CWLC Curriculum 2018-06-14T12:04:12+00:00

“There is a focus on ensuring that the curriculum and provision for all students offers a depth and breadth of learning and the curriculum is regularly reviewed… Students are making consistently outstanding progress, developing secure knowledge across a broad and balanced range of subjects, as a result of good and outstanding teaching.” IQM Report 2017

Our Curriculum

“In pursuit of excellence” is our school motto and at Christopher Whitehead Language College and Sixth Form we aim to provide a curriculum which is broad and balanced and enables all students to achieve excellence in all areas of the curriculum.

Our curriculum design prepares students for their future. It challenges students to study a wide range of subjects throughout their GCSE years and to provide a spring board to post-16 study.

As a school we are committed to offering all students to the range of subjects to enable them to achieve the English Baccalaureate and to keep their options open to all career pathways.

Throughout all subjects’ students are challenged to think for themselves and develop their literacy and numeracy skills. We aim to develop well-rounded individuals who are ready for the world of work, independent, creative and sociable students, who are motivated to learn.

At Key Stage Three students all study English, mathematics, science, history, geography, a modern foreign language (one of French, German or Spanish), art, music, drama, dance, physical education, RE, computing and ICT, and values and ethics.

A very small number of students are disapplied from languages to study additional English or attend intervention.

At Key Stage Four students continue with our core subjects:
• English
• Mathematics
• Science (dual or triple award)
• Modern foreign language
• History or Geography
• Physical Education
• RE / Values and ethics

In year 9, students choose four additional options to study.  These options include at least one subject from art, music, dance or drama; one subject from material technology, food & you, fashion & textiles, graphic communication, information technology or computer science; then free choice for the other two options.

During the year the students select two out of the four options to continue to the end of year 11 and be examined in.

In addition to our core curriculum students are able to study Mandarin Chinese.


Students who join our sixth form select 3 main A-levels from a range of 23 subjects on offer. In 2017 this offer will expand to include a BTEC Level 3 course in Physical Education and a VTCT level 3 technical certificate in hairdressing.

Years 7-8

In years 7-8, students study English, maths, science, technology (including material technology, food preparation and nutrition, textiles and graphics), history, geography, religious studies, computer science & information technology, art, music, drama, dance, French, German or Spanish, physical education and values and ethics.

In year 7, students begin a very thorough careers and education guidance programme which continues through to year 11. Students are broadly set on entry in all subjects and there are termly opportunities to change sets.

We aim to offer a broad and balanced curriculum at key stage 4 whilst enabling students an element of choice about their studies. Except for those disapplied from languages at key stage three, all students follow a pathway which enables them to achieve the English Baccalaureate.

In years 10 and 11 students continue with our core subjects:
• English
• Mathematics
• Science (dual or triple award)
• Modern foreign language
• History or Geography
• Physical Education
• RE / Values and ethics

Students are set by ability for all core subjects except for RE/Value and ethics which are taught in mixed ability groups. Students spend 40 hours per fortnight studying their core subjects.

Students then choose two additional options from the following subjects:
Art and Design
Art and Design: theatre and make – up
Art and Design: photography
Business Studies (BTEC)
Catering (GCSE)
Children’s Play, Learning and Development (BTEC)
Chinese – Mandarin (GCSE)
Classical Civilisations (GCSE)
Computer Science (GCSE)
Dance (GCSE)
Drama (GCSE)
Food preparation and nutrition (GCSE)
Graphic Products (GCSE)
Hair and Beauty Therapy (VTCT)
ICT (OCR National)
Music (BTEC or GCSE)
Physical Education (GCSE)
Religion, Philosophy and Applied Ethics (GCSE)
Resistant Materials (GCSE)
Science (Triple Scientists have additional hours for triple science)
Textiles (GCSE)

We endeavour to keep the option offer as broad as possible but on occasions we are unable to offer all subjects due to demand.

Students apply separately for our sixth form. Students are encouraged to select three A level courses or a combination of A level and BTEC courses from the selection below:

Art – Fine Art
Art – Photography
Business Studies
Classic Studies
Computer Science
English Language & Literature
English Literature
Fashion & Textiles
Further Mathematics AS level
Graphic Design
Hairdressing (Double award VTCT)
Physical Education (A level or Single award BTEC)
Philosophy and Ethics

In addition to their core subjects students are expected to attend careers and pastoral lessons. During this time students are supported with their studies and also with finding appropriate work experience placements, in applying for university or further education opportunities, and preparing themselves for life after Christopher Whitehead Language College and Sixth From.

Every week students are also invited to participate in our enrichment programme. This is an opportunity to get involved in a myriad of activities including
• living independently: essential life skills;
• cooking on a budget;
• debate club;
• dance club;
• Couch to 5K
• football with West Bromwich Albion coaches
• music club

We also have our unique Impetus programme, which aims to support students in gaining experiences for the future. These include careers breakfasts; independent careers advice; university open days; and a programme of invited speakers from academia and industry which help to equip students for their next steps. Students are also encouraged to become peer mentors, apprentice teachers, or join the student council or charity committee.
For more information please see the sixth form prospectus and website pages.

In Year 9 students can choose which subjects they wish to take forward as GCSE and technical awards.

For more information please see our options booklet:



Business Studies
Design and Technology
Hair and Beauty
Health and Social Care
Modern Foreign Languages
Physical Education
Religious Studies
Values & Ethics