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GCSE Options - Typical choices(15 Posts)
For those of you with kids in Y9 taking their GCSE options; typically what are you seeing in terms of choice across your kids option 'blocks'? How many options per block and what size is the school (kids per yeargroup)?
I'm afraid it's a meaningless question, as all schools are so different!
In an academic school, there won't be any vocational subjects offered, for example. Some schools will enforce EBacc options, others will give free choice.
DDs school. Comp in fully comp area. 9 tutor groups ~260 kids.
This year, for the first time, they haven't option blocked. We are awaiting to hear whether DD has 'got' her selection.
If you do triple science you have 4 additional choices, but one must be geog/history and one must be an MFL. If you are doing an MFL out of school e.g. Polish you don't have to do one in school as well.
If you don't do triple you also have 4 choices, one must be geog/history.
Usually they do 4 option blocks with most things appearing in at least 2 blocks. One block only contained Ebacc subjects to help with progress 8.
Actual subject choice is a bit more restricted than when DD1 chose 6 years ago. There were some BTEC options then which the school no longer offers. I'm not sure if that is due to a specific teacher retiring, or the new GCSEs.
Choosing in Year 8 here but
1 "block" is choice of history or geography (can do both by picking the other subject in different block)
2 blocks of creative/practical subjects (5-6 choices) + triple science (2 Science GCSEs are mandatory; if they wish to take triple they have to use an option for the extra science). So if you don't take triple science you must do 2 creative/practical subjects.
2 blocks which are basically every other subject (about 10 in each block with lot of duplication i.e. same subjects in both blocks)
So quite a lot of choice, but some constraints.
360 children in this year group.
Agree that different schools have different requirements.
DS is at an academic private school and they have the following blocks/requirements:
- English (x2)
- Triple Science
- A MFL
- One among the following: art, drama, music, engineering
- 3 among: history, geography, ancient history, latin, ancient greek, another MFL
They don't do blocks as such at DDs school. They have 6 core subjects (2 x eng, maths, 2 x science (3 for some) and RE) then they can choose one from geog, history, french or spanish and after that they have 2 free choices (they can choose one more from the humanity/MFL section and have one free choice instead if they like).
Bigger than average comp. 4 choices - no option blocks at all and theoretically a total free-choice (although individual advice and guidance given). One of the advantages of a big school!
Surely exact opposite at DC's big school - they have so many children they insist on blocks so they don't have a timetabling nightmare!
I will be upset if DD doesn't get her choices from our no blocks model. We were scrabbling around for 4 we though she had a chance of success with. There really just aren't any other viable alternatives as far as I can see.
No blocks for us. Core is Maths, Science (double or triple), Eng Lit, Eng Lang, and one MFL. Then it is open choice up to 10 GCSE's, and a very good wide choice too, but then you can also do 9, or if you have other commitments like high level sports or music, you can do 8. Also if you missed school due to illness etc. they are very happy for you to concentrate on core. We are very lucky that the school is so flexible.
RedSky, gosh, how odd. I have never known a child be told they couldn't have their choices - although they do have to choose a reserve. They have 26 different things to choose from.
Ds (state catholic high school) will hopefully be doing:-
Providing he gets his choices of DT and Computer science. The others are a given.
Apart from the compulsories (maths, 2 English, RE and double or triple science), we have 4 options chosen from blocks of 5 or 6 choices per block. You have to choose at least one language, either history or geography, at least one creative or physical subject (art, music, textiles, resistant materials, PE, drama) and a free choice for the 4th option. The blocks are all mixed, so not a language block, an arts block, etc but e.g. one block might have French, Spanish, history, computer science, art, PE. The more popular subjects are in 2 or 3 different blocks.
Pupils at DS's school have a core of EnglishX2, Maths, 3 sciences (double or triple) and a main MFL. Double Science folk pick 4, and triple 3 options from a long list, and the double people must pick at least one of History or Geography. The options list is Geography, History, RS, Latin, Ancient History, Greek, a second MFL (G,F,Sp,Mand) Electronics OR Computer Science, Music, Art, DT, Drama. There is no compulsion to do EBacc (hooray) but the school strongly supports MFL study. There are no blocks as such but it is possible that a particularly unusual combination might be hard to timetable. We were really happy with the approach.
We choose in Y8. You have to do eng, maths, science, RE, language. Choose between history and geography. Last column has all the DT, music, art, PE type subjects to choose one from.
So two choices ￼
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