The next school year will be a very important one for your son/daughter. Until now he/she has taken more or less the same subjects from year to year and everybody's timetable has looked very much the same.
Next year will be different. Your son/daughter will continue to study some subjects, drop others and perhaps take some entirely new subjects. Therefore during the coming weeks your son/daughter will be asked to choose his/her subjects for the next two years. It is most important that he/she chooses wisely as the choices could well affect his/her future.
The following sections give an outline of Years 10 and 11, the external examinations and also the factors to consider when choosing subjects for external examinations.
Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee the availability of all subjects. Sometimes alterations have to be made depending on pupil choices, numbers and staffing. The school will inform you as soon as possible if we have to change a course or delete an option in order that your son/daughter can make another choice.
Key Stage 4 Arrangements
Every pupil in Year 10 will study Welsh, English, Mathematics, Science, Religious Education, Physical Education, Life Skills and four optional subjects. A pupil will receive six lessons in Welsh, English and Mathematics, nine lessons in Science, two in Religious Education (Religious Education is now regarded as a statutory subject and as such all pupils in years 10 and 11 are required by Law to study it) and six lessons in each of the optional subjects. In the Core subjects pupils will be placed in sets according to the examination most suitable to their attainment.
The courses in all the above subjects lead to either the General
Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) or to the Entry Level
Certificate ELC) in some subjects. Students also have the opportunity to choose Vocational GCSE subjects such as a VRQ or BTEC qualifications. Therefore it will be possible for students to sit external examinations in at least ten subjects at the end of year 11. Some subjects will also enter pupils for GCSE examinations at the end of year 10. Of course, it will be possible for those pupils who sit Language and Literature papers in Welsh and English and who follow a dual/double award science course to obtain a certificate in thirteen subjects. The Religious Education course is GCSE Short Course.
In addition to the courses which lead to an external examination
every pupil will receive two lessons of Physical Education. The
Personal Future programme will contain the following elements:
Careers Guidance, Moral Education, Health Education, Economic
Awareness, Sustainability, Sex and Drugs Education. This will be
offered by collapsing the timetable on certain days during the year.
The Optional Subjects
In choosing the subjects from the columns you must ensure that your curriculum is broad and balanced, and that you do not restrict your choice to a number of similar subjects. Too much specialisation at this stage could lead to disappointment later on, and you could find many doors closed to you as far as a career goes.