DD forced to do X number of GCSEs subjects?

(63 Posts)
lora200 Fri 18-Jul-14 14:48:29

DD will enter Year 10 in September and wants to study medicine at university (further down the line).

DD will do 7 'curriculum' GCSEs:
1. English Language
2. English Literature
3. Mathematics
4. Biology
5. Chemistry
6. Physics
7. Religious Education

... and 3 optional:

8. Spanish
9. Geography
10. ICT

School however wants her to choose another optional subject saying the all of the students choose 4 optional. I argue that this could be the case but most students do not take triple sciences hence it makes them for them to study 4 optional.

Surely the school (state comprehensive) can't force my DD to take up a forth optional GCSE? We are talking of subjects here that do not interest DD at all such as Business, Food Technology, Resistant Materials, PE etc.

We are in talks with the headteacher about this but have not heard back yet.

sinningsaint Fri 18-Jul-14 15:03:48

My DD was in the same situation and sadly there was no way around it. She took Food Tech as she enjoys cooking so it wasn't the end of the world, but put little effort into coursework/ exam revision as apparently it is 'all common sense' for a grade A/B student (which I am assuming your DD is if she is taking triple sci). I guess we will find out on August 21st!!

ElephantsNeverForgive Fri 18-Jul-14 15:05:51

They can and they will. It's exactly what the triple scientists in DD1's year did (they squash 3xscience into two option blocks).

It's not what next year or the previous year did because only DD's year had to do full course RE.

It's totally manageable if you are a good scientist.

almondcakes Fri 18-Jul-14 15:13:52

DS did the seven you list and five more. It was a bit of a disaster and the school decided at the last minute that DS did not have to sit the GCSE in one of the subjects. We will see what the grades are like in the other 11 on August 21st.

titchy Fri 18-Jul-14 15:15:36

Yes they can, and assuming they do triple in the same timetable time as double science is perfectly reasonable to request your dd goes to a lesson rather than none.

11 GCSEs shouldn't be too much of a workload at all, and something like Drama or Food tech will show a good breadth of subjects - it's good to do something fun easy you know.

donkir Fri 18-Jul-14 15:18:25

Is there a way that she can take 4 but then 6 months down the line drop one of the optional if she's struggling?

lora200 Fri 18-Jul-14 15:23:38

DD would like to do Drama but sadly no Drama is offered. Not sure how easy it is get A* in Food Tech and anyway, it would just be a distraction for my DD. She will start volunteering at a GP practice next year so 10 GCSE subjects are perfectly fine for her.

I am not insisting that she skips classes at school. I am perfectly happy for DD to sit through for example Food Tech classes. But I don't want the Food Tech subject to show up at all on her end of year report, let alone send her to do a GCSE at it.

bruffin Fri 18-Jul-14 15:25:48

At dc school ICT is not optional and dd and ds did 8 curriculum subjects plus dd took history, sociology and drama plus decided to take a twilight on top of Photography. She managed to it but the photography and drama are a lot of work out. DS took German, History and Engineering.
Its normal if you take triple science from what i can gather.

titchy Fri 18-Jul-14 15:31:29

Well she doesnt HAVE to do any work for food tech does she? And you could always ask that they dont enter her in year 11 if she looks to be doing badly.

But asking them to allow her to not do anything won't work, and I can't see why they'd agree to not putting it on her report - or even what difference this makes.

Just go along with it, it won't do any harm, and you never know she might actually enjoy it.

As an aside, have you really found a GP will to have a 14/15 year old shadow them shock FWIW she really doesn't need to do anything like that till after GCSEs. She'd be better off doing something fun as an extra-curricular - med schools like to see that.

TalkinPeace Fri 18-Jul-14 16:45:39

Why is she not doing History?

The thing to bear in mind is that the top set will be doing :
2 English GCSEs in one timetable slot
3 Science GCSEs in two timetable slots
1 or 2 Maths GCSEs in 1 timetable slot

History would fit well with the other core academic subjects ...
Or is there Latin for the top ones? (DD did it, the teacher retired before DS could)

DD is waiting on the results of her 13 GCSEs - all taken as final exams this term ! Madness but the way it has been.

PenelopePitstops Fri 18-Jul-14 16:53:59

Time table nightmare if she doesn't.

