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Choosing Options this year?

(128 Posts)
gillybeanz Wed 24-Jan-18 13:29:07

Just thought I'd start a thread to share opinions and ask questions/ advice on option choices.
Hoping it gets more than the few responses that individuals get.

Mine has to choose hers in April, I believe and will take 8

Compulsory: Music, Maths, Eng x 2, single Science, German or French, and a choice of History/ Geography or Art/Drama/Citizenship

and an extra subject of either French, or Double Science.

OP’s posts: |
BubblesBuddy Wed 24-Jan-18 13:40:15

Why not double science? The vast majority of pupils can manage this.

I assume this is a music (arts) school? Why is music compulsory? She will end up with two art subjects out of 8 if she adds drama or art which seems too many out of 8. Fine if there was 9 or 10. Citizenship is usually an extra and is a bit lightweight. Why do they not do RS. Geography or History is fine. It’s not much of a choice though!

Chewbecca Wed 24-Jan-18 13:48:58

It always surprises me how different the choices are between schools. DS's school does:

Compulsory: maths, 2 x English, RE, double science, 1 x language
Optional list is too long to share, but you choose 3 more so 10 in total.

DS has chosen German, triple science (so counts as one more choice), history and economics.

The only thing that is a bug bear is RE being compulsory. School's reasoning is that they are obliged to continue teaching RE and the extension needed to take it to GCSE is not huge so you may as well, l,us it developers good skills. DS likes and is good at RE so not a big issue for us but he would rather have chosen computer science.

DS is looking forward to his timetable next year being full of his favourite subjects.

Deadline is end of Jan which is a little early as he has now already somewhat switched off the subjects he knows he is dropping.

gillybeanz Wed 24-Jan-18 13:58:10


We knew it was little choice when we joined the school. yes, it's music school, hence the compulsory music, it's the same at A level too.
They can choose double science if they like, but dd doesn't like science at all.

Mine has chosen French as an extra and not sure whether drama or Art yet. definitely not History or Geography as opted out of these after Y8.

I agree about huge differences between schools, which is why I started the thread, it's good to compare choices and see what others offer.

OP’s posts: |
BubblesBuddy Wed 24-Jan-18 16:21:01

So she will not do a recognised Humanity at all? And single science? That’s very narrow so I hope her music career flourishes. Usually musical children are bright so I think she’s been sold short personally.

ihearttc Wed 24-Jan-18 17:59:49

DS1 is doing his this year as well...he is in Year 8 so his school do a 3 year GCSE EBACC. We haven't had options meeting yet but he wants to do Compulsory:English, Maths, Double Science (for year 9 but then top set get put in for triple science-he's in top set currently so hopefully he'll get to do that),Spanish, History, Geography and PE. He was wondering about whether to change History for French as well as Spanish as he's currently doing both but Im not convinced it's a great idea. He's brilliant at Spanish but not so good at French.

He has his heart set on being a Pilot and literally cannot wait until he can fly a proper plane rather than simulators!

Heifer Wed 24-Jan-18 18:21:16

My DD has just completed her Options Form.
They do 9 as standard, DD has opted for

Maths, English x 2, Triple Science, History, PE & Spanish
She has to pick a Humanities & Language as Top 2 sets are doing Ebacc which I have to admit I'm really happy about. Also like that the bottom 2 sets don't have to do it so if they need extra time with Maths & English they can pick 8 or just not take a language etc. The school seems to have come good with their claim to be more personal options, more individual for each student.

She did think about taking RE or Further Maths as a 10th subject in their own time (lunch and after school lessons offered) but decided against and to try to get the best grades she can with the 9 and to try some new activities at lunch time (they offer a massive selection of enrichment activities as have 1.20 mins for lunch).

I think she has a good balance in that 9, although would have liked her to do DT as I think it will keep some doors open should she not do Science A Levels. But PE was a no brainer for her as she loves it, so stuck with that instead.

Fingers crossed that she actually gets all the subjects she has picked - we will find out soon enough I guess :-)

Iprefercoffeetotea Wed 24-Jan-18 18:23:03

Why not double science? The vast majority of pupils can manage this

How civilised, a school that allows you to do single or one science.

You don't get forced to do two MFL or two humanities, so why two sciences?

I think my ds would have preferred to do two languages and just one science, but that wasn't open to him.

Contrary to what the government thinks, not everyone is good at science or wants to work in a tech career.

simpson Wed 24-Jan-18 19:40:23

DS has to pick this year too although he is in yr8 so GCSEs over 3 years.

We have an options evening early Feb. DS knows what he wants to pick (history, geography,RE and PE) although not 100% sure how many he will have to choose.

The chances of him being able to do geography, history and RE are tiny sadly. We don’t need to make a decision on science until yr10.

DS is very bright but not in foreign languages (atm does Spanish) so hoping he isn’t going to be pushed to do that.

lljkk Wed 24-Jan-18 19:59:19

DS, yr9, is half way thru ICT GCSE. He doesn't much like it but he disliked all other options even more. We hope for a B.

