The Key Stage 4 Study Programme is made up of three parts:


1. Strand

This is the specialist creative area you have chosen to study at The BRIT School. Five hours a week is dedicated to the Strand time and there are additional activities, rehearsals, workshops, events and performances that make up the unique BRIT educational experience.

Strand Subjects at KS4, equivalent to one GCSE.

  • Film & Media  Production
  • Dance
  • Interactive Digital Design
  • Music
  • Musical Theatre
  • Theatre
  • Visual Arts & Design

2. Core Curriculum



English Language (1 GCSE)  

English Literature (1 GCSE)


(1 GCSE)

Combined Science
(2 GCSEs)

Personal Professional Development - PPD

(not examined)

English Language

GCSE English language provides the following range of experiences:

  • Speaking and listening opportunities, including group work and drama-focused activities

  • Reading, covering prose, poetry and drama texts, including a Shakespeare play and works from the English literary heritage

  • Writing, in which students engage with a variety of forms and genres, including analysis, reviews and commentaries

Read our  English Curriculum Map here.

English Literature

This course encourages students to:

  • Explore their literary interests and reading skills

  • Understand and respond to a wide range of literary texts

  • Appreciate the ways, in which authors achieve their effects

  • Develop the skills necessary for literary study

In addition, students develop their awareness of social, historical and cultural contexts and influences in the study of literature, as well as their ability to construct and convey meaning in speech and writing, matching style to audience and purpose.

Read our  English Curriculum Map here.


The GCSE Mathematics course encourages students to develop their skills and knowledge in mathematics and their enjoyment of the subject. Throughout the course students are encouraged to think for themselves, become independent learners and develop their own problem-solving abilities.  A range of teaching strategies are employed, including teacher-led work, group work, practical activities, games and the use of computer software.  All students have access to three GCSE Maths software packages both during and outside of lesson time.  Students study number and algebra; shape, space and measures and handling data.

Read our  Maths Curriculum Map here.

My Maths

Use My Maths to help you with your maths. There are a range of games, lessons and tests to help you with your revision.

Get the login and password from your teacher.

GCSE Maths Revision

An excellent site from the BBC. Revise and practise topics online. Get help. Post messages. Find links to other maths websites.

GCSE Maths Past Papers

Contains past papers and model solutions for all tiers of entry. Past papers can be printed.


Go to GCSE revision, maths and then select a topic. Includes a list of useful formulae. Also covers other aspects of school life and helpful hints such as how to write a C.V.

Learn Things

Click box ‘enter here’. Go to Key Stage 4 maths, foundation/higher. Unfortunately, there is no section aimed specifically at the intermediate tier. The ability to compose your own test on topics of your choice and complete them online is a notable benefit.

GCSE Guide

Not the best site for practising your maths, but contains some useful explanations of key concepts. Basically an online revision guide.

Maths Homework (Channel 4HYPERLINK "")

‘Homework High’ enables you to get help with your homework online by posting a question to a teacher. The channel 4 site also contains some interesting games!


Combined Science

Course description

This qualification is linear, meaning that students sit all their exams at the end of the 2 year course.

All students will study GCSE Combined Science – Trilogy which is a double award, equivalent to two GCSE’s.

The GCSE in Combined Science should enable students to:

  • develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics;
  • develop understanding of the nature, processes and methods of science, through different types of scientific enquiries that help them to answer scientific questions about the world around them; 
  • develop and learn to apply observational, practical, modelling, enquiry and problem solving skills in the laboratory, in the field and in other learning environments;
  • develop their ability to evaluate claims based on science through critical analysis of the methodology, evidence and conclusions, both qualitatively and quantitatively.

Separate Sciences

Course description

This qualification is linear, meaning that students sit all their exams at the end of the two year course.
Students selecting to study Separate Sciences as an option will achieve a triple award (3 GCSEs). Triple Science students are taught in classes alongside the combined science students, but have 2.5 hours each week exclusively with fellow triple scientists covering the Separate Sciences content.

The three GCSE Science qualifications enable students to:

  • develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics;
  • develop understanding of the nature, processes and methods of science, through different types of scientific enquiries that help them to answer scientific questions about the world around them; 
  • develop and learn to apply observational, practical, modelling, enquiry and problem solving skills in the laboratory, in the field and in other learning environments;
  • develop their ability to evaluate claims based on science through critical analysis.

Read our  Science Curriculum Map here.

