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Walthamstow School for Girls Ofsted Outstanding Provider

Key Stage 4

Walthamstow School for Girls aims to provide a personalised curriculum that allows all students to fulfil their personal and academic potential, and provides students with the best possible progression opportunities.

All students study 9 GCSEs over the 2 year course: 5 subjects within the core curriculum and 4 free choice option subjects. The choices available to students are set out in January each year in our Options Booklet. We understand that every child is different and so we draw on our knowledge of their strengths and weaknesses to provide them with high quality information, advice and guidance to inform their curriculum choices at GCSE and to ensure a seamless progression through the school.

The Core Curriculum

The Core Subjects are the subjects that everybody in Year 10 and 11 studies.

They are:

  • English Language
  • English Literature
  • Mathematics
  • Combined Science
  • Religious Studies
  • PE

Curriculum time allocations at Key Stage 4 (Years 10 to 11)

The current allocation of time across subjects is shown in the tables below, which illustrate the number of taught periods across each two week timetable cycle:

(9 periods)

(8 periods)

Combined Science
(9 periods)

(2 periods)

(1 period)

(1 period)

Option 1
(5 periods)

Option 2
(5 periods) 

Option 3
(5 periods)

Option 4
(5 periods)

GCSE Reform

Currently, the Government is driving forward its policy agenda in the educational sector. Key national developments now underway or to be implemented in the next few years include: the progressive introduction of linear, and harder, GCSEs; the implementation of new school performance measures, and an expectation that more students will follow a combination of GCSE courses allowing achievement of ‘the English Baccalaureate’.

For a detailed explanation of the changes, please read this document produced by the Department for Education for parents.

In response to these changes, and after detailed consultation with Governors, parents and students, we have adapted the curriculum offer at WSFG.

Key curriculum changes implemented from September 2016 and continuing into 2017-2018 include:

  • Additional teaching time for English and Mathematics in Key Stage 4 (Years 10 and 11)
  • Retention of four GCSE ‘options’ choices
  • Students no longer follow a short course Religious Studies but can now choose it as a GCSE option subject and therefore Core Religious Studies has been reduced to one hour per fortnight
  • Careers Days have been introduced through the year and are delivered by external specialists and so PSHE has been reduced to one period a fortnight