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To think that there are no actual 'choices' for year 9 options GCSE's?

(154 Posts)
gluteustothemaximus Wed 01-Feb-17 13:51:18

I don't get it.

Maybe someone can enlighten me.

Such a massive deal is being made of options, choosing options, going to meetings about options, pre-meetings about options evening, how it is the most important time in a child's life at school.

DS has no choices for 7 of the GCSE's. He has to take Maths, English, English Language, Triple Science, RS.

Then he gets to 'choose' History or Geography.

Then he gets to 'choose' a MFL of Spanish or French.

Then he gets to 'choose' one more out of all his favourite subjects. Art, DT, Music, Business Studies, PE. He loves all of these, but can only choose one.

AIBU in thinking, that there are no actual choices but one? confused

CripsSandwiches Wed 01-Feb-17 13:54:22

True there isn't much choice and most of it is pretty obvious i.e. you love languages choose the two languages you're studying, you love art choose art etc. I'm surprised there isn't the option for two art subjects though (e.g. music and art)???? When I was at school you could choose double science which would free up another "extra subject".

PurpleDaisies Wed 01-Feb-17 13:55:18

Such a massive deal is being made of options, choosing options, going to meetings about options, pre-meetings about options evening, how it is the most important time in a child's life at school.

Your school is massively overstating the important of which GCSEs the students do. As long as there's a broad range including all the key subjects, there's basically nothing you can do that will mess up your life.

He has three choices. It's a shame his favourite subjects are all in the same block but that often happens.

mintthins Wed 01-Feb-17 13:58:35

Is it a selective school? At DDs school they get to choose either double or triple, and if they choose double, get to choose an additional arts based subject. Are any of the subjects offered as twilight subjects? Again, at DDs school a second language, or a couple more esoteric subjects are offered out with school hours (can't remember which because we didn't do them).

specialsubject Wed 01-Feb-17 13:59:38

All the essential stuff is and should be compulsory, except religious studies but that's a non secular country for you.

I agree that he should do a modern language but all the others should be in together. The timetable may not permit.

unfortunateevents Wed 01-Feb-17 14:00:46

It will vary from school to school. Many will have fewer compulsory subjects - perhaps only 5 if neither RS or Double/Triple science mandatory. However, many faith schools will make RS compulsory. I never understood schools which make Triple science obligatory - it's a stretch for even bright students so what about everyone else? (Although presume your school may be selective)

Okite Wed 01-Feb-17 14:02:54

I didn't get much of a choice when I was at school many moons ago either. I wanted to do science, so that was three ticked off. Had to do maths and two English ones, had to do French, that left the choice of one. Each subject was up against one or two other ones in blocks, so I couldn't have chosen geography for example, as that was up against another science. Think the final choice was between Latin and art. Crazy system.

gluteustothemaximus Wed 01-Feb-17 14:03:23

As long as there's a broad range including all the key subjects, there's basically nothing you can do that will mess up your life.

Very true!!

I would love it if DS could take double science and then take an extra art subject, but reading up on his timetable for year 10, triple science is a definite (12 periods a week, 4 for each).

atheistmantis Wed 01-Feb-17 14:05:52

The GCSE choice was one of the reasons that we chose the school that our children go to; they don't have to do a language or a humanity and can do single science if they want to so they can choose four subjects if they want.

Minstrelsareyum Wed 01-Feb-17 14:08:31

I agree, op, there are hardly any 'options'. I assumed, naively, they would be able to choose 4 or 5! RE is a compulsory GCSE at my DS's school - it is a church school so I understand why they have to study it but not sure why it is a compulsory GCSE. PE is also compulsory bit it is a 'core' subject with no exam. Why not do RE as core and free up another option. Languages not compulsory which I don't agree with. Choices to be made next week for us. Looks like Computer Science, Geography and Design Tech for DS.

BarbarianMum Wed 01-Feb-17 14:10:43

Making triple science compulsary is pretty unusual. All the schools we looked at only make single or double compulsary. Has this changed since you sent him there?

AlexanderHamilton Wed 01-Feb-17 14:11:32

That's the choice of your son's school & I wouldn't be happy with how they organised the option blocks.

Dd chose her options last year. Firstly they asked the children to submit a wish list of four subjects with a reserve one of the four had to be language, history or geography.

Then they sorted the option blocks.

Option Block 1 contained French History Geography
Option block 2 was mostly creative/DT & humanities subjects
Option Block 3 was a language, business studies or Art/Music
Option Block 4 included triple science

DS will choose his options next year

He has to choose a language plus 1 out of either history, geography or RS then he gets two further choices. Triple science is one of the choices for those who wish to take it.

