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Ds in year 11 and considering dropping Spanish. Yay/ nay in his position(10 other GCSEs) and do unis insist on a language? *edited by MNHQ*

(66 Posts)
Bl00mingCactus Sat 16-Nov-19 12:20:17

Ds 16 has had a hideous couple of years, won’t list it all as it’s a thread in itself but bullying and grief were involved and he’s now wrestling with anxiety, self hatred and very low. Just about to start counselling. He is doing maths, further maths, computer science, triple science, history, Re, Eng lit and Eng Lang.

The year 10 exam results weren’t great as he wasn’t in a good place to revise. 8s in the maths subjects but nowhere where he should be for everything else(8/9swhere he should be aiming).Eng really not good and now a concern as very necessary.

School suggested dropping Spanish but we weren’t keen as felt it was a bit unfair. Had time to reflect. Just had a wobble (after a recent crash which he’s now coming out of )re revising for mocks as there is so much and he kind of messed up covering everything in the way he was revising. Also due to the recent crash started proper revision late and struggled to focus.

Anyway he simply hasn’t been able to do any Spanish and mocks have started. Spanish teacher suggested switching to Foundation which we rejected as doesn’t seem worth all the work. Now thinking the initial idea of dropping it completely might be a good idea as it would clear a huge work load and he could focus more and really bring up his grades in everything else.

No longer fussed about 8/9s for everything as just want him happy.Thinks 6s would be pretty doable on very little revision but 7s with decent revision attainable.

Doesn’t need a Lang for 6th form but will get that in writing. Would prob do maths, economics or computer science at uni and would like to study ideally in London.

So yay/ nay to dropping? Would it be a big mistake and have an impact on later life choices?

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Bl00mingCactus Sat 16-Nov-19 12:20:51

Insist ( in title)

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Piggywaspushed Sat 16-Nov-19 12:23:20

It won't impact on anything so don't panic. That said, languages, whilst tricky in many ways are less content heavy so revision us less substantial (little and often is recommended). Why is the focus on dropping Spanish over, say , RS which is content heavy?

Piggywaspushed Sat 16-Nov-19 12:25:33

Ps , there is one uni in the whole country that requires a language GCSE in the mix (who knows why) and I believe it is a London uni : might be LSE.

Bl00mingCactus Sat 16-Nov-19 12:38:54

Good point re the RE. Think he got a 7 in RE and a 5 in Spanish. But 5s in the Sciences and Eng which is nowhere where he should be and not good. 8 in maths 6s in history and C/S.Obviously not going to be giving up Eng and Sciences and they really need to go up.

Or should he just scrape a 5 in Spanish on very little revision. Or do the Foundation?

What is the difference between Foundation and the Higher one?

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Bigearringsbigsmile Sat 16-Nov-19 12:42:06

Do the mocks and see how it goes. Don't make any decisions until after that.

BertrandRussell Sat 16-Nov-19 12:46:27

What does he need for the 6th form he wants to go to?

tinytemper66 Sat 16-Nov-19 12:54:22

The only problem I could envisage is who will supervise him in school when he is not in Spanish lessons?
Would he be expected to work independently in Spanish but study another subject (without disturbing the learning of others)?

Bl00mingCactus Sat 16-Nov-19 12:56:52

Think there would be extra Eng or time to study other things. School library?

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boys3 Sat 16-Nov-19 12:57:58

UCL used to have this as a standard entry requirement - they no longer do, although there is a slight "but" once admission achieved

GCSE foreign language requirement
UCL encourages intercultural awareness in all its students, and considers experience of learning a foreign language a vital element of a broad and balanced education. We wish to ensure that all of our graduates have had some experience of exploring another culture through language - but we are concerned to ensure that our admissions requirements do not disadvantage those who did not undertake language study to GCSE or above at school.

UK students who do not have a GCSE grade 5 (or grade C) or equivalent in a foreign language (other than Ancient Greek, Biblical Hebrew or Latin) on admission to UCL will be required to acquire an equivalent level of language proficiency once they are enrolled with us.

noblegiraffe Sat 16-Nov-19 13:02:33

If the school have offered it, take it with both hands. Y11 is a difficult and stressful enough year as it is without the mental health issues he is already suffering. Anything that will give him a bit of a breather should be welcome.

Lack of language GCSE (especially if it is likely to be a lower grade so not something he is interested in pursuing at a higher level) is unlikely to have any effect on his prospects.

He is already doing plenty of GCSEs.

clary Sat 16-Nov-19 13:13:03

Yes agree with Noble and I am an MFL specialist.

Just check what he will be doing and where and supervised by whom in the Spanish lessons.

And yes, have a look at foundation. Top grade possible is a 5, but it is A LOT easier than higher, eg writing paper is sentences about a picture, single sentences to translate, 40 wd essay and 90 wd essay, compared to 90 was, 150 wds and para of translation into Spanish for higher.

clary Sat 16-Nov-19 13:13:52

Meant to add yes, no need in life for MFL GCSE.

tinytemper66 Sat 16-Nov-19 16:43:32

If he is in year 11 he will have to be supervised (well in my school they do).
I hope things work out well for him.

