Is this considered a 'soft' subject for a GCSE?

(24 Posts)
Spidermama Thu 07-Feb-13 16:19:47

My dd can choose 4 gcse subjects to add to the compulsory ones and is going for art, German, history and ...... DT (textile technology). Dh says the last one is soft.
Is he right and does it matter?

Happymum22 Thu 07-Feb-13 16:37:59

Certainly not, DDs were both did it at their very very academic private school. They are now at Bristol/Durham University. I remember seeing their revision for the textiles exam it was definitely not 'soft'- they had to know details fabric qualities and compositions and a lot of detail, the product they made required a lot of skill to be A* standard and they also made a very time consuming and detailed portfolio book. One of my DDs made a beautiful and very detailed ball gown.

She is doing plenty of traditionally academic subjects as well and so unis will, if anything, look at it favorably that she has other skills and interests. It makes her sound a more rounded and creative personality. She needs to have one subject a bit different and something she enjoys as well or she will go crazy by the end of GCSEs! Also, you should really be letting her persue her interests and not crushing them based on your DHs perception of what he thinks she should do.

Happymum22 Thu 07-Feb-13 16:38:51

Sorry not sure what went wrong in that first sentence! You can work out what I meant!!

GinandJag Thu 07-Feb-13 16:43:13

It's fine to have a subject your DH perceives as soft. He will have 9 other exam subjects your DH approves of.

The key thing is to keep doors open, and to do subjects your DS enjoys.

RatherBeOnThePiste Thu 07-Feb-13 16:50:22

I really don't like talk about subjects being soft. There has been a lot in the media about A levels, I find it really annoying <ggrrr> There they were declaring music and art as 'soft' FGS! I blame Michael Gove myself for his emphasis on traditional academics being more valued sad Whole other thread.

So important they do a broad range of subjects they enjoy.

Ideally your DH will rethink his stance because your daughter may choose things further down the line that he doesn't know or understand, and that could be a shame for them both.

Yellowtip Thu 07-Feb-13 16:52:36

Yes it is perceived to be softish. Not that that matters with all the rest being 'hard'. But she already has Art in there and I'd certainly think very hard about the dual workload between the two - one of those is fine but two can be really incredibly time consuming. It takes some students by surprise. But if she's dead keen on both then she should do them both.

GinandJag Thu 07-Feb-13 16:54:49

I think the hard/soft attitude comes from top universities and employers. If they are correct, then it should not be a surprise that policymakers agree.

trinity0097 Thu 07-Feb-13 17:02:43

It's no more 'soft' than Art.

All that matters is getting c or higher in English, Maths and Science, as once you are onto the next stage of education or in a job that is all that matters!

Spidermama Thu 07-Feb-13 17:03:11

Well she certainly loves textiles and has a seeing machine, draws clothes, makes bags etc. I feel she should follow what she loves but dh thinks its more if a hobby and why waste a subject on something she does anyway.
I reckon I'll stick to my guns. I agree with the poster who said GCSEs are hard enough anyway so best to include enjoyable hard work.

OrangeforDd Thu 07-Feb-13 17:11:54

My Dd took textiles too. Huge amount of work was required with complex IT skills, as well, for the design section of the course and then the actual "sewing" skills. Extremely stressful prior to final presentation finishing the garment and finding a suitable sized child to model the finished creation for photographs. I think this has now changed a little now as all work must be done under supervision at school (though I may be wrong about that). The amount of material to be learnt for the written exam was extraordinary and very detailed as well. Those with little actual experience of the subject may perceive it as soft, but it was one of the more difficult and time consuming subjects for Dd. She also took Drama for Gcse, another very time consuming subject. It did not have a negative effect on her university applications as she is now at Oxford!

mumsneedwine Thu 07-Feb-13 18:29:24

All mine have done DT in some form - one textiles, one resistant materials and one graphics. All now at Oxbridge/Harvard so didn't stop them ! In fact my son said his interview at Oxford - for maths - involved him talking about his DT project. His prof said after it was because they knew all the candidates could do maths, and they wanted to see how enthusiastic they were about other things. As he had made an amazing light thing which he has so enjoyed doing, he was very proud waffling about it ! Hobbies can make great careers.