You can download a list of student text books, revision guides and workbooks here.


The BRIT School is committed to providing a broad and balanced education that values the essential knowledge, skills and understanding within National Curriculum subjects.

3. Options

You select one preference in each of the three GCSE Option Blocks to complete your study programme at The BRIT School. 

Please click here for the a full  reading list for all options. 

We currently offer the following:

Block A

Block B

Block C





Art & Design











Graphic Design

(Technical Award)











Separate Science



The BRIT School is committed to enabling all students to succeed. The purpose of the Upskiller courses is to ensure students needing further provision and support are able to achieve the very best outcomes in GCSE English Literature, GCSE English Language and/or GCSE Maths. The Upskiller courses are instead of the Options courses in those Blocks and places are allocated based on our induction testing and prior attainment data.

Maths Up-Skiller

Course Description

The Maths Upskiller course is aimed at students who have previously struggled to reach the required levels in mathematics. Any student who thinks they are unlikely to achieve at least a level 4 in their GCSE would be advised to apply for a place on this course. The course will supplement students’ normal maths lessons and will provide an opportunity to revisit topics, to practise and to gain a deeper understanding of the work covered in the core curriculum.

Assessment  - This course supports the Mathematics GCSE

English Up-Skiller

Course Description

It is recognised that GCSE English requires students to possess skills which will enable them to read fluently and write effectively with confidence and control in the use of Standard English. Some students require further intervention so that they will achieve good grades in GCSE English Language and GCSE English Literature, thereby closing the gap. To this end, specific student will undertake studies in spelling, punctuation and grammar as well as studies in how to write for chosen audiences using the correct register. Students will also engage in reading and writing activities related to media texts, e.g. advertisements, newspapers and magazines, websites, television and film. In this course students will also experience prose, drama and a selection of poems with an emphasis on enjoyment and the intention of fostering pleasure in reading. In this way students will recognise the impact which reading makes on her/his ability to make use of a widening vocabulary bank in writing or speaking.

Assessment  - This course supports the English Language and Literature GCSEs



Art and Design

*Please note that VAD strand students cannot apply for this option.

The Art and Design GCSE is a rigorous, broad based program of study that provides students with an exciting and wide experience of learning within a variety of mediums. Students are encouraged to develop their knowledge and understanding of the core skills. All project work is built around students creating independence and confidence.

Students are expected to be open minded and positive in their approach to making, challenging themselves through experimentation and dedicated commitment. All work will be assessed around four major areas: research, contextual analysis, experimentation and presenting a personal response.

Students experience a wide variety of materials & disciplines from paint, print, Graphics, 3-D, Photography and textiles. All students will develop their ability to draw and initiate projects through first-hand experiences. Students must research artists and use art history to extend their knowledge and understanding in order to support their own creative practice.

It is essential that students keep a sketchbook to document: ideas, drawings, experiences, photographs, collections, annotations and experimentations. These sketchbooks are a fundamental part of a student’s portfolio work for the course. It is expected that students complete a sketchbook for each project they undertake

Students will have the opportunity to exhibit their own work with other students within Visual Art & Design and are expected to be committed with their time to homework each week. It is expected that students will spend approximately 3 hours per week on additional coursework.

Students applying for GCSE Art & Design should have experience in developing their drawing skills.


*Please note that Dance strand students cannot apply for this option.

GCSE Dance offers students the chance to develop skills in performing, choreographing and appreciating a range of dance styles and broaden their understanding of this unique art form. Created and performed by outstanding international choreographers and dancers working in the UK, six professional works have been chosen for GCSE Dance to help develop students understanding of the dance and performing arts industry and to inspire their work.

Students learn challenging set movement phrases that will test their physical, expressive and technical skills as a soloist. They develop the skills needed to convey choreographic intent to an audience through performing in a duet or trio, which explores a range of different dance relationships.

Students create their own complete dance based on a chosen stimulus and learn the artistic skills needed to make successful choreography. Students select the number of dancers, aural setting (e.g., music) and develop original work that communicates to an audience. Students demonstrate the knowledge understanding and appreciation of performance, choreography and the professional dance works studied throughout the course.

Students must be committed to physically performing Contemporary Dance styles.


*Please note that Theatre strand students cannot apply for this option.

Over two years students explore and develop an understanding of theatre and drama techniques. The course offers a range of experiences including exciting and challenging opportunity to work collaboratively with others to explore a range of stimuli in order to create original performance pieces. Students will develop skills in group work, research and negotiation, while also developing creativity, performance and design skills. Students will consider the impact that they can make on an audience, as they develop the ideas that they want to communicate.

