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School changes reduces GCSE's from 9 to 8.

(31 Posts)
LottieJam2 Thu 19-Oct-17 15:44:45

My daughter chose her GCSE options in good faith based on her future career plans. Half a term in, the school want to get rid of 5 GCSE's which means she can only take 8 instead of the 9 she wanted to take. The school letter says they want to enable children to meet their potential. How is cutting down her GCSE's to 8 going to meet her potential when she wants to, and is capable of achieving 9? Am I missing something, or where can I turn to for help with this?

Toblernone Thu 19-Oct-17 15:47:50

So she's already started one that they're proposing to cut? Surely that leaves a lot of time in her time table unaccounted for now, what are they suggesting happens to that? Sounds very messy even without only ending up with 8, which by itself I wouldn't say was a terrible thing if she can focus on getting as high grades as possible.

Evergreen777 Thu 19-Oct-17 15:48:34

That seems very limiting. Most schools I know of offer 9-10 (usually 10 if they do triple science, 9 if not)

You could speak to the school about it? See if other parents are concerned? It's not so much the number of GCSEs on a CV that matters, but the loss of breadth of education.

Or you could see what other local schools offer, though I guess changing schools would probably be a drastic measure.

Appuskidu Thu 19-Oct-17 15:50:51

Very strange. DS is doing 11-I didn't think that was an unusual number to do.

May50 Thu 19-Oct-17 15:51:58

8 does seem low. My son (who did triple science as 3 of them) did 10 in total, and he went to a local not brilliant, but ok state school. Are they deciding which one she has to drop? If she's doing triple science, plus the maths and English lang and lit that's only 2 optional subjects left.

Lonecatwithkitten Thu 19-Oct-17 15:54:29

The number taken is definitely decreasing with the changes in GCSE. It is worth also remembering that universities are only interested in the 8 best GCSE grades all taken at the same time. So emphasis is definitely on quality rather than quantity.
DD's school reasonably selective will only be allowing current year 9 to do 9 GCSEs.

cantkeepawayforever Thu 19-Oct-17 15:55:40

Do you mean 8 GCSEs or 8 subjects?

So remember that English will be 2 GCSEs, Science (if they do combined) will be 2.

So a mix that is, say, English, Maths, Science, an MFL, Computer Science, a couple of humanities and a practical subject is 8 subjects, but 10 GCSEs. (Both DD and DS have followed this type of structure)

Whereas English lang, English lit, Maths, double science, an MFL, a humanity and a practical subject is 8 GCSEs and does seem a little limiting - more if there is triple science involved so there is only space for e.g. 1 humanity and 1 language.

Caulk Thu 19-Oct-17 15:56:09

This has happened at the local high school to me too. It’s so they have more time to study those 8

Toblernone Thu 19-Oct-17 15:57:55

Definitely agree though that too few means not enough breadth in what they're being taught, DD is doing 11 and while I'd prefer it to be 10 perhaps it makes sure a language is covered and 3 additional options so you can get a range, surely 8 will be missing an area? Not important in results but sad from a general education POV.

DumbledoresApprentice Thu 19-Oct-17 15:59:27

9-10 is the norm. 11 or more is on the high side now and 8 sounds low to me.
In the school I work in they do 9 (Eng x2, Maths, Science x2, RE plus 3 optional subjects)
What is the GCSE that they are making her drop? Is it one of her options or are they reducing the number of core subjects?

BeyondThePage Thu 19-Oct-17 16:16:14

Ours do 9 -
Engx2,
maths,
sciencex2or3
an MFL,
a humanity,
a free choice
another free choice or 3rd science

LottieJam2 Thu 19-Oct-17 18:00:07

In reply to all your questions, it is definitely 8 GCSE's - 2x English, Maths, 2x science, Spanish, History and Art (option) They have dropped her Catering option. I spoke to school. They are happy that 8GCSE's are acceptable and won't affect her future career choices and are looking for quality instead of quality. I would still prefer 9.
They have changed to a one week timetable instead of 2, so won't have spare time by dropping the subject, so if anything, it feels like less time for each subject. Catering was her first choice option. She wasn't given a choice of which to drop.

DumbledoresApprentice Thu 19-Oct-17 18:03:03

The extra time must be going somewhere though. Have they perhaps given extra time to English maths and science rather than the other options? Her 8 do sound like a broad mix so I don’t think she’s losing out too much by losing the catering.

