One-Year GCSE Course for International Pupils (excl. Germany)

Are you aged 15+ and would you like to study at an English boarding school? Would you like to gain 5 GCSE qualifications?

To provide a one year GCSE course for pupils aged 15+ in Year 11. Pupils on this programme, who register in Downside School for at least one academic year, can study a wide range of subjects in anticipation of taking GCSE examinations in five or more subjects The School will recommend that pupils sit GCSE examinations in subjects in which they can succeed and which will benefit their long-term education prospects.

We provide a one year GCSE course for pupils who will be in Downside for one whole academic year.

This course is most suited to academically able pupils who have a very good level of English [CEFR Level B2 / IELTS Level 6.0] because they will be completing their GCSE courses in a reduced timeframe. They will need to undertake preparatory work in the months preceding their start so that they are able to make progress and succeed in any GCSE examinations at the end of Year 11. The pupils and families need to realise that the programme will be academically stretching, given that the course will be completed in a little over two school terms.

GCSE Curriculum
A decision regarding the GCSE examinations, which a pupil will take, will be made after the GCSE mock examinations at the end of the Michaelmas Term (December). It must be clear to the School that the pupil is likely to achieve a minimum of Level 6 (Grade B) in each subject for which they are to be entered at GCSE level.At Downside, we aim for all pupils to fulfil their learning potential. We will ensure that each pupil receives the support and guidance they need in order to make an informed decision about which combination of subjects they will study.

We envisage most pupils starting in Year 11 will study at least 7 subjects:

Geography, History and Physical Education: the structure of these courses means that it is not possible for a new entrant to start Geography, History and PE at the beginning of Year 11 except in exceptional circumstances.

Other languages: there may be the opportunity to study for GCSEs in other languages eg Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Chinese and this will be confirmed in due course. If so, these will be at additional cost to the school fees.

Option Blocks: The table below shows the option blocks, which will be in place for Year 11 entrants for entry in September 2022.

This table does not include the core curriculum subjects of English, Mathematics, Religious Studies or the Sciences, which are taught outside of the Option Blocks.

Pupils can only opt for one subject in each block. (I.e. one from each column.)

A one-year GCSE Economics course will be run for one-year international pupils. We will write to you as soon as the placement of Economics within the timetable has been finalised.

Pupils who do not study a subject in one or more of the option blocks will either have supervised study lessons or English as an Additional Language (EAL) lessons, if required, during those times. The cost of all EAL lessons, whether 1:1 or group, is in addition to the school fees.