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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:
OneDayIWillBeOrganised · 09/07/2017 09:45

I think they do start some of the subjects in Y9 KittyVonCatsington. Tbh I do feel sorry for the teachers with all the changes to education. I think there is good intention from the school to make sure the children have every chance to do their best.
I just want reassurance that she's doing enough to allow her to do what she wants in the future as she's very ambitious.
This thread has been really helpful so thanks to everyone for your comments.

OP posts:
Fab39ish · 09/07/2017 09:58

In dds school they take their 3 option subjects in year 10 and than do a 1 Year BTEC in year 11 along with EBAC subjects.
I thought this was great for the kids but actually I now see that this is just to make school look good for progress 8.

Orlantina · 09/07/2017 10:08

But a 0 is terrible, surey

Schools playing the game. Cheating the stats.

And recently OFSTED asked schools to offer a wide, balanced curriculum and not focus on the data.

So I believe we have vital role in balancing the accountability system. What we measure through inspection can counteract some of the inevitable pressure created by performance tables and floor standards. Rather than just intensifying the focus on data, Ofsted inspections must explore what is behind the data, asking how results have been achieved. Inspections, then, are about looking underneath the bonnet to be sure that a good quality education – one that genuinely meets pupils’ needs – is not being compromised.

lljkk · 09/07/2017 10:55

Some Uni courses want the kid's best 9... so how will that work if they only took 7? Confused

DSy10: will do 10 GCSEs (including RE) + extended project
DDy8: will do 11 GCSEs (one is RE)

cantkeepawayforever · 09/07/2017 11:00

I think we established that the OP's school will actually do at least 9, and possibly 10, as OP counted English and Science as 1 GCSE each, whereas in reality there will be 2 English qualifications and at least 2, possibly 3 Science ones.

cantkeepawayforever · 09/07/2017 11:02

However, the fact that she is being asked to drop a language seems to me to be concerning as it implies a narrowing of the curriculum that is undesirable, given how narrow the curriculum has already been in Y9.

Tbh, it is the choosing of options at the end of Y8, with only 2 years of a proper broad-based KS3 curriculum, that worries me most, not the narrowing of the KS4 curriculum to 7 'subjects', 9-10 qualifications.

TheOnlyLivingBoyInNewCross · 09/07/2017 11:05

DS, just finished Yr 9, will be doing Maths, Eng Lang, Eng Lit, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, History, Latin, RS.

cantkeepawayforever · 09/07/2017 11:09

So, IfOnly was counting as the OP did, 6 'subjects' (English and science both counted by OP as 1), but 9 qualifications.

callmeadoctor · 09/07/2017 11:12

I would be straight on to the school if I were you. Most schools (all of the ones I know) offer the child 4 options on top of the core. (PE is not a core subject to take for GCSE, she maybe confused as they still carry on with those lessons though). She needs to be able to choose her own options as they could possibly link to her A level and career choice! (For instance one might assume if she wants to be a History teacher, that she would need to take History as an option. It can't be the teachers whole choice as they are unlikely to know the career choice of each child. I would also insist Spanish instead of DT if she wants to do a language.

PaintTheWholeWorld · 09/07/2017 11:14

DD is doing
English (2)
Science (2)
Business studies

7 subjects but 9 GCSEs. PE and RE/PHSE are timetabled but not examined.

I don't think the op,s school is manipulating their progress 8, they just haven't been clear that children will achieve more than one grade for some subjects.

I teach at secondary (diff school). Progress 8 has led to some children having a reduced timetable, as 8 good GCSEs counts for more in the stats than 9 or 10 mediocre ones.

callmeadoctor · 09/07/2017 11:15

My DD:
English Lit (Taken in year 10)
Eng Lang
Science x 3

Starsandwishes · 09/07/2017 11:17

My son is only doing 6. Seems odd. Maybe it's something to do with his shitty school being in special measures.

