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GCSE Choices 2013 (exams 2015) support thread

(207 Posts)
DizzyHoneyBee Mon 11-Feb-13 15:27:08

Here we go....options choices this month, exams in summer 2015. We're choosing options at the moment but I've not come across a support thread.

Does your DC know what they want to do already or are they needing a lot of help deciding?
Where have you gone for information?

We get a booklet this week apparently and then have a meeting at school to discuss listen to a sales pitch by the teachers discuss the options that are best and then we have about 2 weeks to make a decision.

Magdalena45 Mon 11-Feb-13 15:45:35

It is hard, my daughter knows most of what she wants but there are a couple of spaces free... and about 6 potential options to fill them. Parents' evening this week. If I get any useful insight, I will report back! Does your DC know what sort of area they might be interested in for the future?

fubbsy Mon 11-Feb-13 15:56:16

My dd wasn't sure what she wanted to do until we went to options evening. They have 4 choices, but she had 7 things she was thinking of.

My dd's school have been great with giving out information. Options evening was certainly helpful for dd. Yes the teachers give a bit of a sales pitch, but they also tell what topics they will be covering. So, for example, my dd picked history rather than geography because she liked the topics better.

I also managed to have a little chat with the deputy head (even though dd was embarassed about me approaching her) who steered us in the right direction.

DizzyHoneyBee Mon 11-Feb-13 15:58:17

Mine is pretty certain yes, they just need to choose between French/German, History/Geography and Fine Art/Music. She wants to do triple science.
We had parents' evening last week and got no useful insights they, they all wanted her to do their subject. I'm told that is fairly typical really. Hopefully we will know more at the options evening - I will report back as well as that is this week.

DizzyHoneyBee Mon 11-Feb-13 15:59:42

That's good about being told the topics, hopefully that will help DD make her choices of the language and humanity that she does and then to choose her "fun" subject (her words not mine) from art or music (she knows both will be a lot of work).

Erebus Mon 11-Feb-13 16:32:10

Our issue is that the school don't let DC undertake courses unless they're likely to get a good pass! Right now I am making DS1 revise Science as he has a Science assessment 'in a couple of weeks' which is when his options booklet has to be in by. Coincidence?! I have pointed out that us ticking the triple science box will be noted when it comes to his result, but it doesn't say 'Tick here to do triple science' it says 'tick here if you wish to be considered for triple science'. The booklet needs a bit of interpreting. It describes all the courses but you have to read between the lines esp in the IT/computing options to work out if the qualification is aimed at lower ability DC who won't manage the full GCSE or at selected higher ability DC who can do better than the GCSE! It's not necessarily obvious!

Erebus Mon 11-Feb-13 16:37:10

Actually, the pressure is on for DS, a bit. He didn't get offered Statistics GCSE taken in Y10 but that only goes to the top 27 out of 270, bearing in mind there are some very clever DC in the school (3 in Y9 already have A* Maths A levels...); he was then 'borderline' for a second MFL (he was given the choice and declined)- it's automatically given to the top 2 groups (in their MFL), so 54 DC;but the top 3 groups (in science) get triple science, about 90 out of 270. I believe DS is in that category but he will have to do a serious rethink about his future if he doesn't get triple science!

DizzyHoneyBee Mon 11-Feb-13 16:43:25

I haven't seen the booklet from DD's school yet, however we have had a letter which says we will be told which pathway is most appropriate for our DC. I've heard somewhere that they have to be level 6 for triple science but also that the government have now removed this requirement.

Good luck to your DS1, keeping my fingers crossed that he does well at the assessment. At DD's school the top X number of children get to do triple science, last time I was told anything she was fine thankfully.

BehindLockNumberNine Mon 11-Feb-13 16:51:56

DS submitted his choices (via online Frog thingimijig) last night. The school held form-tutor progress reviews, an options information evening and then a meet-the-teacher evening to help. Special assemblies and talks on certain subjects were also given to the pupils during the course of several school days.
We were advised which pathway our child would be on and what options would be available for them.
Ds is top set science so provided he is still top set at the end of Y10 he will be put in for further additional science which will give him three science GCSE's.
He had to choose one humanity (he has gone for history) and one mfl (he has gone for German) and then two free subjects (he has gone for geography and drama)
I feel he has chosen well.
Now we just have to wait and hear he has been given his choice of subjects. He had to put down a reserve just in case though...

Erebus Mon 11-Feb-13 17:00:22

DS wants to do:
Business and Communication System (Y10)
Eng Lang
Eng Lit
Computer Science
Systems Control (electronics)
Triple science

I think it's a bit sciency myself! But we have parents eve before then and they have 2 more assemblies.

DizzyHoneyBee Mon 11-Feb-13 17:01:46

Erebus, I hope that the pressure is off him soon, it all sounds very tough.
Wasn't it easier when we did the exams when we just got our choices automatically?

