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    I didn't have to drop a subject I enjoyed to make room for a compulsory one. However, it was compulsory to do a language for many people I know really hated doing it. Ebacc was more of an issue honestly as somebody already mentioned.
    My school didn't put pressure on me to take triple science but that's because I wanted to choose it anyway- I didn't experience anybody in my school being pressured into it either tbh.
    I am scientific so the next point is N/A but I don't really know anybody who complained about doing a science GCSE; I think people realise it's necessary and even if they don't like it they just sort of put up with it in the hope they'll be able to move on soon.
    To the last point.. no I don't think that at all. There's only a minimum of 3 science/maths GCSE and the rest can be humanities/ arts. E.g. you could do double science, maths, english lang/lit, art, drama, music, history, rs, textiles etc. Statistically, scientific pupils are at a disadvantage, especially if required to do the ebacc and rs is compulsory as it was in my school. I don't think there's half as many science gcses as humanities/ art gcses.
    I guess it's not good when you want to do english or art as a career yet getting a bad grade in maths stops this, but that can happen the other way round too.
    Overall, I think at the stage of gcse it's important to be a well rounded person going into further education- this goes for students who want to go into any route.
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    My school didn't even have an option for triple science
    Did 5 compulsory GCSE's (plus a half in RE), and then we had 4 boxes to chose from, they recommended one from each but weren't too fussed. I did history, french, textiles and media studies (sort of forced onto this as my other options didn't fit with graphic design)
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    In my high school, we HAD to do a language (so I chose French as I was taught it from y7-y9), HAD to do a humanity (so I chose Geography) and got one free choice (so I chose Health and Social Care). Had I been given 3 free options, I defo would've still gone with Health and Social Care but I in no way would have chosen French or Geography but apparently they 'looked better'.

    Also, HAD to do Triple Science (the top 2 sets had to, everyone else did double) and HAD to do RE but I loved RE so I didn't mind. My younger sister attends my old high school and says that triple science is now an option but if you choose it you can't choose a creative subject (art, drama, music, textiles, food tech, product design). So she's stuck on what to choose because she wants to do triple science and drama :/
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    In my school it was compulsory to chose either a language, computer science, history or geography. You could chose all of them if you wanted. However you couldn't chose, lets say, drama, art, music and textiles.
    I also know one my friends wanted to chose music and french, but the lessons clashed on the timetable so had to drop one.
    Also top set science were just expected to pick triple science, and if they didn't they would have to explain to a teacher why they wouldn't. It wasnt an interrogation or anything but still, luckily I love science so ofc I was going to pick triple anyway.
    I guess my schools not too bad with pressure etc, as students who the teachers thought would struggle in a particular subject they chose would get all the help they need or be guided to a better gcse option for them.

    Although one thing that does annoy me is that we cant chose more than one design technology (that's probably due to lack of teachers or something) but hey I would've loved to chose textiles AND food tech
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    Yeah my asian parents and sister pressured me to do triple science instead of double
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    In my school you actually lost a choice if you wanted to do triple science. We had four choices along with the compulsory Maths, English Lit (pointless subject) and English Lang and Triple science took up one of those choices meaning those in Triples only got 3 other optionals. I was practically forced to take a humanities and an arty subject because of how the choice blocks worked out, neither of which I wanted to do (I ended up enjoying history in the long run anyway lmao). I felt that my mum forced me down the art route which I ended up hating almost as much as maths. I think that maths should only be compulsory if it teaches us valuable maths, not things like vectors and circle theorem. That's the kind of maths that should be optional.
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    At my school we had to do at least one language, one humanity, and RS (the latter i understand cos it was a Catholic school). It was kind of annoying, as I would have liked the chance to do another media subject (we could only pick one).
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    our school puts nearly everyone in the EBacc, and I did 11 GCSEs, like many kids in my school. Our school force you to take:

    - English Lit and Lang
    - Maths
    - A language (you can drop this if you are bottom 2 sets or can convince the teachers that you can't do it)
    - RE
    - Triple Science if you are in top 2 sets (I did triple) (this DOESNT impact your free options, everyone gets 2 free options if they take double or triple)
    - A humanities (History or Geography)

    Then you get 2 options. I took business and computing. You can't take triple science, but you can try and convince teachers to put you in a triple science class.

    You also can do PE GCSE, and weirdly have to learn most the course before given the option to drop it. If you don't drop it you have to go after school for an hour weekly to do coursework etc.

    So many are doing 12, which is the max.

