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How much do you "encourage" your dc's when choosing options?

(20 Posts)
MinesABabyGuiness Fri 09-Feb-18 18:19:35

DD is very bright but like a lot of teenagers can be lazy. English is her best subject and is predicted 8/9.

She has been given the opportunity to take part in a programme starting in year 9 for able students, one half focused on STEM subjects and the other more English focused. This would make her compulsory GCSE options of; triple science and RPE and a compulsory AS level politics. They have to stay at school til 5pm each day for co-curricular activites and homework.

Her initial reaction was a big fat no. But she is the sort of person who needs a big push but once she gets there absolutely excels at it.

She gets two other options to choose from which she wants do either Art or Textiles and History.

I think its an opportunity too good to pass up and would benefit her hugely. She is coming round to the idea but if its still a no from her, how much do i push it? And would i regret it if i didn't?

MinesABabyGuiness Fri 09-Feb-18 18:21:17

If she doesn't choose this programme option her preferred choices are; History, RPE, textiles and creative imedia.

Wants to go into fashion journalism.

EveryoneTalkAboutPopMusic Fri 09-Feb-18 18:27:40

I would suggest googling jobs in fashion journo,I’m, especially the pay. Most graduate journos seem to work for free or on minimum wage and that’s if they can get work. If she can afford the debts from her degree and also to keep herself after for no, or very little money then she may be ok. What is she doing about Jourmlism now? Has she thought herself shorthand and touch typing?

As for your original question. I’d explain the options, look into fashion journalism then leave it entirely upto her. I didn’t encourage my DS to take a single subject over another but I did explain how some subjects can be more helpful than others.

MinesABabyGuiness Fri 09-Feb-18 18:40:07

I think fashion journalism is a new thing for her. Orginally wanted to do fashion design, she is a very talented artist too. She is more annoyed the school won't let her do both art and textiles.

I'm happy for her to choose the subjects she wants to do. But this programme offers better facilities, more educational trips etc. She definitely doesn't want to do MFL or geography but open to most other options.

nooka Fri 09-Feb-18 18:45:58

I wouldn't push my child into having to take subjects they have no interest in over ones they want to do. Experience with my children has been that they do best when taking subjects they love. My general approach has been to encourage them keep their options as open as possible for as long as possible. What they want to do will likely change many times throughout their teens (and beyond too probably).

Do you want your dd to take this option because you think she is good at sciences and it will open doors for her or just because it's for 'more able students' and you think she will therefore work harder? Does she have friends in that cohort? Will she have to drop all the courses she wants (ie Art, Textiles and History) if she is on the program?

If you genuinely think that she will enjoy the program and not lose the opportunity to pursue her own interests then I'd encourage her. Beyond that you could bribe her I guess but I'm not sure what other leverage you could use if she really isn't interested.

juneau Fri 09-Feb-18 18:48:16

Journalism of any kind is very competitive and it's poorly paid. If she's absolutely determined and talented too then she might be one of the ones who make it, but I was a good writer and gave up my dream of being a journalist, because a) it was just SO competitive and b) the pay was awful (or non-existent).

As a woman in STEM she can expect a lot of help and support along the way, because schools and universities are absolutely desperate to promote women in STEM subjects. Not only that, but if she does well she can expect not only a good career, but decent pay at the end of it. I'd so some research yourself and then sit her down and have a chat. I don't have teens yet, but if I did I'd certainly be encouraging them to take the STEM route over fashion/journalism, because the prospects are just so much better.

MinesABabyGuiness Fri 09-Feb-18 19:07:19

She does enjoy the sciences, biology in particular (not keen on physics).

Apologies, I probably should have made myself more clear. So one half of the cohort will be doing STEM subjects (triple science, computer science and either RPE or economics as compulsory) and DD would be taking the more English focused half (still compulsory triple science which is her back up option anyway, RPE or economics and AS politics). A definite no to the STEM option and i won't be pushing that as she isn't in the top set for maths.

This would still leave her two choices which would textiles and either history or creative iMedia as she can't decide between the two.

Of course I want her to do what she wants but this programme has already proved to improve grades in all subjects and she really is the type of child who needs that extra bit of encouragement to achieve her full potential? She has friends there which helps.

They have a brand new state of the art building and facilities, extra co-curricular activities and the children there have been on some fabulous trips to broaden their knowledge and learning.

For me it's a no brainer, but again I don't want to force her to do something she really doesn't want to do.

lljkk Fri 09-Feb-18 22:49:41

DD loves art. Would love to do art as a career.
She decided art is impossible to make money at.
She will be a well paid doctor instead, who can buy nice art & support her best mate (an artist).

It's easier to enjoy fashion if you make lots of money so you can buy the latest fashion.

BubblesBuddy Sat 10-Feb-18 01:10:28

I’m another one that thinks fashion journalism is very difficult to get into. I think LCF do a course. Lots of internships and no pay!

