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Three practical GCSEs?

(26 Posts)
FiveHoursSleep Thu 30-Jun-16 07:53:36

Have any of you had children do three practical GCSEs? DD1 is doing Music and PE as her options but has been offered Drama as an extra.
She's keen to do it ( it's a joint venture between the girls' and boys' school) but we will have to pay ( up to £400) and will require 2 hours of attendance on a Monday evening.
I'm aware that Drama will be a very useful subject but am wondering if it'll be too much as an extra subject?

Mov1ngOn Thu 30-Jun-16 07:56:54

I would be wary of the extra time commitment. It may be that she could well do it, but at what cost to her other gcse's? Will she still get 9 very good gcse's foe uni (if that's her plan)

Mov1ngOn Thu 30-Jun-16 07:57:36

Grrr phone added an apostrophe sad

Mov1ngOn Thu 30-Jun-16 07:59:04

Could she perhaps do drama as a hobby or join one of those shows-in-a-week holiday activities or be involved in a community amdram? Drama gcse will take a lot of extra rehearsal time and involve academic work too.

FiveHoursSleep Thu 30-Jun-16 08:04:26

Yeah, I am worried about the cost to her other GCSEs. I guess she can drop out if she finds it too much but I'm also worried about the getting her there and back on a Monday night as the school is half an hour away.
Luckily it's close to the tube but it's dark during winter.

Tigerblue Thu 30-Jun-16 10:11:37

My DD is in Year 10 and doing 11 GCSEs (she predicted 8s under new system, A*s, As and Bs and I will be very proud of her if she gets them as she left primary school with levels 5 in Eng, Maths & Science and isn't a high flyer). She also does five lunchtime and evening school clubs, takes part in school concerts, volunteers to help at school open evenings, has a school position supporting younger ones and is doing her DOE which involves an extra session after school and volunteering one night a week. She does put in a lot of hard work, but most of her friends do as well, so they are like minded. She says things don't really worry her and she doesn't get nervous, but some might. She is also very lucky to have a fantastic group of friends who support eachother with their activities.

HSMMaCM Thu 30-Jun-16 13:00:42

I would say drama had an awful lot of 'extra' work to be done (ie group rehearsals) and you may find it's not just Monday nights.

ApocalypseSlough Thu 30-Jun-16 13:04:20

What other GCSEs is she doing. Those 3 extras on top of 3 sciences- great! Not so great with no languages, foundation etc. Music isn't a big workload if she's got grade 5 already. Drama is a big work load, not sure at PE...

FiveHoursSleep Thu 30-Jun-16 13:58:01

She's also doing Maths, English, three Sciences, Classics and Spanish. She's Grade 6 double bass and Grade 7 piano so should find music manageable.
We've been told that they will have to do some extra rehearsals over half term and the second half of the summer term.

lljkk Thu 30-Jun-16 14:02:42

I wouldn't pay £400 for it & have it tacked on to end of long day already.

LetsEscape Thu 30-Jun-16 16:09:04

My DD does 2 practical GCSEs (Drama and Art) and 8 others. I would say 2 is pushing it, there is a lot of coursework and the deadlines often clash so quite stressful. In retrospect an other 'academic' subject would have been much much easier. I think if this is not timetabled, it will be incredibly hard. Perhaps LAMDA would be better and less demanding or, as said above joining a theatre club.

raspberryrippleicecream Thu 30-Jun-16 16:29:11

Be wary of saying music is manageable because of high grades. My DS was similar, performance a doddle, but there is still composition and the curriculum content.

DD has just done drama, but in school. She did have some extra rehearsals leading up to performance assessment. . Unfortunately their assessment was really late, just before the regular GCSE assessment . But overall she lived doing it and it wasn't masses of work.

Photography/Art is the real time drainers.

PE meabs extra- curricular activities too though.

Disclaimer, my experience are the old GCSEs

bojorojo Thu 30-Jun-16 19:46:54

I would forget the drama and do Geography or History . Or does classics tick that box these days? Drama is a very good subject if you like English because it is a chance to study plays. If it has brilliant teaching, excellent facilities and dedicated students, it is possible to get very high marks. I suspect the prospect of doing it with the boys may be a bit of a pull here! Something different. I would look at the previous results obtained by the school in drama and also consider what she wants to do in the future.

