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St Benedict's Catholic School

St Benedict's
Catholic School

Year 9 Options (GCSE)

This is an exciting time for our Year 9 students, when they select the option subjects that they would like to continue to study at GCSE. This booklet contains important information about each of the option subjects, which will help our Year 9 students to make the most informed decisions regarding their option choices.

The booklet not only contains details of the GCSE option subjects, but also the core subjects that students in Year 10 and 11 will continue to study. These subjects are English Language and English Literature, Mathematics, Science (Double Award or Triple Award) and Religious Education. Students will also continue to take general PE and Personal, Social, Health & Economic Education (PSHE), alongside some aspects of Computing and Citizenship.

Students at St Benedict’s will select three option subjects and though there are always constraints when options are decided, we will try to make sure that most combinations of subjects are available, so as to satisfy as many students as possible. If any subject is oversubscribed, we do however, reserve the right to allocate available choices in a fair and equitable way.

When selecting option subjects there are certain things that students should bear in mind in helping them to make a decision:

  • Do they enjoy the subject and are therefore motivated to do well in it?
  • Are they good at the subject?  The Year 9 interim reports and parents evening are a good source of information on reaching a judgement on this, as well as previous reports and parents evenings.
  • What are their post-16 plans?  Choices made now may affect these plans, thus it is worth thinking of the years between age 14 and 19 as a continuous phase in a student’s life. Subjects should fit in as far as possible with future career choices.
  • Think about trying to select options that will provide a broad and balanced curriculum, whilst at the same time ensuring that the study of certain academic subjects which form part of the English Baccalaureate continues. Our expectation is that most students should select at least one of these “EBacc” subjects: History; Geography; French; Spanish; Computer Science.

Students who require additional support in English and Mathematics will be invited to take Key Skills. This will take the place of one option choice but will provide them with the additional support needed to ensure that they achieve the best possible outcomes in both English and Mathematics, which are extremely important GCSEs. Students will work in small groups and will be supported by Learning Support Assistants in Key Skills, with both the English and Mathematics department coordinating the content and skills that the students work on.

I am sure that you will want to consider these choices carefully and discuss them as a family following the Year 9 Options Evening on Thursday 11th January. However, we do ask that you complete your options choice form and return it to reception by Wednesday 21st February. You will receive the options choice form at the Year 9 Options Evening. We then aim to send you confirmation of your option choices shortly after the Easter holidays

Please do not hesitate to contact me for any further guidance.

Jonathan Croucher
Assistant Headteacher