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GCSE's in year 10

(20 Posts)
bossboggle Wed 22-Jun-11 14:24:12

Help people!! DS in year 10 and sitting Lord knows what!! He expected to gain very good grades. He is telling me that if he passes his maths and english GCSE's now he will only have perhaps one lesson of each in year 11 because he has passed two of his GCSE's. Help!! How does it work and how do the 'module' things work. He has sat modules and gained good grades for them but I have no idea what is going on. Also when will he get the results for these GCSE's, will it be in August same as the year 11's or will it be when he goes back into year 11 in September.

Dumbledoresgirl Wed 22-Jun-11 14:28:39

He should get the grades (whether completed GCSEs or modules towards GCSEs) in August, same as the Year 11s. I don't know about having less lessons in the subject next year though. My son has completed his Maths GCSE but is doing Advanced Maths next year, and I think there is a similar programme for the children who did English early.

Could you ring the school and ask to speak to his tutor/year leader so they can fill you in. I know how hard it can be to get information from a Year 10 boy!

MigratingCoconuts Wed 22-Jun-11 18:16:52

We don't cash in the GCSE certificates until the year 10 students reach the end of year 11. This is mainly to allow for an retakes through year 11.

I would certainly contact your tutor and ask for a breakdown of what to expect and when.

electra44 Wed 22-Jun-11 19:01:30

Some thoughts on early GCSEs from teachers of English.

cat64 Wed 22-Jun-11 20:20:19

Message withdrawn

GnomeDePlume Fri 24-Jun-11 21:46:11

DD1 is in a similar position. As I understand it, if she has achieved a good grade in Maths then she can do a short course in statistics. In English she can either do Film Studies or a short course English Lit.

It is worth challenging the school if they are a bit vague. DD1 is wanting to take Maths to A level and the head of Maths seemed a bit bemused when I challenged him on the idea of students just stopping if a satisfactory Maths grade was achieved. The Statistics got produced as a kind of 'oh yes, she could do this!'

Tortu Fri 24-Jun-11 23:02:18

Oh gosh. This is a lesson for me! Didn't actually post on that TES thread as got distracted, but read it and almost posted. Scary to see it signposted in another forum.

It's a problem, tbh. What do you do with Year 9? Traditionally the 'awkward' year. Now that SATs have been abolished, it was obvious that most schools were going to look for something to replace them, because there is now a gap in the curriculum which can cause behaviour problems. Yeah, some schools are simply bringing the GCSEs forward- and, if you read any more threads on TES, you'll see that this is generally not having good results.

For what it's worth, after a lot of wrangling, my school teaches Media studies on a compulsory basis for Year 9. I, personally, think this is an excellent idea. It doesn't particularly matter if children do well or not, as it is a bonus GCSE that the school doesn't offer later and it is great preparation for the 'real thing', as well as keeping students focussed for a year. It is actually working extremely well and is proving that that is actually a valid subject (ever asked a 14 year old to analyse an advert for you? Scary stuff- they believe everything!).

Why do schools let children sit Maths and English GCSEs early? Because it impresses pushy parents. Seriously, this is the only answer. Sixth form colleges won't take them early, so they are left hanging around for a year. And don't listen to any rubbish about them starting the A-Level courses early. Unless you have 100% of the students staying on into that school's sixth form, with no new intake, this is not, realistically going to happen. Look at the top private schools. Do they do it? Nope.

Tortu Fri 24-Jun-11 23:08:55

Ahh, as far as OP is concerned, I'd just echo what everybody else has said and tell you to speak to the school. It seems a bit poor if they haven't fully explained the system to you!

In schools where I have heard of this (including with our Year 9s), students generally do not get the full results until Year 11 because the school will want them to stand in the league tables. However, the teachers should normally be able to roughly work out what the marks are and the expected grade from the individual modules.

I'm guessing that as far as English goes, your child may well have been sitting the new AQA spec (the most common one), as I suspect that because of the breakdown of the course, most schools will be entering their brightest students for this in Year 10 to get it out of the way. This is likely to become more common. If this is the case, then your child will probably have more than one English lesson a week, as they will probably be sitting English Literature next year. Does this sound likely? Don't know about Maths.

MigratingCoconuts Sat 25-Jun-11 12:10:08

We have moved to a three year KS4 to try to do away with the 'none year' that is year 8.

So some GCSE courses start in year 9 and some in year 10. This is to try and spread the exam load and the other spaces on the timetable are filled with none exam courses designed to improve skills. Children opt for their GcSE courses and enrichment courses alike. They are therefore all ready to start A levels in year 12.

its certainly been an interesting experience and something that I have found useful is actually having the time to teach triple science in...over three years.

cat64 Sat 25-Jun-11 17:21:12

Message withdrawn

mrsrhodgilbert Mon 27-Jun-11 19:10:32

If you approach this from the opposite angle it's a bit alarming. My dd in year 12 is now looking at university courses and I have been amazed on UCAS by how many universities are asking for the English, maths and sciences to have all been passed in one sitting. They want to be sure they are capable of the breadth of study. I'm shocked schools are overlooking this.

ellisbell Mon 27-Jun-11 19:49:26

don't know why schools do this. There is a big difference in maturity between a 15 and 16 year old. It's hard enough getting them to study when they are 16 and of course they express themselves better at 16 than at 15.

electra44 Mon 27-Jun-11 19:58:29

Sorry Tortu, didn't mean to scare you by posting a link but I thought it is worth hearing what professionals think rather than being informed only by the rubbish that appears in the media.

