Fourth and Fifth Form curriculum

The start of GCSE study

The two-year GCSE course begins in the Fourth Form. All pupils study English, Mathematics, at least one Modern Language, the three Sciences, History or Geography (or both), plus two other subjects from an extensive choice. This ensures that pupils keep their options open, pursue a well-rounded curriculum and establish a good basis for Sixth Form study.

Pupils are supported in their studies by their individual teachers, the Heads of Department and also by their house tutor. A system of Merits and Distinctions rewards both individual pieces of outstanding work and continuous hard work and achievement.

Compulsory subjects

The following subjects are compulsory for all pupils:
* English
* Mathematics
* At least one Modern Foreign Language (from French, German, Spanish)
* Physics, Chemistry and Biology (either as GCSE Combined Science or as separate GCSE awards)
* Either History or Geography (both may be chosen)

The remaining time includes a compulsory lesson in Personal and Social Development in both Fourth Form and Fifth Form Form and a lesson of Religious Education in Fourth Form.

Elective subjects

Pupils will be expected to take subjects from one of the following two tables, depending on whether they wish to take their Sciences as GCSE Science (nine lessons per week, leading to two GCSE grades in what is now termed “GCSE Combined Science: Trilogy”) or as separate GCSE subjects (twelve lessons per week, leading to three GCSE awards, one each in Physics, Chemistry and Biology).

The Separate Sciences course is more extensive than Combined Science and is best suited to those who are fairly certain that they will wish to study Sciences in the Sixth Form.Separate GCSE Sciences option (GCSE in Biology, Chemistry and Physics)
Choose ONE from Choose ONE from Choose TWO from
French History Art Geography
Spanish Geography Business Studies History
German Computing Latin
Design & Technology Music
French Physical Education
German Spanish

 

The Combined Science course allows pupils to choose an additional non-science subject while ensuring that they receive a rounded education in the Sciences. They will be able to continue with Sciences at Higher or A Level in the Sixth Form provided they have achieved a good grade.
Pupils opting for this route will be able to limit their GCSE options to 9 subjects, if this is felt to be in their best interests, by choosing Supervised Study as an option.

Choose ONE from Choose ONE from Choose THREE from
French History Art Geography
Spanish Geography Business Studies History
German Computing Latin
Design & Technology Music
French Physical Education
German Spanish
 Supervised Study  

Notes:
The availability of subject combinations in the Option blocks will be decided upon in order to satisfy as many combinations of choices as possible once pupils have made them. It is not usually possible to study German and Spanish.

 

 Books icon  Download the Fourth Form Course Guide