What is the English National Curriculum (GCSE & A-Level)?

The General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) was first introduced in 1986. GCSE courses are taught in the last key stage, which is Key Stage 4, of the National Curriculum in England. Key Stage 4 is years 10 and 11 (students aged 14-16). There are 50 GCSE subjects and 14 vocational GCSEs. 5 core GCSEs are required for each student to take. These 5 core courses are Math, Science, English, Citizenship, and PE. In addition to these 5 core GCSEs, schools must allow students to choose at least one course in each of the four “entitlement areas.” The 4 “entitlement areas” are the Arts, Design and Technology, the Humanities, and Modern Foreign Languages make up the general categories for which students can choose courses from to include in their GCSE courses.

A-Levels, short for Advanced Levels, are a higher qualification than the GCSEs. A-Levels are subject-based qualifications that are divided into two stages. Level 1, known as AS, which is taken by students aged 16-17 and level 2, known as A2, are taken by students aged 17-18.
Students study 3 or more A-Levels over two years. At the end of each stage, students must take their exams.

A-Levels are imperative if students want to attend University. Other reasons why individuals may take A-Levels can be to further their knowledge and progress in their profession.

To be able to take A-Levels, students need to have taken at least 5 GCSE courses with grades scored at 9-4 and at least a grade of ‘B’ in any specific subjects they wish to further study. Because each university has its own requirements regarding A-Levels, students need to know which university they want to attend before taking A-Levels to ensure that they satisfy the University’s requirements.

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Key Focus And Resources

Students need to take and do well with their GCSEs because it sets the pathway to employers and higher education. It is a mandatory aspect of the National Curriculum in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland.



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What are the grading and assessment criteria?

Each student’s assessment of their GCSE courses depends on the course they take, as each course may have a different way of assessing their students. Assessment methods can include an array of methods such as projects, fieldwork, artwork, etc., but usually, the most popular method of assessment are written exams. GCSEs “represent” 2 levels of the National Qualification Framework.

These two levels are based on grades. Level 1 is considered to be the “foundation” qualification (grades on the lower spectrum) which entails grades D-G. Level 2 is considered to be the “intermediate” qualification and consists of grade A-C. Depending on the student’s academic success and grades they are either placed to take the level 1 or level 2 GCSE exam. The GCSE exams are taken at the end of compulsory school education which is year 11 in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. Therefore, after students take two years of GCSE courses, they then take their GCSE exams.

Students need to know which colleges they are looking to get into or what career path they wish to take because some colleges require a certain amount of GCSE courses to be taken and require a certain passing grade for certain courses to be accepted.

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Working with HiredinChina for GCSE And A-Level Teaching Jobs in China

We here at HiredinChina believe in providing teachers with respectable jobs suitable for their skills and needs. We work together with schools and teachers to ensure a beneficial alliance between valuable teachers and excellent schools. HiredinChina aims to provide excellent job roles for the driven, motivated, and passionate teacher. If you are the creative and motivated teacher that GCSE and A-Level Curriculum schools are looking for, please check out our GCSE and A-Level Curriculum job roles on on Job Board.

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Your FAQs

We’ve put together a Resources Page to answer your most frequent questions. From Saving Money, to Getting Your Z-VISA, we have gone into detail there.

Your school will apply for your VISA for you to work directly for them. We’ll be with you every step of the journey. We’ve created our own VISA Support Page. Remember, the VISA you’re applying for is a Z-VISA.

You will have a minimum of a one-year contract, that will be full-time. You can save a lot of money teaching in China, and we’ve put together more information for you to read.

When you are directly employed by the school, they will offer you insurance. This means private level care. Be sure to check your contract for sick days.

You will have to go through your bank to legitimately send money home. To do this, follow the steps they give you. Your school will help support you and will be able to translate anything you need.

That is fantastic news! Not speaking Chinese is great for your students, as you will be able to immerse them in English more. We’ve also put together an Essential Mandarin Guide, and Benefits For Learning Mandarin when you’re exploring.