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Year 9 Options

Options Booklet - 2023-2025

KS4 Pathways introduction

The Key Stage 4 curriculum has a strong preference around the English Baccalaureate subject suite of English, Maths, Science, a Humanities subject and a Modern Foreign Language. This provides a strong platform for academic and vocational/technical progression at age 16.

  • These subjects are the key facilitators for lifelong opportunities. The Department for Education expects Coundon Court to deliver the EBacc to most students.
  • At KS4 there is also some scope for student choice based upon engagement, aptitude and future employment planning.
  • However, at this early stage of a student’s educational career it is essential to maintain a breadth of experience to support longer-term career options.
  • Specialisation really begins to take place between the ages of 16 and 21. The core academic curriculum creates a robust pathway into A Levels and University but crucially, also enables a strong platform for vocational/technical progression. All students can see progression both up and along the national qualification ladder.

Timeline of Events – please note these may be subject to change. Any changes/updates will be communicated via Edulink on Parent and Student accounts.

  • Week beginning 30th January: Options information to be sent to Parents/Carers. Student assembly and subject taster sessions begin.
  • Week beginning 6th February: Option blocking forms to be sent out.
  • 9th March: Options Evening onsite at Coundon Court with members of the School Leadership Team and Year 9 Team. The SEND team will also be available.
  • Monday 13th March – provisional date for completing choices forms. These will be followed up with interviews with the Senior Leadership Team and the Year 9 Team.

Provisional curriculum at Key Stage 4 for September 2023

Students follow a core provision of Maths, English Language, English Literature and Combined Science. Students will also be expected to take History or Geography and French or Spanish.

Students will also choose a number of options that include:

  • GCSE Art
  • GCSE Business
  • GCSE Computer Science
  • GCSE Drama
  • GCSE Food Preparation and Nutrition
  • GCSE Geography
  • GCSE History
  • Cambridge National Creative iMedia (IT)
  • GCSE Music
  • GCSE Photography
  • GCSE Product Design
  • GCSE Sociology

There are alternative courses that may better suit our SEND students. These will be discussed with Parents/Carers and Students with the SEND team and Mrs Green (Assistant Principal – SENDCO) throughout the option process.

The option blocks will be influenced by student voice that occurs at the start of the process to allow us to support a student preference. These provisional option blocks are subject to change all the way through the process based on student choices and curriculum/staffing considerations.

Positive reasons for choosing a subject

  • You enjoy the subject
  • You are interested in the subject and want to study it in more detail.
  • You have researched the careers or course and are interested in doing this in the future – this subject may be useful or necessary. However, please don’t worry if this doesn’t apply to you! You study a wide range of subjects that will complement whatever choice you make.
  • You have read the options booklet and the course sounds interesting.
  • You enjoyed the subject taster sessions and you have asked lots of questions to get more information.
  • You have spoken to your teachers, Parents/Carers and they think this course will be suitable for you. We can also signpost to students who currently study or have completed the course.
  • The course is organized to suit my preferred learning style e.g. some have more coursework with might suit me better than exams.

Reasons not to pick a subject!

  • Your friends are choosing it.
  • You like the teacher you have now.
  • You can’t think of anything else to do.
  • Other people want you to do it.
  • You think it might be easier than other subjects.
  • You have accessed out of date advice or information.

We will support you all the way through the process - from February to starting your courses next September. However, there are things you can be doing to ensure you make an informed decision:

  • Read the options booklet
  • Talk to your Parents/Carers or family who have been through this process
  • Talk to your tutor
  • Talk to you teachers