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gcse history in one year (year 9)

Discussion in 'History' started by Edna Krabappel, Feb 2, 2012.

  1. I'm a primary school teacher just wanting a bit of advice about my son whose is currently in year 8. His school has recently changed to a 2 year key stage 3, starting ks 4 in year 9. He has to choose a humanities or creative arts subject for a gcse to be completed in Year 9 (five lessons a week). He loves history at the moment (maybe because he's studying WWI!) and is thinking of choosing it for the one year gcse but I have concerns about the amount of work it will involve (essays etc?) and whether he will be mature enough to cope with the workload. To be honest I have concerns about the whole idea of doing a gcse at the end of year 9. Are there any history teachers out there who are doing this or have any opinions on this?
    any advice is welcome, thanks
  2. katnoodle

    katnoodle New commenter

    A lot of schools are taking this approach now unfortunately. I can't offer much advice except to say that the History GCSE doesn't involve essay writing as such, but a lot of content needs to be remembered. Much depends on what exam board the school uses, and in particular whether they do the Modern World or Schools History Project course. Modern World involves quite a bit of warfare. I'd advise finding out exactly what topics the school does, then having a look at a sample exam paper to see what's involved. Good luck!
  3. Thanks, we have an open evening about the options tonight so I'm thinking of questions to ask. The exam board is Edexcel so its American West and the study of medicine. I'll have a look at past papers, I do feel my son is too young, at 13, to be making decisions but maybe I'm worrying too much.
  4. katnoodle

    katnoodle New commenter

    I don't blame you, in my opinion it's too early for them to make that decision. The idea of some of my Year 8s picking their options right now terrifies me! There's a bit of WW1 in the medicine unit but not much.
  5. GeeMarie

    GeeMarie New commenter

    A school my mother-in-law works at is considering adopting this approach. Apparently it's because the head has been told that they are losing money by doing it the traditional way, and he has to find an efficient way of continuing. I don't really understand how the traditional way loses money but apperntly that is the case.
    The teachers are worried about it. There are pros and cons; the way that school are playing it means more students will come out with more and better GCSEs, but... I don't know, I agree that 12/13 is too young to be choosing these things. I guess the saving grace is that they will get to do more GCSEs (6 one-year courses, two in year9, 10 and 11, and 2 courses that span the whole three years.) so perhaps it won't make as much difference? Although they'll probably pick what they love to do first, and by the end of year 11 are doing subjects they don't enjoy that much so care a lot less... Hm.
    Is that anything like the model your son's school is using?

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