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Dd's options wish list. Year 9.

(26 Posts)
VivaLeBeaver Sun 04-Jan-15 17:38:59

Dd is bright, predicted A or B in every subject according to teachers at her last parents evening last term.

She has to do a MFL as school insist on it which is fine. She says she'll probably do French but is also good at German.

She wants to do triple science.

She obviously must do maths and English.

She says that she also wants to do Art, Graphic Design and Photography. This morning she said she wanted to do Music as well. She doesn't even play an instrument so I told her I thought Music was a daft idea.

She reckons she wants to be an architect. I'm happy for her to do Art which she will need for architecture. I'm not bothered if she wants to do Graphic Design.

I'm concerned that doing Photography is one creative subject too many. Surely she can do a lot of photography in art?

She enjoys history and geography and is good at both. I feel she ought to do one of these. Am I right in thinking they're important and she ought to have an "essay" subject?

Essexmum69 Sun 04-Jan-15 18:09:17

Yes, I would agree, a humanity subject would make her options look more balanced.
I would be surprised if she could take Art and Photography. You need to check the exam board, but at my DCs schools art and photography were both options of the Art and Design GCSE so taking both would give you 2 GCSEs in Art and Design.
Art and Design and Design Technology courses are notorious for their heavy workload so usually the academic kids are advised to take only one, two if absolutely desperate, definitely not 3!

LIZS Sun 04-Jan-15 18:35:25

I'd be surprised if she isn't required to do at least one humanity -Rs, History or Geography etc - which in itself may be timetabled such that she has less choice of a combination of creative arts. Music they need to have something to perform at around grade 4 level, but not necessarily actually achieve Grade 4 themselves.

Leeds2 Sun 04-Jan-15 19:00:00

If she doesn't play an instrument, I very much doubt that she would be allowed to take music. Like LIZS says, at DD's school they must play at the standard of grade 4/5 before they are accepted onto the course.

The coursework for Art and, I assume, other creative subjects is huge. I would therefore be very wary of her choosing two creative subjects, let alone three. I also think a humanities subject, such as history, geography or RS gives a better balance of subjects.

VivaLeBeaver Sun 04-Jan-15 19:03:46


I hadn't considered the course work. That's a really good point. We have an options evening next term so am trying to get prepared so I can ask sensible questions, etc. I think I'm going to have to convince her to drop photography.

Essexmum69 Sun 04-Jan-15 19:05:30

Singing is an option for music if she cannot play an instrument, but she would need to read music and be able to sing solo at grade 4/5 standard to get a good grade.

MillyMollyMama Sun 04-Jan-15 19:12:23

Geography is a far more sensible option for someone interested in architecture. I would drop music and photography. When it comes to A levels, make sure you check what the schools of architecture actually want. Art A level may not be necessary, but a suitable art portfolio might be.

catslife Mon 05-Jan-15 08:44:46

Most schools would encourage bright pupils to take either History or Geography as this means they would meet the EBacc requirements. Taking Geography seems sensible - taking Geography and Art may lead to careers such as town planning, taking History and Art may lead to careers in e.g. museum work/restoration. So you could both look into this further.
dd chose options last year. We were told that it wasn't possible to take more than one Art subject so dcs could take either Art or Photography but not both. If Graphics counts as DT that would be OK, but there are some syllabuses where that subject is also an Art subject. It is very likely that when the option blocks are handed out that Art, Photography and Graphic Design will all be in the same group anyway so pupils will only be able to choose one of these.
Agree with previous posters that Art if the most important subject for architecture.

LooseAtTheSeams Mon 05-Jan-15 09:41:39

I think there is a photography component in Art GCSE, at least that was the reason given at DS1's school for not offering it as an option (although it is an A level option for those who know for sure they are aiming for art school.) Choosing art and history or geography would work really well for architecture and keep options open for A levels, especially as she is good at the subjects and so will do well in them. From what you say, there isn't quite the same certainty with music!
DS1 doesn't choose his options till next year. We're keeping fingers crossed that he actually has enough options to take art and music as well as the triple science they will insist he does! At the moment it looks as though it's OK.

TeenAndTween Mon 05-Jan-15 10:15:37

You may well find that the option choices are 'blocked' anyway and that Art and Photography are in the same block and so can't both be chosen.

AtiaoftheJulii Mon 05-Jan-15 13:37:53

Dd2 has a friend who is pretty academic, but also very artistic - he did Art and Graphic Design GCSE's and got A* in both. So that can be done if there is talent and the readiness to put the time in (basically if you are the kind of person for whom it won't feel like work, I think!), but three would start being at the expense of academic subjects which probably isn't the best idea.

RaspberryLemonPavlova Tue 06-Jan-15 22:51:08

DD is doing Photography GCSE and one term in it hasn't been a heavy work load at all. She is enjoying it. Her friends doing Art have far more work. Some-one said to her she should only do Art if she is the type of person who relaxes with a pencil and sketch-book in her hand, no idea if this is true or not.

For GCSE Music our school doesn't insist on already being able to play an instrument, and there is some techy option as well I think, but you would have to put in some work to reach the performance standard. There are also 2 compositions as well.

