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Poor choice of GCSE options (help)

(33 Posts)
No37 Wed 22-Mar-17 22:20:56

DD has finally brought home her GCSE options information. She is on the Ebacc pathway, so along with English x 2, maths double science and French her choices are history or geography, one from art, music, drama and food tech and either Spanish, science, media or RE.
She is capable of doing well in triple science but she wants to do a creative degree and before we received the info, the plan was double science with art and music. She is now talking about media and it has been discussed quite a lot at school about how great it is (she gave a better argument) I've read all the threads on here about media and I've told her no, but I'm now feeling a bit mean.
I know there is no contest between triple science and media but whilst DD is clever, I'm not sure she will give her all in a subject that she doesn't see as important to her future (although she does enjoy science especially chemistry).
Sorry, I know I'm rambling, please reassure me triple science is the way to go or media.

user1490123259 Wed 22-Mar-17 22:25:10

Make it entirely her choice, give her the power to choose for herself. Either option is absolutely fine, but she will do better in whatever it is she MOST wants to do.

TrollTheRespawnJeremy Wed 22-Mar-17 22:25:23

Theres no right or wrong to be honest.

I'm in the humanities and so science would be wasted on me. (I hated it anyway.)

It's her life. If she needs to rethink her choices later it's not a big deal. It's just one year.

gillybeanz Wed 22-Mar-17 22:27:02

OP, you can only guide, you have to let them choose.
As for the subjects, there isn't a lot of choice, but there never is.
If she wants to do Media it might be a good balance between academic and creative.
What are her best subjects and what does she want to do?

No37 Wed 22-Mar-17 22:29:51

Thanks, I do want to give her the choice, I have just read too many negative things on MN about media.

TrollTheRespawnJeremy Wed 22-Mar-17 22:31:52

It CAN be a bit of a 'mickey mouse' subject but at the end of the day... somebody has to get these jobs. If she really wants it then there's nothing to be lost by trying. It can open doors into other avenues as well.

user1490123259 Wed 22-Mar-17 22:31:59

it doesn't matter, it is one GCSE, amongst many. And double science is fine, you can go on to science A levels with double science, in fact most students get higher grades with double than they would have done with triple.

No37 Wed 22-Mar-17 22:33:22

Her best subject is maths, but she is really good at everything and wants to study a very specific art degree at university, but thinking about maths, art and English at A level. She is very focused and knows exactly what she wants to do.

No37 Wed 22-Mar-17 22:36:17

Gillybeanz, that was the plan with art and music and whilst she can manage triple science I think it will be too many academic subjects for her and not enough creativity.

sendsummer Wed 22-Mar-17 22:46:35

Double science is fine unless she wanted to do architecture, in which case physics A level would be harder going (although not impossible). I take it that architecture is not her ambition as it would n't fit with her A leve choices.
I am sure that media studies like business studies or food tech etc can give lots of useful skills even if it is n't a core academic subject.

gillybeanz Wed 22-Mar-17 22:49:32

I would only agree about media being a Mickey Mouse subject if the dd hadn't got a lot of academic subjects there already.
Sometimes it's nice to have a break and iirc photography is part of both Art and Media.

Falafelings Wed 22-Mar-17 22:50:32

It's only gcse level. The difference between triple and double science is marginal. Follow your DD's interests. The most important thing is that she enjoys the subjects and can work towards a job she enjoys.

HeddaGarbled Wed 22-Mar-17 22:51:13

Media is one of those subjects which is often taken by less able students, in comparison to triple science which is only ever taken by able students, so it has a bad rep.

At A level, the best universities wouldn't value it as highly as the more academic subjects and when they are only doing 3 or 4 A levels, this could be a problem.

But at GCSE, when she has enough of the more academic subjects, this is not going to be a problem. If she wants to do a creative degree, a third science has no value.

And despite it's reputation, I think that media is a very interesting subject. My daughter wrote an essay on whether Billy Elliott is social realism or a fairy tale, which touched on literature, gender and class politics and all sorts of other issues that I think young people should be discussing. They are developing the ability to argue their opinion both in class discussions and in writing as well as the ability to critically evaluate media.

Falafelings Wed 22-Mar-17 22:53:05

She probably needs balance anyway. She's got lots of academic subjects and needs a good contrast

No37 Wed 22-Mar-17 22:56:24

Thanks everyone, I really thought everyone would say triple science but I'm pleased that media would be fine.

CruCru Wed 22-Mar-17 23:53:20

Honestly? If I were to advise her, I would say that she should pick the subjects for which she is likely to get the best teachers (provided she doesn't utterly hate the subject).

To do music at my school for GCSE, you had to learn at least two instruments but I have no idea whether that is still the case.

