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 Post subject: RE or DT Systems?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 6:44 pm 
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Joined: Sat May 30, 2009 12:06 pm
Posts: 2094
Location: Birmingham
It seems as though one minute, I was waiting for my ds1's 11 Plus results...the next, we are deciding his GCSE options!
So here I am, albeit feeling rather surprised and unprepared.

Ds1 attends a very small Grammar School where they don't have a great deal of 'choice' when it comes to GCSE, so that has removed quite a lot of prevarication!
The boys take 10 GCSEs, and ds1 is sure about Eng (lang and lit), Maths, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, German, Geography and History. For the 10th GCSE he needs to choose between DT Systems and RE (Art and Music are out of the question for him - he's not that kind of kid!).

The dilemma is that he could actually take RE GCSE (taking the Islamic Studies options) with relative ease through home study - we have the books for the course and he is pretty confident and mature with RE work. The school have said they would enter him for the exam with the Islamic Studies options if we wished. This would obviously allow him 11 GCSEs, which he's keen to get.

If he took RE GCSE at school, he should again hopefully do well, but there'd be no point taking it via home study too.
He is a little unsure about DT Systems as, although he likes it (and his dad is a systems engineer :wink: ), he feels he hasn't done too well at it this term, and isn't a 'natural' at it...although his report doesn't give this level of detail and says he's done well.

He is now asking me whether 'DT Systems', and indeed, 'RE', which was left out of the EBacc as a Humanity subject, is regarded as an 'academic' subject by universities and 'worth' taking. He hopes to take a Science/Medicine subject at Uni.

He's also thinking about the option of taking the RE course at school and studying for GCSE Economics at home, as he is genuinely interested in it. Would Economics GCSE be regarded as a 'solid' subject or not?

Thank you so much for your thoughts.


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 Post subject: Re: RE or DT Systems?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 7:12 pm 
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10 GCSEs is enough - they will sit all the exams in Year 11 now so taking more may mean fewer A/A*s.

I'd take the RS but do the option you'd prefer - the school should be able to accommodate this.


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 Post subject: Re: RE or DT Systems?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 7:25 pm 
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Joined: Sat May 30, 2009 12:06 pm
Posts: 2094
Location: Birmingham
The RS (sorry for my insistence on calling it RE, which was what it was when I was at school - I am 19 years older than ds1 and talking in a half-ancient dialect here :lol: ) at his school will be Christianity and Ethics, so he'd need to do that syllabus, not a different one. He doesn't mind that, as he's interested in these subjects too. It would just mean more work for him than Islamic Studies.

At home he can take the 2 Edexcel Islamic Studies modules to make a full RS GCSE which will in all honesty be quite a breeze for him as he has attended Islamic Studies classes for years with a very forward-looking teacher, and, having looked through the module books, can hold forth pretty well on the syllabus work, meaning that he'll be able to take this at the end of Year 10, which his RS teacher agreed with.

10 GCSEs was plenty when I was at school, but these days, you hear of children taking 14, 15, 16 GCSEs, which makes 10 look rather paltry! Also - how do I put this - ds1 (in sharp contrast to ds2 :roll: ) enjoys working hard.


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 Post subject: Re: RE or DT Systems?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 7:31 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:21 pm
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Yes but modules made taking more GCSEs possible. Many schools are reviewing the number of GCSEs now they are all linear.

Do the DT option then; DT is a broadening GCSE.


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 Post subject: Re: RE or DT Systems?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 7:35 pm 
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Joined: Sat May 30, 2009 12:06 pm
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Location: Birmingham
Thank you Guest55 :D

Could you explain what you mean by a 'broadening GCSE'? Sorry for being dim...

Does anyone have experience of DT - does it involve a lot of coursework, etc?


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 Post subject: Re: RE or DT Systems?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 7:57 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:21 pm
Posts: 11952
Broadening means he will have a wider range of subjects - it's got a practical element.

My DC did graphics and coursework was worth 60% - it was spread over the course so it was manageable as that was effectively the 'homework'. I'm not familiar with the syllabus for this particularly branch of DT so you'll need to look at it online on the exam board website.


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 Post subject: Re: RE or DT Systems?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 8:05 pm 
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Location: Warwickshire
The Ethics element of RS could presumably turn out to be useful if he's thinking of applying for medicine.


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 Post subject: Re: RE or DT Systems?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 11:03 pm 
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Joined: Sat Sep 27, 2008 9:51 pm
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Philosophy and ethics I think um rather than Christianity and ethics - or are they changing the syllabus? I'm a great fan of the RS teacher; she's hugely enthusiastic about the subject, very inspiring (as is the RE teacher I believe - somewhat bafflingly, choosing RS doesn't mean they escape the compulsory RE). Master 1880 dithered before picking it (it meant dropping one of his best subjects) but he's loving it, and it's having a really positive effect on his work in other subjects. Go and meet the respective teachers - I think you'll see a world of difference. And as far as I understand it, the P&E RS option is well regarded while DT doesn't carry the same weight.


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 Post subject: Re: RE or DT Systems?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 7:22 am 
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Joined: Thu Dec 18, 2008 10:12 am
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Location: Berkshire
I'm also a fan of RE (well that's what I call it too) as opposed to DT. Mine have all done RE to GCSE and also two to A Level, and it has been a great subject for them. They have all been 'forced' to do a Tech subject, one has done graphics, and the others have done food. They are such a lot of effort for little reward in my opinion, unless of course you are very interested in the subject.


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 Post subject: Re: RE or DT Systems?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 9:03 am 
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Joined: Sat Apr 28, 2012 8:40 am
Posts: 96
um wrote:

He is now asking me whether 'DT Systems', and indeed, 'RE', which was left out of the EBacc as a Humanity subject, is regarded as an 'academic' subject by universities and 'worth' taking. He hopes to take a Science/Medicine subject at Uni.
.


Just to clear up this bit, the only reason RS (or RE!) was left out of the eBacc was because schools were supposed to be delivering it to 16 anyway. To have included it would have meant no broadening of the curriculum at many schools. (In reality, it isn't quite like this as many schools just tick the box with a non-exam module.)

Regardless, there is no suggestion that RS is the Cinderella to the other humanity subjects.

M


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