms K Dee – Teacher

Mr A Isman – Teacher

Curriculum overview

Key Stage 3 

Art and Design at BBA has four core values; Creative Thinking, Problem Solving, Critical Analysis and Communication. These core values provide the foundation for teaching and learning within our Art department. Our intent is to enable students to experience the world of Art and Design to encourage students to be imaginative, experimental and culturally rounded. We aim to provide students with a curriculum that builds on skills and techniques to enable them to follow a design process that meets the requirements of a design brief.

During KS3, pupils are encouraged to use a variety of creative approaches in order to stimulate engagement as they investigate, experiment, document and realise two and three dimensional work.

Students are given the opportunity to express themselves creatively through independent learning, practical application, teamwork and reflection. Art & Design offers another mode of communication, which enables our students to use their skills and creativity to express ideas and feelings, and to help to understand their own and other cultures.

Key Stage 4 

The BTEC Tech Award in Art and Design Practice provides an introduction to some of the key themes within the industry, enabling students to develop and apply their knowledge of the sector while also developing a range of relevant practical skills and techniques. The content enables students to develop personal skills and attributes essential for working in the creative sector and to explore a range of specialist disciplines.

The course is designed to develop students through an engaging and stimulating introduction to a range of art and design disciplines, including design crafts, fashion and textiles, photography, product design, visual arts and visual communications.

Who should take this course?

Pupils who have already excelled in Art and who either possess or wish to develop the following skills:

  • critical awareness of self and external factors and the ability to be reflective
  • clear communication to others, verbally and through visual means
  • resourcefulness and the ability to work independently
  • imagination and creativity
  • self-motivation and self-management
  • creative problem-solving: taking a broad perspective and confidently engaging with concepts.

Potential Careers:

As far as careers go, there are plenty to choose from; Graphic Design, Theatre Designer, Animator, Videogame Designer, Illustrator, Museum Curator, Photographer, Architecture, Product Design, Textiles Design, Ceramics, Advertising, Publishing, Interior Design, Fashion and Media Journalism, Hair and Make-up Design, Retail Design, Exhibition Design, Jewellery Design, Artist, Visual Media and Teaching.

Useful Links:


Team Members

Miss R Peabody – Head of Vocational Studies

Mr D Swann – Teacher

Curriculum Overview

BTEC Award in Business Studies

This qualification is a Technical Award equivalent in size to one GCSE. It is designed for pre-16 students working at level 2 who want to engage in a practical study of how real world businesses work, develop and make a profit, while developing some technical business and employability skills within their Key Stage 4 curriculum.

What will the student study as part of this qualification?

During Component 1, your students will:

  • examine the characteristics of enterprises
  • explore how market research helps enterprises meet customer needs and understand competitor behaviour
  • investigate the factors that contribute to the success of an enterprise
  • develop transferable skills, such as research and data analysis in order to interpret their findings

During Component 2, your students will:

  • explore ideas and plan for a micro–enterprise activity
  • pitch a micro–enterprise activity in a dragons den style
  • review their own pitch for a micro–enterprise activity
  • develop their planning and research, presentation, communication and self–reflection skills

During Component 3, your learners will:

  • demonstrate knowledge and understanding of elements of promotion and financial
  • interpret and use promotional and financial information in relation to a given enterprise
  • make connections between different factors influencing a given enterprise
  • advise and provide recommendations to a given enterprise on ways to improve its performance.

Further Study Opportunities

From studying this subject you could progress on to Post–16 Level 2 in a range of technical routes such as BTEC Level 2 Technical in Business Enterprise

Level 3 vocational qualifications e.g. BTEC National in Business or BTEC L3 Nationals in Enterprise and Entrepreneurship it will also prepare for entry into Higher Education

Potential Careers

Some of the career opportunities from studying Business Enterprise would be General Management, Product Management, Self-employed, Marketing Business Advisor or IntoUniversity

Useful Links



Enrichment Opportunities

Dragons Den activity to create a business idea and pitch the idea to staff and students. This will help students gain confidence and build on communication skills.

