Welcome: Key Stage 4

This is the start of an exciting and important new stage in your education. Over the coming months, you will be laying the foundation for your future career and life path. Success in the courses you are now studying will open doors to whatever you want to do in the future. For some of you, success will mean top grades, A levels, and University. For others, success will mean 5 or more GCSE passes at grade 5 or above – followed by vocational courses that develop the skills for work. Whatever your target, success will only be achieved one way – hard work.

“Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration” (Thomas Edison)


Being successful at school is something everyone can achieve through ‘perspiration’ and hard work;

  • Actively take part in every lesson – thinking, questioning and discussing.
  • See every piece of classwork or homework as an opportunity to learn and to show your very best.
  • See your teachers and parents as supportive partners, helping you to succeed.
  • Make your success a personal priority, not wasting time on things that matter less. Dedication – day after day, throughout this year and next – is the only way you will achieve success.

While our students are in Year 9, they will select the subjects they will study at GCSE Level, which, in turn, will inform decisions for their post-16 education. Although a certain amount of GCSE choice is available to our pupils, it is constrained by the requirements of the new GCSE exam reforms. We fully support these reforms as they will ensure pupils remain challenged throughout Key Stage 4 and provide the best possible higher education and careers opportunities.

It is very usual that most Year 9 students have no settled ideas about what they would like to do after leaving education. In this case, the best plan is to choose a challenging and balanced selection of courses from the range of subjects available. While the choice is the pupil’s, parents, teachers and our in-school careers guidance practitioners are all available to advise and help. Head of Key Stage 4 is Mr Smith and for further information please contact him ssmith@thecotswoldschool.co.uk.