With regard to the course, what use is an AS in Politics? No university will care about this because they don’t look at them any more. She needs 9 good GCSE passes. I do like sensible enrichment programmes but I’m not sure compulsory odd subjects entirely fits the bill. Will she want to stay if it doesn’t interest her? Interesting you is a different matter!

Can the school actually prove anything about improved grades if they are putting the best pupils on the scheme anyway? What you actually need is a curriculum designed to meet her needs not her squeezed into a slightly bizarre one.

My DD did Art and Photography at A level. If your child needs to go down this route because you are never going to be a Doctor, then that’s what your child has to do! Most don’t get to be super all-round talented and have a wide choice of high powered careers. Working in fashion is extremely difficult. My DD went to LCF and it’s far more about who you know, not what you know. Journalism ditto. I would revisit careers a bit further on. She could blog though!

MinesABabyGuiness Sat 10-Feb-18 11:47:03

Thank you bubbles, that makes a lot of sense.

DD is very artistic, her passion lies in designing and its what she enjoys. I'm happy for her to do these subjects at GCSE. But she is a very talented writer and English is by far her strongest subject. I can see her studying that at uni more than anything else.

You are right about her needing 9 good GCSE's, I'm not sure she is interested enough to go on to do a full politics A level so the AS isn't really of any use. But then she may love it, who knows.

Definitely now wants to choose history as she is on target to get a good grade in that, textiles and creative imedia. Just one option left which she is struggling with. Her predicted grade for RPE wasn't as good as she was expecting.

gillybeanz Sat 10-Feb-18 11:55:27

I'm going through the actual content of each optional subject, have the boards syllabus downloaded.
just because they like the title subject they may not like the content.
Also, how the subject is assessed is also important, does it match their style of learning?
How much time will the combination of chosen/compulsory subjects take and what time is left for extracurricular and hobbies.
I'm helping with all this, but dd will have to choose her own options.

MinesABabyGuiness Sat 10-Feb-18 12:03:11

The school have provided us with all of the syllabus content so we know what we are getting into.

Options evening isn't til after half term so got plenty of time to think.

MinesABabyGuiness Sat 10-Feb-18 12:06:20

Definite no's from DD are geography and any MFL (despite being in the top set). They are trying to encourage her to do the Ebacc but I'm not pushing that.

Allthebestnamesareused Sat 10-Feb-18 15:04:25

Can I ask what RPE is?

AnneOfCleavage Sat 10-Feb-18 15:19:23

allthebest RPE - Religion, Philosophy and Ethics

AnneOfCleavage Sat 10-Feb-18 15:23:55

My DD had to take the ebacc route as on the academic stream so then had to take a MFL despite hating languages and a Humanities subject - loves History so no brainier as disliked Geography. She was able to do double science rather than triple and has opted for subjects she enjoys for her other options so she doesn't feel too badly done by.

Perhaps make a pros and cons list for each route and see if that sheds any light. I do feel for her though as my DD found it hard to choose last year but is now happy with her choices and feels she knows what she'll even do at A levels now.

kidstaxidriver Sat 10-Feb-18 15:25:30

Hi
My son is unsure about taking a MFL. Neither Spanish or French are his strength. I’ve heard on the parent grapevine that not taking a MFL can hinder Uni options at a later stage. Does anyone know if this is the case? Obviously he wouldn’t be planning on a MFL at A level. Any advice appreciated? Thanks, I’m just not sure whether to insist he has to do one!!!

BubblesBuddy Sat 10-Feb-18 16:14:32

Not having an MFL doesn’t hinder anything unless you are really looking at the ultra competitive courses at Oxbridge where they might like to see breadth. They expressly say this for Medicine at Oxford. I cannot imagine PPE students at Oxford cannot get a high grade in an MFL either.

Universities are taking GCSEs into account. Some courses it’s as high as 30% of the criteria. So high grades and breadth would look best, but breadth is less important. Universities know they cannot rule out all those students who cannot manage a MFL! The need for bums on seats determines that.

However I think truly bright children do manage all EBacc subjects. That’s why they are bright! They are all rounders. Others are bright, but in narrower fields.

MN threads are full of children who cannot do MFLs. No wonder MFL depts struggle for well qualified students and many of the best qualified come from private schools. The bright children elsewhere dodge it.

MinesABabyGuiness Sat 10-Feb-18 17:28:45

We have an interview with a teacher after half term and she cannot pick her choices til then.

I feel they will say she has to go the Ebacc route as they are encouraging at least 50% of the cohort to do so. I'm assuming these will be the students following the academic pathway. She is good at French, on target to achieve grade 7 but it is her least favourite subject. If the choice is taken out of her hands though she will have to do it, just like I did.

I have had a chat with her and she is still unsure about the programme for the more able students so I'm leaving it til we speak to the teachers and see what they recommend.

BubblesBuddy Sat 10-Feb-18 18:55:57

I think my query would be the AS exam. It’s work that isn’t necessary whereas 9 high grade GCSE are more important. I would have thought they could enrich without doing an exam by having speakers in or doing visits and debates. Public speaking with MUN could be more useful for example. Hope the meeting goes well.

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