At Downham Market Academy we are committed to all students achieving the very best they can whilst at our school.

For Key Stage 4, this means students achieving at least 9 GCSEs or equivalent qualifications at the best grade possible for each student. We offer an extremely wide range of subjects for study in Years 10 and 11, and so it is important that the right decisions are made to allow appropriate pathways into further education and employment.

Every student will follow a core curriculum of English (Language and Literature), Mathematics, Science, and non-examined Physical Education throughout Key Stage 4 which accounts for about 60% of their timetable. The remainder will be selected from the subjects in the pathways information booklet. These subjects include both traditional GCSE options as well as vocational courses; BTECs, WJEC Vocational and Cambridge Nationals.

This is a fantastic opportunity for students to begin to take control of their future: however, we also realise that although this may be straightforward for many, it can also be quite overwhelming. There is a vast range of guidance and support available to help you and your child make the right choices. 

You will meet with your teachers at parents evening in the Autumn Term and there will be a further chance to discuss your pathway with a member of the senior leadership team in January. Please also refer to your progress in subjects so far by looking at your assessment report.

It is not always possible to accommodate all selections. We have to maintain reasonable class sizes and work around “clashes” that may occur. As a result we ask you to indicate other courses you might consider in the form of a reserve. For some students it may be necessary to use their reserve choice, so they must be subjects in which you have an interest and ability.

For more information please contact George Pettitt, Deputy Headteacher via email:

Pathsways Timeline 2024

Parents’ Evening14 December 2023Talk to Teachers
Pathways Assembly5 January 2024Introduction to Pathways Process
Pathways Booklet5 January 2024Emailed via EduLink and available on DMA Website
Virtual Pathway Appointment22 – 24 January 2024Discuss thoughts on Pathways with senior staff
Pathway Form sent to Students school email25 January 2024Check received
Pathway Form Submission Deadline16 February 2024To be completed online

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