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Do any schools let them change GCSE choices at this point?

(49 Posts)
FiveHoursSleep Fri 09-Sep-16 18:36:54

DD1 has just gone into Y10 and has come home saying that one of her choices (PE) is not what she thought it was going to be.
I was not keen on her doing it in the first place but she assured me she would be able to cope physically. Now she finds herself in more pain than she thought she would be, and has realised it may be a mistake.
Also some of the information she was given about the course appears to have changed ( this may not be the case, I have to check).
Anyhow, she's now decided it's not for her, but the school are saying she has to stick with it as they can't change subjects at this point.
I was wondering if this is the case for all schools, or if anyone's child has every managed to change a subject at the beginning of Y10?

wannabestressfree Fri 09-Sep-16 18:39:35

We would and my middle son changed about six weeks in from engineering to business. I would speak to her head of year and explain the situation. It may be though that there is no room in other subjects so she may have to think about where she wants to go/ what she wants to do.

bojorojo Fri 09-Sep-16 18:42:33

If she is doing 10 GCSEs and goes down to 9 it will not really matter. Can she have free periods to do work in the library?. Going below 8 will be a problem. Most schools can be flexible if children make mistakes, and they do!

Anasnake Fri 09-Sep-16 18:42:56

Did she start the GCSE in year 9 as many of the new courses are being done over 3 years ? If so, then the concern will be that she has missed a chunk of work in whatever subject she changes to. Due to the option blocks on her timetable she would probably only be able to swap to a subject that is timetabled at the same time and that is providing there is space in a class she could move to.

FiveHoursSleep Fri 09-Sep-16 18:48:50

I've spoken to the Head of GCSE and they have said she can't change, but I'm gearing up to see if I can get them to change their mind. She's doing 11 GCSEs and they only started that course this week. The only subject our school starts in Y9 is Science.

PikachuSayBoo Fri 09-Sep-16 18:57:25

My dd changed an option in easter of year 10. I battled from xmas to easter to allow her to change. They repeatedly said it wasn't possible but I was rather insistent.

Is it a timetable issue?

leccybill Fri 09-Sep-16 18:59:02

If she's in pain, can you support the change with medical evidence?

TeenAndTween Fri 09-Sep-16 19:12:01

I think it is ridiculous to say she can't change after only 1 week.
However, you need to accept that timetables are done so she will only have limited options to switch to, and some of them may be 'full'.

I wouldn't take no for an answer. Ask what other subjects are timetabled at the same time and go from there.

They don't want to open the floodgates, but if you are backing your DD and are persistent they should see sense. But do try to get it sorted this week.

Dahlietta Fri 09-Sep-16 19:23:30

I'm a teacher and we often have a small number of pupils change options during the first week or so of term. I've even had people swap into my subject after half term in the past. The only problem is timetabling i.e. if the subject a pupil wants to swap into clashes with something else they do and/or if the other sets are full. It sounds like in this case, that is not the issue (otherwise, they'd have said). I suspect they just don't want to open the floodgates of lots of pupils chopping and changing. If I were you, I would request a meeting an lay it on thick with the pain element.

Dahlietta Fri 09-Sep-16 19:24:16

Realised I just repeated much of what teenandtween just said... Sorry!

FiveHoursSleep Fri 09-Sep-16 20:21:31

I think History or Geography are at the some time, both of which she did well in last year. But yes, they may be completely full.
I have asked if they will take a GP's letter, she also has some problems with anxiety which is causing a problem with all this worry.
She has a hard time at home ( eldest child with three younger siblings with SNs) so we do try and make things as easy as possible for her.

Lancelottie Fri 09-Sep-16 21:13:23

I'm pondering the same thing, as DD (who is battling anxiety at the moment) is rather wishing she hadn't opted for Drama, where it's fairly essential to appear outgoing and confident.

Lancelottie Fri 09-Sep-16 21:14:02

She's also a sib of a brother with SEN, FiveHours. It takes it out of them, I think.

