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Year 9 Options

 Welcome to our Year 9 Options Hub 2024

At Harper Green School, our process for selecting Year 9 options is designed to ensure that all students receive the necessary help and guidance to make suitable subject choices.

We understand that choosing your options is a challenging yet rewarding process; therefore, our procedure is designed with our students at its heart.

To find out more about the courses available, please visit the subject areas below or download a copy of the 2024 Year 9 Options booklet. We've also included some of our top tips below, as well as a step by step guide to help you choose the options most suitable to you.

We hope that you find the booklet and subject pages helpful and informative but, if you have any questions or concerns, please contact us at head@harpergreen.net.

Download Year 9 Options booklet 2024 

Making your choices

The choices you make now could affect your post 16 options. If you already have a clear idea of what you would like to do after secondary school, it is a good idea to check if there are any specific requirements at GCSE’s. For instance, some colleges will request that you complete specific courses in order to be able to do some of their A-level or vocational courses. What is most important to sixth forms, colleges, universities, and employers is how well you engage with and achieve in each of your subjects. For this reason, it is vital that you consider the dos and don’ts below when making your choices.

Do choose:

  • Subjects you like
  • Subjects you have done well in and gained good marks

  • Subjects you feel would help you to be successful in whatever you choose to do after the end of Year 11

Don’t choose:

  • Subjects that your friends are choosing (they may not be in your class)
  • Subjects that your favourite teacher teaches (you may not be in their class)
  • Subjects that you think other people would like you to take 
  • Too many subjects with PSAs to complete at the same time

Submitting your options

The deadline for submitting your options form is Monday, 22nd April 2024, but before then, students will engage with a whole range of activities to inform their choices, such as:

  • Year 9 Progress Evening: Thursday, 7th March 2024
  • One to one meetings with Form Tutors: Monday, 11th - 22nd March 2024
  • Options Evening: Thursday, 18th April 2024

Further information will be available over the coming weeks on how you and your child can make the final subject choices online. Please read the information below to support you in making your choices. 

Year 9 Options Booklet 2024

To help you make the right choice for you, we've put together an options guide with the courses and qualifications available to Year 10 and 11 students at Harper Green School.

hgs year 9 options booklet 2024.pdf

(If you are viewing on mobile - please click here to download the Year 9 options booklet)

 What are my choices?

In addition to your core curriculum subjects, which are mandatory, you will choose three choices and two reserves. One choice needs to be History, Geography or Computer Science.

Find out more about the subjects on offer to you next year inside this booklet. 

It is important that you enjoy learning, so it is vital that you select courses that you find interesting, play to your strengths and develop your skills. You should consider carefully how these choices will affect your future at Harper Green School and beyond. Many courses of study will link directly into sixth form courses.

How many choices can I make? 

You can select three choices and two reserve options. 

How do I indicate my option choices? 

You will receive further information on how you and your child will make final subject choices in the near future. The focus at this stage should be for you to carefully read the information contained in this booklet to support you in making your choices. 

What if I don’t know what I want to do in the future?

That is absolutely fine and there is no pressure to know right now. You will have a meeting a senior member of staff or your year team to have a conversation about what you might be thinking about or what interests you as a career. Even at that point, do not panic, they can show you college options and what colleges in the area have available as well, so use that meeting as a chance to get thinking about what you may want to do.

What will happen at the Options Evening event?

You will be able to meet with the Heads of Department from all your subjects to discuss what their subject will be like in KS4. This will be a chance to ask any questions you have about the content of the courses and what the bene fits will be when thinking about college. There will also be college and apprenticeship providers as well as other career pathways for you to talk to as well so you can get a well rounded view on what the best options are for you at KS4 and beyond.

Will I automatically secure a place on my first choice courses? 

Not necessarily, for three reasons: 

1. The range of subjects offered now, at the planning stage, may have to be modified because of staffing or other 

constraints 

2. It may be necessary to limit numbers for health and safety reasons and access to equipment

3. A students’ levels of attainment and progression in Year 9 will be considered before confirming final choices

You will be asked to give two reserve choices on your Options Form. It is important that you do this as some subjects may be under or over-subscribed, and therefore we will need to find an alternative option for you. If you do not give us a reserve choice, it will not make you more likely to receive your first choice. In fact, you may be placed into whichever subject has the lowest numbers! Remember that once your choices have been made, it will not be possible to change them as your timetable will be fixed, and many groups will be full. If you are still unsure on what to pick close to the deadline, go and speak to Mr Richardson about what you would choose. We want what is best for you and want to make sure that you get it right.

The EBacc

The English Baccalaureate, or EBacc, is a combination of academic subjects and provides an excellent base for further study and many careers.

The subjects that make up the EBacc are:

  • English Language and Literature
  • Mathematics
  • You can choose to do either History or Geography or both
  • The sciences: Biology, Chemistry and Physics, each providing students with an individual GCSE qualification. Or a Combined Science GCSE, which gives you one Science GCSE qualification.
  • A Modern Foreign Language, for Harper Green students, this will be Spanish

It is not a qualification, and you will not receive a certificate saying that you have completed the EBacc. However, it does highlight your academic ability, which will provide you with a greater range of opportunities following school and looking ahead to college and university.

Many further education providers and employers, especially the most prestigious and academic institutions such as Oxbridge - Oxford and Cambridge universities, Russell Group universities - top research-based universities across the UK, including the University of Manchester if you want to stay local, and many large businesses, require students to complete the EBacc before applying.

It is important to study the subjects that are the right ones for individuals. If EBacc is recommended as a pathway, students should seriously consider choosing this, as it will lead to a greater range of options in the future. These subjects show sixth forms, colleges, universities and employers that students are capable of studying to a higher level – but remember, it takes a lot of commitment and effort to achieve high grades in all chosen subjects.

During the Options Evening, there will be colleges and employers in school to ask questions about the EBacc. This would be a great opportunity to see the value and importance of the qualification. There will also be an opportunity to discuss the EBacc with staff in one-to-one meetings, so if you have any questions about it, you will have the chance then as well.

All students at Harper Green School have the opportunity to complete the EBacc if they wish. 

Download the DfE EBacc Leaflet