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PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2016 5:02 am 
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Hi,

I live in an area where we have some pretty decent grammar schools but even with this, I noticed a trend amongst my friends and colleagues to try to get their kids into OOA Super selective schools choosing them over our local schools. After a quick browse of the websites and found that the super selectives do have better GCSE grades but not as much choice. I might be wrong but although subjects such as IT, Food tech, textiles, business studies etc were covered in KS3 those subjects were not on the list for GCSE.

I always thought that the point of going to a grammar school was to offer more choice and opportunities. For example, our local girls grammar also offers additional subjects such as Italian which the local uppers don't do. I am confused why people would favour schools which have less choice. Perhaps I am wrong and making untrue assumtions.

I just don't understand why schools that have good grades but less choice than our own grammars seem more attractive to people who live here when we already have good schools.

K76


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2016 8:02 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:01 pm
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Location: Herts
There is a very easy answer to this.

The subjects you have listed are not considered to be the best subjects for getting offers from the best universities.

They are interesting subjects for those who want to focus on those areas but not for those who want top Russell Group Universities.

If you go to academic school then they focus on academic subjects that the top universities are looking for.

Look at the HBS website which list the GCSEs acceptable for their sixth form. You will not find any of those subjects on there. DG


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2016 9:32 am 
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The GCSE choices are not as critical as A level choices - DG is wrong here.

As long as there is a core of academic GCSEs then a GCSE in IT or BS will not damage a university application. I have dealt with UCAS [formerly UCCA] applications for many years and know this to be true.

The RG group's own booklet states that A level Technology is useful for some degrees so it is a regarded subject just not one of the 'facilitating' subjects.

RG uni are NOT the be all and end all of choices - it depends on the career you have in mind. RG is a self-selected group and some well-regarded universities, such as Bath and Loughborough, are not RG.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2016 1:06 pm 
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I see your point but at the time of choosing the school the kids are only 10 or 11. They might not know what they want to do yet. What if they want to be a famous fashion designer or chef? I thought that grammar schools helped you recognise your potential and help you be what you want to be.

K76


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2016 1:13 pm 
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Exactly - I think the schools are wrong not to offer a breadth of GCSEs. My DS is a graduate Engineer and took GCSE Graphics and A level product design - both have been valuable as well as the traditional Maths/Physics.

I suspect they don't want to appoint teachers that can teach BS .... and perhaps they are cutting down on Technology because the small classes it demands [health and safety] are too expensive.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2016 1:25 pm 
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Guest 55

At the other end of the scale, what GCSEs, or rather, number of GCSEs would you consider essential for a home schooled child likely to want a good choice of universities? Not necessarily Russell Group, but not just what we used to call Polys? I am understanding it can be as few as 5 or as simply the basic needed to 'qualify' for the 6th form of choice. Is that correct or will the choice/number of GCSEs play a roll even if successful A Levels completed?

Thanks


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2016 1:34 pm 
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Yamin, have a look at the first page of various University Admissions - usually they have a broad brush statement - it used to say a minimum of 5 GCSEs A-C including Maths and English (and for some Unis Science as well) but may have changed more recently (to a point based system, in anticipation of the GCSE changes.) Most 6th forms look for more than this for A level entry, (for eg so many points out of your best 8 subjects) obviously, often with a minimum of an A or a B grade int eh subject you want to study at A level.

Hope this helps

Edited to add Unis I have spoken to have all indicated that GCSEs are going to become MORE important as it is the only thing they will have to go on when making offers...


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2016 1:38 pm 
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kenyancowgirl wrote:
Yamin, have a look at the first page of various University Admissions - usually they have a broad brush statement - it used to say a minimum of 5 GCSEs A-C including Maths and English (and for some Unis Science as well) but may have changed more recently (to a point based system, in anticipation of the GCSE changes.) Most 6th forms look for more than this for A level entry, (for eg so many points out of your best 8 subjects) obviously, often with a minimum of an A or a B grade int eh subject you want to study at A level.

Hope this helps

Edited to add Unis I have spoken to have all indicated that GCSEs are going to become MORE important as it is the only thing they will have to go on when making offers...


Hi KCG

Yes thats helpful, thanks. I know about the new points system for admittance to our school say, at so many points. I think for more "inclusive" 6th forms its still OK for 5 with maths and english as you say.
Hard with the uni thing if not sure what to study! But few years yet I guess

Thanks


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2016 1:41 pm 
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I would agree with KCG that 8 is about the minimum really as universities don't always 'double count' subjects so 5 GCSE and 3 A levels [none of which are included in the GCSEs].

I also agree about the importance of GCSE grades but that is not a reason to reject certain subjects ... students are more likely to do well taking subjects they are good at and like.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2016 2:04 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 03, 2013 9:59 am
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I agree it sounds strange that people are going further away. They could also have fallen for "the grass is greener" way of thinking. Or be league tables enthusiasts, to put it mildly. I think far too many of us fall for the latter trap.

Schools have found a way of being higher up on such tables by restricting the curriculum and by not entering candidates for GCGE if they think the children will not achieve high marks.

As a parent, we need to concentrate on the learning environment best suited for our children, although we often do not have a choice.

As children change so much and many are all rounders, I like the idea of the IB as children cover more subjects they may enjoy. Of course there are some children who are very sure of their career path for whom A levels may be better suited.

Salsa


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