When you start Year 10 you move from Key Stage 3 to Key Stage 4 of the National Curriculum. Young people are now required to stay in education or training until they are 17. It’s important to make sure that your curriculum prepares you to keep learning until then.
The purpose of the National Curriculum is to make sure that all students study a broad, balanced range of subjects and that all students have a variety of experiences and develop a wide range of skills.
There are still some subjects at Key Stage 4 that you must continue to study, because these are subjects that everyone needs to prepare them for future study and the adult world. We call these subjects the Core Curriculum. They are English, Maths and the 3 separate Sciences, which all lead to GCSE, together with PE and Personal Development.
To make sure that you have the right range of subjects to allow you to achieve the English Baccalaureate and breadth and balance we recommend that you take a humanities subject to GCSE (that means History or Geography) and at least one Modern Foreign Language. There are still 3 free choices available to you beyond the Baccalaureate subjects thanks to our standard 11 GCSE KS4 curriculum.
We would recommend to most of you that you ensure that your curriculum gives you the right qualifications for the Baccalaureate. We have always advocated a broad, balanced curriculum including a language and a humanities subject for the majority of students and we are still comfortable that this is very appropriate. We would prefer RPE (Religion, Philosophy and Ethics) to be counted as one of the Baccalaureate humanities and will add our voice to the national campaign to have it included but at the moment we are being told that only History and Geography will count.
We know that the Baccalaureate is not the right route for some of you though and as ever will work hard to ensure that the diet of courses is appropriate for everyone.
We are working with the departments whose subjects contribute to the English Baccalaureate qualification to identify the students who should be making sure they have all 5 subjects in their curriculum and we’ll be able to advise you individually in time for the options return deadline of March 1st.
You also need to think very carefully about how you will develop your ICT skills at Key Stage 4. If you take iCreative Technology BTEC or GCSE Computing then you know you will continue to develop these important skills, but if you don’t then you will need to be sure that the subjects you do choose will give you opportunities to develop your ICT. If you speak to subject staff you will find that many of our courses do just that.
Options Updates will also automatically be flagged-up on the homepage of the QES website.