Year 9 Options

Well done!  You have come this far in your education and you are about to choose some of the subjects that you want to study for the next two years. The process of selection needs a lot of thought, care and discussion with all sorts of people who are ready and willing to help. The courses that students follow will lead to Level 2, GCSE or BTEC/CNAT qualifications with grades 9 – 1 (9 being the top grade).

Choosing the right courses to ensure that you both succeed and have some challenge in your work is very important. All courses will have some form of examination, some will have a controlled assessment element, and others will be assessed entirely on a final examination, so choosing the right type of course for you is important.

Is anything compulsory?

There are some courses that all of you have to follow and can’t opt out of doing. These are English Language, English Literature, Maths, Combined Science (unless separate science is chosen as an option), PE and Individual Development (ID). The groupings for these courses will be based on your progress and predicted grades at the end of Year 9 in the core subjects. These will be based on internal test results as well as teacher assessments.  After that, there is a range of subject choice to fill the remaining hours of school time, but there are a few limitations as well.

The government have promoted the importance of the English Baccalaureate subjects (History, Geography, French/German, Combined Science or Computer Science) and have emphasised their importance with employers, colleges and universities. At Idsall School we look at this in a positive way and see it as in the best interests for the future prospects for our students.  Research shows that these subjects also happen to be the ones most regularly asked for by college and university courses.  We have the ambition for more of our students to go to ‘top universities’ and the EBacc suite of subjects is recommended by these universities. The EBacc subject combination gives a broad base that doesn’t restrict, but will allow more opportunities at 16 and 18 when students make further choices.

We continue to offer a wide range of subjects to compliment the EBacc core; including Art, Business, Health & Social Care, Computer Science, Drama, Food & Nutrition, ICT, Music, PE and Sport, Product Design / Textiles, RE, Separate Sciences, and Construction.

A key point to consider for all students will be progression on to post-16 education or training. To give you a head start in finding places for the next stage of your educational career, getting GCSE passes at Grade 4 or above in English and Maths will be an important goal.

The Construction course will take up two option blocks and will be taught on one whole day.

The courses you finally choose will be challenging and interesting, but give you the opportunity to get the best possible grades in the exams so that your choices after Year 11 are as wide as possible.

Aspects of Personal and Social Education, Religious Education and Careers will also be compulsory and all students will study these within their Individual Development course. All students are expected to do core PE where all students will have the opportunity to demonstrate leadership skills.

Students will be given extensive individual advice about the courses and levels that are appropriate for them; courses which will help them to achieve further success in education and employment. We do our best to provide the preferred combinations of subjects for all students, but for various reasons this is not always possible and the final decision about the options taken must rest with the school.

Due to the current restrictions due to COVID-19 we are unable to run our usual face-to-face evenings for parents and students.  Instead we have put together a range of support meetings on-line (via Microsoft Teams) for parents and students to attend.

Monday 18th January – 6pm: Parental Support Meeting – Careers & Options
Mrs Kendall will be giving a presentation and workshop to give support when making career choices. Click here for a link to the presentation, videos and PDFs.

Thursday 21st January – 6pm: Parental Support Meeting – Idsall School Options
Mr Crichton will be giving a presentation on the Options process and ‘launching’ the website and downloadable resources to help you make your choice of which subjects to study. Click here for a link to the presentation.

Thursday 4th February – 4pm – 7pm: Y9 Parents Evening
This will use the on-line Parents Evening System where you will be able to book appointments with your child’s subject teacher and then log in for a face-to-face meeting with them.

Monday 25th January – Friday 12th February – 1.30pm – 2pm each day
Students will have access to each subject leader for a Q&A drop-in session each lunchtime.  A timetable and invitations will be sent out to all Y9 students.

Tuesday 26th January – Friday 12th February – 8.40am – 9.00am each day
Students will be invited to a one-to-one meeting with their form tutor.  Here they will have the opportunity to discuss careers and aspirations; given guidance on how to research careers and subject choices and encouraged to complete their option choices by the deadline of Friday 26th February.

The following links to our downloadable Year 9 Options booklet, form and website will be available from Thursday 21st January following the on-line presentation.

You will also be able to follow the links on our school website to an online version of this booklet and course guides for each subject being offered.  This will also give access to our Virtual Careers Fair where you will be able to gain insights into careers with local and national employers.

If you have any queries, please contact: Mr B Fisher (Year 9 Learning Manager), email:

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