General Advice

Who should you speak to?

When deciding on your GCSE options it is so important to speak to people who will help you to make an informed decision. First of all, it is important that you discuss this at length with your parents. They know you the best out of everyone in the world and will be able to discuss with you your thoughts and determine what options you are likely to succeed in.

Secondly, if you have any relatives who have recently done a course you are thinking about taking, ask them about it! They will be able to tell you about the course and what it is like, which will be helpful.

Thirdly, speak to your teachers! If you have any questions whatsoever about anything relating to the GCSE options process your teachers will be more than happy to help. If you have any questions regarding individual subjects please get in touch with either the teacher you currently have or the Head of Department. If you have any general questions about the process and would like some advice please either contact your form tutor, Mr Wallace cwallace@fhes.org.uk or Ms Hockey ehockey@fhes.org.uk. Please see below the list of email addresses for each tutor group:

Arcadia - efitzpatrick@fhes.org.uk

Asgard - ahelyar@fhes.org.uk

Bohemia - nmarley@fhes.org.uk

Ithaca - lcollier@fhes.org.uk & cscott-plummer@fhes.org.uk

Lyonesse - jsarrazin@fhes.org.uk

Pemberley - pblundell@fhes.org.uk

Valhalla - edawes@fhes.org.uk

Xanadu - joverton@fhes.org.uk


Importance of picking the right options for YOU

It is so important that the choices you make are for you, and that you pick subjects which firstly interest and excite you, but secondly that you feel you are likely to succeed in.

It may be extremely tempting to pick subjects based on what your friends are taking, however it is vital you choose subjects that are best for you. Your friends are likely to be interested in different things, and selecting subjects based on their interests and skill set may have a huge impact on the success of your GCSE results. Remember - you will be studying these subjects for the next 3 years. It is important you pick subjects that interest and excite YOU!

It is also important to pick your GCSE options based on the subject and not the teacher. You may currently be in a position where you enjoy a subject as you really like the teacher. However, if you select the subject based on your relationship with your current teacher, it is highly likely you will not have the same teacher in Year 9, 10 and 11. Make sure you don't put yourself in a position where you are taking a subject that you don't find particularly interesting and don't have the teacher you really like!

Career paths & GCSE combinations

Studying certain GCSE subjects can set you up brilliantly for particular career paths. Please see below some suggested combinations which may help you achieve your dream job. If you have any questions regarding career opportunities please do get in touch with Mrs Wilks vwilks@fhes.org.uk


Medicine

Think about: a spread of other subjects that you enjoy

To work in the medical profession, you will need at least seven GCSEs (or equivalent Level 2 qualifications) including Science, English Language and Maths. Science may be a Double or Triple Award. College and University Courses are competitive, so you should be aiming for grade 6 or higher in all subjects.

As Maths, English and Science are generally compulsory at GCSE, this leaves you free to fill the rest of your quota with subjects that you will enjoy. To qualify for a medical degree at university, your A-levels will need to be heavily Maths and Science based, so enjoy some variation while you can before you specialise!


Pilot

Think about: Separate Sciences

For most flight training courses you will need at least five GCSEs (or equivalent Level 2 qualifications) at grade 4 or above, including Maths, English Language and Science.

A good grasp of Physics is especially important for a pilot so, if your school offers separate Science qualifications, be sure to choose Physics and consider taking it through to A-level (Level 3).


Lawyer

Think about: History; Geography; a Modern Foreign Language; Citizenship

To study law, you'll need at least five GCSEs (or equivalent Level 2 qualifications) at grade 4 or above, including Maths, English Language and Science. Courses are competitive, so you should aim for the highest grades possible.

When awarding places, many universities prefer you to have taken traditional academic subjects at A-level (such as History, Geography, Modern Foreign Languages, English Literature or Language, Science and Maths) so think carefully about what you choose now because it might dictate what you can carry through.

History, Geography, Modern Foreign Languages and English Literature are often encouraged for potential lawyers as they can help to broaden your awareness of global and political issues.


Architect

Think about: Art; Design Technology

To train as an architect you will need five good GCSEs (or equivalent Level 2 qualifications) at grade 4 or above, including Maths, English Language and Science.

