Dear Students, Parents & Carers,

The move from Key Stage 3 to Key Stage 4 is an important step in your child’s education as he/she embarks upon accredited examination courses. These courses include compulsory subjects and others which are optional subjects from which you can choose three to study in years 10 and 11.

Compulsory subjects at Key Stage 4 include:

  • Religious Education
  • English Language & Literature
  • Maths
  • Science
  • Core PE

You will find full details here on the school website about the options courses that we offer. Please do read through this information carefully as it contains important information about the course to help you decide whether it is suitable for you. There are also voiced presentations from Heads of Subject to listen to which will give you a full picture of what is involved with study at GCSE/BTEC level.

In addition to information provided to you on the Year 9 Options/Parents’ Evening, students will also be provided with support to help them make their decisions about choices through Options Week which begins on 22 March. Students will receive a session with our Careers Advisor Mrs Holmes, complete supporting activities including with the careers advice platform ‘Fast Tomato’, and individual one-to-one meetings either with form tutors, the Head of Year or from the Senior Leadership Team.

Students will be required to submit their online preferences by Wednesday 31 March. A guide for how to submit your preferences is also included here on the school website. It is important to meet this deadline in order for the school to begin the significant task of organising the timetable and deciding which courses will run.

Please be aware that while every endeavour will be made to meet students’ preferences, there may be occasions where this is not always possible due to the number of students selecting them and staffing constraints. It is therefore important that students also indicate two reserve choices online.

Making the correct option choices is vitally important and we hope that students and parents have been provided with enough information to make the best choices for future study and career aspirations. Should a student commence study in Year 10 and decide that they wish to change one of their option subjects, the deadline for making an application to change courses is Friday 1 October. It is envisaged that this will only affect a small handful of students and that the vast majority of students will continue with the option choices selected in Year 9. No applications to change options after this date will be considered as students will have missed too much of the course to be able to catch up and achieve their full potential.

I know that parents will discuss these important decisions with their sons and daughters and I urge you to consult subject teachers, tutors, Heads of Department and Senior Staff if further guidance is needed.

We wish all our students the very best as they commence this next important and exciting phase of their academic studies.

Mr A Madden
Headteacher

Mrs C Eldridge
Assistant Headteacher