Options Information for 2020
In the coming weeks we will be beginning the options process in school to support your child with their subject choices for Key Stage 4. At Laurence Jackson School we want to inspire excellence in our students through a curriculum designed to provide academic excellence for all our students and also provide students with opportunities to look ahead to their future and out to the wider world.
As your child progresses from Year 9 into Year 10 they will automatically take the Core Subjects which are a national requirement. These Core Subjects are English Language and Literature, Maths, Science, Physical Education, and Personal, Social, Health, Citizenship education (PSHCE) which will include an element of RE.
In addition to their Core Subjects, your child will make four additional subject choices to complete their curriculum. Our aspiration for our Key Stage 4 students is that their curriculum allows every child to be challenged and successful, providing the tools and opportunities to wholly support their potential career direction and next steps beyond Laurence Jackson School. To help realise this aspiration, students have been organised into 3 carefully considered, ‘recommended pathways’. These pathways have been designed to help all our students fulfil their academic potential evidenced at Key Stage 2 and throughout Key Stage 3.
To ensure that you and your child feel well informed and supported in making their choices, we are holding a series of key events in school that I am writing to give you advanced notice of.
Wednesday 29 January – Year 9 Options Launch assembly for all students. In the assembly Mrs Juckes (Headteacher) and Mrs Downs (Assistant Headteacher) will share key information about Options, including subject choices and pathways with Year 9 students. Every child will be provided with their first copy of the Options Form and a full brochure of all subject choices to bring home and share with you.
Thursday 30 January – Year 9 Parents’ Evening Options Convention 16:00-18:30. This event will largely take the format of a usual Parents’ Evening, with opportunity to have appointments with all your child’s teachers. However, to provide you as parents and carers with the same information the students have had in the Year 9 Options Launch assembly, there will be a 15 minute presentation from Mrs Juckes in the Main Hall at 16:00 which will be repeated at 18:15. It will be very beneficial to attend one of these presentations either before your appointments or at the end of the evening. Please note that there is further information about this Parents’ Evening at the bottom of this email.
Thursday 13 February – Year 9 Options 1 to 1 appointments 16:00-18:30. Once you have had the time to reflect upon the information provided at Parents’ Evening and from the Options brochure, your child should feel able to make their subject selections. To further support you and your child, every child will make a 1 to 1 appointment with an assigned member of staff in school (either their Form Tutor, Year Leader or a member of the school’s Senior Leadership Team) to complete their final version of their Options form. During the appointment there will be final opportunity for you and your child to ask any questions about their selections. It is intended that the final version of the Options form will be submitted during the appointment, ready to be shared with Mrs Downs who will oversee the process. Parents and carers will sign the final copy of the Options form during the meeting in support of your child’s choices.
Friday 14 February – Deadline for final version of the Options forms to be handed into school to Form Tutors, who will then pass this on to Mrs Downs.
Key information about Year 9 Parents’ Evening Options Convention
Who can attend Parents’ Evening?
Parent/Carers often ask us if it is ok if their child attends with them. This is an effective thing to do as when staff are speaking they can involve your child in the conversation so they can contribute to what is being said and agreed. Attendance from your child will mean they can ask any questions they have about the subjects as Key Stage 4 courses during the appointment. We definitely encourage this but if this isn’t possible, the evening will still prove useful for you.
How can you make appointments with class teacher and relevant staff in school?
Your son/ daughter will make appointments with relevant staff and record this on the appointment sheet provided which they will share with you ahead of the evening. Students will be able to make appointments between 16:15 and 18:10.
Arrival at Parents' Evening
Please arrive through the school’s ‘Student Entrance’ which will be open. This is the entrance at the side of school. When you arrive there will be Prefects available to sign you in and to help guide you to where your child’s subject teachers are. You will also receive a ‘floor plan’ to help you see where all staff are located.
What is the purpose of the appointments with Subject Teachers?
The main purpose of the appointments is for you to gain subject specific information about how well your child has been progressing with their learning since September, which will support the Options choices they make. There will also be opportunity for you to find out subject specific examples of the teacher’s judgement behind their rating of your child’s approach to learning, behaviour and home learning. You and your child will also be able to ask any subject related questions you may have in reference to selecting a subject at KS4. Core subjects will be able to provide an insight into your child’s skills in literacy and numeracy to further support and guide the Option choices.
Will parents/carers have chance to meet Mr Tuck Year 9 Leader?
Mr Tuck (Year Leader for Y9) and Mrs Innes (Student Welfare Manager for Year 9) will be available to see if you have any ‘pastoral related’ queries.
Capturing your feedback
We really do value your feedback and would very much appreciate it if you could complete an electronic questionnaire when you leave Parents’ Evening. There will be a member of staff available to encourage you to do so and show you how. We will also email this out after Parents’ Evening to parent/carers who are not able to on the evening or parent/carers who cannot attend.
What should Parent/Carers do if they can’t attend Parents’ Evening?
It would be really helpful if you could reply to this message if you are unable to attend Parents’ Evening, with an indication as to the main reason why (possible reasons are below), by Tuesday 28th January. (There is no need to reply to this message if you are attending).
Possible reasons why you may not be attending
- We/I have work commitments during the hours of Parents Evening
- We/I have a prior alternative personal engagement which we/I need to attend
- We/I feel we have nothing to gain from attending the Parents evening
- We/I live beyond walking distance to the school and have transport issues
- Other (please state)
We really look forward to working with you and your child throughout this exciting time as they begin their preparations to progress into Key Stage 4.
Thank you for your continued support,
Progress and Interventions
Laurence Jackson School