Choosing GCSE options
How do I help my child to choose their GCSE Options?
If my child doesn’t choose the right options is it going to have an impact on their future choice of courses or their career?
If you are helping your child to choose their options then bear in mind that most students will do 8 – 10 GCSEs, this means they will have a broad education in a range of subjects and be well prepared to make a range of choices at 16. This also means that choosing or not choosing a particular subject will not make too much difference to future career or learning choices.
However, there are a few things that should be considered:
If your child is interested in studying science related subjects later or is already interested in a career related to science, then they should do double or triple science at GCSE. If your child is interested in working abroad or is good at modern foreign languages, then a language subject can help with employment later.
Employers want people with Maths and English GCSE grades at 4 - 9 new grades (A – C old grades), also the government has now made it a requirement that a young person without these grades in these subjects will need to continue to do them as part of whatever course or training they do, until they are 18. That’s why encouraging a young person to get a 4 -9 grade for these subjects in Y11 is a great idea.
If your child is thinking about A Levels in Year 12/13 then they may need to have completed this subject at GCSE, but this is not always necessary. Some subjects only become available at A Level e.g. Psychology, etc. so a range of GCSEs will be considered as entry to these subjects.
How can I support my child?
Encourage your child to select subjects that they enjoy and ones they are good at, further down the line when workload becomes heavy your child will be motivated and will work harder in this subject area. Subjects that students enjoy may also link to their career choices for the future.
Look at the marking scheme - for certain subjects there is more coursework involved and these subjects may suit your child rather than subjects that depend significantly on exam results.
Discuss with your child their career interests and use the websites overleaf, to find out what the specific entry requirements are for a specific career. If a specific career requires a Degree, then look at the entry requirements for that particular Degree. Working backwards may support your child to choose their GCSE options.
Strike a balance - choose good GCSE options that will look balanced. If your child loves the Arts, encourage them to choose a subject like History or a language alongside it. The reason for balance is not to please teachers or planners, it's just a way of keeping options open.
Discourage your child from choosing a subject because they like the teacher or their friends are choosing that subject!
Encourage your child to speak to their teachers in school and to Mrs Gilman Careers Adviser.
Talking Futures (A parents' toolkit for careers careers conversations) https://www.talkingfutures.org.uk/
National Careers Service https://nationalcareers.service.gov.uk/
BBC Bitesize https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/articles/zrjh92p
I Could (Buzz Quiz and careers videos) www.icould.com
Parental Guidance (careers information for parents) https://www.parentalguidance.org.uk/
Prospects (information about subjects and careers that link to these subjects) https://www.prospects.ac.uk/careers-advice/what-can-i-do-with-my-degree
UCAS (Degree courses and requirements) www.ucas.com
Health Careers (careers with the NHS) https://www.healthcareers.nhs.uk/
Go Construct (careers information for the construction trades) https://www.goconstruct.org/
Success at School (general careers information) https://successatschool.org/
Target careers (general careers information) https://targetcareers.co.uk/
If you would like any further information, please contact Mrs Gilman at firstname.lastname@example.org or 01406 362120.