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in thinking that DD will get nowhere with these GCSE options...

(686 Posts)
PosyPanther Fri 26-Nov-10 12:30:47

DD is 13, so, in my opinion still a child, she changes her mind about pretty much everything daily, school shoes, whose her best friend, her favourite colour, you get the picture...

She has just had the first leaflet from school about GCSE option next year and want to pick health and social care (double award)human health and physiology instead of additional science, child development, psychology and sociology. She says she wants to do social work or primary teaching (or win the X factor hmm)

I think she's mad. She's in the top set at school, level 5 across the board at primary school and is working at solid level 7s now. I would much prefer her to take at least two science GCSEs, history and geography instead of psych and sociology and a language with one choice left for whatever she fancies (but I'd prefer a second language or triple science.)

I can't see that having History, geography, french, german, separate science would disadvantage her in applying for ANY degree/career pathway? How do I convince her that some subjects actually are better than others? Her teachers are insisting all GCSEs are equal but I can't see that sociology is as hard as German or Physics? I'm worried she's going to close doors at 13...

NeverEatYellowTaintedSnow Fri 26-Nov-10 12:33:11

YABU. If she plans on doing AS/A Levels, her GCSE options are largely incidental. Let her do something she will enjoy rather than something you feel is appropriate. As long as she works hard, gets good grades and does the core subjects (at least one science, maths and english), she will be fine.

seeker Fri 26-Nov-10 12:33:43

Presumablu some GCSEs are compulsory? Dd could only actually choose 2 - or 3 if you count deciding which MFL to do counts as a choice! Or is that just her school?

MortaIWombat Fri 26-Nov-10 12:34:16

Tell her I'm a teacher and I think she's barking. grin

LessonsinL Fri 26-Nov-10 12:34:39

YABU. She will be using biology, psychology and probably some stats too in her choices, whilst she will still need to do the standard Maths, English which is what A-Levels and/or Universities look for.

If she's as good as you say, she'll knock the spots off the traditional subjects and enjoy studying the two more interesting subjects at the same time. Because they are her choices, not yours and she is studying them not you.

SuePurblybiltByElves Fri 26-Nov-10 12:36:15

Sociology would be as useful as Geography when it comes to degree choices I'd think. Ditto psychology. Better to do something she loves and speak one language really well, than have two at GCSE level. I have three languages at GCSE, can barely get to the Post Office in one of them now.

muddleduck Fri 26-Nov-10 12:36:50

GCSE's are not 'incidental'

I have worked in uni admissions and they can be very important.

For example, if she were to decide to do Psychology at university, then many of the 'better' unis would insist on add science.

PosyPanther Fri 26-Nov-10 12:37:11

Core options are Maths, English x2, Science + either additional science, human physiology and health or triple science (as an option).

Languages aren't compulsory at all nor is a humanity. They then have 5 free option choices from a variety. It may be that they don't timetable but they do that after they've all chosen.

Hammy02 Fri 26-Nov-10 12:39:38

I agree with the OP. I did all the traditional subjects- triple science, history, geography and a language and think that looks better on a CV than lots of 'ology or newer subjects. Especially with the competition there is now for jobs. She can then specialise when she does her A-levels.

firesoup Fri 26-Nov-10 12:41:39

she will get a hell of a lot further doing subjects that she enjoys than ones she is forced into doing.

tingletangle Fri 26-Nov-10 12:41:42

If she is top set she should be taking triple science. Her school should not allow these options

cyclist Fri 26-Nov-10 12:41:44

In the new White Paper Languages and humanities have a much higher value (can't remember the exact details, read it this morning).

Health and Social Care is a BTEC so I don't recommend she does that. It is not designed for students who want to go on to uni

I'm a teacher - and I agree with Awesome Wellies - she's barking.

NeverEatYellowTaintedSnow Fri 26-Nov-10 12:42:36

Strange to hear that muddleduck. Two in my family have done psychology at university and nothing has asked for an additional science. The science double award would cover this I imagine, so we are probably looking at this differently.

But apart from that, IME (and yes that does include admissions) GCSEs are largely incidental outside of the core or related subjects.

I don't think languages should be compulsory tbh. That may be a controversial view to some, but I do believe there are a number of students who are railroaded into languages when they would get an awful lot more from another subject.

LoopyLoops Fri 26-Nov-10 12:44:35

I'm a teacher and agree with the others - she's barking.

If she were my student, I would advise her against these choices. One might be fine, but not all. Hopefully someone in her school will point out to her that the subjects she has chosen are usually for the less academic pupils.

