Option Choices

GHS Options The Bigger Picture

Key Stage 4 Options

Welcome to our Key Stage 4 (KS4) Options Web Page. The resources presented here are tailored to assist students and parents/carers during this thrilling phase of the learning journey. This pivotal juncture offers the opportunity to select subjects that will shape your/your child's educational path in years 10 and 11. We urge you to carefully peruse the Information Booklet and Subject Booklet, as the insights they provide will prove invaluable in making these significant choices. Access the Assembly, Information Booklet, and Subject Booklet information below.

At Gable Hall School, we acknowledge the significance of offering unwavering support as your child embarks on the journey of selecting options that will define their path in the upcoming stage of their academic voyage. The options process is meticulously designed to offer the framework, counsel, and direction required to make well-informed decisions about the courses to be pursued.

Options Assembly Information Booklet Subject Booklet

Options Assembly

Information Booklet Subject List


Empowering Your Future: Navigating Year 9 Curriculum Choices

Embarking on curriculum decisions in Year 9 marks a significant chapter in your school journey. This moment is an opportunity for you to seize control of your education, sculpting a path towards the future you envision. The choices you make now, for Years 10 and 11, will shape your school experience over the next two years and potentially impact your course or training options post-Year 11.

Selecting subjects aligned with your interests and passions is paramount. Dedicate time to reflect on what truly engages you, what keeps your curiosity ignited, and what propels you to excel. Importantly, recognise that you're not alone in this decision-making process; your Year 9 peers are on the same journey. Teachers, friends, parents, carers, and family members are poised to provide the guidance, counsel, and support you need during this crucial phase.

In today's educational landscape, pupils continue their educational journey or training until the age of 18. This commitment entails remaining in school, attending college, or engaging in employment with appropriate training until July 2026. Beyond that horizon, many students aspire to pursue university degrees or higher/degree-level apprenticeships in college or university.

Your planning should extend beyond the confines of GCSE's. Many of you are eyeing university education or aiming for degree apprenticeships, which underscores the importance of being aware of subjects that might be expected at GCSE and A Level. Some universities may favour a Modern Foreign Language along with Geography or History at GCSE. The 'Informed Choices' website amalgamates guidance from Russell Group university admissions teams, offering clear insights into subjects recommended for competitive university pathways.

For further exploration, you can access degree apprenticeship listings on the national 'find an apprenticeship' website, delving into subject-specific requisites for opportunities at this level. Additionally, leverage your personal log-in to search for degree courses and apprenticeships on Kudos, uncovering entry requirements, including mandatory subjects.

Peruse the subject information leaflets available on the school's website for an enriched understanding of your options. Your future is a tapestry of your choices, and Gable Hall School is here to guide you every step of the way.

The Options Timeline

Options Process PosterGuidance for Students: Crafting a Well-Rounded Curriculum

Our recommendation for students is to cultivate a diverse and harmonious array of subjects, thereby safeguarding open avenues for future endeavours. While career aspirations and personal passions hold significance, our belief rests in the idea that success often blossoms when students opt for subjects they genuinely relish and ardently engage with.

Simultaneously, we ardently advocate for students to select subjects that contribute to achieving the English Baccalaureate (EBAC) upon completing the two-year journey. This accomplishment stands as a testament to a well-rounded education and is highly regarded in various educational and professional contexts.

DfE EBacc Information Leaflet

General Information

What's Compulsory for All KS4 Pupils?

Continuing on the journey through Key Stage 4, certain subjects remain mandatory for all pupils:

  • English: This includes two distinct courses – GCSE English Language and GCSE English Literature. The assessment revolves around examinations conducted at the culmination of Year 11.

  • Mathematics: All pupils engage in GCSE Mathematics, with the final examination occurring at the conclusion of Year 11.

  • Science: Pupils embark on the journey of Combined Science, encompassing modules in Biology, Chemistry, and Physics. This pathway leads to two GCSE grades. For those choosing Triple Science, three GCSE grades are attainable, involving extra science modules taught during an option block. Triple Science is a splendid choice if you're contemplating A-level sciences. Opting for Additional Science requires a robust interest in the subject. It's ideal for those targeting a minimum of a grade 6 in Science GCSEs, as the curriculum entails substantial mathematical content. If Additional Science appeals to you, a discussion with a Science teacher is recommended.

  • PE (Core): Our commitment to Physical Education and sports education continues.

