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Year 8 Key Stage 4 Preferences

The choice of some of Key Stage 4 subjects is one of the most exciting and important times in a child’s secondary school journey. This page will provide students and parents/carers with all the information they need to make informed decisions that will support students’ future plans and enjoyment of learning. We have also organised a variety of events to support the process of making suitable choices for each individual student so that, in line with our ambition as a school, we can ensure ‘Every student will be able to access a university course or professional career’

The Kingsmead School Key Stage 4 Preferences 2024-2027 Booklet is available for you to download below. This publication contains a wealth of information, and its purpose is to assist parents, carers and students in the process of choosing the courses that are the most suitable to follow at Key Stage 4.

Students’ selection may include courses familiar to them from Key Stage 3, as well as courses that they have not previously studied. It is important that students choose subjects in which they are confident, or they think will enjoy learning more about, that are appropriate for the demands of future careers and higher education (university) courses that they may be interested in pursuing and that reflect the strengths they have demonstrated in their Key Stage 3 studies.

Four of the most common mistakes that students can make when choosing their options are:

  • Choosing subjects because they like the teacher who has taught them at Key Stage 3
  • Choosing subjects that they think will be easy
  • Choosing subjects that don’t really interest them, only because their parents / carers tell them to
  • Choosing subjects because their friends have chosen them.

Students should remember, these are their own choices and whatever they choose will determine how they spend a considerable amount of their time over the next three years leading to GCSEs, the A-level and other post-16 courses that they will be able to study at Sixth Form and the careers for which they will be qualified in the longer-term future.

In line with our key value of Nurture, at Kingsmead we have a wide range of events to support students in this process.

Please see the table below for more details.

Key Stage 4 Preferences Process Timeline

This is unquestionably an important time in their school journey. Therefore, in addition to these events, it is important that parents / carers make time to discuss this process with their children and that students make sure they research and consider their options carefully.

Students should ask lots of questions and talk to well-informed people that can support them. Below is a list of Key Staff in the school that can help with different aspects of this process.

Key Staff

Key Websites

In addition, students can use the following websites

Unifrog – www.unifrog.co.uk
National Careers Service – www.nationalcareers.service.gov.uk (‘Explore Careers’ section gives lots of information about what qualifications may be needed for a role, as well as a general overview of what the job may involve and some labour market information)
Career Pilot - www.careerpilot.org.uk/information/gcses/choosing-your-gcses
UCAS (Choosing Your GCSE Subject Guide) - https://ultimateguides.ucas.com/choosingyourgcsesubjects/

Year 9 is a year in which students build a foundation for the subjects they have chosen (pre-GCSE). In Year 10 & 11, students deepen their study of these subjects and prepare for their GCSE /BTEC exams, which will take place from May 2027, at the end of Y11.

For more information on the Year 9, 10 and 11 Curriculum, please click here for Academic Curriculum Appendices 

Key Stage 4 Preferences 2024-2027 Key Documents

Letter to Parents KS4 Preferences 2024 -2027

Preference Form

Year 8 Letter to Parents - KS4 Preference Feb 2024

Year 8 KS4 Preferences Launch

Year 8 KS4 Preferences Assembly Information

Year 8 KS4 Preference Booklet

Year 8 KS4  Letter to Parents Jan 2024