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PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 10:23 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:01 pm
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Location: Herts
My dd has five choices for GCSE. RE, History, French and Latin are a given and Music is the obvious fifth given that she will have three Grade Sixes by the time she starts Year 10 next September. But we are also really interested in Drama, Economics and Geography. She is not at all interested in composition so is Music really right for her? She loves English and History and has really enjoyed Drama. I would be really interested to hear about these subjects and what members think of them. We could be really radical and not take triple science and then she could take all three! DG


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 11:36 pm 
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Hi DAO my ds is in y10. He hated dram so it was never considered and I don't think his school does econ or if it does it clearly wasn't of interest. He is not as musically acomplished as you're dd but he likes music. He recorded is individual piece for the exam today (very nervously) he said the lesson went over by 10 mins as his teacher was determined to get a perfect piece ! He is also playing steel pans for his ensemble and is enjoying the different music they are studying. He has finished his composition and seems pleased with it. So for him music was a great Choice.

He chose history and geog. Not sure how much he is enjoying geog as they are doing social geog at the moment, all town developments, services and comparisons between town and country. Not quite what he thought it would be and perhaps having studied it at A level I could have been more helpful but i loved it. He can't wait for the physical stuff, rocks, maps, etc.

I think because they are so important you need to go with whatever interests your dd most. If she is not so keen on music go for the drama. We didn't do triple science as science has historically not been well taught at his sch. So as well as his view we also looked at the schools record of results. Good luck, it is I felt such a difficult choice for them and you. Especially when at their age they have little idea what they are going to do.

Just to add my DS has always loved composing music, not classical but different sounds he can make make on the computer and this has really sparked his interest as he has a licence to do what he likes to do in his spare time and get a GCSE.


Last edited by copella on Sat Nov 24, 2012 10:58 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 11:40 pm 
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Location: Chelmsford and pleased
Music is an academic gcse, so not really a slice of downtime. DS would have been better with tech. I discouraged dd as she will have grades anyway.

Dd loves drama (a real break from constant dryness) and geography (really didn't want her to take it). She regrets not taking Latin.

I know nothing about economics, but you don't have to have gcse for A level.

Dd has also been told that she could take music in VIth form if she does some music history over the summer, once she has finished her GCSEs.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 12:49 am 
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Hi DAO

I really do think it depends on what your DD wants to study/what field to work in in the future .

If, like most young people, she doesn't really know, I would choose subjects that don't narrow your options for the future. e.g. strongly advise against dropping triple science in favour of double, because it would be much harder to do an A-level in a science then and for uni applications etc. GCSE choices and grades come under consideration.

not sure about current requirements, but Economics at GCSE is not a prerequisite for studying it at A-level.

and... dare I say it....is RE really a given?


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 7:47 am 
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Joined: Mon May 23, 2011 8:02 pm
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MY DS has achieved highly in two instruments but decided against music GCSE. Apparently composition is a large slice. We listened to a GCSE music composition at his schools concert last night and it was amazingly complex.
My DS did struggle to choose between some of his choices and he only gets three choices, the rest are compulsory, so we just went with, 'Do what you enjoy'. Too early to tell if it's paid off!


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 9:50 am 
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Location: Berkshire
My son is doing GCSE music - he's y10 just now. There is a large slice of composition - but it is amazing. He has started writing fantastic pieces of music - and then writing parts for clarinets and oboes and violins etc. I am very impressed. I actually advised him not to do the GCSE as similarly with others he has three instruments and good grades in them and will carry on with these. However he absolutely loves music at school, and I think it's very valuable, and a very different approach to the mindless churning out of exam pieces he does for his grades.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 3:49 pm 
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Music is a great choice - with grade 6s that should be full marks for the 30% component. Composition is not as bad as it sounds and my DC loved it; again it is hard not to get a good mark. The istening and appraising is good too - one of my DC's favourite GCSEs and it tempted him to consider AS.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 6:18 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jul 21, 2012 5:55 pm
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Hi Daogroupie! Which are the compulsory subjects and why are the 'givens' given? What do you want for her from GCSEs: Best grades, broadest grounding, prep for particular A Levels, put on a specific career track, other? How many subjects are normally taken at Dame Alice Owen?

We will decide in February between the broadest grounding and being grade mercenaries!


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 2:42 pm 
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I don't know anything about GCSE economics but as a professional economist you don't even need A level to study the study at University. To be honst I think that A level is a waste of time so I can't imagine what GCSE would be like. Go for geography or music which ever you think would be most enjoyable. I can't believe that either would affect furture careers/university choicess. Possibly if music was a serious candidate GCSE should be taken but even then I suspect that its possible to take A without GCSE (though check on the school's requirements).

Interesting that respondees are much more positive about music than many on the ABRSM forum. Find out how many take this subject at your child's school and what the results are like. Same perhaps for geography results. My child isn't taking either but I thought that the geography syllabus looked interesting. Some kids choose it because of the field work. However, my daughter says that it tends to be taken the boys/ the less able in her school. This sort of information might be worth taking into consideration.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 2:47 pm 
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Location: Warwickshire
I wish I'd considered these facts when my son chose his options.

I had no idea somebody considered Geography was for boys/less able - in some ways that's a good thing for my ds (he has sn). And yes, he went on a field trip this term - for one day - to study rivers (stand in a stream!) and writing about it will count for 25% of the final GCSE. This writing is done as a controlled assessment (ie we can't help! it's done at school). But he did it because he has never been interested in history and always loved geography with a passion.

He dismissed music because he does it outside school. He loathed drama. I actually think drama is rather good, and more "academic" than I thought. Economics wasn't an option - the school don't do it at GCSE.

What is the ABRSM forum?


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