Year 9 Options Choices 2024
Year 9 option selection is an important milestone in every year 9 student’s educational journey. This is the first time that your child will make choices on the subjects that they would like to continue to learn, which will influence their future educational and career opportunities.
The Academy is committed to ensuring every student can make informed choices and put onto the best Key Stage 4 courses, which will:
- Provide the best opportunity for academic success
- Provide the best well-rounded educational experience
- Provide the best foundation for further and higher education, which often includes continuing into our excellent 6th form
- Support the pursuit of ambitious career destinations
- Enable each student to continue to enjoy learning
The information below will provide details on how both parents/carers and staff at the Academy will work to support students in making their final choices on Key Stage 4 courses in the coming weeks, as well as details about the upcoming Parents’ Evening on Tuesday 5th March 2024.
Mr Mutch and Miss Thompson hosted a live Teams event on Thursday 25th January via MS Teams, which allowed them to communicate the specifics of all the points mentioned below and ensure everyone is clear on next steps. An opportunity for parents to ask questions about the options process was also provided. If you missed the event, or would like to revisit any of the content, please click HERE to view the presentation slides.
Throughout Key Stage 3, students will have no doubt gained an idea of which subjects they enjoy, achieve best in and would like to continue with. Whilst this is an important factor in selecting option subjects at Key Stage 4, it is also important that they can make informed choices about the courses they pursue, which will in turn enable them to access courses or apprenticeships once they reach the age of 16.
We have arranged for students to complete an online career or ‘Unifrog’ questionnaire. This will generate 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. This shows the extent to which these different environments appeal to the students based on the answers they provide and in turn, suggests subjects, which will be greatly suited to supporting them to access this career pathway further down the line in their academic journey. All year 9 students will be able to access their results via Unifrog.
Your child has already created a login and password that will allow them to access their Unifrog Profile from home. You may find it helpful and interesting to look at the website alongside your child to explore the next steps that they could take both regarding different types of subjects as well as the world of work and apprenticeships.
If your child would like to take the ‘Unifrog’ questionnaire early or see the results once they’ve completed it in school, there is a step-by-step guide available by clicking HERE, to support them.
Students access the platform by clicking a link in their welcome email, where they create a password and can begin using the platform. They login to Unifrog using their email address and password and they can do so from any computer, tablet, or smartphone. Once they have logged in students click on ‘Personality Profile’ which is a pink box in the middle of the screen. After the quiz is completed, students will be directed to careers that may interest them.
We have an in-house careers advisor, Mr Milne, who is on hand to provide additional support and guidance on careers. We are currently in the process of arranging small group sessions for students who we feel will most benefit from this supplementary advice. If you have any specific career-based questions, then please do not hesitate to contact Mr Milne via email John.Milne1@harrisfederation.org.uk. Mr Milne will also be on hand during our Year 9 Options interview evening on Thursday 14th March, to answer any questions that you may have.
We will be offering the opportunity for students to attend voluntary taster lessons in subjects which students will not previously have studied. These include Sociology, Health and Social Care, Business Studies, GCSE PE, BTEC Sport, Media Studies and Religious Education (RE is taught currently as part of our Citizenship and Religious Education or CRE curriculum rather than a discreet subject on its own). If a student’s Careers profile has suggested one of these subjects, they may wish to sit a taster lesson. These will take place between Monday 26th February – Thursday 29th February from 3:40 – 4:20pm.
Students have already been given the opportunity to sign up to attend these sessions. If your child would like to change sessions or sign up to additional sessions, then please ask them to speak to Ms Barr immediately to determine if this is possible. The specific dates of each taster session is shown below;
Monday 26th February
Tuesday 27th February
Wednesday 28th February
Health & Social Care
Thursday 29th February
We will have a face-to-face parents evening on Tuesday 5th March from 3:40 pm – 6:40 pm. Appointments will be limited to five minutes and conducted in person at HAOC. These will be a great opportunity to discuss not only your child’s academic progress but to ask teachers questions regarding the courses at Key Stage 4 and your child’s suitability. As the individual meetings will only be five minutes in duration, we recommend that the conversation is open, frank, and direct. It should focus on three key questions:
- What can my child do to better exemplify our academy’s ‘Work Hard’ culture for the rest of the academic year?
- What will my child enjoy and find challenging during the Key Stage 4 course / is the Key Stage 4 course the right choice to pursue?
- What is needed for my child to excel at the Key Stage 4 course?
Should you have any pastoral or support questions, please send an email in the first instance to the Year 9 Achievement Leader Mr Mutch at firstname.lastname@example.org or the pastoral manager Mrs Laybourn-Morris at email@example.com.
Academic Progress Reports
All students sat their Spring assessments in the final week of half term between 5th and 8th February.
Once all assessments have been marked by teachers, reports will be produced and will be uploaded to ‘MyChildAtSchool’ in the reports section. You will receive further communication once the report is ready to be viewed. It will inform you of their Attitude to Learning (ATL) in each subject as well as how well they have learnt the curriculum. We strongly encourage you to discuss and compare each subject together as the report will provide an insight into the most appropriate options to choose. Ranking the subjects in order of best or least ATL score will show which subjects your child puts the most effort into, which is important as students will be required to work even harder at Key Stage 4. We then recommend you compare the difference between their percentage score and the average percentage score from the year group. Ranking this in order will then indicate where your child could be more likely to excel academically. This is obviously not possible with new subjects, but guidance on student suitability for these subjects can be discussed at their options interview.
Students will be having their options formalised in the week commencing the 13th May. Before this, students and parents will have the opportunity to complete an online form and select the subjects they wish to study at Key Stage 4. This information will then be used to conduct face-to-face interviews with families at the Options Evening on Thursday 14th March where student’s decisions will be finalised. Further information, including timings for the evening and a link to the online form will be shared with families nearer the time.
In preparation for selecting options, it is important to read information about the different courses that are on offer and discuss, as a family, what the preferred options are. The options booklet can be found by clicking the link below.
The booklet contains the steps in the options process, the constraints of different options, details about every course and some frequently asked questions. Going through the options booklet together will make the next step of parents evening more efficient.
Thank you for your continued support in guiding our students through what can feel like quite a big decision and milestone in their young lives. If you have any general questions regarding the process, please email us via the details below.
Miss Thompson Mr Mutch
Assistant Principal (Yr 9) Achievement Leader Yr 9.