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GCSE subjects - compulsory and optional. For gcse 2020.

(23 Posts)
youarenotkiddingme Wed 01-Nov-17 23:03:34

What gcse subjects are compulsory? I know maths, English and science but what must they take within this?

Also what can students choose? Is it compulsory to do a MFL, PE and RE or to at least study it at KS4?

My ds has SEN and will have better opportunities of securing passes in some subjects than others and I'd like to know what is compulsory to compare to what is offered or I'm informed ds will/should be studying.

nocampinghere Thu 02-Nov-17 09:40:35

maths, english, english lit are compulsory
then science so either single sciences or double science.

after that most schools want an MFL because it is included in the EBACC stats, and apparently some universities demand it (but not as many as we're led to believe - but this is just my understanding, not fact) and i know some kids who dropped it as they had no chance of passing/getting a good grade and it doesn't seem to have affected their HE opportunities.

DDs private school doesn't make them do either PE or RE for GCSE so it is not a govt requirement but I am not sure re state schools.

TeenTimesTwo Thu 02-Nov-17 09:53:22

I think it depends on what you define as 'compulsory'

The schools are measured on Progress 8.
This needs
- maths (double weighted)
- English (best result of lang and lit, double weighted but you must have entered both)
- Science (at least the double award)
- another ebacc
- other stuff that I can't remember the details of

So a school's measure will be lower if they don't fill all the buckets. Thus schools present options to ensure all the buckets are filled.

However I don't think it is actually illegal for them to not, for example, enter a child for English lit.

PE and RE are (I think but may be wrong) compulsory even if not examined, but you as a parent can withdraw your child from RE.

Ultimately the school can set up its option blocks however it likes, as there will need to be constraints due to timetabling. Hopefully a school would take needs of children like yours into account when setting the blocks. Depending on the severity of the SEN you might find the school quite happy to be flexible. It helps no one to force a child to do e.g. French if they have no hope at all of getting anywhere with it.

Soursprout Thu 02-Nov-17 10:04:43

I’m guessing RE is not compulsory as Dd ( yr 10) doesn’t do it now
It was dropped as a compulsory lesson/ gcse last year at her school
If she wanted to carry on with it, she had to choose it and use up an option choice.

Soursprout Thu 02-Nov-17 10:12:39

Just to clarify.. Dd won’t be sitting an exam in RE and also does not have RE LESSONS at KS4 at her secondary

Ifailed Thu 02-Nov-17 10:14:49

in England (& Wales I think?):

LIZS Thu 02-Nov-17 10:20:15

English is language and literature Science includes Biology, Chemistry and Physics with the number of papers sat varying by qualification. Some schools require RS, most won't. Most other subjects are optional for gcse/btec. However it is normal to have timetabled lessons in PE and RS/PSHCE until year 11.

Ifailed Thu 02-Nov-17 10:24:23

Sorry, National curriculum is not compulsory in Academies, nor in Wales!

disahsterdahling Thu 02-Nov-17 11:15:59

At ds school Maths English and science is compulsory.

After that they can choose what they like, they don't insist on ebacc though ds is doing the subjects for it.

They also do PE and have an off curriculum day every so often to cover stuff like the compulsory RE etc. That's very recent, they used to do RE and get a short course GCSE in it.

ReinettePompadour Thu 02-Nov-17 12:21:28

At our school the students only study 8 gcses. The school decide which subjects they offer so in theory those subjects are also compulsory. From the government's point of view I believe English, Maths and Science are compulsory to exam level (in a state school) but things like PE and RE/PSHE/Citizenship are also compulsory just no exam required.

English (x2) , maths and science ( either 2 exams as science and further science or 3 exam subjects as Biology, Chemistry and Physics) are compulsory at gcse level. A humanity (RE, History or Geography) is also compulsory along with a MFL.

Only the most able children take triple science.

RE is no longer compulsory at gcse level at our school but the school put on an entire week of RE later in the year for those who didnt choose it in the humanity block.

Students who take double science rather than triple also have the option to take Art, DT or PE at gcse.

