During Year 9 you'll have to choose the subjects to take in Years 10 and 11, some of the subjects are compulsory and others are optional. They could lead to exams like GCSEs, or vocational qualifications, so it's important to choose ones that interest you and that suit you. It's possible that in your school you make some choices in Year 8.
The compulsory subjects are:
You will also do courses that will help you develop the knowledge and skills you'll use as an adult, these include information and communication technology (ICT), physical education (PE), and PSHE. You may be able to take exams in some of these too.
Many schools make studying a Modern Foreign Language compulsory too.
In addition, your school is likely to offer you other optional subjects including subjects like:
Your school may also offer the English Baccalaurate.
GCSEs or iGCSEs - a GCSE course usually involves studying the theory of a subject, combined with some investigative work; some subjects also involve practical work. GCSEs are usually studied full-time over Years 10 and 11. The final award can be
Vocational Qualifications – some courses may lead to BTEC or City and Guilds or OCR National qualifications rather than GCSEs. These will be mainly at Entry level or level 1 or 2 – your school will be able to tell you more about these, and if they'd suit you.
Foundation Learning – is available if you need more time to build your confidence. Your school can talk to you about this and design a course to suit your needs. It will always include functional skills in English, mathematics and ICT.
How to choose:
Each school is different, so you need to check what courses your school can offer – make sure you get a copy of their Options booklet. You can also find out about courses available to all 13-19 year olds using Search on the UCAS Progress website.
Talk about option choices to your Connexions/Careers Personal Adviser, or the person in school who leads on careers.