Welcome to our Virtual Year 8 Options Event

Year 8 is an exciting and important year in your school career. This year you will make some decisions about the subjects you will study at GCSE level from September 2022.

The decisions you make could affect your future, so you must make your choices carefully and from an informed position. We will do all we can to help you with this so that you make the right choices for you.

We recommend you follow these steps:

  1. Watch the presentation below.
  2. Read through all of the subject information in the links on the right-hand side of this page
  3. Speak to your teachers at Virtual Parents’ Evening on 3 February
  4. Complete and submit the options information following the link that has been emailed to Year 8 students by 14 February. See click here for instructions on how to do this.



The information provided is intended to guide you through the options choice process and to give you some of the information you will need to help you to decide what to do.

You should also consider any advice you get from others, such as:

  • Your form tutor
  • Careers staff
  • Your subject teachers
  • Parents and others in a position of responsibility
  • Other materials published by subject departments and on careers websites.
    • Students will be invited to attend a dedicated year 8 careers drop-in next week Monday- Thursday (17th-20th January) from 12:45-13:15 in the careers office B0:13 if students would like any support in making their options choices and exploring future career interests.
    • We will be delivering an assembly during period 5 on Tuesday 18th January which will include advice on decision making and how GCSE options can relate to future career goals. We will also outline careers support available and introduce forthcoming career-related activities in this assembly.
    • The careers appointments for parents to book on Thursday 13th January have been arranged as a supplement to the virtual presentation, for any parents that have specific careers-related questions. However, our support is not limited to this evening, and we invite parents to contact us via email if they were unable to secure an appointment via: careersteachers@heckgrammar.co.uk 

You will find that you do not have complete freedom to choose all your subjects. Some are compulsory and some have an element of choice. However, there is sufficient choice available for you to personalise your curriculum to suit your strengths, your aspirations and your interests.

We need to know your options choices so that we can begin the lengthy planning process to make sure we have the staff and resources in place to teach the courses that you choose. We will do our best to accommodate everyone’s choices, although it is important to point out that occasionally we cannot provide the exact combination of subjects that you have chosen. This is caused by the practicalities of staffing, rooming and scheduling the timetable, and if it happens, we will contact you and discuss an alternative combination of subjects.

The Framework

Your curriculum will lead you to GCSE qualifications and will be made up of two parts, or elements:

  1. The compulsory element

All students in years 9 to 11 follow courses which will lead to GCSE qualifications in:

There are also compulsory non-examined courses in Games, RE, and Personal Development.

2. A further choice element (four subjects)

Pupils have four further subject choices from:

∗ It is likely that you will need to choose this subject if you wish to study this subject at A-level.

♦ If choosing French or Spanish, pupils must already have been studying the same language in year 8.

Δ Due to the controlled assessment commitment of these courses, students can only choose one of these subjects.

Reserve Choice

Students are asked to make a reserve choice and whilst we will do everything we can to allocate all students to the subjects of their first four choices, this is not always possible. In the unlikely event of you not being allocated your first four choices we will use your reserve choice, so please make sure you are happy with that fifth option.

Please read all the information provided, be proactive and speak to all your teachers, then take time to reflect honestly on your interest for and ability in each subject, alongside any future aspirations, and make an informed, personal choice.