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PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2010 10:17 pm 
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Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2009 6:16 pm
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Hi,
have a daughter in year 9 and it's options time.
We have talked and talked but have to make a decision in 7 days.This forum is full of wise old owls who may have a perspective that we don't....
Any thoughts anyone?


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2010 10:31 pm 
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Am quite impressed with the amount of discussion about ethical issues that goes on in the RS GCSE course. Never like that in my day ..... :wink: Think it could be very useful.

The history (at least DS's) was all 20th century and fascinating (ahem to me anyway - never did go for much between william the conqueror and the unification of Italy .... don't ask me to put all those monarchs in order.....


Music - presumably she is playng an instrument - have to for the GCSE - but some kids seem to find the playing elsewhere / music centres / orchestras quite enough thanks and don;t want to do the GCSE .

now while we're on the subject .. AS choices.... :roll:


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2010 9:09 am 
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Location: East Kent
Master Yoyo did religious studies and it was geared very much towards the ethics side. We were surprised when he said he wanted to do it, but he loved the course and has gone on to do philosophy and ethics at A level.

He found the composition part of the music very hard and although they had told him it was not necessary to play an instrument ( he plays drums) it was hard going, he gave the subject up in year 11. However is she is musical then iot would make a nice contrast
History is a good subject, teaches research skills and how to construct balanced arguments.

Any of the 3 would be a nice balanced choice especially if she wants to be more sciency...(technical term!)

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2010 10:41 am 
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My DD is also at this stage - tricky, isn't it? Mine is disinclined towards taking any advice at all from me so it all has to be very carefully handled!

My thought is re music - my DD has just done Grade 5 music theory, which you need if you play an instrument. It is academically rigorous in that it demands a lot of learning, but is over and done with quite quickly. I think (?) it also carries some UCAS points, though someone with more knowledge could put me right on this. I think that GCSE music is now more geared towards 'modern music' (says she sounding like an old dear) and composing on keyboards, that type of thing. So if your DD is a traditional (for want of a better word) musician, the ABRSM exam might be a better way of getting a music qualification, which she would in any case need to get beyond Grade 5 performance; but if she is more interested in music for drama, or for composing, then maybe the GCSE would be a good choice.

There is a post somewhere on the merits of Latin. The European Driving Licence is well thought of in Computing these days and a lot of schools do it.

Good luck - I might be asking for advice myself soon!


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2010 12:09 pm 
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Thanks everyone. :D
It's good to know that RS seems enjoyable, relevant and respected.
I had the same thoughts as you Amber re music.She is due to take grade 5 theory in the summer as she is hoping to do grade 7 in her instrument next year(skipping 6 for some reason :? ).So , like you, I kind of see music as covered by this.The trouble is that her closest friends are doing music and she is not really a "hardened party girl".(as some are... she has stories of goings on to make your hair curl :shock: ) So her thinking is that she will get grouped with "the nice people"if she opts for music.
Perhaps that's not a good reason to do it though because she really cannot decide between the other subjects.
I really don't know what is best ........ :?


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2010 12:26 pm 
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Hi CM, DS has to make the same choices later this term, so am following your thread with interest. For him, these choices would be simple as he doesn’t have a musical bone in his body and has never played any sort of instrument :roll:

As you say it is interesting to hear such good vibes about RE, but I would not let DS give up History unless he was really hating it. I find it hard to believe that many people would rate RE on a par with History, except my FiL perhaps (he’s a vicar :lol: )


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2010 12:29 pm 
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Hi Rob

Yes I was surprised (pleasantly ) by the RS - in my day it was lots of old testament history facts. These days it is coursework on comparative beliefs and perceptions of death.. ethical discussions etc etc.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2010 1:21 pm 
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Location: Solihull, West Midlands
Another perspective: my DD is taking GCSEs this summer and is planning mostly science-based A levels. She does have piano & violin lessons outside school (now has G6 violin) and sings/plays in school groups but also says Music GCSE is her "favourite" lesson in the week. I think a lot of that is due to the variety in having a subject with more of a hands-on, practical aspect, including classroom singing & listening, making music and composing in small groups (she'e not a "natural" like DS2 but is no doubt more musical than many) - the personality of the teacher helps with this too as he is widely liked. Keeping a subject in the timetable which uses different skills than the purely academic can be a great relief!

At her school they all take short course RE anyway over yrs 9 & 10 and she never favoured history - her other options are Home Ec and Geography. So far it seems to have been a good mixture.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2010 1:31 pm 
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solimum wrote:
Keeping a subject in the timetable which uses different skills than the purely academic can be a great relief!


Oh dear, I had thought of that too and now you are confirming it :? (thanks btw Solimum)

Oh I don't know and nor does she.Thought mums had all the answers..or at least some :?


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2010 1:32 pm 
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My DD couldn't choose between history and RE. First history then changed to RE at the last minute. (BTW our school won't confirm choice and sometimes children have to do 2nd choices as the school can't always satisfy every combination)

Anyway being old, I thought RE was a bit of a soft subject but I've been very impressed with the content. She has studied Christianity and Islam. Included in these areas has been the role of women etc. The course has been particularly useful for giving a balanced view of Islam in these difficult times.

We are about to go through this with DS and having been through it once I am much less concerned. The school won't let them specialise too much - one MFL, one technology, one creative etc, but does allow for strengths so you could do 2 languages, but not 3. It makes sure there is a wide range - DS seems to choosing everything ending in studies :shock: I'm hoping that's not possible either :!:

To sum up I would say it doesn't matter -they are both good subjects.


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