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To ask parents of year 9 children

180 replies

OneDayIWillBeOrganised · 08/07/2017 09:42

How many GCSEs your child is going to be studying. My DD is currently studying 9 which the school want to reduce to 7 next year. This is being done across the whole year group. Is this typical or is the school limiting my DD opportunity to pass more?

OP posts:
Y10Parent · 08/07/2017 10:33

DD is doing 9 + further maths as she did her Maths a year early (but only because she has a fantastic Maths teacher who fought tooth & nail to get TPTB to agree)

7 is not acceptable - you need to challenge.

Fab39ish · 08/07/2017 10:40

Dd and about to start year nine. She will be doing English maths probably 3 science. French history and 3 others. So 11.
She is fairly bright though and going to a school obsessed with progress 8.

Dragonglass · 08/07/2017 10:41

So she is doing the core subjects of English, Maths and Science and can then choose 4 more subjects? That sounds standard to me. Why has she chosen the subjects she has and not art or Spanish? Is it because of the blocks they were in.

OneDayIWillBeOrganised · 08/07/2017 10:50

dragon she hasn't chosen. School have sent a letter informing us of what she'll be continuing with. She would've liked to continue with Spanish and Art but if she is forced to cut down would rather continue with the other subjects.
Looks like what she's doing is not as bad as I originally thought if there is two English and up to three Science. I would have liked her to continue with a language too though.

OP posts:
OneDayIWillBeOrganised · 08/07/2017 10:52

There are three options as far as I can tell. PE is also core. She'd happily drop that given half a chance 😂

OP posts:
Lim0ne · 08/07/2017 11:12

It's very strange that they are "forcing" her to drop Spanish if she's good at it Hmm Surely this would be more useful than the PE which you say is core? I thought at least one language is compulsory in all schools?

DS is in an academically selective London day school. He's doing Biology, Physics, Maths, Eng Lang, Eng Lit, French, Spanish, History, Geography, Music, plus the school's own compulsory GCSE accredited course called Global Perspectives - so 11 in all, though many will do Maths in Year 10. For the first time this year, they have been allowed to drop a science if they are sure they will not be doing a science A-level.

MirandaWest · 08/07/2017 11:24

DS is in year 8 but has chosen GCSEs.

As far as I can tell he'll be doing 11 - maths, English language and literature, triple science, RE (can be full or half gcse) plus 4 options. PE is studied but you don't necessarily study it to GCSE.

I think 11 is too many but shall see.

Dragonglass · 08/07/2017 13:23

That is odd that she hasn't had a choice. I thought all schools allowed pupils to choose their options (obviously within reason).

My son will still do PE lessons but won't be taking a GCSE in it, only the really sporty children do that.

pointythings · 08/07/2017 13:32

DD2 has just finished Yr 9. She is doing English x 2, Maths, triple Science, History, Geography, French, Drama and RE (the top two sets do a full GCSE in RE)

So she is doing 11. She's very able, top 5% in her year. The school don't reduce the number of GCSEs for that group, seems counterproductive to me.

gillybeanz · 08/07/2017 13:33

Mine will be Y9 this year and she will do

Music, Maths, Eng x2, Sci, German (core)
Drama, French?

Total of 8, but they can just do 7 if they want to.

OneDayIWillBeOrganised · 08/07/2017 13:44

She had options prior to Y8. The school letter says that based on 'data' and 'teacher recommendation' these are the subjects they think she should continue with.
I'll speak to the school on Monday to get more information.
Very interesting to hear what other children are doing- thanks for sharing everyone Smile

OP posts:
sunshineunicorn · 08/07/2017 13:47

Dd will take 10 or 11 depending how they do the science. 7 seems low. Do they sit any of the gcse exams in yr10 then drop them and focus on the rest in yr 11?

londonmummy1966 · 08/07/2017 13:57

DD1 is about to go into year 10 - most girls do 10 and some do 11 but the minimum is 8 as that is what good universities want. A lot of top tier universities require a language at GCSE so if school are telling her to drop Spanish leaving her without a language then they are restricting her chances of a decent university place quite significantly. I'd create merry hell if I were you OP.

