Is PE taken seriously as a GCSE choice?

(25 Posts)
forwhatitsworth1 Thu 07-Feb-13 16:05:06

My son would like to take PE as one of his three GCSE choices. I have no idea if this subject is taken seriously by universities, or whether they pay no attention to GCSE choices. He is a clever boy and I'd hope (early days) that he is looking at a Russell Group or Oxbridge university when the time comes.

My feeling is he should take the subject if he wants to, but I don't want this to bite him at a later stage. Help!

Leeds2 Thu 07-Feb-13 16:18:22

I have no direct experience of this, but I do know that my friend's daughter did PE as one of her options, and is now doing medicine at Oxford.

Niceweather Thu 07-Feb-13 16:19:58

I was wondering the same thing for drama?

madwomanintheattic Thu 07-Feb-13 16:38:34

I am fascinated. And slightly weirded out. I went to uni to do a phys ed degree and had no PE certificate gcse or otherwise.... Since when have they started doing gcses in PE? <gimmer>

That said, I have been vaguely aware of a resurgence in teen entry to dance for gcse, but I assumed that was because of the specialism. PE is a bit, um, broad? (Sorry, I know not the point, just faintly curious)

The PE GCSE is 60% practical achievement and 40% theory (final exam). The scientific side of the theory is pretty hard core! They learn the beginnings of Krebs cycle, principles of training and nutrition, sports psychology, physiology and anatomy. It is possible to go into the exam having virtually obtained a C in your practicals (if you are a particularly gifted all-round athlete) but to achieve the top grades you would have to have a good theory paper too. It's NOT a soft option at all!

There have been a few threads on this look at this one.

DS1 took it, he had 10 academic subjects so I didn't see a problem. He quickly regretted it as he thought the theory was dumbed down and the practicals nigh on impossible to get top grades.

senua Thu 07-Feb-13 19:34:03

The PE GCSE is 60% practical achievement

Assessed by your typically lovely PE teacher.
Nuff said.

ohfunnyhoneyface Thu 07-Feb-13 19:37:27

Senua- that is such a terrible stereotype- what are you suggesting? They'll mark the kids down they don't like? Because that would do wonders for your grade average, wouldn't it.

PE practical days are almost military in their operation and students are moderated by an external assessor. Often groups of schools group together to allow for a broad range of sports to be taken as their 'exam' sport.

PE GCSE is recognised as a serious discipline, much more so, I would say, than Drama.

Ah senua, you were on that thread grin.

scarlettsmummy2 Thu 07-Feb-13 19:46:11

I did gcse pe in sixth year at my grammar school simultaneously to a-levels. Would that be an option?

sunshine75 Thu 07-Feb-13 19:58:40

If they are doing other rigorous GCSEs then for god's sake let them also choose one they will enjoy. I did GCSE PE and loved it. I can remember more about it now (more than 20 years later) than GCSE Chemistry or French.

I then got straight As at A-Level and went to a top university to study a 'proper subject'. I'm sure having GCSE PE didn't hold me back in any way and I blodoy loved it for the two years that I studied it.

meditrina Thu 07-Feb-13 20:02:08

Rightly or wrongly it may be seen as a soft option. But as long as there are 8-9 solid choices, having one for fun is fine.

senua Thu 07-Feb-13 20:44:02

Ah senua, you were on that thread

So I was! Well remembered.

OP, don't wory what others think of PE. You need to worry what DS will think of it. If it's a bit of fun / downtime, then no problem. If he feels that it's going to be a blot on his otherwise good record, then think a bit harder. What results does your school's PE Dept usually get?

senua Thu 07-Feb-13 20:50:26

Oh, sorry ss. Didn't spot that you had already done the link. blush

forwhatitsworth1 Thu 07-Feb-13 21:15:25

Thank you everyone, very helpful.

basildonbond Thu 07-Feb-13 23:30:08

at ds's school only dc who represent the school in at least 2 sports at A or B team level can do GCSE PE as so much of it is based on the practical side

ds is really enjoying it - he's familiar with lots of the theory side anyway because of his high-level training outside school and he's finding it helpful for his sport

his other 9 subjects are rigourously academic so he's allowed one soft-ish subject

if your ds really enjoys and is very good at at least two sports then he should give it a go

glaurung Fri 08-Feb-13 02:07:13

I'm going to stick up fo PE a bit here. The way I see it is that a good grade counts as a positive - people tend to tot up As and A*s (or whatever) and a PE grade will enhance that tally, but if you get a low grade people will tend to ignore it since it's 'only' PE, so it has the potential to enhance a set of grades, but not so much to marr it. In addition, taking it keeps children active and involved in sport which can only be a good thing. Dd only kept up her sport(s) because she was doing PE which can only have benefited her in a way that no other option could have done.

Also, good grades are possible - as the other thread shows, some were moaning that the practical was too hard, so difficult to get a good grade on, while for others it was the exam. So, for a good grade you need both, but it's not impossible, though the exams questions are sometimes a bit ambiguous (poorly worded) which throws some.

Eastpoint Fri 08-Feb-13 06:03:50

Niceweather Drama is a very full on course and my DD was saying to me yesterday how hard it is for the girls at her school as they do lots of theatre outings and they are all in the evening so it's hard to do your normal prep those nights. They have a lot of essays. Her school is very rigorous & I don't think they'd offer it if was considered a soft option by RG/Oxbridge.

I have a DS doing PE and a dd doing drama.

I don't think any of those are soft options. There is a lot of theory and written work that goes into PE GCSE and drama is also quite an intensive course which involves a lot of work at lunchtime/after school.

ohfunnyhoneyface Fri 08-Feb-13 07:50:48

Drama isn't accepted by Oxbridge as an A level, looking for link but can't find it!

However, if you want to study theatre, then drama a level is desirable.

I know this is only GCSE, but I would say Drama requires a lot more extra hours put in, all around the time exams/controlled assessments are being done (and all at the end of the course, not spread out) and therefore not as appealing as other options. Unless of course your DC wants to study drama or theatre at the next level, I would recommend not taking it.

And this is from the point of view of someone who took, taught and studied drama at HE!

ll31 Fri 08-Feb-13 08:53:46

Surely education is about more than getting into unit? Pe sounds like subjext everyone should have to do tbh-with possible liFelong brnefits

ll31 Fri 08-Feb-13 08:54:12

Into uni that is

Mrsrobertduvall Fri 08-Feb-13 14:01:13

Dd is doing both PE and drama.
She isn't highly academic...is not doing geography ot history and will struggle to get a C for both maths and science.

She has found PE hard but satisfying...she doesn't do a sport out of school but has loved the theory and the practical.
She's planning Drama and English at A level.

ohfunnyhoneyface Fri 08-Feb-13 16:30:08

I agree, ll31, I think they should bring back the short course compulsory GCSE.

They taught it really well at my current school- loads of different types of exercise, the promotion of healthy eating, all good stuff.

I only mentioned the unis because the OP had asked.

GrimmaTheNome Fri 08-Feb-13 16:42:31

My DD is choosing options now at a very academic GS - they do 11 so there's no problem with doing one less-academic (though not soft) subject - PE and drama are on the list (DD is doing drama as her 'arty' thing rather than art or music). Her opinion is people must be mad to do PE as its in addition to the Core PE they all have to do anyway (which can include some sort of leadership certificate) - and that its hard to get top grades in it.

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