Subject Overview: Key Stage Four

Subject Overview @ Key Stage Four (Years 10-11)

IGCSE Art and Design

Cambridge IGCSE Art and Design has been designed to offer a broad choice of media and approaches so that candidates can produce a personal response, and ISSR will enable students to play to the strength of each student in terms of staff, expertise and interests.

The broad areas of study are:

  • Painting and related media
  • Printmaking     
  • Three-dimensional studies
  • Photography, digital and lens-based media
  • Graphic communication
  • Textile design. 

IGCSE Business Studies

Cambridge IGCSE Business Studies is accepted by universities and employers as proof of an understanding of business concepts and techniques across a range of different types of businesses. As well as gaining lifelong skills, successful Cambridge IGCSE Business Studies learners will be able to demonstrate:

  • An understanding of the different forms of business organisations, the environments in which businesses operate and business functions such as marketing, operations and finance;
  • Appreciation of the role of people in business success;
  • The ability to calculate and interpret business data;
  • The communication skills needed to support arguments with reasons;
  • The ability to analyse business situations and reach decisions or judgments.

IGCSE Design Technology

The Cambridge IGCSE Design and Technology syllabus enables learners to identify, consider and solve problems through creative thinking, planning and design, and by working with different media, materials and tools. As a result, learners gain greater technical and design awareness, while developing skills such as initiative, resourcefulness, enquiry and ingenuity. They also develop the communication skills central to design making and evaluation.  Cambridge IGCSE Design and Technology provides an ideal basis for further study, and prepares learners for their future within a rapidly changing technological society.    


Through practical and theoretical study, learners develop an understanding and enjoyment of drama, developing group and individual skills and studying ways to communicate ideas and feelings to an audience. They learn how to discover the performance possibilities of a text and other stimuli, and devise dramatic material of their own. Learners also develop their performance skills, the demonstration of which will form part of the final assessment.

IGCSE English First Language

Cambridge IGCSE First Language English is designed for learners whose mother tongue is English. Learners are encouraged to read widely, both for their own enjoyment and to further their awareness of the ways in which English can be used. Cambridge IGCSE First Language English also develops more general analysis and communication skills such as synthesis, inference, and the ability to order facts and present opinions effectively. The course allows learners to:

  • Develop the ability to communicate clearly, accurately and effectively when speaking and writing;
  • Learn how to use a wide range of vocabulary, and the correct grammar, spelling and punctuation;
  • Develop a personal style and an awareness of the audience being addressed.   

IGCSE English Literature

Cambridge IGCSE Literature (English) offers learners the opportunity to read, interpret, evaluate and respond to a range of literature in English. The range includes drama, prose and poetry from the works of Shakespeare to contemporary literature. This course enables learners to deepen their understanding and appreciation of the ways in which writers use English to express meaning and achieve effects. Cambridge IGCSE Literature (English) will stimulate learners to read for pleasure, to explore wider and universal issues, promoting a better understanding of themselves and the world. Cambridge IGCSE Literature (English) is accepted by universities and employers as proof of knowledge and understanding of Literature in English.

IGCSE Geography

Successful Cambridge IGCSE Geography candidates develop lifelong skills, including:

  • An understanding of the processes which affect physical and human environments;
  • An understanding of location on a local, regional and global scale;
  • The ability to use and understand geographical data and information;
  • An understanding of how communities around the world are affected and constrained by different environments.              

IGCSE History

History is the study of the past. Cambridge IGCSE History offers the opportunity to study world history from the nineteenth century to the beginning of the twenty-first century. Learners will explore history from a diversity of perspectives, including social, economic, cultural and political. Cambridge IGCSE History encourages learners to raise questions and to develop and deploy historical skills, knowledge and understanding in order to provide historical explanations. Learners studying Cambridge IGCSE History are given the opportunity to:

  • Develop an interest in and enthusiasm for learning about and understanding the past;
  • Explore historical concepts such as cause and consequence, change and continuity, and similarity and difference;
  • Appreciate historical evidence and how to use it;
  • Gain a greater understanding of international issues and inter-relationships;
  • Learn how to present clear, logical arguments.


IGCSE Information and Communication Technology encourages learners to develop lifelong skills, including:

  • Understanding and using applications;
  • Using Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to solve problems;
  • Analysing, designing, implementing, testing and evaluating ICT systems, ensuring that they are fit for purpose;
  • Understanding the implications of technology in society, including social, economic and ethical uses;
  • Awareness of the ways ICT can help in home, learning and work environments.

IGCSE Modern Languages: French / Mandarin Chinese

Cambridge IGCSE Mandarin Chinese and IGCSE French Foreign Language are accepted by universities and employers as proof of linguistic ability and understanding. The course encourages learners to develop lifelong skills, including:

  • The ability to use a foreign language as a means of practical communication;
  • Insight into the culture and civilisation of countries where the language is spoken;
  • A positive attitude towards language learning, towards the speakers of other languages, and towards other cultures and civilisations;
  • Techniques which can be applied to other areas of learning, such as analysis and memory skills; 
  • A sound foundation for progression to employment or further study.    

IGCSE Physical Education

Universities and employers accept Cambridge IGCSE Physical Education as proof that candidates have knowledge, skills and an understanding of a range of relevant physical activities. Candidates’ knowledge, skills and understanding come from studying both practical and theoretical aspects of Physical Education.

Successful Cambridge IGCSE Physical Education students gain lifelong skills, including:

  • an ability to plan, perform, analyse and improve, and evaluate physical activities
  • knowledge, skills and understanding of a range of relevant physical activities
  • an understanding of effective and safe performance
  • an understanding of the role of sport and physical activity in society and in the wider world
  • an excellent foundation for advanced study
  • an enjoyment of physical activity.       

IGCSE Science Coordinated Double Award

A double award, Cambridge IGCSE Co-ordinated Sciences gives candidates the opportunity to study Biology, Chemistry and Physics within a scientifically coherent syllabus. Candidates learn about the basic principles of each subject through a mix of theoretical and practical studies, while also developing an understanding of the scientific skills essential for further study.

Candidates learn how science is studied and practised, and become aware that the results of scientific research can have both good and bad effects on individuals, communities and the environment. As well as focusing on the individual sciences, the syllabus enables candidates to better understand the technological world they live in, and take an informed interest in science and scientific developments.

Curriculum Plans for Years 10 and 11 can be downloaded here:

Year 10

issr_hs_currplan_t1_2017-18_YEAR 10

Year 11

issr_hs_currplan_t1_2017-18_YEAR 11