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Year 8 Options 2024

Key stage 4 - Year 9 in 2023/24

At Purbrook Park School, we believe in pupils pursuing their interests and gaining success in the context of a broad and balanced education. The rationale behind our three-year Key Stage 4 is to create a less stressful and more personalised route of study for pupils, ensuring that a broad offer of four option subjects can be followed to GCSE.

Pupils complete their full national curriculum entitlement at KS3 in all subjects taught discretely. Pupils are challenged and engaged from day 1. There is no behaviour dip or drop of standards.

Maintaining pathways to KS5 is a priority which would be seriously compromised by three options over two years, rather than four options over three years. Equally, the profile of our pupils and rigorous careers guidance embedded within the options process mean that pupils are stretched and challenged to select subjects that will benefit them as they move up the school and on to college.

By structuring KS4 over three years, pupils enjoy an engaging, healthy and balanced education, whilst maintaining greater options for KS5. Pupil and parental feedback repeatedly tells us that studying GCSEs over three years reduces workload, anxiety and stress.

The core curricula of English, Maths and Science have different routes available through them, suited to the ability of the pupil. The Key Stage 4 Curriculum is designed to include Core Subjects studied by everyone and Option Choices made by individual pupils. The Core Curriculum includes the following subjects: English and English Literature, Mathematics, Science, Physical Education, Religious Studies, PSHE and Personal Development, including Careers, Sex & Relationship Education.

All pupils study:


Lessons per Fortnight




Both Language and Literature are followed






Combined and Separate Sciences followed – this is determined at the end of year 9

Religious Studies


All pupils will follow the GCSE in Religious Studies

Option Subjects

4 per subject (16)

Each option subject receives 4 hours per fortnight. Pupils 'opt' for four subjects with bespoke guidance to ensure that a balanced curriculum maintained.

Physical Education





Personal Development Learning is delivered for 30 mins a day for 4 days a week by tutors.

Religious Studies in Year 9

All pupils in Year 9 follow the GCSE in Religious Studies.  Religious Studies is a compulsory subject at KS4 on the National Curriculum.  We believe that by studying GCSE Religious Studies it develops pupils’ all-round character and promotes a mutual respect for and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs, and for those without faith.  It encourages pupils to form opinions around many ethical issues in the world around them and promotes healthy opinions and how to share these in a mature and sensitive way.  Pupils are taught how to listen to and respond to other pupils viewpoints in a respectful and non-judgmental way.