Options

Welcome to this year’s Option Process. At The Warren School we recognise the importance of the decisions that your child needs to make in their transition from Year 9 into Year 10 and Year 11. In this important and challenging phase of students’ education, it is crucial that we give your child clear and informed guidance as to the choices available and how these are matched to their individual needs, interests and abilities.

This will be the first time they have been given the chance to select the GCSE and BTEC subjects they wish to study from Year 10 onwards, so it is important that they consider the following things:

  • What is available?
  • What do they enjoy?
  • What are they good at?
  • What might you need for future study and careers?

At this stage, the curriculum will still be broad, so that they can continue to extend their knowledge and skills in a central core of subjects while beginning to make choices in other areas, based on their own abilities and preferences. This curriculum will ensure as many opportunities as possible remain open to your child for further study at school, in higher education and their future career.

The Year 10 and Year 11 curriculum combines a core of compulsory subjects (English Language, English Literature, Mathematics, Science, RE and PE) with choices taken from a variety of other subjects e.g. Modern Foreign Languages and Humanities. It is important that your child maintains a broad and balanced curriculum so they do not limit their Post 16 choices.

A summary of each course can be found in this booklet. Please make sure that it matches your child’s abilities and interests. Some courses require elements of controlled assessments whereas some are 100% examination based courses.

Their interest must be in the subject itself, not their teacher. A poor reason for choosing a subject would be just because they like their teacher, since it is possible that a different member of staff would teach them next year. A more positive indicator would be that they are successful in the subject, can cope competently with its demands and enjoy the lessons. Unfortunately we are not always good at the things we like and sometimes do not like the things at which we are good.

Some careers need certain subjects. If your child has a particular career in mind they can find out what is required by using the careers section in the school’s library. By the end of Year 11, your child might have very different aspirations. Fortunately the core subjects will help your child to keep their options open.

Recommendations could be important; so please spend time with your child between now and their individual options interview to discuss these subjects. Your child’s teachers will know their strengths and weaknesses, how they cope under pressure and how well they are likely to perform in their controlled assessment(s) and examinations; therefore, please encourage your child to speak to their subject teachers about the different option subjects before they select them during their interview.

Key Stage 4 Options Guidance

In the Spring Term you will be making your choices for your KS4 pathway. At this stage, the curriculum will still be broad so that you can continue to extend your knowledge and skills in a central core of subjects while beginning to make choices in other areas based on your own abilities and preferences. This curriculum will ensure that as many opportunities as possible remain open to you, both for further study, at school and in higher education, and for your future career.

The GCSE curriculum at The Warren combines a core of compulsory subjects – English Language, English Literature, Mathematics and Science – with choices taken from 3 different areas: Modern Languages, Humanities and Creative/Practical subjects. You will also take courses in RE and PE. It is important that your workload is manageable to allow you to continue to pursue other interests.

At this time in your school career, it is important that you keep as many options open as possible, and you should bear the A Level curriculum in mind where you will select 3 or 4 subjects. You should not be too quick to see yourself as a ‘scientist’ or a ‘humanities’ student, as combinations of these subjects will be encouraged right up to A Level, and universities will be looking for students with breadth as well as depth in their choice of subjects. In making your choices listen to your parents, teachers and friends, but remember:

The choice and the work are yours

Making your choice

  • Your choice should be based on:
  • What is available;
  • What you enjoy;
  • What you are good at; and,
  • What you might need for future study and careers.

You might have difficulty deciding which subjects to choose and be reluctant to opt for one course at the expense of another. It is therefore important to check which can be studied in the Sixth Form without a GCSE background and which cannot. Where the GCSE is a requirement for A Level, a pass at grade 6 is expected. There is often the chance to pick up subjects at a later stage during further and higher education.

First, look into the content of the course. A summary of each course can be found in this booklet. Make sure that it matches up with your abilities and interests and, if necessary, talk to other students in Years 10 and 11.

Your interest must be in the subject itself, not the teacher. A poor reason for choosing a subject would be just because you like your teacher, since it is possible that a different member of staff would teach you next year. A more positive indicator would be that you are successful in the subject, can cope competently with its demands and enjoy the lessons. Unfortunately we are not always good at the things we like and sometimes do not like the things at which we are good.

Some careers need certain subjects. If you have a particular career in mind you can find out what is required by researching that career path. For more information or advice you should consult your form teacher. By the end of Year 11, you might have very different aspirations. Fortunately the core subjects will help you to keep your options open.

Recommendations could be important. Your parents will have views and there are certainly advantages in listening to their advice. Your teachers will know your strengths and weaknesses, how you cope under pressure and how well you are likely to perform in your controlled assessment(s) and coursework(s). Your friends, too, may try to persuade you to follow their course but you must make a decision according to your needs.

Remember: it has to be your choice, your work, your results.

So listen to advice, think about it seriously and then choose your own examination courses.

Ms J Ashe
Headteacher

The Warren School Study Programme 2019-2021

IMPORTANT DATES FOR CHOICES 2019

Monday 28th January

The Year 9 course choices booklet is given to students.

Thursday 31st January

Year 9 Parents’ Evening.

Monday 11th February

Year 9 Curriculum Evening. This is an opportunity for the students and their family to discuss the content of the GCSE course they may choose. This takes place from 3.45pm to 4.45pm. Members of staff will be available from each subject.

Monday 25th February

A letter is sent to parents to inform them of the progress of the Year 9 Options process. In this letter parents will be given the details of their interview with a member of staff to discuss their child’s options on week beginning 12th March 2018.

Monday 4th March – Friday 22nd March

Each Monday at assembly heads of departments will address the students on subjects that they may not as yet have experienced.

Taster lessons are offered to the students at lunch time or after school. A timetable of the taster lessons will be attached to the letter and sent on Monday 25th February. They may need to sign up for some of the taster lessons.

PM registration: Individual discussion to take place between the tutees and the tutor.

Students will be given stickers as reminders of their parental interviews to put in their diary.

Week beginning Monday 11th March

Option Interviews scheduled during this week with selected students with SLT/ ATLs

Monday 25th March

Students return their form for choices.

Thursday 28th March

Deadline for option changes; however, if courses are full then students will be placed on a waiting list.