Choosing your options in year 8 or 9 is one of the first big decisions you will have to make. But don't panic - no one expects you to have all the answers immediately.
Why do I have to choose?
because it's time for you to have a say in what you are going to study
because there's not enough time to fit every subject in
as work gets harder you will want to concentrate on the subjects you enjoy most and are good at
you might want to take a new subject
Getting the balance right
Whatever plans for the future you have now, the chances are you will probably change your mind a number of times over the next few years. Choosing the subjects you enjoy but also getting a good balance of subjects, will leave you more options when you are choosing your courses and jobs for the future.
The 14-16 offer
Any young person currently in Year 9 may apply to move to Cambridge Regional College (CRC) and the University Technical College Cambridge (UTC) at 14 for their Key Stage 4 education (Years 10 and 11).
Students at the 14-16 Academy at CRC study a mixed programme of GCSEs and vocational/technical learning. It is best suited to those who particularly enjoy practical subjects and already have an interest in a vocational area. CRC specialises in study that leads into work or an Apprenticeship, although many of their students do go to university at 18.
The Academy at CRC is a great choice for anyone who feels ready for a change that could help them make real progress in Key Stage 4 and lead to good progression into work, an Apprenticeship or higher level study at 16.
Students can join UTC Cambridge at the start of year 10. The UTC offers a broad and balanced academic and technical curriculum with an emphasis on core academic subjects (8 GCSEs) alongside Challenge Projects to ensure students are able to move into any field related to Science, Engineering, Maths and Computer Science at the end of year 11.
Of the 32 teaching hours per week, all students will spend at least 19 hours on STEM lessons and projects.
Students can achieve between 8 and 11 GCSEs during their two years of study.
The entry requirement for year 10 at UTC Cambridge is a passion and commitment to their specialist subject – Science – along with the intention to pursue a career in a related area.
So, how do you choose?
First of all think about yourself:
what you are good at, your talents
your strengths and weaknesses
what interests you
also find out whether you need any particular subjects for the careers you're interested in at the moment
Then find out as much information you can:
talk to your subject teachers
what do the courses actually involve?
have you checked out your career ideas and qualifications you need?
how are courses assessed - will there be controlled assessments and coursework as well as exams?
go along to your options open evening
Finally talk your plans over with
friends and relatives who know you well
your careers coordinator or tutor
But ultimately the choice is yours!
Do try and get a balance of subjects
Do choose subjects that interest you
Do make your own choices
Do find out what the course is all about
Don't take subjects because you like the teacher or because of your friends
Don't think in terms of boys and girls subjects
Don't panic - you can always take other subjects later.
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