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Cirencester Deer Park School

Cirencester Deer Park School

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Choosing your GCSEs 2021

Choosing your GCSE Subjects in Year 9

Each year in January, our Year 9 pupils discover which subjects are available for them to study at GCSE. We were very pleased to see so many of our Year 9 pupils and their parents join us at our online Key Stage 4 Curriculum 'Choices at 14' Event on Thursday 21 January 2021.

The event explained to pupils and parents the importance of thinking carefully about the combination of subject choices they make.  Pupils and parents heard from a pupil in Year 11, who reflected on his experience of Key Stage 4 and shared 3 Top Tips that pupils should consider when deciding on GCSE choices (watch Year 11 pupil video). If you were unable to join us at the time, the recording of the Key Stage 4 Curriculum 'Choices at 14' Event is available below.


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Year 9s and their parents are encouraged to take time to discuss and research the options available. Look at the booklet sent home and at resources that have been made available to pupils on the KS4 Options page in MS Teams. This includes information from different faculties about the GCSE courses and how they will be taught at Deer Park, plus links to external sites that can be used to support the decision-making process.  There is no first come, first served basis, so there is no need to rush to submit option choices. We advise pupils to find out all they can about the subjects they are interested in and be sure about what they want to study in Key Stage 4. Make informed decisions.

Parents and pupils will be able to talk directly to current subject teachers at our Virtual Year 9 Parents’ Evening on Thursday 28 January. This is also the date that the options form will be released to pupils, again on the KS4 Options page in MS Teams.The final deadline for stating subject preferences – by completing the options form online - is Tuesday 9 February 2021.  If Year 9 pupils or parents have any questions regarding the options process, please email Mrs Lang.

Our KS4 Curriculum Evening is often our most well attended event, and remained so last night even though it moved online. There is always great excitement as this is the first occasion in their education when pupils have decisions to make about what they study from Year 10 onwards. We ensure they have the time to think and reflect before doing so. While it is important they think about the most immediate next steps, it is also critical they scan the horizon and think about where they want to be at 16, 18 and 21! This will ensure they don’t narrow their options too much and close doors prematurely that may be difficult to reopen should they change their minds. I hope pupils and their parents work together and with us to ensure guided choices. I am grateful to Mrs Lang and our Heads of Faculty for the information they have shared online for families to access in place of visiting our ‘subject stalls’ in person!

Chiquita Henson, Headteacher