Year 8 GCSE Options

As we’re unable to offer a face to face presentation this year, we’ve made a recording of a virtual evening here.  It gives all the relevant information for our three-year Key Stage 4 programme, from Year 9 through to Year 11.

A copy of the presentation without the video is available here

Further Information

Perins students are also able to access further information about the Year 8 Options here on the main Options SharePoint page.  Please note, this link will only work for Perins students as student login is required.

If you have a question regarding the process or about a specific options subject, please complete this form and we will direct it to the most appropriate member of staff for a response

If you have specific, additional questions regarding options, we are holding 5 minute video calls by appointment on 2nd and 4th of March.

E- Booklet

The Year 8 Options E- Booklet is available here.

Key Stage 4

In Year 8 Perins students choose their Key Stage 4 courses early in the Spring term.  We work hard to give parents and students the information they need about the courses that they will spend the next three years studying.  Students will study up to 10 GCSE subjects or a maximum of 11 GCSE’s if studying separate Science’s.

Core Compulsory Subjects

In Key Stage 4 all students study English Language, English Literature, Maths and Science. They will also have two hours of PE per week and each student will take modules of compulsory Religious Education spread throughout Years 9 and 10, delivered by our Personal Development Learning (PDL) team.

English Baccalaureate Subjects (EBacc)

Students choose six additional subjects to study in Year 9 alongside the core curriculum.  All students will study at least language and one humanities subject, giving them a combination of subjects which forms the English Baccalaureate and demonstrates ability and achievement in a broad range of academic subjects.  All students are then required to select 4 further subjects to study from 5 blocks (categories).

Option Subjects

Students will choose at least one subject from 5 blocks; A Language, Humanity, Enterprise, Creative Arts and a ‘Free Choice’ block. We offer a range of qualifications including GCSEs, BTECs (a GCSE equivalent), and Cambridge National Qualifications. These add breadth and depth to the diversity of our Key Stage 4 curriculum.


In Years 7 and 8 all students study a combined curriculum of Biology, Chemistry and Physics. In Year 9, all students begin the Combined Science GCSE course, which will give each student two GCSEs in Science by the end of Year 11. At the end of Year 9, examinations will determine the suitability of each student changing to the Separate Science course for years 10 and 11. If a change is made, this will enable these students to obtain up to three GCSEs in Biology, Chemistry and Physics.  Students are able to progress to A Level Sciences at college, whichever route they take.

Choosing Wisely

We recommend that students continue to study a balanced academic curriculum in Key Stage 4.  It is difficult for students aged just 12 or 13 to know what they might want to do in the future and we want to ensure that they are well placed to choose from a wide range of options, not only at A level but also when looking at the vast range of courses available in Higher Education, including applying to top universities.  We want to ensure that our students “keep doors open” to make further choices in the future.   We help students to balance a number of important factors:

  • The student’s strength in each of the subjects
  • The need to have a broad and balanced approach to their subject choices
  • The importance of giving students the most appropriate qualifications they will need in the future

At the end of Year 9

At the end of year 9, students will discontinue one of their six options subjects, taking the other five into years 10 and 11. Student and parent preferences are taken to account at this time, but the school reserves the right to take the final decision on which subjects each student will continue to study. Further details of this process will be shared in the Spring term of year 9.

Please note that whilst we work hard to provide choice for students and to give as many as we can their first choice, this is not always possible. With some courses, such as Technology, the course is only possible to run if a sufficient number of students choose it. Should this happen we will be in touch with you to discuss the best next steps.