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GCSE reforms

(21 Posts)
giddybiddy Mon 25-Jan-16 11:39:28

Hi, has anyone with children in Year 9 found that the schools are now reducing the number of GCSE's their child can take in light of the new GCSE reforms? I guess the argument being they are going to be harder therefore doing fewer will improve results.. And on that note, how many GCSEs are they offering your child? We appear to be offered the core 2 English, 1 maths, 3 Science plus only 3 more which once you take out 1 language, 1 humanities only will leave one more option and a maximum of 9 GCSEs... Would be interested to hear what other schools are doing as am unconvinced... Thank you!

tumpymummy Mon 25-Jan-16 13:11:27

At my Year 9 son's school he will be doing: core 2 English, 1 maths, triple science (because he is academic, less academic kids can do less science). Then he gets 2 choose 4 options from various blocks. He will choose 1 MFL, History and 2 others, but he doesn't have to do a MFL. So he will have a total of 10 GCSEs.

OldBeanbagz Mon 25-Jan-16 13:43:24

We had a talk at DD's school recently and i gather they're going for quality not quantity with GCSEs now. DD still has 4 options (free choice) plus Science, Maths & English so 10 in total.

giddybiddy Mon 25-Jan-16 15:02:54

Thanks that is useful. That does seem to be the norm and what I would prefer I think..

Sadik Mon 25-Jan-16 15:22:50

In Wales here, so different reforms, but yes, the number of free choice options has been cut from 4 to 3 this year.

The numbers are complicated here by the way the exams are 'sliced' (two maths GCSEs for example), but in terms of subjects, DD will (hopefully!) end up with 8: Maths, English, Cymraeg, 3 x Sciences, plus two more - in her case French and either drama or resistant materials.

BlueBelle123 Mon 25-Jan-16 16:05:47

DS year 9, has 4 option choices, so will be taking 10 at end of yr 11. At the recent parent's evening it was only science that felt the new exams would be harder apparently some stuff covered at A level will now be in the new GCSE, so not soo many will be doing triple.

All the other teachers felt main difference was no course work, didn't get to see maths, teacher had no free appointments!

But we will find out soon enough!

cricketballs Mon 25-Jan-16 16:47:06

Previously we were judged (as schools) on 5 (including maths and english), which meant schools played the numbers game, i.e. more chance of getting 5 if taking 10+, with the thinking of those who looked like they wouldn't achieve this being withdrawn fro subjects half way through yr 11 to concentrate on the magic 5.

From next year the focus will be on Progress 8, so schools are now having to focus on that....

giddybiddy Mon 25-Jan-16 16:50:45

What does Progress 8 mean please Cricketballs?

enderwoman Mon 25-Jan-16 17:01:49

My y10 son will end up with 2 more than his sister in y8. She's doing 2 Science, 2 Options, 2 English, German, Maths, RE, PE (10 GCSE) where as her brother is doing the same plus Geography and an extra Science.
Dd is clever enough for triple science but would lose her language which she's great at so has opted for double.

colander1 Mon 25-Jan-16 19:37:24

Progress 8 means that schools will be judged on their maths grades (counts double in the league tables) plus the best of the two English grades (again counts double). Then three from sciences mfl and humanities. Then anything left over (arts drama tech etc) barely counts at all.

Essentially schools will try to get the highest grades for the core subjects and if this means reducing the number of other subjects pupils can take they will do so.

A sad day for the future of arts education in this country (and I'm a science teacher btw!)

Bunbaker Mon 25-Jan-16 19:52:59

DD's school only offered 10 GCSEs under the old system. Why does anyone need 11 or 12?

colander1 Mon 25-Jan-16 20:15:56

I quite agree that 11 or 12 GCSEs is unnecessary. However the issue is that, in order for schools to meet progress 8, they are limiting the options choices. Therefore in addition to the new core subjects there will only be room for a smaller number of other subjects. Therefore a pupil that, in the past, would have been able to choose and excel at music plus art plus drama is now restricted to just one of those options.

