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Key Stage Four (Years 10 and 11)

Key Stage Four presents the first opportunity for students to choose the subjects they want to study at The British School of Beijing, Shunyi. Our Year 10 and 11 High School curriculum culminates in the successful completion of the International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE).

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Preparing for the IGCSEs

The International General Certificate of Secondary Education (I/GCSE) is an international version of the GCSE exams taken by all students in the UK at the end of Year 11.

The I/GCSEs have gained a reputation for providing an excellent preparation for further study, in particular for the transition to the The IB Diploma (Year 12 - 13).  

At the beginning of Key Stage Four (KS4), students in Year 10 begin their study towards achieving excellent grades in the I/GCSE written examinations that take place at the end of Year 11.

I/GCSE exams are graded from A*/9 (the highest grade) to G/1 (the lowest grade).


Core subjects

At our Shunyi High School, everyone takes Mathematic and English as part of the KS4 curriculum. Students will also have Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) lessons and Physical education, although these are not examined.

Optional subject choices

This leaves space on the timetable for six optional subjects. There is a broad selection of additional subjects to choose from:

  • Art
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Computer Science
  • Design and technology (DT)
  • English as a Second Language
  • Economics
  • French – 2nd Language
  • Geography
  • German - 1st Language
  • History
  • Korean – 1st Language
  • Mandarin – 1st and 2nd Language
  • Music
  • Spanish – 2nd Language
  • Psychology
  • Physical Education (PE)

Subject Selection

There are many points to consider when choosing subjects for the I/GCSE. Questions students need to ask themselves include:

  • Do I need to study a particular subject in order to follow a later course?
  • Do I fully understand what is expected of me if I take that subject?
  • How will the choices I make now, allow me to follow a particular career?
  • Which subjects do I enjoy?
  • Which subjects am I good at?

Use our IGCSE guide to help you make your selections.