Since September 2018, we have run a two-tier Options process that takes place across Year 8 and 9. This approach allows a 3-Year KS4 in the EBacc subjects (French, Spanish, Geography, History), ensuring pupils follow a rich GCSE curriculum in these challenging subjects as well as achieving exceptional outcomes. Options for all other subjects take place in Year 9, with the qualification courses starting in Year 10.
Alongside the KS3 National Curriculum, we ensure that pupils experience the pathways they may wish to follow at KS4 and beyond in every foundation subject area. This allows pupils to make informed decisions in their Year 9 Options, having already experienced subjects such as Photography and Enterprise within their KS3 learning. We ensure that all subject cover the requirements of the KS3 National Curriculum in Years 7 to 9.
Year 8: EBacc Options
In Spring of Year 8, pupils choose between Geography and History and then begin the GCSE course in their chosen Humanity in Year 9. Pupils who show a particular interest in the Humanities have the option of taking both GCSEs by continuing their study of Geography through an after-school club during Year 9 and beginning a two-year GCSE course in Year 10.
Around 70% of pupils also begin the GCSE course in French/Spanish in Year 9, with a view to the majority achieving the EBacc in Year 11. We work with teachers and parents to identify a cohort of pupils who will benefit more from a one-year course in Financial Education, introduced in September 2019. Pupils following this course achieve a qualification (Level 1 or 2) in an area of need that we have identified.
Year 9: Full Options
In Spring of Year 9, pupils choose their full Options. In addition to GCSEs in English, Mathematics and Science, all pupils continue with their Humanities option and we expect the majority of those who have started the GCSE French/Spanish course to continue their study of a Modern Foreign Language.
The remainder of the Options (between 2 and 4 depending on the pupil) are chosen in-line with pupils’ Options Route. These are identified based on their existing ability pathway (Aqua, Maroon, Blue, Yellow) and their future aspirations. We design the Options available on each Route to ensure every child is offered a set of Options that will give them access to aspirational Post-16 opportunities. We know that some pupils will aspire to Further Education at the country’s top universities, others will complete Technical Levels and others may favour Apprenticeships or employment. Whatever your child’s aspirations, their Options Route provides them with the right combination of subjects to open these doors.
The 2018 Options booklet is available to view here but please note that this may not reflect the options that are available on each Route or in each block for the current Year 9.
Should you require more information on the Year 8 Options process, please contact Miss Norwood (Assistant Headteacher, Curriculum and Assessment).