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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.

LynetteScavo Fri 22-Feb-13 10:58:36

Thank you. So it doesn't seem to make any difference if he does photography or BS - and I'm sure he will do much better in BS than photography.

I'm going to speak to the school about him doing History rather than BS. It's a lot of humanities, though- RE History and Geography, isn't it? confused

OddBoots Fri 22-Feb-13 11:33:13

I've been a little worried as ds seems to only being doing 7-9 GCSEs (Eng lit and 3rd science depends on his results in a few months) which is standard at his school and that doesn't seem many but now looking at the university entrance requirements I think maybe doing fewer of them but spending proportionally more time on each shouldn't hinder him much if at all. I could just be talking myself into that to stop myself getting into a panic though!

LynetteScavo Fri 22-Feb-13 18:44:15

OddBoots, personally I think it's better to do less subject, and achieve higher grades than do more subjects and do less well in each one.

I think as long as you have 5 B's required to do A'levels (that's what it is for DSs school and the other school we were considering for A'levels - don't know about elsewhere) then it should be fine. I think Uni's, unless the course is really popular, look mostly at A'level results, and people get far too worked up about what GCSE reslults will mean long term. Although I'm prepared to be told otherwise.

5madthings Fri 22-Feb-13 19:03:31

We are at this stage as well, ds1 is aug born and in yr 9. He moved schools in nov as we werent happy with old school. The new one is great.

He has to take

Eng lang and eng lit
Triple science
Citizenship studies/re
Ict btec

Then will also do
Computer science

He is in top sets for everything and doing great, his parents evening was embarrassingly positive just before half term. But i am pleased he has settled in so well and is now enjoying school again smile

LynetteScavo Fri 22-Feb-13 19:38:59

5madthings, are you worried about no language?

DS will be doing
English X 2
Science X 3
Product Design (I want him to do something vaguely arty)
Business studies - which I'm now going to desperately try to change to History. DH is rolling his eyes. DS says "whatever".

Jux Fri 22-Feb-13 20:03:44

DD has just chosen. There wasn't a great deal of choice, tbh, as apparently she had to do 3 sciences (it's the law??? Dd did not say this, her tutor did). This meant that in the end she had to choose between art and music, which was a massive problem.

So she is now doing

Ancient history - which apparently is two GCSEs

She's fab at French, English and History, RE and Art. Is not so hot on maths, but is somewhere in the middle of the top set (but she hates it). She's not done any German but nor has anyone else at the school so they have an introductory course at the end of this year to prepare them. Her language teachers seem confident.

It looks like a lot of work to me. Mind you, it was normal for pupils to do 10-12 O levels in my day (I didn't!), so maybe it's OK?

cricketballs Fri 22-Feb-13 20:08:39

Lynette - I am pasting a post I put on MN earlier this year to put your mind at rest regarding Business...

There is a huge preconception that business is a soft subject mainly mn however if you actually look at the spec there is a lot more to it than meets the eye.

The subject content has a huge range from ownership types, legal, finance, HR, motivation, basic economics, marketing amongst other things which gives students a insight into the world of work and a taste of the different aspects to a business which every working adult will face at some point in their careers.

The skills needed to achieve a high grade are on a par with the traditional academic subjects, for example there is a lot of analysis and evaluation skills needed; especially in the controlled assessment.

Business Studies enables students to understand the real world that is happening now; gives them an insight into what they will be facing (no matter what career path they follow) in the future; gives them a taste of several different aspects to a business and is one of the most popular subjects studied at degree level in either its pure business form or as an specialised aspect.

But my main defence of my subject is that this is basic common education that every young adult needs to make sense of the world we live in, to make sense of the decision that are made at work, to try and make sense of the decisions made by governments, to understand the implications of these decisions etc - in fact it should be compulsory wink

BrigitBigKnickers Fri 22-Feb-13 20:34:56

My DD had very little choice-compulsory core, triple science, history or geography, Spanish or French, full course PE and RE.This left her with three free choices one of which had to be a DT subject... So she chose ICT, music and drama. Thankfully they do these 13 GCSEs over three years so not quite as pressurised as one might think. They also all do the duke of Edinburgh bronze as part of their PE in year 9 and

Having said that the huge number of compulsory subjects to enable the ebaac means that, unlike many of her friends at other schools, she was allowed to take both of her passions- music and drama.

5madthings Fri 22-Feb-13 20:35:06

lynette i am a bit concerned but he hates french. His french teacher sats he will easily get a b grade if not an a but ds1 hates it. So i think its bwtter he does subjects he enjoys.

I had forgotten to say statistics is an after school extra the maths teacher is running as an extra for ds1 and a few others. He said ds1 is the most able mathematician he has seen at his age blush

Ds1 was also interested in media studies possibly but i worry its a 'soft' subject and he would have to drop history or geography to do it.

