You should consider the following:
• Your ability to study the option successfully
• Your interest in the option
• Your thoughts on future careers.
You must not:
• choose to be with friends
• choose because you like the teacher you have had this year.
We select students on the following criteria:
• The number of requests for each option
• If an option is oversubscribed, the student’s attendance and events log.
Options will not run if fewer than ten students opt for it.
The Key Stage 4 Curriculum Offer
All students must study English, Maths, Science, Core PE and Skills for Life. Students must choose four options- one from each of the columns below.
All students on Torch A and B must pick either Geography, History, French or Computer Science – for students on Flame, it is highly recommended but not compulsory. We strongly recommend that your child takes all of the subjects that make up the English Baccalaureate.
This means either French, History or Geography. You cannot choose the same subject twice. You cannot select both of the following subjects – Textiles and Product Design (within Design & Technology)
The English Baccalaureate
The English Baccalaureate is not a standalone qualification but is made up of the following five GCSE qualifications:
• English Language
• English Literature
• A modern foreign language (French)
• Humanities (Geography or History)
The English Baccalaureate is not compulsory but it is the Government’s ambition to see that the majority of students study the subjects of the English Baccalaureate. As such we would strongly recommend that students on the Torch A and B routes select French and Geography or History. They will then have a choice of two other option subjects, including BTECs. For colleges, universities and employers, the English Baccalaureate shows that students have gained a broad academic education.
The range of subjects in the English Baccalaureate would provide a good basis for further study. After completing the English Baccalaureate, students may wish to study ‘A’ levels or another Level 3 qualification at local colleges or sixth forms.
We strongly recommend that students who are Pathway 7, 8 or 9 take the English Baccalaureate.
GCSEs are at the core of the KS4 curriculum in England and Wales. GCSE Exams are now linear (examined at the end of Year 11) and there are limited coursework elements. They are graded on a scale of 9-1. What students are expected to know and what they can do is more challenging than in the past but the proportion of students achieving each grade has not changed. For example, roughly the same number of students who achieved a grade A*/A in the past achieve grades 7-9. So, whilst GCSEs might ‘feel’ more difficult, a student who would have achieved a grade ‘C’ on the old GCSEs will achieve a grade 4 (the comparative grade) on the current GCSEs. Achieving a grade 4 is an important benchmark for entry to level 3 college courses. A grade 5 is the benchmark for international comparisons.
These are an essential part of The Radclyffe School’s curriculum. As part of the changes to the KS4 exam system there have been changes to the scope and range of vocational qualifications to ensure they are as challenging and rigorous as GCSEs and provide students with the skills and knowledge they need for further progression.
We offer three types of vocational qualifications at The Radclyffe School:
OCR Cambridge National/OCR Cambridge Technical
NCFE Technical Award
The key difference with vocational subjects is that a greater proportion of the assessment is through coursework. Your child’s work forms a portfolio that will then be graded. This can help students organise their workload throughout Years 10 and 11 rather than being assessed only at the end of the course. Students achieve excellent results on vocational courses. All vocational courses are offered as a Level 2 qualification (this means that they are equivalent to a GCSE grade 4-9).
The grades given will be:
Distinction* = 8/9 (For BTEC and OCR Nationals)
Distinction = 7, Merit = 6, Pass = 4/5
The Level 1 vocational qualification is equivalent to a GCSE at grade 1-3. The grades at Level 1 are as follows:
Distinction = 3, Merit = 2, Pass = 1
All vocational course offered form a firm foundation for progression to college and work. Employers and colleges are familiar with the benefits of vocational awards. For employers, vocational qualifications show that pupils are capable of organising their own workload. Both Oldham College and Oldham Sixth Form College offer a range of vocational qualifications at Levels 2 and 3. In the case of BTEC, this allows students to continue studying a subject when they leave school. Studying a BTEC qualification at school will therefore allow students to become familiar with the college assessment process. Universities accept BTEC Level 3 as an entry requirement for a number of degree level courses.
You can download the Year 9 Options Routes table here.