Y8>Y9 Guided Pathways - Continuing the Five Year Curriculum

Tue 19 Jan 2021
Welcome to Year 8 students and parents and carers, visiting our Guided Pathways news item, by following the link that was texted to parents on Tuesday 19 January.

Guided pathways for Year 8 going into Year 9 has to be done differently this year, due to Covid-19 and the fact the school is operating remotely for most students at the moment. Normally we would have an evening in person, but instead this event will be virtual, with all the information you need on our website here. Of course you can still get in touch if you have queries, questions or any concerns via m.robinson@normanby.outwood.com

The guided pathway choices for Year 8 are in two parts:

The first part is your Health and Wellbeing choice. You will choose either Health & Social Care or Sports Studies, and start these courses at the beginning of your Year 9. Miss Gibson and Mr Dacombe have created some great videos below for you, explaining these two courses and why you should should study them.

The second part is to start thinking about the Guided Pathways choices. You will make once around this time next year, once you are in Year 9, for courses would then start once you reach Year 10. This choice will be either Geography or History, plus one further subject. Please note you won’t start these courses until Year 10, and we will ask you again next year which of the courses you would like to study in the end. So why ask you now? Well, you telling us now helps us to plan to make sure as many students as possible get to study their first choices in the future.

You will make your choices by completing an online Google Form which will be shared by text message with the your parent/carer – please complete this form as soon as possible, once you have visited our website, have had a look at the Guided Pathways Booklet and watched the videos too below.

Thank you.


Explanation Videos

Please watch these videos explaining our Guided Pathways process for Year 8, and also important details about both the Health & Social Care course by Miss Gibson, and the Sports Science course by Mr Dacombe. Students pick ONE of these courses to study from the start of Year 9.

We strongly recommend that students AND their parents/carers watch the videos together so everyone is aware of what decision is being made, before completing the Google Form texted to parents, making the choice.

A reminder the deadline for completing the form at the very latest is Sunday 31 January.

Queries, questions, concerns to m.robinson@normanby.outwood.com



Years 9-11 Guided Pathway Information

Continuing the Five Year Curriculum Journey

We are pleased to share the Guided Pathway process for Years 9 through to 11 at Outwood Academy Normanby.

At Outwood Grange Academies Trust we firmly believe that all children, irrespective of their starting point, are entitled to a broad and balanced curriculum which will enable them to succeed both whilst at the academy and beyond. It is our intent that the experiences we provide our students through our wider educational offer, and specifically our curriculum offer, drives our Trust vision Students First: raising standards and transforming lives. To that end, at Outwood Academy Normanby we are delighted to offer an innovative curriculum, which enables all students within our academy to fulfil their potential and develop the all-important knowledge, skills and qualities which will serve them well in later life.

Students, as they move from Year 8 into Year 9 at Outwood Academy Normanby, have their first main point of choice within their 5 year educational journey with us. The use of Year 9 in this way is one of the hallmarks of our curriculum. This, along with the permanent, supernumerary subject specialist directors of English, maths, science, humanities, modern foreign languages, computer science and the arts, who work across all of our academies, are key to helping the teachers within each academy to add the maximum value that we can, to your child’s education. In addition to these important subject specialists, we also deploy specialists in Special Educational Needs & Disabilities and Attendance; regular attendance, especially throughout Years 9-11, is critical to your child’s success.

There are a number of opportunities over the next few years for students to personalise their curriculum pathway, the main ones being:

  • Choice of Health & Wellbeing course – chosen in January of Year 8, to start in Year 9
  • Choice of main Guided Pathway qualifications – chosen in January of Year 9, to start in Year 10
  • Choice of one further Guided Pathway course for most students – chosen in January of Year 10, to start in Year 11 (information about this will be shared in Year 9 and again in Year 10)
These elements are a further feature of our flexible Guided Pathways curriculum for Years 9-11; which, alongside a core entitlement, make up the broad and balanced range of subjects on offer.

