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Which of these GCSE options have the least coursework?

(86 Posts)
KatyMac Tue 29-Jan-13 20:01:20

DD is busy outside of school - so we need a lighter option

So which should we pick? (she has to pick 2)
GCSE Applied Business
GCSE Catering
GCSE Graphics
GCSE History
BTEC Drama
GCSE Child Development
GCSE Media Studies
GCSE Photography

We have rejected GCSE Art, Photography, Resistant Materials & Psychology and BTEC Art & Design as we thought they would be time intensive.

She will be doing English Lang & Lit, Maths, Science (2 I think), Geography, Spanish, Music, (she has already taken BTEC Dance & BTEC Science)

KatyMac Tue 29-Jan-13 20:20:33


Leeds2 Tue 29-Jan-13 20:39:21

I don't know, but I would've thought photography had a lot of course work. I know my friend's son was struggling because he had taken A* photographs, but wasn't prepared to put the time in to make sure his folder of work was presented properly, I think meaning a paragraph describing each photo taken.

I thought course work was being done away with, anyway.

Sorry, not much help!

KatyMac Tue 29-Jan-13 20:42:01

Really? That would be good

She doesn't really need 12 anyway but rules are rules

Hassled Tue 29-Jan-13 20:43:32

It's all controlled assessments these days, Katy - so you go away and prepare, some in class, some at home, and then write it up in class under tightly controlled conditions. With my older kids there were hours and hours of writing at home - not any more.

With her ability and interests I'd go for the PE, and with the knowledge that she would have picked up by osmosis along the way I'd go for Child Development grin.

KatyMac Tue 29-Jan-13 20:46:27

The controlled assessments seem OK - it's just she has little or no time for homework at all

I wondered about PE & either Child Development or Catering or maybe Drama

She'd rather do none of them

ATruthUniversallyAcknowledged Tue 29-Jan-13 20:47:41

Drama doesn't have much by way of written controlled assessments, but please don't let her do it if she'd only be taking it as a lighter option hmm

There's lots of group work, rehearsals, visits etc, and it's blimin' annoying for peers when one member of a group isn't really committed.

KatyMac Tue 29-Jan-13 20:50:51

Well actually she wants to study Musical Theatre so Drama would be good; but we'd have to fight for it as they don't like the children to do Music & Dance & Drama

KatyMac Tue 29-Jan-13 21:03:25

I suppose it's worth the fight - damn I was after an easy life

NewFerry Tue 29-Jan-13 22:15:19

Sorry, I appreciate this may be controversial, but given that your dd is taking 2xBTEC already, along with 7 GCSEs, if she were mine I would push for at least 1 more GCSE.

As an aside, a friends dd has just been accepted at drama school. Her dd took the standard 11 GCSEs required by the school. Off the top of my head, I know these included 2xEnglish, maths, 2x science, RE, dance, drama, music, and a technical subject. Alongside at least 8 dance classes each week, plus drama group, and most holidays were spent on dance courses. She also plays a musical instrument to a high standrd and sings in school choir and jazz group. She is incredibly talented, and she would say she is not hugely academic. However, she is very organised and she coped with the very heavy workload.

Good luck to your dd in taking this path.

Dominodonkey Wed 30-Jan-13 00:14:36

Little or no time for home work? At gcse? Don't worry about the options, she is unlikely to do well in any subjects with a parent who clearly thinks that extra curricular activities are far more important than education.

SirBoobAlot Wed 30-Jan-13 00:26:49

You might as well pat her on the back and say "Don't worry about your GCSEs, you have fun outside of school" if you are honestly going into her most important years at school with "we need a lighter option" as your priority.

And it really don't matter what her outside interests are, or how they will relate to what she wants to do, if she doesn't have good GCSE results, she will be set back regardless.

Think you really need to change your perspective on this. She will have to work hard for whatever subjects she studies.

Startail Wed 30-Jan-13 00:29:14

History Y7- Y9 produced vast amounts of HW so DD refused to have anything further to do with it.

Unfortunately it's maths and prep for controlled english assessments that cause work here.

GCSE drama only causes work for me (washing black clothes) not HW for DD.
Music causes very little.More I guess for DCs who need to practice an instrument (DD sings and would do lessons and choir anyway, singing's what she dies best), Geography a bit and Art quite a bit.

