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PostPosted: Fri Jan 29, 2016 10:32 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 15, 2013 9:52 pm
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Would History and Geography, along with the 3 sciences and other Compulsory subjects be too much, for a child that struggles with Science and maths?

Initially, had just considered one humanities and a soft subject to reduce the workload (food tech, or ICT, or music) but then wondered whether the A Level choices would be really restricted with poor Science grades. And also the soft subject would not be taken to A Level.

Would really welcome any thoughts or experiences, in terms of workload and later A level choices.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 29, 2016 10:40 pm 
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Many of the GCSEs starting in September are brand new courses so no-one can really comment on workload. Look for the 'timeline of reform' thread for the timing of the introduction of new courses.

You can't really be sure what might be taken on to A level now - I know my DS changed his mind during GCSE courses.

I'd suggest one practical or Technology for a spread - note they are not considered 'soft' options - the unis regard subjects such as Business Studies, ICT as soft options.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 29, 2016 10:42 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:01 pm
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Location: Herts
I am amazed that you would consider music a soft subject! My dds both did History, Geography and triple science. It has given them lots of flexibility for A level. I understand a lot of schools like QE and others you are not allowed to do History and Geography, you have to do one or the other. DG


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 30, 2016 7:52 am 
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Have to be honest, our school positively encourages History and Geography together (alongside triple science and the usual suspects)...it is one of the only option choices that appears easily in two blocks so you pick one as a "compulsory" humanities but can select the other in your "free" option choice. They do say that "most academic students will opt for both"...as opposed to the more practical options (Art or Design, Computer Science, Music) which are only listed in the "free" option choice or other languages.

Whilst I agree with Guest55 that a practical subject gives you a good spread, if you have no real career ideas at the moment, they are subjects that, unless you have a modicum of talent/interest in them, can very easily become a chore (which can be tough as they do require a lot of "extra" work, outside of the lessons).


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 30, 2016 9:10 am 
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I've seen no evidence in Bucks GS that 'most academic children opt for both Humanities' - in some of them doing even one is not compulsory.

The time commitments of DT and music are no worse than other subjects as most of the homework seems to be focused on this - and, of course, it's part of the final assessment. Art does tend to be time consuming - it's the option most students moan about.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 30, 2016 10:47 am 
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I would disagree, DT takes up a disproportionate amount of time in our experience.

If your DC is capable of taking academic A levels but is struggling with all 3 sciences and maths then I would look at why this is the case. They may not be naturally gifted in these areas but with good teaching and directed support they should be able to cope 'ok'. Clearly I have no idea of your situation but these subjects can be poorly taught and leave many children 'switched off' because they perceive them as being hard when in reality the GCSE course should be quite manageable for someone of this academic level.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 30, 2016 11:28 am 
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DT [graphics/resistant materials/food tech/textiles - no knowledge of other options] coursework is 60% of the final mark - homework in other subjects is 0% of the fianl mark. So you need to judge time taken with that data in mind.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 30, 2016 12:01 pm 
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Homework in other subjects may not directly contribute to the assessed grade but I'm sure you would agree that it contributes indirectly.
I accept of course that purely exam subjects require more revision time but over all I would still say that our experience is of DT requiring more time.
Possibly this would be different for a child who requires more revision pre exams but then our experience of DT is that the amount of planning, research and writing up does not make it a particularly easy option for the less academic.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 30, 2016 12:18 pm 
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DT is not aimed at the non-academic - it is not a soft option. You can write up on the computer which makes it easier to redraft -

Perhaps it depends on the student and the department? It is not regarded as time-consuming in my experience as the workload is spread over time with small well-advertised deadlines.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 30, 2016 1:37 pm 
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I cannot understand why schools wouldn't make at least one humanities subject compulsory. Geography and History have so many applications and are so relevant in today's world - especially Geography for environmental issues and History with regards to politics. They are "wordy" subjects, however, so some candidates who have a bent towards maths and science may not want to do both of them.

I am not sure how much coursework DT will have going forward - I thought all coursework was being lost in the "new" curriculum - however, I would say that the boys in dd's school do say it feels like a high workload currently as they always have some sort of design project on the go - although not as time heavy as art!


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