1. Introduction

As your child is currently in Year 9, they have reached the time when they will be able to choose what qualifications they would like to study in Year 10 and 11.

At Heartlands High School, we believe in the importance of teaching a broad and balanced curriculum. Our aim is to develop students who have both the academic skills and the personal attributes to succeed. In the lower school (Years 7 , 8 & 9), students study a core academic curriculum in Maths, English, Science, Humanities and Languages alongside foundation subjects, such as Art, Drama, Music, Citizenship, Religious Studies, Design Technology, Food Technology and Computing. All students have two hours of Physical Education each week. Personal, Social, Health and Careers Education is taught through a series of SEARCH days (specialist curriculum days) throughout the year. We enrich our curriculum by providing regular educational trips and a wide program of after-school societies and activities.

During Year 9, students select their GCSE Options and embark on a two-year program of study in Year 10 which leads to public examinations in Year 11. By choosing options in Year 9, students are able to specialise in subjects they enjoy and excel in and crucially, have more time to develop the depth of knowledge needed to achieve in their GCSE examinations. The new GCSE qualifications are more challenging for students and the standards for a ‘good pass’ are significantly higher. We have a responsibility to prepare students fully for the demands of these courses and to provide them with the time to master the skills and content. However, our curriculum remains broad and balanced in the Upper School, with the vast majority of students taking the English Baccalaureate suite of subjects. A small number of students follow a reduced number of courses to allow them to spend more time on English and Maths.

2. The Journeys & Subjects

We have 3 curriculum models from Year 10 onwards known as “journeys”. This gives us the flexibility to offer a tailored package of subjects that suits each child’s needs and abilities. We use attainment and progress data to identify which journey will ensure they have the best opportunity to succeed academically and will provide them with the widest range of educational and career opportunities when they leave Heartlands High School in Year 11.

The school offers three distinct journeys: Bespoke, Heartlands and Extended.

**Year 9 students will be finding out which journey they have been allocated in W/B 19th February**

Please click on the below links to view details of each journey and information regarding the subjects on offer.

Year 9 Options Booklet

Extended Journey


View and download (pdf)

Year 9 Options Booklet

Heartlands Journey


View and download (pdf)

Year 9 Options Booklet

Bespoke Journey


View and download (pdf)

Extended Journey Option Form Example

Heartlands Journey Option Form Example

Bespoke Journey Option Form Example

Students will receive their online option form via email after the GCSE Options Evening (28th February).

Please click on this link GCSE options evening 2023_24 to view the presentation from our GCSE Option Evening.


To view more information for each subject,  click here .

3. GCSE Option Timeline & Support

30th November & 23rd January : Students will have several GCSE taster sessions to showcase new subjects that have not been previously taught in Years 7 – 9

1st December –  18th January :  Students will have a one-to-one careers Interview with our Careers Advisor.

From 28th January: Parents will receive a letter detailing their child’s journey over the next couple of weeks and a hard copy of the options form to allow you to see what subjects are available

28th February  : Options evening will be held on Wednesday 28th February(17:00 – 19:00). The purpose of this evening will be to give you the opportunity to speak to subject teachers regarding option choices, discuss ways to maximise achievement and ask any questions you may have regarding GCSEs. The evening will enable you to speak to the Head of each subject, view all the opportunities each course provides and see how your child will be assessed.

After the options evening, the virtual option form will be sent to your child via email. This can only be submitted once, so it is important that you take your time when completing it.

Please click on this link GCSE options evening 2023_24 to view the presentation from our GCSE Option Evening.

25th March : The online option form deadline is Monday 25th March.

From 13th May : Students will find out their allocated option subject 

Before GCSE Options evening, please read the above option journey booklets and  watch this  short video presentation introducing the options process.


 4. Common Mistakes

  • Selecting subjects on the basis of what your friends have chosen
  • Missing the deadline – you run the risk of being assigned to subjects
  • Trying to change your pathway – Trust our judgement on this
  • Not involving your parents/carers in your decision making
  • Not looking ahead to the future, only thinking short term
  • Filling the form in wrong. Read the instructions carefully

5. Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I get my option form?
The option form will be sent via email after the virtual option evening on 28th February

How do I fill in my option form?
You will need to sign into your Heartlands account before you fill it in. Simply click on the form in the email, carefully complete it and then submit it.

What happens if we accidently submit the wrong options?
Please email me andrew.matthews@heartlands.haringey.sch.uk with the correct choices.

Can I do a fourth option?
Unfortunately students cannot do a 4th option, as there is no time within the timetable and we feel that GCSEs are very demanding.

Will my child get all of their choices?
97% of students were allocated their 1st – 3rd choices last year, so it is highly likely they will get all of their choices. Please be aware that some subjects have a maximum number of students due to the workspace (for example, only 20 students can study Food Technology).

Can my child change their options in Year 10?
In order to change their option choice they must get a written letter from their parent/carer explaining that they would like to change from one subject to another. Your child must then get this signed by the Head of the Department of the subject they wish to leave or join. The majority of the time, there is no problem with moving, however if the subject they wish to join is at its maximum number in the class, or there is option block clashes, the move cannot happen.

Do I get my option choices if I send my form in early?
No, all of the option forms will be collated on 25th March.
If you however submit your form after 25th March you may not get your option choices.

.If you have any questions or queries relating to the Options process then please do not hesitate to email me on andrew.matthews@heartlands.haringey.sch.uk


Please click on this link GCSE options evening 2023_24 to view the presentation from our GCSE Option Evening.