Links with outside agencies support knowledge and understanding and links with employers and other educational providers – Princes Trust and Apple.

Trips to Cadburys World.

Team Members

Mr M Jackson – Head of Design and Technology and Art

Mr A Isman – Teacher

Ms E Tozer – Teacher

Ms J Smith – D&T Technician 

Curriculum Overview

Key Stage 3

During key stage 3, pupils experience a variety of creative and practical activities and are taught the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to engage in an iterative process of designing. Pupils are taught the fundamentals of designing, manufacturing and evaluating.  Design and Technology at BBA has four core values; creative thinking, problem solving, critical analysis and communication that we look to promote and develop within a sequence of lessons. These core values provide the foundation for teaching and learning within our Design and Technology department. D&T enables pupils to actively contribute to the creativity, culture and well-being of themselves and their community. It teaches how to take risks and so become more resourceful, innovative, enterprising and capable. Pupils develop a critical understanding of the impact of Design and Technology on daily life while gaining experience working with a range of materials including; woods, metals, plastics, CAD and CAM and graphical communication techniques.

Key Stage 4

The GCSE Design and Technology course will prepare students to participate confidently and successfully in an increasingly technological world. Students will gain awareness and learn from wider influences on Design and Technology including historical, social, cultural, environmental and economic factors. Students will get the opportunity to work creatively when designing and making and apply technical and practical expertise.

The Design and Technology course allows students to study core technical and designing and making principles, including a broad range of design processes, materials techniques and equipment. They will also have the opportunity to study specialist technical principles in greater depth.

Potential Careers:

Studying design and technology could set you up for a career in a wide variety of industries such as engineering, architecture, information technology, product design and even education.

Useful Links:



Team Members

Miss Dee – Head of Performing Arts

General Subject Overview

Performing Arts provides a vibrant, stimulating and supportive study environment, where student creativity is nurtured. In Drama we will develop students’ confidence, leadership, communication and oracy whilst also focusing on time management, organisation, creativity, self-control and co-operation. These skills are not only needed to succeed in Drama but in the wider school curriculum and in future employment.

Why do many students find Performing Arts exciting and engaging?

This is because students are challenged to be creative and put themselves in a range of situations and develop a variety of skills. Through collaboration and group activity, students gain confidence in expressing themselves both physically and vocally and are given the opportunity to reflect on their success. Students are asked to address issues that have shaped their lives so far and consider issues that will shape their future. Confidence, expression and group work are key life skills!

Key Stage 3

Students begin their studies by learning, applying and refining the basic dramatic techniques and skills and demonstrate these through a series of levelled assessment pieces. These include the use of the drama strategies: still images, thought tracks, mime, narration and hot seating to name a few. Students are continually assessed over the key stage and these assessments focus on creating, performance technique, developing characters and evaluating practical work. Students explore and engage in many different styles of theatre, text and performance work from around the world, celebrating multiple perspectives and the multicultural makeup of our school society.  In addition to this, students are also exposed to real life scenarios such as how injustices in society can be highlighted and address through theatre. They look specifically at the theatre practitioner Bertolt Brecht and his methods used to challenge and educate an audience.  At Key Stage 3 we encourage students to develop successful team work skills, self and peer appraisal skills, leadership skills and critical thinking skills whilst working creatively. Key Stage 3 drama prepares students with the knowledge, understanding and skills required to be successful at Key Stage 4. During the key stage, students take part in careers lessons that explore the roles within the theatre industry and the pathways to these careers.

Key Stage 4

At Key Stage 4, students build upon their knowledge, skill and understanding studying towards the BTEC Level 1/ Level 2 Tech Award in Performing Arts. The Award gives learners the opportunity to develop sector-specific knowledge and skills in a practical learning environment. Over the key stage, students deepen their knowledge and skills by approaching performance work from not only an actor’s perspective but also from the perspective of a director or designer. Industry roles and responsibilities are examined by the students, specifically looking at how practitioners involved in the theatre making process work together collaboratively in order to build and shape performance work that is effective. Through this work, students expand their subject specific vocabulary that is key when engaging in the written element of the course. The course has been designed so that students examine a plethora of professional repertoire to maximize their cultural experiences in an exciting and engaging way.

