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Year 9

Key Stage 3 curriculum can be found here

Year 9 Preferences

The Year 9 preferences information evening will be held on Thursday 25th January 6.00-7.00pm.

The presentation to parents/carers about the Year 9 preferences and the preferences booklet can be downloaded by the links below.

Presentation to parents/carers

Year 9 Preferences booklet

Year 9 Careers Advice & Guidance

There is useful information on the CVC Careers website, where you will find careers information. Please follow this link to the Year 10 Careers website.


Art and Design at Cottenham is a practical-based subject taught, by specialist teachers, in 2 fully-equipped Art studios and a purpose-built ceramic room. Pupils are given the opportunity to develop their skills in painting, drawing, printmaking and three-dimensional work, using media including paint, oil pastels, charcoal, pencil and clay.

Pupils are encouraged to express themselves creatively, whilst learning the fundamental skills, to prepare them for further study.

More about Art


Computing and IT

Computing is about understanding computers and computer systems. Every day we are using computer systems; modern civilisation would not function without it. Computer systems control airplanes, our health service, cars, coffee makers, washing machines, tax systems, the internet, microwave cookers, mobile phone networks, laptops, desktops, alarms, central heating, remote control television, traffic light systems and more.  To comprehend our place in the digital world, we must understand that it is the human that is clever – not the machine.

Students have one lesson of computing a week.

The Curriculum Overview for Year 9

In Year 9, computing students are also preparing to make their option choices for GCSE.  The faculty offers GCSE and level 2 courses in: IT, computing and business studies.  To be able to make an informed choice, students in Year 9 study a unit which is based on IT in a business environment, and participate in a ‘dragons-den’ marketing & finance project. The units in Year 9 also includes:

  • Databases
  • Animation & Multimedia
  • Programming with Python
  • Dragon’s Den project

Design Technology

Design and technology is a practical and design based subject taught by specialist teachers within two well equipped workshops, a graphics studio, an ICT suite and food technology room. A number of smaller teaching spaces provide access to textiles, electronics and CAD/CAM. Students learn basic skills in a number of key areas including materials, textiles, food, CAD/CAM, control, graphics and product design.

Research, designing, planning, making and evaluating underpin the key skills being studied.

More about DT


Drama in the lower school is a practical subject and students are provided with a supportive atmosphere in which to explore, develop and share their ideas.

The major part of the work revolves around group role play, using the medium of Drama and the elements of Drama. We teach a range of explorative strategies, such as, thought-tracking, cross-cutting, narration, split stage, and still-image through a diverse range of topics, scenarios and stimuli.

The following are some of the topics we will cover:

  • Leaving Home
  • Improvisation
  • Trouble at the Disco
  • The Train Incident
  • Year 9 Drama Exam- preparation for options
  • Mysterious Pictures
  • Ring-a-Ring–a-Roses


Students in year 9 will explore Dance as both performers and choreographers.  They will experience a variety of projects to facilitate their learning, including both group and solo performance pieces and choreography.  A range of Dance styles and genres will be introduced, including contemporary, commercial and musical theatre. The specific projects and music selections will vary yearly to reflect current themes and the strengths of the students in the group.

More about Dance


English at Cottenham is an exciting subject taught by experienced and enthusiastic teachers with a range of specialisms (including drama, spoken language and medieval literatures), all of which are used to inform the diverse curriculum enjoyed by our students.
We challenge our students to be their best by guiding them through a range of taught units of work that develop an extensive range of skills. Empathy is encouraged through our reading of the class novel; creativity is cultivated through descriptive and narrative writing tasks; diversity is delved into through our explorations of Victorian literature. There is something in our curriculum to entice everyone!
Students’ learning also has vital real-world application: it is practical, useful and, most importantly, interesting. Our lessons acknowledge the importance of oral communication, be it speaking independently in front of a group of people, leading a group in discussion or working co-operatively as part of a team.
Our English programme embraces the disciplines of Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening. We recognise each of these disciplines as a fundamental element in achieving our over-arching aim: teaching students to communicate in a variety of situations for a range of purposes. Every unit of work purposefully incorporates opportunities to develop skills in each of these disciplines.

More about English


Geography is the study of the earth’s landscapes, peoples, places and environments. It is, quite simply, about the world in which we live. Geography at Cottenham stimulates an interest in, and a sense of wonder about, places. It engages students to think about our changing world, how people and the environment interact, where places are, how places and landscapes are formed, and perhaps most importantly today, helps young people make sense of the complex interactions between economic, social and environmental factors prevalent in our world.

Throughout Key Stages 3 and 4, lessons will build on students’ own experiences and engage with recent events to investigate places at all scales from the personal to the global.

More about Geography


History is the study of the human past. It fascinates and it shocks; is causes joy and sadness in all those who study it. Yet there can be no doubt that it is inescapable, confronting us in the twenty-first century at every turn. A politician’s speech, a quiet road-side memorial or a great-grandfather’s old journal: all of these present us with historical challenges. To comprehend our place in the world today, we must understand that we are always ‘walking backwards into tomorrow’, never knowing what lies ahead, but always in the knowledge of that which went before. This is what history is all about.

