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How important is a humanities subject?

(25 Posts)
balletgirlmum Mon 01-Feb-16 22:34:46

Options time for dd

She will sit 9 GCSEs.
Maths, 2 English & Double Science are compulsory & she has to choose 1 of either History, Geography or French - she is choosing French. That leaves 3 options

For the first time her school are offering triple science as an option which dd says she wants to take. She was supposed to take compulsory Dance but it's not being offered this time as the students all have qualifications above GCSE level anyway & the new syllabus won't necessarily suit them.

She definately wants to take Music - & she should do very well in it hopefully, she sings & she composes.

Which leaves RS, IT & Drama. Dd enjoys all three subjects. She is really into IT, & really wants to take it but we are worried it won't give her a humanities subject. Again she's really good at drama however she isn't so good on essay subjects, she has ASD & though she is very intelligent she doesn't enjoy writing about writing. She loves RS. As an atheist she likes the philosophy & ethics side of things but she always wanted to do drama instead of dsnce until the syllabus change.

So if she chose Maths, English, Triple Science, French, Music, IT & Drama would the lack of a humanities subject be an issue? Or should she do RS instead of IT or drama?

Or only do double science & do all three for a bit of rounded was (science teaching hasn't been wonderful so far & dd does a lot of self study to fill gaps).

senua Tue 02-Feb-16 08:04:22

What are her plans after GCSE?

meditrina Tue 02-Feb-16 08:10:35

Are they offering IT or computer science?

I was under the vague impression that IT was being phased out, but if it isn't and it is IT on offer, then that really won't take her forward in computing.

Music and drama both involve performance. Is she committed to the time it will require to do both?

RS does not count towards the EBACC, but is definitely a humanities subject and perfectly well regarded.

But despite those quick views on the subjects, the really key thing is that your DD does subjects she wants to. Unless the subject combinations are really limiting, and these don't seem to be.

LIZS Tue 02-Feb-16 08:19:29

Drama includes essay writing as well as practical. RS is also essay based.

homebythesea Tue 02-Feb-16 08:25:17

Double or triple science is usually decided by ability group so first step is to ascertain if the teacher thinks she will cope with triple

Second thing to consider is what (if any) ideas she may have about further study. So if she is science/Maths oriented the. Obviously these need to be prioritised, if she is more "arty" then this may influence choices

Thirdly which of the various subjects dies she enjoy most? Which is she best at? If these overlap all well and good!

Personally I would avoid doing both music and drama, they are both time consuming and as you say may prevent her from doing what may be considered to be (rightly or wrongly) a more "academic" path. Both my kids have done RS GCSE and found it really interesting (Godless family notwithstanding!) and (whisper it) it's quite easy to get good grades at GCSE. I don't think IT is worth the paper it's written on and certainly not terribly helpful for a future in programming.

HildaFlorence Tue 02-Feb-16 08:32:47

I have always thought that it's important to remember what the letters GCSE stand for , it's a general certificate of secondary education so choices should show a breadth of skills; maths , English , a language , whichever sciences ( my ds1 was in upper cohort but did double do that he could fit in an extra humanity ) a creative subject etc .

Ds3 is doing triple science as he enjoys it but he has wrestled with RS or Geog , loves RS but as he is doing history felt in the end Geog would be a better choice , as he said himself RS is too similar a skill set .

balletgirlmum Tue 02-Feb-16 09:53:06

To answer some questions:

The school s a specialist performing arts school & dd is on the dance strand but she equally loves music & drama & wants to train in musical theatre.

However she is also very interested in either dance physiotherapy or sound/lighting/theatre technician stuff.

She's got the highest or joint highest science mark in the year the last two years running so if she can't do triple I guess no- one can.

She thinks it will be IT which is a shame as she's interested in coding etc & uses khan academy.

After GCSE she wants to move to a 6th form to do A levels & continue dancing out of school then audition for musical theatre college but gain enough academic qualifications that she is able to go back to uni afterwards.

balletgirlmum Tue 02-Feb-16 09:54:44

She has ASD so finds writing harder. She says she would have loved the old drama syllabus but is not sure about the new one.

homebythesea Tue 02-Feb-16 10:24:29

I think it sounds like she could study some sort of computing in her own time rTher than taking up an option at school? Also that triple science is clearly best for her (and keeps more options open for later). Given her future aims she should do drama - whatever the changes in syllabus it will still be a whole lot less writing than RS. I wonder what music GCSE adds to the picture if she is going down the MT route?