However I do know a local SEN high school who do not offer any gcses. They offer a range of alternative qualifications instead and their students do very well.

flyingpigsinclover Thu 02-Nov-17 16:09:28

My DC will do triple science plus English and Maths, I'm not sure if a language is going to be compulsory - the school don't insist on Ebacc subjects but don't the government say that they have to do it?

youarenotkiddingme Thu 02-Nov-17 16:23:10

Thanks all.

I had plans for ds to stop MFL due to his Sen (asd/physical and learning). He struggles with English and has a 1:1 for this via his EHCP so seems a bit daft if he has to do one iyswim? He'd be better of doing tech subject and computing subject.
He generally struggles with RE and PE so would prefer not to pursue the subjects but he'll do them if it's compulsory!

He's due to bring home options stuff soon so trying to find out law Vs what that might say to make sure I approach the school correctly and armed with the correct information!

TeenTimesTwo Thu 02-Nov-17 16:29:44

At DDs school, even by y8 the 'bottom set' don't do an MFL and do extra English instead.
For DD1 PE in y10&y11 was 1 lesson per week only.
RE she did the 'shortcourse (half GCSE)' at the end of y10. It was more-or less compulsory and partly used as a practice before the ones in y11. As an option pupils could choose RE&Sociology (2 GCSEs)

You won't be able to 'force' a subject into an option block, but I would have thought, if necessary, you could put up a good argument for not doing an MFL and using the extra time in learning support working on homework / English.

(Unless he's at a grammar school ...)

youarenotkiddingme Thu 02-Nov-17 16:46:20

He's at a state secondary.
Very good and has EHCP for 20 hours so using time for support of not able to do 'extra' subject instead is a great idea - at least it's something I can suggest as a solution!

flyingpigsinclover Thu 02-Nov-17 17:06:53

Here the top set for English do two languages, the other sets do double English.

When we were choosing universities we found only 4 or 5 that insisted on a language for non-linguistic degree courses. DS's school tell people not to do a language if they really don't like languages and not to do it just because it is part of the ebacc.

ihatethecold Fri 03-Nov-17 08:50:31

Does anyone know when the kids take their options?
I can’t remember when my ds chose his.
Or is every school different?

Badbadbunny Fri 03-Nov-17 10:09:30

At our son's school, Maths and both English were compulsory as was 2 separate sciences (they could drop 1 of the 3). Other than that, it was a free for all. Not even option blocks. No compulsory tech, humanity nor language. They have one lesson per week doing the RE/personal stuff but it's not examined. The work out the timetabling after the choices have been made, so none of this being stuck to choose something from each block.

Teddygirlonce Fri 03-Nov-17 10:10:44

PE and RE are (I think but may be wrong) compulsory even if not examined, but you as a parent can withdraw your child from RE PE certainly not compulsory at DC1's school (perish the thought!) although RE is.

RicottaPancakes Fri 03-Nov-17 10:15:18

from a legal point of viewy it's not compulsory to sit any GCSEs at all.

youarenotkiddingme Fri 03-Nov-17 16:22:56

Thanks all.

It seems some of the info is been told by other parents (and ds!) was in correct. We had email today.

Has to do core - English/maths and science.
Has to do a humanity of either history or geography.
So core subject then a choice of 4.

One technology.
Can choose Further maths/statistics
Can do more than 1 humanity (so can also do MFL or RE)
Can choose an art subject.

This throws it slightly as ds can't do RM and computing but he seems to think you can do drama but as a technical theatre option.

They also do PE and their version of PHSE too as studied subjects.

So it looks like what they offer and what ds has to do and what he should do will correlate quite nicely!

TeenTimesTwo Fri 03-Nov-17 16:56:49

Good, glad it looks like its working out OK.

AlexanderHamilton Fri 03-Nov-17 17:07:24

At dd's school they do what is necessary for Progress 8 but not ebacc

So everyone takes 9 GCSE's (except those with SEN or other issues who take 8)

Maths, 2x English & Science is compulsory along with 1 other ebacc subject (History, Geography or a Language.

The other two options are free choice & can include triple science if a student chooses.

AlexanderHamilton Fri 03-Nov-17 17:08:41

I forgot to say RE isn't a compulsory exam subject but they cover it under a non examined PHSE lesson & they have non examined dance or PE lessons.

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