Option Process

The GCSE Options Process


You will need to think very carefully about the choices that you would like to make at Key Stage 4 and it’s important that you appreciate the size of the commitment you are making.  As you may be aware, all young people are now required to continue in education or training until their eighteenth birthday. The subjects that you choose now will influence any potential A Level, college courses, and apprenticeships, and will form the foundation of your continuing education leading to university, training, or employment.

On the 1st March we will be launching our Option Process and all families will be given access to an Options SharePoint Page which will include lots of useful information when you are choosing your option.

We are here to help you throughout the process – please talk to your tutor, Head of Year, subject teachers, or myself if you are unsure about your option choices.

Mrs Farrow, Assistant Headteacher of Curriculum.


Choosing the subjects, you wish to take for GCSE can be a difficult one.  We aim to support our students through this process by working with them, on the 1st March all Year 8 students will be off timetable and focusing on their option choices.  The plan for the day is:

The format of the day will be as follows:

· 8.50am – 9.10: Virtual Assembly All Year 8 students should attend this assembly. During the assembly I will talk through the options process and the activities available to them throughout the day.
· 9.10-15.10: Students will be able to choose how they structure their day; they will be given access to a SharePoint page where they will be able to find out about the courses that are available to them. This will include streams from subject staff.
Students will also be able to attend live events, these include:
o Virtual talks given by local colleges and Sixth Form provider
o Virtual Advice and a Slice events, with employers. Those attending the lunchtime event will be entered into a pizza raffle.
· 16.00-18.00: Tripod evening subject staff will be available to discuss option subjects – this will be a bookable event.

· 18.00-19.00 Careers Advice Q & A: This will be a bookable event with Sarah Pawlewski our careers advisor. Parents and students can ask questions to the career’s advisor.

Option Choices
All students will study English, Maths, Science, core PE, core Philosophy and Ethics, Inspirational Futures and PSHE .
Most students will be able to choose from four GCSE options.  The pathway a student follows will dictate how many options they are able to take. Below is a summary of the 3 pathways at Stowmarket follow and the options that students will have:
Pathway 1 Students are encouraged to study a language and must choose one humanities subject.
Pathway 2 Students must choose one humanities subject.
Pathway 3 Students will choose 2 subjects –one of these subjects should be a humanities subject

English Baccalaureate 

The Government believes that schools should offer students a broad range of academic subjects to the age of 16, and the English Baccalaureate (Ebacc) promotes that aspiration.  The Ebacc is not a qualification.  It recognises students’ achievements across a core of selected academic subjects in achieving six or more grades 9-5.  The Ebacc covers achievements in English Language, Mathematics, at least two sciences(which can include Computer Science), a language and either History, Geography.  

Key Dates:
  • 1st March 2021 - Option Choices Day - Year 8 students are off timetable so that they can use the day to research their option choices..
  • 26th March 2021: Final deadline for Option Choices forms - these are submitted electronically.


For more information on Option Pathways please contact Mrs Farrow, Assistant Headteacher Curriculum via email K.Farrow@stowhigh.com