Curriculum in Years 9-11 and taking options

The Carlton Academy offers a broad and balanced curriculum for students at in Years 9-11. During Year 8, students state a preference of four subjects that they wish to study in Year 9. Students have covered the full range of the National Curriculum requirements by the time that finish Year 8. The majority of students have very defined ideas of subjects that they favour most and least by the middle of Year 8.

We believe, along with students, teacher and parents, that indicating preferences develops the most engaged students, acting as a strategic partner in their own success and improving outcomes. Students spend time in Year 9 focusing on four preferred subjects of choice, carefully guided and monitored by specialists. These courses are not externally assessed, they aim to build on strong foundations laid in previous years and develop a mastery of the skills to succeed at Key Stage 4. Students can make changes to their Year 9 choices through the year, very few choose to do this. In key stage 4, courses are carefully planned to ensure content is revisited thoroughly and this prepares students to succeed in their examinations

The options process - called Guided Choices- takes place in the spring term of Year 8. We know that this approach has led to significantly improved outcomes for all groups of students in terms of attainment and progress as evidenced in our examinations results since 2012. 

Students continue to access our extensive wider curriculum offer. This includes opportunities to take additional qualifications and experiences such as Arts Awards and engage with our wider curriculum offer.

The options process is carefully designed to meet the needs of every student. Each student (and parent) is provided with support and guidance when selecting GCSE options by the Academy's curriculum and pastoral teams.

As part of their Key stage 4 studies, all students study towards the following core curriculum throughout years 9-11:

  • GCSE English Language
  • GCSE English Literature
  • GCSE Maths
  • A double GCSE qualification in Science and in some cases a triple science course taken as part of the option choices
  • GCSE Full Course in Philosophy, Religion and Ethics (taught in years 9 and 10) after which more time is given to maxinmise achivement in English and Maths in Year 11
  • Core PE

Support is provided throughout the process in guiding students towards making the best selection of options subjects to maximise their progress and achievement at the end of Year 11. The Academy offers a wide range of both academic and vocational subjects and this offer is reviewed regularly to respond to curriculum developments and the learning needs of students.

Making choices - the 'options process'

Students take four choices from the options booklet alongside their core offer. Three of these courses are studied for three years and one is completed at the end of Year 10. This approach gives students a chance to focus on achieving the best possible outcome in this course, alongwide their RE qualification and then gives them additional time for their studies in their other options in Year 11. More time is given back to English and Maths in Year 11 to help maximise outcomes in these two vital subjects.

You can download a copy of the most recent Options Booklet from the icon below:

March 2021 Options Information Booklet

March 2021 options information on restricted subject combinations

TCA Options videos on our YouTube stream for each subject

Options Evening slides - session one and recording of the live talk

Options Evening slides - session two and recording of the live talk

Exam breakdowns and revision guides for GCSEs



Please click here for the 2019 Year 11 leavers destination data

Please click here for the 2018 Year 11 leavers destination data

Please click here for the 2017 Year 11 leavers destination data


Exam Revision Resources

You can download a copy of the resources available from the links below

GCSE Online Revision Guide

Revision Resources

BBC Bitesize - Exam Boards

Year 10 Revision Organiser - Revision Organiser

Year 11 Revision Organiser - Revision Organiser

A copy of the instrumental lessons in school can be found here.