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 Post subject: Electronics GCSE
PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2018 3:29 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 23, 2017 11:15 am
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DS is in the midst of choosing his options. He's thinking seriously about taking Electronics, anyone got any thoughts/views on this particular course? It's something he enjoys and he's keen on science generally, we've been told that it's quite a scientific course.

It's a subject I know very little about so any views/insight would be very much appreciated.

Thanks


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 Post subject: Re: Electronics GCSE
PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2018 3:03 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2008 2:28 pm
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It would help if you could post the exam board as courses vary.
Also, look online for the specification. That will show you exactly what is involved.
Check how long the school had been offering the course, how many pupils usually choose it and what the results are like. Also, does the teacher have necessary specialist knowledge.


I don't have experience of electronics at GCSE but my standard advice is to keep as many doors open as you can at this stage. It's a very specific subject so I would make sure he still has a good range of standard subjects.


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 Post subject: Re: Electronics GCSE
PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2018 4:35 pm 
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Location: Buckinghamshire
Electronics (pure, rather than as part of D&T) is an unusual subject, offered in very few schools. I don't know the numbers at GCSE, but at A Level, only around 400 students take it each year. The exam board will probably be AQA.

If your son is interested in studying engineering or computing further down the line, it will give him a huge head start compared to other students with no prior knowledge of the subject.


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 Post subject: Re: Electronics GCSE
PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2018 4:46 pm 
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That's interesting, S-A, I was expecting people to respond that as with, for example, psychology or economics, it is not necessary even at A level for studying it at degree level & therefore not particularly well thought of. I know one of mine would have jumped at it!


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 Post subject: Re: Electronics GCSE
PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2018 5:44 pm 
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Yes, it's a bit like Design which DS did at A level - again a huge advantage in his Engineering degree.


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 Post subject: Re: Electronics GCSE
PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2018 6:00 pm 
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Location: Buckinghamshire
scary mum wrote:
That's interesting, S-A, I was expecting people to respond that as with, for example, psychology or economics, it is not necessary even at A level for studying it at degree level & therefore not particularly well thought of. I know one of mine would have jumped at it!

It is very highly regarded as a subject. Not necessary, but a huge advantage if pupils are lucky enough to be offered it.

As an example of what I mean, on DS's computing course at Uni, the students were allocated 2 hours to complete a task centred on electronics. DS finished it in 15 minutes, and the lecturer was absolutely astounded until she heard that he had done A Level Electronics. He's the only one on his course who took the subject.


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 Post subject: Re: Electronics GCSE
PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2018 6:14 pm 
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Location: Buckinghamshire
I've just found a discussion on The Student Room about A Level Electronics that might be of interest: https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/showth ... ?t=3167329

In the light of that, it's worth looking at what your son's school offers beyond GCSE.


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 Post subject: Re: Electronics GCSE
PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2018 9:27 pm 
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Location: Essex
WJEC has both a 9-1 GCSE and reformed AS / A specification for Electronics
http://www.wjec.co.uk/qualifications/electronics/

AQA has definitely dropped it.

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 Post subject: Re: Electronics GCSE
PostPosted: Fri Jan 26, 2018 7:04 pm 
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DS is in year 10, taking the WJEC course. He's enjoying it more than his other subjects but wouldn't say that it was that scientific. He does seem to be finding it quite easy and regards it as his non-academic "fun" subject. There are 8 taking it in his year. The school offers it for A level and he thinks there are 6 in the year 12 group but only 1 in year 13. He has 2 teachers, one of whom is an electronics specialist and the other a D&T teacher.


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 Post subject: Re: Electronics GCSE
PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2018 11:35 am 
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Thanks everybody that's all very helpful. Yes it is "electronics" as a stand alone GCSE, he's at a STEM grammar school so they do offer 3 different DT options. They also offer Electronics at A level, should he decide to carry on with the subject.

He really enjoys the subject which is why he wants to do it, we're told it's quite physics based so it will also tie in with his triple science option. We've been told that with the new demanding GCSE's in place, that it's really important for students to choose subjects they enjoy and I think this is the reason he's now decided to go with it.

His school have also said that this isn't a "soft" option, they have marketed this, and computer science, as options that will be really helpful in the way the "world is going" and that these options are really very useful if a student is interested in engineering/computing at degree level (although currently my DS has no idea what he wants to do!).


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