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Could you answer a straw poll regarding options, please?

(46 Posts)
ChaosTrulyReigns Tue 29-Jan-13 09:28:44

Does that make sense?

I'm just researching sone muttering and rumours going around at our school. DD1 is year 8.

Apparently,the school offers only 9 GSCEs, which by all accounts will be detrimental to UCAS applications.

Would you mind telling me what your school offers, so I can see if this school is unusual?

ibizagirl Wed 30-Jan-13 13:30:21

Dd at state school and chose options in year 8. Now in year 9. Her core subjects are:

English lit
Science (all three)

Options are:


nagynolonger Wed 30-Jan-13 09:18:10

They also offer extra GCSE after school

Mandarin is one for G&T MFL (Not DS!)

nagynolonger Wed 30-Jan-13 09:11:35

My 16 yearold is doing

English Lit (most do it I think but not all)
Maths (and Stats not all do that either)
3 Sciences
PE (some choose GCSE some choose Btec all have to do it)
IT (btec again no choice all do it)

We did suggest he did history/geography instead of music (thanks Mr Gove). But he really wanted to do music so we let him. In the long run it won't make any difference. The Btecs are 'worth' more than 1 GCSE but the school only count them as one subject when counting them as one of the 5 A-Cs for offering an A level course.

derekthehamster Wed 30-Jan-13 09:02:29

Options are taken later in the year for my ds, but he goes to a selective indie where most go to RG/Oxbridge.

They take 10 GCSE's.

Compulsory are:
eng lit
eng lang
triple science

+ 2 option choices

bigTillyMint Wed 30-Jan-13 08:56:02

I think DD is doing 13!

10 compulsory -
English lit and lang
Triple Science
Language - Spanish
Humanities - History

3 options -
Art - Textiles

And she may be doing PE also!

At least they are doing them over 3 years!

cory Wed 30-Jan-13 08:41:25

Ours (comprehensive) do the following compulsory subjects:

English language
English lit
2 sciences (unless in cases of extreme difficulty)
One Tech subject (a range of options)
BTech in PE
IT (BTEch?)

Plus two options.

GinandJag Wed 30-Jan-13 06:53:56

9 or 10 GCSEs is the norm in most independent schools. I don't think there can be a problem with UCAS.

Some top universities will screen applications on the number of A/A*, eg minimum of 7, but most just check that you have English and Maths at grade C and possibly Science and a MFL at grade C. It is A2s that are used for university entrance.

Eastpoint Wed 30-Jan-13 06:05:54

I have heard the same as Senua. The very selective West London Independents allow 10 or 11 and get high percentages of pupils into Oxbridge/Russell Group. My DD (yr10) is doing 11, 2 MFL, triple science, history, geography, maths, English lit, English language & art. All her year do triple science.

MerryCouthyMows Wed 30-Jan-13 02:31:27

I'll repost, just in case.

DD is at what was a semi reasonable comp in a fairly affluent area lucked into HA house round the corner, changed to an Academy this Academic year.

DD is in Y10, chose her options in Feb of last year. She dropped MFL at the end of Y7 for reasons relating to her SN's, so she is doing one less GCSE than the rest of her year group. (The lessons timetabled for MFL are used for her Learning Support).

She is doing : Eng Lang, Eng Lit, Maths, Double Science (do you do separate Chemistry, Physics, Biology exams with the Double? She sits totally separate exams, maybe she's doing triple? She's predicted a C in science?), Religious Studies, IT, Catering and Textiles, all GCSE. She is also doing Health & Social Care BTEC. So to me that works out as 9 GCSE's plus a BTEC. And maybe one more GCSE if her Science is actually Triple. Which it might be - she gets separate grades in her reports for each science come to think about it.

So probably 10 plus a BTEC, and she's doing one less than most of her year group as no MFL.

So most are probably doing 11/12, and I know that top set definitely do 13, AND have the option of a 14th as a twilight class.

[boggles eyes]

I did 12, way back when <<cough, cough 16 years ago cough cough.>>

My Dbro did 15 (!) 5 years ago, but he did FOUR twilight courses, two in the course of Y10 (yes, in a year), and two in Y11. For fun. My Dbro is a self confessed nerd though. He got 11 A*'s, 3 A's and a B. He is just finishing Uni now, last year of an Environmental Science degree.

It seems they do lots at my DD's school then. Didn't realise 9/10 was so common.

MerryCouthyMows Wed 30-Jan-13 02:16:39

Where did my first post go?! Is it one of those posts that other people can see, but I can't? ~~~Twilight Zone music~~~

MerryCouthyMows Wed 30-Jan-13 02:14:21

Hers are all GCSE courses - except the Health & Social Care BTEC.

NeitherShreddedNorSmug Wed 30-Jan-13 01:47:13

DS1 is doing 9. That's all his school will allow them to do.

3 Science, Maths, English + 4 options (in his case History, Geog, French, Latin).

I have 9 O levels in old money.

