Key Stage 4 Options – Year 9 Choices

This site will give you the outline of the Pathways choices for your work at Key Stage 4. It will outline the choices you need to make; suggest the things to consider when choosing the Pathway and when choosing the core curriculum options; give the details of the subjects available on the choices list; and give ideas as to where the pupils can find out more about their choices.

You can also download a printable version of this information although all the subject specific information is available only on the website.

Introduction

This information is aimed to help you to understand the Pathways Options and make the best decision for your Key Stage 4 curriculum next year. Pathways allows you to choose more than just some option subjects, but also the way you study the core compulsory subjects.

Timeframe

  • December
    • Practice problem-solving exercise to familiarise with students with the options system
  • w/c  13th January
    • Assemblies outlining course details
  • Thursday 16th January
    • Year 9 Parents Evening: a chance for parents to discuss progress and suitability of students continuing with existing subjects
  • w/c 20th January
    • Options Talks with Mr Bryn Jones: an explanation of the Key Stage 4 curriculum choices to pupils
  • Thursday 30th  January
    • Parents Information Evening: an outline of the Key Stage 4 curriculum choices to parents
  • 17th February
    • Deadline for final option choices to be made
  • March
    • Interviews with students with issues when option columns are determined

Pathways Open to Students

There are 3 Pathways from which you can chose, each giving a different type of curriculum, each with a range of different choices. You will decide the way the 50 hours of lessons are used to produce the best results for your future career or education courses.

Pathway X

Core

  • English Lang & Lit (7hrs)
  • Maths (6hrs)
  • Games (2hrs)

Core +

  • Science (BTEC or Single Science) (6 hrs)
  • Welsh Baccalaureate (7hrs) including statutory delivery of Welsh, ICT and RE

Options

  • 4 further subjects from the option subjects list (5.5 hrs per subject)

Key Characteristics

  • There are only 6 hours of Science with students most likely to follow the BTEC Science course. This will be a single GCSE qualification.
  • Rather than the study of RE and Welsh leading to short course GCSE qualifications, they will contribute toward the Welsh Baccalaureate .  ICT lessons will form part of the Welsh Baccalaureate. The lessons in ICT will also form part of the Welsh Baccalaureate lessons. However, students will complete the work begun in Year 9 and achieve a short course GCSE.
  • This leaves students able to choose four further subjects from the option choice list.
  • These characteristics may suit learners who prefer vocational qualifications or who prefer project or coursework based tasks rather than terminal exams. The pathway has been designed to reduce the number of short-course exams you will sit: it will suit those who might feel overloaded with exams and subjects in the other pathways.This pathway will result in the equivalent of 10½   Level 2 (or 1) qualifications.

Pathway Y

Core

  • English Lang & Lit (7hrs)
  • Maths (6hrs)
  • Games (2hrs)

Core +

  • Double Science (9 hrs)
  • Welsh Baccalaureate (2hrs)
  • RE short course GCSE (2hrs)
  • Welsh short course GCSE (2hrs)
  • ICT short course GCSE  (2hrs)
  • Top up choice (1.5 hrs the added hours will be for you to take one of these courses to full course GCSE):
    • Welsh  or
    • ICT or
    • RE or
    • Study Skills

Options

  • 3 further subjects from the option subject list (5.5 hrs per subject)

Key Characteristics

  • There are 9 hours of Science which will lead to the equivalent of 2 GCSE qualifications.
  • The compulsory subjects of Welsh and RE will be taken to short course GCSE level for all students. All students will complete the course started in Year 9 for ICT and take a full GCSE. In addition, we have opened up the opportunity for all students in this pathway to top up their qualifications in these compulsory areas. For Welsh and RE this would mean that you would study a full GCSE. In ICT this would mean that you would study a Creative ICT component in addition to the full course GCSE. For those students choosing this pathway who feel they cannot manage the full GCSE, we are setting up a Study Skills course.
  • For students selecting Study Skills, you will get support and advice on effective learning strategies, on how to revise and how to thrive in exams. In addition, at some points in the year we will use the time to ensure the work in other areas of the curriculum is completed to the student’s full potential.
  • This leaves the students able to choose three further subjects from the options list.

These characteristics may suit learners who are stronger at humanities based subjects, technical based subjects or those who are uncertain as to the direction they want to go in in the next stage of their educational journey.

This pathway will result in the equivalent of 13 Level 2 (or 1) qualifications.

Pathway Z

Core

  • English Lang & Lit (7hrs)
  • Maths (5.5hrs)
  • Games (2hrs)

Core +

  • Science (Triple Science) (14 hrs)
  • Welsh Baccalaureate (2.5hrs)
  • RE short course GCSE (2hrs)
  • Welsh short course GCSE (2hrs)
  • ICT short course GCSE  (2hrs)
  • Top up choice (2 hrs the added hours will be for you to take one of these courses to full course GCSE):
    • Welsh  or
    • ICT or
    • RE  or
    • Statistics

Options

  • 2 further subjects from the option subject list (5.5 hrs per subject)

Key Characteristics

  • There will be 1 hour fewer for Maths lessons in Year 11.
  • There are 14 hours of Science which will lead to the equivalent of 3 GCSE qualifications.
  • The compulsory subjects of Welsh and RE will be taken to short course GCSE level for all students. All students will complete the course started in Year 9 for ICT and take a full GCSE. In addition, we have opened up the opportunity for all students in this pathway to top up their qualifications in these compulsory areas. For Welsh and RE this would mean that you would study a full GCSE. In ICT this would mean that you would study a Creative ICT component in addition to the full course GCSE. Alternatively, students may choose to study GCSE Statistics with these additional hours
  • For students selecting Statistics, you should bear in mind that this course is completed in 2 hours per fortnight across the Key Stage.
  • This leaves the students able to choose two further subjects from the options list.

These characteristics may suit learners who are keen to pursue Science-based courses or careers and whose strength may be in Maths. The Statistics option is aimed at those who are particularly strong in Maths, especially if students are considering studying Maths at AS level.

This pathway will result in the equivalent of 13 Level 2 (or 1) qualifications.

 

The calculations for the qualifications include 3 Level 2 awards for the study of Welsh Baccalaureate. This comprises of 1 for the Welsh Baccalaureate itself plus 2 for the study of Essential Skills Wales (ICT, Communication, Application of Number) and Wider Key Skills (Problem Solving, Working with Others and Improving Your Own Learning). These have been largely already completed during the students’ studies in Year 9.

What next?

  1. Think, research, discuss.
  2. Select the Pathway appropriate for you – choose X, Y or Z.
  3. Fill in the correct options form for the Pathway you have chosen.
  4. Choose you additional option subjects from the subject list.
  5. For Pathways Y and Z, select the Core + option choice.

Choices List – Contact Details

Core Plus Choices

  • ICT – Miss Bunce
  • RE – Mrs Graves
  • Statistics – Mr Fisher
  • Study Skills – Mr Hurley
  • Welsh – Mr Mitchell

Other Core subjects

Who can help?

The key person to speak to about your option choices and your option forms is Mr Bryn Jones.

Your Head of Progress, Miss Arnold, will also be key in making the arrangements for your transition into Key Stage 4.

The Heads of Department listed above can tell you about the courses and what each entails.

Mr Duggan is in charge of Careers in the school, and he can help with queries about future career choices.

Speak to your parents, speak to pupils who have taken the courses before but make sure you listen to yourself as well.

 

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