Choices at Key Stage 4
Refining your curriculum - defining your future
Head of Curriculum: Mrs M Windmill
Choosing from the options available to you for Key Stage 4 is an exciting time. This page is for all students in Year 9 (and their families), and offers guidance and advice for those selecting their Key Stage 4 qualifications from September.
What is Key Stage 4
Our two-year Key Stage 4 curriculum builds upon the rich literacy, numeracy and thinking skills our students acquire at Key Stage 3. The curriculum at Key Stage 4 is broad and balanced, with a strong focus on the EBacc subjects of English, Maths, Science, Humanities and Modern Foreign Languages.
All students at Key Stage 4 study Religious Education, English Literature, English Language, Maths and Science, as well as PSHE and PD. Students also select GCSE options from the subjects outlined in our Options Booklet below. At Gumley House we encourage all students to select a humanity and a modern foreign language as two of their GCSE options, and do not limit students to one modern foreign language or humanity.
In designing this curriculum, we recognise the importance of preparing you to become successful students, responsible citizens, and confident individuals.
At the heart of our quality first teaching is differentiation, assessment and feedback. Teachers regularly review the curriculum to build on retrieval practice and the deepening of student knowledge and skills. All students follow Learning Journeys for each module of work which accumulate in summative assessments and a deep marked formative assessment marked in accordance with GCSE marking and assessment criteria. Students also sit three sets of trial GCSE examinations throughout Key Stage 4, in order to hone their examination technique and to ‘put into practice’ their learning of GCSE content.
Interwoven into our Key Stage 4 curriculum offer is a careers focus, where students have the opportunity to explore different careers in depth throughout the Key Stage and importantly, make links between these careers and the GCSE subjects that they are studying. There is also a wide range of extracurricular activities and trips to support their learning, and ensure all students are responsible citizens and actively engage in our community positively.
How does it work?
From January, you will be supported through the process of choosing your Key Stage 4 Option subjects. Making curriculum choices in Year 9 is a very important process. It is an opportunity for your and your parents to take increased control of the education choice on offer to you.
The GCSE Options you choose for Years 10 and 11 will change your school timetable school for the next two years. The choices made will also influence what options are available after Year 11 in terms of further study. This is an important step in the student’s education and we want to ensure that both you and your child are well informed on the choices available, the suitability of different electives, and the process through which choices can be made.
All students must study a core GCSE curriculum of:
- Religious Education
- English Language and English Literature
- Physical Education (non examined)
- PSHE (non examined)
Students then chose a further three subjects that they would like to study. All the subjects we offer for GCSE can be found on the website under the Subjects link along with a copy of the curriculum booklet that students will receive as their PSHE lessons begins to explore their options and future career opportunities.
It is vitally important to choose subjects for the correct reasons. Spend some time with your daughter thinking about what subjects she enjoys doing, what keeps her interested and motivated, and those which she will really succeed in.
The timeline for Options Choices will be published at the end of January.
Please take time to go through the different subjects available with your daughter.
If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact either Mrs Windmill or Ms Hamzaoui (Head of Year 9).
Download PowerPoint here
Once you have had the chance to look through all the material and decided on your Key Stage 4 qualifications subjects, please use the link below to complete your Options Form which can be found in your tutor group's Google Classroom.
The deadline for completing the online form is Wednesday 19th April 2023 (6pm)
Further Resources and advice
The following websites provides advice, help and information on how your choices can help you decide what your future career will be:
- Success at School - Knowing more about what you can do with studying a subject at GCSE
- All About School Leavers - GCSE Options - Advice on options available to you when you are choosing your GCSEs
- iCould GCSE Options - Videos to help you discover what your GCSEs can do to help you
- Studential GCSE Options - Information and advice on how to choose your GCSE subjects
- Plotr GCSE Options - Questions you should ask yourself when choosing your GCSE subjects
- Which University GCSE Options - Article discussing how important it is to think about which GCSE subjects to take