Yr10 He'll finish computing GCSE. Yr11 he'll have French & geography (mandatory), triple Sci (final choice). 11 in final total.

gillybeanz Wed 24-Jan-18 21:08:42

Does anyone know if there are benefits to taking the computer test, is it ECDL or something like that.

OP’s posts: |
stressedoutfred Wed 24-Jan-18 22:03:05

Can I join the chat please!

We’ve got parents evening and options evening tomorrow.

DS is planning on taking English, Maths, triple science, History, Geography, PE and IT

gillybeanz Wed 24-Jan-18 23:16:40

I think it's great to see schools offer triple Science, but to answer the above, some children aren't academic and can only hope for the bare minimum in some subjects.
It's good to see a variation and I don't know anybody who took Greek, Latin, Mandarin or Economics but I still like to hear of our future young people's choices thanks

OP’s posts: |
HolyShet Wed 24-Jan-18 23:32:22

DS is Y8 and having to choose - seems soon.

He has to do 3 separate sciences, English x2 , Maths, an MFL (will pick Spanish), History or Geography (will pick History).

Plus 3 choices. He's wants to do Music and Computer Science - and fancies Business Studies, randomly. Music may not be poss as he's ad drummer and not sure if school can support that at 0 level.

He's very into Maths/Science. Struggles with the languages so thankful he only has to do one.

saladdays66 Wed 24-Jan-18 23:34:03

Dd has to do triple science
A language
A creative
A humanity
An extra

tumpymummy Thu 25-Jan-18 01:00:45

At my kids school compulsory is : maths, 2 x English and science (either triple or combined). Then 4 choices from a relatively short list. She is choosing History, Geography and PE. Not sure about last choice will probably be Business Studies. I'd like her to carry on with French but she really doesn't want to (despite having family living in France).

KingscoteStaff Thu 25-Jan-18 04:51:27

11 here...
2 Eng, 3 Science, Maths, French, History, RE, PE and final choice is wavering between Latin, Geography, Spanish or Class Civ.

We had to put in a provisional decision last night. Then DD gets a one to one discussion with her head of year before we finalise.
The timetable is then drawn up and after that they can make changes as long as it’s between subjects in the same ‘block’.

sashh Thu 25-Jan-18 07:10:36


ICT and computing are different subjects.

Does anyone know if there are benefits to taking the computer test, is it ECDL or something like that.

Yes, but it (and other general IT courses) doesn't count in the league tables any more. It's a shame because we all need to be able to use a computer even if you are doing Art or Drama at uni and ECDL does teach you how to create a powerpoint and how to use a spreadsheet.

sashh Thu 25-Jan-18 07:13:22

Sorry I miss read, I thought you were asking if it was worth doing ECDL

ealingwestmum Thu 25-Jan-18 08:09:50

Hi Gilly, topical thread. Y9 options evening was this week for DD with subjects submitted. 10 subjects standard.

Core: 2 x English; Maths, 2 x Sciences (taken as singles); MFL (Mandarin selected).

Options: Spanish; French; Geography & Music.

Was undecided between Latin vs French until Latin tutor suggested she did Greek in addition - this was the deciding factor for her to walk away. We have 2 major extra curricular activities to contend with and she wants to be able to cope with the workload to maintain these.

gillybeanz Thu 25-Jan-18 09:36:31


Yes, we have a Mandarin grin, and I agree it's important to keep a balance when they have extra curricular subjects important to them.
That looks like some brilliant choices and good options.

Thanks for the info on ECDL, mine has to take an enrichment subject every term and this was on the list.
I will have a look at this, but can see the benefits already.

How much input do people have with their dc options.
I just went through the subjects with our other dc, answered any questions and basically ran through the marking criteria.
I know it's their decision though.
Somebody once said you can't really choose a wrong GCSE as it just proves a broad (ish) general education, I'm not sure if anyone agrees with this.

OP’s posts: |
ealingwestmum Thu 25-Jan-18 10:53:24

Similar process to you Gilly - DD also knows that DH and I did not go on with education beyond O levels, so I not going to be of much help other than following threads like the GCSE + and beyond as my basic research. Her parents both ended up in similar fields that did not require professional formal qualifications, though it would be different entry requirements today.

A parent told me at options evening she was trying to steer her son away from selecting Mandarin. Because she wouldn't be able to support him. This is quite common a common view these days.

DD is pretty clueless as to what she wants to do. Was asked a few times by teachers and remained vague. Perhaps something businessey, involving languages, possibly music were her varying responses. I asked her after if she really didn't have a gut feel yet - her response was so many of her peers come out with stock answers, that it's made her go the other way, as lots are influenced by what their parents think they should do.

I'm not sure if I've got the right level of parental engagement balance right, but also hope the school will also be a strong guide for her.

Soursprout Thu 25-Jan-18 11:33:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Soursprout Thu 25-Jan-18 11:34:49

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Astronotus Thu 25-Jan-18 12:14:14

ECDL as an enrichment, aside from the GCSEs, is an excellent choice. Employers like to see ECDL, particularly Level 2 on cvs. This course covers Word, Excel and Powerpoint.

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