Clary Wed 30-Jan-13 01:40:59

By the way I have 11 O levels (ancient) from a (state) grammar all girls' school which was always highly academic; HOWEVER I only have 11 cos I did one extra in yr 4/5 (told you I was old) and another extra language (spanish) in 6th form.

So the vast majority of folk did 9 even then, and even at that school.


Clary Wed 30-Jan-13 01:38:22

DS1 has to do Eng lit eng lang, maths and science (which is 1, 2 or 3 as far as I can see) and four others, so potentially just 8 (most pupils do take 2 science) or as many as 10 if doing triple science (top sets only, so not DS1). If good linguists they can pick up a second language and do that as an extra, so I suppose some will do 11, they will be doing a good deal of work after school tho. And in fact if you choose to do a vocational course or personalised learning you dro one option so maybe only 7 GCSEs. I'm guessing if that's you tho you will not be on a UCAS tip.

I would have thought 9 was fairly typical.

creamteas Tue 29-Jan-13 21:21:52

DC's comp in non GS area. They choose options in year 8.

Eng Lang GCSE
Maths GCSE
Science (single) GCSE
BTEC Sport
ICT Nat Dipoma

4 options to chose from (loads and loads of subjects, all the usual GCSE plus some extras like Astronomy as well as a good range of BTECs )
Can opt for double science or triple science (1 or 2) option blocks.

Top sets will take Eng and Maths in year 10, and then study Eng lit and Statistics in year 11.

BackforGood Tue 29-Jan-13 21:09:39

ds did his last year - not a grammar school, and he was not a typical MN's DC ever going to get a clutch of As or A*s. He took 10 + ICT OCR, which they maintained was "equivalent to 2GCSEs". Ended up with mostly Bs

dd is in Yr9 now. She's actually far more academically capable than ds, but, if she's understood it right (we've not had the parents meeting or any documents yet), she takes 8 compulsory, (Maths, 2xScience, Eng Lit, Eng Lang, RE, ICT, MFL) + 3 from option choice list.

ds's set did the 3rd science in the same timetabled lessons as some other sets did 2 sciences, but dd will have to use one of her options to take a 3rd science.

Ultimately it depends how they timetable things at your dc's school - I don't see you get that much choice in reality.

lainiekazan Tue 29-Jan-13 13:50:22

I have never seen a definitive answer to the question, is 9A*s considered better than 8A*s and 2As or 9A*s and 1B.

I was told by a very reliable source that for one course at one college at Cambridge (so not everywhere!) the applications were sifted by throwing out anyone without a full house. But obviously that is playing in to the hands of some schools who know the inside track and allow only the nine.

mumzy Tue 29-Jan-13 13:14:26

I would choose 8 academic subjects and one fun/ practical one

ninjahamster Tue 29-Jan-13 11:42:19

DD1 is year 10 and had as compulsory - maths, english lang, english lit, RE, physics, chemistry, biology then they had to pick a humanity (history for her), a language (german) and one more (catering) then she is doing environmental science as an extended learning gcse. So 11 for her.

DS1 is year 8 and currently picking options - he has the same compulsory subjects as her and then has to do a humanity, a language and pick 2 more. So 11 for him also.

She is at state, he is at grammar.

fubbsy Tue 29-Jan-13 11:12:17

Compulsory subjects are

English language
English literature
Double science
Citizenship (½ GCSE)

Then they have up to 4 options. Triple science counts as one of the options. 9 or 10 seems like plenty to me.

Picturesinthefirelight Tue 29-Jan-13 10:41:48

The optional subjects incidentally are

French, German, Spanish or Latin (a language strongly encouraged)
Home Ec

Picturesinthefirelight Tue 29-Jan-13 10:38:35

At the independent school dd will go to next year (lots of Oxbridge/Russell group/ med school acceptances) they do 9 with optiobs depending on whether they take double or triple science.

Core subjects are:
English Lit
Science (2 or 3)

They then choose 3 or 4 options

I believe they also offer drama as an extra curricular GCSE.

I'm glad of this as it means they can focus on what they need to do to get good grades but still have time for a life/extra curricular without loads of meaningless qualifications.

happygardening Tue 29-Jan-13 10:22:29

At DS's independent school they only do 9 IGCSE (including triple science) they do not do IGCSE Eng Lit or history but study it as a non public examined subject but can do both at Pre U and their results are very impressive. . They get approximately 34% into Oxbridge 8% into the Ivy League and the rest into top RG universities.
Hope this helps.

senua Tue 29-Jan-13 10:21:18

Ah! A Grammar school. Don't they go for quality over quantity? Better to have 9 A/A* than 12 B.
But I would be very surprised at not doing Eng Lit.

TheWoollybacksWife Tue 29-Jan-13 10:19:28

DD2 has just chosen her options

Eng Lang
Eng Lit
Double Science
DT are all compulsory and she has chosen 2 other optional subjects.

I make that 11. Good state school. Majority of pupils stay on for 6th form. Last year 80+% went on to university.

This Guardian Article makes interesting reading on the subject of the number of GCSEs taken.

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