OUTLINE OF KEY STAGE 4 COURSES
AND OPTION CHOICES
This booklet aims to give you, the student, and your parents/carers, information about the courses available to you in Key Stage 4 (Years 10 and 11), and guidance in considering and making decisions about the choices available to you.
You are now about to make decisions concerning the combination of courses, or pathway, that you wish to follow in the next two years. This forms part of your broader future 14-19 and beyond. When you look at the choices available to you, you must consider the following:
Some of these courses are compulsory, in other words, you must follow them. In many other cases you have options between a number of courses. Make sure you know which courses are which!
Think about your choices as part of your 14-19 pathway. You need not make decisions about what you want to do post-16 at this stage, but you must make sure that you do choose a pathway that keeps options open for you when you come to making further choices at Key Stage 5; don’t drop subjects that you may need later. Use the Connexions Library for research and ask for an interview with a Personal Advisor, via Mrs Smith, if you need more advice.
Think about your preferred learning styles and read very carefully the information on the following pages.
Think about your sanity and your stress levels. Education is not about collecting the highest number of qualifications possible, it is about studying courses that you enjoy, find interesting, and can do well in. Look carefully at the coursework and final examination requirements for each subject; does your pathway have a good balance in terms of workload? Is it right for you?
Think about the commitment you are making when you decide your pathway. You will need to ensure you continue to develop good study habits; use the library, your teachers and parents/carers to help you make the best use of your ability.
Don’t pre-judge your own ability! If you are well-organised, committed and positive, and if you take advantage of the support and help available to you, you will surprise yourself on what you can achieve.
Employers and Higher and Further Education institutions will be interested in your effort and achievement in the core subjects. Beyond that, they will expect you to have a good, all-round education; they will expect you to be enthusiastic and well-motivated; and they will want to know how much effort you have put into your courses and the success you have gained.
When you think about your pathway, you should use the following to guide and advise you:
your form tutor
your subject teachers and Learning and Achievement Co-ordinator
the Connexions Personal Advisors
anyone else who can offer helpful advice and enable you to make the right decisions for you.
Friends’ advice is useful, but remember – they’re not you! Above all, make sure your decisions are informed ones. Good luck!