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What would you put in the E Bacc?

(44 Posts)
Talkinpeace Fri 14-Jan-11 19:08:42

I've just added this onto another thread but it would be interesting to have others views. If nothing else then MN can lobby Gove

English (Language or Lit)
Maths (general, applied, further or stats)
Science (physics, chemistry, biology, combined)

plus three out of

Art (pure, design, textile, music)
MFL (any currently spoke language - huge advantage for comps with a high immigrant cohort!!)
Humanity (Geography, History, Classics, Latin, Greek, RE)
Technology (Computing, ICT, any other vocational)

That would ensure that Every child was entered for exams that gave them a rounded education but there was a bit of leeway...

Your thoughts?

EvilTwins Fri 14-Jan-11 19:32:52

What about drama? I'd be out of a job...

jenandberry Fri 14-Jan-11 22:11:04

I would keep it as it is but extend the languages and humanities.

I think ICT can be taught through subjects to be honest and in lower school.

darleneconnor Fri 14-Jan-11 22:19:26

I think it should be more like it is in Scotland wink

Only one kind of English (not splitting lang and lit)
Maths (again just one variety of course)
A modern foreign language (latin shouldn't count)
One science
One of History Geography or Economics (economics is much harder)

I think there is value in RE/Music/IT etc (ie not flipping hairdressing) but in adddition to the above not instead of.

you have the rest of your life to do college courses/evening classes in most of these other subjects. School is the only opportunity to get a grounding in these basics.

Talkinpeace Fri 14-Jan-11 22:24:30

so your thoughts on my initial idea?

jenandberry Fri 14-Jan-11 22:27:45

I don't see the harm in RE instead of another humanity if it is taught well by specialists, it includes both philosophy and ethics or a study of two religions and at the full course.

Many students who enjoy their humanities seem to want Latin but may not want to study French or German. I think it should stay there.

GemmaWard Fri 14-Jan-11 22:46:51

It's difficult, isn't it?
When I started preparation for 'O' Levels in 1955 at a state grammar school, we were allowed to drop both History and Geography in favour of German. So, although I passed 10 subjects, I would not have achieved the Eng. Bacc. nor any of the suggestions here.

Not a new problem then!

EvilTwins Fri 14-Jan-11 23:31:23

Am I the only one who thinks that "E Bacc" looks like some kind of illness?? grin

I would have got it - I did 9 GCSEs, only one of which (home ec) wouldn't have counted. That was 1991. The school I currently teach in have changed the Yr 9 options process to ensure that as many students as possible cover the subects included in EBac - they'll do English/Lit, Maths, Science (various options from triple through to BTEC), either French or German, either History or Geography, then two options from a more creative/vocational list. The school is insisting that all students do an Extended Cert BTEC (the "2 GCSEs worth" variety) which I think is a good thing (partly because that's what I teach at KS4) as it forces a bit of variety. We're not a terribly academic school - deprived area, low expectations (constant battle) and so this seems like a good plan to me. Some students won't be able to access the EBac curriculum (no point learning French when you can barely communicate in English) and I am pleased that the school has recognised this and made alternative provision in terms of providing an appropriate curriculum for those students.

IMO, MN mums are a little too hung up on the "traditional" subjects anyway. I have had kids every year go off to good universities with a Level 3 BTEC in Performing Arts behind them.

jenandberry Sat 15-Jan-11 00:10:49

But what if you are an academic child at your school Evil.

I have students who want to opt for all the humanities, some that opt for all humanities and a language and so on. I am pleased we give them an opportunity to do so.

EvilTwins Sat 15-Jan-11 00:15:07

An academic child at my school can do English, English Lit, Maths, Triple Science, French, History, and two subjects of their choice, one of which will be BTEC Extended Cert in either Business Studies, Sport, Performing Arts or Art. I don't see the problem. Wide curriculum, range of qualifications. No problem with getting into a Sixth Form either at school, at a different school or a college. And let's face it, GCSEs are generally a stepping stone to the next level.

usualsuspect Sat 15-Jan-11 00:15:22

English
Maths
Science
Art/music/performing arts
Technology essential imo

SecretNutellaFix Sat 15-Jan-11 00:33:25

English Lang and Lit
Maths
Science(seperate subjects for the most able)
MFL
History and Geography

plus one arts subject and one other subject.

daphnedill Sat 15-Jan-11 05:11:22

My ds is in the process of choosing his options. He really doesn't want to do a technology or an arts subject. If he has to do a technology, it wouldn't be a disaster, but any kind of arts subject would be a total waste of time for him. He's equally good at maths, science, geography, history and languages (German, French and Latin) and is finding it tough that he's going to have to drop one of them and it really wouldn't be in his best interest if he had to drop more than one to take technology and/or an arts subject instead. From a personal perspective, I'm quite happy with the EBacc as it is.

