Year 8 Options Journey

Year 8 Options
Subject Guide

Year 8 Options

At the end of Year 8, you will have successfully completed Key Stage 3 (Year 7 & 8) at Wycombe High School!

In September 2024 you will start Key Stage 4 (Year 9, 10 & 11) studying a variety of subjects leading to your GCSE examinations in Year 11.

Core Subjects

What are the core subjects that I study at GCSE?

As you enter Year 9 in September 2024, you study
the following Core subjects at GCSE:

What are the non-core GCSE subjects?

Alongside your Core GCSE subjects shown above, we invite Year 8 students to choose four additional GCSE subjects to study during Year 9 – making a total of 10 subjects.

At least one subject must be chosen from:

At least one subject must be chosen from:

Two further option choices from the list:

Non Core Subjects

Can I choose whatever options subjects I want to?

You must choose one modern language (French or Spanish). You may choose to study French and Spanish if you wish.

You must choose at least one humanity subject from a choice of Ancient History, Geography or History. You may choose to study more than one Humanity subject if you wish.

Due to the volume of course work in Textiles / Product Design you are only able to choose one of these options.

Choosing subjects

Is there anything I need to think about when choosing my option subjects?

An ideal balance would include:

Choose the subjects you are good at – you should feel confident and capable of succeeding in these.

Choose subjects you believe you will enjoy studying for three years (Y9, 10 & 11).

Consider the requirements of any career plans you might already have in mind. If you do not have a firm career plan just yet, that is OK. Aim for a broad spread of options. Talk to the teachers of the subjects you are thinking of choosing, and to other students in your tutor group.

Additional subjects that you will study

Alongside your 10 GCSE subjects you will also follow a set of courses to enrich your curriculum. During Year 9 you will have a carousel of lessons such as First Aid, Digital Literacy and PSHE (careers education, work-related learning, relationships, health and wellbeing).

There will also be the opportunity to continue with the foundation subjects throughout Year 9 in a carousel of topic based units of study which will include, History, Art, Product Design, Food Technology, Music and Geography.

In Year 10 and 11, you will study core Religious Studies and PSHE. In Years 9, 10 & 11 you will also have core PE lessons too.

Is there a subjects guide I can read?

We have designed a Y8 Options Journey online brochure to support you and your parents in discussing your options, and to enable you to make your final choice with confidence.

You should read all the information that departments have provided before making your final decision by 9am on 19 February 2024.

Can I change my option subjects?

We try very hard to accommodate everyone’s choices, but sometimes it is not possible.

Occasionally we are not able to run a particular subject at all because there are timetabling or staffing restrictions, or because only a very small number of students have chosen that subject.

If this happens you will be told as soon as possible, and we will use your reserve choice, or discuss the best alternative for you.

Switch subject

Letting us know the options you would like to study

We will give you access to our SIMS On-Line system. You will then be able to log on and choose your four option subjects.

Option choice deadline

The deadline for submitting your option choices is 9.00 am 19 February 2024 via our SIMS On-Line system.

Careers advice

For help and advice in school, you can talk to Miss Spiteri – Careers and Higher Education Adviser. Miss Spiteri can answer any questions regarding careers-related matters during break or lunch time. Her office is in the Careers Library, located in the mezzanine of the Learning Centre above the Conference Room.



Unifrog is not just about applying to university – it is so much more! You have been saving your Careers and Employability Skills tutor time activities here, and you can use it to log Activities and Competencies.

There is a wealth of information about different Careers, and information listed by school subject too, as well as by skill. Webinars are also available, with previous webinars available to view on demand.

You can also find advice and guidance about your wellbeing, along with advice of the practicalities of life such as simple household tips and recipes. This is an excellent time to really make time to explore the huge range of material that is available on Unifrog.

University Entrance

If you have questions about the current entry requirements for university courses, the best place to look is the UCAS website at

By using the Course Search, you can find out what university courses are available, which subjects are needed at A Level, and at what grades. Remember that you can only find out what universities require now – their requirements may not be the same by the time you are thinking about applying to university in four or five years’ time!

Examination Boards

The examination boards publish details of their GCSE courses on their websites:

Much of the information on the websites is aimed at teachers, but there are sections giving information for students and parents. It is also possible to look at the specifications for GCSE courses.

Key Dates

Please find below key dates for students in Year 8:

Questions or Queries

If you have any questions or queries, get in touch with:

Event /Activity
27 November 2023
Options Journey Booklet and FAQ released to students and parents via our school website
28 November 2023 – 8 January 2024
Students will receive “Why choose…?” video clips. A video for each option subject suggesting what your daughter should choose their subject for GCSE
w/c 11 December 2023
Parents receive their daughters extended grade card
8 January 2024
Students attend an Options Journey Fair during Period 5. Parents (and students) are invited to attend the ‘Y8 Options Journey Fair’ from 5.00 pm until 6.00 pm which includes an Options talk at 5.00 pm and repeated at 5.30 pm from Mrs Renyard and Mrs Gray
10 January 2024
Students receive an invitation to access our ‘SIMS On-Line system’ to register their 4 option subjects for Years 9, 10 & 11. Students will also attend an assembly to explain this process.
7 February 2024
Parents’ Consultation 2.30 pm – 5.30 pm
19 February 2024 (9.00 am)
Deadline for all students to enter/confirm their 4 option subjects into our ‘SIMS On-Line system’