KS4 Options 2018 - 2020

Information below relates to students choosing their options in February 2018. Information relating to 2019-2021 options will be available soon.

What subjects MUST students study and why?

English, Maths, Science, Religious Studies and PE are compulsory subjects with Modern Foreign Languages compulsory for all but a small number of previously identified students. PSHE is not taught as a separate subject; the relevant content is covered on PSHE Days and through the other subjects within the curriculum. The importance of English, Maths and Science for all students does not need repeating. It is a compulsory requirement of all schools to offer students some form of religious education until they are 16. At Prince Henry’s this takes one hour per week and leads to a ‘short course’ GCSE qualification. As a Specialist Language College MFL is highly regarded and develops skills that support the wider curriculum. We have a responsibility to encourage young people to lead a full and active life and our core PE programme provides opportunities for this.

Why do students have to choose subjects from the options list?

Students study fewer subjects at Key Stage 4 than at Key Stage 3 because the time required to reach GCSE standard is greater than the curriculum time in Years 7, 8 and 9.  This means that from the options list they can select those subjects in which they have the greatest interest. It does however also mean that they will have to stop studying some subjects, this may include some subjects that they enjoy and in which they have reached a high standard: this means that the choice of subjects will have to be made very carefully.

It is the Governors’ policy that all students at Prince Henry’s follow a broad and balanced curriculum. Students are asked to select three option subjects (plus one reserve) to study in Key Stage 4. They must therefore think carefully about which subjects are selected; at this time it is advisable not to ‘close doors’ which could limit choice of subjects to pursue at sixth form, College or in Further/Higher Education.

How do students make their choice?

Students need to complete the form found in the back of this booklet and return it to school on ‘Options Day’ - Friday 9th February 2018. They should think carefully about their subject choices; ask for advice from subject teachers, personal tutors, careers staff and parents; find out about subject content and assessment; research the necessary subject requirements for any career in which they may be interested.  There are certain subjects that students may be able to pick up again in the sixth form, even if they drop them now.

It is recommended to keep a balance between more academic and creative subjects.  The choice should reflect individual interests and abilities and should not be made because of pressure from others. Teachers, classes and friendship groups change from year to year. It is very important that students make the right choices NOW. The timetable for next year will be designed according to the choices students make on ‘Options Day’ any requests for changes at a later date may not be possible.




Wednesday 3rd January 2018

Options booklet given to students.

Thursday 4th January 2018

Options Evening in school, 6:30pm

Wednesday 7th February 2018

Year 9 Parents’ Evening

Friday 9th February 2018

Options Day – All completed forms in on this day.



  1. Optional Subjects - Additional information
  2. Core Subjects - Additional information