Choosing Your Options
Choosing subjects and qualifications to study in Year 9, 10 and 11 can seem daunting. Don’t panic! There is a lot of information and advice to help you choose what is right for you.
We believe that breadth of study remains important to all of our students, whilst also allowing the freedom to specialise as appropriate. Hence, we guide all students to choose one subject from geography, history, French, German and Spanish. There are then a further 3 free choices to be made.
If you are capable of achieving the English Baccalaureate, we strongly recommend that you take the options subjects to enable you to achieve this award.
The English Baccalaureate
The English Baccalaureate will be awarded to pupils attaining A*-C GCSE passes in maths, English, two science qualifications, a language, and geography or history. If you would like to achieve the English Baccalaureate, please ensure you have chosen a language and either history or geography.
What sort of person are you?
To help you decide what to study in years 9, 10 and 11, start by asking yourself what you enjoy doing and what you are good at.
What you are interested in: it could be other cultures and languages, writing projects, helping people, being outdoors or designing thingsWhat types of activity you enjoy most - working things out and thinking them through, practical activities or artistic options like painting, drawing or performing musicWhat you are like at home, as well as in school - what skills have you developed following outside interests?
Work your way through Fast Tomato which you will have started in your IT lessons.
Good information is the key to making successful choices. Make sure that you allow yourself enough time to research your career ideas, option choices and possible progression routes.
When selecting your courses you should consider a number of questions:
What do I want to do when I finish the course in 2020/2021?
Do you know what you want to do after you leave school? Maybe you already have some ideas – or maybe not.
Do you want to:
Stay on at sixth form? Go to college? Get an apprenticeship? Go to university to study a specific subject? Get earning money as soon as possible? Not have to think about any of this at the moment.
These could all influence which options you choose now.
If you would like to go to university, we strongly recommend that you choose subjects that enable you to achieve the English Baccalaureate.
What package of qualifications do I need to get there?
For an explanation about each type of qualification please see "Explanation of Qualifications".
If you have got a career in mind, there may be some choices that are especially useful. If you know what you want to do later in life, such as become a doctor, air cabin crew or zoologist, you should find out what qualification you need to get there. For more information about what qualifications you may need for any job you may be interested in, visit the job profile section at http://nationalcareersservice.direct.gov.uk/job-profiles/home
Subjects that enable you to complete the English Baccalaureate are strongly recommended.
To be able to take some courses at A level/level 3, you may need to have specific option choices. These subjects include: dance, languages, media, photography and theatre studies.
What could this package of qualifications lead to?
When researching your options do keep in mind what progression routes your option choices could lead to.
Many universities will required the English Baccalaureate.
Will it help me in my future career?
A good deal of information, advice and guidance will be available before the final decision about course choices is reached. Students should be prepared to seek individual advice from appropriate staff (form tutors, subject staff, careers staff) as well as using online resources (e.g. Fast Tomato) It is hoped considerable discussion, both at school and at home, will lead to the most appropriate choices being made.
What are the right options for me?
It is important to choose options that interest and motivate you.
What interests you? What makes you work hard? Do I like the subject?
The most important thing is that you choose courses that you think you will enjoy. Be careful that you do not choose a subject because your friends are going to do it or because you like the teacher taking you this year (you may get a different teacher next year).
Am I fairly good at it?
Obviously, choosing a subject in which you can be successful will increase personal satisfaction and levels of motivation.
Will my course choices keep my future options open?
Your most important subjects are protected in the Core – everybody has to follow them. After them, the choice is about doing something you like and something that you will do well in.
Do I know what the course will involve?
Students should actively seek further information, from the staff, adults and online resources we have previously mentioned. Please use the Online Resources page in this section to seek further information & advice.