In the Spring term you will be making your choices for GCSE. At this stage your curriculum will still be broad, so that you can continue to extend your knowledge and skills in a central core of subjects while beginning to make choices in other areas, based on your own abilities and preferences. This curriculum will ensure that as many opportunities as possible remain open to you.

The GCSE curriculum at Abbs Cross combines a core of compulsory subjects – English Language, English Literature, Mathematics, Science and History or Geography – with three further choices. You will also take courses in RE at GCSE and PE (not for examination).

It is important that you keep as many options open as possible, and you should bear the A Level curriculum in mind, which encourages breadth and from which you will be choosing 3 or 4 subjects. You should not be too quick to see yourself as a ‘scientist’ or an ‘arts’ student, as combinations of these subjects will be encouraged right up to A Level, and universities will be looking for students with breadth as well as depth in their choice of subjects. It is important to understand which A-Level subjects universities now consider facilitating subjects. In making your choices listen to your parents, teachers, and friends, but remember:




Your choice should be based on:

  • What is available
  • What you enjoy
  • What you are good at
  • What you might need for future study and careers


You might have difficulty deciding which subjects to choose and be reluctant to opt for one course at the expense of another. It is therefore important to check which can be studied in the Sixth Form without a GCSE background and which cannot. Where the GCSE is a requirement for A Level, a pass at grade 5 is the minimum grade expected. There is often the chance to pick up subjects at a later stage during further and higher education.

First, look into the content of the course. A summary of each course can be found in this booklet. Make sure that it matches up with your abilities and interests and, if necessary, talk to other students in Years 10 and 11.

Your interest must be in the subject itself, not the teacher. A poor reason for choosing a subject would be just because you like your teacher, since it is possible that a different member of staff would teach you next year. A more positive indicator would be that you are successful in the subject, can cope competently with its demands and enjoy the lessons. Unfortunately, we are not always good at the things we like and sometimes do not like the things at which we are good.

Some careers need certain subjects. If you have a particular career in mind, you can find out what is required by using the careers section in the library, your UniFrog login online, or speaking to Mr. Parry who oversees careers. For more information or advice, you should consult your form teacher or Achievement Team Leader, Mr. Bellinger.  By the end of Year 11 you might have very different aspirations to now; fortunately, the core subjects will help you to keep your options open.

Recommendations could be important. Your parents/carers will have views and you need to listen to their advice. Your teachers will know your strengths and weaknesses, how you cope under pressure and how well you are likely to perform in practical elements and in examinations. Your friends, too, may try to persuade you to follow their course but you must decide according to your needs.

You will be receiving all the information on your options choices in school and virtually – you must ask us any questions you have – there are not silly questions. You can ask these in person, by email or by phoning the school and leaving a message. Make sure that you ask your questions!

Remember: it must be your choice, your work, your results. So, listen to advice, think about it seriously and then choose your own examination courses.

Year 9 Options 2024 Booklet 2024