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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:
cantkeepawayforever · 08/07/2017 18:07

DD - standard state comp - will be doing
1 Maths
2 English
2 Science
2 languages
1 humanity (History)
2 Art/ Design subjects - art + an design Technology option

Non-examined courses in PE, and RE/PSHCE are covered in full days off timetable.

10 is the norm at DD's school, and exactly what DS did this year. The only concession to the new curriculum is that they no longer do Maths early if in top set to allow them to take a further Maths GCSE in Year 11. They did start GCSE Science in Year 9, though, which they have not done before.

2 of the option blocks allow study skills / life skills non-examined courses for those who need to take 8, I think some may do Media instead of English Lit from her year as well. BTECs are offered in some subjects rather than GCSEs.

gillybeanz · 08/07/2017 18:07

Are science GCSE's all double or triple now?
can you not take single anymore?
My dd will be gutted if she has to do double science.

cantkeepawayforever · 08/07/2017 18:09

Oh, and meant to say they do not choose any options at all in Year 9, so she has done the full curriculum from Y7 - Y9, including most doing 2 languages, everyone doing drama / Music / art / technology etc. It does seem a shame that so many schools are restricting the breadth of education so soon by dropping subjects in Y9.

i can see why OP is grumpy if this is a 'second cull' after already dropping many subjects at the end of Y8.

OneDayIWillBeOrganised · 08/07/2017 18:11

PhilODox letter says ICT Confused
Thanks for the reply Maisie
Had a good handle on primary school, feel completely out of my depth when it comes to what's best for my DD at secondary. Sad

OP posts:
cantkeepawayforever · 08/07/2017 18:14

Gilly, my understanding is that there is no longer a single combined science qualification, covering all 3 sciences (the old 'Core science' GCSE).

I believe it would still be possible, should the school allow it, to do just 1 of the 3 Sciences as a stand-alone qualification, though for state schools I am not sure if that counts for accountability / league table measures.

MaisyPops · 08/07/2017 18:15

OP Probably because the new computer science is a much harder course than ICT from my limited understanding of options subjects. I think computer science counts in one of the buckets that ICT doesn't but then it's also much harder.

If it helps, my subject (English) had all 3 key stages from y7-13 all change 2 years ago with less than 6 months notice. We've just out students in for exams where they are graded 9-1 and the exam boards have been as helpful as a chocolate teapot in telling us what is required.
Secondary education is being reformed to death. Even teachers find the pace of change madness.

Electrolux2 · 08/07/2017 18:17

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

cantkeepawayforever · 08/07/2017 18:19

I don't know whether an iGCSE Core Science will remain available? As your DD is not at a standard state school, they may well use the iGCSE route if it allows more flexibility to individual needs. Round here, even the private schools who used to do standard GCSEs have swapped to iGCSEs while the 9-1 changeover of qualifications and syllabi happens, to ensure predictability of results.

gillybeanz · 08/07/2017 18:22


Thank you. I know the board the school uses was still offering single this year and I heard that soon it would be double or triple.
i'll speak to her SENCO when she goes back, Thanks for the reminder.
I do wish that schools offered alternatives to GCSE's for the core subjects, that would be considered for uni applications.
Some kids are made to feel like failures at such a young age and stage in their lives.

BackforGood · 08/07/2017 18:28

Ordinary state comp - dd is taking 10 (plus something in IT I think - not 100% sure what that is though, think it is a different qualification, not a GCSE)
cantkeepawayforever · 08/07/2017 18:29

The current Year 11 (just took GCSEs) are the final lot of 'old' science qualifications.

Current Y10s should be taking the new specification, which as I say I don't think includes a single option for 'standard' GCSEs.

A quick look at Cambridge iGCSE suggests that they continue to offer a single award combined science GCSE, as well as a double 'co-ordinated' science award.

HarveySchlumpfenburger · 08/07/2017 18:31

I doubt it would count. Unless they've changed the accountability measures or scrapped them. 2 science GCSEs covering content from all 3 areas of the science curriculum was the previous measure.

I can't see that they'd change that to a measure that meant schools didn't have to cover the KS4 national curriculum.

HarveySchlumpfenburger · 08/07/2017 18:32

There is an entry level cert though and I think AQA are offering some other level 1/2 qualification as well.

cantkeepawayforever · 08/07/2017 18:33

Rafa, the thing is that gilly's DD is not at a standard state school, so they have freedom to offer single without impacting on accountability measures.

As far as I can see, their options are to do a single science 'normal' GCSE e.g. just Biology, or to do iGCSE single science if they have children who are not able to access the double version.

gillybeanz · 08/07/2017 18:35

Sorry, I derailed.
Thanks very much, i'll look into these options with school.
Hope I can find one for Maths too Grin 7% this time and she is so miserable about it.

Ollycat · 08/07/2017 18:36

DS is year 9 - they chose options in year 8 and ks4 started in year 9. He is doing;

Eng Lang and Lit
Maths (and poss additional maths)
Triple Science

They have also done an HPQ to replace the RS short course they previously did.

gillybeanz · 08/07/2017 18:38

I don't think they take the option to veer far from their usual boards and the restrictions/ opportunities that come with them as they fit into so much else they do. But they do have greater choices than normal state schools.

witsender · 08/07/2017 18:53

10 was the norm when I was younger I admit, but that seems quite rare now.

KingscoteStaff · 08/07/2017 19:06

11 here, course starting from Year 10.
DS doing 2 English, 3 Science, Maths, French, Latin, History, Geography + Music

Janeismymiddlename · 08/07/2017 19:12

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

No, students who don't have 8 results to go in the Progress 8 basket get a 0 in the empty baskets. Optimal, really, particularly if you know taking the 8th has a chance of making a 0 score negative. This is why I wondered if it's an attempt to control results in a positive way. I would hazard a guess Ofsted are due!

PhilODox · 08/07/2017 20:12

But a 0 is terrible, surely? The govt come up with an expected attainment 8 score, for each pupil, based on their reading and maths at KS2, so for every missed subject, they're adding nothing to their att8, thus the progress 8 is heavily reduced, as isn't the att8 figure of each child summed and taken from the national average att8?
Maybe I have misunderstood.

CauliflowerSqueeze · 08/07/2017 20:15

Remember that the GCSEs your daughter will be sitting have a massive amount more content than previously, so are much harder to pass. It makes sense to reduce.

Sadcatlady69 · 08/07/2017 20:23

My daughter starts year 9 - and her G.C.S.Es - in September. She's doing 11, possibly 12, all the way through. They're giving them the extra year.

Fab39ish · 08/07/2017 20:28

I believe dds school does an OCR qualification in core PE..
All schools are different.

Fresh8008 · 08/07/2017 20:32

DD goes to an average state school, mixed ability intake, Ofsted rated good.

Vast majority of children in Y9 are going to do:

English Language + Literature
Triple Science
Choice from 2 MFLs (My DD doing French)
Choice from 2 Humanities (My DD doing History)

  • 2 from option block (My DD doing Computer Science and Business Studies)
    The brightest are also offered Statistics and Latin as optional extras.
    So DD is doing 12

    Close to the end of Y10 anyone who is 'struggling' with MFL with drop it and do extra Maths/English lessons. And anyone not excelling in triple sciences will drop down to double, but no change to amount of time spent on them.

    So anyone struggling will do 8, average child will do 9, bright child will do 10+

    A very very few, by invitation only, are only doing core science, an accredited level 1/2 course and up to two GCSEs.

    I know where I live the good 6th forms require minimum 8 * C (or level 5) GCSEs to do A-Levels, so I would worry about only doing 7.
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