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The Buckingham School

The Buckingham School

Key Stage 4 Options Process for Year 9 Students

Dear Parent/Carer 

We are approaching a very important and exciting time in your child’s education at the Buckingham School.  Until now, students have had very little choice about which subjects they study as they have been required to follow the National Curriculum.  

As students move into KS4, they are now given choices of the subjects that they would like to study.  All students will follow the core curriculum of English Language GCSE, English Literature GCSE, Mathematics GCSE, Combined Science GCSE, PE for health and fitness, PSHE and Enrichment.   They are then asked to pick four further subjects, one from each Option Block, as well as a reserve choice in each Block.  Details of all the Options subjects available can be found in the Options Booklet and Options Blocks attached to this letter. 

We also have a dedicated area on our website, which you can access by clicking here. 

Here, you will find all the documents attached and referred to in this letter, as well as some short videos our Curriculum Leaders have prepared, giving an overview of their subject area. 

PE (unless selected as an Option), PSHE and Enrichment will not result in a GCSE qualification at the end of the course, but it is worth noting here that Combined Science makes up 2 GCSEs, giving each student the opportunity to be awarded 9 qualifications (GCSEs & BTEC) in total. 

In order to help students make their choices, we have put together a series of taster lessons that will run from Tuesday 26th – Friday 29th January.  The timetable for these sessions is attached.

These sessions will run remotely via Google Classrooms.  Students can attend these sessions instead of or as well as their normal live teaching, but where they are missing a timetabled live session, students should let their teacher know in advance.  In any instance, students will be expected to catch up on the work missed whilst attending these taster lessons. 

Options choices will be made online via the SIMS Online Portal (   Instructions on how to access this are attached.  The window for making Options choices will open on Monday 1st February and close at 3pm on Friday 5th February. 

KS4 Options Process – Summary of Key Dates:

Monday 25th January: Letter out to families from TBS Students receive email from SIMS Online Portal
Tuesday 26th - Friday 29th January: Live taster sessions will run remotely.
Monday 1st - Friday 5th February:  Options process runs online.
Thursday 1st April: Options confirmed to students (at the latest)

Should you have any questions about the Options process, please do not hesitate to contact myself, your child’s Form Tutor or Head of Year. 

Yours faithfully
Mr J Dunckley, Assistant Headteacher

To view/download the letter and attachments, click on the links below.  

Letter dated 25 January 2021
Options Taster Lesson Timetable
Option Blocks
Options Instructions
Options Booklet