Brighton Hill Community School

Guided Choices

Information & Letter & News

Published on - 05-04-2019

TO PARENTS / GUARDIANS OF YEAR 8 STUDENTS

1 April 2019

Dear Parent / Guardian

As we end the Spring Term we approach the time for you and your child to consider the subjects that they would like to study at Key Stage 4, assisted by the Guided Choices process at Brighton Hill Community School.  In order to provide you with as much guidance and support as possible in the process, we are offering three distinct pathways for students to follow.  These are recommended, but not compulsory, pathways and provide the flexibility to design a curriculum package for each student which is tailored to their needs, abilities and potential.  We have made this recommendation using current progress and attitude to learning grades, in addition to prior attainment data from primary school.

The EBacc pathway meets the criteria of the English Baccalaureate (EBacc) which is a government measure of success for student learning. It is the title given to the group of subjects (English, Maths, Science, French, Spanish, History and Geography) that support a traditionally academic educational pathway.  To follow this pathway, students must study at least one Modern Foreign Language and History and/or Geography alongside the existing core subjects of English, Maths and Science to GCSE level.  

We recognise that the academic demands of the EBacc pathway may not be suitable for all.  The Open Options pathway removes the requirement for students who follow it to study a Modern Foreign Language. This provides further flexibility in the range of additional specialism subjects that students may choose.

For both of these pathways, students may additionally be recommended to study Triple Science which would take up one of their specialism options.  Students will only be recommended to follow the Triple Science pathway if the school is confident that they can access the course and if they are likely to consider continuing to study a Science at Level 3 (A Level). 

Some students will be invited to follow the Access pathway.  This pathway has been designed to support students’ learning needs. In addition to English, Maths, Science and History or Geography, students will make one further specialism subject choice. The remaining two option blocks will be ‘Curriculum Access’ time, supporting students in developing their literacy and numeracy skills and providing them with an opportunity to gain the Prince’s Trust Achieve Award, teaching them important life and work-related skills. In Year 10, one of these option blocks will be dedicated to the study of a further appropriate qualification.  Further details about this qualification will follow as students approach the end of Year 9.

All pathways offer students an element of choice when selecting specialism subjects.  It is important that students consider these specialism subjects carefully with a view to future educational and career aspirations, as well as their own individual strengths. Parental and school guidance in this process is invaluable in supporting them to make choices which will allow them to thrive and develop their passion for learning.  You will find the recommended pathway for your child at the top of the form on the reverse of this letter. It is important that students, parents and carers are aware of the recommended pathway at the start of the options process as this advice and guidance is given to ensure the greatest success for your child when choosing their Key Stage 4 qualifications. 

We hope that this letter and the Guided Choices booklet provide you with the information that you require in order to help your child start to make well-informed choices about his/her GCSE courses.  The next stage of the process will be for you and your child to attend the Guided Choices evening on Wednesday 24th April, which Mr Wilkinson has written to inform you about separately. Following this, in the weeks commencing 29th April and 7th May, you will be invited to an individual appointment (please see the reverse of the letter for the exact date and time), with a senior member of staff, in order to finalise your child’s course decisions. If you have any urgent queries prior to your individual appointment, please contact Mr Morris or Mrs Hallum Barnard.

Yours faithfully

Chris Edwards
Headteacher

Colin Morris
Head of Year 8                                                                                                   

Sophie Hallum Barnard
Leading Practitioner – ITT, Coaching and Curriculum

pdf document Options Booklet 2019-20