College Curriculum

College Curriculum

The curriculum offered by Portadown College to every student is balanced and broadly based, reflecting the needs, interests and aptitudes of individual students and the needs of our economy. The College respects the right of parents and students who wish to withdraw from collective worship. An appropriate emphasis is placed on Games, Physical Education, Careers Education and Personal and Social Development through the curriculum and the wide range of extra-curricular activities on offer in the school.

Key Stage 4 Year 11

The majority of students entering Year 11 in September 2023 will study 9 full course subjects leading to GCSE awards at the end of Year 12. Students who apply for and are allocated a place to study Further Mathematics will complete 10 GCSE subjects. All students are required to study at least one Science option.

Compulsory Subjects

  • English Language
  • English Literature
  • Mathematics
  • Religious Studies
  • Physics or Chemistry or Biology or Single Award Science

Option Subjects

  • Agriculture and Land Use *
  • Art & Design
  • Biology
  • Business Communication Systems *
  • Business Studies *
  • Chemistry
  • Digital Technology Multimedia (formerly ICT) *
  • Digital Technology Programming (formerly Computing) *
  • Drama *
  • French
  • Further Mathematics
  • Geography
  • History
  • Learning for Life and Work *
  • Moving Image Arts *
  • Music
  • Nutrition and Food (formerly Home Economics)
  • Physical Education *
  • Physics
  • Spanish
  • Technology and Design

Subjects marked * can be taken as GCSE options without prior experience at Key Stage 3.

Please note:

  • Any Year 10 student wishing to take GCSE Further Mathematics from September 2023 onwards will be required to sit a Mathematics assessment for selection for the course. The assessment will take place in the College following confirmation that a student has secured a place in the College.
  • The GCSE curricular offer is correct at the time of publication. As such, it may be subject to change and verification.
  • Some restrictions on students taking particular subjects may be required if the subjects are over or undersubscribed. We endeavour to facilitate individual choice. However, this is not always possible.
  • If a subject is oversubscribed, places will be allocated based on the order of preference on the subject choice form. Where places are tied, the allocation will be based on available Key Stage 3 data.
  • The offer and delivery of a subject may be withdrawn should student uptake not be viable.

AS/A2 Level Studies 2023-2024

Your aptitudes, interests and ambitions

Portadown College offers A Level examinations in both traditional and vocational subjects. Vocational subjects such as Health and Social Care are similar to traditional A Levels but have stronger links with the world of work. Vocational courses contain a greater proportion of assessment by coursework than traditional ones.

A Levels are assessed through a combination of examinations and coursework. In most subjects the examinations carry the significant weight of assessment. If you enrol with us as a Sixth Former you can choose up to four subjects listed below. Some students study four subjects in both Years 13 and 14; others will continue with three in their second year. Our aim is to be as flexible as possible, allowing students to tailor their curriculum to their career planning.

Supporting the most able

In recent years it has become apparent that an increasing number of our students wish to study 5 AS Levels in Year 13 and some continue with all 5 into Year 14. We recognise that large numbers of our students are gifted and talented and make every attempt to meet their needs. Stretching the very able takes place in a number of ways, in addition to an expanded AS/A2 curriculum:

  • Oxbridge preparation;
  • Enrichment activities;
  • Mathematics Challenge UK;
  • Public speaking competitions;
  • Subject Olympiads.

We recognise that not every student will find the transition from GCSE to AS and A2 levels completely smooth. It is our aim, however, to support students in building the coping mechanisms they need to maximise their potential in the form of pastoral support, counselling, time management, planning, guided private study, careers advice and mentoring.


Please click on any Department below to find more details.