If not, find someone (a teacher preferably) who will explain that to her.

RJRabbit Fri 26-Nov-10 12:45:25

I'm pretty sure my opinion will be controversial, however I've worked in HR all my life and firmly believe that while your children are still at school, parents should be choosing their subjects for them.

One of my school teachers said her subjects were chosen for her right through school by her father and she was grateful to him for having done so. I remember wishing I had had someone who knew what they were doing steering me in the right direction because I had no idea.

You've lived life and know how options can be shut down because of choices made while still a child. You also know your child and what their academic strengths / weaknesses are.

Employers do actually look at subjects studied at all levels and subjects taken that are perceived to be cruisy can make the difference between a job offer or not.

At this age, your daughter should be doing the broadest range of core subjects possible, because yes, her dreams for the future will change every five minutes for quite some time yet.

Sorry for the essay, but this is so important. I think you should put your foot down and tell her what she's doing, and maybe give her a choice of one subject.

NordicPrincess Fri 26-Nov-10 12:45:51

let her study what she wants, why should study your choices? she wont enjoy it.

Let her live her own life, you are choosing what you would do, imagine your mother had done the same?

abr1de Fri 26-Nov-10 12:46:20

I'm afraid I agree with the OP.

And university admissions people do look at GCSEs.

Her teaChers make me spit. They are wrong. Bad information like this to bright youngsters is a sin.

Miggsie Fri 26-Nov-10 12:46:52

As an employer I am never too thrilled to see a lot of "ologgy" type courses, a lot of them at this level are too woolly and subjective and don't prepare for A level rigour. She'd be better of doing the more traditional stuff and reading the GCSE set texts for these other subjects.

If she is bright, reading the books and doing mock papers on the websites should be just as valuable than sitting doing this stuff for a year in a classroom. Then, she also gets the chance to change her mind if she decides on anohter career option. I think I changed my mind on what I wanted to do from age 13 to about age 33, but I had solid qualifications that allowed me to change from Arts to Science without a lot of retraining.

Deliaskis Fri 26-Nov-10 12:46:54

Perhaps you could advise her to look at a range of career options plus university and A-level entrance requirements.

She might think now she wants to do social work but that could all change. I would think there are very few people who end up in the career they thought they wanted at 14 or however old you are when you choose GCSEs.

There's nothing wrong with her choices per se, but it might be worth pointing out that if she wants to do social work, some choices might limit her to that area or similar, whereas other choices will still allow her to do that, whilst leaving other options open in case she changes her mind.

GCSEs IMO are not really about preparing you for a specific career, but about letting you discover more about where you excel and what you might be wish to study/work in in the future.

D

muddleduck Fri 26-Nov-10 12:47:02

NeverEat... yes double science would have been fine.

whensitgunnahappen Fri 26-Nov-10 12:47:19

I massively messed up my education (i'm 24) didn't actually do my GCSE's. I have had to work my socks off and make major sacrifices but have a good job (retail manager for a major company) good pay and decent life. If I could do it again, I would definitely have picked better GCSE options and not done it the hard way. Tell her to think, seriously. have a plan A,B and C and choose options that don't just pigeon hole her into option A. it's sooo young for her to pick the options. I don't know why they do it that way. Is there anyone you know in that profession that could have an honest chat about what it's really like? or someone like me who made mistakes and could have a chat with her?

altinkum Fri 26-Nov-10 12:47:45

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

IWouldNotCouldNotWithAGoat Fri 26-Nov-10 12:48:33

Totally agree with you.

If she is academically able,she should not be drastically cutting down her later options by taking 'soft' subjects.

muddleduck Fri 26-Nov-10 12:48:53

One reason I'm glad I don't work in admissions any more is that I don't have to tear my hair out getting mad on behalf of bright kids who've been given awful advice by their schools.

GrungeBlobPrimpants Fri 26-Nov-10 12:49:02

YANBU - my dd was similar at 13 and wanted to be a primary teacher/work with young children, fortunately by time she actually made her GCSE choices she chose a broad mix and now at age nearly 15 she thinks differently about future careers - teaching is still one of them but she's not quite so set on it.

The options she's choosing are all far too much the same for a start. At my dd's school you only do single science if you are really struggling - more academic pupils all HAVE to do either additional or triple science and are strongly encouraged to do a language.

If she wants either of those careers I'd have thought she'd need minimum of Add science. Primary teachers have to teach science as part of a curriculum and she may well need basic MFL skills too. History - analytical skills.

My hunch is that by the time she applies to uni things like GCSE choices may well be important.

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