Compulsory Secondary education in the UK is divided into two parts or stages;
Key Stage 3
Comprises Year 7, 8 and 9 and culminates in the official SATs examinations in the 3 core subjects of Mathematics, Science and English. The three year course is designed to be a preparation for the next stage of compulsory education, Key Stage 4. At Key Stage 3 the subjects studied are Mathematics, English, Science, History, Geography, Foreign Languages, ICT, PE, Art, Music and PSHE. Students do not have any choices about the subjects they study, with the exception of choosing a foreign language (German, French or Chinese).
Key Stage 4
Comprises Years 10 and 11 and culminates in the IGCSE examinations at the end of Year 11. The core subjects of Mathematics, Science and English are compulsory (Science is now split into the three separate Sciences: Biology, Chemistry and Physics) along with English as a Second Language, PE and PSHE. In addition to these, students choose three more subjects from History, Geography, ICT, Business Studies, Foreign Languages, Art and Music.