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GCSE Options - Opinions on ICT and Food Tec please

(12 Posts)
Dancingdreamer Sat 15-Mar-14 22:27:41

My DD has to finalise her options this week and still can't decide on her options. As well as usual English, Maths and Science has to do MFL (German). Then has to choose 4 more of which she will get 3. Def decided on history. Then can't decide between Food, ICT, Latin and Geography. She likes all the subjects but is very keen to do Food and ICT. I am worried that 2 practical subjects won't look good in the mix. On the other hand I think ICT will be relatively easy for her compared to say Latin and is she better to get a higher grade in ICT rather than a lower grade in say Latin?

Bit of background: She wants to move to board at 6th so I am more worried about her choices and how they would be viewed by any potential school. Interested in science, engineering or economics at university (at the moment!) She is bright (top 1% according to school tests) but tends to underperform in exams compared to course work. Been tested for dyslexia but feedback was inconclusive.

Any advice please?

MillyMollyMama Sun 16-Mar-14 00:02:08

Do I understand correctly that she will only get 3 more GCSEs, not 4? There is no art subject included which means the spread of subjects could be broader which is standard advice when choosing GCSE subjects. It is best to do triple science too which is better preparation for science A levels. For science or economics it will not make a huge difference what others she chooses but Geography and Latin are more academic than the other two. Of the others IT is generally a bit boring so Food might be better but I would look for a different technology as Food is not the best technology for engineering or a science career. However, if she enjoys it, do it.

Dancingdreamer Sun 16-Mar-14 08:24:24

Thanks for reply. Yes she will only get 3 more subjects but has to choose 4 so the school can arrange the timetable. The school have decided this year to focus on 10 good GCSEs because if this new best 8 rule. She will do triple science.

The school is quite small so the choices are really limited. The arts options are music, art and drama, none of which she wants to do. The only other option is Spanish which she woukd have to take from scratch. She did some Spanish at junior school but is worried that it is too risky as she has stuggled a bit with French and will drop this.

She is concerned that ITC would be a bit boring but thinks it could be an easy good grade esp as she is good at course work.

titchy Sun 16-Mar-14 08:47:52

If the school are (sensibly!) limiting them to 10, then 1 tech subject will be absolutely fine if the rest are academic, so if history is a given I think she shoul pick either ICT or food, not both. ICT has coursework, don't know about food tech except not much cooking happens! Either Latin or Geog would be fine whichever of these she ends up with.

HolidayCriminal Sun 16-Mar-14 09:46:32

Other MNers have said that Food Tech is a lot of work; a lot of it is about business models, packaging, nutrition, presentation, marketing, etc.

ITC is a bit basic nuts & bolts, though. If she's already comfortable on the poota I'd prefer FoodTech.

Dancingdreamer Sun 16-Mar-14 18:16:33

My concern is that she does 2 practical subjects out of 10. How would that look to prospective 6th forms and/or university admissions? Does it look like she is not academic enough? Am I overthinking this? Never had this prob with my eldest as he had a forced choice as had to select from from subject groups.

titchy Sun 16-Mar-14 19:21:22

She'd probably be ok if the remaining 8 were A or A* but personally I'd limit an academic child to one creative or tech subject unless they're doing 12+ GCSEs.

HercShipwright Mon 17-Mar-14 08:46:18

Don't do either. Geography and Latin are the way to go.

senua Mon 17-Mar-14 09:03:53

If she is interested in Engineering or Economics, I would say that Geography could be a useful subject.

You then have a good set of academic subjects so she can have free choice on the last one (as long as she has done her research and knows what is involved eg comments above about Food not involving much cooking).

HolidayCriminal Mon 17-Mar-14 10:03:38

You must ask your candidate 6th forms about what they think of 2 practical subjects; if she was going into practical areas this wouldn't even be an issue. Our local 6th forms only require BBCCC x GCSEs as minimum entry (only one 6th form in the county has spec requirements about what subjects, either), so as long as core subjects are high marks they can still get on almost any course. Your boarding-choice 6th forms may be more selective. I would ask them directly.

University admissions it's very unlikely to matter unless she's aiming for very competitive courses (medicine, law or vet school) or Oxbridge/UCL/Harvard/Sorbonne/etc.

longingforsomesleep Mon 17-Mar-14 10:18:45

Goodness - DS2 has GCSEs in PE and Food Tech, is hoping to do Geography or Environmental Sciences at uni and has been told to aim for top universities. Never occurred to me that 2 practical subjects might be an issue!

At his school (selective) they do a basic IT qualification in years 7/8 (equiv to a GCSE B) and then the only other IT related courses on offer are Computing A level - which can be started early. I asked the HT about the lack of IT GCSE and he said he didn't think there was any need, a) because so many kids are IT savvy and b) IT is used/taught cross-curricular (power point presentations etc).

DS enjoyed Food Tech but wished he'd done History instead of PE. Not that that's of any help to you!

Dancingdreamer Mon 17-Mar-14 23:29:38

Thank you all.

Holidaycriminal - I'm not sure if she will be aiming for Oxbridge but would hate that she didn't get a place because of one choice at GCSE!

Titchy - I was surprised that she can do 2 practical subjects out of 10 simply because at my DS's school (which is more academic) he was limited to 1 because of subject groups. I think this is why am so uncomfortable about her doing 2.

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