GCSE Curriculum

Year 9

Guided by the requirements of the National Curriculum – but, as an Independent School with the freedom to go above and beyond – our Third Form (Year 9) curriculum provides a secure foundation for GCSE studies to be started the following year.

The core subjects of English, French and/or Spanish, Mathematics and the separate Sciences are supplemented with Geography, History, and Religious Studies, whilst greater breadth is achieved through Drama, Music, Physical Education, Art and Design Technology. For subjects such as Mathematics and French pupils are placed in sets according to ability levels.

In addition, all pupils follow a full PSHE/Careers and Enterprise/Study Skills course.

All pupils take English – most will take English Language and Literature, however, some may just take English Language (as advised by Head of English)

All pupils take Mathematics and Sciences. Sciences include Biology, Chemistry, and Physics and this leads to either a Dual or Triple Award Science.

Option subjects:

Students must then choose from the following – totaling six subjects.

At least one Modern Foreign Language: French / Spanish

At least two Humanities:  Geography / History / Religious Studies

At least two Creative & Performance subjects: Art & Design / Design & Technology / Drama / Music / Physical Education


GCSE (Years 10 & 11)

All pupils take a core consisting of English (Language and Literature or just Language), Mathematics and Science (Dual or Triple subject covering all three of Biology, Chemistry and Physics). With a few exceptions, all must study a Modern Language (French, Spanish or English as a Second Language). AEN support is also available in place of a language. All pupils follow a PSHE course.

A further four options are chosen from Art, Business Studies, Design Technology, Drama, French, Geography, History, Music, Physical Education, Religious Studies and Spanish.

The usual number of GCSE subjects taken is ten. Some pupils may take eight or nine GCSEs if they do not study English Literature and/or take Dual rather than Triple Science. At St Lawrence College we believe that this is the optimum number that combines the necessary breadth with the best opportunity to achieve the highest possible grades.

To allow for the greatest level of choice in selecting subjects, pupils expecting to enter the Fourth Form (Year 10) are asked to specify their preferred subjects before the option groupings are devised to satisfy as many of these preferred combinations as possible.

GCSE Option subjects:

As standard: English Language / English Literature / Mathematics / Sciences as Chemistry, Biology, Physics

A further four Option subjects are chosen from the following:-

Art and Design  Business Studies  French  
Design and Technology  Geography  Spanish  
Drama  History  Additional Educational Needs (AEN) support  
Music  Religious Studies 
Physical Education 

Students will take a Modern Foreign Language which may be French or Spanish, or they may take both.  Native speakers of German may also take this GCSE as an extra subject in addition to their four option choices and will be prepared for the examination by the German teacher.   A pupil from overseas taking EAL as the main English course can also choose Additional EAL as an option if more language support is needed.

Additionally, all pupils will have three games sessions a week, on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays and take part in extra-curricular activities at the end of the day on Wednesdays and Fridays.




Read our GCSE Subject Handbook

Pupils are quietly confident and buoyant in making decisions and learning from those choices. They are actively curious, thoughtful and want to be active participants in their futures and see this experience as helping to secure their goals.

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