SallyGinnamon · 08/07/2017 13:59

DS did lots! Maths a year early then in Y11 he did 2 English, Further Maths, Statistics, 3 science, Spanish, Chinese, Computer Science, History and RS. Bonkers IMO.

DD is in Y9 and will be doing 9. This has limited her a bit but isn't disastrous but only 7 would be. Her school would prefer better marks in fewer subjects rather then spreading too thinly.

sunshineunicorn · 08/07/2017 14:00

Core PE isn't gcse PE. She won't sit an exam in it.
My dd does English language, English literature, maths, science (dual or triple), re, geography, German, d&t and business studies.
If her school was forcing her to drop subjects she didn't want to and we're limiting her to just 7 I would seriously start looking at other schools in the area

londonmummy1966 · 08/07/2017 14:00

Oh and PE is statutory - they have to do a certain amount of time each week by law - a huge number of teenage girls would prefer it otherwise of course....

bbpp · 08/07/2017 14:08

Ten was normal for the more academic at my school. I did lit, lang, maths, statistics, chem, bio, physics, R.E, history and psychology. Should have probably done a language rather than the last one.

It was 5-7 for those who weren't as able.

gillybeanz · 08/07/2017 14:09

My dd school do very little PE right from Y4 when admitted, they seem to get away with doing the bare minimum if any at all.
Maybe the law is different depending on what type of school it is.
Just because it is core doesn't mean they have to take a GCSE in the subject.
Mine has dropped all humanities at the end of Y8, imo it's a year early but it was her choice.

HarveySchlumpfenburger · 08/07/2017 14:10

No universities in the U.K. require a language GCSE. UCL does require you to sit a module in the first year if you don't have one but you only have to attend, you don't have to actually pass it.

What she's sitting sounds pretty standard OP. That letter makes it sound like those are suggested subjects rather than hard and fat options for her though.

user14809873 · 08/07/2017 14:12

Should be a minimum of 8 for progress 8. I'm surprised they aren't encouraging her to take Spanish as it will count in their Ebac measure!

LeannePerrins · 08/07/2017 14:15

Are you sure they're dropping everyone to 7? They are absolutely shafting their own Progress 8 score if so.

ReinettePompadour · 08/07/2017 14:17

Our school moved to just 7 gcses from this September too. Theyre insisting on a minimum of 1 vocational btec qualification alongside to make it up to 8 for the progress 8 score purpose.

DD will be doing something along the lines of English x2, Maths, Science x2, mfl and a humanity. Btec is in engineering/health and social care/catering/pe or similar.

DD wants to go to Cambridge who will accept only 6 GCSEs and this is the exact example the head used when he first announced this.

It is absolutely to make it easier for students to pass and to improve the schools results. I dont agree with it at all and would rather DD, who is expected to gain 8s and 9s at gcse, be given the opportunity to do 9 or 10 subjects as she has been forced to drop subjects she enjoys for the benefit of the schools results.

I would imagine giving your opinion wont make any difference. Most schools who have gone down this route have been planning it all year. Our school just said 'thanks for your input but were not changing back for at least 3 years to give it a good chance at improving students attainment schools figures '

LeannePerrins · 08/07/2017 14:18

Just seen your update. She isn't doing 7 GCSEs.

Maths = 1
English = 2 (language and literature - I guarantee that she is doing both)
Science = 2 or 3
PE = 0 if core
ICT = 1
History = 1
DT = 1

gillybeanz · 08/07/2017 14:51

If schools are limiting the choices surely the kids can take whatever they like outside school.
It isn't difficult to self study for a GCSE and to find a centre to take the exam.

PhilODox · 08/07/2017 16:15

Gilly- independent schools don't have to do anything in NC, that's why your DD doesn't have to do PE, though my DB did sports there, definitely.
OP, it's very odd not to let them choose which subjects, I'll give you that.
But to state "schools are limiting children" is ridiculous. Do you know anything about the content of the new GCSEs? There is far more to cover, particularly in science and maths and languages. Schools can't actually afford to hire more teachers so they can have a longer day in order to fit all the syllabi in Hmm there's a funding crisis in case you hadn't noticed, and lots of schools are having to cut staff, not extend their day.

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