In addition, you will need to be able to draw or sketch out diagrams, so subjects such as Art, Graphics or Design Technology would be useful. Consider continuing one of these through to A-level (Level 3) as many architecture courses require to see a portfolio of creative work when you apply.


Teacher

Think about: the subject that you want to teach and any associated subjects

You will need to achieve at least a grade 4 in GCSE Maths, English Language and Science (or an equivalent Level 2 qualification). Your other options really depend on the subject that you see yourself teaching.

If you know that you want to be a Geography teacher, for instance, make sure that you take Geography as one of your options! If you want to teach English, you might consider also taking Drama as the two subjects have considerable overlap.

If you’re not sure yet, or are thinking about primary teaching, take the subjects that you enjoy and are good at. Many teachers end up in teaching because they love their subject, so keep your options open, follow your heart, and then specialise later.


Policeman

Think about: Physical Education; Religious Education; a Modern Foreign Language, Citizenship

There are a few routes into becoming a police officer, but you’ll need around 5 GCSEs (or equivalent Level 2 qualifications) at grade 4 or above, to access most courses. These should include Maths, English and preferably a Science.

Physical Education might also be a good option as, when applying to become a police officer, you will need to pass a fitness test. It also teaches you skills such as teamwork and leadership which are very important in the police force.

As a police officer you will also be expected to have good interpersonal skills and be open-minded. Subjects such as Citizenship, Religious Education and Modern Foreign Languages may help you to understand the communities that you work in a bit better from a political, religious or cultural perspective.


Sports Coach

Think about: Physical Education, Psychology

There are lots of exciting routes into finding yourself a career as a sports coach. In order to get onto either A Level PE, or BTEC Level 3 at College, you will need a grade 4 and above in lots of other subjects

Studying Physical Education will be vital for this, as you will study various training methods, physiological effects of exercise as well as psychological factors which influence sporting participation and performance. It will also be important to start to gain experience in coaching as soon as possible. Get involved in the Sports Leader award, and think about opportunities to coach younger year group sporting teams.


Psychologist

Think about: Psychology, Statistics

The first step on the journey to becoming a psychologist is to have gained five GCSEs (or equivalent Level 2 qualifications) at grade 4 or above. These should include Maths, English Language and Science. You'll need to go on to take A-levels (or equivalent Level 3 qualifications), probably including at least one Science, so think about what you'd like to carry through when making your choices.

If your school offers Statistics, you may also benefit from taking this, although it isn’t a requirement.


Additional websites for Careers Advice

Active Learning information flyer -

file:///C:/Users/cwallace/AppData/Local/Microsoft/Windows/INetCache/Content.Outlook/Y7PJHQL4/GCSE%20Options%20Flyer.pdf

How do subjects relate to careers? -

https://www.planitplus.net/Schools/SubjectCareerPosters/


Watch real stories to inspire your career and take the Buzz Quiz to find out what type of work will suit you:


https://icould.com/


Watch the Workit series of interviews with young people who have chosen different pathways:


https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLok8K4I1AJqZ2TAdJjKAO5dS0Xm12jIBT


Learn more about working in health here:


https://www.iseethedifference.co.uk/


The Careerometer is a useful tool that enables you to compare working hours and average wages of job roles in the UK:


https://careermap.co.uk/careerometer/


Parents – sign up to an online Careers magazine here:


https://careermap.co.uk/subscribe-to-careermag/


Students – sign up to an online Careers magazine here:


https://careermap.co.uk/subscribe-to-careermag/

Find out more about apprenticeships here:

https://www.apprenticeships.gov.uk/apprentices/are-they-right-for-you

Find out about the new vocational qualification ‘T-Levels’ here:

https://www.tlevels.gov.uk/

Learn more about higher education degree pathways at 18

https://www.ucas.com/

Online Careers magazines

Parents – sign up to an online Careers magazine here: https://careermap.co.uk/subscribe-to-careermag/

Students – sign up to an online Careers magazine here: https://careermap.co.uk/subscribe-to-careermag/

Sign up for a monthly Apprenticeships magazine here: https://amazingapprenticeships.com/parents/