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How many GCSE's

(25 Posts)
OneInEight Sun 26-Jun-16 08:01:36

Can anyone tell me how many GCSE's is normal for a bright child (e.g. grammar school ability) to take and in particular what the current thinking is on science subjects (for a child who is likely to want to pursue a science subject at university).

ds1 is at a specialist school due to AS and behavioural needs but is academic and I am out-of-touch with what his peers would be doing in mainstream. Just need a bit of ammunition or a reality check when I try and get the school to meet his academic needs.

Lonecatwithkitten Sun 26-Jun-16 08:21:55

DD is at academic private school, with new GCSE structure they have dropped back to maximum 10 at the end of year 11. If you are musical you can do music at the end of year 9.
Everyone does double science, triple science uses one of your option blocks if you choose that. I support students applying to a tough science degree course and some have done double science at GCSE and then gone and done science A-Levels. Depending on syllabuses sometimes there are topics that they need to work on themselves.

OddBoots Sun 26-Jun-16 08:26:51

9 to 11 GCSEs is usual but with the new harder GCSEs it is a bit of a gamble, some schools are sticking with more and some doing fewer. Separate sciences is usually the way to go for A level as long as the student is on track for grades 7-9, if they look like they will get lower grades than that then sometimes double is a better choice.

BertrandRussell Sun 26-Jun-16 08:28:53

My dd did 10 at grammar school 5 years ago. 9 or 10 I think is a good number.

Balletgirlmum Sun 26-Jun-16 08:31:05

Ds is at an academic private school. They take 9 GCSEs at the end of year 11.

They can take an extra GCSE in either drama or computer science as an after school club.

Double/triple science is a free choice. Several go onto A level after having done double though many do triple.

LIZS Sun 26-Jun-16 08:40:14

Dd will take 10 next summer, having taken one this year and another planned for January. Sciences will be triple plus human biology. Ds only did 9 , A and A* s, but got an unconditional uni offer, even with mixed AS results. Not sure how the new GCSE and A level structure and grading will work out in comparison.

BertrandRussell Sun 26-Jun-16 08:45:11

OP- if your concern is that your son't school will not let him do "enough", 9, or at the most 10 is absolutely fine. Many schools that make their kids do loads (at one school near us many do 15!) but that is almost entirely for their league table position. And as the way schools are measured is changing that won't apply any more.

titchy Sun 26-Jun-16 10:09:22

Your absolute minimum position should be 8 and double science. But argue for triple science if you can as priority, then for 9 if you can.

lljkk Sun 26-Jun-16 10:21:24

many 6th forms only require 5, BBBCC minimum. The high achievers at local schools take 8-12.

wineoclockthanks Sun 26-Jun-16 10:23:24

DS1 will take 2 at the end of year 10 (4th year in old money) and then 9 at the end of Year 11.

He's at a Grammar school.

hellsbells99 Sun 26-Jun-16 10:29:52

DD2 who is going to university this year took 9. 8 or 9 high grades are much better than 13 lower grades. She did take triple science but could have still taken science A levels with double.

meditrina Sun 26-Jun-16 10:36:39

10 as the standard.

But some do extras (further maths for the top set, home language for the bilingual, and music for those who do a lot of their prep outside school anyhow).

Triple science is preferred if you're heading for science A levels. But it's also achievable from double.

FernetBranca Sun 26-Jun-16 11:02:41

My Ds is at a selective/fairly academic independent. They do 9 as a minimum standard and then build from there - if you do triple sciences (largely the school determines this), it's 10, if you are top set maths you do further maths as well, so 11, if you are still doing Latin and are keen you can interleave Greek as well, and I think if you are super good at Music you can do it not as an official option but as an additional supported off timetable option. Oh, plus quite a few children are bi-lingual (London) so you can do a supported GCSE in your native language (I think they are encouraged not to choose native language as option lower in school as its not stretching).

So if you are good at sciences, love Greek, find Maths easy, are Grade 8 violin and speak a separate language at home I think you would end up with about 13 GCSE's.

DS is doing 9 smile.

OneInEight Sun 26-Jun-16 11:11:42

Thanks all.

Looks like we would be reasonable in pushing for the triple science especially as we were promised they could do that when we accepted a place at the school and to be honest the LA pays for his place on the grounds that they can meet academic needs.

We just want to make sure his opportunities are not curtailed because of lack of qualifications as to be honest he will hampered enough by his SN's without taking away the academic stuff which is his strongpoint.

Needmoresleep Sun 26-Jun-16 11:53:47

Go through the subjects one by one and decide where he is strongest and where he has most interest or can be supported out of school. DD is dyslexic and wanted eight good grades. She is a natural scientist, so maths/science were not a problem, so triple science was obvious. We helped make sure she got lots of exposure so she took two MFL. (She learns by hearing and listening, so could get to the right level via exchanges etc, and indeed has retained a lot more than her peers.) She chose to do art which she really loved, though admits she would have got a better grade in ICT. She needed a good grade in English, so she got out of school help in the form of revision classes.

It helped that she understood the issues, but also knew what she wanted to do so was motivated.

In short we took it subject by subject and accepted that we would have to help. But agree with others that if you DS can do eight, he should. Ten would be more than enough and allow for a "fun" subejct and a bit of room to dip some grades or drop something.

bojorojo Sun 26-Jun-16 13:51:14

Most subjects labelled as "fun" do require dedication and work. No GCSE is a push-over so choose wisely. 8 is the minimum in my view. The grammar schools in my area mostly do 9-10.

BertrandRussell Sun 26-Jun-16 17:17:54

A lot of my children's friends have been caught out by "fun" subjects! Dd put more time into art than any other GCSE. DS is finding PE much harder than he was expecting. And things like DT and Food Tec are pretty demanding too.

Badbadbunny Sun 26-Jun-16 18:48:00

At our son's grammar, they do 10 inc a minimum of 2 separate sciences though most pupils do all 3. The Maths top set also do Further Maths, so they'll do 11. The only other requirement is at least one MFL out of the options, but the options are pretty limited, no IT nor computing for example, but they are quite hot on the tech subjects, resistant materials being very popular (3/4's of the pupils) and art (about half the pupils).

TheSecondOfHerName Sun 26-Jun-16 20:44:08

DS2 has ASD & ADHD and is in a mainstream school. He is doing 10 GCSE subjects:
Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Maths, English Language, English Literature, French, Latin, Geography and Computer Studies.

TheSecondOfHerName Sun 26-Jun-16 20:45:31

His plan for after GCSEs is to do A-levels in Maths & Sciences and his dream is to go to Imperial College London.

ApocalypseSlough Sun 26-Jun-16 20:46:53

9 or 10.
I'd really push for 3 sciences.

RaskolnikovsGarret Sun 26-Jun-16 21:57:51

Grammar, 11. I think 10 would be better.

Abetes Mon 27-Jun-16 12:37:07

Dd at academic independent school. They take 10 GCSEs plus top set take Add Maths. All kids start on triple science and then, at start of year 11, 10% change to double if they are struggling.

thisagain Wed 29-Jun-16 23:29:48

The norm round here seems to be 2 English, 1 maths, 2 or 3 sciences and then 4 choices, so either 9 or 10. That's in a state school though.

OneInEight Fri 01-Jul-16 06:21:47

Thanks again. Negotiations have started with the head-teacher so, hopefully, all will be sorted soon.

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