Our Secondary Curriculum

Our curriculum is divided into three Key Stages (KS):

Key StageGrades
37, 8 and 9
410 and 11
512 and 13

and the curriculum in each KS is adapted to the needs of our students.

Key Stage 3

In KS3, students will study a wide range of academic subjects taught by enthusiastic specialist teachers. Students will study the following subjects:

Core Subjects EnglishScienceMathematics  Foundation Subjects ArtMusicGeographyPhysical EducationHistoryComputer Science/ITModern Languages  Additional Subjects French (compulsory for all students at KS 3)PSHE  



KS3 is a three-year programme covering Years 7 to 9. The objectives of this KS are to:

  • ensure a smooth transition from whole-class teaching in Primary school to specialist subject teaching at KS3
  • introduce students to a broader range of subjects building upon those already introduced in Primary
  • to set the foundations for GCSE and IGCSE in Grades 10 and 11 (KS4)
  • extend the challenges offered and the demands to be faced as new knowledge and skills are introduced
  • encourage the development of learning skills and the ability to research, apply and interpret appropriate knowledge and information sources
  • continue emphasising the importance of basic skills in literacy, numeracy and science
  • advance the pupil’s personal and social development through high quality PSHE lessons
  • encourage each pupil to contribute positively to the school community and to become an active participant in all areas of school life
  • encourage each student to adopt a positive attitude to the care and protection of the environment.

Key Stage 4

KS4 refers to the curriculum covered by students in Years 10 and 11. It is a two-year programme that prepares students for i/GCSE (International/General Certificate of Secondary Education) examinations that are completed at the end of Year 11.

iGCSE/GCSEs are official qualifications. The examinations are set, marked and graded externally in the United Kingdom. The examination boards for our school are Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) and Edexcel.

The iGCSE grades are particularly important when students apply to university before their A Level grades are known in Year 13. These two year courses are therefore very important for the future of our students.

All students in Key Stage 4 study:

  • English Language
  • Mathematics
  • At least two Sciences

Students also choose four additional subjects from a range of options which include French, German, Spanish, Art, Computer Science, History, Geography, Business Studies, and Music. Many students also complete an additional GCSE examinations in their mother tongue, usually during Grade 10.

GCSE examinations are excellent preparation for the final two years of schooling and are required by many British universities as part of their application process. GCSE examinations pave the way for our A Level Programme.

Key Stage 5

KS5 refers to the curriculum covered by students in Years 12 and 13. It is a two-year programme that prepares students for entry to university, and includes AS examinations that are completed at the end of Year 12 and A Level Examinations taken at the end of Grade 13.

Students choose their A Level options from a wide range of subjects that includes:

  • English Language
  • English Literature
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • Mathematics
  • Art
  • Music
  • Geography
  • History
  • Computer Science/IT
  • Modern Languages

Most students will select four subjects for study during Grade 12, and then dependent upon their AS exam results, the majority of students will reduce thier subjects to three out of the original four. This is because universities will base their offers on three subjects.

If you would like to learn more about our exciting academic programme for students at The International School of Bearn, please contact us by email or submit an admissions enquiry.