KS4 Curriculum Information

Aims of Our Curriculum

Forest Hall School is committed to providing a broad, balanced, accessible and inclusive curriculum for all our students.  It is our aim to provide equally for the needs of all our students and offer support, where necessary, to allow access to the full curriculum.  We aim for excellence for all and are committed to ensuring that students can enjoy their studies and achieve success.

We want to make sure that each student has a positive learning experience; we believe that our curriculum will motivate and engage students, challenging them to achieve to the very best of their ability.

We will ensure that, where possible, all students have the opportunity to study their preferred courses and they are provided with the necessary information, guidance and support that will enable them to make these important choices.

Curriculum Change

All GCSE curriculums will change over the next two years.  At GCSE, English Language, English Literature and Mathematics there have been changes to the curriculum from September 2015.  The courses will be much more academically demanding and will be assessed by an examination at the end of year 11 only.  Due to these ongoing changes, some of the information in this booklet may change over the next few months as specifications are accredited and decisions about courses are confirmed.


The English Baccalaureate (E-Bacc) was introduced as a performance measure for schools in England in the 2010 performance tables.  It is not a qualification.  The measure recognises students that have achieved a C/5 grade or better in five subjects from GCSE English, mathematics, history or geography, two sciences, computer science and a modern foreign language.  Students who are considering entry to a top university would be best advised to choose the E-Bacc subjects.  All students, where possible, should do this too, for breadth and balance in their chosen courses.

Progress 8

Progress 8 will be introduced for all schools in 2016 and will replace the 5A*-C measure.  This is a great step forward for schools as it will calculate a student’s progress throughout the GCSE course regardless of their ability.  Progress 8 encourages students to have a broad and balanced GCSE portfolio.  There is strong governmental advice about the expected spread of subjects needed for all students regardless of what they wish to do, to keep them competitive in the future.

The Progress 8 measure will be based on a student’s eight best subjects within the following criteria:

A double weighted GCSE mathematics

A double weighted English.  This can be either GCSE English Language or English Literature; whichever is the highest grade, as long as you are entered for both qualifications

The three highest grades from the E-Bacc subjects – biology, chemistry, physics, core and additional science, computer science, geography, history, French or Spanish

The best three grades from any of the remaining subjects included within the “open group”.  This could be three GCSE qualifications and can include the other English option not already counted.