FiveHoursSleep Thu 30-Jun-16 21:38:19

She doesn't like Geography or History so Classics is her humanity. Our school doesn't make the kids do the E Bacc.
She put drama as her second choice when it wasn't with the boys, so for her it's another chance to do a subject she wants to do. I don't think the boys are putting her off, especially as she's tall so has had three years of playing male parts in class!

sendsummer Thu 30-Jun-16 22:29:32

I agree with raspberryripple. Even if she is bright and efficient both her music and extracurricular sports for PE already require time in addition to the school day so doing all three subjects will be spreading herself thinly out of school. She sounds a talented allrounder.

bojorojo Thu 30-Jun-16 22:38:21

Can they not carry on doing PE but not take the exam? My DD did Art and Drama and did some PE but did. It take the GCSE although some did. school sport kept her fit and she did dance as extra curricular. PE is a great subject for budding doctors (as is the A level) but not really necessary for anyone else.

FiveHoursSleep Fri 01-Jul-16 00:03:54

They get two options and her first choices were Music and Drama, with PE and RS 3rd and 4th.
There weren't enough girls to do Drama, nor were there enough boys at the Boys' school so they had to take their 3rd options, but now the schools have amalgamated to do this after school drama class that will lead to a GCSE.
DD wants to be a paramedic.

TheSecondOfHerName Fri 01-Jul-16 09:45:15

I would ask for information about the Drama grades from previous years before you make the decision. There was one year (fairly recently) when the highest grade was a B.

Some of DS1's friends have done the after school drama GCSE option, but won't know how they did until this August.

TheSecondOfHerName Fri 01-Jul-16 09:49:49

Some of the boys in DS2's year who are considering doing it are not known for being conscientious / hard working, but perhaps that will change in Y10 and Y11. Because DS2 wasn't interested, I didn't read the information in great detail; are a lot of the marks based on group work?

TheSecondOfHerName Fri 01-Jul-16 09:54:06

If her work will be assessed individually then I would say go for it. If she will be assessed as part of a group then it's a risk. If she gets 8s and 9s in all her other subjects and a 5 in drama due to other students pulling her grade down, then that would be a shame.

bojorojo Fri 01-Jul-16 11:50:12

Right then. As a potential paramedic, is there really any point to doing drama? PE is the best one and her music is excellent, so do it. Drama seems to be a lot of work and use of free time when she could be doing something more useful like joining the St John's Ambulance Service (althoughot sure if she is old enough) but you see what I mean. Grades mean everything so why compromise what she needs with spending time doing what is irrelevant (and I say that as a Mum with 2 x DDs who got A*s at Drama, but they had the best teaching in the country!).

catslife Fri 01-Jul-16 11:54:12

Have the school explained the reasons for the £400 payment? Is this to cover the cost of transport from one school to another or for something else. If your child is at a state school then there should be a policy for charging parents. If it's an independent school on the other hand, it is allowable.

bojorojo Fri 01-Jul-16 12:00:31

The performance of other students does not really pull the grade of an individual down for the performance element, but they devise the performance piece as a group. If they are not strong, motivated, well led and well taught, the whole group can stuggle. They must have sufficient ideas and possess some theatrical expertise and knowledge. The mark is likely to be lower for everyone if the piece is simply not strong enough. It must follow the brief and be a group piece, not a solo effort. It is not all marked on individual performance but this can often only be as good as the piece allows. There are also written exams and you have to study plays. LAMDA exams might be worth looking at, but my DDs did both GCSE and LAMDA to a high level, were involved with numerous school plays/musicals and went to the theatre a lot, with school and with me. If all of this is in place, an A* is easy!

Chewbecca Fri 01-Jul-16 19:43:05

Not sure that drama would be very useful given your child's aspirations. I would encourage them to concentrate on getting the grades they need in the subjects they need & maybe doing relevant extra curricular?

FiveHoursSleep Sat 02-Jul-16 12:29:31

Still not sure what we are going to do, but do you all think it's imperative that kids' GCSE choices reflect what they say they want to do at that point in life?
DD is doing PE, maths, English and science, and is on track to get 6/7s and above from what her teachers can tell. I am aware that she may well change her mind about what she wants to do, but as long as she's doing subjects that cover the entrance criteria, does it matter if her other subjects have nothing to do with her future job?

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