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Debenham High School

Debenham High School

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Year 9 Options

 

Dear Pupils and Parents/Carers,

This term we begin talking to Year 9 pupils about the subjects they are interested in studying at Key Stage 4, and which will be examined during Years 10 and 11. Certain subjects such as English, Maths, Science, RE, PE and PSHE are compulsory, the rest are optional. As you may be aware, in the last two years the curriculum has changed, with new GCSE courses and assessment. Many of the new GCSEs have increased in volume of content as well as changing the nature of the final assessment (with less on-going controlled assessment, and more final written examinations). As you will also be aware the importance of achieving a good grade in English and Maths is becoming ever more critical, students that fail to achieve their potential in these subjects are at risk of limiting their future career options. In order to give pupils the best possible chance to succeed we are increasing the provision of core subjects in Years 10 and 11. The result of this will be that pupils will be asked to make three options choices, where historically they have made four choices. To ensure pupils are still able to access the same number of GCSE qualifications full course RE will now be part of the core offer for all students. We do believe that in order for pupils to give themselves the best possible chance in the future colleges and employers will want to see a broad and balanced selection of subjects. With this in mind, we would recommend that all pupils choose at least one from Geography, History, French, Spanish and Computer Science.

The process of choosing lasts about three months and will culminate in them making their choices by the end of the Spring Term 2017. I will speak to the Year group on three occasions. I spoke to them for the first time today when I outlined the process and asked them to start to think about their strengths and interests in the subjects on offer. Pupils then undertook an initial-awareness raising task. The feedback from this task will help to construct option blocks that best meet the needs of this year group. The second time I will be emphasising the choosing of a broad and balanced curriculum, and the third time we will look at the effect that subject option boxes have on their final combination of subjects. At each of these points we will ask them to let us know how their thinking is developing and we try to answer any questions they have. The subjects being offered may change throughout the process depending upon their popularity, should a subject fail to attract enough students it may be removed from the offer.

An Options Booklet is published in the Spring Term and will be given to pupils to bring home. The booklet will contain advice on how to choose, details of all the courses available and a form to complete once choices have been made. This booklet will assist pupils and parents in their choosing as will the pupil’s Year 9 Report, to be distributed on Friday 7th March. There will be an opportunity for parents and pupils to discuss options with teaching staff at Options Evening which will take place on Wednesday 21st February, this will include a short presentation to parents explaining the process followed by an opportunity to meet Heads of Subject and find out more about the courses on offer.

The pupil choices form must be returned to the School Office by Monday 19th March, when all choices will be collated and teaching groups formed.

If you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact me.

Yours sincerely

           

Miss S. McBurney
Assistant Headteacher

PDF icon  Year 9 Options Booklet