Mind you art is rather like a piece of string, you can make it take as long as you like. DD likes messing.

Startail Wed 30-Jan-13 00:29:58

does best

KatyMac Wed 30-Jan-13 08:11:04

She intends to be a professional dancer & spends 18 hours a week studying - part of that at vocational school; she is leaving home at 16 to go to vocational school for 3 years & when she has spent 8-10 years dancing she will go to university as a mature student to study for the 'next career'. She has one chance in her life to do dance, now at this age; I returned to study many times during my work life - taking anything from short term courses with no qualifications through NVQ (several), to degree & yesterday I completed a post graduate qualification.

The idea that education can only be done at 16 is sad imo.

She vocational studies are equally important to her academic studies & I have requested that she does 8 over 3 years rather than the 14 the school prefers. My request was refused. They have allowed her to drop 2 and replace some with BTEC. I'm not allowed to flexi school and she would rather not home school although it could be practical. What little time she has I would rather she spends on English, Maths, Science, Spanish & Geography - the ones I consider important.

I think she has 8 GCSEs in mind which is what I think appropriate; at 30/35 her place at uni will be based on the study she does immediately previous to that not what she did 15-20 years ago

webwiz Wed 30-Jan-13 08:15:33

@SirBoobAlot making sure the workload is manageable whether or not you have outside interests is a very sensible thing to do. The courses offered are very coursework heavy with the exception of History but as the OP's daughter already has a balanced list of subjects including a language, a humanity and an arts subject then consideration of the last two does come down to what will create the least extra work.

cory Wed 30-Jan-13 08:58:31

Dominodonkey Wed 30-Jan-13 00:14:36
"Little or no time for home work? At gcse? Don't worry about the options, she is unlikely to do well in any subjects with a parent who clearly thinks that extra curricular activities are far more important than education. "

You fail to allow for the fact that in some families the extra-curricular activities are going to be the most important part of somebody's education.

There are many times in life when you can take GCSEs but a dancer has to learn while she is young.

My db at this age spent far more time working on his violin playing than he did on school work. He still did extremely well in his grades and is now a professor of an academic subject. Even though he did not stay in music forever, the work ethic and sheer stamina he acquired as a teenager stood him in good stead when he switched to academe later in life.

KatyMac Wed 30-Jan-13 09:36:36

Thanks to everyone that understands

So we go with Drama & ???

GCSE Applied Business
GCSE Catering
GCSE Graphics
GCSE Child Development
GCSE Media Studies

Still 6 to choose from.....

webwiz Wed 30-Jan-13 09:44:10

In the circumstances I think I would go for media studies,if there's any coursework but it should all be done in school and it won't have additional out of school commitments.

mollymole Wed 30-Jan-13 09:44:37

My son has just retired from top level athletics and was told long ago by a huge household name athlete that ' you can study at any age but you will only be young and fit enough to follow your dream for a short time'.

Toomuchtea Wed 30-Jan-13 09:53:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LIZS Wed 30-Jan-13 09:58:15

What does she want to do . tbh I think 12 is ridiculous if you do them for the sake of it . Better to get good grades in say , 10 imho. Media Studies is seen as "soft" but at least you can demonstrate analytical skills whereas History could be heavy going. How come she is selecting so late though isn't she already year 10/11?

KatyMac Wed 30-Jan-13 10:05:01

She did Dance & Science BTEC in Yr9
Geog & Spanish over yrs 9 & 10
Music in Yr 10
End Lang & Lit, Maths, Science over yrs 10 & 11

& she has to choose 2 options for Yr11 (she is in yr 10). She would rather spend the 5 hours a week stretching/practising and doing coursework for other subjects. She has an arrangement with her form tutor that she sits at a table outside her room during PE/ethics and does coursework/homework. But they won't allow any more hours spent that way.

HSMM Wed 30-Jan-13 10:18:37

DD is doing drama, which she is hoping will also help with the performance aspect of her dancing. She decided art was too time intensive. She could have done PE and used dance as one of her activities.

HSMM Wed 30-Jan-13 10:19:59

We are still planning academic A levels before dance college ... but we'll see.

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