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GCSE options thread

(43 Posts)
lljkk Sat 28-Jan-17 10:51:11

Anyone want to chat about supporting your DC to make best choices for them? BTECS too!

AtiaoftheJulii Sat 28-Jan-17 13:28:40

Dd has known what options she wants since y7 (now y9) so I'm not anticipating too much angst grin Tbh it was all pretty straightforward with my older three too - as long as you have a solid core and a decent spread, you can't go far wrong.

ggirl Sat 28-Jan-17 13:30:33

ds has put the form in yesterday
he has chosen
spanish
history
business
media ocr

OddBoots Sat 28-Jan-17 13:44:45

We have the options evening next week but I am slightly concerned that at the Y9 parent evening at Christmas the head of department didn't know that GCSE ICT had been scrapped. DD wants to do Computer Science but absolutely doesn't want to do ICT.

I am expecting a battle as DD doesn't have enough options to include full EB subjects and the ones she actually wants. If she gets what she wants she will do English Language, English Lit, Maths, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, RS, French, Computer Science and Drama. Drama and CS are important to her but to do them she would have to drop History (she dropped Geography in 'mini options' last year).

AtiaoftheJulii Sat 28-Jan-17 13:56:15

Personally I think RS should count as a humanity for ebacc purposes - depends what her school say though. My dd1's school required a humanity, but they counted that as RS or Geog or History - she did RS so doesn't have the ebacc, but it's made no difference to her, of course! The school said they would change their requirement if it became clear that universities wanted it, but it doesn't seem that unis are bothered.

lljkk Sat 28-Jan-17 16:07:39

DS hates all "project" work. The more artistic, creative or imaginative, the worse.

The presentation went on forever.... followed by stressful 15 minutes queuing with grumpy DS, to verify what DS was told that catering (sorry, "food prep"), the homework would only be cooking. Sure enough, food prep GCSE homework includes Projects! So that was out. Suddenly DS very willing to queue & let me ask questions... Drama meant writing an original performance: totally not doing that.

I had a brain wave b/c DS has atrocious not good IT skills... spoke to nice iT teacher (who is used to brainbox DD, but DS is a different kid) so DS will now do GCSE in ICT, thank goodness that's still an option. Probably history for his other option (or computing if ICT goes well).

French, geography & triple sci. for the others.

I wish further maths or stats or another language were possible, but grateful we/DS decided so quickly and I have confidence in the choices.

It's weird that we were told about very few BTECs... there were many available in past but seems not now.

OddBoots Sat 28-Jan-17 16:23:47

Are you in Wales, lljkk? Or are they offering a condensed 1 year GCSE in ICT?

I know the European Computer Driving Licence still exists and that AQA were talking about a project/portfolio basd Technical Award equivalent to start this year, probably other exam boards have got new qualifications too.

troutsprout Sat 28-Jan-17 16:35:56

Dd did French and music this year (year 9).
Next year ( yr10) she finishes off the French and is doing Art as well.

Then in year 11 she's planning on doing History and sociology ( as well as the core subjects obvs) but may change her mind when she gets to the end of year 10.

lljkk Sat 28-Jan-17 16:37:45

ECDL not offered at DS's school. ECDL would have been ok, too, but we had trouble choosing even 2 GCSEs as things were, so might have chose GCSE in ICT, as well.

It's a condensed 1 yr course for GCSE ICT, so DS will finish it at end of yr9.
I understand it's the last yr GCSE ICT will be offered in England.
Then another 1yr condensed GCSE to choose for finish in yr10.

I think that doing a GCSE in yr9 will suit DS, he'll need a few yrs of practice to have a chance of getting the skills to do well in GCSEs by end of yr11.

lljkk Sat 28-Jan-17 16:40:37

Xpost with Troutsprout, good luck with the Art!! Quite time-demanding, is all I ever hear (on MN & from DD's ambitious friends who chose it). DD does a lot to help her friend catch up with English homework (b/c friend is so busy with art GCSE).

Our school was candid in saying that there may be fewer choices next year, with the funding cuts expected. They sounded a bit panicked. I bet there's a newspaper story in how the range of GCSE options is going to fall sharply with the budget cuts. sad

AtiaoftheJulii Sat 28-Jan-17 16:51:05

Dd3 wants to do Art - the horror stories are off-putting to me, but it's a definite for her.

One year condensed GCSEs sound an interesting way of doing things - how do your kids find it?

YakiUdonYumYum Sat 28-Jan-17 16:51:24

We're in England. I think (from last year's online school brochure) my DC's school allow them to do 11 GCSEs, which seem like a lot in light of all the talk about how the new GCSEs are much much harder.

We're getting the GCSE talks from school at the beginning of March.

They all do triple science (I'm a bit dim, that counts as 3 grades, yes?) So:

1/ Eng Lit
2/ Eng Lang
3/ Maths
4/ Science
5/ Science
6/ Science
7/ Language (DC likely to choose French)
8/ Humanity (geography)
9, 10 & 11...

DC would like to choose Music, German and Latin for those last three slots. I think it's a shame they're not choosing Product Design though. It seems such a language heavy spread, is that a bad thing?

YakiUdonYumYum Sat 28-Jan-17 16:52:17

Sorry for the long post blush First child going through the process grin

lljkk Sat 28-Jan-17 17:03:36

@Yaki; so your school doesn't do RE GCSE, is that one of the 11? My local schools do RE GCSE. DS (yr8 now choosing) will finish with 11 GCSEs, I think, including RE.

1-yr-condensed GCSE:
The school allows kids to change if they start & hate it. Glad school is flexible, but material moves fast. DD switched after 3 weeks & spent most the yr stressed out b/c of trying to catch up.

Otherwise I think 1-yr-condensed works well. I go along with the school's view that it removes some mystique from GCSEs by the time they get to yr11.

GoodyGoodyGumdrops Sat 28-Jan-17 17:26:37

Our school has de-emphasised RS, it's longer core. Ds loved the Philosophy & Ethics aspect and was bored by the actual religion aspect, so he was dreading the new syllabus, which is mostly religion and less than half P&E. He is glad not to have to do it. Unfortunately they haven't added another option - one less core GCSE, but there are still only 4 options.

And, probably due to staff shortages, there are fewer slots for each subject. Many now only appear in one block. Ds is forced to choose between his two top preferences, as they both appear only once, and in the same block.

(Same problems with dd's A-levels: fewer subjects overall, and most appearing in only one block.)

YakiUdonYumYum Sat 28-Jan-17 17:31:38

No, I don't think RE is compulsory at our school according to DC. They're taught RE / Ethics but no GCSE unless they've chosen it.

I've never come across condensed GCSEs until this thread - I wonder if many schools do them?

What is common in our area is spreading GCSEs over 3 years, starting GCSE syllabi and dropping non GCSE subjects in year 9.

I know DC are already covering some maths and science GCSE stuff, but they won't drop anything until year 10.

AlexanderHamilton Sat 28-Jan-17 17:36:36

This was dd choosing last year. She had to do two English, Maths & at least double science then she had to choose at least one out of history, geography or French.

She chose :
French
R.S.
Music
Triple Science

so will end up with 9 GCSE's

KarmaNoMore Sat 28-Jan-17 17:41:45

RE is compulsory in ours so he got the compulsory English Language, English Literature, maths and a modern language plus triple science, history and either geography or computer science.

MirandaWest Sat 28-Jan-17 17:54:20

DS is in year 8 but his school has a three year KS4 and so he'll be choosing options soon.

He'll be doing
English language
English literature
Maths
RE (think this will be a full subject)
Science (he'll be doing triple science)

Then chooses 4 options
He wants to do
Spanish
Geography
Music

Is unsure on last option. Possibly computer science, graphics or imedia (which isn't a GCSE but is equivalent. Don't think it's a BTec though).

Parents evening is week after next so will be discussing with various teachers

cricketballs Sat 28-Jan-17 18:23:23

With non GCSE qualifications it is not yet certain what will count on the 2019 tables as the DfE are stalling on releasing the list (should have been published mid December but we are still waiting with no date given) therefore no school will guarantee what technical/vocational qualifications they will/can offer.

For example there are several IT qualifications currently available; BTEC, ECDL, OCR Nationals etc but as we don't know yet which will definitely be on the list for performance tables we can not say which one we will run

MyWhatICallNameChange Sat 28-Jan-17 19:16:25

My DTs school have moved to a 3 year KS4 too, they have their options evening next week.

DT1: German, geography, history & art: design skills. They also have to give 2 reserves.
I think Computer Science will be one, he hasn't decided on the other yet.

DT2: German, geography, history, music. Reserves: art: fine art & computer science.

They are both hoping to get into triple science too, it is their favourite subject and they've been getting level 6 & 7 on tests so they've got a good chance.

smellylittleorange Sat 28-Jan-17 21:44:42

Dd on three year ks4 we are a bit stuck for a creative option tbh. She desperately wants to do Music but has only beenhaving voice lessons she has a good ear though 😕 . Other options she wants to add on top of the usual are History (no doubt about that one) French ( she much prefers to.spanish) and Sociology ( not sure this a good choice at gcse?) RPE as a back up . I think her choices are quite heavily essay based but she is not confident in drama or art and hates tech so fingers crossed she is allowed to do music

troutsprout Sat 28-Jan-17 21:48:04

yaki
The 1 year gcse condensed courses seem to work well. The school work it by starting the school year as soon as the year 11's leave.. (everyone moves up a year when exams start)
I like it as Dd gets to change her mind and gets 3 pops at options as she matures .
Dd has done/is doing gcse music this year.. it seems to have gone well so far (lol ask me again in August!)
Her school has dropped RS as well so she'll do 3 sciences/

troutsprout Sat 28-Jan-17 21:50:38

Fat fingers!
.. 3 sciences, 2 English , maths , 1 mfl and 4 options

raspberryrippleicecream Sat 28-Jan-17 23:16:37

DS2 is my third child going through. His top two choices are, of course, in the same column!

Alongside the core stuff he wants to do Computer Science and Music, then ideally Geography and RE.

School seem to think it is possible (benefits of a 9 form intake - not all option blocks happen at the same time!). If he can't do both he will drop Music and do French, and pick up A levels Music in Y12.

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