KS4 Options Overview

Our Key Stage 4 curriculum is designed to provide a challenging and exciting learning opportunity to all. To support high aspirations, the vast majority of students will retain a broadly academic flavour to the structure of their curriculum, designed to prepare them for continued study beyond the age of 16.

Although it is not essential (and indeed quite rare) to have a firm career goal in mind at the start of Key Stage 4, it is important to remember that exam success at the end of Year 11 will dictate what education and career options become available for the next stage of our students’ journey towards adulthood. The greater the commitment and success over these next few crucial years, the greater their choices will be.

A large majority of our students choose to remain with us at our Sixth Form where our students make rapid progress in line with the top 10% of all students nationally. Our recent achievements include outstanding outcomes in a wide range of subjects. Over thirty A level (and equivalent) courses are offered and last year our students gained places in universities all over the country including many Russell Group Universities. Some also undertake prestigious High-level Apprenticeships.

For a proportion of students, Key Stage 4 prepares them for vocational or trade-based pathways either at Further Education Colleges or apprenticeships, but all students continue to benefit from independent career advice to support them in making the right choice for them.

This process is concerned with making decisions that will inspire commitment, excitement and dedication as students tackle subjects in greater depth and in areas where they have a particular interest.

Students will take GCSE courses in the core subjects of English Language, English Literature, Mathematics, and Science. Non-examined RE and Core-PE also form part of our core offer. Students complete their personalised curriculum by choosing a further four subjects from our extensive list of possibilities.

To comply with national progress measures for Key Stage 4, we expect the vast majority of students to include at least one of the following subjects in their selection: History, Geography, French, German, or Computer Science. Students offered and accepting Separate Science (at a later date) will also have fulfilled this requirement.

Over the course of this process we will be providing clear guidance as to the nature of qualifications each student should be undertaking, based on their interests and aptitudes.

We know that for the vast majority of our students the difficult decision is what not to continue into Year 10 and beyond. We also know that our students will look to parents and the school to provide them with the information, advice and guidance to make a sensible, sustainable and successful choice.

During Options Evening, all students, parents and carers will have the opportunity to discuss the options process. Following this evening, each student will receive personal guidance about their choices from a member of senior staff or their tutor. The impartial guidance that students receive is a recommendation based on the professional judgement of the school.

STUDENTS please remember that there are certain key messages that you need to appreciate when making your choices.

•        The curriculum has been designed so that you are able to cope with the workload that will be expected of you.

 •        The EBacc is a key measure of a student’s academic abilities and it is likely that it will become an increasingly important indicator for universities during the UCAS process.

 •        You have received information regarding the importance of thinking about your possible post-16 options. You now need to consider what qualifications you need to gain to reach your goal.

 •        Do not worry if you are undecided about your future career or further/higher education. Try to choose subjects you enjoy, and you will achieve well at, that provide you with a balanced curriculum which gives a wide choice of options for the future.

 •        Do talk to parents/carers, subject teachers and your form tutor—they are all here to help.

 •        Do read the subject details in this booklet carefully and visit the subject areas to find out the finer details of each course.

 •        Do be realistic about your ability—choose subjects that will provide you with suitable challenge. Use your Progress Reports to inform your choices.

 •        Don’t make choices based on your previous classroom experiences—be they positive or negative.

 •        It is not sensible to choose a subject simply because your friends are choosing it.  You are making decisions about your future.

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