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Year 9 Pathways

Pathways are the decisions students will make to determine what subjects they will study to continue learning. The journey will begin in year 9 and will take students up to year 11 before Post-16 options and beyond. 

At Saint George’s we are fortunate to have excellent, subject-specific teachers. We are able to provide students with a wide curriculum choice in addition to the core subjects. Within year 9, students will have the opportunity to experience some subjects as ‘taster choices’, to get a real understanding of what to expect at GCSE.


Key Dates

Event Name Date

Deadline to choose options

Monday 13th May 2024

Compulsory Subjects

Maths, English and Science are the core subjects everyone must take at GCSE England. 

As a church school, we value Religious Education, and therefore all students at Saint George’s will participate in RE lessons and will receive a full GCSE in Religious Studies. The Saint George’s PE programme is also compulsory and aims to develop a range of practical and social skills as well as encourage students to be more aware of health-related activities as they contemplate an active lifestyle. Consideration for others is fundamental and physical endeavour is seen as the basis for success.

Additional Subjects



In term 6, students will participate in a series of lessons to prepare for GCSEs and beyond. These lessons include revision, careers and how to manage finances. We will confirm students’ Pathway Options before the Summer holidays. Students will begin their chosen pathway when they return to school in September. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I choose whichever subjects I want?

You must study English, Mathematics, Science, Religious Studies and core PE.

You will then have the option to choose different subjects to study in addition.

Will I get my first choice?

Whilst we ask for you to give choices in order of preference, it can be difficult to give everybody their first choices. Therefore, it is really important that you ensure you know the subjects you choose are what you definitely want to study.

What is the English Baccalaureate (EBacc) pathway?

The English Baccalaureate was introduced as a performance measure for schools in 2010. It is not a qualification in itself. The measure recognises where pupils have secured a grade 5 or above, across core academic subjects including English, Mathematics, two Sciences, History or Geography and a Modern Foreign Language (French or Spanish).

At Saint George’s, we encourage students to follow the EBacc courses as “these are subjects most likely to be required or preferred for entry to degree courses and ones that will keep the most options open.” - Department for Education.

Other languages may be considered if the student is at a good level already. Please inform us of any Heritage Language when making your selection.

What is the difference between GCSE, BTEC and Vocational Awards?

General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE)

GCSEs are highly valued by colleges, 6th forms, universities and employers. GCSEs are graded 9 to 1.


Business and Technology Education Council (BTEC)

BTECs are more traditionally vocational in nature than GCSEs and provide a practical approach to learning and developing skills. BTECs are Level 1 and Level 2, and you will achieve an equivalent to a GCSE. (The subject guide has specific information about this). There is an exam element to all BTECs.


Cambridge National/VTCT/TC/Vocational Award

These are level 2 qualifications (equivalent to a GCSE). They are vocationally related qualifications (VRQ). There is an exam element.

How should I choose my GCSE options?

There's no right way to choose your GCSE options, however, it is advisable to consider: 

  • Taster sessions you enjoyed
  • Subjects you are good at
  • Future career paths

Each student will have a meeting with a senior member of staff to discuss their Pathway options. We consider each student individually to ensure they follow the best Pathway for them.

What if I change my mind? Can I change my GCSE options?

It will not be possible to make changes after the course has started.

I’ve made my decision for my pathway. What do I do next?

Please complete the online form by the deadline of Tuesday 16th May 2023.

The link can be found in the Pathways Launch email you should have received.

Contact Information

For subject-specific questions, please get in touch with the subject leader or Head of Department, their email addresses can be found in the Pathways Information Booklet. For further queries about Pathways, please contact either of the following;

Ms C Jordan (Careers Leader)

Mrs Lane - AHT Raising Standards & Personal Development