Key Stage 4 and GCSEs: Ages 14-16

By now, your child has gone through Key Stages 1,2 & 3 but with Key Stage 4 here come GCSEs. So what can your child expect?

Here we’ll take a look at what they’ll study at Key Stage 4, choices they’ll need to make, changes to GCSEs in 2009 and the option of the new diploma.

These years provide a bit of a change for your child. They’ll be specialising in subjects, will find very few people do exactly the same subjects as them and will be working towards having a qualification by the end of Year 11.

At Key Stage 4, there are a number of core and entitlement subjects that all children will learn.

Core subjects

  • English
  • Maths
  • Science
  • Information and Communication Technology (ICT)
  • Physical education
  • Citizenship

Children also have to take career education and work-related learning. Schools must teach RE and SRE (Sex and Relationship Education) by law, although parents are allowed to take their pupils out of RE lessons and non-statutory elements of SRE. Schools must also offer at least one of the following areas:

  • Arts subjects
  • Design and technology
  • Humanities
  • Modern foreign languages

Your child may have the opportunity to be taught personal, social and health education (PSHE), depending on the school.