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PostPosted: Tue Dec 25, 2012 11:15 pm 
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Do the Russell group have anything to say about GCSE's? Are there any that they recommend you avoid and are there any that they would recommend to take? Do they make an comment on how many is a reasonable number to take? DG


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 26, 2012 8:15 pm 
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Try http://www.russellgroup.ac.uk/media/inf ... pdf#page12 Page 12


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2012 1:28 pm 
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Thank you. So Economics and Drama GCSEs do not appear in the Russell Group's list of facilitating subjects. Would it be better to take Geography that does as opposed to Economics and Drama that do not? DG


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2012 2:16 pm 
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Oh dear, my DS won't be pleased. I asked on here a few weeks ago about doing GCSE drama, and how well 'respected' it was as a GCSE. I think everyone gave positive comments about it and it being good for DS to choose an option he would enjoy away from the more academic subjects. Now, do I put my foot down?


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2012 2:36 pm 
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One GCSE won't be a crucial factor - he may not want a course offered by a Russell Group Uni anyway!

It's more important to get good results at GCSE in a spread of subjects - pupils do work harder if they enjoy what they are learning.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2012 3:16 pm 
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Pumpkin Pie wrote:
Oh dear, my DS won't be pleased. I asked on here a few weeks ago about doing GCSE drama, and how well 'respected' it was as a GCSE. I think everyone gave positive comments about it and it being good for DS to choose an option he would enjoy away from the more academic subjects. Now, do I put my foot down?
It is my very strong advice to let your child choose, and not interfere too much unless they are about to do something really stupid, which schools won't allow anyway. For reasons, see my thread on Mandarin. Oh, and forget the 'non-academic' thing too - no such thing and it is better that they enjoy what they are doing than that you try to sprinkle in a bit of added levity - if they don't like it it isn't fun.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2012 5:37 pm 
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I don't agree at all. There is absolutely no way I am going to let my dd choose. She is simply not equipped to make a decision as important as this at 13. Did you let your dc choose to go to the local sink school with mates? I can quite clearly see from seven terms of assessments, detailed reports and parents evenings what she is good at and what she likes. So it is a question of which of the ones that she is good at will put her in the best position for a great range of options for A level. We know a very able student at one of the top schools in Herts which is so oversubscribed you have to live within 1500 metres to get in. She did not do History GCSE because it clashed with Art which she wanted to do with her mates. Her parents let her choose Art even though she was one of the best students in the class at History. Then she was allowed to do History A level? She got five rejections from Universities as her predicted grades were A* , A* and C for History. Her parents trusted the school to advise her. There must be a reason why the Russell group do not put Economics and Drama on their list. Is it the case with Economics that they think it is more of an A level subject? Our local private schools do not offer Drama or Business Studies at GCSE or Psychology or Photography or Media Studies or Socialogy at A level. This speaks volumes. I wish I had had somebody to make sure I made responsible choices at this crucial stage. We know someone who had to drop out of Engineering at Oxford because she did not do Further Maths at A level and found it too difficult to keep up. She was encouraged to do subjects she really liked but that did not lead her to where she wanted to go. You can be sure your local indys will not be letting their best students choose subjects that do not maximise their potential. One of my neighbours let her ds choose all his GCSE's and he was not able to apply to Cambridge as he had not done the right GCSE's even though he had the ability. I could go on and on. They will choose subjects to be with their mates or because they like the teacher and then look at you accusingly when they find doors closed to them. I am going to take all the advice I can get from those who know far more about it than we do at this point. This time next year when it is dd2's turn we will be in a far better position than we are today. Pumpkinpie, do drama if there is nothing else in the frame, that is what we would do. But when there is a long list of Russell group subjects that she is good at it seems a better idea to choose those. DG


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2012 5:42 pm 
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:oops: :oops: Gosh, that is me told.
All I can say is it worked for us.
Good luck to your DC, PP.

Over and Out


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2012 5:53 pm 
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DG - I could post MANY examples of when students have been 'made' to do something at GCSE then got a low grade. Also when people HAVE taken a subject they felt they needed and changed track completely.

A student should take advice but it is THEIR life. I've taught thousands of young people in my loooong career and this is why I would encourage parents to give honest advice and then let their child choose.

{btw - why one earth would someone drop out just because they did not do FMaths? The college system should have supported them as they offered a place therefore must have thought they had the potential}


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2012 6:39 pm 
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I was at University with lots and lots of students from top private schools. Many of them complained that their parents and schools had not let them choose. I always pointed out to them that those choices had brought them there where so very many of the students I went to school with were not because they were allowed to choose. With ref to the Oxford student who managed two terms but was falling further and further behind because of the lack of further maths. The tutor was very unsympathetic and just said extra work would be necessary to keep up DG


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