ByTheSea Fri 22-Feb-13 20:49:47

DD1 has to take maths, english X 2, biology, chemistry, physics, religious studies, critical thinking, ICT (completing in Y9), history or geography, French or German, and 2 additional options (she needed to pick 3 just in case). She has chosen history and German and also Latin and psychology, with Spanish as a third voice is Latin or psych are not available. I think she'll be ok with this selection. She's an all rounder with particular strength in languages and humanities. It's very academic but it's what you'd expect of her super-selective grammar.

ByTheSea Fri 22-Feb-13 20:50:32

Oh yeah, she has statistics too.

maddiemostmerry Fri 22-Feb-13 20:55:21

I'm amazed at how little choice some of your children have, seems like Gove is getting his way!

Does anyone have a ds doing dance gcse, or and older child that has done/is doing it?


webwiz Fri 22-Feb-13 22:53:10

DD2 did dance GCSE - what do you want to know maddie?

DizzyHoneyBee Sat 23-Feb-13 08:51:00

DD won't be doing a language either, it did concern me a bit at first but she wants to concentrate on science so I'm just living with it. She's doing applied engineering, triple science, geography, art and design and AS level critical thinking for her options and then English x 2, Maths, RE, PE and ICT.

The school do DofE for those who want it but she's doing it outside of school with a club she is a member of, we're just sorting out her voluntary work at the moment.
She could do an extra academic subject and do art and design after school but we've looked at the list of what is on offer instead of art during school hours there is nothing that makes it worthwhile doing a subject after school

5madthings Sat 23-Feb-13 09:52:01

dizzy ds1 was offered as level critical thinking but having spokem to friends who teach in high schools about it we opted against.

maddiemostmerry Sat 23-Feb-13 10:04:04

Hi webwiz, I guess just how high does the standard of dance need to be. Ds does musical theatre, but not ballet or formal dance lessons. He is considering them.

It's a boys school and dance is a new GCSE for them. He would be hoping to aim for a grade B. I think I'm feeling a bit nervous about it as it's not likely to be chosen by many boys.

Any advice would be welcome, thanks smile

webwiz Sat 23-Feb-13 12:51:58

Maddie for DD2's course they had to learn a set work and perform it as well as write their own choreography for a group dance. DD2 had years of experience doing ballet and scored very highly on the set work but the choreography turned into a bit of a nightmare! If you have a lot of dance experience then you have developed a good memory for dance movements but that doesn't mean you can't do well with enough practice. Because DD2's group were all such good dancers they ended up taking the GCSE in a year but normally they would spend a lot of the lesson time covering dance technique.

If you know what exam board your DS would be doing then you will be able to have a look at what set work they are using (they keep the same one for a few years) and there will usually be a million you tube videos of it that you can look at and judge the standard. If he's willing to give it a go then it sounds like he'll be fine.

maddiemostmerry Sat 23-Feb-13 16:49:47

Webwiz, thanks very much for the info. We have looked on you tube and he feels he would be able to do those dances. Think he will start start ballet classes as well to help with posture and poise.


webwiz Sat 23-Feb-13 17:18:06

Hope he enjoys the course Maddie and is a bit more reassured now.

DizzyHoneyBee Sun 24-Feb-13 20:15:16

5madthings, what did your friends say?
We've just filled in the form as she is taking it to school tomorrow so at the moment she's ticked the box for critical thinking but we can change it and keep the form until the 1st.

5madthings Sun 24-Feb-13 20:19:20

They didnt seem to think it worthwhile tbh. Said its very boring and can easily be done at a later date if a student wants/needs it but not worth doing at gcse age as its better to focus on getting good gcse's. None if them.had anything positive to say about it! Sorry if thats not what you wsnted to hear!

DizzyHoneyBee Sun 24-Feb-13 20:25:19

Thanks 5madthings. With the other subjects that DD has picked then I think they will have to take centre stage anyway so I will leave it with her doing it and be prepared to advise dropping it if need be. I think DD is expecting to be doing something like philosophy though it looks different from the example paper I saw online!
It's worth knowing, thank you.

GreenShadow Fri 01-Mar-13 13:03:08

Hello all.
New to this thread, so apologies if I am going over old ground.

We had DSs options evening last night and he has always loved and wanted to do history so we took a a look at the syllabus. It seems a little odd - they only study the American West 1840 - 95 and Medicine in history. It's the OCR board.

He's now uncertain as to whether he actually wants to take History. Is this a very wide spread syllabus? What areas do your DC study?

Horsemad Fri 01-Mar-13 15:50:46

Mine's doing Medicine, Vietnam War & not sure what else in History.

Horsemad Fri 01-Mar-13 15:52:35

We've got Options evening next week. Can't believe I'm at this stage with my baby!!
Where has the time gone? sad

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