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Keystage 4 Overview

Years 10 and 11

All pupils have a timetable which includes core subjects and their option choices.

Core Subjects

All pupils take English Language, English Literature and Mathematics.  In Science, all pupils begin studying Double Award, with some stepping up to the Triple Award of separate Physics, Chemistry and Biology subjects in Year 11.

Other Compulsory Subjects

These give students a breadth of experiences in addition to their GCSE courses.  PE and PSHRE are compulsory for all pupils.  PSHRE includes PSHE (including SRE), RE, Citizenship and Careers education.

Optional Subjects

Pupils choose one of two possible routes:


The “English Baccalaureate (EBacc)” Route. The EBacc is a term that describes the following group of 6 GCSE subjects: English, Maths, 2 Sciences, a Humanity subject and a Language. To qualify for the EBacc, pupils must gain at least grade 4 in the EBacc subjects. Pupils opting for Route 1 must:

  • choose a Humanity (either History or Geography)
  • and a Language (either French or Spanish). Spanish can only be chosen if it has been studied in Year 9.
  • then choose one additional subject from the list of optional GCSE subjects.

Because the EBacc is the established academic “gold standard”, the majority of pupils are encouraged to follow the EBacc Route, particularly if they are expected to gain high grades in the six EBacc subjects.


The “non-EBacc Route” is for those pupils who find languages or humanities (Geography/History) particularly difficult and who are unlikely to achieve high grades in the six EBacc subjects but either want to study all GCSEs, or a mixture of GCSEs and other qualifications. Here pupils must choose three subjects from the lists of optional subjects.

Individually tailored programmes:

A few pupils will be following individually-tailored programmes of study and activities. These may include work experience placements, practical activities in school, as well as studying appropriate subjects from the list of optional subjects.

Subject choices:


Art & Design, Business Studies, Computer Science, Drama, Design & Technology, Food Preparation & Nutrition, French, Geography, History, Music, Religious Studies, Physical Education, Spanish.

Others (OCR National and BTEC Tech Awards (L1 or L2))

Child Development (OCR National, Engineering (OCR National), Sport, Health & Social Care, Travel & Tourism and ASDAN Certificate of Personal and Social Effectiveness (PSE).