Year 9 Options for KS4

Welcome To The Year 9 Options Page

Dear Parents/Guardians,

In September 2021 your son/daughter, along with all students in the present Year 9, will begin a two year course leading to qualifications in GCSEs or their TECH Award vocational equivalents: BTECs and VCERTs.

The contents of this webpage are intended to provide you with information about the curriculum. In Years 10-11 students will have an opportunity to choose some of the subjects they would like to study alongside the core subjects as part of the National Curriculum. 

This page will help you and child with this process providing

  • Online guides to each subjects including Video Presentations from subject teachers about the courses on offer and written guidance and information about each subject.
  • Recorded presentation on the Options process and ‘How to’ guides to filling in the Google options form.
  • Information on the different Pathways and routes students will have been directed to follow. Your child will have already been informed of the Pathway they are on in a separate letter in April.

I urge you to read through all the information you receive with your son or daughter carefully to help inform your choices. Please do not hesitate to contact either your child’s tutor, Head of Year, Mr Pickering, our SENCO, Mrs Thompson, or Mr Balkwill, if you require advice on any aspect of your child’s subject choice which may be causing you concern via our main reception.

Yours sincerely

Mr Lawrence

Mark Lawrence - Acting Head Teacher

KS4 Options Overview

Mr Balkwill (Acting Deputy Headteacher) explains the options and pathway process for 2021-23 including:

  • Options Timeline
  • Do’s and Don’ts
  • What will your 10 & 11 Curriculum look like?
  • What are the pathways on offer?
  • Individual look at each pathway 
  • What Students Can’t do

If you have any questions about the Options and pathway process email

KS4 Options Form Overview

Mr Balkwill (Acting Deputy Headteacher) Highlights some of the key areas to to read through on this webpage and talks through completing the options form.

If you have any further questions about the Options form please feel free to contact the academy via your child’s tutor or by sending an email to

Information about Our KS4 Pathways

Main Pathway

You will feel that you have made good progress in most of your subjects, but may feel less confident in Modern Foreign Languages. You may feel more confident studying a humanities (Geography and History) along with a blend of other GCSEs and vocational qualifications.

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B Pathway (Ebac)

You will be achieving good grades in nearly all of your subjects. You have the ability to go to university or further study and need a good range of academic GCSEs to support you to prepare for these choices. This pathway will provide you with the opportunity to study a broad range of academic subjects alongside other subjects of your choosing. You will have the opportunity to select at least one creative, practical or vocational subject too if you wish to do so.

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Alternative Curriculum Pathway

This is an invitation only pathway for students who the academy feel would benefit from alternative courses and qualifications. Students invited to this pathway will participate in a Foundation Learning programme run by the SENCo alongside option choices for in blocks two-four. Students and parents will be contacted by the academy to discuss this pathway if we feel that this appropriate for you.

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Option Subjects

GCSE Art, Craft & Design

Mrs K Mead

If you enjoy being creative, want to increase your practical skills and improve your analytical, communication and research abilities, Art and Design is a great choice. The skills you gain make it a great complement to other subjects. The discipline of independent study and thought is an extremely useful one to acquire. Art is a subject that can give the student confidence and a real sense of achievement.

How will I be assessed?

Coursework Unit = 60%, Exam Unit = 40%

GCSE Photography

Mrs K Mead

Photography is about looking, learning, thinking and communicating ideas. It inspires creative thinkers. Photography means ‘drawing with light’ and that is what photographers do when they take a picture. Photography is a great companion to all other subjects as creativity, imagination and problem solving skills can give you great ideas for your other subjects.

How will I be assessed?

Coursework Unit = 60%, Exam Unit = 40%

BTEC Tech Award in Performing Arts

Mrs J Browncey

The BTEC Tech Award is equivalent to 1 GCSE and is a recognised qualification in Further Education. With a BTEC in Performing Arts, students gain valuable hands-on experience, which can take them straight into a career in the industry and other professions via transferable skills such as team work, negotiation, communication & creativity.

The BTEC course is very practical and allows many opportunities to develop vocal, physical and interpretive skills through the rehearsal and performance process. Throughout the course, students will be asked to participate in various workshops and showcases, teaching students how to conduct themselves as a professional artist and supporting the development of their own technique, musicality, individuality and confidence.

How will I be assessed?

Three components broken down into assignments and tasks. Each assignment has a clear grading criteria for Pass, Merit, and Distinction. There will also be a clear Learning Outcome (LO). Component 1 (Exploring the Performing Arts) and Component 2 (Developing Skills and Techniques in the Performing Arts) are internally assessed by staff.

GCSE Computer Science

Mr A Whelan

Over the last 12 months, many businesses have moved their operations online and with this has come an increasing need for workers who have a good understanding of how websites, apps and other online content works and is created. Being able to write and understand computer programs is becoming essential and the demand for these skills will only increase in the next few years.

