Year 9 Options
Dear Parents/Carers and Year 9 Students,
Welcome to the online Year 9 Options Evening 2022 at St. Benedict’s. I hope you find the information included in this booklet and contained in the presentations valuable in preparing you to take the next exciting step in your education.
Your education during Key Stage 3 has been very different from anything students or schools have had to deal with before, but you have risen to the challenges presented to you magnificently. The resilience that many of you have shown over the previous couple of years will put you in a good position as you move into Key Stage 4 and begin the study of your GCSE subjects.
Beginning Key Stage 4 is the first opportunity for you, students, to begin tailoring your education into a selection of qualifications that is unique to you, and in the process determining your own future. Staff here at St Benedict’s are ready and waiting to aid and guide you in making your option choices and supporting you through, not only the important matter of finishing off your studies at Key Stage 3 but taking those first steps towards completing your GCSEs during Year 10 and Year 11.
The selection of option subjects available during Key Stage 4 are laid out in the next few pages. Whatever choices you make, you will soon be starting exciting new courses and it will be a time of new opportunities for you. Central to these courses are the Gospel values of Wisdom, Compassion and Resilience, which are so important to us at St. Benedict's. The subjects you choose will allow you to show what you know, what you understand and what you can do, with the intention of fulfilling the potential God has given each of you. There is a long tradition of success here at St. Benedict’s and you, Year 9, will be following in the footsteps of talented individuals who have gone on to achieve remarkable feats while at school. You are all full of potential and brimming with talent and we expect you will show the dedication and hard work required over the next two years to turn that potential in to reality.
Parents, much has changed nationally over the last few years and therefore I hope this booklet is helpful for you to understand those changes. In 2017 the government began reforming the content and assessment style for the GCSEs schools can offer. Qualifications are now more likely to be assessed with terminal exams at the end of Year 11 and coursework, in many subjects, contributes much less in formulating a grade. GCSEs grades have also changed and numeric grades are given from 9-1, with 9 being the best. There is much to find out about in each subject and you should ask questions not only about what the course covers and what careers the subject supports but also, how students will be assessed over the two years and what resources are available to support each student with their learning.
Increasingly, Sixth Forms, employers, Universities, Colleges and apprenticeships are requiring students to have a broad range of academic qualifications and so students must consider that when making choices; whilst at A Level and beyond you will be able to concentrate on just a few subjects, at GCSE you will study around 9. At St. Benedict’s all students study the core subjects of Mathematics, English Language, English Literature, Religious Studies, Separate or Combined Science, PE (non-exam) and PSHEE in Years 10 and 11. The three options choices you study sit alongside the core subjects to make up your tailored curriculum. For the majority of students the English Baccalaureate will be important: this is the Government’s recognition of pupils who achieve top grades in English, Mathematics, two Sciences, a Language, and either History or Geography.
Wherever possible students should choose subjects that they enjoy, and subjects in which they can find success. Your Edulink AP1 reports and teachers will be able to provide you with some of the information to help you with this. Students, if you have a particular career in mind after you leave school, you must choose the subjects that will help you. Consider how each course is assessed and whether this plays to your strengths. However, you must be aware that it may not be possible to put some combinations on the timetable: there are limits to the number of rooms and teachers available at any one time.
Above all, partnerships between students, parents and teachers will be the key factor in future successes. We will expect students to work hard. There will be times when you find the work difficult but always remember that your teachers are there to help and guide you. Listen to their advice. By working together you will achieve the success that we all want for you.
Finally, remember that Key Stage 4 is not the final obstacle to be negotiated. At St. Benedict's we believe that all our students will benefit from further study and our Sixth Form is where our students achieve best after their GCSEs. We have a huge range of courses to cater for all abilities and these GCSEs will, I hope, be the start of your next 4 years at St. Benedict’s.
Please follow the link below to submit your option choices once you have read, listened to and watched the guidance provided. Any options choices that are submitted that do not follow the guidance described in the options booklet or presentation will not be accepted.
Options Subjects Presentations
French & Spanish