The main focus of the course is on four areas of equal importance, which cover the:

  • Development of key skills that prove your aptitude in Performing Arts such as reproducing repertoire or responding to stimuli
  • Process that underpins effective ways of working in the Performing Arts, such as development of ideas, rehearsal and performance
  • Attitudes that are considered most important in the Performing Arts, including personal management and communication
  • Knowledge that underpins effective use of skills, process and attitudes in the sector such as roles, responsibilities, performance disciplines and styles.

Over the course, students prepare for 2 internally and 1 externally assessed exams.

Component 1: Exploring the Performing Arts.

Component 2: Developing Skills & Techniques in the Performing Arts

Component 3: Performing to a Brief.

Components 1&2 combine practical work with written coursework whilst Component 3 ask students to explore a set brief with a practical demonstration and 3 written tasks. This Component is conducted under controlled conditions in a timeframe set by Pearson the examining body.

The components compliment other subjects well and give students an opportunity to develop enquiry skills, such as problem solving, team work, communication, confidence building and self / peer appraisal skills. Students have many opportunities to showcase their performance work to audiences within the school community and beyond.

Study of the qualification as part of Key Stage 4 learning will help learners to make more informed choices for further learning, either generally or in this sector. The choices that learners can make post-16 will depend on their overall level of attainment and their performance in the qualification. Learners who generally achieve at Level 2 across their Key Stage 4 learning might consider progression to:

  • A Levels as preparation for entry to higher education in a range of subjects
  • Study of a vocational qualification at Level 3, which prepares learners to enter employment or apprenticeships, or to move on to higher education by studying a degree in the Performing Arts or Production Arts areas.

Learners who generally achieve at Level 1 across their Key Stage 4 learning might consider progression to:

  • Study at Level 2 post-16 in a range of technical routes designed to lead to work, to progression to employment, to apprenticeships or to further study at Level 3. For these learners, the attitudes and the reflective and communication skills covered in this qualification will help them achieve.
  • Study of Performing Arts post-16 through the study of a technical certificate. Learners who perform strongly in this qualification compared to their overall performance should strongly consider this progression route as it can lead ultimately to employment in the performing arts sector.

Potential Careers:

Performing Arts degrees combine creative talent with practical aspects of self-promotion and arts management. This mix of disciplines is good preparation for entering the world of performance

Job options include:

  • Actor
  • Community Arts Worker
  • Theatre Director
  • Broadcast Presenter
  • Film Director
  • Further Education Teacher
  • Higher Education Lecturer
  • Secondary School Teacher
  • Special Effects Technician
  • Theatre Stage Manager

Useful Links:

Useful web links for revision: BBC Bitesize

To access information regarding the Pearson BTEC Level 1/Level 2 Tech Award in Performing Arts qualification please click here.

Hair, Barbering & Beauty 

Team Members

Miss R Peabody – Head of Vocational Studies 

Curriculum Overview

Here at BBA you will gain two qualifications in Hair, Beauty and Barbering:

Hair, Beauty and Barbering focuses on the skills, knowledge and experience required to develop a career in the hair or beauty industry, with courses specially selected to allow students to gain experience progressively through a simulated salon environment. Although the hairdressing programme is about developing practical skills, there is an underpinning knowledge and understanding element.

In order to achieve success in the hairdressing qualifications, students are expected to undertake a variety of assignments, a proportion of which are done as homework.

City and Guilds: Hair and Beauty – Level 1

  • Level 1 is an ideal starting point in hair and beauty and provides an understanding of the industry – enough to succeed in a job in the area or to move on to further study. The areas that are covered are:
    • Professional standards
    • Personal presentation
    • Shampoo and conditioning hair
    • Skin care
    • Nail art application
    • Styling men’s hair
    • Styling women’s hair

VTCT: Hairdressing and Beauty Therapy – Level 2

The VTCT Level 2 Certificate in Hairdressing and Beauty Therapy (VRQ) is a Technical Award specifically for 14-16 year olds. This qualification aims to support young people to:

– develop a broad and comprehensive understanding of the hair, beauty and barbering sector

– develop knowledge which spans the entire vocational sector and related industries

–  look at the business side such as running your own business, looking at marketing techniques, promotions and advertising. .

