FAQ about Options

1. How many qualifications will my son or daughter study?

The vast majority of students will study 9 qualifications. They will be awarded six GCSEs in the core subjects – English Language, English Literature, Maths, Science combined (2 GCSEs), Humanities – and they will then supplement that with the three qualifications they will be awarded in their option subjects.

2. Do I have to study Geography or History?

Yes, all students must choose between Geography or History. Students can not study both.

3. Do I have to study both a Modern Foreign Language and Geography or History?

We encourage students who wish to meet the criteria for the English Baccalaureate to study a Modern Foreign Language and Geography or History. Spanish or French can be found with the options subjects.

4. What do I do if my preferred combination of Option Subjects does not fit into the option blocks?

We will try and build the option blocks, and our timetable, around students’ options choices. Where it isn’t possible to allocate a student to all four of their preferred choices, we will make use of their reserve choices. Where this isn’t possible, we will contact home and re-interview the student.

5. Once I have submitted my options form, am I guaranteed to study those subjects?

No. Sometimes it is not possible to timetable particular combinations of subjects. Sometimes subjects may be under-subscribed and it will not be viable to run as many teaching groups as we would like. We obviously try to limit the impact of such changes. In such cases, we will make use of reserve choices if necessary. Where this isn’t possible, we will contact home and re-interview the student.

6. Will some students study triple science?

Yes, we will make the decision as we move through Year 10. Students will be tracked and progress monitored to ensure that the students are on the correct pathway to maximise their potential. Discussions around Triple Science will take place at the end of Year 10.

7. Which subjects should I choose?

The subjects that are best for you depend on who you are and where you want to go. Think about your strengths and interests. Which subjects are you doing best in? Which subjects do you find most interesting? Think about which career might be right for you and which subject you might like to study at university. You don’t have to have your future mapped out, but start thinking about the future. You are more likely to do well in a subject that you are achieving well in or that you enjoy.

Much will change between now and age 18 so it’s a good idea to follow a range of qualifications.

8. Should I choose a subject because I like the teacher?

It’s a tricky one, because a great teacher can inspire you to do your best in a subject. However, how much you like your teacher should not be one of the key factors when choosing your options. That inspirational teacher might not teach you in Year 10. There’s no point doing a subject just to impress your favourite teacher, either. They won’t be in your life forever. The person you most need to impress is yourself, because you’re the one making choices to make your future a better one!

9. Should I choose a subject because my friends are doing it?

No, doing different options shouldn’t have any effect on your friendships – it will just mean you have lots to talk about when you’re together at other times. Plus, there’s a chance you’ll make additional new friends in the subject you choose, too.

10. Whose advice should I listen to when choosing options?

Teachers at your school are really well-placed to offer you advice and support; do talk to your teachers if you have any questions about your GCSEs and how it all works.

Careers advisors are extremely well-trained and prepared to help you with your careers and GCSE-related questions – whatever your questions are, they will be able to offer support, resources and information to help you with your choices.

Your parents can also help – they may not understand clever new point systems and things that weren’t around in their day, but they should have your best interests at heart.

Your friends will be going through the same stress as you, so you can bounce ideas off them if you like… but it’s important to remember it’s your final decision.

11. Are my A-Level choices affected by the choices I make now?

Many of you will be thinking about joining us in Y12 and Y13 to continue your education at The Hart School Sixth Form. With this I mind some A-level options don’t require you to have studied them at GCSE first – for example, psychology, media studies or law. For other subjects you’ll most likely need the level 2 qualification, so check with your teacher to make sure.

12. Do Universities care about which options you choose?

Most universities need you to have English and maths GCSEs… which is handy, because you’ll be studying them as core GCSE subjects anyway.

For some degrees, or careers, their requirements for qualifications aren’t too limiting. For example, most unis don’t mind which subjects you’ve studied before if you want to do a law degree – they just want you to have done well in the subjects you chose.

In some cases, you’ll need specific A-levels (and therefore the GCSEs you need to be able to do those A-levels) to get on certain university courses (e.g. the sciences, history or foreign languages).

13. Should I think about how courses are assessed when choosing my options?

Individual qualifications will be marked in a variety of ways – through reading and writing coursework completed in lessons, exams, performances and perhaps spoken exams (as in the case of languages). You can think about how you perform well, and if there are any marking formats you find particularly challenging.

Your teachers are there to help you choose the most appropriate subjects for you. You can ask them if there’s an oral test or if there’s laboratory or fieldwork involved, and you can also ask them what percentage of marks is given for coursework.

14. How important ss it to get good grades in my subjects?

If you want to give yourself a wider choice of options after school, getting good grades is really important. If you enjoy a subject, you’re more likely to do your best and perform better in it. You’ll still be wanting to get a balance of what you’d most enjoy studying for two years and what will be most ‘useful’, though.

15. What is the deadline for return of Options Forms?

Options Forms must be completed online. All forms must be submitted by 21 April 2021.

16. When will I find out what subjects I’ve been allocated?

We will communicate with students and home regarding subject allocation 28 May 2021

17. How can I cope with the decision making around options?

Fear not – you can do this! It’s tough to choose, but you’ll feel quite good about your final list of options once you’ve done it. Please remember that however impossible it might feel to make this big decision, you’re not alone. Everyone finds it tough to choose their options, yet somehow it happens, and you can breathe a sigh of relief and move on. Hopefully the advice you’ve found here will help some of your choices become a bit clearer.