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Is RE a mandatory GCSE subject?

(85 Posts)
tougholdbird Wed 16-Oct-13 17:10:03

Just that really - am trying to find out if I should tackle school or government about this? Thanks.

Genevieva Wed 26-Apr-17 10:50:28

Just seen this is a zombie thread.

Dear Rachel,
I am sorry to hear you are not enjoying Religious Education. It might not float your boat or maybe you haven't clicked with your R.E. teacher. Unfortunately life is full of things we have to do but would rather not and people we have to work with even if we don't always see eye to eye with them. Normally putting in more effort and showing appreciation is a good way of getting more out of something, so chin up and try your best. In the grand scheme of things your GCSE years are very short and then you can specialise in History Spanish and Photography at A Level.

R.E. has a lot of skills overlap with History - they both involve critical thinking and building up to essay-style exam questions - so you have the potential to enjoy your R.E. lessons.

ToffeeCaramel Wed 26-Apr-17 10:28:50

Dd's school say that since they have to teach it they may as well do a gcse in it so they all do it. I'm not religious but am happy for dd to do it as i think it's an interesting subject

Genevieva Wed 26-Apr-17 10:26:30

If you want to look up the rules they are covered by the Education Act 1944 and other more recent Acts, which do indeed require some sort of Religious Education. This doesn't have to be examined, but many schools choose to enter students into a GCSE or half GCSE on the grounds that it gives their over all opportunity for achieving grades a boost and provides some structure to the course. Working towards an exam can be motivating, so this is understandable, but there are sound reasons not to take this approach. Some secondary schools have non-examined lessons, it can also be included in a more synoptic way across the curriculum or it can form part of PSHE. It is up to the school to decide.

GCSE Religious Education is academic and unbiassed in approach. It involves learning about what two or three religions believe about God, the world and moral behaviour and often covers Philosophy of Religion and Ethics, looking at, for example, Kantian verses Utilitarian approaches to ethical dilemmas. It develops critical thinking skills as students have to present multiple points of view and critique them. So it is a worthwhile subject for atheists and pupils of any faith alike.

CrazedZombie Tue 25-Apr-17 21:07:58

RE Short Course is mandatory at our school. I was meh but there's quite a lot of philosophy which improves things somewhat.
It's not mandatory to take a GCSE but it is to havelearnung.

JufusMum Tue 25-Apr-17 14:50:08

As I understand it RE is an option in academies, and not in others. It is a core subject in most state (non academy) secondaries.

DD is in an academy and chose to take it as an option. She loves it. Not so much about religion but more about debate. It's changed a lot since our day. She intends to take it for A-level.

Oh and it's officially called "Philosophy and Ethics" now!

mummytime Tue 25-Apr-17 07:26:57

Zombie thread!

Nevillesfrog you might want to check with your school just how much time they spend on RE. My children's school only spends 1 lesson a week, and still gets everyone through the GCSE.
They key thing I think my DC have learnt is that on issues such as The Environment or Euthanasia or Poverty, people can have very different opinions and have a well thought out reason for those opinions. Also as so many wars are caused by people not understanding or respecting others religions, then learning about them is crucial for every young person.
Just look at headlines in the press and think about how they misrepresent various religions. If you can't see it ask your RE teacher to explain.

shouldwestayorshouldwego Tue 25-Apr-17 06:43:28

nevillesfrog you have bumped a zombie thread so people will reply to the original question. You will get more advice if you make a new thread. Mainly though you need to talk to your teachers and your parents. You will probably not be able to replace with a different subject because of timetabling. You might be able to do some alternative work (if your parents agree) and you might be able to not do the exam. You need to consider the benefits of debating and philosophy which are relevant in other topics.

shellhider Tue 25-Apr-17 06:19:25

I'm an atheist and don't care for religion but the RE GCSE is useful as it helps with essay writing skills and it's a good subject from the point of view of ethics and philosophical debates, I hope my youngest takes it. My eldest did a level philosophy and ethics because they enjoyed re despite being agnostic as they value it as a subject.

FennyBridges Tue 25-Apr-17 06:16:09

To be honest, it sounds like your son is in an excellent school if they are insisting on GCSE RS. With curriculums being expanded in other areas some schools have cut their RS timetabling and put that time elsewhere. Despite it being a statutory subject. If a school cares about RS, they'll care about all subjects.

sashh Tue 25-Apr-17 06:10:03

If you could share any of your wisdom on how to encourage a child who wants a career in computers, I would be very grateful, since it hadn't occurred to me that choosing RE over ICT was the obvious first step.

Taking any subject over ICT would be a good first step, and unless he is sitting GCSE this year then it isn't even an option. Art would be better (and out of my class of 5 taking computer science A Level many moons ago 3 of us also took art.)

You can study A Level computer science without GCSE. You can study a computing degree without GCSE computing/computer science.

