KS4 Guided Choices

A Broad and Balanced Curriculum

One of the school’s stated aims is to equip students with the knowledge, skills and qualifications that will enable them to thrive in the future. A broad and balanced curriculum encompassing key knowledge and skill areas is widely agreed to be the foundation of an excellent course of study for students.

What will I study?

At Key Stage 4, there is an element of choice in the courses that students take but we do make sure that all students study a broad and balanced curriculum. The decision making process that all of our students will go through is a process of ‘guided choice’. We try to cater for the individual needs and aspirations of all our students whilst ensuring that, in an increasingly competitive world, all of our students take the courses that will maximise their opportunities in the future.

All students will study:

English (including English Language and English Literature)



Life Skills (including Citizenship, Religious Education and Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education). This is a non-examined course.

Physical Education This is a non-examined course.

These subjects form the core of the curriculum. Further information on these subjects can be found towards the back of this booklet.

All students will study at least one subject from Geography or History.

Year 9 Guided Choice Timeline 2023-24

Week Commencing Monday 6th November

Form Time Assemblies giving information about the Guided Choices Process and giving out the Individual Learning Plan. 

Monday 13th November to Friday 1st December
Individual student interviews with a member of staff to discuss subject choices. Year 9 Pathways booklet and Preference Form 1 (to be returned to school by Friday 15th December) will be handed out in this meeting.
(Preference Form 1 will be used to produce the timetable blocks which will be designed to meet as many students’ preferences as possible).

Thursday 7th December
Year 9 Guided Choices Evening – a chance for you and your family to come to school to talk to your teachers about their subjects.

Friday 15th December
**Deadline for Preference Form 1**
If you wish to discuss the choices any further then please contact the school to arrange an appointment before this date. (There is a contact form on the school website in the Curriculum/Year 9 Guided Choices section to arrange an appointment).

Friday 19th January
Timetable Blocks and allocations distributed to all Y9 students. If first choice preferences have not been matched then a reserve preference will be allocated. At this stage there is an opportunity to review preferences.

Friday 26th January
**Deadline for handing in any preference changes to Form Tutor**. Students who miss the deadline are less likely to get a place on their chosen course.

For further guidance about the guided choice process, please contact:
Mrs C Barker (Deputy Headteacher) – for specific enquiries about options
Mr D Green (Head of Year) – for general enquiries
Mrs H Fraser (SENCO) – for Special Needs related issues
Mrs J Donald (Careers Lead) – for any careers guidance
Subject Teachers – for advice about courses in their subject area
Form Teacher – for general advice and guidance.

Guided Choices

We offer a large range of subjects so that we can respond to student preference on a year by year basis. Unfortunately, if student preference numbers are too low for a course to be viable to run, it may not appear in the timetable blocks. We will liaise directly with any students who are affected by this.

You will be handed a form called ‘Preference Form 1’. Please read it and follow the instructions carefully.

  • Art and Design
  • Business
  • Computer Science
  • D&T: Electronics; Graphics; Materials
  • Drama
  • Food Preparation and Nutrition
  • Geography
  • Health and Social Care
  • History
  • iMedia
  • Music
  • Spanish
  • PE – GCSE PE
  • PE – Cambridge National Level 2
  • Religious Studies
  • Land Based Studies

** Dance will be available as an enrichment opportunity during core PE time. It does not take up one of the option choices.
Information about the Dance course is in the back of the booklet in the Core Subjects section. An application for the Dance course will be circulated separately in January 2022.