A word from Mr Hogan
Your son/daughter is entering an exciting time in their education journey at SPH, where they choose the subjects they will study for the next two years. At SPH, we are very proud of the excellent progress our students make between starting with us in Year 7 and leaving at the end of Year 13.
A vital stage in that journey is the decision you are about to make about the shape and content of your son/daughter’s GCSE courses. We have carefully considered the breadth and depth of the curriculum choices on offer and it is our aim that all our students have the opportunity to succeed in their subjects and keep
doorways open to future educational pathways.
We have tried to make the process as simple as possible but appreciate it can sometimes be challenging to navigate your way through the choices and pathways. I would encourage you to make full use of all the resources we provide: our options section on our school website, our
Pupil Parent Consultation Evening, Options Evening and Unifrog. There are many elements to consider in making the right GCSE choices and we have tried to provide as broad a choice as
possible in a structure whereby as many pupils as possible are able to study their first choice subjects.
You may also be aware that The Department for Education has also changed how the GCSE
subjects will be graded. In 2018 the traditional grading system of A* -G was replaced with a new grading system based on numbers and students will be awarded these from 9– 1.
Consultation and Advice
We will be actively working with students to inform consult and support them as they move into Key Stage 4. We look very closely at individual levels of ability and aptitude to ensure all
students realise their potential. Our PPCE and Year 9 Options Evening are also designed to allow students and parents to meet with the teachers to ensure that they have all the information they need to make the right decisions.
We design and tailor our curriculum around the needs of every child, changing our curriculum offer every year. Therefore, we do also ask students to provide two reserve choices in case we are unable to fulfil all of their choices. We will always do this with the involvement of parents/carers and students.
I hope that you find the website information useful as we move into the next exciting part of your son/daughter’s education at SPH.
Mr L Hogan
A word from Ms Sutherland
The transition into KS4 is a really exhilarating and exciting time for students and one that must feel right for the individual. We are really blessed here at SPH to have such a robust programme in place to support our students into making the right decision for them.
Already in year 9 will have started using the UniFrog system to research and discover new career pathways and exploring how GCSE options lead to Sixth Form A-Level options and beyond- we don’t call it the seven year journey here for nothing! From here students have also started to explore Degree and Career gateways through their tutor time sessions; and have been expertly guided by their form tutors.
By this stage in your education, you should have a good idea which subjects you prefer, as well as those you are good at. You should also think about whether you may need a particular subject for your future career. Please do not be concerned if you have little or no idea of a career choice at this stage. We will help you with this throughout Years 10 to 13.
Another consideration you may want to make when choosing your option subjects, is seeing which skills you’ll need in addition to academic grades when applying for University courses and jobs later on. A key example would be looking at Creative and Performing Arts subjects. Creativity is one of the top searched for skills on an applicant’s CV when applying for Universities and Jobs in the UK. It’s a skill that cannot be replicated by a computer or algorithm! When looking at applications for Medical Schools, for example, not only are they looking for Science based option subjects, but are looking for manual dexterity skills so that applicants can sew up patients after surgery or in a busy A&E department. It’s worth keeping this in mind for a whole host of competitive job roles- what can give you the competitive advantage over another candidate should you apply for the same course/job role?
You need a choice of subjects that also suits your needs, abilities and preferences. Keep in mind that your ideas about a career may well change during Years 10 to 13; you should choose a broad and balanced range of subjects. You will need to think about areas that you might like to pursue at sixth form and also consider which qualifications best suit your strengths.
I would strongly urge you to discuss your ideas and thoughts with your parents and ask for their views. Ask your teachers whether they would recommend that you follow an examination course in their subject. Your tutor and head of year are able to discuss this with you too, especially in your designated tutor time sessions in our computer rooms- if in doubt ASK! We’re always here to help.
I hope that you find this time exciting and enlightening, and please know my door is always open to discuss any challenges or difficulties you may face.
Kind Regards and God Bless,
Ms V Sutherland
Head of Year 9.
Art and Design
Cambridge Nationals in Creative iMedia
Food Preparation and Nutrition
Design and Technology
Level 2 BTEC First Award in Performing Arts
Modern Foreign Language