FiveHoursSleep Fri 09-Sep-16 21:52:02

Lancelottie, DD is doing drama as an extra, after school, subject with the corresponding boys' school.
She's mysteriously keen on it so far smile
Will your school let your DD swap?

Lancelottie Fri 09-Sep-16 22:46:33

I haven't yet asked. We seem to have done a fair bit of unexpected contacting the school over things recently - I don't want to be 'that parent' if it's just a start of term wibble, but on the other hand, it needs to be soon if at all... hmm.

FiveHoursSleep Fri 09-Sep-16 22:50:32

Yeah, I think I'm tipping over into That Parent territory too.
Never had a need to before with DD1.
It feels a bit weird.

MEgirl Fri 09-Sep-16 23:09:47

Would she not be able to just drop the subject and only do 10?

Leeds2 Fri 09-Sep-16 23:21:00

I think most schools will let them swap up to October half term. I certainly wouldn't think it would be a problem after one week.

Lancelottie Fri 09-Sep-16 23:58:10

Ours wouldn't let ds switch, three years back, so I don't think it's universal.

Lancelottie Mon 12-Sep-16 14:05:30

How did you get on, FiveHours? Much to my surprise, DD's drama teacher has just contacted me to say that she noticed DD's anxiety and has swapped her into a different drama lesson with two good friends, as she thought they would give each other confidence.

Our school may have stupid shoe rules, but the staff do seem to care.

FiveHoursSleep Tue 13-Sep-16 08:03:49

Thanks for asking. It's not going our way, the Head of GCSE's has not even replied to my email, and the PE teacher has given my DD a hard time. She's at the stage of saying she'll 'just ' do it as she doesn't want the teachers hassling her, but I'm still cross.
They have been told that they should be doing some sort of sport out of school to get good marks. We were NOT told this last year and certainly would not have chosen it if we had been.
DD has asked ( yelled at me) to stay out of it now, but I really want to write a letter to the GCSE organiser and tell her I'm not happy, and copy the ( new) Head in.
I should probably leave it, shouldn't I?

Lancelottie Tue 13-Sep-16 09:09:00

If she's in more pain than expected, and put with an unsypathetic PE teacher, and expected to do extra sport out of school, it's not sounding a realistic prospect for a good GCSE, frankly. Is her condition one that's likely to fluctuate?

I'd say you have a very good case for asking politely for a meeting (yes, get the head copied in on it all!) and explaining that she needs to switch because of a change in medical circumstances.

Offer to get a letter from her GP (I've never been asked for one, but the offer seems to help!). Ask what they will do to support this unfortunately medically necessary change of plan.

Average exchange of emails for action here is 4, by the way. The pattern goes
(Us):Issue XX is occurring, what can we do?
(School): Unable to change anything at this stage.
(Us): That's very unfortunate, having ill effect on education...
(School): We'll continue to monitor and support in other ways but unable to do thing you asked.
(Us): GP really recommends you do XX and will write in support of this
(School): Hmm, we'll think about it, while forwarding it to the head of house to make it his problem, and continuing to assure you that we must work in the best interests of all our pupils.
*** [week's interlude] **
(Us): I note that thing XX still hasn't happened. We are happy to come in for a really inconvenient meeting and bring medical evidence with us...
(School): We all have DC's best interests at heart and you will be pleased to hear that we have been able to reshuffle the timetable/make a medical exemption in this case, starting this Thursday. Now go away you bloody annoying parent

Lancelottie Tue 13-Sep-16 09:11:11

Can I recommend the useful phrase 'unlikely to be able to access the full curriculum for this subject'?

BertrandRussell Tue 13-Sep-16 09:15:30

Does she have a condition that causes her pain?

Aftershock15 Tue 13-Sep-16 09:31:30

I believe that if a parent writes to say their child is not to be entered for an exam then school must respect that wish. I was told this by a teacher friend when her dc school insisted on entering children for something like citizenship. Many parents complained that it just put unnecessary stress on the kids for minimal benefit. She just wrote in and refused permission for her dc to be entered. If you say she will not sit the exam at least she won't need to stress about it.

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