Options Process - Overview | Highcliffe School

Options Process - Overview

The Year 9 Options Process

Please note menu on right giving access to more information about subjects

Your next step at Highcliffe is an important one in your life. You will create your own Personalised Key Stage 4 (Years 10 and 11) Programme of Study. 

To ensure that you make the decisions that are most suitable for you, it is important that you understand what will happen this term, what lies ahead and what you need to consider when thinking about your future studies.

In Key Stage 4, you may be introduced to new subjects, as well as building on your knowledge and experience of many of the subjects that you are studying already.  You will be asked to work in different ways and be given more responsibility for your learning.  You will develop skills to manage your workload, meet deadlines, and work more independently.  You will also need to get to grips with coursework and learn how to prepare for external examinations effectively.

This portal has been put together to offer you substantial information around the subjects and process with the aim being to answer many of the more common questions. 

You will also be able to view the step-by-step guide, key dates and where to access support and guidance should you need.

Your tutors, Head of Achievement and our Careers Adviser are all able to support and answer questions however if you need to make further contact please email our dedicated email address at options@highcliffeschool.com

Options Evening

On Wednesday 28th February we will be holding our Options Evening in school.  This is an excellent opportunity to hear about the options process and also speak to subject teachers about the subject at GCSE.  You can also find out lots about the different subjects using the menu on the right of this page.

It is also good practice for parents to attend the online parents evening for Year 9 on 1st February (bookings via MyHighcliffe) to be able to speak to teachers about student progress in subjects and how this might transfer to option choices.

What is a broad and balanced curriculum?

A broad and balanced curriculum provides a wide range of opportunities for students to learn across a range of different subjects. We believe that a range of subjects and courses helps students acquire knowledge, understanding and skills in all aspects of their education, including the humanities and linguistic, mathematical, scientific, technical, social, physical and artistic learning.

What core subjects will I study?

All students will study English Language, English Literature, Mathematics, Double Award Science (or Triple/Separate).  Additional non-examined subject time is given to PE and Ethics and Personal Development (EPD). 

Students will also study a MFL (French/Spanish) and History or Geography.  This means most students will receive 2 choices for their other subjects.

Your personal pathway choices can be seen by logging in to the Options Form via the link in MyHighcliffe from 27th February 2024.

What is the English Baccalaureate?

The current English Baccalaureate (EBACC) is not a qualification itself, but a particular group of GCSE subjects that are usually looked on favourably by Post-16 providers and universities.  You don’t need to have studied the EBACC to go to university however having your GCSE ‘mix’ steered towards the EBACC will help keep your options open.  To achieve the EBACC you will need to achieve a minimum of a grade 4 in all the above qualifications:

English (either or both English Language/Literature)
2 Science (can be two separate science, double award science and include computer science)
History or Geography
A Modern Foreign Language (MFL)

Click here for more information on the EBACC.


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