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Should pupils be forced to make GCSE choices in Year 7?

Discussion in 'Education news' started by TES_Rosaline, Sep 7, 2018.

  1. TES_Rosaline

    TES_Rosaline Administrator Staff Member

    ‘Children are being asked to select their GCSE options in their second term at secondary school, Tes can reveal.

    At one school in Shropshire, pupils have to submit their choices in the Easter term of Year 7, so they can start studying their GCSE subjects in Year 8.

    A presentation from Thomas Telford School tells parents that GCSE covers ages 12-16 – two years longer than the qualification was originally supposed to be.

    Ofsted’s national director for education, Sean Harford, said the approach was “depressing” and might prevent pupils getting a broad and balanced curriculum.’


    Is it right that children are being asked to choose their GCSE subjects in Year 7? Are pupils being denied the chance to study a broad and balanced curriculum? Is it detrimental to a child's education? Is this a symptom of the high accountability system? Do you think this trend will continue as a result?
  2. sparkleghirl

    sparkleghirl Star commenter

    More evidence of the adverse effect on children and the quality of their education that league tables have had. The managers at this school would appear to care jack **** about the children they are supposed to be nurturing. Only interested in their own careers.
    agathamorse and Laphroig like this.
  3. MrMedia

    MrMedia Star commenter

    It is an indication of atrocious leadership if your pupils have to do so. Might as well give them a 4 for leadership and management right then and there.

    Sean Harford on Twitter

    "Depressing example identified of a school making pupils choose GCSE options at the end of Y7. Really hard to see how this can provide a B&B curriculum or how it can be good for pupils, even when ‘pupil performance’ is being ‘maximised’ as claimed." Sean Harford
    agathamorse and SomethingWicked like this.
  4. Doitforfree

    Doitforfree Star commenter

    Why leave it so late? If they chose their options when they started school then all that wasted time studying subjects which won't end in a certificate could be saved.

    It's a further and probably inevitable outcome of the 'only subjects that are tested are important' culture. Education is no longer about learning but about achieving the highest possible mark in a test on one day when you're sixteen.
    agathamorse likes this.
  5. gainly

    gainly Star commenter

    From Wikipedia:
    "Thomas Telford School (commonly referred to as TTS) is a City Technology College in Telford, Shropshire and is sponsored by The Mercers Company and Tarmac Holdings Limited.[1] The mixed ability school has consistently ranked as the top performing comprehensive school in England,[2] and was the first to achieve a GCSE pass rate of 100% A*-C grades.[3] The school was rated by Ofsted as a Grade 1 outstanding school during 2009.[4]"

    This is obviously the way to be a top performing school, never mind the children.
    agathamorse likes this.
  6. yodaami2

    yodaami2 Lead commenter

    Don’t CTCs select their pupils?
  7. install

    install Star commenter

    Lets just get rid of League Tables and Ofsted so all this nonsense can stop :rolleyes:
  8. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    With his salary and bonus, his wants to get off Twitter and start doing something about these places then. And off-rolling, exclusions and the governance and leadership of places that do such things, and MATs that waste huge amounts of taxpayers money via related party contracts. I could go on but you probably get the drift.
  9. slick

    slick New commenter

    Thomas Telford is graded as 'outstanding'... so assume is exempt from Ofsted inspections unless they fear standards are dropping. It is a mainstream state school.... if it achieved 100% A*-C, it doesn't have the intake that my school has. Despite hard work and one to one, some students only achieve functional skills in maths and English.... a qualification worthy of their ability and gives them self-esteem and entry into college, BUT unworthy of recognition in Progress 8 and League Tables.
    agathamorse, tterb and Catgirl1964 like this.
  10. pair_of_argyles

    pair_of_argyles Occasional commenter

    While Thomas Telford does make great show that it is a mainstream school and that it selects (notice selects) from the whole ability range. A look through through its admission pack shows that it very subtly weeds out many students along the way.
    You have to fill out a specific application form; it asks for attendance records; pupils have to attend an assessment; it prioritises students with STEM abilities ; it looks specifically for 'those applicants most likely to benefit from the education on offer at the School and who have the strongest motivation to succeed' etc .


    Hardly the admission requirements of the other local comps

    Previous run ins with them - they have very thin skins- make me loath to say anything further save 'GNVQ ICT (worth 4 GCSEs)'
    agathamorse, tterb and sparkleghirl like this.
  11. RuthTom

    RuthTom Occasional commenter

    Applicants get a non-verbal reasoning test too.
    agathamorse likes this.
  12. gruoch

    gruoch Established commenter

    I live in this general area.
    TT has an excellent reputation.
    Anyone one makes an 11-year-old make this kind of choice has no interest in children or any understanding of child development.
    agathamorse, tterb and sparkleghirl like this.
  13. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    The 100% A to C was achieved with most pupils taking BTEC equivalents back in the day when one Btech was worth 4 GCSEs.
    agathamorse likes this.

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