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KEY STAGE 3 (Ages from 12 to 14)

Secondary education begins in KEY STAGE 3, from Year 7 to Year 9, with students aged approximately between 12 and 14 years. Mandatory subjects are:

  • English Language and Literature
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Spanish
  • Art and Design
  • History
  • PSHE (Personal, Social and Health Education)
  • Geography
  • Drama
  • Physical Education
  • Computer Science
  • Catalan*
  • Historia y Geografía de Cataluña y España*

* These are optional for international students. Students wishing to convalidate their studies locally (ESO) must attend Catalan classes from Year 8 to Year 11 inclusive.


KEY STAGE 4 (Ages from 15 to 16)

In KEY STAGE 4, during Year 10 and Year 11, students prepare for their I/GCSE (International/General Certificate of Secondary Education) examinations, taken at the end of Year 11. This is the ‘ESO’ equivalent in Spain and can be convalidated by Spanish and European law.

Here, the core subjects are: English Language, Mathematics, Biology, Spanish, Physical Education and PSHE (Personal, Social and Health Education) are compulsory.

In addition, Catalan and Historia y Geografía de Cataluña y España are compulsory for those who wish to convalidate their studies locally (ESO).

Students may choose their elective subjects from the following options:

  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • English Literature
  • Art and Design
  • History
  • Geography
  • Drama



GCSE Exams – Spanish ESO certificate

GCSE stands for the General Certificate of Secondary Education and offers the standard British secondary education certificate, equivalent to the Spanish ‘ESO’.  It is an important exam in helping students to determine the subjects they will take at A levels and ultimately their future career path. 

Results in each GCSE subject are graded from 1 – 9. 

Since bilateral agreements exist between the British Council and the local authority or Generalitat, local students can  convalidate their GCSE results to obtain the Spanish ESO certificate. The requirments are listed below:

  • 4 GCSE subjects obtaining a score of between 4 and 9 in each one.
  • A pass in Historía y Geografía de España y Cataluña, Spanish and Catalan subjects. Obtaining a score of 5 out of 10 (Local grades: 0-10).