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To think my son should not be forced to do a full GCSE in religious education

(360 Posts)
ReallyTired Mon 28-Dec-15 02:14:16

He would far rather do GCSE music. He had done RE since he was five. Surely an extra two years is not going to increase his knowledge of other religions that much.

Atenco Mon 28-Dec-15 02:19:45

From your short OP I assume the school is forcing him to do RE, so could he not do both music and RE?

antimatter Mon 28-Dec-15 02:21:08

Isn't RE compulsory at GCSE?

headexplodesbodyfreezes Mon 28-Dec-15 02:24:32

Is it a timetable issue?

kungpopanda Mon 28-Dec-15 02:25:13

Well quite. Because even if it is a school that insists on RE to GCSE, if they offer music then it must be possible to take it. It might of course clash with another timetable choice but (making the assumption that RE at this shop is compulsory) you have presumably been OK with him being at that school up until now, and it is your job to discuss the tradeoffs of GCSE options with him.

For what it's worth, I feel very strongly that no child that has an interest, particularly one playing instruments, should be diverted from a music GCSE. But that's just a personal thing.

ReallyTired Mon 28-Dec-15 02:33:28

It is compulsory that children do RE, but one lesson a fortnight would meet the legal requirement. A full blown GCSE in a subject that my son does not want to study is a waste of time. The EBAC really limits options further.

GCSE music gives a different experience to music exams, lessons or playing in a group outside school. My son likes school music lessons and is good at it.

antimatter Mon 28-Dec-15 02:35:37

Do you mean 1 lesson a fortnight for a full GCSE? Even for 1/2 would not be enough IMHO.

ReallyTired Mon 28-Dec-15 02:36:43

He only gets to choose two options and wants to do drama, computing and music. He wants to do a degree in computer science with a view to writing computer games. I think the skills gained from the three options he wants would be more useful to him than RE.

ReallyTired Mon 28-Dec-15 02:39:09

I don't want my son doing a full GCSE in RE. When I was at school u had one RE lesson a fortnight with no exam at the end of keystage 4. The school I went met the legal requirement to teach RE.

ReallyTired Mon 28-Dec-15 02:40:11

He will have the same number of RE lessons as any other GCSE option. Total waste of time.

SusanIvanova Mon 28-Dec-15 02:41:12

Can you not remove parental permission for him to do RE? I thought that was a thing.

SacreBlue Mon 28-Dec-15 02:42:52

I took my DS out of RE in his first year & made them aware during GCSE choice making that he would not be restarting it.

The school weren't happy initially but didn't so much as murmur once we got to GCSE's.

At primary school a new head made us aware that uniform was non negotiable, until I found out that it most certainly was not compulsory (at state schools).

Sometimes people word things they want you to do as being 'rules' when in point of fact they are just the schools preferred option.

Do a bit more digging & you might find it's easier to replace RE with Music than you think.

Best of luck!

Fanjango Mon 28-Dec-15 02:45:35

My son doesn't do it. I had to as I went to a catholic school. Is there a reason the school insist on it? It's not a compulsory subject for many schools unless they are faith base

kungpopanda Mon 28-Dec-15 02:47:16

Well, the way forward is clear -drop drama. Computing is relevant to the future path he currently envisages and music is something he wants to do that probably has more portable benefits than drama GCSE - for the path he has in mind at present, anyway. If the school insists on RE, you presumably knew this at the time you enrolled him.

antimatter Mon 28-Dec-15 02:50:37

Does he realise that Drama is a lot like English Lit?
I woukd drop it.

strawberryandaflake Mon 28-Dec-15 02:58:54

Why send him to a school whose policies you don't agree with?

ReallyTired Mon 28-Dec-15 03:04:06

He loves drama and his grades are good. I think it would be sad to force him to give up drama.

It's an interesting idea withdrawing him from RE lessons. smile lol...

ReallyTired Mon 28-Dec-15 03:07:18

"Why send him to a school whose policies you don't agree with?"

Ha! Ha! At the idea I have a choice of school. He attends a community comprensive school. I didn't think I picked the faith school.

MistressDeeCee Mon 28-Dec-15 03:10:15

Im thinking your son attends a faith school, if they're so strong on the RE thing being compulsory to this level? If so, you would have known he'd have to sit a full RE GCSE. My DDs did, and they went to faith school. However they didn't do RE at college, 1 went into performing arts the other did A Levels - none of which included RE - and then went off to Uni to do Psychology. Your son is young it isn't going to affect his career prospects or options if he doesn't get to sit every exam he wants at this stage. When he goes on to further education - as he will, won't he? Then he can choose as he likes then. I think you need to step off and relax but if you want to push the school on this one then good luck to you

LemonySmithit Mon 28-Dec-15 05:09:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

cricketballs Mon 28-Dec-15 05:49:54

Most schools do this; it's a legal requirement to study RE (which is not indoctrination, but gives understanding to world religions) so they might as well get a GCSE out of it (also helps with essay skills etc).

Even if you are successful in removing your son from the lessons, he will not be able to take up a 3rd option as the timetable will not permit it as during this time no option subjects for that year group will be running, other classes will be in compulsory subjects such as maths, english or science.

kungpopanda Mon 28-Dec-15 06:08:12

Cricketballs, that is almost certainly extras fwink, just by virtue of the fact that the three options, out of which the child has to choose are notionally available in terms of options (or that is how I understand it). It's not that s/he can't take music/dramawotever because of a clash, just x subjects, y time, and the student would appear to have to drop one on those grounds rather.

var123 Mon 28-Dec-15 06:39:51

To those who are asking why you'd send your DC to a school which will limit GCSE choices in some way, I think you are missing two things:-
1. There is often little or no true choice when it comes to putting down school options, and the same applies to moving schools later - you need one to move to.
2. Not all schools tell parents whose children are in the first half term of year 6 (i.e. before the application cut off date) what the GCSE options will be for year 10.

I am envious of you OP in that you know what options your DS will be offered. Ds1 is in year 9 and the school still isn't ready to let us in on the secret for the current year 9s, even though they need to know what the choices are by mid-March.

I suspect though, that GCSE RE will turn out to be compulsory, because it was last year and the year before. It is DS1's least favourite subject so it will undoubtedly mean that he will have to give up something that he likes more and is better at to do it, just like your DS.

WildStallions Mon 28-Dec-15 06:56:59

It is always worth ringing and discussing with school.

We were given option blocks which meant you couldn't take history and geography. But surprisingly I was able to sort this in one phone call. Because it wasn't actually a timetable problem. Just a 'broad and balanced curriculum' problem.

Having said that I'd say RE at GCSE is a good academic subject, and if he doesn't take it his English and History grade might be effected. (Because school might be counting on essay, reasoning and critical thinking skills being taught in RE)

dratsea Mon 28-Dec-15 07:00:03

Can he not do both? DS was a bit late applying for yr10 options, on the other side of the planet at the time, so the only things he could tie into IT were geography or religious studies. He is a committed and vociferous atheist so for "fun" did religious studies. He has been absolutely fascinated over the last 4 terms, caught up with the yr9 topics, provisional GCSE grade A* and he wants to go further and take Ethics and Philosophy as one of his A-levels, along with maths, a science and Spanish. Despite loads of homework he still plays the cello almost daily, is learning the ukulele (easier than guitar, cooler and more portable than his cello).

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