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Help! GCSE options evening, what should I be asking?

(8 Posts)
LostInWales Thu 20-Mar-14 12:58:23

Got the options evening tonight, DS1 wants to do science's and engineering type courses, although they only allow 20 on the Btec engineering course. What do I do or say? I normally go all Perry at parents evening, head down and 'thank you Mrs Teacher, thank you Mr Teacher, what ever you say' but I think I need to be more proactive tonight! Help!

TeenAndTween Thu 20-Mar-14 13:09:54

- Whats the syllabus (for things like History which vary quite alot, and also some tings like catering which may not be as practical as you might think, and new subjects)

- Would DS1 be suitable for Btec Engineering (he may be considered too academic, or not academic enough)

- For all option subjects: Would you think DS could achieve a C grade (or B or A or whatever your aspiration level is) in this subject. (NB this might be better asked at a follow up parents evening if you have one).

- How will this be examined (eg terminal exam, course work, controlled assessments)

LostInWales Thu 20-Mar-14 13:17:34

Oooh, that's really helpful thank you. I hadn't thought of 'too academic' for Btec engineering. That's something to ask the teachers. He is expected to do very well in the sciences and go on to do them at A level, really not expected to do well in essay subjects! He wants to do sciences, graphic design, D&T and the Btec, so quite a practical set of exams I think.

I have written all that down, thank you, hopefully they will engage with me if I appear to understand a bit of what is going on! I don't think there is a follow up parents evening. From the paperwork we have been given it seems he will be taking 10/11 GCSE's as well as the Welsh Bac, it seems an insane amount of work to me.

TeenAndTween Thu 20-Mar-14 14:15:31

Given those options, I would also ask about course work work-load if doing graphic design and D&T and Btec eng.

Do you know he will be able to do that combination? Some schools block options such that eg you have to choose between graphic design and D&T.

I don't know anything about Btech Eng it could be very academic for all I know! However at our school there are options for Construction and also Beauty which are level1 courses (I think) and number limited and are aimed at the less academic and brighter children would not be allowed to do them.

Is the 'welsh bac' a real thing, or just a paper one like the Ebacc?

Is he also forced to do History/Geog & Welsh? Your option list is very practical/science based. If he's poor on essay based this could be good, but also could be very one sided / cutting down options for later.

LostInWales Thu 20-Mar-14 14:39:39

He also has to do Welsh lang/lit, English lang/lit and at least half of GCSE RE. There may be a clash between DT and Engineering in which case he would like to do IT instead of one of them. As for options for later, he decided a while ago that he is going to be something practical and scientific which to be fair seem to fit his skill base very well. I don't think he will ever be any good in an office environment or at business!

From what I can see in the book of information we have had the Welsh Bac covers basic IT/numerical/people skills combined with work experience and team work and all the other bits they have to cover like health and emotional intelligence. It's a lot more complicated than when I was in school!

I had wondered about course work as opposed to exams at the end. Thank you so much for posting, it's really helping me work my head around what I need to do this evening. Normally I only start thinking on the drive home when it's too late and I really want to help DS1 be the best he can and happy as well.

LostInWales Thu 20-Mar-14 14:44:24

Having had a look online the Welsh Bac looks a lot more like the international bac than the new Gove dream in England. I hadn't seen the Ebac before.

LostInWales Thu 20-Mar-14 19:11:07

Thank you so much TweenandTeen that was so helpful, I felt like I wasn't completely on the back foot and have come out of it with useful information and DS1 has chosen some great options. Phew. grin

TeenAndTween Thu 20-Mar-14 20:11:09

glad to help smile

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