North Chadderton

The Oak Trust will provide excellence in teaching, learning and leadership development.
This will be based on safe, inclusive practice which inspires and challenges everyone.
The Oak Trust

Choosing Your Options Subjects

When deciding which subjects to choose to study, there are many factors which should be considered. We recommend that time is taken to consider the content of the subjects as well as where those subjects could potentially lead in the future in terms of future study, training, or employment. On each subject page, there are a set of subjects with similar content. This is not a definitive list, but it will offer some further guidance about broad content and skills which might be found in other subjects. This may be, for example, because subjects have extended opportunities for research, or are assessed through extended written answers. 

There are, however, some very important considerations which should be borne in mind when picking subjects and these can be summarised as good reasons to choose subjects and poor reasons to choose subjects. 

Good reasons to choose subjects 

Poor reasons to choose subjects 

You enjoy it. 

The subject interests you. 

You have researched the content and feel that you will enjoy studying for the next two years. 

It leads to further training, study, or a career that you are considering. 

It requires skills and knowledge that you are good at or believe you will be good at over the next few years. 

Your friends are choosing it: - they may be in a different group or maybe they have a career path planned that does not interest you. 

You like the teacher: - there is no guarantee you will be in their class. 

You think it will be easy: - although there are many different subjects to choose from, none are easy at Vocational or GCSE level. 

You are guessing what it consists of: - do your research 


In addition to the Core Subjects of English, Mathematics and Science, we offer many option choices which students will have been doing for most of their school lives, and which they will have some prior experience and knowledge of. These are Art, Geography, History, Modern Foreign Languages, Performing Arts, Design Technology (including Food, Product Design and Textiles), Religious Studies, ICT/Computer Science and PE. We also have a range of new subjects will not have been studied before and we would encourage students to look especially closely at the content of these subjects. These are Business Studies, Enterprise, Film Studies, Psychology, Health & Social Care, Children’s Development, Sociology, Hospitality & Catering, Sports Studies, and Art & Design Practice (Graphics). 





Some subjects are not suitable to be taken in combination with each other as they are too closely aligned to offer the breadth of experience and qualification students need. These are:

  • GCSE PE and CNAT Sports Studies.
  • GCSE Design Technology and GCSE Textiles.
  • GCSE Business Studies and CNAT Enterprise and Marketing.
  • GCSE Food Technology and WJEC Award in Hospitality and Catering.
  • GCSE Fine Art, GCSE Photography and GCSE 3d Art.

Students interested in these subjects must only choose one from each group.





Once option subjects have been chosen and the new term begins in September, it is not possible to switch option subjects, and so students need to ensure that they understand the details of each subject, the content and work that is required before choosing it. The details of the content of each course are laid out in this booklet, and teaching staff are always happy to discuss individual subject content with students.




If there is insufficient demand for a subject, it will not run and on occasions, timetabling and staffing restrictions can prohibit certain combinations of subjects, so students should pick a reserve subject in case they are unable to study one of their first-choice subjects. Reserve subjects should be submitted at the same time as the first preference subjects.





All our courses vary in terms of their content and offer a wide range of experiences, and yet within them, there are some common threads of knowledge, skills and content which are found widely across subjects. On each of our subject pages, the details of this knowledge, skills and content are represented using stars, the greater the number of red stars there are for a knowledge or skill area, the greater the requirements there is in that subject for those skills and knowledge areas. The details are outlined in the table below.



Wider reading

Extended writing

Medium and longer written answers



Scientific content

Work related to science and technology


Making, producing, or performing

Independent work

Working on your own

Controlled assessment

Coursework which counts towards your final grade


Assessment in formal examinations

Compulsory out of lesson work

This does not refer to homework, wider reading or research which are expected in all subjects, this refers to work which is done as part of that course’s requirements, e.g., field trips, production work and rehearsals in students’ own time.