Third to Fifth Forms (GCSE & IGCSE)
Students joining RGS are already working at a level ahead of national expectation. For those students who join us in the First Form (Year 7), we help them to work quickly through the important foundation stage in the first two years which allows us to support students to work at a higher level of study a year earlier than at most other schools.
Students’ higher level of ability and the support framework provided by the school sees RGS students start working at GCSE level from the start of the Third Form i.e. students begin Key Stage 4 level from the Third Form (Year 9) rather than waiting until the Fourth Form (Year 10) as in most other schools.
In most cases, GCSE Examinations remain at the end of the Fifth Form except for more able mathematicians who sit Mathematics IGCSE at the end of the Fourth Form and move on to Further Maths (a bridging qualification between GCSE and A Level) in the Fifth Form.
In the Third, Fourth and Fifth Form, we work with parents and students to help them become architects of their own curriculum pathways ensuring that students make the right choices and right combination for them as an individual. Advice and guidance is offered by staff to both parents and students on an on-going basis. As students are able to start personalising their programmes of study from the start of the Third Form, a year earlier than in most schools, the increased time enables more flexibility to review and change options choices to ensure that students are set up to succeed. Students can choose from our broad and evolving range of options which includes the Arts, Languages and Humanities. Most students will sit 10 GCSEs and all students study Mathematics, English Language, English Literature, Biology, Chemistry and Physics (as three separate sciences).
Having three years to work at GCSE level means students get three years to do what other schools rush students through in just two years. The extra time supports higher attainment and higher GCSE grades that will open up additional opportunities as students apply to top universities. Additionally, the extended three year GCSE course enables RGS students to enjoy significantly greater breadth and depth in their learning.
The extra time available at Key Stage 4/GCSE means that we are able to offer an Electives Programme. This innovative programme of modular options is a key component of students’ Key Stage 4/GCSE curriculum and contains a wide range of studies and life skills that are valuable but do not require yet another GCSE examination in order to be part of a great education. The Electives programme means that a student does not have to drop as many subjects as in most schools but neither does he or she need to take an examination at GCSE level in every course of study undertaken. Whilst the Electives available will vary over time, examples of Electives might include a new language started ab initio, an art related Elective in Clay modelling, a programme of Enterprise and Entrepreneurship , Linguistic challenges, Photography, Film Appreciation, Charity related Community Service or Forensic Psychology.
Common core (all students) and number of periods per week
English Language and English Literature (5)
Electives including PSHEE** (2)
Physical Education (1)
Options (4 of the subjects below each having three periods per week)
French (note 1)
German (note 1)
Spanish (note 1)
Latin (note 1)
Latin & Greek (note 2)
History (note 3)
Geography (note 3)
Philosophy & Ethics (note 3)
Art & Design
1. Students should try to choose at least one of these subjects.
2. Greek can only be studied with Latin.
3. Students should try to choose at least one of these subjects.
Subjects marked * are dependent on viable numbers and their availability cannot be guaranteed.
** The Electives programme is a new addition to the Key Stage 4 curriculum and contains a wide range of studies and life skills that are valuable but do not require yet another GCSE examination in order to be part of a great education.
The courses listed here are available during the current academic year, but no guarantee can be given about their future availability. Prospective parents are advised to contact the school to confirm the curriculum for the next academic year.
*For Mathematics, Sciences, English Language, Modern Foreign Languages and Geography, students sit the IGCSE (International exams) instead of the GCSE. IGCSEs are regarded as more rigorous than GCSEs and better preparation for A Level studies. They are fully accepted by all universities. However, they do not appear in league tables published by the government.
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