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PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2016 2:28 pm 
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I feel so sad that one of my sons is going to be making decisions about his GCSE options at age 12! I know we chose the school and its a great school, but I didn't really understand a lot about the GCSE process and that they would be choosing sooooooo early. I think, emphasis on think, that its not a case of dropping loads and taking on really wierd stuff, or opting out. More that its just perhaps 2 or 3 they can drop and similarly take on. It does seem bonkers though, to ask my son who still can't use the microwave (I know) to make decisions about his GCSEs! Does anyone else feel this way??? He is not 13 until the end of August.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2016 2:31 pm 
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Having done the rounds of all the local secondaries again this year, all but one take their options in yr 8 and have a 3 year KS4 .... Not saying its right, just the thing to do (currently) :?

JD

ETA - there are at least 2 options DS would have happily dropped at the beginning of yr 8 and 2 compulsory ones! :roll:


Last edited by JamesDean on Fri Jan 08, 2016 2:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2016 2:32 pm 
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Totally agree - Year 8 is too early to be restricting the curriculum.

I've seen no evidence that it improves results and so I question whether it is just for the school's convenience? Year 9 is traditionall an 'awkward' year so let's avoid discipline issues but letting them drop subject X.

Have you asked why they choose so early?


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2016 2:34 pm 
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They normally don't choose their main options until slightly later I thought.

Is he expected to choose the full range now or is it just a specific choice (e.g. decide which MFL to pursue)

(BTW, would this be best moved to GCSE forum?)


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2016 2:41 pm 
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Guest55 wrote:
Totally agree - Year 8 is too early to be restricting the curriculum.

I've seen no evidence that it improves results and so I question whether it is just for the school's convenience? Year 9 is traditionall an 'awkward' year so let's avoid discipline issues but letting them drop subject X.

Have you asked why they choose so early?


I will do.

What do you mean by tradiotionally an 'awkward year'? What am I to prepare myself for??

Strikes me its putting too much on such young children, 3 years of "expectation" towards exams, rather than hunkering on down in Year 10 and 11. Sigh, Again, our choice, our fault.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2016 2:43 pm 
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Proud_Dad wrote:
They normally don't choose their main options until slightly later I thought.

Is he expected to choose the full range now or is it just a specific choice (e.g. decide which MFL to pursue)

(BTW, would this be best moved to GCSE forum?)


I think ours have to choose by the end of Y8 as they do a 3 year KS4.

Maybe for the GCSE Forum escept this is a general age vs expectation question rather than about specifics on GCSE choices...............


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2016 2:43 pm 
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Location: Reading
I think all of the secondary schools in Wokingham choose their options in year 8. I also thought this was too early, and one of the reasons we tried for the GS. All the Reading schools choose in year 9 I think. I live on the border so at least I got a bit of a choice.
Her school do start the GCSE sciences in year 9, but since they are compulsory I don't have a big issue with that.

DD would have loved to chance to drop a couple of her least favourite subjects earlier though. :lol:

One problem with some schools doing it and some not is that it makes it difficult to change school after year 8. If DD was fed up of her school I don't have the option of moving her to one of our local comps as they have already Started GCSE courses. All schools should choose at the same time.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2016 2:45 pm 
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Yamin151 wrote:
It does seem bonkers though, to ask my son who still can't use the microwave (I know) to make decisions about his GCSEs!.


As long as he doesn't opt for food tech (or whatever it's called these days) you'll be fine. :lol: :lol:

More seriously yr8 does seem very early, one of the downfalls of a three year ks4. Grateful to say we are still on the old regime of yr9 options and two year courses, although I do believe that they've started GCSE "science" work this year (yr9) but as they are compulsory that's neither here nor there.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2016 2:47 pm 
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Tinkers wrote:
I think all of the secondary schools in Wokingham choose their options in year 8. I also thought this was too early, and one of the reasons we tried for the GS. All the Reading schools choose in year 9 I think. I live on the border so at least I got a bit of a choice.
Her school do start the GCSE sciences in year 9, but since they are compulsory I don't have a big issue with that.

DD would have loved to chance to drop a couple of her least favourite subjects earlier though. :lol:

One problem with some schools doing it and some not is that it makes it difficult to change school after year 8. If DD was fed up of her school I don't have the option of moving her to one of our local comps as they have already Started GCSE courses. All schools should choose at the same time.


You're right of course about them doing the subjects anyway. The only thing I do worry though is that "we are now working towards your GCSE" serious serious stuff and attendant pressure. I don't mean to say that Y9 science or whatever should be a big laugh or they chouldn't work hard and take it seriously, but they are still learning to study and a little more time to hone those skills without the fear of looming exams would be nice. My boy at this school will start GCSE course at 12 years 10 days old!


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2016 2:49 pm 
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Does seem quite early doesn't it.

If in doubt my advice would be to go for a good range of solid traditional subjects - Sciences, Geog/Hist, MFL plus something he enjoys.


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