GCSE options

Eldest is just choosing her GCSE options.   She doesn't want to do French - it's one of her worst subjects (she says), she doesn't really enjoy it and she reckons she'll have to do a lot of work to get a good grade - they load them with homework so the idea of having to do more work is a reasonable concern not her being lazy.   

I've no problem with her not doing a language if she really doesn't want to - but she's asking whether the EBac is going to be important.   The school is pushing them all to do it.   She's quite academic so she is asking if universities are going to make an issue out of having it she'd want to do it - she's sensible like that !    Basically I don't know - I suspect they probably wont care if you have 3-4 good A levels but I'm guessing - what do you think ?


  • Maybe I should just register on Mumsnet if I'm going to ask this kind of thing...

  • they have been doing the welsh bac around here for years,........both at GCSE level and at a level.....I wasn't aware that you they needed to study a second language for it...( mine didn't).....but as they have to do welsh maybe that counts..

    I do not think its up to much honestly.............but the A level equivalent at welsh bac is accepted at most universities as an A grade A level equivalent.

    even for medicine my son would only need 2 a grade a levels instead of three as he has the welsh Bac.....they do not seem to spend much extra time on doing it...but then mine are boys who probably only do the minimum needed to pass and concentrate on the subjects that are important to them

  • Maybe it's different in Wales Seren - in England I think it just means you have one modern language, maths, english, science and a humanity at GCSE.   So basically it's just whether she takes French at GCSE or not.   

  • Welsh must be counted as a modern language thenimage.they have to do oher things for it here.like voluntary work and they hav to work as a team to raise money in a business venture, work experience, give a presentation.an essay and other projects...and then so many other exam passes to compliment it

  • In our experience the 'good' ie. Traditional, Russell group unis prefer, or look more favourably on students with ebac spread of subjects. Obviously for outstanding. students it wouldn't matter, but makes a difference for the competitive courses. It has to be balanced though as a good grade in something els is probably more valuable than a low/fail in a language.
  • My oldest choosing options too and I was concerned as his only language will be Latin. A teacher friend who heads a 6th form said that most university courses prefer kids to have a language GCSE but include Latin as a language and there is one (one of the London ones I think) that prefers a living language (i.e. not Latin). So I would take from this that most courses will prefer kids to have a language GCSE.
  • Hello! I work at a Russell Group uni and (at least in my department) we're not that interested in GCSEs as long as the student has decent A-levels. Not saying that would never change in the future, but if she's definitely not likely to take a language at A-level I shouldn't think it matters about the GCSE. If she knows yet what she wants to study at uni she might look at some of the current entry requirements for those kind of courses (at good unis) and see if having a language is cited an advantage, but I suspect even if it is, that'd be at A-level rather than GCSE. Otherwise, she should choose the subjects she's most interested in and not worry too much beyond that.

  • PS: I should possibly add that I work in a languages dept. so all our applicants obviously have a language anyway. But I still think we're mainly interested in A-levels and whether the applicants meet the criteria we publish; we'd only look at GCSEs if we were inundated with WAY too many candidates with identical perfect grades at A-level. In practice I think students tend to do better at subjects they enjoy and feel confident in, and a good grade in another subject will look better than a mediocre one in French if she'd really rather not do it.

  • Thanks.   

  • Different unis have different requirements, and it is also course dependent as well. I would have thought, only maths and english need to be C and above for most courses, although I have heard some places ask for 5 C and above, not necessarily in the Ebacc subjects though. I think I had to have 5C and above including English and Maths, but the course I was applying to was very competitive (12 people per place!).

    Having said that languages are always useful, and you might be surprised how easy it is to get a C, especially if she's already done 3 years.

  • I work at an independent school whose main raison d'etre is getting kids into universities. It's not compulsory for our kids to do a humanity at GCSE and therefore they wouldn't hit the eBacc thing. Tell her to do what she wants!

  • Thanks again, I used to work in universities so that is what I suspected but it's been a while and wondered if things had changed.   She now does want to do French and wants us to get her a French tutor - and for me to set aside time each week to do extra science with her to make sure she gets offered triple science - I suppose I should be pleased !!  

  • Hey there are many options in GCSE courses. If she does not go for language then she could choose any other subject of her interest like history, geography, maths etc. so don't get confused in Ebac as she should go for her interests rather than pushing herself to any other thing.

    See my college's page for those courses details:        http://www.ukopencollege.co.uk/uocadmin/gcse-igcse-courses-c-298.html

  • GCSEs become irrelevant within 6 months.

  • i'm quite a laid back mum and let my daughter choose what she thought she might enjoy as her options, my only advise was that choose  at least one less academic type option so she wasn't all dull homework and course work and had something creative to concentrate on she enjoyed 

    she chose additional science, resistant materials - metal work  (shes making jewellery and the only girl who chose this option) and media studies  - which is an odd subject IMO, they do french anyway as  her school specialises in  languages 

    however when she chose these in yr 8/9 she loved them, now she hates science  - shes yr 11, almost done and has her place for 6th form and doing psych, sociology, politics and philosophy A levels 

    she has no idea what she wants to at uni but is thinking of joining police anyway 

    its stressful watching them grow and make their own decisions 

  • Nick Windsor 4 wrote (see)

    Nicky McNamerson wrote (see)

    GCSEs become irrelevant within 6 months.

    6 months, that's 2 months too long, never been asked for them, never had to show them, I could say anything. No one cares about them once you're in the real world, what matters is not the proof of education but how you go on to use it.

    That's a shame - as my O Levels went a heck of a lot better than my A Levels !

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