Our GCSE Options system is set by the pupils and their choices. We believe that individually tailored selections are in the best interests of our pupils. We do not believe in ‘pushing’ children into certain subjects to improve league table positions. Whilst it is satisfying to be top of the league, it is more important that our pupils leave Tower College with successful outcomes.
The compulsory subjects equip pupils with essential skills for life, but the option subjects play to their interests and strengths. Pupils studying subjects of their choice will be happier, more confident, better engaged and ultimately more successful. A class of engaged and happy pupils will benefit from this positive learning environment. Parents will also find pupils easier to motivate during study, revision and potentially stressful mocks and examinations.
In Year 8, pupils are asked to compile a list showing their choices in order of preference. Our Vice-Principal & Director of Studies then uses this information to organize the Options Blocks according to the pupils’ needs. Once completed, the pupils check to ensure that their choices fit and that they are happy with them. The next stage is our Year 8 Options Evening, where staﬀ discuss each subjects’ specification and expectations. At this stage, changes can be made to the Option Blocks if necessary. The final decisions are then collated.
We also recognise that some pupils may have strengths and talents that lie outside of school. Whether this be a sporting talent such as football or tennis or a desire to become a musician, we will seek to accommodate and support pupils. This may include (with parental consent) a reduction in the number of option subjects taken.
As a non-selective school, we also consider reducing option subjects for those with Special Needs and disabilities. For example, a child with severe dyslexia may find foreign language study more difficult. Gifted & talented children in some circumstances may be oﬀered the opportunity for extension subjects, sometimes by extending the school day for an individual or group.