Year 9 Options

GCSE Options for students starting Year 10 in 2023

A key moment in your educational journey with us, are your options at GCSE. We have put together all the Y9 Options Information in one place on this webpage to help guide you to making the right choices for your future.


You are now at the stage of your school life when you are going to be taking some of the responsibility for designing your curriculum in all subjects, both GCSE and non-examination.  It is important that you make the decisions for yourself because you are the one who is going to do the hard work.

At BSG we provide a broad education to enable you to develop your skills and knowledge in a wide range of subjects, so that you can keep your A-level and career options open for as long as possible.  The Year 10 and Year 11 timetable also has to meet the requirements of Key Stage 4 of the National Curriculum, with most subjects leading to GCSE examinations.  This is why there are some limitations on choices which otherwise would result in a narrow curriculum.

To make sensible choices, you will need to assess your own strengths and weaknesses, taking advice from your family, friends and teachers.  At the same time, you should find out about career opportunities as they relate to particular subjects.  However, as stated above, your choices are restricted so that everyone will have a broad combination of subjects and crucial decisions about career choices and subject specialism can be left until the end of Year 11.

Curriculum Staff

Mr. Osborne leads our school curriculum including timetabling and the Y9 options process. 

Mrs. Jackson also leads on timetabling & SIMS and will be a main contact during the options process.

If you have any questions regarding the options process please contact

If it is regarding queries about specific subjects please contact the relevant Head of Department in the first instance.

Assistant Headteacher

Mr. Toby Osborne

Data Manager

Mrs. Kathy Jackson

What are GCSEs?

Introduced in the 1990s, GCSEs are the main standard Level 2 qualification sat by 15–16 year-olds at the end of secondary school. The range of GCSEs chosen may affect choices for progression onto Sixth Form, College, Apprenticeships or Work.

Since the 1990s the GCSE curricula have been changed a few times with the most recent changes in 2017 and 18. The Department for Education brought in new specifications for exams and a brand-new grading system to replace the traditional A*-G and replaced this with a 9-1 system (see diagram below).

At the end of the course each student will receive a numbered grade. As seen below a Grade 7 is about an old Grade A, whereas a Grade 4 or 5 is an old Grade C. In 2022 BSG students’ average grade was over Grade 7.


How are they assessed?

Most GCSE courses involve one or more externally set written examinations at the end of Year 11. As GCSE courses are now linear the external examinations are all sat at the end of the course.

Some GCSEs involve the completion of coursework or other forms of assessment as part of the course such as oral examinations or project work. Please look at the individual Option Course pages for details on how each course is assessed.

Whatever the mode of assessment the exams will generally assess:

  • The retrieval of factual information;
  • Application of these facts in practised and new scenarios;
  • Presentation of ideas in a clear and structured manner;
  • Demonstration of practical and oracy skills.

All subjects available at GCSE at BSG are also studied in Key Stage 3 (Y7-Y9) [except Spanish] and have been planned to build on knowledge and skills from these earlier years.

Year 9 Options Process 2023

Though our process is very similar to past years we will be running our options process completely online this year. With a brand-new website, come brand-new opportunities and we have developed individual option pages for each department area to support students in the process.

Option Timeline (2023)

  • Options Launch for Students (Period 1 – 18th January 2023)
  • Options Talk for Parents (Y9 Parents Evening – 18th January 2023)
  • Options Online Form Deadline (9am – Monday 6th March 2023) (guidance on this further down the page)
  • Options Choice Confirmation (by May 2023)
  • Start GCSE courses (September 2023 – Y10)

Options Process: The rules

• Students and parents will need to use the Students SIMS App on their phone or on a desktop:, parents/ carers must authorise the choices of their children via the app or website.

• Students can only pick three GCSEs, but we will ask you to pick one reserve option.

• When selecting their 3 options, students cannot select Product Design AND Textiles, just one of them as they are both a Design Technology GCSE.

• Food Preparation and Nutrition GCSE can be selected with one of the Design Technology GCSEs, however spaces are limited on this course.

• We do not look at the options chosen until the 6th of March deadline, there is no need to rush – but you must meet the deadline.

• Everyone is treated equally if options are in before the deadline, it is not first-come first-serve.

What subjects do students take?

Subjects studied at Key Stage 4 (Y10-11) are categorised into 3 groups:

  • Core Subjects (Compulsory GCSEs)
  • Foundation Subjects (Compulsory non-GCSEs)
  • GCSE Options (Students can choose these)

All BSG Students have the opportunity to study 10 GCSE qualifications in total, 3 being options that they choose.

Core Subjects

All students at BSG must study and sit Core Subject qualifications, these are:

Foundation Subjects

It is also a requirement that students study non-qualification subjects that aid in personal development, health and wellbeing. Therefore, students will also study:

  • Social Education (inc. Careers, Health Education and Citizenship)
  • Physical Education (focusing on physical activity and sport)

GCSE Options

All students get to select three options from our options list.

  • You should take at least one Modern Language. You may study more than one modern language.
  • You should take at least one of History or Geography. You may study both History and Geography if you wish.

Students can choose any three options from the lists below (Click any subject to go to their course page):

Y9 Options List 2023

Should you change your mind about your option choices once you have submitted your online option form you should contact Mr Osborne either in person or via email. It may be possible to change your option if there is available space in the relevant class. You will not ordinarily be permitted to change an option after September 30th 2023.

Options Online Guidance

This year we are completing all our Options Process online. Below you will find a link to the BSG Online Options Document to help support you in completing this year’s options.

The link below takes you to the SIMS Options Online Portal to complete options on a desktop computer. If you have the students SIMS app this can be done on the phone.

Beyond GCSEs

As part of the process of choosing your GCSEs you should look beyond Year 11 about what you may want to do in the future. Whether this is Sixth Form, college or future careers. Below you can click links to our Sixth Form webpages or UCAS which contains extensive information on both Higher Education (Universities) or Apprenticeship courses.