Key Stage 4 Curriculum (GCSE)

Key Stage 4 Curriculum (GCSE)

Years 10 & 11

Parent handbook

Key Stage 4 (GCSE)

Teachers

Secondary Team

Welcome Note

Our aim at Safa Community School (SCS) is to provide each and every one of our students with a broad and balanced KS4 curriculum that is tailored to the individual’s needs containing a range of possibilities and opportunities for their education Post-16. The Key Stage 4 courses and the way they are taught at SCS are designed to best prepare your child for their future. We hope therefore that you and your child will find our Key Stage 4 courses meet your needs and ambitions for the future. The purpose of this booklet is to give you all the information you need about the exciting range of courses your child could study in Years 10 and 11 (Key Stage 4) at SCS. We hope you will find it not only interesting but a useful reference tool throughout the two years of Key Stage 4. It will show you at a glance the various subjects on offer, the areas of study and key skills in need of development for each; and how each course is structured and assessed. Hopefully, the programme we have developed to assist students in choosing options, including this booklet, will answer many of your questions about this important stage in your child’s life. 

On behalf of all the staff at SCS, I would like to wish your son/daughter every success as they embark on this new and exciting phase of their education.

Adrianne Deacon
Head of Key Stage 4

Partners & Accreditations

22 Subjects

GCSE Qualifications

BTEC

Personalised Learning Pathway

Exceptional

Value Added Results

The Curriculum

GCSE is the acronym for the General Certificate of Secondary Education. They are undertaken over the two years of Key Stage 4, i.e. Years 10 and 11 At SCS we offer GCSEs, IGCSEs and BTECs. 

The GCSEs consist of a 2 year programme of study in Years 10 and 11 (in Key Stage 4). At SCS, students complete Key Stage 3 study (Year 7 to 9) and then move on to their GCSE Options in Year 10 – allowing them to select their own subjects in certain areas. All students will study the core subjects, optional GCSE subjects and non GCSE subjects. Which subject is most applicable to any individual student depends upon their academic ability, motivation and personal interests and options should be discussed with subject teachers.

In addition:

  • Muslim students must study Islamic Studies as part of their course. This is not a GCSE option, but will be covered out of options.
  • Whilst SCS does not insist on taking a Modern Foreign Language at GCSE, it is highly recommended to do so.
  • Students will also participate in Core PE, which is not examined.

In Year 11, students who have been identified as requiring individual support may be asked to reduce their number of subjects to allow for intervention. This would be the result of several factors:

  1. GCSE predictions from CATs
  2. Performance on School Progress Reviews
  3. Attitude to Learning in School

Actions would be made on an individual basis at the recommendation of the school. All students will be required to discuss their choice of subject with their subject teachers. We look forward to working with our students and enabling them to achieve strong GCSE results.

GCSE Options Blocks 2022-2023

Students should select one subject from each option block.

  • Art & Design
  • Design & Technology
  • Drama
  • Geography
  • German
  • History
  • Psychology
  • Spanish
  • BTEC Business Studies*
  • Business Studies
  • Economics
  • Food & Nutrition
  • Geography
  • Music
  • Psychology
  • BTEC Business Studies*
  • Business Studies
  • Design & Technology
  • Further Mathematics
  • ICT
  • Physical Education
  • Psychology
  • BTEC Sport*
  • Art & Design
  • Business Studies
  • Computer Science
  • Economics
  • French 
  • History
  • Photography
  • BTEC Sport*

Guidance

Emmet Glackin
Deputy Headteacher Academic

This is an important time for our Year 9 students, especially as we move into selecting GCSE subjects for next year. As much as possible, we aim to design a programme of study for our students based upon their own preferences rather than limit them with predetermined option blocks.

Students will have a wealth of information to hand that will allow them to make an appropriate decision; this will include previous attainment, conversations with teachers as well as careers talks and the information provided here. We are here to support students make informed decisions and aim to work with you. Please do not hesitate to get in touch with any questions you have for the KS4 Team.

Emma Hargreaves
Head of Key Stage 3

Students in Year 9 are at a pinnacle time in their education, where for the first time, they are able to really personalise their curriculum and select subjects which they wish to pursue to a greater depth.

As Head of Key Stage 3, my role is to support students with their decision-making process through personalised learning conversations. I discuss option choices with students and also facilitate 1:1 careers appointments with the careers advisor who is able to offer information regarding Universities, courses and careers.

I work closely with the Head of KS4 to ensure we take a triangulate approach to supporting students’ decision-making process, through data analysis, observations of attitude to learning and career aspirations.

Adrianne Deacon
Head of Key Stage 4

Key stage 4 is the fourth phase of learning found in the secondary education system where GCSEs and BTECs are taught at this stage. GCSE Courses are two years long and GCSE examinations are held at the end of this period in Year 11. The BTEC curriculum offers a vocational pathway for students who wish to study some subjects without the academic pressures of external examinations at the end of Key Stage 4.

In Year 9, students go through a very supportive and streamlined process. During this time, students and parents will be advised on how to choose the correct GCSE / BTEC pathway based on a triangulated approach of data including attitude to learning, aptitude and attainment. Students will be supported furthermore by our Careers Team, the Pastoral Team and the Morrisby Careers test should you wish to utilise this.

Student Progress

top schools awards uae

SCS Students make exceptional progress

As a non-selective and inclusive school, we are proud of the results that our students achieve, particularly at GCSE and A-Level. To help us better understand the journey that our students are on we utilise the Value Added measurement platform provided by GL Education in partnership with Fischer Family Trust (FFT). 

At SCS we use this analysis to give us a clear picture of how our students are performing internationally as well as in the UK, this gives us a clear benchmark to measure the impact we are having on student progress.

Choosing Your Courses

You should avoid selecting a subject because you like your teacher – they might not be teaching your class next year! You should not let your friends’ influence your options. Even-more-so, do not choose a subject because your friends are choosing it. Just because your friends enjoy it doesn’t mean you will. There is also no certainty that you will be in the same class or that you will even stay friends over the next two years. Remember, GCSE subjects are studied for two years. Make your choice based on what you enjoy, what you are interested in and what you want to do in the future.

Academic Enrichment

Academic progress will also be reviewed regularly with teaching staff. Mock examinations are set prior to external examinations in both years and written reports will be sent to parents. Parents will be invited to meet subject staff and tutors to discuss progress at pertinent points during each academic year.

Islamic Education & Arabic

Muslim students and students holding Arabic passports will be required to study Islamic Education and Arabic A respectively. Arabic students are required to study 160 minutes per week and Islamic students 80 minutes per week.

GCSE Qualifications

Academic progress will also be reviewed regularly with teaching staff. Mock examinations are set prior to external examinations in both years and written reports will be sent to parents. Parents will be invited to meet subject staff and tutors to discuss progress at pertinent points during each academic year.

BTEC First

Exam Results

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