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GCSE choices - can I disagree with school?

(43 Posts)
NLatlarge Fri 26-Aug-11 10:30:59

I'm not totally up to speed on this yet - dd1 going in to year 9 - but I'm a bit hmm about the choices she thinks she will have for GCSE.
Afaik it goes something like this:

Maths
English
One language
History or Geography
Music, Drama or Art
ICT
One from Graphic design, textiles etc
Double award science
RE
One other thing = 11
or triple science and no other thing =11

Now my problem is this - dd1 is very bright. She has an aptitude for languages, she loves drama, is very strong on art and is also doing well in science.

I am struggling to see the value in the ICT GCSE tbh. She really wants to do textiles and she likes RE a lot so that's ok (though why it's obligatory I have no idea). I think given the choice she would just do double science and have an extra choice (that's assuming she can do 11 - if it's 10 then there's no extra one at all) However at parents evening her science teacher told us that school pick the children for triple award. I didn't think to ask then but I don't know how 'optional' that is.

So my question is - has anybody argued with the school about the options. Is there any flexibility? It is a comprehensive school with decent results btw.

MigratingCoconuts Fri 26-Aug-11 10:38:11

yes , there is in our school. Book an appointment with the person in charge (although this usually happens around options choices time) and ask to talk through the options procedure and ask what flexibility there is at your school.

MotherPanda Fri 26-Aug-11 10:42:37

just to say - in todays world, it is really important to have the ICT gcse!

I was given similar choices - but was able to swap the language choice so i could take music, drama and art (although i did have to do the art gcse after school).

Do chat to the school about it. if she's a committed pupil they'll be able to do something.

seeker Fri 26-Aug-11 10:47:22

Disagree aout the ICT- it's out of date already! waste of a choice IMHO. Ditto RE- what on earth are schools doing making that compulsory? Outrageous!

sparks Fri 26-Aug-11 10:55:18

RE is compulsory in my dd's school too. Also citizenship shock Complete waste of time IMO.

NLatlarge Fri 26-Aug-11 10:55:52

That's what I think Seeker. If she needs an IT qualification she could do ECDL.

NLatlarge Fri 26-Aug-11 10:57:39

Oh and I suspect the RE is compulsory as a 'soft' option to assist the less able students in getting plenty of GCSEs. As it happens dd likes RE. I just don't like the way it seems very able students options are shut down. I will definately be making an appointment!

jgbmum Fri 26-Aug-11 11:00:12

I think the ICT GCSE is a complete waste of time (have had 2 DS choose it and although they are really skilled in ICT (aren't all teenagers!) they found the course really boring and did poorly as a result.

RE is a good GCSE to have, if you look at the syllabus it covers lot of ethical issues.

magentadreamer Fri 26-Aug-11 11:06:58

At my DD's school RE and ICT are compulsary. My DD did some kind of league table filler for ICT in Yr9 and will sit a full course RE GCSE in yr11. In yr 10/11 they don't do ICT but do extra Maths and English.

MigratingCoconuts Fri 26-Aug-11 11:10:27

I thought RE and PD were compulsory because the Government say they are...

seeker Fri 26-Aug-11 11:13:12

Re may be a good GCSE to have- but so are history, physics and music and none of them are compulsory.

malinois Fri 26-Aug-11 11:15:12

ICT is a complete waste of time. It will be completely ignored by any university she goes to, particularly on a CompSci degree. She can easily pick up all the computing skills she needs in her own time or while studying other subjects.

jgbmum Fri 26-Aug-11 11:16:25

Seeker I am not disagreeing with you, just saying that if you have to have a compulsory one then RE is not all that bad. In the same way as compulsory double science is good, regardless of whether you want to continue to study science beyond GCSE.

MiraNova Fri 26-Aug-11 11:17:24

I understood that both RS and ICT have to be taught through Years 10 and 11, and therefore that many schools mandate doing them at GCSE because they're using up the lesson slots anyway so they might as well.

seeker Fri 26-Aug-11 11:19:00

No. Doing re is compulsory, the exam isn't. At dd's school you can choose to do RE as an option if you want to. iF you don't want to waste an option on it, you spend an hour a week watching a vaguely relevant film so te school can tick the RE box.

JenaiMarrHePlaysGuitar Fri 26-Aug-11 11:32:38

I think MiraNova's on the right track tbh.

The RE syllabus is fab, imo.

seeker Fri 26-Aug-11 11:41:46

It may be fab- but it is outrageous that it is compulsory when history, for example, isn't.

Sorry, op, this is a bit of a hijack.

niceguy2 Fri 26-Aug-11 13:48:11

I am actually shocked that parents in this day & age value RE above ICT.

As for it being ignored at Uni, I'd wager they will ignore a RE GCSE way before an ICT one.

PotteringAlong Fri 26-Aug-11 13:51:09

RE is a core GCSE along with English, mathsand science. It's written into the education act. It has to be taught.

It is most certaintly NOT a soft option...hmm

Cleverything Fri 26-Aug-11 13:54:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

niceguy2 Fri 26-Aug-11 13:59:14

I'm not arguing RE shouldn't be taught. I'm just a bit shock that in this day & age that parents place such little value on ICT

JenaiMarrHePlaysGuitar Fri 26-Aug-11 13:59:44

I'd imagine it's easier to teach IT within other subjects that it would be to teach RE.

Having said that I don't know what's in the ICT curriculum. Do they cover relation databases and the like, or is it all about using Office?

Doing both as GCSEs, seeing as they have to cover the subjects anyway, seems like a good idea to me.

jgbmum Fri 26-Aug-11 14:01:45

Questions from past GCSE RE Philosophy & Ethics Papers

'If God existed we would know it.'

'When people die that is the end'.

Every woman has the right to have a baby.'

'People must look after their family before they worry about the poor.

In this day and age I think these are very relevant questions which may not be discussed in all homes. Getting young people to think about these issues and helping them to make informed decisions, based on the evidence available is very valuable. (And the student has to present both sides of the argument to get the marks)

NLatlarge Fri 26-Aug-11 14:03:47

Niceuy - I value the skills - just don't think my dd needs to do a GCSE in it. There is only so much time in the school day (especially as every other week school closes an hour early so the teachers can do training and still leave at 4.30 (don't get me started!) ) I want her to do GCSEs she is interested in and which will complement her future choices not gather a qualification which will have limited value.

jgbmum Fri 26-Aug-11 14:08:27

Niceguy - my DSs have both sat both GCSEs. We certainly value ICT, but the GCSE was pretty poor.
The RE GCSE was much harder, and taught both boys much more and has helped their emotional maturity because of the subject matter raised.
I think that's a far more valuable life lesson.

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