GCSE Pathways

Studying in Year 10 and Year 11 at Rudheath Senior Academy is different from some other secondary schools. Learning is related to the world of work and aspirations so that students can better understand the relevance of what they are learning.

We offer a group of selected pathways, all with bespoke and complimentary subject options. Each of our pathways has clear links to next steps after GCSE courses are completed, supporting all students in choosing the right destination at post-16.

Our offering not only allows students to specialise and deepen knowledge in areas they are passionate about, but the pathways also provide meaningful connections to real world employers and industry skills that are required to succeed. These are the foundations of a successful and lasting career.

This final phase of your compulsory school education is probably the most important and hopefully the most exciting part of your learning so far. The next two years will bring challenge and change, as well as increased responsibility and a wealth of opportunities as young adulthood beckons.

Expectations are high for our Key Stage 4 students at RSA. We believe every student can achieve and succeed, whatever their ability. Good attendance and punctuality are crucial for success and are a basic expectation for all students. Students are well supported and our excellent pastoral system links very closely to the curriculum.

Subject teachers report on student progress each term and form tutors will meet students regularly with for academic reviews. In addition to this, learners will meet with their Head of Year over the course of the year to review progress and to set targets to take learning to the next level.

At Key Stage 4, students are challenged to organise and manage their study time in and out of school. Assemblies and enrichment activities remain an important part of school life, alongside a rich careers education to offer pupils insight into the real world of work, further education and training.

Rewarding students is very important to us. During each term in Key Stage 4 we will have achievement assemblies where we acknowledge and celebrate hard work and encourage success. So there are lots of interesting times ahead! The first stage is to decide the subjects to study.

GCSE stands for General Certificate of Secondary Education. GCSEs take two years to complete.

For GCSE’s, a grading scale of 9 to 1 will be used, with 9 being the top grade. This will allow greater differentiation between students and will help distinguish the new GCSEs from previous versions. Assessment will be mainly by exam, with other types of assessment used only where they are needed to test essential skills.

There will be new, more demanding, content which has been developed by the Government and the exam boards. Courses will be designed for two years of study – they will no longer be divided into different modules and students will take all their exams in one period at the end of their course.

Exams can only be split into ‘foundation tier’ and ‘higher tier’ if one exam paper does not give all students the opportunity to show their knowledge and abilities. The exams are structured like this to make sure that everyone has the opportunity to show what they are capable of without being put off by questions that are too hard or too easy. Subject teachers will decide which is the most appropriate tier of entry for each student.

GCSEs are the main entry requirements for continuing study at Level 3. They are also the minimum educational requirement for many jobs.

BTEC Firsts and Technical Awards allow (Level 2) learners to develop their knowledge and understanding by applying their learning and skills in a work-related context.

BTECs provide a tried and trusted progression route to further study, to an apprenticeship, or employment. They are skills-based qualifications that will help students to develop the practical real-world knowledge/experience and skills needed to
progress and succeed through both academic and professional life.

Assessment will be made up from assignments that are internally assessed, and external written based tests. Courses are designed for two years of study and will be divided into different modules.

We have grouped subjects through recommended pathways, allowing for cross-curriculum learning and meaningful encounters with employers and organisations linked to a specific area of interest/industry. You can read more about these below.

Compulsory Subjects

  • English Language
  • English Literature
  • Mathematics
  • Science (Combined)
  • Core Physical Education
  • Religious Education

Optional Subjects

Option Block A Option Block B Option Block C Option Block D
GCSE Separate/Triple Science BTEC Sport GCSE Food and Nutrition BTEC Health and Social Care
GCSE Geography Cambridge National in Creative iMedia GCSE Spanish GCSE Music
GCSE History GCSE Design and Technology GCSE Art and Design GCSE Media Studies
GCSE Drama GCSE Business Studies BTEC Travel and Tourism
GCSE Geography GCSE History (if you have not chosen in Option Block A) Cambridge National in Creative iMedia (if you have not chosen in Option Block B)

When thinking about which subjects to choose, consider the following:

What is the subject about?
Speak to subject teachers and older students about their experience with the course.

Do you like the subject?
Most people do better studying subjects they enjoy and in which they have achieved success.

Will you be able to cope with the subject?

Some subjects require practical skills. Some need more writing than others. Some involve research out of school. Find out from the teachers concerned whether they think you would be good at the subjects which interest you.

Consider careers and future goals

Think about which subjects are relevant to your future goals, including future college courses, jobs after school, apprenticeships, university. You can learn more about career guidance on our Work Readiness pages. You can also develop employability skills and consider your future job opportunities through the START programme.

Click below to find out more about our GCSE pathways.

Creative Arts
Digital Enterprise
START Programme