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Key Stage 4

Key Stage 4 is the name given to Years 10 and 11, the two year study period that culminates in the  International/ General Certificate in Secondary Education examinations or I/GCSEs.

I/GCSE courses are designed to follow on from studies at Key Stage 3 in the National Curriculum for England. They are internationally recognised school-leavers’ qualifications as well as an excellent preparation for further study, for example, the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme.

I/GCSE qualifications reflect considerable academic achievement. In order to be successful, students  will be expected to rise to the many challenges they will face.  Students will need to adopt mature and responsible study habits and make the most of the support and advice offered by tutors and subject teachers.

The courses the students will follow are designed to engage and stimulate young people. Teaching methods are used that cater for a variety of learning styles, so for students who like to work independently or in a group, or who like to read about things or prefer a more ‘hands-on’ approach, whatever their strengths, there will be opportunities for all.

The Highest Quality Learning programme run by the class tutor involves students in a variety of activities to support and complement their academic studies. These include charity work, health education, target-setting and study skills, careers support and work experience.

General Certificate of Secondary Educations (GCSE) or International General Certificate of Secondary Educations (IGCSE)  are administered by Edexcel International, AQA and Cambridge examination boards. These examination boards operate in over 105 countries around the world and their qualifications are recognised, respected and understood by both employers and educators.


GCSE and IGCSE are assessed in a variety of ways, covering coursework, practical assessments and formal examinations. Some components are assessed internally by teachers and externally moderated while others are marked by the examinations boards. GCSE and IGCSE results are reported on a scale of grades from A*-G. The Grade A* (called A star) is awarded to students whose achievement is beyond grade A.


The examination boards are capable of testing students right across the ability range by means of a system of differentiated papers. Candidates may be entered for Foundation tier or Higher tier papers where appropriate . Students taking the extended level examination in any subject will be expected to have studied more material at a higher level than other students. Consequently, the range of grades available to them will be at a higher level than those available to students attempting Foundation papers.


Year 10 is the  first time students are able to make choices about the subjects they will be studying.

The curriculum in Key Stage 4 is organised to provide a broad and balanced education. Some subjects are compulsory, and these are shown in the table below.

Compulsory Subjects

  • English language
  • English literature
  • Science (Double Award)
  • Mathematics
  • PHSE
  • Practical PE

A student’s weekly  schedule will have 30 lessons, each of which will usually be 55 minutes long. After time has been allocated to the compulsory subjects there is time for four more optional courses.

Students are encouraged to study a Modern Foreign Language (MFL); French, German or Spanish are offered. English as a Second Language (ESL) is also available for students who have been identified by the ESL staff as needing to follow this programme.

We believe in the value of studying the arts and offer GCSE courses in both Music and Art and Design. Students will also usually follow at least one course from the Humanities group. We believe that studying a broad range of subjects enriches general knowledge and cultural understanding and will keeps all options open for study beyond GCSE level.

Optional Subjects

  • Modern Foreign Languages: French, Germa, Spanish, Hungarian, ESL
  • Arts: Music, Art and Design, (Drama)
  • Humanities: Geography, History, Business Studies, ICT, Physical Education, Psychology