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How many GCSEs?

(87 Posts)
m0therofdragons Wed 05-Sep-18 16:42:31

Dd goes to secondary next year. She's very academic. We have 2 school options but one has £1000 a year transportation cost and she's not certain if gaining a space.

School one: can walk but only allows dc to take 8 GCSEs

School two: needs bus and allows up to 11 GCSEs

I took 11 but I went to a grammar school which isn't an option here. Can anyone advise if it matters? Seems a big difference to me.

OP’s posts: |
ShalomJackie Wed 05-Sep-18 17:07:18

Most places for further education look at the best 8 grades. If she only takes 8 and struggles in one area (perhaps she may not be an able linguist) she lessons her chances of achieving 8 good grades.

DS just took 11 in the last round and it is doable.

TeenTimesTwo Wed 05-Sep-18 17:08:37

8 seems low. 11 seems high.

8 only means:

Maths, 2 English, 2 Science + 3 others
so for an able pupil who might want to do 3 science that means only 2 other subjects.

11 is a lot though with the new harder curriculum, all terminal exam GCSEs. Though 'up to' 11 I guess means 8-11.

If you can afford it (and all other things being equal) I'd put the 11 school first and the 8 school next on the form. And talk them both up to your DD.

OddBoots Wed 05-Sep-18 17:12:40

If she is starting in Y7 then there is a chance that either or both will have changed policy before your dd gets to GCSEs so I wouldn't let that be a deciding factor.

Heifer Wed 05-Sep-18 17:14:06

My DDs school usual is 9 and some can take 1 extra (not on timetable, done a lunch times and after school only RE/Further Maths/Music)

Personally I wouldn't want either 8 or 11 but that doesn't help you.. Around here, the Grammar schools take 11, the private schools take 10 and the other schools take either 8 or 9.

My worry with just 8 is that there really isn't much option for you DD. My DD didn't get much to pick with just the 9 (she wants 10 but is going to see how it goes).
She has selected Triple Science, English x 2, Maths, History, PE, Spanish. If she does the 10th it will be RE or Further Maths.
From what I've read on MN, the universities will only look at the best 8 subjects so in reality no need to put extra pressure on and take 11. BUT with only taking 8 it doesn't give any leeway for a mess up. Even the most able student can mess up 1 exam, I think that is a lot of pressure if she is hoping to go to certain universities.
Also why are they only taking 8, is this due to their intact or lack of funding for teachers etc.. That would concern me.
I was a little concerned when our school changed to 9 but MN helped me realise that was fine.
The school that you say can take up to 11 - if that what most take? Your DD could take less but may not want to if everyone else is taking 11.

gleegeek Wed 05-Sep-18 17:18:48

Dd is taking 11.5. It's too many IMO and she's very stressed. I think 9-10 would be about right, although at least with a large number they don't need to drop subjects they enjoy. It's very very hard work though...
I would look at the results both schools get, progress levels and which your dd feels they'd be happiest in.

LoniceraJaponica Wed 05-Sep-18 17:21:04

DD took 10, but that was 2 years ago. I think, with the harder exams most students take 9 or 10 now. 11 seems a bit of a stretch.

Theworldisfullofgs Wed 05-Sep-18 17:25:41

8 is low and reduces choice early and therefore a level choice.

Dd did 11 and did well. Ds will do 10 as the school has reduced the number to reduce costs.

Perfectly1mperfect Wed 05-Sep-18 17:27:36

DS is taking 10 including triple Science. Most at his school take 9 as they do double Science instead of triple.

Kids at other schools locally seem to do between 9 and 11, so 8 seems low.

Smellybean Wed 05-Sep-18 17:31:26

Sorrry. But what are the 11 GCSEs?

Smellybean Wed 05-Sep-18 17:37:55

Should’ve said. What are the extra few GCSEs they can take? my ds is taking 9.

auntyflonono Wed 05-Sep-18 17:39:38

Is triple science compulsory? If so its only two options.

I think 9 is a good number.

WhatHaveIFound Wed 05-Sep-18 17:45:15

DD did 11 but i felt she was a bit overwhelmed by them at times. It depends on how academic your DD is? 8 does seem low though. Does she have a school preference?

WhatHaveIFound Wed 05-Sep-18 17:46:32

TO add - DD did 2 x Maths, 2 x English, 3 x Sciences & 4 x Options subjects.

RomanyRoots Wed 05-Sep-18 17:47:46

I think 8 is great as you can fit in lots of other things without getting stressed, too much.
Mine is doing 8, our older ones did 14, absolutely ridiculous.

pointythings Wed 05-Sep-18 18:29:22

DD2 is taking 10, including triple science.

DD1 took 12 - did an additional maths in Yr10 and did a full RE GCSE too.

I think 10 is fine for an able student, 8 doesn't leave you much wiggle room.

LoniceraJaponica Wed 05-Sep-18 18:31:45

Triple science is 3 options not 2

alardi Wed 05-Sep-18 18:35:26

8 is hardly any choices. I'd go for 11.

Northumberlandlass Wed 05-Sep-18 18:38:13

At DS school the max is 9 (8 if they aren’t doing triple science)
They were adamant that due to the change in GCSE’s it was more than enough for kids to cope with & would have no impact on their future.

AlexanderHamilton Wed 05-Sep-18 18:53:45

My children have been to 3 different schools both state & private & all of them allowed them to take 9 GCSE’s. The private school allowed 10/11 if taking Further Maths and/or extra curricular Computer Science. Dd’s School was 8 for low ability children who needed extra numeracy/literacy instead.

Soursprout Wed 05-Sep-18 19:03:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Leeds2 Wed 05-Sep-18 19:27:34

Given that you say she is academic, I would go for the school that says up to 11 GCSEs (accepting that might actually mean 8, 9 or 10). I would though check with her first that she is happy to do the bus journey. She may prefer to walk to the local school.
I would also ask the local school if there is any option for DC to do more GCSEs if they are capable, eg at lunchtime or after school clubs. That might in reality be possible, even if they don't advertise it.
If it were my DD, I would prefer her to do 9 or 10. I think 8 isn't enough, and 11 too many.

TeenTimesTwo Wed 05-Sep-18 19:29:08

I've got the opposite problem. I think I only want DD2 to do 8 but suspect the school will insist on at least starting with 9.

maz99 Wed 05-Sep-18 20:03:27

My DD’s school ‘force’ them to them to take 11 GCSEs, because all students have to take RE and PSHE - this would make it 12 GCSEs if taking triple science.

They have to take 4 options - 1 Language, 1 Humanities, and 2 options.

Students also have the choice whether to take PE as a GCSE or not - my DD chose not to.

Also, Info Tech is a mandatory subject, but I’m not sure if they take it as a GCSE.

LoniceraJaponica Wed 05-Sep-18 20:06:21

That's ridiculous maz. Triple science is far more useful than RE and PHSE.

DD had to take Citizenship at GCSE, which I felt was a waste of time, but at least she could take triple science. Just as well as she took chemistry and biology at A level.

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