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Options Procedure

The options process begins in the spring term of Y9, during which students complete a unit of work in LIFE focussing on career choices and how their options should match their ideas for their future. Whilst this is taking place, student data is analysed and, based on current performance and performance at the end of primary school, students are allocated a pathway to follow.

Currently, at Chaucer, we arrange students into four pathways: blue, green, purple and yellow. The blue pathway is suitable for very able and high achieving students and includes options such as computer science, which are only accessible to students who are very able at maths. In this pathway, as well as the green pathway, students are expected to choose at least one Ebacc subject of either history, geography, French or computer science (blue pathway only). They are then free to choose either traditional academic GCSE subjects or vocational BTEC subjects from each option block. The only stipulation that students are not allowed to pick more than two vocational courses.

The purple and yellow pathways and are suitable for lower attaining students. Students following these pathways are not expected to choose an Ebacc subject, although they can if they want to. They are also allowed to choose more than two vocational courses should they wish. Students in the yellow pathway current study one fewer qualification than other students, giving them the opportunity to further develop their literacy and numeracy skills.

Once students have been allocated a pathway and have studied the careers module in LIFE, Y9 Options Evening takes place. During this event, parents and students are given the opportunity to meet with staff from each subject area to find out information about GCSE and BTEC courses. Parents and students are encouraged to go to as many subject areas as possible, finding out as much information as they can so that students are comfortable picking options from each block. Presentations are also given at this event, giving details about how the options process works, timescales and deadlines.

A week after options evening, an options assembly takes place. This gives students further information about the process, timescales and the deadline for handing the completed options form in. During a LIFE lesson the following day, students are given their options form and a letter to inform parents of how it should be filled in, along with the deadline for its return. It is made clear that options are not allocated on a first come first served basis and they a reserve subject must be selected in each option block in case students’ first choice does not run.

Once forms have been returned, students are allocated subjects. They are given a further interview by a member of the leadership team to discuss their choices, if this is necessary, and time is given for them to amend their choices. Where possible, students are allocated their first options and, traditionally, most do get them. In some cases, because an option is full or is there are too small a number choosing it to make it viable to run (normally fewer than 12), students will be located their second choice. If this is necessary, students are spoken to individually to explain why this has happened.

Once the process has been completed, students and parents are informed via letter of which options they have been allocated. This normally takes place in late June.

Any questions on Options please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.