Year 9 Options
For those students in Yr 9, they are entering a vital phase of their education when they need to be making choices about what to study for the next two years. The choices they make will be amongst the most important decisions in their school career and will have an impact on the rest of their life. Subjects they choose to study may well lead to an A Level, university degree, career or lifelong passion.
There are some subjects that students must continue to study but there is not enough time to continue with all the subjects from Key Stage 3 to Key Stage 4. Therefore, they will have to make some decisions about what they continue studying.
When making these decisions they need to find a balance between which subjects they enjoy, which will allow them to achieve highly in, and which will make them best suited to progress towards both further study and career aspirations.
It’s important that students do not make the mistake of choosing a subject because their friends are choosing it or just because they like a specific teacher. They should use the results of their Unifrog careers questionnaires and the Options booklet to make an informed decision that is best for them so that they can be the best they can be.
What is the process for picking options?
Students begin this process by showing perfect effort in all of their lessons, which gives them an idea of which subjects they may enjoy and will excel at. Their report data and feedback from teachers at parents evening also helps with this. However, there are some specific things that students need to do to ensure they pick the correct options.
STEP 1: Unifrog
Complete the Unifrog questionnaires. This generates an independent profile report, which highlights different areas of interest to them, such as caring for others, working in a scientific or mathematical environment, and jobs which require physical activity. All year 9 students are able to access their results via Unifrog.
STEP 2: Attend the Live Assembly
Students have a live assembly in the Spring 1 term that will explain the options process and provide them with advice and guidance. They must attend this assembly as it will confirm the specific dates and times for the next steps.
STEP 3: Attend a taster lesson
If students are interested in studying a brand-new subject such as Business, Sociology or Health and Social Care, they have the opportunity to sign up to a taster lesson to see what it is like before making a decision.
STEP 4: Report and Parents Evening
It is very important that students study their Unifrog report and their academic achievement report to compare their preferences, attainment and attitude to learning in different subjects. This will give them a good indication of their suitability to take the subject at GCSE level.
Students and parents/carers should attend parents evening to discuss their report with subject teachers and ask them any questions regarding taking the subject at Key Stage 4.
Students may want to ask them questions such as: Am I suited to study this subject at GCSE? How is studying this course at GCSE different to studying it at KS3? What would I need to do to get a grade 7+ or Distinction in this course?
STEP 5: Choose the courses you want to study
It is then time to choose the courses they want to study:
TIPS WHEN CHOOSING THE COURSES
- Talk to their subject teachers
- Talk to their tutor
- Discuss choices with parents/carers at home
- Talk to older students about their experiences
- Talk to their Achievement Leader or Mr Senior
- Think about the careers guidance and advice they have received
- Always choose courses that they enjoy and feel they can do well in.
- Never choose a course because their friends are doing it. This is their choice about their education for the next two years.
- Do not select or reject a course because of a particular teacher. It will not be known who will be teaching that subject next year.
STEP 6: Choose Preferred Courses
We will do our best to ensure that students are given their preferred courses, but this cannot always be guaranteed. We also may not be able to offer all the options if there are not enough students who choose that option.
It is therefore essential that students select four subjects in order of preference on the option form. Remember that one choice must be History or Geography.
STEP 7: Complete the options digital form
Parents/carers will be emailed a link to a Year 9 Options electronic form. This is how students inform the school of which options they would like to take for GCSE, and other subjects that they will be more than willing to take if they do not get their first choice.
Parents/carers and students should discuss what choices are best before completing the form together.
STEP 8: Options Meeting
Once students have selected their options, they will also have the opportunity to discuss their choices through an interview with a senior member of staff. These interviews take place during the Spring 2 term.