How will I be assessed?

The course follows the OCR GCSE Computer Science specification (J277) and is assessed by two one and a half hour exams at the end of Year 11.

CNat Information Technologies

Mr A Whelan

One lesson that has come out of the last 12 months is that everybody needs to have, and be able to prove that they have good computing and IT skills. Being able to prove to employers that you are competent in a range of office applications is now seen as essential and the Information Technologies qualification provides that evidence.

How will I be assessed?

 The course follows the OCR Cambridge Nationals specification in Information Technologies (J808) and is assessed by both an exam at the end of Year 11 and a practical coursework style assignment.

GCSE French

Mrs M Hares

Learning French develops your communication, critical and creative thinking skills. It will also increase your problem-solving skills and improve your memory, self-discipline, and self-esteem.

How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed in the four skills of Listening, Reading, Speaking and Writing at either foundation or higher tier. Each of the four skills is worth 25% and will be examined at the end of year 11 (a separate paper for each skill). The examining board for French is AQA.

GCSE German

Mrs M Hares

Learning any language is an important way of connecting and communicating with others, deepens your connection to other cultures, helps you gain perspective and enhances decision-making. It is also a useful way of boosting your confidence and self-esteem as well as opening up a range of career opportunities.

How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed in the four skills of Listening, Reading, Speaking and Writing at either foundation or higher tier.

Each of the four skills is worth 25% and will be examined at the end of Year 11 (a separate paper for each skill). The examining board for German is AQA

GCSE Geography

Mrs S Lewis

Geography is a broad based academic subject. The subject will provide you with knowledge and understanding of our ever-changing world. These can be applied to whole range of jobs, and experiences and enable you to become a responsible citizen of the world.

How will I be assessed?


All content will be examined at the end of Year 11 when students will sit three exams. There is no Controlled Assessment.

GCSE History

Mr R Bailey

Studying History enables us to develop a better understanding of the world in which we live. Building knowledge and understanding of historical events and trends, especially over the past century, enables us to develop a much greater appreciation for current events today.

How will I be assessed?

Four papers worth 25% each. These will be sat at the end of Year 11.

BTEC Music

Mr A Lee

Music has so many benefits to it, it forms the fabric of all our days. It can boost memory, build endurance, lighten your mood, reduce anxiety and depression, improve your response to pain and stave off fatigue. This course will help you develop your musical skills, creativity, management skills, performance skills, improve your confidence.

How will I be assessed?

There are four components. Students will be assessed through Non Examination Assessment (Coursework) for three and the fourth component will be an exam.

BTEC First Award in Sport

Mrs S Morrison

If you have a passion for sport, activity and fitness and want to learn the theory of sport, study sport in further education and/or follow a career in sport, then this is the course for you!

How will I be assessed?

There are four components. Students will be assessed through Non Examination Assessments (Coursework) for three and the fourth will be an exam.

Food Preparation and Nutrition

Mrs J Hansen

You will study a variety of factors which can influence food choice including: diet and health, food provenance (where food comes from), food science and food safety. You will develop skills in researching, testing, practical skill, analysing and evaluating in order to produce suitable products for a specific need.

How will I be assessed?

Within the subject of Food Preparation and Nutrition there are two main components. You will be assessed through a combination of Non Examination Assessment (NEA) and Examinations.

GCSE Art and Design: Textile Design

Ms C Vickery

This course will inspire and bring out the best in you, whilst equipping you with the skills to continue the subject with confidence at AS, A-level and beyond. You will develop your knowledge and understanding during the course through a variety of learning experiences and approaches, including using a wide selection of sources.

How will I be assessed?

Coursework Unit = 60%, Exam Unit = 40%

GCSE Design and Technology

Ms C Vickery

AQA Product Design

GCSE Design and Technology will prepare you to participate confidently and successfully in an increasingly technological world. You will gain awareness and learn from wider influences on Design and Technology including historical, social, cultural, environmental and economic factors.

How will I be assessed?

This is a two year linear qualification. Linear means that you will sit all your exams and submit all of your non-exam assessment at the end of the course. Written exam: 2 hours 100 marks 50% of GCSE.

GCSE Triple Science

Mrs R Parsons

Triple Science will allow you to study in depth a wider range of the individual sciences giving you a greater understanding of the world around you. You will gain a separate grade in biology, chemistry and physics. Triple Science is excellent if you are considering studying Science at A-level or if you are interested in a career around STEM subjects.

How will I be assessed?

Triple Science students are awarded three separate GCSEs in Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Each of these 3 GCSEs are divided into equal sections and assessed in separate written examinations. All exams are taken at the end of year 11. You will sit 6 papers which are 1hr 45 minutes each.