Making curriculum choices in Year 9 is a very important part of your time in school. It is an opportunity for you to take control of your education and shape the way you want your future to be. The options you choose for Years 10 and 11 will affect how you spend your time at school for the next two years. The choices you make may also influence what course or job you decide to do after Year 11. This following pages will help you choose the courses that you will follow for the next two years at Farnborough Spencer Academy.
It is important that the choices that you make are right for YOU.
You need to use this information and advice that you are given by your teachers and parents. Think about the subjects that you are good at and enjoy studying. Listen to the advice that you have been given and make sensible, well thought out decisions.
Students often change their minds about their future careers so keep your options open. Choose a wide range of subjects so that, whatever career you go for, your qualifications will help you. This is especially important for students who, at this stage, have no clear idea about what they want to do in the future.
Decide what you want to do, not what your friends want to do.
Make sure you understand about the different courses on offer. Do you know the difference between a GCSE, BTEC and Technical Award? Do you understand the options form you will complete? Do you know what career you wish to follow? When you are 16 do you want to do A levels, a college course or apprenticeship?
Hopefully you know the answer to most of these questions and the others will be answered over the next week. This means that when you send in your option form the choices you have made will be as a result of a lot of thought and discussion with people who know you well.
It is important that at the end of the process you can look forward to starting Y10 with confidence, knowing you are following a course which will enable you to succeed in gaining the right qualifications to access your next steps in education or training.
Some Do’s and Don’ts
|Talk to your teachers and family about your options – they know you best and they are there to help you.||Don’t choose a particular subject because you like a particular teacher.|
|Opt for a balanced choice to keep open future careers and study options.||Choose a subject just because your friends are choosing it. You need to decide about your future.|
|Choose subjects you are interested in and keen to learn more about.||Dismiss certain subjects because you have not heard of them before or they are not GCSE.|
|Think about what you want to do after your GCSEs.||Think university is not for you. Have high aspirations.|
What will be on my timetable in Years 10 and 11?
1 x Ebacc subject
2 x GCSE / vocational alternatives (can include another Ebacc subject)
Where can I find information about each subject?
It is really important that you have read the information and listened to a short video by each subject leader before making your choices. Please click on the links below to find out more information about each option:
- GCSE Maths
- GCSE English Language
- GCSE English Literature
- GCSE Science
- GCSE Geography
- GCSE History
- GCSE Computer Science
- GCSE French
- GCSE Art
- GCSE RE
- GCSE Photography
- BTEC Business and Enterprise
- BTEC Sport
- BTEC Music
- BTEC Performing Arts
- BTEC Travel and Tourism
- Child Development
- Creative iMedia
- Hospitality and Catering
- Engineering Design
At least one of your options choices has to be an English Baccalaureate (Ebacc) subject. These are: History, Geography, French or Computer Science. At Farnborough Spencer Academy we believe that our students should study a broad and balanced curriculum that includes at least one of the subjects from this list.
Everybody studies English, Mathematics, Science, and will have one period of Physical Education (PE) per week. You will get two GCSE grades for your English studies; English Language and English Literature and two for science unless you study triple science which is 3 separate GCSEs in Biology, Chemistry and Physics.
Technical Awards / BTEC
These are vocational courses that have been approved by the Department for Education and are equivalent to GCSE grades 4 – 8.5 (level 2) and GCSE grades 1- 3 (level 1). These courses allow students to gain recognition for their practical skills.
With some subjects we will only be able to offer a limited number of teaching groups. If too many students opt for these courses then we will have to discuss alternative choices. Also some courses may not run because too few students have opted for it. It is therefore essential that you select courses in your reserve list that you are happy to follow and that you think carefully about your order of preference.
How do I make my Options choices?
Choose one subject from Option Block A
Choose two subjects from Option Block B
You need to select one reserve subject from option block A, and two reserve subjects from B. It is important that you would be happy to follow any of the courses selected. You will only be able to select the technology subjects that you have studied in Year 9.
Option A (choose 1 option and 1 reserve)
Option B (choose 2 options and 2 reserves)
|GCSE Geography||GCSE Geography|
|GCSE History||GCSE History|
|GCSE Computer Science||GCSE Computer Science|
|GCSE French||GCSE French|
|BTEC Business Enterprise|
|BTEC Performing Arts|
|BTEC Travel and Tourism|
|Hospitality and Catering|
You will be given a separate google form to fill out your options choices. This form will show the recommended subject choices for your pathway.
Don’t be afraid to ask your Head of Year, tutor, subject teachers, Head of Faculty or Head of Subject if you have any questions about your options choices. The names of the Subject Leaders and Heads of Faculty are given here.
The Unifrog platform is designed to support learners in making the most informed decisions about their futures and has a range of tools that are suitable for all year groups. Each student has their own personal account that provides a wide range of information related to their interests and aspirations.
- An introduction for parents is available here.
- Parent login here. You will require the code: ACJWparents
- Student login here.
- If you have signed up already, you will be able to sign in using your school email address and the password you created previously.
- If you have not signed up yet, a new welcome email has been sent to your school email. You must use your school email address when signing up. Sometimes these emails can end up in span or junk folders so please check here.
- Unifrog task for students which supports option choices here.
Your options choices are very important
- Read the information carefully on the website
- Listen to advice from all of your teachers
- Discuss it with your parents
- Attend the Live Options Evening Presentation with your parents/carers
- Any queries about the option process please email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Attend your 1:1 meeting with your SLT member
Important dates 2020/21
- Year 9 Options Live presentation to parents followed by Q&A : Thursday 4th February 6pm (Year 9 Google Classroom)
- Information live on Website: Thursday 4th February
- Google forms sent to parents: Friday 5th February
- Virtual 1:1 meetings with SLT to discuss thoughts around choices: Week Beginning Monday 22nd February – Times will be allocated.
- Deadline for Year 9 Options choices : Friday 26th February.
Please submit your child’s options form via Microsoft Forms. The form will be available from Friday 5th February and the deadline for submissions is Friday 26th February.