GCSE Options

At Humphry Davy School we currently operate a 3 year Key Stage 3 (Years 7, 8 and 9) and a 2 year Key Stage 4 (Years 10 and 11). 

Students in years 10 and 11 will study a curriculum that has been designed to:

  • Be broad and balanced  - to give students the opportunity to develop their skills in lots of areas.
  • Help students to become independent, confident, considerate and responsible adults who understand the importance of a fairer and environmentally sustainable world and make a positive contribution to society at a local, national and global level.
  • Give students the opportunity to achieve their highest potential in nationally recognised qualifications.
  • Enable students to study qualifications which will enable them to access the courses and career they aspire to once they leave Humphry Davy School at the end of Year 11.
  • Meet the requirements of the National Curriculum which contains guidelines from the government about what students in this country should study.

More information about the National Curriculum:

The government says that all students in this country must study English, mathematics, science, computing, religion and personal development, together with physical education.

We call this our ‘compulsory curriculum’.

No matter what students decide to study for their GCSE options they will always have lessons based around these subjects throughout their time at Humphry Davy School. Students may take qualifications in some of these subjects but not necessarily in all of them.

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Personalising your learning!

As a school, we recognise that all of our students are individuals with differing needs. Our aim is to offer personalised learning pathways tailored to each student.

This means that students will study a selection of GCSE and BTEC qualifications in addition to the compulsory curriculum and that they will have some choice in which subjects they continue to study from year 10 onwards.

The future success and wellbeing of our students is extremely important to us and our experience has shown that all students need a substantial amount of help and advice to make decisions about what options to choose.   That being the case there is a lot of support on offer to our Year 9 students and their parents/carers when making their option choices, including:

  • the opportunity to attend to an options evening where students and their parents/carers can find out more about the options process and ask any questions they may have
  • an options booklet which includes information about each stage of the options process and details of the qualifications they can choose from. The current booklet is available to download from this web page (published in February each year).
  • time for students and their parents/carers to reflect on the option choices they might like to make based on what they have learned so far and agree upon initial option choices.
  • an interview with a member of senior staff to agree a `personalised learning pathway for success'. This will involve a discussion of students’ aspirations for the future and a consideration of how this fits with their initial option choices. Alternative option choices may be suggested as a result of this discussion.
  • time for students and their parents/carers to agree final option choices, taking into account any recommendations made by the senior member of staff during the student’s options interview.
  • the opportunity to meet with a senior member of staff to discuss any issues arising once options allocations have been made.

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Options Timeline:

November Details of the options timeline will be sent to parent/carers via Parentmail and students' initial interest will be surveyed.

Students will attend our annual careers fair and parents/carers are also invited to attend after school.  This will enable students to find out more about their skill set and the job sectors they may be interested in once they leave school.

Late February

Options Evening. This is an opportunity for parents/carers to find out more about the options process. Parents/carers will receive the options booklet and form around this time and it will also be available via the website.

Students make their initial options choices by completing the options form following discussions with their family.


Students will have a personal interview with a senior member of staff. Following this interview students and their parents/carers will make the final options choices via the options form.  A deadline will be given for the return of the options form.

May Options choices will be confirmed.

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A small number of students with particular needs may be offered an alternative curriculum that is more suited to them. In this instance there will be further opportunities for both the students and their parents/carers to discuss and agree recommendations at a separate interview which may involve an independent careers advisor or other members of school staff.

What to consider when choosing GCSE options:

When making option choices we encourage students and their parents/carers to take into account and discuss:

  • The student’s strengths, weaknesses and how well they are getting on in their existing subjects.
  • The student’s aspirations for age 16 and beyond!
  • What qualifications would be useful if the student has a particular career in mind and, if not, to make sure they choose a good range of subjects so they have the choices of a wide range of qualifications and careers in the future!
  • What is right for the student and their future and not to base decisions on what their friends want to do or who their favourite teacher is!

Useful Links To Help Students


  • Find out about all the choices at 13, 14, 16 and 18
  • Search for information on hundreds of jobs in twenty different job sectors
  • Explore routes to different qualifications


  • Browse the job profiles section to research job titles/areas of work that you are interested in
  • It will give you information about jobs, pay, entry requirements; skills required and have links to other useful websites and labour market information
  • You can ring/chat to a National Careers Service adviser for more help and information


  • Take the buzz quiz to help identify your strengths and personality type and match to careers and jobs
  • Look at videos related to jobs and subjects


  • Guide to careers, education and student life


  • Information about options at 16
  • Search for university courses
  • Look for entry requirements/subjects required that you may need for courses


  • General careers information


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