What is the argument for children doing their GCSEs a year or two early?

(96 Posts)
Mintyy Wed 20-Nov-13 20:16:34

I can't think of any.

BanjoPlayingTiger Wed 20-Nov-13 20:18:36

If they are ready to do them then why not, it frees up some time and they can concentrate on others later?

Erm, that's me out of ideas.

It helps the school with their league tables <cynic>

OhYouBadBadKaleds Wed 20-Nov-13 20:21:24

It can be useful for children who for one reason or another aren't likely to make it to the end of year 11 in school and for some it can encourage then to buck up their ideas and also gives them a chance of a c grade in maths and English

Other than that I can't see any reason. I prefer them to do well in fewer GCSEs rather than have 11+ mediocre grades achieved by cramming in early GCSEs.

Mintyy Wed 20-Nov-13 20:52:17

I am cynical too.

And I just can't see how you can do as well after 3 or 4 years of lessons as you would after 5 years of lessons hmm.

What is the point of having 12 gcses, actually?

bigTillyMint Wed 20-Nov-13 21:34:07

Or 15?confused

LittleSiouxieSue Wed 20-Nov-13 21:35:59

Only if you are going to get A*s. Frees up time to get onto AS work. Only for the very brightest though. Why get a C when, with another year, your child could maybe get a B or better.

However, DD wasted time in year 11 when she could have taken her language exams earlier and then had more time in the 6th form to explore other avenues of study. At her school only maths was taken early by the gifted few. They didn't seem to think anyone was gifted at anything else.

ouryve Wed 20-Nov-13 21:39:36

With process based subjects like maths, where you learn how to do stuff, it's possible to be ready years in advance of year 11. For most subjects, though, I don't see the point.

AntiJamDidi Wed 20-Nov-13 21:47:42

We get our top set to do the maths in year 10 so they can then do the further maths gcse in year 11 which gives them a much better preparation for A levels. They all get A* in year 10 anyway and we wouldn't enter them early if we didn't think they were ready for it. We used to enter the C/D borderline pupils at the end of year 10 as well but that was purely for the league tables because if they got a grade C in maths at the end of year 10 then they could use the time they would normally be doing maths to concentrate on other subjects to get Cs in them (particularly English) in year 11. I hated this policy and am thrilled that when our old head of Department left we stopped doing that, it was NOT for the benefit of the pupils.

I think our English department enters some pupils for English language in year 10 and then do English Literature in year 11. That's so they don't stress about both exams at the same time. Only pupils who are going to get A or A* though, everybody else does both in year 11.

BasilBabyEater Wed 20-Nov-13 21:48:14

I would love to know. My DS has been doing exams for a year now and will be doing them until he's 18.

He's not actually being educated, just trained for exams. Heyho.

CountingStars Wed 20-Nov-13 22:03:45

Not sure about all subjects, but for things like maths if you can consecutively get above 90% in past papers, why wouldn't you do it a year or two early? It gives you more time to focus on topics you don't understand as well or go on to AS work.

HepsibarCrinkletoes Wed 20-Nov-13 22:07:48

I don't think there's any point. My three big ones took all theirs in year 11. Obviously the girls did more modules that DS, but their gradings were all from the final year.

Actually I'd've been pissed off if they'd done them early. Anyway, it didn't do them any harm and they all did well. as I may have stealth boasted about

DS's words on finishing them this year were 'thank fuck I don't have to study shit I hate any longer'. He's an eloquent young man is my DS grin

OddBoots Wed 20-Nov-13 22:10:50

I've just found out that my ds will be doing his physics exam this year (Y10) as they think that is the best way to fit in the triple sciences, I'm in two minds about it but I'm happy to trust them.

Talkinpeace Wed 20-Nov-13 22:28:13

No point at all if the school (like almost all of the ones around here) stops at year 11

HellsBellsnBucketsofBlood Wed 20-Nov-13 22:34:31

Essentially - it gives students time to concentrate on something else. Possibly time to be used going into their other subjects more deeply. A school near me does maths a year earlr (and they all get top marks) and then uses the time freed up for more science or something.

showmethemoney1 Wed 20-Nov-13 22:50:00

DS's school do maths early so they can do further maths in Y11.

They also do French early so they can do a "challenge" language, which they have to study in a year.

This was the case in most boys schools we looked at.

RaspberryLemonPavlova Wed 20-Nov-13 22:53:03

DS1 has done exactly what AntiJam said. He got A* for his maths in the summer and is now doing a GCSE in Further Maths which will stand him in good stead for going on to A levels. So it hasn't saved him an exam, but means he is continuing to learn this year.

creamteas Wed 20-Nov-13 23:03:37

Getting Cs is not just about league tables, it is also about having a chance at a career in the future. So when DC could leave education at 16, taking GCSEs early could mean having two attempts, which could really raise attainment.

Now they have to stay in education and continue with English and Maths there is less of a rationale to do this of course.

IHadADreamThatWasNotAllADream Wed 20-Nov-13 23:07:56

Some schools encourage EAL students to sit GCSEs in their home languages as early as reasonably possible to get them out of the way.

LaQueenOfTheTimeLords Sat 23-Nov-13 17:44:06

Taking Maths and English a year early is very common at our girls' grammar.

Presumably, it stops a pupil feeling bored and frustrated?

If they are very confidently predicted to get top marks, a year early, then why not (it's generally the top two sets which take the GCSE Maths/English a year early, and an A* is pretty much a foregone conclusion)

It allows them to get the exam under their belt, and then move onto AS levels, or do Further Maths.

If they're maths/English whizzes, it allows them to get them out the way, and apply themselves more fully to their other subjects, which maybe don't come quite so easily to them?

MissScatterbrain Sat 23-Nov-13 17:49:05

What if the school does not have a 6th form?

Universities will ask for the grades they achieved first time round and make a note of the dates of the exams so if they're spread across a couple of years, it could make it harder for the student to compete for a Uni place.

DS is in Year 9 and doing stats this year. I have made my unhappiness at this very apparent, especially for a child with dyspraxia/delayed development.

He also was due to do triple science, but has been moved down a set so is now doing double. Only just worked that out after his consultation evening. He is happy, but I would have preferred him to do triple science rather than blinking stats.

I have told the head that if he gets less than a c I will be gunning for him.

In a nice way of course. I have known the head since before ds was born, so feel free to express my opinions!

MathsMan Sat 23-Nov-13 18:04:20

Good question, I haven't heard of a persuasive argument yet. It causes more problems than it solves.

Arcadian Sat 23-Nov-13 18:12:36

I wouldn't do it.

I did mine early and it created more problems than not for me.
I wish I could have done things with my peers.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now