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  • A Warm Welcome

    Situated in the heart of a thriving expat community, our school is home to families from all over the world


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key stage 4

Key Stage 4 Curriculum Guide

Welcome to the Key Stage 4 course guide. We expect that you’ll have many questions about what happens next in your education, and we’ve written this guide to try to answer as many as possible.

key stage 4

An Introduction

Here at the British International School, we follow the UK education system, although we change it in places to make sure it is right for people living in Shanghai. The UK system divides your time at school into sections, called “Key Stages” (KS for short), and, if you’re in Year 9, you’ve been working your way through the last year of KS3 up to now. You’re about to start KS4, which is the name given to Years 10 and 11. It marks an important time in your education, as in many countries it’s the last two years of compulsory school. Most people are 14 at the start of Year 10, and 16 by the end of Year 11, although many students are a little younger or older too. 

key stage 4
key stage 4
key stage 4

Choosing Subjects

KS4 is probably the first time you’ve had much choice in the subjects you’ll study. You don’t get a completely free choice: there are still subjects that everyone takes, but you’ll have the chance to choose some courses because you are interested in them, and you’ll start the process of taking responsibility for your own education that will continue into IB courses and then as you go on to university. 

Your study over these two years will lead to important examinations at the end of the course. These are not just school examinations: they are recognised qualifications that will help you get into university and help you on the way to a successful career in the future. These exams are called IGCSEs, and you’ll take them in all your subjects except Games.

Making Choices


A Note to Parents

The style in which we’ve written this guide is to address everything directly to your son or daughter. This is an exciting time in their school career as, for the first time, they are having the opportunity to make significant decisions about what they study.

This is, for most, the first of many academic decisions that will define their own distinctive path through life. Experience tells us that education works best and that students get the most from it when they are fully engaged, and we like to think that your son or daughter will make their own choices and really embrace them. 

Nonetheless, the best choices come after listening to good advice, and we very much hope that you will read this guide with your son or daughter and offer him or her some of your wisdom and experience. We’ll also be talking with students about the best possible curriculum choices for them, so that your son or daughter starts out on courses that he or she will greatly enjoy and be highly successful in. We understand that you’ll want to be reassured about the choices your son or daughter makes, and we’re very happy to talk about them at any point. If you have any questions, suggestions or concerns at any point in the process, please don’t hesitate to contact us and we’ll do what we can to listen and help.

Please contact us and we’ll do what we can to help.

Our People
key stage 4

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The British International School Shanghai, Puxi

111 Jinguang RoadHuacao TownMinhang201107Shanghai


金光路111号华漕镇上海市 闵行区201107

NAE Hong Kong Limited

18/F Edinburgh Tower The Landmark
15 Queen’s Road Central
Hong Kong

General Enquiries +86 021 5226 3211

Admissions +86 21 6221 7542