Options Guidance & Key Dates

Back to year 9 options

As you near the end of the Lower School (Key Stage 3) and move into the Middle School (Key Stage 4) some important changes in the curriculum will be taking place. Constraints of time combined with Course content make it impossible for you to continue with all the subjects you have previously experienced and so you will need to make some choices about your future courses.

Increasingly in Key Stage 4 you become more responsible for your own progress and learning. The focus is on GCSE courses leading to public examinations, which form the principal method of assessment of your work.

GCSE courses have recently been reformed to make them more focused on the knowledge and skills required in modern society. New and reformed GCSEs have little and no coursework, are examined at the end of 2 years, and are graded 1-9 rather than A*-E. 9 is roughly equivalent to A*and 5 is roughly equal to an old C grade.

Our GCSE timetable is structured so that students learn Science in the same class sets as they study Mathematics. These two subjects have considerable overlap and we consider progress in Mathematics as a good indicator of potential success in Science. It is very unlikely that it would be appropriate for a Year 9 student currently in the lowest Mathematics set of their half year to do triple Science. We would only recommend that students in Sets 1 or 2 in the Y half and 1, 2 and 3 in the Z half follow the Triple Science route. Those students taking Triple Science will be placed in Triple sets for both Mathematics and Science, while those opting for Combined will be allocated to Combined sets for these subjects as they commence Key Stage 4. 

important dates in the options process

Wednesday 4th January 2024

Year 9 Parents’ Evening
Via Google Meet / School Cloud

Staff are available to discuss progress in individual subjects and provide advice and recommendations.

Thursday 25th January 2024

KS4 Information Event & Options Booklet Launch

Students and parents are invited to this event in person. This will include an update on the KS4 curriculum and choices for year 9. Discussions will take place about the Middle School and the different approach to studying for GCSEs. Senior staff and Heads of Departments of option subjects will provide information and answer FAQs. They will also have sample GCSE materials available to examine.

Friday 2nd February 2024

Option Choice Returns

Final choices need to be returned via the Google Form.

Monday 15th – Friday 26th April 2024

School Examinations

Please avoid making other arrangements during these dates.

June – July 2024

Final Option Changes

Based on examination results, a small number of students may still wish to make changes to their choices, which will be accommodated if possible. Where difficulties persist, a consultation between parents, staff and students may be desirable.

June – July 2024

Courses Begin

GCSE courses in KS4 begin. These will complete in June 2026.