The National Qualifications Authority sets a framework for educational qualifications in England and Wales. As students move from Key Stage Three to Key Stage Four of the National Curriculum, they take the first steps up a ladder which can lead to a wide range of high-level qualifications; University Degrees, Masters Degrees, Doctorates, Professional Diplomas and Awards, Higher National Diplomas and Certificates, etc. The first steps are Level 1 and Level 2 of the National Qualifications Framework, and include GCSEs, BTEC First Diplomas & Certificates, and Level 1 & 2 NVQs.

All GCSE subjects studied at Blue Coat are Level 2 so they require more hours per week than in lower school. Because of this, students need to study fewer subjects in Key Stage 4 than at Key Stage 3 – in other words, some subjects have to be dropped before starting GCSE or equivalent qualifications.

At Blue Coat, certain GCSEs/equivalents are compulsory – English, Maths, Science and Religious Studies. In addition, all students are required to attend lessons in Core PE and PSHE. These subjects are collectively known as core subjects.

In most cases, students take four additional subjects; options. In addition, most students usually take a humanity subject and a language.

Choosing options is a serious business. It needs careful thought, and discussion with parents/carers, tutors and relevant subject teachers. Talking to friends and older students is also really useful. However, it is highly unlikely that any choices made at this stage will close doors forever. The subjects which are likely to be vital for the vast majority of future careers are in the core.


Download the 2021 Virtual Options Evening Presentation with Voiceover HERE

Please find below our latest options booklet.