KS4 Options 2018

Year 8 students will complete their Key Stage 3 courses in May and will move onto Key Stage 4 courses in June of Year 9.  To help students prepare for this change, your child will be making their choices for their Key Stage 4 courses over the coming weeks.  Obviously, this is a very important decision which will impact on your child’s future.  We also recognise that it can be a difficult decision to make which is why we place emphasis on advice, support and guidance so that the process can be as straight-forward as possible.

We know that the choices that your child will make are important for their future study which is why we will ensure that both you and your child receive the best advice possible in order to prepare them for this crucial decision.  As well as the information provided here, your child will:-

  • Be able to talk to their tutor and Heads of Year who have been trained in the KS4 Courses process
  • Receive an Options assembly aimed specifically at them
  • Take part in a group work session with Mr Davison, Head of Giles Future
  • Have talks from Heads of Department in assembly time during the week beginning 8 January 2018.
  • Be able to attend Y8 Option Evening on Wednesday 17 January 2018 at 6pm
  • Presentations from Heads of Department in Y8 Option Evening with parents

Online Options Evening form must be completed by Wednesday 10 January at the latest.

Online Preliminary Options form must be completed by Friday 2 February at the latest.

Online Final Options forms must be completed by Friday 19 February at the latest.

Option Evening – Wednesday 17 January 2018

To acknowledge receipt of your son’s/daughter’s option evening letter and to confirm your attendance please complete the attached.  You will also need to indicate which subject presentations your child wishes to attend.  This form must be completed by Wednesday 10 January 2018.

Core Curriculum

The curriculum is designed to ensure that students have a broad and balanced education to allow them to have a wide choice of pathways at 16.  The Key Stage 4 curriculum is made up of subjects which students are required to study (this is called Core Curriculum) and subjects that they can select to study (this is called Options or Vocational Curriculum).  The table below shows that the Core Curriculum occupies 67% (40 out of 60 lessons) of your child’s timetable in Year 9, 10 and 11.

Core Curriculum
Subject GCSE/Equivalent Periods per Fortnight
Year 9 Year 10 Year 11
English Language & English Literature 2 12 12 12
Mathematics 1 12 12 11
Combined Science 2 8 8 9
Philosophy and Ethics (not examined) 2 2 2
Physical Education (inc Swimming) (not examined) 6 6 6
Total number of GCSE / Lessons 5 40 40 40

Vocational Curriculum (Options)

In addition to studying the Core Curriculum, your child will also be able to select 4 Option subjects.  Your child will be guided to which options will be most appropriate for them to enable them to achieve the best possible grades.  This is based on their prior attainment (Key Stage 2), Key Stage 3 progress and Key Stage 4 expected outcomes.  The Options occupy 33% (20 out of 60 lessons) of your child’s timetable in Year 9, 10 and 11.

Vocational Curriculum
Subject GCSE/Equivalent Periods per Fortnight
Year 9 Year 10 Year 11
Option A 1 5 5 5
Option B 1 5 5 5
Option C 1 5 5 5
Option D 1 5 5 5
Total number of GCSE / Lessons 4 20 20 20

This year, your child has 20 different option subjects to choose from.  It is imperative that your child selects courses based on future career preferences within the curriculum structure offered at the Giles Academy, a Grammar curriculum and a Vocational curriculum is available to meet your child needs. A Preliminary option process will allow us the best chance to offer your child their preferred option of subjects taking into account restrictions on timetable structures and curriculum.

If your child follows a Grammar curriculum, we expect your child to choose at least two EBacc subjects.

If your child follows a Vocational curriculum, we expect your child to choose at least one EBacc subject.

English Baccalaureate (EBacc) Options

MFL (French, Italian and Spanish)




Vocational Options

Fine Art  or Art, Craft & Design (Combined Arts)    (Booklet)

Business Studies

Food Preparation & Nutrition

Graphic Design

Health & Social Care



Performing Arts


Product Design/Resistant Materials

Religious Studies

Sport Science




Helping Your Child Make Choices

All Year 8 Tutors have been trained to help support your child with their option choices.  SLT and Heads of Department have also run assemblies to explain more about the courses on offer in Year 9, 10 and Year 11.  Subject teachers can also give more information about courses and Heads of Year will also be available to advise your child about which options are most appropriate to meet their needs.  Mr Davison, our Head of Giles Future, has worked with your child and can give them guidance about what they should consider studying at Key Stage 4 based on their interests and career aspirations.

You will have the opportunity to discuss the content of the courses with Heads of Department on Y8 Option Evening on 17 January 2018.


Staff who can help

If you have any questions or concerns, the following staff will be able to help you:

Mrs Pell Assistant Headteacher (Options) spell@gilesacademy.co.uk
Mr Diaz Assistant Headteacher (Curriculum) jdiaz@gilesacademy.co.uk
Mrs Dyer Head of Year 8 sdyer@gilesacademy.co.uk
Mrs Cocks Assistant Head of Year 8 dcocks@gilesacademy.co.uk
Mrs Dover Assistant Head of Year 8 pdover@gilesacademy.co.uk
Mr Davison Head of Giles Futures Stdavison@gilesacademy.co.uk
Mr Abraham SEN Manager mabraham@gilesacademy.co.uk
Miss Blackburn Year 8 Form Tutor ablackburn@gilesacademy.co.uk
Mr Dodd Year 8 Form Tutor cdodd@gilesacademy.co.uk
Miss Miller Year 8 Form Tutor fmiller@gilesacademy.co.uk
Mrs Atkinson Year 8 Form Tutor gatkinson@gilesacademy.co.uk
Mrs Tebbutt Year 8 Form Tutor jtebbutt@gilesacademy.co.uk
Mrs Vrastiak Year 8 Form Tutor mvrastiak@gilesacademy.co.uk
Mrs Dover Year 8 Form Tutor pdover@gilesacademy.co.uk
Miss Stanhope Year 8 Form Tutor sastanhope@gilesacademy.co.uk
Mrs Cook Year 8 Form Tutor scook@gilesacademy.co.uk