Subjects at key stage 4

All pupils follow the core subjects: English Language and English Literature; Maths; Physics, Chemistry & Biology in the trilogy, or separate science format; PE and RE. 

In addition, pupils choose four subjects from option blocks. The majority are GCSE courses but there are some other non GCSE qualifications including BTEC, Asdan, City and Guilds, and NCFE certificated courses. The majority of pupils take a combination of courses enabling them to access the English Baccalaureate. Pupils are taught in mixed ability groups for all option courses.

Table 2 lists the subjects offered and curriculum hours allocated to each. For further information, including specific curriculum content, assessment details and setting arrangements for individual subjects, please see the specific subject areas here and the separate handbooks for parents available in the parents’ section of the website here.

Table 2: Key stage 4 subject hours per 2-week cycle

All qualifications are GCSE unless stated.


¹ Higher set pupils follow the separate GCSE courses in Biology, Chemistry and Physics; leading to three GCSE qualifications. All other pupils follow the combined ‘Trilogy’ course which covers all three sciences and leads to two GCSE qualifications.

² Core PE is a non-examination course.

³ Pupils cover content specified in the locally agreed syllabus working towards the Certificate in Philosophy offered by the New College of the Humanities (NCH).

⁴ Personal, Social, Health and Economic education, including elements of Careers Education, Information, Advice & Guidance (CEIAG).

⁵ Foundation learners may follow a reduced number of options subjects with the time given over to additional literacy, numeracy and functional skills and/or additional, appropriate level 1 qualifications.

PSHE/CEIAG: The programme of Personal, Social, Health and Economic education, including Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance is principally delivered through a fortnightly one-hour lesson. This content is supported and enriched through a programme of assemblies; mentor time activities; visiting speakers and collapsed timetable events as required.

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