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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:
teaandtoast · 09/07/2017 16:11

Art GCSE is a bitch, ime. Shed no tears for that being dropped. It knocked the artiness right out ofone of my dc for at least 4 years.

MaisyPops · 09/07/2017 16:23

Same for many of my friends who did it.
Huge amount if time and effort required and it gets quite stressful.

noblegiraffe · 09/07/2017 16:28

ljny the argument about whether it your benefits your DC or not to sit a humanities subject, or a language, is one that you would need to take up with the government, because they disagree with you.

It's not always to the students' benefit to only let them take subjects that they enjoy - that's why maths, English and Science are compulsory, for example.

youarenotkiddingme · 09/07/2017 16:31

Ds is year 8. He has a VERY spikey academic profile.
He'll do 2 English (will be lucky to pass)
Maths and a computer subject. He could do triple science knowledge wise but couldn't manage the written content so will do double.
He been told he won't have to do a language which is good and will probably do technical theatre and may have to do a humanity?

I miss the days they could do nvq or Brexit vocational courses from 14. That would suit my ds so much more.

youarenotkiddingme · 09/07/2017 16:32

Brexit?!!!! Btec!

noblegiraffe · 09/07/2017 16:32

Brexit vocational course = fruit picking for beginners Wink

youarenotkiddingme · 09/07/2017 16:36
ljny · 09/07/2017 17:40

noble I'm not saying students should only do subjects they 'enjoy'. I'm talking about keeping their options open and taking a traditional range of subjects at GCSE.

I didn't 'enjoy' Foreign Language but it was expected of academically able students. As often were Humanities. Surely more important for many students than a GCSE in PE!

pointythings · 09/07/2017 17:42

I can see Brexit vocational courses becoming part of the Ebacc and compulsory very quickly. Grin

noblegiraffe · 09/07/2017 18:04

But forcing students to do a humanity and a language is what schools have to do for the league tables. You actually approve of that then!

gillybeanz · 09/07/2017 18:11

What do you think about children having to do a compulsory core subject at GCSE such as Maths if they are clearly incapable.
I mean those that have had intervention, SENCO involvement, an ed psych report, help from parents and still a couple of years behind?

I don't mean that to sound challenging btw, I really value your opinion and am indebted to the support you have given. Thanks

pointythings · 09/07/2017 18:21

Gilly I think the current setup for Maths GCSE is diabolical.Even the Foundation papers are not accessible for far too many. We really do need a qualification aimed at giving everyone the essentials they need to cope with daily life and forget about trig, circle theorems, simultaneous equations and all that stuff. I have two DDs who can cope with all that stuff, but DD2 has a friend who really struggles and genuinely believes he is stupid for not being able to understand any of it.They really, really are not stupid at all.

MsJudgemental · 09/07/2017 18:25

DS did 13, one in Y10.

Orlantina · 09/07/2017 18:34

I think that there should really be a numeracy paper. A paper that gives people an idea of the maths you can do.

Real life everyday maths
Division in real life situations

And I don't think that there should be an obsession with learning methods. Most people won't need them. Estimating is far more important.

Gatehouse77 · 09/07/2017 18:34

Mine is doing...

Further Maths
Eng Lang
Eng Lit

Further Maths and Triple Science are the only 'extras'. Everyone else will do all the others (the last three are her option choices so not exactly the same).

She'll also be doing CCF every other week.

cantkeepawayforever · 09/07/2017 18:56

Gatehouse, DD will combine her 10 with a 12-15 hour a week dance schedule ... which will be tough, given that 2 (Art + Textiles) have very heavy coursework elements.

However, she is the world's most organised child, with the self-discipline that comes from years of dance training under an 'old-school' teacher, so I think she'll cope!

gillybeanz · 09/07/2017 18:56


I totally agree, not even her choice of Higher Ed for a degree programme asks for GCSE Maths, they do need 2 A levels and 3 GCSE's but there are other subjects she could take that would give her these.
She came home from school so deflated and calling herself a failure.
Both School and family/friends help all they/we can but it just isn't working.

I think core subjects are important for basic living like being able to add up your change, order the correct carpets and curtains and scienc to know how things work etc, but much of the content they'll never use again.

pointythings · 09/07/2017 19:06

Orlantina you'll set Noble off. Because she should be running maths education in the UK, basically. She's all about tailoring exams to allow pupils to show off what they can do, not what they can't.

I may have a tiny crush on noble

gillybeanz · 09/07/2017 19:12


Me too, huge crush. Noble does so much on these boards and educates far more than the Maths Grin

DarthMaiden · 09/07/2017 19:18

DS will be doing 10. He wanted to do 11 but they have withdrawn the option to do advanced maths (further maths - can't remember what it's called) due to funding. State school.

DS is a self confessed geek/nerd and is very good at maths/science struggles however with English but we had got a tutor to help him on this, part of the issue is it just doesn't appeal to him as a subject.

We were really lucky in so far the way the options "blocks" came out meant he could pick all his best subjects (apart from the compulsory English Lang/lit).

Most of his friends are doing 9 GCSE's - the difference being they are doing integrated science (which counts for 2) and he is doing physics/chemistry/biology separately.

Orlantina · 09/07/2017 19:26

I recently had a few interviews as data manager at high schools. I think they got the impression that I wouldn't stick to what they wanted - which was to make the school look good.

Yet OFSTED now seem to be wanting to look beyond the data and will be pulling up schools who cheat they system to look good with data.

DarthMaiden · 09/07/2017 19:27

Should also add that thankfully for us, computer science was classed as a language in the option block, which meant he didn't have to do French/Spanish/German which he dislikes as much as English Grin.

DSD did art and I swear to god it took up more of her time than anything else. The level of course work was intense. It's her passion and she's gone on to study it further at college, but unless it's something your child has a long term interest in I'd avoid an Art GCSE - it's not a soft option and requires a massive time investment.

Hulababy · 09/07/2017 19:32

9 is standard here for most children with some doing 10.

Dd is in y10. She is doing 9: maths, 2 English, double science, Spanish, history, computer science and drama.

youarenotkiddingme · 09/07/2017 21:02

So do most schools encourage a MFL then? Ds MFL teacher seemed relieved when I asked if it was compulsory and she said no and I then replied "perhaps he shouldn't do it for gcse then!"

He has Sen though so maybe they tend to allow some students to take a different path because they'll do the league tables a favour that way!

JoeMaplin · 09/07/2017 21:07

Dd is year 9 and will do 11. Ds did 12 . Comprehensive school. Id think 7 was low too.

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