Skip to content ↓


Options Overview

When pupils reach Year 10, they start a new phase of their education called Key Stage 4. During their two years of Key Stage 4, pupils are able to study subjects of their choice, alongside the core subjects required by the National Curriculum.

At this stage of their education, our pupils are growing in independence and are forming ideas about their future career paths. Choosing options gives pupils the chance to focus on subjects they most enjoy, choose subjects they feel will most benefit them, and even try new subjects they haven’t studied before.

At Co-op Academy North Manchester we ask pupils to choose four option subjects one of which must be History or Geography. They will also study the core subjects of English Language and English Literature, Mathematics and Combined Science. At the end of Key Stage 4 (Year 11), pupils take their exams in these subjects and earn nine qualifications (as Science is worth two).

The majority of qualifications we offer are GCSEs. However, we do also offer a selection of qualifications which have a stronger vocational focus, such as BTECs. In addition, all our pupils take lessons in PE. They will not be examined in PE (unless they choose it as one of their options) but will continue to practice a healthy lifestyle through sports.

Throughout the options process we discuss Level 2 and Level 3 qualifications:
Level 2 Qualifications at Key Stage 4

Pupils can achieve Level 2 when you have 5 or more grade 9-5 levels (or equivalent A*- C grades) at GCSE, or BTECs at Level 2. These qualifications include:

  • GCSEs achieved at Grade 9-5 in English and Maths.
  • GCSEs achieved at Grades 9-5 in other subjects.
  •  BTEC Technical Awards

Most employers use this level as their minimum entry requirement and insist on Maths and English.

Level 3 Qualifications at Sixth Form College

Pupils can achieve Level 3 when you have 2 Advanced Level passes. These qualifications include:

  • ‘AS’ and ‘A’ Levels,
  • the Advanced and Progression Diplomas,
  • the International Baccalaureate,
  • BTEC National Award and City & Guilds Advanced Awards.
  • National Vocational Qualifications
  • Universities require most applicants to be qualified to this level. Employers will increasingly look for applicants who are qualified to at least this level

Pupil Entitlement to CEIAG at Co-op Academy North Manchester

All pupils have a planned programme of Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance (CEIAG) to include information on post-16 education, training opportunities and types of jobs. At age 14 our pupils will be given guidance on Key Stage 4 options. 

At age 15/16, pupils will receive guidance on post-16 choices and completing applications for  apprenticeships or college courses.

Options Process

Following the Options Event, pupils will be asked to make their subject preferences on the online option form. The link is available below. When completing the form pupils will need to decide whether to study History or Geography and also list their top 7 option subject preferences.  Pupils will be asked to number these 7 preferences 1 to 7, with 1 being the most important one to them and 7, the least.

Pupils can receive guidance on what option subjects they should seriously consider choosing, based on their performance and engagement in Year 9 and feedback from subject staff. Some subjects have very specific criteria. Pupils should read this carefully in the booklet and cross check the subject entry criteria against the report they received at the Progress Evening in January.

Once the forms have been submitted online and collated, a small number of pupils will be invited for a one to one with a member of the senior staff to discuss the suitability of their option subject preferences. They will also look at the specific entry criteria for courses (where applicable).

Please note that some courses will have a strict restriction on pupil numbers and some courses will only run if there is sufficient demand to make the class viable. 

Please click below to access the options form and the options booklet.




Options Timeline

Monday 30th Jan – Year 9 Options Assembly for Pupils to explain the option process

W/c 30th Jan – Parents receive invitation to the Option Event and the Options booklet. The school website also includes all the Options information.

Thursday 2nd Feb – Year 9 Options Event

Friday 3rd Feb – Option form made available online

W/c 6th Feb – Taster assemblies delivered to year 9 for new courses not previously studied in years 7-9 eg: Business, Health & Social Care, Travel & Tourism, Sociology

W/c 6th Feb – Online Interview drop-ins with SLT to discuss queries with choices.

Thursday 16th Feb – Option form due in online

June – Option choices confirmed