Year 9 Options

Overview of the curriculum offer:

Welcome to the Options process for Year 9. This is always an exciting and important time for students as they make decisions about the subjects they wish to study for the next two years, and often beyond. At Winterstoke Hundred Academy, we actively seek to provide the breadth and choice that students desire, within a framework of educational balance to enable our students to achieve the best possible range of qualifications in meeting their future aspirations. Students should follow the route that is best for them, and all will be given appropriate careers advice to help them make the right choice.

Across Year 10 and 11, all students will follow a core curriculum which consists of English Language, English Literature, Maths, Combined Science (two GCSEs but all three sciences studied), Physical Education (Core PE) and Personal Education (PSHE).

Students can then select up to four additional subjects to study at KS4, as outlined in the guided choices bellow. They should choose carefully, considering aptitude, enjoyment and future job or course requirements. However, one of their four choices must include a subject from the four below which encourages students to maintain a broad and balanced curriculum to the age of 16:

  • GCSE Spanish
  • GCSE French
  • GCSE History
  • GCSE Geography
  • GCSE Computer Science
  • GCSE Triple Science

This means that student’s study nine subjects in total. This is summarised in the diagram below.

University pathway:

It is important to point out that for students whose aim is to apply to university, especially for competitive courses, our advice is to study both Spanish and one of the other three choices above (History, Geography or Computer Science) because having a modern foreign language shows universities that students have an aptitude for learning and language skills can give a significant advantage to students as well as giving them links to another culture.

Science – separate or combined?

Students who are keen to pursue the study of science in more depth can also choose to study Triple Science – which would be another one of their four option choices. The key difference from Combined Science (two GCSEs) is that they gain three GCSEs – one in each Science and so this takes more curriculum time across the week. If your child is in doubt about whether this would be the right route for them, they can speak with their science teacher.

Student voice

Before constructing the timetable for students and the options they can choose we carry out student voice to allow us to construct this in a way that maximises the opportunities available to students and minimise clashes. This enables the vast majority of students to get their chosen options each year. We anticipate being able to meet the needs of the vast majority of our students’ requirements, however we do reserve the right to make the final decision on choice, depending on timetable and staffing constraints or should low numbers preclude us running a particular course. We will keep you fully informed of any changes as we move through this important process.

Advice and Guidance:

Advice to students and guidance about the subjects relating to their future plans are an important aspect of the process and across Term 3 and 4, all Year 9 students will have access to a range of opportunities to guide their decisions including tutor discussions and  assemblies. Each student will have an individual conversation to help them in deciding the most appropriate courses to study. Throughout Year 9, they will all also have the opportunity to meet with our career advisor to discuss their future aspirations and to start to consider what their next steps might be.

Year 9 Parents evening

In February there will be a subject progress evening this will give you the opportunity to speak to your child’s teachers to get advice on the right subjects for them.

Option Evening 

In April, the Options evening will also provide a useful overview of the process and will give you a chance to ask any questions about the process to SLT.  This will run as a drop-in session from 15:30-17:30 and there will be a talk at 16:30 which will be repeated at 17:30 to go through the process in more detail.

Finally, please remember that it is the quality of outcomes and enjoyment of the subject that really matters. The aim of education remains to provide the necessary skills and knowledge that young people need for the future, whilst encouraging them to be lifelong learners. If you have any questions or concerns about the options process, please do not hesitate to contact us with the subject line as Year 9 Options.

Please find all the information you will need to support your child in making their option choices for their GCSE courses.

WHA Guided Choices Booklet

Year  9 Options ProcessTime Frame
Introduction Assemblyw.c.4th March 2024
Options Student Voice (forms)w.c.4th March 2024
Options fortnight – info in lessons and bookletsw.c.4th March 2024
Year 9 Parents Evening1st February 2024
Year 9 Options info evening 18th April 2024
Year 9 CLF Raising Aspirations DayTBC
Complete Options Form Online in Schoolw.c. 6th May 2024
Begin 1 to 1 meetings with SLT6th May 2024
Option subjects allocated and alterations made if necessaryEnd of May 2024
Options letter confirming choicesJuly 2024

Year 9 Options