OddBoots Mon 25-Jan-16 20:24:06

colander1 - as I understand it English and Maths are double weighted then there need to be three ebacc subjects and three others (that could be other ebacc subjects not already counted or non-ebacc) Other than English and Maths the subjects all count equally. Arts or drama would be just as important as history or sciences.

There is no actual need for 11 or 12 just that there is no magic combination of 9 or 10 that would suit every future career and many 13 year olds really don't know what they want to do so want to leave options open.

kjwh Tue 26-Jan-16 08:57:15

At our son's school, they are doing 10 GCSEs but have a free choice of four, which seems quite reasonable. The compulsories are Maths, 2 English, 1 MFL and 2 Sciences, so 6 in total. RE or a humanities subject isn't compulsory at all.

When they used to do 12, a "tech" and an "art" was compulsory, as was a humanity and RE, so despite fewer subjects in total, there's actually a better choice now. Basically, if they don't want to do RE and a humanity, they can choose from art, a tech, drama, music, etc.

At first we we a bit concerned when they announced the reduction from 12-10 but seeing as they've dropped the number of obligatory subjects, it's worked out fine.

kjwh Tue 26-Jan-16 08:59:52

Further to the last, what's even better is that the academic kids can choose 10 "academic" subjects, i.e. Maths, 2 English, 3 science, 1 MFL, Latin, plus 2 of Geography, History, another MFL, so aren't using up one of their 10 on RE or an art or a tech if they don't want to. In the older system of 12, they'd have had to do them even if they had no interest.

HPFA Tue 26-Jan-16 10:18:58

Slightly off-topic but I'm a bit worried about what seems to be a growing tendency to regard Double Science as being for the "less academic" or "less clever". If your strengths or interests lie with the humanites or arts why is that being less academic than if your strengths are in Maths and Science?
I was terrible at science and did only Biology at O-Level. A fair number of people at my grammar school did the same and it didn't stop us from getting into top universities, although obviously not for science!

mayflyaway Tue 26-Jan-16 10:49:38

dd's school are offering the same number of GCSEs (9 or 10 depending on options) but have reduced PE to an hour a week (from 2) and PDP & RE fortnightly rather than weekly. That means that the current year 9s will have an extra 2 hours a week for GCSE subjects compared to this year's year 10s.

DD (y10) is quite jealous as she despises PE/RE/PDP ... she'd much rather have extra maths.

Ladymuck Tue 26-Jan-16 10:56:39

Kjwh, is that a state school? I guess the compulsory MFL plus 2 sciences does fill the Ebacc bucket, but I would have thought that for many children it is easier to get them to progress well in a humanity than in a MFL.

AugustRose Tue 26-Jan-16 11:20:18

DD1 is in Y9 and her options are like yours OP, she isn't mad on science so will take the combined science option. Her school are replacing the extra science class with an additional IT class. So she still only gets one choice of her own as they have to take 1 MFL and 1 humanities.

It seems they are going mainly for the Ebacc too, it is an Academy (not a chain) school.

Have you DC started on their GCSE's yet? DD had exams last week and both the Maths and English were GCSE format.

balletgirlmum Tue 26-Jan-16 11:30:42

The only change for dd is that her school don't like the new dance GCSE so are going to stop offering that & they are going to offer triple science for the first time. Dd is pleased. She will do maths, English Lang, English lit, an Mfl, science then two other options if she dies triple science or 3 other options if she does double science - 9 in total. She is pleased about this.

Ds is only in year 7 but I see no changes at his school either. Maths English, science, an Mfl & a humanities are compulsory then either 1 further option if triple science is taken & 2 if double science. Again 9 in total.

YaySirNaySir Tue 26-Jan-16 11:32:37

DD yr 9
Core subjects
Plus choice of either History or Geography
Then 3 others.

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