Learning & Achieving Together

Key Stage 4 Options

Key Stage 4 Options

All of the information on this page relates to students currently in Year 8 (in the 2020-2021 academic year) and who will begin their GCSE/BTEC Key Stage 4 courses in September 2021 when they start Year 9.

At the bottom of this page, you will find a link to the Key Stage 4 Options Booklet for Year 8. Students will be given their own printed copy of the booklet once schools return after 8 March. The booklet is also accessible through the link at the bottom of this page.

Within the booklet you will find:

  • An explanation of the curriculum for all students;
  • Guidance on which parts of the curriculum are core (and studied by everyone) and which parts have an element of personalisation and/or choice;
  • Information about all of the subjects within the curriculum (core and those from which students select);
  • Examples of each of the two options forms which help to make clear where an element of choice is offered to students.

Please note that the key dates section in the booklet may be amended as the national response to Coronavirus develops.

Options during the period of national school closure:

Students in Year 8 had the options process introduced to them by remote assembly on Monday, 1 February. They will also enjoy assemblies by subjects new to students from Year 9 onwards. These assemblies are all designed to give students information to help them to understand what choices they will make and also to know more about the subjects at Key Stage 4.

The Year 8 Options Information Evening is scheduled for Thursday, 18 March. We will confirm nearer the time, whether the event will happen for students live after school, on site, or remotely. Parents and carers who would normally join the Options Information Evening on site will not be able to do so this year as the school must adhere to government guidelines about limiting visitors on site.

To help students and parents/carers in light of the national response to the Coronavirus, we have created two additional documents linked below to still give you access to extra support and information. The first is our Frequently Asked Questions document linked below. This contains questions asked by students, parents and carers in previous years. We are also able to respond to new questions and if, having read through the booklet and the FAQ document, you have questions, do please email Y8Options@brentsidehigh.ealing.sch.uk and one of the team will respond and if questions are asked by more than one person, we will update our FAQ document to offer the information for all. Please do read the information in the booklet and the FAQ prior to emailing the Options address to support the staff who will manage responses. Questions to this email address should not be subject specific ones; these should be emailed to the relevant subject leader. The subject leader email addresses are listed on the Contacts page at the end of the Options Booklet.

We know that during the Options Information Evening teachers often summarise, simplify information and give examples of the types of learning in lessons for their subjects at Key Stage 4. To help students and their families, our staff have created a Straight Talking Teacher Guide (linked below) which gives accessible information about each of the options subjects (those from which students choose).

Deadline for option forms to be submitted:

There is a long process that starts after the students have submitted their options choices. In order to give as many students as possible their first choices, we build the whole school timetable around the Year 8 options choices. It is also important that the Year Team (and for some courses, the subject leader,) reviews the skills, interests and abilities of students selecting certain courses to ensure that we are setting students up to have the greatest chance of success and if a choice of course does not appear to be the best one for an individual, then we may get in touch with the student and their family to discuss choices further. We may also advertise and appoint new staff based on the options choices and this obviously takes time. The deadline for forms to be submitted is Monday, 29 March. Please contact Mr Moynihan if you are experiencing difficulty meeting this deadline and we will endeavour to help you.

How to submit your choices:

As long as schools return soon after 8 March, we will collect options choices by giving each child a personalised options form to complete and give in. If lockdown remains for Year 8 students for longer, we may collect choices via Survey Monkey through student email addresses. The way that choices are to be collected will be clearly explained to students nearer the time; the questions will be the same whether on a paper copy of the form or through an online survey. The example options forms for students to practise on are at the back of the Options Booklet.

Do please read the Frequently Asked Questions document and the Straight Talking Teacher Guide for more information. If you have questions about specific subjects after reading these, please email your question to the relevant subject leader (email addresses are at the end of the Options Booklet) and for any questions about the process do email Mr Moynihan or your form tutor in the first instance or the Options email address above.

Link to the Options Frequently Asked Questions document

Link to the Straight Talking Teacher Guide

Links to Year 8 Options Booklet