Key Stage 4 - Recent Changes
Key Stage 4 students follow courses in both English Language and English Literature as separate GCSE subjects. A 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 almost all subjects have new numbered GCSEs, replacing the old lettered system.
Grades A* to G have been replaced by grades 9 to 1.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 old A*, and grade 7 the equivalent of the old 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 under the old system.
Grade 3 represents a grade D, grade 2 an E/F and grade 1 a grade G from the old lettered system.
It’s important to note, though, that as this is a new system, these equivalences are 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 almost all numbers in Year 11 and 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.