English Baccalaureat

(80 Posts)
GettinTrimmer Sun 01-May-16 20:05:19

I was reading a thread earlier on and someone said their dc are in an outstanding secondary school that is offering a more varied range of subjects to study, they are not just sticking to the EBacc.

My ds goes to an outstanding state secondary - he is OK with EBacc subjects and would be delighted if he could also do history (Religious Studies GCSE is compulsory), but if things stay the same my dd won't be able to do Art and PE, she's great at both, year 7 in September.

I am just wondering what the consequences for the school would be if they were to ignore the EBacc and offer more choice. I know they would not be high in the league tables. Out of interest, does anybody know if this would also threaten their outstanding status and funding etc?

noblegiraffe Sun 01-May-16 20:23:29

Ebacc is supposedly compulsory for all students from this Y7. It was in the conservative manifesto.

PonderingProsecco Sun 01-May-16 20:26:19

Really? Compulsory? Hope not.....

eyebrowse Sun 01-May-16 21:26:28

I am not sure this government will last much beyond the EU referendum however I am also not sure that anything better will come a long to replace it...

EdithWeston Sun 01-May-16 21:32:04

I thought EBACC was moving to Progress8?

Also, timetable clash between particular pairs of subjects is almost invariably because of the individual school's timetabling choices and limitations. And there were, in some schools, impossible subject combinations long before EBACC was ever dreamed of.

noblegiraffe Sun 01-May-16 22:05:33

The government policy paper says 'We introduced the EBacc measure in 2010. In June 2015, we announced our intention that all pupils who start year 7 in September 2015 take the EBacc subjects when they reach their GCSEs in 2020.'

There was a consultation on how to implement this which finished in January and apparently they are still analysing the feedback.

AChickenCalledKorma Sun 01-May-16 22:27:51

Ebacc is only five subjects. They still need to take others, so ebacc doesn't prevent doing stuff like art and PE. My daughter has just chosen her options and is doing ebacc subjects, but still had enough options to do music and an extra humanity. Doing art and PE would have been an option if she'd wanted to. So maybe the issue is more with your school's approach to timetabling than the ebacc?

PonderingProsecco Mon 02-May-16 06:57:32

I don't think a language should be compulsory. Suspect my ds will want to do a subject that not a language though too early to be sure.
'Intention' not that strong a word- so guess we will see!

clary Mon 02-May-16 10:47:43

I agree with Korma. My DD is in year 10 and she is doing Geography and French so will achieve the Ebacc; but she is also doing music and drama - which could have been DT and art or history and German or PE and health and social care or whatever else.

Students should still have a couple of options - even with triple science DD is only doing 10 GCSEs so not excessive.

GettinTrimmer Mon 02-May-16 20:35:51

My dd would't be able to do art and PE because after ebacc and Religious Studies, which is compulsory as a full GCSE at our secondary school, only one subject left as an option so she could do art or PE, not both. Thanks Noblegiraffe for making it clear about the ebacc.

GettinTrimmer Mon 02-May-16 20:48:05

My understanding is that the EBacc is 7 or 8 subjects, when factoring in Eng Lang, English Lit, sciences, modern foreign language and humanity. It's Religious Studies being compulsory as a full GCSE
that's narrowing down the choice in my ds's school. Interesting your dd is doing 10 subjects Clary. I understand Religious Studies is compulsory but as a half GCSE or something.....

meditrina Mon 02-May-16 20:59:07

I think your problem is with you school.

EBAC is one english, maths, one science, humanity and MFL. If the school is insisting on 2x English, 3x science and RE (ie 4 additional compulsory subjects, leading to total of 9) then I can see your issue, but you need to lay the responsibility where it belongs - with the school.

GettinTrimmer Mon 02-May-16 22:02:38

I agree Meditrina, can see from this thread other schools are offering more options. Thanks for replies all.

