Boys at Bedford School begin their GCSE or IGCSE courses in Remove Form (Year 10). They follow a two-year course, and all exams are sat at the end of the Fifth Form (Year 11).

We aim to offer a broad and challenging curriculum for all boys in the Remove and Fifth Forms. The wide range of subjects available is designed to give boys a well-balanced combination that will appeal to the majority and answer their scholastic and career needs.

All pupils study a core curriculum of Mathematics, English Language and English Literature, the three sciences and a Modern Language. Three further subjects are to be chosen, one from each Option List, but Geography or History or Religious Studies (or all three) must be included among the choices. In addition, each boy will have one lesson of non-examined material in ToK (Theory of Knowledge) which leads to an independent project submission, and PE (Physical Education).

As a school, we are anxious to ensure that the best qualification is pursued at this level and, for this reason, some subjects take the IGCSE course. In terms of qualification for university entry, both GCSE and IGCSE are treated equally, but by opting for the IGCSE in some subjects we are able to select appropriate courses for the boys from a wider choice. IGCSEs are currently studied in English, Science, French, Spanish, German, History, Design & Technology and English as a Second Language.

Boys are asked to make their Options Choices by the spring term half term of Fourth Form (Year 9). An Options Evening for parents and boys also takes place in the spring term of the Fourth Form to assist with the selection process.

Core LanguageOption 1Option 2Option 3
FrenchDramaComputer ScienceArt
GermanDesign TechnologyDesign TechnologyComputer Science
LatinReligious StudiesReligious Studies

For full curriculum information on each subject please refer to our GCSE/IGCSE Courses Guide.

GCSE/IGCSE Courses Guide


  • These lists indicate our usual curriculum approach but the detail may change from year to year to accommodate boys’ choices. We hope to be able to meet all choices, but this is subject to demand, staffing and timetable restraints. Up to date information can be obtained from the Deputy Head (Academic) or the Director of Admissions.
  • A boy must choose at least one of History or Geography or Religious Studies.
  • Boys wishing to study French, German or Spanish at GCSE are expected to have been learning their chosen language(s) for at least one year. If boys have not studied any of these languages prior to arrival, they will not be required to study a Modern Language.
  • Some ESL (English as a Second Language) teaching takes place for those boys who need extra English tuition in addition to their chosen GCSE subjects. In some instances, boys whose first language is not English may take the English as a Second Language IGCSE, as advised by the school.
  • In addition to this programme, boys have Games on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons (and there is Saturday afternoon sport for picked games players involved in school matches), and after school they may participate in the Combined Cadet Force or the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme. Many other extra-curricular activities and clubs are also available.