Over the course of the two GCSE years pupils will begin to take on responsibility for their own lives, their own learning, and start taking decisions with some very far-reaching results. In Years 7 to 9 everyone studies a large number of subjects. Nobody could possibly continue all to GCSE level - the workload would be just too heavy. During Year 9, therefore, you need to choose your subjects from a range of options.
Some subjects are compulsory; these are the core subjects. Everyone must study English, English Literature and Mathematics to GCSE. In addition, there are non-examined lessons in Choices and Games. The rest of the timetable, for most pupils, will comprise a range of other courses tailored to individual strengths and interests. There are some constraints to meet the requirements of the English Baccalaureate, introduced by the Government in September 2010. In addition to English and Mathematics, everyone must study at least one modern foreign language (French or Spanish), at least two sciences (from Biology, Chemistry and Physics) and one humanities subject (Geography or History). The other optional GCSE subjects are: Art and Design, Design Technology, Drama, Geography, History, Music, and Physical Education. In addition, for an ICT qualification, we offer the Certificate in Digital Applications (CiDA).
For those who benefit from learning support rather than a foreign language we offer an alternative programme.
It is very important it is to make the right decisions in choosing options. Pupils should listen to the advice of parents and teachers, but ultimately make up their own minds. The aim is to keep open as many doors to the future as possible, so that when the time comes to take the next major step - into the Sixth Form and the AQA Baccalaureate - a range of directions are available. Sensible choices now will facilitate good choices in the future.
Choosing, at this stage, is never easy. Inevitably, pupils sometimes have to give up subjects they enjoy. In selecting subjects, we always ask pupils to bear these factors in mind:
The Directgov website has a useful section on choosing GCSE subjects, with straightforward advice on subjects and careers. http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/EducationAndLearning/14To19/index.htm
The Independent Schools Careers Organisation (ISCO) site is also an excellent gateway to a wide range of web resources:
Year 9 pupils often want to make choices based on what their friends are doing or because of a particular teacher. The timetable is such, however, that best friends will often find themselves in different groups and teachers may have different commitments. The procedure for deciding options is as follows:
Website created by Rippleffect