balletgirlmum Tue 02-Feb-16 10:34:49

She's a talented composer & she feels that the stuff she does in music at school is very different to the extra curricular type music to get out of school & she really enjoys it eg. She does LAMDA drama exams & stuff with a private teacher

balletgirlmum Tue 02-Feb-16 10:44:54

Music is non negotiable - she is adamant she's doing it & it would be a shame for her not to.

cosytoaster Tue 02-Feb-16 10:46:49

Definitely avoid IT, if it's billed as ICT rather than computing. My DS did it and found it incredibly boring, mainly just working through MS Office. RS is interesting but it sounds like drama would be a better fit for what she wants to do eventually

Sadik Tue 02-Feb-16 10:51:25

DD has ended up in a similar-ish situation, as they only have three free option choices. She definitely wants to do French & triple science (her two best subjects by miles, so a bit of a no-brainer), which left her the choice of either drama or a humanity as her final option.

She's gone for drama, partly because (also being less good at essay subjects) it seems like both less writing, and that it'll support her English/Welsh lit papers, and partly because it just looks like a great course.

The main point I think to remember is that you really can pick up subjects again later on if you feel you've missed out, and that you just can't do everything at this stage without ending up stupidly over worked.

In your dd's case, I'd be inclined to opt for IT if it's something she enjoys. I also don't know if it's the case in general, but in dd's school they get a huge proportion of A/A* results in the subject, which is always a nice added extra! (I think they do have an exceptionally good teacher, though)

BitOutOfPractice Tue 02-Feb-16 10:53:26

Drama is very essay based at GCSE OP - that might put her off?

HPFA Tue 02-Feb-16 10:54:49

I'm really puzzled as to why RS is not considered a humanities subject, especially if it's based on philosophy and ethics. Having to produce a reasoned argument about an ethical issue would surely develop exactly the skills we would want to encourage in students?

balletgirlmum Tue 02-Feb-16 11:09:50

Many schools consider it to be a humanities but the government doesn't in the new way that schools will be judged.

Sadik - the new drama spec (so new the exam boards are only just ratifying the draft specs) is a LOT more writing than the old spec

Dd would have done the old spec in a shot.

She enjoys constructing arguments but says she doesn't enjoy creative writing it writing about other writing.

balletgirlmum Tue 02-Feb-16 11:15:28

For IT dd says they are going to be doing the Cambridge certificate??

Sadik Tue 02-Feb-16 11:19:56

It's going to be 60% performance split between a devised play & performed excerpts from a published play, 40% written exam where we are (WJEC) with students completing a 'notebook' (can't remember the proper term) documenting the performance element - it sounds like a fantastic course from the open evening info.

Sadik Tue 02-Feb-16 11:22:42

Just had a look, and for the first bit they have to produce: a realisation of their piece of devised theatre , a portfolio of supporting evidence and an evaluation of the final performance or design. (except that dd's school won't offer the design option, only performance, due to numbers)

balletgirlmum Tue 02-Feb-16 11:25:04

I personally think she should do drama instead of IT - but for some reason she's been put off a bit.

balletgirlmum Tue 02-Feb-16 11:26:47

However I have a lot of drama teacher friends & apparently external marking is very inconsistent (thigh several schools are moving away from AQA & Edexel to WJEC for that reason)

catslife Tue 02-Feb-16 13:15:26

RS is compulsory at dds school, they are all finding it rather boring and wish they could have chosen something else! So I wouldn't really recommend taking it just for the sake of adding a humanity type subject.
I would suggest doing the subjects either that would interest her most or that she would do best at. If already taking a dance qualification and Music GCSE, the performing arts are already well covered so IT would add a bit more breadth.
Does the school offer LAMDA drama qualifications alongside GCSE. This could be a more practical alternative.

balletgirlmum Tue 02-Feb-16 13:17:25

Yes, she already has Grade 3 Trinity & Grade 4 LAMDA & will be taking Grade 5 in the summer.

balletgirlmum Fri 05-Feb-16 07:59:42

We spoke to dd last night & told her we are not happy with her doing ICT as it isn't an actual GCSE but a vocational equivalent level certificates high her potential 6th form may not even recognise.
So she's veering towards RS.

HereIAm20 Sat 06-Feb-16 18:57:13

My son's RS syllabus is 2/3 philosophy and 1/3 religion so he finds it very interesting. I think personally alongside the other things she has selected I would persuade her down the RS route as it counts as humanities and is still highly regarded by unis.

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