  • Religious Education (Short Course): Pupils engage in Religious Education, exploring essential topics.

  • PSHE (Personal, Social, Health & Economic) Education: Referred to as 'Wellbeing,' this education remains a cornerstone, encompassing various facets including Careers Education and select Citizenship subjects.

Ensuring a comprehensive educational journey, all pupils also partake in PE/Sport and Religious Education. Gable Hall School remains dedicated to equipping students with a well-rounded foundation for their future pursuits.

KS4 Qualification Grading Structure

KS4 Qualification Grading Structure

• GCSEs are graded 9 to 1, with 9 being the top grade.

• Most Vocational qualifications use Pass/Merit/Distinction/Distinction* grading system. This is directly comparable with the new 9-1 GCSE grading system.

• If you wish to read more about this and the changes that came in then please read this article


Assessment is mainly by exam, with other types of assessment used only where needed to test essential subject skills, for example, in Drama there is a performance assessment. 

Greater content 

Current GCSE courses have more content than was the case in the past. Also, there is an increased expectation that young people remember content and can apply it to a wide range of question types and sometimes surprising contexts in exams. 

Two-year courses with assessment at the end of the course

GCSE are intended for study over two years and are no longer divided into different modules. Pupils must take all their exams in one period at the end of their course. 


How long do I spend on each subject?

How long do I spend on each subject? 

The proposed number of lessons per fortnight for each subject in Year 10 and 11 are: 


Lessons a fortnight









PSHE / Citizenship

1  - 1



Option A


Option B


Option C




Please note: 

Whilst we encourage pupils to choose the subjects that suit them we will look at all pupil choices and if we feel that their choices are not appropriate then we will speak to the pupil and direct them to subjects that are more suited if necessary. 


What would you recommend to a pupil who does not know what subjects to study? 

Firstly, do not worry – you will be in the majority as most pupils do not have a clear idea at the age of 14 what it is they want to do! We would recommend that pupils take a broad range of subjects, including a: 

  • Humanities subject (Pupils will choose at least one of History or Geography) 
  • Modern Language subject – if you enjoy and are good at languages. 
  • Creative or Technology subject 

However, we recognise that some pupils may prefer to opt for a more vocational curriculum, choosing a vocational course alongside one or two other subjects.

What is the English Baccalaureate (EBacc)?

What is the English Baccalaureate (EBacc)? 

The EBacc is not a qualification in itself. It is a set of subjects at GCSE that keeps young people’s options open for further study and future careers and therefore is a national measure of the number of pupils who follow a broad and balanced curriculum.

The EBacc is made up of the subjects which are considered essential to many degrees and open up lots of doors and consists of English language and literature, maths, the sciences, geography or history and a language. 

Our aim is such that each pupil can follow a personalised learning plan which is both broad and balanced both in terms of the range of subjects they study and also with regards to the type of qualification and the learning style involved. 

The EBacc is one measure of pupils following a broad and balanced curriculum. However, we believe that the arts, design and technology and other subjects are also just as important in achieving this balance. 

How many subjects can I choose?

You should choose three main options as subjects to study during Years 10 and 11. 

How much time do I spend on my option subjects? Option subjects are allocated 5 lessons per fortnight. 

What are BTECs and Cambridge National courses? 

BTECs are vocationally related qualifications, where learners develop knowledge and understanding by applying their learning and skills in a work-related context. They engage young learners in taking responsibility for their own learning and develop essential work-related skills, such as working to deadlines and presenting information effectively. 

BTECs are mainly assessed through project/coursework which is marked and moderated internally, before being sent off for external moderation. All BTEC courses have at least one examined unit which it is necessary to pass to achieve the qualification. 

A BTEC First/Tech Award is equivalent to one GCSE. 

Cambridge Nationals are more practical in nature and provide pupils with knowledge and highly soughtafter skills to prepare them for further study, apprenticeships and the workplace. They contain at least 50% external assessment.

BTEC and Cambridge National qualifications may suit pupils who are organised, driven and like working independently. They may suit pupils who prefer coursework to exams.

How to choose your personalised timetable?

How to choose your personalised timetable?

Choosing your GCSEs is difficult. There are very few people who are sure about exactly what they want to take, likewise very few people know what career they wish to pursue. However, even at this stage, it is wise to consider the future, starting with your A Levels.

Deciding what is best for you depends on what subjects you enjoy studying. If you are unsure what subjects to choose, remember that balance and breadth are important. It is also wise to speak to your subject teachers; they will be able to provide you with an insight into the course and help you decide whether that subject is right for you.

