Leeds West Academy


Welcome to Options 2024


The exciting time has arrived where Year 9 pupils consider their next steps in their academy life and select their option choices for Key Stage 4 study. This is an important time for pupils and parents/carers as students begin to really consider what their future holds and the subjects that will best assist them reach their potential. We sincerely hope you enjoy the process of learning about the different courses and subjects we offer as well as having conversations about the future – including further education choices and possible employment routes.

We aim to ensure that the information and guidance provided will support your child through the options process. It is important that each pupil, with support from their parents/carers, understands their own strengths so that they can optimise their chances of success.

Some pupils might say they like a subject but really, they believe it is an easier option. This isn’t true, all subjects will be demanding at GCSE level and pupils will have to work hard to gain a good qualification. Some choose a subject to stay in the same class as friends but due to the size of our school and complex timetable, it is highly unlikely that this will happen. Some pupils may be inclined to choose a subject because of the teacher but, again, due to the timetabling and potential staff changes, a specific teacher cannot be guaranteed.

Year 9 Option Evening

Options Evening - Thursday 1st February 2024.

What do you need to do?

  1. Review all the information on this webpage including the information about each subject ensuring you have a clear understanding of what each subject involves and where it can lead
  2. Year 9 pupils should speak to their teachers and guardians in school if they have any specific questions
  3. Year 9 students will be given a physical Options Form to complete with their parent.  A replacement form can be requested from your child's form tutor, or printed out at home by clicking here.
  4. The academy will review all option choices for all pupils and confirm final choices with pupils and their parent/carer by June 2024.

Take a look at our subjects 


Core Subjects




Combined Science

Triple Science




Other Option Choices





Frequently Asked Questions 

  • Questions to consider:

What do I enjoy studying? What are my strengths?

What way do I learn best, and will the course suit me?

If I choose this option now, will it keep more options open for me later for further study, training or work?

  • What is Key Stage 4?

Key Stage 4 begins at the start of Year 10 and is two years of study leading to GCSE or equivalent qualifications.

  • Why are GCSEs graded 9-1 now instead of A*-G?

The government has reformed all GCSE and A-Level qualifications. Reformed qualifications at GCSE are now graded from 9-1 as well as being more challenging and having most of their assessment at the end of the 2-year course (see individual subject pages for more information). The new grade 9 is highly aspirational and will only be achieved by a small percentage of pupils across the country.







Please see the figure on the right to understand how the new grading system relates to the previous letter grades.

 Click here to read the parent information provided by Ofqual 

  • Why is there a back-up option on the options form?

Despite our best efforts, we cannot offer an infinite combination of subjects. Sometimes, pupils’ option choices will clash and we will have to ask them to study their reserve instead. With this thought in mind, we advise pupils to put as much thought into their back-up option.

  • What if pupils change their mind?

We would hope this doesn’t happen! Pupils will all have received high quality guidance and input as part of form time with the aim of reducing anxiety or questioning choices. If pupils change their mind before the end of Year 9, they should see Mr Gray (Director of Achievement).

Once the course has started, pupils will have to have a very strong reason for changing and no requests will be considered after the end of September. Again, queries should be directed to Mr Gray. In either case, course swaps are sometimes impossible due to timetable blocking and/or pupil numbers.

  •  How can pupils ensure they are matching their GCSEs to their chosen career?

Pupils should do as much research and take as much advice as they can. We have excellent careers advice within school and both pupils and parents can make an appointment with Jackie Danby (Careers Advisor) via the school reception.

  • What if pupils don’t know what they want to do when they leave school?

They do not need to worry about this! Our options process ensures a solid foundation for further study so we recommend that pupils focus on choosing the subjects they enjoy and do well at as that should ultimately lead to success.