Choosing your options

When choosing your options, it’s important to have as much information as possible to make the decision that is right for you. You may not know what path you will take after Year 11, or you may change your mind about what you want to do after Year 11. This is completely normal and nothing to worry about!

For most careers, English, Maths and Science are the most important GCSE subjects to have. Other subjects may be more important to you and your future so studying these subjects at GCSE is useful or essential if you want to take them further. It's important you do your research if you have some ideas about your future and this will help with choosing your options.

More information:

Key points to think about

  • Which subjects are you good at?
  • How is the subject assessed?
  • Take into account your preferred learning style. Is the subject you want to study taught practically? Does it involve writing essays?
  • Do your research! There aren't many choices that will prevent you from changing your mind after Year 11, though there are a few courses at university that do prefer, or require, certain GCSEs.
  • Don’t choose a subject just because you like the teacher or your friends have chosen it - Is choosing a subject just because you like the teacher ... or because your friends are doing it a good enough reason? You could end up with a different teacher or in a different class to your friends.
  • Choose subjects you will enjoy - this will keep you motivated to learn.

Where can I find out more?

Many schools will give you a subject choices/options booklet. This will tell you the subjects on offer at your school and the subjects that you need to take. Maths, English and Science are compulsory at every school but some schools have other subjects which are compulsory as well.

Talk to your teachers and careers advisors about which options are right for you. Read your school’s “Options” booklet carefully, and talk about with your family and friends. Your school will have an information evening about your options – it's a good chance to find out more.

There is also an options event for all Year 9 students in the city, Steps to Success, which is held every October. Your school should be able to give you information about where and when it is running. It’s a great chance for you and your parents to find out more about your options