Year 9 GCSE Options

Year 9 GCSE Options

About Southend High School for Girls

Year 9 Options - GCSE Choices 2023


Dear Parent/Carers and Students,

Welcome to the ‘Year 9 Pathways’ area of the school’s website.  This area has been designed to help you with the curriculum choices that you are about to make.  These choices will shape the breadth and focus of your GCSE curriculum and will influence your direction in sixth form and beyond.  It is called ‘pathways’ because it is helpful to start thinking about these choices in context of your long-term aspirations just as much as the more immediate influences.  Factors such as which subjects you have enjoyed studying the most, which are you reaching your potential in and which sound the most interesting at GCSE will need to be balanced with which are essential/ important to support your A Level options and career choices.

Don’t worry if you really do not know what your career aspirations are.  At this point most students fall into two groups.  The first group are those who do and have always known what their direction is and therefore find the process of choosing options more straightforward.  The other group are really not sure and therefore making choices that complement each other whilst keeping their options open will be more important. The important thing to remember is that you are a highly motivated and capable young person who will be successful at whatever they apply themselves to.

Key Dates

20th February 2023

Options fortnight website launch

Tuesday 28th February 2023

Options Information Evening.

Click ‘here’ to view the presentation slides from 2022.

27th February 2023 – 13th March 2023

Subject talks in lessons

24th March 2023

Closing date for options choices

27th February 2023 – 13th March 2023

Subject presentations for new subjects: business and media studies

16th March 2023

Year 9 Virtual Parents’ Consultation Evening

As a school we believe that a broad and rich curriculum in Years 7, 8 and 9 should become more personalised in Years 10 and 11.  This will provide the best start for the more specialised curriculum in the sixth form.  There are certain caveats to this.  In order to continue the breadth of your education we do insist that at least one humanity subject is studied (history, geography or religious studies) and at least one modern foreign language is taken (Spanish, German or French). There will be an informal audition for GCSE music (just to confirm your playing standard) and some subject choice combinations may require an additional discussion to check that they fit with career aspirations.  Other than that, please be guided by what you have a real curiosity for, what you really enjoy and what will help you to compete for those world class opportunities that you aspire to.  Please make use of staff when evaluating your choices.  Your Form Tutor, Head of Year and subject teachers will be happy to answer any questions that you might have.

After the Parents’ Information Evening you will receive a link to the online options selection website.  This would be used to select your options. Once all of the choices have been made the school will endeavour to create a timetable that accommodates as many of these combinations as possible. On the rare occasion that a combination cannot be accommodated your Head of Year will meet with you and talk through your choices.  This will include looking at your reserve subject choice.

A commonly asked question is why are some subjects important to my career choice only available at A Level (sociology, psychology, economics and politics) but not offered as a GCSE and will that restrict my choices later on? The simple answer is that these subjects offer a rich and rewarding experience at A Level and that prior study is not necessary to be successful in the subject at that level. It also means that when you choose your A Level options you have a wider range of subjects to choose from. The Sixth Form prospectus includes the specific entry requirements for these subjects. You will participate in various activities in Year 10 and  11 to help you with your choices at A Level.

The school will do its utmost to accommodate student choices, however, some subjects are limited in the number of students that they can take due to health and safety guidelines, staffing and financial constraints.   In the situation where a subject is oversubscribed, any applications for that subject made after the deadline will be discounted, the remaining places will then be allocated through random selection.

It just remains for me to wish you the very best of luck with your choices and I look forward to talking to you over the next few weeks.

Mr Boney

Deputy Headteacher

GCSE Subject Choices 2023

Art & Design


Business Studies


Combined Science

Computer Science


Design & Technology

English Language

English Literature

Food Preparation & Nutrition


Graphic Products



Media Studies

Modern Foreign Languages


Media Studies Presentation

Physical Education


Religious Studies


Year 9 Options Presentation 2021