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 Post subject: GCSEs 2018 to 2020
PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2018 2:07 pm 
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A treadmill our youngest dd seems to be setting on after a gap of nine years between her and our eldest.In some subjects it seems she has been on this journey for a year or part of the year already with the core subjects of maths,double english and the triple sciences.She chose her options and rechose them.She was settled on her german,her geography and PE.I was particularly happy with the latter because not only of the absolute joy she has from the subject but because of the fun I will be able to have with her as we practice some of the strokes in her table tennis,badminton and tennis.However in her last option between History and RE when I thought she was settled on RE she submitted her last option for history as 3 of her friends were taking the subject.We were happy with either but I was secretly hoping she would choose history.However a few few weeks later after showing her the syllabus of each, she before the end of term resettled on RE.The journey appears more relaxed because our youngest is very happy at her state school unlike her elder sister at her independent school nine years earlier.

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In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years.

Abraham Lincoln


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 Post subject: Re: GCSEs 2018 to 2020
PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2018 10:41 am 
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Hello Quasi, great to connect again - been good few years! Some changing and chopping there Quasi, but you must be glad she has finally settled on the subjects :D

Not 100% but I think with both of our boys’ schools RE is compulsory - certainly the eldest. School stipulated that DS1 had to take a minimum of 11 subjects - Mathematics, 3 Sciences, English Lang, English literature and RE being compulsory. And then 4 further subjects; out of those one MFL and one humanities was compulsory. He eventually ended up with two MFL’s - French and German. Not sure how he managed two though. In my day I struggled even with one and was frankly useless


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 Post subject: Re: GCSEs 2018 to 2020
PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2018 6:42 pm 
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MSD wrote:
Hello Quasi, great to connect again - been good few years! Some changing and chopping there Quasi, but you must be glad she has finally settled on the subjects :D

Not 100% but I think with both of our boys’ schools RE is compulsory - certainly the eldest. School stipulated that DS1 had to take a minimum of 11 subjects - Mathematics, 3 Sciences, English Lang, English literature and RE being compulsory. And then 4 further subjects; out of those one MFL and one humanities was compulsory. He eventually ended up with two MFL’s - French and German. Not sure how he managed two though. In my day I struggled even with one and was frankly useless


Nice hearing from you.I read today the other threads you posted upon.Congratulations to your son you must be very proud of his efforts and achievements.

Is your son considering Oxbridge as he may be a suitable candidate ? in my day they only took about 3 to 4 percent from ethnic minorities.That figure has risen about four times now.Its not the be end all.There are plenty of other good Universities across the UK and the globe which are open to children from different backgrounds and their means.

I was like you in languages dropping French before GCSE's.Having said that we never got the quality of education in the schools we went to from that received by our children in their schools from their teachers.

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In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years.

Abraham Lincoln


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 Post subject: Re: GCSEs 2018 to 2020
PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2018 7:21 pm 
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Yes, I too was surprised they ended up giving grade 9 to more than 12% nationwide in sciences - surely undermines the changes as you point out.

He plans to study medicine. Oxbridge is a long shot but taking it one step at a time. His GCSE grades do fortunately match a typical applicant profile for Oxbridge. Oxford do give more importance to GCSE grades than Cambridge. We will certainly sit the first round of BMAT in September and see what scores he gets before applying. Early sitting of BMAT does rule him out of Oxford though as they don’t consider it, if you sit in September. But we would rather take that risk than not knowing the score before filling UCAS. Plenty of care experience to catch up on in the meantime. He might end up not going into medicine at all, so only time will tell


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 Post subject: Re: GCSEs 2018 to 2020
PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2018 8:44 pm 
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There is absolutely NO advantage in studying medicine at Oxbridge - neither uni is the best option these days.


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 Post subject: Re: GCSEs 2018 to 2020
PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2018 9:03 pm 
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He is more inclined to traditional learning than problem based. So that would be one reason for his initial preference towards Oxbridge. I agree there is not much to choose between medical schools but he feels he is more likely to be surrounded by motivated, like minded people and there's much more you can do in your pre clinical years in the way of hobbies, societies, sports etc.


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 Post subject: Re: GCSEs 2018 to 2020
PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2018 9:17 pm 
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MSD wrote:
Yes, I too was surprised they ended up giving grade 9 to more than 12% nationwide in sciences - surely undermines the changes as you point out.

He plans to study medicine. Oxbridge is a long shot but taking it one step at a time. His GCSE grades do fortunately match a typical applicant profile for Oxbridge. Oxford do give more importance to GCSE grades than Cambridge. We will certainly sit the first round of BMAT in September and see what scores he gets before applying. Early sitting of BMAT does rule him out of Oxford though as they don’t consider it, if you sit in September. But we would rather take that risk than not knowing the score before filling UCAS. Plenty of care experience to catch up on in the meantime. He might end up not going into medicine at all, so only time will tell


It seems a pity Oxford is being ruled out for medicine.The last time I looked there was about a 8% success rate for applicants which was a long shot in any event.However with figures like that you need to have a real passion for the subject to gain a place. Even now his passion will needs to be demonstrated by him reading around the subject to gain a place at any University.It sounds as though he is not certain.I hope he doesn't put himself in the position of one of my University friends children.I met him again after about 20 years at the summer football tournaments.He has a son and daughter both at the time doing medicine in their second and third years at Kings.Both will not continue in medicine after they qualify which seems to me to be an awful waste of their years and of precious resources even though they may be able to use the qualifications.I would suggest very careful consideration.

Is your youngest doing his GCSE's next year or in 2020 ?

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In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years.

Abraham Lincoln


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 Post subject: Re: GCSEs 2018 to 2020
PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2018 9:33 pm 
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You make some good points there Quasi - surely requires careful consideration before committing to a 5 year course. I am hoping all his care experience will allow him to make the right decision.

I am not sure if they start GCSE’s a year early at CHB. If they do, then he starts this year else it would be next year.


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 Post subject: Re: GCSEs 2018 to 2020
PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2018 8:04 am 
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MSD wrote:
You make some good points there Quasi - surely requires careful consideration before committing to a 5 year course. I am hoping all his care experience will allow him to make the right decision.

I am not sure if they start GCSE’s a year early at CHB. If they do, then he starts this year else it would be next year.


If you go for Oxford remember it is a 6 year course, then (as elsewhere) there is the 2 years foundation + the middle and higher training before you are really qualified and can work unsupervised (ie on the specialist / GP registers). Aware that quite a few quit straight after the degree and find a graduate job better to do it at that point rather than later as the post grad training is the most intense part


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 Post subject: Re: GCSEs 2018 to 2020
PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2018 9:50 am 
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My understanding is that Oxford has the highest rates of medical students not going on to work in medicine. I've come across very few students from Oxford in my time and have always got the impression that it's not particularly rated highly for medicine. Cambridge seems to attract students who genuinely want to be doctors though and my impression is that it's a better medical school generally. I think it would be hard to argue it's worse than any others.
There are still plenty of "traditional" courses out there though and even those that tout themselves as innovative are still pretty traditional when you come down to the workload and studying!
UCL is also a 6 year course. I don't know about any others. We currently have students from a number of medical schools and I have been very impressed with the Barts ones in recent years (I am not an ex Barts student!) - they are officially QMUH now. They seem very motivated and seem to have a very good set up at the uni.


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