Park Lane Academy

Options-Performance Measures


Performance Measures

All qualifications offered through our new curriculum carry awards that count towards student’s GCSE tally.  These awards also count towards the requirements for entry to Post-16 study, apprenticeships, or other training.

The English Baccalaureate (EBacc)

The English Baccalaureate is not a stand-alone qualification, it involves students studying 5 core GCSE subjects and gaining at least a Grade 5 in all those subjects.  When your son/daughter applies to college or university, they will be able to write on their application that they gained the English Baccalaureate. 

All students will study English, Mathematics and Science.  Should students wish to complete the EBacc they will be required to study Spanish and a humanities subject (Geography or History) during Years 10 and 11.

Whilst the EBacc is not a compulsory subject, studies have shown that studying subjects included in the EBacc provides students with greater opportunities in further education and increases the likelihood that a student will stay on in full-time education.  Sutton Trust research reveals that studying the EBacc can help a young person’s performance in English and Mathematics.

We strongly recommend that students who have targets between 6 and 9 take the English Baccalaureate pathway.


BTEC Courses

BTEC qualifications have been in place for over 25 years and are extremely successful and popular courses.

The key difference in BTEC subjects is that much of the assessment is coursework.  Student’s work will form a portfolio which will then be graded.  This can help students organise their workload throughout the year rather than being assessed only at the end of the course. 

All BTEC courses are offered as a Level 2 qualification.

The grades given will be:


Level 2

Level 1

Dis    Distinction* = 8/9                                          



D       Distinction = 7

  D     Distinction = 3


          Merit = 6


M       Merit = 2


         Pass = 4/5


P         Pass = 1



All BTEC courses form a firm foundation for progression to college and work.  Employers and colleges are familiar with the benefits of BTEC qualifications:

  • For employers, BTEC qualifications show that pupils can organise their own workload.
  • Most colleges offer a range of BTEC qualifications at Level 2 and 3. This allows students to continue studying a subject when they leave school.  Studying a BTEC qualification at school will therefore allow students to become familiar with the college assessment process.
  • Universities accept BTEC Level 3 as an entry requirement for several degree level courses.


Progress 8 Required Choices

Every student’s progress is measured based upon performance in a suite of eight subjects. We will therefore require students to choose options according to this Progress 8 measure by choosing at least one from Geography, history and French.

Making your choice

Please read the details of course requirements, assessment arrangements and the work covered carefully before deciding which subjects you would like to select.

We ask that you make a choice of 4 subjects in order of preference and indicate these on the form at the back of this booklet.  We will do our best to award the first two choices for year 10 where possible and students will be given the opportunity to choose a further 2 options for year 11.  Please note that you are welcome to include notes on the form if you have a specific request, however the academy reserves the right to have the final decision on which subject is available when.

  • In option subjects whereby year 10 and year 11 students are taught together, in the event of over-subscription, students in year 11 take priority. The subject will then be offered as an option the following year, ensuring all students can access all qualifications.
  • All technology subjects are limited to 20 students per group for reasons of health and safety.


Choices should be discussed with parents, Subject Leaders, Form Tutor, Mrs Schofield and Mr Ansell, as necessary, before returning the form.

Please note that it may not be possible to run an option subject if too few students choose it.  The academy reserves the right to make the final decision about availability of courses.

All forms must be returned to Form Tutors or via completion of the Online MS Forms by

Friday the 19th of March.