    Our school doesn't do FMSQ despite getting top maths grades in the city lol.
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    (Original post by gabriellaxx.x)
    In my school it was compulsory to chose either a language, computer science, history or geography. You could chose all of them if you wanted. However you couldn't chose, lets say, drama, art, music and textiles.
    I also know one my friends wanted to chose music and french, but the lessons clashed on the timetable so had to drop one.
    Also top set science were just expected to pick triple science, and if they didn't they would have to explain to a teacher why they wouldn't. It wasnt an interrogation or anything but still, luckily I love science so ofc I was going to pick triple anyway.
    I guess my schools not too bad with pressure etc, as students who the teachers thought would struggle in a particular subject they chose would get all the help they need or be guided to a better gcse option for them.

    Although one thing that does annoy me is that we cant chose more than one design technology (that's probably due to lack of teachers or something) but hey I would've loved to chose textiles AND food tech
    In our school, they made top 2 sets pick triple science, but they didn't cut an option down, so everyone got 2 "free" options.
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    (Original post by hoixw)
    In our school, they made top 2 sets pick triple science, but they didn't cut an option down, so everyone got 2 "free" options.
    You only got two options! we got four. And I feel sorry for those who were in top sets but despised science:elefant: >> just random emojis I wanted to try aha
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    Hey, I’m currently in year 11.
    Choosing options in year 9 everyone was forced to do the Ebacc and started learning combined science (the new double science) from year 9. Now in year 11 they’re deciding next week who takes separate or combined sciences. This is based on exam results from last year so people who got below a certain grade won’t be allowed to take separate sciences though they’re also using more results from an exam we’re sitting next week.
    In maths every set except bottom takes the higher paper although I think there are some exceptions. Out of the top sets (equal ability) the top half of the class who score 8/9s are offered the chance to take add maths fsmq as an additional qualification.
    Hope this helps 😃😃
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    i'm currently in year 11 and in my school, you get 3 options.
    your first option has to be a humanities subject, a language or computing. your other two choices are totally free.
    however you do not get a choice between double and triple science, i was put in triple.
    I ended up taking French, Textiles Art and Business Studies
    i took further maths by choice
    good luck on your essay!
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    Pressured into doing Further Additional Science by Parents and then got put into Further Maths by the school without my knowing.
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    My school is very focused on STEM but I like those subjects so it was ok however one of my friends felt a bit pressured into computing so she has dropped it for art which was a bit of a surprise. I think (although I'm not taking anything creative) arts should be valued more in schools, especially grammar schools.
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    (Original post by KIMIZS)
    Hi everyone! I'm writing an essay about teenagers feeling pressured to do STEM subjects at GCSE. I'm focusing on how Maths and Science are compulsory (whether it be single, double or triple) and how humanities, such as History or RS, aren't (according to gov. standards). However, I can't generalise a whole nation of teenagers, so I would greatly appreciate it if you could share your experience when you were choosing your GCSEs.
    Here are some questions I'm looking to address:
    Did you have to drop a favourite subject to make room for a compulsory one?
    Did your school put pressure on you to do subjects such as maths or science, but not art or DT?
    Do you feel as though it's unfair that you're not very scientific, and you've known this for a while, yet you have to deal with science GCSE?
    In your school, do you see science-y pupils being able to take the subjects they enjoy with enough room in their timetable, while creative pupils have to drop some of their favourite subjects to make room for science?
    Thanks!
    1) I did not have to drop a favourite subject to make room, in our school you had the typical 3 compulsory modules, then you could pick 4 optional ones, which were more than enough for more to choose their favourite ones and experiment intriguing ones as well. I wanted to do Geography and History and Business and did those as well as French. I actually hadn't considered it as dropping a preferential one for a compulsory one before, if I could I'd probably had done ICT or Computing instead of Biology, but, the timetabling would probably not have accomodated it as we had option blocks with subjects running at similar times, and most clashes for people generated from that, optional vs optional
    2) I was not really pressured into any subjects because Maths and Science were compulsory at some level, they did assign as preffered routes based on our grades though, for example I was recommended to do Geography and such and my friend was recommended to do DT, FoodTech and stuff. But you choose what you want of course.
    3) Although I was top set (class) science, I did not feel scientific, and didn't choose any science A Levels as a result. I heard one student complain about having to do science, but as long as they are also doing other vocational subjects or subjects they wanna do, I think doing a Science foundation, or and GCSE level is quite important for a student in the future as it gives a broad understanding. I think that's even more the case with Maths as you need a basic understanding for any job, and for english as well, so I don't think it's unfair, and I actually think subjects like PE (and maybe PSHCE discussions) should be accomodated even rarely in GCSE and maybe even A Levels.
    4) Not really, because science-y students had to do non-science-y options as well, so the amount of enjoying a science-y student or an art-y student ( assuming they hate the other subjects) I would argue would roughly be the same. As long, as everyone gets to do the subjects they want , it's good to be able to do something you wouldn't do as well, it's just GCSEs after all.

