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Highlands School

Highlands School


Students follow a broad curriculum at Highlands and during Key Stage 3, all subjects are compulsory.

Note For details of the options that were offered for each year group, it is important that you refer to correct options booklet for your year group

Decisions in Year 8

In January of Year 8 we ask students to think about what subjects they would like to take in Year 9,10 and11 as option subjects. By February half term, students have to ask for the options they want using an online options form and by Easter all will have been decided and shared with students and parents by email.

Make sure you know about the percentages of the course that are controlled assessment and exams to figure out what best suits you – e.g. whether you are better in exams or coursework.  It would be ideal to be shown exemplar coursework pieces in order to see what standard you need to work at. Don’t just pick something that is respected or considered important: if you don’t think you will enjoy a subject, then don’t pick it.
Advice from a past Year 9 student

Students pick 2 options to take over Years 9 & 10 and third option to take in Year 11. They also pick a reserve subject.

These options may be selected from a long list of subjects but we expect the majority of students to take either History or Geography and to take one subject from each of the faculties of Arts, Humanities, and Design & Technology, but of course, we only run a subject if a  viable number of students choose it.

We do allow a minority of students to be an exception and not take History or Geography or to double up in one of the faculties if we are convinced that it is that student’s best interest.

Students have room for these options in their timetable because they drop all Arts, Humanities, and Design & Technology subjects in Year 9 unless it has been chosen as an optional subject.

The vast majesty of students continue with their French or Spanish but we allow a small number of students to follow an alternative Sports Leadership course instead if we are convinced it is in their best interest.

“I chose subjects that I excelled in from my earliest years. I feel now that this was the right thing to do for me because even now I remember a lot from Year 7.  All your school years count and when you choose your options you need to be guided by your past and you need to plan for you future.”
Advice from a past Year 9 student

Decisions in Year 9

In January of Year 9 we ask students to consider if they would like to concentrate on Citizenship or RS GCSE in Year 10 and they make their request online by February half term and when they start Year 10, they will only have lessons in one of these subjects.

Students will also have to decide if they want to take double science or follow an accelerated course and take all 3 sciences separately as Biology Chemistry and Physics GCSE. This happens in the spring term of Year 9.


Decisions for Year 11

In January, Year 10 students are asked to reconfirm their final option subject for Year 11 with a February half term deadline. Students will only be able to choose from subjects that are already planned to run.