Our Curriculum

Our Curriculum

The foundation of the school’s subject offerings and choice is rooted in our STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art & Mathematics) and Creative Learning programme.

With our innovative and creative curriculum students are prepared to make the ‘right’ choices for their GCSEs in Year 10. Some of the subject content is started in Year 9 to ‘fast track’ and accelerate our students’ progress for early entry in some subject areas.

Unlike some schools, Sunmarke has not separated students into different pathways and reduced or limited curriculum choices for less able students. We believe that all students should have an equal opportunity to their education and should all receive the necessary challenge or support.

GCSE Courses

All students will study the core subjects, optional GCSE subjects and non GCSE subjects. Subjects that are most applicable to an individual student depends upon their academic ability, motivation and personal interests and options. Students discuss their subject options with their subject teachers, senior leaders and career counsellor.

Students who have been identified as requiring individual support will reduce their number of subjects to allow for intervention.

The compulsory core subjects at GCSE offered throughout Year 9 to 11 are:

The English Language allows students to develop the skills of reading a wide range of texts fluently and with good comprehension whether students aspire to become future journalists, writers or effect speakers. 

They will critically appraise texts and use knowledge gained from wider reading to inform and improve their own writing. Students will learn and develop skills that help them to write effectively and coherently using Standard English appropriately. Students need to develop skills that use grammar correctly, punctuate and spell accurately to evidence a mature application of the English Language. They must also ensure that they acquire and apply a wide vocabulary alongside knowledge and understanding of grammatical terminology, and linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language.

English Language Study texts:
• The contemporary non-fiction texts from Part 1 of the Pearson Edexcel
International GCSE English Anthology.
• The poetry and prose texts from Part 2 of the Pearson Edexcel International
GCSE English Anthology.


English Literature Study texts:
• Macbeth – William Shakespeare
• An Inspector Calls – J.B. Priestly
• Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck
• A collection of poetry from the Edexcel anthology

The Mathematics Department at Sunmarke School aims to promote an interest and curiosity in all aspects of Mathematics.

The Department teaches mathematics both for its own sake and to support study in other areas. An important aspect of our teaching is to promote effective communication using Mathematics so that students learn to communicate in a logical and concise way. At the heart of our teaching is the development of each child’s confidence in Mathematics. Students of all abilities will develop their mathematical skills, and we aim to engender a love of Mathematics.

Some of the areas students learn include:
• Number
• Algebra
• Shape, Space and Measures
• Data Handling
• Probability

“If you’re scientifically literate, the world looks very different to you, and that understanding empowers you” – Neil DeGrasse Tyson

Studying science helps you to understand the world around you and make informed decisions. It also helps you to develop critical thinking skills and enables you to collect, interpret, analyse and present information in any context.

Students will study biology, chemistry and physics content and develop transferable practical skills.

At Sunmarke, we offer French and Spanish in Secondary. We believe that language learning is a key part of pupils’ learning experience and is a very enriching experience.

More than 220 million people speak French on the five continents. French is the second most widely learned foreign language after English, and the sixth most widely spoken language in the world. French is also the only language, alongside English, that is taught in every country in the world. French is spoken literally all around the world.

Spanish is the second most spoken language in the world and the most spoken language in the Americas. It’s the official language in Spain, most countries in Central and South America, and several Caribbean countries too. It’s a useful language to know when doing business with Spanish or Latin American firms, and a great way to strengthen your CV and improve your career prospects. So even if you don’t fancy yourself a globetrotter, Spanish is probably the most useful language to learn if you want to flex your language muscles on a daily basis.

Why do we care so much about languages at Sunmarke?

Emphasising foreign languages and other social sciences is still relevant – critical, even – in the 21st century.

Even Steve Jobs infamously insisted that the future will require experts in “the human, cultural, and social as well as the computational.”


Design and technology is an inspiring, rigorous and practical subject. Using creativity and imagination, students design and make products that solve real and relevant problems within a variety of contexts, considering their own and others needs, wants and values. A high-quality design and technology education is essential to developing a child’s creativity, and reasoning and problem-solving skills, passion and interests.

Studying a DT course sets students up for a huge variety of careers. Many of our students move into successful careers in product, design and engineering and other STEAM related vocations.

Resistant Materials

This specialism uses a wide range of materials and processes to create products with creativity and originality. Students will use woods, metals, plastics and composite materials to make products. New technologies will also be used and encouraged with our specialist rooms having the ability to 3D print, laser and router materials.



Food and Nutrition

Food and Nutrition allows students to develop a basic life skill. The focus on Nutrition ensures students understand what different nutrients are found in the different food groups, and what is needed to live a healthy lifestyle. Students will develop a range of cooking skills, with the majority of the recipes being savoury meals.




Our specialist textiles lab has been kitted out with some fantastic machines and equipment. During the course, pupils will complete a range of projects which will develop their knowledge and skills around design, production using hand sewing and machining techniques, materials and different textiles processes.



Graphic Products

Graphic Products is a subject that explores creative structures using paper, card and modelling materials. Students will use a range of creative skills, computer programmes and model making skills to create innovative graphical based solutions to design challenges.




We have a state of the art purpose built electronics workshop where students will learn about basic electronic components, progressing towards designing, manufacturing and programming their own circuit at GCSE. Students will also use CAD/CAM to create the housing and mechanisms the circuits will control.






A-Level Product Design

Students acquire a broad range of subject knowledge and draw on disciplines such as mathematics, science, engineering, computing and art. Students learn how to take risks, becoming resourceful, innovative, enterprising and capable citizens. Through the evaluation of past and present design and technology, they develop a critical understanding of its impact on daily life and the wider world. During the A level course, students will specialise in either Resistant Materials, Graphic Products, Electronics or Textiles.


BTEC Hospitality

BTEC Hospitality encompasses a range of topics in which students will develop their knowledge of the workings of the hospitality industry. They will learn the structure of different businesses including how to be a successful manager, hotelier, restaurateur and event planner. Students will learn about different cuisines; the history, modernization and their influence on different countries cuisines. They will also learn to cook and present these foods to restaurant standard. Students will utilize mathematic skills whilst looking at the economics of the hospitality industry. They will also improve their public speaking through presentations and role-playing exercises. Students will have a real-world insight into the hospitality industry through visits and trips out to various establishments.

BTEC Courses (Level 2)

As an alternative career pathway for career-related and practically inclined students, Sunmarke offers a unique BTEC programmes (level 2) to students from Year 10 for 2 years giving them an opportunity to develop their career-related skills through a practical approach and prepare them for future career paths.

We offer BTEC level 2 courses in:

The course develops students’ understanding of Business, encourages creative thinking and decision making. Students will learn about the world of business through research and investigation, as well as practical tasks. Students will be able to develop their communication, planning and team-working skills, as well as gaining techniques, personal skills and attributes that are essential for professional success in the industry.

The media and its influence continue to shape the way we think and our view on the world. Through the practical nature of the BTEC Level 2 course you will have an opportunity to gain insight into the world of media not just as consumer but also as a producer.

This course allows you to look at a range of units and develops your knowledge, understanding and practical skills of IT to prepare you for employment in the IT industry.
It allows you to explore a work-related vocational qualification, giving you a taste of the IT industry, how to manage an IT project and build an IT solution.

All our BTEC programmes offer a flexible range of qualifications that can be studied as part of a larger programme of study. All course sizes are awarded UCAS points and are widely recognised by universities and employers.

Students will have the opportunity to choose between different qualification sizes so they have the option to study alongside their GCSEs.

View our Options & Information Booklet for full details on the GCSE and BTEC core subjects and option blocks.

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