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 Post subject: Re: Choosing GCSE's
PostPosted: Wed Jan 15, 2020 9:33 am 
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Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2012 11:41 am
Posts: 9686
Location: Essex
sportsforall wrote:
Also about to do GCSE choices in this house.

I am surprised that you say, DA, they should do as many GCSEs as possible that they might want to do at A level. We have been trying to guide our DD (who has no idea what she wants to do) to a broad base of things that interest her. It seems highly unlikely she will take Latin A level, but for her it is the lesser evil in language GCSE choice, where with the modern ones you actually have to speak to each other.

And, controversially, I think it might be ok not to get top marks in every subject!


DS2 spends hours doing artwork both in and out of school. It (I'm assuming, rather than him personally) has >1000 followers on Instagram, apparently.

He only got a 7 in Art. It brought his ratio of Topp GCSEs down to 10:1; we fear that Oxford will reject him at first glance. His life is ruined.

Or not.

He doesn't have the slightest desire to go to Oxford (or even Cambridge). He may even carry on and do Art A level, depending on how the AS goes. He will discuss his year 13 subjects with us and the school, but it will be his decision. His desired univetsity course has no required subjects, anywhere the he actually fancies doing it.

My only gripe is the amount of stray acrylic paint that seems to find it's way onto odd bits of school shirt. The one that came home yesterday would probably dissolved first in the process of trying to remove the amount he managed to splash on himself.

People who do art, do art, so to speak. If the OP's DD 'does art' and gets pleasure out of it, she should be fine. If it's just a filler because she has to pick a last option, possibly not.

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 Post subject: Re: Choosing GCSE's
PostPosted: Thu Jan 16, 2020 9:48 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2011 8:44 am
Posts: 1823
Location: Reading
My DD did art GCSE and it was a huge amount of work in relation to all the others - especially at the end when she was trying to finish the last piece after Easter when she should have been revising for the other 10. She did enjoy it on the whole, although it took a while for her sciency/fact loving brain to 'get' how to do it. Being presented with the word Identity and set to do something was far too vague for her and there were a lot of false starts.
In the end it was her lowest grade (6) and there were definitely low points where she regretted her choice but it was a break from the academic and no exam to do in the May/June.
It is not one to do if you don't enjoy the artistic/creative process and you do need to be able to draw these days (in the past you could get away without this)


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 Post subject: Re: Choosing GCSE's
PostPosted: Sat Jan 18, 2020 10:37 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2015 1:41 pm
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Thank you for all your replies.


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 Post subject: Re: Choosing GCSE's
PostPosted: Sat Jan 18, 2020 10:56 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2014 8:14 am
Posts: 518
My DD is in year 11 doing art.
It has not been too time consuming for her.
I would say it’s not a great choice unless your child is the sort that does a lot of art for fun and likes galleries/exhibitions etc.
She did spend quite a bit of the summer between year 10 and 11 on her sketchbook.
Not regretted the choice but also looking forward to it being over so she can do her own art again without a brief.
My DS did music which for him was an absolute nightmare and he regretted it very early on.
Ended up with an 8.
It was the only gcse he didn’t enjoy.
I think often the students think the creative subjects will be relaxing compared to other subjects and it’s a bit of a let down when they aren’t.
My DD was very keen to do art and I’m glad no one talked her out of it because she would have resented that.


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 Post subject: Re: Choosing GCSE's
PostPosted: Sun Jan 19, 2020 9:34 am 
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Location: Reading
I’d agree with looking at other subjects and checking coursework. DD did ICT (doesn’t exist now, but I’d think CS has much the same), music and textiles. All had coursework elements.

The ICT and textiles had to be done under the supervision of a teacher, so did mean some after school work if they were falling behind at all. Music was a pain too. They even went in during a school holiday to work on music. Even if they worked on it at home they still needed to finish off at school due to the software used.

She had wanted to do product design rather than ICT, but with hindsight she realises that would have been too much.

The only plus side was she had less exams.


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 Post subject: Re: Choosing GCSE's
PostPosted: Sun Jan 19, 2020 10:41 am 
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Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2014 8:14 am
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We ended up buying the music software because it proved impossible to get it done at school as my DS did lots of after school sport.
My DS loved music before the gcse,played a lot for pleasure. Music gcse put an end to that.
The relentless practicing of the performance pieces bored him witless although he did get full marks on them.
I agree with Tinkers for any of these creative subjects really get your child to look into it first.
Music numbers for gcse are down by half at my DS school in the last two years....


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 Post subject: Re: Choosing GCSE's
PostPosted: Sun Jan 19, 2020 3:35 pm 
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DD did music and rather enjoyed it.
She did very little practicing though and was still continuing to do her music for pleasure throughout so maybe that helped.
We did get hold of the composition software which really helped but it seemed to be a relatively stress-free process. She did very little outside of lessons really.
The final exam was much more difficult than she had anticipated (but there was very little "revision" that could be done for it apparently).
But she ended up with a 9 and it definitely hasn't put her off music.
Some of her peers definitely found it less enjoyable than they had expected though. She did discourage her brother from doing it as he doesn't find music as enjoyable as she does and she felt it was only one to do out of love for the subject (which is probably similar to art)


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 Post subject: Re: Choosing GCSE's
PostPosted: Wed Jan 22, 2020 3:14 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2011 8:44 am
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Location: Reading
loobylou wrote:
DD did music and rather enjoyed it.
She did very little practicing though and was still continuing to do her music for pleasure throughout so maybe that helped.
We did get hold of the composition software which really helped but it seemed to be a relatively stress-free process. She did very little outside of lessons really.
The final exam was much more difficult than she had anticipated (but there was very little "revision" that could be done for it apparently).
But she ended up with a 9 and it definitely hasn't put her off music.
Some of her peers definitely found it less enjoyable than they had expected though. She did discourage her brother from doing it as he doesn't find music as enjoyable as she does and she felt it was only one to do out of love for the subject (which is probably similar to art)


DD did music (as well as art) and hated the GCSE. She got a 9 but was glad to see the back of it as the teaching was not good. Thankfully it has not put her off playing music for pleasure.


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 Post subject: Re: Choosing GCSE's
PostPosted: Thu Jan 23, 2020 1:39 pm 
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Posts: 433
I've been trying to encourage ds towards music - mainly because he doesn't get on with the main German teacher and I can't face two years of battles with her! Also, he's got ADHD and I feel having one subject in a small group (usually 5-7 take music) would really help him. And he already does piano lessons, so it feels like killing two birds with one stone.

He has to take RS and Computer Science in addition to the usual English, Maths, Sciences but he doesn't have to take an MFL. Hence thinking about dropping German. But now I'm wondering if he should drop one of the humanities instead - History or Geography - because of the amount of content. Would he find learning German easier than all the humanities content?

It's so tricky! Dd does RS, History and Geography and they're her three best subjects and probable A Levels, so it's a good job she chose them. However, she finds Geography and RS really easy, whereas she says the amount of content for History is huge. I think the Geography experience may be due to having a very good teacher - she finds she already remembers things from lessons, so there's less revision to do. I can't really apply these experiences to ds as he's at a different school. But I can see that objectively the History syllabus is enormous!


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