UhtredRagnorsson Tue 03-May-16 12:07:14

My DD2 has just chosen her options. She will be doing 2xEnglish, Maths, RE, French, 3xScience, History, music and drama. She had 2 free choices, EBACC subjects and RE (plus triple science) were compulsory (although there was technically choice between MFLs and between history or geography). Had her school limited her to 9 subjects then she would have had no real choice, apart from between MFLs and between history or geography. This is why people are so concerned that the EBACC is forcing creative arts out of schools - many schools are just mandating 9 subjects and they are the EBACC subjects plus RE and enforcing triple science.

Clavinova Tue 03-May-16 14:53:59

Having read this government report;
and here:
I can totally understand why the Government had to introduce the EBacc -
In 2010 only 15.1 % of pupils achieved the EBacc (with only 22% attempting it), only 31% of pupils sat GCSE History and 26% sat GCSE Geography. Only 43% of pupils studied a modern foreign language in 2010 - down from 76% in 2000! How could we countenance nearly 60% of pupils having no interest or aptitude in studying a mfl? Presumably GCSE Religious Studies was made compulsory as an 'easy' subject to bump up points in the league tables - by all means study the subject for 1 lesson a week but it needn't take the place of other options.

BertrandRussell Tue 03-May-16 15:03:28

I never understand why people have a problem with the EBacc- particular if their children are at the higher end of the ability range. All it is is English, Maths, a science, History or Geogrqphy and a MFL. Which we presumably would expect most kids to do anyway. They then have another 4, 5 or in some wierd schools anything up to 7 other subjects to choose from.

Drinkstoomuchcoffee Tue 03-May-16 15:06:52

Actually I do not really understand why UK is so focussed on public exams at 16. They may have made sense in the past when so many young people left education and went into work at 16. But now no-one does that why do we bother?

Other European countries have public exams for school leavers at 18 and seem to manage perfectly well with internal school exams at 16. Also the use of the term baccalaureat for 16+ exams is misleading as it makes people think of the French or International baccalaureat - which are long established 18+ qualifications.

Is it just to stop some schools concentrating on non STEM subjects or is there some other meaning behind it?

noblegiraffe Tue 03-May-16 15:14:39

Only 43% of pupils studied a modern foreign language in 2010 - down from 76% in 2000!

That's because MFL was compulsory in 2000. However, in 2000, 47% of pupils who took French got lower than a C, about 15% got an F, G, or U. In 2015, only 29% got lower than a C, with only 3.5% getting an F, G or U.

A return to compulsory MFL will increase the uptake, but will also increase the failure rate. Is that desirable?

Clavinova Tue 03-May-16 15:28:36

Spanish is considered somewhat easier than French. Perhaps there needs to be an overhaul of modern foreign language teaching?

Clavinova Tue 03-May-16 15:43:14

Actually, the 43% of pupils studying a mfl in 2010 seems to have included the independent sector as well - and only a third of state school pupils were studying a mfl in 2010 - that's shameful. The EBacc measure was introduced in 2011 - 54% of pupils were studying a mfl by 2014 so an improvement.

noblegiraffe Tue 03-May-16 15:43:36

In 2000, 40% of those who took Spanish got below a C. In 2015, 27% got below a C.

If kids don't give a crap about languages, egged on by their parents who 'never needed French', why would forcing them to take a language be any different now to how it was in 2000?

Clavinova Tue 03-May-16 15:51:30

Because we were in danger of producing a workforce who all wanted to work in media studies and those who might have done well in languages were not encouraged to do so or missed the opportunity?

noblegiraffe Tue 03-May-16 15:58:24

Those who might have done well in languages should of course be encouraged to take them. But forcing it those who are going to fail them by making the Ebacc compulsory doesn't seem to be any better for the workforce.

Clavinova Tue 03-May-16 16:07:19

I have found the GCSE comparison table you have been looking at - we need to factor in grade inflation over the years. In maths for example only 49.2% achieved A to C in 2000 but 63.3% did so in 2015. For double award science it was 51.5% A to C in 2000 and 87.2% A to C in 2015. Should maths and science have been moved to optional subjects as well - 50% of the cohort were failing in 2000?

noblegiraffe Tue 03-May-16 16:18:31

GCSE Science was made optional - a lot of that improvement will be down to kids taking BTEC science instead.

Maths - that increase is down to blood, sweat and tears on the part of dedicated maths teachers. grin

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