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how many gcses do most children do ?

(80 Posts)
Piffle Fri 05-Sep-08 13:40:25

am a little anxious as ds1 -although very gifted in all subjects, seems to on the face of it have mega courseload

They are doing some this school year- maths stats, IT and ds1 is doing mandarin as twilight (after school course 1hr per week only)
But his are all academic subjects listen to this fgs
Double English lit and lang(2 gcses)
Triple science(3)
Now bumped up to dbl tech course (2gcses worth)
Half RE
Plus silver arts award extra quals

It seems a hefty load even for bright children?
Anyone any experience of this kind of load?

Piffle Fri 05-Sep-08 13:41:02

he just began yr10 sorry !

snorkle Fri 05-Sep-08 14:07:16

DS came back from a sailing course last week where he'd met a lad who had just done 16 (!). DS said he was clearly very bright but really, really nice with it. Oh, he got all A*s too!

10 is standard in ds's and many other schools; 11-12 in some. My opinion is it's not really worth doing more than 10-11 unless you're so bright that you can do them without it impacting on your quality of life (ie: you can get away without doing some/all of the homework and still do well). My reasoning for this is that when you do university apps that's all they seem to expect & they'll be more bothered about your A levels anyway and you're only young once, so best to make the most of it & do extra curricular stuff & lounge about with friends while you can.

mustrunmore Fri 05-Sep-08 14:15:51

well, I did 9 (many moons ago!) and altho I found them all fairly easy, it was incredibly time consuming. I literally didint do anything else except go to school and do homework. I didnt mid acually, but you do need to be focussed to manage it ime.

DoNotAnnoy Fri 05-Sep-08 14:21:04

I did 11, but 12 years ago.

9-11 was the normal range then for a standard state secondary. The privates were doing 12-14.

I did science (*2)
English (*2)
A hmantities subject (Geog)
Integrated humanities (think general studies0
Anoterh choice (home ec)
2 languages (most only did 1 language)

shelleylou Fri 05-Sep-08 14:25:50

i did mine 5 years ago ands have
english lit and lang
dbl science (had to have this before doing the others exam was taken in year 10)
media studies
business studies
sport studies

shelleylou Fri 05-Sep-08 14:27:25

so 13 ansd GNVQ at the pass rate is equivalent to 4 grasde C's

IdrisTheDragon Fri 05-Sep-08 14:29:29

I did ten 16 years ago

English Language and Literature (2 subjects)

Ewe Fri 05-Sep-08 14:31:26

I did

English x 2
Science x 3
Food technology

So 12, that was 5 years ago in a state school.

Lilymaid Fri 05-Sep-08 14:37:32

DS1 - clever but lazy - 2 x English, Maths (in Y10 then some other Maths award in Y11 to prepare for AS), triple Science, French, Latin, Geography, History. School did not do technology for GCSE, but continued to teach it. So that is 10 + an extra Maths award.
DS2 - middling academically - 2 x English, Maths, double Science, French, Geography, History, PE, Resistant Materials (aka Technology) - again 10.
Looks as though mini Piffle has a yen for subjects with a lot of coursework, so can see that is a hefty work load.
He doesn't need to do so many if he wants to go to a good university, it will only really be interested that he has good passes in the more academic subjects.

ShrinkingViolet Fri 05-Sep-08 14:39:27

DD1 is doing 12 and a half, but has done 2 in Y10. There will be another maths exam in Y11 though, so she'll be doing the equivalent of 13 and a half. That's the top/accelerated set in her school though, most others will be doing 9 or 10.

ShrinkingViolet Fri 05-Sep-08 14:40:14

she chose her subjects based on the amount of coursework though (Latin has none wink)

PrimulaVeris Fri 05-Sep-08 14:45:36

For able children it seems to be 9 or 10 round here in state schools (10 for those who may take maths a year early)

I don't think there's any point doing more than 10 for university entrance, unless child exceptionally able. Better to have 9 at high grade than 11 or 12 mixed grades, as I understand it.

lazymumofteenagesons Fri 05-Sep-08 15:52:13

DS1 at one of the most academic indpendent schools in the country. He just did 10 GCSEs of which one had to be a practical subject (art,music, drama, it). Some boys who took French in year 10 ended up with 11 GCSEs or 10 and french AS. English language IGCSE could be taken in year 10 and one maths paper. Therefore all the boys end up with 10/11 GCSEs.

Totally unnecessary to load yourself with huge amounts of course work by doing so many practical ones. I think the universities are only interested in the academic subjects.

hanaflower Fri 05-Sep-08 16:01:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Blandmum Fri 05-Sep-08 18:52:08

Most do 9 in one sitting, unless they do triple scince instead of double, in which case they do 10

In my day (when we did 'proper' O levels! wink ) I did 9 first time round and they did statistics in year 12

fizzbuzz Fri 05-Sep-08 19:57:30

Why are universities only interested in academic subjetcs?

Not my experience at all. I have been teaching practical subjects for 13 years. Universities want rounded studenst with a braod ducational base, and do not discriminate between lowly practical subjects and Oh so clever written subjects angry

Grade A is an A in any subject

fizzbuzz Fri 05-Sep-08 20:22:01

And the kids at our school do 10 or 11

Piffle Fri 05-Sep-08 20:50:58

I am questioning need for him to do so many heavy subjects.
Ok he does aspire to Cambridge infact he has been told if he holds grades to a level he is invited for maths degree
He is a child making extremely massive decisions
Seems out of my hands you know sometimes
I'm immensely proud of him but equally protective
I guess.

Piffle Fri 05-Sep-08 20:54:50

re need as well
Mandarin was offered to students in yr7
Ds fancied it no major load there sounds else than it is!
But all the others are choices per se
Able students do stats gcse yr11 lots of them
But the art load is massive as is tech and engineering

roisin Fri 05-Sep-08 21:03:22

It seems like an awful lot to me Piffle, for no real benefit. 'Academic' subjects are hard work, and if he has coursework in quite a lot of them (Engineering, English, Geography, Art ...?) that will mean a heavy workload for him.

It is a good idea for a bright child not to have their options narrowed at this stage by excluding certain subjects. But other than that there is no real benefit to getting more than 9 or 10 good/excellent grades.

Hulababy Fri 05-Sep-08 21:04:57

I did 10 between 1987-1989

Hulababy Fri 05-Sep-08 21:06:39

To go into sixth form or do A level you normally need 5 GCSEs at grade C and above. Ideally this includes English and Maths, although these can normally resat during first year.

fizzbuzz Fri 05-Sep-08 21:44:59

That is the guidance at our school as well. But the C grades often struggle

ChacunaSonGout Fri 05-Sep-08 21:48:40

my ds did 10

one a year early

eng lit
eng lang

(sciences HAVE to be separate if you want to do A level)


did not work overly hard imo and got top marks for all

they are NOT like they were in our day wink

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