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Early Entry GCSE

Discussion in 'English' started by english.teacher, Jan 6, 2011.

  1. english.teacher

    english.teacher New commenter

    Hi all,
    Just wondering... we have a group of children (top set) who have started their GCSEs early and we're now not sure what to do with them for the year before they commence their A Levels. We're not keen to get them to start their A Levels early. Any suggestions?
  2. regentsreject

    regentsreject Occasional commenter

    I would say don't do early entry English - what's the point if the students are not able to go onto AS level although even that isn't ideal in my view. However, if your school insists on this (and I know one of mine did despite my pleas to the contrary!) you could consider Film Studies. It's a WJEC GCSE course which encourages lots of independent study and the students I taught it to loved it. English teachers can handle the syllabus particularly if they have experience of teaching Media Studies. It gives them an extra qualification (although some people might not consider it terribly worthwhile) and they mostly enjoy it. Another option might be photography but I have no specialised knowledge of this.
  3. Hi,
    We also do early entry but only English Language, they complete Literature in Year 11. Film Studies or Media Studies are good additional ones that we have offered in the past. I know some schools offer GCSE Psychology but it will depend on the expertise of your department.
  4. lizgaskell

    lizgaskell Occasional commenter

    Hi there. I ahve just taken on a group like this myself and am currently working out a long term plan for WJEC Film Studies. I do teach Media currently as an option; it does seem , looking at the spec, that this is right up my street.
    In fact, I have ordered a couple of books from Amazon and they arrived today- plenty to be getting on with for me here in terms of planning. Spec is wuite easy to understand/ follow too. Forgotten exactly where I saw them but probably WJEC wesite but they have PPTs and resources available - FREE!
    I realise though that I may have to communicate this clearly to parents; some of whom will not value it at all as a subject but, at least it is a GCSE (and not a BTEC). I say this as recently one of my classes asked if they could switch to an English BTEC as 'they're much easier than this...' Part of me died that day.
    Yep, Film Studies seems a good plan. WJEC are really helpful too. Good luck


  5. In theory you can actually teach them, instead of being constrained by the demands of exam preparation.
    The problem is that if other subjects are examined, English is likely to get zero priority.

  6. regentsreject

    regentsreject Occasional commenter

    Yes, I can see the benefit of that, but I though the whole point of schools insisting on early entry was to give the more able students the chance to achieve another extra qualification. This seems to me to be a case of getting the English GCSE "out of the way" and I believe it often results in students getting a grade lower than that they are truly capable of because they lack the maturity the extra year provides. As a parent,I would be furious if my son or daughter achieved a C in Y10 to satisfy the demands of the school and the wretched league tables, when they might have got an A if taking the qualification in Y11. There is also a potential serious knock on effect to college and universtity entrance. Can anyone justify early entry?
  7. english.teacher

    english.teacher New commenter

    Thanks for your comments everyone. I must admit, I don't want the new year 9s to start the spec early and so far, SLT have not insisted... which I am grateful for. I am looking into the Film Spec mentioned above... we could offer it to them.
    I suppose we'll see how the results go.

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