Back to Key Stage 4 Options

Key Stage 4 Options Process Key Dates

  • Monday, 18 March – Launch events with pupils, parents & carers
  • Thursday, 21 March – Week of taster lessons begins
  • Thursday, 28 March – “Options Experience Day”
  • Thursday, 28 March – Key Stage 4 preferences form sent out
  • Monday, 15 April – Parent/carer consultation appointments begin
  • Monday, 22 April – Deadline for submitting final Key Stage 4 preferences form
  • Module 6 – Confirmation of options

Key Stage 4 Options FAQs

What subjects are included in the EBacc?

The EBacc consists of the core subjects which all pupils study (GCSE English Language, GCSE English Literature, GCSE Mathematics and GCSE Science) alongside a humanities subject (either GCSE Geography or GCSE History) and a GCSE in a language. More information can be found on the Department for Education website here.

There are many benefits to the EBacc, including the fact that pupils will receive a well-rounded education. The government’s ambition is to see 90% of pupils studying the EBacc subject combination at GCSE by 2025 and so we are obliged to ensure that the majority of our pupils are entered for the EBacc.

Blocks A, B & C all have 3 periods a week assigned to them whereas block D has 2 lessons a week assigned to it. Block D has a smaller range of subjects to pick from.

The following subjects will be available in at least one block (depending on pupil uptake):

  • GCSE Art & Design (Fine art)
  • GCSE Art & Design (Photography)
  • GCSE Business Studies
  • GCSE Computer Science
  • GCSE Design Technology
  • GCSE Food Preparation and Nutrition
  • GCSE French
  • GCSE Geography
  • GCSE History
  • GCSE Music
  • GCSE Spanish
  • WJEC Level 1/2 Tech Award in Retail Business
  • BTEC Level 1/2 Tech Award in Performing Arts (Acting)
  • BTEC Level 1/2 Tech Award in Performing Arts (Dance)
  • BTEC Level 1/2 Tech Award in Digital Information Technology
  • GCSE Physical Education
  • GCSE Religious Studies
  • GCSE Statistics
  • GCSE Triple (Separate) Sciences: GCSE Biology, GCSE Chemistry & GCSE Physics
  • V Cert Level 1/2 Tech Award in Health and Fitness
  • BTEC Level 1/2 Tech Award in Health and Social Care
  • BTEC Level 1/2 Tech Award in Creative Media Production

Once we have received the KS4 Preferences Form from each pupil, we will take a look at the subject combinations pupils would like to study and do our best to maximise the chance that they can take their preferred combination of qualifications. This will help us to determine which qualifications fall in each block. If a particular qualification is popular, we will aim to offer this in more than one option block. If a particular qualification doesn’t get enough uptake from pupils then we may have to withdraw this qualification.

These qualifications have been designed with industry in mind and they therefore provide pupils with a more hands-on experience and transferable skills which will support them to be successful in the workplace. These qualifications also typically have a greater proportion of non-examination assessment than final examination.

To ensure that pupils receive a broad and balanced curriculum offer at Key Stage 4, they will not be able to study the following combinations as there is too much overlap in content:

  • GCSE Business Studies and WJEC Level 1/2 Tech Award in Retail Business
  • GCSE Computer Science and BTEC Level 1/2 Tech Award in Digital Information Technology
  • GCSE Physical Education and V Cert Level 1/2 Tech Award in Health and Fitness

Yes, this is possible and we encourage pupils to select both of these options if they’re passionate about studying them.

GCSE Combined Science is a qualification which is worth the equivalent of 2 GCSEs and it covers biology, chemistry and physics content. For those who are passionate and interested in science, there is the option to select GCSE Triple Science as one of their options. Selecting this option will mean that pupils will complete three separate qualifications: GCSE Biology, GCSE Chemistry & GCSE Physics.

We are no longer offering these subjects at GCSE. These subjects are great options for post-16 study and all of them are available as an A-Level at Arden Sixth Form. Studying these subjects at GCSE is not a prerequisite for studying them at sixth form or college. We encourage pupils who are interested in these subjects to select humanities subjects or other associated qualifications, such as GCSE Business Studies.

We will provide an opportunity for any parents and carers who would like to meet with a leader to discuss options. This can be virtual or a face-to-face meeting if preferred. There will be an opportunity for you to indicate this on the KS4 Preferences Form.

We are very proud of the diverse range of languages spoken amongst our community and provide opportunities for pupils to complete a GCSE in their heritage language where possible. The GCSE is made up of four equally weighted components (listening, reading, speaking and writing) so pupils will need to be proficient in all of these areas. Pupils completing a qualification in their heritage language will sit the examinations in Year 10. This is available in the following languages: Arabic, Bengali, Chinese (Cantonese), Chinese (Mandarin), German, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Panjabi, Persian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Turkish & Urdu.

If your child’s first language is French or Spanish then we are happy to discuss the most appropriate course of action for your child’s options with you directly.