01 July, 2022

Key Stage 4 Curriculum

At The British International School Shanghai, Puxi, we take great pride in preparing our Key Stage 4 (KS4) students with the support and guidance they need to complete external examinations.  

So, what does Key Stage 4 mean? KS4 curriculum covers years 10 and 11, which is a very important time in a student’s education. Most KS4 students are aged 14-years-old at the start of Year 10, and 16 by the end of Year 11, although many students may be younger or older.  

At The British International School Shanghai, Puxi, we base our high school curriculum on the UK education system, following the British National Curriculum, and our KS4 curriculum helps students prepare for the exams that will give them access to top universities. We aim to support every student throughout their education and ensure each student is prepared to take exams under the system known as the International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE). 

IGCSE courses in Key Stage 4  

The International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) is the international version of the GCSE courses taken by students in England. IGCSE courses are offered in a range of subjects, and KS4 students are given the choice, perhaps for the first time, to choose many of the subjects they wish to pursue. 

There are still subjects that are required for all KS4 students to take, including English, maths, science and ideally one language. However, students will have the chance to select from a variety of courses to discover their interests and passions. This allows students to take responsibility for their education and gives them an opportunity to develop an understanding of their future goals.  

Students at Key Stage 4 will then take IGCSE exams, which are recognised by employers and universities worldwide. These IGCSE exams are not just school examinations—they are accepted qualifications that will help students enter universities around the world and assist them in acquiring successful careers in the future. 

The IGCSE exams offered at The British International School Shanghai, Puxi, are slightly amended from the versions taken by students in Britain. The exams are slightly changed to better reflect the varied backgrounds of students at international high schools. An IGCSE exam is taken in all the subjects that students study, except Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) education and games. 

 Key Stage 4 Maths Curriculum 

The Key Stage 4 maths curriculum at The British International School Shanghai, Puxi follows the Mathematics Programmes of Study within the National Curriculum in England. We provide an exceptional, high-quality mathematics education that fosters a foundation for understanding the world. We aim to encourage a sense of enjoyment and curiosity about the subject. 

The Key Stage 4 maths curriculum will allow students to develop math fluency, reason mathematically and solve problems. Topics that students learn in this course include the following:

  • Numbers 
  • Algebra  
  • Ratio, proportion and rates of change
  • Geometry and measures
  • Probability
  • Statistics 

Content that students learn includes how to apply systematic listing strategies; calculate with roots and with integer (and fractional) indices; how to simplify and manipulate algebraic expressions, identify and interpret roots; solve two simultaneous equations in two variables; compare lengths, areas and volumes using ratio notation and/or scale factors; construct and interpret plans and elevations of 3D shapes; use a probability model to predict the outcomes of future experiments; interpret, analyse and compare the distributions of data sets from univariate empirical distributions. 

Key Stage 4 English Curriculum 

 Additionally, the Key Stage 4 maths curriculum at The British International School Shanghai, Puxi follows the English Programmes of Study within the National Curriculum in England. The high-quality education we offer will teach students the ability to speak and write fluently. Through reading, students are given the opportunity to develop culturally, emotionally and intellectually. With high standards of language and literacy, we equip our students with exceptional language skills while simultaneously allowing them to develop a love and appreciation for literature.  

Topics that students learn in the Key Stage 4 English curriculum includes the following:

  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Grammar and vocabulary
  • Spoken English  

Students will also learn how to understand and critically evaluate texts; how to write accurately, fluently, effectively and at length; consolidate and build on their knowledge of grammar and vocabulary; and speak confidently, audibly and effectively.  


For more information on how The British International School Shanghai, Puxi, supports students through all stages of learning and development, visit our academic excellence page and read our curricula guide.