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GCSE choices - grade or subject

(19 Posts)
TG09 Wed 10-Jul-19 00:28:27

My first post so apologies if not done correctly.
Daughter is due to start y10 in September and thought that gcse choices were sorted.
School contacted us today to say that due to low grades in end of year test, chemistry and biology will be foundation gcse not higher gcse.

My thoughts are - she has another eighteen months to show she can get better results

Am I putting pressure on her to perform - although I am 100percent sure she understands the subject but just doesn’t get the keywords in exams

She is predicted a grade 8 in art so should she drop science for a better mark

Doesn’t know what she wants to do yet and my main concern is that if she chooses higher predicted grades today that she is limiting future choices.

Happy to work with her on exam techniques.

School day final decision not taken until jan 2021 - but why tell me before course starts if this is the case.

Is getting the predicted highest grades more important than a wider subject choice- only taking eight GCSEs

Thank you for any advice - daughter prepared to work in science subjects but was surprised when art was given an 8 as she didn’t think she was very good at it.

Thanks again x

OP’s posts: |
Rosieposy4 Wed 10-Jul-19 01:05:19

If at state school cannot drop science
Very early to be deciding on tiers, can she do combined instead if a weaker science candidate?

TG09 Wed 10-Jul-19 01:46:03

Hi, thanks for the reply. She can do combined but limited to a C - guessing that’s a 4 or 5, and will mean that she can’t do it at A level if she suddenly loves it and wants to go further.

OP’s posts: |
KittyMcKitty Wed 10-Jul-19 06:50:14

Combined Science can be foundation or higher. Did school say she needed to do combined science rather then triple / single science? Are the school saying if she continues on this trajectory she will more then likely be more suited to foundation? If the final decision isn’t take until Jan 21 (presumably after year 11 mocks) I wouldn’t particularly think about it.

TG09 Wed 10-Jul-19 07:20:34

Thank you.
Husband woke up at 3am to find me still ‘going over options’. He has said the same - it is a long way away, we will help her with exam techniques and check she understands topics as we go. And will just have to wait and see how she does in the next year or so. He doesn’t want me to start worrying about how this (might) affect sixth form choices or jobs yet.
Thank you again for your help

OP’s posts: |
Beesandtrees Wed 10-Jul-19 07:56:52

Sounds like they are just giving an early warning to you while she still has plenty of time to change it.
Perhaps your Dd would find combined science easier as there is less content to learn and revise. She can do foundation or higher papers with combined science and go on to study them at A level provided she gets the grades that her local 6th forms or colleges are asking for.

She won’t be able to drop science at school. Even so, - I am a little confused about your comment about Art. If she is already likely to get a high mark in Art then why would she need to drop science to make it better?
Do keep in mind that at this stage they are unlikely to be proper predicted grades as she (presumably) hasn’t started gcse coursework yet. Predicted grades will become more finely tuned as she moves through the courses.

clary Wed 10-Jul-19 08:02:17

Yy combined science is not limited to grade 5, it can be higher or foundation. Just encourage her to work hard and do her best and the school will decide based on her efforts over the next 18mobths.

TG09 Wed 10-Jul-19 08:14:36

Thank you both.
I didn’t explain Art properly - she isn’t due to rake this and I was wondering if she should swap a science for it as she is predicted a higher grade in it.

Think we’ve come to the conclusion we will just keep things as they were and follow schools guidance on which exam to take - but knowing that we’ve tried with exam techniques to help her get the best result she can.

Ultimately I want her to be happy and get the best result she can without limiting her future choices.

Things seem a bit calmer now than they did at 2am.

OP’s posts: |
Beesandtrees Wed 10-Jul-19 08:42:01

Sounds like a good plan
Good luck smile

BubblesBuddy Wed 10-Jul-19 09:01:04

Sciences are normally combined. DC do all three in greater or lesser depth. She cannot drop one in most schools. Art could be an option as most DC get to choose two or three optional GCSEs on top of the core subjects. So why not do Art? It’s not a choice between these subjects. Science is required and Art is optional.

TG09 Wed 10-Jul-19 09:12:18

Thank you all for your comments x

OP’s posts: |
TapasForTwo Wed 10-Jul-19 09:21:01

Is she at a state school?
Science is a core subject and can't, and shouldn't, be dropped. Why can't she swap a non core option for art?

TeenTimesTwo Wed 10-Jul-19 11:18:10

So to be clear.

1) She has elected to take triple science? (This is a lot of science, and often only more able scientists are permitted to take it)
2) School have suggested that based on y9 exams she might end up being put in for foundation papers in Chemistry & Biology, which would limit her to a grade 5, but this will only be decided Jan y11.
3) You think that with work she will be fine. You are reluctant to 'drop down' to combined award. You seem to think she can't get top grades by doing this, and are concerned this would stop her doing science A level going forward?
4) You are wondering whether she should do Art & Combined Science instead of triple science.

I have a few comments. With combined science, if put in for higher papers, she can still come out with a 9-9. But it has to be higher papers for everything or foundation for everything, she can't mix and match.

It is probably 'better' to have 7-7 for combined than 7,5,5 for triple. There is a hell of a lot of content in combined science, let alone triple. She may be far better off doing combined well than triple badly.

Art is well known as a time eater, especially for someone with perfectionist tendencies.

You talked a lot about what you think. You didn't really mention what your daughter wants to do.
Does she want to do 14 lessons a fortnight in science (which is what our triple scientists have)? That is a lot for someone if they don't enjoy it.
Would she enjoy Art as a relaxation and not let it eat time? Or does she think it would stress any perfectionist tendencies?

TeenTimesTwo Wed 10-Jul-19 11:19:58

Oh, and I forgot to say, doing combined science should not preclude her from doing science A levels.

TG09 Thu 11-Jul-19 07:14:04

Thank you
Daughter upset about science results and surprised with art as she didn’t think she was very good!
The reason for expressing what I think - is because she is not worried at all. Maybe she could teach me how to do that x
Thanks again for your comments - and I know you don’t know me, but she will do what she wants to do 🙂

OP’s posts: |
WholelottaPaint Thu 11-Jul-19 07:24:56

Dd didn't take art because she went from excellent to just ok and she never knew what made a piece amazing or how to reproduce that. Her talent felt too random and uncontrollable. So while she might get a grade 8 or 9 in the end of term exam - mid year she got plenty of grade 5s mixed in - it really put her off. Does your dd feel the same?

BringOnTheScience Thu 11-Jul-19 07:35:49

GCSE Art takes up a huge amount of time. If it's not an absolute passion then it it can be a massive distraction from other subjects.

And school won't let her drop science altogether.

pikapikachu Thu 11-Jul-19 08:32:43

I assume that your school sets for science. At our school, you have to be top 2 sets (out of 6) to do triple.

My dd picked GCSE combined as that was the right decision at the time but it picking A-level Biology after discovering an aptitude for it. Some schools don't offer triple but still run A-level classes so don't worry about that.

Did she study for her end of year exams? The school may be telling you now because she might be in a set that only teaches the grade 1-5 material. I assume that science is set and that moving is possible?

WholelottaPaint Thu 11-Jul-19 08:56:40

My dd picked GCSE combined as that was the right decision at the time but it picking A-level Biology after discovering an aptitude for it. We had the same situation - dd was offered triple in Year 9 but declined as she despised Physics - the school were a bit hmm about her wanting to do Bio A level, they initially turned her down but have reconsidered looking at her actual Biology mark within the combined papers before making a final decision.

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