Anthony Gell School

Key Stage 4

There are an extensive range of courses available at KS4. All qualifications will be examined at the end of the Key Stage, which will be the summer of your child’s Year 11.

The first set of examinations for new GCSEs in Maths and English were successfully completed in the Summer of 2017. The majority of others will be examined in the summer of 2018. The reformed GCSEs are designed to be more demanding than their predecessors.

In addition for the reformed qualifications a new grading system will replace the A*-G grades that have been used previously - the new system will be 9 to 1 (with 9 being the highest).

Historically students could be entered for “Higher” or “Foundation” exam papers. The highest grade achievable on Foundation exams was a Grade C, with all grades up to A* being in the Higher exam papers. In the summer 2018 exam season, only Maths and Combined Science from the reformed qualifications will have tiered exams. Foundation level will cover grades 1 to 5 and Higher Level grades 4 to 9.

We also offer a range of vocational qualifications such as BTEC’s, Technical Awards and Cambridge National’s. These qualifications will continue to be graded as Pass, Merit, Distinction and Distinction *.

English Baccalaureate (EBacc)

The English Baccalaureate is not a qualification, it is an award that recognises that a student has obtained a grade C/grade 5 or above in all the following GCSE subjects:

The EBacc is not compulsory at AGS but students may consider that the EBacc is an award that may help a future application to university. Currently very few universities demand the EBacc as part of their entry requirements.

For those students planning to apply to university, certainly to Oxbridge or to any of the ‘Russell Group’ of universities (the older more established universities), it has always been good advice to take a language and often a humanities subject in any case. Some universities now require a language for entry to degree courses in English Literature.

 The Core

As required by the National Curriculum, we have core subjects which all students must follow. The compulsory core studies are as follows:


Students are setted according to ability in science and begin the GCSE programme of study around Easter during Year 9. Currently all students in Sets 1 and 2 will study separate sciences (3 GCSE’s) during Year 10 and 11. Students in Sets 3 and 4 will study Combined Science (2 GCSE’s) during Year 10 and 11. Students in Set 5 will study the Combined Science course and in addition be offered an alternative pathway.

 KS4 Course Information

Please see below the Year 9 Guided Choices Booklet containing course information sheets and the Guided Choices grid sheet to assist with your selection.