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PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2014 7:43 pm 
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DD Y9 is considering an accelerated 1 year igcse at a College in London on Saturday mornings from September when she will be in Y10. She is currently "studying" music at school (I use the inverted commas as the music teacher at her school is pretty useless and doesn't actually teach them anything) but has elected to drop music at school due largely to poor teaching.

She has achieved distinction in grade 5 singing which is her main "instrument", and will be taking grade 6 singing and grade 5 flute this autumn. She has also passed her grade 5 theory (but only a pass, not merit or distinction) last year after 7 private intensive lessons.

Does anyone have any advice on this course? I am a little worried it will be quite intense and she will have to put a lot in to get a decent grade in one year. She is involved in quite a few out-of-school activities (mainly performing arts related) too so she doesn't have masses of spare time.

Any advice / comments gratefully received. Many thanks.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2014 10:06 pm 
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Location: Herts
Could she not study the music privately with a local tutor and then sit the exam at her school with the others or better still select GCSE music as an option and then add a tutor to the mix to make up for bad teaching? You can be unlucky and get a bad teacher in any subject but surely it would be better to have a local tutor who can do extra as the time nears rather than go up to London to a class and not have that option. Universities only look at GCSE's done at the same time so doing an IGCSE at the end of Y10 is not a good move, better to do the GCSE with all the rest at the end of Y11 My dd is doing GCSE and there are group performances to be organised. She would be much better off doing that at school. Does the IGSE have no practical side at all? DG


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2014 6:33 am 
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Does she absolutely need a GCSE in Music? Unless she is planning to study the subject at A level or beyond, can't she just enjoy her singing as an out of school activity?


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2014 9:23 pm 
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Daogroupie wrote:
Could she not study the music privately with a local tutor and then sit the exam at her school with the others or better still select GCSE music as an option and then add a tutor to the mix to make up for bad teaching? You can be unlucky and get a bad teacher in any subject but surely it would be better to have a local tutor who can do extra as the time nears rather than go up to London to a class and not have that option. Universities only look at GCSE's done at the same time so doing an IGCSE at the end of Y10 is not a good move, better to do the GCSE with all the rest at the end of Y11 My dd is doing GCSE and there are group performances to be organised. She would be much better off doing that at school. Does the IGSE have no practical side at all? DG


The private tutor route was my first thought on this too but the school have said they can't enter her for the exam because doing the controlled assessments will mean her missing too much of her other courses.

We don't live very far from West London so travelling isn't too much of an issue (I think).

The college she is considering do organise all of the practical elements involved as this is also an important part of the igcse. It is an LCM Junior College course.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2014 9:28 pm 
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Amber wrote:
Does she absolutely need a GCSE in Music? Unless she is planning to study the subject at A level or beyond, can't she just enjoy her singing as an out of school activity?


I think at the moment she wants to keep her options open. She does love singing :D
We will go for the audition and ask lots of questions!


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2014 9:38 pm 
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I would think twice because the grade will need to be an A/A* to support future academic routes.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2014 5:53 am 
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Location: Herts
Why can't she choose GCSE Music at the school as one of her options and then use a private tutor to give her any extra help she needs? If she is that serious about singing then she should be doing GCSE Music in the school environment. IGSE's are really for students who cannot sit GCSE at school or are being home schooled or private schools use them because they don't generally tend to have course work. Weak teaching is not a good enough reason to miss out on taking the GCSE at school. You can get a tutor who has a proven track record with the board your schools uses and then you would be fine. What is going to happen if she then wants to do AS? Much better to support the school and explore your options there. DG


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2014 7:15 am 
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The OP's DD is in year 9 and has already chosen her options, it is probably too late in the school year to change them now. I have a year 9 and hers had to be finally agreed weeks ago.

OP, have the college published their previous results for this course? I would want to know the percentage of each grade they generally achieve. Also why does she have to do it in one year, is there not a two year version which would give her more time?


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2014 7:18 am 
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Most schools do allow a switch of options at an early stage if there is room in the other subject. Students do change their minds!


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2014 9:57 am 
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Location: Chelmsford and pleased
The gives is a tough course with a lot of listening and analysis of classical music. Will she enjoy that? She will also need to compose.


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