Woodside High School

Year 6 Transition

We have a well-established programme which makes the transition from primary to secondary school as smooth as possible. Please take some time to look at our resources here.

Learn More

Year 9 Options 

Options Process


Welcome to the options process for year 9 at Woodside High School, which will enable you and your child to select the subjects that they wish to study and are appropriate for them in Key Stage 4. This process has been designed to support us in achieving our aim to ensure all students leave school as highly qualified, confident and articulate young adults. 

As you may be aware, all students have to stay in education or work-based training until the age of 18, so it is important that you and your child have time to think carefully about the subjects they would like to study in the next stage of their education as well as their future goals as these choices can have a direct impact on their Post 16 progression.

We hope the information below provides practical and straightforward advice that will support your child in choosing courses that suit their abilities and aspirations. 

KS4 Curriculum Pathways

Our Woodside Key Stage 4 curriculum pathways provide the breadth and range of qualifications to prepare our students for a highly competitive, diverse and ever changing higher education system and employment market.  

From year 10 we have split the curriculum into three pathways (‘Ash’, ‘Birch’ and ‘Cedar’). All students will be allocated one of these pathways. This allows us to tailor a package of subjects that suits each child’s needs and abilities using attainment and progress data. This will give your child the best opportunity to succeed academically and will provide them with the widest range of educational and career opportunities when they leave school in Year 11. Further information about these pathways is outlined below.

The core curriculum

All students will study the ‘core’ compulsory national curriculum subjects. 

Core subjects are:

  • English
  • maths
  • science

Non-examined subjects

In addition to this, all students will study a programme of Religious Studies, PSHE and Physical Education. These are non-examined and will not lead to a qualification. Students who wish to study either Religious Studies or Physical Education in greater depth, may do so as one of their optional subjects.

The EBacc

Most of our students are expected to take a combination of subjects called the EBacc. The EBacc is a set of GCSE subjects that keeps young people’s options open for further study and future careers.

The EBacc is:

  • English language and literature
  • maths
  • the sciences
  • geography or history
  • a language

The Separate Sciences

A group of students have also been selected to study separate science in addition to EBacc. Students studying separate science at GCSE will cover more science content, so may be better prepared if they want to take science A-levels. 

The Community Languages

Many students at Woodside High School can speak, read and write a second language, these are often referred to as community languages. We encourage students to develop language acquisition and provide some support and guidance for any student interested in being examined and gaining a GCSE in their chosen language. Please ensure that your child selects all languages that your child can speak, read and write proficiently on the options form. 

At Woodside, we believe it is important that all students are able to learn a new language in addition to those spoken at home as part of a broad and balanced curriculum. Therefore taking a community language is an additional language and not in replacement for taking Spanish or French.

Core Curriculum

Ash Pathway

Separate science option

Language option

Humanity option

Free option

English, mathematics, *combined science, RSHE and physical education

separate sciences

French or Spanish

geography or history

Birch Pathway*

Language option

Humanity option

Free option

Free option

French or Spanish

geography or history

Cedar Pathway*

Free option

Free option

Free option

Free option

N.B. Separate science is by selection only all other students will study combined science as part of the core curriculum. BTEC Enterprise cannot be taken with Business Studies, Cambridge National iMedia cannot be taken with GCSE Computer Science and BTEC Music cannot be taken with GCSE Music. GCSE Statistics will be studied as an extra GCSE in lessons after normal school hours.

Key dates

Since the start of year 9, students have been spending time with their tutor in form time, learning about potential careers. They have also been considering why they would study particular subjects in year 10 and 11. This will continue up until the option form deadline on Thursday 24 March.

Wednesday 23 February - subject assemblies start

Students will explore modern foreign languages, humanities, social sciences and business subjects and career options through assemblies led by the relevant subject leaders. 

Thursday 24 February - Parents’ Evening

This is an opportunity to meet with subject teachers to discuss progress and ask questions about subjects studied in KS3 that students may wish to consider taking next year.

Thursday 3 March - Options Evening and options forms

Options Evening will be held on Thursday 3 March. The purpose of this evening will be to give you and your child the opportunity to speak to subject teachers regarding option choices, discuss ways to maximise achievement and ask any questions regarding GCSEs and vocational courses. Students and parents/carers will be able to speak to the subject leader to gain expert advice on subject choices. After the options evening, the online option form for their allocated pathway will be sent to your child. 

Thursday 24 March - options forms complete

The option form can only be submitted once, so it is important that your child is sure about their option choices. By this date, your child will then be required to print out their option form, have it signed by a parent/carer and return it to their form tutor.

