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PostPosted: Wed Sep 22, 2010 1:54 pm 
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Location: Herts
My DD is in Yr 9 & will choose her GCSE options next January. Although still a fair way off, she has been thinking about what to do, although I know her choices will be limited because of numerous compulsory subjects & however the school work out teaching blocks.

She would like to do Art which she thinks will be relaxing, but having read horror stories on this forum about the coursework, I'm not so sure. A friend said she thought this was changing - does anyone know anything about this please? She will do textiles (a tech is compulsory), which I fear might involve a lot of coursework too. My DD is seriously sporty (which takes up a lot of time :? ) but isn't interested in PE GCSE which she doesn't think would be any good - anyone any experience of this? She won't consider music (despite playing to a high level :( )

I think choosing her "fun" option is going to be harder than the others! I'd love to hear how your older children are getting on with their "relaxing" GCSEs or from those of you with Yr 9s struggling with this!


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 22, 2010 2:00 pm 
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I think the coursework in many of them is considerable - we are "engineeringed out" at present....

Does she have to do one of these GCSEs?


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 22, 2010 3:07 pm 
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My DD did both Art and Textiles for GCSE. She enjoyed them but found the amount of work required far from relaxing! Not only that, but they are very difficult to obtain top marks in - a point worth considering if your DD has ambitions to apply for a competitive university course or Oxbridge. Despite being extremely good at art, my DD ended up with a B in both subjects - as opposed to a raft of A* and A grades in more "academic" subjects. So perhaps one or the other might be OK, but I certainly wouldn't advise taking both.

DD also studied music GCSE but didn't enjoy it - despite being a musician. Too "prescriptive", apparently - this seems to be a common criticism of the course by students who also play instruments in their spare time. No idea about PE, I'm afraid. Is a second foreign language available? Or a humanities subject?

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 22, 2010 3:22 pm 
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My dd chose graphic design as an option - loads of course work but she did enjoy the themes they were working on so put in lots of hours and got an A. She had thought about doing textiles as well but luckly did not - i agree with marylou in that with two heavy ladden course work subjects the marks may suffer. There must be some other choices that dont involve lots of course work? :)


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 22, 2010 8:16 pm 
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Local academic schools have PS as option at GCSE - at least one of them does it as an after school extra so guessing it can't be too taxing.
Would def advise against any subjects with heavy course work content being taken as the 'soft' option unless DC would see it as their 'break' time (i.e instead of TV, going out with friends etc)
Maybe you need to persuade DC to view this choice as the easiest option rather than the most enjoyable :)


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 22, 2010 8:25 pm 
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Location: Herts
Thanks to all for your replies. But sorry KB, i can't think what PS stands for :oops:

Hermanmunster - my dd doesn't have to take art / PE or music but is looking for (what she perceives as)a "lighter" option to complement the more academic set (she must do a tech though hence textiles). I'm now tempted to suggest that textiles should be her light option & she does a second language or geography (neither previously favoured) instead.

I suppose I don't really have the full picture of what will be available yet, timetable wise, but it's always better to be prepared! I took my Yr6 to an open evening tonight - different school - & grilled most of the teachers about GCSE options :D


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 22, 2010 9:07 pm 
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My eldest did short course PE and really enjoyed it and wished he had done that rather than the business studies he chose as his fun option. His younger brothers will definitely choose this


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 22, 2010 10:47 pm 
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KB wrote:
Would def advise against any subjects with heavy course work content being taken as the 'soft' option unless DC would see it as their 'break' time (i.e instead of TV, going out with friends etc)


I think this is where DD went wrong... :wink: :lol:

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 23, 2010 8:54 am 
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Would it be useful to have a sticky which lists all the exam subjects and how heavy the course content is? - perhaps the main opening post could be where the main information is held and then people can add their findings (even year by year as courses change) below and then the main one is amended as and when.

Just a thought.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 23, 2010 11:08 am 
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Tense, I think she should reconsider PE. My son (Y10) is also very sporty and has just started his PE GCSE course and is loving it. It gives him an extra practical lesson each week plus a theory lesson in which the class have been discussing such issues as making the argument for more public funding of building sports facilities, and the pros and cons of sportsmen and women being paid vast sums of money.

It’s not exactly a ‘soft’ option, but certainly a welcome break from non-stop academia.


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