Abbeywood Community School

Key Stage 4

Students formally begin their GCSE and non-GCSE courses in core subjects at the beginning of Year 10, although in essence, have been preparing since the beginning of Year 7. In non-core subjects, the GCSE curriculum is comprised of skills acquisition, as opposed to the knowledge content on which they will be examined at the end of Year 11.

In Years 10 and 11, students are able to take up to ten subjects covering a wide variety of areas. Their pathway will depend on how well they have progressed through Key Stage 3 and what they want to prepare themselves for in terms of their future study. Students take their external GCSE examination in RS at the end of Year 10.

In Year 9 students are supported and guided through the KS4 Pathways process. This ensures that they are on appropriate courses in the right subjects for the future. The Year 10 and 11 pathway is comprised of:

Essential Learning: a core of English, Maths, Science, PE (non-examined), PSHEE (non-examined) and RS. In addition, students must study at least one EBacc qualification (Triple Science, Computer Science, MFL, Geography or History). 

Additional Learning: students may choose a further 2 courses from a wide range of GCSEs, BTEC or vocational qualifications.

All students have aspirational target grades for each course they follow and we regularly assess student progress and report this to parents three times a year. Parents can also have 1:1 conversations with members of staff at different points during the year at our parent consultation events. For further information, please see the parents' section of the website.

For detailed information and guidance about the Key Stage 4 curriculum and Pathways, please click here to download the Pathways booklet. Parents and carers will get an updated copy of this in January of each year as we begin to discuss Key Stage 4 Pathways with students.

A range of enrichment courses, designed to enhance and complement the examined subjects, is also available and many students will take at least one enrichment course during KS4. Period 6 study sessions, led by Mr Bendry, also take place four times per week in Year 10 and 11.

Essential Learning courses for everyone at Key Stage 4 - please click on each individual subject to see the curriculum overview

English Language and English Literature GCSE

Mathematics GCSE - Year 10 Foundation, Year 10 Higher, Year 11 Foundation, Year 11 Higher

Science (Combined or Triple Sciences)

EBacc qualification (Triple Science, Computer Science, MFL, Geography or History)

PE (non-examined)

Religious Education GCSE

PSHEE (delivered through fortnightly lessons)

Additional Learning courses (2 options available*) 

Art and Design GCSE Business GCSE Drama
Computing GCSE Dance BTEC    German GCSE

French GCSE

Year 10

Year 11

Geography GCSE


Sport BTEC
Health and Social Care GCSE    History GCSE Sociology GCSE
Music BTEC Hospitality & Catering BTEC Triple Science
DT GCSE GCSE Photography

Spanish GCSE

Year 10

Year 11

Core Skills Textiles GCSE Engineering


 *this is an example of courses we have run over the past few years. Each year there is some variation in the courses offered depending on student uptake and staffing.

Click on the link here for details of our Specialist Engineering Pathway at Abbeywood for Olympus students in Y10-13.