    Side note: couple of years after I finished GCSEs I found out that my school was making one of History or Geography for each student as well, which may be a bit more extreme than science (especially for history) and is a headache for teacher's having to teach students who don't have passion for it and don't really wanna be there, but I think it is good to have a basic understanding of geography and cultures, or your history, an overall broad education may help in people in being less ignorant and more knowledgeable?
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    I'm always ranting about how the school system was when I was taking my GCSEs and even how it is now 3-4 years later.

    Did you have to drop a favourite subject to make room for a compulsory one?
    At my school, our compulsory subjects were English (Language in year 10 and Literature in Year 11); Maths; Science Double Award, Religious Education Half GCSE (never really understood how you could have half a GCSE???) and Physical Education. I wanted to do All performing arts subjects (Music; Drama and Dance) but had to drop dance because of how the blocking for subjects worked. I also really wanted Media and Graphics which I thankfully got. I then had to choose between History and Geography in place of Dance and ended up picking Geography because I felt the History curriculum was basically a repeat of what I'd already learnt up to that point (WW1, WW2 and the Great Fire of London) just in more depth.

    In year 11 because I was in the top set for Maths, I was forced to take further maths despite the fact I was struggling with the standard higher maths GCSE. I got really stressed out about it to the point that, despite me asking her not to because I wanted to sort it out myself, my MUM had it out with the head of maths that year to at least get me moved down to a lower class as I couldn't learn from the teaching method in the top class (I still was made to take the further maths so that was 4 maths exams at the end of year 11!!!!).

    Did your school put pressure on you to do subjects such as maths or science, but not art or DT?

    My school were VERY maths/ science based. Practically All the funding went to Maths and Science- the media department had 2 maybe 3 handycams between 60 students with no sound kit or tripods (in fact if I remember rightly, my media teacher ended up paying for some extra kit out of his own pocket for our coursework!!!); the drama department also had little to no funding- we had to provide our own costumes, props, music etc. for both coursework and any school productions we put on. I thought the ticket sales to shows would go back into the drama department but it just seemed to evaporate elsewhere. Graphics and D&T had a bit more funding and to be fair this department WAS renovated during my GCSE year.

    Got a bit sidetracked, but to get back to the point, yes we were pressured because obviously we felt that if a department or course had little funding there was less point doing it because we wouldn't have the resources we need OR we'd have to pay a lot out of our own pockets in order to produce good coursework. The blocking also favoured maths and science subjects, and we were made to feel that if we took BTEC/ vocational subjects we were stupid and wouldn't succeed in future life because grades meant everything to Uni and employers (Just to reassure anyone reading this, I got enough UCAS points at college to get into some good Uni's however chose to look for a job instead and got a job because I had got plenty of work experience through college and doing freelance work!)

    Do you feel as though it's unfair that you're not very scientific, and you've known this for a while, yet you have to deal with science GCSE?

    I did find it very unfair- I won't lie, parts of science I found interesting but it was never something I was truly passionate about. I liked some of the physics side and a bit of biology (until we had to do dissections and I nearly passed out!!!!). The double award consisted of 6 exams in total- 3 in year 10, and 3 in year 11 if I recall correctly. Whilst I know science is important, I think if a student's heart isn't in it, they shouldn't be forced to take a path they aren't passionate about. If science IS compulsory, just make an exam covering the very bare basics of each science!

    In your school, do you see science-y pupils being able to take the subjects they enjoy with enough room in their timetable, while creative pupils have to drop some of their favourite subjects to make room for science?

    Yes as mentioned above, I couldn't take all the performing arts subjects like I had wished. I wasn't very active at the time so dance would have been a good subject to help increase my fitness and it was something I'd felt I'd enjoy but I was told it was my weakest subject in performing arts so I should ditch it and choose something else (surely I could have taken dance and improved my technique??? The whole point of school is to learn is it not???)

    Just as a final point, I was miserable during year 11, I went from sort of enjoying school to absolutely hating it. I got stressed because I was sat in a stuffy classroom for 90% of lessons, racking my brain, trying to cram as much information in to try and pass 17 exams in 2 weeks at the end of the year. I lost all my confidence in myself, I put on weight and was sleep deprived because I was so worried about exams, particularly the more thoretical ones like maths and science, that some nights I only got 4 hours of sleep when I should have been getting at least 8 hours. It took 2 years at college, taking up running and getting 2 jobs (a temporary one and the full time one I currently do) to get myself back on my feet. If you are taking your GCSE's right now, I know its a really stressful time but if I could give my 15/ 16 year old self advice form what I know now, it would be

    Sit down, have a think about what you REALLY want. Chances are if you enjoy a particular subject, it might be the right direction as to what you want to do in the future. Just aim to pass your exams, you don't need the top grades to succeed! Just get what you need to get into sixth form or college or the apprenticeship. Research all of these options and work out what the bare minimum is you need to get these. Still aim high, but at the same time realise that the only reason school's want you to get top grades is because the more top grades they get, the better THEY look.

