Book Creator

Year 9 Options 2023

by David McQuillan

Pages 2 and 3 of 53

Year 9 Options
Meopham School

Key Information
Key Stage 4 Curriculum
Optional Subjects
GCSE Grading
The Pathways to Success
The Three Stages
The Core Subjects
Option Subjects
Next Steps
Key Information
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”  (Nelson Mandela)
“Parents can only give good advice or put them on the right paths, but the final forming of a person’s character lies in their own hands” (Anne Frank)
For the Student:
You are about to start out on an exciting stage in your education.  You now have the chance to make some decisions about your future by choosing some of the subjects that you wish to study in Years 10 and 11. Making this decision can be tough and it can be very confusing, so here are some simple ways to make it easier to make the right choice:

Try to choose subjects…….
that you think you will enjoy and feel you are good at;
that you may need for your future education and/or career;
that you are most likely to work enthusiastically and succeed at;
that provide a balance and variety. By keeping a balance at this stage, you will not close off future options.

For Parents/Carers:
I hope you find the information in this guide interesting, useful and accessible. While there are a core suite of subjects your son/daughter must study, they must now also consider the optional subjects that they will study.

The curriculum has undergone significant changes over recent years. Our aim is to provide a curriculum and a pathway to ‘future-proof’ your child against these changes, and to ensure that they are able to achieve their full potential, both in their education and future employment choices.

The Government are encouraging schools, pupils and parents, to follow a ‘traditional’ curriculum in Key Stage 4. That is to say, English, Maths, Science, a Language and a Humanities subject (Geography or History). This is called the EBacc qualification. We support this by offering all students the opportunity to study these Ebacc subjects and encourage all students to continue to take a language in Years 10 and 11.
Key Stage 4 - The Core
The Core curriculum that is studied by everyone:
At Meopham School we have a three year Key Stage 3 and a  two year Key Stage 4. We do, however, consider Year 9 to be a transitional year, so students will have already made their language choice, allowing them to engage with the curriculum by building the skills required at Key Stage 4, yet are still granted the teaching style and ‘buzz’ within lessons, that so clearly defines Key Stage 3 within our school.

This booklet describes, in detail, each element of the curriculum.

English Language and English Literature
All students will study GCSE English Language and GCSE English Literature

All students will study GCSE Mathematics 

Combined /Triple Science
All students will study Combined or Triple Science

Core PE
Students have two lessons per week of core PE. It continues many of the programmes of study from Years 7 and 8, such as Health-Related Fitness, but there is a wider choice of option activities during the three years. This subject is not examined.

PD and Philosophy/RE
Students will have one lesson of PD per week in Year 10 and 11 and one lesson of Philosophy/RE a week in Year 10. This will enable them to cover all of the statutory elements of the PSHE, RSE, Citizenship and RE National Curriculum. Students will be able to take a ‘Short course’ in RE worth half a GCSE at the end of Year 10.
Optional Subjects and Courses
There are a wide range of options to choose from
GCSE Subjects
These subjects follow a specification leading to final examinations.  Some will have a mixture of controlled assessment (coursework based) elements combined with exams while some will be assessed on exams alone.  These subjects are: Geography, History, French, Spanish, RE and Art. 

Vocational Subjects
BTEC courses are closely linked to vocational work and case studies. There is an element of external assessment. Nevertheless, at least 75% is internally assessed, with a maximum of 25% assessed externally. The internal assessment takes the form of regular controlled assessments, which must be completed on time throughout the course.  The BTEC subjects which we are currently offering are Health and Social Care, Sport, Music, Digital Information Technology, Enterprise, Hospitality and Catering and Performing Arts - in both Dance and Drama.

Pupils in Key Stage 4 will have careers guidance in a variety of ways, including through Advisories, assemblies, Drop Down Days and one-to-one interviews. Thought should be given now to potential careers the pupil may want to follow in the future. These thoughts can inform choices and set goals for achievement.

Most students will be advised to follow the additional EBacc subjects: French or Spanish, and Geography or History. This is detailed on the options form for each pupil.  However, all students will have the opportunity to opt for and study the EBacc.
GCSE Grading
A new GSCE grading system has been introduced
Qualification Grades
Grades have now changed from the traditional A*-G to a 9-1 scale.  Below is a conversion chart to illustrate the change from letter grades to number based grades.

BTEC courses follow a similar grading system as GCSE and result in Distinction*, Distinction, Merit or Pass, which are the equivalent of one GCSE pass.
Here are some useful weblinks you might want to explore:

National Career Service:
Higher Ideas:
Not going to uni:
Ready to Work Kent:
It is important to consider your future career aspirations when choosing your options.

Mrs Bishop is the school's independent careers advisor. She will be able to provide all of the advice, guidance and support you might need to make the right decisions for your future. Mrs Bishop runs a careers drop in on a Monday at Break and Lunchtime and can be found in her office on the ground floor next to the TAC office.

For further information, or to arrange meeting with Mrs Bishop, email:
"Careers of the future will not just be limited to those with a specific set of skills or knowledge – they will also involve creativity and critical thinking." (The British Council)
Pathways to Success
We want to ensure all students are able to to succeed.
Your assigned pathway will be stated on the top left of the options form you will be given at the Options evening event.

Pathways are assigned based on students prior attainment levels, outcomes from formal assessments, in-class assessments and teachers professional judgement.

Each pathway guides a pupils towards an appropriate mix of qualifications and choices to enable them to have the best chance at their next steps.