Dear Parents of all J3 Students
It is now time to think about the subjects your son proposes to take for G.C.S.E., beginning in the autumn term. Attached is the application form to be used for this purpose. Please discuss the options as set out on the form with your son, taking account of the information contained in the College report and of the advice that you will receive at the forthcoming J3 Options Evening (Monday 16th January @ 7.30 p.m. in the Assembly Hall) and Parent Teacher meeting (Monday 23rd January 4.00 – 6.30 p.m. in the Sports Hall). Do not complete the form now, but please do so as soon as possible after the J3 Parent Teacher Meeting.
Completed forms must be returned to your son’s Form Teacher no later than Friday 3rd February.
To help you and your son make informed choices, he has been given a G.C.S.E. Options Booklet prepared by Mr O’Hare (Head of Careers).
In view of the significance of Option choices for accessing both A Level and, in turn, University courses, attendance at the J3 Options Evening on Monday 24th January is to be encouraged as you will have the opportunity to hear about all aspects of the Options process from College staff. You will also hear from a number of speakers about certain BTEC and other courses that we offer. Students are expected to attend in uniform.
Accompanying this letter is the GCSE application form and guidance material on the completion of the S1 option choices as set out in the application form. During the J3 Parent Teacher meeting itself, you will have an opportunity to talk to your son’s teachers and they will advise you further about his progress. You will also have an opportunity to talk to Mr C. O’Hare and Careers Officers from Careers Service N.I. individually regarding the career implications of the various choices that your son might make. Parents/students should be aware that they have the responsibility for ensuring that they make the appropriate ion of subjects for those University courses that have specific requirements. Your son has already been given a substantial amount of information regarding implications of subject choices for both A Level and University courses, but if you require further guidance, please note that representatives from a number of Universities will be present to help answer your queries.
The Vice-Principals and I will be available both on the options evening and at the P.T. meeting should you wish to discuss the feasibility or any other aspect of your son’s S1 options. All of the information available should be carefully considered before final commitments are made.
It should be appreciated that the choices made by your son are subject to:
1. the College’s agreement to your son’s progression from KS3 to KS4 (GCSE);
2. satisfactory performance in the KS3 examinations.
Please note that a subject will only be offered if the numbers of students choosing it are sufficient to form a class.PLEASE ALSO NOTE THAT IF DEMAND EXCEEDS THE NUMBER OF PLACES AVAILABLE (E.G. DT/ICT/ART/BTEC ENG./CONS.), THEN KS3 PERFORMANCE, APPLIANCE AND APPITUDE WILL BE USED AS A DISCRIMINATOR.
The KS4 (S1/S2) timetable will be constructed on the basis of the information collated from the choices made. We will try to accommodate all the boys’ subject options, but if a particular subject has a smaller uptake than expected and cannot be offered, or if the particular ion of subjects that your son has made is considered inappropriate for him, or is not viable in the context of time-table structure, he will be asked to make alternative choices. It will not be possible to accommodate late changes outside of the timetable blocks that are created, so I ask you to seek all possible information and advice before you submit your son's application form.
Mr Cormac McKinney
Guidance on completing accompanying GCSE Application Form
Parents please note that the accompanying application form is structured in such a way as to ensure that the resulting curriculum will meet the current statutory requirements.
1. All students will be automatically entered for Religious Studies and English (the subjects comprising section 1 on the application form).
2. Your son’s choice of a Mathematics option (section 2) will be extremely important and decisions should be taken in accordance with the teacher’s advice as to his aptitude and ability. If a student wishes to select Additional Mathematics, please note that the entry requirement for this subject is a Level 7 in the KS3 Maths exam.
3. Your son’s choice of a Science option (section 3) will also be extremely important and, once again, decisions should be taken in accordance with the teacher’s advice as to his aptitude and ability.
Both the Double Award and Triple Award options are suitable for A-level with an acceptable grade having been attained at GCSE (e.g. AA in D.A or B in T.A).
