GCSE options...how much do they really matter?

(142 Posts)
wordfactory Thu 24-Jan-13 12:07:31

DS is currently considering his options for GCSE.
After he's done all the core stuff (Eng x2, maths, science x3, MFL) there are only three choices left.

He's thinking History, Latin and Geography. But then he's thinking History, Latin and Ancient Greek. Then Spanish, RS and Latin. This morning he said History, RS and Latin, then changed his mind back to Latin, Ancient Greek and History...

Does it really matter in the scheme of things? Do any universities really care what they do at this stage?

GreatUncleEddie Mon 28-Jan-13 14:06:07

He is good at science - he won that prize too.

MordionAgenos Mon 28-Jan-13 14:07:40

@gelo the performance tasks do not provide 60% of the marks.

gelo Mon 28-Jan-13 14:10:42

I think it's 30% performance and 30% composition? 60% total coursework iirc.

MordionAgenos Mon 28-Jan-13 14:17:03

Composition is an academic discipline. You don't need to be able to play or sing to do that at all. It doesn't have to be inspired, it doesn't have to be worthy of comparison with Varese or Debussy or Mingus it has to, you know, obey 'the rules' (which are of course arbitrary, made up, and have varied with time, but that's a bit like pretending there are rules in maths for the purposes of O and A level and then pulling the rugs from under the students' feet as soon as they get to uni).

gelo Mon 28-Jan-13 14:30:13

composition is different again, probably more academic. I think dd would have been ok with it, it's only the performance she'd have struggled with. But the exact breakdown of what's academic and what isn't is of little consequence really.

GrimmaTheNome Mon 28-Jan-13 14:30:57

>With some subjects it may be worth looking at the BTEC rather than the GCSE

that assumes the school gives that choice - I'm not sure most do (surely would make timetabling even more of a nightmare to try to accommodate BTEC and GSCE in the same optional subjects)

Eddie - depends who you ask... can you get the curricula for the 3 separate and the double award so you can see what the difference is? Also, does doing the triple take up an extra option? (some schools timetable triple for able students in the same amount of time as double for others)

MordionAgenos Mon 28-Jan-13 14:37:32

@gelo it's of consequence when people are claiming that music isn't an academic subject at GCSE, on the basis apparently that their daughter couldn't have done well in it with little effort. On that basis French is not an academic subject because my daughter isn't going to do well in it with BIG effort.

DizzyHoneyBee Mon 28-Jan-13 14:49:17

Bells, personally I think music would suit DD better as she's quite musical, but she's also artistic, just realised that me having said she does it as a hobby sounds like I am putting her art ability down! I am so not artistic but I reckon she's pretty good it (in a totally PFB way!) grin

hellsbells99 Mon 28-Jan-13 14:56:22

Hi Dizzy. My DD is artistic too - loves music, has always loved art but has found the GCSE quite repetitive. Will get As in both and possibly A*s, but for A level she has said she is doing maths and sciences and that she feels she will cope with them much better as she won't have all her art and music to do! She is planning on continuing with music as a hobby (orchestra, lessons etc) and I think she will always draw/paint as well but only for fun. Good luck with your DD's options - it is not always easy choosing.

hellsbells99 Mon 28-Jan-13 14:57:27

Forgot to say I am rubbish at both art and music - she must belong to someone else!!!

hellsbells99 Mon 28-Jan-13 15:00:20

Also Dizzy, my DD has found both subjects very 'sociable'. They are encouraged to go at lunctimes to do art, compositions etc., and a few of them really enjoy having a good gossip and eating their lunch in there etc.

DizzyHoneyBee Mon 28-Jan-13 16:05:16

Hi Bells, good luck to your DD with her A levels.

hellsbells99 Mon 28-Jan-13 17:12:16

Thanks Dizzy

MissMarplesThong Mon 28-Jan-13 17:31:08

Grimma I agree that not all schools offer the choice of BTEC and GCSE. I was meaning it more as a general point to not automatically discount the BTEC option if available I know that sometimes people do and have probably been guilty of that myself.

gelo Mon 28-Jan-13 19:10:56

Actually mordion I've never said music isn't academic, so I'm not really sure what this is about. All I've said is there's more to it than purely academic stuff, that's not controversial surely? The fact dd might not have wish to expend much effort on a subject has nothing whatsoever to do with its academic nature or otherwise, she's surely not the only child to chose GCSEs based at least in part on what might be easiest for her? That only arose as the part of music that would definitely have cause lots and lots of effort for her was performance and that's what put her off. Composition was also an unknown, I guess you don't know if you'll be any good at that until you've tried. She chose RE and PE instead, RE was fairly straightforward in the end, and PE was loads of effort to get 3 sports up to a reasonable standard, but even so she judged it to be easier than getting 2 or 3 grades higher on her instrument.

GreatUncleEddie Wed 30-Jan-13 14:30:33

Thanks Grimma. It takes three slots as opposed to two. It's a grammar school so all the kids are reasonably able.

RKgsa Thu 28-Feb-13 12:30:51

Info from school heads here about GCSE options choices. Might be helpful.
www.mydaughter.co.uk/educating-your-daughter/school-life/exams/exams-at-16/heads-tips-gcse-choices/

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