Key Stage 4
What is Key Stage 4?
Key Stage 4 are the years in which students prepare for 'Level 2' public examinations, in other words for their GCSEs or for BTEC equivalents. At St Simon Stock, the majority of subjects we offer are examined at GCSE level, with a small number of exceptions, as explained below.
From September 2020 we have introduced a three-year Key Stage 3 (Years 7, 8 and 9) , which means that three years later, from September 2023, we will move to a two-year Key Stage 4 (Years 10 and 11). In the meantime, those cohorts who joined our school in September 2019 or earlier, will continue to study a three-year Key Stage 4 (Years 9, 10 and 11).
Our Key Stage 4 curriculum is diverse, balanced and highly successful. Our curriculum provides opportunities for learning for all students by offering different progression pathways to suit the aspirations and needs of learners.
Students are encouraged to take responsibility for their own learning through individual study in class and in homework. Throughout the Key Stage cumulative knowledge tests, end of unit assessments and end of year exams are designed for students to cultivate effective study skills and to consolidate their learning.
Our Key Stage 4 Curriculum
In Key Stage 4 all students currently follow a core GCSE curriculum in English Language, English Literature, Mathematics, Religious Education and Combined Science (the latter is a double award in which students study Biology, Chemistry and Physics).
In addition, students will choose three or four (depending on the pathway) optional GCSE subjects. Option subjects include the Baccalaureate subjects of Computer Science, French, Geography and History, and other subjects, which include Art and Design, Business, Design Technology, Digital Information Technology (BTEC Technical Award), Drama, Food Preparation and Nutrition, Music and Sports Studies.
We also offer the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award and the Asdan Certificate of Personal Effectiveness as an option subject to selected students. In addition, all students take Physical Education and Personal Development and Wellbeing as a non-examined subject.
For further curriculum information, including course outlines for each subject, visit our curriculum intent page by clicking on the link below:
How we Assess Learning in Key Stage 4
In Key Stage 4 teachers assess the students' attainment using the grading criteria of the GCSE or BTEC subjects they study. We report 'progress grades' to parents and carers three times each year. In addition, we also report 'Attitude to Learning' grades. See the link below, which gives you more information about our Attitude to Learning grades.
Home Learning in Key Stage 4
Each subject will set one home learning task per week. This applies to all subjects with the exception of the following subjects which will set up to two homework tasks each week: English, Mathematics and Science (worth two GCSEs). Guided time per subject is 30-40 minutes and 120-150 minutes per evening.
Students must also use their time for Independent Learning in which they use their own study skills to revise and learn the knowledge and skills related to each subject studied. It is expected that students make the full use of the expected time each evening to learning/revision, choosing their own Independent Learning approach when necessary.