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 Post subject: GCSE PE vs music
PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2011 8:50 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2007 12:42 pm
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Location: Chelmsford and pleased
Hi, DS has made his option choices but we may have the opportunity to change from music to PE as the school has changed to IGCSE music. I am concerned about music as DS scraped his grade 4 violin and doesn't enjoy perfecting his pieces. I have been informed that the standard expected for an A* is equivalent to grade 5 distinction.

I know next to nothing about GCSE PE, but DS skis well and is reasonably fast, he runs, swims and cycles (all at a reasonable club but not excessive level). He thought that he would need to be good at rugby and football (he's awful at both) to be able to take the GCSE, but pupils at the school I work in can incorporate riding/skiing etc.

Does anyone know any more or have an opinion that could help us make the decision?

Edit: despite looking last night I missed the thread below where this is discussed in detail. :oops:


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 Post subject: Re: GCSE PE vs music
PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2011 9:01 am 
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Hi moved, with regard to your specific question, I would say – don’t worry. DS (Y10) only excels at one sport and though he likes football and rugby he would never be good enough to represent the school at either of them. He is thoroughly enjoying his PE GCSE (the theoretical bits too) and we haven’t been lead to believe that his comparative lack of ability in the ‘traditional’ team sports will be an issue at all.


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 Post subject: Re: GCSE PE vs music
PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2011 7:53 am 
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GCSE PE is relatively straightforward, good fun and possible to get a very good mark even if relatively unsporty.


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 Post subject: Re: GCSE PE vs music
PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2011 8:56 am 
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surreymum wrote:
GCSE PE is relatively straightforward, good fun and possible to get a very good mark even if relatively unsporty.


sounds like a good option - particularly when getting a good grade in music is difficult and unpredictable


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 Post subject: Re: GCSE PE vs music
PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2011 9:02 am 
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.


Last edited by Belinda on Thu Nov 01, 2012 11:15 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: GCSE PE vs music
PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2011 12:17 pm 
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With GCSE PE it is important to find out which exam board the school is offering as the sports allowed vary. In our case dc's style of Karate is acceptable to one but not the other! Also just because a sport is on the list does not mean the school will accept it. Due to difficulties with outside assessment I was told by some schools they only allowed sports taught in school to be submitted.

If he is offered AQA then they now allow children to be assessed for a sport as "coach" rather than "participant" so this could solve a problem for those that hate team sports!

With regards to the music a good garde 5 pass was required back in my O level days so that sounds about right.


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 Post subject: Re: GCSE PE vs music
PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2011 8:32 am 
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Pretty sure that you don't need anything remotely like a Grade 5 distinction for music GCSE. There have been a number of threads about GCSE music from time to time on the Associated Board's Forum - a significant gripe has been the relatively low performance expectations by many music teachers who think that a high standard favours children who have private lessons. The marking scheme (like many GCSEs) seems to be very formulaic. The general advice seems to be choose something easy (about grade 3) and play it perfectly EXACTLY like the score e.g. even if it is baroque music, with an expectation that the performer would have decorated it, do not deviate from what is printed.

It does involve composition though and another gripe is that often music teachers don't know how to support this. I would find out what the school's history is. If the results are good you needn't worry.

Look on the Associated Board's forum and post a question there.

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P's mum


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 Post subject: Re: GCSE PE vs music
PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2011 8:44 am 
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It seems unlikely to me that Grade 5 distinction is required to get an A* overall. Distinctions with the Royal Colleges of Music are relatively rare arent' they? And when you think about it, it really does not make sense. The way the marking schemes work I don't think there's anything that says you must get an A* on one particular section of a GCSE to get an A* overall. It all depends how it all washes out in the combination of UMS scores and whether you end up over the A* boundary overall or not. Was your information source a reliable one?

I'd go for whichever one your child wants to do most. After all, I can't imagine that his final grade in either PE or music is going to make one jot of difference later on unless you need a clean sweep of A* for some reason and you know for definite his chances are higher in PE than music. The music looks more academic though, and if it were me choosing my own GCSEs, far more enjoyable and educational than the PE!! Each to his own.

I know plenty of people who are pretty average at playing who got A in the old music O' level which required a grade 5 level type performance. They enjoyed the O level though, and still bring their O level knowledge into their love of music as listeners. So it's still a good option if you are genuinely interested in music but never going to amount to much as a performer.

Equally, the PE must be an enjoyable GCSE that brings some pleasure later on in life in one's leisure time.


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 Post subject: Re: GCSE PE vs music
PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2011 12:59 pm 
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It may be significant that moved says her DS is being offered IGCSE music - not GCSE. Anyone know anything about the IGCSE?


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 Post subject: Re: GCSE PE vs music
PostPosted: Sat Jun 11, 2011 9:25 pm 
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Location: Chelmsford and pleased
Thank you for all of your advice DS is going to take music.


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