GCSE Options by Year 9 Journalists

Year 9 students have recently had to focus and explore the daunting, yet exciting, task of considering their GCSE option choices for next year, albeit in a different format than before.

The following articles are written by our Year 9 student journalists on how they anticipate this experience to be.

Making Choices – Katherine S 9J

In the months to come all Year 9 students have the tricky decision of choosing their GCSEs. An assembly was sent home outlining the main aspects and checkpoints of this system. Mr Thompson was very clear about how it will go ahead virtually and we will still be able to complete it normally without much fuss. The first step is looking at assemblies made by the different departments outlining the key things like coursework, topics, and setup of the tests, as it is different in each subject. Then the students choose which subjects they are weighing up and have a good look at the boxes. In the assembly we were showed the boxes and for most people this was a relief. They can choose the subjects they want. The basic concept is that there are four boxes with lots of subjects in them and you choose one subject from each box. Sounds simple and is simple, but if the subjects you want don’t work together then you have to figure out a new solution. Then, following your first look, you discuss your choices with either Mr Thompson, Miss Ridge or your Head of Year. They will decide if these subjects are things you will strive in and if you should challenge yourself more. Lastly, you make the final decision and wait for the timetable to kick in. This is a very challenging decision and will require patience and attention from the students, parents and guardians, and the teachers. For lots of people it is probably nerve-wracking and they need extra support, which is why every student gets a meeting so they can freely discuss what is going to happen. Just remember the student line is always open and no one should feel the need to hide their concerns. Good luck Year 9 students!

Selecting our GCSEs – By Ayush P 9G

This time of year is when Year 9 select their GCSE subjects. Although the process will be similar to the previous years, it will feel very different due to home-schooling in this period of lockdown. We are all excited to be choosing subjects we study, but there is also a sense of anxiety and nervousness throughout this time. We would normally have conversations with our teachers face-to-face, however, this year the school have planned to hold these events virtually due to the pandemic.

This year’s process will work as follows:

  • In January/February 2021 Year 9 students will have subject talks with subject leaders
  • Then on the 12th February 2021 students would have received their options booklet
  • Following that on the 24th February there will be a Year 9 options evening which will be held virtually
  • In February/March students will have a guidance meeting with a senior member of staff
  • 12th March 2021 is the deadline of submitting the option forms
  • Finally, in April 2021 our options will be finalised and timetabled

Then begins the hard work to success!

There will be much advice given by members of staff, and there will be a lot of support from teachers and members of the school community. When we think of GCSEs, we always think of hard work, stress and exams. But we can also have fun because as for once in our education we are choosing which subjects to learn, which will, hopefully, be the subjects that we enjoy. I am nervous for all the tests and hard work that is to come, but it is also quite an exciting time. So, wish us all the best for the next two years of hard work and great success!