These are very exciting times for our Year 9 students. In September 2021 they will move on to the final stage of their secondary education, and are now being asked to make choices about the courses they will study throughout Key Stage 4 (Years 10-11).
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 booklet below lists all the subjects available in Key Stage 4 identifying the learning pathways they will follow. This booklet and the form you need to complete will be posted out to you before school closes for the February half term, and your child will be asked to select their Pathway Subject Choices by Monday 22 March 2021 after consulting with you first.
The core curriculum of English, Maths, Science and PE must be studied by all students. The Pathway Subject Choices are then vitally important and should ensure that each individual learner is able to achieve their personal best.
The majority of students are advised to follow the English Baccalaureate (EBacc) pathway. This is an extra measure of academic excellence that was introduced in September 2010 and is for students identified as having the ability to achieve well in a language (either French, Mandarin or Spanish) and a Humanities subject (either Geography or History). We strongly recommend that students identified as having the ability follow the EBacc pathway.
Students not on the EBacc pathway will still have to choose at least one subject from; French, Mandarin, Spanish, Geography or History. This ensures they are studying a good balance of academic subjects which are included in their progress measures at the end of Year 11.
Please make use of our ‘Virtual Year 9 Pathways Evening’ to find out more about all of the subjects which we offer for your child. Staff will also be available to answer any questions which you may have about any aspect of the whole process of selecting the best subjects to study via our new School Cloud system.
Calendar of Key Dates
- Wednesday 24 February : Year 9 Virtual Pathway Choices Evening, 4:30-6:30pm
Our Year 9 Pathway Choices evening this year will take place virtually using SchoolCloud. Time slots with staff are limited and the purpose of the evening is not a Parents’ Evening, but a chance for parents to ask Heads of Departments any queries they may have after reading the booklet and watching the presentations.
Click here for our guide to booking an appointment: SchoolCloud Parent Guide
- Thursday 11 March : Year 9 Virtual Parents’ Evening
Delivered via telephone calls from your child’s Form Tutor)
- Week 15-19 March : Pathway Choices Guidance Individual Appointments
Opportunity for parents/carers and students to discuss their choices with either a Senior Teacher, Director of Learning or a member of our Year 9 team (these will take place via telephone if still in lockdown)
- Monday 22 March : Deadline
Deadline to submit completed Pathway Choices Form (you must either post to school for the attention of Mrs Fagan or email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Summer Term : Decisions
All students will be informed of their final Pathway Choices
Pathway Choices – Core Subjects
The ‘CORE’ Subjects = Courses every student follows
All students will study:
• English Language
• English Literature
• 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.
The Pathway Choices
Pathway One : The English Baccalaureate (EBacc) Pathway
This is for students who have been identified as having ability for high achievement in French, Spanish or Mandarin. These students will include History or Geography as ONE of their pathway choices, and will have free choice of TWO other subjects.
- All students will study French, Spanish or Mandarin
- Students will study either History or Geography
- Students may study both History and Geography by selecting them in different subject blocks.
Pathway Two : The Open Pathway
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, Mandarin, Geography or History then select THREE more subjects of their choice.
- French, Spanish, Mandarin, History and/or Geography can be included in the subject choices.
PLEASE NOTE: All students must choose a reserve subject in case they are not allocated their first choice.
Some Do’s and Don’ts when making your Pathway 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.