How to Choose your Options

EBAC and Pathways

Choosing options is an exciting time. We have a wide range of subjects to choose from. Some of the subjects will be familiar from Year 7 & 8 but there are also a number of new courses to explore.

The majority of subjects are assessed via exams which take place in Year 11. A number of subjects still have a coursework/NEA element that students will also need to complete during Years 9 - 11.

BTECs/Vocational subjects are mainly assessed through portfolio work completed during the GCSE course in Years 9-11. However, they will also have an exam element which makes a certain percentage of the final grade.

To find out more about each subject, click the links on the left hand side of the website. Read about each subject carefully, especially if there are certain requirements that the subject needs.

If you have any subject specific questions after the Options Evening, please do contact your son/daughter's subject teacher. If your question is more general, please contact your son/daughter's tutor, Year Leader or Mr Newman

How to choose the right options

Students should take the time to consider the following aspects before choosing a subject,


Students should reflect on their strengths and where success will be possible, with the right amount of hard work and engagement.


Success is linked to hard work, which in turn is often related to the interest a student has in a subject.

Careers and Qualifications

We know that students in Year 8 may not know exactly which career path they want to follow. We recommend a broad range of subjects to ensure that options are kept open. However, certain careers and pathways may require certain subjects and therefore students should consider these carefully, looking at the pathways information. For example, it would be advantageous for students wishing to apply for University to follow the EBAC pathway.

Course related charges

Whilst parents are not required to provide items for a course, we hope that, as in previous years, parents will be prepared to make a contribution towards the consumables required by certain courses, in particular the practical ones. We would emphasise, however, that no student will be excluded from a course because their parents are not willing or are unable to provide or pay for materials.

Easy Choices

There are no easy choices. All subjects are rigorous in their own way and require hard work and dedication to achieve grades. As stated above, ability and interest in a subject will be the best guide. Students should consider how they work and achieve as assessment in subjects can vary.


Pastoral and subject staff will be giving as much guidance as possible to the students throughout this period of decision making. Please do not hesitate to contact the school if you require any further assistance in making your final decision.


Be prepared to have some reserve choices. We make every effort to accommodate students' first choices, however, in rare circumstances, this may not be possible.


The EBAC is the English Baccalaureate. It means students have completed GCSEs in Maths, English, Science, a Humanity (History or Geography) and a Modern Foreign Language (French or German).

It is not compulsory for students to take both a language and a humanity; we strongly recommend that students who meet the criteria below follow the EBAC pathway and study both a Language and a Humanity:

  • Students who have a KS2 Reading Score of over 100, which means they should achieve at least a Grade 4 across all their subjects.

Students who do not fall into this group can still choose the full EBAC pathway.

All students are expected to choose at least 1 EBAC subject.


If you are unsure of what subjects or what combination of subjects to choose, then look at the pathways below.

Russell Group / University



Personalised *in consulation with Ms Wright or Ms Cornall