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Guided Option Choices

Our school operates a three-year Key Stage 3 in Years 7, 8 and 9 followed by a two-year Key Stage 4 in Years 10 and 11. Guided option choices are made in Year 9. Students will be given every support and encouragement to pursue subjects aligned to their abilities and interests.Choosing your options are very exciting times. Each year, in September, you will move on to the final stage of your secondary education and are able to make choices about the courses you study. At Co-op Academy Swinton we are keen to make the decision making process as easy as possible and to ensure that you make the right decisions.

A large part of the curriculum is compulsory for all students but there is also an element of choice which means that students can shape their own learning programme in Key Stage 4 according to their interests and future education and career plans.

The information below should assist you in guiding you through the process and you can download copies of our Guided Option Choices Booklet and specific information about each subject at the bottom of the page.

Remember, we also hold a Guided Options Evening each year where students and parents/carers are invited into school to meet our teachers and find out all about the subjects we have on offer at Key Stage 4 and answer any questions you may have.


Guided Option Choices – Core Subjects

The ‘CORE’ Subjects  =  Courses every student follows
All students will study:
•    English Language
•    English Literature
•    Mathematics
•    A Science Course (guidance on choice from Science teachers)
•    Physical Education (non-examination)
All students will follow courses in the subjects above: the format and type of assessment and qualification to be awarded in each subject will depend on the learning preferences of students. More details can be found in the Pathways Booklet available to download below.


Guided Option Choices – The Routes

Route 1 – The English Baccalaureate (EBacc) Route
This is for students who have been identified as having ability for high achievement in French or Spanish. These students will include History or Geography as one of their option choices, and will have free choice of TWO other subjects.
•    All students will study French or Spanish
•    Students will study either History or Geography.
•    Students may study both History and Geography by selecting them in different subject blocks.

Route 2 – The Open Route
This is for students who have been identified as having an ability for high achievement in subjects outside the EBacc pathway. These students will need to choose ONE subject from French, Spanish, Geography, History or Computing, then select THREE more subjects of their choice.
•    French or Spanish, History and/or Geography can be included in the subject choices.

PLEASE NOTE:  All students must choose a reserve subject in case you do not get your first choice.


Some Do’s and Don’ts when making your option choices

•    Do consider subjects that you enjoy and that you are interested in, you are more likely to succeed in these subjects.
•    Do ask for advice from your teachers – you will be able to find out what the course involves.
•    Do start to consider your career choice. Our careers advisor in school is available to talk to you.
•    Do discuss your subject choices with your parents.
•    Don’t choose a subject because you like a particular teacher; you are likely to have a different member of staff in Key Stage 4.
•    Don’t choose a subject because you think it is easy, all subjects are more difficult at Key Stage 4.
•    Don’t choose a subject because your friends have chosen it. You are unlikely to be in the same group as your friends as the grouping is different in Key Stage 4.

Download a copy of the information booklet: Guided Option Choices Booklet