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Year 8s start their options process

This week, our year 8 students attended a virtual options assembly delivered by our Headteacher, Mr Burnham. The assembly was an introduction to the process that all students in the year will be going through over the next few weeks to choose their options for year 9.

Although there will be no formal qualifications given in year 9, the aim of these options is to equip the students with the foundation skills and knowledge for year 10 & 11, when their formal examinations will take place. It’s a starting point for our vision – ‘to send every young person into the world able and qualified to play their full role in it’.

The students were introduced to the faculties that they can choose to study next year – each student will get to study two of these. Within these faculties, there will be related disciplines/subjects that they will learn, which they can then choose to specialise in when it comes to year 10 & 11. 

For example: if the chosen faculty is Performing Arts, the student will study Music, Dance and Drama on a rotational basis throughout the year. After learning the foundation knowledge for these disciplines, they may then choose to specialise in Music, Dance or Drama in year 10 & 11. 

A Google Form will be sent out to students over the next few weeks to add in their chosen faculties. We aim to give all students their first and second choice but we ask students to rank their top four faculties from the list in case for whatever reason, we cannot offer a particular subject.

Mr Burnham’s dos and don’ts when choosing options: 

  • Do choose a subject that you enjoy
  • Do choose a subject that you’re good at 
  • Do choose a subject that is suited to your aptitude and personality
  • Do choose a subject that is related to your ambitions
  • Do choose a subject that compliments your learning style 
  • Don’t choose a subject just because you like the teacher
  • Don’t choose a subject just because your friends have chosen it
  • Don’t choose a subject because parents want you to do it
  • Don’t choose a subject because it is an ‘easy option’ – there is no easy options and they all have challenges built in
  • Don’t put too much pressure on yourself 

Next step:

We will be hosting a virtual options evening on Tuesday 23rd February for parents and students. There will be a presentation delivered by Mr Burnham and then there will be a chance to break out into separate talks with faculty leaders to get more information about particular subjects.

Choosing options at this stage may not seem important, but the choices that you make over the next few weeks will start to shape any choices you make in the future. We’re committed to offering you as much as possible so that you get lots of experience and I know that it can be confusing, especially if you don’t know what you want to go on to study or what career you want. I’ve got three simple rules when it comes to options; choose something you enjoy, or choose something you’re good at and achieving in, or choose something that will be useful for a future career. If you follow these rules, you won’t go wrong.

“Y9 is the foundation for your GCSE years. The knowledge and skills you gain will set you up to achieve something really special in Y11. These choices could set you on an incredibly successful career path. My biggest piece of advice – think carefully, read lots about the subjects, ask lots of questions. Make sure you have all the information you need before you choose.” – Mr Burnham