At Outwood Academy Normanby, we fully support the entitlement that students have to study the group of qualifications which the government calls the English Baccalaureate (EBacc): English, mathematics, sciences, one humanities subject (geography or history) and a modern foreign language. To both support attainment in this important group of subjects and promote a broad and balanced curriculum for your child, we require all students to study either geography or history at GCSE. For many students it will be appropriate that they also study a modern foreign language subject so that they can attain the Full EBacc which, increasingly, higher education establishments are looking for: these subjects are also an excellent foundation for those who wish to go on and study A Levels in the ‘Facilitating Subjects’ (biology, chemistry, English, geography, history, maths, modern and classical languages, physics). It is possible to study both geography and history alongside a modern foreign language if a student wishes. We will advise you if we believe that your child should be following the Full EBacc route and as always, provide specialist independent careers advice to ensure that you have access to impartial support during this process. We will revisit this in a years’ time, ahead of the main Guided Pathway qualification choices.

We understand that this is a crucial time and the choosing of, particularly, qualification courses is very important. You will find further information about support available to you in this booklet, who to contact should you wish to discuss the Guided Pathway process in further detail.

Whatever your son or daughter is hoping to study, and then do in later life, I am sure that you will find the Guided Pathway process helpful, in the full knowledge that our sole aim is to put Students First: raising standards and transforming lives.

Making the Choice

In general terms what does the curriculum look like?

The timetable week contains 25 × 1 hour periods; plus, Tutor time.

Making the Choice

Health & Wellbeing Course

(Chosen in January of Year 8, to start in Year 9)

(There will be an opportunity to review progress on this course during the Autumn Term of Year 9)

Guided Pathway Qualifications

(Chosen in January of Year 9, to start in Year 10)

The courses which students can choose from, to start in Year 10, are provisionally:
Please note, we will be asking for only draft choices for these now. This is purely for our information to help with future planning and students will make their firm choices in a years’ time.

Terminology that might help you and your child:

National curriculum choice guidance can be found here: https://www.informedchoices.ac.uk/

What sort of future planning should students be doing?

Where possible, if students have a goal to aim for, this can help focus their choice of courses. Having said that, we fully understand that many students will either not have a career path planned out or may change their plans. Our curriculum has the flexibility to accommodate this and we would also encourage students to choose a broad range of subjects and qualifications over Years 9-11, to keep their future options open.

Attainment 8

The government has set a new Level 2 Threshold measure called Attainment 8. Attainment 8 is starting to become part of the admissions criteria for some further or higher education establishments and employment. A student’s Attainment 8 score not only indicates their average grade, it also demonstrates performance across a range of subjects. It expects students to have achieved best possible grades in:

  • GCSE Maths and GCSE English
  • Any three GCSE qualifications from the Sciences, geography, history or modern foreign languages
  • A further three qualifications which can be either BTEC Technical Award/OCR National, GCSE or other approved qualifications
We will therefore support students in the core curriculum and through their Guided Pathway choices to achieve this threshold.

What if students cannot do their chosen course?

We build the Guided Pathway subject blocks based on student choices rather than ask them to pick from pre-determined blocks, so we hope that the courses offered will be available to all the students who want them but we will ask you to give us alternative/reserve choices.

Despite every effort to give all students their preferred choice, this may not always be possible. Alternatives may have to be considered if:

  • Too many students opt for a particular course
  • Too few students select a particular course
  • We wish to advise a better range of courses to meet a student’s needs
  • Combinations of courses are chosen which don’t work once the blocks have been created
We will write to you in the summer term to confirm your choices.

Can students change their mind?

We always do our best to ensure that all students’ choices can be matched but please bear in mind that students who submit choices after the deadline may not find it possible to be placed on their first choice courses. As soon as the options deadline has passed, work begins on timetabling. Alterations to choices may not be possible from this point onwards.

Once a decision has been made and a course begun, it is extremely difficult to make any changes. It is therefore essential that time and thought be given to the combination of courses to be taken.

What support is available to help decide which Health & Wellbeing courses to take?

1. The guided pathways process was launched in an assembly before Christmas
2. Our website has information about the process under the heading Curriculum then Year 8 Guided Pathways.
3. Students are welcome to discuss course choices in relation to their future career plans and current level of performance with during tutor time over the next few weeks
4. Specific questions about courses can be asked via m.robinson@normanby.outwood.com

Deadline for Year 8 into 9 choices forms to be returned/submitted:

Sunday 31 January 2021

Choices will be collected via a Google Form which has been shared with parents by text message.

Just a reminder that we will be collecting student’s choices for the following:

  • A Health & Wellbeing course – one choice
  • A Guided Pathway qualifications – two qualifications; these will only be draft choices at this stage