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February 2012 Year 8 Options Evening Wednesday 29th February 2012

February 2012


Year 8 Options Evening Wednesday 29th February 2012


Dear Parent/Carer,


Important information regarding the GCSE options process for students in Year 8


As I'm sure you are aware, there have been significant changes to the English education system over recent years and further major reforms to the secondary curriculum are being implemented by the current government. In particular these reforms will affect the range of qualifications available to young people and the ways in which individual student achievement is quantified, both by employers and higher education institutions.


Here at CBA we are acutely aware of our responsibility to provide our students with an appropriate curriculum which will equip every individual learner with the skills and qualifications necessary to thrive after they leave school, whether their destination is university or the world of work. We have examined our current curriculum carefully and are proposing to implement some small changes that we firmly believe are in the best interests of our students.


During the last academic year we took the next step in the academy's curriculum development strategy and began the GCSE options process in term 5 of Year 8 rather than waiting until the end of Year 9. There is now clear evidence that there are significant benefits to condensing the Key Stage 3 curriculum into years 7 and 8 only and thereby creating a three year Key Stage 4 curriculum. This strategy gives students additional time to pursue excellence in their chosen subjects or indeed to expand the number of GCSEs they take over a three year period from what would have been possible within a shorter timeframe.  This approach also offers various additional opportunities for students. For example, for some it would be possible to begin A level study early; others may benefit from better, higher quality work placements linked to their future career choices than is often possible within the time pressures of the 'traditional' Year 10 and Year 11 curriculum.


We have begun working with Year 8 students to introduce them to the options process and as part of this process I would like to invite you to the parent’s year 8 options event where we can share more detailed information about our plans and address any concerns you may have.


The options information evening will take place on 29th February 2012 - 6.00-7.00pm.  


Should you wish to discuss the contents of this letter prior to 29th February, please feel free to contact me via my email address: or through the Academy switchboard.


Yours faithfully



John Henrys

Acting Principal