Key Stage 4

On entering Years 10 and 11, pupils join what is known nationally as Key Stage 4 (KS4). We aim to build on the knowledge and understanding the pupils have developed over their first 3 years at St Joseph’s.

As you move from Key Stage 3 to Key Stage 4, you will experience new ways of working and new subjects alongside familiar ones. It is exciting but also challenging: exciting because you have some choice in what you study, and challenging because we give you more responsibility over organising yourself and your time. 

From this page, you can find out everything you need to know about what is on offer in Key Stage 4. As well as reading it through, it is important you talk to people: parents and carers, teachers, the school careers adviser and of course older students actually doing the courses, who can tell you exactly what studying the course is like. They can all help you reach the best decision.

Do not be shy about asking for advice as you are going to make some important decisions. We all look forward to further discussions with you and your parents/carers.



the option process

2023/24 Options Blocks:


If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Mr McGuinness via


Good career guidance is critical if young people are to raise their aspirations and capitalise on the opportunities available to them.
Lord Sainsbury of Turville, Gatsby Charity Foundation

The Right Direction

More than ever young people need the right information, advice and guidance when making decisions about their future for what is now a challenging employment market. For some choosing a career can be straightforward, but for others it can be confusing. The role of our Careers Lead Professional, Miss Gale, is to empower students, giving them the basic knowledge and skills they need to begin to navigate their way successfully through career choices and changes and to understand all their options. 

Choosing which subjects to take in years 9, 10 and 11 is very important – it can affect options for the future. The qualifications gained in year 11 can influence what happens next, in terms of education, training and employment. 

When choosing subjects, try to make a balanced selection in order to keep options open for the future. Choose subjects and courses because they suit you and not because of pressure by other people. Also, don’t pick subjects only because your friends are doing them, or because you like the teacher. Other subjects may be far more important in keeping a range of careers open. If you already have a particular career in mind, check the suitability of your subject choices. 

Certain subjects, e.g. languages, maths and the sciences, art and design, need a good foundation before you can take them further, but subjects such as business, law, economics or psychology can often be started from scratch at A level or equivalent, or even at degree level.

Miss Gale is here to help you through the process, all the way through to ensuring you get the college place you've been working so hard for!

Find our comprehensive resources to help support your career decisions on our Careers Portal.