– develop your own marketing materials and activities to support a product or service.

–  the science of the hair and skin and look at the chemistry of different products and why they are used.

– develop academic study and transferable skills that will support progression within the hair and beauty sector and more broadly.

This qualification includes two mandatory units that can be applied to any sector or vocational area. In this qualification, learners will use hairdressing, barbering and beauty therapy and related industries (i.e. retail, leisure, fashion, marketing, and media, business) to develop themselves and in particular, the skills and attributes prized by employers, further education colleges and higher education institutions.

Further Study Opportunities

Learners will be able to progress to the next level of learning in hair, beauty and barbering, for example, the level 2 qualification to qualify as a stylist or even the advanced level 3 course.

Potential Careers

Career opportunities such as having your own salon, working on a cruise ship, working in theatre or film, health and fitness clubs, leisure centres, hotels or even being a teacher and assessor and many more.

Enrichment Opportunities

Hair, beauty and barbering after school club to give an introduction to this sector.

Trips to Hair, Beauty and Barbering UK held at Birmingham.


Team Members

Miss Dee – Head of Performing Arts

Key Stage 3

During their time at BBA, students in music will study three disciplines, Performing, Composing and Listening & Appraising. These three branches are taught and developed together.

Students begin their Bluecoat musical journey with an understanding of using their voice as an instrument and the elements of music. The skills of performance, composition and musical listening are embedded through practical music-making, using real instruments such as ukuleles, samba drums and keyboards within the classroom. Schemes of work explore timbre, scales, harmony and structure.

From here, students learn about film music techniques. They build on the instrumental skills previously taught and apply them in the context of a band, taking more responsibility for their rehearsal techniques and playing in an ensemble. Performance and compositional skills are developed by working on performance projects. These projects include MOBO, Blues and a Live Lounge project where music is reimagined. Students are encouraged to expand their cultural awareness by studying aspects of world music. In class students work in a variety of exciting ways from whole class performances to small group performances and, for the more confident, solo performances. The skills and genres taught at Key Stage 3 are a sound introduction to what students will study at Key Stage 4.

 Key Stage 4

Students study towards the BTEC Level 1/ Level 2 Tech Award in Music Practice. This can help students take their first steps towards a career in the music industry. Students will learn essential skills from performing and composing to producing, sound engineering and promoting a new track, album or concert. Students will take part in a variety of practical activities as a group and as a soloist, work as a studio engineer, complete coursework involving research and presentations which will compile the 2 internally assessed components of work. Component 3 is an externally assessed component set by Pearson.

Component 1: Exploring Music Products and Styles

Component 2: Music Skills Development

Component 3: Responding to a Commercial Music Brief

Knowledge from Years 7 and 8 will help students to explore differing styles and genres. They will learn how to reflect on their progress and apply skills and techniques in order to improve. A range of skills will be developed and applied in music creation, performance or production.

The Award gives learners the opportunity to develop sector-specific knowledge and skills in a practical learning environment. The main focus is on four areas of equal importance, which cover the following:

  • Development of key skills that prove learners’ aptitude in music such as responding to a musical brief using musical skills and techniques
  • Processes that underpin effective ways of working in the music industry, such as the development of musical ideas, and using skills and techniques for rehearsal and performance to respond to a music industry brief
  • Attitudes that are considered most important in the music industry, including personal management and communication
  • Knowledge that underpins effective use of skills, processes and attitudes in the sector such as musical skills and styles.

To access information regarding the Pearson BTEC Level 1/Level 2 Tech Award in Music Practice qualification please here.

Study of the qualification as part of Key Stage 4 learning will help learners to make more informed choices for further learning either generally or in this sector. The choices that a learner can make post-16 will depend on their overall level of attainment and their performance in the qualification.

