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At The Hollins we always aim to give the best possible educational experience to our pupils so that they are ideally placed to move on to their chosen route, post-16.  With the introduction of the new GCSEs and other qualification changes ALL exams will now be sat in year 11.  Any non-examined assessment aspects will also have to be completed during year 11.  As you can appreciate this will put a lot of pressure on our pupils at an important time in their school life.  We have spent a great deal of time looking at how we can ensure our pupils stand the best possible chances in their option subjects, and have decided to allow pupils to opt in year 8.

Pupils’ FAQs – Which subjects should I choose?

For the first time in your school life you can make choices about the courses you will be studying over the next three years. These choices could have an impact on progression to further study and also future careers.  It is important that you make informed choices based on your abilities and interests.   We want to see you succeed and be happy with the subjects you choose, which means careful consideration of the demands of the different subjects. We would always advise you to choose subjects you enjoy, are good at and support your career path if known.  We would advise you NOT to choose a subject because your friends have chosen it, or simply because you like the teacher as there are no guarantees who will teach a class.

What is the English Baccalaureate?

The government has changed how you as individuals and us as a school are assessed. This has resulted in one of the measures being the “English Baccalaureate” or “EBacc” performance indicator.  To achieve this ‘measure’ you will need to achieve GCSE grade 5 or above in the following subjects:-

  • GCSE English Language or English Literature
  • GCSE Mathematics
  • Two GCSE Science qualifications made up from Double Award, Computer Science or Separate Sciences (the best two from Physics, Chemistry and Biology will count).
  • GCSE Geography or History
  • GCSE French or Spanish

This information is publicised in the National GCSE Performance Tables and schools adopt different approaches to the EBacc, with some ignoring it completely, some advising pupils to study the subjects to allow the achievement of the EBacc, and some making it compulsory. 

So do I have to take the EBacc subjects or not?

The Hollins will not make the EBacc subjects compulsory, but we would encourage you to consider studying them if you feel they are appropriate for you.  However, we know that the EBacc is definitely not the right route for everyone and, as ever, we will work hard to ensure that the range of courses is appropriate for all our pupils.

How many subjects will I be able to choose?

At The Hollins we have developed a broad range of subjects for study in years 9, 10 and 11 that cater for the interests and needs of everyone.  The compulsory subjects are English language and English literature, mathematics, science, RE, another EBacc subject and PE/games – everyone will study these.  You will eventually study three (one from the EBacc set of subjects) optional subjects, although we will initially ask you to choose five subjects in rank order and we will then aim to allocate most pupils with their first three choices.  Over our two week timetable these will take up five periods each.












What if I do not want to continue into further education?

By law you will have to remain in education or training until you are 18. Therefore, your option choices are extremely important and should, if possible, reflect what you may want to do when you leave us.

When will I take my exams?

 All your exams will occur at the end of year 11.  They are called terminal exams because they occur at the end of the course.