Options 2015(13 Posts)
I know there have been a couple of threads that have asked specific questions, but I wondered if it was worth having a general thread? Please point me in the right direction if one already exists.
It would be useful to have opinions and advice on GCSE options of all varieties, so I'll kick off.
DS - generally very able. Has a strong interest in science, particularly physics. Already has to take Maths (possible opportunity to take second GCSE in maths), English Lit and lang, Triple Science (decided in Y8), Philosophy and Religion, ICT(?).
Would also like to take:-
French/Spanish - currently does both but will choose one after guidance from his teachers. Languages are his least strong subjects.
Product Design - this is the one he is least sure about but thinks that it will give him a more practical opportunity to explore some of his scientific interests.
He will also take music as a fast track (done in Y10) after school option - he is happy to do this as his school often has after school activities for more able students in lower school, so is unlikely to require more hours than he already does. Pupils are only allowed to do this if they already have grade 5 theory and practical, which he does.
Is this a wide enough range of subjects? Does it look like a good set?
That's a lot of GCSEs OP. He will have a very full timetable. KS4 pupils still have PE on their timetable as well, even if they don't take the GCSE.
I would have thought tit would be a choice between Computing and ICT rather than taking both. Of the 2 options Computer Science is the more academic subject.
My child is taking Product Design GCSE and is in Y10. It is more project based and they have to both design and make a product as well as learn the relevant technical theory and background e.g. properties of different types of materials. If your ds is considering a career in Engineering many of these skills would be very useful. So far it hasn't been very time consuming.
Double English will be one timetable slot
Double maths will be another
Triple science will be two slots
ICT is weaker than computing - go for computing
is RE compulsory or do his school allow the opt out to free up a slot?
Product design - check the exact syllabus as its much more writing and less making than people realise
French and Spanish are very similar at GCSE - unless he's a linguist, pick one of them
dd is taking the AQA Product Design course and it's 60% controlled assessment and 40% written exam. See the attached link for more info www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/design-and-technology/gcse/design-and-technology-product-design-4555
As dd is still Y10 they are practising the key skills needed for the controlled assessments where the assessed areas are preparation (planning and designing this may be drawing or using computer-based design), making the product and then evaluating the product. So making things is only part of the overall assessment.
Thanks all so far. I put the question mark next to ICT as they haven't confirmed yet wether that's still a compulsory option block or whether computing will replace it. RE is compulsory. They do take a lot of GCSEs at DSs school, but they do seem well organised and students seem to manage it. It is a comprehensive school and some students are able to opt out of languages, RE GCSE, for example, if they are struggling. DS is unlikely to struggle. As for the language, we really will be guided by the teachers, but he'll only do one or the other.
I think ICT is only mandatory until end of yr9, then there's an option of GCSE in either ICT or Computing (or neither). Check what your school does, the ICT one is considered relatively much softer. DS is doing Computing & very enthusiastic about Python (a real life real use language).
That's great about computing. DS is already working with Python and is undertaking all sorts of projects currently with his Raspberry Pi. I suspect ICT will be taken off the essential list, but we've been working with a previous years options, the new one won't come out until Monday.
At my DSs school, only the top maths sets can take Computing. My DS (Middle set maths) is interested in doing ICT, and also DT (Electronics). I am happy about him doing DT, but wondered if ICT is seen by universities as a soft subject?
in replyto what TIP said above, I think it depends on school. DS definitely has 2 slots for double maths (not one slot), 3 slots of science (not 2 slots). DS school only aims for 8-10 GCSEs as standard, whereas DD attends a different school which apparently does triple math in one timetable slot (most kids are timetabled for 13+ GCSEs).
Looks like a broad and balanced mix to me, op.
My ds hasn't had his options information yet, but after the usual compulsory ones, he wants to do History, German, Computing and Drama. The Drama is my only quibble (not in itself - my dd did drama GCSE and AS) as if he didn't do drama, he'd do Latin which I think he's got a better chance of getting a top grade in!
But I do think it's a good idea to do something that's a bit different - my girls both did D&T subjects, but he won't be.
The Product Design is my only wobble, but it is different to his other subjects whilst allowing him to explore some of his many interests - he enjoys all things of a design/engineering brief. I'm just not sure how 'practical' he will prove to be. He is academic in a very maths/science way. He is doing well at english but I think would struggle with several intensely essay based subjects. Drama is still on his question mark list, but I don't know how well he'd do. We have parents evenings this month - one general, one more geared to options information.
Dd1's compulsories are eng lang and lit, maths and triple science, then one humanity (will do history) one creative one (will do music) and one language, plus two free options. They are only allowed two mfls so will probably do spanish and german, plus Latin. She wants to do french instead of Latin, so may campaign for that. Whilst she is a talented linguist, I think she should stick with Latin for a broader range. I also think there will be fewer exams (no separate listening, oral etc). Three mfls seems OTT to me. Also is it odd not to do french - it seems such a 'core' subject for someone who hopes to pursue languages at a higher level?
Think they will find out more over the next couple of weeks. Ultimately it's her choice I guess. OP, how many is your DS doing then?
I think DS will be doing 12 or 13 - sounds like a ridiculous number! One of them he takes in Y10 as it's an additional after school class (music). He's up for it and the school are organised and get excellent results so not too worried.
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