At St Matthew Academy, we are constantly striving to ensure the education of our pupils is broad and balanced and provides an enriched secondary school experience. In previous years, pupils have selected the subjects they would like to study at GCSE in the summer of Year 8. It is fair to say that few 12/13 years old have a clear idea of the higher education course or career path they are going to follow. It is therefore more sensible to choose as broad a range of subjects as possible so that a range of options remains for A Level and other Post 16 courses and, later, university courses.

With this in mind, and following extensive consultation, we have improved our options offer for the current year 8 and divided this into two phases. This approach will ensure all pupils continue to have a broad, rich curriculum offer in year 9 along with an element of choice which enables them to study two subjects of interest in more depth. In year 10 pupils will then be in a strong position to start their GCSE studies with the majority of pupils following the English Baccalaureate (EBacc) curriculum. The EBacc; consisting of English, Maths, two Sciences, a Humanities subject and a Modern Foreign Language; is seen by employers and universities as a desirable academic mix of subjects. 

Phase 1 – Year 8 into Year 9

  • All pupils study English, Maths, Science, Religious Education, Geography, History and Spanish 
  • Pupils choose two option subjects as their first choice subjects to study in Year 9. These subjects will consist of creative arts, performing arts, physical education, enterprise and IT subjects.
  • Pupils choose a reserve option subject as a backup option in the unlikely event that they do not get one of their first choice subjects

Phase 2 – Year 9 into Year 10

  • All pupils study English, Maths, Science, Religious Education and Spanish
  • Pupils choose between Geography and History 
  • Pupils decide on which one of their Phase 1 subjects they would like to continue studying at GCSE level


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Below are a series of videos for your GCSE options subjects giving you an overview of what to expect. Please click on the the subject to be taken to the subject video.