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University Pathways

Key information

Start dates:

Accelerated 1-year GCSE (all locations): 8 April and 9 September 2019
Standard GCSE (Bournemouth only): 8 April and 9 September 2019; 6 January, 6 April 2020
Course length:

Accelerated: 3–4 terms (3-terms + pre-sessional term if required);
Standard: 4–7 terms (4–6 terms + pre-sessional term if required)
Class size range:
4–10 students
40–42 lessons per week

Entry requirements


Completed 8 years of schooling with good results (9 years for Accelerated GCSE)

Junior Entrance Test with strong pass in English, equivalent to:
IELTS 5.0 for Accelerated GCSE, September start;
IELTS 4.5 for Standard GCSE, January/ April start;
IELTS 4.0 for Standard GCSE, September start.
Interview via Skype may be required.
Minimum age:

Minimum age 15 for Accelerated GCSE

Sample pathways for GCSEs

GCSE pathways at Kings

The course

The General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) is the official examination which completes High School education in the UK, usually when the students are 16 years old.

It is normally taken over two years and students choose a range of subjects they want to take the exams for.

GCSE qualifications are recognised worldwide and are the ideal gateway to further academic study in the UK and beyond. 

Prepare for GCSEs at Kings

At Kings we offer two study plans:

  • an accelerated one-year course in Bournemouth, Brighton, London and Oxford
  • a standard course of between 4–6 terms in Bournemouth

Additional pre-sessional terms are possible for students who do not have the required English level.

Students will follow a mixed curriculum including science, mathematics and humanities subjects. They can expect to prepare for GCSE exams in a range of subjects, depending on aptitude and language proficiency.

Subjects include: Arts, Business, English, Geography, History, Information Technology, Mathematics, PHSE, Science, Physical Education.

There is also the opportunity for students to participate in a range of extracurricular activities such as Young Enterprise and the inter-college debating society.

Academic outcomes and progression

GCSEs students can progress to one of the following options.

1. Study A-levels or a Foundation programme with Kings.
Please note that students aged 17 would be advised to follow the Advanced Level Foundation.

2. Return to home country to finish high school.

3. Study A-levels, International Baccalaureate or Scottish Highers at a leading UK boarding school.
Choices include:

  • Adcote School
  • Bloxham School
  • Box Hill School
  • Dollar Academy
  • King Edward's, Witley
  • Malvern St James
  • Moira House School for Girls
  • Queens College
  • St Edmund's School, Canterbury
  • St Theresa's School
  • Woodbridge School

Mentoring and support

Talented students who are not yet 16 have the potential to thrive within the UK education system, but need the personalised support which is the hallmark of Kings.

The specialist support team at Kings

Personal mentoring and support are important for all our students, but are particularly vital for younger students aged 14 or 15. We have a complete team of specialists in place who are here to ensure every student develops and grows — academically, personally and socially.

Specialist homestay provision

All students of 14+ are automatically allocated our Homestay Extra service for the highest levels of comfort and support.

  • Host specially selected to provide the highest levels of support for under 16s
  • Regular contact with student’s parents on request
  • Guaranteed within walking distance of college
  • Comfortable, welcoming accommodation
  • Large, single, well-furnished bedroom
  • Television in student’s room
  • Private bathroom/shower room
  • Bed linen provided
  • Full board meals (lunch at College Monday to Friday)

Guardianship services

International students under the age of 16 must have a UK-based guardian when they come to study in the United Kingdom.

Kings only works with guardianship organisations which have been accredited by The Association for the Education and Guardianship of International Students (AEGIS). For more information go to

AEGIS is the authoritative association for inspecting and accrediting UK Guardianship organisations in accordance with a strict code of practice and UK child care legislation.

Course structure

Students on the Accelerated and Standard study plans study the same subjects and attend the same number of total taught lessons per week but the distribution of the lessons changes. The table below shows a breakdown of the 40-42 lessons per week by subject. 

 Accelerated GCSE Standard GCSE
Mathematics 6 lessons 4+ lessons
English 6-8 lessons 14-20 lessons
Study skills Both: 2 lessons
Science 8-9 lessons (depending whether Combined or Co-ordinated) 3-6+ lessons (depending whether Combined or Co-ordinated)
Information Computer Technology 4-6 lessons 2-4+ lessons
Geography 6 lessons 2-4+ lessons
PSHE and Citizenship Both: 2 lessons
Physical Education Both: 2 lessons
Creative Arts Both: 2 lessons
Total Both: 40-42 lessons per week  

Extracurricular development

Learning outside the classroom plays a crucial role in the effectiveness of both the accelerated and standard GCSE programme at Kings. Our aim to create well-rounded, culturally adjusted students who can go on to thrive in either and A-level or Foundation programme. 

Academic Enrichment Programme

The Academic Enrichment Programme includes creative arts, physical education and PSHE, to develop personal and social skills. It gives students the opportunity to broaden their experience and interests and provides a more robust application for university.

Learning and cultural excursions

We organise excursions and visits for a cultural or learning nature. For example, a recent three-day visit to Atlantic College in Wales provided an opportunity for GCSE students at each Kings college to meet and share new experiences.

Duke of Edinburgh Award

All GCSE students also have the opportunity to take part in the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme.

For more information about extracurricular activities we offer our students go to Outside the classroom.

After GCSE

On successful completion of the GCSE, students can start their A-levels.

From Kings Life

GCSE students at Kings Bournemouth take part in hands-on activities exploring homelessness, bullying, and pollution in our seas.

Kings Bournemouth teacher Anne Powell fills us in on what GCSE students have been doing to learn about life and issues in the UK today.

Read the full blog post