At The Barlow we operate a 3 year Key Stage Four and therefore pupils select their option choices at the end of Year 8.

Pupils will follow one of the four pathways which are summarised below:


Subjects Studied


Follow an EBACC route


Follow an EBACC route


Study a range of EBACC subjects alongside other academic and vocational subjects


Study a bespoke pathway including additional literacy and numeracy as well as some Level 1 qualifications


We review the curriculum offer annually in the autumn term and in the spring term pupils receive details of the options process.  They and their parents have the opportunity to attend our Options Evening where they receive information on the various courses offered.   Year 8 Parents Evening follows.  All pupils in Year 8 are offered a 1:1 interview with a senior member of staff to assist them with the successful completion of the process.

We advise pupils to choose a subject because:

  • It is a subject they are successful in and they enjoy studying it!
  • It will help them realise their future career.
  • It will develop skills they think they need for the future.
  • It is a subject they want to study when they move onto further education.
  • The subject complements other subjects they are studying.

We advise pupils not to choose a subject because:

  • They like the teacher they have now.
  • Their friends have chosen it.
  • You can't think of anything else you'd like to do.
  • Someone else thinks you should study the subject.