Secondary school consists of two compulsory key stages: Key Stage 3 (Year 7 to 9) and Key Stage 4 (Year 10 to 11). Key Stage 5 (Year 12 to 13) is not a compulsory stage of education within the British system, although for students wishing to pursue university study, completion of A-levels or a recognized equivalent is essential.
At KS3 students are required to study the core subjects: Maths, Science and English and the following foundation subjects: Art, Design and Technology, Physical Education, History, Geography, a Modern Foreign Language (MFL), Information and Communication Technology (ICT). Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) is a non-statutory subject, but is taught once per week. We also teach Business Studies in Key Stage 3, although this is not a KS3 subject. We feel this subject is important for our students leaving in a business hub like the UAE. This knowledge and understanding will help support the 2020 Vision which emphasises entrepreneurship and innovation skills. The teacher for Business uses the ‘financial wellbeing’ aspect of the PSHE curriculum to plan long, medium and short term plans. The government provides teachers with curriculum guidance for all these programs of study. These programs of study include the knowledge, skills and understanding a student is expected to acquire in this key stage. They all provide the necessary foundational skills and knowledge so that students enter Key Stage 4 with the best foundations for success.
In Key Stage 3, as in all previous key stages, teachers assess students using levels. The level a student receives at the end of KS3 (Year 9) for each subject area, provides the teacher, student and parents with a clear indication of what grade a student is likely to obtain at the end of Year 11 for their iGCSEs. This data is very useful so students can make informed choices about what they will study in Year 10 to 11. More about levels is found in the assessment document.
At Key Stage 4 (KS4), students begin their GCSEs or iGCSEs – the General Certificate of Secondary Education or the International General Certificate of Secondary Education. Although teachers will predict a grade for students this prediction is not their final grade – this is determined by their performance in the external examinations they sit. All students will select eight GCSE subjects. We aim to have all students achieving at least 5 subjects with grades A-C passes. Achieving these 5 grade A-Cs is very important for students who wish to pursue higher education, including A-levels (Key Stage 5 – Years 12 and 13), college and eventually, for some of our students, university. English, Arabic, Maths and Science are compulsory GCSE/ IGCSE subjects for all students. Students have two options for the language papers: native speakers (1st language) or second language papers. Students will then select 4 other subjects from a list of options. All curriculum areas would be available through external examination boards from the UK and students would sit tests, established by these board and marked overseas by the UK examiners. This means that students leaving Reach British School would have qualifications which are recognized internationally.
KeyBritish School opened its doors in 2014, and has not yet opened its Sixth Form (Years 12 and 13) as we are growing the school by one additional year group per new academic year. We expect to open our Sixth Form in 2020, once our current students have completed their GSCE course.