At our school we follow the UK education system, although we change it in places to make sure it is right for people living and working in Shanghai.
Key Stage 4 is the name given to years 10 and 11. It marks an important time in a students education, as – in many countries – it’s the last two years of compulsory school. Most people are 14 at the start of year 10, and 16 by the end of year 11, although many students are a little younger or older too.
KS4 is probably the first time students have had much choice in the subjects that they’ll study. They don’t get a completely free choice: there are still subjects that everyone takes, but they’ll have the chance to choose some courses because they are interested in them, and they'll start the process of taking responsibility for their own education that will continue into IB courses and then as they go on to university.
Their study over these two years will lead to important examinations at the end of the course. These are not just school examinations: they are recognised qualifications that will help students get into university and help them on the way to a successful career in the future. These exams are called IGCSEs, and they’ll take them in all their subjects except PSHE and games.