GCSE Options Process

Students begin their GCSE studies in Year 9 at Washington Academy. We have taken this decision in order to provide each and every one of our students with the best possible chance of success and best GCSE grades.
When students are mid-way through their Year 8 studies with us we begin the Options Process which will eventually lead to them making their GCSE subject choices.
We take great care in helping our students make their decisions and so we have a 2 stage process
• Options Evening
• 1:1 Interview

Options Evening

On this evening we invite all Year 8 students and their parents into the academy to meet and discuss their option subjects with the Heads of Department, Year Manager and members of the school’s Senior Leadership Team.
This takes place in the Pit Stop (Main Hall) where staff are freely on hand to answer any questions or concerns. This conversation provides a background on what the option subject covers and how the students will be assessed. It is at this point that students are provided with their first choice Options Form.


Throughout the evening our Connexions Link Advisor is always on hand to answer any questions around Careers Guidance. It is possible to make an additional appointment with them if further help and guidance is needed.
Connexions Sunderland is an accredited careers organisation which achieved the Matrix Quality Award in 2011 and was subsequently re-accredited in September 2014. All advisers are professionally qualified to both the competency and qualification requirements as set out by the Career Development Institute

The Link Adviser for Washington Academy is Helen Arthur.

We believe that it is very important that GSCE options are made with future career / study in mind. To help with this we invite Sunderland College (our Sixth Form) employers, training organisations and our regional universities to the evening. They are available on their stands to discuss any concerns or questions.
Both students and parents / carers find this a very useful experience.

Careers information and advice can be found here – IAG

1:1 Interview

Following on from the Options Evening, students and parents meet with members of the Options Team to discuss the student’s Options Form. This meeting takes place during the school day and lasts for around 15 minutes.
The purpose of this meeting is to ‘talk through’ the student’s options choice in more detail. This discussion is help in no small way by looking at
• A student’s academic progress in each subject
• A student’s attitudinal measure within each subject
• A students’ career guidance interview record
All three pieces of information help the student make an informed, confident and ultimately successful options choice.