The Year 9 Options Process
In Year 9, you can select some of the subjects you would like to study in Years 10 and 11. This is called choosing your options.
Everyone has to study Maths, English and Science GCSE and BTEC Sport. You will also need to study either Geography or History. You will then be able to choose two more areas of study from a broad and balanced range of choices. Alongside GCSEs, you can study for work-related qualifications, also called vocational qualifications, BTECs or Technical Awards. You will also study PSHE/PRE (nonexamined).
What should I choose?
Lots of people might ask you “what do you want to do/where do you want to be?” in 5, 10, 20 or even 30 years’ time. That is a really difficult question to answer right now but rest assured you cannot choose “wrong” options. Whatever you do – do it to the very best of your ability and it will open doors for you.
With that in the forefront of your thoughts there are, however, some things that you should consider very carefully as they may influence the pathway you follow for the rest of your life.
• What subjects do you enjoy? You are more likely to be motivated to achieve if you enjoy the subject.
• What subjects to you do well in?
• How do you like to learn? Are you more academic or do you like to learn practically?
• Do not choose subjects because of the teacher or because your friends are choosing them.
Why does it matter?
It is worth looking ahead as decisions you make now may help with choices later. If you do know what you want to do after Year 11 this can help you decide which subjects to choose. Sometimes you need a GCSE in a subject in order to study it at A-level. In the same way, university courses have set entry requirements and may require certain subjects at A-level. Check carefully as this is not always the case and you can start some subjects from scratch, both at A-level and university.
Qualifications and Choices
Choosing a balance of subjects may help to keep your future options open. Think about how each option fits with your other GCSEs. Does a subject go well with your other choices or does a subject provide a welcome change?
At the end of Year 11 you will get grades for individual subjects according to a numerical grading system 9 (high) to 1. You will also be measured on your progress across a range of 8 subjects (called Progress 8 and Attainment 8). English and Maths remain vital subjects and schools will talk about the percentage of pupils passing these two subjects. There is also a greater emphasis on pupils studying Humanities, Science and Languages.
Our options process gives you access to a full range of subjects within the guidelines issued by the Government. By following this process, you will have full access to further education and beyond.
However, you may also want to carefully consider selecting a language (Spanish/French from block B) as well as a Humanity (Geography/History from block A). Choosing these subjects (called the EBACC or English Baccalaureate subjects) is strongly endorsed by the government – for further information on the reasons for this please click English Baccalaureate (EBacc) – GOV.UK
(www.gov.uk). The EBACC route does keep your options going forward wide open and its merits are worth considering carefully.
In Years 10 and 11 you will all study the following compulsory subjects:
- You will all study GCSE English Language, GCSE English Literature and GCSE Maths
- You will all take GCSE Combined Science worth two GCSEs.
- If you opt for Triple Science in Block B you will receive a distinct GCSE grade in all three Science disciplines (Biology, Chemistry and Physics).
- You will all study BTEC Sport.
- You will all study PSHE/PRE
You will all choose three optional subjects that you will study for the next two years:
- For Choice Block A you will need to select one of the two subjects offered. Please tick your preferred option from History and Geography. You will be allocated one subject from this block.
- For Choice Block B please select four subjects you would like to study. Please order these 1 to 4 with 1 being your top choice and 4 being your least preferred. You will be allocated two subjects from this option block. Please limit your Vocational Subject options to two of the choices you make.