Key Stage 4 - Recent Changes

Key Stage 4 - Recent Changes

Key Stage 4 students now follow courses in both English Language and English Literature as separate GCSE subjects. (Previously at Willingdon, most students followed a ‘combined’ single English course, which now no longer exists.) The second key change is that the course content for both has been made more challenging, focusing on a wider range of texts both literary and non-literary written in previous centuries.  All assessments will take place at the end of year 11, as formal examinations and all students will now sit the same examination papers.

As for mathematics, while two separate tiers of exam papers will still exist, and assessment will, as always, be through three terminal examinations, it should be noted that the course content, as in GCSE English, has been made significantly more difficult. 

For Year 11 this summer for English and Mathematics only the new numbered GCSE replaces the old lettered system.  For Year 10 this applies to almost all subjects.

Grades A* to G are being replaced by grades 9 to 1. 

Grade 9 is a new top grade which will be awarded to approximately 3% of students nationally, with grade 8 equalling the present A*, and grade 7 the equivalent of a grade A. 

Grade 6 then will be the equivalent of the top two thirds of the old B grade.

The top third of the old C grade, and the bottom third of the B grade will be awarded a grade 5. 

Grade 4 will cover most students who would have gained a grade C.

Grade 3 represents a grade D, grade 2 an E/F and grade 1 a grade G.

It’s important to note, though, that as this is a new system, these equivalences are currently approximations only.

Students have ‘indicators’ – the minimum grades they should be working towards achieving at the end of Year 11 – written down in their planners. You’ll see that these are a mix of old grades A* -C for most subjects, and 9 –1 for English and maths in Year 11 and almost all numbers in Year 10.

Please note information on the GCSE courses are outlined in the curriculum choices booklets  for the respective year groups which are published on this website.