The journey to a child’s GCSE Options is one that starts from the moment they arrive at St Joseph’s; these are choices that will be shaped by the interests they discover, the fires that are lit, the careers they aim to follow.
At St Joseph’s we know that just as no two children are the same, neither are any two year groups. Making sure our offering to each year group is as bespoke and tailored as it can be ensures a high satisfaction rate for those choosing their options, which in turn builds towards excellent outcomes for our students.
In recent years we have added Design Technology (Resistant Materials), Economics, Business Studies and Digital Photography to the portfolio of GCSEs the students can study, allowing a greater breadth of study for all. Pupils in Year 9 are able to discuss Options both at the Parents Evening, and at the Options Evening that the school holds in the Christmas Term. This offers the opportunity for parents to engage in a question and answer session with the Heads of the English, Maths, and Science Departments and then to speak to subject specialists who host stands devoted to the GCSE opportunities available in the curriculum areas.
Following this, pupils select the top five subjects they wish to study, and from this Mr Sam Matthews has oversight for composing the final Option Blocks to ensure the best percentage outcomes for all pupils, taking into consideration their initial choices. From the final Option Blocks, pupils select four option subjects to take forward to GCSE.
In addition to these, all pupils study the ‘core’ subjects of English, Maths and Science. Pupils are guided towards either Separate Sciences, where they are awarded GCSEs in Biology, Chemistry and Physics, or Trilogy Science where the study units of each but are awarded two GCSEs. In English pupils will take both English Language and English Literature, or in some cases English Language only. These decisions will be taken in discussion with parents and students to ensure the best outcome for each individual at the end of Year 11.
We are very proud of the attention to detail we put in to each year’s option, and with the positive feedback we receive with regards to ensuring students are able to follow so many subjects given the small size of our student cohorts.
At St Joseph’s we are very proud of our excellent GCSE results. They come from children who are well prepared, independent and resilient learners who are willing and able to learn from their mistakes. When we combine high expectations with small class sizes and teachers who will believe in each individual and will champion their efforts and add a flexible, considered curriculum, there is no limit to what can be achieved.
Please do not hesitate to contact either Mr Sam Matthews, Assistant Head (academic) or Mrs Rosemary O'Brien, Assistant Head (pastoral) for further information with regards to Options here at St Joseph’s.