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PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2017 1:35 pm 
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Posts: 8922
GCSE option choices are looming. Looking at the options, GCSE options could narrow down choices at sixth form level (probs going down the IB route), and then choices at sixth form level could narrow down uni choices (if go down degree route) and then potentially, degree can narrow down career choices.

So, how does one get a feeling in year 9 for the sorts of careers there are out there which might ultimately be of interest so that one does not narrow down a certain choice too soon? Anything quick and interesting on the web for a day dreaming just 13 year old to browse through?

compulsory GCSEs are:

maths
eng lit
Eng lang
physics
biology
chemistry

Then they have to choose:
geography or history
french or spanish or latin

Then they can choose two more to get to 10. - can do geography and history, can do a second language. Most likely not to do history unless year 9 takes an unexpected turn.

The remaining likely options to choose from are:
- computer science
- design tech
- art and design

So, if did one language only, and geography only, could choose two out those remaining three. If did two languages, could choose just one from this list of three.

She likes art and is good at it, likes computer stuff too, likes foreign languages (but not enjoying Latin at the moment), good at science and maths, likes geography, loves Design Tech, if she didn't have to do English Lit she would dump that I think and do the three in the list above but that's not possible.

To do Visual Arts in the IB have to have done art at GCSE, to do computer science in the IB have to have done it at GCSE.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2017 2:37 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2007 11:30 am
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Location: Harrow
At GCSE things are still quite broad, basically just go with what they find most interesting as that will hopefully be in the direction of what they will eventually want to do.
This may or may not be of interest
http://www.careerpilot.org.uk/information/your-choices-at-14


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2017 7:01 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:21 pm
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If she might do languages take two GCSEs.

Otherwise from what you say - consider DT and computing. Art is very time consuming.

I think it's sad they have to take History or Geography - quite restricting.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2017 7:36 pm 
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My view at GCSE is to try not to close doors.

DT is also time consuming but probably keeps more options open than Art.

Agree if languages might be a long term option then to take two but otherwise one is enough in order to retain breadth elsewhere.

If breadth is the aim then I wouldn't take History and geography unless one is very likely to be taken post A level.

I'm not sure of the value of looking at specific careers in the way you suggest. Better at this age to be talking to adult friends about what they do and generally increasing awareness about careers in a low-key way. Few have much of an idea and it will probably change often. If something becomes a passion and a subject has been 'dropped' there are ways around it, even if it means delaying plans for a year to 'catch up'.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2017 10:53 pm 
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School's advice to our eldest was: pick what you enjoy and pick what you're good at. Although at a GS there will be very few genuine choices (ours had 3), so much is mandatory - 2 English, maths, 3 sciences, language, humanity etc..


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2017 5:57 am 
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Location: Essex
Be aware that if your DC are interested in studying Architecture, where some kind of 'art' A level is stipulated, Art rather than DT is usually preferred.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2017 6:38 am 
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Not all GS insist on Geog or History or even a language. Some ignore the 'fake' qualification of the ebacc and encourage the students to keep doors open but play to their strengths.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2017 8:32 am 
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Thank you very much. I agree with all the advice about keeping options open, choosing things you like etc. That is what she will be doing in the coming months but the problem is doing that very thing while having the restriction of the GCSE choices and then the school's offer for IB in the sixth form. And then the IB offer could change from year to year, I think, so one could be taking a subject at GCSE to make it possible at IB only to find that it is no longer offered at IB a couple of years on .... so one might have thrown a different subject out of the window for nothing at GCSE choice time.

Then there's the way the future is going for everyone; computer science in a way sounds like the new maths/English and a good way to check out if you're that way oriented. Design tech and art are up her street too. Be great to be able to do the lot! I see what you mean G55 about having to do a humanity getting in the way a bit - fortunately she loves geography and won't regret dropping history. To me, they're both important though in grasping an understanding of the world, current affairs, politics etc so I can see why they're compulsory. But I guess, at the end of the day as a parent I feel it would be good to have more breadth and less depth until they're older ... not my choice though. Primary school was very narrow - scarcely did anything other than maths and English (although of course it is not supposed to be like that) so only to receive a broader education including geography and history for three years at KS3 feels very limiting.

Thank you for the tips about architecture - this was at the back of my mind too. It's a field that could well grab her interest - but she'll probably dismiss it when she starts to be aware of careers, qualifications etc because the training is so long. Might sound too much like hard work for this individual!

I've had a quick look at A level / IB requirements for architecture and they're very varied - but then some courses are quite specific about requirig art. But yes, it looks as though if you drop art before GCSE (so therefore don't do it at A level) it rules out some schools of architecture really quite early on.

The other thing that is bugging me a bit are the IB rules in themselves, and the then the school restrictions on top of that. For example, three sciences at higher level in the IB is a route discouraged by the IB and requires special permission and it's not a possibility at all at this school. In my naivety, I had thought that the broadness of the IB would enalbe a child to do something like maths, physics, chemistry, biology, a language and a humanity in the sixth form - with three at standard level and 3 at higher level. But it seems not. And I really had not clicked that English Literature would have to be studied right through to the end of year 13.

Like someone said, a year out to fill in a missing subject or two at A level is an option if one had gone down the wrong route in earlier choices .... but that is a scary thought too!


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