Erebus Mon 11-Feb-13 17:10:30

Nah, DS needs some pressure on him tbh. For the first time ever, he got a 2 for 'effort' on his last report - in Science! That's 'doesn't always fully concentrate'. I believe he'd actually have better served by attending a school that kept a certain degree of pressure (or 'expectation') on him from Y7 instead of this sudden mid-Y9 rev-up.

DizzyHoneyBee Mon 11-Feb-13 18:22:22

Ah, now I see. DD's school tend to keep the pressure on from Yr 7 and it has served her well in a lot of ways.
I take it that your DS wants a career in IT/Science then, that's a lot of IT related stuff, stuff that I hadn't expected to see offered to be honest.
DD wants to do Latin but I doubt that it is offered at her school.

Erebus Mon 11-Feb-13 19:59:40

I lay my trust in the school to know what they're doing! That's the only way through this! But the way I see it is they know they can carry on the way they do (slackish Y8...) because they know us parents will pick up and help apply the necessary 'pressure'!

TBF, the school does have the runs on the board. It's a true comp but it's 92% '5 GCSEs inc Eng & Maths' and 58% Eng Bacc demonstrates they've done it all before- like maybe putting the frighteners on a clever-enough but slacking off boy near the start of Y9!

DizzyHoneyBee Tue 12-Feb-13 12:32:44

Yes, I lay my trust in them as well, though it means telling my inner control freak to shut up and mind her own business.
92% 5 GCSEs is impressive, it's about 62% here after an awful OFSTED report three years ago.

Incogneetow Wed 13-Feb-13 21:28:20

ds2 changes his mind every day.
Depending on what he's read, who he's spoken to, etc!

ds1 knew which GCSE options he wanted to do from wk1 of yr7.
ds2 is not like that!

DizzyHoneyBee Thu 14-Feb-13 16:24:13

DD has come up with two shortlists, namely triple science, geography, art and design plus the core subjects then either French or Applied Engineering for her last option. She'll then do the standard English Language and Literature, Maths, RE and ICT so will end up doing 12 GCSEs. She also wants to do A/S level critical thinking.

Options evening is tonight so we'll see what they have to say, our main concern is that if she doesn't go for French (which she doesn't like) then she won't have the English Bacc. but we're not sure if that matters for university.

fubbsy Fri 15-Feb-13 10:17:19

English Bacc probably doesn't matter for university. Have you seen the Russell Group's Informed Choices? It's mostly about A level choices, but there is a section on GCSEs.

They say "the English Baccalaureate includes academic subjects highly valued by the Russell Group but is not currently required for entry to any Russell Group university. With the exception of English and Maths, and in a few cases a Modern Foreign Language, most universities have no universal entry requirements in terms of GCSE subjects."

IMO the more important thing to think about would be to make sure her GCSE choices will allow her to do the A levels she might want.

DizzyHoneyBee Fri 15-Feb-13 21:03:58

Thanks, that's good to know. She wants to do science at A level (all 3) so as long as she does triple science she is fine.

Sparklingbrook Fri 15-Feb-13 21:06:49

Hello. Can i join? DS1 is a summer born 13 year old and seems so young to be doing this. Meetings after half term-then decision time.

BehindLockNumberNine Fri 15-Feb-13 22:10:12

Hi Sparkling <waves>

Ds is August born, so 13 and has just submitted his options last Sunday (they were due today)
The process itself was less painful than feared and we had plenty of time to meet teachers, talk about subjects etc.

It will be fine smile and for us parents there is always wine

Sparklingbrook Fri 15-Feb-13 22:11:58

Thanks Behind. It just seems to have come round so soon. smile He has no clue what he wants to do career wise.

BehindLockNumberNine Fri 15-Feb-13 23:02:17

It has, hasn't it smile

Ds has a vague idea of what he wants to do in the future but nothing definite so has kept his options open by going down the triple science route and double humanities.
I feel he has chosen a well-rounded-covers-all-bases set of GCSE's which should allow him to do most A levels smile

HoraceTheCheese Fri 15-Feb-13 23:17:34

We had options evening and parent's evening this week. DD already knew what she wanted except for which MFL - she prefers German but her report seemed better for French. Unfortunately one teacher was ill and the other overbooked but we spoke to the deputy head who looked into it and said she's fine to do German . So:
Eng x2
Science x3 (separate subjects, the chemistry is an accredited iGCSE from a different board for some reason)
Computer Science
reserve choice RS

SanityClause Fri 15-Feb-13 23:28:49

Wow! Our forms had to be in on Monday, so all done and dusted.

DD1 is doing Maths, 2x English, RE, DT (Textiles) ICT (actually an OCR, I think) Dual science (but they are allowed to go on to study individual sciences at A level/IB) French, Geography, Dance and something called the Enrichment option, which is an extended project, equivalent to a GCSE, and then AS Critical Thinking in year 11.

She is currently doing GCSE Drama outside the school.

Her reserve subject is Music.

She loves English, but doesn't know what she wants to do, yet, career wise.

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