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Why would school want a Year 10 to sit GCSE this year?

(46 Posts)
s4rah19 Tue 31-Jan-17 16:21:48

Is there a reason why a school would want a year 10 to sit an English Lit GCSE this year? In my opinion he (nephew) hasn't revised enough, and the mark he's just got in a trial exam isn't anything to write home about. He said something like the teacher said if you get a 4 (+/-) they are going to put them in for this summer. Surely in a year's time he will have a better attitude to revision (hopefully) and a year is a long time in school terms. Why would they want him to sit an exam in 15 weeks or so, I could understand it if he was a level 7 above. It's with WJEC (no idea why an English school would use a welsh exam board - is that normal?), I'd never heard of it until I was looking at his school website. I'm confused about coursework, is a certain percentage of the GCSE still on coursework, will he have done it already or be expected to do the coursework before summer. When I was at school we didn't start until our last year.

TheHobbitMum Tue 31-Jan-17 16:37:29

My kids are in yr 10 and taking some GCSE in a few weeks, they aren't alone in doing it around here. The again they enter the school year in end of may/beg June (from yr 7) not September so they have an earlier start to learning than other schools. If nephew or his mum is concerned they could speak to the school, it wouldn't benefit anyone to sit exams early and have terrible results

Petalbird Tue 31-Jan-17 16:45:11

I did my maths a year early (also wjec) and although I got an A it ment that we started a- level a year earlier and we just didn't know the basics so we all failed the as we did early. I thought it was a silly experiment at the time apparently not hmm

TeenAndTween Tue 31-Jan-17 19:25:16

DDs school does/did RE short-course in Y10.
Their reasoning was
a) Have to study RE anyway so might as well get a qualification
b) Practice for the real set in y11. So they have the experience of sitting a real exam, and they can see how well their revision stands up in a formal exam.

1805 Tue 31-Jan-17 19:56:26

I don't see any point in taking exams early unless the dc is expected to get the very highest mark. My Ds's school does this in y10 (maths gcse earlier this month, Eng Lang in the summer). Apparently in maths now they have started the A level stuff allowing them to go off topic somewhat. But the new A level syllabus is not set yet, so they are just exploring the basics in greater depth. hmm
If the school does a good job getting the dc to where they want to be later on, then you just have to trust them. Good luck to your dn.

Iamastonished Tue 31-Jan-17 20:01:06

DD school used to do 2 "short, fat" GCSEs in year 10, plus core science for those not doing triple science, then the rest in year 11. They did the same number of hours per subject in one year as they would have done in 2.

hmcAsWas Tue 31-Jan-17 20:05:00

Every child in my dd's school takes ICT GCSE a year early. The occasional child with a proficiency in a MFL will take a GCSE early

I think it lightens the load (a bit - by one GCSE) come year 11, and is invaluable practice, and can also be a confidence boost demonstrating to the students that they can do it - after all they already have one GCSE

TheHobbitMum Tue 31-Jan-17 20:15:40

Mine are doing Full RP course , Design, Maths Statistics, English Literature & Further maths (once the statistics is done) as early GCSEs. I'd of rather they didn't do so much as it's hard enough without extra ones but it was left for the kids to choose if they did them as 3 are timetabled for after school. A lot of pressure for them

Bensyster Tue 31-Jan-17 23:40:57

A number of institutions ask that grades and number of subjects are achieved at one sitting. Some do not accept ‘re-sits’ at GCSE or standard level quali cations. If you think this might affect you and a university’s published admissions policy is not clear, it is sensible to check with Admissions staff before applying. From Informed Choices Russell Group 2016/17

Bensyster Tue 31-Jan-17 23:45:49

More ATTENTION! Achieving a quali cation a year early will not give you an advantage if it results in you achieving a lower grade. Similarly, studying for more GCSEs at the expense of getting high grades in a smaller number is not advantageous.

pieceofpurplesky Tue 31-Jan-17 23:52:36

OP there is no coursework with Eduqas (new name for WJEC). Lots of schools do that board and have some for a while. Wales do a different exam.
Literature is now counted in the league tables on a par with Language. For your nephew a Grade 5 will be considered the benchmark for university.

mumsneedwine Wed 01-Feb-17 08:52:13

I wish schools would stop this. As has been said, some Universities only count exams sat in one sitting and having 13 rather than 9 doesn't matter if you sat 4 early. I would only let a student sit early if they were going to get an A*, otherwise why would you ?
Maths can easily be extended without sitting it early with FSMQ Add maths, which covers C1 of A Level. And it is also possible to just teach, without the prospect of an exam, but just for knowledge (I know, who'd have thought !!!). English is not a good choice to have early entry as a lot of the writing requires maturity so an extra year is very helpful. If going to get a 9 this year, maybe, otherwise no. But that's just my opinion, as a parent and an old, jaded teacher.

TheOnlyLivingBoyInNewCross Wed 01-Feb-17 08:58:53

I am surprised that they are sitting Eng Lit early. Some schools colleagues of mine have taught in have put students in for Eng Lang at the end of Year 10, however. The reason is that in some schools English teachers have the same number of lessons per week to prepare their students for two GCSEs as other subjects have to prepare for one, and it can be more straightforward to get one GCSE done completely in the first year of the course and then concentrate on the second one. Like I say, though, the ones I've heard of do it the other way round as Lang is generally the easier exam for the students to get to grips with.

wifeyhun Wed 01-Feb-17 14:28:05

Apparently my dd who is in year 10 is also taking Eng Lit this year as well. I don't think she is really ready for it.

bojorojo Wed 01-Feb-17 17:22:10

I am amazed how many parents still think taking exams early is good. It is not and should be stopped unless the pupils are going to get A* or 9 grade, and even then it is of dubious value and the best universities are not keen. Parents need to get clued up about this. It tends to indicate that children cannot work under pressure when asked to do all the exams at the same time and that, in fact, they are weaker candidates. They have needed the exams to be in bite sized chunks. This may not be true, but it is not worth taking the risk.

Iamastonished Wed 01-Feb-17 18:53:52

Because the schools push it. I didn't know until reading on MN recently that taking exams early was a disadvantage.

Oscha Wed 01-Feb-17 19:06:48

I'm an English tutor. It's common, and madness in my opinion.

panda00 Wed 01-Feb-17 19:28:22

Some kids can cope with iGCSE at a younger age. this boy is one of the many examples in the world. www.thestar.com.my/news/education/2015/06/28/twins-to-focus-on-golf/

I believe as long as the kid is ready, there is no reason we should delay him from taking it.

Peaceandl0ve Wed 01-Feb-17 19:32:58

My sons school are expecting year 10 students to sit 2 maths GCSEs, english langauge and welsh this. I kid you not!

hmcAsWas Thu 02-Feb-17 10:17:58

For my dd - taking an exam early (one exam) in ICT is an entirely a good thing and I care not one jot what some overinflated Russell Group Universities think. She is unlikely to get an A*, but should get a good pass, and given her anxiety issues and lack of self confidence, passing a GCSE in Y10 will remove that 'unknown quantity' aspect of GCSEs (which to a sensitive child like her is an issue) and reassure her that she does have the ability to tackle her Y11 GCSE's

TeenAndTween Thu 02-Feb-17 10:37:46

hmc This is similar to my DD's school (see above), and is reasonably sensible.

But I think there is a world of difference between taking one relatively unimportant GCSE (ICT, RE, Tech) a year early in order to get the feel of GCSEs, and taking a key subject such as Maths or English early, or taking 3 or 4 subjects.

Peaceandl0ve Thu 02-Feb-17 10:47:41

I take your point HMC, my issue lies with taking 4key exams one year early. How is that beneficial?

hmcAsWas Thu 02-Feb-17 10:52:43

Well likewise Peaceandl0ve, I take your point and am not convinced there is any merit in taking several GCSEs early. I was responding to Bojorojo's comment: "I am amazed how many parents still think taking exams early is good. It is not and should be stopped unless the pupils are going to get A* or 9 grade, and even then it is of dubious value and the best universities are not keen" since I think there is value in perhaps taking one GCSE early for certain students in a similar situation to my dd

dingit Thu 02-Feb-17 15:11:34

My Dd sat maths in year 9. She was 3 marks off an A*, which prevented her from studying further maths at 6 form. They spent yr 10 and 11 largely without a teacher doing additional maths, at the second attempt she got a B. She is now doing A level maths yr 13, but is rusty on a lot of her GCSE topics.

It's not in the students interest to do it early.

s4rah19 Fri 03-Feb-17 15:30:18

It's certainly very interesting. If he didn't sit it this year when would he find out which texts and poems he'd be studying for GCSE 2018. Also am I right that doesn't matter which exam board he is there is no longer any coursework? I'd like to help him out re: studying the texts and poems and so it would be great if I could get a head start.

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