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How many GCSEs does your child's school allow them to take?

(116 Posts)
ArcherQueen Sat 01-Oct-16 22:13:53

My son's non-selective independent school is restricting all pupils to 9 GCSEs. My son is very bright and while I do not have an issue with the number, it does mean he has to give up French, which is is really good at and is likely to get a top grade in. I don't want to list all the subjects he wants to take but French will have to go as it is the only one he is definitely not going to take at A'level. He has a pretty good idea what he wants to do but wants to keep his options open in case he changes his plans.My son takes his options at the end of this academic year (9) and is gutted at the prospect of not studying French after that. I know the GCSEs are going to be more rigorous and "harder" than in recent years but I also know he is more than capable of this type of study. I certainly don't think adding an extra one is necessarily going to adversely affect his grades.Basically his only option would be to take it outside of school which quite frankly is not going to appeal to him and I don't blame him.

I don't really want a debate on whether 9 is enough, that may or may not be the case for a very bright child, but what I would like to know from other parents is: does your child's secondary school restrict the number of GCSEs in the same way? Our school insists that all schools do this but I cannot find any information on websites. I guess with the changes they are all still deciding what to do.I feel the school may be doing this for their own convenience, i.e. timetabling, as it meets the needs of the majority of their students, and there are not enough outliers to justify having to accomodate them. I would really like to know if other schools are doing the same.

DustyMaiden Sat 01-Oct-16 22:17:48

9 plus Latin studied extracurricular , SS Grammar. Had thought it would be more but due to funds it has been restricted. I think it is enough though.

Hassled Sat 01-Oct-16 22:21:54

Yes, our (state) secondary is restricting numbers - I think it's 9 now. This is actually pretty sensible - the new-look GCSE Maths and English are apparently way more content-heavy and quite different to previous years, and their view was that there just wouldn't be the timetable space to do them justice if the pupils had more options. Schools are bound to cautious around the changes in the first few years, and obviously getting those decent Maths/English grades will be the priority.

DayToDayGlobalShit Sat 01-Oct-16 22:22:33

8 non selective independent

loveyouradvice Sat 01-Oct-16 22:23:50

Hi ... local state does up to 12 - though that's for most academic as they are allowed 2 extra .... private DC at:
Core of 5-7 (i.e. if 1 or 2 maths and 2 or 3 sciences)
Plus 4 extra
So yes 9 ... or 11....

fatbottomgirl67 Sat 01-Oct-16 22:24:33

Dd1 at as grammar did 12 Dd2 at local comp doing 11

Pythonesque Sat 01-Oct-16 22:25:56

The schools we've looked at seem to be sticking at 10 GCSEs, and it's worried me a little that my children are going to have difficulty dropping subjects. (My eldest is year 9). I think that they will both do additional maths though which would take it up to 11. I'm wondering about discussing whether doing music GCSE early is viable if either of them want to do that! By the time you count 2x English, Maths and triple Science that doesn't leave many subjects to provide breadth.

magbob Sat 01-Oct-16 22:26:17

9. Won't affect uni applications. It meant he was thoroughly prepared for the exams and had a sound knowledge of the make -up of each exam. The only disadvantage was that he chose to take double science instead of triple science because he felt otherwise he would not have enough variation of subjects.

Coconutty Sat 01-Oct-16 22:26:46

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Couchpotato3 Sat 01-Oct-16 22:34:06

DS's independent school offers 9 as standard, but he will take 13 this year (plus two half courses done in year 10). Another local independent is also going for 9, although you are right that schools have been quite cagey - waiting to see what everyone else does before committing themselves.
If you are happy with your son's school in every other way, I wouldn't worry about it too much. Universities take into account contextual data, so if every other child at his school is doing 9, they won't expect any more from him. As I understand it, they are only really interested in the top 8 grades. I guess the thinking is that if you can get decent grades on that many, doing more only reflects how much time and opportunity you have, rather than saying any more about your ability.
Have you actually spoken to the school to find out if they are prepared to make an exception for your son? You may find that they will accommodate a request for lessons off-timetable (although you might have to pay extra).
Good luck!

DayToDayGlobalShit Sat 01-Oct-16 22:35:02

When you speak of 12 Gcse, or even more sometimes, are these all individual different subjects? I have heard of people getting 16 Gcse's before. How can this be? Are they meaning a subject which counts for 2 Gcse's for example.

It sounds crazy!

Cocolepew Sat 01-Oct-16 22:37:55

7, 5 compulsory ones, its a high school.
DD1 did 7 at the same school and has just started a RG university.

titchy Sat 01-Oct-16 22:42:43

10 is standard. Triple science kids get 1 extra. Twilight Latin and Add Maths also offered, so max of 13.

