Key Stage 4 Options
It's great how you make the children feel so central to the process, and in charge of their own destinies. Quite a few of our friends have older children at different schools, and I was braced for a much more stressful, angst-ridden process.
Year 9 Parent
Key Dates 2021-22:
- Tuesday 18th January 2022 - Report 2 Published on Go4Schools
- Thursday 27th January 2022 - Extended Tutor Time: Report Review
- Wednesday 16th February 2022 - Year 9 Options Assembly
- Thursday 17th February 2022 - Year 9 family Options Evening*
- Thursday 10th March 2022 - Careers Fair*
- Wednesday 16th March 2022 - Apprenticeship Fair*
- Tuesday 22nd March 2022 - Report 3 Published on Go4Schools
- Wednesday 23rd March 2022 - Year 9 Online Subject Consultation Evening
- Tuesday 5th April 2022 - Year 9 Options Form submission deadline
* Please note some events may be held virtually if there are public health concerns over large gatherings.
The process of choosing subjects for Key Stage 4 begins in the February of Year 9. At this time there is an assembly for Year 9 students and an information event for parents/carers. These serve to explain the process and to issue the options booklet which contains details of the courses on offer, the different pathways and the relevant forms for completion.
In the weeks after these information sessions there is the annual Year 9 Subject Consultation Evening which, in addition to being a conventional 'parents' evening', also provides an opportunity to talk to individual subject teachers about the courses on offer and the suitability of students to those courses. We also have our annual Careers Fair (specifically timed to coincide with the Options process) and - new for 2022 - our inaugural Apprenticeship Fair.
The options process concludes at the end of Term 4 when all the choices are processed in order that as many students as possible are awarded their first choices. Inevitably there will be a handful of students whose option combinations do not fit easily and these students are spoken as soon as possible after the deadline.
Once all students are placed in subjects, the timetabling process begins for the following academic year. It then becomes difficult to change options choices. However, if a request to change is brought to our attention we will do our best to facilitate this. Any such request should be made in writing and counter-signed by the Subject Leaders involved in the change.
Key Staff Members:
- LOTTY KEYS (Assistant Headteacher) will oversee the process in liaison with Subject Leaders and Year 9 tutors.
- PETER HOGBEN (Timetabler) is responsible for facilitating choices and creating the timetable.
- MICHAEL RAFFERTY (Careers co-ordinator) organises the Careers Fair and provides/ organises advice on careers as appropriate.
The current options guidance for the current Year 9 cohort is as follows:
All students will follow a common core curriculum in English, Maths and Sciences and non-exam courses in Philosophy/Ethics/PSHE/Law/Finance and Physical Education. The majority of students will be entered for English Literature and students demonstrating the appropriate skills in Maths lessons will be entered for Additional Maths.
There are three ‘pathways’ through the options process and these pathways offer different combinations of subjects which best suit different groups of students in terms of academic challenge and preparation for the future. Click on the links for more information.
The Yellow Pathway y is designed for students who will go to high tariff institutions to follow academic subjects or pursue higher/degree level apprenticeships or school-leaver employment scheme.
The Blue Pathway is designed for students who will continue into higher education beyond GCSEs and are likely to attend university or pursue a higher/degree level apprenticeship or school-leaver scheme.
The Green Pathway is a bespoke route and is designed for students who would benefit from a reduced suite of GCSE exam-based subjects complemented by subjects that are accredited in other ways.