At the start of year 10, students are set according to ability. Setting is based on Key Stage 3 results as well as teacher recommendations. Pupils are taught using the Edexcel Specification A Foundation GCSE syllabus (no coursework) or the Edexcel Specification A Higher GCSE syllabus (no coursework).
Lessons make up four hours, or six periods, per week. Students are formally tested twice per term in class. The results are recorded and used to track pupil progress. The department uses past GCSE exam questions of varying levels to set exam papers.
All students take two written papers at the end of Year 11 (externally set and marked).Those pupils who follow the Foundation syllabus take paper 1 (a 1¾ hours non-calculator paper) and paper 2 (a 1¾ hours calculator paper) and are eligible for the award of grades C to G only.
Those pupils who follow the higher syllabus take paper 3 (a 1¾ hours non-calculator paper) and paper 4 (a 1¾ hours calculator paper) and are eligible for the award of grades A* to D only.
In both cases the non-calculator paper has a weighting of 50% and the calculator paper has a weighting of 50%.