Subjects at Key Stage 4 are separated into two categories: Core and Optional.
Core subjects are compulsory and will be studied by all students. Students can also choose up to four optional subjects, based on their assessment results, the guidance they receive from their teachers, and their individual preferences.
Each pupil must take the core subjects of:
- English Language and Literature (2 GCSEs)
- Combined science (2 GCSEs) or triple award (3 GCSEs)
- Religious Education
- Physical Education (subject not examined)
- French (Some students may do additional English/Mathematics as required)
Pupils then choose one from option A:
And then one from the option C list and one reserve and one from the option D list and one reserve:
|Option C||Option D|
English Baccalaureate (Ebacc)
The Ebacc – or English Baccalaureate – is not actually a qualification in itself. You can’t ‘get an Ebacc’. Instead it is a collection of core academic subjects - English, mathematics, science, history or geography, and a language – that is recognised by universities and sixth forms as providing a solid foundation for future academic study. The government aims for all schools to enter at least 75% of the year group into these qualifications.
The Ebacc subjects have been chosen because research has shown they have advantages in terms developing cognitive skills and an understanding of the world around us. For example, having a practical understanding of French will help you to become a global citizen, and is something which is valued by employers. History and geography develop important critical thinking and analytical skills. The Ebacc subjects have been shown to help with entrance into university.
However, none of this means that Ebacc subjects are ‘better’ or ‘more important’ than other GCSE subjects. Many would argue that creative arts subjects (music, drama or art) form the ‘sixth pillar’ of a rounded education at Key Stage 4, and have important cultural, social and academic benefits. Physical Education GCSE helps create elite sports men and women and prepare students for careers in the sports industry.
We expect every pupil to choose one humanities subject, either history or geography, Students who follow the Ebacc route and choose a language in addition to their humanities choice will still be able to choose a practical, creative subject alongside their Ebacc choices.
You can read more about Ebacc here:
- http://www.education.gov.uk/schools/teachingandlearning/qualifications/englishbac/ a0075975/the-english-baccalaureate