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 Post subject: Choices in year 9
PostPosted: Fri Jan 28, 2011 10:04 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2007 12:42 pm
Posts: 3810
Location: Chelmsford and pleased
Hi

DS has to choose his options. He is in year 9 and has an accelerated curriculum in MFL. He has already taken French and will take AS in year 10/11. He will take German this year and has to make a choice between Russian GCSE or German AS to be taken in year 11.

Russian will be a brand new subject, does not have controlled assessment and appears interesting to DS. German will be an AS and therefore worth university entry points. His GCSE controlled assessments have been on AS topics so this subject has already been well developed, however it has by no means been an easy ride and DS does not view it positively at the moment (despite being predicted an A*).

Can anyone come up with pros and cons please, he has to make this choice in the next month.


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 Post subject: Re: Choices in year 9
PostPosted: Fri Jan 28, 2011 10:10 pm 
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Whether the AS points will be useful or not comes down to what else he will be doing when he gets to the sixth form. I gather some Unis are looking for kids taking all their A2s (and similarly for AS) in the same year so may not get too many brownie points for an early AS.

Does he want to do the A2 german?

Is it a straight choice german or russian?

I tried to learn Russian as a crumbly, great fun - loved the language (sounds beautiful) and culture


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 Post subject: Re: Choices in year 9
PostPosted: Fri Jan 28, 2011 10:30 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2007 12:42 pm
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Location: Chelmsford and pleased
He is very immature at the moment and unsure of what he wants to do. AS/A2 Russian are not on offer so it would be GCSE only, as for A2 the only definite is maths/further maths, he loves science, French and Latin and used to love German before studying topics such as Goethe for controlled assessment with a teacher he doesn't get on with. The assessments have all been interesting but extremely hard, none of them have been on the standard GCSE subjects. This has convinced him that it will be excessively hard at AS and A2.

He has very little choice and has to take either geography or history and then choice 2 is taken up with AS French, choice 3 is Latin and I think for choice 5 he could take a variety of subjects but for him it comes down to AS German or Russian and he cannot take both.

I loved Russian too when I learnt some several years ago.


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 Post subject: Re: Choices in year 9
PostPosted: Fri Jan 28, 2011 10:40 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 15, 2006 8:51 am
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difficult -however sounds like there is plenty to be getting on with at A level.

The early AS pushes the decisions rather low down the school - I think DD would struggle if she was being asked to decide now.

The problem is whether he will regret giving up german i think? Is he doing the GCSE? If he is, then is there the option of doing AS in 6th form rather than year 11. In which case the option of russian might give him a break..


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 Post subject: Re: Choices in year 9
PostPosted: Fri Jan 28, 2011 10:48 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2007 12:42 pm
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Location: Chelmsford and pleased
The worry of taking it up in yr12 is that he will have forgotten lots by then, but the break may be good.


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 Post subject: Re: Choices in year 9
PostPosted: Fri Jan 28, 2011 10:51 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2010 3:19 pm
Posts: 159
I always believe you should do the subjects you enjoy !

He should start to think how he would like to use his languages.
GCHQ in Cheltenham are desperately short of linguists, always need Russian
speakers !

Can he do Russian GCSE outside school ?

Or even look to see which universities with good modern languages departments would let him start Russian from scratch and work towards joint honours with French or German.

Good Luck !


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 Post subject: Re: Choices in year 9
PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 8:23 am 
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Joined: Sun Nov 16, 2008 9:37 am
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Your DS and mine sound very alike, except mine's Y8. He's starting Russian in Y9, continuing with French, and hoping to be selected to do a combined Latin/ Greek course. :shock: He's very maths and science orientated, and enjoys all his subjects. I'm with AIU, he's enjoying it , so I'm happy to let him do this (and he doesn't yet have to choose :wink: )...he will do IGCSE (none early) and IB, so his 'options' will be slightly different. I would like to see how things develop over the next year. He will probably have to chose between geography and history if he wants to maintain his language interest, but he's 'young' and immature, and another year he may be thinking quite differently...I shall follow this post and see how it evolves for you... :)


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 Post subject: Re: Choices in year 9
PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 12:24 pm 
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It seems so sad that they are being fast tracked in this way - the unsuitablilty of the subject matter in the German assessments seems to reinforce this.
Universities are inceasingly looking at only those GCSE's & then ASs taken over a standard time frame & A2 offers from 'top' places will be looking fot grades received in the same exam cycle (to some extent this can be jiggled by delaying a cash in) so maybe there will be a decline in this appriach soon.


From what you say I would sdvise the Russian option is that is what DS would prefer - & will have dual advantages of added breadth & being designed for his age group.
A level languages are not just about vocab & grammar - they require a certain level of maturity to tackle the topics, in a similar way to 'understanding' texts for English lit A level.

Sorry all - bit of a rant - just wish the schools would let the children stay children for a bit longer and delay the pressure until it is really necessary.


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 Post subject: Re: Choices in year 9
PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 12:36 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2007 12:42 pm
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Location: Chelmsford and pleased
We have analysed numbers of compulsory GCSEs and it is 9, with 3 taken early: German; RE (as halves in y9 and y10) and statistics in y10. DS already has French taken in y8 off curriculum.

Y11 includes 3 sciences, maths and both English with his choice subjects that include AS French, music, Latin, geography and then either Russian or AS German he will have 13 or 14 GCSEs and 1 or 2 AS subjects.

I agree regarding subject matter: both Goethe and a fantastic 15 certificate film "The Lives of Others" involved very difficult vocab and the film subject matter that is beyond a normal 13/14 year old.

Long and complicated route!


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 Post subject: Re: Choices in year 9
PostPosted: Mon Jan 31, 2011 6:41 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 5:27 pm
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Location: london
I have just got into a total panic! I discovered this forum shortly after DD1 qualified for the school of her choice. I stayed here for DD2 2 years later. I have spent the past 6 months happily dishing out advice and generally wasting my time thinking about how wonderful it is not to have to worry about all this any more and how at times I miss primary school as DD2 in particular still seems so young. GCSEs seem eons away, I am still mentally a primary parent. And then I remember that DD1 is the same age as moved's son. Arrghhh!!!!!!!!! Further investigation reveals that it was 'options assembly' today (DD1 off sick grrrr) and that they get a booklet and have to decide before half term. Now my view is that they can do what they like so long as they are prepared to do ALL their art coursework at school. However, what DD1 likes (apart from Maths...) appears to be determined entirely by which teacher she likes. I remember being like this as well. All of which is fine, except that she might have a different teacher next year! As it goes options at my school were easy, you chose the subjects in departments where they tended to be able to get you through the exams. I have no idea what these are at DDs' school and frankly for the money and intake I rather hope there are none of the gaping inadequacies there were at my school. None of which is of any interest to anyone except I need to rant. This plethora of choice we are always confronted with, it always seems to serve to advantage the advantaged and disadvantage the ill informed. I secretly wish DD would be just told what she has to do and then we could get on with it and blame someone else if it all goes wrong!

_________________
mad?


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