Free Choice Subjects
Introduction to Options
All students at GCSE study the following core, compulsory subjects:
- English Language and Literature (taught as ‘English’ – 9 hours per fortnight)
- Mathematics (8 hours per fortnight)
- Science: Double Award (9 hours per fortnight)
In addition to the above, all students have to study Citizenship, Sex and Health Education, Personal Development, Religious Education alongside Careers Information & Guidance (CIAG). This content is delivered through a series of Student Enrichment Days.
The option process:
Within this booklet, you will find information about the two different Pathways available to you as you head into Year 10, along with information about the optional subjects and your option form. Those students who have been recommended to follow Pathway 1 will have received a letter informing them of this. These recommendations have been based on your child’s work throughout Key Stage 3, and the opinions of your Subject Teachers.
You are required to study specific subjects in order to ensure you achieve “8 qualifying subjects”. All available options meet these requirements.
Please note that some subjects have very specific entry requirements, which are detailed on each page. If you are unsure about any of these requirements, or any of the information within each subject, please speak directly to a member of staff within that department.
Pathway 1The English Baccalaureate (EBACC.)
Pathway 2The Academic Route
Those students that have been recommended to
follow the EBACC route have been chosen based
upon their academic performance over the last
three years. It is expected that these students
will study either History or Geography AND a
language alongside two other subjects. This will
enable a clear pathway for academic study that will
support them through their educational journey.
|This route is encouraged for the majority of students to follow. This pathway ensures students have the correct combination of subjects to complete for Sixth Form/college places. Students will still need to study one of the following: Geography, History or a Language along with a combination of three additional academic and vocational subject choices. Students allocated to Pathway 2 who would like to follow Pathway 1 are welcome to do so.|
Think about what you might do after Year 11. Most of you will continue in Further Education or go onto training schemes. How will the subjects you choose now help you in the future?
Spend time finding out about each subject. What topics are studied? What learning experiences are there? What does the work involve?
Who can you talk to?
You can talk to; Form tutors, Subject teachers, members of the School Leadership Team, Mrs L Edge Connexions.
Do’s and Don’ts
There are some golden rules when making option choices:
DON’T pick a subject because…
A friend is doing it; you may be in different groups, it might be good for your friend but not for you
You think it is easy - all subjects involve hard work
You like the teacher - you might be taught by a different teacher
It’s new - new subjects are likely to be just as challenging as those you have studied previously.
Let someone else make up your mind for you - you have to live with the decision so get it right!
Your parents say they would have liked to have done it – they are not you!
DO pick a subject because…
Your Progress Report tells you that you are on target
You get good results in the subject
You enjoy the subject
You find the subject interesting
You have found out that it is essential for your future career.
Making your choices – FAQs
Listed below are some of the most frequently asked questions by our students and their parents; the answers to which may help you in making sensible choices: -
Do I need to choose option subjects based on what I want to do when I leave school?
No! The core subjects (Maths, English, Science and PE, PSHE/Citizenship) give the variety and breadth required for a wide range of careers. Remember, that as you mature and have different life experiences, you might change your mind as to what you wish to do anyway. If you have no idea what you would like to do in the future, it might be an idea to speak to our school careers’ officer, Mrs Edge.
What happens if I don’t like a subject after I have been doing it for a few weeks?
At Phoenix we try to provide you with plenty of advice and guidance so that you make the right decision. All your teachers are always willing to speak with you personally to make sure that you make that decision.
How can I advise my child when I know so little about today’s courses and careers?
Obviously, as their parent you know your son/daughter better than anyone and so you are in the best position to advise them, even if you aren’t familiar with the rapidly changing world of education. The information in this booklet will help you.
What is the English Baccalaureate?
The government believes that it is important to recognise students’ achievements across a core of selected academic subjects. The English Baccalaureate will cover achievement in English, Mathematics, Science, Modern Foreign Languages, Computer Science, History and Geography. For more information please see our website.
What are BTEC qualifications?
BTECs are vocational courses introducing you to the skills needed for work in a particular area. They are valuable to you if you have a particular career in mind but are also helpful even if you are unlikely to work in the area in question. This is because they provide you with the opportunity to develop the skills needed for adult life. Recently, the government has sought to restrict the number of BTEC courses any one student may follow.
What happens after Year 11?
When you have successfully completed your qualifications at Key Stage Four, you will be ready to move on to the next level. Those students obtaining five or more good GCSE grades, including English and Maths, will progress to Level 3 Advanced Level study. The Phoenix Collegiate has a large and extremely successful Sixth Form, which offers our young people the opportunity to follow a range of options, suited to their individual needs.