Key Stage 4

Curriculum for Year 9, 10 and 11

In Year 8 Perins students choose their Key Stage 4 courses early in the summer term.  We work hard to give parents and students the information they need about the courses that they will spend the next three years studying.  Students are able to study up to a maximum of 10 GCSE subjects as follows:

Core Compulsory Subjects

In Key Stage 4 all students study English Language, English Literature, Maths and Science. They will also have two hours of PE per week and each student will take modules of compulsory Religious Education spread throughout Years 9 and 10, delivered by our Personal Development Learning (PDL) team.

English Baccalaureate Subjects (EBacc)

Students choose four additional subjects to study at Key Stage 4 alongside the core curriculum.  The majority of students are encouraged to take both a language and a humanities subject, giving them a combination of subjects which forms the English Baccalaureate and demonstrates ability and achievement in a broad range of academic subjects.  All students are required take at least one additional subject from the Baccalaureate list: Computing, History, Geography, French and Spanish.

Choices Subjects

For their remaining subjects, students can choose from the courses offered by the Creative Arts, Technology and Sport Departments or, of course, select additional Baccalaureate subjects.  We offer a range of qualifications in these areas including GCSEs, BTECs (a GCSE equivalent) and Cambridge National Qualifications. These add breadth and depth to the diversity of our Key Stage 4 curriculum.


In Years 7 and 8 all students study a combined curriculum of Biology, Chemistry and Physics. In Year 9, all students begin the Combined Science GCSE course, which will give each student two GCSEs in Science by the end of Year 11. At the end of Year 9, examinations will determine the suitability of each student changing to the Separate Science course for years 10 and 11. If a change is made, this will enable these students to obtain up to three GCSEs in Biology, Chemistry and Physics.  Students are able to progress to A Level Sciences at college, whichever route they take.

Choosing Wisely

We recommend that students continue to study a balanced academic curriculum in Key Stage 4.  It is difficult for students aged just 12 or 13 to know what they might want to do in the future and we want to ensure that they are well placed to choose from a wide range of options, not only at A level but also when looking at the vast range of courses available in Higher Education, including applying to top universities.  We want to ensure that our students “keep doors open” to make further choices in the future.   We help students to balance a number of important factors:

  • The student’s strength in each of the subjects
  • The need to have a broad and balanced approach to their subject choices
  • The importance of giving students the most appropriate qualifications they will need in the future

Please note that whilst we work hard to provide choice for students and to give as many as we can their first choice, this is not always possible. With some courses, such as Technology, the course is only possible to run if a sufficient number of students choose it. Should this happen we will be in touch with you to discuss the best next steps.