Learners who generally achieve at Level 2 across their Key Stage 4 learning might consider progression to:

  • A Levels as preparation for entry into higher education in a range of subjects
  • Study of a vocational qualification at Level 3, preparing learners to enter employment or apprenticeships, or to move on to higher education by studying a music-related degree.

Learners who generally achieve at Level 1 across their Key Stage 4 learning might consider progression to:

  • Study at Level 2 post-16 in a range of technical routes designed to lead to work, to progression to employment, to apprenticeships or to further study at Level 3.
  • Study of music post-16 through the study of a BTEC Level 2 Technical Certificate in Music.

Learners who perform well in the BTEC Level 1/Level 2 Tech Award in Music Practice should consider this progression route as it can lead to employment in the music industry.

Potential Careers

Whether you dream of becoming a professional singer, songwriter, musician, record producer or sound technician, there are many careers on offer in the vast UK music industry

Useful Links

BBC Bitesize

To access information regarding the Pearson BTEC Level 1/Level 2 Tech Award in Music Practice qualification please here.

Student Testimony

“I really enjoy my Music lessons. The subject is so practical and combines the theory element really well. Learning about different music genres has been exciting and we have had time to explore the methods involved in making music in these styles. Music has always played an important role in my life and by studying Music at key stage 4 I am able to appreciate it in much more depth”

After school, students are encouraged to attend extra practice and rehearsals and also the directorate offers one to one support and tuition for students.

This year the directorate will continue its work with the Royal Shakespeare Company. This work forms part of a cross curricular project with the English department that builds upon the successes of last year. The RSC partnership offers opportunities for students to work with professional musicians and music makers and explore career routes and the world of work in this exciting sector.

Other exciting developments include Samba band, KS4 vocal group and KS3 choir.

Team Members

Miss R Peabody – Head of Vocational Studies

Mr M Jackson – Head of Design and Technology and Art

Ms E Tozer – Teacher

Curriculum overview

WJEC Level 1/2 Award in Construction the Built Environment 

This course offers a learning experience that focuses on applied learning, i.e. acquiring and applying knowledge, skills and understanding through purposeful tasks set in sector or subject contexts that have many of the characteristics of real work.

Each assessment unit that is covered during the learning journey has an applied purpose which acts as a focus for the learning in the unit. The applied purpose is the vehicle through which the learning contained in the unit is made relevant and purposeful. It is also the means by which learners are enthused, engaged and motivated to study how buildings are constructed. The applied purpose provides the opportunity for authentic work related learning, but more than this, it will require learners to consider how the use and application of their learning impacts on individuals, employers, society and the environment. The applied purpose will also enable learners to learn in such a way that they develop:

-skills required for independent learning and development;

-a range of generic and transferable skills;

-the ability to solve problems;

-the skills of project based research, development and presentation;

-the fundamental ability to work alongside other professionals, in a professional environment;

-the ability to apply learning in vocational contexts.

The qualifications have been devised around the concept of a ‘plan, do, review’ approach to learning where learners are introduced to a context for learning, review previous learning to plan activities, carry out activities and review outcomes and learning.  This approach mirrors many work related activities in constructing the built environment and also provides for learning in a range of contexts thus enabling learners to apply and extend their learning.  As such, the qualification provides learners with a broad appreciation of work in construction and the built environment and wider opportunities for progression into further education, employment or

Compulsory Units 

Health, Safety and Security in construction – external exam

Developing Construction Projects – practical assessment and coursework

Planning Construction Projects – external exam

Practical Work (examples)

Exploring Carpentry and Joinery

Exploring Bricklaying

Exploring Painting and Decorating

Exploring Electronics and Wiring

Potential careers

Construction Project Managers, Builder, Plumbers, Painter / Decorator, Plasterer, Tiler, Electrician, Civil Engineers, Solar Photovoltaic Installers, Sheet Metal Workers and Glaziers.

Useful links


Enrichment Opportunities 

Trips and links with Nottingham City Homes. Links with outside agencies support knowledge and understanding and links with employers and other educational providers.

