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Does it really matter what subjects you take for GCSE as long as you get good grades?

(44 Posts)
Freddorika Sat 11-Feb-17 17:37:24

Dd (year 9)has to take : English lit and language, maths, a humanity and a language. She wants to take
English language
English literature
Double science
Was thinking of history but teacher told me that the new syllabus is dull and with too much content! Even though she says dd is capable of getting an A. So thinking Classical Civilisation instead as it frankly looks quite easy!
Possibly RS

DH thinks these are too 'soft'. That she should do triple science and history or geography instead of classical civilisation.

Dd is clever and predicted a 7 or 8 in maths, and As in most other subjects.

I'd rather she did easier subjects that she found interesting. She wants to do drama, English and history a level.

Iloveneighbours Sat 11-Feb-17 18:07:22

The history teacher sounds strange. He/she is actively discouraging A student's NOT to take History because it's dull and boring? Who are they to tell what your DD may find interesting? It's also a highly regarded facilitating subject. I'm not sure about wether your DD should do double or triple science, but I'm with your husband on the subject of (pardon the pun)History v classical civilisation. She will have more options with either History/Geography.

AtiaoftheJulii Sat 11-Feb-17 18:07:54

In theory you can do history A level without the gcse, but she might want to check that out at any likely sixth form destinations.

Do her school have any restrictions on what counts as a humanity? Is it a choice between classical civ and RS or could she do both?

If she isn't thinking of carrying on with the science then double's fine imo. Not doing history does seem a bit odd if she's already planning on doing history A level.

Freddorika Sat 11-Feb-17 18:11:37

Teacher said she is struggling with making the new syllabus interesting

BigGreenOlives Sat 11-Feb-17 18:14:23

Drama & music might be a lot of coursework (don't know how the new syllabus will work).

Freddorika Sat 11-Feb-17 18:59:32

It's the Cambridge IGCSE history syllabus and to be fair it does look quite dull.

KittyVonCatsington Sat 11-Feb-17 19:05:54

Apart from English and Maths then no, it doesn't matter (unless you want to do medicine and then triple Science is a must).

Good grades count for more

clary Sat 11-Feb-17 20:22:25

To answer your title, no as long as you do the core subjects (which all schools insist on anyway). I would also recommend if a student is keen that they do humanity and MFL, as your school says.
Yr DD has no humanity on that list btw (unless she does do history; RS doesn't count sadly). Music and Spanish are not soft, by any means, drama is an easier option maybe, but if she likes it then why not. She already has lots of good solid academic stuff going on.

I am baffled as to why any teacher is talking about As as possible grades or targets btw (tho my kids' school is too angry) as all year 9s will be aiming for numbers not letters.

GoodyGoodyGumdrops Sat 11-Feb-17 21:06:27

The new History syllabus is 'dull'?!

I've got one in Y11 sitting History next term, and one in Y9 who is choosing similar options to yours, including History. I think the new History syllabus is much more interesting, covers a lot more history, and is more relevant than the old syllabus - and the History teacher agrees!

EnormousTiger Sat 11-Feb-17 21:08:04

Soanish softer than French. Can she not do French instead?
I would do history plus geography and 2 or 3 sciences as my children have done.

I would do of her choices
English language English literature Maths Double science ( triple if possible)

Then add French but if she really can't do that then Spanish.


So the above is a solid 8 (or 9 if 3 sciences) and the kinds she'd be doing in an academic school by the way and same I did too in my time.

Then do one of Drama or Music

She also needs to consider A levels now and degree courses because often for those not that great at science history and geography are very good facilitating A level subjects to do perhaps with a language and if she gives them up now that's a bit of a gap on her CV in my view.

AlexanderHamilton Sat 11-Feb-17 21:13:05

I'm assuming that as its igcse its an independent school?

My son's independent school counts RS or classics as a humanity as well as history or geography.
Dd is doing RS GCSE & it's very academic.

However if your dd wants to do history a level most 6th forms will require it to have been taken at GCSE (dd couldn't do history & a language).

AtiaoftheJulii Sat 11-Feb-17 21:20:17

For goodness sake, it doesn't matter whether you do French or Spanish! Spanish is far more widely-spoken so arguably more useful anyway.

Don't think Drama is an easy option either, having had 2 out of 3 do it (and a 4th considering it) - the performance element is a lot of work, and the theory aspect is no different to writing English lit essays.

AlexanderHamilton Sat 11-Feb-17 21:22:42

True atia. And most students would have to choose whichever language they have been done no since year 7 anyway.

Dd's school for example only does French
My neice's state school only does Spanish
Ds's independent school they choose which language to do in Year 7 then the most able linguists can also begin a 2nd in year 9.

clary Sat 11-Feb-17 22:02:04

Spanish no softer than French, that seems a ridiculous thing to say. The new MFL GCSE is challenging and rigorous whatever language you are taking.

Are IGCSEs still letters then?

I said RS didn't count as a humanity as it is not in the Ebacc measure. A stupid measure I know but one which schools have to take into account because the govt uses it.

AlexanderHamilton Sat 11-Feb-17 22:07:59

Most IGCSE's are still letters but a few exam boards are changing to 1-9

Freddorika Sat 11-Feb-17 22:29:44

Goodygumdrops are yours doing IGCSE history? The development of Italy in the 1800s, Russia and China (China does sound quite interesting). Dd1s a level history teacher would probably find it interesting but I can't see dd2 finding it at all interesting. I think it was honest and refreshing of the teacher to say it was hard to teach

GoodyGoodyGumdrops Sat 11-Feb-17 22:42:05

Ah, no, not IGCSE. Edexcel GCSE.

AlexanderHamilton Sat 11-Feb-17 23:02:15

It begs the question why are the school doing Cambridge if the content is that off putting.

Ds's school do Edexel IGCSE & from what I can gather they study the Rise of Hitler, the Cold War & the Russian Revolution.

AtiaoftheJulii Sat 11-Feb-17 23:05:38

That's what I was wondering Alex!

Freddorika Sun 12-Feb-17 08:50:43

alex I agree and I think they are planning to change but not for 2017 unfortunately

Freddorika Sun 12-Feb-17 08:52:26

Dd1 did medicine, Elizabeth for gcse history and it was fab and so interesting. I suppose more social history rather than political history.

KarmaNoMore Sun 12-Feb-17 08:55:11

I think she has got a very solid selection of respectable subjects there.

Forget about choosing subjects you think are easier as they may be very time consuming or not the right ones for your child's talents or abilities.

If she is showing an inclination for certain favourite subjects, let her go in that direction.

user1483972886 Sun 12-Feb-17 08:59:34

Depending on your child's strengths / interests I am with your DH. I would do triple science (I am guessing double science precludes any science a levels?) And history / geography and forget about drama.

Freddorika Sun 12-Feb-17 09:00:01

I am feeling nervous about talking her out if history now.

Freddorika Sun 12-Feb-17 09:01:36

There is no way she'll forget about drama it is her favourite subject! I don't see the point of triple science as she will definitely not do science a levels. The school isn't doing computer science which is a real shame as she'd be great at it.

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