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PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 5:25 pm 
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Location: Rugby
A serious question. Our kids do so many GCSEs that I wonder which are considered important and which are second raters?

In order of priority I would have:
1. English;
2. Maths;
3. Science;
and the rest...

Health and Social Care would be near the bottom for me, or is that just a blokey thing? And I am certainly not convinced by these new Diplomas!

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 6:41 pm 
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Reckon MFL shouild be next.

Not sure about food tech...


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 7:00 pm 
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Dont disagree with list so far but it does depend a bit on how the GCSE is taught/tested (have strong views re the current science curriculum!) as to how useful the subject is.
Also depends on the individual student - for my academic DCs there are many GCSEs that I would consider a waste of time but for some children those may be the subjects that they engage with & which teach them useful life skills - assuming of course that they are taught in a relevent way.
Should be some interesting discussion about the merits of the creative subjects at GCSE :wink:


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 7:32 pm 
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Unusually, I am not sure about this.

I would throw in some issues for consideration though:

Merits of ICT as a GCSE (a 'subject') vs ECDL - skills-based;

Merits of MFL for those children who struggle with fluency in their mother tongue, especially in schools where MFL is compulsory;

The need for less academic children to plug on with 8+ GCSEs instead of doing 5 and getting decent grades;

The alleged 'dumbing down' of the science curriculum. Please note, I said 'alleged';

and finally - the lack of any structured career path for students who in the olden days might have gone on to do apprenticeships in trades, and now are expected to churn out GCSEs with the rest of them.

Just some thoughts...


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 7:47 pm 
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Location: Rugby
Alleged dumbing down of Science GCSE!!!!!

A few years ago I came across an old 1980 CSE Physics Text book. (CSE was for the less academic student - similar to foundation level GCSE). This book contained and taught the mathematical derivation, proof and use of Youngs Modulus. This was later moved to A Level and has now gone to degree level Physics. But all is okay as our betters tell us Science is not being dumbed down, and we should believe them because?????

OT, anyway MFL very relevant as need to go to France to stock up on plonk. Not sure that many ICT courses actually offer anything particularly useful... Any DC doing OCR Nationals ICT !!?!?!?!!! Rubbish!

Geography - isn't that just colouring in maps of UK?

Can see real relevance to creative subjects like music and art, as creative people can change the world, where as good mathematicians become bean counters.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 8:18 pm 
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I don't think there are 'useless' subjects - if you do cookery and go on to become a top chef, caterer then it wasn't 'useless' was it? Same goes for other subjects - it's what you do with it and how well you do that counts.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 8:20 pm 
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Location: Berkshire
hermanmunster wrote:
Reckon MFL shouild be next.

Not sure about food tech...


From the amount of useless coursework - aaaarghhhhh just spent a whole Easter holidays on this - food tech must be the lowest of the low, given we haven't done much in the way of cooking, just writing about cooking, pointless really :roll: Should have been spending some time revising for the proper exams :shock:


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 8:21 pm 
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I did O Levels and I'm glad. I wish we had something as obviously academic today because even though many teachers and pupils are working harder than ever GCSEs don't have the same kudos as O Levels.

Is it true that there is a GNVQ that is the equivalent of 4 GCSEs? :shock: If yes, then IMO the qualification is a second-rate one.

I don't rate coursework-based subjects either, on the whole, as I believe there is plenty of time for pupils to learn how to plagiarise, for instance, at uni! :D :twisted:

And to echo Amber why should the less academic suffer the pains of a schooling totally unsuited to their needs?

I am a bit out of touch with developments in teaching so some of what I say may be inaccurate, but you get the gist. I could go on but it's taken me long enough to compose this what with the Grammar Police out in full force! :lol:


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 8:21 pm 
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Oh sorry asdguest, posting at the same time :lol: I really don't think my daughter will become a top chef on the back of this food tech GCSE, honestly :lol:


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 8:51 pm 
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My DD does Food tech (alongwith Latin, triple science, georgarohy, history, Spanish, RE) and is enjoying it. Lots of cooking involved as well as research. She is currently devising desserts for diabetics. She now wants me to teach her the basics of everyday cooking. I'm really pleased about this as hopefully it will mean that she won't be feeding her kids ready meals all the time. And, if this happens then Food Tech would not have been a uesless G.C.S.E.


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