TipTopTipTopClop · 09/07/2017 11:17

I wouldn't be too happy with that.
temporarilyjerry · 09/07/2017 11:25

Callmeadoctor, they would be my DD's ideal subjects if you swapped Geography for History. Unfortunately, she was not allowed to take music and R.E.

callmeadoctor · 09/07/2017 11:27

Nooooo. temporarily thats not fair,is it!

noblegiraffe · 09/07/2017 11:28

Jane You've misunderstood how progress 8 is calculated. They don't get a progress score for each bucket, their attainment score is put in each bucket. The attainment scores are added, then divided by 10 (because maths and English are double-weighted, the 8 GCSE scores are counted as 10 GCSEs). This attainment score per GCSE is then compared to the attainment score per GCSE of pupils nationally who had a very similar score at KS2. If the child does better than the national average for children with the same starting point, that child's progress score will be positive. If they did worse, their progress score is negative. It doesn't matter what the child's target grades were for their individual GCSEs and progress isn't calculated for each subject.

A school's progress 8 score is the average of their pupils' progress 8 scores.

0 is the lowest attainment score, even a G grade would be better than not taking a GCSE at all.

PhilODox · 09/07/2017 11:41

So empty slots = bad, noble?

noblegiraffe · 09/07/2017 11:58

Phil. If a kid got a G in a slot that would otherwise be empty, their attainment 8 score goes up by 0.1. Obviously this doesn't sound much, but multiplying it by a cohort would have an effect. Schools would have to balance whether entering a pupil for that extra GCSE would potentially reduce their grades in their other subjects.

The way the slots are set up and because Progress 8 was only announced after many of last year's Y11s had taken their options, quite a few kids would have had an empty Ebacc slot, affecting the school's overall score compared to schools who already encouraged kids to take Ebacc subjects, or who took options later. This year's progress 8 scores will be taken by kids whose schools will have managed their options with progress 8 in mind and so things could look very different. It's a zero sum game so any school that improves its score this year by entering more kids for Ebacc subjects means that somewhere else, a school will get a worse score than last year.

PhilODox · 09/07/2017 12:07

Thank goodness I had understood right. Can't see the wood for the trees...

AlexanderHamilton · 09/07/2017 12:15

Dd is in year 10 of a vocational school. She is doing 9 GCSE's which I think is a good number. Maths, English Lang, English Lit, French, Triple Science, RS & Music

Ds is moving from year 8 of an academically selective private school where he would have done 9 GCSE's to a state school where he will do 11. I think 11 is too many & a man hoping the school will cut the number down.

lljkk · 09/07/2017 13:57

I don't see value of DS getting a 4 in geography or French. Or a 2 in RE. Not when he can get 6+ in subjects he actually enjoys.

noblegiraffe · 09/07/2017 14:12

Schools aren't set up to cater for the particular tastes of every single individual student, so there will always have to be compromises. In addition, schools live or die by their league table results so they will of course arrange things to their benefit as well as their students' benefit.

Chasingsquirrels · 09/07/2017 14:24

@KittyVonCatsington and @PhilODox thanks for clearing up my misunderstanding on the computer science v ICT issue. It was my reading of Kitty's line about the culling of the majority of ICT options.

What you've said about the content does concern me somewhat as ds & others say the computer science (which is what it has been timetabled as since yr 7, not ICT) teachers are across the board hopeless and they know more than the teachers. Hopefully this isn't the case but maybe we should have asked about CS outcomes over the last few years before he chose it. The other option he was considering was business studies (and I can't remember if the was a gcse or not), but we decided it was easier to pick up business studies later as an Alevel without the gcse if he wanted to than history or geography (which he was struggling to chose between).

At our school you are told at the end of yr 9 (not given the choice) whether the student will be doing combined or triple science depending on their progress in yr9 - they start the sciences gcse work in yr9.
Then the options also include directed studies which is basically supervised homework time scheduled into the school day.
So while ds is doing 10 (triple science and no directed studies) others will be doing 8 (combined science and directed studies).
One of his friends wants to do ancient civilisations (not offered) and has taken directed studies but his parents have got a tutor to do the ancient civilisations gcse with him - partly outside school and a partly by Skype during some of his directed studies time.

All seems pretty flexible (as far as they can be) and geared towards the student to me - which is fantastic.

HarveySchlumpfenburger · 09/07/2017 14:27

Do you think that balance between filling the empty bucket and getting fewer higher grades actually works in practice, noble

I know the attainment 8 document said that was the idea, but I'm not sure I can see that it would work. Especially if every school nationally does the same thing.

ljny · 09/07/2017 15:55

Sounds more like 'schools live or die by their league table results so they will of course arrange things to their benefit as well as instead of their students' benefit.

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