Last Thursday I attended a GCSE options evening with our daughter to help her decide which subjects she wants to take. She’s had it all mapped out in her head for some time as to what route she wants to take, but now after listening to various teachers, she’s rethinking some of her options. The final decision has to be made by 6 January and I’m hoping she will decide this week, so that she doesn’t worry about it over the Christmas holidays. She will begin her GCSE studies after Easter next year. Her school start them in Year 9 to give them longer to get through all the coursework and leave them plenty of time to study for the exams.
I was the first year to take GCSE exams in 1988 and then a lot of them were coursework based. Now the majority of courses appear to be 100% exams and the grading system is changing, so instead of receiving an A*-G grade, you will be awarded a 9-1 grade. A good pass will be a grade 5, which equates to the top of a grade C pass and above. It sounds confusing at the moment, but I’m sure we will all get used to the new system in time.
Subject choices have grown no end from when I did my GCSEs. There’s a wealth of design and technology courses to choose from as well as engineering, film studies, PE, dance, psychology etc. There’s also the opportunity to do BTEC courses. A lot of the subjects have residential trips as well – the film studies department at our daughter’s school are looking into a trip to New York for either GCSE or A-Level students. As this is a subject our daughter is 100% sure she wants to do, we better start saving now!!