Students will demonstrate and use a wide range of acting and/or design skills to communicate their interpretation in performance. As theatre makers, students will be develop their knowledge and understanding of the ways in which drama can create meaning for an audience through performance.

Students will explore practically how a complete performance text might be interpreted and realised from ‘page to stage’. This exploration will give students an insight into how texts may be brought to life for an audience and the creative roles within this process.

Students will also analyse and evaluate their experience of a live theatre performance as informed members of the audience. They will develop skills to recognise the meaning created in the theatre space in order to communicate ideas to an audience.

Film Studies

*Please note that FMP strand students cannot apply for this option

Film is an important part of many people's lives. Those who choose to study it characteristically bring with them a huge enthusiasm and excitement for film which constantly motivates them in their studies. The GCSE Film Studies is designed to draw on students' enthusiasm for film and introduce them to a wide variety of cinematic experiences through films which have been important in the development of film and film technology. Learners will develop their knowledge of US mainstream film by studying one film from the 1950s and one film from the later 70s and 80s, thus looking at two stages in Hollywood's development. In addition, they will be studying more recent films – a US independent film as well as films from Europe, including the UK, South Africa and Australia.

Production is an important part of this specification and is integral to learners' study of film. Studying a diverse range of films from several different contexts is designed to give learners the opportunity to apply their knowledge and understanding of how films are constructed to their own filmmaking. This is intended to support learners in producing creative films as well as enable their production work to provide an informed filmmaker's perspective on their own study of film. The academic study of film is now well established and the frameworks for its study are broadly similar whether at GCSE, AS, A level or at higher education institutions.

French / Spanish

Year 10 students can opt to study a full GCSE course in either French or Spanish. Topics covered across the 2 years are related to the areas of personal information, leisure, home and town, holidays, future plans, education and work. Students are assessed on their listening and reading skills in examination sessions and these amount to 40% of the GCSE.  Students are also assessed in speaking in 3 controlled assessment tasks during the course (30% of the GCSE) and they are required to produce at least 3 pieces of writing, as part of their controlled assessment (again, 30% of the GCSE).

Read our  Modern Foreign Languages Map here


Graphic Design (Tech Award)

*Please note that IDD strand students cannot apply for this option.

Graphic design is a form of visual communication. It is the process by which visual information is given form and structure to communicate a message. Being a graphic designer is the profession of visual communication that combines images, words and ideas to convey information to an audience. It involves designing print or electronic forms of visual information for advertisement, publication or a website.

Graphic design should not be confused with art and design or product design. It is distinct from these subjects and should be treated as so. This qualification focuses on an applied study of the graphic design sector and learners will gain a broad understanding and knowledge of working in the sector.

Students studying this course will learn the principles of good design and apply these skills using professional Adobe design software. They will study units in digital design creating products that follow current industry trends; this work will be showcased in an online digital portfolio. It is also ideal for anyone else who really enjoys creating visuals on a computer.

Students need to have a level of competence in computing skills for this course.


We offer two History specifications at GCSE - AQA History A and History B. 

History A has 3 elements.  In Year 10 students study ‘The History of Medicine over Time’ which covers developments in medicine from prehistoric times to date. They will follow this with a local history study, which includes a visit to a local site, followed by a Controlled Assessment. In Year 11 they will do an in-depth study of the American Struggle for the Plains 1840-1895. 

History B covers Depth studies, USA 1919-29, Race Relations in USA 1950-68, Vietnam 1964-75, International Relations, the Treaty of Versailles and League of Nations 1919-39 Cold War and 1945-70.  There are also two controlled assessments, which cover British History in the 20th Century.

Read our  History Curriculum Map here


*Please note that Music strand students cannot apply for this option.

This course offers students the opportunity to develop their musical skills not just as a performer, but also as a composer and as a rounded musician to appreciate and understand a large variety of musical styles and genres. An integrated approach highlights the importance of the relationship between composer, performer and audience.

The specification has three units based on the three skills of performing, composing and appraising. Students are required to perform and compose music using conventions, styles or idioms linked to at least one area of study and will also have the opportunity to follow their own musical interests in composition and performance.

Students develop knowledge and understanding of music through four interrelated areas of study:

1: Musical Forms and Devices

2: Music for Ensemble 3: Film Music

4: Popular Music.