Very often pupils are sure about some subjects, but still have to make a difficult decision between one or two others: Should I take separate sciences? Should I continue with both Modern Languages? Do I choose Geography or History or both?

You should find that most careers and companies do not mind which GCSEs you take, but are more interested in the grades you achieve. The compulsory subjects of Maths and English are required by universities and employers.

Taking subjects you enjoy will make sure you get the best grades, as you will be enthusiastic about them. Take some time to think carefully about your choices before you decide. Talk to your parents, discuss with your Form Tutor or ask your subject teachers for help. Find out about the subjects on offer.

Ask yourself the following important questions:

➢ Do I enjoy the subject?

You are more likely to do well at subjects you really enjoy and at which you are more successful.

➢ Do I intend to choose particular subjects because I like my present teachers?

You may not have the same teacher next year, so this is not a sound reason for your choice.

➢ Do I wish to do the same subjects as my friends so that I will be in a group with them next year?

Again, because of the timetable and the numbers of groups, you may find you are no longer with current friends even if you have made the same choices.

➢ Will my choices help me in the future, even if I do not know what I want to do?

Our Careers Adviser, Careers Coordinator and Head of Careers are available for drop-in sessions for any pupils who wish to discuss their options and how these relate to future career ideas. Our Careers Adviser will also be available for short appointments on parents evening. The choices offered in Year 10 are a suitable basis for a very wide range of careers.

➢ Can I change my mind after I have completed my options form?

We will place a form on the website where pupils (in conjunction with their parents) may request a change. However, once the timetable has been written and decisions made about the number of classes there will be in each subject, it is very unlikely that we will be able to accommodate further changes. We will consider any changes where possible but if groups are at capacity then we may not be able to accommodate the request.

Careers Advice and Guidance

Careers Advice and Guidance - Click here to view the Gable Hall Careers Webpage

What do I know already?

  • You are currently covering a PSHE unit relating to Key Stage 4 options and careers including CV writing.
  • You are aware that you can access support during drop-in sessions from our Careers Advisor -Miss Mountney most days in the Careers Hub, and via emailing careers@gablehall.com 

Wondering where to get more information about your GCSE options? Check out these websites to help you make informed decisions:

  • Kudos: Log in using your personal or parent login for career information, apprenticeships, and university courses.
  • BBC Bitesize Careers: A new resource linking subjects you enjoy to potential careers.
  • National Careers Website: Explore job profiles and career information.
  • iCould: Watch career videos and job profiles, with a focus on 14.
  • Success at School: Discover where different subjects, like History, can take you.
  • Discover Creative Careers: Get advice for your creative career.
  • Why Study Languages: Explore where languages can take you.
  • Gov.uk Apprenticeships: Find entry requirements for live apprenticeship vacancies.
  • UCAS: Search for university courses and their entry requirements.
  • Career Pilot: Gain insights into your choices at 14.
  • Informed Choices: Understand which subjects open up different degrees, especially at Russell Group universities.

Explore these resources and make informed choices for your future!

The Future

The Future

When you reach the end of Year 11 there are various alternatives open to you: 

  • To continue in full-time education beyond the age of 16 in school or college. 
  • To start a recognised Apprenticeship (with a built-in training programme).

It is worth mentioning why you might choose to remain in full-time education at school or college beyond the age of 16: 

• To take Level 3 courses, including A Level, BTEC Nationals, T-Levels or other vocational courses, either in preparation for a higher apprenticeship/employment at 18 years of age or to go on to Higher Education. 

• To pursue a one-year Level 2 course, leading to a BTEC qualification (or equivalent), then to continue a course of study leading to a Level 3 qualification or start an Apprenticeship aged 17 years of age

Pupils wishing to take Level 3 will have to meet minimum general entry requirements for these courses. 

Current Level 3 entry requirements at Sixth Form are: 

  • Pupils entering Year 12 to study A Levels should have a good range of GCSE grades. The entry criteria are based on an average point score of the grades you gain. 
  • Pupils must additionally meet the subject specific entry requirements usually a GCSE grade 5 or 6 (current model) for Sixth Form courses. 
  • Any pupil not achieving a high-level pass in English or Maths at the end of Year 11 will be required to continue studying the subjects until they achieve a high-level pass. This currently applies to all pupils up to the end of Year 13. Pupils will need these high-level passes for application to university.


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