How to Support Your Students with their Key Stage 4 Options
For young people in Year 9, attending college and/or university and eventually joining the world of work probably seems quite a way off. But the reality is that they are asked to begin to make choices that will impact their future right now. By helping them to choose a broad range of GCSE options, educators and careers professionals can support Year 9 students on their career journey and help them make the right choices for their future.
Investigate Key Stage 4 Options with Students
We’ve compiled a list of four suggestions that are intended to help you guide your students through selecting their options.
1. Options, Options
It’s only natural that some students will feel overwhelmed about choosing their subject choices. You can help by setting the scene. Explain why some subjects are compulsory and which subjects are considered to be ‘options’. Highlight what is available to them at your school and encourage them to talk about their thoughts on their subject choices.
You can even begin to discuss the impact of particular option choices on their future plans.
2. Skills and Interests
Encourage your students to assess and reassess their skills and interests as they relate to different subjects. By helping them to identify those subjects they enjoy, you will be empowering students to engage more deeply with their lessons and therefore they are more likely to achieve good grades. It is important to remind students that the choices they make now will determine what they learn for the next two years, and learning should be fun, right?
3. Decisions, Decisions
Allow students time to reflect and think about the different reasons for choosing subjects. Are they choosing a Key Stage 4 particular option because they like that subject teacher, or because they are genuinely interested in the material?
Just because their friends are choosing particular topics, that might not always be the best reason for them to follow the same course. Doing different subjects from their friends won’t affect their social circle; in fact, it might broaden their social group.
4. Link Subject Learning to Careers
Help students to understand more about how the subjects they choose as part of their Key Stage 4 options can support the early development of their college, university, and career pathways. But reassure them as well that they are not making a final decision on their career pathways right now. As they progress through the next two years of their education, students are likely to identify skills and interests that they weren’t aware of in Year 9. Students should be encouraged to explore where those newfound skills and interests take them, and the best way to achieve this is through a well-balanced list of Key Stage 4 options.
Using Xello to Support Students Choosing Key Stage 4 Options
Xello is a whole-school approach to careers education and future readiness. With Xello, each student will have a unique experience based on their skills and interests. Interactive online lessons, engaging assessments, and immersive career, college, university, and apprenticeship profiles demonstrate the link between subjects and the world of work.
If you already use Xello at your school, take a look at this Key Stage 4 Options Supplementary Resource that you and your students can use as they plan for their successful futures in Xello.
If you don’t have Xello at your school, but you’re interested in seeing it for yourself, book a personalised Xello demo today.