Students must be able to perform to a high level on at least one instrument and have an understanding of Music theory.

Photography (Art and Design)

The Photography GCSE is an extremely focused course that provides students with a broad understanding of lens-based mediums. Students will experience using film, video, digital imaging, and analogue photography and developing processes. Students have the opportunity to develop work across the following areas in order to create a portfolio of coursework: Studio photography, location photography, experimental imagery, Installation, moving image, film, video and animation. Students are expected to be open minded, to work with the professionalism and develop a level of confidence that enables them to take photographs independently outside of the school environment.

Students will be expected to create a personal portfolio for the coursework. This consists of practical work, experiments, research and development, which will be relevant to a chosen theme(s), project(s) or task(s). This portfolio will be assessed and will be worth 60% of the final grade.

Students will be expected to conduct photo shoots outside of school hours as homework and develop sketchbook and blogs to support the progress of their project. All students will be expected to annotate their work on a regular basis and engage with critical and contextual language and illustrate their ideas through rudimental drawing techniques.

We encourage students to acquire their own equipment, however this is not an essential requirement. Student will be able to hire equipment when necessary.


Students follow a two-year course in Sociology, the study of British society.  The main aim of the course is to increase students' knowledge and understanding of the social world, in which they live.  They study, among others, the following modules:

'What is Sociology?', in which they learn about the central concepts of the subject and how to conduct ethical research;

'The Family', which includes learning about the diverse forms of family life in Britain; Education, where they learn about why we need schools, barriers to achievement and how Government policies have sought to raise achievement;

'Power and Politics', which includes learning about decision making and power in Britain;

'Social Control and Deviance', where they learn about criminal and deviant behaviour and the justice system; Social Class and Inequality, which includes gaining an understanding of the social class system , poverty and life chances; and Mass Media, including what they are, their effect on society and media stereotyping.

Textile Design (Art and Design)

During their two-year Art Textile design course students experiment with a vast range of processes including applique, batik, machine embroidery, use of the heat press, surface pattern design and manipulation, pattern making and pattern adaptation. Students will learn how to construct garments using both hand sewing and sewing machines. Learning skills in textiles is only the starting point for many of our students, our facilities and equipment are available to students to extend their hours in the classroom, as we appreciate this is a time-consuming course to choose and requires practice and hard work. Textiles students can see the PA students creating costumes for performances with opportunities for peer learning across year groups.


Students explore the world of the Visual Arts to inspire and generate their own art practice. Students create a body of work throughout their two year course (60%) and sit a final 10 hour exam (40%) in year 11. As this is an Art and Design qualification, the students’ projects will develop through contextual references, looking at a vast range of artists and imagery for inspiration. Students also produce own primary research in the form of own photos, drawings and mark making. Students will learn CAD to manipulate imagery and create repeat pattern work. Students have a theme for the starting point of each project and it develops with a range of workshops using the students own generated imagery to create a series of outcomes, these textiles experiments and mock ups are developed and refined through practical work, using designs and written reflections. The final outcome for the project combines processes learnt and could be in the form of a garment, or accessory with a range of surface manipulations and decorations, or a textiles artwork.

The class work created from the start of Year 10 can be submitted as part of the 60% Portfolio grade, in Year 11 students have approximately 16 weeks to do the 40% Exam Project which has the choice of 7 starting points set by AQA, this leads up to the final outcome created during the 10 hour exam.




Personal Professional Development (PPD)

Course Description

All KS4 students will follow a weekly, 30 minutes, timetabled rolling programme of PPD; this is where students have the opportunity to consider and reflect upon their personal values, beliefs and attitudes; they are challenged to explore their morality, to develop their political ideas and to grow into responsible citizens. Throughout the two years, students will engage in relationships education, sexuality and gender identity education, drugs and alcohol education, safety education, mental health awareness, citizenship education, finance education and healthy life-styles education.  The will also experience a wide variety of assemblies including a Black History assembly and a LGBT assembly which celebrate our school ethos of tolerance and inclusion.  Student achievement is affirmed; work is celebrated in assemblies; we hold termly certificate assemblies noting excellence and progress including attendance and punctuality.

The PPD Programme also supports professional development; tutors facilitate regular self-appraisal meetings where the onus is on students to take responsibility for their progress. Tutors also work closely with the Progressions Department to ensure students have successful work placements and support students in producing their portfolios.

Assessment - Non-Examined