Please note that the entry requirement for Triple Award is a Level 7 in the KS3 Science exam. Please also note that you can also satisfy the College’s Science requirement by taking any one or two of the discrete Science subjects i.e. Biology/Chemistry/Physics. It is important to note that a GCSE grade B in the subject(s) taken would be required for entry to the same subject(s) at AS level.
4. Please complete the remaining sections of the form (sections 4 & 5) according to the instructions given at each section. Only underline the permitted number of subjects per section.
5. You are required to study at least one language to GCSE level at St. Colman’s College. The GCSE modern language requirement for 3rd level entry will be an important consideration in this regard. In the very small number of cases where a student is failing to achieve the standards necessary at KS3 for progression to any of the GCSE modern languages available, the College authorities will consider a request to waive the language option (section 4 of the application form) and replace it with another subject from section 5 (see application form).
Choices made on the application form will always be subject to the conditions set out in the covering letter you have received.
Mr A. Henry (Vice-Principal Curriculum)
PREFERRED SUBJECTS FOR GCSE APPLICATION FORM
Name: ................................................................. Current Class: J3..........................
N.B. Please note that the maximum number of subjects that you can take in your time-tabled time is 9.
1. Students are required to take each of the following subjects.
Religious Studies and English.
2. You must also select either Mathematics or Additional Mathematics. Please underline your choice.
(Please note that if you opt for Additional Maths, you will also be studying GCSE Mathematics, but you will only have used up one of your nine subject choices.)
3. Please note that you are required to study some form of Science for GCSE at St. Colman’s College.
Please underline your choice.
Either Biology and/or Chemistry and/or Physics
Double Award Science (DA Science counts as two subject choices.)
(Please note that you can satisfy the Science requirement by taking any one or two of the discrete Science subjects i.e. Biology/Chemistry/Physics.)
4. Please note that you are required to study at least one language to GCSE level at St. Colman’s College. Please underline your choice of one subject from the Languages Area of Study below.
French or Irish or Spanish
5. Please select two subjects from the following alphabetical list and enter them in the spaces provided below. Please note that the choices may include subjects that you have not already selected in the Languages Areas of Study (Section 4 above).
Art & Design Business Studies Design Technology Drama & Theatre Studies English Literature French Geography History Home Economics ICT Irish Music MV&RUS Physical Education (Exam)1. Spanish Learning for Life and Work
Subject choice 1
Subject choice 2
If you selected one/two science subjects or Double Award in section 3, you can now make a third option choice from section 5 (above) and record it in the space provided.
Subject choice 3
If you selected one science subject only in section 3, you can now make a fourth option choice from section 5 (above) and record it in the space provided.
Subject choice 4
1. If you do not choose P.E. exam, you will be entered to take P.E. non-exam. (P.E. non-exam does not count as one of your choices.)
In addition to your timetabled classes, please indicate (by underlining selected option) whether you wish to be considered for either BTEC First Certificate in Engineering , BTEC First Certificate in Construction or BTEC First Certificate in Media.
Note that all BTEC subjects are Double Award and taught through twilight provision only.
PLEASE ALSO NOTE THAT SOME SUBJECTS MAY ONLY BE OFFERED IF ENOUGH BOYS CHOOSE THEM. PLEASE ALSO NOTE THAT IF DEMAND EXCEEDS THE NUMBER OF PLACES AVAILABLE (E.G. DT/ICT/ART/BTEC ENG./CONS.) THEN KS3 PERFORMANCE, APPLIANCE AND APPITUDE WILL BE USED AS A DISCRIMINATOR.
It is also important to note that the following GCSE subjects are available (subject to level of demand) in extra-curricular classes. English Literature German Italian Portuguese Spanish Please return this form to your son’s form teacher no later than Friday 3rd February.
Student Signed: ............................................................. Parent/Guardian Date: ........................
Copies of this letter and Application form are available in the downloads section of this website.