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Choices for S4: what to do if too restrictive?

(29 Posts)
LindyHemming Mon 12-Dec-16 17:06:15

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Lidlfix Mon 12-Dec-16 17:22:20

Speak to them, there may be flexibility. But it might come down to staffing levels. Are there other schools in the authority operating different systems which presents more options? That might increase your parent power.

I know in my DDs' school and the school I teach in it would look like 3 sciences or 3 social subjects were not on offer but in reality they do. They just don't want any pupils rushing into that sort of decision without talking it through with parents first.

Is there a ghastly "creative column". - that gives/gave my crew the fear?

LindyHemming Mon 12-Dec-16 17:41:47

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LindyHemming Mon 12-Dec-16 17:42:35

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Lidlfix Mon 12-Dec-16 18:01:45

Do they offer any other languages? That might explain why French is only is once. It's grim when the columns don't suit turns what should be an exciting time into a stressful one.

Then makes Higher choices tough too. sad

LindyHemming Mon 12-Dec-16 19:24:28

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madgingermunchkin Mon 12-Dec-16 19:27:25

I discussed what I wanted to do with my head of house, in the end, I was allowed to do all three sciences instead of doing something like drama or home ec.

celtiethree Tue 13-Dec-16 08:08:59

We had this, the school had stated many times that there was no flexibility. However we spoke to them and explained why our DS wanted that subject combination and they managed to accommodate the combination. Glad they did as it meant that crashing a higher has been avoided.

Groovee Tue 13-Dec-16 18:37:15

Our school tried their neighbouring schools to see if dd could travel. But one didn't get enough uptake on the subject and the other was closed due to the school closures and wouldn't help.

Dd had to take another subject instead and the school said she can do it next year.

ttlshiwwya Wed 14-Dec-16 11:33:10

Been in this situation for all my DC. Agree with others - ask and you might be pleasantly surprised.

One of my DC did 3 sciences and another did 2 social sciences despite it apparently not being available on the form. Both of my boys didn't do any expressive arts and my DD didn't have to pick a technology. However we've been lucky that it's a large school so for timetabling subjects are available at different times

My DC didn't always get all their first choices. I wish I'd tried harder for my boys as neither wanted the same particular subject and I only found out later that parents who complained and stood their ground got their way whereas I caved in. I was wiser for my youngest and she got exactly what she wanted.

Also my DS2 was only able to do one social sciences because of his other options but was able to do two at higher. Although strictly speaking a crash higher it's not really been any tougher. Thus I'd be relaxed about not being able to do a subject if you can easily pick it up at Higher.

WankersHacksandThieves Wed 14-Dec-16 19:16:50

Not a great scenario, but I would agree with saying that crashing a higher in a subject they are keen and passionate about isn't a disaster.

DS1 is crashing his Graph Comm this year as he couldn't get it in his columns without giving up something else he really wanted to do. We've not long had parents night and his teacher said that out of all the pupils in the class, he's the one you would never guess was crashing.

I think it depends on the subject and how much they really want to do it though.

howabout Thu 15-Dec-16 10:24:59

My lot are not allowed to do 3 sciences and have the dreaded compulsory Arts column. (I started them on music lessons to cope with this only to find they were keen to carry on with Art). Having done 3 sciences myself I think with hindsight they are getting a much better broader education than I had. Since most do 6th year now there is plenty of time to pick up a dropped subject and the broader the 4th year selection the more options are available later.

prettybird Thu 15-Dec-16 13:25:10

Ds' school does allow the 3 Sciences but plenty of kids only do 2 and then do a crash Higher in the 3rd in S6.

However, because he wanted to do PE for Nat 5, he ended up having to drop any of the Expressive Arts subjects, as they were in the same three columns as Physics, Chemistry and PE (ended up doing Computing Science instead confused)

But his school is one of those that allows 8 Nat 5s to be sat in S4, so start at the end of S2.

QIsForCube Fri 16-Dec-16 15:54:23

Surely all 3 sciences being spread out is a good thing? Also IME French only appears in one column because there's barely enough uptake to warrant 1 class, never
mind 2. At my Ds's school there are 9 in his French class, which I guess is a good thing. smile

LindyHemming Fri 16-Dec-16 19:28:11

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Noofly Fri 16-Dec-16 20:02:42

At DS' school they do 8 Nat 5 choices so they start at the beginning of S3. Languages fall into their own column so you don't have a choice as to whether or not you are going to do one (much to DS' disgust grin. )

ttlshiwwya Fri 16-Dec-16 21:22:54

Using an option to take a subject you are not interested in or can't be taken to Higher would worry me especially if she only has 6 or 7 options.

LindyHemming Fri 16-Dec-16 22:43:03

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celtiethree Fri 16-Dec-16 22:52:44

Wow Euphemia, those columns are awful. I would def ask if she could elect French alongside History and RMPS with a compromise of Business Management from C1. Does she not like science at all? If French is not possible then take Spanish. I think Spanish is a much more useful language than French.

Does she not like science at all, biology is always a good option??

Does shd have any idea what for would like to do after school??

celtiethree Fri 16-Dec-16 22:53:19

What highers does she want to take?

WankersHacksandThieves Fri 16-Dec-16 23:46:00

Half those subjects don't appear on the columns in DSs school.

DS1 would be fine with those columns and in fact i can map his Highers onto it with the addition of Maths on Column E.

DS2 would struggle like your DD, there doesn't seem to be Modern Studies or is that just my tired eyes? His two "must haves" were MS and History though he seems to have really enjoyed BM which was sort of a reluctant choice from his columns, as was French which he is hating so I've told him to do what he needs to do in terms of homework and classwork and spend his energy elsewhere. Maybe your DD will end up enjoying a reluctant pick too?

Have the school asked if there is any combination they'd like to do that isn't covered by the form? Ours generally does but doesn't promise to accommodate. It's a small school so I think it's a bit harder. given the amount of topics in each column there must be a degree of flexibility I think.

Here's DS2 sheet from last year - she wouldn't fare any better even with the extra column.

LindyHemming Sat 17-Dec-16 08:06:56

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PurpleFrog Sat 17-Dec-16 09:23:46

Hmm. This just shows that it is not just the number of subjects offered at Nat5 that are important, but the format of the option sheet! Dd's school only offered 6 but the kids had free choice across the board. I have no idea how they timetabled it, but dd got her first choices in each year, even in S6 where she wanted to do an eclectic mix of subjects at a variety of different levels.

bonnieweelass Sat 17-Dec-16 16:13:56

former careers adviser here. How about she takes business management, french, history and spanish?

I'm assuming she's already got Maths and English as compulsory options - these are the only subjects specifically asked for in primary teaching. She can choose any other subjects, unless she wanted to specialise, like French.

LindyHemming Sat 17-Dec-16 16:22:28

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