DianaMitford Wed 22-Mar-17 23:57:59

I had this; my dd (15 now) wanted to do textiles instead of physics. So she would be doing double science. I was opposed to this - I kept seeing the two students debate, one did physics, the other did textiles, who would get the job they both wanted?
I was given some good advice, which was to let her choose an easier subject, one that she loves, as a sort of antidote to the heavier ones. And I have to say, it was excellent advice.

No37 Thu 23-Mar-17 00:00:44

She'll just be doing art now because of the way the options are but she plays an instrument and sings so music would have been fine.

antimatter Thu 23-Mar-17 00:24:18

The only choice dilema at this stage should be: if your dd dropped a given subject would she be able to take it up for he A levels.
Media could be taken up without doing it for gcse but not art or music.
Art or music are completely different subjects from the point of view of student"s creativity expected by respective boards.

senua Thu 23-Mar-17 08:43:35

I think that she has her bases covered with existing choices so what she does with the last slot in the timetable isn't crucial. It's great that she is thinking ahead and considering the impact on A Level choices.
I have no experience of DC doing media so can't really comment but it seems to be one of those subjects that could be brilliant or awful, depending on the quality of the teacher and the cohort. The important thing for your DD is how well it is done in your particular school. She will have been given the hard-sell by the teacher but what are the facts? - what do pupils currently taking the GCSE say and what grades do they typically achieve.
It seems that Media is partly about critical thinking and not taking promotional guff at face value - here's her first test!grin

catslife Thu 23-Mar-17 08:48:42

As all the main academic subjects are covered taking one subject such as media that she enjoys and thinks will be a fun subject will be absolutely OK.
My understanding is that the reformed 9-1 GCSEs have all been made more academically rigorous compared to previous courses which is why it has been renamed media rather than keeping the old name media studies. Media is considered to be a good subject for dcs who are good at English and Art so could well be ideal for your dd.
Media could be taken up without doing it for gcse but not art or music.
Yes you can take Media at A level without the GCSE, but it is possible to take Music A level without the GCSE with suitable extracurricular activities (particularly if you have taken music grade exams). Not all schools offer GCSE Music as an option. For A level Fine Art they usually require the GCSE but for some of the other subjects e.g. Photography or Graphics it may not be essential.
Hope that helps with your dds decision.

GeorgeHerbert Thu 23-Mar-17 08:49:18

What about considering RE? My ds is taking this and despite being a vociferous atheist (!) really enjoys the ethical debates.

ErrolTheDragon Thu 23-Mar-17 09:02:21

She's got 8 good options, which is sufficient for uni applications. If she's sure that she won't want to do any sciences at A level, then double science should be fine (if her interest in maths increases - which it might as it becomes more 'maths' and less 'arithmetic' as you progress then she might change her mind and physics goes well with maths).

If media is generally taken by weaker students, that may increase the chances of getting a high grade in it.

Essentially, make sure she takes the subjects she needs for A level (for her current plans, they do), make sure she has a rounded mix (which those options do) and after that, for the 9th subject if she's likely to get a high grade either way it probably doesn't matter.

The only thing I can think which might argue against media in this particular case is if it has a lot of course work - Art is notorious for having the most. If it does, and she's also doing a lot of extra curricular music, then the extra science might actually be easier for her.

Bensyster Thu 23-Mar-17 09:11:35

I think it's because my kids are atheists that they find RE so interesting!

Let your dd choose, show her you have faith in her judgements, because atm you are telling her she is too stupid/immature/unworldly/add in whatever is going on her her head to explain why you are doubting her ability to make a choice because to have confidence in your ability to choose your life choices is probably a more important skill than the choice between 2 GCSEs. Advise her of course, get her to seek information from teachers, her friends older siblings etc and then when she has collated the info, she makes her choice - that's the mature thing to do, that is good decision making and what you should be guiding her towards.

irregularegular Thu 23-Mar-17 09:15:43

I agree with the others. When it comes to GCSE choices, provided she has got all the bases covered (which she has either way) as well as any subjects which would be specifically required for her A-level choices (also sorted) then I think for her last subject or two she should just be driven by her interests. It's most important that she feels motivated - and if media inspires her more than a third science then that is the way to go. It sounds very unlikely that she will do sciences for A-level, and even if she does two sciences is OK.

My daughter is doing business studies GCSE. I doubt it is the most academically valuable subject, but it was also her "last" subject so I said she should choose whatever she fancied (though they have to do 3 sciences)

It is a shame that she can't do art and music though. And particuarly unusual that they can't do history and geography. It's a very restrictive structure. At both my children's schools they could choose any combination of extra options after doing maths, english, language, three science, humanity. So would be able to do art and music for example.

And do check the amount of coursework. My daughter is doing art and it is a lot. She considered doing product design as well before she went for business studies and I think it would have been too much.

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