As an Academy, we have far more freedom than many schools to provide a varied, innovative and stimulating curriculum that offers all students the chance to develop according to their talents, interests and ambitions.

Key Stage 3

For more information contact our Assistant Principal (KS3) Mr Jenks using our contacts page

Every student at Forge does not begin their secondary school journey in September of year 7, but in the transition programme we provide during year 6. All students spend at least 6 days (over a three-week period) during June and July meeting their new classmates, new staff and experiencing what life will be like at Forge. Our Summer School provision also gives students the chance to get to know Forge before they officially start in September. 

Our Key Stage 3 curriculum offers a broad range of different academic subjects and experiences. Our three-year programme offers subjects including art, music, geography, history, technology, Spanish, philosophy, religion and ethics, and ICT, but at its foundation has the core subjects of English, maths and science. Weekly PSHE lessons help our students stay healthy, safe and prepared for life – and future employment – in modern Britain.  

All students are set challenging expectations in all their subjects based on their different starting points. This may be as a result of their Key Stage 2 SATs results, or through a series of baseline tests during the first few days in year 7. Each subject has curriculum-related expectations to identify what we want students to know, and to be able to do. Throughout the year, regular formative and summative assessment takes place, and the academic and pastoral staff work together to ensure that any students at risk of underachievement are supported. More specific information about the curriculum and assessment can be found in the ‘Curriculum’ section of the website. 

English, maths and science make up the majority of a student’s timetable each week, with literacy and numeracy skills embedded to help students make maximum progress in all of their subjects. The timetable is completed with a range of other subjects that students study for either one or two hours a week.  

Timetable hours (32.5 as of September 2023): 

Subject Hours a week 
Year 7/8 Year 9 
 25 25 

Our GCSE Options process begins in year 9, where students make informed choices about their GCSE subjects with the support of the academy. Additional taster sessions of subjects such as business studies, health and social care and classics are offered to give students a broader experience of potential GCSE subjects. Alongside parents/carers, all students will have the chance to speak to a member of the Senior Leadership team about the important choices that will guide their future before they move into year 10. 

All students have the opportunity to take part in a variety of activities designed to promote and reinforce the core Academy values of aspiration, resilience and respect – these include working with the business world, mentoring programmes, careers trips, and partnership work with charities and the local community. The Forge year 7 Quest award aims to build well-rounded students by focusing on building their leadership and independence skills whilst rewarding their effort and commitment in the classroom. 

Key Stage 4

For more information contact our Assistant Principal (KS4) Mr Tyrie using our contacts page

All students study Mathematics for four periods per week and English Language and Literature for five periods per week in year 10 and 11. Science is delivered for four or seven lessons per week allowing access to all three Science areas with students following one of two pathways that suits their ability and future aspirations. Religious studies is also taught to all students, working towards a full course GCSE, recognising the importance the Academy gives to developing the broader moral understanding of the young people in our care. All students also continue to have one lesson per week of statutory Physical Education per week throughout key stage four.

Students choose to study either Geography or History and then either one or two further options including the option to study Spanish, thus allowing students to achieve the English Baccalaureate (EBacc). The EBacc, as per the DfE website “is made up of the subjects which are considered essential to many degrees and open up lots of doors”. A full complement of optional GCSE subjects is supplemented with vocational options in IT, Sport, Performance and Health and Social Care.

An individual programme of study is the priority for each student with an emphasis on encouraging them to choose subjects that they enjoy, are good at and provide an insight into any potential future career. All option subjects are taught in mixed ability groupings and all core subjects are set by ability. Students and parents are supported through options process with a comprehensive programme involving tutors, one to one conversations and an extensive offer of information sessions and events.

Key Stage 5

For more information contact our Assistant Principal (KS5) Mr Grimes using our contacts page

Students can study a range of courses over two years. There are over 20 different A level and BTEC courses to choose from. Students can choose courses dependent on their aspirations, career and university options or merely just the subjects they enjoy or are good at.

Students are expected to choose 3 or 4 A level courses or a BTEC course that is equivalent to 3 A levels.  In order to give students flexibility when choosing their post-16 options, it is possible for them to combine A levels with BTEC courses  if they so wish. All students are required to combine their subjects with work experience and an enrichment qualification such as financial studies, the Extended Project Qualification or the Certificate of Personal Effectiveness, each of which provides UCAS points in preparation for university. Furthermore, there are a range of other enrichment opportunities such as first aid courses, reading support or activities designed to develop student’s personal development, leadership skills and readiness for life after sixth form.

When not in lessons students have the option of working within the dedicated sixth form centre in either the common room or the study room.  They also have daily access to a careers advisor who is based in the sixth form centre, as well as graduate mentors who visit the sixth form each week to provide support  and assist with university applications.