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KS4 Curriculum overview

In Key Stage 4 (years 10 and 11), all students study GCSEs in English language, English literature, maths, double or triple sciences and RE. In addition, pupils choose four ‘option’ subjects and we encourage every child to include one of the humanities (history or geography) and a modern foreign language (French, German or Spanish) which means that they meet the requirements of the English Baccalaureate*.


GCSEs - the older system of A* to G grades has been replaced with numerical grades where 9 is the highest and 1 is the lowest. All specifications now place less emphasis on coursework and more on final exams and there is a greater level of rigour and challenge to these assessments. (Click on the image to see a larger version.)

New grading structure

Please note the following performance measures are used to evaluate students’ attainment and progress from Key Stage 2 to the end of Key Stage 4.

Attainment 8 - will provide a single number to demonstrate the attainment of a child across a range of subject areas and may be used by colleges, universities and employers when assessing the ability of applicants. The Attainment 8 score will be calculated by averaging the new number grade for English and maths (given the importance of these subjects they will be double-counted) plus the number grade from three English Baccalaureate subjects and the number grades of three other qualifying subjects.

Progress 8 - this measure will be used to judge the performance of schools. Each child will have an expected Attainment 8 score based on KS2 SATs results and this will be compared with actual performance in GCSEs of secondary education. Hence a child expected to score an Attainment 8 score of 6.6 who in fact scores 6.9 will have a Progress 8 score of +0.3. All the Progress 8 scores in a school will be averaged to produce an overall score.
The teachers and senior staff here are working hard to understand the new system and prepare for the new style GCSEs. Please contact us if you have any questions relating to the above.

*English Baccalaureate - the government wants more emphasis put on traditional, academic subjects and so it is expecting nearly all pupils to complete GCSEs in following five main areas:

  • English language and literature (this is two separate GCSEs)
  • Mathematics
  • Science (pupils at St Bede’s take a double award science qualification or the three separate sciences. In addition, computer studies will count as a ‘science’)
  • History or geography

A modern or ancient foreign language


Please see below for current documents relating to KS4.

Title Date  
KS4 Information booklet for parents (WD) 2018-20 20th Sep 2018 Download
KS4 Information booklet for Parents (FS) 2017-19 20th Sep 2018 Download
KS4 (WD) 2018-20 Options booklet 17th Jan 2018 Download