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Options at Year 9

GCSE Option Process

Options time is an important point in your child’s education; it is here that they have the opportunity to choose some of the subjects that they will study for the next two years. We know that it can be a difficult time and can cause anxiety because there are a lot of questions that you and your child might have.

Our options process has been designed to make this time less worrying for you and your child. It aims to create a balance between what we as educators know will help individual students, and the freedom to choose subjects they will enjoy and be enthusiastic about.

We hope that the information in these pages will allow you to make the right choices that will see your child succeeding over the next two years and beyond.

The curriculum aims to meet the needs of the talented young people currently in Year 9 as well as addressing the Government’s changes.

The process broadly follows this format:

  • The options process always beings with Year 9 students using tutor time to discuss and explore options.
  • Then Subject Leaders and staff responsible for each subject present to the whole year group in special year group assemblies each week throughout the Lent Term outlining the nature and content of each course.
  • The options evening takes place in mid-March, this is an opportunity for all parent/carers and students to meet all subject leaders and their teams to do discuss the subjects in more detail. There is also an opportunity to get the perspective of current Year 10 and Year 11 students who are studying these subjects.
  • At the options evening every student views a detailed presentation and receives a personalised interview to help support their choices; ensuring that they are equipped with the information and advice they need.
  • The final phase of the process is concluded when students submit their option choices via an electronic form prior to the Easter Holidays.

Mr D. Cunningham is the Deputy Headteacher with responsibility for the school’s curriculum. He has created an informative video below to help parents, carers and guardians, and students, understand and navigate the options process. Viewing this is an important first step in the lead up to the Year 9 Options Evening on Thursday 21st March 2024.

Helping your child make education and career choices

Parents, carers and guardians can provide valuable support to their child when making education and careers choices.

You do not need to have all of the answers, but listening to your child and exploring different education and careers choices with them can make a big impact.

It’s never too early to start the conversation about their next steps. This advice is designed to help guide you through that conversation with your child.

Help them assess their skills and interests

You could start by getting them to talk about what they’re good at and what interests them. If they find this hard, they might want to take a short assessment to help them identify some of their skills.

You can use the results of the assessment to look at some of the suggested careers together. You could talk about:

  • the different careers and whether they have anything in common
  • which careers they do and do not like and why

This should help them understand what interests them and could be used to start exploring different careers.

Work out what options are available to them

It’s a good idea for your child to explore the different education and career options available to them. Whether they’ve already had some thoughts about what they want to do next, or if they do not have any ideas, it’s helpful to find out about all of the choices available.

Doing this can help to open up new ideas and allows them to challenge any assumptions they have.

You could explore different careers that are available, make a note of the ones that interest them and look for related careers.

It’s important to encourage them to explore different careers, not just the ones they know about.

Help decide which of the options are best for them

Once you have a good idea of what options are available, work with your child to start to look in more detail at the specific careers that interest them.

For each job, help them find out:

  • what qualifications they will need
  • what the day to day tasks are
  • what the job progression possibilities are

Keep a record of which careers you’ve looked at and how suitable they are.

Speak to an adviser

At school your child can speak to a wide range of staff to seek advice and discuss their options. They can speak to our careers leader/advisor Mr A. Ydri to discuss their next steps, equally, students can speak with the Year 9 Director of Learning Miss S. Nicholls, their subject teachers or their form tutor,

Those over the age of 13 can chat to a National Careers Service careers adviser. If they’re under 13, it’s okay for a parent, carer or guardian to call on their behalf.

The KS4 handbook below provides an outline of the curriculum we are planning to offer in Year 10 for September 2024 along with greater detail about each individual subject:

First Day of Trinity Term is Monday 15th of April 2024

Please note that that all students in all year groups return for the start of the new Trinity Term on Monday 15th of April 2024.

The start time is 8.45am as usual.