RE HAS to be taught by the school so most chose to make it a GCSE option. You have the right to withdraw him but the school do not need to provide anything in its place.

The problem is that it's unlikely to be well-taught, and we'll end up in the position of law or sociology, where it's so badly taught at A Level that they'd actively prefer people to arrive as tabula rasa.
I actually disagree, schools are now recruiting specialist rather than getting the business studies teachers to teach it.

nevillesfrog Mon 24-Apr-17 18:59:09

Hello, My names Rachel and I attend secondary school. I am going to have to take RE GCSE next year and honestly it's the worst subject ever, for me anyways. All it does is add to the stress of all the other tests i have to take. I mean i get it, we have respect eachothers culture, and i do! But i just don't get how RE will ever help me in the future. I started losing interest in RE when i was in year 8 and now its just getting ridiculous. I've seen past test papers just to get an some sort of an idea of how a GCSE RE test would be and it's just stressful and annoying. I would rather focus on the subject that i've actually chosen to do for my GCSE like History, Spanish, Photograph. I don't want to do a subject that i have no passion for, that I don't understand, that i dont even care about.

suecardiff Thu 26-Jun-14 12:04:34

Your chance to have your say on the National Curriculum for Wales.

Closes on 30th June so be quick!!!

wales.gov.uk/topics/educationandskills/schoolshome/curriculuminwales/curriculum-for-wales/contact-us/?lang=en

LaFataMalvagia Thu 17-Oct-13 19:56:03

YY to what talkinpeace said, my brother did 'Digital Media Development' at Brighton (stupid name but great course) and has never struggled to find website design work, he had various different people offering him work before his course was even over (did lots of good placements)

Talkinpeace Thu 17-Oct-13 19:45:29

Friday16 It most certainly is and a friend of mine is a lecturer in it.
The employment prospects of their graduates are rather excellent.
The entry requirements are minimum 3 Cs at Al level including Maths.

friday16 Thu 17-Oct-13 19:19:05

Further top tip: "Computer Games Design" as a degree subject. hmm

titchy Thu 17-Oct-13 18:54:19

grin At maths and debating club!!! Top tip when it comes to it - do NOT put on UCAS personal statement 'I want to do this subject because I am really good at and love computer games'.....

friday16 Thu 17-Oct-13 18:50:00

I have read that all pupils must have the opportunity to study GCSE computer science

How many secondary schools are there in your area which are still in LEA control and therefore subject to the national curriculum?

tougholdbird Thu 17-Oct-13 18:36:18

Really useful to hear all this - thanks all, and I freely admit it sounds like I have been focused on the wrong things.

Off now to hover anxiously over Little Johnny's maths homework and sign him up for debating club.....grin

friday16 Thu 17-Oct-13 18:13:39

What they want are very very very good Maths skills.

Indeed. There's a straightforward correlation between degree classification and A Level Maths grade, far more so than any other qualification.

He might however be disadvantaged by an inability to debate, discuss and listen to others, all of which can be demonstrated through the RE and Ethics curriculum.

Today I saw the panic in the eyes of a bunch of third years when it was suggested they might like to write an essay.

Their competitors at US universities will have done freshman comp. It matters.

titchy Thu 17-Oct-13 17:18:04

Agree good to filter out those that don't actually like programming and think 'doing something with computers' means playing games and apps all day!

titchy Thu 17-Oct-13 17:12:43

OP have you actually looked at university requirements for Computer Science degrees? They don't even require A Level Computer Science, let alone GCSE Comp Sci or ICT! What they want are very very very good Maths skills.

Little Johnny is really not going to be disadvantaged by not doing it at GCSE. He might however be disadvantaged by an inability to debate, discuss and listen to others, all of which can be demonstrated through the RE and Ethics curriculum.

friday16 Thu 17-Oct-13 17:10:59

GCSE computer science is worthless.

I think that's a bit harsh. It's O Level Computer Studies circa 1979, and none the worse for that. If well taught, I can't see it would do any harm. The syllabus looks roughly sensible, and if everyone arriving in the first year of a computer science degree had that knowledge the world would be a better place. It would also filter out the people who it turns out don't enjoy programming.

The problem is that it's unlikely to be well-taught, and we'll end up in the position of law or sociology, where it's so badly taught at A Level that they'd actively prefer people to arrive as tabula rasa. We'll see how it all works out over the next few years, I think.

tougholdbird Thu 17-Oct-13 17:06:52

I have read that all pupils must have the opportunity to study GCSE computer science, but no doubt you are right * friday*.

talk do you mean the revised curriculum GCSE will be worthless, or are you just talking about what has gone before?

Talkinpeace Thu 17-Oct-13 16:57:40

GCSE computer science is worthless.
Kids need sound maths, good logic and the willingness to try.

friday16 Thu 17-Oct-13 16:53:41

schools should be offering GCSE in computer science

They can, not should. It'll be interesting to find out how many schools actually offer it. The main problem's staffing.

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