KS4 Options

At William Howard School, we understand the importance of supporting your child through the choices that will determine their journey in the next stage of their school experience. The options process has been designed to provide the structure, advice and guidance needed to make informed decisions about the qualifications that will be studied.

We advise students to maintain a broad and balanced choice of subjects to ensure that future pathways are kept open. Although career direction and particular interests are important, we believe that students are more likely to succeed if they choose subjects that they enjoy and have a keen interest in. Equally, we strongly recommend that students choose subjects that equate to achieving the English Baccalaureate (EBacc) at the end of the two years. DfE EBacc Information Leaflet


The Process

Year 9 Parents Options Evening Letter (February 2022)

The Options Information Evening for parents is on Wednesday, 2 March 2022 (4pm-7pm). During the evening you will have the opportunity to discuss your child’s current progress and possible option choices with their class teachers. There will also be an opportunity to talk to other subject representatives, should you wish to discuss potential option choices in subjects your child does not currently study. The Year Group Team will be available for appointments throughout the evening and will be in contact regarding such appointments.

We encourage all parents and students to attend the evening in person, but if this is not possible we offer an opportunity to make online appointments with subject teachers to discuss current progress. Online appointments will be available between 7.00pm and 8.00pm.

In support of the Year 9 options process, we will be holding an options assembly to outline the process to all students and to distribute information regarding the option columns. There will be further opportunities for taster sessions in subjects not currently taught in Year 9 following the options evening.

Students will also have the opportunity to work with one of our school partners, Hello Future, who will provide workshops and targeted mentoring to students exploring future progression pathways towards further and higher education.

Hello Future is a partnership of stakeholders in Cumbria and works with schools and colleges across Cumbria to deliver a targeted outreach programme with the aim to support the development of skills, knowledge and understanding of pathways for progression to higher education.

The Hello Future team will be working closely with Year 9 students beginning with the ‘My Future Self’ workshop, supporting students to consider their future options and provide top tips for their current decision-making process. Students will also be invited in these sessions to take part in the digital ‘Future Selves Survey’, the results of which will provide Hello Future and the school with insights on how to best support students and provide follow up activities, such as presentations, resources, mentoring and out of school opportunities, which are best suited to students’ needs.

If you require any further information regarding this please contact Mrs Hill, our Careers Lead, via thill@williamhoward.cumbria.sch.uk.

We recommend that students continue to seek advice and guidance from current students studying the different subjects, future career websites (https://icould.com/explore/#subject), teachers and of course, parents.


Course Outlines

Core Subjects: English Language and Literature  / Maths  / PD  / PEScience Triple (Biology, Chemistry & Physics) / Science (Combined)

Option Courses: Animal Care (BTEC)  / Art & Design / Children’s Play, Learning & Development (BTEC) / Computer Science / Dance / Design Technology (including Design Engineering, Product Design) / Digital IT (BTEC) / Drama  / Food Technology / French  / Geography / Geology / Health & Social Care / History  / Media – Gaming (BTEC) / Media – Video Production (BTEC)  / Music (BTEC)  / Music / PE  / Performing Arts (BTEC)  / Photography / RE  / Spanish / Sports Science (BTEC)


Options Forms

Please return the relevant Option Form by Friday, 18 March: