Yr 6 are choosing schools without a clue as to the exams they will take!?!(31 Posts)
I may be a bit late to realise this, but reading the paper today, year 6 will be the first year to take the new replacement GCSE's (apart from English, Maths & Science). This means as parents, we are currently choosing their senior school on the basis of what is on offer now when actually it has absolutely no relevance to what will be on offer by the time they get there.:-S
This is an absolute nightmare!!!
How does it have no relevance? The quality of teaching will be the same albeit adjusted for the new format of the exams.
I thought it was the current year 7s who would be the first in line for the Gove exams?
But what Soupdragon said.
ASK the schools how they view the proposed changes.
Agree with Blu.
I didn't decide / am not deciding my dcs' secondary schools based on what GCSE they will take 6 yrs later.
It is the current yr 7's who will be the first in line for the new exams. Im certainly not losing any sleep over it, it doesnt affect how i choose or chose schools for my dc, quality of teaching is what i would be concerned and i dont see how the new exams will affect that.
Yes the current year 7's are the 1st to take the new English/Maths/Science, but the year6's will be the first for everything else! I'm looking at schools that prepare for btec, igcse or other minority qualifications that may not exist in the same way. Surely it's important to choose a school according to the qualifications they are likely to offer in the future? And surely exam changes may change the subjects a particular school is known for?
Well, I've asked questions like...
"I realise things can change, but can the current cohort....
- do triple science without using up an option block?
- take 2 MFLs at GCSE?" etc., etc.
Shows if they can cater for things my dc might want to look at when they do their options in Yr9. Where I live, some schools don't cater as well for those who might be as academically able.
If my dc had SEN, then I would be asking questions relevant to that support and that need.
For all needs of children, I would be asking about if and how they set - supporting those who need to go at a slower pace and challenging those who need to go at a faster pace. I ask about things like music and PE and outdoor ed opprtuinites, and drama, and school councils and sports leadership awards and DofE and other 'interest' clubs. I ask about the pastoral care - how forms are sorted, what systems are in place for parents to have a voice in the school.
Some things are bound to change over the years they are there - a different HT for example can make a whopping difference, but you can only judge on reputaions, gut instinct, and the information that is available at the time you make the choice.
I chose the school for my current Y7 without knowing the exams would change. Am I worried? No because I know I've chosen the right school for my child. I am confident that the school are more than capable of teaching the subject regardless what exam is taken at the end of it.
I don't believe that the change in exam will affect what subjects the school is known for - they will still have the same teachers with the same equipment and the same attitude
I already have a preferred as I'm looking now for DS2, and would like him to go to the same school as DS1, so the other schools will have to go a long way to persuade me they are a better option.
I'm mainly interested in how happy DC are there.
The quality of teaching (current exam results)
Extra curricular activities available
Do they stream, and if so, how and when? (I like, no love that the school DS1 goes to doesn't stream in Y7, and I say that as a mother of a high flyer, an average DC and a dyslexic DC who also isn't brilliant at maths).
GIven you have no idea what your child will be capable of or what their best subjects will be, you are not in a worse position by being unable to ask some of those questions. Is there a benefit of knowing if they do early exams in Y9 if your child may turn out to be unable to access that level of achievement?
We all do it! My youngest dd (yr10) will be the first to do linear GCSEs that we knew nothing about in yr 6. My older dds were the first to do non-courswork GCSEs, A* GCSEs, triple award sciences, Ebacc, etc etc. That's why the ethos and gut feeling of the school are more important than results!!
Im struggling with this too
I have no idea what the new exams will look like so asking questions reagarding opportunity to study language/science may or may not have any bearing
I'm literally going on the feel on the school and whether I think DD will be happy there
I think there will be certain subjects under the new system that will be vastly more or vastly less academic than the current GCSE. To this end, it would be very useful to know how igcse or btec are going to compare & even if the government are going to allow them! If I choose a school because they have a stunning reputation for eg Maths because they do igcse, who is to say that reputation will continue or the igcse be allowed when the new exam? Or I could choose a school based on it's btec to find the new exam taken at another school to be much more suitable to DD's strengths!
I know things can change at anytime for any school, but it does feel particularly unfair to be choosing blind like this IMO.
Soup Dragon I agree that some year 6's have no idea where their interests are, but some like my DD are very sure of what they are good at now & it would be nice to cater for her needs as much as I can!
My DD is in year 7.
I chose her school based on the facts that she would be able to take triple science GCSEs and that they do not start GCSE's until year 10 (also that it 'felt right' and it has good results). The GCSE factors are irelevant now but I still feel it's the right school for her.
I think you are looking for problems where there are none.
Remember that there will be at least one general election between now(yr6) and yr11. Gove will be long gone and the new ed minister will be trying to justify their salary. Probably everything we know now will be swept away and something else will be brought in.
As others have said, it is the current Year 7's who will be the first ones to take the new exam. Perhaps it is different where you live, but we don't actually have a real choice of schools anyway so even if I did know in advance which subject options were important, I couldn't select a school just on that basis unless I lived close enough to qualify for a place anyway.
Also knowing what a school offers doesn't mean they will still offer it in 5 years time or even that they will allow your child to take it (triple science for example or certain languages). This is true even with no exam changes planned.
Change is pretty common - the sudden shift to linear exams for example. The difference this time is that we all have a few years to worry about it when most schools are used to shifting goalposts all the time.
I'm not sure though that I am reassured about a General Election in May 2015 that may or may not sweep aside all changes. By then, the current Year 7's will be right on the cusp of starting the new style exams with the whole of Year 9 having been geared up towards this. If they blow it all out of the water in June 2015, it is going to be a complete nightmare for those going into Year 10 literally a couple of months later.
Exactly what we are going through at the moment! They honestly don't care!
You can ask all the questions you like and then they change things once your DC is there anyway.
DD1 is only doing double award science and we are appealing it.
But it wouldn't have been an issue when we choose schools as almost half the cohort not just top sets took it.
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