May / June - options confirmation

Students' options will be confirmed in writing in the summer term.

The key to success

In order to complete this process successfully please remember the following:

  • Use the subject information sheets and options process information to support your decision making
  • Take advice from your subject teachers, tutor, Head of Year and subject leaders 
  • Choose subjects you enjoy and will be successful in
  • Avoid choosing subjects because your friends study them
  • Choose subjects because of its content and your interest rather than the relationship you have with the teacher
  • Trust our judgement on which curriculum pathway is best for you

Vital Information

GCSE Art and Design

Why study GCSE Art and Design?

GCSE Art and Design Information Sheet 

GCSE Business

Why study GCSE Business?

GCSE Business Information Sheet 

GCSE Citizenship

Why study GCSE Citizenship?

GCSE Citizenship Information Sheet 

GCSE Combined Science

Why study Combined Science?

Combined Science Information Sheet 

GCSE Computer Science

Why study Computer Science?

Computer Science Information Sheet 

Cambridge Nationals in Creative iMedia

Why study Cambridge Nationals in Creative iMedia?

Cambridge Nationals in Creative iMedia Information Sheet 

GCSE Design Technology

Why study GCSE Design Technology?

GCSE Design Technology Information Sheet 

GCSE Drama

Why study GCSE Drama?

GCSE Drama Information Sheet 

GCSE English Language

Why study GCSE English Language?

GCSE English Language Information Sheet 

GCSE English Literature

Why study GCSE English Literature?

GCSE English Literature Information Sheet 

BTEC Technical Award in Enterprise

Why study BTEC Technical Award in Enterprise?

BTEC Technical Award in Enterprise Information Sheet 

GCSE Film Studies

Why study GCSE Film Studies?

GCSE Film Studies Information Sheet 

GCSE Food Preparation and Nutrition

Why study GCSE Food Preparation and Nutrition?

GCSE Food Preparation and Nutrition Information Sheet 

GCSE French

Why study GCSE French?

GCSE French Information Sheet 

BTEC Music

Why study BTEC Music?

GCSE BTEC Music Information Sheet 

GCSE Music

Why study GCSE Music?

GCSE Music Information Sheet 

GCSE Geography

Why study GCSE Geography?

GCSE Geography Information Sheet 

BTEC Health and Social Care

Why study BTEC Health and Social Care?



BTEC Health and Social Care Information Sheet 

GCSE History

Why study GCSE History?

GCSE History Information Sheet 

GCSE Maths

Why study GCSE Maths?

GCSE Maths Information Sheet 

GCSE Photography

Why study GCSE Photography?

GCSE Photography Information Sheet 

GCSE Religious Studies

Why study GCSE Religious Studies?

GCSE Religious Studies Information Sheet 

GCSE Separate Science

Why study GCSE Separate Science?

GCSE Biology Information Sheet 

GCSE Chemistry Information Sheet 

GCSE Physics Information Sheet 

GCSE Sociology

Why study GCSE Sociology?

GCSE Sociology Information Sheet 

GCSE Spanish

Why study GCSE Spanish?

GCSE Spanish Information Sheet 

BTEC Sport

Why study BTEC Sport?

BTEC Sport Information Sheet 

GCSE Statistics

Why study GCSE Statistics?

GCSE Statistics Information Sheet 

Frequently Asked Questions#

Options Evening Presentation

Where can I get my option form?

The option form for your pathway will be sent via email with a link to an online form after options evening.

What happens if we submit the wrong options?

Please speak to Mr Marshall, your Head of Year 

Is it important that I know what career I want to follow? 

No, not at this stage. It is important to keep as many doors open as possible and to aim high! However, if you do have a serious career idea you should check if any subjects are essential or desirable.

Will I get all of my option choices?

The vast majority of students get their first or second choice, so it is highly likely they will get all of their choices. 

Can I change my options in Year 10?

It is important to get your option choices right as changing can be very difficult, especially after you have missed some content of the course you may wish to change to.

In order to change an option choice you must provide a letter or email from you and your parent/carer explaining why you would like to change from one subject to another. You must then get this signed by the Head of the Department of the subject they wish to leave and join. In some cases there may be logistical or academic reasons why a move cannot happen.

Do I get my option choices if I send my form in early?

No, all of the option forms will be collated on Thursday 24 March.

If you submit your form after 24 March you may not get your option choices.

Where can I get advice?

There are many sources of help and advice. The following list may help: 

  • Subject teachers and subject leaders 
  • Form Tutor
  • Head of Year – Mr Marshall
  • Careers Co-ordinator-  Ms Ozcelik 
  • Deputy Head Teacher (Curriculum)  - Mr Bernard