History is a highly controversial subject in schools with great debate over what content should be taught, whether the emphasis should be on ‘facts’ or ‘skills’ and what the nature of the relationship between history and national identity is or might be. Sadly, many newspapers and government ministers, past and present, treat these debates in a simplistic and superficial manner, and it is rarely possible to garner what happens in the classroom from a newspaper article or a political speech. History at Cottenham has several principles which we use to help us design our Key Stage 3 curriculum.

  • Enquiry based history– all of our students study a sequence of lessons addressing an overarching enquiry question. The knowledge we teach is used to answer these questions.
  • Broad chronological range– students study a broad span of history from the middle ages to the present day.
  • British, European and world history– learning our country’s history is important. So too is an ability to situate this knowledge in a wider European and global context.
  • History is for everyone– knowledge of the past is an entitlement for all students, regardless of academic ability.
More about History


Mathematics at Cottenham Village College is a five year course culminating in GCSE examinations at the end of year 11.  We aim to support the College’s “Best in You” motto by increasing our students’ fluency, reasoning and problem solving skills in mathematics as they progress through our school.

The key aims for year 9 mathematics are:

  • To start the GCSE course
  • To develop problem solving skills
  • To make connections within mathematics
  • To establish good mathematical communication skills
  • To become fluent in using basic algebraic manipulation skills.

The focus for year 9 is on laying a solid foundation for GCSE AQA 8300 course.

The first module lasts for the whole of the autumn term and introduces new mathematical topics as well as some critically important ideas such as proof. The modules that occupy the spring and summer terms contain most of the new GCSE content that year 9 will not have studied in years 7 and 8, as well as trying to improve basic algebraic skills to support the greater emphasis on algebra at GCSE level.

Students also focus on improving their mathematical communication skills, both by using formal notation for geometry, set notation and sequences, and by ensuring that they show clearly the methods they use to arrive at their answers.

Students are placed in classes according to their achievements in year 8.  They are regularly re-assessed throughout the year.  They record their performances on comprehensive analysis sheets which are used to inform any necessary intervention work.

The tier of study for years 10 and 11 will be determined by the year 9 assessments, with the terminal assessment being of particular importance.

Modern Languages (French)
This page will be updated soon


All students in Music are encouraged to develop their musicianship skills to enable them to demonstrate their understanding of a range of musical styles, genres and traditions. Learning takes place in a well-resourced Music department, which comprises a ‘state of the art’, Mac studio, Keyboard studio, Recording studio, an Instrumental Teaching room and Practice rooms. Opportunities for enrichment include extra-curricular clubs, instrumental lessons, work with outside musicians, an annual trip to Kings College Carol concert, school concerts and shows, and larger scale performances that take place in public venues.

More about Music



Students are encouraged to work hard whilst continuing to develop the more complex skills and tactics and learning new techniques and concepts which will continue to prepare them for leading a healthy and active lifestyle now and in the future.

The areas that we focus on with regards to the National Curriculum are set out below and the timetable of activities are available here.

More about PE

Philosophy and Religious Education

The aim of Philosophy, Religion and Ethics at Cottenham is to help students be more considerate. We encourage students to be considerate of the rights and sensitivities of people whose beliefs are different to their own. However, we also ask students to consider what their own moral, philosophical and religious beliefs are, why they hold them, whether they can be justified and how beliefs affect different people’s practices and actions. While many of the topics covered teach students about the six largest world religions (Hinduism, Christianity, Buddhism, Islam, Sikhism and Judaism) students will also come across ideas and arguments from other religious groups and many non-religious thinkers.

We aim to move all students’ thinking from the simple to the reflective, from the casual to the considered and from the vague to the well-informed. We want to pupils to become comfortable with religious and philosophical questions but develop the skills, interest and dedication to work towards answers.

Students are encouraged to engage in oral argument and discussion, personal reflection, the organisation and expression of their thoughts in writing.

More about Philosphy and Religious Education


Our personal development programme covers all aspects of PSHE and citizenship, mainly through conference days when ordinary lessons are replaced with a more flexible programme, which often includes theatre or guest speakers. Health matters, drugs, relationships, citizenship, team-building, first aid, the law and young people, and finances are among the topics covered.

We provide sex and relationships education (SRE) for all students; our programme encourages young people to have regard for moral considerations and the value of family life. The programme uses materials appropriate to the needs and ages of our students. Some aspects are covered in Science lessons in Years 7 and 9 as well as during Key Stage 4 examination work in Years 10 and 11. Further related topics are also studied in areas of Humanities, English and Drama. Additionally, we organise visits from trained individuals to give separate gender-specific talks with more general mixed sessions. These take place during Years 7 and 10 and include focus on both biological and emotional matters.


In Year 9 pupils continue to focus on their scientific skills, building confidence in areas such as graph drawing using GCSE criteria to prepare pupils for their KS4 courses.  Pupils continue to broaden their understanding of key concepts in Chemistry, Physics and Biology in the Autumn Term and will start the KS4 curriculum in the Spring Term.

At Key Stage 4 we follow the Edexcel Certificate (IGCSE) in Sciences as well as OCR Gateway B Core and Additional GCSE Science courses and also offer the OCR Entry Level Science course for some pupils.  Initially pupils will be taught content that overlaps in all programmes of study for the KS4 curriculum. Pupils and parents will be involved in the discussions for the best course at Key Stage 4 during the Year 9 options process.