Year 9 Options
I am writing to you as the Assistant Headteacher in charge of the curriculum plan as part of the journey for your son/daughter into Key Stage 4. The team working around your child will include your child’s form tutor, Head of Year, Student Support Manager as well as the SENCo where appropriate and the wider support staff available to engage with your child to ensure they have every possibility of reaching their potential while developing new skills on the way.
It’s an exciting time for the students and for staff as we see many developments over the next couple of years. The journey obviously begins now as they look into and research their optional subjects and start to make decisions as young people about their futures.
We welcome our Year 9 students into key stage 4 understanding the changes they face and although an exciting time, it can be one of uncertainty due to the fact it is a time of great change. We will look to explore all areas of your child’s potential together with your son/daughter as they start to make subject choices and consider their move into the exam years.
During this transitional time in school we will explore subject areas never studied before, learn a little about subjects previously studied to understand how further study in these areas look and we also start the adventure of considering future careers more carefully and learning together about the pathways that can be followed to get to where the students want to be once GCSEs are done.
In KS4 our relationships develop and our conversations will start to change to meet the maturing needs of the student. KS4 allows the students to be much more self-sufficient in school and we thoroughly enjoy working with them as they gain more independence which in turn allows the students to take more responsibility for their learning and the outcomes of each day in the classroom.
We are always excited to welcome the Year 9 students into our KS4 community. We aim to work with them over the coming months as we help and support their transition and most importantly we work with them to ensure that decisions made now on subjects they hope to study during this next phase are the best fit for them.
After the Easter holidays the students will have an opportunity to explore and experience life in the GCSE classroom as they will be invited to engage in our subject taster sessions. These days are hugely important for them as it allows them to witness first-hand how next year’s studies may look.
Before the end of the year, we will run some sessions on the key skills required for being successful in KS4 – this will include work on understanding what success looks like to them, independent study skills, communication skills, presentation, revision/material review skills and we will also allow the students a number of opportunities to ask questions and clear their minds of worries that may be niggling away at them about the upcoming transition.
At a time of change for your child we recognise how stressful it can be for you as the parent or carer. These changes happen at a time when communication from your young people may not always be top quality and we understand how frustrating this can be. We will share with you all of the resources made available to the students throughout the coming months. We, in KS4, will communicate with you in June and again in July to provide and share with you any additional information you will need to ensure your child returns in September with every opportunity to be as successful as possible.
We recognise that everyone will be nervous and anxious about transitions between year group and key stages. We will endeavour to provide you, and our students, with all suitable/appropriate wellbeing resources we have access to or have found to be useful. To support conversations about mental wellbeing with your young people I would recommend the young minds website (https://www.youngminds.org.uk/parent) many parents have shared really positive experiences of this website and support resources.
Lastly, I will take this opportunity to say we look forward to continue working with you over the coming years in supporting your child in achieving everything they possibly can.
If, at any point, you have any questions about the transition into KS4 please do not hesitate to contact me on email@example.com.
Mr R Clarke, Assistant Headteacher
You may have seen from our website and most recent school newsletter, that we are hosting our annual Year 9 Options Evening on Wednesday 28 February 2024.
The evening will run from 4:00pm-6:00pm with talks from Mr D. Elliott, Headteacher and myself.
Stands will be display in the school canteen and Sixth Form Common Room. Teaching staff will be in attendance for you to talk to.
There will be two talks during the evening (you only need to attend one), which will take place in the Mary Seacole Room. Please note that the stands in the school canteen and Sixth Form Common Room will close at 6:00pm, therefore, please allow ample time to visit the stands.
Please complete the online booking form to secure your place and select the time of the talk you wish to attend. Bookings will close at 12noon on Wednesday 21 February 2024.
BOOKING FORM: https://forms.microsoft.com/e/xfGcfzSCUU
The event is the ideal opportunity to find out what subjects we are running and understand the different options for your child.
PLEASE NOTE: The Year 9 options booklet and options form are currently being updated. Please check back here in due course.