I am sure there are schools who can give good reason for arranging their curriculum as they do but parents often tend to think earlier is better in the case of able children whereas I agree that extension and further development of breadth and depth of skills and knowledge is preferable to notching up ever more qualifications at an ever earlier age. Surely qualifications and targets are being confused with true education to the detriment of pupils and teachers?

MrsFlittersnoop Mon 27-Jun-11 19:58:46

Ellisbell, my DS (year 10) has been sitting some modular GCSEs this year. He has a Physics exam tomorrow in fact. He is still only 14, has Asperger's and is not very mature for his age sad He hasn't been getting brilliant marks either (mostly Bs).

I would really like him to have a "gap year" between GCSEs and 6th form. He would still only be 18 when he sits his A2 exams if he did this.

Hullygully Mon 27-Jun-11 20:11:25

My ds in yr 9 has already done modules in maths and re. I am now worried, I thought I knew what was going on, but now I feel I don't! Aaghhhhh.

missmiss Mon 27-Jun-11 20:19:59

North London Collegiate School (very academic girls' school) makes the entire year take AS level English Literature alongside IGCSE English Language in years 10 and 11. They don't offer GCSE English Lit.

The top French set at my previous school started AS in year 11. They did the A2 over two years (12 and 13) if they chose, and studied a wider selection if literature.

ellisbell Tue 28-Jun-11 12:31:03

MrsFlittersnoop I expect your school think they will let the most able get them out of the way then concentrate their efforts on those who resit so the school keeps its grades up. My cynical attitude to this is that's its about the school's position in league tables, not what is best for the children.

There is plenty of evidence about exam results being better in the more mature. If you look at the research on birth date you'll see on average those with summer birthdays don't catch up until they are 18, it's obvious those doing exams a whole year early won't all get the same grades they could get a year later.

bossboggle Tue 02-Aug-11 19:41:45

HELP!! Please try to explain this in plain English, call me foggy but I still don't fully understand any of it!! And yes it is hard getting information out of a year 10 boy!!

strictlovingmum Tue 02-Aug-11 22:40:21

bossboggie it sounds as if he was fast tracked for English and Maths, hence he was sitting it earlier, very good thing, in my opinion, he will have more time to concentrate on his other subjects.
As for having very few lessons in English and Maths during the course of next year, I doubt it, he will be probably doing a lot of higher maths staff, in prep for A levels, he will be still very occupied.
Our son sat maths year earlier, so that was done and dusted last year and left him more time to to prepare for the last lot he had done this June, good luck.

Tortu Wed 03-Aug-11 23:34:10

Gah! I don't think we really know, to be honest, because there isn't much information to work on.

Though I think what you're really asking about is the old sit them early/ sit them late debate. As you'll have seen from the TES discussions, teachers generally don't tend to support the 'sit them early' crew. The reasons for this are, as stated, that there really isn't much benefit to the kids. They do get better grades if they take them later and universities tend to want to see that they can take the pressure of sitting them all at the same time. There is also the big problem of what to do with them afterwards. Yes, you can solve this by getting them to take another qualification, but this obviously only works if they've got top grades in the first one and don't intend to take the same qualification later. The big problem really, is that too many schools do this because parents are impressed by it- and that's really annoying.

However, the other side is that sometimes it can improve their grades. If they're ready to get top grades in a subject in Year 10, why carry on for another year? Yes you will gain maturity and probably benefit in different ways from the subject, but this isn't something tangible you can write on an application form. Also, with some GCSEs removed there is more time to concentrate on improving the grades in others (doesn't work in my opinion- students just start working slower) so it may take the pressure off. There is also the benefit, if some of the exams are modules, that your DS can take them again if he wants to improve his grade.

So what does it mean for your DS? Don't know really. I don't believe universities care that much, to be honest. I would make sure that you get some answers from the school (does it say on their website?), particularly about what they intend to do with the time that they're making up. In my school, that would account for almost 5 hours a week, so it's quite a lot. In terms of whether he's going to get the results this summer or not, it actually depends what specification he's done. Because this is the year when some new specs are coming in, there may not be the option of entering the coursework next year (and thus making it look as though he sat it next year), which would mean he'd get the results this year. This is particularly likely in English.

p.s. Cat64, slightly confused by your post. It's very possible (and probably, if you think so!) that your DS has sat his GCSE Lit and Lang early. I was replying to the OP. Lots of schools rushed it this year, actually, before the new specification came in. Most teachers are so familiar with the old spec that they could teach it to a bright group in a year.

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