Choosing your subjects

Options Booklet

Options Presentation – Parents

Year 8 pupils will be asked to choose optional subjects.  For many this is the first important decision they will make regarding their own future.

Pupils are well supported at this time and parents and family can help out by discussing their  ideas and helping them to research in preparation.

Pupils will have the opportunity to try out ‘taster’ sessions in the run up to their options choices. We will also host parent information evenings and conduct a survey of preferred choices before looking at the construction of the blocks for timetabling.

Parents and pupils will have received a letter outlining the options process for 2019.

On this page you will find the options grid for 2019 and also the options booklet outlining each qualification on offer.

Choosing options subjects is clearly an important decision and there are a few points we would like to make in order to stimulate conversation and support in helping pupils make the right choices.

At the information evening it was explained that the Government’s view is that the vast majority of pupils should be studying the Ebacc qualifications (English, Maths, Science, Geography or History and a language). It was also explained that whilst pupils studying a language is a good thing it is not necessarily the best thing for all pupils. You will see that the options blocks are constructed so pupils do not have to choose a language. However, we would expect 40-50% of pupils to study one of German, French or Spanish at GCSE. We have worked hard to maintain 3 languages within our offer and pupils are well prepared to take on GCSE qualifications in languages. However, we also appreciate that options are exactly that and pupils should be able to make informed decisions based on their needs and aspirations.

Parents are encouraged to discuss with their child, the balance between studying 10 GCSEs and all of the exams being at the end of Year 11 and also selecting from the Level 2 offer to allow for some qualifications to be completed during Year 11. The Level 2 subjects offer a content heavy curriculum and are still assessed with an exam (40%) but also allow for controlled assessment to be included in the final grade (60%). This means pupils will complete the qualifications as they go through KS4 and will have time at the end of Year 11 to focus their revision on other subject areas.

We have a broad offer of these subjects as they are popular (Music, ICT, Performing Arts, BTEC Sport, Catering and Travel and Tourism) and allow pupils to balance somewhat the demands of the final examinations for GCSE subjects in the summer of Year 11. However, they must bear in mind the continuous assessment required across their time studying the subject to build their internal assessment portfolios, as well as rehearsal commitments of subjects like music and performing arts which will be demanding but spread across the time studying the subject. The options booklet contains more information.

In order to complete the Options process please complete a paper copy or the Survey Monkey (link on letter or on email sent to pupils) version by the final deadline of Thurs 28th March. There is no rush to complete the options process and it may well be that you need to have discussions at parents’ evening before completing the survey. We will not process any information until after the deadline has passed.

In order to support families in making these decisions we have the following timeline;

Year 8 assemblies on Friday 2nd March outlining the grids and the choices.
Year 8 parents’ evening on March 14th where subject staff, leadership team members and the careers advisor will be able to discuss any points with you.
Follow up conversations with school staff should you require further support.
Individual careers appointments to help pupils if they are uncertain (please contact main office to arrange an appointment)

Year 8 Options Grid 2019: