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Options and how many BTechs etc etc

(9 Posts)
datingbarb Sat 07-Jan-17 14:33:33

Dd year 9 is about to choose her options academically things are very tough for her, she has a working memory issue and finds school and work very tough and struggles a lot. She is very good at sport and excels in the practical side of it.

We have now received the details for choosing options and the recommendations for her based on her attainment

This is what they advise: that she goes down the gcse/technical award route

And she needs to do either history, geography, Spanish or German then pick 3 other choices.

Dd hasn't studied a Language for over a year as due to the working memory problem it was just pointless when she could be spending the time working on her maths and English. So out the two she will reluctantly go for geography something she really struggles in already and doubtful she will get a grade in.

So that leaves us with 3 choices but it states that only 2 can be technical awards and only one technology choice so this is where we are stuck

Dd would like to do technical award/be tech in
Travel & tourism
Health & social
PE (something she should grade well in as it's more practical based)

But reading the paperwork she will be unable to and will have to pic a GCSE so this is where we are stuck only things she may be half interested in would be media and business but reading about these seems like it's going to be far to difficult for her.

So basically my question is how does it work? Is there a limit on how many Btechs you can do? Do I need to speak to the school and make sure she is in the right path they have recommended?

We already know dd will not be getting any useful grades in the core subjects she approx 7 years behind in maths and they are not expecting a grade at all and English/science isn't as bad but she will still struggle massively

Also DD has no idea what's she wants to do when she leaves school

LIZS Sat 07-Jan-17 14:41:36

I would check the written content required for the btecs. They aren't entirely practical with interim assessments, some now have formal exams. There is no limit afaik. Beyond English and Maths gcse the choice of options is down to the school/college.

datingbarb Sat 07-Jan-17 15:00:54

Ah ok, honestly it's like a minefield we have a options evening to attend next week so hopefully that will make things clearer for us and help understand it all a little better

Reason btech PE was going to be choosen is because it's more practical based assessments then gcse PE and she would be expected to gain a better grade as PE is her strong point

TeenAndTween Sat 07-Jan-17 16:54:16

There isn't a rule that limits how many BTECs you can do,
but
Schools are measured on progress 8 which expects a certain number of GCSEs so if a pupil does fewer GCSEs (and more BTECs) the school's measure will suffer
also
timetabling restrictions tend to mean pupils don't get an entirely free choice.

My DD is doing a Level 3 (A level equivalent) BTEC in Travel and Tourism.
There has been much more written and much less practical than we anticipated / were led to believe. So whichever BTECs she goes for check what she will end up doing. The massive advantage of the BTECs is the pressure is the whole way through with assignments rather than having to learn for terminal exams. (Though I think some terminal exams are now coming in?)

I would ask whether she can do a reduced timetable and use time gained to do homework in learning support, or even have extra maths sessions.

My DD was diagnosed with dyspraxia Dec y11. She ended up with extra time for her GCSEs, but also after the jan mocks we agreed she would drop history as it was clear she wasn't going to pass it, in order to give more focus to subjects needing revision, plus technique for English language. She went to the 'inclusion unit' for those lessons as there would be supervision there.

It sounds like after school she will need to do some kind of access course for a year to try to get basic qualifications in Maths / English, followed on by maybe an apprenticeship or some further Level 2 qualifications. Have a look at your local further education colleges. They should have prospectuses or something on their websites which will give you an indication of requirements for different levels of courses.

NotThrowAwayMyShot Sat 07-Jan-17 16:57:01

This will be because of ebacc/progress 8

In order to get the ebacc children have to do maths, English, science & one out of a language, history or geography.

The number of btecs are limited for progress 8

CheekyNandosChicken Sun 08-Jan-17 11:52:51

You need to check the amount of writing/coursework. Dd (year 9) and ds (year 11) are doing BTEC PE and there's coursework. At their school, the sportier kids do BTEC while the less sporty do GCSE PE but I'm not a teacher so don't know the difference.

DriftingDreamer Sun 08-Jan-17 13:30:45

Can a school force a child to do the EBACC?
I thought not yet....

TeenAndTween Sun 08-Jan-17 13:36:50

Drifting Effectively yes a school can force a child to do the ebacc. They just timetable the options so as to force it. Whether that is the best for any individual child though ...

Our school offers level 1 Beauty and also level 1 Construction courses. hopeless for most measures but for the 10 or so kids who take each course it can be a fantastic way of keeping them motivated and coming to school. They sneak extra maths and English into the courses too so it helps attainment there too.
Same school offers triple science, 2 languages etc so caters for top and bottom ability. (who needs grammars!)

NotThrowAwayMyShot Sun 08-Jan-17 13:38:34

Schools can make their options columns such as they have to do ebacc.

Taking my dd's school as an example:
Maths, Double Science, English Lang & English Lit are compulsory. Then there are 4 further options:

Column A : French, History, Geography
Column B: Music, Drama, RS, Food
Column C: Business, Art, Music, French
Column D : Triple Science, Drama

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