psychology and philosophy GCSE's(8 Posts)
Our school does not offer these two GCSE's. Do many? If not, why not?
Of little use to students, they need the basics so they can apporopriate choices at A level
Schools concentrate on subjects needed for E-Bacc and Progress 8 as that's what they're measured on.
Even A level psychology is not required for a degree in psychology, so it isn't too useful at GCSE, you would probably end up studying the same studies numerous times as degree level generally expects no prior knowledge. Psychology also benefits from more world experience so generally better suited to older candidates. If someone wants to persue a degree in psychology then I recommend the most useful subjects are maths, statistics (if offered) and biology at GCSE.
Business studies as well.
Does it really matter what options a child takes after the basic maths, English, English Lit and double/triple science?
If schools offer different subjects, are some children missing out? Ds's school only offers double science for example, despite being a fairly academic school with a strong Oxbridge cohort after A levels.
How important are your choices of GCSE's?
I think that generally there is little choice of options once the basics have been covered so I don't think that the options choices matter too much at GCSE other than e.g. taking a foreign language if they want to study languages, taking History if they want to do History A level. Art if they want to go to art college etc. The subjects you mention are more A-level, degree level subjects and in those disciplines the teachers are more keen that a student is able with numbers (for psychology and business studies), can write clear, coherent essays and can form arguments - skills developed in humanities such as RE, history, geography as well as in English lang/ lit. I can remember very little of the subject matter for my GCSEs but I use the skills I developed then in my work. The topic area to an extent is irrelevant below a certain level, it is the skills and aptitude and interest which matters. The interested student can persue their interest without the need to examine their knowledge at this stage. One of mine is interested in animals so reads stuff on animal cognition, won't be in a position to study it for many years yet so it is just a hobby. Another loves architecture so we plonk her in front of Grand designs and listen to her raving/ ranting about buildings she sees. There is no need for her to study architecture at the moment, a good grasp of maths and physics is more important. For philosophy for example get them reading Sophie's World, just for fun and interest rather than to sit an exam. If they are interested they can sit them at A level.
I think some of the GCSEs are aimed more at adult learners wanting to dip their toe into a topic rather than 14yr olds. I am sure that some schools do offer some of those topics if there is an interested teacher but the timetable wouldn't have space for every GCSE.
If your dc is interested in a specific career the do some research together on the internet or send them to the careers advisor to make sure that you aren't limiting any options but generally it is the core options which are most useful.
Schools cannot cover all subjects, would be impossible time tabling and financially, particularly with less popular subjects. Also, these subjects are not needed for EBAC etc, so schools tightly focus on other subjects. Triple Science isn't an essential unless perhaps you're going on to study medicine. My son has GSCES in dual Science and is going on to study Forensic Science after A levels, no issues with only dual for him.
Offering more subjects can mean employing more staff who have the specialism to teach those subjects. If they're only offered at KS4 then that's only a few periods a week, at my school KS4 option subjects have 5 lessons a fortnight. This could be a time tabling nightmare with a part timer not willing to come in to teach just one period a day. Had this at my school with business where a teacher from the local 6th form was brought in to teach GCSE but it ended up clashing with her college timetable so she left. Plus she got fed up of driving across town from one place to the other. If a teacher wants to be full time then they have to obviously have other lessons/subjects to fill their timetable and that may not be possible.
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