NoLongerJustAShopGirl Wed 07-Jan-15 16:19:25

my dd is having to choose her options this month - so am watching avidly... she is arty - and relaxes with a pencil and sketch book, and 26 books on "how to draw x, y, z" spread out in whichever corner she has appropriated.

Also had a pre-options project (to sort the wheat from the chaff I guess) to do over Christmas where they had to choose an artist and produce a piece of "homage" type work - she chose Damien Hirst!!

so the house has been full of splash painted skulls and the stench of varnish all Christmas (very Christmassy - NOT) This was valuable though, as it let her see that it will be hard work, lots of coursework including during the holidays.

(and thank god the homage did not include formaldehyde and sharks!!!)

VivaLeBeaver Thu 08-Jan-15 18:01:36

Dd has come home all fired up. Says it's her life and she wants to be allowed to choose her own options. She says her art teacher is really pleased that she wants to do art and photography.

I never wanted to be the parent who wouldn't let their child study what they want to study.

I've talked to her about how much project work she might get and she says she'd rather have project work than exams.

At the moment I'm pinning my hopes on all three been in the same block but dd reckons she's told the art teacher she wants to do all three and the art teacher said that sounded good.

catslife Sat 10-Jan-15 12:22:44

I agree that you need to back off for now and wait to see what the options blocks look like. At the end of the day your dd may not have as much free choice as she thinks. The new Performance 8 requirements for GCSEs are putting a real squeeze on the creative and performing arts. At dds school it's possible to take 2 creative subjects but definitely not 3. Some schools have different option blocks for different ability pupils. Many schools would arrange the blocks to encourage higher ability pupils to complete the EBacc which would mean History or Geography as well as an MFL.
This AQA syllabus is taken in a lot of schools and this includes traditional Art, graphic design and photograpy all within one GCSE.

VivaLeBeaver Sat 10-Jan-15 17:11:35

Thanks Catslife.

Hia3 Mon 12-Jan-15 09:35:48

Art and Maths are required for Architecture. If your DD is predicted good grades in Art, Graphic Design and Photography- plus she is taking the core subjects- with triple science and French, these choices seem fine and excellent for Architecture.
My DD is fairly academic and is definitely opting for Art and PE, plus probably Geography and French- she wants to go to uni, but is not sure yet what she wants to study.
I do worry about the work load for Art!

Bunbaker Mon 12-Jan-15 09:40:32

I would be very surprised if your DD can take art, graphic design and photography.

DD is doing GCSE art and I can confirm that the workload is very heavy. It isn't a soft option at all, especially if you want to do well.

fluffling Mon 12-Jan-15 13:29:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

morehelpneeded123 Mon 12-Jan-15 17:27:29

She seems to have the right idea with a mfl, triple science, english and maths. I would definaltly say do a humanitiy (i would suggest geography or history are they are generally more highly regarded than RS and it would also ensure she then had the ebacc).

art is a lot of work and homework and largely based on coursework and so is photography so she may find herself bogged down with all the work of keeping her art book and portfolio up to date. My DD personally wanted to do photography as she loves it but cant draw for sh*t and just isn't arty at all. that said if your DD is choosing between the two art might show a wider range of skills and i think it is regarded more as a pure subject than photography (though i'm not exactly sure as no one in my family is arty whatsoever)

With regards to graphic design i don't know a lot about it but i do know its not compulsory to become an architect. I'm also not sure on how it's viewed by colleges, 6th forms and universities. Might it be better for her to take another pure subject? as graphic design is not a neccesity, is probably similar to art and pure subjects tend to be viewed better.

Decorhate Mon 12-Jan-15 17:48:56

I would echo what others have said about doing history or geography. Gives her more options in the future. I would also talk to her teachers in the creative subjects to get a true feel for her potential to do well in those subjects. If good results are likely to be important to her it may be easier to get an A in Geography rather than Art for example, unless she has a real gift for it.
And you would be surprised how important GCSEs can be down the line. Some unis take GCSE results into consideration too

VivaLeBeaver Mon 12-Jan-15 17:52:08

Well her art teacher seems to think she'd be allowed to take all three.

I reckon I might be able to convince her to forget graphic design. And then maybe do art, photography and geography.

I guess there is something to say about doing stuff you're interested in and hopefully that might lessen the effect of the workload. She's certainly fired up about art projects and photography stuff for current year 9 art. I spent yesterday chauffeuring her round town on a multi location photo shoot and she has another planned for next weekend!

MillyMollyMama Mon 12-Jan-15 19:52:06

Photography won't help with Architecture though. Doing what you want for a highly competitive course like Architectute may not be the best option, even at GCSE.

VivaLeBeaver Mon 12-Jan-15 20:19:46

I think her full list will look like this.

English Lang
English lit
Triple science

So 8 academic subjects, plus art which she needs. Only one "softer" option with the photography. So I'm hoping that wouldn't shut her future degree or career options too much.

She wouldn't be doing photography at a level, but will be doing art.

VivaLeBeaver Mon 12-Jan-15 20:20:07

Or that's her plan anyway.

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