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Tavistock College - Together: we care, we challenge, we excel

The Curriculum

Tavistock College aims to develop and inspire all students with their learning. We offer a wide range of learning experiences through a fully inclusive curriculum that strives to empower every student to reach their goals, achieve their full potential and enhance their life opportunities. During lessons we aim to deliver vibrant and supportive environments where students look forward to learning and take pride in their achievements.

Curriculum Policy

Curriculum policy 2022-23 can be found here Curriculum Policy 2022-23

Curriculum Content

For further information on our curriculum please contact the college or see our website.

Bare Essentials

Bare Essentials promotional video can be found here Bare Essentials Launch Video

Year 7 Bare Essentials Autumn 1 digital copy Year 7 Bare Essentials Autumn 1

Year 8 Bare Essentials Autumn 1 digital copy Year 8 Bare Essentials Autumn 1

Year 9 Bare Essentials Autumn 1 digital copy Year 9 Bare Essentials Autumn 1

Year 7 Bare Essentials Autumn 2 digital copy Year 7 Bare Essentials Autumn 2

Year 8 Bare Essentials Autumn 2 digital copy Year 8 Bare Essentials Autumn 2

Year 9 Bare Essentials Autumn 2 digital copy Year 9 Bare Essentials Autumn 2

Year 7 Bare Essentials 2024 Spring 1 digital copy Year 7 Bare Essentials 2024 Spring 1

Year 8 Bare Essentials 2024 Spring 1 digital copy Year 8 Bare Essentials 2024 Spring 1

Year 9 Bare Essentials 2024 Spring 1 digital copy Year 9 Bare Essentials 2024 Spring 1


Key Stage 3

Across KS3 students will study a broad and varied curriculum, with a greater emphasis (in terms of time) on the core subjects of English, Mathematics and Science. In addition to this, our students will also study a wide range of humanities, modern foreign languages, design technology, computing, creative and performing arts based subjects. Physical education and PSHCEE (Personal, Social, Health, Citizenship and Economic Education) is also delivered throughout Key Stage 3. We are fully compliant with the new National Curriculum September 2014.

At the end of the year they will then make a choice in consultation with their teacher and parents as to which one they go on to study in more depth in Year 10 and beyond.

We also carry out baseline tests with Year 7 – CAT (Cognitive Assessment Test) as a diagnostic tool which then enables us to provide targeted intervention for students who need additional support in these areas. More information about this can be found by contacting Mrs Turner our SENDCo.

At the end of KS3 you will choose your options into KS4.

Key Stage 4

At Key Stage 4 the curriculum will be made up of a core offer and chosen subjects.

The  core  curriculum  is  made  up of English, Mathematics, Science, Personal Development (which includes Religious Studies) and core PE. During English, students will study both English language and English literature.

Students also study a core curriculum which is not examined . We feel it is important for students to have an understanding of the world we live in. This is why KS4 students will continue in their learning of religion. Their curriculum will also include personal development;  to equip students with the social, emotional and health skills they need when they leave school.  Having a healthy body is also an important part of keeping well. As part of this, students will continue with core PE.

Students will study 3 subject choices (these traditionally might have been called options). These will be tailored to meet the needs of students.

All courses offered are Level 2 Qualifications and so equivalent to   GCSE regardless of  the regulatory body. This means that students will be able to access Post 16 education regardless of the particular mix of qualifications taken.

We will try to ensure students get as many  of  their  preferred  choices  as we can, but  it  may not  be possible for everyone to study all the subjects they have initially chosen. If a student is unable to get their first choice subjects, then they will receive further advice on what is available to them. We therefore ask that students make a reserve choice as part of this process.

In both English and mathematics there  will  be  options  for  students to study functional skills, as an alternative qualification, if this is appropriate for the young person. A BTEC Vocational Studies course will also be offered on an invite-only basis based on student need.

