Chetwynde School, Croslands, Rating Lane, Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, LA13 0NY

01229 824210

Chetwynde School

Respect, Responsibility, Resilience

Options Information

Making curriculum choices in Year 9 is an important time for pupils  here at Chetwynde. The options chosen for Years 10 and 11 will affect how your child will spend their time at school for the next two years. The choices made will also influence what options are available after Year 11 in terms of further study.

These options will be studied alongside our core curriculum of English, Maths, Science, Core PE, Religious Studies and PSHE.


It is vitally important to choose subjects for the correct reasons. Please spend some time with your child thinking about what subjects they enjoy doing, what keeps them interested and motivated.


Good reasons for choosing an option

  • You are good at the subject.
  • You think you will enjoy the course.
  • It fits your career ideas and plans.
  • It goes well with your other choices.
  • It helps to give you plenty of choice post 16
  • You think you might want to continue studying it post 16
  • Your research shows that it will interest you and motivate you to learn.

POOR reasons for choosing an option

  • Your friends have chosen it.
  • You think it will be easy.
  • Someone else thinks it is a good idea.
  • You like the teacher you have now.
  • You did not have time to research your options properly.



Please find below your full guide to all of the subjects we offer in Key Stage 4. It is very important to read it carefully so that you understand what is expected of you in each subject. All of our courses will lead to a formal qualification at the end.


These are the most common qualifications for 16-year-olds. They are academic courses, which cover Level 1 and 2 of the Qualifications Credit Framework.

Grades 1-3 are at Level 1 / Foundation Level 

Grades 4-9 are at Level 2.

Success at Level 1 can lead to a Level 2 course post-16 and success at Level 2 can lead to Level 3 courses such as A-Levels and BTEC National qualifications.

For the purpose of comparison, a Grade 4 is equivalent to a grade C on the old GCSEs and a Grade 7 is equivalent to an A.

Vocational Qualifications

Alongside GCSE courses we offer some alternative qualifications, that is considered equivalent to GCSEs. These courses are OCR Cambridge Nationals 
The qualifications rely much more heavily on coursework than examination performance. The grades awarded are Pass, Merit, Distinction and Distinction*.

A level 2 pass is equivalent to a grade 4.

English Baccalaureate (EBacc) - RECOMMENDED

The government advises schools, parents and students that studying English Baccalaureate is the best option for the majority of students, especially those who intend to study A-levels and attend university.

The EBacc is a set of subjects at GCSE that keeps young people’s options open for further study and future careers. 

The EBacc is:

  • English language and literature - to count towards the English part of the EBacc, pupils need to take both English literature and English language GCSE exams.)
  • maths
  • the Sciences - Pupils need to take one of the following options:
    • GCSE combined science – pupils take 2 GCSEs that cover the 3 main sciences, biology, chemistry and physics
    • 3 single sciences at GCSE – pupils choose 3 subjects from biology, chemistry, physics and computer science
  • Geography or History
  • a language

It will therefore by our recommendation to most students that their options include either history or geography  and a modern foreign language.

Do you need some more help?

We advise choosing one of the following routes:

Route 1

Pupils who wish to go on to study A Levels and hope to attend university or complete a degree apprenticeship in the future to follow the choices outlined above (EBacc) after discussion with subject teachers.

Route 2

Pupils who are more likely to choose a vocational qualification at college and not A levels should consider options that could include Imedia, Art, DT, Performing Arts or PE following discussion with subject teachers.

Route 3

Pupils with special Educational Needs should discuss their options with subject teachers and the SENDCo.



  • - Provides information, advice and guidance to help individuals make decisions on learning, training and work. Young people can explore over 800 different career profiles and learn more about the skills needed for potential new careers.
  • - Young people can explore a range of different career options and be inspired by real-life stories from those who are currently following those career pathways.
  • - This website is packed full of resources for young people to understand more about the world of work, including advice from people who have found the right path for them. The website also provides access to many BBC programmes featuring careers and the world of work.
  • - Careers Advice for students and parents. Young people and parents can explore careers, find out about top employers, and search for the latest advice, jobs, courses and more. Parents can register for their own newsletter and you can download student and parent guides.
  • - The University Admissions service website allows you to search any course interest across all UK universities. It will also indicate which subjects and grades are required to access specific courses and careers.
  • All further education and training providers, university and apprentice providers have the key subject and career information on their own websites

Qualifications Studied at Chetwynde

Art & Design GCSE


Biology GCSE


Chemistry GCSE


Physics GCSE


Creative Imedia National Cambridge


Design Technology GCSE


Drama GCSE


Computer Science GCSE


English Language GCSE


English Literature GCSE


French GCSE


Geography GCSE


History GCSE


Maths GCSE


Physical Education GCSE






Skills Development Option - only available following discussion with the SENDCo

Some students, typically those who have previously dropped a language and have been receiving additional support lessons in Key Stage 3, may wish to choose Skills Development as an option choice.

If a pupil chooses skills development, they will receive five lessons a fortnight focused on English and Maths and with the additional benefit of reducing the number of potential GCSEs they take leaving more time to focus on their other subjects. 

 Closer to exam time, these lessons also provide revision skills and techniques.

 The decision to take Skills Development as an option is made between pupils, parents and the SENDCo.