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Garth Hill College

Year 8 Options - Introduction




I hope you will find the information in these pages interesting and useful.  Read it carefully and take every opportunity to discuss your choice of subjects with your teachers and your parents/carers.  Make sure that you follow the advice here (or in the booklet) carefully, because at this stage in your College life you need to follow a balanced course of study.  You should not worry if you are not sure what you want to do when you leave College.  The next three years are the time for exploring what you want to do, and therefore you must make sure now that you keep all opportunities open by making choices of subjects which will open doors to a variety of career opportunities.

At the moment, you are considering your courses for years 9, 10 and 11. I trust that over the duration of the course, however, you will start to think seriously about staying on to the Sixth Form.

The next three years are going to be especially important years in your college life.  Key Stage 4 is challenging and demanding.  To achieve your full potential and be the best that you can be, there is no substitute for hard, smart work!  Your future success is limited only by the extent of your own desire!

Best wishes

K Grainger





Year 8 Options Booklet 2022

Year 8 Options Booklet 2022 - RISE


These pages are designed to give you further information about the subjects that you will study in the next three years. Where you have choices and decisions to make, it is important to discuss the information with your parents and teachers.  Ask yourself the following questions before making your choice:

  1. Do I like the subject I am thinking about?
  2. Do I think I can do well in this subject?
  3. What subjects do I need for my possible career?
  4. Do the subjects that I have chosen give a good balance?
  5. Do I know what the course involves?

Each individual pupil will have an interview with their form tutor or a senior member of staff.  This will help to ensure that all pupils are making informed decisions.  If you have any other concerns or questions then please contact the form tutor, subject teacher, the teacher in charge of each subject (shown under every subject title in this booklet) or the relevant Head of House/Assistant Head of House.



The subjects detailed in these pages are known as ‘Level 2’ qualifications.  BTECs can be either Level 1 or Level 2 and are therefore known as equivalent qualifications, as they are not GCSEs but can be worth the same.  All the BTEC subjects offered at Garth Hill College are Level 2.



The EBacc gives ‘special recognition’ to pupils who achieve 5 or more GCSEs in certain subjects.  

Current guidance suggests that Further Education and Higher Education institutions will see possession of an EBacc as an advantage.  This means that pupils who qualify for it would likely stand a better chance of a College or University place on some courses than those who do not possess one.  It is also possible that employers may place greater emphasis on the EBacc.  Therefore, whilst we believe that pupils should have a free choice in terms of the subjects they choose, we would strongly urge any pupil to opt for the EBacc combination of subjects (listed below) who believes they stand a realistic chance of achieving a GCSE grade 5 or better in all five of these subjects.  For some pupils, this blend of subjects will be the natural choice, whilst others may have to think carefully about not choosing the EBacc route if their academic profile suggests that they should do it.  We will aim to assist you in making these decisions when we meet with you individually as part of the Options process.

For pupils at Garth Hill College, the relevant GCSE subjects offered that would qualify you for an EBacc are:

  • English Language/Literature
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Computer Science
  • Either French, German or Spanish
  • Either Geography or History

To qualify for an EBacc, you must achieve a GCSE (not including equivalents) grade 5 or above in all of the first three subjects listed above and at least one language and one of the Humanities.  If you do not achieve a grade 5 in any of these subjects it will mean that you will not be recognised as having achieved an EBacc.  However, individual subject grades still count.

There are no special entry requirements and no extra exams for the EBacc.  A pupil choosing a Language or a Humanities subject will still have two further choices and a Technology choice available.  All pupils are required to study at least one EBacc subject.