NEXT STEPS Sixth Form Ages 16-18

Why High School?

One of the key strengths at Gateways, is our average class size of between 14-18 pupils. The benefits of small class sizes are huge; each pupil is given the attention they deserve and the effectiveness of teaching is dramatically enhanced. This is evidenced by our Value Added data which regularly places Gateways in the top ten of all schools nationally. Our average GCSE class size is 13 pupils.

How To Apply


Upper 3, Lower 4 and Upper 4 (Years 7, 8 and 9)


All pupils follow a broad curriculum which currently includes the following subjects; English, Maths, Art, Spanish, Latin, Geography, History, Music, Religious Studies, Drama, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Food Technology, Textiles, Computing, Physical Education and PSHE.

French and German are introduced in Upper 4 (year 9), when pupils must decide whether to also continue with Spanish.


Homework is an integral part of the academic day. Each year pupils are given a homework timetable indicating the subjects per evening and guidelines as to how long this should take. A supervised homework club runs every night until 6.00pm in the Cox-Simpson library. This is free of charge and all High School pupils can make use of this facility.

Academic Assessment and Rewards

Students are monitored throughout the year in all subjects. At the end of each term academic excellence and effort is recognised through subject awards assembly in which certificates are given to those who have achieved outstanding academic success or shown sustained effort to improve. Assessment is continuous through both class and homework. Students work with their Form Tutor to track, monitor and improve their work through the setting of targets.

House Points

House points and commendations are awarded for good pieces of work. Bronze, silver and gold certificates are awarded for each item to pupils achieving high numbers of house points. At the end of each term the house point totals are announced and count towards the House Cup awarded at the end of the Academic Year.

Reporting to Parents

The school virtual learning platform (Firefly) plays a key role in ensuring regular communication between home and school. More formally, reporting takes place each half term either in the form of a half-term review, a parents’ evening or a formative report. Pupils are invited to attend all parents’ evenings.

GCSE Years Lower 5 and Upper 5 (Years 10 and 11)

GCSE Options

Pupils follow the formal two year GCSE or iGCSE course.

Core subjects: English Language, English Literature, Maths, Double Science or Triple Science.

Optional Subjects: 4 subjects (or 3 if taking triple science) must be chosen, at least one of these must be a Modern Foreign Language. Other subjects include Art & Design, Art & Textiles, Business Studies, Classical Civilisation, Computing, Drama, Food Technology, French, Geography, German, History, Latin, Music, Physical Education, Religious Studies, Spanish, Three-dimensional design.

Additional subjects: non-GCSE physical education and PSHE.

Click here for our latest GCSE Options Booklet.

Controlled Assessments

Controlled Assessment is an integral part of many GCSE courses. It offers the opportunity to produce work of the highest possible standard, without the time pressures of an examination. Controlled Assessment and coursework are usually assessed internally, within strict guidelines to ensure standardisation.

Academic Reviews

An Academic Review provides a snapshot of progress. A full Formative Report is sent home during the year and this includes developmental targets to help improve standards. A parents’ evening is also held each year to discuss progress.

Tests and Examinations

Pupils are assessed throughout the year in all subjects and at the end of each term high achievers appear on the Merit boards. In June all pupils in High School have either school or public examinations. In Upper 5 (year 11) there are mock examinations and pupils will be given study leave at this time. Public examinations are held in May and June.

A Day in the life of ...

Taliya in High School


This morning was our class assembly. We decided to focus on friendship as this means a lot to us in the class. We spoke about the qualities that we find in a good friend such as someone who is always there for you. We all wrote the assembly together


History is my first lesson of the day. It is one of my favourite subjects because Mr Crosby explains it in a way that is fun and easy to understand. At the moment we are studying the Peasant's Revolt against the king after the Black Death. We watched cartoons to help us understand.


After lessons we rush to the dining room for some snacks - sometimes there are slices of pizza which are my favourite! Today we sit outside and have a chat before the next lesson because the sun is out.


In Spanish today we are in the language lab. We can call each other across the room to practise our conversations. I also like learning by testing myself on the iPad.


Today is fish and chip day which is everyone's favourite day! I need to eat a good lunch because I have rounders club straight after. Mrs Braithwaite teaches it and it's really fun - we get to try lots of different techniques and then practice them in a game. We also get to mix with other year groups.


This afternoon I have PE which is my favourite subject. Recently we have been doing athletics. I have been really enjoying the sprinting. Today we learnt how to improve our sprinting techniques by using sprint starts. After this I get changed for my final lesson before home time at 4pm.

What's happening in...High School


8th April 2024

Cherryvine – Spring 24

Below is a link to our Spring term issue of Cherryvine.  In this issue, we focus on Early Years as well as a round up of this term’s trips and events which...

Read more

15th December 2023

Cherryvine – Autumn 2023

Below is a link to our Autumn term issue of Cherryvine.  In this issue, we focus on ‘growth’ as well as a round up of this term’s trips and events which included...

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10th July 2023

Cherryvine – Summer 23

Below is a link to our Summer term issue of Cherryvine.  In this issue, we focus on wellbeing as well as a round up of this term’s trips and events which included...

Read more