On February 6th, Year 9 reps held a discussion meeting for Year 9 parents to support each other by sharing our views, knowledge and any questions we had about the forthcoming GCSE choices our children will be making.
We were very fortunate that three students, one from Year 11 (Alfie) and two from Year 12 (Miranda and Maeve) were willing to come along to speak and field questions from parents so that we could hear the inside story of studying different subjects. They were kept busy, answering very articulately all kinds of questions such as: is it good to take two languages; should you take triple science if you have a choice to do so?; what assessments does Art require; does it help to do Philosophy and Ethics at GCSE if you want to do it at 'A' level?; which subjects should you do at GCSE if you think now that you want to take them at 'A' level and in which subjects does this not matter; what is the geography curriculum like vs the history curriculum?; what is astronomy like?; is it hard to study French GCSE because the children have only just started to study it compared to German and Spanish?; if you do triple science is it hard to cram in Citizenship in one year?; if you could go through the process of doing GCSEs again, what would you do differently? The main message from our three students was that you should choose subjects that will excite or interest you because otherwise you will find it more stressful and it will then be counterproductive. There was a loose relationship between GCSEs and 'A' levels and most choices you make at GCSE can lead to any 'A' levels. As to tips, they all stressed that it's all much less painful if you are organised, and think ahead, don't revise at the last minute and know when your deadlines are coming. Some parents who came also had children who are students in the higher years and could give a good perspective on such questions based on having gone through this experience before.
This was a very valuable evening for those who came and the Year Rep Coordinator will ensure a record of the event is kept and passed to the other Year Reps in the lower years. A summary of the meeting will be sent to the Head of Year 9 so that the school are aware of any outstanding questions on which parents would like more information, and can communicate that information back to Year 9 parents.
Jess Evans and Linda Erin, Year 9 Reps.