TheSecondOfHerName Thu 19-Oct-17 18:10:04

It does seem a bit unfair of the school to stop a course part of the way through.

However, dropping Catering GCSE won't limit her post-16 options or future career choices.

TheSecondOfHerName Thu 19-Oct-17 18:12:05

This might sound cynical, but I suspect the school is making changes to try to maximise their Attainment 8 and Progress 8 scores.

KittyVonCatsington Thu 19-Oct-17 18:17:31

Is your DD Year 10, OP? WJEC who do the Catering GCSE have just announced that they are withdrawing the qualification. Current 11s last one to sit it this June.
Don't think this is the school's fault.
The extra time will go towards her other subjects and this can only be a good thing. And no, it won't harm her chances for Sixth Form or beyond.

Scabetty Thu 19-Oct-17 18:23:08

Ds's, currently yesr 10, had 3 options. However, current year 9s had to choose in yr 8 but get 4.

admission Thu 19-Oct-17 18:43:05

I agree with TheSecondOfHerName this could be a school trying to maximise their attainment 8 and progress 8 scores. The only problem is that by doing 2 sciences and having spanish and history in bucket 3 of the Ebacc it could back-fire on them as they have narrowed the curriculum so much that they are potentially not allowing pupils to work to their strengths, where they will attain better. They are going to end up having to count both the science courses offered. Science girls traditionally are weaker at, whereas english literature boys will traditionally not do as well at. Whereas in the example of the OP if they had cookery or something similar as an extra subject this may have been a strength for some girls instead of the second science subject.

clary Fri 20-Oct-17 00:30:11

This is happening more and more sadly. I hint it's the creative subjects that will suffer. Locally, the school recently rated as Best in the County [TM], has moved to eight - double science, two English, maths, French, history or geography and one (wow!) option.

I asked a mate of DS's who goes there what option he had picked and he said 'PE" - I was a bit taken aback as I had expected a list!

it's to maximise progress 8 as others say. But op your DD must have extra time somewhere - 2-3 hrs a week surely?

Soursprout Fri 20-Oct-17 07:53:54

I guess it Is so they are able to concentrate on those 8 in year 11 and make sure they are the best grades they are capable of.
Ours end up with 11 .. but they manage that by sitting one in yr 9, two in year 10 and 8 in year 11
This suits Dd who is quite able but I wouldn’t have chosen it for Ds who was immature and less academic
Yes.. it seems a shame if your child is perfectly capable of more

ChickenJalfrezi Fri 20-Oct-17 07:57:48

You can do a GCSE in catering?! <misses point of thread>

KittyVonCatsington Fri 20-Oct-17 08:34:12

That's the point, Chicken, you can't anymore. The qualification has been withdrawn completely.

I think in this case, the school has been a victim of the Exam Board's/Ofqual decision to remove a GCSE, rather than a measure to try and boost their scores.

Not that I don't think that happens in other schools but I think this situation is different.

ChickenJalfrezi Fri 20-Oct-17 08:48:50

My point was you could do a GCSE in catering - news to me! Personally I can’t see how losing this specific one would be that detrimental - perhaps if it was a core subject then yes but otherwise it doesn’t add masses to future studies and employability.

If the school doesn’t budge could she study something outside of school?

disahsterdahling Fri 20-Oct-17 09:38:56

DS' school is now doing 8 as standard, although if you do triple science you get 9 (ds isn't), and there is also an option to do one extra one after school.

But I went to a grammar school and did 8, so I see no problem with only doing 8 in theory. In practice of course it is disappointing if you don't have enough options to do the subjects you really want to do. But I have never felt disadvantaged by "only" having done 8. I did add one a few years later but that was purely to indulge an interest, not because I needed it for my career.

DS isn't missing an area, he's doing Maths, two English and two science, and then doing history, geography and an MFL. OK so he's not doing an arty subject but he had absolutely no desire to do that, he might have done PRE if he'd had another choice.

I did Maths, English x 2, Chemistry, History, Geography, an MFL and music so I didn't miss out an area, either. I later added another language.

Madhairday Fri 20-Oct-17 09:42:47

My DDs school (good state comp) only did 8, I was surprised at the time. For DD that included triple science too. Doesn't seem to have affected her sixth form options though.

DS is doing 9 - perhaps it's generally lower round here.

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