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Sir William Ramsay School

Empowering Everyone to Achieve

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is the difference between combined and triple science? 

Combined Science equates to 2 GCSEs and is a mix of all three Sciences. Triple Science equates to three GCSEs and takes up an option. Both can lead to  A Level Sciences.  

If I choose triple how many options can I pick?

Triple Science takes one of your option subjects.  Therefore you can choose 3 options from the list but one of these must be from the EBACC subjects.

What is the difference between GCSEs and BTECs?

GCSEs are the traditional method for most of courses, these have no coursework in general are assessed via exams at the end of Year 11. BTECs are an alternative course for many subjects and are assessed mainly via a coursework element which students build towards over the course and then they will have sort of exam which will not have as higher weighting.

Is it important to consider what subjects I include as my reserve subjects?

Yes, unfortunately for a very small percentage of students we are unable to meet your selected subjects.  If this is the case we will then try to meet one of your reserve options as part of the options process.

Is there a restriction on how many vocational subjects I can complete?

Yes, you are restricted to only being allowed to complete two vocational subjects.  This is due to the coursework element of the courses and the ensuring students do not add too much work load to their time during KS4.  Furthermore, ensuring that students have a broad selection of subjects to support future educational next steps.

Can I be in the same class as my mates? 

We do not offer options based on friendship groups and it is important that you select your options based on your likes and future aspirations.  Do not copy your friends option subjects as you will be studying the courses for two years and not guaranteed to be in the same class as your friendship group. 

Will I still have lessons with my form group? 

The only timetabled lessons you will have with your form group will be during PSHE and am registration.  Core and PE will be based on which side of the year group you are in.  This will be the R or W side and is not linked to your form group.  Subject lessons will be based on your options and will be mixed from across the year group. 

Once my options are submitted can I change my mind? 

No,  it is very important that you submit your options once you have discussed all the different available courses.  Once submitted you will not be able to alter your options or reserve choices.  This is also the case when you get into Year 10 as there will be no changes offered. 

How can I access further information about the subjects? 

Please refer to the options booklet and videos on our school website.  If you do have further questions do contact your child’s form tutor or subject teacher. 

Is it possible to gain access to a career advisor to help support my child in their option choices? 

Yes, we have access to Advizor service who are trained in providing young people with career guidance.  If you would like an appointment please contact the head of year to arrange. 

What are the EBACC subjects? 

The EBACC subjects include Geography, History and Spanish. 

How are GCSE grades issued? 

Students are now graded 9-1 within GCSE subjects.  In vocational subjects they are graded distinction star to pass. 

Will my subject choices affect what I can choose at sixth form? 

We would always recommend looking over the grade requirements from the sixth form page to check as some subjects do have specific requirements.  This information can be found on our school webpage. 

What exam boards are used within each subject? 

The only timetabled lessons you will have with your form group will be during PSHE and am registration.  Core and PE will be based on which side of the year group you are in.  This will be the R or W side and is not linked to your form group.  Subject lessons will be based on your options and will be mixed from across the year group. 

Once I have submitted my options form, am I guaranteed to study those subjects?  

The majority of the student cohort will be successful in getting their chosen subjects.  However there is sometimes cases where we may not be able to timetable particular combinations of subjects.  Sometimes subjects may be over or undersubscribed and it may not be possible to run as many teaching groups as we would like.   

We obviously try to limit the impact of such changes.  If there is an issue in being able to offer the student their chosen options we will make contact home to discuss the options available. 

Which subjects should I choose?   

 The subjects that are best for you depend on who you are and where you want to go. Think about your strengths and interests. Which subjects are you doing best in? Which subjects do you find most interesting? Think about which career might be right for you and which subject you might like to study at university. You don’t have to have your future mapped out, but start thinking about the future. You are more likely to do well in a subject that you are achieving well in or that you enjoy. Much will change between now and age 18 so it’s a good idea to follow a range of GCSE courses