    I know the system has changed even since I did my GCSE's as we still had the lettered system. But I got 3 A's, 6 B's and 3 C's in my GCSEs. To get into college all I needed was 4 C's. That's it.

    Right, sorry for the epic rant, but hopefully it has helped in some shape or form haha!
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    (Original post by gabriellaxx.x)
    You only got two options! we got four. And I feel sorry for those who were in top sets but despised science:elefant: >> just random emojis I wanted to try aha
    Well we technically got 4, but one was a language choice (german or french- you learn either french or german from year 7 though), and one was humanities (history or geography). Other two were for stuff like art, compscil, product design, graphic design, I.T. etc
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    (Original post by hoixw)
    Well we technically got 4, but one was a language choice (german or french- you learn either french or german from year 7 though), and one was humanities (history or geography). Other two were for stuff like art, compscil, product design, graphic design, I.T. etc
    At my school we get 5 choices but one has to be a language and you can't do art and textiles but other than that we could do pretty much anything
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    (Original post by KIMIZS)
    Hi everyone! I'm writing an essay about teenagers feeling pressured to do STEM subjects at GCSE. I'm focusing on how Maths and Science are compulsory (whether it be single, double or triple) and how humanities, such as History or RS, aren't (according to gov. standards). However, I can't generalise a whole nation of teenagers, so I would greatly appreciate it if you could share your experience when you were choosing your GCSEs.
    Here are some questions I'm looking to address:
    Did you have to drop a favourite subject to make room for a compulsory one?
    Did your school put pressure on you to do subjects such as maths or science, but not art or DT?
    Do you feel as though it's unfair that you're not very scientific, and you've known this for a while, yet you have to deal with science GCSE?
    In your school, do you see science-y pupils being able to take the subjects they enjoy with enough room in their timetable, while creative pupils have to drop some of their favourite subjects to make room for science?
    Thanks!
    Well actually I'm kind of the opposite of the person you were looking for... Although I do understand and qualify for some of the things that you're talking about. I go to a Grammar school that specializes in maths and science. In my school we have to to take Maths, English (both lang and lit) some sort of science (either double or triple- although almost everyone in my school choose triple science) we also have to take re and either geography or history. Due to our school being both pretty small and a specialist in maths and science we do not get to do a range of creative subjects. In our school the only subjects that we can pick are pe, drama, food tech, computer science, business, art and design and technology. The students in our school miss out on a range of subjects such as psychology, photography, textiles (which my school cut when I was in year 8) and many more.

    When I chose my options i had to decide between doing creative subjects such as food (which I loved) and art and doing Spanish and french (both of which i had thoroughly enjoyed studying up to that point.

    In the end I ended up taking double science (mainly because I needed the space to take my other options although I don't mind science), geography, food tech, Spanish and french.

    Due to the nature of my school most of the people in it are quite academic although my best friend hates both science and maths but has to study it due to our schools lack of creative subjects.

    Our schools system has changed once again and now taking a language is mandatory (you can only take the one language which you have learnt since year 7- I find this a shame since I take both Spanish and french and I feel I've benefited so much from taking them). This is a problem as it narrows down your choice of subjects even more and now you can only really pick two of your subjects (this does not include triple science which counts as another subject meaning that those who take .triple can only choose one).

    Sorry this has turned into a bit of an essay and might not even help you in the long run...
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    We had to do ebacc subjects: choose a humanities (geog or history) and a language. Plus a creative subject (art, textiles, cooking) or btec health and social care. I chose the latter and got a few people telling me that I should choose a creative gcse instead but I was never good at them. RS, IT and citizenship were compulsory too.

    For triple science, it was based on test results and we didn't have to drop a subject as we had afterschool lessons. (3 hours of physics is not fun, I couldn't play netball anymore either) I think those not so good at science could do a btec but not sure.

    It was compulsory to do further maths if you were in set 1 and we had afterschool lessons but everyone was also entered in additional level 2 maths qualifications, mainly to show mathematical competency if you failed GCSE maths.

    I had to do PE GCSE too! Not really sure why I got put into this as I was not great at rounders - the rest of the year did sports leadership.

    School did psychology GCSE for anyone who wanted to do that, but you had to come on Saturday mornings.

    I felt we had many compulsory subjects and not much choice. Wasn't bothered by core subjects but more so the ebacc and other extra ones which weren't compulsory for other schools. I think Maths and English language should be compulsory as they teach important skills, English literature should be a choice but it's usually compulsory.
 
 
 
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