Year 8

Our Curriculum 

Students leave Sir Jonathan North Girls’ College with results that are significantly above the National Average. We are very proud of that and whilst we aim to develop the whole student, there can be no escaping the fact that exam results are important. We are proud to be part of the Lionheart Educational Trust as they share our cores values of Academic Excellence and Holistic Development. As part of its drive to improve student outcomes, the Trust embarked on a curriculum review involving key staff from all of the schools within the Trust. This team went to visit schools around the country that were excelling with student outcomes to see what we could learn from their success.  


The outcome of this research was for all of the secondary schools in the Trust to introduce one GCSE at the start of Year 9 to be completed at the end of Year 10. The expected benefits include; experiencing the intensity of a GCSE course and be able to use this experience to benefit their other subjects in Year 11 as well as a reduced workload in Year 11 with one GCSE already ‘in the bag’. Students started this curriculum model in September 2019 and to date, student voice has been very favourable.


The Core Curriculum

Students are expected to follow subjects that meet the English Baccalaureate which ensures there is a broad and balanced curriculum offer. The core curriculum consists of: 

English Language and Literature 


French or Spanish 

History or Geography 

Physical Education 

Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education (PHSE) * 

Science - Everyone will study science as part of the core curriculum. There are two courses available to students and their course will depend on the prior attainment of the student in KS3. Details of both science courses can be found on pages 20 and 21 of this booklet. 

* This will also include Careers information and the Relationships, Health and Sex Education curriculum (RHSE)  

Option Subjects 

The subjects that are available in Year 9 as early entry Level 2 courses are: 

Art and Design 



Hospitality and Catering 


Product Design 



The subjects that we expect to offer in Year 10 are as follows: 

Business Studies 

Computer Science 


Film Studies 

Food Technology 



Religious Studies 

Sports Studies 

The Option subject chosen to start in Year 9 (Option 9) will be examined at the end of Year 10. 

The Year 10 subjects are included to help students and parents plan. Certain subjects must be taught in particular years: Film studies for example must use elements of films with a 15 certificate. 

To ensure a broad and balanced curriculum throughout Key Stage 3, students choose a subject they would like to study as part of their extended core curriculum in year 9.  

Extended Core Curriculum – Year 9 

Business Studies 

Computer Science 


Film Studies 

Food Technology 



You will have one lesson per week of this subject in year 9 and this could be a subject you intend to study in year 10 or one you just enjoy and want to study in Y9. If you have a strong preference of the subject you want to take in Y10, please select this from the list above. 

For more information about all the subjects listed above, please see our Y8 Options booklet Here
Please also see our guide for how to make your choices using options online Here
If you need further details about our Options Evening on the 27/01/22 or links to the sessions, please see this letter Here
If parents or carers have any questions, please send them to with the subject heading ‘Options’.