Team Members

Miss R Peabody – Head of Vocational Studies 

Curriculum Overview 

BTEC Level 1 / Level 2 Tech Award in Digital Information Technology

This course is for learners who want to acquire technical knowledge and technical skills through vocational contexts by studying the knowledge, understanding and skills related to data management, data interpretation, data presentation and data protection as part of their Key Stage 4 learning.

The qualification recognises the value of learning skills, knowledge and vocational attributes to complement GCSEs. The qualification will broaden the learners experience and understanding of the varied progression options available to them. 

What will I study?

The Award gives learners the opportunity to develop sector-specific knowledge and skills in a practical learning environment. The main focus is on four areas of equal importance, which cover the following:

Development of key skills that prove your aptitude in digital information technology, such as project planning, designing and creating user interfaces, creating dashboards to present and interpret data.

Process that underpins effective ways of working in digital information technology, such as project planning, the iterative design process, cyber security, virtual teams, legal and ethical codes of conduct.

Qualities that are considered most important in digital information technology, include personal management and communication.

Knowledge that underpins effective use of skills, process and attitudes in the sector such as how different user interfaces meet user needs, how organisations collect and use data to make decisions, virtual workplaces, cyber security and legal and ethical issues.

Why take the ICT qualification?

Continuing in further education with a good knowledge of general ICT and problem solving skills which would be an advantage in the life of work.

Have the knowledge, understanding and skills to be able to move onto a specific area within digital technology sector.

Gain a qualification that will allow you to feel what it is like to work in the real world.

Further Study Opportunities

BTEC National in IT or Computing at Level 3. You could also progress to a Computer Science AS or A level. These qualifications build upon some of the aspects covered within this qualification and are generally broad in the selection of units available. If you then wish to specialise your learning in a specific digital vocation, you could consider a BTEC Level 2 Technical Diploma in Digital Technology, which enables you to select from three pathways: Data Management, Digital Applications or Network & Cyber Security.

Potential Careers

Some of the Career opportunities would be

IT Project Management, Technical Support and Cyber Security app design, web design, video game design, digital advertising and more.

 Useful links


 Enrichment Opportunities

Clubs to deepen knowledge and understanding in using Microsoft Word and Excel.





Health and Social Care

Team Members

Miss R Peabody – Head of Vocational Studies

Curriculum Overview 

BTEC – Level 2 Tech Award Health and Social Care

The course is made up of three components: two internally assessed and one that’s externally assessed.

Our three-block structure, explore, develop and apply, has been developed to allow students to build on and embed their knowledge. This allows them to grow in confidence and then put into practice what they have learned.

Our assessment structure is also designed so that students can build on what they learn and develop their assignment skills, as they move through the course.

Care values are at the heart and they will:

  • Apply their learning to a real-life scenario
  • Grow in confidence as the components build on each other
  • engage in practical tasks rather than written exams

The Award gives learners the opportunity to develop sector-specific knowledge and skills in a practical learning environment. The main focus is on three areas of equal importance, which cover the:

  • Development of key skills that prove your aptitude in health and social care such as interpreting data to assess an individual’s health
  • Process that underpins effective ways of working in health and social care, such as designing a plan to improve an individual’s health and wellbeing
  • Attitudes that are considered most important in health and social care, including the care values that are vitally important in the sector, and the opportunity to practise applying them
  • Knowledge that underpins effective use of skills, process and attitudes in the sector such as human growth and development, health and social care services and factors affecting people’s health and wellbeing.

This Award complements the learning in GCSE programmes such as GCSE English. It will complement the more theoretical aspects covered by GCSE Biology or GCSE Psychology by allowing you to apply your knowledge and skills practically in a vocational context.

What will I study as part of this qualification?

The qualification provides an introduction to working in health and social care.

There are 3 mandatory units:

During Component 1, your students will:

  • explore how individuals develop physically, emotionally, socially and intellectually over time
  • investigate how various factors, events and choices impact individuals’ growth and development
  • discover how people adapt to life events and cope with making changes.

During Component 2, your students will:

  • learn which health and social care services are available
  • identify why people might need to use these services
  • discover who’s involved in providing these services
  • explore what might stop people from accessing the services they need
  • look at the care values the sector has to make sure people get the care and protection they need.

