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Our Lady's Catholic
High School

For Students

KS4 Curriculum Information


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KS4 Curriculum: GCSE Options Booklet 

We run a three year KS4 curriculum.  This means that students take their options in Year 8 rather than Year 9.  They will then have three years dedicated to preparation for the learning requirements of the GCSE courses options they choose.  This will affect your daughter as we will be asking her to take her options in Year 8 and to start her three year KS4 curriculum in Year 9. 

The government has introduced a new set of GCSE specifications alongside a new GCSE grading system.  The expectations placed on students by these examinations are even greater than in the past.  We wish to manage this change in a way that will best support out students.  We aim to:

  1. provide students with a longer period of time to prepare for their GCSE and therefore learn and grow in a timely and manageable way;

  2. reduce the negative impact of the higher expectations on the well being of our older students;

  3. re-introduce an additional GCSE Option to provide greater breadth to the final outcomes our students achieve.

We have considered this change very carefully and have discussed it at length with our staff and our governors and have listened to the concerns of the students who are in Year 10 and Year 11 at present.  The students have expressed their concerns about the ‘strengthened’ nature of the GCSE and some have been frustrated at the lack of a third choice at GCSE.

In order to safeguard the educational future of our students it is important that we provide a curriculum that reflects the expectations of A Level courses and Universities.  The entrance requirements of such courses are biased by the expectations set on the education system by the government.  Our job as a school is to mediate our way through all of these external expectations and arrive at an in-school solution that will best support your daughter during her time with us here at Our Lady’s and also provide her with the qualifications to succeed beyond our school.