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Introduction to Year 9

Your child will continue to face big changes and will have started to become more familiar with the secondary school environment: finding their way around more confidently and being clearer on expectations and subjects. 

Continue to discuss keeping safe online with your child.  Social media such as Facebook and Instagram require everyone to be at least 13 years old before they can create an account. A useful website to help your child stay safe online is Internet matters.

As a parent, your relationship with the school will be different, and you may feel less in touch. The school has an obligation to keep you up-to-date with your child’s education. Don’t hesitate to ask how the school intends to communicate with you and teachers welcome email contact.

Year 9 is the final year of Key Stage 3 (KS3), and this is usually the time when pupils  choose the subjects that they will be studying in their GCSE examinations. Some of these subjects are compulsory, whilst others are optional.

How you can support your child at school

  • Find out how to contact your child’s teachers and communicate with them. 
  • Find out about Parent Forums and Parent Voice
  • Keep an eye on your child’s progress and encourage them in all their subjects including English and Maths from year 9.
  • If your child is working below target in English and Maths, ask the school for additional support and intervention.  They will have lots of ideas and suggestions.
  • Speak to the school if your child experiences any issues with his/her work.   
  • Start thinking with your child about the subjects he/she enjoys most and how they feel they are progressing and can progress. Find out what your child’s favourite courses will entail in year 10 (How much written work? What type of examination and qualification?)
  • If he/she hasn’t already started their GCSE or other options, your child will have to make option choices this year. Find out what their favourite courses will entail in year 10 (How much written work? What type of examination and qualification?)
  • If your child does work experience in Year 10 or Year 11, start thinking about it now. 
  • Talk about other skills your child is developing positively, like interpretation and evaluation. Critical thinking and problem solving skills.  Observation and enquiry. Financial literacy, data and statistical confidence.
  • Talk about other skills your child is developing positively, like interpretation and evaluation. Critical thinking and problem solving skills.  Observation and enquiry. Financial literacy, data and statistical confidence. Innovation and strategic thinking. Technical and technological knowledge.
  • Talk about the world of work with your child and help them to develop an understanding of the type of behaviours that employers will be looking for.

Planning for your future

Options evenings and Careers Education Advice and Guidance are critical in Year 9 to ensure that your child chooses subjects that will support them planning for their future. 

By 2020, Technical Levels (T Levels) will be introduced in England as an alternative route to A Levels from Year 12. For further information, contact your School’s Careers Coordinator for further information.

If your child has a part time job, encourage them to balance work and school work. Help your child build up their CV. What can they capture already? How can they build it up? Ask for help from their tutor and/or employer.

Job types and career ideas in Plymouth    Careers advice  

If your child has a part time job, encourage them to balance work and school work.  Help your child build up their CV. What can they capture already? How can they build it up? Ask for help from their tutor and/or employer.

Maths and English

Maths and English are essential skills for helping young people achieve in their lives. These subjects help young people with all the other subjects they are learning. Maths and English build confidence and self-esteem, preparing young people for the world of work in the future. 

It is now a government requirement to be working towards a Grade 4 or above in Maths and English Language. This is also the entry criteria for some apprenticeships that’s expected by many employers.  

Whatever subject or trade young people want to specialise in, those who have not achieved a grade 4 or above in Maths and English Language by 16 years old will continue studying these two subjects.

There are lots of ways to improve your Maths and English. Speak to your child’s teachers for some advice.

GCSE grades are changing

It’s a good idea to understand what your child will be working towards. 

Here’s a quick video to explain:

 

How qualifications work

Find out more information about qualifications by visiting our qualifications explained page.

Moving schools in Year 10

If you are considering a transition in Year 10 to UTC Plymouth or South Devon UTC in Exmouth, (University Technical College) or Plymouth Studio School or Devon Studio School in Torquay, start to find out about them.  All parents will receive a letter from Plymouth City Council about other education options at different ages each summer. Find out more information about Plymouth Schools. There may also be similar colleges in other Local Authorities that take students at Year 9. More information is on the Studio Schools website.