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Qualifications - 14-16

Here is some information on the courses and qualifications you can take 14-16.

GCSEs - General Certificate of Secondary Education

GCSEs are the main qualification students take in Years 10 and 11. Depending on what's available in your school you can take GCSEs in a whole range of subjects.

GCSEs are two year courses.  

Changes were made to GCSE examinations in September 2015 to be examined in 2017

Structure – the new GCSE examinations will only be assessed through an end of
course examination in the summer term.

Resits of the whole qualification will be available in November after
summer results for GCSEs in maths and English language only, for those aged 16+.

Assessment – there will be exams where possible, with other forms of assessment only
where it is necessary to assess essential subject skills.

Grading – new numbered scale will replace the letters A*- G from 9 to 1 (plus
U) 9 is the highest.

The new GCSE grades compared to the old:









E      F 

Subjects taught:



art and design 


double science 



ancient languages 



modern foreign languages 

physical education 

design and technology 

religious studies 

computer science 


citizenship studies 

English language & English literature

Click on this link for more information GCSE's Explained

Vocational Qualifications

Vocational qualifications have been developed by employers and professional bodies for students who want to find out more about a particular area of work, or want to train for a particular job.

They are available in many different subject areas for example art and design, horticulture,business, engineering, hospitality and catering and many more.

Courses are usually made up of different units or modules and assessed through a mixture of coursework assignments and practical activities. 

'Skills needed by Industry' courses

University Technical Colleges offer 14 to 19 year-olds the opportunity to take a full time, technically-oriented course of study. Some of the subjects offered are biomedical,engineering, product design, health sciences,construction and land and environmental services.

Entrepreneurial activities and employer-led projects as well as specific enterprise-focused events will be part of the 'skills needed by industry' courses.

Students will be expected to study GCSE courses but 40% of the course will be involved with an industry led qualification.

More information about University Technical Colleges 

Personalised programmes

Some schools may offer a targeted personalised programme of learning to support some identified students.

Your school will advise on whether this is an appropriate pathway for you to follow.




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