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Year 9 Options & Pathways

Dear Student,

Next year you will begin the Examination Stage when you will start studying courses that will eventually lead to you gaining your first set of educational qualifications.

At the end of Year 11 many of you will go on to study at the Sixth Form, some of you will go into other types of education and some of you will go straight into employment or training. Whatever you choose to do when you finish your studies at Kingsbury High School, the courses you will start studying next year will play a crucial part in your future success.

Please read through all the information on this page very carefully.

Best wishes,

Mr McLean, Head of School

Students make their GCSE option choices in the Spring Term of Year 9. 

Guidance on making your choices

Think carefully about your future – all of the qualifications offered here will allow you to develop important knowledge and skills that will set you on the right path for your further education, employment or training.

What subjects do you enjoy learning and do well in? – the next two years will be a lot more challenging than your studies at the Transition and Foundation Stages. You are likely to meet this challenge more successfully if you choose subjects that you enjoy and do well in.

Avoid choosing a subject because your friends are doing it or because you like a particular teacher – when your timetable is finalised it may well be that you’re in a different class to your friends or your favourite teacher! Anyway, your friends may have completely different future plans to you. Choose the subject because you enjoy it and you are likely to do well in it and it will help you to achieve your future career ambitions.

Please note that although we will do our best to put you on the courses you have selected as your favourites, some courses may not be able to run if too few students choose to study them or if other timetabling constraints arise.

The General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) is, mainly, an exam-based qualification. You will be tested on the content and skills you have learned during your entire course of study (Years 10 & Year 11). GCSEs are graded 9 to 1 (with 9 being the highest grade you can achieve).

The Cambridge National is a work-related technical qualification equivalent to a GCSE.  This award is nationally recognised helping to provide a practical approach to your learning. Most of your assessment will be via coursework but you will also sit one exam. This is graded: Level 1/2 Distinction*; Distinction; Merit and Pass (with Level 2 Distinction* being the highest grade you can achieve).

New GCSE Old GCSE Cambridge National
9 A* L2 Distinction*
8 A  
7 A L2 Distinction
6 B  
5 C+ L2 Merit
4 C- L2 Pass
3 D L1 Distinction



L1 Merit

L1 Pass

1 G  

The English Baccalaureate (EBacc) curriculum involves studying a set of subjects at GCSE level which provide students with greater opportunities in further education.

The EBacc group of subjects is:

  • English Language GCSE
  • English Literature GCSE
  • Mathematics GCSE
  • Sciences GCSE
  • A Language GCSE
  • Geography GCSE or History GCSE

In addition to the information on this page, there will be:

  • Assembly - to explain how the process will work.
  • Taster Day - where you will have the opportunity of experiencing what studying a subject is like at GCSE level.
  • Parents' Evening - where your subject teachers will discuss your progress with you and your parents.
  • Options Fair - where you can come and ask your subject leaders and teachers your final questions before you make your choices.
  • Progress Report - will show your attainment and attitude to learning scores in the subjects you are studying.