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Year 9 Options

Year 9 options

Year 9 is an important year for all students, at the end of the year students will conclude their Key Stage 3 (KS3) studies and graduate onto Key Stage 4 (KS4). In KS4 students will have some choices around which subjects they choose to study. We have designed our options process to ensure that students continue to access a broad and balanced curriculum which gives them the very best footing for post-16 provision. For the majority of our students, we will be providing a pathway which includes the English Baccalaureate (EBacc).  The EBacc is not a qualification in its own right – it’s a combination of GCSE subjects, including a language, that offer an important range of knowledge and skills to young people. While your child may not have decided on their future career path yet, studying an EBacc pathway at GCSE gives them access to a full range of employment options when they leave secondary school and the broad knowledge that employers are looking for. Following COVID, competition for post-16 places is fiercer than ever and we aim to give the students at Whitcliffe Mount the best possible chance of securing their first choice in future studies and training opportunities. Additionally, if students are thinking of going on to university, the EBacc is also recognised and recommended by most universities.    

We are privileged to be able to offer a range of pathways which cater to our students needs and promote their academic success through both GCSE and vocational courses. All of the pathways on offer will cover the core curriculum consisting of:    

  • English Language & Literature  

  • Mathematics​  

  • Science   

  • PACE (PSHCSE/ Careers)​  

  • Physical Education​  

  In addition to the core curriculum the pathways will offer students some choice from a selection of subjects. The pathways are as follows:  

Students will be allocated the pathway which is most suitable for their individual needs and which will provide them with the best chance at success post 16. Pathways will be allocated based on our full knowledge of the students and their prior assessment data. Once pathways have been allocated, we do not expect there to be movement between pathways.  

 When students are able to make an open choice, they will have a choice of a range of subjects including both GCSE and vocational courses. To ensure students are able to keep up with the coursework demands of vocational subjects it will not be possible to choose more than two vocational courses. Some courses will have limited numbers and as such places on these courses are competitive. Students, prior behaviour, attendance and attitude to learning data may be taken into account when determining places on these courses so it is essential your child continues to arrive at school every day, on time and ready to learn.   


Example Options Timeline 

Student Interviews-  HT4

All students within year 9 will complete a 10-minute interview during their school day with a member of the senior leadership team. This will allow them to understand and clarify their pathway and options choices prior to deciding on their final qualification preferences.    

Options Evening 6-8pm- 7th March 2024*

This is a very important and informative evening and is vital you attend with your child(ren) to enable them to make the correct option choices. 

Options Online Registration - HT4

Within form time following options evening every student will be allocated support to register on SIMs Online. This is the online software used for students to request their choices. Once registered, they can then submit their choices through the school website.  

Please see the example Options Booklet below for Y9 Options 2023












*dates are subject to change