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Y9 Options Information

You are now at the stage of making the vital decision about what subjects you wish to take for your GCSE options; this short guide will help you think about the different things you need to be aware of.

Being good at subjects and/or enjoying them

Choosing subjects you are good at and/or enjoy often means you will gain higher grades in these areas, increasing the range of options available to you post-16. You may also have a more enjoyable time in school during your studies if the subjects you choose are those that you take pleasure in studying.

Career Planning

Many of us, don’t know what we wish to do when we are twelve or thirteen (this is perfectly ‘normal’ although, a few of you may have very clear ideas). In Year 9, getting curious and exploring what is possible is probably the best thing you can do, to help yourself to develop some career ideas. You can do this in lots of different ways, from talking to people you know about their jobs, through to getting online and doing your own research.

Building skills you wish to develop

Certain subjects are highly useful in developing transferable skills for the future, often being useful in more than one setting. For example, studying history allows you to learn about historical events but also enables you to develop your analytical, comprehension and essay skills; all of which are desirable in careers requiring these skills such as areas of law and business.


You will need to choose at least one of the starred subjects on the options form but we advise that you choose two. This means that you will study English language and literature, maths, sciences and then a choice of geography or history and/or French from the option choices. These subjects will help prepare you for a range of different careers and allow you to keep your options open as to what you do in terms of further and higher education.

“A study by the UCL Institute of Education shows that studying subjects included in the EBacc provides students with greater opportunities in further education and increases the likelihood that a pupil will stay on in full-time education. Sutton Trust research reveals that studying the EBacc can help improve a young person’s performance in English and maths.”


In contrast to the EBacc there are two BTECs on offer as part of the option choices available. BTECs offer a different way of learning, which may suit some of you as they are predominantly coursework based, and in some cases focus on honing practical skills. BTECs can open doors in those areas of study, providing a foundation for many options at Post-16 including 6th Form, College, and apprenticeships.


Regardless of which options and approaches you may take in deciding which subjects you would like to study at GCSE, doing your research is very important. Don’t assume that studies at GCSE will be the same as what you have done so far. Formats can vary as can content, so it is crucial you speak to the subject teachers to find out what a course is like, what is involved, what it will cover, as well as how it is taught.

Finally, some words of advice to consider:

  • Choose subjects based on your interests and values, not those of your friends.
  • Don’t choose a subject based on your like or dislike of a teacher or what your friends might decide to study.
  • Lastly, give yourself time to stop, think and reflect before making your final decisions.