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Curriculum: Overview of Key Stage 4


Our commitment to a broad and balanced curriculum continues into Key Stage 4.

During Year 9 we work closely with students and their parents through the options process, so they are able to choose a Key Stage 4 course which plays to their interests and strengths and ensures clear post-16 progression.  This is a very important process, as students respond well to a more individualized, challenging and engaging curriculum which enables them to achieve of their best.

Three curriculum pathways exist at Key Stage 4, each providing a programme of learning to suit individual needs. These are:

  • A broad GCSE curriculum enabling students to follow the English Baccalaureate pathway
  • A broad GCSE curriculum enabling students to follow both GCSE courses and where appropriate, BTEC courses
  • A curriculum which allows some students to study a mix of GCSEs, BTEC courses and a vocational course, suitable to their need

Many of our students also opt to take further GCSEs or an A/S level course in one or two weekly after school sessions.  This particularly appeals to our more able students and those who may have opted for traditional academic subjects through the options process, but who still want to experience a creative subject at Key Stage 4.

Full details of the curriculum are provided in the 'KS4 Courses' booklet which is made available in the Spring Term. The number of GCSE subjects taken varies from one pathway to another. The majority of students currently take 9 or 10 full GCSEs.


Richard Lander School