“Life is a sum of all your choices.”
Albert Einstein

Introduction from the Principal

I am delighted to introduce you to TQEA options for 2020. We hope that you will find important information about the courses that we offer for study by our students in years 9-11. I am proud that we offer a broad and balanced curriculum at this school. It is a curriculum which allows students to take options which are both varied and exciting and which will help support them as they progress towards their careers. The decisions that Year 8 will be taking now, with the support of parents and teachers, are crucial and I urge you to take time to consider your subject choices carefully. Please study the information and the booklet, and talk to staff at school to ensure that you have all the information you need.

A student view of choosing options…

When my teachers first talked about options, I was worried, I didn’t know what I was going to do as a career and I didn’t know what options to take.  Whatever options you pick will impact your life, and they are the biggest decision of your life so far.

However, all the support we got in school helped me pick my options.  The first two options I chose were PE and Geography.  I picked PE because it is my favourite subject and I enjoy the practical side, but I am also interested in the theory side.  I chose Geography as I find the subject interesting.

 In addition to this I chose media and computer science as they were two subjects I did well at and enjoyed in the taster sessions.  Don’t forget if you ever need any help or any guidance you always have teachers, parents and year 9, 10 and 11 students to talk to.

 Finally a bit of advice, these options will set you up for your future so pick ones that you really want and not because your friends are doing them.  If you do not have a career in mind then choose a wide range of different subjects that you enjoy.

TQEA’s Curriculum Intent 

At TQEA we’ve developed a broad and balanced curriculum that enables students to learn, recall and apply knowledge and skills across different contexts, supported by robust and consistent assessment. This will create successful and resilient lifelong learners who can cope in a range of changing contexts.

Core Subjects All students will study the following GCSE subjects:  

English Language and English Literature



Religious Education

Either History or Geography

Some students will be directed to study a MFL


Core PE (this is not a qualification)

What is the EBacc?

The EBacc is a particular set of subjects studied at GCSE that keeps young people’s options open for further study and future careers. A study by the UCL Institute of Education shows that studying subjects included in the EBacc provides students with greater opportunities in further education and increases the likelihood that a pupil will stay on in full-time education. English Language and Literature, Maths, The Sciences, Geography or History and a Language.

Options Subjects 

Students will all study 4 Options subjects.

All students have to choose from either Geography, History or Ancient History. If students wanted to they could study all of these by choosing them in their ‘Free Options’.

Some students are directed to choose a Modern Foreign Language (MFL) and can study either French or Spanish. All students are allowed to do a MFL, even if they haven’t been directed.

Students then choose 2, or 3, more subjects, to make their 4 option subjects. These are classed as their ‘Free Options’. You will find a page devoted to each option in the Option Booklet. While TQEA is proud of the breadth of options, due to un- foreseen issues, some options may not be able to run. As a result, not all students may get all of their preferred option choices, making it important that they provide a reserve.

“It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”
J K Rowling

How to choose options? 

We are using a paperless options process called ‘SIMS Options Online’. After Options Evening (or a further communication from us), students will receive an email where they can make their choices. They can also indicate a reserve in case their preferred option is not viable. We strongly suggest parents read this email so that they can be part of this incredibly important process. After a set deadline, students will have choices allocated on their behalf.

Where can students get help choosing options?

  • Parents
  • Family members
  • Students in tutor groups
  • Teachers
  • Heads of Departments
  • Mr Webb (careers advice)
  • Mrs Parsons
  • Mr Saye
  • Mr Armishaw (Assistant Principal)

Our school telephone number is: 01827 712477

Email: r.armishaw@tqea.org.uk

Click here for our Options Booklet 2020