During Component 3, your students will:

Learn what ‘being healthy’ means to different people

  • explore the different factors that might influence health and wellbeing
  • identify key health indicators and how to interpret them
  • create a health and wellbeing improvement plan for that person, which includes targets and recommendations of support services available
  • reflect on the potential challenges the person may face when putting the plan into action.

To gain this qualification, you will need to achieve a minimum of a pass grade in:

  • Each of the 2 internal mandatory assessments (externally set, internally marked)
  • The external synoptic assessment (externally set, externally marked).

Completion of this qualification is achieved through classroom-based learning. It can be completed in two years or less.

This qualification will enable you to develop transferable knowledge within the health and social care sector and study skills that will support progression to further learning.

Further Study Opportunities

Learners will be able to progress to the next level of learning in health and social care, for example, the Technical Level 3 Certificate in Health and Social Care.

Potential Careers

Care Assistant, Home Care Support Worker, Nurse, Care Supervisor, Midwife, Social Services Officer, Care Assistant, Outreach Development Worker and Community Support Worker

Useful links


Enrichment Opportunities

 Links with outside agencies, employers and other educational providers, knowledge and understanding of the sector.

Trips to health and social care settings.


Food, Hospitality and Catering

Team Members

Mr M Jackson – Head of Design and Technology and Art

Ms E Tozer – Teacher

Ms J Smith – D&T Technician

Curriculum Overview

KS3 Food

During the KS3 Food rotation, we aim to build a foundation of skills focusing primarily on health & safety and basic food hygiene within the kitchen environment. Pupils will perform practical lessons to enhance their cookery skills and produce project work based on how to maintain a healthy lifestyle through basic nutritional understanding. Pupils will complete simple introductory practical task to ensure they can safely navigate the kitchen, move swiftly onto planning and producing healthy snacks/meals. All practical work is evaluated or self-assessed.

KS4 Hospitality and Catering

What are the main features of the course?

The hospitality and catering sector includes all businesses that provide food, beverages and/or accommodation services. This includes restaurants, hotels, pubs and bars.  It also includes airlines, tourist attractions, hospitals and sports venues; businesses where hospitality and catering is not their primary service but is increasingly important to their success.  According to the British Hospitality Association, hospitality and catering is Britain’s fourth largest industry and accounts for around 10% of the total workforce.

The WJEC Level 1/2 Vocational Award in Hospitality and Catering has been designed to support learners in schools and colleges who want to learn about this vocational sector and the potential it can offer them for their careers or further study.

This structure has been designed to develop in learners the knowledge and understanding related to a range of hospitality and catering providers; how they operate and what they have to take into account to be successful.  There is the opportunity to learn about issues related to nutrition and food safety and how they affect successful hospitality and catering operations.  In this qualification, learners will also have the opportunity to develop some food preparation and cooking skills as well as transferable skills of problem solving, organisation and time management, planning and communication.

What will students learn? 

Each of the units of the WJEC Level 1/2 Vocational Award in Hospitality and Catering has been designed so that knowledge, skills and understanding are developed through tasks that have many of the characteristics of real work in the sector.  Each unit has what is referred to as an applied purpose, which acts as a focus for the learning in the unit.  They have been devised around the concept of a ‘plan, do, review’ approach so that learners take part in practical activities in different contexts in order to learn the related theories.  This approach mirrors many work related activities in the hospitality and catering sector and also provides for learning in a range of contexts.  As such, the qualification provides learners with a broad appreciation of work in the hospitality and catering sector and wider opportunities for progression into further education, employment or training.

PSHE (including RSE) and Careers 

Team Members

Miss L Holt – PSHE and Careers Coordinator

Curriculum Overview

At KS3, students have access to one lesson each week of Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE). At KS4 PSHE is delivered through form time. Topics covered include: Careers, Finance, Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) and elements of Religious Education.

