Dropping History in year 9? - year 8 options/GCSE choices.

(31 Posts)
wetlaurel Wed 09-Mar-16 15:56:29

We are currently going through the year 8 options process. My DD is adamant that she wants to drop History. She says she likes the subject but hates the "method" - e.g. PEEL paragraphs etc. She is very bright, is on the G&T register and got very very high CAT scores. I hate the fact that she could potentially not study History beyond the age of 12 (she is not 13 until August). I feel History gives us such an understanding of our context, our world, society, politics etc that is should be compulsory.

As she is bright I also worry that it would harm her future with regard to University entry if History was missing. If she drops it her GCSEs in Year 10 will likely be: Maths, English, Triple Science, Geog, German, Art and Drama - is this combo heavy weight enough for a good Uni? She doesn't really have strong career ideas yet (after all she is only 12) but has shown interest in Graphic Design and Architecture so far. She is v good at science and art/creative stuff.

DorothyL Wed 09-Mar-16 16:10:09

Most here would probably say that's enough academic stuff but I agree with you on the importance of history, so would consider duscouraginh drama.

Leeds2 Wed 09-Mar-16 16:41:12

My DD didn't do History, OP, and has had offers from Russell Group universities this time round. She is not the only one in this position in her cohort, so I wouldn't worry about not having History hindering her future university chances.

I personally would prefer to choose History and one of Art or Drama, but not if your DD is adamant that she doesn't want to do it.

AtiaoftheJulii Wed 09-Mar-16 16:47:37

Drama's going to involve PEE paragraphs as well, I fear!

Looks ok to me.

TeddTess Wed 09-Mar-16 17:01:49

out of 9 GCSEs i wouldn't pick both art & drama... but that is just me.

i didn't do history past yr9 and have a really embarrassing lack of knowledge. i did henry VIII, the romans and then WW2 in french a level. the rest is patchy. Andrew Marr's books have been good!

if she is adamant she doesn't want to do it then i would leave it. esp if she will go down the science route...

TeddTess Wed 09-Mar-16 17:03:04

i think it should be compulsory to 16. it is basic general knowledge...

AtiaoftheJulii Wed 09-Mar-16 17:19:12

It's probably ten gcse's, I assume two English?

Studying history won't necessarily give you much understanding of our context - gcse is about quite narrow topics. My dd did gcse and is now doing A level - she has very good understanding of the periods and topics she's studied, but can be hazy on how everything joins together! There are plenty of other ways to get a good overview.

AChickenCalledKorma Wed 09-Mar-16 17:19:24

Judging by DD1's drama teacher's description of GCSE, there will be plenty of similarly formulaic essay writing in drama. My main concern would be the coursework load in taking both art and drama, but that's a different issue. If those are the subject she's actually keen to do, it looks like a reasonable spread and might be better than taking a subject she doesn't want to do and doing badly in it (because she's a teenager that doesn't want to work on something she doesn't want to do!)

AtiaoftheJulii Wed 09-Mar-16 17:21:38

Two of mine have done/are doing drama gcse and they haven't had much extra work to do. The odd trip to see a play, a couple of performances - rehearsals seem to be managed within lesson time mostly.

Chapsie Wed 09-Mar-16 17:27:02

I thought history was compulsory until the end of key stage 3 (end yr 9)? Very surprised she is allowed to stop it at the end of year 8

wetlaurel Wed 09-Mar-16 19:12:20

Thanks all.

Yep 10 GCSEs as 2 English.

Her school ends KS3 at the end of year 8, god knows why. Its a comp not a fast track grammar or anything. It is so frustrating that it is not compulsory until at least the end of year 9.

I won't force her to do History as I can see it won't end well. Just very SAD. But as Atiaofthejulii points out there are other ways of giving 'context' and political understanding.

She is slightly more keen to do RS GCSE - presumably this would be "better" than Drama? (She does Drama outside school by the way)

superram Wed 09-Mar-16 19:15:47

Some 'not all' 6th forms would allow her to do a level history at a level without a GCSE. Many need the kids due to finding and if she got good grades they may risk it.

Noodledoodledoo Wed 09-Mar-16 19:26:37

Based on my GCSE History I would disagree with it being general knowledge - I loved History but we covered the history of medicine (still done today) the history of the American Indians and the English/Irish situation. So covered some general knowledge but I am hugely lacking in some areas.

My British history is very poor, my WW1 history was pretty non exsistant, and WW2 was mainly Primary and KS3 level.

Geography is just as important, if different, general knowledge as well.

BackforGood Thu 10-Mar-16 00:12:22

I think RE is an excellent choice and offers a lot of similar skills to History.
If she's involved with a theatre group outside of school then I don't think GCSE drama will add much tbh. Her grade will also be dependent on others in her group, whereas for RE or History it will be dependent on her.

Balletgirlmum Thu 10-Mar-16 00:19:03

PEE is being taught to my children in all their essay based subjects.

I don't agree with kids dropping subjects like history at the end of year 8 but for GCSE as long as there is at least one humanities subject it's fine.

I also think two arts subjects are fine but art & drama are two notorious subjects for being very time consuming with practical/coursework.

Dd is taking Maths, English, triple science, French, RS & Music

Balletgirlmum Thu 10-Mar-16 00:20:59

Backforgood - the new drama disc jeans students are far less reliant on iTunes in their group. It's 40% written exam now only 30% performance then the last 30% is an individual portfolio/evaluation

HildaFlorence Thu 10-Mar-16 06:44:25

My ds is year 9 , whole family are history buffs so he has chosen history ,the syllabus is changing a lot and having spoken to his teacher and having two older ds who have done history it will be much more like my history O level again and much less like their GCSE .His new syllabus sounds much more challenging .

Choosing options at this stage is ridiculous I think , but I don't history is essential for a good university etc

HildaFlorence Thu 10-Mar-16 06:44:59

What is PEEL by the way?

AtiaoftheJulii Thu 10-Mar-16 06:48:54

My two were always told that their mark was solely on their own performance, not some sort of average across the group.

And gcse drama was/is very different from their youth theatre group!

AtiaoftheJulii Thu 10-Mar-16 06:50:16

Point, evidence, explain - dunno what the L is though!

HildaFlorence Thu 10-Mar-16 07:10:27

Baffled as to why you would write an essay any other way , my ds has been taught this since primary , they just call it writing an essay .Surely you have to do this in all subjects

Alonglongway Thu 10-Mar-16 07:32:37

Triple science, art and drama likely to be too much. Dd2 in year 11 now and she and most of her friends have ended up paring down.

I persuaded her to do history and while she has enjoyed it, I've been surprised at the curriculum - as others have commented, not the broad base you might have expected.

Balletgirlmum Thu 10-Mar-16 07:40:27

Auto correct had a field day on my last post!

Balletgirlmum Thu 10-Mar-16 07:45:11

Yes, in drama everyone was individually marked. But if you are in a group who can't be bothered, don't turn up for rehearsals or don't learn their lines it will impact your mark.

But the portfolio should lesson the impact.

Muskey Thu 10-Mar-16 07:47:41

I think history is very important but I don't think at university level people are looking for history particularly I think they are looking for a well balanced selection.

If you could talk her round I would advise her to drop drama or art but at the end of the day it's her choice and there is nothing worse than studying a topic that you hate.

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