Choosing GCSE subjects

It is currently an important time for Year 9 students, as with GCSE choices being finalised in the new year, important decisions need to be made regarding their future.

Year 9 students need to be fully aware of the options available to them in terms of education paths and eventual career choices. If these options are not presented clearly, students may miss out on future opportunities.

To help students with these important decisions, CASCAiD has produced Launchpad. Launchpad is aimed at KS3 students to help them identify their personal skills and compare them with the skills they need to study GCSE subjects at KS4.

At CASCAiD, we interviewed KS3 students to find out about their experiences of using Launchpad.

Lauren, Year 9, said that she would find the subject information useful when the time came to make her choices for GCSE. Launchpad contains detailed information on KS4 subjects and includes videos of GCSE students who are studying the subject and of their teachers. This provides real insight into what they can expect from these subjects at a higher academic level.

Lauren also liked exploring the different careers and found the ‘Fashion Designer’ career particularly interesting, especially the photographs, as they show the day-to-day tasks you would be doing in that career. Students can explore different careers and see how their subject choices now, can progress to careers in the future.

Launchpad aims to inform, guide and inspire KS3 students to make the correct choices for them, so they can reach their potential.

The statutory duty, set in place from September 2012, requires schools to provide access to impartial careers guidance to Year 9 students. However, this is now changing, as from September 2013, the statutory duty will been extended so schools will be required to provide access to impartial careers guidance from Year 8. The main focus of careers guidance in Year 8 will be to raise aspirations and improve motivation.

To find out more about this change in statutory duty, please click here.

To find out more about GCSE choices for Year 9 students, please click here, or if you would like to read a teacher’s perspective on using Launchpad with their students, please click here.

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