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PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2017 10:25 am 
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My DS is Yr9 and all of his lessons are now following the GCSE course. I know this is probably a really silly question, but if I know the exam board and check what subjects are covered in the GCSE will the information I find be relevant for sitting the exams in 2020?

I'm not sure my question makes sense (apologies) but he will have to chose his subjects for next year and I just wanted to find out if the subjects he would be studying in, say, history would be something he would find interesting. They have been told what book they will be studying for English, but will that be the same when 2020 comes around?

Many thanks for any advice.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2017 10:32 am 
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You should be able to find the syllabus online, but for many of the subjects there is a fairly wide choice of books/topics which could be covered, and you won't necessarily find out which books your school is covering until closer to the time. So this is information which you would need to get from your school - always worth double checking to the published syllabus as there have been fiascos of teachers not checking whether their favourite texts are still on the list!


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2017 10:43 am 
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Thanks, Ladymuck. So anything published by the exam board now is the syllabus (couldn't think of that word!) for the 2020 exams? I don't want him choosing a subject based on a syllabus if it is the wrong one and changes, eg. if history says WW1 but turns out to be The Tudors after he has chosen.

I'm not expecting him to chose his subjects based on the syllabus but I wanted the info in my backpocket just in case he is still confused when the time comes and he needs an extra deciding factor.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2017 11:25 am 
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We asked at parents' evening in year 9 about the content of the GCSE courses dd might be interested in. If you have a parents' evening before your dc's choices need to be made (and I think most schools try to do this) then that would be a good time to ask.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2017 11:47 am 
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Location: Herts
In the History, Geography, RS, English and Music boards that my dds did the schools had a choice of which books, which music, which religion and what time period of History and this was true of both GCSE and A level.

They also swop around boards and topics from year to year. My dd's school moved from AQA English to OCR English for both GCSE and A level.

You are best to send a quick email to the Head of Departments for the subjects you are interested in for clarification and they can certainly tell you at parent's evening. DG


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2017 12:13 pm 
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Many thanks for the replies. I will take your good advice and wait until parent's evening :)


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2017 12:21 pm 
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Yes, but I liked the word of warning higher up the thread that schools and or teachers do sometimes get it wrong. The syllabus online should tell you which years it is valid for. Then where there are choices for the school to make within the syllabus you are down to whatever the school can give you at this stage. It might be better not to choose a subject because he is sold on a particular choice that the school says they will make in case they change their mind closer to the time... in my experience nothing like that is ever set in stone until closer to the time. So, for example, if he loves WW2 but would lose the will to live studying the Roman Empire and both are choices within the syllabus, then it might be wiser not to choose history?


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2017 1:13 pm 
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Thank you Mystery. I am just checking to see if the school has an up-to-date syllabus as the one online is last years (may be the same but I don't know!)

I guess my next question based on your reply is, if I know the exam board can I then check their website to see if their syllabus does cover both Roman Empire and WWII (great example... I would go for Roman Empire everytime :) )?

Sorry if that is another silly question, but I have just noticed that parents evening is 3 wks after options evening so I am going to have to find out from the school before hand.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2017 1:21 pm 
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Location: N London
The school should tell you at options evening which board they intend to use and which bits of the courses they have selected - as they won't usually teach different choices within the syllabus, the school rather than the pupil will select WW1 or the Roman Empire for instance.
The teachers will probably start telling your DC about what their subject will entail at GCSE before they take their options, in a bid to get plenty of takers for their subject!


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2017 1:49 pm 
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The exam board' specification usually stays teh same for 4 or 5 years and will list out the texts to be used. So looking at OCR's Latin GCSE, first taught last year for June 2018, I can see tat it lists all of the texts to be examined up until June 2023. However the school will have freedom to choose which papers it teaches.


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