Key Stages are national statutory tests called Standard Assessment Tasks (SATs) and are taken at the ages of 7, 11 and 14.
SATs test dates for Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 3 are both in May.
No, there should be no penalty for missing tests.
The curriculum for pupils in Years 10 and 11 includes:
Most pupils will be following courses leading to GCSE exams although some may take other qualifications, such as GNVQ or NVQ units or certificates of achievement.
In addition pupils usually follow a range of other subjects, some of which may be chosen from a number of options offered by the school.
Some pupils may follow courses leading to GCSE in a vocational subject and may study this at a college.
GCSEs in vocational subjects were introduced in September 2002 so pupils can take vocational qualifications, which are of the same standard as other GCSEs.
These subjects give a more practical approach to learning and give students an opportunity to find out about the world of work. The new GCSE courses are called ‘Double Awards’ and are equivalent to 2 other GCSEs.
Examining groups offer GCSE (short course) qualifications designed to take only half the study time of a full GCSE. These count as half a full GCSE.
Students are expected to follow key skills courses in communication, use of numbers and information and communications technology alongside their academic courses.
Students usually study the following at sixth form:
AS examinations are a qualification in their own right but also comprise the first year of A level (A2) courses or three units of a Vocational A level.
Most students study three, four or five AS levels subjects in Year 12 and extend some of these (usually three) to A level (A2) during Year 13.
Vocational A levels may be studied as 3 (AS), 6 or 12 (Double Award) units.
The points awarded to specific grades for GCE/VCE A level are the same. Those studying VCE A level double awards gain twice the number of points.
Most sixth forms and colleges offer vocational courses for students who opt for one year of further study after GCSE.