Michaelahpurple Sat 16-Nov-19 17:03:55

Dump the Spanish. Eleven is a huge work load, esp when no creative to get some of the pressure away early.

And to the person who says language are less revision work, your re clearly ok at languages. Both my DC really with MFL and blasted french has dominated every summer exam revision season for years for them both. DC1 scraped an 8 (he got nine 9s and two 8s overall, so perfectly able in general) in french in the end, but it took a vast share of his revision time.

If he had been allowed to drop it I don't think I would have been able to hold him back. If you boy has been having a hard time , cut him some slack and help him get 10 great other grades, and save that last bit of stress

I know we should all have another language etc but if he isn't fluent in Spanish now, which he clearly isn't, he isn't going to miraculously become so because he ploughs on with this gcse

ErrolTheDragon Sat 16-Nov-19 17:15:27

* UCL used to have this as a standard entry requirement - they no longer do, although there is a slight "but" once admission achieved*

UCL is, I believe, the only U.K. uni with any sort of general requirement to study a language.

I can't imagine any sixth form requiring a language especially for a STEM- type student either.

Many schools aren't allowing anything like 11 GCSEs nowadays. Dropping the Spanish sounds like a really sensible idea.

Piggywaspushed Sat 16-Nov-19 17:33:08

scraped an 8 ....Only on Mumsnet!! grin

BertrandRussell Sat 16-Nov-19 18:49:38

@Bl00mingCactus - what does he need to get into his choice of 6th form?

Cuddling57 Sat 16-Nov-19 18:51:47

Surely the only thing that matters here is his mental health?
Yes let him drop it, he's doing plenty of other GCSE's and sounds like he will score higher than half the children in the country of the same age as him.

Punxsutawney Sat 16-Nov-19 18:57:11

My Ds is also year 11. He has had a difficult year (just been diagnosed with autism) and has mental health issues. He dropped his language gcse at the start of year 10. It has definitely taken the pressure off a little as he's gone from 11 to 10 gcses.

In our experience I would say drop it. In the long run his mental health is just as important as his grades. Last year Ds did self study in his free lessons, this year he is doing intervention and he's fine with that.

Good luck with it all. it's hard supporting a child through year 11 that is having difficulties. We are finding it really tough. I hope things improve for your Ds soon.

clary Sat 16-Nov-19 19:24:34

Yes piggy I laughed at that too, scraped an 8 indeed, that's a great grade!

DinkyDaisy Sat 16-Nov-19 20:53:27

I am smiling wryly at scraped an 8...

Bl00mingCactus Sun 17-Nov-19 06:22:31

Punx it is so hard isn’t it. Exhausting and really stressful.I just can’t get too involved in the actual revision ie can’t sit down and say do this, this and this like this. I don’t know what is involved and will drive myself insane. Kind of have to be involved with decision making though and it’s very difficult. Got so many other things to juggle and going on. Starting to feel I’m dragging us all round a hamster wheel plodding on.

Doesn’t need it for 6th form apparently but will clarify for absolute certainty before.

There are three decisions.If if he managed a 5 with zero revision in year 10 would it not be better to let him just do minimal and scrape the 5 in the real thing so he’s got it?

Then there is the 5 in Foundation or 5 in the Upper, how do they differ?Is there any point having it hanging over him just to do the Foundation?

Or just ditch the whole thing?😩

I’m thinking the getting of the mock result might help with all of them. If it’s below 4 then ditch? If 5 it’s a harder decision. I was thinking 20 mins a day on it after mocks but he says that’s too much with everything else. The thing is we’re kind of hoping with the counselling things will improve. Following advice from school and see glimmers of hope.Don’t want any regrets further down the line. We had a good day Sat then a wobble as he realised how much easier he finds work when feeling better. He’s so angry and upset his exams are going to be impacted by all of this. Really sucks that it has come to a head this year.

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Punxsutawney Sun 17-Nov-19 07:41:44

BlOO maybe see what the mock result is like but I would still be inclined to drop it completely. Ds wasn't actually too bad at his language but his coping mechanisms are poor and we just wanted one less thing for him to worry about.
Ds's autism means that he finds revision very difficult. We encourage but we don't push. His mocks started last week and we have already had some panic and he's gone into school with chest pains and feeling unwell.

We are having to make decisions for Ds regarding sixth form. He doesn't know what he wants, so we will have guide him into what we think is best. He is now getting some special needs support at his school but he has been incredibly unhappy there so I think we are going to move him elsewhere.

I do hope the counselling helps your Ds through the difficult time he is having. My Ds has been referred to camhs but it's a 10 month wait and that's if his referral is accepted. School can't offer anything so I think we are going to have to pay to get him some support with his mental health.

Good luck with it all. I'm sure with your support and the counselling that your Ds will come through this and there will be light at the end of the tunnel for him. Don't worry too much about the Spanish, I really don't think it will have an impact on his future if he drops it and if it helps him feel less pressuredd then it will be a positive.

sendsummer Sun 17-Nov-19 09:44:11

Mental health comes first, he can always pick up Spanish later including at university so drop completely. Even 10 subjects could be too many in view of his ongoing problems in year 11 unless he is able to achieve say a 6 in his mocks with no extra work for at least one of them.
His grades are more important for sixth form and university entrance than the quantity.

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