Year 9 Options

An introduction to our Options process.
A Note from the Principal

Dear Student,

In Key Stage 4 all students will follow a course of study in the core subjects of Maths, English, Science, PE, RE and PSHE. PSHE and core active PE are non-examined courses. Our GSA curriculum is relevant, broad and balanced. We will do our very best to ensure that your option courses are enjoyable, purposeful and designed to make sure that you achieve your potential. Your teachers will challenge you to attain the very best standards and will support you every step of the way.

All of our Key Stage 4 choices are worthwhile, leading to qualifications of real merit. Whatever course you choose will involve additional work outside of the classroom. Given 100% effort you will do well and achieve highly. Regular attendance is crucial to your success. Research has shown that if attendance is less than 95% you are likely to miss the high grades that you are capable of and will struggle to complete all the course requirements.

You will grow as a student as you complete your Key Stage 4 courses. You will become better organised, more independent, talk at length with greater confidence and much more. Please remember to nurture good study skills and discuss your work with your parents who need to offer just as much support the older you get as they did when you first started school.

We want you to enjoy learning and choose courses that match your experience, interest and ambitions. I urge you to think carefully about your options and discuss them with parents, family and teachers. I hope that you appreciate the wide variety of options available and will choose wisely.

Mr A Price

It is important that you enjoy learning. We want you to select courses that you find interesting, play to your strengths and develop your skills. You should consider carefully how these choices would affect your future at GSA and beyond. Many courses are also offered in our post-16 curriculum at A Level and Level 3.

There are two Key Stage 4 curriculum pathways; you will be guided onto one of these based on your academic performance in Key Stage 3 (Years 7, 8 and 9). Students who have provisionally been signposted to the Triple Science pathway will be informed before making their option choices. This pathway remains open to change depending upon performance in assessments in Year 9. The different pathways are designed to give every student the best possible chance of success in KS4. All pathways allow access to the English Baccalaureate.

Triple Science Pathway:

  • The Core Curriculum subjects Maths, English, Science, PE and RE will provide you with a broad and balanced subject base.
  • In this pathway you will select to study the three separate sciences; Biology, Chemistry and Physics (triple science).
  • The next decision will be whether to study Geography or History. You can study both by selecting the other as an option.
  • The last decision will be one subject from the list available in this booklet.

Trilogy (double science) Science Pathway:

  • If you are on this pathway, you will study Trilogy Science at GCSE. This counts as a double award and students will receive two separate GCSE grades.
  • The Core Curriculum subjects Maths, English, Science, PE and RE will provide you with a broad and balanced subject base.
  • You will also have to decide between Geography and History. You can study both by selecting the other as an option.
  • You will then have three options to decide on from those listed in the booklet.

When considering your option choices, choose subjects that you like and are good at. Think about how your choices will affect your future career. Try not to let the choices made by your friends influence yours. Study the subject information that follows carefully and be sure to understand what you are taking on. Discuss your options with your parents/carers and teachers to make sure you are making the right decisions. You and your parents/carers can request an interview to finalise your choices if necessary. Once you have made your final choices complete the option form and return to your form tutor.

Whilst the Academy endeavours to provide all students with their first choice of options, this is not always possible for a number of reasons including, staffing constraints and demand for subjects. For this reason, we request that students make a reserve choice.