The recent government educational reforms, including the emphasis on linear examination based GCSEs and the shift away from many vocational courses for the 14-16 age group, resulted in a need to review our current curriculum model. A more competitive world and aggressive jobs market, means that we need to find the best way of maximising student performance, so that they can progress beyond Year 11.
Evidence from a number of GCSE subjects including, Business, Science, English and Maths shows that our students respond well to starting their Key Stage 4 work in Yr 9, so spreading the work burden over three instead of two years should prove advantageous to student performance.
The government is removing the opportunities for early entry and re-sits during the academic year, so we a three year key stage 4 with rigorous internal assessments will better prepare our students. A three year Key Stage 4 will also enable students to have a broader choice of subjects.
An expert government panel came to the following conclusion:
“The dip in achievement towards the end of Key Stage 3 is a well-documented phenomenon that is often attributed to a lack of student engagement and sense of purpose. We have therefore been considering the benefits of reducing Key Stage 3 to just two years to enable Key Stage 4, and GCSE preparation, to expand to three years in duration and thus provide a higher quality curriculum.”