YEAR 8 OPTIONS (2019 – 2022)
The KS4 curriculum which students follow from Year 9 is based on a pathways approach. It is designed to allow students to choose subjects that are relevant to their aptitude and abilities; lead to courses at 16; be motivating and lead to maximum overall achievement. During the Spring Term in Year 8 students will make option choices for courses to be studied in KS4 leading to GCSE and other external qualifications. Options are chosen during Year 8 in order to increase the time spent on their key examination courses and to give the opportunity for each student to follow a curriculum which reflects their interests and individual needs. The students will follow their option choices alongside a core curriculum from the beginning of Year 9.
There are three pathways; different routes which should give students the best chance of achieving their potential. These are:
Extended: Students on the Extended Pathway have 4 choices to make. In line with the DfE’s recent guidelines to schools, Extended Pathway students are expected to study Ebacc subjects: these are English, Maths, Science, History or Geography, French or Spanish. English, Maths and Science are part of the core curriculum, which all students will study, but Extended Pathway students will need to select either History or Geography, and either French or Spanish in their choices.
Open: Students on the Open Pathway have 4 choices to make. In line with the DfE’s recent guidelines to schools, they may wish to study Ebacc subjects: these are English, Maths, Science, History or Geography, French or Spanish. English, Maths and Science are part of the core curriculum, which all students will study. Open Pathway students will need to select either History, Geography, French or Spanish in their choices to ensure a broad and balanced curriculum.
Vocational: These students will study a Skills Centre course as one option but will have a free choice for the remaining two options. They will have priority on the Vocational courses. These courses will include Hairdressing, Construction and Motor Vehicle studies.
In addition to the subjects chose, students follow a core curriculum which include:
- Ethics, Philosophy and Religion
- Physical Education
A full programme of information and guidance will be in place to help students make appropriate choices and to allow you to support them in this. The key dates for this are included below. I would urge you to attend as many as possible, but especially the Options Evening on Monday 11th March 2019. In order to help curriculum planning for the new courses, each student will complete a straw poll survey of possible option choices at the end of January. The indications of choices your child makes in this poll will not commit them to any definite decisions, but this helps us determine what courses to offer and to begin to establish a curriculum plan for next year. Students do not have to confirm their options choices formally until after the options evening in March. The key dates for the process are outlined below.
Key Dates for Year 8
|January 2019||Introduction to options process and presentations from Option subjects in assembly|
|Friday 25th January||Option books available|
|Week beginning 28th Jan||Straw poll of Option choices must be in by 4th Feb|
|Thursday 7th March||Option form with subject blocks issued|
|Monday 11th March||Options Evening – an opportunity to find out about the courses|
|Thursday 28th March||Deadline for the return of the options form to tutors|
|April||Individual student guidance interviews as required|
|May||Confirmation of students’ choices by letter|
|Sept 2019||Start of Year 9|
Alternatively, students currently in Year 9 can access their curriculum map by clicking here. Students currently in Year 10 can also access their curriculum map by clicking here and year 11 students can access their curriculum map by clicking here (these documents are subject to change). For more information regarding curriculum maps, please contact individual Curriculum Team Leaders (email addresses can be found on our staff list)