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Year 9 Options


Please click here to access the Moving to KS4 Options 2024 Booklet (PDF)

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Until now, choices about what you study have been made for you.  However, when you choose your options, you start to take more control – and have more responsibility.  This responsibility must be taken very seriously as the subjects you choose to study – and the ones you leave behind – may affect what you can do in the future.


It is time to start thinking about your career.  You don’t necessarily need to have a job in mind, just an idea of what you like doing and what you are good at.  It can help you if you choose subjects that might be useful, and avoid missing a subject you might need later on.  Above all, the decisions should be made in each individual student’s best interest, balancing those subjects that are going to provide a wide range of opportunities further down the line of education and employment, with those that you most enjoy and have a particular ability in.


Choosing your subjects

  1. English, Maths, Science and core PE are compulsory

  2. Your choice may be from GCSEs or also from vocational qualifications such as Cambridge Nationals.

  1. Some may be subjects you don’t know much about - for example, Ancient History


How your option choices may affect your future

A Levels

  1. Some A Levels need a GCSE in the same subject - for example, Art or French

  2. A Level Maths requires the GCSE Higher tier

  3. You need double award science or separate sciences to study A Level sciences



  1. BTEC stands for Business and Technology Education Council and they offer vocational qualifications in areas such as work skills and health and social care

  2. You can do a BTEC - equivalent to one GCSE - alongside other GCSEs



  1. Most university degrees require at least five good GCSEs including Maths and English – some will accept alternatives like BTECs, others may not – so check course entry requirements carefully

  2. Primary teaching degrees require GCSE Science as well as Maths and English (plus two others) and some want ‘good’ grades (5 or above) in one of these, and some say a language is ‘desirable’

  3. A language is also useful for accountancy, air cabin crew, computer games testing, fashion and law



By taking an apprenticeship you go straight into your chosen career.  You get on-the-job training, which gives you the chance to develop skills and gain relevant work experience.  Plus, you get a formal qualification at the end of it.  This could be a good alternative for you to choose when you finish Kelmscott at 16.


There are three levels of apprenticeship:

  1. Intermediate apprenticeships - equivalent to 5 GCSEs 9-4

  2. Advanced apprenticeships - equivalent to 2 A’ Levels

  3. Higher and degree apprenticeships - equivalent to university level education


The one you choose will depend on your current skills and qualifications.  Complete a higher apprenticeship and you will earn a qualification that could be equivalent to a Master's degree.  If you lack work experience or basic qualifications, you can also do a traineeship to gain experience before applying for an apprenticeship.


Bear the following in mind when choosing your Options:

  1. No subjects are ‘easy’ – find out exactly what you will be studying if you are unsure

  2. Choosing subjects just because your friends are doing them is not a good idea, they may have different aims than you and you may well be put in different sets

GCSE Courses

GCSE stands for the General Certificate in Secondary Education.  GCSEs are studied by the majority of students in Years 10 and 11.  These courses indicate that a student has achieved a certain level of general education and gives them a route into higher level qualifications such as A’ Levels, BTECs, or a Modern Apprenticeship.


How you will be assessed

The majority of new GCSEs are assessed in examinations at the end of the two-year course.  GCSEs are now reported on a grade of 9-1 (see below), with nine being the highest.  Those students who do not achieve the standard required for a grade 1 are reported with a ‘U’ (Unclassified). 


Note: An option course may not run if there is not enough uptake


The English Baccalaureate

To achieve the EBacc students need to attain:

  1. A grade 5 or above in English language GCSE and any grade in English literature GCSE

  2. A grade 5 or above in Mathematics GCSE

  3. A grade 5 or above in either History or Geography GCSE

  4. A grade 5 or above in a language GCSE

  5. A grade 5 or above in Double Award Science, or students need to enter three single sciences and achieve grade 5 or above in at least two of them (the single sciences are Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science and Physics)



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