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GCSE options - which 2 from history, drama, music?

(32 Posts)
OnGoldenPond Sat 15-Feb-14 18:04:47

DD in yr 9 and we are undergoing the delightful options choice process.

DD is very academic, top stream, achieving 7a to 8a in pretty much all subjects at the moment.

Her passion is musical theatre and her ideal career would be performing in West End musicals. Very involved in local musical theatre, drama and dance groups, exceptional singing voice.

Compulsories are:
English Lang & lit
Maths (taking GCSE end yr 10 then Additional Maths GCSE end yr 11)
Triple Science

Then has free choice of 2 more from a list from which history, drama and music are clear favourites.

Drama dept very strong with about 30 taking GCSE each year. Last year 80% got A or A*, all got at least C. This is a comp.

DD enjoys all 3 and having great difficulty choosing which to drop.

Would be eternally grateful for any advice and insight from those who have already been through this.

PandaG Sat 15-Feb-14 18:10:50

I would take history - if she is considering university at all Russell Group soften prefer Ebacc to be covered, so that would be covered if she took a humanity. As she is already so heavily involved in drama outside of school could she continue with that, and not take it as GCSE?

Coconutty Sat 15-Feb-14 18:23:03

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LIZS Sat 15-Feb-14 18:24:43

history and drama.

PollyCazaletWannabe Sat 15-Feb-14 18:29:45

I think history and music. Music is very well regarded by universities including Russell Group as it is quite academic. I loved doing it. She can carry the drama on outside school.

craggyhollow Sat 15-Feb-14 18:32:05

History and music would be most academic.

I think RE is classed as humanity?

So she could do music and drama

Think music is 'facilitating subject'

OnGoldenPond Sat 15-Feb-14 18:34:43

Thanks all, the trouble is that she loves both music and drama and ideally would like to do both

On the other hand, she does a lot of out of school activities for both. She also had LAMDA drama and Assoc. Board singing exams, both passed at grade 4. I believe there is some sort of GCSE equivalency with these exams but not sure at what grade? So perhaps some doubling up?

Could of course drop history and do both but a bit uneasy at having no humanity.


LJBanana Sat 15-Feb-14 18:35:09

I'd say history and drama. Drama is considered desirable even with top universities, despite Gove and his strange ways. Plus if she enjoys it she will automatically be successful in it and gain a good grade.

LJBanana Sat 15-Feb-14 18:38:28

I think it's grade 5 carries the same weight as a GCSE. LAMDA carries valuable UCAS points. I speak from experience as I tech acting and drama and have LAMDA experience, and I went to and teach at a top drama school.

LJBanana Sat 15-Feb-14 18:39:22


PollyCazaletWannabe Sat 15-Feb-14 18:41:05

If she is doing drama outside school she will still get in to a musical theatre course with no problem. I know someone who had ME and only managed 4 GCSEs before having to leave A levels,, not including either drama or music. However because of her extensive extra curricular experience and outstanding audition, she was accepted onto an MA Acting course and is now a professional actress.
However, if your DD later decides to go down a more academic path, having both music and drama GCSE will definitely not look as good as music and history.

PandaG Sat 15-Feb-14 18:53:23

RE doesn't count as humanity for Ebacc (should do I agree). I would do history plus 1 of the other 2, probably music, and continue with LAMDA drama OOS.

OnGoldenPond Sat 15-Feb-14 19:30:12

DD just come home and put me straight on some facts!

She has in fact passed grade 5 in both LAMDA and singing Assoc Board. Taking grade 6 LAMDA end of year.

Thanks all for helpful comments. Lots of food for thought,

I think it all boils down to choosing those which will cover material she will not be covering elsewhere.

Journeytolight Sat 15-Feb-14 19:56:14

I would go for history and drama so she can get Ebacc.

circular Sat 15-Feb-14 21:39:17

I would be tempted to say History & Music.
If she already does so much drama outside of school, the extra activities she could be required to do for school drama may well be too much workload and/or clash with current commitments.

Leeds2 Sat 15-Feb-14 22:07:40

I would choose history and music.

Picturesinthefirelight Sat 15-Feb-14 22:10:37

Anothe vote for history & music from a mum with a musical theatre aspirations dd

She's actually at full time dance school but probably won't do dance/drama GCSE.

EvilTwins Sat 15-Feb-14 22:13:38

Just let her choose the ones she will enjoy. If she wants to be in the West End, then her GCSEs will not make a jot of difference. No one asks for GCSE results at auditions.

All this hand wringing about GCSE options is ludicrous. FWIW, I worked in the West End for a year, and am now a Drama teacher, having not enjoyed the acting lifestyle at all. I don't have a GCSE in Drama - I did Physics instead. As long as the basics are covered and a student has the grades in 5 facilitating subjects, it doesn't matter.

I say let her choose the subjects she will enjoy most.

morehelpneeded123 Sat 15-Feb-14 23:19:49

history and drama

Ebacc is covered and west end can involve no singing but will always involve acting.

RhondaJean Sat 15-Feb-14 23:22:01

History and music would keep her options more open IMO than drama.

EvilTwins Sun 16-Feb-14 11:15:30

What are you basing that on Rhonda? I'm genuinely fascinated to know which options will be closed to her if she chooses GCSE Drama over GCSE Music, and also which will be open to her if she has Music instead. hmm

KatyMac Sun 16-Feb-14 11:27:24

I agree with EvilTwins - DD was only asked about English & Maths and only by about a third of the colleges she applied for

These years are hard work for someone with 'outside interests' so do the ones you want to

Whyjustwhy Sun 16-Feb-14 11:56:19

My advice would be to keep a look on which A levels/Btec she is likely to choose at 16, if that's the route she takes.
So for my dd I expect she will take drama to GCSE as I am expecting she will want to take it to A level.
So might be worth checking with the school that if she doesn't take GCSE drama, she would still be allowed to take the A level (if that's what she wants to do)

RhondaJean Sun 16-Feb-14 12:06:40

Music has a range of options outside the performing arts. History is a solid academic basis for further study, teaches important skills. No need for a humpy face, I was asked for an opinion, I gave it. I'm thinking outside performing, as polly pointed out earlier music is academically well regarded.

I would definitely make sure she stuck with history.

EvilTwins Sun 16-Feb-14 12:24:34

Bottom line is, once the "basics" (by which I mean, English x2, maths, Sciences, a language and/or humanity) are covered, those extra two or three GCSE subjects are not going to make any noticeable difference to anyone's future chances. Nobody is going to held back for the rest of their life by the decisions they made at 13. The level of hysteria on MN every year about this is ludicrous.

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