PurpleDaisies Wed 01-Feb-17 14:13:23

That's the choice of your son's school & I wouldn't be happy with how they organised the option blocks.

Sometimes that's the only way that it can work due to timetable constraints.

It's very common for students to only have two or three choices.

gluteustothemaximus Wed 01-Feb-17 14:13:30

I think the triple science option has changed, as I think I would have remembered that at the beginning. As unfortunate pointed out, it would stretch even the brightest of students.

AlexanderHamilton Wed 01-Feb-17 14:13:39

I forgot to say ds's school is selective but all students can choose whether or not to take triple science.

Neither school makes them take RS, it's a free choice option.

Blueemeraldagain Wed 01-Feb-17 14:14:10

I imagine all these meetings are just to tick the student and parent voice box.

CancellyMcChequeface Wed 01-Feb-17 14:16:00

YANBU. It was the same when I was at school, except that DT was on the 'compulsory' list as well (although you could pick from cooking, woodwork and something else). I agree that English, Maths and Science should be compulsory, but not everyone should have to do triple Science, and there's no good reason for forcing people who would rather do art, PE and drama to do history, geography or languages. And I don't say that as a creative person - I picked Business Studies! (I'd actually have preferred to do history and geography, but that wasn't allowed either). But young people have different talents and it seems wrong to force them all down a narrow academic route.

AlexanderHamilton Wed 01-Feb-17 14:16:37

I understand timetable constraints but the OP's choices are being restricted by the fact that her ds's school make them do triple science & RS thus taking away two choices.
Also making them take both a language & history/Geog is a choice the school has made. Only one of the three is required for Progress 8.

PurpleDaisies Wed 01-Feb-17 14:17:11

I think the triple science option has changed, as I think I would have remembered that at the beginning. As unfortunate pointed out, it would stretch even the brightest of students.

Well not necessarily. A lot of the reason that so many students struggle with triple is that schools try and teach it in the same number of lessons as double award. The third modules aren't really any harder than the first two. It's just more content.

Nousernameforme Wed 01-Feb-17 14:17:58

At our school because DD and DS are more science and computer centred they aren't doing languages arts or humanities. This was their choice and although they would both have liked to do languages it wouldn't fit.
One of DD's teachers did say for gcse's it's best to go with whatever will get you the highest grade.

gillybeanz Wed 01-Feb-17 14:20:20

It's down to what the time table will permit and any specialism the school might have.
Years ago my ds1 had to take a technology subject as was a technology college as deemed in those days.
Ds2 had to take RE and an Art subject as was a Faith school.

At dd school, not state, they have to take Music, Maths, Eng, Eng lit, Science (single), a language, humanity, then if tt permits they can add either another science or language, totalling 8 subjects.

ClaraLane Wed 01-Feb-17 14:21:19

I had four blocks to choose from:

Block one: German or French
Block two: Food tech, D&T, Graphics, Business Studies or French
Block three: RE (full GCSE), History, Geography
Block four: RE (full GCSE), Art, Music, Drama, PE

I chose French and German because I didn't want to do a technology and then I ended up doing RE because I wasn't able to choose both Geography and History as they were in the same category. I think it's normal to have some structure to the blocks subjects are put into but I would always try and let your child pick something "fun" (art, drama etc) because GCSEs are a bloody hard slog.

TeenAndTween Wed 01-Feb-17 14:22:55

The issue is with how your school are blocking and timetabling.
They are forcing ebacc. (MFL + History/Geog)
They are forcing triple science.
They are forcing RE.

Is this a selective school? (I'd be surprised at a comp forcing all to do triple science)
Is this a school that prides itself on high ebacc %?

bibbitybobbityyhat Wed 01-Feb-17 14:24:06

Yanbu. My dd had the same - a bright girl who the school insisted do the IB, so she could not also opt for Drama and Art, she had to choose between one of them.

But at one stage even that wasn't going to be possible! There was a big argument with the school to let the most able students study triple science in double science hours to make room in the time table for one arts subject.

PurpleMinionMummy Wed 01-Feb-17 14:24:22

Ours have much more choice. Obviously they must do eng, maths and science (double or triple depends on their pathway, they get no choice which). They can then choose from 4 'blocks' of various subjects. They are encouraged to do a humanity and a language to gain the EBAC, but they don't have too. Then two other choices are still left.

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