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How many GCSE subjects to take?(123 Posts)
My DD is Year 9 now. I am wondering how many GCSE subjects do most students take nowadays? Is there a norm for it?
It will depend on her school - DS1 took 12, but that was 6 years ago. Two years ago, DD took 10 and this year, DS2 took 11 (but only because he took Further Maths, which DD didn't). Some schools have a 'norm' of 9 now, I believe.
Ds1 is taking 9 though 1 is a cambridge national award which is equivalent to a gcse ( we chose this over a similar subject gcse as the syllabus looked much better and gave him more future career options)
I think most schools do 9 or 10 subjects. The minimum is 8. DD took 10 in 2016, but that was before the reforms.
Eldest took 10 but they’ve now dropped it to 9 which is much better. With 10 we found that one was something he had no interest in and just did to make up the numbers and got a 5 compared to all the rest being 8’s and a couple of 7’s.
My ds is in yr 9, and at his school if you choose to do the GCSE pathway (there is also a pathway for vocational subjects) then the norm is 9 subjects with some getting 10 if selected for triple science.
However they only get to actually choose 4 subjects, and the category (languages, humanities) is fixed for 2 of those - english language, english literature, maths, and science (2 or 3 GCSEs) are compulsory
DS is doing 8 and a vocational qualification for Sports Studies. He may do 9, they were supposed to be doing Further Maths but aren't sure if that is going ahead.
DS is doing 10 which is standard in his school. Some will do further maths as an 11th.
Mine took 10 (all at the same time) which was the standard at his school.
Ds is taking 9, double award in science & English language & literature.
I think doing 9 is the standard for DD school, but some take 10, 11 or even 12 from what I saw in 2019 results. I tend to ask DD to take 9-10, will see what her teachers said.
Thanks a lot for your input!
Are Business and Religious Studies difficult to get grade 9/ 8?
Would it be harsh to take both History and Geography? Thanks!
DD is currently doing 9, the 'norm' at her school is 9.5, with those doing triple science doing 10.5. But I think you can still do Latin as a 'twilight' so that would be 11.5 max.
At our school you don't really get to say 'I want to do 10', they show you how the options work and you pick the subjects. You don't get empty slots in your timetable if you do fewer GCSEs (except in special circumstances such as SEN).
Extras at some schools may also come from:
- top set maths doing FM
- taking a native language as a GCSE with no tuition
- 3 year GCSE courses with early entry for an extra humanity
- selective school so whole cohort can move at a faster pace so fewer lessons per option
At DDs school its all do Maths and English x2 and RE for 1/2 and either double or triple science (generally top set do triple) plus 4 options - if you choose Stats you do FM as well.
So DD will be 11.5 in theory though hoping I can negotiate that down as seems too much to me but her best subject is maths and she's top set science. I don't agree with compulsory RE (not a religious school) though that's year 10 at least. I would prefer 10.
DS will go to a different school and 9 there which is great.
DD (y10) is doing RE and Geography. Geography appears to have a lot more content than RE. History also has a lot of content.
However if you are aiming at grades 8/9 presumably your DD is quite bright so doing History & Geography shouldn't be a problem if that is what she wants to do.
Make sure she understands what the courses cover and she finds it interesting. e.g. Is History 20th C or Medicine through Time & American West? e.g. What is RE - for DD's spec it is half 'issues based' (eg just wars, abortion, gay marriage) and half 'religious beliefs & practice' (eg the trinity, Easter, confirmation, Ramadan, pillars of Islam).
Ours does between 9 and 11.
Most pupils do 10, some drop down to 9.
11 is for further maths only
Dd (year 11) is doing History, Geography and RS. They're her strengths so it made sense to take them all and she's on track for 9s in all three.
She thinks (and it seems to be a common opinion in her year) that RS is the easiest. History in particular is massively content heavy, Geography slightly less so. But now she's got the hang of the technique in History, it's 'just' a case of learning all the facts so she's not too daunted by it.
Sincere question - does it really matter? What difference will it make to their future?
The number they 'take' is not necessarily the same as the number of GCSEs (and equivalents) they come out with at the end...
To use DS as an example, he finished some sort of IT thing last year (year 10) which will give him a GCSE equivalent, all students do an RS GCSE, even though it is not an extra option. He chose combined science , so that is two GCSEs (triple would be three separate grades), and then 4 GCSE options. Plus maths , and then English and Eng Lit.
So, on his timetable, he has , on the face of it, 8 subjects (including the RS) but will get 11 different GCSE grades. I think!
old It matters, sort of because
- taking 'too many' means a DC is spread more thinly which might lead to lower results if they don't have capacity to give them all the required attention
- taking 'too few' means a DC is maybe having to drop subjects they enjoy / are good at / are generally useful as background knowledge for life, so their education is not as 'rounded' as it could be, and it can constrain them for what they then do at A level
I think it matters as too many could lead to getting lower results which could reduce A Level choices and also more GCSEs is more work and more chance for a child to be stressed / not have enough time to relax or do outside interests.
My DD looked up Cambridge Uni site and it said they only count 8s and 9s so you are better with 9 GCSEs at mainly 8s and 9s than 12 at 7.
Dd did 9 including triple science.
Ds is doing 9 plus a Btec as an extra because he opted to drop core PE in favour of dance.
Top set maths have been offered a 10th in the form of further maths but ds hasn't taken up that option
DD is doing 10 on timetable plus one, Classical Greek, as extra curricular and FM. FM is taught alongside core maths so DD doesn't feel its an extra if that makes sense.
Her end of YR10 mocks did not suggest she was juggling too many subjects..
She does History and Geography -predicted the same grade for both-but finds Geography to be really content/homework heavy. She's decided to wait until after January mocks and as it is not an A level choice, she may drop it.
She keeps Saturday and half of Sunday as 'downtime'.
I think the number of GCSEs depends upon the child.
DD’s school they do 10. With a few doing one or two extra as twilight courses or FM.
At a nearby comp the grammar stream do 10, the majority do 9 and those struggling do 8.
As I gather there is rarely much ‘choice’ it is set by the school.
Please don't be put of by the many parents on here of super bright children on here. In 2016, when DD took hers 10 was the norm. More schools only do 9 these says. Children doing 10, plus FM/twilight GCSEs is not the norm.
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