Y9 to Y10

The transition between Year 9 and Year 10 is seen bay many students as an opportunity to personalise their curriculum and study subjects they have a passion for in more depth. For some it is also a chance to take up new subjects that they haven't yet studied. At New Mills School, students begin the process of shaping their curriculum for Year 10 and 11 in the autumn of their Year 9. To begin the process, all Year 9 students have the options process explained to them in an assembly. The key points of this information are the time line of events, and what choices they have. The information below shows the timeline of events in place to help guide students:

Autumn of Year 9 

  • Options Process Assembly
  • Options Taster Day: Short sessions of the subjects students have not experienced during Years 7-9 to provide an insight into that course at GCSE level
  • Y9 Parent Information Evening - An evening where parents and students are invited into school to listen to a presentation on the options process and have an opportunity to ask questions. Representatives from options subjects are available to explain the courses available, and senior staff are on hand to offer individual, personalised advice on the best options for each student
  • Options booklet with details of courses and an initial “Expression of Interest” form are taken home for discussion
  • Careers day – an opportunity for students to gain an insight about which courses can lead to which careers
  • Written report sent home. This details strengths and areas for development in each subject on a personal level, and supports decision making in terms of which courses a student may be successful in.
  • “Expression of Interest” form deadline – students hand in the form to their tutor. After this the final option blocks will be determined, from which students select which option courses to apply for

Spring of Year 9 

  • Snapshot report sent home. This gives up to date information on the GCSE grades teachers believe students will achieve at the end of Year 11, if the course is applied for, and they are accepted. This again supports the decision making process
  • Year 9 Parents Evening. This is an opportunity for parents to discuss the content and suitability of option courses with subject teachers, as well as gaining feedback on their current academic life
  • “Option Application” forms sent home. These now show the option courses in "blocks" with details of how many and how to apply for courses
  • Completed “Option Application” forms are returned to Form Tutors. 
  • Students have individual consultations with staff on the Senior Team about options. Confirmation or alteration of the options applied for will happen at these meetings.

 Ssmmer of Year 9

  • Snapshot report sent home with final options offer letter
  • Deadline for final offers to be confirmed by parents

In terms of what students can choose to study, all students must study the core curriculum of tutorial time, English Language, English Literature, Mathematics, Science, Personal Development and Physical Education. The Science studied will either be combined science or separate sciences. This decision will be made by the Science faculty during Year 9.

In addition to the core curriculum all students must choose at least one EBacc subject. The choices are: a Humanities (History or Geography), or a Modern Foreign Language (French or German or Spanish) or Computer Science. In addition to the core curriculum and the EBacc subject all students must make a further two choices. Students can choose to study additional EBacc subjects or choose to pursue non-EBacc subjects. If a student would like to achieve the “EBacc” in full, they need to include both a Humanities (History or Geography), AND a Modern Foreign Language (French or German). This combination of subjects facilitates a wide range of A Levels and supports entry to University.

Initially, there is a free choice of options (the “Expression of Interest”). This enables us to account for student preferences as well as their aptitude, and attitude in option subjects. At this point we “block” the option subjects so they can be timetabled. The final option application form requires students to pick one course from each “block”.

Option subjects currently include:
  • Art
  • Business Studies
  • Catering
  • Computer Science
  • Construction
  • Drama
  • French
  • Geography
  • German
  • History
  • Media Studies
  • Music
  • Philosophy & Ethics
  • Resistant Materials
  • Sports Science
  • Spanish