Year 9 Options

Options for students starting Year 10 in September 2023

This page outlines the options process for Year 9 students, who will be sitting GCSEs in 2025. It will give students and parents/carers the opportunity to explore the different courses being offered at Key Stage 4, and watch presentations from members of staff about the courses their subjects are offering.

Key Information

Academic and personal excellence are at the heart of The Eastbourne Academy’s curriculum intent. By endeavouring to provide the highest quality education for all students, we strive to prepare them to be successful in their futures. Students will leave The Eastbourne Academy with the knowledge to gain and maintain employment and independence.

The Government are encouraging schools, students and parents to follow a ‘traditional’ curriculum in Key Stage 4; The English Baccalaureate. This consists of English, Maths, Science, a Language and a Humanities subjects (History or Geography). We support this by offering all students the opportunity to study these Ebacc subjects. We understand that this pathway will not be suitable for all students, thus we offer a wide range of qualifications to suit a range of learners.

In Year 9 students have the chance to make some decisions about their future by choosing some of the subjects that they wish to study in Year 10 and 11. Making this decision can be tough and confusing, and so here are some simple ways to make it easier to make the right choice:

Try to choose subjects…

  • That you think you will enjoy and feel you are good at
  • That you may need for your future education and/or career
  • That you are most likely to work enthusiastically and succeed at
  • That provide balance and variety. By keeping a balance at this stage, you will not close off future options

Key Stage 4 Curriculum

The compulsory parts of the curriculum include subjects that provide essential life skills and prepare for lifelong learning, and those that form statutory (compulsory by law) aspects of learning. These are:

  • English
  • Maths
  • Science
  • SPHERE (social, personal, health, economic and relationships education)
  • Core PE
  • Core Religions, Philosophy and Ethics

In all of these subjects, except SPHERE and core PE, students will take accredited examinations that will assess the learning undertaken.

What you need

Every student is expected to gain a GCSE in English and Maths. Currently, if this is not at Grade 4 or above, you will be required to resit these courses at college (remember, the way subjects are graded has changed from A*-G to 9-1, with the current grade 4 being equivalent to the old grade C).

Most colleges and employers expect a minimum of five qualifications, including English and Maths. In order for students at The Academy to be ambitious within the local and wider area, most will study 8 GCSEs, with other pathways available so that students can sit 9 qualifications.

The English Baccalaureate (EBacc) suite of subjects The EBacc will be achieved by gaining at least grade 5s at GCSE in English, maths, science, a modern foreign language and a humanities subject (either geography or history). This provides a strong base for those students wishing to go on to university.

Pathways to Success

The pathway that each pupil is guided towards is based upon their level of ability. One way that we assess this is through the CATS tests that all students completed in  Year 7. 

All Year 7 students at The Eastbourne Academy are assessed using the Cognitive Ability Tests (CATs).  These tests assess how well a student can think about tasks and solve problems using a range of different questions. And they are given four scores:

  • Non-verbal Reasoning: tasks involved thinking about shapes and patterns
  • Verbal Reasoning: thinking with words 
  • Quantitative Reasoning: thinking with numbers
  • Spatial Reasoning: thinking about shape and space together and in three-dimensions

The average score is 100 in each of these areas. Each student’s performance in the CATs scores, end-points, along with their homework and attitude to learning, have been provided alongside this booklet to help students make informed decisions about their pathway and subjects. 


Pathway A

Recommended for students with CATS of 110 or more

Pathway B

Recommended for students with a CATS score of 110 or less

Compulsory subjects: English Language, English Literature, Mathematics and Statistics, Combined Science.

In addition to: 

  • GCSE Geography, History 
  • GCSE Spanish
  • +1 other GCSE or BTEC or Triple Science

Compulsory subjects: English Language, English Literature, Mathematics and Statistics, Combined Science.

In addition to: 

  • GCSE Geography, History 
  • +2 other GCSE or BTEC


If you have any issues or need to speak about the Options process, please contact Miss Lewis 

If you have any issues with accessing the form to submit choices please contact Miss Humphries    

Option Booklet

Subject Loom Videos




Art and Design

Cambridge Nationals Sports Studies

Design and Technology

Food Preparation and Nutrition


Performing Arts

Religions, Philosophy and Ethics


Three Dimensional Design

Travel and Tourism

VCert PE


Option Pathway Forms 

The form to choose year 9 options has been sent to both the student and their parent/carer and is available both on the Student Portal and MCAS. Only one submission can be made per student. If there are any issues with logging in please contact

You must choose one Humanities subject (either History or Geography). Then you have a free choice for two other options. We also recommend that you choose a reserve subject. You are able to review the choices made before making the final submission.