In Science students will have ten hours  a  fortnight.  Most  students will  study  double  award  science. This is where students study biology, chemistry   and   physics   but   they have a combined science GCSE qualification, which has two grades. Some students will study triple science. This is where students will be examined in each science separately. This gives students a separate grade in  each  science,  therefore  a  total of three GCSE grades. The Head of Science will decide, in conjunction with parents/carers, the appropriate path for students to follow.

Compulsory Subjects: These are subjects taken by all students nationally:

  • English
  • Science
  • Mathematics

Directed Choice (Choice 1): To ensure all students receive as broad and balanced a curriculum as possible, to support them in having a life of choice and opportunity in the future, students must select one subject from the list below:

  • Computer Science
  • French
  • Geography
  • Spanish
  • History

Free Choices (Choice 2, 3 and 4): To give all students the autonomy to control a large part of their GCSE timetable, students should select choice 2, 3 and 4 from the list below. Please be aware that choices should be entered in order of preference  and choice 4 is a student’s reserve choice. Additionally, subjects cannot be chosen twice.

  • Art and Design
  • Business Studies
  • Computer Science
  • Construction
  • Child Development
  • Creative iMedia
  • Design Technology
  • Drama
  • French
  • Geography
  • History
  • Hospitality and Catering
  • Media Studies
  • Music
  • Photography
  • Physical Education
  • Religious Studies
  • Spanish
  • Textiles

Year 9 Students who have already opted to take Level 2 Dance will continue to do so as part of their core PE offer and so will have an additional qualification at the end of Year 11. As previously communicated this means that they will not be able to choose Physical Education due to hours allocated.

Please note the following subjects cannot be taken together due to the significant overlap & repetition of content:

  • Students can take Photography or iMedia
  • Students can take iMedia or Media Studies
  • Students can take Art and Design or Photography or Textiles

Key Stage 5

See Tavistock College Sixth Form

The Sixth Form at Tavistock College offers a broad range of academic A levels and vocational courses. We pride ourselves on offering the highest quality of teaching and learning. Our aim is to provide clear advice and guidance, opportunities and learning experiences to enable all to progress to their chosen futures. We also provide an all-round education comprising of a wealth of opportunities for students to volunteer in the College and wider community, to lead younger students, to take part in sport and music and performances, where interests dictate, and to develop character. We aim to nurture, challenge and develop all students to enable their success.

As well as providing breadth, the College prides itself on excellence at Key Stage 5. The College runs an ‘Aspire’ programme for the most academically able, giving them an introduction to the wider world of competitive careers and universities. We consistently see a handful of students win places at Oxford and Cambridge Universities and onto prestigious courses, such as to study medicine, each year. A raft of students gain places at Russell Group universities and many others graduate to higher learning, apprenticeships or into successful careers. We support all students in their next steps, wherever they are headed.

Our curriculum consists of the choice of twenty-seven different A levels, including all of the traditional subjects plus some less common subjects. We also offer seven level 3 BTECs (A Level equivalent, vocational qualifications). We run a level 2 (GCSE equivalent level) course, for students who need an extra year before they move on to do level 3 courses. All students who do not already possess a grade 4 or higher in English and/or Mathematics GCSEs are supported to take these courses again until they attain the 4 grade or higher.

Our course offer is listed below:

A LevelsLevel 3 BTECLevel 2 Course
English LiteratureScience BTECBusiness or Travel & Tourism Level 2 BTEC
English LanguageMusic BTECWork Experience Level 2 BTEC
Media StudiesSport BTEC (Single Option)English Language GCSE
MathsSport BTEC (Double Option)Maths GCSE
Further MathsPublic Services
BiologyHealth & Social Care (Double Option)
ChemistryCreative Media
Business Studies
Business Applied
RE: Philosophy & Ethics
Performance Studies
Product Design


The College pays for all faculty exam entries with the exception of re-sit entries for which the student is expected to cover the cost of the entry fee. If a student is in receipt of free school meals (FSM) there may be the possibility of re-sit entry costs being waivered by the College (Pre-16) or covered by a bursary payment (Post 16).