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Information, Advice and sources of support for young people in Suffolk

Are you getting ready to choose your year 9 options?

Last year we spoke to some year 9 students at East Bergholt school and they gave use these tips to help you (they also gave some tips to school careers co-ordinators).

You can find more advice and support on choosing your next steps in the ‘Your Future’ section on The Source.

Find specific advice on our page ‘Choices at 13+’.

Tips from current year 9 students to prospective year 9 students

  • The year goes fast.
  • Talk to your teachers about different subjects and what they think you’d do well in.
  • Consider the balance of coursework and exams in the options that you pick.
  • Talk about your concerns around options, or about year 9 generally, to someone you trust, either at school or home.
  • Don’t expect to get your perfect options – don’t make it a big deal – you may not get all your choices because of set ‘blocks’ of subjects  
  • Put your reserves as something you’d like too.  
  • Think of ways around not doing the options you wanted. Could you do Duke of Edinburgh if you didn’t get to do GCSE PE for example?  
  • Go for tours of the colleges – see if they have tours or videos on their website.

Tips for school careers co-ordinator

  • Teacher only gave a brief overview of options. Would be good to have more detail.
  • Give out options leaflets earlier in the year to help with worry about it looming up.
  • Have an options parents evening before Christmas, felt like options choices were done quite late in the year so it became a worry and a big build up.
  • Could year 9 students sit in on a year 10 or year 11 lesson to experience the subject before choosing it?
  • It would be good to have taster lessons, for example business – not done it before. Also Princes Trust, hospitality and catering and health and social care.   
  • Careers interview was really good and helped me decide what to do, not just for options but for a job.
  • Maybe 2 careers interviews in year 9 is best. Maybe combined with Annual Review if student has EHCP.  
  •  Good to speak to experienced person face to face rather than search online for information.  
  • Visits in year 10 to local colleges are a really good idea and looking forward to that.  
  • Have local people or parents and carers come in to talk about their business  

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