The curriculum aims to prepare our learners for the world today and to give them the opportunity to discuss issues that concern them in a safe and supportive environment. Through their time at Bluecoat Beechdale Academy, we aim to build resilient learners who are equipped with the information that they need to keep themselves safe and healthy in order to thrive in the present and future. Each year, RSE and Careers topics are revisited building in content, forming a spiral curriculum that is age appropriate.

Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) is a legal requirement of your child’s education. It involves teaching your child about healthy relationships, reproduction, sexuality and sexual health. It doesn’t promote early sexual activity or any particular sexual orientation. As a parent, you can withdraw your children from all other parts of sex and relationship education. Please see Bluecoat Beechdale Academy’s Sex and Relationships Education Policy for more details.

At Bluecoat Beechdale Academy, our Careers Education aim is to ensure every child develops the knowledge and skills required to succeed in the most aspirational pathway for them. Our detailed careers program provides clear guidance from year 7 through to when students leave us to take the next step in their education. Further details of our careers provision can be found on the careers page on our website.

In order to support our learners to make informed decisions regarding their future careers, we have invested in the Careers Package Unifrog. This package stays with the student after they leave the academy and becomes a central point to store CV’s, covering letters and personal statements that they will need when applying for Colleges, Universities and the world of work thereafter.

Below is an outline of the units which your child will learn, discuss and reflect on from Year 7 through to Year 11. For further details on the purpose, objectives and content of PSHE Education please see the links below.


Year 7 Transition and Safety
Careers – Developing skills and aspirations (Unifrog)
Health and puberty
Building relationships
Financial decision making
Year 8 Drugs and alcohol
Emotional wellbeing
Careers – Making curriculum choices (Unifrog)
Identity and relationships
Digital literacy (online safety)
Year 9 Peer influence, substance use and gangs
Careers – Setting goals (Unifrog)
Respectful relationships
Healthy lifestyle
Intimate relationships
Careers- Employability skills (Unifrog)
Year 10 Mental health
Careers – Preparing for work experience (Unifrog)
Healthy relationships
Exploring influence
Addressing extremism and radicalisation
Financial decision making
Year 11 Careers – Next steps (Unifrog)
Building for the future
Communication in relationships and families

Useful Links

PSHE Association: Curriculum

PSHE Association: Resources



Curriculum overview

I am a citizen, not of Athens or Greece, but of the world’  – Socrates

GCSE Citizenship Studies has the power to motivate and enable young people to become thoughtful, active citizens.

Students gain a deeper knowledge of democracy, government and law, and develop skills to create sustained and reasoned arguments, present various viewpoints and plan practical citizenship actions to benefit society.

They will also gain the ability to recognise bias, critically evaluate argument, weigh evidence and look for alternative interpretations and sources of evidence, all of which are essential skills valued by higher education and employers.

AQA GCSE Citizenship

At Key Stage 4, students work towards their GCSE Citizenship qualification which is awarded by the AQA exam board. At the end of the course students will sit two exams and gain a qualification in GCSE Citizenship Studies.  Each exam covers two of the main themes of the course and these are outlined below.

Paper 1

What’s assessed

Section A: Active citizenship

Section B: Politics and participation

How it’s assessed

  • Written exam: 1 hour 45 minutes
  • 80 marks
  • 50% of GCSE


  • Section A: Active citizenship questions: questions on the citizenship action of others and questions on the students taking citizenship action investigation (40 marks)
  • Section B: Politics and participation question (40 marks)
  • Question types: multiple-choice, short answer, source-based questions, extended answer

Paper 2

What’s assessed

Section A: Life in modern Britain

Section B: Rights and responsibilities

How it’s assessed

  • Written exam: 1 hour 45 minutes
  • 80 marks
  • 50% of GCSE


  • Section A: Life in modern Britain questions (40 marks)
  • Section B: Rights and responsibilities questions (40 marks)
  • Question types: multiple-choice, short answer, source-based questions, extended answer

Potential Careers

The study of GCSE Citizenship can lead into numerous courses and careers in the future including:

  • Politics
  • Media
  • Journalism
  • Civil service
  • Economics
  • Law

Useful Links

For further course information go to – https://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/citizenship/gcse/citizenship-studies-8100/specification-at-a-glance


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