Options at Year 9:Choosing your Subjects


Severn Vale students are well supported at this difficult time. Choosing optional subjects is the first important decision many students will make regarding their own future. 
Many Year 9 students have no specific idea of what career they want to pursue when they are older so choosing optional subjects is about keeping choices as wide open as possible unless there is a clear, well informed and enthusiastic career pathway a student wants to follow.

Year 9 students should start to look at their likes and dislikes, strengths and weaknesses. Parents and family can help out by discussing student’s ideas and helping them to research in detail.

The ConnexionsDirect website offers a wealth of advice for students and their families.  Connexions Direct

We also have computer programmes available to help students research careers ideas.

Careersbox has some excellent, real life interviews and footage of people at work. The Kudos and Careerscape programmes Careerscape online. is available on all networked (You will need the user name: c18537 and password: lifeaims41 to access the online Kudos and Careerscape programmes). Careerscape has detailed information on a comprehensive range of careers and can also be used to look at careers related to particular school subjects. There are interviews and clips of real people at work.

Kudos  is another of our careers orientated computer programmes.  The user is asked a series of questions which builds up a profile of that individual’s personality, likes and dislikes. The programme suggests suitable career roles and gives information on these. 

All students are issued with a “Which Way now?” Magazine, a Magazine for Parents and Carers and a Severn Vale School guide to Year 9 Option subjects which details what you will study in year 10 and 11 on that course. 

Students are given a group talk by Connexions and invited to ask any questions they have. Students can attend drop in session with the Connexions staff on a Tuesday or Thursday lunchtime. There is also a Year 9 Options evening event where students and parents can come along to talk to course teachers and the Connexions team.


New 14-19 Diplomas

Some students are offered the choice to apply to take a limited selection of the new diploma courses. Studying on a diploma course is not an easy option as it involves travel to other schools and colleges, further work experience, and a commitment to 2 years of intense study in a particular field.

Students continue to study core subjects at their usual school but travel to other providers to undertake practical and written study leading to a qualification equivalent to 7 GCSE passes at grade A-C. Failure of the course leads to no qualification at all.

Schools only offer diploma courses to those students who are suitable for the course. Students then undergo a series of taster sessions and interviews where they are chosen for a limited number of places on ability, commitment and team work.  

Students must be academically able to keep up with the written work as well as practical tasks, and must have a passion for the type of work the diploma will lead to.

Due to logistics, not all diploma subjects are on offer to Severn Vale students and students will be informed of those they are able to apply for in January/February of Year 9.

More information about the new 14-19 diplomas can be found on the diploma website