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Year 9: Making Choices

Older pupils share their experiences with Year 9.

Following our Year 9 Key Stage 4 Curriculum 'Choices at 14' Evening on Thursday 24 January 2019, we have published below the speeches from our three pupil speakers. The key messages from all three young people are choose subjects you enjoy and try to ensure a wide range of options.

 

Year 10 Pupil: Tanwen  

Hello, my name is Tanwen, I am currently in Year 10, studying for my GCSEs which I will be taking in the summer of next year. Last year I remember sitting where you are now. I look back on the challenge that I had deciding what I wanted to take. However, the most difficult decision was deciding which subjects to drop.

I have an interest in Medical Science as a future career. The University courses that I have been looking at require good grades in the relevant subject areas. I really enjoy Science and Maths with the balance of Spanish, History and Music for GCSE. I have started to think about the A Levels that I need to take for University.

The step up from Key Stage 3 to Key Stage 4 is a big leap. It is manageable through being organised and keeping on top of the homework. The workload of the subjects has increased. But you do get more time to study your chosen subjects in greater depth

I needed to think very carefully about what truly interests me and keep in mind the Option blocks. You cannot always get all your selected subjects. I do have interests in other subject areas such as PE and Art. But if you able to be flexible, you can usually make it work for you.

My biggest challenge was deciding between Art and Music. I submitted my Options Form with the choice of Art but later decided it was not for me. Music is now one of my favourite subjects.

I wish you the best of luck in choosing your options. I hope you all have fun tonight talking to all the teachers and getting as much information as possible to make the right decision for you. If you are having doubts or really unsure about a particular subject, then make sure you prioritise them tonight.

And remember, doing the things that you love will ultimately result in better grades. Thank you very much for listening and I hope that I have helped you with your decision making.

Year 11 Pupil: Charlie 

My two years in Key Stage 4 have gone quickly, to say the least.

I remember sitting where you all are now and being unsure of the subjects I wanted to do, with the deadline fast approaching and I was sat there pondering.

I’m glad I made the choices I did and in hindsight it’s difficult to comprehend that I was having any doubts about my choices. Choices allow you to choose subjects you want to do and are interested in. This allows you to enjoy the two years you spend in Key Stage 4 but it also puts the responsibility for your success on you.

I chose to do DEC, History, ICT, German and Combined Science. I decided to give myself a good broad base of subjects as I was unsure what I wanted to do after leaving school.

I have been given some great opportunities whilst in Key Stage 4. During my DEC lessons I have seen the new building come to life with visits to the site. I have also travelled to Berlin for a History trip which has helped me understand and see important places associated with the Cold War; I was also able to practice some of my German.

All of the teachers have been helpful and have encouraged me with my work. They are always willing to spare you time if you need help.

Key Stage 4 has been great. It is hard work and I have really had to focus but thankfully I have managed to stay in line with my targets.

In 5½ months my time at Deer Park will be over. I am hoping to go to College to study History, English, Media Studies and Journalism as I would like to become a Sports Journalist. Due to the opportunities given to me by Deer Park and the encouragement they’ve given me, I have become more confident and I have set myself goals.

Former Pupil: Krishan

Hi, I’m Krishan and I am currently in Year 12 at Pate’s. I completed my GCSEs last year here at Deer Park and achieved 4 9s, 3 8s and 2 7s and am currently studying Maths, Physics, Economics and Spanish at A Level. I am hoping to go on to study Astrophysics at University in the future.

When I was picking my GCSE subjects, I was pretty confident with the majority of the subjects that I wanted to study: I knew that I wanted to choose a range of subjects, to have a breadth of knowledge that has enabled me to start to specialise further in the things that I enjoy the most in my A Levels. This is why I chose to do a Humanities subject (Geography), a creative subject (Drama) and a Language (Spanish): as well as Triple Science. Although I think this was probably the best choice I could have made for myself, at that point I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to study for A-Levels. Ultimately, I did well in my subjects, as I was genuinely interested what I chose – so I was motivated to work hard when exam time came. Although exams seem a long way off, you can’t avoid them, so there is no use in choosing subjects that you will not want to put in any work for when the time comes. Although I was good at History in Key Stage 3, I enjoyed doing Drama far more. Drama gave me a mental break from some of my much more academically intense subjects, providing me with completely different challenges to my other lessons.

Of course some of you know what you hope to study in the future, but even so that is probably subject to change. I remember in Year 9 I had no real interest in Science, and the thought of doing an A Level in Maths made me feel a bit sick, and I was considering not doing Triple Science at all. However, during Year 10, I realised how much I actually enjoy studying Physics (and Astrophysics specifically). Taking a bit of a risk with choosing Triple Science, which I was initially reluctant to start, has lead me to discover my fascination with the universe and how it all came together. As such, I would really recommend considering all the huge variety of subjects that are on offer at Deer Park, even if initially you don’t think you’re interested in them. If I had been more rash in my decision making, I likely wouldn’t be able to study what I study now.

Of course it is an important decision, and you should make sure you choose the subjects that you think will benefit you the most, but at the end of the day there is no point in doing something just because you feel you should – rather you should ensure that you genuinely enjoy what you are going to do.