The EBacc(38 Posts)
Is it true that creative subjects will be ignored if schools introduce the EBacc? What can we parents do?
Correct me if I am wrong and I may well be, as I do not have much experience with secondary school options but PE is mandatory and will be included on the timetable but surely Btec Sport is taking up a second block entirely.
No disrespect but if I was on an academic pathway the thought of Btec Sport or ICT won't have university admissions quaking in their pants or prospective empolyers either. It may well be appropriate if you are leaving school following GCSEs and are looking to go in an entry level sporting profession but having to drop a second MFL.
In our school, BTEC sport or GCSE PE (level depending on set) is compulsory as well but it isn't an option block. They just use some PE sessions as theory rather than playing sport.
They do the National ICT Diploma, but over 3 years so it doesn't use much time to do, and again isn't an option block.
For academic kids, these don't make a lot of difference, but for some kids these qualifications can give them a future. At our local FE, for most level 3 qualifications they want English, Maths and two more level 2 passes. The BTEC PE and ICT Diploma gets them in.
Hi creamteas and fellow mumnetters,
Can I ask what are the compulsory option subjects for your school? and how many choices do your students actually have?
I would be interested to see what the reality of different GCSE option choices are within the different school types.
Selective Grammar school - Single sex
1 MFL (choice of 4)
3 free choices
I think this is a good mix as it leaves room for the creative, practical and technical subjects, whilst keeping options open for A/AS levels, further education, apprenticeships and post 16 entry to work.
Two years ago, just above average mixed comp, academic pathways:
Either double science + MFL (choice of 3)
Chemistry, Physics & Biology
Btec Sport (1 or 2 GCSE equiv. in core PE time)
ICT AIDA (1 GCSE equiv, completed in yr 10)
RE (yr 11, no qualification)
PSEC (no qualification)
3 free options
DD1 chose Ebac subjects and a creative. She would have rather done a tech or a second creative than the ICT. Having said that though, it does not appear to have closed off much choice at A level.
As far as I know, the only changes for the current year 9's appears to be that ICT no longer compulsory.
Comp school (no grammars in LEA)
Eng Lang (if completed year 10, Eng Lit in 11)
Maths (if completed year 10, Stats and FSMQ in 11)
Double science (separate sciences available but need to use an option block)
Btec Sport or GCSE PE (depending on the set)
ICT Nat Dip (over 3 years, so it doesn't take up lots of time)
RE (full GCSE higher set, short course for lower one
3 free options (one choice should be history or geog unless good reason not to)
pretty good comp, no grammars in county though super-selectives in the adjecent LA, valued added score for high achievers is good, not great for the low end though & their last report flagged this up (& they've made changes to curriculum e.g. dropped from 4 hours of MFL a week to 2 in year 7 & use that time for remedial literacy).
They do 10 or 11 GCSEs and 1 BTEC; they also carry on with PE, IT & PDP though not examined (unless they use a free choice for those subjects).
Core GCSE subjects are:
English lit & language
MFL (choice of 3)
science (offered as single or double award or three separate sciences)
technology (choice of 5)
which leaves three/four free choices
BTEC choice is massive, I can think of at least seven they offer - school believe that they teach good study skills even to the very academic kids (don't know if that's true ... dd wants to use her BTEC option for art & design which would be her only creative subject ... don't know if they will still be around though)
Originally a CofE high school but recently changed to academy. Grammar school but no 11 plus. Core subjects are:
Science (dd will not know whether double or triple yet)
Then chose 3 options in year 8 which she is studying now and may take exams in year 10 as a lot of them do. Dd chose history, German and psychology.
There are so many supporters of the Bacc for the Future campaign which are opposed to the exclusion of creative subjects from the EBACC. This (and other threads on mumsnet) show that many parents and teachers are opposed to the EBacc proposals. Phew! http://www.baccforthefuture.com/index.html
It could be just me but I think it strange that this EBACC issue really took off last August, perhaps as a smoke screen to divert everyones attention away from the fiasco and subsequent uproar that was happening with the English GCSE. A kind of lets just throw it out there to show we were already concerned about GCSE and see what happens.
At DS's school, an Academy, for GCSEs being taken in 2014, they did put all the Arts subjects into one block together with History and Geography, another block with History and Geography and a few Btecs and then a third block with Languages (MFL compulsory unless SEN). So no-one can take more than one Art subject. On the plus side, you can choose both History and Geography.
I would like to see is the Ebacc include a practical/technical subject. This could be Music, ICT, DT or Art etc.
I think this would give children an element of choice during their options plus there is the added advantage of keeping the subject choice well rounded.
They simply can't limit children's choices this way without killing off creativity and innovation. Delighted to see the huge lobby from people in the Arts against the silly EBacc.
It's easy to forget that what Gove has been proposing with the Ebacc is not just a recommended range of subjects to study at GCSE but a completely new exam, a single assessment, and if you fail one subject you fail the lot - like the 'school certificate' my mum (and about 10% of the school population) took in the 1950s (they never had it so good). The alternative to passing is a 'certificate of achievement' which sounds like a sticker you get from the dentist. So out go GCSEs, the idea being that exam boards are also abolished because only one per subject will be allowed to have the franchise. So what exam exactly are you going for the non-Ebacc subjects? Or, if they are reduced to optional 'sticker' subjects, how do they fit in with A-level, and degree subjects that prepare the next generation of music/art/drama/DT teachers? Will they be Geography teachers filling in?
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