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Year 9 Options 2023

Overview of the curriculum offer:

Welcome to the 2023-24 Options process for Year 9. This is always an exciting and important time for students as they make decisions about the subjects they wish to study for the next two years, and often beyond. At John Cabot Academy, we actively seek to provide the breadth and choice that students desire, within a framework of educational balance to enable our students to achieve the best possible range of qualifications in meeting their future aspirations. Students should follow the route that is best for them, and all will be given appropriate careers advice to help them make the right choice.

Across Year 10 and 11, all students will follow a core curriculum which consists of English Language, English Literature, Maths, Combined Science (two GCSEs but all three sciences studied), Physical Education (Core PE) and Personal Education (PSHE).

Students can then select up to four additional subjects to study at KS4, as outlined in this booklet. They should choose carefully, considering aptitude, enjoyment and future job or course requirements. However, one of their four choices must include a subject from the four below which encourages students to maintain a broad and balanced curriculum to the age of 16:

  • GCSE Spanish
  • GCSE History
  • GCSE Geography
  • GCSE Computer Science

This means that students study nine subjects in total.

University pathway:

It is important to point out that for students whose aim is to apply to university, especially for competitive courses, our advice is to study both Spanish and one of the other three choices above (History, Geography or Computer Science) because having a modern foreign language shows universities that students have an aptitude for learning and language skills can give a significant advantage to students as well as giving them links to another culture.

Science – separate or combined?

Students who are keen to pursue the study of science in more depth can also choose to study Separate Sciences – which would be another one of their four option choices. The key difference from Combined Science (two GCSEs) is that they gain three GCSEs – one in each Science and so this takes more curriculum time across the week. If your child is in doubt about whether this would be the right route for them, they can speak with their science teacher.

Advice and Guidance:

Advice to students and guidance about the subjects relating to their future plans are an important aspect of the process and across Term 3 and 4, all Year 9 students will have access to a range of opportunities to guide their decisions including tutor discussions, assemblies, tutor-time taster sessions they can sign up to and individual or small group meetings with the Year 9 team to help them in deciding the most appropriate courses to study. Throughout Year 9, they will all also have the opportunity to meet with our career advisor to discuss their future aspirations and to start to consider what their next steps might be.

Option Evening – 15:30-17:30

On Wednesday 18 January, the Options evening will also provide a useful overview of the process and will give you a chance to ask questions both to myself and the Pastoral Team Leader – Mr. Titterington but also of the Curriculum Team Leaders. This will run as a drop-in session from 15:30-17:30 and there will be a talk at 16:00 which will be repeated at 17:00 to go through the process in more detail. You will also be able to obtain further advice about the suitability of certain subjects at the Year 9 Parents and Carers’ Evening

with your child’s teachers.

Getting your subject choices:

We anticipate being able to meet the needs of the vast majority of our

students’ requirements – either their first or second choices, however we do reserve the right to make the final decision on choice, depending on timetable and staffing constraints or should low numbers preclude us running a particular course. We will keep you fully informed of any changes as we move through this important process.

Finally, please remember that it is the quality of outcomes and enjoyment of the subject that really matters. The aim of education remains to provide the necessary skills and knowledge that young people need for the future, whilst encouraging them to be lifelong learners.

If you have any questions or concerns about the options process, please do not hesitate to contact [email protected] with the subject line as Year 9 Options.

Many thanks Annie Massey

Assistant Principal for Raising Attainment

Please find all the information you will need to support your child in making their option choices for their GCSE courses.

Options Booklet

Career Pilot Support for Options

Options Presentation 2023

This has detailed information about all of the subjects on offer at JCA and an overview of the option blocks and key deadlines.