Mutteroo Fri 08-Feb-13 03:16:54

DS did DT GCSE. He chose it because he loved it his school encouraged pupils to select one practical subject. Was it easy/soft? No. DS worked incredibly hard on this subject & was extremely proud of his B grade.

BeckAndCall Fri 08-Feb-13 06:51:00

Same school here as happymum and same opinion! My eldest did both art and textiles and they are no push over. It's about the balance of subjects and so long as your DD has the right core of subjects - which she seems to have - its fine. And it takes a lot of effort in both art and textiles to get an A*. And doing both together takes over your lounge for two years!

mumsneedwine Fri 08-Feb-13 08:28:14

Agree they take over the lounge ! I had one doing textiles and one doing RS at same time and their projects were huge. Still have the dress on a hangover over back of my bedroom door so when I miss her being at Uni it makes me smile. They are not soft options, they are time consuming, but fun ! Unis want more than just pure academics - they want students who have an interest in life.

mumsneedwine Fri 08-Feb-13 08:28:42

Hangover !!! Hanger even smile

Yellowtip Fri 08-Feb-13 08:33:24

I'm not sure that doing DT in itself demonstrates an interest in life.... The fact that DT is time consuming also doesn't mean that it's not regarded as on the soft side of GCSE options. That said, it really is of very little consequence at GCSE level. The time factor between Art and DT is the more important thing here.

DeepRedBetty Fri 08-Feb-13 08:38:21

Have I got your dd's clone living in my house? grin

Like yours mine is both academically bright and extremely 'fingerous'. We haven't quite reached Options yet - choices have to be made by end of March I believe - but Textiles D+T is high on the list.

What are the compulsory subjects in your school's case?

senua Fri 08-Feb-13 08:51:33

Different GCSE test different things. Maths tests logic and processing; Science tests facts and the application of those; Humanities tests comprehension and analysis; etc.

You can sell DT to your DH on what it does, rather that what it does not. As others have said, it takes a lot of work to get a good grade in an arty subject. You can get a good grade in some subjects just by being lucky enough to a photographic memory but a good grade in the arts shows that you are a grafter. That's a good thing to have on your CV (you can tell your DH).

However, I agree with Yellowtip that you can do this with one arts subject; two might be too much of a workload.

TheFallenNinja Fri 08-Feb-13 08:56:47

If DT is what I believe it to be I think it invaluable. I'm a big advocate of English, maths and sciences and really don't agree with Art and drama as a formal study in secondary education.

DT I believe is what takes the academic and applies them to the practical. Given that there is a massive shortage of manufacturing skills around anything that uses the head AND the hands is a good thing and, probably more importantly, gives real marketable skills.

fubbsy Fri 08-Feb-13 09:58:25

My dp was hmm about Textiles, somehow imagining it is like the 'needlework' we did in our (stone age) school days. DD and I stuck to our guns, though.

BeckAndCall Fri 08-Feb-13 10:04:35

mumsneedwine me too! My DD is also away now soI open her wardrobe door and see her hand beaded silk painted prom dress and think wow.

Startail Fri 08-Feb-13 10:05:57

The only warning I'd give is look at your schools results.
In some comprehensives DT and some IT options tend only to be taken by the less able students.

It's very difficult to get a high grade if the teacher isn't used to having A* candidates and the classes mess about.

Art and drama at our place are taken very seriously, Resistant materials and some IT less so.

ipadquietly Fri 08-Feb-13 23:55:10

OMG do you know the work that goes into design subjects? Hours an hours and hours of research, designing, making and evaluating! It's not just something academic that you can revise the day before and forget the day after (like history... or english... or maths.......)

(imo very useful for the workplace.)

Startail Sat 09-Feb-13 01:24:43

Art is continuous, DD1 was watching TV tonight and dived off to google Yes LP covers.

Not a subject to study if you don't see inspiration everywhere.

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