"Sir John Cass Red Coat is an OUTSTANDING School"
Ofsted Report, December 2015

Parent Resources

An introduction to the English Secondary System

The following information is a brief overview designed for parents/guardians who may be unfamiliar with the English Education system.

Secondary school is compulsory for all children aged 11-16.

Key Stages

Key Stage Age Year Group
3 11-14 Year 7; Year 8; Year 9
4 14-16 Year 10; Year 11


When? Name of the Exam Expectations
End of Year 9 Key Stage Teacher Assessment To achieve levels 5/6 in English, Maths and Science & Modern Foreign Language
End of Year 11 GCSE To achieve 5 grades at least between A* and C

In addition to these formal exams, students must expect to be regularly tested by the teachers in order to measure their progress and Attainment Levels.

Option choices

At the end of Year 9, students select two subjects as option choices. All students have to study Maths, English, Science, ICT, RE, PE, and a language.

Important note:

At the end of each year it is standard practice for students to move up to the next year group. Students do not have to pass a test to move up a year and students are only held back a year in exceptional circumstances