Options – Introduction

There is a number of subjects which everybody must take, to ensure that you receive a broad and balanced education that will stand you in good stead for further education and adult life. We refer to this group of subjects as the ‘Core’, because it is central to your studies.

The Core:
Subjects Number of GCSE Equivalents
English Language GCSE 1
English Literature GCSE 1
Mathematics GCSE(and Statistics GCSE for the most able) 1 or 2
Science (Three Sciences or Double Science)GCSE 2 or 3
French or German GCSE (or extra English and Mathematics) 1
Religious Studies GCSE 1
Physical Education 0
Geography OR History GCSE 1

 

In all, Core Studies will provide you with between 7 or 10 GCSE qualifications.  This will give you an excellent foundation when you apply for further education in the Sixth Form or at college, a job or at a later stage a place at University.

Besides the Core, you take another TWO full Level 2 courses. Here you have a very wide choice – and so we refer to these subjects as ‘Options’. They include:

Option Choices
Subject Equivalent Number of GCSEs
Art – Fine Art (GCSE)  1 each
Art – Time Based Media (GCSE)
Business Studies (GCSE & BTEC)
Child Development (Cambridge National)
Classical Civilisation (GCSE)
Drama(GCSE)
Geography(GCSE)
History (GCSE)
ICT (Cambridge National)
Music (RSL Music Practitioner Level 2 Certificate)
PE (GCSE)
Sociology (GCSE)
Technology – Food & Nutrition(GCSE)
Technology – Visual Communications (Technical Award)
Technology – Materials Technology (AQA Technical Award)
Technology – Fashion & Textiles (AQA Technical Award)
Travel & Tourism (BTEC)

Choosing can be difficult. If you already have a very specific career in mind, this may influence what subjects you go for. However, most people will not yet be thinking this far ahead.

So the most important guideline is: choose subjects which you think you will enjoy and do well at, achieving the best qualifications of which you are capable.

Because these decisions are so important, you need to research and discuss them as fully as you can. Go through these website pages very carefully and keep accessing them to check details. Talk over your possible choices with your parents, your tutor and your subject teachers. Make sure you keep asking questions until you get all the information you need. No teacher will mind you coming back for a second or third discussion. (It is extremely difficult to make changes in Year 10 once the courses have started. This is rarely done and then only in exceptional cases).

We ask you to make 2 reserve choices in addition to your main choices. This is because we could not run a course if only a very few students wanted to do it. However, past experience shows that the majority of you will get your first choices.

How well you do in your GCSE/BTEC/RSL courses will undoubtedly affect the rest of your life. You will be working for vital qualifications right from the start of your courses.
Part of your assessment in many courses will depend on the quality of assessments which take place during the two years. The marks you score in these are added to the marks you score in the final examination at the end of Year 11, to determine your overall grade.

At Polesworth you can expect:

exciting and expert teaching from your subject specialists;

personal support from your tutor, with mentoring interviews to discuss your progress and help you set targets;

extra help if you need it, in after school classes;

additional support from the Student Counselling and Advisory Service, including personal counselling;

expert careers advice from Mr Davis, our Careers Education Co-ordinator.

But in the end, what count more than anything else are your own ambition, motivation and effort. Choose your options wisely and give yourself the best possible chance of success.

The Next Three or Four Years

You are about to start your last 2 years in the main school.  However, from age 16 to age 18 you will continue in education or in a job with a significant amount of training.   The majority of Polesworth students  continue their education for two years in our school 6th Form. We really hope that you will do the same.

Polesworth students come back to our Sixth Form in order to build on what they have done in Upper School and work for further qualifications while enjoying the more relaxed atmosphere of Tomlinson Hall.

These are vital years for you.  They should help you to grow into capable adults, ready to become successful partners, parents, workers and citizens.  It is, today, more important than ever to learn to become independent and to be able to accept responsibility for what you are and will become.  School is a place for second chances but the world outside is tough.  You need all the education you can get.  Ask any adult what it means to be redundant, to be unemployed – and about the value of good qualifications.

