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Key Stage 4 curriculum

About KS4

At the start of Year 10 (age 14-15), students at The New School begin courses leading to GCSE and IGCSE examinations, which are taken at the end of Year 11 (age 15-16).  GCSE (General Certificate of Secondary Education) and IGCSE (International General Certificate of Secondary Education) examinations are set by Pearson and Cambridge Examining boards for which The New School is an official centre.  They mark the end of compulsory schooling in England and are a natural continuation of courses in Years 7, 8 and 9 which are specifically designed as a foundation for GCSE and IGCSE courses.  These exams prepare students for further academic work, including progression to  ‘A’ level (Advanced level in Year 12/13) study.  GCSE and IGCSE qualifications are recognised by academic institutions and employers around the world.

At GCSE and IGCSE level students take a wide range of subjects. In order to make sure that everyone has a balanced and broad curriculum, many subjects are compulsory.  Choices are limited to ensure that no one specialises too early or limits later possibilities by dropping an important subject.
GCSE and IGCSE courses offered by The New School in Years 10 and 11.

The New School GCSE and IGCSE courses provide a broad study programme and cover a variety of subjects: Art, Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, English Language, English Literature, French, Geography, History, Italian, Mathematics, Physics and Spanish. 

Some subjects offer a choice of Core or Extended papers allowing students to access work at a level appropriate to their ability.

What grades can be achieved at GCSE and IGCSE?

At the end of the course, students receive a grade for each subject. The pass grades, from the highest to the lowest, are: ‘A*’, ‘A’, ‘B’, ‘C’, ‘D’, ‘E’, ‘F’ and ‘G’. IN some subjects the scores are numerical with 9 being the highest. 

Five or more ‘A*-C’ grades are normally required for entry into Year 12.  Students wishing to continue studying a subject at ‘A’ level should have achieved a minimum of a ‘B’ (8 or 7) grade at GCSE / IGCSE in that subject.  ‘A’ levels are a university entrance requirement.