Looking Ahead : Subject Choices in Year 9

My Son/Daughter is in Year 9. What should they be thinking about if they plan to come to Cirencester College?  

What GCSEs should they be studying?

The important thing is to keep your options open as far as possible. If you will want to study A-levels or most vocational courses they will need at least 5 good GCSEs (grace C/5) from a specific basket of academic subjects. This includes Maths, Sciences, English Language and Literature, Languages, History, Geography, RS, Business and the new Computing GCSE.  Applicants who are not doing (and passing at C/5 or above) enough of these subjects will not be admitted onto many courses. For some courses you will need grade B/6s. Specific entry requirements based on the new 9 grade GCSEs will be published in autumn 2017. It is also really important to try and get Maths and English at grade C/5 or above. Students rarely enjoy having to re-sit these subjects at 16 or beyond and they are going to be increasingly important for entry into employment and university. Not having Maths or English may mean you cannot do your preferred subjects at 16. Beware of claims that other qualifications will be accepted instead of GCSEs. They may be, but they may also not be. You need to check these out before you commit to them.

How else can they prepare for post-16 study?

You need to use your GCSE years to refine and develop your study habits to enable you to cope at 16 and beyond. At the College we try and prepare students for Higher Education where increasingly students are expected to organise themselves, research, solve problems and produce assignments to deadline with little support or even contact from individual staff. Students will cope better with A-levels and vocational courses and develop further with us if they already have the basics. In particular this means:

  • Good attendance and punctuality
  • Meeting deadlines
  • Preparing for lessons and tests out of class
  • Able to process information (including reading texts) quickly
  • Able to make notes.
  • Getting enough sleep

Take advantage of the wider opportunities in years 10 and 11 to develop skills further. This means participating in school enrichment to develop the employability and social skills which will be so important whatever you decide to do next. There should be something amongst the clubs, sports, events and other activities which will interest you. You will be able to build on these at College and University.

Details of all the national changes that may impact on your son and daughter can be found here