This September you will be starting on a three or four year course leading to 2 GCSE or high-value vocational courses in 2019 and A Level or other qualifications ready for employment or Higher Education in 2021!

For further information about Tomlinson Hall Sixth Form please visit the website.

Do’s and Don’ts

DO choose a subject because you know that you will find the work interesting and enjoyable.

DO choose a subject because you think it will suit your personal strengths and enable you to achieve a good grade.

DO choose a subject after having read and talked about all the alternatives.

DO always ask an expert, the teacher, rather than rely on getting information from your friends.

DON’T choose a subject because you like the teacher or reject it because you dislike the teacher (he/she may not take you next year).

DON’T choose a subject because you think you’ll have an easy time – work in all subjects at this level requires constant effort.

DON’T choose a subject you have never done before merely because you prefer the unknown to the known – you may do equally badly in that.

DON’T choose a course because your friend has.  To start with, you may not even be in the same group and he/she can’t take the examinations for you or share qualifications with you.  What you do now may affect the next 40 years; you may never see your friend again when you leave school.

The Option Programme

When you have had the chance to read the pages on this website and talk about them, you and your parents will be able to find out more from each department at the Curriculum Evening on Thursday 16th February 2017.  After this meeting you will be asked to make your final choice by completing the application form online by the deadline of  Friday 10th March 2017.

N.B. WE TRY TO ENSURE THAT ALL STUDENTS STUDY THE COURSES FOR WHICH THEY HAVE OPTED.  THERE MAY BE A SMALL NUMBER, HOWEVER, FOR WHOM THIS IS NOT POSSIBLE.

If you need any more help you could talk to the following people:

Careers – Mr Davis

Mr Chris Davis is our Careers Education Co-Ordinator. You can make an appointment to see him. Also he will be available at the Curriculum Evening on 16th February.

For advice and Information about specific subjects

Talk to Heads of Departments:

ART MR GIBSON
BUSINESS STUDIES MRS MOSSMAN
CLASSICAL CIVILISATION MR FELLOWS
COMPUTING & ICT MISS S HARRIS
DESIGN & TECHNOLOGY
(Child Development/Food and Nutrition/Design & Technology/Materials Technology/Fashion & Textiles)
MRS MILLER-JONES
DRAMA MRS GRATTAN
ENGLISH LANGUAGE MISS HODGKINSON
ENGLISH LITERATURE MISS HODGKINSON
FRENCH MRS McLAY
GEOGRAPHY MRS HOCKRIDGE/MRS RUTHERFORD
GERMAN MRS McLAY
HISTORY MR FELLOWS
MATHEMATICS MR NEWELL
MUSIC MRS GLOVER
PE MR HOCKRIDGE
RELIGIOUS STUDIES MRS WALKER
SCIENCE MISS A HARRIS
SOCIOLOGY MR LEWIS
TRAVEL AND TOURISM MRS DANDY

 

For advice specific to you :

Talk to your tutor, your subject teachers, your Head of House/Assistant Head of House.

For general timetable/course information:

Talk to Mrs Favell or Mrs Munn

Making Decisions

Once the groups have been decided YOU WILL ALMOST CERTAINLY NOT BE ALLOWED TO CHANGE YOUR SUBJECTS so it is very important to make decisions you can live with.

How to make a decision

  1. What am I being asked to do?
  2. What are the facts?
  3. What do the facts tell me?
  4. If I do not understand, who can I ask?
  5. What is my decision?
  6. What are the results of that decision?

Which subjects shall I choose?

  1. What are my strengths?
  2. What are my weaknesses?
  3. Do I like the subject?
  4. Does this subject interest me?
  5. Do I understand what I shall be expected to do for each subject course?
  6. Am I good at the subject?
  7. Do my teachers advise me to follow this course?
  8. What am I going to do at the end of Year 11?
  9. What will I need for my career?
  10. Have I got a balance of subjects?
  11. Have I asked everyone all my questions?