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 Post subject: gcse workload too high?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 12:20 am 
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Joined: Sun Nov 29, 2009 10:01 pm
Posts: 33
DS doing Eng lang and lit, Maths, triple Science, RS, Spanish and has to pick 3 further options.

Has pretty much decided on History and Art leaving one further choice.

He has shortlisted Geog (which he doesn't particularly enjoy but is a natural at - predicted A* by the teacher),
Business Studies or Music.

Although quite a bright boy he is particularly lazy (what a pity there is no GCSE in the art of coasting through life)
and I am worried about the level of coursework that may be involved in doing both art and music together with the other subjects.

It is hard enough now to get him to do any homework and the thought of him having two very practical subjects requiring lots of work outside of school hours fills me with a sense of dread knowing the inevitable 'discussions' that we will undoubtedly have with regard to homework.

He plays guitar and sings but is only at a grade 3 currently and has no intention of taking music A level but he does enjoy the lessons at the moment.

That leaves Business Studies and I am worried that this may be an 'easy option' and not really held in very high esteem but again he enjoys the lessons and likes the teacher.

He really has absolutely no idea what he wants to do for A level or beyond and so I am keen for him to keep as many doors open as possible .

Any thoughts and advice welcome as he has changed his mind so often in the past couple of weeks that I no longer
know whether we are coming or going with it all.posting.php?mode=post&f=56#

And I thought I was stressed over the 11+ !!!!!!!


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 6:42 am 
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Art will be very relaxing but there is a ton of homework associated with this subject because producing decent art work takes time, for most people. Business is not regarded highly at A Level, let alone GCSE. If he is at Grade 3 for Music, he might find that he is in a class with many higher ability students and he might struggle at some point. He should not take a subject because he likes the teacher - the teacher could leave, go on maternity, get promoted or the class might be allocated a different teacher. That's my opinion, anyway.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 7:21 am 
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Latin, Psychology and Economics have no coursework component .... if he fancies any of them! Would have thought Geography was more straightforward than Music, but can't compare from experience.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 7:35 am 
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Location: Herts
I would go for Geography, we have some high flyers coming in to talk about their jobs and it is noticeable how many of them have degrees in Geography. But there is a big project to do/ DG


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 8:09 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2009 11:08 pm
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It depends on the exam boards as well. DS is doing geography and music. His geography has no project - only a field trip day which is then written up as a controlled assessment (eg in school time). In music, his compositions are also all done as controlled assessments so the only work at home seems to involve repeated listening to the CD of set pieces and practicing the pieces for his two practical performances. We have been told that these pieces should be of at least grade 4 standard.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 9:40 am 
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We have just been through this and submitted our choices - the total is the standard 11 GCSE subjects at Henrietta Barnett School (Girls).

Music will stay with your son for life - an excellent reason for continuing with it formally for two more years. It's the interest which counts, not the Grade on an instrument. We don't do Grade Exams, but we do play quite a bit in various school music groups. Music is also a very good antidote to the purely academic, non-performance subjects.

Will Geography include a field trip? This, and no essays, attracts very large numbers at our DD's school. (We just couldn't fit it in and a 12th subject semed a bit much.)

I really would avoid Psychology, Sociology, Economics, Business Studies, PE at GCSE. University Admissions Tutors at leading faculties don't rate them and don't like to see them on an Application Form. And, unless our career choice is set and something obviously vocational like Medicine or Teaching French, I would think a little bit about A levels which we are passionate about and will enjoy studying.

We have asked for History (Humanity option), Music ('practical' option), French (MFL option), Latin (open option), Spanish (open option), to go with the compulsory English, English Lit, Maths, Triple Science. ... We are thinking about probable A levels in History, Latin, English Lit, French, Spanish, only one of which is specifically compulsory at GCSE.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 11:15 am 
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Location: Herts
Hello, thanks for sharing your choices. I am interested as to why you chose three languages, I realise only two are MFL, and not Geography. Do you think your dd will do Languages at University? Did you consider RE at all? Is Drama an option at HBS? DG


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 11:53 am 
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Location: Warwickshire
Jean.Brodie wrote:
I really would avoid Psychology, Sociology, Economics, Business Studies, PE at GCSE. University Admissions Tutors at leading faculties don't rate them and don't like to see them on an Application Form.
One of these in combination with an otherwise more academic selection of subjects really shouldn't be a problem though as some schools will insist on at least one non-academic subject being selected, so they can hardly discriminate on the basis of something which may be compulsory. So I'd not discount doing one subject more for enjoyment/relaxation/a break from the more academic subjects as long as the remainder of the selections are in core subjects. Ultimately the choice of A level sebjects is going to count for a lot more than whether 1 GCSE in 11 is in a less academic subject.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 12:03 pm 
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I'm glad you said that, Okanagan, I was beginning to worry about DSs last choices between PE & BS - the rest are the usual academic stuff.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 3:25 pm 
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Daogroupie wrote:
Hello, thanks for sharing your choices. I am interested as to why you chose three languages, I realise only two are MFL, and not Geography. Do you think your dd will do Languages at University? Did you consider RE at all? Is Drama an option at HBS? DG


My daughter took GCSEs in French, German and Latin last year, together with trip,e science and all the usual subjects. She did them because she found them relatively easy, and in fact got 100% in all the German exams and three of the four in French. She's taking three science and Maths at A level.


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