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 Post subject: Told you so!
PostPosted: Tue Feb 25, 2014 9:46 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 24, 2009 10:59 am
Posts: 5922
Some of us have been banging on about this for a while now - I wonder if some of the schools which pride themselves on getting children to choose even earlier (year 8 ) will listen to this? I doubt it.


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/ed ... at-14.html


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 Post subject: Re: Told you so!
PostPosted: Tue Feb 25, 2014 10:10 am 
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Joined: Tue Sep 01, 2009 3:38 pm
Posts: 2083
Location: Maidstone
The problem is to do with how the whole English education is structured right up to degree level as students have to pick their specialist area of study and the right sort of subjects by 16. England is one is one of the few countries where you train to become a doctor at 18 as an undergraduate. I much prefer the liberal arts education in America for that reason as there is no pressure to specialise early and the students generally take a broad range of subjects even at university level. The current system works for students who are sure of what they want to do at 14 and specialise in that subject, for many others who aren't sure of what they want to do, it doesn't work well. Courses like medicine are post grad in the US and Australia.

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 Post subject: Re: Told you so!
PostPosted: Tue Feb 25, 2014 10:23 am 
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sherry_d wrote:
The problem is to do with how the whole English education is structured right up to degree level as students have to pick their specialists area of study and the right sort of subjects by 16. England is one is one of the few countries where you train to become a doctor at 18 as an undergraduate. I much prefer the liberal arts education in America for that reason there is no pressure to specialise early. Courses like medicine are post grad in the US and Australia.

+1
I really do not know why we accept that any degree of specialisation is required before the age of 18, let alone 16 here. The only argument I have ever seen in favour of it is from parents who say things like 'My child would have died of boredom if he had been made to do another History lesson, he always hated it and was no good at it.' Which isn't necessarily a solid basis to form an education system when you think about it. It is taken for granted here that children will cast off a whole raft of less-favoured subjects when they are 14. Which has the added side-effect of making them disengaged from those subjects at 13, as soon as they have chosen their options. One very well-regarded GS where I live has made a virtue out of children choosing in Year 8, when they may well still be 12. The implication is that they are far too clever to be messing around for 3 years on general subjects when they could instead be doing what the school, without any trace of irony, calls 'broadening activities'. So they are forcing long-term specialism on pre-pubescent children while parading it as some kind of 'broadening' bonus.

It may help universities to discriminate between hundreds of applicants with across the board top grades if everyone was made to do a core set of subjects, including those they were not inclined towards - a far more accurate indication of all-round ability for sure.

The lack of breadth in our education system ought to be a national embarrassment to us, but instead we are fretting about how to increase performance in the subjects measured in international league tables.


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 Post subject: Re: Told you so!
PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2014 4:01 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 06, 2011 10:26 am
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Amber wrote:
One very well-regarded GS where I live has made a virtue out of children choosing in Year 8, when they may well still be 12. The implication is that they are far too clever to be messing around for 3 years on general subjects when they could instead be doing what the school, without any trace of irony, calls 'broadening activities'. So they are forcing long-term specialism on pre-pubescent children while parading it as some kind of 'broadening' bonus.



To be fair, that particular school requires students to take English x 2, Science x 3, Maths and then five options which must include an art, a modern foreign language and history or geography. It also has loads of music and drama. So whilst they are cutting off some options, they aren't allowed to 'specialise' too narrowly.


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 Post subject: Re: Told you so!
PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2014 4:05 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 16, 2011 1:05 pm
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Location: Reading
One of the reasons we didn't like our local 'outstanding' catchment school was they had them choose options in year 8 rather than 9. I thought it was too early.


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 Post subject: Re: Told you so!
PostPosted: Thu Feb 27, 2014 12:05 pm 
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My son's school chooses options in January of year 8!!


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 Post subject: Re: Told you so!
PostPosted: Thu Feb 27, 2014 12:16 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 1:47 pm
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Location: Warwickshire
My son chose ICT in half term, year 8.

He regretted it very quickly and now finds the subject boring, he is unmotivated, and thinks it a waste of time.

He wishes now he'd chosen DT - he realised that early in year 9 - but it was too late to change. It's a shame.

:(


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 Post subject: Re: Told you so!
PostPosted: Thu Feb 27, 2014 2:10 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jul 07, 2010 11:04 am
Posts: 455
My son goes to the school mentioned above.
Ds1 was yr 8 when he chose his options. He is a July birthday so was 12. He made a mistake with one of his options but was able to change his choice after xmas.
He is now very happy with his choices.
He was so pleased to drop some subjects.
For ds1 this was the right thing.

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 Post subject: Re: Told you so!
PostPosted: Thu Feb 27, 2014 4:09 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2007 10:58 am
Posts: 132
My DCs have had to choose their GCSE options aged 12.5 yrs, but more problematic has been the need to then choose A level options aged 14.5 yrs due to school structure.
Both Dc later changed their mind about at least 1 A level, but luckily the school let them change. I agree, particularly for A levels, it is just too young.


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 Post subject: Re: Told you so!
PostPosted: Thu Feb 27, 2014 7:06 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 18, 2012 10:59 am
Posts: 3579
My local upper makes kids choose in January of year 8. My close friend's daughter wanted to choose business studies, she had absolutely no idea what that was, and there was no taster session, so mum rightfully guided her elsewhere.

The head told them if children chose their preferred subjects early they were less likely to be disruptive, as they would not be sitting in lessons that did not interest them. Hmm sounds like he really understands teenagers..NOT!


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