Which of these GCSE options have the least coursework?

(86 Posts)
KatyMac Tue 29-Jan-13 20:01:20

DD is busy outside of school - so we need a lighter option

So which should we pick? (she has to pick 2)
GCSE Applied Business
GCSE Catering
GCSE Graphics
GCSE History
BTEC Drama
GCSE Child Development
GCSE Media Studies
GCSE Photography

We have rejected GCSE Art, Photography, Resistant Materials & Psychology and BTEC Art & Design as we thought they would be time intensive.

She will be doing English Lang & Lit, Maths, Science (2 I think), Geography, Spanish, Music, (she has already taken BTEC Dance & BTEC Science)

HSMM Wed 30-Jan-13 10:22:19

DD also suggested child development, but I told her she'd be bored, as she knows it all already .

KatyMac Wed 30-Jan-13 14:15:22

It's so hard helping them make the right choices

I dont know about BTEC PE, but ds1 does GCSE PE and that is a lot of writing and hardly any sport IYSWIM.
its very involved, and he has had to do a lot of stuff at home.

DD does GCSE drama, which doesnt involve a lot of writing but a fair bit of time doing group work in the evening and weekends.

Media studies...hmm it sounds less effort to me than business or graphic design or catering.

DD1 did media studies as an extra GCSE in Y10 (they compressed English into Y11), and it a) wasn't especially hard, and b) didn't involve very much outside class study.

DD2 is going FT at GCSE (and has people who wanted to do catering in her class as there weren't enough to run both courses) - that does involve out of school work - the controlled assessment/project has lots of research, and the regular practicals involve quite a bit of writing up.

circular Wed 30-Jan-13 18:05:00

DD1 Does Btec Sport (which I think is a Btec PE with sport chosen over dance). It is compulsory at her school, done in core PE time. She never has any homework and does no after school stuff for it. On track to get a B with minimal work.

Agree re considering the workload when lots of extra CA done.
Often an extra academic option can be less work than the practical subjects.
She chose triple science option over Drama or Catering and is glad she did judging by the workload some of her friends doing these have. Art seems to be the highest.

Would the Applied Business be useful for your DD considering she may well be self-employed as a dancer?

Februaryfun Wed 30-Jan-13 18:10:50

Art is a good option if she enjoys it.
Coursework is completed during lessons. One homework a week.
60% of mark before final exam of 40%
If a student manages their time well it shouldn't affect outside activities.

Coconutty Wed 30-Jan-13 18:22:24

Art is a lot of coursework, wouldn't be my choice in your shoes. DS1 does loads of work at home although he is predicted A* so wants to do well.

Media studies is easier, not very highly regarded by all accounts - a soft subject and one that most seem to enjoy.

Have you asked the school for advice? I would prefer 10 good GCSEs than 12 half arsed ones.

homework Wed 30-Jan-13 18:51:49

What about cooking , most work done in class and theory will always be helpful to have this knowledge as a dancer. Don't know how work heavy it is though , but just a thought really . Best wishes whatever she choice she makes. What school surggested , they must know that she short on time and what her plans for future are , are her teachers not being more helpful and understanding of her plans .

KatyMac Wed 30-Jan-13 20:50:36

It's options evening (our third) tomorrow - I was trying to get a feel for them all

I'll chat to the teachers but it's Drama (if they let us) & business or catering or media (I think)......I can see us coming back tomorrow with 'latin' or something really wierd wink

KatyMac Thu 31-Jan-13 19:59:55

We have been told that in DD's 'particular circumstances' Drama should be fine & we went with Applied Business as the teacher said nearly all the work has to be done during lessons - she quite understood our position

Child Development & Catering both had an extreme amount of home/coursework; we didn't even look at Media in the end

AtiaoftheJulii Thu 31-Jan-13 23:06:01

Don't really know about the ones in your possibles list, except for gcse Media Studies, which seems banal and also has required making posters etc.

But gcse psychology is on your reject list - I always thought that looked pretty straightforward - no controlled assessment component, learn a text book and regurgitate it in the exam.

AtiaoftheJulii Thu 31-Jan-13 23:07:40

Oops, thought I'd read the thread but missed your last post! Sounds like a good resolution smile

KatyMac Fri 01-Feb-13 18:20:25

It'llbe a couple of weeks before we find out what she gets

lljkk Fri 01-Feb-13 18:58:19

Thanks for starting this thread, KatyMac.
I couldn't help but guffaw (fitting, I know!) at DominoDonkey's first post, in her ignorance about your DD's life.

