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GCSE options for dyslexic DD

(12 Posts)
rogueelement Fri 11-Mar-16 15:17:07

I could do with a bit of advice. DD is currently choosing her Y9 options. She's dyslexic, has poor working memory and struggles a bit with conceptual/abstract subjects. So applied subjects with coursework seem like a good way to go.

School have a large set of GCSE options open to her, which is great. These include Art & Design, Media, PE and Drama as well as the usual humanities. DD hasn't got much of a clue what she wants to do in the future; she will probably do something vocational, and she is quite keen on the idea of doing Photography at college. She loved Art when she started off.

To my surprise, when we were going round the options evening she told me she probably wouldn't do Art. She is quite keen on PE and Drama. Her reasons for dropping Art were mainly the workload and her sense that she isn't as good as some of the others.

I'm well aware of the workload issue with Art, but I am also slightly concerned that she'd be dropping a subject which may for her be quite facilitating (for example, when we looked at some 6th form options, she was quite keen on creative/media courses) and where she'd do well. School doesn't offer Graphic Design. I don't want to push her to do something she really doesn't want to do but her options are quite narrow as it is.

Thoughts on PE also welcome - I'm worried it's also a massive time hog (DS did it at A level and hated it by the end).

merlottime Fri 11-Mar-16 15:37:48

My dyslexic DS is doing Photography GCSE - it will say Art (Photography) on the certificate I think. He has found the workload more manageable than friends doing the Fine Art option, as with photography it takes less time to produce/edit a piece. He is also doing BTEC PE and History. He loves both, but struggles to produce the volume/depth of work that you need to score high grades, but he will do much better in these than other subjects because he enjoys them and engages with the subject. I don't know how BTEC PE compares to GCSE but would expect ther is a higher practical element? Good luck.

Yankeetarts Fri 11-Mar-16 15:46:28

My dyslexic son year 10 has started his GCSE pe and so far it has been 90% class room based

Yankeetarts Fri 11-Mar-16 15:47:18

Sorry pressed send to soon,he wished he hadn't taken it

TeenAndTween Fri 11-Mar-16 15:53:22

GCSE PE contains quite a bit of science I believe. Will that be an issue?

Bunbaker Fri 11-Mar-16 15:56:29

There is a fair amount of essay writing for PE. When we got the options booklet from DD's school the first comment on the subject of PE was that it isn't an easy option and is quite academic.

rogueelement Fri 11-Mar-16 16:13:42


Her school does iGCSE PE, which looks to be 50% theory, 50% practical/performance - but I think I'll go and look at the actual syllabus and exam questions to understand the essay writing. The science is mostly Biology and that's her best science anyway.

Good point on depth/volume: DD is slower to produce stuff, across all her subjects, so hopefully will concentrate on a smaller number.

merlottime: How does your DS get on with History? DD adores the teacher (highly charismatic) but has pretty much been warned off as it's all terminal exam and the subjects seem a little dry.

Geography is the other option, I guess?

sigh It's going to be a long couple of years.

Bunbaker Fri 11-Mar-16 16:45:49

Geography is essay writing as well. DD is taking it this year.

TeenAndTween Fri 11-Mar-16 17:17:20

This is probably a daft suggestion, but my dyspraxic DD got on well with MFLs at GCSE. Skill based so knowledge built up over time rather than a big revision effort, no long essays, and no abstract concepts.

WhoTheFuckIsSimon Fri 11-Mar-16 17:28:06

My dyslexic dd does photography and graphics. She's also doing art but out of school due to timetabling so she may drop it if the workload is too much. She does double science and geography and german.

German is the one she's struggling with big time. The jump in level seems to be a jump too far for her dyslexia and I wish she hadn't taken it. She was predicted a B when she was in year 9 so doing well and is now predicted an E.

She seems fine with geography, I believe it's less essay based than history.

merlottime Fri 11-Mar-16 17:40:22

My DS id in Y10, so there is still a small element of coursework. We did try to persuade him to do Geography as on balance the teachers said there is less writing, but he doesn't enjoy it. I am not sure what grade he is going to get to be honest;he is at a special school as his dyslexia is so severe, so a C will be a massive achievement if he can pull it off. On the plus side, the class size is tiny so he is getting a lot of support, and he uses a scribe. He just struggles to get enough thoughts out, even though he knows his stuff.

He is the guinea pig year for the new harder English and Math GSCEs, so these worry me more as they are more necessary at the end of the day. Just when we thought a C might be within reach the goalposts change....

rogueelement Sat 12-Mar-16 17:58:40

Yep, the changing of the goalposts on English and Maths is incredibly painful. Every educational change in the couple of years seems designed to stop her getting those C's in English and Maths.

DD's school so far has been really flexible in terms of options- I just want her to choose wisely and end up with a reasonable balance, reasonable workload (and hopefully some passes).

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