You would be better off just getting her to do one of the subjects and get through it with as little hassle as possible.

crazymum53 Fri 18-Jul-14 16:58:27

I think there was a previous thread by this OP - where it wasn't possible to study both History and Geography.
PE would actually be fairly useful for a potential medical student as they learn a lot about keeping the body healthy through exercise and healthy eating.
Business studies does go quite well with Geography. At dds school there is an Economics option for one of the units that is popular with the more able students.
HTH

titchy Fri 18-Jul-14 16:58:39

Why does she 'need' history talkinpeace - she has a humanity subject, she doesn't need two.

titchy Fri 18-Jul-14 16:59:36

PE would be a good choice actually,as the pp says.

ElephantsNeverForgive Fri 18-Jul-14 17:04:00

Pity there isn't drama DD1 enjoyed drama, although it was hard work.

I do agree the whole do something for fun, is a problem for would be medics who don't want 10 A/A* and a B on their applications.

History is a good solid, get an A if you like writting subject, but History and Geography is tedious to do. I did both, to avoid MFL (our French dept. were rubbish and I wanted a clean sweap of good grades for a science degree). I got distictly fed up revising them.

HavantGuard Fri 18-Jul-14 17:05:01

You could always say she'll pick another option if they can offer her a subject worth studying.

MillyMollyMama Fri 18-Jul-14 17:20:15

PE is the best option by far and med schools actually like it.

lora200 Fri 18-Jul-14 17:24:28

DD had to pick either History or Geography as these two subjects were in the same selection group.

We originally thought of GCSE PE but based on the discussions we had with the head of PE it is totally unlikely that any girl could command A* or A unless she goes to competitions on a national level. The head of PE actually bragged about how rigorous they are in their markings so as not to get in trouble with Edexcel (uhm, okay...).

In fact, the school where DD goes to has not produced one student in the past years who would have gotten A* or A in PE -- even though that DD is very fitness-y as she did athletics for a few years.

Since DD wants to study medicine we are only targeting A*s and As and I can't see how an 11th GCSE subject would help her with our plan. Competitive sixth forms will favour applications who have 10 A* - A as opposed to someone who has 10 A* - A and a B or C. Not to mention the additional strain an 11th GCSE subject could potentially put on DD.

To put this in context; DD came to the UK two years ago from a non-English speaking country where she attended a bilingual school from an early age. That said we'd be perfectly happy with 10 A* - A GCSEs and I cannot comprehend why a school would insist on doing 11 GCSEs especially we are not talking about a core subject.

Also consider that the school DD goes to does not produce many A* - A results and they will only talk about A*-C results which says in a lot in itself.

HappyHairDay Fri 18-Jul-14 17:32:04

Does the triple science count for 2 or 3 GCSE's? Our school triple science only counted as 2 GCSE's. Is RE the compulsory short course so half a Gcse?

lora200 Fri 18-Jul-14 17:34:41

Single science = 1 GCSE
Double science = 2 GCSEs
Triple science = 3 GCSEs

RE is combined with Citizenship and worth 1 GCSE

titchy Fri 18-Jul-14 17:40:52

She's done very well for a non native speaker! I assume you're looking at private 6thbforms then - even the most competitive of grammars would be happy with 10 A or A* and a B especially with her background and attending a school with relatively poor results.

titchy Fri 18-Jul-14 17:41:17

Assume triple is three separate?

bigTillyMint Fri 18-Jul-14 17:43:00

Well, think yourself lucky. DD was doing 15 GCSE's until we said that she was dropping 2 near the end of Y10. So she is now doing 13hmm

HappyHairDay, I think you are thinking that the double award is the same as triple science. For the double award they do study the 3 sciences but to a slightly lower level than for the triple.

FWIW, I did food tech (known as domestic science (cookery) back in the Dark Ages) and it was the hardest one!

3littlefrogs Fri 18-Jul-14 17:47:42

We were in a similar situation.
I would just go with the flow in year 10, then drop one in year 11.
Don't they do ICT in one year anyway?
IME a lot of kids drop one subject at the end of year 10. It isn't such a battle at that stage.

I agree, 10 A*s are better than a mix of 11 A*s, As and a B.

ChickenFajitaAndNachos Fri 18-Jul-14 17:49:33

Does the triple take up 3 timetable slots or is it squashed into 2?

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