KatyMac Fri 01-Feb-13 22:08:58

She is a bit unusual; not many kids put in 16 (plus) hours training plus 12 hours of travelling each week

You guys know that but maybe I should have been more explanatory in my OP. She is fairly unique.

During the Olympics she was training as hard as the athletes & it's such a short career - study comes later (as long as she gets 5 at C incl Eng & Maths, I will let her follow her heart. She dropped to a D in English last term & I threatened to reduce her classes, by the next half term she had a B)

Dominodonkey Sat 02-Feb-13 00:18:51

Not sure why you think I am ignorant? In fact I am damn sure that I know as much or more than anyone else on this thread both about secondary education and the entertainment business.
As a teacher I would expect the OP's daughter to do exactly as much home work as any other student and make decisions based on future careers or personal enjoyment not on which requires the least work.

RussiansOnTheSpree Sat 02-Feb-13 07:51:31

@katy I know quite a few kids who put in 16 hours of practice a week. And more than 12 hours traveling. And they all seem to do normal academic GCSEs although not, admittedly, more than 11 or 12. And no BTECs.

lljkk Sat 02-Feb-13 10:10:12

Anyone who has been on MN since time immemorial ages knows how dedicated KatyMac's DD is about her hoped for career. How very driven, motivated & determined she is. How KM has wrung her hands worrying that it was too much & she would over do it (fretted for years), and was investing too much in her dreams. That girl is the epitome of everything our own (lazy disorganised directionless) teens aren't.

The girl will make something of herself for sure. She doesn't need tough academics right now, she'll easily do them later if needed. Hence my snurking at someone who would criticise KatyMac for being supportive of her daughter's dreams.

lljkk Sat 02-Feb-13 10:10:59

Besides, for those of us without highly motivated DC it's jolly useful to get some comparisons of workload for different GCSEs.

RussiansOnTheSpree Sat 02-Feb-13 10:40:43

Actually, lljkk speak for yourself. My teen (and pre teen) daughters are not lazy and they are at least as highly motivated as Katy's, and spend at least as much if not more time on their 'things'. And I know kids who do much more. As will most kids doing dance theatre or music or sport. Particularly those who live somewhere in the sticks. Katy's daughter is not unique. Not remotely unique. But she seems to be both over and underselling herself at the same time on qualifications which seems silly. What happens if she breaks her leg? Decent qualifications shouldn't be seen as an unnecessary thing.

KatyMac Sat 02-Feb-13 11:02:06

Look I didn't mean to cause trouble or offence; I know my daughter & 8 GCSE's will be plenty for her to do well at. She can concentrate on the subjects we consider important and any further qualifications she gets are just extra - probably in her case BTECs.

There has been some research done suggesting that for some children studying fewer subjects leads to higher grades - my uncle who was a head of 6th form told me this and after some discussion with her he has been helping with her academic decisions but he is on holiday just now, so we couldn't ask him plus MN has been helpful before.

If she suddenly can't dance before she is 16, she will of course do A levels but not at the local college as it isn't really suitable. The schools we are looking at have suggested that 8 good solid GCSE, with hopefully 2 B & the rest C will get a place; but that she only 'needs' 5 at C to go to any 6th form college in our county (ideally English, Maths, Science, a language & a humanity)

There has always been the concern, from her form teacher that if she did the 14 GCSEs the school prefers she will get a range of C, D & E grades based on her predictions; I'd rather this didn't happen.

HSMM Sat 02-Feb-13 11:23:32

Katy. I'm sure (like me) you are covering all your academic bases. I have been watching with interest, to help DD choose her 12th GCSE subject. Her school has also been very supportive and helpful.

Dominodonkey Sat 02-Feb-13 11:45:43

I still stand by what I said - however I do agree with what others have said about the large amount of gcses being unnecessary. It is hard for teachers to argue against the oft repeated claim that gcses are getting easier when students seem to be able to fit 3 or 4 more in than happened 15 years ago.

KatyMac Sat 02-Feb-13 12:22:47

HSMM we all try our best

I just hope the advise DD gets from her teachers, friends & family is right for her; it's so hard second guessing the future. I was asked for my O level certificates this week, for the first time since about 1990 - which was so odd as they were so long ago.

lljkk Sat 02-Feb-13 13:29:48

I don't subscribe to the MN mantra that BTECs are worthless (indecent) qualifications.

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