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Higham Lane School

Higham Lane School


Core subjects in Years 9 to 11

There are some subjects that are COMPULSORY in Years 9 to 11 (which are known as core subjects) and some where there is a choice (option subjects).

Core subjects make up approximately 70% of your timetable time.  These include:-

  • English - two separate GCSE courses in English: English Language and English Literature are taught in Years 9, 10 and 11. You will study both GCSEs.
  • Mathematics - all students are entered for GCSE Mathematics which counts as one GCSE. Some students may have the opportunity to study for GCSE Statistics and a Free-Standing Mathematics qualification (called Level 2 Further Mathematics).
  • Science - most students will study GCSE Combined Science. Some students may have the opportunity to study GCSE Single Science leading to separate GCSEs in Biology, Chemistry and Physics.
  • Physical Education - all students will have core PE 4 lessons a fortnight, covering a range of sports and activities.
  • Modern Ethics - all students will have the opportunity to take a GCSE full course in Religious Studies as part of the Modern Ethics course.
  • Citizenship & Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education (C&PSHEE)

Sex and Relationships education, careers education  and work-related learning are also part of the compulsory curriculum and will be covered in your other core subjects.


Option subjects

These will make up approximately 30% of your timetable time.

You are allowed to choose up to four option subjects to study in Years 9, 10 and 11.  However, please note that when making your option choices:- 

  1. You must select a Modern Foreign Language (French or German) or a Humanity (Geography or History) as one of your option choices. 
  2. To achieve the English Baccalaureate, you need to study both a Modern Foreign Language (French or German) and a Humanity (Geography or History). We strongly recommend that you do this. 
  3. You cannot choose more than ONE Design & Technology subject (i.e. choose only ONE from Engineering and Food Preparation and Nutrition). 
  4. You cannot choose more than TWO Vocational Subjects (i.e. no more than TWO from NCFE Technical Award in Business and Enterprise, Cambridge Nationals in Engineering, Cambridge Nationals in Health and Social Care, Cambridge Nationals in Creative iMedia or Cambridge Nationals in Sport).


Click on the links to find out more about each of the core and option subjects.