Key Stage 4 Curriculum
You will study a minimum of 9 or 10 GCSEs. This will include six compulsory subjects. If taking Double Award Science you will study for 10 GCSEs as it counts as two GCSEs. Some students will be selected for Single Award Science and will therefore study for 9 GCSEs.
- English Language
- English Literature
- Learning for Life and Work
- Science (Double or Single Award – this will depend on Year 10 assessment results )
- Religious Education
Students will then select their remaining three subjects from the list below. The school will endeavour to provide students with as much choice as possible but if a subject is oversubscribed then students will be selected for that particular subject on the basis of their Year 10 Christmas report. If a subject does not have enough students wishing to study it then it may not be possible to offer a GCSE in that subject and students will have to study an alternative subject.
Agriculture and Land Use
|Art & Design||
|Business and Communication Systems||Irish|
|Computer Science||Music BTEC Level II|
|Construction||Performing Arts (Applied)|
|Digital Technology (ICT)||Spanish|
|Engineering & Manufacturing||Sport BTEC Level II|
Technology (Systems Control)
In addition to their GCSEs all students will also have P.E., and as a compulsory part of the curriculum. Employability and Learning for Life will now be formally examined through the GCSE in Learning for Life and Work and counts as one of your ten GCSEs.
Students may also choose one more subject which will be taught outside the formal timetable, i.e. after school or at lunch time;
- GCSE Performing Arts: 3.30—5.00pm on two evenings. This allows students from other schools to join the class
- GCSE Music: 3.30—5.00pm on two evenings in Year 11 and at lunch time in Year 12
- You may only select a maximum of two of the suite of subjects from the Technology department – Technology and Design, Construction, Engineering and Manufacturing.
- You may only select Business Studies or Business and Communication Systems
- GCSE Music may only be selected by students who have already achieved or are studying for at least Grade 4.
- You may only select one from GCSE Digital Technology and GCSE Computer Science
- (N.B. GCSE Computer Science will be graded using a scale from 9— 1 with Grade 9 being broadly equivalent to an A*. Grade 4 is equivalent to Grade C.)
The final decision on the number of GCSEs that a particular student may take will be determined by the HoSL after consultation with the Head of Learning Support and the Head of Wellbeing.
Several of the top UK universities require a modern foreign language at GCSE Grade C or above for entry onto some of their courses; e.g. it is a requirement for studying English Literature at Edinburgh, Durham and Warwick universities. Universities in the South of Ireland require a GCSE in one Modern Language for entry onto most of their courses – this modern language can be Irish or Spanish.
Double Award Science is acceptable for entry into all career paths.
Whilst it is important to consider your KS4 options and subject choices carefully please do not worry unnecessarily as the school has set the core compulsory subjects so that the vast majority of careers are still open to you. BTEC Level II courses are acceptable to the vast majority of universities, however, they might look at performance in the individual units as well as the overall grade achieved so it would be important that students achieved well across all their units.