Year 9 Options (GCSE)
Welcome to the Year 9 Options Evening 2020 here at St Benedict’s. We hope you find the information included in this booklet and presented tonight valuable in taking the exciting step of choosing your subjects for Year 10 and 11. Key Stage 4 is the first opportunity for students to begin moulding their education into a selection of qualifications that is unique to them. Staff and Sixth formers are here to help you with that process and offer any guidance you may require to help with these important decisions.
The options for KS4 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, during Years 10 and 11, to achieve remarkable feats. Your year group is brimming with talent and ability 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. For example, coursework is no longer compulsory or so strongly weighted, and most subjects will be examined in final examinations at the end of Year 11. Not only that, but ‘grades’ will now be scored from 9-1, with 9 being the best.
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, Double or Triple 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 choose subjects that you enjoy, and subjects in which you can find success. Your reports and teachers will be able to help you with this. 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 accessed 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 KS4 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 GCSE. 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.
I wish you, students, every success in your studies.