Choices at 13 and 14
Year 9 Options
Year 9 is the time when you start thinking about what you want to go on to study in Years 10 and 11. There’s a range of courses available but not all of them are offered by every school. Your school will give you information on the courses and qualifications on offer. Many schools hold information sessions for students and their parents and some run student taster activities. Use these opportunities to find out as much as you can. At some schools you’ll make your choices in Year 8 and start studying in Year 9.
Some of the options on offer may be:
- GCSEs - GCSEs are offered by virtually all schools and are the most common qualification studied in Years 10 and 11. They’re available in lots of different subjects including vocational (work related) ones.
- Diplomas - These are qualifications that will teach you about a specific area of work. They give you a mix of classroom learning and hands on work experience. Diplomas aren’t available at all schools.
- Foundation Learning – This could be an option if you’re not yet ready to take GCSEs (or similar level qualifications). On Foundation Learning you could gain Entry Level and Level 1 qualifications. Foundation Learning may be called something different in your school.
- Other qualifications - There are a range of other course and qualifications available. These are available at different levels and include BTECs, OCRs, and NVQs.
You may be able to take a mixture of different types of courses and qualifications.
All students are expected to study English, maths and science. These subjects are usually taken at GCSE but may be studied as part of another course. There will be other subjects that you have to study – some of these subjects may lead to a qualification. Your school will tell you which subjects are compulsory and what options you can choose from.