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GCSE pathways?

(13 Posts)
TheChickenIsOut Fri 05-Jun-15 13:40:40

Ok I don't know anything about these, or how many GCSEs can be taken.

Ds knows which subjects he wants to take. But it doesn't look like he can take all of them. If he does pathway 1 he only gets 1 option. But he wants to take ICT and Drama.

If he takes pathway 2a he can take both, but would lose French or a Science. Again he doesn't want to lose either of them.

Is there anyway he can take all the GCSEs he wants?

I've also heard of some schools doing GCSEs early, is this common?

Sorry about all the questions, but any enlightenment on how it all works would be great, thanks

AuntieStella Fri 05-Jun-15 13:46:34

Every school arranges its GCSE options (and process for choosing them) differently.

You'll have to talk to the school about the combination he really wants, and see if there is any wiggle room. Did the bumf about options nominate a staff member for queries? If not, start with form teacher or Head of Year.

It's up to each school whether any exams are taken early, and if so which.

Ours puts the best mathematicians in a year early, then they do further maths the following year. Some languages can be taken a year early too, and any pupils sitting a 'home' language (using school simply as exam centre) do them a year early too, so as not to interfere with main round.

titchy Fri 05-Jun-15 13:47:49

You'll need to ask his school. There are as many different ways of offering options as there are schools - the pathway 1, 2a etc thing is specific to your school. It is not a national thing.

TheChickenIsOut Fri 05-Jun-15 13:56:23

Arrhhh thank you, glad it's not a national thing, because as said there might be wiggle room. So far we haven't had a pack, they have Just been told they will have to make there choices next year, and told about these pathways (which seem quite restrictive) one pathway he would get more options but lose a few chore subjects confused

Thanks for the help smile

ragged Fri 05-Jun-15 14:49:22

Pathways at DD's school have to do with how much they are high achievers. So top sets do Eng. Bacc while bottom set gets study skills lesson & not Eng Bacc.

In a way it's good if your school gives you a choice which pathway; some schools only the lower sets can even choose more vocational subjects (like catering). I guess there are always choices & tradeoffs.

I don't know what you think of as early GCSEs; doing some in yr9 is not that unusual.

TheChickenIsOut Fri 05-Jun-15 15:12:32

ragged I think that is the same as at ds school, pathway one is both Englishs triple science modern language, Maths geography or history, then they choose an option. (I think)

Yes I was wondering about year 9 for an early GCSE, maybe French (he's almost then it would free up space for drama? Or would it not work with him missing a year 9 in drama confused

Millymollymama Fri 05-Jun-15 15:26:25

A lot of schools will not do early GCSEs now. Ofsted often criticise it because the children can get better results by taking all subjects in year 11. What is the point if getting a B when you could have achieved an A when you are a year more mature? The new curriculum means that Maths and English are more challenging too. Science too I suspect. 8 GCSEs is a bit light these days. Plenty of bright children would do double Science, Maths, English X 2, a MFL, a Humanity and 3 more choices to make 10. Triple science reduces the choices to 2 but is not needed by children who might go on to study History, for example. Very bright children might do more than 10, but it is not necessary. Likewise only strong linguists should do French early. Most need time to improve and learn the grammar.

Some schools offer BTECs and GCSE combinations. My DDs started their GCSE courses in year 10, and both did drama. If you value drama and French as GCSEs why not have them as part of his range of subjects for the standard length of the course to get the best results? My DDs had to work with others for drama, so dropping in would pose problems.

LIZS Fri 05-Jun-15 15:30:50

Are you sure he would lose a science rather than do
Double Science (2 GCSEs but all 3 subjects are taken).

bikeandrun Fri 05-Jun-15 15:34:05

I have just been to a university conference and one of the many useful things emphasised that some competitive university courses, medicine in particular likes to see a certain number of A s achieved in one setting rather than say 5 one year and 5 the next. A school that still offers this pattern could be disadvantaging students.

Lonecatwithkitten Fri 05-Jun-15 16:25:07

As bike has said most universities are looking for the best 10 GCSEs sat at the same time so sitting early could actual disadvantage a child.
I would check that the science option dropped is not from triple science to double science. It is still possible todo science Alevels having done double science so it is not shutting any doors.

ragged Fri 05-Jun-15 16:45:55

Does ANY school offer 5 in one year and 5 in another?
DD's pattern is 1-2 completed in yr9, (DD will do 1)
1 or 2-4 in yr10 (Dd will do 3) &
8-10 in yr 11 (DD will do 8, nobody can get more than 12 by the end, I think).

TheChickenIsOut Fri 05-Jun-15 16:50:43

Thanks all, as I said I don't really have a clue at this stage. Whats what and how many exams they take or should take.

I may have missed an exam out on the pathway 1 thing, all I know is he can only choose one extra option, and he wants to choose ICT and Drama for that option but he wouldn't be allowed both.

The high the pathway number, the more choice you get but do less exams overall (I think)

Tbh I don't think the school do do early exams, I was just thinking out loud.

Hopefully we plenty time to talk it through with the school.

smile

Bunbaker Fri 05-Jun-15 16:58:23

I think things are changing so the option to do early exams will disappear. At DD's school they do 2 or 3 GCSEs in year 10, depending on whether they are doing double or triple science, and 7 or 8 in year 11.

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