PS. I don't agree with any of Gove's other changes!

jenandberry Sat 15-Jan-11 10:32:37

For some students GCSEs are just a stepping stone for others they are much more than that. Taught well GCSEs can oen students minds, help them disoover passions, interests and skills. Having the right grounding at GCSE can make all the difference at A Level.

I can think of many students that I teach that the arrangements listed by Eviltwins would not be suitable. Many students want to do a number of languages plus a humanity or a number of humanities plus a langauge

crazymum53 Sat 15-Jan-11 12:17:11

I think it should be any foreign language not only French/German - some schools now offer Spanish/Italian/Mandarin/Urdu and this should be rewarded.
English language, Maths and Science should of course be included.
ANY humanity - would also include RE and English Lit here as well. I think just History/Geography is a bit too narrow !

EvilTwins Sat 15-Jan-11 13:16:51

jenandberry - how on earth would a student do "a number of languages plus a humanity" or "a number of humanities plus a language" and still fit in English, Maths, Science, PE and the other compulsory bits?

Oh, and your "Having the right grounding at GCSE can make all the difference at A Level" is pretty much the point I was making (which you chose to disagree with) about GCSEs being the stepping stones to the next stage - ie A Levels.

EvilTwins Sat 15-Jan-11 13:18:26

I think they should all do English Lit, by the way. Including it with humanities would mean a great many wouldn't take it, and would therefore be able to stop reading at the age of 14. English Language doesn't involve reading a whole novel or play at all.

jenandberry Sat 15-Jan-11 14:26:06

They have their core subjects plus 4 option blocks. In each option block there is at least one humanity and one language. So they could choose the three humanities and a language. Or three languages and a humanity . There is an option block which is weighted to creative subjects but the humanities and languages are in there.

We are a school renowned for our options process.

I did misread your GCSE is generally a stepping stone for merely a stepping stone. The tone is different. I apologise. However having worked for mang schools that regard themselves as not having an academic intake I do worry about the education provided for very able students in those schools. An able student in a comp , ideally , should get all the educational opportunities available in Grammar.

BrigitBigKnickers Sat 15-Jan-11 14:44:00

There are plenty of other academic subjects besides History and Geography- why they have narrowed the English BAC to those is beyond me.

purits Sat 15-Jan-11 15:22:57

I think that the EBacc should consist of:

Part A: English Language and Maths (non negotiable)
AND
Part B: which can be a choice of two, academic or vocational.
The academic would consist of double science plus a language (modern or ancient) plus an essay subject (a Humanity or Eng Lit).
The vocational would consist of four subjects like music, art, drama, PE or a technology.

Thus either branch would require six subjects, leaving options available so that academics can do some vocational subjects and v.v.

There is no need to request a qualification in ICT or computing because it is assumed that kids can do this. If you insist on an ICT qualification then I shall insist on a handwriting and calligraphy qualification!

themonalisa Sun 13-Feb-11 18:06:04

I think the E-Bacc is narrow and willexclude many learners. I think that English and Maths and Science and ICT should be the core. I think that subjects can then be chosen form the Humanities, Art and Design, DT, P.E. and all the others that children enjoy and do well in.

Kez100 Mon 14-Feb-11 09:14:31

English (Language or Lit and the papers should be pure language and pure lit)
Maths (general)
Science (physics, chemistry, biology or combined)

And one from two of the following sections:

An art (pure, design, textile, music, drama, dance)
MFL or Classic language
Humanity (Geography, History, Economics, RE, Ethics

ICT should be taught throughout the syllabus from reception upwards.

onimolap Mon 14-Feb-11 09:22:16

I think that, as the E-Bacc is meant to be an academic badge, not an all rounder, then it's about right, and darleneconnor's description of the Scottish version sounds good too.

I would however expand the list of modern foreign languages, and would move classical languages to the humanities list. I'd add RS to humanities too.

Fennel Mon 14-Feb-11 09:59:54

I like the sound of the Ebacc as a precursor to A levels and university. It's one of very few tory policies or ideas I agree with, as long as it's not implemented retrospectively.

I'd keep it as proposed but permit RS in with History/Geography, possibly other subjects in there too, oand I'd permit Latin or Greek instead of a MFL.

I wouldn't include an arts or technology subject because you don't need them if you're going along an academic route. and I'm seeing the Ebacc as an academic route, not necessarily right for all children.

nagynolonger Mon 14-Feb-11 12:31:08

I think music/art/RE should be included along with history and geography. They are not soft options.

Not convinced latin is that important.... I did do it for 3 years!

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