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Samuel Laycock School

KS4 Pathways

In year 9 pupils will choose an options Pathway for year 10 and 11 following participation in a taster day. Samuel Laycock currently has five pathway options from which pupils make one choice.


These are:

  • Performing Arts Pathway
  • Sports and Outdoor Pathway
  • Digital Pathway
  • Food Technology and Hospitality Pathway
  • Community Living and Life Skills Pathway


There are different levels and courses available within each of these subject areas.

Performing Arts Pathway

Curriculum Leader: Mrs Emma Loughran

From September 2021, we will be offering a new Performing Arts Pathway for pupils in Year 10 and 11 to look at vocational and academic opportunities in the Arts. The aim is for pupils to discover the basic principles of skills development, rehearsal and performance in a variety of areas of the Performing Arts industry. This will be completed through, skills workshops, performance, accredited learning, and working alongside professional artists and companies.  The Pathway intrinsically develops transferrable skills in communication, team-work, resilience and reflection.

Pupils choosing this pathway will take part in several theatre projects and performances in partnership with a range of organisations from the wider community, including working with practitioners from Oldham Coliseum and the National Youth Theatre. We also plan to form our very own Samuel Laycock Choir. An example of one of these of these collaborations is an exciting project with The National Youth Theatre which will culminate in a digital festival in May 2022. Pupils will also have opportunity to participate in shows, Christmas concerts and theatre visits.

Pupils will be given opportunities to develop dance and movement skills, along with drama techniques and skills. They will engage in community based performance projects throughout the year, learn about what working in the theatre entails and about being part of the wider community. Students will continue to develop lifelong skills in self-confidence and communication, moving towards greater independence.

The work will be accredited through Arts Award, where students will work towards completion of a portfolio of work to gain their Bronze Arts Award.


Sports and Outdoor Pathway

Course leader: Mr Nick Small

The Sports and Outdoor Pathway at Samuel Laycock is for those pupils who enjoy sport, PE and outdoor activities, with a view to a possible career in the sport and leisure industry. The pathway has been designed for pupils in years 10 and 11 to explore both vocational and academic prospects in sport and for those who enjoy or are interested in outdoor activity and adventure. The pupils choosing this pathway will be engaged in participation, competition and leadership opportunities.  The Pathway will promote a healthy and active lifestyle leading to a positive self-esteem and well-being.


The course is designed to run over two full days each week.  It is likely to be divided into six lessons of Outdoor Education four lessons of Duke of Edinburgh Award and two lessons of Sports Leadership on the other day. This will however be dependent upon the activity and learning taking place so maybe subject to change.


Not only will pupils physically participate in multiple sporting and outdoor activities, they will also be learning a variety of other skills and roles. These will include skills such as officiating, refereeing and analysis of performance, as well as looking at the academic side of PE through the Entry Level and Sports Leader programmes.

Pupils who undertake this pathway will need to sign up to a sports leader contract and will learn about and participate in a variety of sports. All will be supported and encouraged to take part in all of the sports and activities as this a requirement of the course, pupils will have opportunity to do this in a variety of environments.


Following the Sports and Outdoor pathway Pupils will have the opportunity to work towards the following qualifications: 

  • OCR Entry Level Certificate – (2 year course)
  • Sports Leader UK Level 1 and 2 
  • Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme – (From Bronze Award upwards)


Digital Pathway

Course leader: Ms Abi Cooke

The Digital Pathway is a route for pupils who enjoy technology and all things digital and aims to ensure that all pupils receive a high-quality computing education which equips pupils to use computational thinking and creativity to understand and influence their world. Samuel Laycock is currently undergoing a big upgrade to computing systems and equipment so this is a really exciting time for technology in school. The pathway is built around three clear strands:

  • Technical Support
  • Media Production
  • Enterprise Skills

This Pathway will enable pupils to develop their knowledge of digital systems.  They will be equipped to use information technology to create programs, systems and a range of content and will be able to apply their knowledge in a future workplace and as active participants in a digital world. Pupils will study many different topics such as creating viral ads in video production, designing games in programming, web design, hardware installation in technical IT and designing a promotional canvas in photo design, to name just a few.

Pupils will engage with accredited courses with the  most appropriate level chosen to meet the individual needs and abilities of your child and will create e-portfolios to evidence their work.


Food Technology and Hospitality Pathway

Curriculum Leader: Mrs Rebecca Rutter

Our Food Technology and Hospitality Pathway (for pupils in Year 10 and 11) enables pupils to look at vocational and academic opportunities in cooking and hospitality. The aim is for pupils to discover and practise the skills needed to be able to prepare and cook food safely. Pupils will learn about the food industry and what is needed to work within hospitality as well as vital life skills in preparation for independent living including planning, costing and shopping for ingredients and preparing meals.

The pathway will be delivered through a mix of practical and theory sessions, skills workshops, masterclasses, taste sessions, accredited learning through the completion of the food hygiene certificate, enterprise opportunities and trips/visits. There will be several opportunities for transferring learned skills and refining pupil’s practical capabilities throughout the year; which may include bake sales, catering for events and wider community opportunities for example, catering for events and potential volunteering opportunities.

Throughout our course at Samuel Laycock pupils will continue to develop lifelong skills in safe food preparation and cooking as well as vital self-confidence, team work, organisational and communication skills moving towards greater independence. They will keep portfolios of evidence reflecting their progress and celebrating achievements. The Food Technology team will nurture pupils, sensitively supporting them on an individual basis to achieve their full potential.

Community Living and Life Skills Pathway

Course leader: Miss Cathy McGeoghegan

The Community Living and Life Skills Pathway is an exciting new pathway that has been developed to support pupils whose destination is to live and work (potentially supported) in their local area.  The main focus of the pathway is to provide pupils with the social, functional and practical skills needed to be happy and independent adults.  The skills taught will be tailored to individual pupils so that the course remains purposeful throughout.  Pupils will be taught the key skills needed for English, Maths and ICT; alongside these they will be supported in extending their knowledge and skills in areas such as food technology and social skills.

Pupils on the pathway will be encouraged carefully, so that their self-esteem is boosted at every opportunity.  It is the aim of the pathway for pupils to feel empowered in being involved in decisions about their futures and the skills they would like to develop.  In the classroom pupils will develop vital abilities in areas such as organisational, social and teamwork skills which they will then have the opportunity to transfer in to the local community.  They will also learn about key independence skills such as budgeting, accessing leisure activities, travel, keeping themselves safe and relationships.

Pupils that chose the Community Living and Life Skills Pathway will be encouraged and supported to get involved in the local community.  This may take the form of work placements or working as a group towards a community project, for example improving an area of a local park or working alongside local charities such as a foodbank. Pupils will be supported in these projects and given the opportunity to develop their new found skills, when appropriate.  It is our aim for the pupils to realise their own importance and the positive impact they can have on the people around them.  Every effort will be made to work within a pupil’s special interests so that they get the most out of their learning. 

Throughout the pathway, pupils will keep a portfolio of evidence which will reflect the progress that they have made and celebrates their achievements.  This will be theirs to keep and can be used as reference for any further education or possible employment.  Pupils will work towards an accredited course that is suited to their personal needs and abilities.  This will include courses that are designed to help pupils develop the personal and social skills needed to help them progress to independent living and possible employment.  An example of this would be Entry Level certificates in Life and Living Skills.  The pupils will be nurtured and supported sensitively, at every step, to ensure that they achieve their full potential.