7 is too low. Progress 8 will change that without a doubt.

LooseAtTheSeams Sat 01-Oct-16 22:49:10

10 at our comprehensive if you do triple science, otherwise it's 9, plus a half GCSE in RE. However they started syllabus for GCSE sciences and maths in year 9.
DS is doing 1 extra outside school.

Balletgirlmum Sat 01-Oct-16 22:50:27

Ds's selective independent allows 9 unless they take drama or computer studies as an after school club which makes 10.

Dds school is 9.

Peaceandl0ve Sat 01-Oct-16 22:52:14

DS will be doing 9 (year 10) and the welsh bacc, plus some mandarin twilight qualification. My DD, his DS did 11 at the same school 2 years ago. I dont know if the change is money or results driven

Balletgirlmum Sat 01-Oct-16 22:52:47

Dss school is maths, two English, at least double science, a language, a humanity plus two others (or 1 other if triple science is chosen.

Dds school is 2 English,maths, double science, a language or humanity plus 3 others.

RalphSteadmansEye Sat 01-Oct-16 22:54:42

Ds's independent school - varies from 8-10. 9 is standard. 10 if you're in accelerated triple science set. 8 if you do only double science and decide to take no MFL.

tiggytape Sat 01-Oct-16 22:57:23

Since the change for GCSEs started, many schools seem to be restricting numbers.

I'm not sure if further maths even exists anymore for example.
If it does, it has been dropped by all local schools that used to offer it. The new maths GCSE incorporates some work that used to be in the AS level and is viewed as more than enough.

The same has happened at schools which used to have a compulsory but non core GCSE stipulated. Schools with a technology specialism for example used to make it compulsory to choose a technology subject and some schools made GCSE R.E or P.E compulsory. That policy also seems on the way out in favour of allowing pupils to take fewer GCSEs but with maximum choice about what they study.

And there's also the consideration that, without controlled assessments, each GCSE subject will rely on 2 or 3 exams taken over a 6 week period at the end of Year 11. Sitting upwards of 30 exams all in one go would be quite challenging especially as some will be timetabled for the same day or in quick succession.

Schools will probably see what every one else is doing and how the new GCSEs pan out but they do seem to be moving away from the days when some students took 11-13 GCSEs each.

Couchpotato3 Sat 01-Oct-16 23:00:52

English Literature and Language, same for Latin and Greek
Maths and Add. Maths
Triple Science, plus 2 others and 2 half courses.
Total of 9 subjects, but getting 2 GCSEs out of 4 of them, plus 2 half courses in minor subjects.
It does add up to a silly number, but it's all happening in a standard working day plus a couple of lunchtime sessions. Older DS did 13 at a different school, with three subjects completely off-timetable (that really was a bit crazy and two of them dragged on into lower sixth).

Sofabitch Sat 01-Oct-16 23:08:49

My DD is doing English x2, double science, maths, philosophy and ethics, and spanish. .... so 7

Plus btecs in sport science and health and social care.

My son is at a different school. He is doing English x2, triple science, history, drama, maths, statistics, and PE. So 10

AtiaoftheJulii Sat 01-Oct-16 23:12:26

My older three all did/are doing 12 although the 12th in two cases was extra maths which I'm not sure counts wink, and in the third case is an ICT Nationals qualification, which was all coursework - not sure if that counts as a gcse equivalent for everyone, but it was a lot of work.

#4 is in y9, no word yet on how many options allowed.

Angiepoise Sat 01-Oct-16 23:17:51

Dd is doing 11. I wish it were fewer but she's keen on all of them. 9 is plenty IMHO.

BackforGood Sat 01-Oct-16 23:28:12

dd (start of Yr10) is doing 10. Ordinary, non selective, state comprehensive well, academy convert

MrSlant Sat 01-Oct-16 23:35:50

In our Welsh language secondary 12 was standard (add Welsh lang/lit and RE onto your usual 8 plus Welsh bacc which counts for one) I got DS1 out of two of those (Welsh lit and RE). This year they are dropping at least one to cope with harder science/maths courses but DS2 will still, probably, take 12 as they are taking two separate maths exams. I suppose it is different as they take Welsh as a first language exams but to me it seems a lot! They get good results as a school though. DS1 came out with 8 C and above grades which was brilliant as he is SN, would expect 12 from DS2 fingers crossed. The school scores well on the overall tables in the newspapers that keep track of this sort of thing. DS1 had friends with 12 A/A* grades this year but I think they were a bit above average!

I miss the days when 8 was usual, hard work for them all doing more.

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