GCSE Choices 2013 (exams 2015) support thread

(207 Posts)
DizzyHoneyBee Mon 11-Feb-13 15:27:08

Here we go....options choices this month, exams in summer 2015. We're choosing options at the moment but I've not come across a support thread.

Does your DC know what they want to do already or are they needing a lot of help deciding?
Where have you gone for information?

We get a booklet this week apparently and then have a meeting at school to discuss listen to a sales pitch by the teachers discuss the options that are best and then we have about 2 weeks to make a decision.

I am so glad of this thread. DS1 goes to school 12 miles away by coach so I never see another parent. sad

DizzyHoneyBee Sat 16-Feb-13 13:38:38

I don't either, my DD walks to school with her friends and I barely know any of their parents; just one who she was friends with at middle school and their DC wants to do something completely different from DD.
Sparklingbrook, if it all gets too much we can always meet up in a pub somewhere seeing as we're localish to each other!

I do feel strangely detached. He has been there since last June and we haven't had a parents evening yet. grin Thanks Dizzy. smile

DizzyHoneyBee Sat 16-Feb-13 13:47:14

Gosh, DD's school do one every term.

treas Sat 16-Feb-13 19:02:19

Ds is YR8 and having to choose GSCEs now before moving into college in September for YR9. First time the college and school has done this so we have had lots and lots of information starting with a meeting on the first day back after christmas holidays.

Ds won't have to make final choice until March but has already made most of his decisions. Recently been advised that Ds will be on accelerated route - meaning he'll be able to do ScX3 if he wishes.

He is choosing -

MathsX2
EnglishX2
ScienceX3
ICT
History
Geography
French
Music or German

Music has current upper hand as it would be his creative / lighter option. Although he loves German and has been told he has a talent for it he has only started it last September (6 months) in comparison to French which is nearly 4 years.

As to what he wants to do when leaving school? Your guess is as good as mine but I think he has left his options fairly open with the options he has chosen.

DizzyHoneyBee Sat 16-Feb-13 21:00:18

Music GCSE is a LOT of work from what we have been told by the school, it's a great creative option but it is not a lighter option.

DS1 is thinking of doing Art. I am not keen. No aptitude for music fortunately. smile

DizzyHoneyBee Sat 16-Feb-13 21:06:08

DD is doing art and design or commercial design. I wasn't convinced at first but she is good at art and music (heaven only knows where she gets that talent from!) but she is keen to do art and I reckon that she can get away with one non-academic subject alongside her other choices.

I have visions of my dining table being buried under art projects for the next few years Dizzy. And endless trips to Hobbycraft. But a non-academic option would be good for him.

Coconutty Sat 16-Feb-13 21:12:45

DS1 is in year 10 and says that Art is his favourite option. History is less popular among his friends as is ICT. Music is very intense but the kids who are musical really enjoy it apparently.

DizzyHoneyBee Sat 16-Feb-13 21:13:42

Oh no, don't mention Hobbycraft - I hadn't thought of that! I suppose it is better than blowing the house up trying recreate splitting the atom or something......as for the dining room table, that assumes you can get your teenager out of their bedroom!

So how does it work with the Art Coconutty? Is there stuff all over the house 'in progress'?

DizzyHoneyBee Sat 16-Feb-13 21:15:28

My DD is keen not to do music because she can't stand the music teacher (and having met said teacher, I can sympathise), they are great at their job but not easy for DD to get on with. Therefore she is doing art, she's much more keen on that and spends hours every day drawing. She's got grade 3 music and that will have to do.

Sorry if it makes me sound like I would be hindering DS's artistic work. It's just that if he is given a length of time to do an ELP he is hopeless. Stop. Start. Stop. Panic. Do it the night before very noisily. sad

spudmasher Sat 16-Feb-13 21:25:57

Glad I found this thread....and a bit worried at the same time!!!
My DD will be taking 9 GCSEs and that feels like not enough.
Eng lit
Eng Lang
Science x2
Spanish
History
Drama
Expressive arts

Worried. She only does 3 days a week so I suppose that's the price we pay. I'm hoping we've not made the wrong decision earlier on as she would love to go to uni. Looks like 11 is the norm. But she will still do 3 or even 4 a levels I hope.
Will the lack of GCSEs make a difference? Any ideas anyone?

spudmasher Sat 16-Feb-13 21:26:57

And maths. Obv. Doh.

Coconutty Sat 16-Feb-13 21:27:36

He's quite tidy with it, sparkling lots of sketching and the odd painting. Does take up a lot of time but he said it's relaxing. He does the bigger stuff at school and stays late once a week to use their materials.

DizzyHoneyBee Sat 16-Feb-13 21:28:44

I think there is an increasing tendency for people to focus on quality and not quantity so I can't see a problem with it. When I was at school people usually did 8 or 9 but my DD will be doing 12; that seems like a lot to me.
There is a university admissions person on the thread, maybe they can comment.
Glad that you have found us Spud.
Do you mind if I ask why she only does 3 days a week, are you partly home educating?

spudmasher Sat 16-Feb-13 21:35:26

Not at all DizzyHoneyBee, she is at a performing arts school and has been since Year 7. They do three days academic and two acting, dancing and singing.

She has worked in theatre and tv during that time and has missed school but they do their best to fill the gaps and they are only allowed to go to auditions if they keep up with their academics.

But the focus changes after Easter when they commence the GCSE courses and I am wondering now if it is a good idea to spend so much time on the vocational side. It just makes me nervous, but the vocational stuff does provide a certain amount of rocket fuel to the academics. She knows there will be no work unless she's performing in the academics.

But 9 feels like not many compared to some.

DizzyHoneyBee Sat 16-Feb-13 21:37:55

Oh right, I see. It sounds like a good balance then, there is more to life than academic stuff and she's got options with her sciences plus a language and a humanity - to my inexperienced mind anyway. Better 9 with good grades than 12 average ones.

spudmasher Sat 16-Feb-13 21:46:52

I hope so.......the school felt like a good idea at the time and she has had a ball, but we are feeling very wobbly now with just the 9 GCSEs.
She has a few credits under her belt so we are hoping she can go on to a vocational college for A levels but the industry is so fickle.
I suppose she could always do more GCSEs in the future if need be.
What we do have is a vision from her- brief stage/ screen career followed by a career in directing/ casting. So at least she has a path mapped out to aim for!!! That seems like half the problem for many on this thread......but at age 14/ 13 how are they really meant to know???!!!!!

SanityClause Sat 16-Feb-13 21:56:02

Dual science isn't two sciences ie say, physics and chemistry, but not biology. It's a bit of each. So at DD1's school, if you get at least an A for the, say, physics exam, you can do physics at A level/IB. So in theory, you could do dual science at GCSE, and three sciences at A level.

YippeeTeenager Sat 16-Feb-13 22:00:22

spudmasher we had a parents evening last week about options and the head said that the government has just said that they should only do 8 GCSEs and absolutely no more. They are worried that children are being made to do more and more to outdo the competition and have no time to do anything else so in future the emphasis really will be on 8 good ones. At my DDs school they have reduced it from 12 to 10...And they also said that universities worry more about the grade profile than the number so 8 As or A*s is much better than 8*s and 1B...confused

LadyMaryQuiteContrary Sat 16-Feb-13 22:01:37

Hi smile

Ds has just handed his option form in. He's doing:

English lang and lit
Maths
Chemistry and Physics
German, Spanish, Latin and (possibly) Greek
RS and History.

I know no one from his school either. sad

YippeeTeenager Sat 16-Feb-13 22:02:52

You all sound lovely, can we make this our school gate and meet again? smile

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