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KS4 Curriculum Structure

Core Subjects

All students at KS4 will take the following “core” subjects (exam board in brackets):

  • GCSE English Language (AQA)
  • GCSE English Literature (AQA)
  • GCSE Mathematics (AQA)
  • GCSE Combined Science (Edexcel)

Combined Science

All students at KS4 will study Combined Science which is equivalent to 2 GCSEs. The programme of study enables students to learn the breadth of Science subjects (Biology, Chemistry and Physics), and enables students to progress to Science based A-Levels at Post-16.

Additional Subjects

In addition to core subjects, students will take 4 additional subjects, which were chosen through a guided choices process in Year 9. These subjects are a range of GCSE and vocational subjects, each having 150 minutes of curriculum time.

Students are required to take at least 1 of the following GCSE Subjects

  • Computer Science (OCR)
  • French (AQA)
  • Geography (AQA)
  • History (Edexcel)
  • Spanish (AQA)

In addition to this, we currently offer a range of subjects including:

SubjectQualification typeExam Board
DanceVocationalEdexcel (BTEC)
Design TechnologyGCSEWJEC
Food Preparation and NutritionGCSEWJEC
Further MathsGCSEAQA
Health and Social CareVocationalEdexcel (BTEC)
iMediaVocationalEdexcel (BTEC)
MusicVocationalEdexcel (BTEC)
Religious StudiesGCSEWJEC
SportVocationalEdexcel (BTEC)
Sport Science`VocationalOCR
Travel and TourismVocationalEdexcel (BTEC)

EAL Students

For students who study English as an additional language, where possible and appropriate, we provide opportunities for students to take an additional GCSE exam in their home language.


Our guided choices programme in Year 9 enables students to choose an EBacc set of qualifications. The EBacc is a set of subjects at GCSE that keeps young people’s options open for further study and future careers. Our Ebacc offer consists of the following subjects:

  • GCSE English Language and Literature
  • GCSE Mathematics
  • GCSE Combined Science
  • GCSE Computer Science
  • GCSE Geography or History
  • GCSE French or Spanish


In Year 10, students continue to receive a 50-minute timetabled lesson of SPACE each week. In Year 11, SPACE is delivered through the Learning Family Programme. See the SPACE Programme page on our website for more details.

GCSE Grading

Students are now graded using the 9-1 grading system which started in 2017. Below is a table which explains how the new grading system works.

KS4 Curriculum Structure

Vocational Grading

Our vocational subjects come in the form of BTEC or Cambridge Nationals qualifications. Vocational subjects generally use the following grading system, with some subjects offering either “Level 2 Distinction” or Level 2 Distinction* as the highest grade.

Note that a “Level 2 Pass” is equivalent to a Grade 4 at GCSE.

  • Level 2 Distinction*
  • Level 2 Distinction
  • Level 2 Merit
  • Level 2 Pass
  • Level 1 Distinction
  • Level 1 Merit
  • Level 1 Pass