KS4 Options Choices Guide
The following pages are designed to help you understand the process to make your Key Stage 4 subject choices and the range of subjects available.
In Key Stage 3 (Years 7&8), all students study essentially the same subjects determined by the national curriculum. During Key Stage 4 (Years 9-11), there is a shift towards a more flexible model where students are given the opportunity to select some of their courses to begin to tailor their education for future needs in further education or training.
You will be aware that the age of participation has recently been increased. This means that children will need to be in either full-time education, an apprenticeship, or part-time education or training up until they are 18. We advise that you plan for the whole of that time, not just the next three years. Make sure to keep career options open by choosing a broad range of subjects. The English Baccalaureate (Ebacc) is a useful starting point. To achieve the EBacc students must study at least seven GCSEs in the five areas: English language, English literature, maths, double science or biology, chemistry and physics, history or geography and a language.
Students should play to their strengths and choose subjects they are good at and enjoy. Choosing a subject because their friends have, or because they like their current teacher, is not likely to lead to success.
Below we outline each of the subjects on offer at KWS. Please use the links to explore and research each subject to support your decision. The option subjects provide a video to support further. But first we ask you to watch the introductory video at the top of this page.
All students at Key Stage 4 follow a “core” curriculum of Maths, English language, English Literature, Science, PE, PRE (Philosophy, Religion and Ethics), PSHCE (including the statutory elements of Careers Education & Guidance, Personal, Social, Health & Citizenship Education).
- GCSE English Language
- GCSE English Literature
- GCSE Maths
- GCSE Science (Combined & Triple)
- GCSE PRE (Philosophy, Religion and Ethics)
- Core Physical Education (PE) – All students will participate in 2 core lessons of PE each week.
Students will choose three additional courses from those outlined below. We will then do our best to timetable these choices, it is not always possible to timetable every combination and so some students may be asked to make an alternative choice. Similarly, if too many or too few students choose a particular course, an alternative choice may also be required.
Option subject 1
The government introduced the EBacc as a performance measure in 2010. It is not a qualification in itself but instead recognises where students have achieved a good pass across a set of traditional academic subjects. Secondary schools are measured on the number of pupils that take GCSEs in these core subjects. Schools are also measured on how well their pupils do in the EBacc subjects. To ensure students have a broad academic curriculum the first option subject must be chosen from the following;
Option subject 2 and 3
Options subject 2 and 3 can then be made from any combination of the remaining EBacc subjects and all our other subject offers. As outlined below;
- GCSE Art: Fine Art*
- GCSE Art: Graphics*
- GCSE Art: 3D Product Design*
- GCSE Business
- GCSE Computing
- GCSE Drama
- GCSE Food and Nutrition
- GCSE Geography
- GCSE History
- GCSE Mandarin
- GCSE Media
- GCSE Music
- GCSE PE
- GCSE Spanish
* Students are unable to study more than one Art based course and must only select one as an option. Making your choices
Details on how to enter your options choices where sent in an email on the 1st February 2021 to both Students and Parents. Options Choices are to be made by Monday 22nd February 2021.
A guide on how to enter options choices is available below.
Options drop in week will commence on Monday 8th February. You will receive details on how to book an appointment with Subject Teachers to discuss options choices shortly.
Communicate with your teachers. Send an email.
Website written by the Careers Writers Association for Parents and Carers, or those supporting young people with their future decisions
YCH Services for Young People is part of Hertfordshire County Council and provides youth work projects, information, advice, guidance, work related learning and wider support for young people.
UCAS website allows you to research future possible university courses to determine entry requirements.