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Mulberry School For Girls

Year 9 Research Project

How Can Schools Make Links between the Curriculum and the World Outside School 

The Aims of Our Project

•To find out more about the New Secondary Curriculum and how it affects students
•To learn the skills needed to carry out research
•To visit other schools to find out about the changes they have made to the curriculum and how these benefit students                                                          
•To influence curriculum development at our school

We have cut and pasted in the first powerpoint if you want to see the second one download it here.

Research Process

1.Background knowledge
2.Learning the skills
3.Designing the questions
4.Carrying out pilot
5.The actual research
6.Analysing the findings 

The Actual Research

•We conducted a questionnaire with all students in Year 9 at Mulberry School
•We also visited a school in Leicestershire to learn more about their curriculum
•We asked them to do the same questionnaire and compared the results of the two schools  

Year 8 Interview: Student C

Do you feel like you’re ready for your year 9 options and why?

“Yeah I do feel I am ready because I am getting a lot of support from my teachers, they really do motivate me. They help me a lot to choose my options.”

So the teachers are helping you with it, are you thinking about your year 9 options in your own time?

“Yeah I think about it, but I receive most help from my teachers. I discuss with my family as well and by myself, but altogether I am ready.”

If you were to explain a little more about your feelings, what would you say?

“That the school has supported me so much, I am fully ready to choose my options. A huge thank you has to be mentioned for the school.”

Year 9 Interview – Student T

How did you find choosing your options?

“I chose subjects that I thought I was good at but because of the option sheet, I couldn’t choose everything so instead I chose things I wouldn’t have normally chosen but I’m quite happy with what I have chosen overall.

Was it hard choosing your options?

“It was a bit hard as I had to choose subjects that I didn’t like very much”

Are you happy to continue with your options?

“Yes I am because I do like to see where it goes as its something new and something I wouldn’t have chosen.”

Year 10 Interview – Students R and M

You chose options last year; do you think you benefited from that?

“Yes, because we got the chance to choose what we wanted to do”

Do you think that the subjects you have chosen will help you in your GCSE and help you find a career for yourself?

“Yes, I am happy about it as what I have chosen is going to help me with my career because the subjects I have chosen is what I whish to do”

How has the options helped you?

“It’s given me an idea about what I want to achieve and want to be when I get my career job?

Have the teachers supported you?

“Yes they have” 

Year 10 Interview – Student P

Do you feel encouraged by teachers to pick the right options for your career path?


What activities are you doing to keep yourself engaged?

"Media studies, after school"

And do you enjoy those lessons?

"Erm, yes"

If you were under achieving in a lesson why would that be?

"Probably, because I don’t concentrate that much"

What do you want to become in the future?

"I want to become a nursery teacher"

Why do you want to become a nursery teacher?

"Because I just love children!"

So, do you think you’re doing enough to achieve that?

"I hope so; I’m also going to be doing my work experience in a nursery "

What are your strongest subjects?

"Science and maths"

You know, you used to truant school, what made you stop?

"Once I started bunking, I saw the things that I didn’t do and now I really need to learn and attend school to get to where I want. And to make a good career"

Year 10 Interview – Student A

 What subjects did you take for your GCSE options and do you enjoy those subjects?

 "I took, History, Spanish and Media and yes I do enjoy them"

 What encouraged you to take history?

"Well it’s really fun, it’s interesting"

What about Media?

"Learn about the different types of media, just look in more depth"

How about Spanish?

"Yeah, Spanish is okay and yeah I enjoy it"

So you enjoy all three of your chosen subjects?


Year 10 Interview – Student F

What subjects did you take?

"I took triple science, because I was chosen to do it, and maths, I also chose Graphic, I’m good at that, I took graphics because I enjoy it. But I think I should’ve taken music, as I love singing. I also chose Sociology"

Who encouraged you to take graphics?

"It’s just the fun of it"

Why did you take sociology?

"Because it’s something new"

Ms.Higgs, Head of Year 10

Do you think you encourage students to choose the right options for an open career for the future?

 "I don’t know, I would’ve said yes but sometimes in conversation with students I think I know which direction they should be heading and when they actually take those options they don’t like them and don’t do very well in the, well that’s one particular case, so don’t know"

What activities do you do to keep students encaged within the lessons?

"In lessons… lots of active learning, loads of fun things, and creative tasks as much as possible rather then just reading and writing"

When someone is under achieving what do you do to help them?

"It depends why they would be under achieving, because there’s many reasons why people under achieve"

Analysis of the interviews

These interviews show that pupils were usually able to choose what they wished as the option sheet made it easy for them, but some pupils ended up choosing subjects which they hadn’t expected to. 
Teachers tell pupils about their options choices but some pupils feel that they do not get much information. All students agree that we we need teachers’ advice and help in order to actually choose what we want to do.
I would recommend for the school teachers to help students even more in future as these interviews have confirmed that students would like more information about choosing what’s best for them.


The survey and interviews showed that:
-63% of students at Mulberry chose subjects because they enjoyed them, compared with 82% at English Martyrs
-Not as many people considered vocational or applied subjects at EM as they did at Mulberry
-People at EM are more into creative subjects such as Expressive Arts than students at Mulberry
-Many students at Mulberry want to go into academic careers such as law and medicine